Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Doin' my part!

Today I made 2 trips to the grocery store, 2 to the bike shop (i'm tuning my bike myself, aside from help here and there from the shop, and its currently not ridable...) and 1 trip to the hardware store, and my car has not left the driveway.

Also, I'm thinking of becoming a vegetarian. Tami is a "flexitarian," which means a vegetarian except with the occassional beef or chicken, but she says she'll join me in going all out. But she sent me this article. So thats what I'm reading.

-JJ

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rumble In the Littlest Big City

Friday night we landed in Reno. We were to stay there for the night, and leave around 10am the next morning.

And in fact, thats exactly what happened.

Only that night, we got to our hotel exhausted, an hour late, and finally got into our rooms ready to pass out for the evening around 11:30. I went to the bathroom to take my contacts out, when I heard a commotion next door. it was a bunch of jr high to high school age girls (a sports team probably) out in the hall. And I then realized that the hotel was swaying, back and forth, quite significantly. Especially since we were on the 16th floor, the movement was quite pronounced. I felt like I was having a bout of vertigo. I kind of stood still for a minute, slightly bracing myself, waiting to see what happened.

Nothing did. The swaying eventually stopped. No alarms sounded. Nobody evacuated. the only thing that didn't stop was the annoying "keep me up all night" voices outside my door.

I then realized that the girls outside were talking about an earthquake. Not really taking them seriously, for they were adolescent females, I wrote off the whole thing as just a gusty wind, for I knew these buildings were meant to give a little in such situations. I laid down that night hoping that the girls next door would settle down and go back to their rooms...and be quiet, which they shortly did.

The odd activity soon left my mind, and I went to sleep.

The next day I woke up, did my thing, then got ready while I was chatting on the phone with Tami. As I was leaving my room to go to the lobby, I mentioned the odd swaying to her, and within a few seconds, she told me that her mom and seen on the news that there had been an earthquake...4.7 in magnitude, 3 miles west of where I now stood. A little surprised, I went downstairs.

I soon learned that it was all true. Not that I doubted my girlfriends mother, but it was all confirmed. There had been an earthquake. Jessica, the girl I was working with, who grew up on the west coast, was used to such things and ended up shushing the girls outside my door with a stern "It's just an earthquake! Get over it!" How I never heard this, I dunno...or maybe her voice fit in seamlessly with their voices. ;)

Now apparently it's a big deal, as they are talking about the possibility of a larger earthquake in the near future because of all the aftershocks..over a 100.

So anyways, just wanted to say that I'm proud to have survived my first earthquake.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here is a story on CNN.

-JJ

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Keep it Clean, Will Ya?

This has been bothering me for a long time now, and its time to share.

I'm continually amazed at the complete INABILITY of ADULTS to keep things clean. And I'm not even talking about their home. At home, do what you want, leave your Kleenexes, dirty diapers, paper towels, whatever...you can leave those around. It's your house.

But I'm getting tired of going into bathrooms at restaurants and seeing filth everywhere. I mean really there is no reason for ANY public bathrooms to be that dirty. Is it really that hard to pitch your paper towel into the trash can??? I love public restrooms at rest stops. Theres never paper towels in there, just blow dryers, so its always clean.

And I know I've mentioned this in a previous blog, but do you really have to shove ALL your trash into the seatback pocket? Even those poopy diapers?? (YES, I'VE WITNESSED THIS)

At the gates in chicago, we have new chairs, complete with mini tables between each chair, large enough for you to set drinks or food on. So just the other day, I waited for everyone to board the aircraft. Once everyone was into the jetway, I was completely APPALLED. Here, just a few minutes prior, were a group of ADULTS, with the possibility of a few children, waiting for their flight. Now, they were not there, but unfortunately, EVERY SINGLE TABLE had trash on it. Cups, wrappers, you name it. If they had it and it needed to go into the trash, they had left it. I don't get it. I really don't.

People, take the time, THROW IT AWAY!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hold the phone, I'm not done yet!

Ok so I'm skipping a REALLY AWESOME trip to DC to see the first game of the baseball season (the lame one in Tokyo DOES NOT COUNT). I feel like I'm behind and I need to catch up with whats happening NOW. Dan blogged about it, so go there.

