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Update for December 2003


Wednesday, December 31, 2003 11:00pm EST

Was over at Starbucks a few hours ago and wished friends a Happy New Year.  Now just watching TV and getting ready for the New Year to come around.  Not wanting to do anything to special tonight.  Found out earlier today that the DOW closed up for the first time since 1999.  Our stock is hovering around a 52 week high.  Good news for my company.  Things were quiet today at work but I got several things done.  Lots of little problems to deal with today.


Tuesday, December 30, 2003 10:30pm EST

Cracked my tooth the other day.  What a trip that was.  Had to visit the dentist today to get it repaired.  Have some other dental work over the next few months too.  I have a crown that needs to be finished and this will require a 3/4 crown later in 2004.  Oh well.  Not doing much for the New Year.  Just going to stay home and relax.  Got back from Starbucks where I was reading my Firefighter handbook.  No cards tonight.  A friends brother-in-law committed suicide so several people were at the wake and dealing with that.  Played two games of Hearts yesterday and lost one bad.  On Sunday (I think) I was teaching Chuck Hand and Foot.  We had a good time and look forward to playing again but Chuck has been working at the airport evenings the past few days.  Went to a get together at one of my employee's house last night.  It was nice seeing their house and meeting his wife.  Work is quiet since lots of people are gone but rather busy because everyone is gone.  Funny how that works.


Thursday, December 25, 2003 4:15pm EST (Christmas Day)

Had a really nice time at dinner over at Stephen's parents.  The food was excellent and the company was great.  Before I left, mom and grandma called to wish me a Happy Christmas.  After I got back, I opened the packages I had.  Got some more Starbucks money, several Atkins bars that I will put to good use.  A DVD, some dental floss, money and some kitchen towels.  All stuff that I can put to good use.  Tiffany and I are just kicking back the rest of the day and relaxing.


Thursday, December 25, 2003 12:00pm EST (Christmas Day)

Just kicking back at home.  Have laundry in the dryer now.  Actually turning into something of a home maker recently.  Cooked breakfast this morning.  Have a Christmas dinner over at a friends later.  Cleaned up the apartment a bit and slept in too.  Have talked with Dad already today.  Still have to open packages but just listening to music.  

Happy Christmas everyone.  Be safe.


Sunday, December 21, 2003 6:15pm EST (Home - Hasbrouck Heights, NJ)

Made it home.  The traffic was a bear on the turnpike.  Holiday shopping and all.  Tiffany was VERY glad to see me.  Headed out to get some food since I have not eaten since breakfast.  Then have lots of unpacking to do.


Sunday, December 21, 2003 8:45am PST (33,000' airborne in route to Newark, NJ)

We were late taking off because of some minor electrical problems with a circuit breaker.   They had to reset the plane a few times and finally got everything working just fine.  Had something to do with the strobe on top and bottom of the plane I heard the captain talking about before I boarded.  I'm in the front of coach so right next to the emergency exit and main door.  Had a nice time in Portland.  Oh, met a nice guy from Philly a few seats over.  He is a police officer who is just moving to the Clackamas County Sheriffs office.  We were comparing notes about east coast vs. west coast.  He is headed back for the holidays and get his wife and dog taken care of and ready to move.  Other than that, going to play some computer games and enjoy the 4 hour and 20 minute flight.  It will be dark by the time I get out of the airport terminal.  Have to go take care of the apartment and eat.  Then be at work in the morning.  Boy am I not looking forward to the ton of email I have waiting for me.  Oh well.  Did have a good time.


Sunday, December 21, 2003 5:50am PST (Portland, Oregon)

Had a good time out with friends last night here in Portland.  Ran into another old roommate of mine from many years ago.  He is in town for the holidays from West Hollywood.  Hung out at the bar and talked.  Just heading to the airport now so I wanted to drop by Starbucks and upload this and check my email real fast.  Got to go get gas and then return the rental car to the airport.


Saturday, December 20, 2003 3:30pm PST (20,000' airborne to Portland, Oregon)

This flight came out of San Francisco and it appears that they were having a bit of weather problems.  This flight was late and another United Flight that came up from San Francisco and then turned around and went directly back also was a bit late.  But I am on board and it's not to crowded.  Same little puddle jumper I was on from Redmond over to Portland and down.  Only three seats across with row A being a single row. It's an EMB-120 Brasilia aircraft according to the safety card.  Looking forward to getting home tomorrow and seeing poor Tiffany.  Besides, I have to be at work on Monday and have lots of things to do over the next two weeks at work.  Not sure what I am going to do for Christmas.  Have an invitation from Stephen to spend it with them.  Just wanted to get back and check before accepting.  When I was talking with Vic in Grants Pass he asked me if I had any pictures of him back when he was staying with me.  So one thing I will do over the next two weeks is see if I can find any.  I have two boxes full of pictures that I brought with me from Portland 4 years ago.  I have never gone through them yet to organize them.  Guess it is time.  I liked what he had done.  He had some photo albums above the TV.  Might find some nice photo albums on after Christmas sales and then I can put things in there generally grouped around what years they came from.  Will be fun going back through them. 


