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Below are the 16 most recent journal entries recorded in 95th percentile height, 25th percentile weight's LiveJournal:

Sunday, March 8th, 2009
9:14 pm
Number five
It's been quite a while and this past Thursday was my latest appointment. It's tough to plan the sessions out when I have to fly down to San Jose to see my tattoo artist, who is routinely booked 6 months in advance. I really like the results though so I'll keep it up for what should be 2 more sessions.

So I flew down to San Jose on Wed. night for my appointment Thursday afternoon. I had a 1pm - 7pm appointment, but 6 booked hours has in the past usually turned into 3.5 - 4 hours under the needle. One thing or another will slow progress. My Artist is casual about the schedule and isn't the kind of guy to sit down and power through 6 straight hours with a tattoo machine in his hand non-stop.

When I got there, I caught up with Ron for a minute and then he looked at my leg and we talked about colors. We'd started with a green/purple theme and I wanted to move out to some brighter colors in the mix. I didn't want a rainbow going up my leg or anything, but a hotter center in the middle of my leg with some yellow and white that made the middle section sort of "fit into" the bottom portion sounded good to me. Ron had some pretty good ideas and after talking to him for a bit and thinking about his suggestions I was happy with the decision we came to surrounding color. My problem is that I'm not good at visualizing what I'd like the finished product to look like so I didn't have many suggestions. Ron on the other hand, having spent thousands of hours coloring in Biomechanical tattoos, had some good ideas.

It's been11 months since my last session and I've totally forgotten what the pain feels like so right out of the gate (after he shaved my leg and got his colors ready) I was surprised how much it hurt. He started low on my leg and worked his way up. The first 15 minutes was pretty hard to take but then while he was doing the middle of my leg and calf someone turned the pain volume way down and it was just a mild annoyance. I talked with Ron for the next 2 hours while he worked on my leg. It was interesting to hear about what he's been going through in his personal life with his band and other hobbies. As he started to get higher on my leg the pain came right back into focus. The tattoo only goes up about 2" from the back of my knee but coloring that part felt like he was cutting the back of my knee out with a hot rusty nail. That section along with the front of my shin were the worst bits. The last 45 minutes were pretty much spent trying to concentrate on breathing and counting the seconds that each burst of color took. Even the young woman at the station next to me with her shirt off getting an upper-body tattoo was no distraction.

Ron wanted to get to band practice by 7 so I was happy to wrap up at 6:45. With the amount of pain he was dealing out I was very happy to stop after 4 solid hours of tattooing. The result is that most of the outside of my leg is done and I'm looking at probably two more 4 hour sessions. I'm totally impressed with the work, it's better than I thought it would turn out so far.

Pictures to follow:

Current Mood: tired
Thursday, April 17th, 2008
9:55 pm
Session Four
I managed to save up enough vacation time to take a whopping 4 days off so that I could fly back to the SF Bay Area to see friends / their new babies and experience a few hours of pain with my tattoo artist Ron. The black line work and shading was all done so it was time to decide what color(s) to start with. Several times I'd thought to just leave it black and gray only. I really like the way it looks with just the black, but I really like colorful things in general. The problem that I run into is that I don't think I'm very artistic. I know what I like and especially what I don't like, but I'm not good at deciding what color/pattern would look good. When I bought a custom made road bike 2 years ago, the hardest part for me was actually deciding on the color. I went with a transparent dark green and I'm still not sure that I love the color. I can always have the bike stripped and repainted or just leave it un-painted. That's no so easy with tattoos.

When I got to San Jose and parked, I had to walk around and find the studio that they'd recently moved into. I ran into Ron outside and he looked at my leg and we started talking about colors. He had a few examples of other colorful work that he'd done on blown up photos inside the studio as well as pictures in his photo album. I've been mulling over colors here and there for the better part of 6 months. Nothing serious though. Mostly just looking at color combinations wondering "will this work?" or thinking "no, that's no good". I thought about red and green (too xmas-y), blue/orange (not quite right together), a blend of reds, oranges, yellows and white to look like something white-hot was glowing nearby to light up the design. The other thing I looked at was a back piece that Ron had done in purple and green. I thought that the glowing idea would be too hard to pull off well for a bio piece and would have some dark dead sections. I really liked the purple and green. It's not a very common color combination and I like both colors. It's somewhat simple and the red gems (eyes?) would stand out well against both colors.

