Friday, December 31, 2004

2004 Wrap-up

In this past year I:

  • Wrote and defended a thesis
  • Graduated from college
  • Moved (back) to California
  • Landed my first real 9-to-5 job (more like 7-to-4, but whatever)
  • Learned how to make bread from scratch
  • Started running on a regular basis, and continue to keep up with it

  • Well, those are the highlights. I'm sure I'll think of more that I'll add later. Overall, 2004 was a pretty good year. Yeah, there was the crushing disappointment of the election in November and other miscellaneous badness, but I'm pretty happy with where my life is going right now, so that's good at least.

    Tonight we're having a few friends over to ring in the New Year, so that'll be fun. Hope everyone has a safe, enjoyable night, and an excellent start to 2005!

    Monday, December 27, 2004

    Catbloggin' on a rainy evening

    Well, Christmas has come and gone. We had a nice quiet day, with a tasty dinner of homemade calzones and lots (and lots) of Xbox playing. Yesterday was spent idling further, and today I got to sleep in and bask in the fact that I had yet another day off from work. It was overcast for most of the day, and then a couple of hours ago it started raining. Tom read that there's a chance of thunderstorms tomorrow and Wednesday, so that would be neat.

    Other than that, not a lot to report really. Back to work tomorrow for a couple of days.

    Swipe! Caught the toy.

    Thursday, December 23, 2004

    2 More Hours...

    ...and then I'm free! Been a pretty good 4-day week. I went to Simi after work yesterday to visit Grandpa & Grandma LeGrow. I hung out for a couple of hours; it was a nice visit. :) Today I'm headed to Gram Gram & Matt's on my way home.

    We just had our big company christmas lunch about an hour ago. Styrofoam boxed meals were set out on tables in one of the conference rooms upstairs, all smelling suspiciously of barbeque. I had been assured yesterday that there'd be something I could eat (vegetarian and all), but it didn't appear to be the case. Ah well. In with the bbq-ed ribs and chicken was an ear of corn (mostly untainted by rib juice) and a cup of potato salad, so I started in on the corn and figured I'd catch another snack later. Then the veg meals arrived! So I got another boxed lunch, this one with a veggie burger & salad in place of the ribs and chicken, which I happily ate. I gave away my remaining meatstuffs to one of the guys in the lab (really tall guy, eats a lot whenever we go to lunch, had finished his food and was still starving...hehe). After the feasting, I caught a 10 minute nap in my office. Aaaaah, that's the life.

    All right, back to work. More soon.

    Sunday, December 19, 2004

    I wore shorts today

    I went down to Yaya's this afternoon to help her with her scanner and eat a huge lunch. It was a fine lunch, and we had this amazing cookie ice cream sandwich thing for dessert. I wore shorts and drove with the windows down. And it's December 19th. Bwa ha ha!

    Got 4 days of work this week...that's good. And then it's Christmas. :) Also good. All right, time to get some sleep. More on the morrow.

    Thursday, December 16, 2004

    Running Trials

    For the first time in my life, I've managed to stick to a regimen of going jogging on a regular basis. I started up in August and have done a pretty darn good job of making sure I run a few times a week. The first time I went, I looked at mapquest to try and figure out how far it was from one street to the next, so I could get a general idea of how far I was running. Using this calculation, I gradually added on to my route so I was going farther and farther, most recently building up to 3 miles once or twice a week. Or so I thought.

    About a month ago I started noticing that some quarter miles seemed shorter than others. I put off double-checking my distance because I really didn't want to know if I wasn't running as far as I'd previously thought. It's nice for the ego to think you're running 3 miles. However, I finally decided today that it was better to lift the veil of ignorance; that way, I could amend my route so I would actually be running as far as I thought I'd been. So that's what I did today. And I was right. My "3-mile" loop is actually a little less than 2 1/2. Bah.

    I devised a new loop that actually is 2 miles long...for sure. Might actually be a little bit longer, but definitely no less than 2. I ran that tonight and was averaging about 2 minutes more per mile than I'd previously been managing, which really isn't all that bad. Thirty seconds more per quarter mile, which isn't much on its own, but adds up of course.

    So now I'm just going to stick to this two-miles-for-sure loop and try to get my time back down to where it was before. I'm optimistic that I'll be able to pull it off without too much trouble. :)

    Long Week

    This has been a really long week, and I'm ready for it to be over. Monday seemed to go by pretty quickly, but every day since then has been draggy. Tuesday after work I braved the shopping crowds in order to procure Xmas presents. All in all, it was a rather successful venture. I've only got a few more things to wrangle up, which isn't bad considering Xmas is still 9 days away. Doing better than usual, I am. ;)

    I just finished posting more of Dad's pics to the gallery, so hop on over there and check them out. He's got a new assignment as a BTWW (Behind the Wire Weasel); this means he works nights on the base and doesn't have to drive hither and yon! Needless to say, I'm pretty thrilled by this new arrangement. Hope it works out well for him.

