Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just Do It

That's what my gorgeous wife and I decided this weekend, so we booked our flight to Japan.

Six nights in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo, known for it's many department stores (imagine a Macy's that's 7 stories high, with two more floors underground), and also conveniently near the red-light district. Oh yeah.

We'll be hiking Mt. Fuji (pictured above), visiting some friends that I made on my last visit, and eating, eating, eating.

It may not be the most fiscally responsible decision we've made in our lives, but hey, you only live once.

This will be my 3rd trip there - one tour with a big band and one business trip - of which only a day or two out of 18 was spent actually sight-seeing. It will be incredible to explore the city. Plus, it will be my dear wife's first trip of the continent!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

Sleeping in an extra hour this morning and ditching the first few hours of work to enjoy a breakfast burrito with my good buddy Uncle Matty. That's not the guilty pleasure part though...that was just fun. The guilty pleasure was the extra cheese and hot sauce on the burrito....oh yeah.

Update 1:30pm

Apparently, the guys at TMZ.com caught my buddy going for a post-breakfast burrito ice cream at B&R. Guess the burrito wasn't guilty enough, huh?

Click here to see the juicy photo.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Window Memorials

I know people grieve in different ways, and that's o.k., but am I the only one who thinks the windshield memorial is a little bizarre?

Every time I see one (which is more and more often), I first wonder if the person being memorialized is looking down from heaven, full of satisfaction knowing that he/she will be remembered forever...or at least until the lease on the car runs out.

The next thing is I do some quick math to see how old that person was when they passed away. My remorse for that person is inversely related to the number of years lived (i.e. a 5 year old = tragic, 99 year old = maybe it was his time/he certainly lived a long life). Bonus remorse points for any sports team number or club affiliation - it's tough to lose a 3rd basemen unexpectedly.

Then I wonder why we as a society don't memorialize people while they are alive. I would enjoy seeing my name on my wife's, or anyone else's, back windshield while I was alive to enjoy it. It could have my name and birthday (to help people remember) and just leave the date of passing blank. But why stop there? Why not put a flower vase in the trunk? If that person is deserving of a custom label, they certainly deserve fresh cut flowers every morning.

Come to think of it, there are many possibilities in this realm. Many folks already have their family tree on the lower left hand corner of the mini-van. Why not use the whole back windshield? Little Jimmy's off to college? He goes to the upper left hand corner. Paws Skaggs, the family cat, goes to the great beyond? Upper right side (a.k.a. Heaven). That rich uncle who served on the board of a giant tobacco conglomerate passes on? He moves to the exhaust pipe (a.k.a....well you get the picture).

I guess I shouldn't talk - I had an "I Love Milk" bumper sticker on my car for years.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm trying...

...to make something of the next three months. School starts in August, and it seems like it can't come soon enough. I work out here and there, read a book here and there, but it all feels like treading water waiting for the impending storm.

Some have said to enjoy the last few months of your life, while others have said to read up on some things to get a head start.

I guess there's nothing wrong with treading water, right? At least it beats drowning!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Photoblogging Monday

It's amazing how fast a week goes. I get back into writing every day, then next thing you know a week has gone by with nary a post.

This weekend was super - filled with jets, friends, basset hounds and a great day with Mom.

Today's photo comes from Descanso Gardens, looking up the stream to the Japanese Tea House, which, by the way, serves my most favorite soda of all time, Melon Cream Soda.

Tea House

Monday, May 05, 2008

Photoblogging Monday!

A nice thing about living in Palmdale is every now and then your house gets buzzed by a B-2 Stealth Bomber.

I was out mowing the lawn when it took off from Palmdale Airport. I heard a rumble and turned to see a thin black line coming up over the hills by my house. It then banked and displayed it's signature bat-like shape to me. The B-2 leveled out again and was gone before I knew it.

I have 2 observations - first, the stealth bomber may be invisible to radar, but you can hear it coming from miles away. Second, looking up in the sky and seeing one flying when you don't expect it can make you soil yourself. I mean, having one fly over a parade or a sporting event is one thing, but to have something like that fly over while you're doing menial housework is another.

So in honor of our multi-billion dollar flying beast, here is this week's photo (with a Russian MiG flying in the background):

B-2 Spirit

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Here's To You Uncle Don!

Things hit you at the strangest times.

Last night I went out to dinner with my gorgeous wife and her parents out in Tehachapi. Don't know where Tehachapi is? Draw a line between the middle of nowhere (aka Bakersfield) and Egypt (aka Barstow) and exactly half-way in between lies Tehachapi.

Lest, I digress - I have this strange quirk where I have to order a chicken fried steak (or country fried, depending on the part of town you're from), whenever I eat at a new diner-type restaurant. You know, the type that calls it 'supper' instead of dinner, or uses terms like 'with all the fixin's'.

Ordering that entree at a new eatery is always risky because some places use the worst cuts of meat, pound the crap out of it, then fry it and cover it with gravy to conceal the evidence.

Even though I've been eating healthy, I walked into that diner knowing that I was going to get a chicken fried steak. It was the largest steak I had ever seen, accompanied by mashed potatoes, gravy and corn. I cleaned my plate long after everyone else had finished, giving them time to box up the leftovers and pay the bill. I was still hungry and there was some gravy bits left on the plate so I thought I'd mop those up with a piece of garlic bread.

The in-law's had already doggie-bagged up the garlic bread so there was none to be had, leaving that leftover gravy to sit and go to waste, something I'd never done before. I guess I was visibly upset at this because my mother-in-law asked me what was wrong. That's when it hit me...

My Uncle Don shared that same chicken fried steak quirk with me, and at family meals he always ate everything on his plate and had to have a roll/biscuit/slice of bread to mop up the remaining bits of sauce. If there were none to be had, he would get upset. He passed away a few years ago after a brave battle with cancer. For such a remarkable guy, it's nice to know that some of his lesser-known quirks will be carried on.