Ron shaved my leg as usual and we started. He prefaced the session by saying "I'll start at the bottom and get the most painful part out of the way first." I don't know if the bottom is more painful than the top, maybe just by a hair. It all hurts, but running over my ankles was the part when I stopped talking for a minute to just breathe. I kept telling myself that it's just rattling my ankle bones around and not hurting. I almost believed it. Ron said that he wanted to make a layering effect with the bottom section of the tattoo be it's own layer and the other areas stand out with as much depth as he could draw into the piece. I don't totally know what he's thinking but I like the way it's starting to look. There are 4 or 5 different shades of green in the area that he did and he even got to some red background and one of the lower jewel/eyeballs.

Being a Friday night, Ron didn't have a ton of time to spend tattooing. A friend of his came by about 2 hours into the session and chatted with Ron and I. She seemed really nice but had no tattoos herself. It seemed odd that she'd come hang out in a tattoo studio where everyone in the place had (or was getting) large tattoos when she was petite and pretty with clean skin. After a little over 3 hours Ron said that he was done with what he could do for the day. I was happy to be done with the pain but I could have done another hour or two. It was probably wise to stop when we did as he had finished the bottom section that he wanted to get done and if he had started on anything higher up, he would have had a hard time matching the colors the next time I came in

I'm very happy with the way it looks so far, but it's just starting to peel so it'll be a bit lighter than the photos show. With the green, purple and white, the sections on the outside of my leg look great. I'm also very happy with the red sections he added. The downside is that I'll have to wait a few months to get back for another session with him. I'm going on 15 months since I started the first outlines for this tattoo. I want to get it finished but living in Washington adds another layer of difficulty onto the process. The other thin that I need to consider is that the next sessions need to be longer sessions so that he has time to finish large sections of the piece instead of having to come back to something that's half-done and try to match colors. Long sessions are harder to book (for an artist who's booked 4 months in advance), harder to plan time off for, and at $150/hr + tip cost quite a bit more. I think I could finish the whole thing in maybe 10 more hours if I can split that into 2 longer sessions.

So I learned that color takes quite a bit longer than black work, and that it either doesn't hurt as much or I'm getting better at tolerating it. I wasn't nearly as amped up with adrenaline after the session as I was after the last 3 sessions. The pores hurt the next couple of days and the hair growing in is a bit touchy, but overall not that bad.

Now for the photos, all taken either the next day or 3 days after:

Inside of my leg
Front of my leg with the red eye / jewel
Back of my leg
Outside of my leg

Current Mood: happy
Sunday, October 21st, 2007
8:53 pm
Last year when I was in Washington visiting my wife's family I saw signs near my in-laws' house advertising the annual Lutefisk dinner. I wanted to see what it was about as I couldn't believe that there existed an event where fish preserved with Lye was the focus. I brought it up with my wife and she said that the event was sold out! Now that I'm living in Washington I caught on a little earlier and made it to this year's dinner which was last night.

I already knew a little bit about Lutefisk from watching it being made on Alton Brown's show Feasting On Asphalt. They didn't show any good close-up shots of the fish, nor did he or his crew care for it much. I wanted to see for myself the spectacle of the event and find out if I had the stomach to eat the stuff. We arrived at about 5pm and found out that the place was packed. There is a large Scandinavian population in the area so the annual Lutefisk dinner is quite popular with the baby boomers and their parents. We had to wait 30 minutes for a table even though it's beer hall type seating: long tables so they just pack people together where ever there is room.

Once we sat down the food arrived immediately. Everything was served family style with large plates being passed around. On the menu for the evening was of course Lutefisk, meatballs (Swedish I think?), boiled white potatoes, boiled carrots, pickle chips, beets, Lefsa (thin potato bread) and home-made bread. There was also a large bowl of "cream sauce" (butter, flour, and mayonaise I think) and a pitcher of melted butter. There was coffee to drink, or water if you asked for it.

They served a hearty meal. I jumped in and tried everything except the meatballs. I've never tried Lutefisk and I have to say that I may never try it again. Imagine a piece of fish that's half way between the texture that fish should be and Jell-O. The Lutefisk was almost inedible to my untrained palate. Out of our group (my in-laws, my aunt-in-law, my wife and daughter) I was the only one that ate Lutefisk. They all thought I was silly for even trying it. Bravery or stupidity depending on who you asked.

