Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Right now I'm in Pembroke, my home town. The weather is just below freezing-- very pleasent for late December. When I told RO the temperature, he was shocked at how cold it was and repeatedly told me to stay warm and not get sick. RO was born and raised around Seattle so freezing temperatures are alien to him.

The store is doing well. We earned enough to pay our bills. Not bad for only being open for three weeks.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas, RO and I spend a quiet day together. It was the first time we had a day off since Thanksgiving. We cleaned the house, sat in the hot tub, ate, visited friends and slept.

Today I flew to Toronto. I had a great flight over. As luck would have it, an old friend was the head steward. When he saw me he said "Barry! Long time now see. Let me take care of you. Go sit in 4C. And so I had 1st class service all the way.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Running a store is interesting. It's so different from my day job as an engineer. The two jobs stress my brain in different ways.

The store is developing a routine, though we still have a long way to go. It sounds like I'm the easy boss, and RO is the hard boss. Yesterday, RO needed some supplies for the front desk, but couldn't find them. He asked one of the girls (We employ three highschool girls) to look for it.

We looked together but couldn't find the supplies. I asked her to tell RO. She asked me "Can you do that? He'll yell at me."

We had a small Christmas Party at the store. About thirty people showed up. It was fun.

We had a white elephant gift exchange. It was fairly fun, but went on way too long. RO was a bit drunk and tried to rule the proceedings. But, you really can't get 30 drinking adults all be quiet and act professional.

Boone drank a lot and got sick-- he doesn't usually drink. I could tell he was on the verge of puking when he got into my truck for the ride home. I kept my eye on him all the way. As we pulling along side home, while I was still driving, he opened the door and proceeded to unload.

Monday, December 12, 2005

RO and I have been working almost non-stop. I have my day job, plus the store needs lots of attention.

We haven't caught up with the book keeping yet. I'm trying to do that, but accounting it's a lot of work. The accounting software doesn't let you correct mistakes. You have to enter another transaction to document the correction. Many of my first entries are things like "#4: Transaction #3 should be a debit and not a credit." "#5 Transaction #4 should be $3.00 not $0.03" and so on.

Saturday night we went to an X-Mas party at some neighbors. They had a white elephant gift swap. It worked out well. I ended up getting a great framed photo.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Last night an old friend told me that Tori died. Tori and I went to University together. We weren't close friends, but we did hang with the same crowd. Tori was a very ambitious and intelligent woman. The long story is under Kayak outing in Mexico turns tragic

In short, Tori and 2 friends were in Mexico, Kayaking between two islands in the Sea of Cortez. A suprize wind sqaul hit them, generating nine foot waves. The three tried to stay together, but Tori was ripped away. At 5pm an American yatch picked up the 2 friends. The yatch had radio contact with Tori. She was frustrated trying to give the searchers here location, but couldn't get sightings because the waves were so high. At 8:30 Tori made her last contact, saying she was cold. Her body was recovered Monday Morning.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The policy are running a speed trap outside my window. Every few minutes the sirens go on and they pull over another car.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's snowing. Nice big flakes.

Where I work, there are two distinct groups of people-- those who grew up with snow and those who didn't. Those who did not grow up with snow are looking out the window, worrying about the drive home and thinking of leaving early. Those who grew up with snow are rolling their eyes and saying "It's just snow."

I grew up in Eastern Ontario, Canada. It really snows there.

I've been working a lot again. I have my day job. Then I drive to the store and help RO set up. He's hired three extra people to help him. On top of that, another three or four of our friends show up to assist. Thanks to everyone!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Last week we worked hard on the store. It's not open yet, but we are close. Most of the inventory is in. The POS (Point of Sale) system is up and running. The display walls are finished. We just need to receive some final inventory,put the trim on the walls, and display everything.

That is still a lot of work.

Monday, November 21, 2005

RO's big day.

Sunday was RO's 41st birthday. On his birthday...

he was outed to my mother. My parents know I am gay, but are in very deep denial about it. I thought they new RO and I were together. Hell.. when my parents spent a week at my house, RO slept every night in my room. Yet my parents didn't realize we were dating. Sunday when I was talking to my mother, I mentioned something, I don't even know what I said, but my mother finally put 2 and 2 together and figured out that I'm really gay, and not pretend-gay-but-someday-I'll-find-the-right-woman. RO was very happy when he heard that.

he accidently put his leg through the ceiling of the store while running cable along it.

he bruise his head in the process

he cursed loudly and non-stop for 15 minutes afterwards.

RO isn't out to his family yet. Sunday His sister showed up at the stare and is now wondering who I am and who his friends are. He does this wonderful song and dance to keep us apart.

We celebrated his birtday at a restaurant nextdoor to us. Some of the gang used their camera phones to send pictures of their genitalia to RO.

It took a long time to get our bill. Because of that RO had words with the manager. The manager kicked him out and told him to never return!

Happy Birthday RO!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

This morning at the store, RO was unloading his car and left his jacket and travel mug outside the door. Two kids picked up the jacket, threw the mug, found the keys and stole the car.

Two city workers saw the kids throw the mug and drive off. They ran into the store and told RO what happened. RO immediatly called 911.

The police stopped the car within a mile. No damage. Nothing lost.


Later on the city workers said they only knew something was weird because the kids threw the travel mug. The kids would have got away if they were more subdued.

I've got mixed feelings about this. On one hand I love it that the police were so responsive. On the other, I'm worried that the store is not in the best of neighborhoods. The neighborhood is definitly on the upswing. But the less desirable elements are still around.

After RO got the car back, he found a lap top and a cell phone in it. The lap top came from a mortgage broker just down the street. RO thinks the cell phone belongs to one of the theives. As he put it, "The phone is full of Ebonics names."

Monday, November 14, 2005

We are doing so much that everything is starting to blur. For a while on Sunday I completely forgot what I did on Saturday.

The store is comming along, though slowly. We are having a problem getting signs. None of the sign people will give us estimates. On the good side, we found a metal artist who may make us a metal sign for much less than a sign company.

I decided to stick an advert on the side of my blog-- mostly to get stats. Google can tell me a bit about my readers. The ad's are supposed to be related to my blog's content. Right now, since my blog is called "Brain Dump" I'm seeing many ads for dump trucks and heavy equipment.


Friday, November 11, 2005

One of the downsides of running a small business is that I have to sign many things that I don't always understand.

I had to sign at least 6 times to setup payroll and accounting with my Bank. I'm not 100% sure to exactly what I agreed to. It include 6 pages of densly typed text and gave the bank a limited power of attourny so that they can pay taxes and receive IRS info on my behalf.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

It's amazing how much effort the new company is talking-- in time and in organizational skills. In the past month I have aquired dozens off vendor accounts, cards and passwords. I have problems remembering them all.

And inventory-- just because you buy furniture that's one piece doesn't mean it's arrived at the store that way. The vendors send you the bulk of the funiture in one shipment, the molding in another (cause it's from a different manufacturer) and the screws in a third. Even with a computer, managing inventory is tricky.

Monday, November 07, 2005

One of the downsides of opening a business together is that RO and I have started arguing more. I'm not always in the right, but two times last weekend, I had "I-was-right-you-we-wrong" moments.

RO and I were hauling some furniture in a trailer behind my truck. He wanted me to move into the HOV lane because our truck had two people. I said trucks with trailers couldn't use the HOV lane. We argued about it. RO called 911 to ask a cop if trucks with trailers could use the HOV lane. Of course the cop said "No."

Saturday night we were making pasta together. Some pasta was coming out blobby and broken. He added more water to the pasta. I said the problem was that the pasta was too wet. RO disagreed and added even more water, insisting the pasta was too dry. Of course the problem got worse. When I added more flour the problem went away.

Now, I recognize that always being right in an argument is not good for our relationship. At the same time, if I know I'm right, it's hard for me to give ground. It just feels spineless to be neutral or to agree with RO just because we live together.

What say yea?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

RO, Steven and I had dinner last night at the 611 Supreme.

Steve is under a lot of stress right now. His partner Vic who is in the Navy, is away on tour for at least a month.

Plus, his brother and a close friend are having Meth problems. His brother, who is off meth, is having a crazy spell and accusing Steven of lots of weird shit. Steven is tired of this and is cutting his brother out of his life.

The close friend is still on meth. His health is failing. He had a stroke. He's losing weight. About a week ago Steven was talking to the friend over the phone. The friend just stopped talking.

