Archive for December, 2005

Bury The Lead

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

Last Thursday evening mom and Kim arrived at our place around 22:30 and we had a nice time hanging out and chatting into the night over some wine and crackers. This is the most family members I’ve hosted at once, so that was nifty. They left sometime Friday morning to head down to Long Beach.

Friday I got off work early (like, 11:30 early!), which was pretty cool. There’s a nice semi-official tradition around here of “early release” on the day before a holiday weekend. I think I watched some TV and played World of Warcraft a bit that day, but I don’t really recall. I do remember that I went to Chipotle (one of my favorite places to eat) to get a burrito to go, which was kind of a pain in the ass because of the frantic last-minute shopping going down at the mall.

Saturday, Megs and I drove down to Long Beach to visit with the grandparents and catch up with mom and the sibs. After some lunch with the Gallaghers, Kim, Matt, Megs, and I went to go see King Kong over at the Lakewood Mall movie theater. Mom, grandma, and grandpa went to a different theater to see Narnia, which Megs, Kim, and I had already seen. Kong was quite good, and I’d recommend it as an enjoyable and well-made movie to most folks who read this site.

Oh, and while I’m thinking about the site, I’d like to mention that I got the spell checker working just the way I like it. Now provided I remember to punch the new “Check Spelling” button before I post, this should be a much more readable experience. It was much harder than you might think to get it working, too. I had to set up a locally compiled version of a program called ‘aspell’ and then get Apache to see it and it’s shared libraries, which is hard cuz the local dev environment I SSH into has a different root than the filesystem that Apache can see. The downside of a shared server environment, I suppose. Anyways, due to some brilliant finagling on my part, it’s all working now, and I don’t have to throw the site into “high security mode”, which fixed it last time, but screwed up some other stuff, most notably it killed the REMOTE_USER variable, which I was using! girrr….

So yeah, where was I? Oh right. Saturday night…

After the movie, we all met up again for dinner at a local Chinese buffet place, which was quite tasty. A good variety of Chinese food, dim sum, American food, and a Mongolian grill. In attendance were myself, Megs, mom, Matt, Kim, grandma, and grandpa. My thanks to them again for the dinner.

After eating we all went back to the Gallagher household and hung out there for a bit until Megs and I went up to Burbank to pick up Uncle David at the airport. His flight was actually early, which was a nice change of pace for Megs and me. I hadn’t seen him since my trip to Colorado over a year ago, so it was good to catch up. He hadn’t been back to California in quite a few years, so I think he had a good time checking out the scenery. We drove him back to the Gallagher’s place and then Megs and I went to the Brunner’s for the night.

Sunday morning. Woke up, and felt fine. Took a shower, got dressed, church at 8. Gathered up Megs and Matt and we went over to meet the Gallaghers over at their church. So there’s me, Megs, mom, David, Matt, Kim, grandma, and grandpa all up there in the choir loft and the service gets underway. I stood up for the Gospel and felt terrible. Next thing I know I’m really confused and kind of uncomfortable as I try to regain feeling in my extremities and wonder why I’m lying down with everyone looking down at me. I’m telling them I’m all right and they’re telling me that the paramedics are on their way. I really did feel better compared to how I felt moments before when my arms and legs felt bad and I was totally disoriented, but they didn’t seem to believe me. Must be because I’d lost all pigment in my face and was sweating quite a lot.

So I’m lying there for a minute and my biggest worry is that I’ve made a scene at the Mass. Mom and Megan sound very concerned. I make it down out of the choir loft under my own power down to the crying room so I can lie down where it’s quiet; the room was empty. The paramedics arrive and while they’re checking me out I feel worse so they stick me in the ambulance and take me to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. Never ridden in an ambulance before, but I’m glad I retained my sun glasses because they have these bright lights on the ceiling.

Anyways, to make a long story a little shorter, I spent most of the remainder of December 25th in the E.R. intravenously sucking down five liters of saline. They hooked me up to no less than 21 different electrode sensors and those sticky little things hurt, like, A LOT to remove when you’re as…unshaven as I am. I almost made it out of there around 14:00, but I almost fainted again when I stood around for too long, so they kept me a few hours longer under observation and gave me more saline. Ended up leaving around 18:00 or something, I think. Managed to make it to the Gallaghers for presents and other such fun that evening, so all was not lost! I think my biggest regret of the entire ordeal is that I missed so much time that day I could have spent with family in a much more relaxing setting. Oh well, maybe next year.

Monday was over at the Brunner’s again for Boxing Day where there was more gift-giving, and even a bit of solid food on my part. My thanks to everyone for all the nice gifts this year! I was good to see you all.

OK, this entry has got to be one of my longest ever, so I’m gonna stop now. Merry Christmas, everyone! I feel much better now. =)

Holy Crap, Snow!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

So, just hours before we were about to fly out of Portland on Sunday it started to snow. We were downtown getting lunch with some of Megs’ family when it just started coming down. Light fluffy stuff, but it made the roads all slippery and our flight delayed by quite a bit. We ended up getting home at about 2:00 a.m. Monday morning, which was not part of the original plan.

