Wild Blue Yonder

This Sunday was especially fun for yours truely. It was the first time I’ve ever flown a plane. Yup, me, flying, in the sky. Crazy. My good buddy Matt took me up for a quick hour tour of the coast line and for about 20-25 minutes there he let me take the wheel… or stick… or whatever the hell you call it (yolk?).  I had a blast. It was quite possibly one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. We went up in a Tiger AG-5B, a little 4 seater prop job.

I managed to take a few photos while I was up there and I’ll post them as soon as I can. Even got a video of myself flying.

The weirdest part of the whole thing was realizing how light the aircraft was and how much it was getting pushed around by the wind. It was “sliding” side to side quite a bit more than I expected. I was always having to compensate with the rudder. Keeping it strait and turning wasn’t a problem. I’ll thank my years of video game playing for that. It was amazing to me how many different frequencies and radio towers you have to contact just to fly around. I think it took 4 or 5 different calls just to get up in the air, then various other ones as we went into other airports airspace. I have a new found respect for pilots.

If it wasn’t so damn expensive as a hobby, I’d say this was my first of many trips to come, but alas, unless I win the lotto I’m afraid a pilots license just isn’t in my future. Fun stuff though.

Beer in spades!

Can beer come in spades? Or is it limited to mere “pack” equivalents. Regardless, I had a multitude of brew last night and enjoyed it thoroughly. Yesterday we celebrated both my boss’ birthday and my good friend Dane’s birthday. My boss’ wife and I conspired to sneak a brand new xbox 360 into the office and set it up on the large, wall sized, projection screen. He received Guitar Hero 2 and Rainbow Six: Vegas and fun (and beer) was had by all as we “took the day off” to play some games. Talk about a good day at the office.

Those shenanigans immediately preceded the celebration of Dane’s birthday at a local pub called The Flying Saucer. TFS is known, at least locally, as the place with the highest number of beers available. They have a beer menu. It’s seriously crazy. I think they have 150-200 beers ON TAP with hundreds more in bottles. It was here that I was able to find my Bostonian favorite: Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. I had to order a few. Probably a few too many. I was actually amazed they had that, but apparently they have about half of the Sam Adams “Brewmaster’s Collection” of which the cherry wheat is apart. When I asked about the other varieties they were lacking (Cream Stout and Scotch Ale in particular) I was told that distribution of beers varies from county to county across the US. The distributor here in the Houston area only carries a certain number of kinds. It’s up to the distributor to request different varieties or brands. Dallas may have a completely different beer selection available to it than Houston.

I had to do a little digging, but Cherry Wheat is available at my local Spec’s Warehouse (think Walmart of booze) or, at the very least, they can order it for me. I think I’m going to have to stock up for the long haul.

There are very few beers that I like. I’m usually a vodka (or at least hard liquor) kind of guy. There are a few occasions when I’ll have a brew or two. Beer goes perfectly with pizza, so that’s always a possibility. The occasional cookout or party I’ll have one too, but rarely will I buy myself a six pack. When I do it’s one of a very short list of kinds. Sam Adams tops that list. As a local favorite, I think Sam was the first beer I had growing up, it’s what my Dad always drank. Now that I can appreciate it, I can see why. I’m also partial to the red ales. Killian’s, Red Dog, Red Hook for example, all are fairly tasty. I also like a cream stout or a porter every once in a while, but those are mostly “winter beers” because the ABV is a little higher and they’re more of a meal and designed to keep you warm than anything else.

Regardless, much fun was had last night and most importantly I learned something new. Now I know where to get my Sam Adams fix and Dane and my boss are both a year older. Win win.

6 Years and Running

That’s right kids. 6 whole years of listening to me talk about every topic humanly imaginable. I made my first post to a beta Blogger account on April 29th, 2001. I’ve been through 5 different content managment systems, 2 additional web-only services and a whole host of other crap. There’s been nearly 1400 posts and probably even more that where lost to the ravages of time (and Moveable Types crappy import/export system!)

