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A retelling of my life in DC and all the stupid ass sh!t I get myself into...



Berry Calendar

Ok, I have NO idea why this keeps happening, but it's starting to drive me nuts. Blackberry Calendar keeps creating a "Device Default" calendar for me that doubles all of my entries. Great! And it doesn't color code them or differentiate them in any way. Pretty much, there is now two of everything on my berry calendar. How frustrating!!! Luckily, I just recently backed everything up so it'll be as easy as plugging it in and clicking the restore button on the desktop feature. Nice. I gotta make sure I'm backing up every week or so.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm down 5 lbs!! Woot! Clearly my, 'I have no F***in money' diet plan is working. I think it mostly has to do with not going out to eat for lunch every day and happy hour and then partying on the school nights. Ok, 5 down, let's see if we can do another 20! Ha!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 1:12 PM, ,




It's Official

I'm an office yuppie! As fate would have it, I have finally received the final item that you need to complete your office yuppiedom… a nalgene bottle. Ugh, how did I end up with this item?!?! Well, it's nice and green and has a fun flip top lid! I didn't actually pay any money for it, instead it wound up in my Jeep from this weekends camping trip from a friend. Ok, so maybe this is a bit random… but the damned FIOS kept me up late watching Speed Racer on HBO (again!!) and I'm a little groggy. Curse your clear picture, lack of commercials, ability to pause/rewind/fast forward, great sound quality, and good selection of crap that I wanna watch!! And once again, bless you Diet Coke for keeping me awake this morning. It's been a while since I had one of you, but you are a welcome addition to my life this morning!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 9:49 AM, ,




Pitchin' a Tent

Just as I prophesized, the tent palace rode again!! It was out this weekend for it's first test run in a couple of years at the very least. I'm not sure how I let this happen, but I now have ZERO tent stakes. Good thing it wasn't too windy! We get there first and as usual, drive the Jeep right into the middle of the camp. Hey, it beats hauling stuff up and down the hill! Getting there early means we get the pick of the tent spots at our camp ground. As you can clearly see, me being the genius that I am took one on a 5% slope? What? Why?!? The result... me rolling down to the corner of my tent the entire night. Ha!

This camp ground is basically just some body's property. I know, every land is some ones property, but let me make myself clear. This guy and his crazy daughter (yeah, she's the Customer Service expert too) own a couple of acres that they live on. All they've done is tossed in a few picnic tables, a couple of fire pits, and section the whole thing off into many different small sites and called it a camp ground. Seriously, next door it's just normal houses. We are basically paying to camp at this guys house. A little strange if you ask me, but whatever.

The tents are all set up, the beers are flowing freely and might I add that Both the Summer's Brew & the Yucca are freaking excellent!! Yeah, those went quickly! We finally get the grill working and who knew... I'm still a decent griller! Working steaks, hot dogs, fresh veggie sauté in my make shift pan made of Reynolds wrap!! The food worked out great and everyone was sooo stuffed that we didn't even touch the sweets!

After the feast, we get onto listening to some music, playing cards and just hangin out. Good times until Ranger Dan (the crotchety old guy that runs the place) came by a couple times to tell us to keep it down. You can't even hear us talking outside our campsite. Hell, there were only 9 of us! One of our crew thinks the guy is just wasted and being drunk himself, takes on the Mission Impossible of stalking this guy thru the woods. Ranger Dan is basically going to all the campsites, waiting for anyone to make a peep and then b!tch them out for it. WTF? A$$hat. All the Yucca (I kept calling it 'Yumma'!) & Summer's Brew gone, we finally head off to our tents for some shut eye. The sun rises early to light up the world when you camp!

Breaking down camp in a bit of a light drizzle and discussing the events of the night before, we get all packed up. No breakfast at the campsite this time but we do hit the Waffle House on the way home to relive the stories of the night before and sing the mission impossible theme song a few times too many. Now, it's off to the couch for everyone to veg the day away.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 11:43 AM, ,




The Shop

You'll never guess what's back in the shop?!? Yup, the bike!! It's idling funny (ie. sometimes not at all) and not firing quite right. Let's see if tossing some new spark plugs will do the trick. I did get to ride it back to the shop, so even though it's getting fixed up, I get to ride it a little bit here and there! Really... why does this bike need 6 gears?? I can't wait to see how quick it is once it's in tune b/c even out of tune it's a little ridiculous fast!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 8:58 PM, ,




