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User Journal

Journal Journal: What I've Been Up To

The last journal before my disappearance was way back in June 2007... long long time.

So what have I been up to since then? In May of 2007, a girl I had been talking to online and had met a few times moved down to Virginia and we started dating. In May of this year, we moved in together. Call her K (but not the K mentioned in the past that I went to high school with-- who is now married with a kid!).

K comes from a big Irish family-- she is one of six kids and has more cousins than I can count, never mind trying to remember all their names! It's an experience for me, being an only child from a fairly small family.

So the last 2 years has taken us a number of places... Atlanta, Syracuse, Atlantic City, NYC, the Bahamas... a whole bunch of new places for me. Pictures of some of it are at pbase.

Still working for the same people, although on a new and different task these days.

Coming up soon is a trip to Atlantic City with my sophomore year college roommate, who I haven't seen in about 10 years. That's at the end of July.

I'm sure more has happened than that, but it's all I can remember at the moment.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Anbyody home? 9

Anybody still around over here? I can't even remember the last time I visited /. I'm thinking about a comeback, who's with me?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Has it really been a year already? 2

Crossposted from Multiply.

Last May, I went to northern Virginia for C & L's going away party and wedding before they went to Iraq for a year. I saw them again in October at the more formal wedding in St. Croix.

Hard to believe it's been a year already. This past weekend they had a coming home party. The year in Iraq ended up being about three months in Iraq and nine in Afghanistan, but they had a good time, brought back lots of interesting souvenirs and stories, and they're home safe.

I took a long weekend to spend some extra time with them, and had a really good time. Over time I've become close with some of L's friends as well so it's always fun to get to see everybody. One of them (also an L, actually) and I are talking about going back to St. Croix since we were the only two that couldn't stay the entire week in October and we missed out on some fun things like the rum distillery tour.

I may come back with some more details from the weekend later, but this is a start...

User Journal

Journal Journal: How? 3

Sometimes life gets busy. And you realize that you have friends that live 20 minutes away and you haven't seen them in a few months. And the few months stretch to a few years...

How does that happen?

K and I have known each other for almost eighteen years. I've mentioned her here before when she got engaged. They've been married a year and a half and I haven't even met him! It's not something that's either of our faults, it's just the way life has gone.

So tonight I went to see Sara Evans in concert and K came with me. We got a chance to catch up like we haven't had in years-- in fact we realized it's been nearly three years since we even saw each other.

But what's amazing is that we can sit down and talk and it's just like nothing's changed-- like we're back in college sitting in the dorms talking for hours, like we used to.

And to me, that is a measure of a great friendship.

Oh, and Sara Evans was awesome.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Quarter in Review (2) 2

On to part two, which would be this weekend. My friend Beth and I hadn't seen each other since we graduated college (yes, that's 5 1/2 years), and her birthday was last Monday, so I figured I would head up to Blacksburg and see her as well as visit my friends Joe & Laura that live up there. And then another friend with VT basketball season tickets tells me he has two spares for the Sunday game against Wake Forest, so that pretty much settled it.

So Friday I went up to Blacksburg and hung out with Beth for awhile, then we had dinner and saw The Pursuit of Happyness (which was an excellent movie). Then I headed out to Joe & Laura's where we proceeded to talk half the night.

Saturday was pretty relaxing, sat around with Joe & Laura and watched movies and TV all day, which was a nice way to wind down.

Sunday Beth and I went to church (she goes to the church I went to when I was a student there so it was nice to go back) and then hung out for the afternoon until the basketball game. After that, back to Joe & Laura's and another night of talking til the wee hours of the morning.

Yesterday I took a tour of the new parts of the VT football stadium, seeing the luxury suites and all. Some people have way too much money!

All in all, a great weekend. Every time I visit Blacksburg I end up seriously considering moving back there...

United States

Journal Journal: [Guns] Stoeger Cougar 8000 21

This already came up in Le Marteau's journal, but here it is. After an excellent writeup in this month's Guns & Ammo, I picked up a Stoeger Cougar 8000 in .40S&W. The Cougar was made by Beretta in the past, but Beretta recently shipped the tooling to Turkey for Stoeger to start building them (Stoeger is owned by Beretta). So what was once a $650 or so Beretta is now a $300-$350 Stoeger. Couldn't pass that up. Pictures are here.

Haven't had a chance to clean or shoot it yet, since I was out of town all weekend after picking up the gun Thursday night.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Quarter in Review (1)

Geez, I've been a slacker. It's been a pretty quiet fall though, except for two trips which I'll talk about in here.

In October was the trip to St. Croix for L & C's "wedding" (hard to call it a wedding since they got married before leaving for Iraq, but this was the big planned event). Pictures are here, and I guess the gallery titles will eliminate any guesses on what the L & C stand for. The trip was great, even though I was sick throughout (taking antibiotics until I left and then getting another batch of antibiotics after my return). If I had it to do over again, I would've stayed the whole week with everybody.

St. Croix is gorgeous. Rum is cheaper than milk, most of the restaurants serve drinks in plastic cups because they don't care if you take it with you when you leave and most don't seem to care if you sit down with one from another restaurant. The hotel location is beautiful. It's not the nicest hotel in the world, but I'm not terribly picky about hotels either. As long as it's clean, comfortable, and everything works, I'm happy; I don't go on vacation to spend all my time in my room, so I don't need anything more than that. Being on a Cay (or Key for us uncivilized mainlanders), ferry service is the only access to the hotel, and regular service only runs til midnight. After midnight, you have to call the front desk and they send it over.

Getting used to the mindset down there took a little while. Nothing happens quickly, so you have to learn to relax and not expect service to be exceptional. Once you get used to that, the people are pleasant and we didn't have any issues. Which is good, because their gun laws leave much to be desired.

