Friday, August 17, 2007

I'm so excited

All of the lights and blinkies I ordered for Burning Man arrived today. I tend to fear ordering from tiny little online companies, but Extreme Glow came through in a big way. They sent me a UPS tracking number, and everything arrived as advertised and in good working order. I wish I had bought more of one particular item that they were selling on close-out. They were the cheapest thing I got, and probably the best light value for the dollar.

I'd detail what I got, but I want some of it to be a surprise for a regular reader who'll be joining me & K out there for the first time. Maybe I'll figure out how to use spoiler tags?

I've got this weekend to do some shopping, next week to work and prep more, then one last weekend before we head out. I think it's going to be very good for me.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I have fleas

Not exactly, but effectively.

Seems K's cat, who's a notorious fleabag, has dispersed his usual inhabitants throughout the apartment. And it seems they've been finding me.

I've had this odd, itchy "rash" around my ankles, mostly, but showing up on other parts of my body for some time. I didn't know if it was poison oak, laundry detergent or what. it would come and go. Turns out they were flea bites. They've been waiting in the bed (K's cat hangs out under the bed) to munch on my ankles while I sleep. Last night, I got up after just 10 minutes under the covers, and each ankle had about 7 tiny black biters on it. I was totally grossed out. Major case of the crawlies.

K is mortified. She's southern, so a bug infestation is rather shameful. Even if it is her furry cat's fault. For some reason, they don't attack her, just me. But I can no longer hang out over there. If I'm barefoot, the bugs are on me in 5 minutes. I think they hang out in the carpet and spring upon anything that moves. Thus, my ankles are chewed to hell. Her poor cat must be miserable.

The cat's getting a bath, and the place is getting bug bombed. Pronto.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Life is crazy and full.

The UK company I've been consulting for has just signed a long term contract for me to be their Head of Analytics. So I'll be paid and challenged for the foreseeable future. They'll be my top priority, but the hours difference should leave me some time to take on other work, here and there.

I'm going to hit the erg again with a teammate. We're going to try to get in 200K in August on the erg. Tall order, but do-able.

It's a tall order, because for the last week of this month I'll be off to Burning Man again. Last year it was such a great experience for me. It was my first time in a totally accepting, non-judgmental culture, and I really got to "explore the studio space" once I realized I really could do anything or be anyone, and it would all be ok.

My dad, whom I hadn't seen in about 7 years, came to visit. He's back in the US to see his parents for their 60th wedding anniversary, and he came to CA to see me. My brother in Portland came down. It was better than I expected. I had feared some awkwardness, but all was good. He was the same guy I had known, though looking older than I had expected. He's sort of frozen in my mind in his 40's, not pushing 60. I realized that he'd always been a source of encouragement and positivity. He was always behind whatever we were interested. I think I've missed his influence.

He had just come from Montanta, visiting folks who are effectively his cousins, though really his aunt. He said he had hiked up a mountain there. It struck me that I'd like to hike up mountains with my dad. It had never occurred to me that it was something we might do together. We may not, as he's in Malta and I'm in California. It did make me mindful of all the "cool things to do with my dad" I'm missing. But he did gt to come to one of my rowing races out here, which was a good thing for him to see. I feel he got a good understanding of my life here.

On Tuesday, after dad left, I drove to Yosemite with my brother and hiked Mt. Dana. It was brave and stupid of us to drive from sea level and then start a hike just below 10,000 feet up to just over 13,000 feet. The hike itself is reasonably challenging, but the altitude makes it downright hard. My heart rate was 180 just walking up the side of the thing. The view from the top is great. We took video, and, if I can figure out youtube, I may post some of the clips. They just don't do the view justice, but it's the only way I'll ever be able to show people some of the amazing places I get to see.