Friday, August 31, 2007

And my friends wonder why I don't want to go to Burning Man anymore

It's been a long-standing joke at Burning Man to suggest that someone set The Man ablaze before the sanctioned Burn Night. Well, guess what?

That's The Man burning early. Somebody set him on fire late Monday night/early Tuesday morning. Never fear, Burners, the Burning Man LLC has constructed a new one and put it in the original's place. Honestly, I'm surprised they haven't just built an extra one every year and kept it around just in case. The police arrested the premature igniter, Paul Addis, for arson.

Yes, that's his mugshot (with a little LOLCats-style text added on). Also, reports say Addis hung a pair of silver testicles on The Man back in '97. [nostalgia mode on] That was the first year I attended Burning Man, and I remember a certain someone staggering back into camp, really intoxicated, railing about this travesty and how he spent a good amount of time jumping up and trying to use various instruments to remove said testicles. [nostalgia mode off]

Apparently, some burners have been so upset by the early burning that they left. God save me from such drama queens. Others have hailed Addis' stunt as the ultimate Burning Man prank, and have raised funds to bail him out and pay for his legal defense.

And, in more depressing news, some guy committed suicide at Burning Man. Always, somebody has to be an idiot and do something to get killed or seriously injured and bum everybody out.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Trying to find center

With the wife and kid gone to Ocean Shores, I was free from parental duties last night. I certainly didn't want to stay home, either. I endeavoured to visit from friends, but most were working, not feeling well, unreachable, or busy. So I was at loose ends and had to figure out how to spend my evening without getting bummed out.

Inspired by a thread recently started on the Brass Goggles Steampunk Forum, I decided to head toward Seattle and go to Gasworks Park, one of my favorite places in the city. I stopped at Dick's and got a burger and shake on the way, naturally (one of the many things I love about Seattle: you can say, "I'm craving some Dick's" and still be secure in your heterosexuality). I have been feeling uncentered lately, not myself. Gasworks always reminds me of good times and a younger, crazier me. I figured it was just the thing I needed.

When I reached Gasworks, it was pretty much dark already. I started to park on the uphill side street we used to always park on, but there was a good deal of glass from broken windows that spoke of recent car break-ins. I decided to park on the main street in a well-lit area instead. The park was still open, so I could have parked in the actual lot, but I am conditioned never to do that due to the many late-night visits of the "old days" when I would have gotten a ticket for parking there after the park was closed.

As I strolled into the park, a flood of memories washed over me. It had been awhile since I had been to Gasworks. I love it there. So many good times, so many memories of lazy nights and sunrises. There were a ton of people at the park, mostly teenagers enjoying the last gasp of summer. For awhile, I feared I was the oldest in the park, until I ran across some other adults. It made me feel old anyway.

I walked past the gasworks, admiring their heavy industrial beauty, and climbed up Sundial Hill as I always have. I walked past young couples lieing in the grass making out - each time I would look away out of respect, even though I remember not caring who might see when I did that myself. One of the wonderful things about love is sometimes you can shut out the rest of the world when you're together.

Reaching the top of the hill, I strolled to the back side of it and looked down, seeing in my head the images of myself and my friends rolling down it like a bunch of little kids. People often thought we were high or something, but we were just having fun. After standing there a couple of minutes, I walked across the sundial and sat down to just stare at the city lights for awhile. I still contend it is the best possible view of the city at night.

And I was right...sitting there, I found myself moving just a bit more toward center. Things felt a little more right. I felt at peace while I was there.

Eventually, I decided it was late enough that I ought to get home. I started to walk back to my car. In front of the covered climbing toys sat a group of teenage girls. "Hey! How are you doing?" one asked as I passed.

"Good," I said. "You girls having fun tonight?"

"Yeah!" one said. "Except that these heels are killing me!" She was sitting barefoot next to a pair of red four-inch heels and wearing a short skirt. This made me feel even older.

"They'll do that to ya," I said. "Every day, I'm thankful I'm a guy. Sorry." I shrugged, they laughed. "Have a good night!" I said as I walked away.

