kybearfuzz: (Default)
I've been in Seattle for the past week for a work meeting. There wasn't any time for sightseeing or meeting local friends, as we worked long days. When Friday rolled around, I was looking forward to getting home, but not the long trip as had my first flight at noon and with a layover and connection, I wasn't slated to get home until 11 PM.

I wish I had gotten home so easily.

Just after I had boarded my flight to Houston, United Airlines canceled my connection from there to Cincinnati due to weather, notifying me by email. I literally got the email as I was shutting down my phone as they were closing the plane door. So, I was stuck. If I had gotten it 20 minutes earlier, I could have switched the flights.

Four hours later, the flight landed in Houston, and I trudged my way to the United information desk for help, which they weren't. There were no other flights to get me home, supposedly even on other airlines, so I was stuck there for the night. I was on standby for a 10 AM flight, guaranteed to a flight at 7 PM. Really, that was the "best" they could do, which sucked. United gave me a number for a discounted hotel rate, but made no offer to pay for it. She told me that my bags were on the baggage claim carousel, so I could pick them up at least.

I walked over to the baggage claim only to find that I would have to wait 2-4 hours for them to get my bag, as the bags from the flight were warehoused. F**k! So I got a bag of cheap toiletries from the baggage claim lady, spoke with a lady with a horribly thick accent on the phone to get a hotel, then waited for the hotel shuttle.

First thing I did at the hotel was wash my shirt, socks, and underwear at the hotel. I just can't handle doing without clean clothes. I called my sister to complain, got my clean clothes from the dryer, showered, and went to bed.

The next morning, I went to the airport and to the gate for my standby flight. The flight was oversold. Seriously, they put me on STANDBY for an OVERBOOKED flight. I was so frustrated and angry, I was shaking. I went to the information desk, my voice quivering as I was nearly exploding. The agent was pushing me through Chicago to Cincinnati. She played the same game as the agent from the night before, put me on standby for one flight, but guaranteed me for another.

I ran like a madman through the airport, running from Terminal B to C, to try to catch this flight. In my sweaty clothes with no deodorant, I puffed my way to the gate to find they had booked me STANDBY on another OVERSOLD flight. It was like a cruel game, to get my hopes up on something that was near impossible.

I made the next flight to Chicago, sitting next to a "sleeping" older man who farted four times during the two hour ride, and made the flight home to Cincinnati. After landing, I got to baggage claim, realizing my bags were there way ahead of me. To put the cherry on top of this very bitter cake, I had to deal with this lazy queen at United's baggage service. When I told him that I was looking for my bag, he pointed me over to the baggage carousel. I told him that my bag had been sent ahead because of a canceled flight, described the bag, and offered my baggage claim ticket. The guy didn't even look at it, put the orange he'd been eating down, and reluctantly went to the next room to get my bag. Bitch...

It took 32.5 hours to get home. The time above includes:

- Four airports in four states
- Three time zones
- Two connections
- One canceled flight
- Two stand-by tickets that failed
- One fruitless long-distance run through the Houston airport
- Six mocha frappacinos
- One pair of underwear
- No deodorant

In almost 23 years of air travel, both domestic and international, I have never experienced anything close to this. I pray I never do again.
kybearfuzz: (Guiding)
I spent the entire last week in Chicago. I was there teaching part of a computer class at our Chicago office. It was a new venue for us, but logistically it worked out well. So well, we might do it again soon. It was different for me as I drove up there and didn't have to fly.

I drove up on Saturday and got to hang out with LJ'er Mikiedoggie and his sweet feller John. Mike is a wonderful host and took me around gay Chicago. Saturday night, Mike and I went out and met my buddy Jerry, a newly naturalized US Citizen from Canada that I got to hang out with on my second foreign work trip in 2004 when he lived in Toronto. I had not seen him in person since that trip, so this was a thrill.

Jerry and Me, July 2016
Jerry and Me, July 2016

Jerry and Me - 2004
Jerry and Me, June 2004

As you can see, Jerry hasn't changed hardly at all. Thankfully I have! It was good to catch up with him after all this time.