So the weekend... everyone flew in Saturday, except part of Chris's family that got stuck in San Juan for the night. We all went out for dinner and drinks and found our way back to the hotel around midnight, then a few of us were up talking til who knows when.

Sunday we went grocery shopping to pick up a few things to help save money instead of having to eat out, which was especially helpful for the people staying the whole week. Then we went on a sunset cruise (pictures are at the link above), highlighted by free rum punch and the chance for Lizzy to throw Chris overboard. Following that, a long dinner and again heading back to the hotel around midnight.

Monday was a mostly free day for everyone except the ladies in the wedding party (who spent most of the day getting ready for the wedding, which was at sunset. I took the chance to tour the fort in Christiansted (again, pictures at the link above).

The wedding was beautiful; we were worried about the weather since it rained early in the day and looked like it was going to rain again, but it held out. The ceremony was followed by a long dinner at one of the nicer restaurants in town (real glasses for our drinks!).

Tuesday I came back, unfortunately. I would go back in a second.

As for other news on Chris & Lizzy, they are safe and sound overseas. Three months in they were asked to go from Iraq to Afghanistan and they accepted.

I'm going to split this up into multiple parts, so I'll end this one here.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fantasy Hockey

Another season ready to start in a little over a month. This year I'm giving a bit more advance warning. Anyone interested? Just like last year, it will be a rotisserie league on Yahoo with an autopick draft.

United States

Journal Journal: Independence Day 18

I have a theory about the holiday we're about to celebrate, and I discussed it with a few people to make sure my memory wasn't completely off.

Once upon a time, tomorrow's holiday was known as Independence Day. Now, you rarely hear it called that, and it's normally referred to as the Fourth of July. Why is that?

I think it's another example of the political correctness and sanitization of our history that seems to run rampant these days.

You have to take a look at what July 4, 1776 meant. On that day, a group of colonists signed their names to a document that was nothing short of treasonous, knowing full well that they might have to pay for it with their lives. Their values and beliefs that freedom was worth fighting for and worth dying for led them to that choice. They believed that in the face of a government that no longer served its people, the only acceptable response was armed revolt.

Do you think the powers that be have any intention of reminding people annually that the response to an unjust government is armed revolt? No, it's much easier to dilute the meaning, start calling it the "Fourth of July" instead of its rightful name, and convince people that we should all grill burgers and drink beer (not even light fireworks, because the country that is supposed to be a beacon of freedom for the world doesn't even allow its citizens to possess them) in celebration of... what? Having the day off work?

As Patrick Henry said, "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" If someone gathered a bunch of people in a church today and gave that speech, they would all be labeled terrorists and arrested.

I honestly believe the great men who signed the Declaration of Independence 230 years ago would be saddened to see what has become of her.

But despite all that, there is no place else quite the same. As Lincoln once said, the United States is the "last best hope of earth."

Happy Birthday America.

User Journal

Journal Journal: MySpace 6

The next time the media starts talking about all the evil people going on MySpace looking for underage girls, remember this.

What happened to parental responsibility and where the hell are the parents of these children?

Edit: on another note, isn't it kinda sad that he goes to meet this girl for the first time and forgets his wallet?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Observations 9

  • BMWs do odd and not terribly amusing things when the battery is dying.
  • BMW batteries are heavy.
  • Warranties that cover alternators are quite nice.
  • Dealers that provide loaner cars are even better.
  • Driving a brand new Camry for a day leads one to wonder "how the hell do they sell so many of these?"

Journal Journal: MusicMeme 1

Ok, I'll play this one. Tempered by current moods and probably favoring things the iPod has been playing lately.

#s: 99 Luftballons - Nena
A: Anything but Mine - Kenny Chesney
B: Bargain - The Who
C: Come Together - The Beatles
D: Don't Worry Baby - Beach Boys
E: Every Time I Hear Your Name - Keith Anderson
F: Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
G: Go Insane - Fleetwod Mac
H: Hotel California - The Eagles
I: I Believe - Blessid Union of Souls
J: Jumpin' Jack Flash - Rolling Stones
K: Keep on Loving You - REO Speedwagon
L: Lyin' Eyes - The Eagles
M: Money for Nothing - Dire Straits
N: Not That Different - Collin Raye
O: Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes
P: Power of Love - Huey Lewis and the News
Q: Quadrophenia - The Who
R: Revolution - The Beatles
S: Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
T: Travelin' Soldier - Dixie Chicks
U: Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
V: Victim of Love - The Eagles
W: We Built This City - Starship
X: Xanadu - Olivia Newton John (the only X song in the library!)
Y: You Make Loving Fun - Fleetwood Mac
Z: Zombie - Jeff Greer Band

User Journal

Journal Journal: Another blow to freedom 9

The Fourth Amendment says: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Does this ruling contradict the amendment? In my opinion, arming police with bulletproof vests and automatic weapons and allowing them to kick down your door in the middle of the night for a non-violent crime is most definitely an unreasonable search. It's one thing to go into the house of a violent criminal where there is a legitimate threat. But this ruling doesn't make that distinction.

You all know I'm a gun owner. If I hear the door crashing down in the middle of the night, the first thing I'm gonna do is grab a gun. How are the police going to react when they find me pointing a gun at them? They're gonna shoot me. And hopefully my family will find a good lawyer to make them really rich.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Stuff 10

One of the most intelligent things I have ever read. And note that it was written before Hurricane Katrina and what we saw in New Orleans in the aftermath.

On another note, as I said after venturing up to northern VA a couple weekends ago, C leaves for Iraq today-- June 3rd (actually a processing stage before going to Iraq, but for all intents and purposes he leaves today). Found out from L today that she will be following next Saturday.

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