Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's been raining all weekend. Such is fall in Seattle.

The big maple in our back yard is dieing. There is a soil fungus going around. Most maples in the area are infected. There is not much we can do but cut the sick trees down and plant something else. Which is too bad. I like the maple. In the summer it provided excellet shade from the sun.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Unintentionally, I have started using the phrase "Its all grand like" I use it mean "Relax.. everything is ok."

More specifically, RO and I got Halo 3. When I play, RO loves coaching me and chearing me on. He can be very intense. Sometimes I think he wants to rip the controller out of my hands and take over. When he is very worked up I say. "Calm down. It's all grand like."

Monday, September 24, 2007

On Sunday RO and I worked on the yard. We are installing a brickwork border around the front lawn. I think I'm going to like it. RO really wanted slate, but slate would have cost us thousands of dollars. Instead, RO is combing craigslist for free and cheap bricks. It is hard work to haul the bricks around and to install them. But I think it will be worth the effort.
Saturday night we had a martini party at the store. It was the birthday of two of our employees and we wanted to celebrate.

The party went well, though too much alcohol was consumed. RO's brother in law got sick and RO himself was hunger over the next day.

I was fine. A long time ago I promised myself that I would never get sick from drinking again. And, for the most part, I have stuck to the promise. Occasionally I will have a headache from drinking too much wine. But I never need to vomit and my headaches are nothing that can't be cured with a cup of coffee and a couple of asprin.

My secret? Alternate between drinks and water. For every drink I have, I drink a glass of water. It fills my stomach up and flushes my system out. It also allows for time for the last drink to take effect. So I can feel how much I've drank, rather than having it hit me all at once.

Monday, September 17, 2007

On C2's blog I read about a tactic that Iraqis insurgents are using. It's smart and scary.

During the night the insurgents set up a mortar with the trigger held back by a block of ice. Then they leave. Sometime later the ice melts and the mortar fires. Of course the insurgents are long gone.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Vic and Steven have split up. RO is angry at them. He's considers them a model of a long term gay relationship and wishes they would have tried harder.

I think I understand why they split. I am sadened by it. I want both of them to be happy.

Steven lives in Seattle. Vic lives hours away in Victoria. Then spent most every weekend together, but it's tough. They got married in Canada, but Steven's career is taking off in the U.S. If he moved to Canada, he'd loose much of what he has worked so hard for.

Vic of course can't move to the U.S.

RO wishes that Vic had moved to the U.S., even if he worked under the table. That's so risky. Vic's children are in Victoria and not being able to visit them regularly would be hard on him. RO also wished that Steven gave up his career and moved to Canada. If you really love someone, you'll do what it takes to be with them.

I don't see things the same way. If you really love someone, it doesn't mean that you give up on your self.

Of course the truth is somewhere in between.

For seven years every week Steven has commuted four hours to Victoria to spend the weekend with Vic and then four hours back for the work week. It's taken a toll on him.

I wish both of them the best.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

There are many hidden rules with interior design. No one can ever explain them to me other than "It looks better that way."

The latest rule I've learnt is that groupings and displays must contain odd numbers of items-- one, three, five, seven. Never an even number. I found that out when I put two candles next to each other.

After RO told me the rule, I said "I'm going to build a whole new philosophy of art based on even numbers."

One of the designers drying responded "That new philosophy will have nothing to do with interior design."
Everything I need to be happy.

I started writing another eassy about how much stress is in my and RO's life and how it's affecting us. But it was too depressing, so I filed it. Instead I wanted to write something more upbeat.

So, this is my fantasy. If I had to start over with minimal possessions, what do I think I need to keep happy and healthy

I say "what do I think" because all too often what I think makes me happy, will only make me happy in moderation. I need variety as much as I need a consistent set of things I love.

Housing... I don't need much. My bedroom would have to be quiet and cool. I'd need a place to cook, a place to eat, enough space to hang out with some friends and enough space to store the rest of my stuff. A two bedroom apartment would be great.

My stuff.

I enjoy cooking and don't want to give that up. But I have too many gadgets that I don't use. I could easily get by with a stove, refrigerator, a small set of pots and pans, a few place settings some decent knives and a work space. I am amazed at all the gizmos and brick-a-brack the kitchen has picked up. I don't need the mini muffin tin. Yes, there are times when only a mini muffin tin will do, but the rest of the time, it just takes up space. Same for the bunt cake pan and the spring form pan and so on.

I enjoy working out at home. I'd need my weights and a bicycle. Recently we got a free treadmill. It could stay, but it's really just an eye sore. I'd be better off running in the streets.

Electronics. I really only need one laptop and a backup computer. I don't need the Media Center and the XBox 360, and the TVs. I'd like to keep my stereo but to be honest I listen to most of my music in the truck or on an MP3 player. A much smaller sounds system would do.