Steven contacted the friend's family and they are planning an intervention.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Busy weekend. Friday night RO and I celebrated our new company by touring the resaurants of downtown Renton. RO and I have fingured out why downtown Renton has soo many great restaurants. Two men, Gino and Armondo, or opening up different restaurants. The cheap lease rates mean these men can hire better chefs and spend more money on the ingredients and staff.

Saturday we went to see the Tiffany exhibit at the SAM. In the evening we went to a halloween party thrown by one of RO's friends.

Sunday we drove down to Gig Harbor to see Mac and Joe's new home. It's a very nice place. Private-- on 2 acres. I like it.

Sunday evening we went to a co-workers wedding. RO danced with many of the women. He's a charmer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Last night RO and I went out to Olivers for Martini Monday. Martini Monday is 'tradition' just started by Rebecca since she was dumped by her boyfriend and wanted something fun to do on Monday.

It was fun evening, though I drank too much. Martini's are a drinking man's drink.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Side note-- this blog is now five years old! In Internet years, that's ancient.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Maui pics
We are back from Maui. It was a good trip with a few colourful exceptions.

Matt and Sandy arrived Friday night. RO and I arrived Saturday evening.

First colourful exception... Sandy really wanted pot. He's had bad experiences with buying pot on Maui-- he's ended up with oregano before. To make sure he got some good pot, Sandy scoped out the guys on the beach, and befriended this stoner named Soliel.

Soliel was the hippy child of hippy parents. He was basically homeless, living on the beach and off the kindness of strangers. He was about 30 years old, care free-- a simple happy stoner who didn't know any better.

He was also kind of creepy. When RO first met Soliel, he hid anything valuable. He didn't want to give Soliel any ideas.

Soliel pulled out a nail clipper still in the package. He said he lifted it from the corner store next to us. He was very proud of himself.

Soliel sat next to me on the sofa. He pulled his shorts out and then said "That's not good!" He turned to me and continued "I haven't had a shower in 3 days. The salt and sand are bugging my foreskin."

While we were talking about dinner, Soliel pulled some Bologna and chips out of his nap sack. He got a plate. He carefully fooled the Bologna and and made a nice presentation with the chips. As thoughtful as it was, we didn't eat the chips and Bologna. We didn't know where it came from or how long it was in his knapsack.

The evening went on like that. Soliel never realized how strange he came across as.

Eventually RO, Matt and I wanted dinner, but Sandy still didn't have his pot. Sandy kept asking us to wait a few more minutes. An hour later we left Sandy with Soliel and went to Stela Blues (Great restaurant)

We called Sandy a few times while we were eating. Sandy told us that he had drove Soliel to the dealer's house and gave Soliel some cash to go buy the pot. The only reason he knew that Soliel would come back was that Soliel had left his knap sack in Sandy's car.

And hour later Sandy was still waiting for Soliel.

An hour after that Sandy got his pot.

Sandy said that on the way home, Soliel was acting very weird. He couldn't handle highway speeds and kept yelling at Sandy to slow down. Finally Sandy managed dropped Soliel off where he wanted and gave him some cash.

When we finally met up with Sandy, he was being very self-richous. He kept saying "Do you know all the trouble I had to go through to get us that pot! You should support me!" We didn't really want the pot so we all gave Sandy the finger.

We spent Sunday at little Mecena beach. Very beautiful. Every Sunday at sundown a drum circle forms or little Mecena. It was an great party.

Monday we drove to Hana. The road to Hana is very twisty, with lots of one lane bridges and blind corners. It has some beautiful scenery.

In Hana we hung around Red Sand beach. It's a very pristine and quiet beach.

We spend the rest of the time snorkeling and swimming at the various beaches.

Thursday morning we got up at 3am drove to the top of Haleacala, a dormant volcano. We watched the sun rise.

After that we drove back to red sand beach at Hana. A seal was sunny herself on the beach. RO laid down, about 20 feet away from the seal. Later on he told me that if you sang to the seal, it would close it's eyes and stop being so suspicious of every sound.

Before we left on Saturday, we ran into Soliel again. We gave him some leftover beer and snacks.

The trip home was uneventful. I'll post the pictures soon.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The lease is signed and notarized.

RO & I are about to head off Hawaii for a week. Sandy's dad had a time share in Maui that he couldn't use. i will have fun on vacation knowing that we have a store.

Friday, October 14, 2005

We still haven't signed the lease. We almost did, but our laywer wanted to correct a few incosistancies-- no substantial changes, we just wanted to put the changes we had agreeded to verbally into writing.

When we presented the new lease to the agent, they got very annoyed. I'm not sure why. Maybe they think we don't trust them because we had it reviewed and altered by a good lawyer. Maybe they think we are trying to hide something from them.

The end result is that we still don't have a lease. This is stressfull. A lot of inventory scheduled to arrive and it has no place to go and no store to be sold in.

Over night RO and I talked about a few things we could do to help the process along. He's talking to the agent today. I still have a day job, so I just can't go down there and negotiate.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

RO and I just got back from the lawyer-- we are forming a corporation to run the business under. It's a little nerve racking. It's amazing how fast we are going through cash and we haven't even opened. No one expense is unreasonable, but there are dozens of expenses.

Right now RO and I are figuring out how to structure the shares. It's fairly simple if RO and I are (and stay) the only owners. Things get much more complicated if we take on other partners. It hard to figure out what's fair. What happens if RO and I split? Should the investors loan us money? Should we let them buy shares? How do they get their money out? How much control do we retain?

Right now I'm the president. So I get to sign my name "Brain Dump, President of Corporation."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Last night the gays of Newcastle got together for a dinner party. The hosts have a beautiful house on the high on the hill.

In a weird co-incidence, over a year and a half ago, before RO and I were a couple, RO had a threesome with the hosts and left his watch behind. Last night the hosts pulled out the watch and handed it back to RO.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Vic and Steven are back from Bali and Hong Kong. Even though they were close to the bombings, they had a great time.
So RO and I are taking a big step together--we are opening a home design/decore store. It's a big leap of faith. RO knows what he is doing though. He has been a designer for years and has run his own store before. The risk is that my pockets are deeper than RO's. I'll be paying most of the bills until things are up and running. And there are big bills-- rent is $5000.00 a month.

There is a lot of work to do. We want to open by Dec 1 to hit Christmas. RO is on the phone constantly to line up the vendors.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Steven and Vic are in Bali. They were about a block and a half away from the bombings. They are ok, but shaken. I got this email from Steven.

We are fine. I hope you got my other email. We were right where this happened today. Very scary. Just wanted to let you know we are ok. We are a bit a ways from this but like I said we were shopping right there today. We were at Hard Rock for lunch and at pool all afternoon.
Very close call. Makes me sick to my stomach. Villa and hotel is great and we are fine.


Steven and Vic

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Steven and Vic are on their way to Bali via Hong Kong. He writes...

Just thought we would reach out. We have some time to burn in Hong Kong while we await the next flight to Bali. We have been in travel now for about 28 hours. WOW! Seems like less since we were able to sleep much of the night. We slepts about 10 hours! We have not stopped eating of course. The business class service. Wow. The little asian ladies I want to bring home. They are not only beautiful but so nice and just treated us so nice. amazing. This airport itself is amazing. Large, spacious and not at all what I would have thought. The walk ways large and spacious and of couse enough Prada and gucci shopping to burn any wallet up! The business class lounge is amazing. Beautiful simple elegance. There is a water feature pond next to where I am now. We have been in the noodle bar and will soon partake in the "long Bar" which spans across the front of the lounge with Views over the airpot and bay of Hong Kong. Amazing. The showers were something out of the W hotel in New York for sure. Huge rain shower heads above and even a little magic wand that makes for a very clean little (YOU KNOW WHAT). HE HE! You know me..gotta give the details.

Vic and I compared notes later and funny...he said the same thing about the magic wand. We both think we might need one. HA! Why is there not one in the steam shower is what I want to know.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Today I drove in with a co-worker. His native language is not English.

He told me that while he was learning English, the first time he saw "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear." on a passenger-side mirror he thought it meant "The components used to make this mirror are much more densely packed than you would expect."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Yesterday was William's 45th birthday. Who is William? He's my other roommate. He's very quiet. He doesn't work. He doesn't pay me rent. He helps around the house. He does odd jobs to earn some cash. He plays piano and has performed at weddings and bars.

