personal comments edit

I got notified via that my 10-Year High School Reunion is coming up in July.

There are three events over the course of three days. The first night there’s an informal dinner at a local pizza joint. The second night there’s formal dinner and dancing at a local college. The third night (afternoon, actually) there’s a potluck picnic in a park with softball and volleyball.

I’ve been thinking about this for the last couple of days and I’m not sure what to make of it. I went to Jenn’s high school reunion and it was lame, even according to her. I don’t know if mine will be that lame, but I’m beginning to wonder if all reunions aren’t just a little lame. I never really got along with most of the folks in high school, either, so it’s not like I’m dying to see most of them again. The ones I really got along with I still talk to.

So why go?

Actually, I’m still puzzling that one out. As one of the valedictorians of the class (we had two), I spoke at graduation. I guess that sort of makes it my civic duty to show to the reunion, doesn’t it? But then, people didn’t like me so much (at least, that’s how I felt), so maybe not.

A short while ago I was flipping through my senior yearbook. Honestly, if you covered up the names in there, there’s no way I could tell you who 95% of those people are. I don’t remember; it’s been blocked from my mind.

I hope there will be nametags if I go.

If anything, I am thinking I’ll go to the formal dinner/dance thing. I think the most people will turn out for that one, and I’m not much for socializing at informal gatherings of people I don’t really know (at least, not anymore). Also, the formal event is a “no kids allowed” deal, whereas they can go to the informal ones. I’m not so hot on kids, so that’s a big plus for me.

I asked a friend of mine, Lisa, if she is going to the reunion. She hadn’t heard about it, which makes me wonder if the only folks who know about it are the ones on That would suck, wouldn’t it?

tv comments edit

I’m feeling a tad under the weather lately with the slightest twinge of a head cold. I like to blame Jenn for that, since she’s been sick for the last week and a half, and I think that her snoring right in my face at night has finally taken its toll. I drowned my sorrows in NyQuil prior to retiring for the evening, and I am told that I did my share of snoring last night, but I am entirely unable to remember since I was well into my NyQuil Coma. (I have the cherry version, not the green-fucking-death flavor.)

I received the Red Dwarf series pack of DVDs (containing the episodes from series 1 and 2) last night from Amazon. It had been a while since I’d seen the show (and Jenn had never seen it), so I popped in the first disc and watched the first episode - The End. I prefaced the playing of the show for Jenn with “This is British humor, so you may or may not like it.” On playing the show, the first words out of her mouth were “Hey, wait! This is British!” Hmmm. Someone wasn’t listening, were they?

The first episode, like other TV show first episodes, is good to introduce the characters and the story but not so good for the rest - it doesn’t demonstrate really how funny the show can be. I don’t think Jenn liked it as much as I did, but I’ll try to get her to watch a couple of the funnier episodes and see where that takes us.

After that and a little tortellini for dinner, we went over to my parents’ house to use my mom’s sewing machine. Jenn’s making herself a dress, and I’m making a Queen Amidala style beaded hat out of a childrens’ winter hat pattern. It’s the first thing I’ve actually sewn from a pattern (usually it’s just guesswork and making things hook up right; I don’t make clothing so much as just decorative items that don’t require exactitude), and I think it is so far pretty good. The only thing that stopped me from finishing the sewing part last night was that I ran out of bobbin thread

  • I can use the sewing machine, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how to set it up. Oh well, I guess it takes practice.

personal comments edit

If that’s not confusing, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, in response to some of the comments made yesterday

Why don’t I go to the social gatherings? A couple of reasons, actually.

First, I am not the socialite. It’s more stressful than anything else, and striking up conversations about things with people is nigh unto impossible. In a business setting it’s easier - talk business during business hours. Talking business in a social setting is hard for me.

Second, if it’s anything like the other SharePoint group gatherings I’ve been to (the user group, seminars, etc.), it won’t offer me anything anyway. I already have a direct line to communicate with the product development group for SharePoint Portal Server through my work connections; they’ve heard all my gripes and continue to listen. And I’m one of the vastly more advanced users of the product - my implementation is much larger and more convoluted than anyone else I’ve talked to - so when I talk to peers about the product, I usually get reactions like, “You solved that? I didn’t even know it was possible. How did you do it?” Then I end up teaching other people about the product rather than learning something new myself.

An example of that actually occurred very recently. We’re working with a contractor to do some SharePoint Portal Server stuff now. Their resume lists several customers that they’ve done Portal Server stuff for. Part of their introduction was me showing them what we currently have implemented. They were awed - they’ve never done anything on this scale yet. A lot of the stuff they didn’t even know you can do. I have a feeling I’ll be doing some teaching once this project gets under way.

Anyway, interactions like that are more value for them than me. So I’ll skip it this time. Maybe next time I’ll go.