I gave it a good shot and found that it was a little easier to eat the fish with a liberal washing of butter and cream sauce. I quickly following each bite of fish with a big bite of something else. In the end I ate a pretty good sized slab of Lutefisk and after we left I felt like I'd coated the inside of my body with butter. I stopped at DQ on the way home for a chocolate dipped cone but still felt all buttery inside. I'm sure I kicked my cholesterol count up a few points.

A couple of quick pictures below show the wonder that is the annual Lutefisk dinner.

I'm really glad that we went. It was fun to go and see what it's about, try Lutefisk, and help raise money for a worthy cause. I recommend it to anyone in the area around mid-October next year. See you there!

Looking for Lutefisk?
A room full of Lutefisk Fans
What we're all here for

Current Mood: slippery
Tuesday, June 26th, 2007
8:35 am
Pain the third
So it's been a little over 5 months since my last tattoo session and time for some more pain. I had an appt in May, a few days after I was scheduled to move out of CA that I had to cancel and this past Sunday was my next scheduled appt. I flew down to San Jose for the weekend to see some friends and relatives, watch my old hockey team get crushed, and spend one afternoon in a tattoo studio. So enough about the non-tattoo parts of my weekend, what about the tattoo already?

I got to my 1pm appt at New Skool Tattoo about 10 minutes early and found out that my tattoo artist was stuck in traffic coming from Santa Cruz. He ended up being about 45 minutes late arriving, but I had booked an "all day" appointment for the shop, so I wasn't worried about time. I spent about an hour in the waiting room talking to a woman getting her first tattoo from one of the other great artists at New Skool and answered such classic questions for her as:

"Does it hurt to get a tattoo?" and
"Are tattoos addictive?"

She was getting a tattoo of a heart with a rosary wrapped around it to commemorate the passing of her sister. For a minute I wondered if we were on Miami Ink or something. We weren't even though the woman still got to have the standard talk from the artist where she is told that she's trying to put too much detail into a small tattoo and had her idea reworked by the artist. I got the feeling that it ended up bigger than she wanted and that she was a little worried about the size. In the end she got a really nice tattoo. But enough about her...

I went back when my artist was ready and sat on the table to have my leg shaved. He prepared his tattoo machines. One was for outline work (called a "liner") and one for shading (a "shader"). Each had a different size/pattern needle. He worked to thicken and darked most of the foreground lines on the design with the liner, turning them from thin delicate lines into bold dark lines. He would then fill in some of the black shading around the various parts of the design. It took him about 4 hours of actual needle-on-skin time to finish up all of the black work on my leg so that next time I go back he can start on the color.

We would go for about an hour straight of tattooing and then he'd stop to take a break and stretch out or get some food. I was happy to have a break after laying there for an hour on my side trying to bear the pain. I'm always surprised by the pain for some reason. I forget how bad it hurts when I'm back for my next session I guess. Tattooing some areas of my leg weren't bad at all and I was able to read a Book that I picked up on Saturday. When he'd get to my ankle, knee, shin, or the back of my knee I'd just have to grip the table, grit my teeth and try to count the seconds between the white-hot flash of searing pain. (the bursts were between 4 and 13 seconds before he'd have to get more ink in the needle) I'm beginning to think that I don't have a very high pain tolerance. The only thing that's keeping this tattoo progressing at times in my perseverance and desire to finish what I start. Maybe also a little bit because I really love the design so far and want to see it in full color.

After 4 hours he declared the black-work done and cleaned my leg up and put a big medical bandage around the whole thing. My leg looked silly like this but I was so high on endorphins and adrenaline that I didn't even think about it. I hobbled back to my rental car across the street and was on my way. I kept the wrap on overnight and then took a shower the next morning to wash some of the gunk off of the tattoo. The shower is usually one of the worst parts because the area is so sensitive after being injured and I was directed to use water as hot as I could stand in the shower. I'll spare the icky details and instead provide pictures taken about 24 hours after my session:

In the last photo, the bits of red are bruising / abrasions.

Overall I love the way that the design is coming. it's much more bold and striking than it was before with just the thin outlines. I got a fair bit of comments before and I get even more stares now, especially with my leg shaved. I think it's worth the price paid so far for my combined 6 hours of time under the needle plus tip.

