I ran off some kids a little while ago. They were parked across the street and playing loud music. At least the bass was penetrating through the walls. Anyway, I went out and said, “This is where I ask you to move on, and if you don’t I write down your license plate numbers and call the cops.” I didn’t think it was too mean. They did ask what they were doing wrong and I said, “Well, you are being loud and it is a neighborhood.” I think they left pretty soon afterwards, 3 cars with about a dozen kids. I kind of wonder if they weren’t planning to get even more kids there because cars keep pulling up and leaving.

Whatever. My rule is: don’t wake me up.

Dave the Trainer has weird schedule issues just like I have weird schedule issues. He called today and asked if I could make it in by 4PM. I had about 45 minutes to make it there, but I bailed out of work early and went. That’s the most excitement I had today. Woo-hoo.

Crumby surprise.

My friend Sun in NYC wanted to cheer me up and so she sent me some cookies from Amai Tea and Bake house. I ate a can of Lemongrass and Ginger cookies and was about to start on the chai almond when I had an unwelcome surprise. The cookies didn’t travel well!

Cookie crumbs.

While the cookies were disappointing, it didn’t turn out to be a bad evening. I emailed Sun about the cookies and she called. We chatted nonsensically until her cell phone died. We even compared housing costs in different markets. Basically, it costs a buttload to live in SF or NYC but it doesn’t pay proportionately more in those markets. And 2 out of 3 web sites agreed that NYC is more expensive than SF.

I am starting to look outside Megacorp for a new job, though not too seriously yet. It’s about time.


Today was Hatsubon for my father. Obon is the season in Japanese culture where our ancestors spirits come back to visit. It developed from a traditional Buddhist story about giving to relieve the suffering of our deceased ancestors into something very Japanese including dancing and emptying out the major cities to go visit relatives in the country. My mother and I went to the Oregon Buddhist Temple for the hatsubon service. I think most of my Jodo Shinshu religion is all superstition, but it’s what I grew up with and part of my tradition.

I think the local Buddhist services seem artificial. I remember religion in Japan, and religion was something you did when you needed it. Rice harvest, putting up a house, marriage, death, and not as regular Sunday as you’d think. You were Buddhist at funerals and you were Shinto at marriages and festivals. I suppose we were fake Xtians at Xmas time, too. Back to the service: I suspect that the Japanese immigrants to the US needed something to do while the Xtians were off doing their Sunday thing and the local Sunday service is what they came up with.

Here’s my petty bit: my sister couldn’t be bothered to show up. She was busy moving her business. I’m sorry, but I helped move a real fabric store once, and hers is nowhere near as big.

I tried spending the rest of the day being lazy, and I almost succeeded. Then I started filing all the paid bills I have stacked up. But tomorrow is our yearly summer street cleaning I had to start weeding the curb across the street. The school district doesn’t do much about keeping the weeds out of the street, so it’s up to a couple of us on the block to do the weeding for them. It went from


I had to go to Home Depot to get parts for the brush cutter so I also bought a replacement lamp for my “office.” My mom has been complaining about how dim the light in the room is, and the desk lamp is intermittent. So the light went from

Old light.


New light.

The new lamp doesn’t look very fancy in the photograph, but I like it. It cost twice as much as the plain one they had for sale. It is also a lot brighter than the old one and it’s fluorescent, i.e. supposedly more energy efficient.

So, in retrospect, if I hadn’t watched golf (while restoring my sister’s web site on my mom’s orders) I probably could have dug out another stump today too.

Stupid expensive laptop.

I was trying to burn a CD last night on my new MacBook Pro when it started vibrating excessively and then failed to burn the CD. What I mean by “vibrating excessively” is that burning the CD made the thing buzz so loud that I wouldn’t have been able to hold a conversation in the same room. I used the CD in another burned and that worked fine.

I signed up with the Apple Genius bar (to those non-Mac people that means I made an appointment at the Apple Store to have it looked at) and I was late. So late, in fact, that my appointment was no longer valid. I thought I’d be about 1/2 hour late, but they’re digging holes all through both miles from my house to the Apple Store and the parking lot was full. The store was packed but they said I could wait and see if a spot opened up. Luckily everyone was missing their appointments.

Of course the guy popped in a blank CD from the store and it burned fine. He said sometimes the CDs are bad. Fortunately, I brought along one of my own blank CDs and it made the same buzzing noise (not quite as loud) and wouldn’t burn it. We compared the two CDs and his was an Imation and mine was … IMATION. Surprise! Anyway, we decided to blame the CD and decided my computer was OK after all. Luckily they also validate parking.

In case anyone wonders why my sister’s web site is gone.

My sister hung up on me, so I deleted it.

I haven’t been in a good mood lately, and my group meeting at Megacorp never cheers me up. Usually I feel better afterwards because a particular co-worker and I go to lunch and kvetch about work. He was on vacation today, so I walked to Burgerville by myself.

On the way I remembered my sister wanted our dad’s old mini-fridge and his TV for her warehouse. I tried calling but got no answer so I called my mom. She had no idea and told me my sister hadn’t called in days. Finally I called my sister’s cell phone.

My sister told me she was moving her fabric to her warehouse on Sunday and that I had to help. I reminded her that she was always haranguing me about helping people move because I always seem to hurt my back. She said she was exempt from the rule.

