General Ramblings comments edit

There have been a lot of overly excited people in the Portland, Oregon area because it’s getting cold enough to get some snow.

I hate snow.

“Why,” you might ask, “would you hate such a wonderful cold-weather miracle as the beautiful new-fallen snow?”

First, I’m not an outdoor person. I don’t like being cold. I don’t like being wet. Snow is both. No fun.

Second, I’m not in grade school anymore. Snow does not somehow mean I get the day off. Even if it’s so snowy and icy that my garage door is frozen shut and I can’t possibly make it in to the office, I get to work at home (or I can take unpaid leave - thank you, no - or call in sick and waste a PTO day - again, no thanks). So snow doesn’t mean “get out of work free.”

Beyond that, though, the problem I have with snow is the driving. I, personally, have no issue driving in snow. I haven’t had to do it much, admittedly, but when there’s snow to drive in, I haven’t had much problem. My car doesn’t swerve out of control or slide across three lanes of traffic. The problem with the driving is the other drivers. This is Oregon, right? Rainy country? People in Oregon, surprisingly, have no idea how to drive in the rain. “Holy crap, it’s raining, slam on the brakes!” If they can’t drive in the rain, what do you think snow does?

Common sense goes out the window. The idea that you can’t stop while going uphill because you’ll never get started again doesn’t occur to half the people. The other half drive as though it’s perfectly dry conditions, going 70mph in the 55mph zone, and then wonder why they don’t come out of the turn in the same lane they started the turn in. There’s no concept of moderation while driving - there are only two speeds: fast and stop. No “taking it easy” because “taking it easy” ends up equating with “stop.”

Oh, and don’t get me started on the people with studded tires. Unless you live in a waaaay rural area, you don’t need studs, folks. Seriously. I’ve never owned a pair of studded tires in Oregon and have never needed to. Driving around with studs on when it’s a perfectly dry day or only rain (and that’s all that’s in the forecast)? Well, thanks to those folks for chewing up the road and unnecessarily wasting my tax dollars on road repair. Oh, and special thanks to the ones who drop studs from the tires because of the dry road conditions and later have those studs thrown up to ding my car or crack my windshield. I totally appreciate it.

Anyway, point being, snow = bad. You may now return to your regularly scheduled program.

General Ramblings comments edit

Yesterday was pretty eventful from a “lots of crap happening” standpoint.

I started off the day with a routine eye exam, which meant I did a little bit of work from home prior to the appointment. I also found the AK Rocker I was looking for at Circuit City. Ordered with a web special, it’s $8 less than it was at Costco and I can pick it up from the store to save on shipping. Ordered and done; planned on picking that up after work.

Went to the eye exam. My glasses prescription has changed in such a minor fashion that I don’t even have to worry about getting an update unless my glasses break (which just happened about four weeks ago) or get lost, so I’m good there. Also, no signs of iritis, so I’m good there, too. Two years to my next checkup.

Of course, they dilated my eyes so coming in and working was kind of a pain. Polarized sunglasses on polarized LCD monitor makes for some interesting contortions to be able to see the screen.

After work - haircut. Once every four weeks, baby.

On the way to the haircut, Jenn calls me. Guess who has a flat tire.

Okay, so the thing is, on Sunday I looked and told her that her front tires looked a little low. The bottoms were bulging out pretty bad and indicated some air could be had. She, of course, ignored it.

Sigh.

I was already halfway across town by the time I heard about it, so I told her to go back inside her work and stay warm (it’s been pretty cold out) and I’d come over right after my haircut and bail her out.

Finished up my haircut and stopped by Fred Meyer on the way to help Jenn and picked up some gloves. No need to get all dirty, right? My hairdresser even donated some old towels to the cause.

Got up to where Jenn was and she was cold because she had stayed in the car rather than going back into work and sitting in the warmth. Sorry, babe, got nothin’ for you. Got the tire iron out, stuck it on one of the bolts and…

Nothing. That sonofabitch wasn’t moving. I stood - full weight - on the handle of the wrench to try to get those things to move, but it just wasn’t happening. You have to love the impact wrenches tire stores use to put those things back on. Set the torque, guys, seriously.