Speaking of which, this was my first multi-hour tattoo session and I didn't know what a good tip would be for the artist. I don't want to tip poorly and have him think that I'm a cheapskate and risk poor service in the future. I looked online and saw various opinions on tipping a tattoo artist. In the end I settled for a 20% tip just like you would for good service in a restaurant. I hope this expressed my thanks properly if my repeated satisfaction with his work didn't get the message across.

Current Mood: happy
Monday, April 23rd, 2007
11:33 am
latest update
It's been a while since the last time I had anything non-tattoo related to say so here goes.

1) My wife had our baby on 2/12/07. She went into labor when her water broke at 1am on 2/12. The nurse said to come in within a few hours. We got there at 3am and after a couple hours of contractions and labor not progressing, she had an epidural for the pain. A Pitocin IV then sped up labor and she was ready to push starting at about 1:30pm. It took an hour and a half of pushing before delivering a baby girl weighing 7lb 9oz and 20.5" long. Fast forward a bit and I now have a 10 week old daughter who is 90% awesome and 10% frustrating, with maybe 5% of the frustration due to my level of patience. I need to learn to be more patient with life and especially the part of life that involves crying babies in the middle of the night when I'm dead tired. Seriously though, she's great and for those that haven't seen pictures, they're on my Flickr page.

2) I'm learning how to cope with less sleep due to 1) above. I knew this was coming and so far she sleeps in 4 - 5 hour stretches per night. I've heard that the amount of sleep varies wildly depending on several factors (age, weight, diet, schedule). I know people with babies the same age as ours and we're in the middle of the pack sleep-wise. It'd be great if she'd sleep 6 - 8 hours at a time of course but would we just waste it? When she goes to sleep at night we never know if we should immediately go to bed as well or if we should get things done that we don't have time for when she's awake. Yet another thing you never think about before the baby is born.

3) I'm also learning how to cope with less cycling in my life. The 200+ mile weeks are long gone. The all-day Saturday rides? gone. Double centuries? not this year. So far I've been able to get out for some 30 - 60 mile rides on Saturdays with the friend I normally ride with. This is mainly because he had a baby 3 weeks before I did and our wives are friends. Our wives hang out for a while as we go for a ride on weekends. It's more riding than I thought I'd be getting in but most of my miles are riding to work now. Flat flat flat.

4) I quit my job on Friday. I'd been working for a small startup for 5+ years. They'd been bought by a big company a little over a year ago and the politics at the big company are almost crippling. I don't even have half the responsibility I did when we were a startup and I've got 3x the annoyances. The job stopped being even mildly enjoyable some time last year. Which brings me to:

5) I'm moving out of the SF bay area. My wife has been keen on moving back to Washington (state) for some time to live near her family again. She and I are kind of isolated living here with only a few of my second cousins in the area. She wants to see her family more, and truth be told, so do I. They're pretty cool people and not coming from a close-knit family myself, it's fun to spend with hers. When the market is sane again we'd also like to buy a house. With the median price of a condo over half a million dollars in the bay area I don't know if this is the best place to do it. I already have a rain bike and an awesome rain jacket but coping with the weather might be the biggest challenge for me in Washington. I've you're anywhere near Seattle, give me a holler. I'll be leaving the bay area by the end of May. It's scary for me to leave the place I've known for 10 years now as home and find a new job and life. I'm a bit more optimistic than I thought I would be. I'll have a good support network in Washington if I need any help.

6) No progress on the tattoo. It still looks like it did after the second outline session. The problem is finding some time in the artist's schedule. He's apparently so good that he has no free time to fit me in. I have an appointment for him in June and another in July but he might not be able to make those due to travel so I have provisional appointments in August and September. This means that I'll be flying back to the area for a couple of weekends just to have my tattoo worked on. This is taking so much longer than I ever imagined. Not a bad excuse to come for a visit though.

That's it I guess. catch you in another 6 months...

Current Mood: optimistic
Friday, January 19th, 2007
11:51 pm
Pain - part two
Today was my second trip to see the tattoo artist. Today I had the left side of my leg outlined. Again Ron drew the design on my leg by hand with two ball-point pens and then set to work tracing it with the tattoo machine. Again it hurt quite a bit as expected especially over my ankle bone and behind my knee. Now the outline is done and the shading and coloring starts on my next visit. I don't know when my next appointment is though. Ron is traveling for work for a few weeks and is booked up solid for a month and a half after he gets back. I'm on his cancellation list, but my next appointment on the books isn't until May! I hope I can get in earlier than that.

