Weary traveller

I just got back home (as of 5/24, when I first started writing this) after spending Wednesday through Friday at a user group conference in Portland, then Friday night until Sunday afternoon at the coast with my coworkers.

The conference seemed like a success, but the best part was getting to meet several of my coworkers who aren’t local and putting faces to the names of clients i’d been supporting. Everyone’s presentations went well, but it was my first user group conference, so I was kind of surprised that it felt like a big “lovefest” for the company I work for (environmental database management software).

I enjoyed interacting with all the attendees during the presentations and afterwards over drinks and dinner. When home, I tend to be a bit of a hermit, but I thrive in social situations too. I did feel the need to “escape” and recharge at the end of the conference.

Immediately after the conference on Friday, all my coworkers drove to the condo the Veep set us up with in Seaside. The person I rode with stopped to pick up cachaca for someone else and also purchased the best vodka I’ve ever tasted (Reyka, if you’re curious).

That first night the little condo was crammed with seven people in cots and sleeping bags, but most left around noon the following day. It was just Lala, Tammy and me for the rest of the time there. We spent our remaining time in Seaside lounging, perusing stores (Lala and I scored some cool hats), relaxing in the huge hot tubs while drinking.

The last day, we drove down to Cannon Beach to see Haystack Rock. It was fairly cloudy but we kicked off our shoes and strolled down the beach to the huge rock sticking out of the ground right on the coastline. It was much greener than the photos made it look and it was covered in birds. They all took off at once when a bald eagle and it’s young cruised by. Pretty impressive. Right as we headed back to drive home (and the airport for Tammy) the clouds let loose with the rain.

It was great having a big chunk of time with nowhere to be or noone needing anything from me.


Half a race

A friend of mine walked the half marathon here in Eugene last Sunday. It took her about four and a half hours to finish it. She worked hard, around a very busy schedule, to be able to. She challenged me to run it with her next year. I can’t say the idea appealed to me much, but now I’m starting to give it serious thought. Generally, I run a slowish 5K (3.1 miles) three times a week and run in the occassional 5K race held for charity. The thought of running for over two hours sounds really, really boring. I’m fairly sure I can get my middle aged body in good enough shape to do the run itself, but I am having a harder time imagining myself not getting bored to tears while doing it.
I have learned to cherish my morning runs as pure “me’ time. I usually listen to podcast while I run. My favorites while running are the Escape Artists trio: PodCastle, EscapePod and PseudoPod. It’s really to perfect time to listen to a story.
I suppose I could just get an audiobook or two to listen to as I work my way up in the length of my runs.
I suppose I will have to changed the way I eat at some point too. That, actually, might be the most difficult part. I love to eat and tend to overeat. I know nothng about eating healthy. This will take some research and discipline. Oi.
I think somewhere in writing this, I committed myself.

Free Comic Book Day

After a lovley Geek Brunch at Brail’s with lots of nerdy talk, Lala and I took Owen to Emerald City Comics to get his free comics. He chose a nice selection; including Spider-Man, Fraggle Rock, and The Tick. The last one was at my suggestion though.


Owen couldn’t wait to check them out.


I love comics and think they’re a fantistic medium. I’ve read them on and off for most of my life. It all started with a big box of comics my grandfather bought at someone’s yardsale when all of us grandchildren were under 10 years old or so. It had a huge variety of old comics. There were books aimed at little kids: Richie Rich, Little Dot, Archie, Hot Stuff, the Little Devil, Wendy the Good Little Witch, Casper the Friendly Ghost etc. And books aimed at the older kids: Superman, Batman, X-men, Spider-Man, The New Gods, Magnus Robot Fighter, etc. I read every single one many many times. We read them until they fell apart then we ttaped them back together and read them again.

I “collected” them for awhile in the early 90s but it was always really about the art and stories for me. I ended up practically giving my collection away when I moved out on my own. Now, I mostly read them in trade paperback collections or online. I hope my boy learns to love them like I did. I’ll be sure to give him plenty of opportunities.

Starting from scratch

So my original blog here died when I was updating it to the newest version of WordPress. I didn’t lose too much, however, since it had mostly just been gathering dust in a subfolder.
As much as I’ve liked 1and1.com and their hosting, they do NOT make it easy to upgrade. Their help desk’s support wasn’t particularly helpful with it either. It felt like I was getting the bare minumum effort. Working in tech support myself, it was easy to recognize. I would probably have just switched hosting providers but, to be honest, I purchased my domain through them as well and I’m not sure how to separate the two. Something I will need to learn, I guess. That and how to migrate this to a new server at some point.
The main reason I restarted the blog was that I was having so much fun being able to post via my Droid’s super cool WordPress app. (So many apps!) I like the ability to write here while I’m sitting idle someplace. Currently, that place is next to my 3 year old waiting for him to fall asleep, but I love the idea that I could blog from anywhere I have a signal (or just composing a post if I don’t).
I think I’d also like to add some kind of twitter widget and maybe a YouTube plugin. I don’t really have a goal for the blog other than to amuse myself.

So there you have it, a fresh start.