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A Tank of Weak Coffee

and a bouquet of cilantro

My Newer Equipment
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http://erzahler.deviantart.com/art/My-Box-156981268

Check out my new computer.  It's a bunch of my old parts (HDD, Card reader drive, etc. shoved into Timber's old box.  I added a sweet drive in the top bay; now, I just need to wire in the controllers and write a driver for them.

Lighting the Oil Lamp
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Ashleigh came into work yesterday, and we talked.  It was so good to see her again.  To talk to her.  To smell her.  :D  She looked so dapper, dressed in her professional business attire.  :P  She walked into the backroom while I was washing my hands in one of our sinks, and a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.  Figuratively, of course.

Blue came over tonight, and we did sketch some things and play Rock Band.  Timber got back from work, too, and we all Rocked together and drank Hot Cocoa Chai Tea.  =]  Mmmmm...  Blue drew an amazing portrait of a Little Sister with her Big Daddy guardian.  It's cool.


Little Sister's Guardian
Click for Full View


I planned a route home for Blue, which involved the Light Rail, which she'd never used before.  I was showing her around the platform at 01:00, showing her where to find Park-and-Ride maps, Gates, and such.  The train arrived, and we boarded, 'cos I was going to show her the rail systems maps inside the cars, but the doors closed before I could finish, and I tried hitting the Open button, but the train started moving.  Crap.  :P  Timber was waiting for me in the parking lot, so I called him and asked if he could pick me up at the next train platform.  It was a grand adventure.  The weather was nice, too.  There was plenty of snow around, but it wasn't cold; there was no wind.

I've been meditating [almost] every night this week.  I'm trying to calm down the racing thoughts, focusing on my breathing.  I light the oil lamp that Ashleigh got for me a while back and turn on a very soothing playlist. 
  • Beyond This Moment, by Patrick O'Hearn
  • Introduction, from the Mirror's Edge OST
  • On The Beach of Dreams - Another World, by Yasunori Mitsuda, from the Chrono Cross Soundtrack
I'm drawing a picture that I had in mind while I was meditating, and I'm almost done with it.  It's got a bit of irony behind it, but I'll explain it when I post it up.

Whenever I pull out my camera, it seems everybody turns their backs, hides, or strikes a fetus-pose.  Rarely will someone grin or pose.  I am not used to this at all.  My sister, miladyginger , has conditioned me with her constant camera use.  :P  So all my shots are candid (most of them are shot from the hip), and few are worth keeping.  It bums me out, 'cos I don't have many pictures of my friends, and they shy away when I have a camera.  Is it embarrassing to have a photo taken?  I could ask to take the photos, like was suggested, but... I dunno, in my family, when someone pointed a camera at you, it was apparent they wanted a photo, so there wasn't really a need to ask.  I'm not a random stranger taking the pictures, either, so I don't quite understand the awkwardness.

Right, I gotta shower and meditate so I can crash.  Night, all!  =]

Asking Myself
ac omg
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This question's been tearing through my thought processes, usually when I'm alone, as my mind tends to wander around.  It likes its space.  :P
"Is my desire to know the spiritual a result of repetitive, ingrained teaching; or is it an innate, fundamental course that I’m naturally drawn to?"
Hmmm…
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Habitual Revamp
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Recently, I’ve changed up my habits and schedules.  I’ve been showering nightly, rather than in the mornings.  I shampoo my hair once every two days or so, rather than every day.  I’ve been focusing on brushing my teeth more than once a day, and trying to get my paws ready for parkour this spring.  While slightly uncomfortable at times, I sleep under one blanket with the window open, for deeper sleep.  Overall, it's a relaxing and welcome change.  I just need to regain my foothold in getting to bed at a decent hour. 