Here are a few photos of the work done today:
Front view of my shin
back view of my calf
side view of today's work
straight view of the left side

It's hard to picture how exactly he's going to be able to cover up the footprints, but he says it won't be a problem at all. The lines are also pretty rough right now, but with all of the darkening, shading, and color he'll add, no one will ever notice.

I'm excited to have the outline done, but I'm still looking at 12 - 16 more hours until I'm done. At least 3 more long (4 - 6 hour) visits are in store for me.

Today before I started I had a double cappuccino and some Milk Duds. By the time I was half way through the session my legs were shaking from the sugar, caffeine and adrenaline. I'm not sure why I didn't think about the possibility of that happening. The pain and the adrenaline make my shaky enough without caffeine and make it difficult to relax.

Current Mood: jittery
Monday, January 8th, 2007
11:46 am
New Ink
I've been looking at a specific style of tattoos for the last 10 years or so and have been amazed by some of the designs that people have put to skin. When I find a good tattoo online or in a magazine that I like I'll show my wife and tell her what I like about it. I guess that after hearing about tattoos for a few years she got fed up with it. She was in line at the grocery store back in September and the guy in line behind her had both arms covered with Biomechanical tattoos. She asked him about them and where he had them done. He (Ron) said that a guy named Aaron Cain (who I'd heard of) inked them and that Ron was also a tattoo artist. My wife explained that I really liked them and wanted one myself so Ron gave her his contact information at the studio where he works.

She came home really excited for me that she'd found someone who specialized in Biomechanical tattoos. I called the shop the next week and set up an appointment to talk to Ron. I looked up his online portfolio (as well as Aarons) and was very impressed with the quality, color, and flow of the pieces he had done. I met with Ron at his shop in October and to talk about what I was looking for and what kind of tattoos he liked to do and was good at. I wanted to get a piece that went around my right leg from my ankle to my knee. I currently have a 15 year old row of footprints that go around my right shin that were poorly done (by a hack tattoo artist) and are subsequently turning into blobs as the toes migrate into the feet. I talked to Ron about covering these up with the new design and he thought he could do a good job of it. I was impressed with him after meeting him so I put down a deposit and made an appointment for January.

Friday afternoon was that appointment. It's been over 10 years since I got my last Tattoo (the Escher piece around my left shin) and I was a tad nervous. After setting up his workspace, Ron shaved one side of my leg and started drawing a design free-hand. It took him a little over an hour to draw the design on my leg as I lay there on the table. Because of the way I was positioned, it was hard to see what he was drawing. My wife watched him and said that it was fascinating to see him come up with the design. When he was done drawing I got up and looked at it in the mirror. I was very impressed at what he'd done and was excited about the design.

We took a break for a few minutes so that I could stretch out and so that he could get ready to trace the drawings with the tattoo machine. When we started up again I got a quick reminder of how much tattoos hurt. I did my best to be tough but I was really just laying there on my side trying to focus on breathing deeply and staying calm as he inked the design. Certain parts hurt more than others. Any time he got close to my knee or ankle I stopped talking and just concentrated on breathing through the pain. It was bearable most other places. I guess you're supposed to be all macho like it doesn't hurt when you're getting a tattoo or something.

It took about an hour for him to ink the outline of the design, which is only one side of my leg. I have another appointment to go back in two weeks for the other half to be drawn / outlined. After that I estimate that I'll have 3 or 4 more sessions of 2.5 - 3 hours each to have the color and shading done. After he was done with the outline and I paid and left, I was flooded with endorphins. I was extremely jittery as if I'd just drank several shots of espresso. My wife and I went across the street to get some pizza and calm down a bit.

Looking at the design, I'm surprised with how big it is. When I was first thinking about what I'd get, I didn't think that I'd go this big with it. I'm glad that I did though. So far my tattoos have all been small separate pieces that don't go together at all. I feel like I'm finally getting a piece that I'll be very happy with and proud of.

Now the part you've kept reading this far for... Pictures!

Top view
Side view
Front view

You can see the footprints that I'll be covering up in the photos as well as the lovely Neapolitan rug in front of my bathroom sink. I'll update after each appointment.

Current Mood: happy
Thursday, August 31st, 2006
5:43 pm
great news
After keeping the news relatively quiet for the last 16 weeks and a day, I'm talking...

I went to Kaiser today with my wife and we've learned that the baby we're expecting will be a girl. Our baby is due in the middle of Feb of next year.

