The night of 84 annoyanceists.

Well, I suppose they’re not terrorists. They’re just annoyanceists. And there were EIGHTY-FOUR of them. Or so I think from these calculations:

Halloween 2006 count.

I got home early, like I do every year, and waited until around 5:30PM for the first trick-or-treater. I should learn that they don’t come early, but there’s a lot of 1-to-3-year-old kids and I know they go to bed fairly early. The last trick-or-treaters came around 8:10PM but I sat and waited until much later. This meant my late trip to the gym was canceled and I am still a fat pig. (A fat pig with 35 leftover packages of Skittles.)

Oh, and I keep losing my sticks of Chapstick. I mean, really, where could they be going?

I feel like a big fat pig.

It’s an exercise thing and I think it was a lot worse when I was running. I felt a lot of guilt when I skipped running and called my sister to be absolved from my crimes. Not that not running was a crime. In any case, I was away on a business trip for a week and the only time I was close to exercising was in the awful Holiday Inn mini-gym, or carrying my bags through an airport. Tomorrow is my usual day at the gym, but it’s the one day a year I get to hand out candy to a bunch of little terrorists. I have to do it. It’s yet another compulsion of mine.

The other thing I feel guilty about is the garbage can I just put out. It’s mostly empty. I have a lot of stuff I need to throw away, but I never plan far enough ahead to put aside the things I should be throwing away. And if I put aside things, my father will start picking through them.

And yet another thing I feel guilty about is not doting on my father, but if I tried to do that, he’d drive me nuts. I mean, it’s hard enough trying to get him to put on pants. And by put on pants I mean not go around wearing a t-shirt and absolutely nothing below the equator. You’d think a guy who’s always cold would want to wear more clothing, but it’s not the only thing he does that confuses me.

Thanks Sun.

So now that I know, this gift card makes sense. I helped Sun with her computer, so she sent me a gift card. She enlisted my sister to help her, and my sister just called the Ringside directly. My sister, in turn, just called Ringside. So I got an undecipherable card in the mail that I first thought was from, “Sten.”

Gift card.

Now I can see it’s from, “Sun.”

I made it back!

I meant to post something about my dinner last night, but I went to the weenie little workout room in the hotel instead. Met a kid who was interviewing with Toyota. Guess there’s a headquarters in Cincinnati somewhere.

The conference in Lexington (we have no nightlife), KY was over for me after the morning sessions, so I drove back to Cincinnati in the middle of the day. I tried to go on a tour at the Toyota production plant in Georgetown, KY on the way back but the tours were all full for the day. I could have seen where they put my ma’s car together if I was early. It was raining pretty hard by the time I got back to the Cincinnati airport area where I was staying at the Holiday Inn, so I didn’t do all that much. I did go out to dinner at an unnamed restaurant suggested by my foodie sister.

Montgomery Inn

I had the ribs and duck and they weren’t the best I’ve had. Both were a little overdone and I think the barbecue was of the variety that tries to mask mistakes in smoking by using a lot of sauce.

Ribs and duck.

The duck was pretty good after I got through the dry bits.

I decided to drive around and maybe see some of the sights. Unfortunately the rain didn’t abate and when I got to the place suggested by the hotel staff, I found a mall with paid parking. I got quite lost on the way back. First I accidentally crossed into Cincinnati by accident, and then I followed Route 8 until I found I was on a two-lane road following the Ohio river into the dark countryside. DARK COUNTRYSIDE. What ever happened to populating the picturesque riverbank with McMansions? Fortunately, I found the end of road and a way back to civilization.

I got up this morning at 5:45AM EDT, which is 2:45AM PDT (the timezone that matters to me) so I spent most of the day incoherent. I went to go visit my sister and she got to hear my cursing regarding the flat tire I had and other things I had to complain about. She thought it was prudent to take me to Target and Famous Footwear. Nice.

Trying to kill myself?

Today at lunch we went to a place at my suggestion that had a big sign saying Burgers and Shakes. In fact, I think the place was named Burgers and Shakes because the employees were wearing t-shirts with Burgers and Shakes printed on them. It was the kind of place where you could get a cheeseburger, chili dog, fries, and a medium Coke for $4.65. You walk up to the, “Order,” window, and by the time you step to the, “Food Here,” window there’s a brown bag waiting for you with grease soaking through it. It was quite tasty, but that doesn’t help my upset digestive system much.

I can’t believe how much I’m spending on my hotel room. Oh, well, I guess that’s business travel for you. We’ll see why my old manager is scheduling a meeting with me when I get back. It’s in a conference room, not in the cafeteria, so it may be an exit meeting. We’ll see.

Rolling up the streets at night.

I was going to hit the gym tonight after the conference let out, but the European contingent showed some cohesiveness by ditching the guy from London. Well, he’s a guy from Hong Kong originally but he’s still a Euro to me. In any case, he was stuck by himself so I had to tear myself away from the chick flick I was watching to go out to dinner with him. We ended up wandering around downtown Lexington which does double duty as a ghost town on Tuesday evenings.

My usual metric for finding a restaurant is to find something that has regional food and that isn’t empty. Unfortunately, the most people I saw in a restaurant was six, and that was the place I insulted two of the wait staff who were having a smoke behind the place. I asked if the place could be any good with so few people in it and when I realized what I had done I told the Londoner that I didn’t want spit in my food so we kept moving.

I finally stopped a couple of people and asked where they would eat and we went to what I would call a dive. There was a woman close to my age with a kid who looked like he was in his early 20’s. The animated conversation was not one that relatives have; it seemed more like a date. It didn’t spoil my dinner of fried green tomatoes and a pork chop with apple sauce (the apples were from the cook’s back yard).