Parkour training has consisted of running home from Hampden and Chambers barepaw.  It’s been snowing recently, which I found surprisingly comfortable.  Then again, the wind hasn’t been picking up.  I figure if my exposed hands get uncomfortable, then I shouldn’t remove the shoes, as my feet, additionally, make contact with cold cement.  My digits seem to want to spread apart again, which is good, yet when I wear my shoes (pretty much buses, public indoors, and at work, now), my feet and calves ache.  I need to get better shoes, and I’d like to make my own, but that’ll have to wait.  I need them now.  :P

Safeway workers finally accepted their employer's contract.  Eh, I don't care... but I forgot to picket! Oh no!  "Let's Strike!  ... PSYCH!"  "I don't belong in my union! I don't have a negotiation fetish! (and I don't want to bargain for one, either!)"  Well, early next week, our DM will be issuing us gift cards as some sort of compensation that doesn't come close to evening out in the long run (hopefully I won't be here to see the long run  x.x).  I should be getting one with $400, which I'm going to put into my Road Trip fund, Luigi Largo's outfit, and new shoes.  Maybe some Five Fingers, too, if my digit muscles are giving me trouble  (I hear those shoes are 'delicious' *shudder and gag* Somebody needs to refine their vocabulary. x.x )

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Timber and I went to Cheapo Discs sometime last week,  Picked up some decent music.  On that trip (and the one afterward, to Nick's employer) I came across a lot of smells.  My sense of smell is the sense that connects me to my memories the most.  I smelled so many things driving around Denver. Not all were pleasant, but the one distinct smell I recall brought memories of meeting Timber.  The trouble is, I don't remember those memories the way I typically do, through a third-person visual vantage point; rather, I just remember the smells and feelings.  Are either of these memory recalls typical for anybody else?  Which sense is your best memory trigger?


Zoo Photos
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Two have been cut.Collapse )
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Naps
ac omg
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Timber and I visited the the Denver Zoo yesterday morning.  I brought along my new camera, and he brought his new phone.  I'll post my good photos on DA.  I'm glad Ti got some good ones that he's able to keep.  It was a good time outside.

I thought I posted something about naps a while back, but I couldn't find it.   I napped for an hour and a half after the zoo, on the end of the couch. Both Ti and Nick were there when I crashed, and when I woke up.  I think that's awesome.  I suppose it's a... Primal trust, or instinctual gratitude; they watch my back when I'm defenseless, and that's cool.  I know, logically, there's nothing to worry about when I'm napping in the house, but it's still a commendable virtue? I don't know. It's just what I keep thinking back to for some reason.  There're no hard feelings if anybody leaves me while I'm napping.  :p

I took Ashleigh out to Maggiano's last night. The server didn't put our table buzzer in the queue, so we were waiting an hour for our table. We finally asked about it, and they seated us immediately, and, after we ordered, said they'd cut our bill in half.  The food was very good.  It was cheaper than our date at the Olive Garden for twice the food!  :D  People kept telling me their meals were so huge, they were able to take home another 2 or three servings in a box.  The portions were fairly large, but I had to order more food after I finished so I could bring home leftovers
And there weren't crayons there! I was thoroughly disappointed!  D:  Ah, it was a good night.  =]
Then we watched a bunch of episodes from Season 2 of Heroes.  :D

Route: Road Trip
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View Road Trip of Awesome in a larger map


This puts estimated drive time at 3 days, 5 hours, and 11 minutes.  Add in rush hours and city driving, compensate for speeding here and there, and it might add 10 hours, but for planing's sake, I'll put down 4 days of driving. That's 10 days to experience everything.
Albuquerque - 1 day
Grand Canyon - 1 day
San Diego / Legoland - 1 day
Bixby Canyon Bridge - an hour, maybe.  Just to descend a dusty gravel ridge and grab some stones from underneath.
San Francisco - 1 day
Redwood Forests - 1 day
Spokane - 1 day

That gives us 4 days to allocate around.
We could put another day into San Diego or San Francisco, and crash at a hotel;
another day to camp in the forest;
another day in Spokane to see all Ashleigh's family and background;
and probably another day in various locations around the Loop, just to get out of the car and stretch.
We should also probably book a hotel on the long stretch home, from Spokane to Denver (a 20hr drive).

Here's the 12-day schedule.
Underlined events are full days in one location.
I haven't thrown in anything for the extra days yet.  Feel free to throw in your feedback, guys.