Other than that, he's just there. He watches TV. He hangs out with friends. He cleans up after himself. He rarely dates. I've never known him to have a boyfriend.

Maybe he's going through a mid life crisis. It's just odd to see a man so free of goals and ambition.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Saturday night RO and I went to a great party. Rebecca, who use to be my boss, invited us to it.

What made the party so great? The hostess was a wild child.

Working backwards... At the end of the night, everyone was dancing samba, salso and tango around the living room. There were a few great dancers there and they gave the rest of us lessons. Rebecca and RO did an agressive tango. They would swing aground and check other dancers onto the couch.

Before that, I noticed that some of the guests were vanishing for long periods of time. When I went looking for them-- they were on the back patio smoking pot.

Before that. This one is the hardest to describe. The hostess would run her teeth over the bone behind your ear. It tickled gave you the shivers. It first happened to RO and T. There were sitting there giggling like they had a secret. They wouldn't tell us what it was. They just said "Go to the back room and find out."

So I did. And it happened. It was so weird having a stranger do that to me.

Later on RO and I sat on either side of the hostess. RO and I started to do the same thing to here that she did to us. She started laving and shaking so much that she broke my wine glass.

It was a great party.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The black berry wine is off to a good start. It's bubbling away in the primary fermenter. It smells good, better than the grape wines.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Tommy Boy is safe and sound. He's been away for a couple of weeks thanks to Hurricane Katrina. I knew he was safe, his friend told me so the couple of times that I called him. But still, I hadn't heard from him.
RO and I went to the Boeing surplus store over the weekend. Boeing surplus is surreal. There are endless bins of oddities that you'd never realize were needed to build jets.

You can buy old laptops computers by the pallet. Bins and bins of drill bits, some of the 2 or 3 inches thick, large aluminum sheets, reemers, sonofiers (what the heck is a sonofier?) casters, instructional videos, hand carts, binders and much much more.

Some of their old desks and drafting tables look like a bureaucracy gone haywire. They had a desk on hydraulics that could turn anyway. Another desk had a precision magnifying glass attached.

I didn't buy anything. But, it is a junk collectors paradise.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Had a maintenance weekend. RO and I did chores around the house. Mowed the lawn, moved furniture, cleaned out gutters.

Saturday night we watched Nine Dead Gay Guys. It's not bad for a corny gay comedy. It's very amorale. I think it tries to mock movies that have a moral-of-the-story. At the end there is a moment where the characters realize that it's possible to have sex because you love someone, not because you are paying them, or you are in a dark room.

Today RO and I started a batch of black berry wine. We'll see how that turns out. We picked all the berries our self. This will be the first wine we did, from start to end, without a kit.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The bugs...

Last weekend when we were driving back from Wenathee we drove through a large cloud of bugs.

At first it was gross-- six or seven bugs quickly splatted on the windshield. Then it was kind of funny and weird-- more bugs kept colliding with the windshield. After a minute of bug death, it stopped being funny and was just creapy. How many bugs where there? How long before they stopped hitting the truck? Has anyone ever had an accident because they couldn't see through bug crud?

It stopped after about 5 minutes. I tried to clean the bugs off with the wipers, but they just smeard the bugs.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Steven has moved out. He's got a great townhouse over in West Seattle. I'll miss him. He was a great room mate and a better friend.

He's already jokingly asked me when I was moving to West Seattle. It would be nice-- West Seattle is a better place to live than where I live, Renton. West Seattle has many great restaurants and stores within walking distance. Renton-- you drive everywhere. West Seattle has Alki Beach

As nice as West Seattle is, you pay for it. My commute would be over an hour one way. Real-estate prices in West Seattle are sky high. And as nice as Alki Beach or the clubs and restaurants are, I wouldn't use them every day. Instead, I can drive to them regularly when I go and visit my best friend at his great now townhouse.

Monday, September 12, 2005

For the weekend, RO, Matt and I headed east to Twisp. I slept over at Matt's family cabin. Saturday night we went to the Okanogan Fair and watched the Rodeo. Matt's cousin was the Fair Queen.

They are different in Okanogan. The normal people are the same as normal people everywhere. It's the fringe people that are different. In Seattle, the fringies are very left wing. Around Okanogan, the fringe people are very right wing.

The announcer at the Okanogan Fair Rodeo told a very ruthless, right wing, poor taste joke, over the P.A system to hundreds of people. It suprized me. Matt's cousin told me to not worry-- the annoucer was a local nut that everyone ingored. His opinions weren't the norm.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

C2 in Iraq writes:

It's good to hear from you. Yes, it's fall here too. I think today may have been the first day when the temperature didn't get over 100. Yes, Jack Frost and pumpkins are right around the corner!

Vic was in town. Vic is in the navy and may be redeployed to Louisiana. Steven has mixed feelings about this. Vic could be gone for months. At the same time, Louisiana needs all the help it can get.

Yesterday RO and I hiked up to the bathing rocks by Snoqualmie Pass. Very nice.
I'm starting to get a lot of comment spam. For that reason I've had to turn on the image verification thingy. No big issue since this blog doesn't get many comments, and those that do comment are smart enough to figure it out.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Ro, Mac, Joe, Behr and his BF drove up to Port Ludlow on Saturday. It's a beutiful small town. Really just a marina, many vacation properties and the stores needed to support them. As Seattle gets larger, many of these old lumber towns are converting them selves to weekend vacation destinations. Port Ludlow is one of them and they are doing a good job.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Last night RO baby-sat Steven's brother's kid's-- two of them, aged 8 and 9.

We played Halo 2 for a while. They were very excited-- "I don't think we are allowed to play that! That's for teens! Halo is rated mature! Is Halo ok for me?"

I told them there parents wouldn't know if they didn't tell them.

We played a very safe version of Halo, bascially driving around and ramming into each other; bumper cars.

After that, the 8 yo wanted to see my sword. I have a real sword that I keep as art. I pulled it out so they could touch it. They were delighted and scared at the same time. They ran behind the sofa and didn't want to get near it. Everything they know about swords comes from movies-- if you touch the blade, your finger will get cut off. It was hilarious. I just held it and they were amazed.

Of course, when their parents get back, what do they say? "We played Halo2! I didn't think we could play it because it's rated mature! Bob's parents won't let him play Halo! They have a real sword! I touched it!"


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I'm going to write about the rain in Seattle. I feel kind of whiny doing so, since my friend Tommy has just been through Hurricane Katrina, but what the heck.

The summer droubt is comming to and end. Last night it poured down. As luck would have it, my gutters plugged up over the summer. RO and I stook out in the rain and worked to unblock everything.

After that, we wanted to relax in the hot tub. By then the rain had stopped, but, there was so much rain in the trees, that it sounded like it was raining for at least 30 minutes after. It was weird. Away from the trees-- no rain. Under the trees-- rain.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

RO and I went to the Muckleshoot Casino last night. We were in the area and wanted to do something different-- go to a good all you can eat buffet!

While we were in line for the buffet, RO playing black jack. He ended up winning over $100.00. Nice-- that paid for dinner, drinks, and a good cigar.

While I was finishing my cigar RO gambled some more. He ended up loosing more than he won. When he was down to his last $40.00, he gave me a $20.00 ticket. He wanted to play nickel slots with me. I was lucky. I ended up winning $100.00.

At the end of the night we were only down about $100.00. A fair price for dinner, drinks and entertainment.

I'm sure that's what the casino wants us to believe.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I'm also reviving Binge and purge-- where I review restaurants you normally wouldn't eat at.

I can only do this because I have the stomach of steel.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I've started posting pictures at http://rooktook.blogspot.com/

I amazed at the amount of comment spam that I got.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Friday we saw Red Eye. It's a very good, tight little thriller.

Saturday, RO, Matt, Sandy and I went camping on the coast in the Hoh rain forest. Matt and Sandy are still constantly bickering.

Still, the ocean and the rain forest were beautiful.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Ameriquest Blimp is in town. It's been flying over head about twice a day for a week.

Blimp! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 14, 2005

RO has a cat. The cat has personality and is spoiled. If the cat sees the bottom of hs bowl, he thinks something is wrong, and starts bugging RO.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

I've been working a lot. My whole team has. I'm getting email with them from 10pm at night and 7am in the morning.

We have a big deadline this Tuesday.

back to work.