Sunday, I moved into the hotel. The class went well, despite having one student who constantly proclaimed herself as an "expert" on everything and couldn't do anything on a computer. Here are some highlights of the week:

  • I took several of my fellow instructors to a gay bar on Sunday. We went to Showtunes Sunday at Sidetrack, which is an amazing place. I didn't think they'd go for it, but they surprised me with their willingness to expand their horizons. Mike and Jerry showed up there as well, so it was a big meeting for everyone. I also go to meet Jerry's handsome husband Doug, who is a wonderfully warm, very muscular bear of a guy! Such a lucky feller. Everyone seemed to have a good time and it was a great story for the other instructors who were sorry they missed it.

  • I managed to get to the gym every morning while I was at the hotel, which was impressive considering how sleepy I am in the morning.

  • Cute guys in the hotel. Everywhere. Seriously.

  • The hotel had a contingent of UFC fighters in town for an event. The lobby was full of muscled, tattooed men every evening. Some hotter than others, obviously, but there was one bearded one I was very attracted to. I wanted a photo, but it wasn't a good idea in that environment. Getting onto an elevator full of them was both intimidating and erotic for me (and happened twice).

I'm home now, and it was nice to sleep in my own bed again. Still, Chicago is ONLY five hours away, so I need to do this again sometime soon.
kybearfuzz: (Mornings Suck)
The week in DC went well, but kept me extremely busy, which is why I didn't have time for posting on here. I went to DC to "audition" to be part of this training class. My presentation was Monday afternoon, literally the last topic of the day, which is the second-to-worst time slot in my opinion. The worst is right after lunch. So I went through my topic, cracking a few jokes here and there, and was through. I did REALLY well as I was complimented on my presentation several times throughout the week by other instructors and students. I won't know if I made the teaching panel for a bit I guess, but I look forward to seeing the class evaluations.

The class went out to eat and drink every night. Some people are used to that kind of interaction over and over, but I was beat by Thursday night and begged off early. I'm not much of a drinker and I have had more beer this week than I have had in a very long time. Socializing like that can be very draining for me.

I got home around 7:30 PM last night. Milo the Cat was overjoyed to see me and has been in my face, on my lap, and around by legs almost constantly since getting back. I went out for a quick dinner and shopping last night. I needed to put together my Pride shirt for this year, get a birthday present for a coworker, and a birthday card for my sister.

If I had my druthers, I'd crash the entire weekend at home, but that's not an option. The Cincinnati Pride Festival is today and a 60th birthday party for said coworker is tonight. I guess I still have tomorrow to do as little as possible.
kybearfuzz: (Sick)
I'm flying out to DC tomorrow to "audition" for a teaching group for a work training class. I'm not worried about it. The presentation I've been assigned to give is simple and I'm knowledgeable about it. Luckily, one of my good work friends is already one this teaching group and she knows my teaching style.

Getting ready for the trip is the rough part. One of my molars has an apparent abscess. This tooth has already had a root canal and wears a crown. It started flaring up yesterday, hurting whenever I put pressure on it. I've had this before, a couple of years ago, and the oral surgeon I saw gave me antibiotics to get rid of the infection and held off doing anything more, hoping it wouldn't recur. It makes me wonder if this has been why I was so tired this week.

This morning I went to an urgent care and saw a nurse practitioner. She was bubbly, funny, and wearing braces. What I wouldn't give for her energy, she was so frenetically active. She typed about 120 words per minute on the screen as I told her what I was experiencing and what I had gotten in the past. My fear was they wouldn't just give me antibiotics and then I'd have to deal with the abscess with ibuprofen for a week. I need not have worried, she wrote me a script for amoxicillin and sent me on my way. I'll deal with the abscess when I get back.

The Cincinnati Men's Chorus Pride concert is tonight. With everything that has happened to the gay community in the past week, it certainly will be a show full of emotion and solidarity. I feel bad about not going, but with everything that has gone on, I just don't have the time to spare. I've doing laundry, packing, and cleaning house all day before I leave.

