Sunday, April 29, 2007

Vlogging Seaworld with my son

It's one of the cool things you can do when you have offspring.

DC, here we come!

In a couple of days the fair bride and I are going to be heading to the top milblogging event of the year, the 2007 Milblog Conference! This trip wouldn’t have been possible without the donations I received from my loyal readers, the 790 dollars donated have paid for our plane ticket and a couple of nights of staying at the hotel, big thank you to, Bane and all of the other donors. You all have our heartfelt gratitude!

This is the wife’s first trip to DC, she graduated from San Jose State with a history degree and consistently spewing off historical facts (with me being a nerdy boy, I find it endearing along with the rest of the package). When I have a question about military history, she’s always been rattle off an answer and give a detailed history behind it. I think she’s going to in bliss for the entire trip, museums for days on end?

Other news, I went out with Fuzzilicious (who’s also going to be at the conference) to look at a new laptops yesterday since it was better then staying at home doing absolutely nothing and it gave me an excuse to wander aimlessly around Fry’s Electronics which is one of my top 10 past times. We found a fairly good deal on the computer that should last her the next few years.

The reason I’m doing absolutely nothing this weekend? My wife went north to drop off the dog with her family, leaving me to fend for myself, so it’s frozen corn dogs, grilled cheeses and top ramen till tomorrow. It’s only been a few days but I miss being able to reach over and touch her, sick isn’t it? Imagine how I feel when I’m in Iraq, when the missing can grow to a painfully large hole in my gut? If you haven’t noticed I worship her and yes, I’m totally whipped.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fox, where good TV goes to die

I watched every episode of Drive with puppy dog on the edge of its seat thrill, wow, Fox has came out with a great show! I was looking forward to a Monday night of TV goodness, watch Drive at 8 then Heroes at 9. But the big wigs at Fox (who are known for murdering great TV) have once again drove a stake into the heart of this show and killed it off after only 3 episodes. Like Firefly, it will soon go the way of the DVD.

I guess on a positive aspect, it will give me more time to blog or spend quality time with my lovely wife but it does make me awfully sad. Poor Nathan, two amazing shows shot out from underneath him, who hates him at over there? Damn you Fox! I hope you fall line up falls flat on its face!

Thanks for the hat tip Lee.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Virginia Tech

Last night I went out for the Smash's going away dinner at Buco De Beppo with Mad Mikey, Conservative Liberal, Da Goddess and some other family and friends (great dinner BTW). Our friend Gracie of commenting fame, who was sitting next to me put this out, why haven’t any of you guy’s blogged anything about Virginia Tech?

I’ve had a blog post sitting in my head that’s been forming for a while about Seung Hui Cho, following the stories that have come out of there and it’s still mashing together into a whole.

You see, for a time in my life, I was a Seung Hui, I was the outsider, the only Asian kid in a sea of white folks, I was nerdy, wore thick glasses, my speech was sometimes hard to understand because I was one of those fast talkers who didn’t enunciate his words enough. Getting jumped by bigoted jocks was a weekly event for a few years of my life. Even though I was born and raised in Arizona, from my looks, I earned nicknames such as Chinaman, Zipperhead, Chink, was tripped, pushed and if I had a gun for a few of those times when I was jumped… Well things could have turned out different but I’m very glad that I didn’t have one. Then there was that day when I stood up for myself against two of my tormentors in front of a large group of people and that was the last time anyone ever picked on me physically.

Unlike Seung, I wasn’t isolated though, I had friends and an amazingly wicked sense of humor to fall back on. I could bounce back from anything and had to actually work hard to stay mad at anyone. Eventually I got to a point in life where the names didn’t bother me.

As someone who’s lived though part of his journey, knowing how kids can be, I can see how things could have turned out different in our lives. I bet there is a bully out there right now looking at the TV and thinking to himself, “hey, that’s the little punk I used to beat up.” I have to admit, times have changed sine I was in high school. Politically correctness has taken hold and it’s a rarer event that kids are singled out because of their race or for just being a geek. It’s not as much of a stigma to be a geeky nerd these days.

Other then traveling down some of these same paths, our lives have branched away from there since then. It sound’s like Seung did not have that ability to bounce back, this was a guy that held all of his anger in it. You read about his life, it sounded like he didn’t have a friend in the world. He didn’t talk to anyone and when that bubble of anger he held inside burst. He literally went out and laid waste to the countryside.

This is a tragedy and there is no doubt about it. This kid was so twisted by the box that he and society put him in that he grew into a monster. Looking back at this, there was not an easy way to stop it from happening. This guy was disconnected from his family and peers, there was no one to talk to, he was intelligent and obviously had this planned out in advance. He probably spent months roll playing the scenarios and re-living each move he was going to make and when the time came, he was a machine, an angel of death.

Monday, April 16, 2007

America at the Crossroads

It’s series of 11 two hour independently produced documentaries about the War on Terror. The series started last night (I started watching it after Drive with Nathan Fillion of Firefly fame, great show BTW).

Last nights episode was titled “Jihad: The Men and Ideas Behind Al Qaeda”, tonight’s first hour is titled “Warriors”; we’re watching it right now. The film crew caught an IED attack during filming and the attack that followed; you could feel the fear and adrenalin through the screen, after the attack and evacuating their casualties, the same guys go back out on patrol. It’s quite a statement.