Saturday, December 20, 2003 1:45pm PST (Medford, Oregon)

I am at the Medford airport now.  Dad and Connie dropped me off after we had a nice lunch at Red Robin.  Went out last night for a very poor dinner.  The funny thing is that Aram called me during dinner.  He is the head chef for one of those boat cruise dinner companies.  He was thinking I was in NJ and beeped me on my Nextel.  Sorry, Aram.  I am not back until Sunday.  I fly out at 8am tomorrow morning after some fun in Portland tonight.  Had a nice time here.  Got  in touch with one of my old roommates who lives in Grants Pass.  I went out to his house and we talked for almost 2 hours.  Ran through the gauntlet of stories about people we knew and then shared memories that we each had.  Really had a great time talking.  Meet his new boyfriend and learned more about what he was doing.  We parted with the promise to stay in touch.  Had not seen him for about 6-8 years I think we determined.  His driveway had mud in it and I tracked it into Connie's car.  Oops.  Sorry, Connie.  Looking forward to seeing a few friends tonight in Portland.  They are supposed to come over after I get in this afternoon and we are headed out for a night on the town.  


Friday, December 19, 2003 11:45am PST (Grants Pass, Oregon)

Got to my dad's just fine.  Had a nice drive around the town while dad pointed out several things that had changed.  Very small compared to what I am used to now.  Had a great time just running around.  Went out to dinner last night.  Today I walked downtown a bit and bought a few items for people.  No sales tax here.  Cool.  Just relaxing and kicking back.  I leave here tomorrow headed back for Portland.  It will be my dad's 66th birthday.  I'm really glad I was able to see him and spend sometime with him.  It was also nice to see his new bus.  He is doing some work on it and adding this and that.  After the first of the year they will be headed down to their Winter residence in Indio, California.


Thursday, December 18, 2003 2:00pm PST (21,000' airborne to Medford, Oregon)

I talked briefly with Dad and he was concerned with the weather because it has not burned off in Grants Pass yet.  GP is about 30 minutes due west of Medford where the airport is.  But the pilot just said it was clear and unlimited visibility in Medford.  So we should be doing just fine.  I get to stay in Grants Pass with my dad for a few days and then fly back to Portland on Saturday.  I have an 8 am flight back to Newark, NJ on Sunday.  The trip has been great.  Got to see lots of friends in Portland before I headed to Bend where I had a great time just relaxing and enjoying my mother and my 94 year old grandmother.  They both saw me off at the airport after we had breakfast together with a few other family members.  Went to see the new Lord of the Rings - Return of the King movie on Wednesday.  It was really a good movie.  A real tear jerker for us who know the trilogy.  The movie really did a good job of taking from the books.  Generally had a great time.  Never got to play hand and foot with Bill or mom but things were busy with the holidays.  Lots of parties and Bill and mom are getting ready for the Elks annual food and toy distribution on Christmas eve.  So, it's a rather busy time of year.


Thursday, December 18, 2003 1:20pm PST (Portland, Oregon)

Just flew back to Portland from Bend.  I have a 30 minute layover here before continuing on to Medford, Oregon where my dad is.  Just sat down and now have to shut down and head back to the gate.


Monday, December 15, 2003 6:00pm PST (Bend, Oregon)

We made it in just fine.  When we took off the airport personnel was telling us that flight conditions were marginal and that we might have to turn around and land back in Portland.  But the ground crew were able to get the runway cleared enough for us to land on it.  It's real icy around town but we had a good day today.  Having a nice time just relaxing.  More snow back home and the lab called me a few times today but nothing urgent.  Just nice updates on current projects.  Here until Thursday.


Sunday, December 14, 2003 6:30am PST (Portland, Oregon)

Just heard the news Saddam Hussein captured alive which was great.  Just getting ready to leave Portland for Bend to see family.  Off for the airport.


Saturday, December 13, 2003 9:50am PST (Portland, Oregon)

Wow, it's later than I thought it was.  I am having breakfast right now.  Got up after 8 and took a shower then was playing on my computer a new game I bought.  Don't like the controls on it much.  They are a bit hard to understand and work.  Oh well.  Live and learn I guess.  Had a nice evening.  Saw the extended version of Lord of the Rings, the Two Towers.  That's the movie that can out earlier this year and the next movie in the sequel (The Return of the King) comes out on Wednesday.  Also walked around Lloyd Center for a bit and got a few things.  Later I went to the hockey game with Judy and Lori.  We won 3-2, so that was really good.  Everyone came over to say hi and I went and found a few people to make sure I said hi to them.  Seems like everyone misses me for some reason.  Had a nice evening at the bar after the game.  Now I am off to call another friend of mine.  We are hooking up for lunch later and seeing his work.  Then I need to get back to get ready for tonight.  Might squeeze in one more friend before that.  Not sure, he does not get off work until this afternoon and I think it will be to close to my event.  Have seen lots of people locally and was actually asked to perform last night but respectfully declined.  Food.  Later.  Oh, and it's raining.  And I did not bring much in the way of wet weather gear.  Hmmm.


