Location: Salinas, CA
Age: 40
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"Only two things are infinite--the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt

"I'm not as think as you confused I am." Someone, somewhere, at some time

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Saturday, July 07, 2007
More than meets the eye

Transformers, the movie, is out now. Thumbs up. Way up. 'Nuff said. Go see it. Heck, if for nothing else than the eye candy. Meaning the special effects. Well, that and the spectacularly gorgeous Megan Fox and Rachael Taylor. But even without them it'd still get a thumbs up.

Sunday, July 01, 2007
Only the important stuff

As you have no doubt noticed, I've been blogging a lot less lately. Part of it is due to time. Or, rather, the lack thereof. Between work and school and trying to have something resembling a life, blogging is low down on the priority scale. As such, I've obviously taken to only blogging about the important stuff. Well, and random snippets of garbage when I get a chance. But today is more about the former.

Today marks two very important anniversaries. First and foremost is that today is my folks' anniversary. As in, their wedding anniversary. Forty years ago today (damn, I hope I got that number right . . . might be 39) Mom & Dad said "I do" to each other. So please welcome me in wishing them the happiest of anniversaries. Oh, and if you have any suggestions on a gift I could get them, lemme know.

Second and almost as foremost is that today marks the 12th anniversary of the most joyous day in doggydome. For today is the Dunc-man's birthday. Hard to believe it's been yet another year. So again, I ask that you join me in well-wishing. And please feel free to send doggie treats, toys or a cheesecake. Duncan would love it.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The doctor I saw on Wednesday about the problems I've been having is a bit of a moron. Three weeks ago my regular doc referred me to him. After his initial exam, he essentially said "Gee, I dunno what's wrong. Take these meds and see me again in 3 weeks." Wednesday he essentially said "Gee, the meds didn't do anything? I'm stumped. Just take pain meds whenever you need it and maybe it'll fix itself." Yes, I'm searching for another doc.
Wanna know one of the many things I love about my current job? Overtime's not mandatory. If it's available, it's my choice to work it or not, and whether I want extra pay or comp time. Right now, I can decide on a day-by-day basis whether or not I want to work extra. Such a pleasant change from the completely unpaid 20-40 hours of forced overtime I used to put in.
"I came here to chew bubble gum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubble gum." That's currently stuck in my head. Don't ask why. You don't want to know why. And if you know what that's from, then you'll know why you don't want to know why.
One of the "regular" girls came into the office the other day to drop off some paperwork. Emily was away from her desk, but her radio was playing. While the "regular" was waiting for me to process the paperwork & return her copies, she commented . . . "My God, does Emily really subject you to this garbage?"

"Sometimes," I respond. "It's been on this station all day."

"Well, it could be worse," she says. "She could be playing this." She picks up a Jackyl CD off Emily's desk and holds it up.

"Um, actually, that's mine. Emily said she'd never heard of them."

I think she hurt herself laughing.
I'm currently dog sitting for my folks. Every time I dog sit for them, Sammi (their dog) is guarantee that she'll puke on my carpet at least once.
I think I mentioned that I have a window seat at work. Not much of a view (unless you count the frequent lookers who wander past) but entertaining at times. Most the view is occupied by another building. The building in view is currently under construction, so completely closed off. I can see one of the main doors from my desk. There's red "DANGER" tape all around (though not actually blocking the door, since construction workers periodically use it). There's a GIGANTIC notice on the door stating the building is closed. I can't tell you how many people walk up to the door, stop, stare at the notice for several seconds as if reading it, then try to open the door anyway. When they realize it's locked, they read the notice again. Then try the door again just for good measure.
I caught my neighbor last night throwing bones & leftover bbq over my fence. I've suspected for quite some time that they've been tossing parts of their garbage into my yard, but had no proof. Last night, while going out to check on Sammi (who'd been outside an unusually long time) I saw a hand pop over the fence & heard several small yet hard objects hit the concrete. As soon as I made my presence known, I heard running feet & the slam of a door. Turning on a light, I saw copious amounts of bones & meat under where the hand had been. So, I tossed it back over. I need to find a new place to live. One that doesn't have assholes for neighbors.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Day 6

Our final full day was a in many ways a bust, but in others not bad. Our original plan was to detour far into Germany and visit a particular town (the name of which escapes me currently) in order to see a museum dedicated to Medieval Crime & Punishment before heading up to Frankfurt for the night & catching our flight the next day. Unfortunately, after looking over the map, and judging our progress to the "turn off point", it was decided that the detour would be much too far. So, we headed straight towards Frankfurt.

