Sunday, August 31, 2008

Long Road Home

I pulled back into San Diego after 3 weeks of leave, 3000 miles on my new car and 500 on the truck. During the long drive, I finished the entire Twilight Series, it’s strange to think that the two biggest selling Mormon authors write SciFi and Vampire novels.

Anyway, it’s back to the grind, my wife is going to grad school in another part of the state which gives me some time to sink into the job and I’m beginning to think I’m going to need that time to polish everything up. One of the parts about being in charge of people is the responsibility you have for those underneath you. I have no problems with doing it but I seem to have a talent for getting blindsided by things that were totally out of my control. Guess I’ll just have to work harder.

On other news, I’ll be in San Diego till at least January 2010, I extended my orders here waiting for some other set of orders to open up to a very non exotic place. Blog world is going on in a couple of weeks and if any of you are going, keep an eye out for me. I’ll be with the pink haired girl.

Fans of Firefly, Buffy and Serenity check out Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, a supervillain musical directed by Joss Whedon with Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day. While the writer strike was going on, Joss went out and grabbed some of the best talent with waivers and in 6 days came up with the video below and it’s great, no, it’s a work of genius. Even better, it’s totally free so what are you waiting for? It's right here and will bring a smile to your face (or if you want, it's on Itunes but not Zune).

Anyhow, I’m off to go empty out some of these boxes standing in stacks around my place, peace out till next time.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Road Tripping

Spent a couple of days in Prescott with my son Collin, selling one of my trucks a 98 S-10, I put it on craigslist and it was sold half an hour later. That’s what you get for putting it on for 500 under low blue book. I sort of fell into another truck a couple of weeks ago, a 97 Toyota Tacoma which I picked up for a steal, thanks Sandy. It wouldn’t pass smog in California, so I got a special power of attorney and a bill of sale, changed all of the fluids, aligned her and brought her over to Arizona, 21 miles per gallon and 127 bucks later, I was her proud owner, I think I’m going to keep her.

During my stay in P-town, visited my buddies Larry, Jason and their families and found my new favorite beer, Dogfish Head, 90 Minute Imperial IPA, mmm, very good stuff. Also met up with Carla from Some Soldiers Mom along with her soldier Noah and Jim, we had an excellent meal at the Iron Springs Café.

Now I’m down in Phoenix after dropping the son off at the airport, hanging out with my dad. Spent this morning doing some automotive work on my step-moms car and had lunch with one of my best supporters when I was overseas, Sherri and her husband, she’ll be at Blogworld with CC which I’m sure is going to be a blast.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment to pick up a 2008 Dune Pearl Ford Fusion that I ordered from Exchange New Car Sales while I was in Iraq.

Ack! (which is the first 3 letters of the license plate on the Toyota). I’m getting rather long in the tooth and it’s about time I had bought a brand new car, never thought I would see the day. When I get all of my stuff out of storage, I’ll be selling the Suburban at a very discounted rate, anybody interested in an 89 diesel suburban?

More fun in the sun, hope everyone is doing good out there, it's good to be home.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Two Weeks Back

It was around 8 Monday night when we got off the plane, I came back in a smaller group of 25 people who weren’t part of the greater bulk of Marines who filled the rest of the flight going back to the states so when we hit the ground, the rest of them were making a formation while we milled around for a second then broke for the crowd. My wife was standing out of the gaggle like a pink jewel and we flew into each other’s arms and I can honestly say, that was one of the happiest moments of my life because for a time I thought it would never reach that moment again. The past deeds had been washed away and all that remained from that forge of the fire was our love for each other.

We stated at the Old Town Inn for 89 dollars a night which was really a great deal considering Comic Con was about to go on. (Sorry to all of you romantics, this is also going to be a post about good deals in San Diego for the Military). No, we didn’t have tickets to the Con which I was mildly disappointed about but I wasn’t sure if I was going to be back in time, next year we’re going to dress the occasion.

Tuesday we went out apartment shopping, I had in mind this gettoish apartment complex close to base because the bride wasn’t going to be living down here because she’s going to grad school up north but managers never showed up which ended up being a blessing. We went from place to place no one had a place available till we got to the one I’m in now. I opened the door to the office and there was a big bookshelf filled with books and I know, this is it.

We sat down and talked to the manager and she just had an opening which she was saving for someone else but she broke her leg and the apartment was on the second floor. I took it, not only was it cheaper, larger and had a nice deck but was the only apartment complex in the area that let you have dogs (for when Gatsby visits). It also has some of the better tropical landscaping that I’ve seen in San Diego. Nothing could go wrong this week, I'm home.

After getting the apartment, we went to the local ITT office (Information, Tickets and Travel) and see what they had to offer, we picked up some first run movie tickets at 8.50 a pop, saving 2 dollars a ticket, Hornblower Cruise normally 25 dollars was another 8. One Zoo ticket for Heather 26.50 and I was in free with Military ID. That afternoon we went to see Hellboy II and the next morning was off to the zoo. We took the sky ride to rear of the park and zigzagged our way back towards the gate. Not a bad way to spend the day, let me tell you, it’s a lot of walking.

I went back to work on Friday to take care of some post deployment paperwork and get online to print a Heroes Salute pass. Military families can get one free family pass annually to SeaWorld with ID. Actually there are several places that are free from there, SeaWorld is just the closest for me, you’ll have to check the site.

Saturday we met up there with my other son Alec from Prescott (my hometown, Alec is not my real son but Collin and him do look remarkably alike and I claim him most of the time), his mom Lynnae (whom I’ve known most of my life) sister Karma and stepdad Alex . Good times, I’m glad Lynnae and the bride got to finally meet.

On Sunday we went on the 2 hour Hornblower cruise around the bay. Saw the seals over by Point Loma to the south side of 32nd Street, probably one of the best 8 bucks I ever spent, if you’re local, don’t miss it.

Stepping back into the LPO position Monday was a definite shift, I had done a switch-a-roo with the guy going out, new faces, new issues, new bosses, a lot to take in all at once. One issue at a time and don’t let any one thing take all of the focus. Lovely NMCI had messed up my computer access so I was a work computer for most of the week which gave me time to tackle the problems that needed face and foot time (normally the things I handle after the computer time) and it seemed to work. Took a lot of notes and got a pass down ready for the guy taking my place when I go on leave 9 days later.

Even though I got back in July, while we’re deployed forward we earn “combat leave”, we’re tax free when we’re out there and earning 2.5 days a leave a month and that leave you earn there is considered tax free. If you take it the same month you come back, it’s just a waste because you are tax free that month anyways.

Back to work, I think I got most of the fires put out and my replacement up to speed on everything that’s going on but in reality? He probably had a better handle on the issues then I did because he’s been here the entire year and I just fell off the turnip truck.

Now, I have came up for and going to be heading out to Arizona in the mornin to see the family, next week I should be a proud owner of a 2008 Ford Fusion and minus one or two of my other vehicles. I don’t try collecting cars, they just appear like magic. It’s late and I have to drive all day tomorrow and don’t look forward to paying for gas. Peace out till I get back to the internets.

P.S. We'll be hitting the Blog Expo in Las Vegas, have the room paid for and our seats reserved.