Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Random Thoughts, Infinite Sadness, and Air Travel

Well, the fires here are dying out, and things are getting back to normal. We saw Air Force One fly by the office last Thursday when Bush was touring the area. That was pretty cool. Things are busy at work...we are still wrapping up a big remodel and getting ready for all sorts of year end rush projects. I have my own (smallwindowless) office now, so that's cool too. I was somewhat bummed to see the BoSox sweep the World Series...I was mildly hoping that the Rockies would take it. I would have at least liked to see a close series. Oh well, guess I'll just have to wait for the Mariners to make it next October. The real sadness that has befallen me lately however is due to my sister and bro in law. In what seemed like a hasty decision to outside eyes, they announced they were packing it up and moving back to Idaho in two weeks. Two weeks. Can you believe it? I was shocked and dismayed. That pretty much reduces my social circle by approximately 50%. (I suppose I should do something about that...) They knew they wanted to move back, and they just decided it would be better to do it now - before Brady invested alot of time and money into his photography business down here and then had to cut ties later. So they're going to stay in my Grandparent's house for a few months (Gma and Gpa are down here for the winter) and then I'm sure they will find a nice, newer house that's five times the size of our apartment for about half as much...*sigh*...nothing like that North Idaho Cost of Living. The only upside of the situation for me is that Jess and I are going to help drive them up there (gotta love roadtrips) and I should have at least one day in CDA to see some friends before I fly back. We're leaving on the 10th and should get up there late on the 11th. Jess is staying through the end of that week with her parents, so she's happy about that. I think we snagged the last of the cheap flights before the holiday weekend. I'm telling you, ExpressJet is the bomb diggity. Non-stop Spokane to San Diego - flight time under 2.5 hours - with taxes and fees...$80. Freaking crazy. Everyone in the Pacific NW needs to come visit me. Everybody.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

California Is Burning

Unless you live in a cave with Osama, I'm sure you've heard about the So Cal wildfires going on. We got home from Israel safe and sound Saturday night (It was an incredible trip - I'll post more on that with pics later) and Sunday morning we noticed the smoke. Then things got pretty crazy down here. The San Diego fires have already collectively burned over 300,000 acres. Somewhere around 1,200 homes have been destroyed, along with hundreds of commercial buildings. Hundreds more have been damaged. At one point they had evacuated around 500,000 people. Jess and I are quite safe where we are in La Jolla, but my Mom and Bill, and Lani and Brady and the fam all had to temporarily evacuate on Monday afternoon. Fortunately they were able to go home Tuesday afternoon though, and all is well. We had our friends Johnny and Brooke in town for a couple of days, and Lani and Brady ended up having to stay Monday night with us as well. So we had 6 adults and 3 kids in a small 1 bedroom apartment for a while...that was interesting. :) That incredible NASA photo above shows you what the 50+ mph Santa Ana winds were doing to fuel the flames. They have finally died down, so I think the worst may be over. They have lifted quite a few mandatory evacuations, so a lot of people have been allowed to return home. I think quite a bit of progress was made today, though I think it will still be a while before everything is out. They now estimate that the largest fire, the Witch fire, is 10% contained (this is better than the 0% containment estimate made yesterday.) That one fire is responsible for 200,000 acres and 800 homes. President Bush is supposed to tour the area tomorrow...it's just crazy how much damage has been done so quickly. This is one of the many maps that gives you an idea of just how big the burn areas are. So far the city has taken it very well. Most of the area business and restaurants are donating tons of free food and services. There's nothing but good reports from Qualcomm Stadium, where they housed about 10,000 evacuees. Our church opened as an evacuation center as well and was able to provide shelter, food, clothing, medical care, child care, etc. Like I said, I think Jess and I are safe here by the coast...and it's also comforting to know that in a worst case scenario we could easily fit everything valuable and important to us in our car. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Additions to The Fam...

No, not those kind of additions...In fact, Jess has decided to go back to school for a little bit starting in January (working towards a child development degree) so those kind of "additions" will be put off for a little while longer...For now we will stick with our beta fish, Turbo The Survivor. (So monikered because "Turbo" fits his personality, and "The Survivor" as a tribute to when we went to Idaho and left him unattended for 10 days in our hot apartment with no AC...) Anyway...I did however make a couple of rather expensive purchases lately, the first of which being my lovely new scooter... It's a little 50cc 2002 Yamaha Vino - I was going to put this off, but I found a good deal and didn't want to look around for another six months. She's not perfect, but it sure beats walking a mile and a half to work every day. I'm open to name sugggestions, so far I'm thinking of going with "Gomer." Aaaaand as a necessity for our Israel trip, I also bought this new camera. It's a Fuji s6000 and it rocks. And I'm not even totally sure how to use it yet, but it rocks. So, speaking of our Israel trip...we're leaving tomorrow! Holy crap! (actually today...I need to get up in 5 1/2 hrs, so I should probably go to bed...) I worked like 13 hours today trying to get ready, and just now finished packing. Craziness. Well, providing I don't get blown up by any muslims, and I will definitely post some pics when I get back. Cheers!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Street Scene

So a couple of weeks ago I ended up scoring a couple of tickets to Street Scene from a lady I work with, who scored them from someone she used to work with etc... Jess and I had been wanting to go, but there was no way we were going to shell out that many clams for a good time. I had known there was a chance I would end up getting free tickets, but didn't think it was a very good chance, so I didn't say anything to Jess about it until I knew for sure (which was the day beforehand.) Anyway, long story short we ended up spending that Saturday afternoon there and had a pretty good time. I had gone down to Tecate that morning with Brady to shoot some video for a True Light Ministries project thing, so I was pretty wiped...but it was still sweet. The highlight for me, of course, was seeing Matt Costa play. He had a full band and played alot of new stuff...and it rocked. Even though he was on a small side stage, and the mix wasn't that good. Plus he had to compete with some other groups that were playing on other stages - the most noticeable being some rap group somewhere nearby, which made for some humorous moments and comments. (My favorite being when Matt Costa mentioned that he didn't know what they were doing "over there, but over here we're gonna play some MUSIC...") After his set, everyone was yelling for him to play "Sunshine" cause had neglected to do so...but they were ready to tear down the stage and he had to quit, so we walked away rather dejectedly...until Jess spotted him grabbing his guitar and running off the side of the stage. So we booked it back, and sure enough he was hanging out and playing unplugged for/with the 20 or so people that hung around....it was awesome. We also saw (among others) Augustana, and I was actually pleasantly surprised at their quality and depth (i had only heard that one radio song up until then.) And we saw Panic at the Disco, which was entertaining. The highlight for Jess though was the headliner for the night - Muse. They surprised me by actually opening their set with "Knights of Cydonia," and followed it with more well-crafted (if not strange) music. I have to admit they are a little weird, but they did put on an impressive show. The only show I ended up missing that I wanted to see was G Love and Special Sauce. Well, plus I wish I could have gone back on Sunday to see The Killers and Brand New, but you know what they say about beggars and choosers...So anyway, there you have it. Street Scene: Lots of music, lots of fun, lots of drunk people making out in the mosh pits, coming home and smelling like pot...All in all a good time.

(I have a few more pics on myspace)