Friday, August 05, 2005

A co-worker emailed the theam that he "Wrote his bike into work" His manager responded

Dear Bike:

I wanted to thank you today for taking me to work. Together we jump up curbs, dodge SUVs, buzz by mothers with baby carriages and frighten elderly pedestrians. I will always cherish our long rides in the sunset and in the morning fog --- and we’ll always have Paris…

But my gratitude and love comes with some concerns as well. As much as I enjoy spending time with you, you frequently leave me sore – especially on my... well, you know…

A softer touch would help us spend many more intimate years together.

Your rider,
C2 is back from Iraq for a couple of weeks. From talking to him, I think he's happy over there. He likes the structure that comes from working under the military.

His alergies went away in Iraq and have returned in Seattle.

He and I are want to go to Turkey in October. The gang is trying to talk us out of it. RO does like the idea of me going to someplace unsafe. I'm going to go though.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Flashback. Two months ago I got T-Boned at an intersection.

Yesterday was her trial. I was called as a witness.

The summons was for 1pm. When I showed up, about 30 people where in the court-- many cases were being heard. I just sat there for the next hour. Every now and then a lawyer would call out someone's name and the two would chat.

Finally at 2pm things got started. It looks like Traffic Court is commodity law. They try to go through as many cases as quickly as possible. The more complex cases were remanded to a later date.

In a few cases the defendant didn't show up. The prosecutor immediatly added a "Charge of inattentiveness with an associated fine of $101.00"

In one case a good traffic lawyer was there. She managed to get a speeding ticket overturned by showing the radar hadn't been properly calibrated in over a year and by pointing out some irregularties in the paper work.

I should get her number.

Finally, the case I was ther for, came up. The prosecutor and the defense talked a bit. Then the judge said "Is a Mr. or Mrs. Cohen here?" I stood up and the judge addressed me. He said "The defendant has accepted a deferred prosecution so we don't need you. Go to the law clerk's office and they will pay you for your time."

I smiled at the prosecutor. He said "It's not much."

He was right. They paid $10.00.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Last night when I got home from work RO kissed me weirdly, like a fish would. I asked him what that was about.

He said "I told Nigel (the fish) I'd kiss you goodbye for him."
"Why is Nigel kissing me goodbye? ... Did he die?"
"Yeah. He's dead."

Nigel had been struggling with the ick for about a week.

We drank a beer in honor of Nigel and talk about our memories of him. Like the time he ate the two guppies we gave him as tank mates.

Or the way he was so picky and prefered to eat meal worms over fish flakes.

Or the time he jumped out of the thank and fell into the sink. He was in the sink so long that he stuck to it. Vic had to pry him off.

Fish have stupid lives.

Our fish, Nigel, is dead. Long live Nigel. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 25, 2005

Friday night, RO and I had dinner with a few of my co-workers. We had a great time. I need to hang out with these people more often.

Saturday and Sunday we had a home-maintenance weekend-- mowed the lawn, planted flowers, stained the deck.

Deck staining tricks. RO and I stopped using paint brushes to stain the deck; too slow. We used sponges to stain the railings.

We used a cheap herbicide sprayer and a wide broom to stain the deck. I'd spray a layer of stain the herbicide sprayer. RO evened it out with the broom.

Friday, July 22, 2005

We had a "Weather Forcast Failure" here in Seattle. The weather reports were all calling for Partly Cloudy, no rain.

It's been raining like cats and dogs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My parents were in town for a long weekend. They met RO. Things went well. RO can be a charmer.

We did much together. I took them to Teatro ZinZanni. They had a great time.

We also did streat fairs, the Alki Beach and ate lots of good food.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Poppa Neutrio is an adventurer who built a raft made of garbage and floated it accross the Atlantic.

He's built another raft and has just started sailing accross the Pacific.

Poppa Neutrio is 71.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Saturday RO and I finished the electrical work on the deck. For a year now the hot tub's safety cut-off has been dangling by a nail and some wires too close to the hot tub. We moved the cut-off away and put the wires in conduat. Now everything is up to code.

Sunday Matt and Sandy came over. We ate, talked, drank. They ended up spending the night.

Sunday RO and I want to Kirkland Summerfest. It wasn't bad, but at this point I've been to enough summer festivals that I recogize the vendors.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Last night RO and I watched Sideways. It's a film about an alcoholic wine lover and a friend going on a wine tour of California wine country before the friends wedding. It's pretty good. A bit slow to start but becomes very funny half way through.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Vic came down for the weekend. On Friday Vic, Steven, RO and I went and saw War of the Worlds. The movie is well done, the effects are great, but if you think about it the story has many holes as if the whole point of the plot was to set up the next special effect.

But, the special effects are very good.

Late Friday afternoon RO and I left ofr eastern Washington to camp by the Sun Lakes. It was beautiful, sunny and warm. There were no mosquitoes or rain so we could sleep out under the stars.

We went to the Grand Coulee Damm At night they play a laser show against the damm. It's corney but fun.

We swam and sunned all day Saturday.

We drove back Sunday morning and spent the rest of the day with Mac and Joe on their boat. More swimming. More sunning.

Monday we went to a BBQ at a friends house over in Magnolia.

At the BBQ, RO launched a bottle rocket out of his ass. You read the correctly. When I get the pictures, I'll post them. From hear on, RO shall be known as Rocket Man.

We got stuck in traffic after the fireworks. It took about 90 minutes to drive a couple of miles. Very frustrating. To pass the time, Steven and Rocket Man made fart sounds at pedestrians.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Looking over the last few months of my blog, I see that my life is in a cycle. I work a lot during the week (and don't write at all) On weekends I do something interesting and worth writing about.

This weekend was the same.

Saturday night, RO, Matt, Beef and I went to see the Rat City Roller Girls. It was fun. My friend Jen got into a fight while playing. She ended up spraining her leg. She'll be ok though.

Sunday was Pride. It was packed. RO and I decided to skip most of the parade (Gay Pride parades are long and boring) we toured the booths. Mac and Joe were at the gay yatch club booth.

After the festival, RO and I went to C.C.'s for drinks. RO get very drunk. I had fun watching him.

Monday, June 20, 2005

I had a great weekend. On Saturday RO, Matt and I went to the Fremont Fair and Solsitce Parade.

The weather was perfect on Sunday-- sunnay and warm. RO and I went to the Washington Brewfest and sampled much great beer. Afterwards we swam for a while at Newcastle Beach. The water was cold, but the sun quickly warmed you up when you got out of the lake.

What's good is a parade without streakers? Posted by Hello

Robots Posted by Hello

Dancers at the Solstice Day Parade. Posted by Hello

Art Car at the Freemont Solistice Day Parade. The fish and lobster are those novelity singing machines from a few years back. They all sing in unison as well as say things like "Please step away from the car" Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

C2 in Iraq writes...

Thank you for the email. I'm glad you got the money. Remember, keep the
25,000 new dinar bills but please, just freely give away the other stuff.
That's about the bes trinket you can get here. Hmm, what have I been up to?
Well, I got accused of harrassment and there's been an investigation and
I've discoved the seedy underbelly of the beast. There the veneer of KBR
corporate where 'everyone is valued' and then there's reallity of
backstabbing, lying and manipulation. The boss's secratery across the
hallway is fucking a couple of subcontractors and there are booze parties on
regular basis. The bitch who accused me of harrassment just got back from a
psych exam she's got a history doing weird stuff. It's a regular Payton
Place!! But let's put things in perspective, Michael Jackson has been
acquited on all charges!!! Yea!!!

So this time next month or so I'll be heading out of here on my break. My
plan is to drag you back along the way where we're going to go someplace and
see part of the world you've never seen. I've got to do some planning but
I'm thinking we'll do the trip in August sometime. How does that sound? All
that you have to do is pay your part of the way, keep up with me and I'll
put everything else together. Have you ever been to:
and I know you haven't been to Dubai.

Overall, things are going....'fine.'

Monday, June 13, 2005

Last weekend RO and I went to Port Orchard with Mac and Joe for a Yatch club event.

Thursday night RO and Mac left for Port Orchard M&J's boat. Joe and I drove up on Friday evening. It was a fun weekend. The Yatch club people are nice, though there is a bit of a money-show-off thing with them. Mind you, you don't spend $100,000.00 on a boat to tell people to stay away-- being a boater is a social thing.

RO and I talked about buying a boat. We decided not to. I'd rather put the $100,000.00 into a cabin in the mountains or on the ocean.

Not that I have $100,000.00 to spend.