Schloss Auerbach interiorAlong the way, we saw a few signs for Schloss Aurbach, so opted to check it out while we stopped off for lunch. The Schloss is yet another castle (no, I did not get tired of seeing them) that is fairly well preserved. Not fully restored, nor are tours offered, yet still a robust tourist attraction that can be explored. So, needless to say, we were impressed. And the waitress at the restaurant was rather impressive as well, with very cute, um, assets. Something I happened to notice at that point in the journey is that nose studs seem to be very popular in that region, with around 1 in 4 of the women ages 18-35 sporting one. But I digress.

Upon arrival in (or, rather, outside) Frankfurt, we found the hotel, got settled in, then my brother and I headed off in search of some absinthe. Well, actually, my brother was in search of absinthe . . . I was just the driver. You see, absinthe is apparently not available in the US, and my brother had somewhat promised his girlfriend that he'd bring a bottle back. We found a spirit house in Strassbourg that had some, but my bro insisted that it wasn't good quality stuff. And, of course, we couldn't locate any in the small villages we traveled through on the rest of our journey. So there we were, on a Saturday afternoon, wandering around the outskirts of Frankfurt looking for a spirit house/liquor store. Which, we discovered, don't stay open after 3:00pm on Saturdays. And aren't open at all on Sundays. All I could say was, "HAHA!" As such, my poor bro failed to go home with his desired bottle of absinthe.

Saturday, June 02, 2007
Day 5

Okay, I'm feeling a touch better today . . . good news was that it's not bronchitis. Bad news is that both ears are infected & my sinuses are severely infected. But, drugs are doing their job. So, back to the story.

Our last full day in France, we decided to make it a "Dumbach-la-Ville Day". One of the wineries my cousins own operates a small tour tram that gives a ride through the village once or twice a week. So, we tagged along on that. Of course, the tour was conducted in German, so much was lost in the translation. But once again my brother's limited German along with the kindness of some English speaking others helped out. As a side note, it is something I found rather pleasing & interesting is that more than once, complete strangers would see that we were having trouble with translations or finding things and offer assistance--it's not a common occurrence here in the States, such kindness.

Dumbach is a lovely little village, with many of the buildings dating back to the 17th century. And of course, it's surrounded by the beautiful green of the vineyards. After the tram, we got a personal tour of one of the wineries, including watching part of the bottling process. Then we spent some time at the other winery (run by the other generation of cousins) which included, surprisingly, the coolest experience of the trip. Now, I think I mentioned before that I'm not much of a wine drinker. And I'm even less of a wine taster, having never been to a tasting. But, getting to sample some Gewurztraminer straight out of the barrel, before it's ever seen the inside of a bottle . . . well, that was just fun. It's something that I bet most experienced wine tasters never get to do.

Dambach from Chateau du Bernstein towerAfterwards, we got a short foot tour of some parts of the village, including the house where my Great Grandmother lived (still owned by the family, though not currently occupied). My brother and I then opted to take a rather tiring trek up into the hills to visit the ruins overlooking the town. It took us about an hour to make the hike up to the Chateau de Bernstein. Every village around the area seemed to have similar ruins in the hills above, so the natural conclusion we had is that these were the remains of the local feudal lords' homes. Anyhow, Bernstein is decently maintained & preserved, and includes a staircase to the top of the higher tower. From here, you get a fabulous view of the town & entire valley . . . one which is not done justice by the picture here.

We finished up the day having dinner with the cousins again. As before, the food was wonderful, and the wine flowed freely. I think I staggered fairly well on the walk back to where we were staying. Despite my protests, my cousin's husband would not let my wine glass get below half full lol. Truly, I think I've fallen in love with Dumbach, and half want to move there . . . even if it means having to pick grapes for a living.

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