So I got home on Sunday night. First time in..well quite a while I've been home, and my first order of business was snowboard shopping. I've already let the other one go. Theres absolutely nothing I can do about it, so lets just go ahead and move on.

Monday morning I sat around and did nothing. Went to the coffee shop where Kelsie works, read the paper, had a cup, went home, successfully integrated Tami's music library into mine (now up to 11,000 songs), and sat around some more, mostly just waiting for Kelsie to get off of work at 1215. She wanted to go snowboard shopping with me.

So finally we left around 1, headed for Colorado Ski and Golf shop, and perused the limited selection of boards. Now I'm NOT an expert on these things. My last one I selected online not knowing anything about it. So I'm at a loss looking at all these boards. The salesman was very nice, and..well adamant about certain brands. He pointed out a Salomon Strobe that looked pretty cool, it was in my price range, and at a pretty good discount. But thinking that I probably should look around some more, I put it on a 24 hour hold so nobody would come behind me and get it before I could get back.

I asked them to disconnect themselves from being an employee for a minute, and direct me to some other good snowboard shops. I got a list that I had never even heard of....BC, Zoomy's, Boardroom...

The Boardroom was the closest, so we headed there.

It was a small shop specializing in snowboards and skateboards. In particular, they were a large dealer of Never Summer Industries. I'd heard of them, but didn't know a whole lot. Plus they had a lot of really cool boards. Unfortunately the ones he picked out for me had horrible graphics on it or were out of my price range, and the ones I liked he didn't have in a size that would fit me.

I saw another one I liked, but it also was too big. So I asked if he had a smaller size. He said he might, and headed into to back.

A few minutes later, he emerged with a different board in a plastic sheath, with the bottom facing us. He pulled it out, and said he didn't have the board I had wanted, but that he would let this particular board, in my size, go for 299. He flipped it over, and Kelsie and I were both in awe. I loved it. Plus it was a $500 dollar board. It's called a Never Summer Premier. He spouted off things about it that I didn't understand, and I told him the board I used to have. "This one will blow that one away."

I was sold.

Whats better is that I'm supporting the local economy, as Never Summer hand makes all their boards here in Denver.

I even went over and picked out some new Burton Mission bindings that I got for $110, retail $170.

When I got home, just for kicks, I looked up some reviews online, and they were nothing but spectacular. I can' t wait to use it.

Most of the resorts are closing this weekend, so I think I'm going to go try it out tomorrow. Heres a picture of it. I might take one tomorrow with snow.

-JJ

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I Give Up

Sort of a weird title considering the last post, but then...i just wanted to prove to Tami that I can spell weird correctly.

Ugh. I can't believe I'm about to admit this to the entire world, as it is a highly painful story for me to recount. But I guess this is one of the many reasons I have this blog...to get things off my chest.

So shortly after seeing Tami in Sarasota, I flew off to Reno to see my old (he's not old, just known him a while) pal Bobby Hulett. He and his family, along with Albert Addison, were driving up from Oakland for a week of skiing and winter fun, and they invited me along. So I quickly packed up my snowboard, snowshoes, and ski jacket for the trip.

the next day, after arriving in Reno, I went down to claim my luggage when...uh oh..its not there. Ok so no big deal, maybe it got on the next flight from vegas and it will be here shorty. Oh no. 1 hour later the next vegas flight arrived and it wasn't on there either. Still not completely freaking out yet, I reported my loss to baggage. They were genuinely concerned, and told me that bags rarely get lost overnight, but I would just have to come back to Reno when they found it to pick it up.

Well I left. And long story short, I haven't seen it since.

At this point I'm convinced that it was stolen. I lollygagged getting down to baggage claim, and the fact that an easily identifiable bag such as a snowboard bag not showing up anywhere in the system after 2 weeks pretty much points to theft.

SOOO, I'm now out a snowboard, its bindings, my ski jacket, snowshoes, and some linens off my bed. But this is it. I'm washing my hands of the situation and getting over it.

You lose a snowboard, you get the girl. I'll take that trade.

I guess I know where I'm spending my tax return/stimulus check.

But not to take away from the trip. It was great. Spent quality time with old friends, snowboarding with magnificent views of Lake Tahoe, and a newfound talent at video-jump rope at circus circus in Reno. Here are some photos.