Docks Posted by Hello

Port Orchard Posted by Hello

Monday, June 06, 2005

Last weekend RO and I worked on the house. We did a lot of work-- power washed all the decks, weed whacked the back yard, fixed and filled cracks and crevacies.

I also bought a blower. I really like the blower. In 45 minutes RO blew the crap off the roof, cleaned out the gutters, the walk ways and the deck. That used to be an all day chore.

The power washed deckss look great. Like new.

Friday, June 03, 2005

It was a weird week. On Tuesday I got a very big bonus for a special work project that I volunteered for. On Wednesday management canceled that project. So, I have mixed feelings.. They wanted to make it clear that they appreciated my efforts even though they were no longer needed.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Clamming on the Hood Canal Posted by Hello

Lake Cushman Posted by Hello

New Truck Posted by Hello
The gang went camping at Lake Cushman. The weather was perfect-- sunny and warm.

Friday RO and I hiked along the staircase rapids.

Saturday we went clamming. I've never clammed before. It's a lot of work. We were looking for certain types of clams (the tender ones) so we let many go. Mac was a good guide.

Clams are filter feeders so their digest tracts are full of sand. To get the sand out you soak the clams in salt water and corn meal for a day or so. The clams eat the corn meal an expel the sand.

Sunday we want kayaking on Lake Cushman.

In the evening we had clam appetizer and clam luinguini. Yum!

Good work news today. I got a big bonus for my work on a special project. The bonus hit my at the right time-- a week after I bought the new truck.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

So I had a rather full weekend.

Friday night I had a surprize birthday party. A few of us were going to go to Siams, but just before we left, all these people showed up. It was fun.

Saturday... Sigh. Saturday I got into an accident. I was t-boned at an intersection. No one was hurt, but my truck will probably be written off.

Saturday evening RO and I went to see the Rat City Roller Girls. We had a blast. The place was packed. They need to work on the timing a little-- the half time was more than an hour long.

Sunday I bought a new truck. I did some research and consumer reports, I test drove an Avalanche, an F-150 and a Tundra. I didn't like the F-150, which is odd condsidering I've been driving one for the past 8 years. I think it didn't feel new. If I'm going to drive a new truck, I'd like it to feel new.

I really liked the Avalanche. It looked nice and was practicle for me.

At the end of the day I tried a Tundra. The only reason I tried Toyota was their great maintenance record. The Tundra I tried was fully loaded. What was odd is that a Fully loaded F-150 is about $50,000.00 while a fully loaded Tundra was $14,000.00 less. The seats were very comfortable, it drove well, and you could see and feel the quality. All the knobs and levers felt solid and moved smooth and precisely.

So I got one. It's silver, king cab, 4x4, leather with heated captain's seats.

Friday, May 20, 2005

I am 35 today. I am officially middle aged. I'm not old yet, but I can't pretend that I'm young either.

I got old gifts. Steven got me a nice new set of dishes. RO got me new sheets for the bed.

RO also got me three guppies to join the beta in the fish tank. RO doesn't really know about mixing fish. One of the guppies is already dead. Another is missing. The beta enjoys hunting them.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Friday night Vic came down from Vancouver Island, Steven, Vic, RO and I had dinner at a new restaurant in old Renton- the Red House. It was a great find. I'll go back again. I'm starting to figure out why old Renton has so many great restaurants. One man, Gino, will open up a new restaurant and manage and be its chef for a few years-- until it develops a name. Then he'll sell the restaurant and do the samething over again. Gino is responsible for three of the five great restaurants in old Renton. The Red House is his latest venture.

Saturday morning we ran errands. Saturday afternoon we went for a short walk on Cougar Mountain. After that we we drove over to Andrew's Bay and spent to spend the night with Mac and Joe on their boat.

It was a good evening. The weather was perfect. RO and I slept on the upper deck under a canvas roof. That was fine for most of the night. It started to rain at about 3 in the morning-- just a gentle shower. Mac came out, pulled out a tarp and threw it over our sleeping bag.

It was very peacful until about six in the morning. Then the wind picked up. The rain started comming in from the side. At about seven I felt a few drops around my feet. I got up to see where the water was coming from. As I sat up RO said "Don't Move!" He got up and carefully gathered the tarp, pulled it over to the side and dumped gallons of rain water off the tarp and back into the lake. He said about 3 gallons of water had pooled on the tarp between us.

We were all up by 8am. We hung around, drank coffee ate a little and the left for land.

Sunday afternoon RO and I helped Jen move a washer and dryer-- at first it sounded like a simple favor. Jen recently seperated from her boyfriend and she needed a washer and dryer for her condo. She bought a used one and needed help moving it. We picked the washer and dryer up and drove to her place down town. It was a little awkward manouvering the washer in her appartment but we managed. Then we tried to hook the washer up-- the washer had a 3 prong plug. Her condo had a 4 prong outlet. Sigh. We headed over to Home Depot to get a new plug. Bad timing; a Mariners game got out at the same time. (Mariners won 5-4 over Boston) The Mariers traffic made our little 2 mile trip take over an hour.

Fortunatly the conversion from 3 prong to 4 prong was easy. Everything was colour coded. The washer/dryer worked fine after we plugged it in.

To return the favor, Jen gave RO and I two tickets to see the Rat City Roller Girls!

Sunday evening was the Survivor Potluck final. Matt, Sandy and Potsy came over. Steven hung around a bit, but he was feeling sick.

Monday, May 09, 2005

About a week ago Steven gave me four tylonol with codeine pill. (Available over the counter in Canada) I used one for a headache I was having, and put the other three on a plate in the center of the dining room table.

About Thursday of last week, someone took one of the pills. Now today, another pill is missing.

I wonder who is going to take the last pill. Or is that like taking the last candy from the bowl? I don't know my pill stealing etiquette.
I'm trying to get tickets to see the Rat City Roller Girls. Jen is on the team.

They have a huge fan base. And tickets go fast. To prevent scalping they are selling the tickets in small batches (about 100 at a go) at venues around the city. On Saturday, they put 100 up for sale at s store in Ballard. RO and I got there an hour after they started-- all the tickets were gone.

They are about to put 100 tickets for sale on line. I'm frequently clicking the refresh button to try and get two.

Sniff. The online ticket site now says "The May bout is now SOLD OUT! The good news is that we're very close to getting into a larger venue, hopefully for the June bout! So keep watching the website for details."

Saturday, May 07, 2005

C2 said that it was Tullil was just hazy. no wind. lite dust. He's also been checking up on his possessions. He told is old roommate that if his cat dies, he's supposed to get another cat that looks the same and keep the death a secret.

He said the same to me about the cedar tree he gifted me.

Haze in Tullil Posted by Hello

Haze in Tullil Posted by Hello

Haze in Tullil Posted by Hello

Monday, May 02, 2005

So I...

Steven's eyes will roll when he reads this.

Short story. I flew down to Lousiana to meet Tommy. I ended up feeling so guilty, becuase RO and I have started datating, that, the very next morning, I left Tommy and flew back to Seattle.


Long Story.

I've known Tommy for years. He's a great man and I've always wanted to meet him in person. We seam to click. I like chatting with him. I like talking on the phone with him. I like reading his blog.

Months ago I decided to fly down to Lousiana and meet Tommy. I was looking forward to it. I bought the tickets so that I wouldn't get cold feet. I booked the time off work.

Then, weeks later, I started to date RO.

I didn't want to back out of meeting Tommy so I told RO I was going away on a work trip.

Well, I did fly down and meet Tommy. Tommy is excatly the man I always thought he was. More handsome in person. He has a big barrel chest that feels great when he hugs you. He's intersting and well spoken.

But, I felt guilty. Really, really guilty for lying to RO.

I was amazed how guilty I felt. I slept very badly that night.

In the morning, I came clean with Tommy. I told him I wanted to fly back. It was the only option that made sense. Yeah, I looked stupid, but that was better than hurting/ignoring RO.


I did enjoy my short stay. And, I will return one day for a longer visit.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Sand Storm in Tulil, Iraq Posted by Hello

Sand Strom in Tulil, Iraq. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

C2 is not enjoying himself in Iraq...

Barry, How full is your mail box? I'm trying to send you a 4 MB file and it bounces back. Might you know why?

So I met xxxxx and a few other guys the other day and long story short the other guys don't like me because I'm not attractive. It's not like I was going to fuck them or vice versa (neither were the cat's meow, or the dog's Grrr) but it would have been nice to just know a few guys here. I was having a good day until I got that email and now I'm bummed, just bummed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I'm off to Louisiana for a few days. I get to meet Tommy Boy. Kewl.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The melencoly joy of power washing.