Hot Dawgs

I freakin love hot dogs. It's taken me a while to come to this conclusion, but it's true. I love them from a street vendor, or 7-11, or from a gas station, or at the ball game. I enjoy a good hot dog wherever I go and with good friends. Ketchup + Mustard + Relish is how I enjoy them. There are those that would call this a stop light dog, but whatever you call it, it's damn tasty! I think you can trace my love affair with the hot dog all the way back to high school and the 'Wilco Dog' from our local gas station. Back then, I think it was Ketchup + Mustard + Slaw tho. Hmmm.. I think I'll try one of those for old times sack soon.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 2:14 PM, ,




The Day

The day is upon us when I finally get my bike!! I get to start it for the first time and take it out for a spin for the first time. How exciting... the catch? (of course there's a catch!!) I only get to ride it home b/c of my never ending battle with the DMV. Ugh. I fed ex'd everything down to them Monday, so I can only hope they are getting it today and have started working on the documentation and everything is in order. In the mean time, it's honestly cheaper to get an expired tags ticket for riding it home then it is to pay to trailer my bike home. So, I'm super excited to ride home today b/c that's probably the only riding I'll get until the DMV folks get offa their a$$es and send me my title. ok, so maaaaaaybe I'll ride to get a hair cut real quick, then home! =)

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 9:17 AM, ,




Really? That is tasty!

I hit the store the other day for some basic groceries b/c well, let's face it... going out to breakfast $3-$5 every day + going out to lunch $7-$12 every day adds up quick!! Hell, that's $50-$85/week on just food at the office?!? In an effort to economize (yes, I'm broke but in general) I'm trying some cold cereal to start my day. Special K with Red Berries. Ok, I was thinking it's gonna taste like card board with freeze dried crap berries... but actually, this stuff is hella tasty! And the fact that it's healthy too, that's just an added bonus.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 10:13 AM, ,




The DMV Strikes Back

Why why why is everything so much more difficult in VA? From getting your drivers license to titling. ESPECIALLY titling. My plan: show up with all my paperwork early this morning so that I could get my tags and title and be on my way to get my bike. Simple you say? Why yes, yes it is. Buuut... not for the DMV. B/c of the title, it actually has to go through the main DMV in Richmond. Awesome. I called down there to ensure I had all my paperwork in order so that there would be no problems once they received it. Once they get it, I was told they would get to it with in 2 weeks?!? Ugh. To the right, you will see an artists rendition of what I look like dealing with the dmv... frazzled/frustrated much? Ha!

Ok, lets assume all goes PERFECTLY. I mail my application today. They get it tomorrow (+2 days). DMV gets around to looking at it in 2 weeks (+16 days), process and turn it around in 2 days (+18 days), and then send me my title via snail mail (+21 days). Once I get the title, back to the fcuking DMV to request tags and registration again! (+24 days) As you can see, an additional month of DMV BS is now standing b/t me and my bike when I was supposed to be riding this beautiful upcoming weekend. Awesome. On the plus side, all my locks/covers are in the mail so it'll be safe and secure at the house while I sit on my duff waiting. Grrrrr!!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 9:56 AM, ,




Again!

Well, my thoughts that my berry survived unscathed from trail Thursday night have proved to be false. :( it looks like it took a little bit of water damage after all since some of the keys have decided to stop working unless I pack the phone like a pack of cigarettes before every text. An interesting concept, but I'm going to pass on that. I'm set to pick up another 8310 this week b/c I've heard that once these start screwing up, it's allllll down hill from there and it only gets worse. Greaaat!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 9:41 PM, ,




And now...

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 11:35 AM, ,




Small Victory

The bike shop called yesterday, and after installing the new fuel tank and fuel pump, it started right up!!! Woo hoo!! In the next day or so, they are going to do a full run through of the bike to see what else it needs, road test it and it should be good to go. Funny thing in VA, it can pass inspection with NO turn signals, but it can't pass inspection with only the back ones. Strange, buuut whatever! It might be done as early as this weekend and ready to ride. Now, I just gotta pick up a few more things... New cover, new bungee cords, and a couple odds and ends. I'm thinking I'll hold off on the turn signals for a bit till I decide what I want to do with 'em. I can do all the wiring myself so no hurry there. Besides, I always forget to turn the damn thing off when I'm riding anyway so I look like an old man driving down the road with his blinker on!!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 2:53 PM, ,




Das Budget

I've been buh-roke as a joke for a bit (not looking for sympathy, I did it to myself) and I've REALLY cut down on my spending. Basically, when I woke up Sunday Morning (I use that term loosely) I had $20 in my pocket. And that's about all I got! Don't get worked up, I'm going to starve or anything. I mean I can always lean on the credit card a little heavy if I have to, but I'm trying not to go that route this time. Something tells me that I'll need that available in the coming months to stimulate the bike and auto repair industries. I've been watching my money like the date scene from half baked where Dave Chappell takes the leading female actress out and there's a running tally at the bottom of the screen of how much money he has remaining.


