New Years Eve and big plans.

So usually I’m getting ready for bed by 9:30PM but this year I have plans. I’m supposed to be out at a party. My buddy is in town from Hawaii and he was supposed to here an hour ago. Somehow he IM’ed his ex from 3 or 4 years ago and now he’s supposed to be on his way to get her and then come here.

The adventure continues. Another night of high drama, maybe.

The advantage of the holidays.

One of the big advantages of the holidays is that people are back to visit their families, so I can see my old classmate and co-worker Deren who flew in from Maui. We ended up talking until pretty late and I found out that a lot of the bars in my neighborhood close ridiculously early. 9PM for the Laurelwood and 12AM for most McMenamins, as always.

Another place I wonder about is the restaurant Roux. It had empty tables when I went by on Sunday but we were told that it would be a 45 minute wait. Another friend told me that he went in and got the same treatment when the place was empty except for one other couple. The were finally seated right next to the other couple and waited another 45 minutes for someone to come take their drink order. I’m curious as to how they stay in business. Perhaps the place is really supposed to be called “Roux’d”.

Why, oh, why?

I was planning on doing as little as possible this week at work, and doing most of it from home. I’d say there are only about a quarter of the people there the week between Xmas and New Year’s Day and so there’s little to be done. Unfortunately, I remembered that would mean that some of the expensive test equipment would be free as well, and asked my friend in the lab to tell me that the test equipment would be tied up all week. He told me the truth instead, so I had to go in to prep some things to use it. So much for not going in.

I went to the gym today and now THMFIC has this wild hare up his ass about having us write down fitness goals. I’ve NEVER had any fitness goals. Hell, I hardly have any goals in the rest of my life. I’m from the west, you see, where the cowboys wander aimlessly from adventure to adventure, so where in the hell are we supposed to come up with goals? That’s a corporate thing, goals. This is organic Oregon.

I suppose I should think more seriously about the goals, though sitting my narrow Asian ass on every piece of equipment on in the gym is one of my fitness goals. More rest, you see, and I don’t have to worry about running out of places to sit down. Some more pedestrian goals such as 20 dead-hang pull-ups or 45 pushups are probably in order, but Nurse Tiff said I should try going on a SECOND date next year. Twice with the same woman, that is. I can usually pull off two. Sex in the City imparted too much meaning to the third date, so I never get there. I’m thinking, though, instead of dating goals, I should think of something I might actually do. Like visiting Scotland or Cedar Rapids or something. Somewhere cool that doesn’t require a lot of work might be better. I wonder what the temperature in Drain, Oregon is.

Time to start thinking of resolutions.

When a guy like me starts talking about resolution, it’s usually about how many dots per inch he has on his monitor. But it’s nearing New Years and I should try to come up with some resolutions maybe. I usually fail at anything I resolve, so I’ll have to think on this for a bit to see if I can come up with something.

If the past few days are any guide, I should probably resolve to stop drinking cheap whiskey, or expensive whiskey if it comes from Japan. The stuff my dad had squirreled away isn’t as bad as I remember. Maybe my taste buds are going dead or maybe the wood alcohol all evaporated off. In any case, why drink the cheap stuff, unless it’s free?

I should probably also try to get more sleep. I’ve been averaging 8 hours during this snowstorm and it started out pretty nice. I’ve been dreaming, which I can’t remember doing much until now, though I can’t remember the dreams I’m having. The drawback is that I’m now not able to sleep. It’s either the weather or that I’m sleeping too much.

I should probably stop watching so many weird movies. Today I watched a Japanese sci-fi gangster movie, (Dead or Alive: Final), a Russian gangster movie (Eastern Promises), and Little Miss Sunshine. I guess I was underwhelmed by the last movie, and I shouldn’t sit around so much.

I did get out once today, and had lunch with my buddy Greg and his family. I also had Jay the Contractor come by to look around and find out what tools he left here. He had his truck with the rest of his tools stolen yesterday. And finally, I was outside sweeping up the shards of plastic left by the sledders (genius parents would bring plastic tubs that would freeze and break and they’d leave the shards) and also picking up the soggy cardboard that was thrown into the bushes. My next door neighbor has a huge drop box and he let me put the mess in with his construction waste. I guess I should resolve to do him more favors this next year.

