Monday, June 28, 2004

A Good Weekend

So I went on my first real backpacking trip this weekend. First off you should check out the pictures. I got to break in my new pack and sleeping bag (I'm so glad I've got a real sleeping bag now. It's so good to sleep surrounded by down in the great outdoors). And had a blast.

We dropped into a stream bed at the Escandito camp (which we had to drive through Ft. Liggand army base to get to), and then proceeded to walk thorough the stream down to Arroyo Seco camp grounds where we left my car so we could get out. A few months ago I would not have thought that a Tiedeman fishing trip would ever seem tame, but this trip certainly did just that.

With 30-40 pounds of gear on my back, we (Mike, Rob, Naomi, and I) wandered rock hopping, stream wading and posion oak avoiding down the river. We had almost no idea where we were in spite of Rob having brought 7.5 minute topological maps. Part of that was that we were having a hard time beliving them when they said that after the first 2 hours of hiking we had gone less than a mile.

Turns out we read the map correctly, it's just that the going got a little easier as we got out of the overgrown forrest and starting hitting some larger pools of water which we swam through. It was a ton of fun to go swimming down the river dragging my pack with everything inside of it in a dry bag. And my camera case worked incredible well. Every time I took it out to get a picture, not a drop of water had made it to my camera.

Saturday night we were getting a little worried as the sun was going down and progress was slow. We eventually settled on a decent camp site (I was very glad I had a sleeping pad to put on the rocks though) where we cooked dinner and had a very restful sleep, and hoped that we had made it more than half way down the trek.

The next day we started out as early as the coffee woke everybody up and could get going. I learned most of how to make the coffee to get Mike up and going that I'm going to need to know how to do if we're ever out just the two of us. This is of course likely as the best current guess is that Mike is grooming me to replace Rob when/if he settles down to start spawning.

Sunday was beautiful though. The water was warm now that we were further down the stream, and the hiking was much easier. Though still I had a bit of work as I think the little control muscles around my ankles were getting a workout they hadn't planned on. And we ran into several groups of people in swimming holes on the second day who had hiked up from Arroyo Seco. Well that seems like the right idea, and what we'll do next time we go.

But we made it to the bridge to get out at about 3p.m. and to the camp site at 5p.m. Got to town. Got hydrated. Got Mike's car (going through the army base again). And wandered back to King City for dinner. I have a new favorite mexican dish I think. Chile Rellenos. At least at this taqueria in King City where they make them so tasty. And we made it back to Redwood City at about 11:30p.m. Still well within weekend time.

All in all it was a great trip, though it certainly does tell me that I'm going to need to be a bit more proactive in finding care for Ishy since I think I'll be doing more of this in the future. Hopefully I can spend some time with Craig's list and find someone I can trust before I need them.

And speaking of animals, we saw so many cool things this weekend. A badger that almost charged Mike's Audi (We think it's got a bit of dismorphia), a beaver in a river (so cool), a fox wandering through the fields and any number of ducks, quails, lizards, etc.

I definetly need to spend more time in the great outdoors.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

A Bad Day

I was debating whether or not to make the title of this "Getting dumped was not the worst part of my Monday", but since I'm no longer really sure which was worse I'll just go with "A Bad Day". (It's always hard to put an appropriate metric on emotional pain and distress, so it's left as an exercise to the reader to do just that).

First off, let's deal with the other thing... I finally got a response to the letter I wrote to Jaime. I had to actually write a letter and mail it because she no longer responds to any of my, or other family members requests to communicate. She even went so far as to leave a Father's day message for my dad at work so that she could fulfill her duties as a daughter, and yet not have to actually interact with him. I am dissapointed (though no longer surprised) by her cowardice on these matters. At least she knows how to get in contact with us if she ever needs it.

Anyway, back to the letter...So I wrote her care of where she said she works. The thing is that I got a response back now to the effect of "I'm not your sister, there are many Jaime Peters out there, what was it that made you contact me." Now this scares me. It means that she lied (and well I might add as my cursory checks seemed to verify the validity of her claims). It also means that I have absolutely no way to get in contact with her. Of course I called a couple of times today and just missed the Jamie that works there, and from what was told to me, I now am not sure whether or not to believe the letter. I really hope that she's alright, but it's harder all the time to deal with this.

And onto the other thing that fucked up my Monday. Apparently I don't have any chemistry with Mary. Now I'm not entirely sure where this comes from, but my greatest suspicion is that it comes from the fact that I'm a bit shy and reserved, and tend not to push the more physical side of a relationship. Now part of that comes from respect and fear on my part. Respect for who I am with as a person. And fear that I will offend them by going too far. Granted that these are things that might be dealt with in time, and I might be capable of overcoming, but the problem is that I don't know if I can continue to deal with the pain.