I thought I'd be more freaked out by pregnancy and the impending fatherhood, but I'm really looking forward to it. I still have plenty of time to freak out when we're closer to the due date. :) The news today cut our list of names in half and made my sister very happy as her daughter (age 1) will have a cousin to play with some day.

In other news:

I have the new dream bike and I'm getting used to it. I like it better than the previous bike but I'm still not totally comfortable on it. I guess 11,000 miles on a bike will make changing to something else feel odd.

I'm training to ride a 508 mile race around Death Valley in October.

I've ridden 5 double centuries this year and did well in all of them. I'm riding about 40% more miles this year than last year so far and loving it.

My Boxer, Horton is doing well at 9 months old. He's a bit shy around strangers but turning into an awesome dog. I never thought I'd be a dog person, but I really like having him around.

My car is having various expensive electrical problems (a VW with electrical problems? say it isn't so!) and will likely be traded in for something new and hybrid soon. Kids: don't buy a VW!

Working for a large company is very different and counterproductive compared to working for a small startup. I do more work in one week now than I used to do in one day at the startup, but just barely.

Thanks for listening.

Current Mood: happy
Thursday, June 8th, 2006
3:33 pm
Dreamy ride
So I did it. After lusting after one for probably a year now I ordered a new bike. I ordered a Calfee Dragonfly model. When I hear/read about custom carbon fiber bikes the name Calfee always comes up. I have yet to read/hear anything derogatory about their bikes in magazines, online forums, from owners or even people that work in bike shops whether they own/sell them or not. An added bonus is that the bikes are made just south of Santa Cruz, CA.

The ordering process took a little over 2 hours. The first hour was spent on a "fit bike" which is a stationary bike that has clamps on the frame at several points so that the bike's frame can be adjusted to just about any size that someone would need. The guy doing the fitting for me set up the fit bike to the dimensions of a 64cm Dragonfly and had me try it out. He worked with the fit bike a little bit and adjusted it in a few places while I pedaled and tried to get used to the feel. Eventually when I was happy with the feel of it, he determined that I would fit on a standard 64cm Dragonfly frame. The only customization he suggested was lengthening the head tube.

After that was over, I had to pick out the components that I wanted on the bike. I ended up selecting the top of the line Campagnolo components and plenty of other carbon parts to put on the bike. It's my dream bike and it has a 25 year warranty. I hope to own it for the next 25 years. I'm hoping that it's so good that I don't want to get another bike for a long, long time. The frame alone will be about $3800 including paint. I saw several Calfees when I rode the Devil Mountain Double in April including one in the same color that I ordered, Translucent Green. It was beautiful.

The only tough part (other than the price) is the 6-8 weeks that it will take for the frame to be built and shipped.

The waiting begins..... now!

Current Mood: waiting
Wednesday, January 4th, 2006
8:39 am
just checking in...
Second half of the year... what's been going on?

Went to Guatemala for a week and a half for part 2 of my honeymoon. Had a great time. Toured the country by car, saw the big sites, remembered quite a bit of spanish from high school. Climbed the pyramids at Tikal, went mountain biking in the countryside, toured an organic macadamia nut farm, ate great local foods and started drinking coffee.

Rode the Knoxville Double Century, my third double century of the year and became a California Triple Crown winner. Not bad for my first year cycling. I ended the year with around 5600 miles and about 315,000 feet of climbing (lots of hills).

I continued to play Ice Hockey for my team and put up less than stellar but far from bad numbers.

I flew out to NC to visit my sister and her new baby, then drove down to Atlanta to see some more family. I saw the Thrashers and the Hurricanes play and made the annual trip out to the good shoe store. I also checked out the new aquarium in Atlanta which was decent but second behind the aquarium in Monterey.

The startup that I've worked for over the last 4+ years was acquired by a much larger company. To quote a co-worker, "It's better than a stick in the eye".

Current Mood: calm
Sunday, July 10th, 2005
8:39 am
The checklist

Five months of planning and increasing stress, two weeks packed with last minute errands and tasks, last minute change of the photographer, asking a friend to get ordained and fly out to perform the ceremony with a week and a half to go, trying (and failing) to juggle all of the out of town guests that want to spend time with you, and now it's all over and I'm home by myself for 5 weeks.

Returning back to my regularly scheduled program...