My camera. I am a bit of a photography buff. I would like to keep my camera and lens. It gives me the excuse to do weird and wonderful things.

"Why are you doing that ?!?"

"Because it will make a great picture!"

My camping equipment. I enjoy camping. I would keep my tent and sleeping bag, the air mattress and the rest of the camping equipment.

Besides, it's so easy to combine camping trips with great picture trips.

Would I keep my truck? If I could somehow live and work someplace interesting, then the answer may be no. For the amount I pay in insurance and maintenance, for the amount I lose in depreciation, I could easily rent a car for a weekend or two a month.

Of course that may not be realistic here in Seattle. The city has poor public transit and many great places that require driving to see. But, do I need my truck to be happy and healthy? No. Especially if I had a friend that I could mooch off.

I could easily get rid of most of my clothing. Much of my clothing is warn to the point where it should be thrown out. Much of it I never wear. I could easily get rid of two thirds of my clothing.

What's next? I'm not sure. I am mentally walking through all the rooms at and realize I have so much crap that I could throw out.

I think I'll go to the dump tomorrow.

Monday, September 10, 2007

RO and I spent another wonderful afternoon at Lincoln Park.
We swam in the heated salt water pool. A couple of very good divers were showing off, doing all sorts of flips and twists from the high board.
After that we laid in the sun.
They day wasn't totaly lazy. We also got six hundred bricks We are bricking part of the front lawn and have been scrounging around for free and cheap bricks. The truck drives weird with that much weight in it-- it bounces and fishtails easily.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I saw "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" the odd ball Bond starring George Lazenby as 007. It's actually one of the better James Bond movies.

It is also the Bond movie that Autsin Powers spoofs the most. There is a scene in On Her Majesty's Secret Service where James Bond is wearing a cravatte and talking to the bald bad guy-- Telly Savalas. Seeing that was another "Experiencing Culture Backwards" moment. Watching James Bond, I recognized Austin Powers. It's should be the other way-- watching Austin Powers, I'm supposed to recoginize James Bond.

So we laughed at what otherwise was a serious scene.
I've watched "Gone with the Wind" for the first time. I'm kind of mixed on it. Since it has the reputation of being the best movie ever made, my expectections were high. I wasn't thrilled by the movie, but at the same time I was never disappointed or bored. Which is good since the move clocks in at just under four hours.

The cinematography is great.

But, the story was a bit too soapy for my tastes. RO mentioned that this was probably the film that spawned the soap opera. So, in that way it get's points for innovation.

That's the problem with great art of the past. Unless you first experience it when you are young, it comes off as cliched and done. I have to remind my self that this was the film that others redid that created the cliches.
According to C2 there is are internal Military chat rooms. The chat room's have names like "Becky's Pool Party", "Bitches and Bitching" and, most important to C2, "The Rainbow Gang"

This very much pushes the limits of don't ask don't tell.

His impression...

I've spent a few hours each of the last few nights in the chat room and
SURPRISE, it's nothing but boring gossip and bland chat punctuated sporadically
with DRAMA. Sound familiar? Eh, so no real surprise there

Friday, September 07, 2007

What is it about Guitar Hero? I am bad at playing it. I have no ambition to own the game. But I can stare mesmerized at the screen while others play it. I've even dreamt about it.

It's one of the first successful party video games ever. People enjoy standing around watching others play fake guitar listening to old hit songs. It gives us a reason to sit around and listen to music.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

We watched the new "Hairspray" It's a fun movie. Very much a musical. It's been a long time since I saw the old Hairspray. I have a feeling that the old Hairspay was more twisted (Since it was a John Waters Movie) But still, in the new movie the mother is John Travolta in drag.
As if on queue, as if Labor Day was the offical end of summer, here in Seattle it has turned cloudy and gray and has started raining.

We had a great weekend though.

Saturday we went to RO's sister's on Mason Lake. We boated, swam, inner tubed and played with their jet ski.

Sunday we went to the Coleman Pool at Lincoln Park. The Coleman Pool is a salt water pool. I had a great time there. The salt water feels much better on your skin then clorine.

Monday was free stuff day. Thanks to Craigslist, we found free brinks nearby and are using them as pavers in our front lawn. We also got a free treadmill and a nordick track. They appear to be high quality. Hopefully we will use them.

Small world story-- On Sunday our neighbors new that we went to Mason Lake. It turns out that RO's sister's ex-brother in-law's daughter is dating our neighbor's son. The ex-brother in law has stayed good friends with RO's sister. He was at her place on Saturday. When he showed the pictures of the day to his daughter, the daughter recognized us as her boyfriend's neighbors.