These are the thoughts that go through my head...

Scary Pumpkin & Happy Pumpkin 10/31/10 - Since I still haven't determined if scary pumpkins or happy pumpkins bring in the most trick ir treaters I decided to play it safe this year and carve 2 pumpkins. I did manage what I believe is an all time high of 12 trick or treaters this year so maybe duel pumpkins is the key.

Thriller Zombies 10/23/10 - Zombies have taken over Santa Barbara...and they like to dance. Today zombies from all of the world are dancing to Thriller at the same time. Our local zombies seem to have questionable dancing abilities and appear to be, um....slutty zombies. It was like someone slaughtered a bordello.

7/28/10 - Umm...there are camels in the Target parking lot. I walked over to see if they were for sale. As far as I know my apartment lease just says no dogs, nothing at all in there about camels. They had horses and zebras there too. Turns out to be some sort of parking lot carnival. Carnivals in parking lots just seem odd to me. They should be in vacant fields that are real creepy at night.

Papa Smurf at Comic-con 7/22/10 - Comic-Con time! Crowds! TV & Movie Stars! Crowds! Industry booths! Crowds! Toys! Crowds!...and oh yeah some actual comic related stuff. The comic portion and the toy area are, unfortunately, an ever decreasing part of Comic-Con. I did manage to pick up a few comic and toy related items and got some cool swag including a light up lightsaber keychain for the new online Clone Wars game, which is way fun, and a V we are of peace kite.

I took a picture of Papa Smurf who seemed to be enjoying the convention. Then 10 minutes later Papa Smurf turned into Heat Stroke Smurf. Seeing a smurf holding their head in their hand and almost passing out by the bathroom is quite disturbing and will probably not be a part of the upcoming Smurf 3D movie.

6/24/10 - Most of my bruising and scabbing is almost gone. My shoulder is still yellow and sore but fully mobile. Now it's just odd little things like sneezing that send me into a small spasms of pain.

6/17/10 - Well, I'm still alive but I seem to be turning yellow. The bruises on my legs are a nice purple and blackish color, but my shoulder which is still swollen now has acquired an odd yellowish color that extends down my chest. I'm going to take it as a sign of healing. After all I can now raise my arm up almost over my head and that's a big improvement. I also felt well enough to go back out on the bike. My shoulder ached at the end but not painful enough to stop me from riding again tomorrow.

6/9/10 - I crashed spectacularly out on my bike ride today. At least I think it was a spectacular crash, my view of it pretty much involved my head skipping along the pavement. It must of looked cool enough for the people in the 4 cars behind me to stop and get out of their cars to see if I was dead or not.

I hit gravel on the pavement as I was trying to get out of a cars way and went done. I skidded out in front of the car, which was nice enough to stop and not run over me. I was stunned for a couple minutes and had to get helped up and off the street. After the on lookers decided I clearly wasn't dead they went on their way. I gingerly mounted my bike a couple minutes later and cycled slowly home. Gloves ripped, helmet cracked and road rash down my side.

It wasn't until I got home that everything hit and the pain kicked in. My head and shoulder took the brunt of the fall. My head was protected by the helmet but my shoulder was on its own. It's a bit swollen and I can't move my arm up without a decent amount of pain, but I think the damage is just muscular. Two of my fingers are heavily bruised, the back of one hand is scrapped and swollen and my legs are a canvas of road rash and bruises.

But as soon as I can lift my arm again and get a new helmet I'll be back out on the road!

Jean Luc in Bruges05/26/10 - Jean Luc and I decided to see if Belgium chocolates, waffles and beer tasted better when you actually were in Belgium. So we board a plane a 2 stops and several hours later we arrived in Brussels to start investigating. We took some day trips to Gent, Bruges and Jean Luc just had to go to Amsterdam. He claimed he only wanted to see the Rijksmuseum but I had suspicions.

After much food and drink sampling we give a thumbs up to the Belgium chocolate and mussels. The beer and the waffles were a bit of a disappointment. Of course we had to check out the Belgium McDonald's where we intrigued by the NYCrispy and Chicken Mythic menu items.

To end off a great trip we were upgraded on the flight back home! And to make things even better, Matthew Morrison (Will Shuster on Glee) was our seat mate on the JFK-LAX leg of the trip!

Fabian Cancellara05/23/10 - This years Tour of California rolled through Thousand Oaks again this year so I got up bright an early to see the racers. I managed to see and get autographs from the stars on Team Saxobank. I also say Patrick Demsey wondering around enjoying the race.