I don't know if I have the strength in me to endure what it would take to build up the emotional callouses that I would need to be in a proper relationship. I'm sure that these are things that I should have learned in high school (where I was a geek) or college (where I was a geek and had an excuse of there being few women around). And even after school I still refused to work very hard at dating. I think that in the back of my mind I knew the pain that comes from it and just didn't want to deal with it. I hid in a world of "when it's meant to be it will happen" where I could rationalize hiding from emotional pain with faith in fate.

And the worst part of all this is that I didn't even realize that I was getting so close to her. I didn't even see this coming. I should have of course, because I was just getting to the point where I thought things were going well. I was willing to talk with friends about her because I stopped waiting for the other shoe to fall and hear that she wasn't interrested. I just had gotten to the point where I would rather be with her than not (which since I'm a bit introverted feels like the critical cusp to me).

So I've been a bit down the last 30 hours or so... So much in fact I went and shaved off my goatee in as close to an act of self mutilation as I can do. Of course no one recognized that fact. Few of my friends even noticed that big a change. Now of course these are guys, and guys are bad at noticing things, but this was a big change. I lost like 5 years in how old I look. And no one asked me why today. I understand not being immediatly taken aback, or being unsure of exactly what the change was, but no one even bothered to ask me what purpose it served. And so of course no one gets that it was almost an act of violence against who I was, and an attempt to change and get rid of that person.

Of course I did enjoy the look on Tolles face when he wanted to compliment me, wanted to say that the change would be good for me in the long term since it would keep me from being immediately placed in the freak, anarchist bin when I talked to people, but he couldn't because he knows that I there is a pride that I and others take in forcing others to put us in that mental bin. At least that's what I interpreted his look to mean. I could be wrong (to turn a Dennis Miller phrase).

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Hangover's gone. Time to go drinking...

Hangover finally gave up it's last hold on my brain last night as I was drinking my extra large diet coke from In-N-Out. Either I'm getting older, I drank more than I thought, or I just am not taking in as much water as I used to because that took way too long to go away completely. Though I never really tried to do a days worth of work on a hangover before...I mean let's face it, if I didn't do work for a day at AOL no one would notice, or care. Acutally it's more likely that someone would notice a departure from normal if I had done work at the office while I worked there.

The thing is that I really love to be working in perl and on web stuff again. Perl to me is the warm blanket you wake up in during the winter that makes you decide to stay in bed for the rest of the day. Come to think of it, I wouldn't mind seeing some snow again. Seems like every summer I say "I'm going to make it to Tahoe this winter and go skiing" and every year I just get too lazy when winter rolls around.

Oh, and I got my cell phone back. No problem. It apparently fell out of my pocket at some point during the night at the Bubble Lounge. I gave the bouncer a good scare as I approached the door in a t-shirt, jeans and my Teevas, but once I assured him I had no intention of going inside, he brightened up a little, and was quite helpful. Even appologized for the inconvenience of having to ask for my name, phone number, cell phone model, dental records, etc. before he would give back my phone. Hell, I'm glad he made me prove I was who I said I was. Very classy place. Definetly want to go back.

Especially since when I told Tolles I was there drinking, I think I went up a notch or two in his mind. Well either that or caused some cognitive dissonance as he tried to picture me there. Either way...

Friday, June 18, 2004

Friday morning hangover

So I had a designated driver at Drink Club last night, which lends itself to some pain this morning. It was a great party at the Bubble Lounge which is a totally chill atmosphere, and while the party was a little too big for the bar staff they had (I had to wait almost 20 minutes for a drink at one point), it was a very good time.

The thing is that since there was such a wait at the bar, and since I had Andrew to drive me home last night, I just starting ordering doubles of whiskey. Good night. Bad morning. I'll survive. And the hangover seems to be burning off with the morning fog, so that's good. Or maybe it's just the omelette I had at the Depot Cafe this morning to try and soak up the toxins in my system.

Well, I'll have to go to the gym tonight, since I couldn't this morning. I did make it into work at about my usual time, but after the 10 minute drive I needed a break (hence why I'm writing this - english text requires so much less effort than reading spam or writing code)...Maybe since I'll have more time, I'll do an extended run and lift some...we'll see

Oh and if anyone finds my cell phone, please let me know...

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Blockbuster Rocks

Oh, and I hadn't wirtten this yet, but the rent all you want pass from Blockbuster rocks. I know I can get the same thing with netflix but with blockbuster I can make multiple trips inside of the same day. Once I've watched all the DVDs that I want to see that they carry I'll probably switch to a netflix account to get the more esoteric stuff, but until then I'm pretty happy.

And Ishy ate the cases of a couple of DVD boxes (he didn't get the DVDs, just the boxes) and the guy at blockbuster neither was phased, nor charged me for the damages. Pretty cool, hunh?

Goober-natorial movie citations

Well, listening to NPR this morning I hear a clip from our esteemed actor-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In it he said that we (the voters) need to remember that we have ultimate control over the government. Well, actually what he said was to remember that "November is Judgement Day". Ah well, at least he can make fun of himself in movies.

