Next time, I should probably zoom in a bit more before deciding on a route, or perhaps street view...

The couple miles of recommended 10/15mph tight turns on a 6ft wide road going up and down... definitely beyond my expected comfort-level. Made it through though. Which was the goal, so, yay :3

Why couldn't twisty roads be just 7mi away in San Diego <<;


First ride on non-interstate/urban roads in well over 15 months.
Just something simple to see what I remember, 9-35-84

Only lost confidence in one turn (resulting in non-confidence-breaking, and continuing on a lot slower), which considering the road-difference between what I normally do, and never having been up here before, was pretty good overall.

Back in California, living in sunnyvale.

New Years

This year's New Year's post is going to be a bit more of a list of things to do.

Becasue 2010 was such a mixed year, with more downs than ups, and overall, the desire to just do a full reset of my life has been started up by my living in Europe.

Overall, I must say, the months January to August, were heading continuously downhill and was extremely stressful (and by the end there, physically painful due to other issues) No longer taking presciption pain meds at least (percocets are much nicer than vicodin).

But, Arriving in Europe, being homeless (couch-surfing) for 2 months, didn't help too much. Though, it was better.

I currently live in Hagen, DE.
And am trying to study German, though I need to speak it more with people; which probably means just to stop speaking English outright. As hard as that is.

And at least I'm less stressed. When I do return to the US, I need to make some serious changes to my work-life schedule, and do more for me.

New Years Goals

1. Lose more weight. Doing good so far, but need to still drop another 40lbs to be in the upper range of where the doctor wants me to be.

2. Write this book I've been putting off. There is no reason that it hasn't been written. It's mostly fleshed out in my head, just needs to be put down on paper.

3. Practise drawing more. I spent 5 years in Art School, but basically haven't touched any thing art related for the majority of the last 5 years since graduation

4. Actually get back to projects that I started before things went so horribly south last year.

5. Save money and start funneling more money into retirement planning; I'm 28 and this is something that should have been started when you turn 18. The compound interest that could be made if you invested $xx over 20-30 is so much drastically more than the same if you invested from 30-40. :<

6. To start moving forward in life. I have been quite stagnant, quite a lot of fear; though the just flying to Europe and not coming back seems to have helped with that slightly. But, it's still hard when you have a fear of change.

7. Sue the landlord. He screwed us out of $3500 and since I will be the only one in california, I'll have to file the small claims suit. That means that I'll probably need to file the documents by mail before I actually return in California in Sept.

8. Find a place to live.

9. Use a calendar and plan.

Life, or a reasonable hand drawn facimile.

Well, I have been in Germany for nearly two months now, and have been couch surfing ever since. I have one tentative place that will be ready on the 25th. Deciding on whether to stay in Hannover (NS), or in Hagen (NRW).

Travel plans are currently set up
Dec: Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy.
Feb: Denmark, Finland
Apr: Australia
Jun: Britain, Ireland
Aug: Eurofurence
Sep: California.

Language Plans
Nov-Dec: German A1
Jan-Feb: German A2
May-Jun: German B1
Jul-Aug: German B2

Dream - Sunday 18h00-20h00

Just starting to make a log of dreams I have.

It was night out. I was walking home through the park when a truck comes barreling down the path. On the back of the truck was a radioactive-material logo. Shortly after they pass by, a sheriff comes driving by and stops to see if I saw a truck. I confirmed and jumped in the truck. There was another girl inside. The sheriff was slowly driving down the roads, as we looked around (it was now apparently daylight), we saw the truck parked in the street next to a townhouse.

We went in. Once in, it turned out that the sheriff was in on it, and tied us up. The two guys who stole the radioactive material from the inner-city mine then brought me and the girl to the living room, served us ice water, and told us we were to play a board game. I had an unnerving feeling about the ice in the water, and this told the girl to not drink it. We played the board game. [... something about not knowing the rules; playing ...] The game ended and they won.

They then took us back to the mine, as they seemed to have forgotten something and couldn't leave us alone.