"You too!" came the reply, with more giggling, until some other old guy walked past them - "Hey! How are you doing?" they said to him. I just smiled to myself.

Out on the street, as I walked to my truck, a Mini Cooper passed me by, reminding me that my wife was gone and I'd be sleeping alone. I don't do that well. I turn into a whiny wuss when I have to sleep alone. Oh well, I figured it was late and I'd be tired enough to sleep by the time I got home. I was right again...I conked out as soon as I laid down.

Still sucked though. I'm impatient for Friday when I get to see her.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Inspection passed

Well, our buyers have waved inspection, so the last two hurdles to jump are the "Covenants and restrictions", which I'm sure they will be ok with, and financing, which is looking good. We are in the home stretch of selling our house.

Saturday was a tiring day of running around looking at rental houses. We found one we really like and are hoping desperately to get. I just dropped off the application this afternoon. It's a funky house on 5 acres just off the Issaquah-Hobart road. And it has a hot tub!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We have a winner!

Finally got an offer on our house last night. Went and signed the paperwork today to accept the offer. Now just have to jump the hurdles of inspection, appraisal, and closing.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Blog Necromancy

There are a couple of blogs on my lists to the right that were thought to be dead, but seem to have returned from the grave.

First off, there's Billy Ocean, Student Council Treasurer, the collaborative and random effort of wiwille, myself, and some cohorts from work/used to be from work (willtuck, nhak, and zooloo). If you've never checked out the unmitigated awesomeness that is BOSCT, take some time to do so now.

Second, there's Customer Service Hell. A recent post indicates that it is back for now, but will soon be a truly dead blog.

Hooray for raising blogs from the dead! It's as if John Dee himself took an interest in blogging.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

My kid is more metal than your kid

So, I have a hookup on my car stereo for my iPod, and that's pretty much what I listen to when I'm driving. My six-year-old would frequently ask to hear certain songs that he knew were on my iPod, but it's really hard to search for a specific song from the stereo's interface. So I created a playlist just for him. No Rafi here; my kid listens to rock'n'roll.

So now pretty much whenever he's in the truck, he asks to listen to his playlist (yes, he uses that terminology, "my playlist"). One day last week, I was bringing him home from daycare and he's in the back rocking out to a song on his playlist (I think it was Radar Gun by the Bottlerockets). After I got out and opened his door, he jumped out and threw the horns. Both hands up above his head, throwin the horns like he was Ozzy Osbourne.

Yep, that's my kid. Couldn't deny it if I tried.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I'm a comic! (strip, that is)

If you've talked to me recently, you probably know of my current fascination with poker. Particularly the current popular favorite variety No-limit Texas Hold 'Em ("the Cadillac of poker"), although I'm finding 7 card stud is a better game. I play pretty much weekly, and have also taken up playing (free) tournaments online.

As with most things I get into, thoughts about poker keep bleeding over into parts of life where they don't belong. So last week, I was getting on an elevator to go the 3rd floor, and pushed the button for such. Friend Taaminara was going to the 2nd floor, so I pushed the button for her. Three other guys got on the elevator, and said they needed 5 and 6. I pushed said buttons. After looking at the buttons for a second, I said, "I must be playing too much poker because all I can think is, I need a four for the straight." This got a chuckle.

I decided to send this little anecdote to the author of +EV, a webcomic I always read that revolves around a small time pro poker player and his obsession with the game. He used the idea and ran the strip today, with a credit to me in his blog. Thanks Bobby!

Of course, I'm not the only one with the poker obsession. The missus is quickly becoming quite the card shark. She too has been playing in the weekly game, and tournaments online. The site we've been playing on (Ultimate Bet) has some Aruba promo tournaments going. Last night, she came in 30th in the free event (out of about 5000), qualifying her for the semi-finals tournament on Saturday. If she places within the top 100 in that event, she gets into the monthly final with a chance to win one of 50 seats for the 2007 Aruba Classic. One can also pay to get into the final tournament, but we aren't playing with money online. So I'm rootin' for her! And, of course, playing in the free tournaments to try to get my own seat as well.

Mattbear's all-in, baby!