Cranked on that for quite some time when a lady who was parked nearby provided a much larger cross-shaped lug wrench. That one gave me enough leverage to get the nuts unscrewed and get the wheel off. My arms were sort of shaking with the effort expended, and I’m not sure whether that’s a sign of my lame physique or something more legitimate. (Each nut made a loud cracking noise as I broke it free - that’s how tight they were. I wonder if maybe some WD-40 would have helped…)

Anyway, got the tire changed and sent Jenn on her way.

Made it back across town to Circuit City to pick up the chair I had ordered online that morning. Turns out the “pick it up from the store” process works pretty smoothly; I had anticipated problems. I may have to try that again.

Got everything back home and put my new chair together while watching TV. It’s really cool, and much more comfortable than the other two video rockers I have, so I think that’s my new favorite game chair.

All in all, not a bad day, but a lot more effort than I was hoping for. Jenn’s heading over to Les Schwab this morning to see what can be done with her tires, and I’m wallowing in the bajillion things I have to get done today. It’s kind of like when you have a big report to write - starting is the hardest part.

General Ramblings comments edit

The training I was in transitioned nicely into Thanksgiving. It was almost like having a whole week of vacation… but not.

Thursday (Thanksgiving) we went to the Hometown Buffet for dinner. My parents, my sister Tori, Jenn, my grandfather, Stu, and Tif all went. This proved to be an excellent answer to all of the issues that usually arise with Thanksgiving dinner. For example, what if someone (like me) doesn’t like turkey? No problem - you can have pretty much anything you want. What about the cleanup? There is none. Preparation? Nope. Everyone gets what they want, and as much of it as they want. It couldn’t be any better. I even had a cheeseburger. Right on! Plus, Granddad paid. Thanks, Granddad!

After dinner, Jenn went off to visit her family (and would later rejoin us), Granddad went to visit some other friends, and the rest of us returned to my parents’ place for some games. We played Lord of the Rings Risk, Apples to Apples, and even got some Donkey Konga in there. (Bongos on Thanksgiving is cool.) That went reasonably late into the evening, then we called it a night and departed for our respective residences.

Black Friday came and I had no intention of going anywhere, nor did I. Instead, Stu and Tif came over. Stu and I played some of The Warriors (like, 8 hours’ worth) while the ladies entertained themselves. The night ran late, but it was awesome - the first time in a while I’ve gotten a decent gaming session in.

(As far as The Warriors is concerned… it’s a lot of fun, but the camera could use some work. It’s a pain to control. That, and in a two-player game the screen is split vertically and it would have been better to split it horizontally because there is very little vertical movement. But it’s fun, and a good two-player game.)

Saturday Jenn and I ran around to stores looking to reap the benefits of the remaining sales on a few items but came out empty-handed. That evening, though, we went to the Winter Hawks hockey game to see the Teddy Bear Toss. When the Hawks score their first goal, the crowd throws stuffed animals onto the ice which then get collected and distributed to local childrens’ hospitals. Good fun for a good cause. Each year they try to break the record set by the year before. This year we beat last year’s record (and set the new league record) with 21,067 bears donated. That’s pretty good.

Oh, Saturday I discovered I’m allergic to my deodorant, too (causes a nice rash - thanks, Speed Stick Gel), so I’m going without for a couple of days (sorry, co-workers) to let the rash go away and I’m going to have to shop for a new one. (They stopped making the one I had been using for years, so I had to switch - unfortunately, I chose poorly.) Awesome.

Sunday was sort of a “catch up on all the stuff you’ve neglected” day. From morning until around 1:00p Jenn and I were outside cleaning up the yard. Had a hell of a time getting the lawnmower to start and just about kicked the crap out of it when I found the secret - you have to tip it back slightly while you’re starting it. That’s not documented anywhere and I don’t remember having to do that before, but that’s the trick. Weird.

After the lawn, having played The Warriors with Stu on Friday, I went to the video store and rented the 1979 movie the game is based on. It wasn’t too bad, and the game is totally dead on with its reproduction. I also rented Logan’s Run (I wanted to see it for the pop culture reference, but the movie itself is horrible) and The Jacket (which was pretty decent, plus Keira Knightley is hot).

And now it’s Monday and I’m catching up on email and so on. Somehow I think it’s going to be a looooong week.

General Ramblings comments edit

I finally caved in and decided I want one of those AK Rocker game chairs, so when Jenn went to Costco yesterday I told her to pick me one up. They’ve been there for months and I figured it was time.

Guess what they don’t carry anymore. That figures.