Today I bought a power washer-- 3000 PSI. It blasts the dirt off of anything. My cemet walks look new. My roof is clean. My old wooden benches look band new.

The washer comes with a "red" washer tip that can blast pieces off of cement and stone.

It's like cleaning with a tornado-- 3000 dirt blasting psi at the end of the hose. All that high pressure water has to go somplace. If you spray near soil or beauty bark then a blast of crap flies all over the place. You need to clean twice. Once at high pressure to chisel the dirt off and once at low pressure to clean the mess left by the first pass.

The other downside is that it does a good job, but slowly. It only cleans a strip about four inches wide so it takes a long time to do a sidewalk or roof. I tried it on a small patch of a bench. The wood went from weathered and grey to brown and new. The difference was so noticeable I had to do the whole bench and the wood chair next to it.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Last night RO and I went to downtown Renton. Steven was going to join us, but he got delayed returning from work.

We had dinner at the Melrose and dessert at Jubilant.

Downtown Renton is a weird mix. It's a city core rebounding from rock bottom. There are a lot of old crappy buildings. Many are now being restored and some great restaurnts are going moving in.

It's weird to walk around crumbling ghost city but then stumble on a packed little bistro.

Steven is at his wits end with his brother. In the last 6 months Steven has given his bro about $20,000 to get him back on his feet. It's not working. Steven is ready to cut the cord and let his brother fend for himself. The decision would be easier if his brother didn't have a son. Steven doesn't want to hurt the son. At the same time Steven's brother needs a very hard kick in the pants.

C2 writing from Iraq...

How are you doing? I very much appreciate your email but you must be saying 'Dang, it's like he emails Every Day!!' Well, I may have some extra time on my hands. The two people that work for me 'dont like me' because I ask too many questions like "what are you doing?" One guy was supposed to be working on an Access project for several days and when I asked to see what he's done, he got all pissy and deleted his work then stormed off. Later he pretty much said he doesn't have anything to so and then left on his R&R for 3 weeks (but first he told me he didn't like me.) Such is life..

Anyway, God Bless them Italians and GirlScouts. The Italians run a pizzaria here on Base that has internet access FREE from all the web Nazi sex filters that Halliburton and the Iraqis put in place. This means I again get to see pics of hot neked guys!! And the GirlScouts sent boxes of their cookies over here for the poor soldiers and I guess I qualify as they sent alot and give out boxes and boxes to everyone here! Cookies and porn, it just keeps getting better and better! If I didn't read the papers I wouldn't even know there's a war going on!

I even got a very good message from the ... ops guy at Baghdad HQ about my plan/proposal for data management here. They are really backward here (as far as efficient data management) and my proposal made me sound like I knew what I was talking about. I see my next job....

Anyway, I should get back to work making people hate me (buy just asking them to do their jobs.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I've been working a lot. I don't really enjoy it when this happenes.

C2 writing from Iraq...

I suppose having to go to lunch in a flak jacket really says something about ones environment. I have to admit that there have been a couple of times (even on the convoy ride here) that made me think twice. I was talking to my boss the other day about camel spiders and he mentioned a story about a Major here having a spider fall from the tent ceiling and bite him. I didn't have a nightmare but I did think about it and that evening examined my tent area for any creepy crawleys. I got an email that my grandma died the other day as well. I'm not coming home for the memorial and I'm sure some will think of me as a cad for missing the event. I feel bad about it and I feel like I've abandoned you and others to some degree as well. Yes, I think about it.

Anyway on the flip side, It just keeps getting better here. Yesterday I discovered a stash of Holiday packages sent by kids in the US for servicemen. They had more than they knew what to do with and KBR got a bunch and here it is April and there is still some left! I was running out of toothpaste (there is none at the PX) and so I picked up a few packs with toothpaste and other goodies! Now if there were just some medium underwear and socks in some of those packages I'd be set! There is NO medium underware or white socks at the PX here. If you ever go to Iraq, bring plenty of underwear!

So, I'm sending C2 a care package of underwear and socks.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Over the weekend I did some hiking. WOrked around the house.

Matt and Sandy are having marital problems. So I don't hear much of them right now.

C2 in Iraq writes...

I'm glad it's raining there and it even rained a little here (but not much.) ... There's a Great water park in Abu Dabi (I think Vic has been to it) that I think you'd enjoy. The best part is that they use a water slide to take you 'up' as well as down. There was a 'Boston Marathon' here today so I've spent much of my day out taking pics. I also do PR stuff and need to start drafting a weekly newspaper too. Uh, do you have a copy of Publisher? I thought I had one but can't find it.

Yes, I didn't expect things to be all 'peachy-keen' here but frankly, I expected it to be more of a challenge as well. I mean I've not had to deal with one scorpion in my boot or run from any bullets or Anything to that effect! I get all the food that I can eat (free) and we've had lobster at least once a week! I'm almost free from hacking up green stuff, and frankly the worse thing that has happened is that I ran out of socks between laundry and had to go 'sock-less' for one day. Where's the Challenge? So, I'm not complaining (unless you call my last sentence a complaint.) I'm glad you look forward to my emails and I wish I'd hear from Matt/Sandy as well. I do hope they make it.

Well, enjoy the pics. They should be self explanatory. We wear the armoured vest/helmet at least once a week, for practice and for real when they consider things 'hot.' I feel and look like a dork but at least I'm a 'safe dork' (on my way to lunch.)

Friday, April 15, 2005

C2, writing from Iraq...

Work is fine. I have a 'problem' employee that I inherited and she'd 'going away' for a few days to Kuwait. She has problems but don't we all? I missed the body building contest last night as I forgot but there's a power lifting one on this Sunday and I'll try to take some pics. Not much is happening here. Some stuff. Did I send you the pics of the hooches and the decking? They got an award for that deck. Your deck is deserving of such too (when it's finished.) I've got to send some pics to Sandy as well and will do that today. ... I'm still hacking up green stuff and have started to work out again. I'd like to weigh 225 or so by the time I come back in July. Heck, I don't have much else to do here. How's Survivor night going?

Another email...

Living on a military base in a war zone has it's downers. There are your usual explosions and then there are the ones where you say 'that didn't sound right.' They're blowing up stuff all the time around here and usually it's far away, but just this morning was the closest mortar round to date. They (the bad guys) set up a delayed mortar during the night and then it might go off during the night but usually during the day, (which allows the bad guys to get away.) The explosion was BOOM and what did we do? We all ran outside to see it! Then went back to work since it was an attack on the airport/runway. If it caused any damage, they'll have it repaired by noon (it's 10 AM right now.) I should have taken a pic but I forgot the camera but it's your basic mushroom cloud. Anyway, I need to and other boring stuff. I look forward to lunch and dinner as I get to eat and see great haircuts.

Uh, do you have an extra coffee maker that you don't want? One that'll run on 220v? Just thought I'd ask. I need to send you some trinkets too to share with all. What are you doing around July/early August? Want to come to Abu Dahbi? We'll do a layover in Berlin and I'll show you a dungon or two. ... Here's a pic of a scorpion from Vector Control (they handle the creepy crawling things here.)

Sunset in Iraq Posted by Hello

Scorpion in Iraq Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

C2 in Iraq writes...

My 'weekend'? Hmmm, let me recall.... I worked 12 hours on Saturday and oh yea, I worked 12 hours on Sunday. There really is stuff to do here but I'm trying to make it more 'quality stuff.' For example, I set up a DVD presentation the other day and it took over an hour getting everything together and testing it.

Why hasn't Matt and/or Sandy emailed me yet? Did I piss them off? I've emailed both of them. I may have the wrong email though. I know you're not my secretary but would you please ask about that?

Might you also have C6 and/or Flying J's email? All that I can find is their snail mail address. Thanks.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Sunday evening I went to Taste Washington. It was an all you can taste wine and fine food exhibition. Over 200 wineries where there and lots of great restaurants.

After two hours I was bloated and drunk. I had a lot of great wine, but it all started to blur.
C2 writing from Iraq...

This weekend we're pretty much in armour vests the whole time when moving about the base. Most of the vehicles I ride in have been armoured as well and I must say, there is a comforting feeling driving around in an armoured Toyota Land Cruiser. Very secure and safe. Uh, you've sent no pics other than a fish. Ask RO to help you point out what to take a pic of. RO has has artsy gay-gene thing that say "Wow, now that would make a Fabulous Picture!!" (LOL)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

C2 is in Iraq. He wrote...