3/24/10 - I've noticed lately that Jean Luc has been sitting in front of the TV rocking back and forth muttering "I've got to get out of here" just like the little gnome. It was so sad to see that I did the only thing that made sense - booked a flight to Brussels at the end of May. After all, Jean Luc has always been curious what the big deal with Belgium chocolates is all about.

3/16/10 - The only thing worse than having to drive a rented Corolla once is having to do it again. Turns out the rebuilt engine I had put in my poor little Honda is making an annoying ticking noise. So either I'm driving a time bomb or something was not machined quite right in the rebuild process. So now I need to wait until the shop gets another engine rebuilt then take my car in yet again.

3/06/10 - Looks like the appeal of Eopie and Qui-Gon Jinn was more than Hasbro anticipated. I received a post card saying they are all out, but are making more and they'll be shipped out in May. I'm happy that I will still be getting Eopie but it does make you wonder about the "while supplies last" part of exclusive figure mail aways.

3/01/10 - March is Peter Petrelli month according to my nifty Heroes calendar. More exciting, it is also Comic-Con registration time!

2/23/10 - I dropped the poor little Honda off to get a new engine today. After finally getting the car back from the smog repair shop I discovered that the radiator seemed to be full of oil - funny how the crack smog shop missed that and rather suspicious timing... So the new guess is that I have a blow head gasket and/or a cracked block. Either of these items cost big $$ to fix and my car has about 227,000 miles on it so I decided to get a refurbished motor put in the car.

So now my Honda is all alone getting heart surgery and I'm stuck driving a Toyota "death trap" Corolla for the new 3 days. I did think about going as fast as I could in the Toyota on the freeway and blaming it on a stuck accelerator. However, I quickly found out that a Toyota Corolla is just like browsing the internet on a 56k modem. You press the pedal and hope the car starts to accelerate at some point.

Nahbar Vebb02/22/10 - It's a trap! Okay, maybe it's not a trap. Hasbro has a announced a new mail away figure offer. The new Nahbar Vebb figure looks too sweet to pass up.

2/12/10 - So my super Honda failed the CA state smog test several weeks ago. I decided to take advantage of the repair assistance that the state offers. I sent in my paper work and a week later receive my voucher along with a list of approved repair stations that I can take my car to. I call around and decide on Certified Automotive Repair in Ventura, CA. Here is a short recap of my adventures so far.

2/2/10 - Car dropped off, told 2-3 days for diagnostics
2/5/10 - Called to see what is happening with car. Told it needs a new catalytic converter, part will be in on 12/11 and total price for fix is $934.
2/11/10 - Drop off car, get phone call several hours later and am told that they ordered the wrong catalytic converter. Told new catalytic converter will need to be ordered from Honda and will be in on 2/12. New total price will be $1060
2/12/10 - Drive over to have correct catalytic converter installed. New correct catalytic converter is there but they won't install it because their smog testing machine is malfunctioning. They won't be able to get the machine fixed until 2/16 and will not put catalytic converter in until that time. I request that the catalytic converter is put in the car as scheduled and that I return on 2/16 when the smog machine is fixed to get the car smog tested. This is flatly refused and I am told I am being unreasonable and none of this is their fault.
2/12/10 - They call back at 2pm saying that the smog machine is working now and they will try to get the catalytic converter installed in my car today. I tell them if catalytic converter can not be installed today as originally scheduled I will go get a new catalytic converter installed at Midaas (total Midas cost $535.00) and be done with it. At this point I am threatened with small claims court, told I am a bad customer and if they hadn't already ordered the catalytic converter for my car they'd tell me to go away. The total cost of service has now been revised to $1158 for the same service as was quoted on 2/11. When I questioned the cost they say they forgot to add tax to the parts cost of last quote.

Now with little choice and the threat of pending law suit I sit here at 5:00pm with no sign that my car will be done today. Unless the bill is inflated again tomorrow the bills for all repairs will be $1158, $500 of which the state of CA is paying. So going through the state costs $658 dollars and 2 weeks. Going to Midas - $535 and 1 day. So, if your car fails smog in CA don't bother going through the state to get it fixed and never, ever go to Certified Automotive Repair in Ventura, CA for anything.

Qui-Gon Jinn & Eopie01/13/10 - I've got my 5 UPC symbols and my redemption certificate all filled out, in 6-8 weeks Qui-Gon Jinn & Eopie will be mine!