I hope to have that $5 to take to the hash tomorrow night for sign in and that'll be the last of my $20. But I mean, I've seen how I usually spend so this is HUUUUUGE for me! Instead of going to the bar, I've gone to the gym. Instead of drinking all night, I've been cleaning house and watching some movies or geeking out with my Final Fantasy games. The first hurdle… lunch today. Going with the ex and I owe her for last time. Well, here comes the credit card! Damn. Other then this glitch, I think I can totally make it. Dinner out tonight is a treat from friends for work we all did together. I have plenty of money on my Metro card to get around this week/weekend. The next expense is the BYB, but for $25 (Savings Account) to a good cause it's totally worth it! Just gotta wear comfy shoes for the walk to/from the metro to cut down on cab fees.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 11:03 AM, ,




Vewy Quiet

Last night I had a nice quiet night for the first time in what feels like forever. Hit the gym, went by & said hi to my Mom, and then got my grocery shop on. Low key stuff. There was even time to tidy up the house a bit... Pile of dishes finally washed (can I tell you not having a dishwasher sucks?), counters/stove finally sprayed down.... I don't even cook at home, wtf? As these quiet nights continue, I see a few projects around the house that I think will deff need tackling. Clothes to good will, that damn front closet, and a few re-orgs are deff in the works. Its a shame I don't pepper my usual schedule with these days more rather then waiting till I've over extended myself and forcing myself to stay in.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 11:37 AM, ,




Haze

I'm not sure what's going on right now. This morning, I feel like I'm watching everything happen around me in a bit of a fog. I mean, everything is ok, right? Let's check… My apt is nice and my roommate is a good guy who pays rent on time. The Jeep is running fine and the mildew is gone. My job is ok, and pays decent money. I'm stretched a little tight on funds right now, but that's my own fault and will fix itself up shortly. Everyone around me seems to be in good health… I have no idea. I just can't kick this feeling that I'm watching everything happen around me and not even very clearly at that. Maybe it's just the end of the weekend start of the work week bit, but I just don't know.

Update approx 3hrs later: I blame Monday Mornings. It's 1130ish, and I feel fine. Go figure.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 9:03 AM, ,




Casino Night

This weekend, I went to a charity fund raiser with a Casino Night theme. I had forgotten just how much I really enjoy black tie events, gotta do more of those! I know this is odd, but I'm not sure I really wanna write about it very much. I'll say this, despite the fact that I suck at gambling it was a fun and a well done event! Some more cabs (hell, just some cabs!!) would have been nice at the end of the evening, but that's a small issue considering all it takes to put on an event this size. Well done sirs, well done indeed.


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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 12:53 PM, ,




Is it dry?

After a week of searching, I think I've finally found the last pocket of resistance to my efforts of drying out the Jeep and fighting the mildew!! So, fresh towels down, another round of Febreeze and some crossed fingers is all that stands b/t me and a non stinky Jeep!!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 12:47 PM, ,




The Hangover

I went to see this movie last night and can I tell you it was freakin awesome!!! I don't want to spoil it for any of you, so instead of talking about it I'll just tell you to go and see it already! I have nooooooooo idea how it was only rated R, and if there is an unrated version that comes out on DVD... SOLD!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 10:59 AM, ,




Moody Much?

Today, myself an my co-worker are getting the effects of my boss' mood first hand. Funny how quickly the tables can turn. Last week, we did an amazing job and are assets to the team this week I got a talking to for not booking someone elses travel on my credit card? WTF? I don't book other peoples travel at all! And now, she can barely take the time to speak to me when we are in the same room? Awesome! O well, so it goes in the office world. Some folks complain and say they've never had it this bad. Me? Well, I've never had what you'd call a good environment at any office job so I just chalk it up to the crap that is office life.

I mean this gig ain't so bad, travel a bit, train a bit, the people are decent for the most part, the money isn't too bad, and the commute is great. I won't say "what more can you ask for?" b/c I don't wanna get off on that tangent.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 1:06 PM, ,




New(est) Addition

With everyone around me buying new toys, I started to get a little jealous. I mean one gets another Firebird with a NASTY exhaust kit (seriously, you can feel it start up!!). Another gets a new TL in the same trim level that I would have gotten for myself. And me, I'm just sittin here being good. Well, good no longer!! I've gone out and picked up a Honda CBR600 F4i. Yummmmm! Such a beautiful bike and a strong performer!! The one catch... it hasn't been started in a little over a year. D'oh! No big, I got a great deal on it so let's get it to the shop to see just how bad it is.