Hello All,

How are you doing? ... I've been in Iraq a several days now and before that I was in Kuwait. I'm been sick with 'Kuwaiti Crud' for much of the time. I hack up green smurfs and have nearly lost my voice. It's about 95 here but will get hotter. Keep in touch.

I pretty much work 7 to 7 (if you can call it work) with generous time for breakfast and lunch. At least that's the schedule now. It really should change. Sorry for taking so long to reply. It was a Very long drive to Tallil from Kuwait in armour vest/helmet.

Monday, April 04, 2005

I've started writing C2 longer emails to give him something to do in his copious free time...

Hey C2.

How are things with you?

The weekend here was good. Fairly rainy. Some of the skii resorts have re-opened for spring skiing, but from what I hear the snow is very wet.

Saturday I did house work. The gardens are comming together. Everything is growing right now so I need to stay on top of the weeds. I planted about 100 sunflower sprouts on the hill next to the deck. Hopefully some of them will take off and hide the vines underneath.

RO was in a small accident with his car. He swearved to avoid some deer and ran into the ditch. It broke his axil.

I got a telephoto lens for the camera. It's fun though you need more patience to use it. The extra zoom means it's easier for camera shake to make blury picture. So, unless it's very bright you need to use a tri-pod.

What have you been up to?


Friday, April 01, 2005

I just got off the phone with C2 in Kuwait. Thanks to the magic of internet-phones, and free nation-wide long distance, I can talk to someone half way around the world for free! And the connection sounds good.
C2 is in Kuwait. Mostly he's bored. He sent me this email...

I very much appreciate your email. They have IP phones here that call as if one were in Houston but I don't have a calling card handy otherwise I'd give you a call. I'm 11 hours ahead of you and it's interesting watchin rush hour develop on the traffic cams. I'm staying here in Kuwait at what is referred to as a 4 star villa but it's really dump and 4 stars means there is running water and a flushable toilet. This really is a F#$% up part of the world. I leave for Tallil on Sunday in an armoured vehicle with bullet proof glass/etc. But frankly, the real action is in Bagdad and there is opportunity there too. Also the camle spiders really are over a foot across!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

At work I've started on an interesting and scary new project. A co-worker has a very tight deadline for an important feature. If he doesn't make that deadline, the feature will be cut and all his work will be for naught.

The co-worker knows he can't make the deadline, so our manager asked me if I wanted to help out.

When I asked my co-worker why it wasn't stupid for me to join this feature, he was speechless for a whole minute. They he gave me a stock motivational speaks about new and unknown challenges.


Monday, March 28, 2005

Vic and Steven's wedding was at Poets Cove. What a beautiful place. Pender Island is quiet and out of the way.

It rained on Saturday morning but cleared up for the wedding which was on Vic and Steven's patio. They had a great view of the ocean. It was the first wedding I ever attended where the wedding party (8 people) was larger than the audience (2 people)

Silken Lauman, a former Olympic athlete, was in the cottage next to Vic and Steven's. She's an interesting person.

Sunday Steven and his brother went out canoeing. They tipped the canoe. Fortunately someone saw the accident, boated over and picked them up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Last night we had Steven's Bachelor party at my place. Steven's brother got a stripper. It was hilarious. RO was way too into it. He took about one hundred photos of the stripper dancing for Steven.
Steven has been approved as a permanent resident in Cananda. Now he move to Cananda and marry Vic without worrying about work.

He's not sure when he's going to move in with Vic. For now he wants to keep his job in the U.S.

His wedding with Vic is in a week and a half in Canada. Last night we went over his vows. He's not sure if he wants the judge to say "I now pronouce you married life partners" or "I now pronouce you life parnters" or... Anything other than "I now pronouce you husband and wife." sounds odd.

RO, Matt, Sandy and I toasted Vic and Steven.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Steven has been approved as a permanent resident in Cananda. Now he can married to Vic.

He's not sure when he's going to move in with Vic. For now he wants to keep his job in the U.S.

His wedding with Vic is in a week and a half in Canada. Last night we went over his vows. He's not sure if he wants the judge to say "I now pronouce you married life partners" or "I now pronouce you life parnters" or... Anything other than "I now pronouce you husband and wife." sounds odd.

RO, Matt, Sandy and I toasted Vic and Steven.

Monday, March 14, 2005

I spent most of the weekend on Lopez Island. It's very scenic and quiet.

RO and Sandy flew down to California for a weekend with the American Coaster Enthusiasts. Basically they road roller coasters non-stop from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. They didn't even have to get off the coasters. They could ride the same one over and over.

C2 is gone. Sunday morning he called me from Phoenix. He sounds relaxed. Even though he's going to Iraq, he get's to leave his troubles behind and to start fresh. I also talked to Tommy on Sunday. I get to meet him in a few weeks. I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I haven't talked to my brother since Christmas. Today I got this email from him...

lol gotta love our families long winded ness...

well I'll tell ya I'm pretty sure I'm never gonna have any luck in teh hight tech field, so I'm looking elsewhere. I've been unemplyed for some time ever since I pulled my back muscle. so although I've had work to do almost none of it was paying....

the sting with the goverment has been over since summmer jsut about and well they have a bills from me accumulatign to 70k and I'm not expecting to see anyof that. my latest bunch of web work offers was well once completly for free to create a tsunami web portal. and an other for Videoflicks to make a website for
them. and that was for no money but I was going to get free movie
rentals from them. and although they have the start of their website.
I'm not getting rentals and .................. annoying

SO I'm pretty much playing WoW for half my day and weight training the other half... and doo ing reasearch into the things that I'll ahve to
do and be able to do too qualify for being a police officer... My
problem with this is that I don't know given my prior back injuries and my residual knee iritation if I'll be accepted... So I'm talking to a cop or 2 and getting advice from them. looking into being a security guard in the interm... so I'll have something to referr too during the situational and aptitude tests for police.

All the while I'm affriad to let anyone know casue well I dont' know if I'll quallify and it's also possible I'm actually too tall to be a police officer but can't find anysuch limitations on teh web but I've
been told they exist .... so this may yet again be anouther
place/attempt to be gainfully employed that will fail miserably

But at least I'm getting into shape... my heal spur doesn't seem to be a problem anymore either so I'm relived about that.

My girlfriend is doing much better actually she's quite good she still has to learn what things go well with her stomach some foods seem to work sometimes adn doesn't others... she's well any time she eats shes burpy it's a little unpleasent but there are worse things that can exist.

Now enough about me how about U.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

I like the cake Posted by Hello

Friday, March 04, 2005

I'm starting to worry about the tastefulness of the "Keep Your Head" cake. More than one person has commented "You're not actually doing that, are you?" in a surprized tone.
Tonight is C2's going away party.

Matt and I are bringing a "Keep Your Head" cake. "Keep Your Head" is written in icing on the cake. Then Matt will take a G.I. Joe, make it kneel, bind the arms, chop the head off, add a touch of red icing and voila a wonderfully tasteless cake decoration.

When I picked the cake up at the bakery, the decorator said they don't get many requests for "Keep Your Head." They mostly deal with "Happy Birthday" and "Congulations!"

The cake started out more innocently. C2 joked a few times that he wanted a sexy man to jump out of a cake at his going away party. I was going to get a G.I. Joe, strip it naked and shove it into the cake. When I told Matt, Matt had a better idea.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The beer is good! It's strong too. I feel it after one pint.

I am surprised how easy it is to make good beer. It's turning me into a beer snob. Now that I can control everything, from the taste to the carbonation, I don't see why I should drink mediocre beer.

Monday, February 28, 2005

T, gegging is what happens when you misspell kegging.

Sunday I went to a co-workers Oscar party. The crowd is very different from my usual friends. Many enthic people-- indians, chinese, moroccans. They were younger, nerdier, but still a fun crowd.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Friday night, C2, H, R and I went to Siams for dinner.

Saturday I gegged the beer I'm brewing. It will be another couple of days before it is carbonated enough to drink.

Even flat, the beer smells and tastes good.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Last night RO and I went to see Jaded 52. Ryan is a guitarist in Jaded 52. They are a fun band. They play punk and ska, not really my thing

Monday, February 21, 2005

Saturday night I had dinner with Matt and Sandy. We watched Secret Window, a thrille with a twist. I didn't really like it. The twist was too cheap.