Friday, December 12, 2003 9:00am PST (Portland, Oregon)

Just sitting at Starbucks doing email and posting this.  Have lots of things to do today.  I have a hockey game tonight with Judy instead of the Friends and Family show down at the Embers.  But I got to see more friends last night at the club.  Had a great time but I need to go over to Safeway and buy some Frebreeze to get the smoke out of my clothes.  Breakfast awaits. 


Thursday, December 11, 2003 7:30pm PST (Portland, Oregon)

Wow, it really feels like home now.  It's raining.  Just a light rain, just like Oregon.  In New Jersey the skies open up and the water does fall upon you.  Then the clouds part and you have sun.  Not here.  Anyway, just got out of a movie.  Say Timeline.  Have been wanting to see that.  I enjoyed it.  Enjoy the snow pictures.  It was 15" at my place in Jersey.


Thursday, December 11, 2003 3:30pm PST (Portland, Oregon)

Had a nice relaxing time today.  Last night I went out to my favorite bar and spent some time there.  Not to many friends out on Wednesday night but had a nice time.  Then headed home.  Had a snack (omelet) with a friend before they started work.  My stomach really needed something to eat so it was perfect.  Today, I went to the lab and visited friends from work.  Lots of talking with people that I have not seen for years.  One was a real shock.  Steve is now working at the lab and I knew him many years ago when he was still in college.  His dad works there so I meet him in about 1990 and several times off and on since then.  He is good and really everyone is good in the Portland lab.  Later I meet up with Mark and we had lunch at one of my favorite restaurants.  After that we talked and generally had a nice time.  Dropped Mark off and then went to the Rose Quarter box office and bought a ticket for tomorrow's hockey game.  Now I'm at Starbucks just kicking back checking email and posting this.  Think I will go see a movie and just relax until later tonight.


Wednesday, December 10, 2003 9:45pm PST (Portland, Oregon)

Arrived safe and sound in Portland.  Got my luggage and car rental just fine and am now at the hotel.  Going to upload this and check my email here shortly up at Starbucks which is only about 2 blocks away.  Then will head downtown to meet friends.


Wednesday, December 10, 2003 6:11pm PST (Continental 784 to Portland)

We are supposed to be landing around 8:46pm PST and I know my mother is watching my flight status every 10 minutes from her computer.  Knew that I had created an internet monster when I showed her how to do that.  (grin)  But that is only part of the new internet age that we do live in.  Talked with Stephen before I left.  He is watching over Tiffany while I am gone.  Made sure the key worked and everything was set.  I had changed lots of things in the apartment and he liked it.  I have so much more room in the dinning area now.  No boxes in there stacked up.  Books are on the book shelf and video's and DVDs are on the other book shelf near the window.  Worked out nice.  Still have to figure out what I am going to do with the cable modem and my computer setup.  It's very cramped in the front room like I have it now.  So it's going to change, just have not decided exactly what to do yet.  I still have some more boxes to sift through and sort out.  Lot's of my pictures are up on the walls and it's really starting to look like home now.  I have an English Royal Family flag and a Spanish Royal Family flag hanging.  I bought them on E-Bay.  Adds some nice color to the place and some character.  I am listening to music right now.  Christmas in the Northwest.  I only have one battery for this trip.  But I called Airborne yesterday after I went on the web site to figure out where my second battery was that I purchased.  The web site came back with ATTEMPTED DELIVERY.  So I called their 800 hot line and said what the heck you talking about?  Guess their driver got lost. They have delivered to that address before.  It's the UPS Store guys, if you would have asked anyone near there, they would have told you that.  I think the driver just did not want to deal with it.  Oh well.  So I brought that battery with me and will charge it when I get to Portland.  It needs to be in the system for 12 hours initial charge.  I dashed over to the UPS Store after I got out of work around 1:30pm EST and thank the Lord of Cobol, it was there.  Denise (who works there, said the Airborne guys had just left).  Yippee, so at least I have it now.  But it's just not charged for this trip.  Guess I can sleep a bit.  Oh, I bought a magazine that has the Lord of the Rings information and pictures in it and loads of Harry Potter stuff.  Movie Magic I think is the name of it.  It's in me bag right now.  The gift exchange went well at work.  I got this really neat key chain watch from my boss.  Maureen drew my name.  There was a big mix-up or disaster with the lunch food.  Oh well. Shit happens.  Dom made all of the arrangements for it and I was just thinking of going with catered from the cafe but he wanted food brought in.  So I just went with it.  Next time, we are doing my way.  Hey, it might be cafe food but for the catering they do it nice and if you did not know it was cafe food, you would not notice.  Besides, they are right there and always dependable.  Chatted with my friend Jack who works in the Help Desk.  He was able to book his cruise that he told me about.  His new boyfriend is working this cruise (or something) and he is going to be able to be on the ship.  He is back the same day I am, it's like a week cruise.  Sounds like fun, but I am really looking forward to seeing everyone back in Oregon.  Everyone in Bend and especially my dad in Grants Pass for a few days.  He never came out to New York to see me due to health concerns earlier this year.  So this will be the first time I have seen him in some time now.  Hmmm, think the last time was last year in Palm Springs.  Well I am down to half of my battery since I am running the CD too.  I was playing some Free Cell (cards) on the computer earlier before I started typing.  Gad, 2 hours left.  Oh, I got the disk of snow pictures from the other day with me.  So I will post some of those pictures while I am in Portland. 