    All right, that's all I've got for now. Time to get back to work, anyway. (yawn) Ta for now.

    Monday, December 13, 2004

    Crazy Fog

    Crazy weather driving in to work this morning. Started out in Pasadena, just generally gray, looked like if the clouds didn't burn off maybe it'd rain later. Got to the freeway, boom, clear as can be. Drove along the 210, la la la, looking at the clear blue sky. Got over the little clump of hills about 10 min from work, and it looked like someone had stretched the world's biggest cotton ball across the freeway. I mean, I could still see the blue sky and mountains above the fog bank, and there was a clear delineation where the fog started. Driving through it, it was like the freeway had these giant white walls on either side. I could see a little ways in front of me, but nothing at all to either side of the road. Eventually, the road itself cleared up, so I could see quite a ways straight ahead of me and directly up overhead (like there was a high white ceiling over the road), but still not more than 1/4 mile off to either side. Then, 2 exits from where I get off the freeway for work, boom, clear as can be again. And then a couple of blocks from work, socked-in fog again! Looking out the front windows of the building I can barely see across the street. Go figure. Got us some wacky weather in this here valley. these here valleys.

    Thursday, December 09, 2004

    New Photos Uploaded

    So I added a few more photos to dad's gallery. There's a new one in the On the Road album and two new ones in the The Man Himself album. Check 'em out!

    Some observations

    Man oh man, does Pasadena ever take that Rose Parade seriously. Yes, yes, I know it's undoubtedly a huge source of revenue for the city (that and the bowl game) but here we are, not even in the double digits of December, and there are already bleachers going up at the side of Colorado Blvd. Now that's what I call being prepared well in advance. I'm very glad I won't have to go to work for a couple of days before New Year's, so in theory I won't have to be driving around and dealing with all the congestion. Should be interesting, though hideously crowded.

    This morning when I got out of bed, there was fog settled all the way down to the streets. It had mostly cleared in the time it took me to get ready to leave, but it was still all gray and sort of wintry. Not so cold the past couple of days, though. I heard a rumor it was supposed to get to 80 degrees again this weekend. I can hardly imagine it.
    Update: It's now completely clear and sunny out, right about 70 degrees. Amazing.

    Dad sent me a few more pictures this morning to add to the photo gallery. I'll be doing that in a little while. For now, just going to relax and enjoy the rest of my lunchtime...well, enjoy the silence that accompanies the lack of people coming in to harrass me about tests I haven't performed on materials I haven't been given yet. (It's been one of those mornings.) Ta for now.

    Monday, December 06, 2004

    'Nother one bites the dust

    Lost another person from our lab today. Found a better job on the other side of the country, gave all of 2 or 3 hours notice, high-tailed it before the end of the workday. Pretty crazy.

    Yawn

    Slept too late Sunday morning and thus had a heck of a time falling asleep last night. No great surprise I'm pretty tired today. One neat thing; saw on my drive in this morning that Mt. Wilson is all snow-dusted after yesterday's rains. Quite pretty. (Update: And foggy!) All right, back to the grind.

    Sunday, December 05, 2004

    Rainy Day

    It's been drizzling pretty much all day today, which has been nice. I didn't have to go in to work at all this weekend, much to my delight. As a result, the past two days consisted primarily of lounging around the house, bit of reading, bit of cleaning...the usual weekend fare, really. Tonight we'll be watching Patton Oswalt's new hour-long comedy special on Comedy Central; should be entertaining!

    Thursday, December 02, 2004

    Yeesh, Thursday already?

    Even though the individual days have been dragging this week (yesterday especially!) the week as a whole seems to be zooming by. In spite of the nip in the air, I can't believe it's already December. Not a lot to report for this week. Tom's birthday present finally arrived on Tuesday...seasons 1-3 of The West Wing! We watched the pilot episode Tuesday night; I'd never seen that ep. TWW really is such a great show. Last night for dinner I made pasta with a fresh tomato and garlic (and garlic, and garlic) sauce. Basically, the sauce consisted of smashed-up tomatoes and garlic cloves, stirred around in some olive oil, with salt, pepper, oregano, and parmesean tossed in. It was quite tasty - especially when the bowl of pasta was topped with a few chunks of goat cheese - but for future reference, I think I'll be smashing up the garlic and then cutting it into smaller pieces. Accidentally shoving half a smashed clove in my mouth with a bite of pasta has left something of a lasting impression on my breath. ;) Ah well, live and learn.