Travel delays aside, it was good to spend some time up in Oregon with some of my soon-to-be in-laws. We hung out, we went shopping, we exchanged gifts, it was nice. I forget there’s actual weather in Oregon, so it was cold, cold, cold, cold, cold! Especially when compared to the mid-70’s it’s been down here. =)

Matt’s been staying at our apartment for the past couple of days and soon mom and Kim will be joining us for the night. Those two are somewhere in central California right now and driving south. We expect them between 21:00 and 22:00.

Oh, and many thanks to dad for giving Megs and me matching digital cameras for Christmas! The Konica-Minolta DiMAGE X1 is a sleek 8.1 megapixel (!) camera that is all things cool and shiny. I will be posting some photos up here just as soon as something cool enough happens to take pictures of. With Christmas fast approaching, I expect that will be soon.

Off Again

Friday, December 16th, 2005

Once again, Megs and I are flying up to Oregon for a brief stay.  We’re just going to be in Portland this time, so sorry folks in Eugene. =(

Most of the presents I bought online for folks this year has arrived, and I spent some time last night wrapping up stuff.  I look forward to seeing people when I get a chance to over the next couple of weeks.  Christmas is kinda spread out this year with some of it being in Oregon and some of it being in Long Beach, with us visiting family and family visiting us at various times.  Still, I am glad that I get a chance to see everyone, even if it’s not on the 25th.

Oh, and before I forget, we has our annual Walt Disney Internet Group Holiday Party the other night at the Sunset Strip House of Blues.  Lotta folks attended and it’s a neat venue that Megs and I had never been to before.  There was good food, open bar, music and dancing.  Since there were no scrolling arrows, I did not dance, but I did have fun watching some of my co-workers cut it loose down on the dance floor.  It’s fun to see folks outside of work in a social setting from time to time.

When We Go Shopping

Monday, December 12th, 2005

Since we’re going to be out of town next weekend, Megs and I figured we needed to do the bulk of our Christmas shopping last weekend.  We hit up the Glendale Galleria, the Burbank Empire Center, and Burbank Media Center.  Three good-sized shopping areas and boy were we tired.  I bought only a couple things while we were out, whereas Megs brought home quite a few bags.  After getting back on Saturday I hit up the Internet and did most of my Christmas shopping in about half an hour at my computer.  Did I mention I was glad our Internet is working again?

On Friday Megs and I went to go see the Narnia movie, and I must say it was quite good.  Very true to the book and the effects were so amazing I hardly noticed them.  Well, that’s not true, but you get my point.  Was it wrong that when the centaur stabbed his two swords into a baddie and then drew a two-handed sword to continue fighting, I immediately thought of different spec’d warriors in World of Warcraft?  Probably.

I’m figuring that most of my readers have lost the use of their limbs and thus cannot post any comments, so my heart goes out to you.  It’s good of you to continue reading as my logs show, yet the alure of comment-posting always beyond your grasp must be hard to bear.  Stay strong, my friends.  Oh and Shelby, as my only comment-poster for the month of December thus far, you get a gold star!

Christmas Time is Here

Friday, December 9th, 2005

So it seems that Christmas is creeping up on us, so Megs and I are planning on going out shopping this weekend. Yes, we will be braving the legendary malls of Southern California, specifically the Burbank Town Center Mall.  We might also hit up the local Westfield and/or Galleria.  So many malls to choose from!  Now we just need to decide what we’re going to be getting everyone.  I think everyone I know will just get nice socks and be done with it.

This week was fairly normal, Cable Day aside.  I learned from my downstairs neighbor when a good time to play DDR is, so now I can do that again without fear of a broom handle banging on my floor, which is nice.  I’ve been playing the new DDR Extreme 2 game for PS2 trying to unlock some songs.  They make it annoying and hard with the new game, which is too bad.  You have to go through all these pre-determined challenges and score points.  After defeating certain stages in this mode, a "new item" will be available in the "shop" for me to buy with my "points" I’ve been earning.  I liked it better when you just got more songs automatically after playing for a long time.  Still, the game itself is good and there’s some fun songs on there.

Work’s been keeping me busy this week.  We had three new people start on Monday, which means three new computers to configure and deploy.  I’m getting scary good/fast at this.  We had a machine arrive at the Burbank receiving dock yesterday morning and I had it deployed this afternoon.  This is a new record on both the facilities/I.T. turnaround point of view, and on my end with the configuration.  The hardest part was lugging the damn heavy thing around.  HP makes some good solid workstations with actual metal, not that light aluminum stuff.