And finally, I think I’m going to resolve to do something that I don’t like doing. I’m thinking of skiing or maybe even camping again. I may even get on a horse or go line dancing. Who knows?

The measure of our cabin fever.

I wonder why I had so much trouble sleeping last night, but at least it gave me some interesting dreams. I find most dreams to be like going to the movies for free. Unfortunately, those movies might be interesting but I rarely remember them. I guess it’s not all that bad.

Today was another UFC fight and a gathering at THMFIC’s house to watch them. The true measure of our cabin fever is that twice as many people attended as usual. It’s always fun watching the fights with that group, and ddly enough, the fights were pretty good as well.

I wish I could say I did more, but it’s still my pretend holiday and I’m still just mainly watching movies. Bruce the plumber came over to install my toilet but he didn’t have the whole Toto Aquia/Washlet installation thing down so it’s just sitting there, empty, taunting me.

Slipperier and slipperier.

The rain has finally begun to melt the snow, but now it’s just a slushy, slippery mess. I spent 45 minutes digging myself out of 2 spots today, and both were in the middle of the street. There’s a certain urgency when you’re trying get your car out of the middle of the street, especially when you’re stuck in the middle of the only tracks through the snow that anyone can travel in. Fortunately, no cars came by either time, though the UPS guy had to get out of his truck and run up two block to deliver a package. I felt pretty bad about that.

I only left the house to drive my mom to the store. The drive to the store wasn’t much trouble, because it was all downhill and headed towards areas with less snow. I’m on a lightly traveled hill, so it’s a huge mess here. I should have stayed home and watched more movies, but I left after watching a full season of Pushing Daisies. There’s only so much sitting around I can do.

The snow is almost melting.

I think my back is so tired it sometimes hurts. It wasn’t because of the workout, as hideousstrenuous as it was, but more likely because of the shoveling of the wet, soggy snow. As an Oregonian I know that the rain will melt the snow, but as a chemist and engineer I also know that the maximal heat transfer will occur when the rain is passing over the snow and not just pooled around it. It’s not so much that we’re running out of food and that I have to drive anywhere, but mainly that I’m going stir crazy and I thought it made more sense to be outside moving the snow around than watching yet more movies. I did, however, finish watching all the episodes of Firefly.

In any case, it’s Xmas Eve and I’m watching one of my three (unless there are more) seasonal movies. Love, Actually tonight and maybe Comfort and Joy. Tomorrow I have A Christmas Carol. I was asked when I open presents, and really the only presents I buy are for my sister, brother-in-law, and my mom. I went in with my mom and brother-in-law on my sister’s present and she got to open it after the arctic winds came in a couple of weeks ago. I still haven’t gotten my brother-in-law anything because he hasn’t told me what he wants. Actually my sister said she emailed me, and told me she’d email me again, but so far NOTHING. And, in return, I didn’t get the cossack outfit I need.

In any case Happy Holidays, and I can only hope for happiness and world peace. I’ll be watching movies. That is, if I can still see.


Still trapped by the snow.

The snow isn’t melting very fast. Everything that I’ve shoveled clear is dried out and the snow is slowly trying to melt off of the house, but in general it’s not going anywhere. The roads are still piled high with snow and the buses aren’t even running on full schedules. So I’m still stuck inside and still watching DVDs. I tend to buy things and let them sit for a while. I bought Blue Velvet and didn’t get around to watching it for three or four years. When I did, I was laughing so hard I had to stop and call my buddy Il to see if it was really supposed to be that funny. I’d always heard it was disturbing, but I also remember my sister saying that after repeated viewings the absurdities start to pop out and become funny. I found it funny from the first time I watched it. In any case, I had the season of Wonderfalls for a year or more and the season of Firefly since this summer. Now’s as good a time as any to watch them.

I also watched Empire Falls which was made from a book by one of my favorite authors, Richard Russo, and (finally) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. They were both great, but I had to stop Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to call Il and confirm that the whole movie wasn’t as sad as I found the first half. I’m stuck in the house surrounded by snow and I don’t want to watch sad movies.