01/05/10 - Is NBC trying to kill Heroes? I timed it and there were commercial breaks every freaking 6-7 minutes during the 2 hours of the show. You start to get into it then are interrupted by commercials for Alli. Then you can't stop thinking that everyone who takes the weight-loss drug are one day going to dissolve into Adipose just like on Doctor Who. When you finally get that out of your head the 6 minutes of Heroes is over and the stupid commercial starts playing again.Adipose

12/28/09 - Why does the TSA want to see me naked? They tried to herd me into the nude-o-scope on the way home from the frozen tundra. I politely refused to go into the machine, the moat dragon seemed surprised and yelled refusal at the top of her lungs. I then was taken away for an extra special pat down in reward.

Halloween Pumpkin 10/29/09 - Whee!! Pumpkin carving time. Even though I will not be home for the prime trick or treating time I still had to carve a pumpkin. It's back to the year of the scary pumpkin face!

10/26/09 - Halloweentime once again. A couple of my friends are getting married on Halloween and requested people dress in costume. My first instinct, naturally, was to go as a Jedi knight. Unfortunately, it appears that quality Jedi robes are quite expensive. Then I thought about taping a Michael Jackson doll to my butt and going as a visitor at Neverland Ranch. But I remembered the invite did mention that the costumes should be fun AND family friendly so that was out. Left in a quandary, my friend suggested that I go as the scariest thing I could think of. And yes, they do sell Peep costumes but I'm not sure the psychological scars would heal if I wore that costume.
Dress up Storm Troppers 7/23/09 - Comic-Con, the only place where you can get a free hug from a killer robot after narrowly escaping Darleks and being chased by Ugly Dolls.

I managed to score the Wonder Twins with exclusive Gleek figure, minimates ghostbusters, Donna from Doctor Who and, according to the guys at Bare Bones Studies, a popsicle figure that looks just like me.

Porsche driving event 3/31/09 - Why would anybody let me get in a $70k car to drive it as fast as I possibly can around an auto cross course? I have no idea but they did!

I got the opportunity to go out and do to a Porsche Driving Event and test drive the new Cayman S and Boxster S. They arranged the event to show off the new PDK technology (automatic shifting) in their cars. The shifting mechanism was actually really, really smooth I only every felt it shift once. Of course I had my full concentration on trying not to wreck the car as I squealed around the corners of the track. I didn't knock over any cones and the driving instructor said I did really good for my first time.

I got to take the Boxster and Cayman around the track 3 times each. There was a driving instructor in the car at all times giving tips on how to go faster and handle the cars better! To top off the day I won a car in the raffle drawing. A brand new Porsche 1:18 scale. Since a pretty cool day.

2009 Tour of California Lance Armstrong

2/20/09 - Played hooky to go watch the time trial stage of the Tour of California. I camped out with my camera just before the 1K to go banner and got some good shots of all the bike riders. Every year I've seen the crowds get bigger and bigger which is really nice. This years the crowds were massive due to the return of Lance Armstrong. It's nice to see the crowds but 30,000 people trying to all leave Solvang at the same time on a 2 lane road really sucks.

11/10/08 - I hate my eyes. Five weeks ago I developed ulcers on my cornea. I took the stupid headache causing eye drops for 2 weeks to get rid of them. Then last week I find out that I have a staff infection in the same eye...aarghhhh! I only wore my contacts for 2 or 3 days in-between being healing and the new infection the rest of the time I've had to wear my glasses, which I also hate. They make my ear ache and give me headaches.

Because of these continuous problems and the fear that I won't be able to wear contacts without getting sick, I went in to see if I qualify for lasik. The idea of lasik still freaks me out a bit but it sounds better than being in mild pain for the rest of my life. I might go 50/50 and do lasik on the problem eye and get a monocle for the other eye. If I start wearing a top hat I think I could pull off the look.

2008 Pumpkin

10/31/08 - Happy Halloween!
I've already started to sample the Halloween candy. That's why I buy 4 bags for the 5 or so trick or treaters I get per year. You really need to sample several pieces of candy just to make sure none of them are bad or tainted.

Woohoo! My happy pumpkin worked this year and I got an all time high of 12 trick or treaters!

Jean luc visits Neuschwanstein
Munich Beer

5/31/08 - Jean Luc's getting to be a bit of a lush. He insisted that we head to Munich Germany to visit the famous beer gardens, so off we went!

We did manage to wonder away from the beer gardens and visit some of the other nearby sites. Jean Luc was a little tipsy when he decided that we should go on the hiking and biking trip to Neuschwanstein Castle. We hiked up the steep hill to the Mary's bridge that offers the most scenic views of the castle. After the very short tour of the castle we hiked over to a ski resort in the Hohenschwangau region. From there we hoped on a bike and headed to Swan Lake, inspiration to many playwrights. After arriving at Swan Lake and finding a smelly bug filled area with 2 lonely swans braving the water we decided that the playwrights most have been visiting the beer gardens too often as well.

