Friday, August 31, 2012

The experiment

Well, I was curious to see if I could still get drunk, since lately I've been struggling with that. Three beers, a rum and coke, an amaretto sour, and an AMF later, the answer is yes, sort of. Apparently I go from sober to puking now, skipping all the fun parts in between. Looks like overseas I'll be sticking to a couple drinks with dinner because I like them. Also, it works better when you eat at least once in the 36 hours before drinking. At least I can trust the boys to look out for me, even of I spend half the time looking out for them!

On a sadder note, counting down literal hours left in the US. I really don't wanna go. But it's not really real until we leave San Diego.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back to the Grind

One day down and I’m already missing home. Guess that’s just how it goes.


This late watch is pretty boring, especially since not many folks I know are up at 2 am west-coast time. In a little bit the east coast folks will start stirring, but that won’t offer me much entertainment.


I have most of my things packed away—a place for everything, and everything in its place. I think I brought way too many civilian clothes, but despite that I still have about half a compartment of space left. Good.


Got plenty of things to do, lots of entertainment. Probably wont keep me from feeling disconnected, but we’ll see. I just wish it wasn’t so cold right now!


Check-In:          27 U / 18 (r7) BS / 19 BT
                        3 H20 / 5 mi / 65 min

                        7 squares / 0 pages / 0 cheeves



Sunday, August 26, 2012

You Are Here.

This is the Pacific Ocean, courtesy of Google Earth.
I am going there.
Look at how huge it is... that's New Zealand on the left-hand corner, I believe that's Hawaii near the top, Antarctica at the bottom obviously, and if you squint really hard, that's the west coast of good ole' MURICA on the right hand side. I'm gonna go out there and do figure-8s and get bitched at. On the plus side, I might get to play with some tv's, and I keep hearing talk of visiting Thailand. I'll post as much as I can... the pics will be sparse until I hit port, but expect lots of fitness posts.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Last update on the plantses.

Tomato sprouts!! Finally. But so far this is all we've got. Poor thing was almost dead though, so I'll call it good. Hubs loves tomatoes, so when these come around, they'll go straight into his mouth anyways.

The pepper plant is finally starting to produce, but the funny thing is it's barely two feet tall. So we're going to have some funky midget bell peppers. Maybe good for pickling? I wonder if they'll come out being mini-bells or if they'll grow full size.

The strawberry is kind of growing back... it has one little flower that's covered up by a bunch of leaves. It might pull through. Maybe it will winter over this year so we can try again next.

I -think- the aloe is getting bigger, but I can't really tell for sure. Worst case scenario, it's not dead yet!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today's Epiphany

I was driving down 38th St. today and had a musing. [If you aren't familiar with Tacoma, all you need to know is that it's the business district over by the mall] It was kind of sad, but I distinctly realized that the Borders has been replaced by a furniture store and the store that used to be FYE is now an alcohol outlet store. And that's when it hit me...

We will have to explain to our children the concept of record stores, of shopping for media.

They will never understand walking down to the local record store with no real goal... just browsing the new releases, or clearance bin, or local singles. They won't believe there was once a time when you would have to go buy a disc to entertain or inspire yourself. Even the larger chains like Borders--I used to spend hours in there, going from books, to movies, to music. Best Buy might be an exception, but in most stores I can't even find CDs any more. Everyone has switched to whatever you can download or rip.

Of course we still have a couple retail stores now, but do the math: I don't have a kid yet. So add a year or two. Then add the time for said kid to reach the teen years, when they care about media formats. Do you honestly think, with our economy and culture of instant gratification, that any kind of physical media store will still be around by then?

Well, this seemed like a deep thought when I had it, but now that I'm off my feet they're killing me and I can't think straight. Damn shame.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Her Second Episode

I got the message on my facebook again today:

"Mom needs you to call her about Noel."

Noel being Nelly, my ol' doggie dog; the message coming from my little brother. For some reason my mom's technological skill seems to be declining.

Point being, Nelly had another attack of her vascular disorder/disease. It tends to be more common in dogs her age. This time it was worse, with the head tilt, twitchy eyes, and nausea.  The attacks come on suddenly, and symptoms generally dissipate over a few days. It is apparently not a painful problem, but very stressful. Most dogs only have one attack with a few residual symptoms, but this is Nelly's second episode since June. I asked my mom to sit tight and see if she improved. There's not much vets can do most of the time--they can check to see if it's caused or exacerbated by an ear infection, and maybe some vitamins or IV liquids or nausea meds. I hope she makes it through deployment so I can at least see her again, and maybe even bring her back home.