Watched both this and last week’s episodes of The O.C. last night.  We missed it last week due to a lack of cable, so I had to acquire it manually.  I wonder how they’re going to handle all the kids leaving Orange County for college next year?  Looks like Seth and Summer are lined up for Brown in Rhode Island and Ryan and Marissa are heading for Berkeley.  How will we have our crazy plot lines now if they’re all separated out like that?  I can’t believe Johnny got hit by that car right after making the surf team, thus leading him to spend time with Marissa and confess his love to her.  Looks like some intense moments for next week’s annual Chrismaka episode!  A lot of shows are in hiatus for the Christmas holidays, so all we have left is The O.C., Arrested Development (crazy fun!  love this unfortunately doomed show), and The West Wing.  Gilmore Girls, Lost, and Desperate Housewives appear to be on break until January.  Prison Break won’t be back until March!  Will our guys ever get out of the storage room now that the corroded pipe has been replaced?  Will Veronica come through with a last-minute save through the courts and the media?  How far does this conspiracy reach?

OK, enough TV talk.  Is anyone still out there?  I’ve received very few comments lately.

Can’t Stop the Signal

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

Our cable is back!  Yay!  I hereby proclaim today to be "Cable Day", a day of celebration and merriment!  I believe I’ll spend it online and/or watching Comedy Central.  So, here’s what it turns out happened:

Late last week, our downstairs neighbor got a new cable drop put into his bedroom closet so he could have cable in there.  Whoever set this up for him didn’t realize that the cable going up into his closet wall went to our apartment unit, because they cut us off, quite literally.  After securing all the rights to have the cable guy get into the guys apartment to find and fix this problem, it turns out he was home at the time anyways, which was nice.  Took about a minute to fix once it came down to it.  Anyways, after hooking us back up and testing the line up in our place, it seems we have even stronger signal than before, and this might explain why we had about half what we should in the past.  I bet that our neighbor found some cable in his closet, thought it was for his service and split off of it for the back room, which cut our signal strength in half.  Later, when something changed (maybe he paid for HBO or something), he had a tech come out to figure out why it wasn’t working in the bedroom and they thought that whoever was at the other end of the split he had created was stealing cable and cut us off!

Anyways, we’re back in business now, so Happy Cable Day, everyone!

No Internet and No TV Makes Chris something, something…

Monday, December 5th, 2005

…Go crazy!  Ahh!  I really dislike being stuck home all weekend with no cable TV and no Internet.  Especially when I have a cold.  Gah!  I couldn’t even post this entry until I got to work today.  Here’s the latest breakdown on the situation:

Seems like the cable is physically broken somewhere between my apartment and the cable distro box.  The problem with this is that the cable runs through a shared wall with three of my neighbors (side, down, and side-down), so in order to trace the break, the cable guy needs to have access to these units.  I managed to get permission from everyone over the weekend, so I’m gonna have facilities key into the apartments tomorrow when Adelphia needs to check it out.  Should go down sometime tomorrow between 10 and 12.  I had to coordinate the appointment with Adelphia with (un)available times of my neighbors and with the facilities guy at request of my building manager.  That’s seven different people who need to be in the loop and on the same page on this.  I really hope it all comes together all right.  On the plus side, I now know three of my neighbors and have secured a good time to play DDR without bothering the old lady who lives below me.  Basically whenever her caretaker isn’t there, because the old lady can barely hear and her caretaker is the one who’s been banging on the ceiling.  So, a little ray of sunshine there.

Been crazy busy here at work.  Got a few new people who start this week, so I’ve been busy getting PC’s ready and all that.  We’ve run out of cubical space in our area, so we’re setting up temporary spaces along walls near relatively open areas.

OK, back to work.  Leave comments.  Check out the wedding blog.  It’s matrimonious good fun!


Friday, December 2nd, 2005

It would seem that Megs and I have a cold.  It may be strep throat or tonsillitis or something, but we’ll live.  I still feel crappy, but not totally useless.  I’m at work right now because a) I have stuff that needs doing here, and b) the cable is out at home, and being sick with no TV and no Internet is more than I can bear.

In other news, for those of you who haven’t, go check out the wedding blog.  There was a bug there which was throwing an error when people posted comments, but it’s fixed now.  Share and enjoy!

And speaking of sharing, I’ve updated the ol’ Christmas List again, in case anyone cares.  I feel like such a tool pimping my own wish list, but people have been asking me about it.

Tonight at 20:00 Megs and I are going to meet with the Nun at the church to discuss our FOCUS test results.  I admit I’m kind nervous about it, but I suppose there’s nothing to worry about.  It’s more a conversation piece for Megs and I to talk over, from what I understand of this process.  Still, it seems like something that can be draining, and I’m feeling very low stamina right now. =P

Wedding Blog Online

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

I have created a wedding blog and information site that Megs and I will both be posting at over the next 8 months or so until the Big Day.  It can be found at, so please go check it out and leave a comment to let us know what you think.  I’m rather pleased with the simplicity of the site, myself. =)

In other news, I think I might be getting a sore throat.  Seems to be going around…