The two things I guess that usually cheer me up, cheesy dance music and alcohol, are missing the alcohol part. Coincidentally, I found an old bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream that my dad had squirreled away. It had turned into Bailey’s Irish Cheese. Good for a science experiment, but bad for drinking.

I did make it to the gym today, and it was surprisingly crowded. Well, not that surprising because I’m pretty sure everyone is getting cabin fever. I’m going again tomorrow morning, even though THMFIC was looking at the workout he wrote out and was laughing in a sinister fashion, calling it a “Festivus Miracle”. Perhaps I should take a shovel with me.

And yet again, a snow day.

It snowed yet again last night and this morning it was too deep on most streets for any car with a normal to low clearance. Even the buses were getting stuck. My friend waited for hours for a bus to arrive so he could get to work but he eventually gave up and decided to work from home. I found out about this because he called to complain about the buses.


I didn’t try to get anywhere and my biggest exertion was to shovel the walk again and dust off the heat pump. The heat pump is only used when the outside temperature is above 40°F (or was it 50°F) so I didn’t have to clear the snow off of it, but I had to have some reason to get out of the house.


I guess the gym was open for some period of time in the morning, but it was closed in the evening when I usually attend. The roads were clearer later in the day, but still in no shape for most people to be out. It’s just as well, because I was accused of being a “blog hog,” doing silly things to get my picture on the blog. Which doesn’t make sense because a lot of the things are suggestions from THMFIC.


And really, getting my picture on the blog just means that Nurse Tiff’s picture isn’t, so where’s my motivation there?

Really a snow day.

I’m really ready for cold and clear, or maybe even not so cold and even a little rainy, but this icy and slippery crap is getting old. The sledding is still an annoyance late into the night and I’m really wondering why people have to yell, “Woo-hoo,” while they’re sledding, especially down such a short hill at 2AM.

In any case, it snowed several more inches and must have been windy because it piled up in drifts. Sometime in the middle of the night, it also started raining. The temperature was still in the 20’s so that just put a nice crust on the snow.


I did get out the shovel and decided to move some snow around, but I spent most of the day watching The Big Bang Theory and, finally, my copy of the only season of Wonderfalls. I really liked that show and so, of course, Fox decided to cancel it. They only broadcast a few episodes so I had to buy the DVD to see all the episodes they made.

It doesn’t take all that much brainpower to actually watch a TV show, so my mind wandered over the course of the day. I realized that I only have a week and a half to make this a non-dateless year, but I thought I’d just try some more predictive math to see how many dates I should be trending towards. My prime assumptions were all the dates I had in the past seven years.


So, the green line is a linearization of the data, and eyeballing the graphs this kind of shows that this year I should have negative 30 dates. I’m not really sure what that means but I’m guessing this cuts way back on the money I need to spend at

Now THAT’S a snow day.

It’s been a little icy and snowy, but now we have several inches of popcorn snow. Lots of people were out sledding, but I was inside watching the first season of The Big Bang Theory. Geeks represent! I did see a guy drive onto our lawn trying to turn his SUV around. I didn’t go out and say anything to him, because it would have included words inappropriate for his small child to hear. Whatever.

Tomorrow, it’s supposed to sleet and then Monday, in true Portland fashion, it’s supposed to be above freezing during the day, creating slush, and then below freezing at night, creating a giant ice rink. Actually, it sounds like hail is hitting my window already.

Good thing I have books to read. I’ve been spending so much time doing other things that my mysteries have piled up a bit. I can read several a week, so I’ll be done soon enough. What an expensive habit.

The woodworking equipment has left the building.

Yeah, a Japanese horror film that is an allegory for alienation and loneliness in society was NOT what I needed tonight. Do I need to go sorting through my DVD collection or do I watch Undercover Brother? I wish I still had Next Stop Wonderland.

The woodworking equipment is all out of my house now, but that still means the painters are coming as well as the electrician, plumber, and the tile guy to finish my counter. The carpet guy is coming tomorrow as well. I haven’t taken any pictures because it’s kind of half-done.

Ah, well, I still need to find some sort of antidote to this movie which, by the way, was Kairo (mistranslated Pulse in English).