Hurdle #1 - The gas tank and fuel pump assembly has rusted all to hell. Normally, you would just toss a special acid in the tank swish it around a bit and dump it out (it's more technical then that but you get the idea). Thus cleaning the rust and leaving behind a nice and smooth metal surface free of rust. My bike... the tank is sooo rusted that putting in any acid would potentially eat through the bottom of the tank and dump the acid on more sensitive parts. Ugh. So, a new tank is on order along with a new fuel pump. On the plus side, the shop I'm working with is cool with me getting my own parts and shipping them there. Today's order saved me a little over $300 by going online vs. going to the local Honda shop. Woot!

Hurdle #2 - Battery/Cornering lights. It would seem Honda bikes don't use the standard battery like most bikes (news to me). They need a special battery and wouldn't you know it, mine is D - E - A - D... Dead! Won't even hold a charge. No problem, installing a battery is really not that big a deal. Even I can take care of that sort of thing with my mechanical skills. It's about 6 bolts (2 holding on the cover, 2 holding the battery in place, and then one for each terminal). Ok, now I gotta find one and see just how good or bad the cost is. While I'm at it, I think some new LED turn signals for the back are gonna need to be added to the shopping list since the old ones got snapped off. That's deff an easy fix that I can do myself. 1 10mm screw on each and a solder a couple wires... no problem!

Bike shops are more like boat shops than Auto shops in that it takes much longer to get your vehicle back. As of now, I'm hoping to get my bike running and on the road SAFELY by the end of June. I don't know if I'm being too ambitious but that's my goal and I know the wait will be worth it once I wind that engine up and hear the intakes sucking in air on some fun back roads. Damn... what a gorgeous bike!! (This is not my photo since I haven't cleaned mine up for some pix yet, but that's the same year, trim and colors as mine!)

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 2:51 PM, ,




Miss'd Opportunity

Well, it looks like my window on the opportunity I've spoken of in past posts has come and gone. Boooo to that. It went from 60%+ chance to just vanishing. Well, that's the way of contracting I guess. For all I know, I could get a call next month asking again. But for now, nada. The plus side of this equation is that I was so ready to go and mentally prepared, that all the events I've been going to or the things I've been doing I've been getting more pleasure out of them. So, that's deff a nice side effect.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 12:13 PM, ,




Stinky

My Jeep still stinks from the damned rain this past week. I'm excited about the weekend as it's supposed to be sunny. Maybe I'll finally be able to drop the top and the sun will be able to get out ALL of the remaining moisture before it turns into gross mildewy stink. B/c quite honestly, I'm sick of giving up a cup holder to a can of Febreez!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 12:09 PM, ,




Wreck'd

On my way back from travel, I got into yet another car accident where I wasn't driving. I'm starting to think I'm bad luck here?! We were in the cab getting onto the highway when a more timid driver in front of us in a Ford Taurus had a hard time merging and came to a complete stop on the on ramp. Really? We had to come to a quick stop, and the Ford Ranger that flew up behind us was just not able to stop in time. So, we got whacked from behind and wouldn't ya know it, the Taurus took off just in time for us not to rear end them and become a Ford Sandwich!

Usually, I almost never wear a seat belt in the back seat of Taxi's. For some reason, I got in and put mine on right away this time. Weird. But deff for the best. Everyone walked away with only a little whiplash and some minor bruising... except for my laptop. It was positioned in the perfect place to get smacked around and lose some data sectors. The ones containing my profile! What are the odds? Well, better that then anyone got hurt. Ya know?

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 11:33 AM, ,




A tale of two classes

It was the best of times… it was the worst of times… Ok, seriously tho, I've been training for a couple of years on assorted systems in my career. And one thing that has not changed is how much the class depends on the students. It's never ever ever ALL about the instructor. In my opinion, the best classes will have great student participation, a lot of interaction, and an over all good time. So, there I was teaching my second day on a two day stretch of travel training. Same material as the day before, just different students. Day 1 everything was great, topics and jokes are all right on point. Great questions and even the branch chief seemed to really take away some great points. The next day, its almost as if nothing could go right. Back row is asleep, no one enjoying themselves or getting any of the jokes, hell the damn system went down half way through the day.

What's the catch? On our evals, the scores were right around the same for both classes. I guess the second glass did get something out of the class. Lesson learned for the day - Just b/c they look asleep doesn't mean they won't give you a good score anyway? Ugh… I'd rather every class was like that first day. Much more willing to learn and laugh and enjoy themselves. Hell, they even invited me to sit with them at lunch! Nice, esp. since I usually don't take lunch when I travel.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 10:08 PM, ,




What's in a name?

Ok, maybe its my dislexia kicking in again, but I swear this reads as Mama Lardo's to me everytime I look at it. Hahahaha!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 1:02 PM, ,