I also asked why she hadn’t called our mom. A while ago my sister told me that I should move to California if I wanted because she could help with our mom. But she can’t even be bothered to call. She reminded me that she was at the beach but I know she was back early because she was sending me email. When I pointed this out, she said, “But I had no cell phone coverage!” This made no sense since she was already back. Then she said, “And I had to go to a birthday party last night!” I started to say, “But I didn’t know about any birthday party,” but she just hung up on me.

I don’t think I would have been as mad if she said, “Gotta go, <CLICK>!” but she just hung up on me. I’m still pretty pissed about it and I’m no longer speaking to her. If she is busy with enough friends that she’s too busy to call her own mom, she can get them to help her move. In fact, all her email to me is going in the trash and I deleted her web site off my server. Unfortunately for a bunch of knit bloggers and about a bazillion comment spammers, it included her blog. Anyway, it’s gone now. And so is she. Good riddance.

Mercury is in retrograde.

One of the instructors at the gym was saying, “Mercury in retrograde? That f*cking thing is always in retrograde!” I guess I’m not the only one who’s been having a bad time lately and who the hell is blaming astrology? I guess the answer to that is a lot of people have been needing someone to blame.

Going to the gym didn’t make me feel much better today, either. The employee turnover is extreme and now the gym is being run by one queenie little rules boy at the front desk and another young fauxhawk trainer goof who wants the boyband channel on 24-7. I’d complain to someone but the older guys I knew who ran things haven’t been around for months. Ah, well.

Pardon me while I pass out.

My buddy Henry was in town and I saw him for the first time in 21 years. We were in the same dorm and lived close to each other most of the time we were there. He was reminding me that I was a big wimp and actually got some sleep when I was at MIT. We ended up talking at the Rogue Ale House. While we were there we started talking to a guy at the next table. He was a geek in town for the Ubuntu Live conference and his friends had ditched him. We did have one big panic when he thought he lost his wallet, but other than that we hit Tugboat Brewery and called it a night. Actually, Henry wanted to make a dent in the bottle of wine he got for “free” for using his AMEX Platinum card at the hotel, so the two of us reminisced about more crap.

Unfortunately I left a little after midnight and the streetcar to my neighborhood quits running just before midnight. It’s only a 45 minute walk home, and I slept in a little before heading into work.

Today was the usual series of disappointments. Work sucked. The job I am still interviewing for tomorrow is no longer available. I went and played golf for the first time in two and a half weeks and I got yet another high score. So life is back to normal. And fortunately I didn’t fall asleep driving home, but I did pass out right after dinner. I better try to get some sleep tonight.

Henry’s coming.

My head kind of hurts again. I’m not that sore from the not-really-rolfing massage I got but something’s going on with my head. Again. It’s not just me and I think it’s the weird weather yet again. It was very humid for this area and rained today.

I haven’t seen very many people who were at MIT with me and Henry, who was next door to me in the dorm almost all four years, is going to be in town tomorrow. He was always a bit more free market than I am and he’s now a stock analyst or something. In any case, I haven’t seen the guy since 1986, though I have talked to him a few times and emailed him every few years. You know how guys are.

I just realized I haven’t played golf in over two weeks. Life and weather sure haven’t been very conducive to golf.

I have no willpower.

Life is returning towards normal. My buddy who had the heart attack and I had breakfast today, and he hasn’t changed his diet much. Not yet anyway. Il called and told me stories of his family and he sounds like he’s doing much better now that his recent stress is diminished and his father’s funeral is over. And I remembered to get my prescriptions and the Harry Potter book from the library.

Even with my trip to the painful, er, Rolf-like massage therapist today, driving a half-hour each way, I managed to read most of the Harry Potter book. In fact, I’m 62 pages away from finishing. I don’t have the willpower to stop, so I’ll be up a while longer. I wish this ability would make me more date-worty, but you know how things go.

P.S. He goes into the paper bag factory and carries her out in the end.

Falling apart here.

The past couple of days I’ve had a headache and I’m not sure if it’s a sinus headache because of the weather or because I’m at a job I can’t stand. Fortunately I didn’t have that problem today, but I did make a mess of the day. I only had a couple things I wanted to do today and I blew the one I’ve been waiting a year and a half for. I made it to the funeral, I performed my pallbearer duties, I didn’t hurt my back (as far as I can tell right now), I took my suit in to have the waist, ahem, adjusted, but I forgot to pick up the Harry Potter book from the library!

For the last two, I went to the library as early as I could and read it straight through, usually staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning. Then I took it back the next day for whatever kid really wants it. This time I’m going to have to take a few days, if they still have my book.

The reason this happened was because I took a short nap. A short THREE HOUR nap. I didn’t think I was that tired and I didn’t think I was that stressed out this week, but I suppose it wasn’t the best week. And having one of your best friends lose both his parents isn’t as hard as losing both your own parents, but it’s still no walk in the park. I took a bunch of naps this week. Visiting the hospital in the middle of the night, three days of meetings with people who can influence your job, and not getting dumped.

Oh, yeah, so two women at the gym told me that I didn’t get dumped. Two dates, and I’m still in money-back guarantee territory. But they did agree that you never need to hear a reason you’re getting dumped. Ever. My sister is the only one who agrees that I was just getting helpful suggestions. But, as I said, my sister kind of sucks.