Friday, June 11, 2004

10k run

I did it!!!! Today I ran 6 and 1/4 miles which for those who don't like SAE works out to 10 kilometers. And I did it in just under an hour, so that one of my criteria that I had set myself as part of the "get in shape before/when I turn 25" is made. The other two goals weren't quite as analytically defined as this one, but the goals have been (since January at least, prior to that I hadn't subdivided the "get in shape when i turn 25" goal)...
  • Lose weight
    (mostly this was get under 200lbs, which I have done. Unfortunately, now that I'm here I see I still have quite some distance left to go)
  • Be able to run for an hour straight
  • Be able to bench what I weigh
    (this was so that if I kept losing weight the strength requirement might be lessened. I really aught to start putting some effort into this beyond bouldering).

Monday, June 07, 2004

His father was an orangutang and his mother was a pack-mule

So yesterday I went mountain climbing for the first time outside of the gym. It was an absolute blast. 1200 vertical feet of rock face that Mike, Pat, and I scaled with just ropes, shoes and cams to keep us safe. The views were absolutely incredible, and since it was my first time to Yosemite I had never seen them before.
Of course what goes up, must come down, and we hiked back a "trail" to get back to the car. The trail was just inclined enough where we no longer needed climbing shoes, but I still would have called a great deal of what we did to get back climbing not that long ago.
Still it was a great trip, and mroe work than my legs have ever done in a single day before. I can't wait to go on another expedition.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Fuck the MPAA

I got a notice from my ISP yesterday that someone had been downloading copyrighted material through my IP address. They actually included the e-mail that the MPAA had sent to them. Basically they sent me a cease and desist with a pointer on how to secure a wireless router so that whoever had been downloading the copyrighted material (because I would never do that) could no longer continue. It was actually a pretty sound warning from them with some very sounds security warnings, and I'm glad for how they handled it.
The thing is that the letter from the MPAA included what the infringing material was and it turns out to be a TV show. Now I thought that most of what the MPAA cared about as far as internet downloading was movies (especially after acually putting some people in jail for camcording), but I guess I was mistaken. I guess even stuff that is broadcast free over the airwaves is still a big deal to have on the internet. Guess now that someone is zealously checking my IP address, I can't use bit torrent to download mozilla any more.
And of course all this happens the day that my t-shirt arrives in the mail. There are certainly moments of incredible co-incidence in life.
P.S. - Since I was reading this with my gmail account, I got some ads along with the message. It was impressive how accurate the ads were for the page. One was even an article written for people who run small ISP's about the legal implications of copyright violations by those they service.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Also while jogging

I made the mistake today of leaving my portable radio on the rest area of the treadmill (I didn't have pockets this morning since those shorts were in the wash), and towards the end of my jog I turned from NPR to some classic rock to help push through the last mile, heard a couple of good Guns 'N Roses riffs and got so pumped that I slammed my hand down on the earphone cable and shot the portable radio right across the room behind me. Luckly nothing other than my pride was hurt.

Open Source interview on NPR

Jogging in the morning has finally paid off. I was listening to NPR as I spent my time on the treadmill this morning, and heard about an upcoming interview with an Open Source proponent that would be on as I drove to work. So I listened to it, and there was one thing that was said that really impressed me. The interviewee was discussing Stallman's nazi-esque positions on closed source software, and saying how he (Stallman) viewed it as almost an ethical violation to which the interviewer then compared his views to that of downloading music off of the internet. It was a great juztaposition to think of corporate closed source software, and RIAA instigated lawsuits in the same light.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Bacon Burger Dog

Also this weekend, being the unofficial start to summer, was prime BBQ time. I tried my hand at constructing a bacon burger dog. I had heard about this from the bacon forum on Orkut and had to try it. It's a sausage or hot dog wrapped in ground beef, and then wrapped in bacon. The cooking was straightforward, in that you just cook it slowly (i.e. at the edge of the grill) and rotate regularly (I so need to get a spit and someone to turn it). Apparently this is an homage to Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby's character on The Cosby Show) and it was a good to eat as it sounds. Especially since the bacon hardened just right a formed a crust suitable for holding the concoction and thus made it so I needed neither a bun (since I'm doing Atkins) nor silverware.
Next time I plan on getting fancy and gormet with the ground beef and make some good hamburger mix for the bacon burger dog, and I now know what the base flavor I'm working with will be.

24 day 3

This weekend was the annual 24 fest (wherein I have some friends over and we watch the entire season of 24 in a day, as this is what I think the creators intended). I'm noticing as we're on season 3 now that watching the show this way (as opposed to seeing it an episode at the week) has a consequence that I wasn't expecting. I don't have the same recall of the previous seasons that I do for other television I watch. It's like cramming for a test, and while I do process the information of the following days, it doesn't stay as long as if I had been processing and discussing the episodes for a week each.
Still, I don't think I would do this any other way.