After the successful trip to Hohenschwangau we decided to hope on a train and head to Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart. We managed to find the Mozart Wohenhaus, where he grew up, and the Geburtshaus, where he was born and where now resides an ice cream parlor on the ground level. We laughed and bought the Mozart balls, a popular chocolate candy. Then we took a Mozart break and headed up to the Festung Hohensalzburg, another castle on a hill. This time we smartened up and paid 2 Euros to take the funicular up to the top. On the way back down we spied a cemetery that had something to do with that family from Sound of Music. Being a sucker for creepy crypts we paid 1 euro to climb up 200 stairs to see the crypts carved into the side of the hill. BIGGEST RIP OFF EVER!!!!!! 200 stairs to see a big empty room. I say no crypts, no tombstones, no bodies, no scary spiders or rats. After this profound disappointment it was off to lunch and time for a beer.

All in all we had a fun trip, saw a lot of cool things and yes...had a few beers!


5/18/08 - I went to Toys R Us and this little guy followed me home. He looked so sad that I had to keep him.

5/17/08 - I keep reading about how all the scientists are worried that the bees are mysteriously disappearing. Well, I've got good new for the scientists - I'm pretty sure I found all of the bees. Unfortunately I was descending down a hill at about 30 miles per hour on a bicycle when I made this bee discovery. Bees everywhere, I have no idea how I managed to get through them without getting stung. I did feel a few hit my helmet, might have killed a couple....sorry.

Star Wars Watches

5/7/08 - It's Jedi time! When people know that you are a Star Wars fan, or maybe slightly obsessed, sometimes you get some very odd things. I am now the proud owner of 12 Star Wars digital watches and the display carton. My friend dropped these off at my doorstep yesterday as a thank you for help programming a site for a watch company. I have no idea what I'm going to do with all of these, but if anyone needs to know what time it is I'll know.

Whale Watching

3/29/08 - Whale watching and sea chumming....

Ever since I moved to California I've wanted to go on one of the whale watching cruises. Well I finally got my chance to go, so I packed up my camera, Diet Coke and headed out to the deep blue sea.

The weather was nice and sunny with just a hint of a breeze as the boat left the harbor in Santa Barbara. After about 15 minutes into open water the first whales were spotted - a gray whale and her calf. They didn't seem to be too excited to see us so they promptly tried to ditch the boat by diving under water and never coming back up. Off we went to find friendlier humpback whales. Somewhere along the way a pack of sean loins came bouncing along to see what we where all up to. Then the wind started to pick up....

The boat started bouncing up and down so much you had to hang on to something at all times. I was standing on the side of the boat when my head started to feel a little funny. After that point I have vague recollections of seeing the assorted whales an whale tails in between bouts of throwing up over the side of the boat. I had actually taken Bonine which several people recommended as a good anti-seasickness pill before the trip. All it ended up doing for me was giving my upchuck a nice pinkish hue. The good news is that after my excellent work in chumming the ocean water with my pinkish spew, the other people on the boat got to see about 10 more whales, some of them being only 20-30 feet from the boat.

Tour of California 2008

2/23/08 - I braved the ever increasing crowds and headed out to the start of stage 6 of the 2008 Tour of California. It's nice to see more and more people out there cheering on the cyclists every year. This year Levi Leipheimer is leading to race again. You can see him leading the field from the start in the far left of the picture.

2/8/08 - Back at the dentist to get the cavity in one side of my mouth taken care of. There is no way I'm doing both sides at once. I had to sign 2 different pieces of paper saying I know that silver filling are the worst thing to happen since Kevin Costner became an actor. I opted for the $100 cheaper silver filling well...because I'm cheap and you can't even see those teethe at the top back of your mouth anyways. Plus, I don't have dental insurance, I have a dental discount program.

The procedure itself went relatively smoothly. The only pain came at the end paying the bill, but my tooth is all patched up. The other side is getting done on the 21st.

2/6/08 - I finally faced my fears and headed back to the dentist office. Last time I went to the dentist it was not a good experience. The new dentist has this neat x-ray machine that takes the picture then automatically displays it on a computer monitor in front of you. You can see every tooth in your mouth when they are done. The only downside is they took like 14 different x-rays to get the complete picture of your mouth. I have cuts in the bottom of my mouth from the device.

After the x-rays were done the dentist came in to look at everything. He enlarged 2 of the x-rays and showed me in great detail how I had cavities in both my upper back most teeth. Oh joy....

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