Sunday, December 7, 2003 3:00pm EST

Just got the car dug out and went over to Boston Market to get lunch.  Primary and secondary roads are down to bare pavement now.  These people really know how to dig out from a major snow storm.  Not like Portland.  Oh well.  Got the items taken down to the storage that I wanted to and I took out the trash before digging out the car.  Then changed from my boots into shoes and headed out.


Sunday, December 7, 2003 8:30am EST

I hear the snow blower outside.  Just finished taking a shower.  I just thought of something.  I actually cooked my first meal in this apartment last night.  Normally I go out to Boston Market or something.  But since I was snow bound I had picked up some Turkey burgers and made them last night.  During the summer, on Fire Island, I or Jeffrey cook all the time.  But here I rarely cook.  Microwave does not count.  I do hot dogs and other stuff in that all the time.  Under the category, If I had to do it again.  I would have parked my car at the parking garage at work.  Then walked home.  That way the car would have already been dug out (having never gotten buried).  Sigh.  Oh well.  We live and learn.


Sunday, December 7, 2003 7:45am EST

Good morning.  Well I weathered the December Blast here.  Officially we got about 15" and it's the 3rd largest snow storm before December 15th since 1869.  They just showed a shot of Hwy 3 on the news and it's bare pavement.  But all of the side streets are a mess.  I took pictures of my car buried under snow yesterday.  I'll get dressed and go out later to take more pictures and will walk over to Starbucks to sit and read for a bit while I talk with people.  I might walk to work tomorrow instead of driving.  That way I will not have to dig out the car just yet.  Have been cleaning the apartment and putting different things away.  Might do some laundry today and plan on getting myself pack for the big trip.  They expect all of the area airports to be back on normal schedules by Tuesday.  YIPPEE.  I leave on Wednesday so the airports will be all open and ready for me.  Thursday we are supposed to get rain so it's warming up into the 30's Monday and 40's later in the week.  So it will all be gone by the time I get back.  Still 15" of snow in one weekend is the most snow I have ever seen in my life.  I remember one very rare snow storm in Portland when we got 11".  But never this much.  They were talking on the TV that they most we got in December last year was only 11".  And that was all of December 2002.  Ok, time for some breakfast.  I have a few boxes repacked to go down to the storage unit and then some rearranging and my front room and dinning room are done.


Friday, December 5, 2003 11:11pm EST

We have about 7 1/2" of snow on the ground.  They saw we might get up to 20" after tomorrow.  A second storm system is coming in.  So it should be an interesting next few days.  Had a nice Thanksgiving.  Finished by BSIT degree. Just waiting for everything to post so that I can submit my paperwork for my degree.  More maybe later.  Have not been much in a writing mode since I was finishing up my degree.  Those last few weeks had lots of papers.  More than any class I had taken.


Wednesday, December 3, 2003 (backlog)

At the Imperial Court of New York membership meeting this date, I was formally presented with my new title of His Grace, Grand Duke.  I had been a Duke since Lita and Matt (last year's monarchs and my favorite so far) elevated me.  I was their indentured servant last year and had so much fun with the title and just helping them out.  Anyway, we have two more titles that I can obtain over the next several years.  My next elevation (when and if it ever happens) is His Highness, Prince and the last one is His Royal Highness, Prince Royal.  After that I would have to be elected Emperor of our court but first I would have to get elected to the board of directors to be eligible.  Not sure if or when I might do that.  It's a big job here in NY because there are so many activities and so many take money too.  Not ready for that commitment very soon, that is for sure.

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