Sunday RO and I worked on the wine. It's about 3 weeks away from bottling.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I've been working a lot.

C2's leaving for Iraq on March the 6th. I think he's stressed about it. I'm, not sure. Last friday he says he wants a change, that he wants a partner very badly, and that working on these dead end contract jobs isn't helping.

I wish him the best.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Working a lot. Did much maintenance on the house last week. Small things-- install a towel rack, change the oil in the lawnmower, the list goes on.

Monday, February 07, 2005

I went to C5 and J's for a superbowl party. We would talk during the game and pay attention during the commercials.

C5 and J have a very firey relationship. When ever they get drunk, they argue. They went out Saturday night and got into a fight. J punched C5 in the forehead. It blead. You can still see the mark.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

C2 says:
Barry says:
C2 says:
I was chatting with KBR.
Barry says:
KBR==the Halliburton unit?
C2 says:
C2 says:
we're at the point where it's now in my court. Looking at a 21 Feb departure.
Barry says:
Wow. How long before you answer?
C2 says:
I pretty much told him yes as I don't have too much else that is much better.
C2 says:
and it would be an adventure and different.
C2 says:
so to speak.
Barry says:
Congratulations then buddy.
Barry says:
You know I have to throw a going away party for you.
C2 says:
no, I don't want that as I'll be back in 4 months. If you want to do something, that would be better as I don't want to think I'm really 'going away'
Barry says:
Ok. I'll have a generic dinner with Chris and Friends then.
C2 says:
I'm not changin much, I'll keep the place at IR, cat, etc.
C2 says:
Ok, I've got to go grab something to eat, chat in a bit.

Monday, January 31, 2005

I did a lot this last weekend.

I bought a wine kit to make my own wine. It was kind of fun to setup. It's not that hard. You just need to make sure everything is clean.

If all goes well, in 3 months I'll have my own wine. 30 bottles of it. 30 bottles of wine raises it's own set of problems. I'm not a big drinker so 30 bottles may last for years. We'll see how it goes.

I also cleaned and organized the workshop. There was a lot of dirt back there. I need to do a dump run to get rid of all the garbage.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I had lunch with C6 today. He said he's tired of his managment. His manager doesn't believe she has a problem.

We talked over his laternatives to quitting. He could take a long vacation. He could switch devisions. He said he no longer wanted to be a middle manager. And that the only way to do that was to leave the company.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

When it rains, it pours...
C6 called me. He's also leaving. He's taking a year off work. No definit plans.

The Law of Unintended Consequences...
Over lunch C2 mentioned that the Haliburton recruiters are unintentionally hiring many gay men for work in Iraq. Due to the nature of the job, they need mature men who can stay way from the U.S. for months at a time. Not many married guys fall into that category. Gay? Bingo.

C2 IM'd me.

C2 says:
are you there? busy?
BC says:
I'm here. Spinning my tires in the mud. So, not busy.
C2 says:
how are things?
BC says:
Not bad. Quiet. You?
C2 says:
it's 'fine.' I have a guy (recruiter at Halliburton) that wants to send me to Iraq!
BC says:
BC says:
You going through with it?
C2 says:
Hey, want to lunch today with G and U?
BC says:
[lunch details deleted]
C2 says:
See you there at noon.
C2 says:
do you really think I'm crazy to go to Iraq?
C2 says:
you didn't seem too opposed when I first mentioned it.
C2 says:
not like others that REALLY were opposed.
BC says:
You're not entirly crazy. I just hope you realize everything won't be rosey and keen when you get back.
BC says:
Your dad won't change just because you go to Iraq.
C2 says:
and I've not even told liberal commie pinko crazy IR. I may have to move out.
C2 says:
Oh my dad will never change (too much.) I know that and things really won't be too much different. And it's not like I'll be away for ever.
C2 says:
I just found out that you CAN return to the US throught the year!
BC says:
BC says:
I'll miss you.
C2 says:
but you cannot spend more than 33 days here total per year.
BC says:
C2 says:
yes, that's the reason why.
BC says:
I've known a number of people who have worked in Saudie Arabia and the UAE.
BC says:
so, I have a general feeling for the paperwork.
C2 says:
I want to do a bunch of things and this'll be Great opportunity for you to travael to some great strange places with me.
C2 says:
I want to hike the Kyber pass.
BC says:
You know I'll be there.

Monday, January 24, 2005

C2, Matt, Sandy and I had dinner on Friday night. I couple of times Sandy squeezed or rubbed C2's leg. C2 told him off.

Sometimes I worry about C2. I think he's deperessed and has been for a long time. He's too stubborn to see a doctor and I don't know how to snap him out of it.

RO and I drove out to Allyn and Shelton Both are very small towns.

On our way back we stopped for dinner in Tacoma. Apetizers and drinks at Stanley and Searforts Dinner at the Southern Kitchen. They serve very rich food.

Tommy, in the south do they really fry everything and add a cream sauce?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Tommy Boy and I talked with each other about how our journals have changed. They are not as juicy as they used to be. Three years we would mention the hot sex we were having or the trouble we were getting into.

Now... let me see... I write about shopping and movies.

I can't say I'm in a rut. If anything I'm out of a rut. I'm doing what I want, it's just that what I want doesn't involve S&M or slutty Daddies. I spend my evenings with friends. I work hard. I have a good quiet life.


Monday, January 17, 2005

It's been dark and rainy here. Saturday was freezing rain. Sunday and Monday are just regular rain.

Friday night, C2, RO, BearOrgy and I had dinner at Siam's. BearOrgy had to leave early to watch the new Battle Star Galactica.

C2, RO and I went to Espresso Vivance for coffee. It didn't work out that well. The music was loud and the tables were large so it was difficult to hold a conversation.

Saturday RO and I went surplus shopping. First we stopped at the Boeing Surplus Store. They have lots of stuff there-- large sheats of aluminum, drill bits, tools, cables, old computers, old office furniture, on and on. You can get a good deal if you know what you are looking for. You can also buy a lot of crap.

After that we went to the Gourmet Standard Outlet Store. It's a tiny kitchenware store at the back of the Gourmet Standard warehouse. I bought a great new set of pots and pans. The manager was very helpful-- telling us why some things were cheap, what was trendy, what professionals used, what made good cook ware and what the good buys were.

I bought non-stick again. Professionals usually buy regular 'stick' pans. I wonder why. Probably because they last longer and are easier to maintain. On the other hand, it's so hard to cook low fat unless you have non-stick.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Last night C2 and I went with the movie bears to see Million Dollar Baby. It's a good film. Kind of like Rockey except Rockey breaks his neck at the title match. Don't worry. I haven't given the ending.

After the movie we want to CC's and ran into Faf and Officer Rob. Officer Rob told us about his mace training.

To use mace, the police force requires it's officers to be maced. When it was Officer Rob's turn, the guy spraying the mace accidentally sprayed Rob in the mouth. The sprayer said "Sorry, that's not good enough, I have to spray you in the eyes." So Officer Rob held open his eyes and was sprayed a second time.

Officer Rob's eyes swelled shut-- which was expected. He had to be guided to the shower. It sounds like mace gets deep into your eyes. For two or three days later Officer Rob said he could feel little bubbles of mace under his eye lid. Now and then a bubble would pop and his eye would sting again.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Steven got back from a week in California. His father was very ill and hospitalized a week ago so he went to visit. One week later his father is much better.

I didn't do much over the weekend. Fixed some plumbing. Cooked. Cleaned.

Saturday night RO and I went to a party. It was a large party but neither of us knew many people there.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

I've been working a lot and still have the cold. Today is the first day I didn't use cold medicine. It feels good to be less groggy.

A third of the people I work with have this cold. Some much worse than I. Whever I get a two-week cold, I always worry "Do I have AIDS?" So seeing so many co-workers be sicker for longer than I is a comforting.

Monday, January 03, 2005

New Years eve I had a few friends over-- Matt, Sandy, the Tease, Bib, C2 and the Designer. It was a quiet evening. The Tease and I both had lingering colds so we didn't party hard.

Sunday, the Designer and I went to Leary House for an afternoon beer, wine and snack social held by the achivist at Leary House. Leary House is a huge mansion that's now 100 years old. It's full of beautiful wood and tile work. Some of the carpets are the original 100 year old carpets.

Steven and C2 are both very stressed. Both have work and family problems right now and it's draining their energies.