Current Mood: tired
Wednesday, April 27th, 2005
9:51 am
1. Bold the ones you've seen; put this into a reply to this entry
2. Take the ones from my list that you've also seen and post them in your LJ
3. Add more until you get to 20.

1. Depeche Mode
2. U2
3. Tori Amos
4. The Smithereens
5. The Sugarcubes
6. Ministry
7. Tool
8. Henry Rollins
9. Bad Manners
10. The Selecter
11. The Toasters
12. Nitzer Ebb
13. Oingo Boingo
14. New Order
15. Metallica
16. Rage Against the Machine
17. Prodigy
18. Green Day
19. PIL
20. Peter Gabriel
Friday, March 11th, 2005
2:42 pm
Ten Things I've Done that You Probably Haven't
Jumping through the hoop like a good dog...

1. Met Pete Rose at the All Star game when I was 5, got his autograph on my Tshirt and then took it home and left it in the laundry to get washed.

2. Lived in South Korea for one year.

3. Fell asleep during a Tool concert while they were playing. (under the influence of nothing)

4. Paid $750 to have a $20 tattoo removed.

5. Got to stand on the pitcher's mound before a MLB game in front of 30,000 - 40,000 fans when I was 6 and the best part was a kid in my class seeing me for proof.

6. While cycling through the town of Gouda, Holland, was corrected on the pronunciation of the town's
name by a grumpy old man. "How-duh" not "goo-duh"

7. Worked in an office that was completely contained inside a vault. (steel/concrete reinforced walls, 8" thick steel door with a combination dial on front, etc...)

8. Ran a 50 mile race in under 9 hours two years ago.

9. Was 24" long at birth (running out of steam here)

10. Haven't ever broken a bone, had surgery or even stitches.
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005
4:30 pm
Sunday I sent out a three word text message to everyone in my cel phonebook that read:

"She said yes"

Everyone figured it out and called / texted back congratulations throughout the weekend. I even got a few "I didn't even know my phone could get text messages, Thanks... and congratulations" calls from relatives.

good times.
Thursday, August 19th, 2004
10:22 am
Diving in Belize
Just returned from a 12 day trip to Belize. Stayed in the jungle for a few days, then down to Placencia, then up to Ambergris Caye. Only managed 7 dives while I was there. 2 dives off of Ranguana Caye, the rest off the reefs near San Pedro.

Water temps were 84 - 88, vis ranged from 40 - 70 and a bit hazy the last few dives. My first time in warm water, so diving in board shorts and a rash guard was nice. A 5.5lb P-weight on my SS backplate provided enough weight for me to dive with the AL80s.

The reefs there were not as nice as pictures in the books or online that I'd seen. Not that much color. Quite a bit of coral damage which I assume resulted from the hurricanes that passed through a few years ago.

I'm still waiting for my reef fish ID book from B&N to arrive, so I don't know the names of all of the yellow, purple or blue fish that I saw. I Only saw one Eagle ray the whole time and no turtles.

The nurse sharks were quite friendly. We went through a 40' long swim through on one dive that was basically a long dark 3' diameter tunnel. Very cramped. After I got through and turned around to watch the divers behind me, a 4' long nurse shark squeezed out of the swim-through right under the diver behind me. Startled him quite a bit and almost made me spit out my regulator laughing.

The Nassau and black groupers were quite curious as well. I had a 3' long Nassau swimming directly under me for half a dive. He was maybe a foot below me. Every time I'd tuck my chin and look he'd be there. When I'd stop and look at him, he'd swim slowly away. I'd look again a few minutes later and he'd be back.

The Snorkeling was very good as expected.

The rates were pretty good in San Pedro. It was $50 for a 2 tank trip. (locally it's $75 - $85) The barrier reef was only about half a mile away from shore so it was no more than 10 minutes by boat to any of the sites we dove off of Ambergris Caye. Boats leave at 9am, return by 12:30pm. Nice!

Good food, good prices, good tours, good diving. I'd go back.

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, July 19th, 2004
3:53 pm
Typhoid and Hep-B and Tetnaus, oh my!
Just got back from the travel immunizations clinic. I was the lucky winner of three shots and a prescription for Malaria pills. The shots weren't nearly as bad as I remember them 14 years ago. I hope I don't get as sick as I did last time I got the Typhoid shot either. Now I need DEET and some other kind of anti-mosquito spray for clothes. I just hope choosing Belize over Hawaii will be worth the extra trouble.

Current Mood: thirsty
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