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Best new show…

OK. Well not new I guess. Season three is already on DVD, but I just discovered this show. I am not a smoker or even a dabbler for that matter. But this show is awesome. I highly recommend it. I haven’t enjoyed a series on DVD this much since The Sopranos or Band of Brothers or Firefly.

Back from the East 2

Well, when I got back from Thailand, I posted up a couple of comments about stuff. One of the most frustrating things about my job is that I move a lot. Not that moving is a bad thing in and of itself. Ann and I both love to move, we enjoy trying to decide where we’re going to go next and the options that are open to us are many. But, the one thing that I dislike above all the others is having friends, mates, buddies, whatever you want to call scattered to the four winds. This does have the benefit of putting your mates all over the place almost guaranteeing you will know someone and have a place to sleep when you travel. 

But it also means, on those occasions when you get a group of guys that really work well together, that it can fell like things are going to hell in a hand basket when you move. I’m not saying that my new group of guys are bad, just not the old team. But, patience and a little serendipity may be conspiring to bring some of us back together. Actually, there are a few of us that are already working together again. So we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted. If you want to read about one of these great guys, and his adventures try this…

Thirst…

This is for my friend Kyle who is in a very dry, hot place right now.

beer

You have to love the beer selection in the PNW.

Winter comes…

I got to thinking today about all the things we aren’t going to get to do over the next few years. Not without a long drive or a plane flight anyway.

Like winter hikes

Teaching my son how to ski/snowboard

The upside of living here though will be not having to play in the soggy Seattle rain all the time.

Signed out…

Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit posted up a comment and a poll about this article from the Seattle Stranger. The Stranger is one of those progressive papers that every major city in the U.S. has. I think I agree with most of the comments. Mock as much as you like, but the whole address thing crosses the line.

Family & Friends…

I miss mine. Ann and I have come to realize that the sacrifice of separation is not worth the payoff in the long run. I miss her and Matthew. Although they have both visited me one down here, it is just not enough. We wanted to give Matthew a chance in his new school in Seattle. And give Ann a chance to work somethings out at work. Both of those things combined with my very fluid deployment schedule pushed us towards the decision for me to come to SD alone. Not a fun thing. I know that there are parents all over the place that cope with a spouse that’s away (or simply non-existent) but we have come to the conclusion that it is not for us. So preparations are being made to reunite our clan. 

Friends are another matter. I have managed to hold up my military career long enough to land an awesome job. I am doing something that is no less that historic in my service and I’m pretty excited. I am stationed with a group of guys that will no doubt make history too. And the odds that more capable and motivated folks are going to join us. Hopefully Kyle is one of them.  He is currently wearing desert camo, so we haven’t talked lately, but his odds are looking better everyday.

I miss some of my older friends. Guys and girls that I haven’t seen in years. Jason who lives in Nebraska now, Kevin who is still in Seattle although he will be starting a new career path as PA soon, and the above mentioned Kyle who has been over in the sandbox for a while. I mention this because as I sat here tonight aimlessly surfing the internet, I came across someone I used to know. We haven’t spoken with each other in years, let alone hung out together in over a decade. But I’d like to talk to him again. And oddly enough, he is stationed here in SD too. Fortuitous.

Sunny SoCal…

Yep. I made it. San Diego. I have some mixed emotions about it. The wife and kid stayed up north. It was a tough decision, but it may already be paying off. Ann stayed for work and the day before I left she got a phone call with a potential job offer doing something she likes and paying more than her current position. We’ll see. 

As for the sunny part, not today. It’s a grey, cool San Diego fall/winter day. Not too bad though.

It took me two days of driving to get here. From SF south I stayed on 1 and 101. It made the drive a little more bearable. And I almost got to see a rock slide at one point. Bye the time I got there they were clearing the road.

Family Affair…

As I mentioned in the last post I just got a black MacBook. I like it a bunch. And a G3 for the little guy in the house too. And so, we did end up finding a nice little G4 for the wife. And it came with MS Office for Mac. So, she really likes it. Almost. There is nothing really holding her back from the 100% switch. But she wouldn’t let me take the PC out of the office. Sure there are some documents and pictures and stuff on the other computer. I’ll transfer them all over. I even loaded all of her favorite CDs into iTunes, opened a iTunes account, set up her email accounts…still she balked. So today, while she was at a triathlon, I just rearranged the office and installed her new iBook in place of the old one. And when she got home, she gave a little look…asked “Where’s the old one?” And that was it.

Yippee. And now the son marches around the house singing a 6 year old little ditty about Mom, Dad and me having apples.

Cool new stuff…

Well, one of the biggest headaches I had to deal with when I got back to the US was the failure of my Sony Vaio. I am the first to admit that it wasn’t the top of the line model, but a couple of years ago I paid right around a $1000 for it. It was nice enough for me. It had started acting weird before I left, but I attributed that to a virus or corruption…but no. 

When I couldn’t find a solution, I took it to a computer repair place here in Seattle. So I get a call from the shop. My hard drive was failing. Not an all together out of the ordinary problem I suppose. “How much for repair,” I ask. $79 for a new, better hard drive. $90 an hour for labor with 2-3 hours of labor. “Oh…” I say. And then I proceed to discuss the pros and cons of spending the cash on this particular laptop. In the end, I could go out to BestBuy or the like and buy a faster, newer computer for a comparable price. So I had them recover all the data, transfer it to a new Maxtor 320gb portable hard drive. Still cost me a pretty penney to have all the data rescued and transfered. But we have all of our pictures for the last 5 years or so on the computer.

So I started the search for a new laptop. And I started with the $499 crowd. Nice laptops. No doubt. But you add a couple of options, and soon your $499 laptop is now $899. And of course I was having the whole “Should I switch to Mac” debate. The new MacBooks are cool. Anyway, back and forth back and forth. I was searching the big box stores, the internet, craigslist and eBay. I finally found a black MacBook, still under its factory warranty (which meant it is eligible for AppleCare for 2 more years) and all for less than a nice Dell.

I did it.

I own this now:

Very pleased with the decision. 

It lives in this bag from BuiltNY :

I did so much searching on craigslist for a good deal, I ended up finding a little G3 iBook for our son for super cheap. He’s happy to have a computer. 

I so satisfied so far that we’re now looking for a G4 iBook for the wife. 

And one final note on my rampant consumerism patriotism. These are all in the mail:

If You Want Blood You’ve Got It 

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max.

And on the advice of the iGenius or whatever they’re called, Mac OS X; The Missing Manual

Fun.

Back from the east…

Well, I finally made it back to the US from SE Asia. I went over there for work and it was a really good time. I met some great folks and overall, the trip was worthwhile.

There are a couple of things I regret about the trip though. Here is a partial list:

1. Everyone on my team transferred while I was gone. More on that later.

2. I probably won’t be able to make this trip (for work) again. I am changing jobs and it doesn’t look like I’ll make in next year.

3. While those of us on the ground went above and beyond to accomplish our goals, the people that were supposed to be supporting us screwed the pooch at almost every turn.

4. Staying in hotels for 3 months was great. I woke up on my second day back and thought “Where the hell are my fresh towels?” Back to laundry and dishes.

I’ll have to expand on a couple of these issues in the coming days just so all my peeps can catch up. And by all my peeps I mean the two of you reading this.

I’ll also post a couple of pics here and there just so you can vicariously visit Thailand and Singapore with me.

M