Most of the stories are told by soldiers, the narrator introduces the people and places, occasionally his voice drops in to give a brief explanation about the next scene but the story tells it self. The soldiers are eloquent in their speech and you can tell, they know what their doing. My favorite quote was from the intel girl who was profiled when she shotguns out in Arabic “You think I’m stupid? I know you are lying you Coward!” without missing a beat. I like the clip from the LtCol who reads Harry Potter for two reasons, one, it gets him away from Iraq and the other is that he can have something to talk about with his kids. “Warriors” was a great snapshot into the lives of these 6 soldiers.

Next up, “Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience” which goes into my little niche of cyberspace, writings of the military folk on the ground. I know Colby of My War fame is on it, Oh man, you need to watch “Men in Black”.

Five minutes in, this is something I shouldn’t miss a moment of so I’ll post now…

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Budget month with family

We’ve been saving our pennies for what is turning out to be a somewhat expensive trip to the Milblog Convention in DC. This budgeting added an interesting twist to this month considering my son was visiting for the first week and the mother-in-law was here for the week afterwards. Each day it was a trick finding some new low cost entertainment. For instance, last weekend we used up our Seaworld’s Here’s to the Heroes tribute, a free pass for any military member and 3 of his direct dependents, when it normally costs 56 bucks a ticket, that makes it quite a deal. Thanks Anheuser-Busch! I will never talk bad about your beer again! Heather's mom still had to pay but we got in for free.

As you can see by the pictures here, we had a great time.

The next morning I shipped off my son back to his mom loaded down with an extra suitcase full of gear. I came home and made my wife and her mom a breakfast of eggs, bacon, home fries and we spent the morning hanging out and watching movies. Easter dinner ended up being a nontraditional meal of ribs, corn on the cob and green beans at a bar-b-q the next block over.

Monday, I took them out for Vietnamese (20 bucks for all of us including tips) and Heather covered the next couple of days with a grand tour of San Diego, visiting one of the dog beaches (free), Balboa Hospital (free, Heather was born there), Cabrillo National Monument (we have a year pass), USS Midway (25 bucks for both of the) and in return her mom showed her the house she was conceived in and sponsored her food. On her last night in San Diego, she treated us to Studio Diner (a fifties place with great food).

Busy two weeks. Us being family loving people, having them come visit did us a world of good, hopefully they has as much fun as we did. Thanks for coming!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mobil Phone GPS Tracking

You ever wonder where your friends are? Try out this mobile phone tracker, it's great! Using a satellite map it can track any connected mobile phone with coverage anywhere in the world! (that is if the phone has GPS)

Type the number in to:

and see if it works on your cell phone. A stalkers dream come true, might as well use it before they start charging.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Charles in Space

I did a blog post about Charles Simonyi going to the ISS, well he made it there an hour ago. You can also read about it in his blog and watch the videos.

The rumor is that he and Martha Stewart are an item. It's cool that I had a chance to meet the fifth person to pay his way into space, the world is definitely becoming a smaller place.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Travel Vlog to Arizona

Video of our trip to Arizona which includes some of the places we went, my mom's latest project and blackmail video of my son singing Gwen Stefani. No, not really blackmail because I don’t believe in blackmailing people, I prefer instant gratification.

We had a great time, my wife and my son are great traveling companions on any journey. She didn’t make this trip but will the next one.

I also posted a bunch of photos here

Friday, April 06, 2007

We made it back to San Diego

It ended up just being me and my son going to Arizona, the brides mom came in this week and it's hard to be at two places at once. Helped my sister tear apart the inside of a house for a day then the next 4 days were spent driving around and visiting friends all over the state. How my week was spent?

My other son, Alec (he’s not really my other son but I call him that) gave me a very cool Behringer guitar and amp and is turning 16 this summer, don’t worry son, I’m kicking into that fund too. He's the one on the left

My real son has shown an interest in Vlogging, so I helped him with his first entry while he was playing video games. (Just in case he joins the military later in life, it’s easier handling post traumatic stress when you already have defense mechanisms in place) We also made some movies of us doing wacky things going across the state, going to put the clips together in a movie before he goes home. I'm related to my two favorite traveling companions. Collin and I sang, took pictures and video everywhere and had a great time. Expect more pictures soon.

Friends I visited?

Jason, haven’t seen him in person since 2000, he tried giving me and Collin a cat, they were cute but I don’t want to be responsible for Gatsby eating it when we got home. I’m not sure if the dog thinks cats are good eating or not. I'm happy that you're doing alright buddy.

Justin, who I haven’t seen since I came out in November, he needs to come to San Diego and eat lobster. He used to make fun of me for being a corpsman, about being a male nurse. Know what he is now? A male nurse.

Larry, who might as well be my brother, I visit him every trip out there and hopefully we’re going on a family beach camping trip this summer

Nathan and Aimee, whom I use to double date with all the time in high school, I haven’t seen them since 1993, it was great seeing them, they're very good people.

Andy, who just started blogging and has earned a coveted high spot on the links. Not many of my friends from high school are bloggers, have to take care of them when they start. I haven’t seen him since 1991, he lives down the street from my uncle and is actually making a living as a photographer.

More on the trip later, have to go make some breakfast.