Maybe tomorrow I’ll make it to the gym. The Gold’s down the street is only open until 9PM!

Monday night football makes no sense on the East Coast.

I’m too used to seeing the Monday Night football game at 6PM. It’s over around 9PM. But people on the East Coast know it starts at 9PM and ends around midnight. Funny thing is that I’m actually tired already and it’s not that late.

Went to eat at Lee’s today. It’s kind of like Kentucky Fried Chicken but I bet it never made it outside of Kentucky. There were only two people working there, and they didn’t work together very well. The guy in the kitchen looked like the manager with a staffing problem, and the woman at the counter didn’t talk directly to him and he couldn’t hear a thing she said. I wonder if the unemployment rate is low here, because the people at the fast food place weren’t exactly top notch.
So, do you think I was down in the hotel bar with the single woman or in my room fixing the lamps and watching TV in my underwear? Did I mention I’m in room 420?

Ain’t no Asians in Kentucky.

And, as far as I could tell, nobody but white folk in Covington, KY. Not even one at the airport. I don’t know what’s going on.

The Megacorp traveling curse continues. Someone told me that it depends on the level you’re at within the company. I always get the last row in the airplane (by all the little kids) and a lower floor room. I think the lower floor room is to keep Megacorp employees from jumping out the windows. Other than that the trip was fairly uneventful. I had dinner at a Skyline Chili just outside of Cincinatti and I have to admit it’s different. I can’t say it’s my favorite thing called chili or Coney Island.

Cincinatti chili.

Getting to Lexington, KY from the “Cincinatti airport” (in Covington, KY) was supposed to be difficult according to one of the raving loons who will be attending the conference here. He said it was hilly and curvy and difficult. I can’t remember an easier drive. In the dark, we were all doing about 80MPH, and there was no danger beyond the fact that I was an Asian guy driving a rented Hyundai Sonata. The car, by the way, kind of a piece of crap.

The bar downstairs is kind of a washout (the one at the Radisson was a lot more populated) and the guy first sold me some “local beer” instead of the local bourbon I asked for. I hope Megacorp doesn’t mind that I drank my dinner.

My 3l33t PowerPoint skills.

Next week I get to present some data to a bunch of printer geeks. I took a bunch of Linux distributions and plugged in various printers and swore a lot and wrote down what I did to get the printing working. Plus, I wrote down the quirks I found. I’m sure I’m going to get skewered for my mistakes and, even better, I have to travel to Kentucky to do this. A week away from home (which is the only place I sleep well) and in the south, to boot.

If anyone has any suggestions for what to eat or do in Cincinnati or Lexington, let me know. I think I should have some free time. Most likely I’ll be sitting in a hotel room with my laptop on (if I have intarweb connectivity) watching the World Series.

Speaking of not sleeping well, I haven’t been sleeping enough this week. I went to sleep early last night and I woke up having a nightmare about going to see a movie and being annoyed by the guy next to me shining little mini-flashlights in his face during the movie. His girlfriend was doing it too. When I asked them to stop, they started arguing with me. Yeesh.

Back in the real world, I had to detour during my normal commute because there was a police car blocking my way. I didn’t see anything in the news about it and my sister thinks it might have been a movie filming. What the hell. I thought movies were supposed to be made in LA or Vancouver, Canada, not in Portland where they block the streets and annoy me. Sheesh.

The thing about spam.

I yearn for the old days when spam had pr0n included. At least it was good for something. Now it’s all useless or in a foreign language. Or gif images I don’t see with my text-only email client.

The acupuncturist wants me to keep coming back so he can try to even out my leg length. Hah. He keeps yanking on my leg and somehow I don’t think that’s going to work. But I did see the woman from the gym there. That’s going nowhere fast. I have a better chance of having one of my legs grow a quarter-inch, I bet.

When the lights are shining in your eyes.

It’s hard to guess what happens when you’re in front of a crowd. I’m not nervous talking in front of groups, but sometimes I just start getting twitchy. I bet if a cop stopped me I’d have trouble catching my breath. And today at the gym I talked to the, “Hot Acupuncture Student,” and I had a hard time focusing or completing my sentences. It was like being in high school again. (She talked to me because I saw her at her school, the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, and she was trying to remember who I was then.)

In any case, I’m just beginning to remember what I said. I hope it wasn’t too awkward.

In clarification to previous ramblings:

  • I don’t know why, but I don’t like the Chicago Bears. (I could probably come up with reasons, and Jim McMahon is probably high on the list.)
  • I do NOT play World of Warcraft. My computer games usually consist of installing beta software and cursing loudly when things don’t work right.

My brother-in-law is a goofus.

It’s a law, I think, that your brother-in-law has to be a goofus. He did some horse-trading and got rid of his truck to buy a monster Chevy and then my sister was stuck at home with no car. So they had to get a loan and buy a Honda Fit. Why a Fit for a big white guy who is probably at least 6’2″? I don’t know. He’s a goofus, after all.

For some reason I couldn’t sleep last night and I’m feeling antsy again. Perhaps even a bit cranky. My computer doesn’t seem to be as, “snappy,” as I’d like. I think it was all the rain or something. Paying bills should have calmed me down, right? Watching Arizona squander a 20-point lead to the miserable Chicago Bears should have made me feel better, right? Maybe I should start drinking earlier.

Oh, and speaking of goofus, it looks like the TV I was looking at is available at Costco. Unfortunately, I decided I didn’t want a built-in DVD player and this one has one. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do.