I'm sending her the blanket I've been saving... just wanted to wait until it smelled like home. And also a harness to help them help her get around, and some treats too. I hope she enjoys them.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

DIY Swamp Cooler

Oh internet, woe is your distractions!

I was originally tasked by hubs to research DIY USB battery power packs, but in the process was quickly whisked away to this article about eco-cooling [more or less]. WWA has been amazingly dry and hot this year, and I moved here for the drizzly 50-degree weather, so let me say, I am less than pleased with mother nature. Point being, as soon as I read the entry on how swamp coolers worked, I was predicting the next sentence: "This method can be as simple as throwing a wet towel over a fan." We have fans in all our windows. And as civilized folks who shower, we have towels. Tadah! Within about five minutes the temperature has definitely dropped, and the damp towel also mutes the hum of the fan on high. Somewhat.  Of course the towel is going to dry out pretty quickly, but it's a little less intensive and invasive than our practice last week of soaking our feet in a baster-pan filled with ice water. Win!

Oh and about those USB battery power packs... check back soon, I think we'll be building one in the near future. Anything is possible with a trip to Radio Shack and a soldering iron!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tacoma Epidemic [a Reverse Manifesto]

So, Backstage Bar & Grill is starting to suffer. Which is sad, they've only been open for maybe two years, max. They are having a benefit show, which is instant bad news. Also from their facebook: support live music. Tacoma just lost Hell's Kitchen and is on the verge of losing another [venue]. 
 Currently they are the only real live music venue in the area. Okay, Louie G's is sticking in there, but they are the newest on the scene, fresh-faced and hopeful, so they're still on the upward climb... soon they will follow the same fate as every other bar in town. They will peak, and they will fall. Over the past few years, I have seen almost every decent venue rise, peak, fall, attempt to bounce back, and ultimately fail.

I think the saddest and most recent was afore-mentioned Hell's Kitchen. They weren't able to pass code at the old location, on 6th Ave, so they moved to Pacific. Where they still couldn't pass code. Now they are closed for good, and Tacoma is the one getting screwed. Hell's Kitchen was a 253 staple for many years, a cultural mecca for us, if you will. Before that, we lost the Cedarwood Dome--probably one of the coolest bars around, since you could smoke inside and Levi would usually run a hookah bar on the third floor. Before that, we lost the all ages venues. When Hell's Kitchen moved, they stopped doing all ages shows. The Viaduct tried to pick up the slack, but ultimately lost their fight with the economy. There's no money in all ages shows, since there's no liquor sales. Before that, we lost Station 56, which had great sound and lights, and was almost always packed. Still not sure why they even closed.
It's happier here, trust me...
The first bar I can recall to go down the tubes was epic Maggie O'Toole's in Lakewood. We actually played there for their farewell show, when half the crowd and the ex-owner got taken to jail by a "surprise" raid. We almost lost our gear to the cops. However, I did buy a pretty sweet beer sign that night, as well as an Alaskan Amber tap pull for my dad.

Come to think of it, we even lost our best [in my opinion] rock radio station a couple years ago, KFNK. They're trying to bounce back with "The Brew," but we'll see how long that lasts. We had the Bye-Bye Monkey party for DJ Justin at Hell's Kitchen, ironically.

When I think back over all the clubs and bars I have played in the past three or four years... I can count the ones that are still open in the South Sound on one hand: Uncle Sam's and Jazzbones. Uncle Sam's is a tiny, generally awful biker bar; Jazzbones seems to be changing its audience and moving away from rock shows.

In fact, I'm not entirely sure I understand why every single rock club is struggling. Is it bad bands? Is it a lack of promotion? Ticket sales? Liquor sales? Is it just this god-awful economy? I don't understand why this is happening, but I can tell you it means the local music community will be taking a big hit. We'll be forced to play further and further away, which will make shows harder to come by. The competition for those shows will become tougher, with more bands competing for fewer gigs. Most bands will be driven underground and forced back into playing house parties, or fighting tooth and nail to see who can kiss the top Pay-to-Play jerk's ass.