We awoke semi-consciuous in the mind, about to die from a combine working in the pit. After hallucinating for a bit, finally got myself pulled out from the rubble. At which point I just ran away. Down the road, there was two guys in the way, they tried to get me to go to a party. I just tried to refuse them, but they hearded me into a house. It was filled with women, and the two guys at the door.

The women were enticing me to stay, but I decided to ignore their advances and make an advace on the guy at the door. It distracted them enought that I made my leave and walked away at a brisk pace. They followed. I called 911 [I apparently had my cell phone throught this entire ordeal], and strated to explain where I was and being stalked. The two guys started to get closer when they noticed I was on the phone. I freaked out and started running, and freaking out on the poor 911 operator.

Just as the two guys were upon me, a cop-car showed up, and the female officer quickly shot the two guys. I gave my thanks and they placed me in the car and offered me a ride home north. [I have no idea the layout of this place I was in]. But, on the hill up to the north part of the city, we started seeing occassional flashes of lights in the sky, [it's apparently night again] each followed by a shockwave that could be seen in the air, but not really felt at gronud level.

The cop drives towards the mountain.

[ Abrupt scene change ]

On the mountain, I'm crawling, and see some people... need to tell them they can't.... take their place to do something....

[Wake up].

Google Voice

To everyone using Google Voice.
If you don't want your caller ID being sent out on SMS to other GVoice subscribers,

Caller ID (out)k
When I SMS a Google Voice number from one of my forwarding phones:
Display my Google Voice Number.

They changed this by default last month, and didn't do a good job of telling people about it.
Only really affects communicating with other people using GVoice.

Further Confusion

Overall, Con gets a meh. Just wasn't into it this year. Probably due to the new hotel, and due to certain people not being able to make it. And completely missed seeing a few people. :\

The bed was more uncomfortable than my bed at home (and that takes some effort)

Overall, I think next year will be better, just needs to settle in.

Just not the same not having a party-floor like the doubletree. That was the place to see everyone, just wander on the balcony. The new hotel couldn't maintain AC temp, and the 19th floor was a painful humid overheated experience.

Also: Frosty Orca should have been a bit more careful with words, telling furs to "I'm Staff - Get the Fuck on the Sidewalk" isn't professional. Especially long after the con officially ended (This is Monday night):

Rememberance Day - Lest we Forget

In Flander's fields the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row.
That mark our place and in the sky the larks still bravely singing fly, scare heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
loved, and were loved, and now we lie in Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: to you from failing hands we throw the torch;
be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die.
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders fields.

It still feels wrong to be unable to wear a poppy today.

We must remember those who died, those lost, and those who sacrificed their lives. Unlike in the US, today is a day to remember the dead, and the losses, _not to celebrate those who lived and what they went through_. We must remember the pain and the loss, lest we forget the prices paid to live in the country we call our own, and the true cost of war.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them

Lest we forget.

Happy Bonfire Day

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

God save The Queen!

Eurofurence 09

Wow, EF was definitely a blast.

In short, it was a good trip. In long :

Arrived in Berlin after a few hours delayed at ORD. Berlin is definitely a clean, and feature rich city. The mixture of old and new, east and west, is just amazing.

We (Zotcoon, Rathiel, Catsby) and I did a bike tour one day and saw sections of the former Berlin Wall, and other notable sites. The city is definitely made for biking. The former wall was converted into a bike path, and the city is very, very flat.

But, the main reason for the trip was for Eurofurence in Suhl, Germany.

Now, this was a con that has a unique feel all to its own. The people there are all great to hang out with, and the party just never stopped (I tried to keep up with the Brits, but still had to call it a night by 6-7am each night) Discovered the (what I think) is a tasty Bananeweissen (Weiss beer and Banana pulp).

Met tons of great people, which, due to excessive alcohol consumption, names I will be struggling to remember as I sift through photos and notes and phone calls.

Better report and photo locations will be done on the weekend when I have time to think.