Leave Denver at 09:00 - Albuquerque (7hrs) - meet Chris at 4:pm (CRASH)
Hang with Chris (CRASH)
Albuquerque - Grand Canyon (7hr) - San Diego (9.5hrs) (CRASH) $
San Diego, LegoLand, meet dude (CRASH) $
San Diego - Bridge (8hr) - San Francisco (2.5hr) - meet dude (around 7-8pm) (CRASH) $
Meet Dude in San Francisco (CRASH) $
San Francisco - Redwood Park (6hrs - arrive around 5:pm) - (set up camp and CRASH)
Redwood Park Day (CRASH at camp)
Leave Park at 08:am - Seattle - Spokane (14hrs) Arrive in Spokane around 10:pm (CRASH)
Visit Nine Mile Falls and Ashleigh's family (CRASH)
Spokane - Salt Lake City (11.5hr) (CRASH) $
Salt Lake City - Denver (8.5hrs) (CRASH)

The "Albuquerque-Grand Canyon-San Diego" day starts early and ends late, but I figure with nearly 16 hours of driving, we can pull off four 4-hour shifts, and sleep in the car.  That way we won't all be so tired the following days.

5 Nights will likely be hotel nights ( $ ).  This is us counting on free indoor crashes at Chris's, the campground, and the Neumiller's. If we can secure couches / floors at the two friends in San Diego and San Francisco, that'll cut the number of hotel nights back to 1 or 2.  Timber, Nick, Smash, talk to your contacts and see if they're down.  With the 2 California hosts, we might just use the sleeping bags on their floor, but in Spokane, they might be dirty/wet from the forest.

Road Trip
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I am so excited about this.  It's going to happen, because it will be planned well. I have been up far too late, but I can't sleep.  :p

I've created a basic spreadsheet with Budget, Checklist, and Route pages.

Budget so far includes gas, food, LegoLand admission, and random emergencies (like car repair).
Checklist is a list of stuff we'll need to bring. Mostly the "duh" stuff so far, but if it's not compiled in a list, I will likely end up forgetting something.
Route only includes stops so far (these are still up in the air):
California - Legoland, friends, Bixby Creek Arch Bridge, redwood forests
Oregon - Willamette Valley, national parks
Washington - Nine Mile Falls, Seattle, parks
Later I'll compile an actual route once I figure out what all we need to visit.

Ti, Nick, Ash, and I.
We're waiting at least until Ashleigh graduates, around May.
Hopefully we'll have a set date by the end of the month.

I really hope I'll be able to budget adequately for this.  I always hear interesting things about the nature out west (and creepy things about the people, but people will be people).  It's looking like Ti will be getting his camera soon, too.  So, although I may not be able to take pictures (unless I budget for one - my dad got me a huge Sears gift card.. they carry cameras!), I'll still have pictures of the stuff I experienced.  I think this trip will be a truly awesome experience.


Randoms
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Ok. Screw US Bank.  Two transactions:   Deposit $127, and use $80.00 of that with the card you just gave me.  Overdraft? Yes, please.  'Cos the card is for your checking account, and you put your money into the savings account.  Oh-HO! PSYCH OUT!  *back-stage high fives among USBank employees*

Ti and I spontaneously found ourselves at Cici's Pizza a few nights ago. We talked a bunch, about people, food, events.  Like when we met at RMFC 2007, and how I went to RMFC but was that got me kicked out of the 'rents house.  But that chance I took had an awesome outcome.  I met my best friend.  It's good that I found encouragement to take further chances, now that I recognized that connection.

Nick's back in town.  He, Ashleigh, Ian, and I just hung out over the new year transition.  It was alright.  Ian and I started watching Repo! The Genetic Opera, but he couldn't finish it.  Ashleigh and Nick arrived later, and we watched Final Fantasy: The Spirit Within and played some Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Super Mario Bros.  I forgot how close Nick and I are.  We are brothers, ya?  ( <- read like Wakka)

Oh, we learned last night, through IMDB, that John DiMaggio, the actor who voiced Dr. Drakken on Kim Possible, also voiced Wakka and Kimahri in Final Fantasy X.

But, anyway, Nick and I were talking about how a lot of our ideas that we were making into an RPG were taken.  Like Axel, the antagonist wizard, was used in Kindom Hearts, and how he stole Nick's girlfriend's body sounds just like the plot in Spirit Tracks.

I made some brandy balls, too.  Vanilla Wafers, Walnuts, Brandy, Powdered Sugar.  Mmmm.  :D


(no subject)
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"And heaven's not enough, if, when I'm there, I don't remember you.
And heaven does enough; you think you know it, and it uses you.
I saw so many things, but like a dream, always losing me in a cloud."
 
 - Steve Conte

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