Isn’t a week alone heaven for me? Actually, I don’t think it’ll be too bad in that respect. I might get a little bored since I’m used to interacting with Jenn when I’m home and whatnot, but I’ll do all right. I’ll call her on the phone or whatever. Plus, no Playstation! I think the biggest downside will be what to do in my off-time. Maybe I’ll have to head into downtown Seattle or something and cruise around. Or maybe I’ll finally get some decent reading time in. I’ve been working on The Sum of All Fears since Christmas.

food, sharepoint comments edit

In the splendour of my laziness last night, I deemed it a good idea to throw half a bag of Ore-Ida Onion Rings into the oven and just eat that for dinner.

I’ve had better ideas.

Along with my onion rings, I thought I’d sit down with the Chinotto I had in the fridge and eat up while watching Buffy. A couple of sips into it, I went back into the kitchen to do a little mixing.

Chinotto is much better with a hefty dose of coconut rum in it.

Buffy was a good episode, with good humor. I like that.

This morning I got in to work and found that there’s a Microsoft SharePoint Technologies Developers’ Conference going on. Being a Microsoft Partner company, we got a special invite to this thing. It runs April 14 - 18 in Redmond, WA at the Microsoft Campus.

I’m all signed up and set to go.

This is my first business trip out of the local area. I mean, I’ve been to training a couple of times, but always at a local facility. Conferences, same thing. I’ve never been out of town for a business trip. Frankly, I’m kind of scared.

See, I have this comfort zone, if you will, which surrounds me with familiarity. I’m not a very social person (you’d never have guessed, right?), so this is a big step for me. An out-of-town trip, by myself, for a week. Yow.

I suppose I’ll get by all right. I always have in the past with new stuff. It’s a little stressful, but I’ll figure it out. Plus, my boss might be going, too, which would make it a little better.

Needless to say, I did not sign up to go to the “group dinner” or any of the other “mingle and network” events. I hate mingling, and the only networking I do happens in a server room. I guess we’ll see how that goes.

food comments edit

After my CompUSA fiasco on Friday, I decided to do two follow-up actions to find a decent beverage for consumption at work.

First, I gave in to the possibility that the other CompUSA in town might actually carry Bawls Guarana. With that in mind, we made the harried trip to Jantzen Beach where the other CompUSA is.

Jantzen Beach was, at one time, a happening shopping district. Near the airport and right next to a major freeway, it’s still got a lot of traffic pouring through. Neither the shops nor the City Planner really kept up with the change in the times, though. The whole place is more… industrial… than anything anymore. Huge warehouse style stores rather than any mall of any nature. And the traffic… damn. It’s ridiculous how the traffic pushes through there. It’s a nightmare.

So I braved the traffic and made it to CompUSA so they could tell me that they do still carry it, but they’ve had 75 cases on order for a month now and they just aren’t showing up. That figures.

Now what? If I can’t have Bawls Guarana, what do I need?

The answer lies in San Pellegrino.

Back when I used to have a job in an actual urban center, downtown Portland, my friends and I would frequent a little deli that had some less common beverages to try. During that time, I got totally hooked on San Pellegrino Limonata.

Basically sparkling lemonade, Limonata has this certain something that makes it so I want to drink it all day. It’s really good. (Jenn doesn’t like it as much as I do, but that’s just too bad for her.)

Thus ensued a trip to Cost Plus.

Cost Plus has Limonata for significantly cheaper than any other store locally that stocks it. Seriously, like $1 cheaper per six pack. They also carry other interesting San Pellegrino drinks including Aranciata, Chinotto, and Sanbittèr. The Aranciata and Chinotto at Cost Plus are like $2.50 cheaper per six pack.

I’ve had Aranciata before, so bought some of that. I had never had Chinotto or Sanbittèr before, so I bought a six pack of the Chinotto. Sanbittér comes in packs of (10) 100mL bottles for $7.99. Not knowing if I liked it or not, I only bought two bottles at $0.80 each.

Sanbittèr is a “non-alcoholic aperitif soda.” Being the world traveler that I am, I had to look up what “aperitif” means. Apparently it’s an alcoholic drink taken before a meal as an appetizer. Hmmm. Whatever, right? So I pop open one of my tiny bottles of this stuff, take a very small sip…

And I really don’t know what to make of it. It doesn’t taste like anything I’ve had before, but I don’t think I like it. It’s bitter, as the name implies, but it leaves this nasty aftertaste that sort of lingers and makes you a little ill after a while. I’m glad I only bought two bottles of the stuff. I’ll leave the other one unopened for show. (If anything, San Pellegrino has style like nothing else.) Regardless, I’m glad I tried it. Always good to try something new.

I haven’t yet tried the Chinotto yet. It’s described as “sparkling citrus beverage,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. It’s the color that worries me. It’s brown. Limonata is yellow-green; Aranciata is orange; Chinotto is brown. I’m not sure what to think of that, but I’ll give it a shot anyway.

Thus ends my current search for beverages. I’ve given up the chase for Bawls. Ordering online is cost-prohibitive (it’s the shipping that kills you off) and nowhere locally stocks it in a reliable fashion.

That’s okay; I could easily be a San Pellegrino man.