I love this journal. It’s been a great run so far. I’m proud of what I’ve written, I’m proud of keeping something like this going for this long, and I’ll be proud as hell when I hit all the milestones to come.

I was talking to my friend Matt last weekend and I had shown him this blog as an example of what a CMS was, and what WordPress does. He took the time to go back and poke around and he said to me the next day “Wow, you’ve had that journal forever, you must be one of the original people to have a blog”. I don’t know if I’d be considered in the “original” crowd, but I have certainly had this going for a while. I know there were some people experimenting with this type of thing before I was. I think it’s safe to say that I was an “early adopter”. Actually, most of you were right along with me. Chip and Jason still have their livejournal accounts, Chris had something funky (was it Manilla?) around the same time too.

It feels kinda good to actually be considered at the front of something. I know where not breaking any barriers here, but when teeny-bopper highschool kids are starting their blogs, write a dozen posts, then abandon it forever, it gives me a happy feeling of longevity. That we’re doing something that hasn’t been a waste of time. That, because it’s now becoming mainstream, we can honestly say “Yeah, we were doing that years before anyone else” and it’ll be 100% true.

Guys, we kick ass. Celebrating six years of posting should also be a celebration for you as well. You guys have been at this as long as I have. So, pick up your glasses, here’s a toast:

“To the wonderful ride it’s been. To all the post we’ve made. And to all the posts that are yet to come. Cheers!”

Fist Fight in Your Crotch

My good buddy Jason just released an album for his band The Amblotics entitled “Fist Fight in Your Crotch”. Completely free download. Check it out HERE. Definatly good stuff. Awesome job bud!

Oh, and since he doesn’t have any album art for it, I thought I’d share what I’m using. It makes me smile every time I open WMP or iTunes and this pops up as the artwork.


Scratch that. I like this better. God bless Photoshop.


full sized

Home Sweet Home

We just got in last night and after the crazy flights we had, I was glad to be home.

We had gotten stuck in Manchester because our plane had “mechanical problems”, which always instills confidence in your travel provider. Apparently it was nothing major, something about the water system not working and the plane was going from there, to Baltimore, to San Diego, and they didn’t want to make a 7 hour flight without water. I can’t really blame them.

That threw off our connection in Baltimore, which they had to reschedule for us, getting us in 3 hours late. I suppose it was better than not getting home at all, which, based on our last landing, was a distinct possibility with Southwest. I swear, those people couldn’t land a plane smoothly if lives depended on it…. which they kinda do. I can’t remember if we bounced three times or four, but my money is on four.

As for the remainder of our vacation, it was nice and relaxing. I say that as if we had a choice. Having not rented a car, we were resigned to be at everyone else’s mercy in terms of schedule. We did have some fun though. We wondered around the lakes region. I’ve got a shit-ton of pictures to go through and post that I think you guys will like.

Christmas was also nice. I think that goes without saying. But having an old fashioned family Christmas was just what I needed.

I got a Sansa, what loot did you guys pick up? lol.


At this very moment I’m waking up on Ashley’s couch after a long night of dancing. Lauren and I came up to College Station (Texas A&M) to visit Ashley and because they were having a swing dance sponsored by the Aggie Swing Cats (college dance club). It was actually very enjoyable. We got all dresses up and spent the night dancing and talking and having fun. We were also talking to members of a larger group, the Houston Swing Dance Society, which I think Lauren and I are going to want to join. They have lessons and dances every Sunday. Its a yearly membership fee but it includes the lessions and stuff. There’s also a workshop in the spring called Lindy Fest that’s a 3 day focus on just the Lindy Hop, something Lauren and I have always wanted to learn.

Anyway, we even dragged out Ashleys Canon 20D, so we have pictures to share. When I get home tonight I’ll try and open a Flickr account or something.

Just a quick note along similar lines, Lauren and I decided to not get each other a crazy ammount of presents this year, but rather to get a consumer digital camera for ourselves, so, it’s likely they’ll be regular photo uploads after the new year.


ps: sidekick blogging ownz