Either way, the next few years aren't looking so good for musicians. It's already a rarity to get paid for a show... you're lucky if you get drink tickets... Now it's going to be musicians reaching into their own pockets in order to put on their own shows. That's what some of my friends are doing. Granted, I also have some acquaintances currently on tour, doing fairly well with their record label backing... but neither of them came from the Northwest. So what the hell are we doing here? Is Tacoma really going to just roll over and die musically, after having such a strong heartbeat for so long? Or am I just completely off my rocker?, no pun intended. The only people showing up at shows any more are other bands... in case you didn't know better, this is wrong! So, I guess, get out there and support your friends. Because in the near future, you're going to lose your chance to.

okay, maybe the joke is a little out-dated,
but the sentiment remains the same.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Same Sad Fate

Well. All but one or two of the peppers I replanted have also died. My only guess is that I am moving them too early. The cayenne is still hanging in there, but the jalapenos couldn’t hack it. I even used some gravel to help with drainage, tried to balance between too wet and too dry, and changed their location so they wouldn’t get too scorched by the sun. No avail. Maybe I’m not meant to grow peppers. The carnivorous plants are sucking through distilled water like crazy. The random thing that just won’t die is continuing to sprout new leaves and blooms. The tomato plant was wilting on the front porch, now in the back porch with only a couple hours of evening sun it has made almost a full recovery. The aloe is doing okay. I was reading that generally you only want to water them about once a week, but with the recent warm-and-sunny spell so uncharacteristic of WA, the soil dries out completely every couple of days. The strawberry is sprouting a lot of new leaves, but seems like every week or so I have to cut more dead ones off. The bell pepper has also started sprouting new leaves, it was plateaued for a pretty long while there. Note, spell check does not believe that ‘plateaued’ is a word.

So that’s the plants update. Nothing particularly new in the crafting department… finished kitty beds and the girls both love them. Trigger even borrowed Lily’s for a while. They didn’t turn out like I’d wanted, but cats don’t mind, they are just fluffy things to sit upon. Now working on a grocery bag holder. Big grin.

Took lots of photos of a friend’s band, Generation Unknown, the other night. They played a great set, and I will say, they are one of my favorite bands to photograph. So much energy and character on stage! Shameless plug: go their FB and ‘like’ them. I need to do a little editing of the—gasp—originally over 700 photos… mostly just a little tweaking brightness and contrast. I’m thinking of starting a photobucket or flikr or something like that, to have a place to post photos that is more focused than FB.

Today is my second day back to work, and boy it blows every bit as much as I thought it would. I very much hate being at the whim of someone who drags their feet at work because they’re using work as an excuse to avoid their family. You know what, some of us like going home. Some of us also live more than five minutes from work. [Sure okay that’s my decision to do so, but I stick by it]. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again [many more times I’m sure] I don’t mind staying late if I’m actually working. If I’m in the middle of a project—that you didn’t dump in my lap after lunch—I’d rather see it through. But… sitting around with a bunch of half finished projects which are all at a sticking point for the day… what good does that do anyone? Correct Answer: NONE. Then again, military and logic never do go hand in hand.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I just make it up as I go...

Tonight hubby requested loads upon loads of velveeta mac... but the catch is, he wanted spirals. Can't seem to find that at our grocery stores any more. I figured I could buy a slab of the cheese and whip him up some real ol' fashioned homemade in the oven mac, so I went to the store. Turns out there was a recipe right on the box! Of course, we never eat mac plain, and also, I have some weird compulsion to ignore recipes. So, I threw in some tuna [3 cans, I think I'll use more next time] and some frozen corn, and also doubled the recipe. Hey, he said he wanted leftovers to snack on all night!

All in all it turned out pretty good, but I'd like more of the crunchy cracker top crust next time. I think I'd like to bake it a little longer too, but SOMEone was demanding cheeeeeese. Since then it's been a lovely night filled with homemade tuna-mac, sweet Riesling, and season 2 of Lost. Hey, I might be behind the power curve on entertainment, but at least I don't have to wait a week between episodes!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Hoping to try and salvage some of the garden. I figured I would learn from my mistakes, and actually went out and bought some gravel for the replanting today. But... I didn't really want to buy a 10-pound bag of pea gravel, which also looked too big anyways. So instead I made a stop at the pet store and got a much smaller bag of unpainted aquarium rocks. I figure, close enough, right? So that will help with some of the drainage issues and over-watering I've been doing. I also put a little of the cactus/citrus mix between the gravel and the regular potting soil. Here's hoping it will make the peppers a little happier this time. I have one cayenne and nine jalapenos.

 Oh! And I found more sprouted garlic in my spice cabinet, so I'm trying to give those guys a better start--and hopefully not let the cat snack on them this time.

I'm also attempting to get some of the aloe "pups" to grow. I didn't read much about them besides "meh, they might sprout, put em in some dirt," so we'll see what happens.