I'm looking forward to the Pride parade next weekend.
kybearfuzz: (Movie Buff)
My best friend Brian is in Dayton, Ohio this week for a radio convention. He comes annual to help a buddy of his set up their booth, buy stuff, and hang out with like-minded ham radio folks. The convention doesn't start up until tomorrow and Brian got there on Tuesday evening, so I skipped softball and drove up after work yesterday to have dinner with him.

We finished up an early dinner and debated about what to do the rest of the day. We decided to hit "Captain America: Civil War." I'd seen it, but Brian had not. The theater had those big, comfy reclining seats, which was GREAT! The movie moves so quickly that the 2.5 hour flick flies by without noticing. After the movie, I drove back to Cincinnati.

I took today off to drive up to have lunch with Brian again. We hit some neat comic book/gaming stores followed by the movie "Zootopia". The movie is about a female bunny who joins the police force in an animal world. Animals are either former predators (lions, tigers, bears -- oh my) or former prey (bunnies, sheep, shrews). Police officers are generally the predator types, so when the bunny joins the force, she's the first bunny officer ever. It's an incredibly good movie, with some good messages, and exciting moments. I forgot it was even a Disney flick to be honest.

It's been a good couple of days, and my new car is a lot of fun on the road, but I'm dreading work tomorrow though. Luckily the weekend is looming.

The Good...

Mar. 6th, 2016 11:11 am
kybearfuzz: (Pride Purple 2013)
I've been out of communication for a bit this past week. It's been a busy one. Sorry for the bullets, but it probably is the best way to put it all together.

  • I flew out to the Seattle, WA area for work this week. The purpose of the trip was a planning meeting for the computer class I help teach in Washington, DC. We have to submit a design package to make sure the students can get their CEUs for the course. The package necessitates that we change a few things for the class and it was a great opportunity to get together face-to-face to revise and update the materials. It was good to see the other instructors and it was my first time to the Seattle area. I didn't get to do much sightseeing because our schedule was pretty packed.

  • Last Wednesday night, I did manage to spare an evening and have dinner with [ profile] clintswan! Clint and I have been LJ and FB friends for years, but we've never met in person. The fact that he lived in the Seattle area completely escaped me, so I was happy that he messaged me. We had a great dinner and caught up a bit.

  • During the week, I managed to get several pages of the next issue of my comic book inked. I only have about seven pages left to do, which was not easy to do on a plane.

  • Speaking of LJers, [ profile] mikiedoggie sent me a message earlier in the week to see if I was going to be home. Mike came to Cincinnati and hung out with me for the weekend. We went to dinner Friday night at "The Tilted Kilt," which is basically a Hooters with a Scottish theme. Saturday was meeting LJers Derek ([ profile] _decibel_ and Chris ([ profile] kybigstew) at the Incline Public House, which was where the two of them got married last year. They were a bad influence as they convinced me to get a new iPhone 6s. Last night, Mike, Derek and Chris, and I met up with Brian ([ profile] cincycub) and his BF Justin and some other local friends for a Thai dinner. It was a good time.
kybearfuzz: (Santa Naughty)
I haven't posted much in the last week because I was out in my hometown for the holidays. While I have internet access on my phone, it's not easy to make LJ entries on it.

My best friend Brian and I went on Monday night to see the new Star Wars movie, which was a wonderful mix of nostalgia and newness. The story was captivating and mirrored a lot of what I recall from the original Star Wars Episode IV film. No spoilers, but I was incredibly entertained and am already looking forward to the next installment.

I had a pretty good time back home, spending time with friends and family. What surprised me the most was the weather, which was ridiculously warm. Christmas Eve was 73 degrees F and sunny all day. It certainly didn't feel like Christmas-time.

As usual, I did need a bit of "me time," so I snuck off a couple of times to the local coffee shop to get myself a bit centered and do a bit of cartooning.

357 - Checking It Twice 358 - Showtime

Obviously, I had Santa on the brain. I enjoyed doing these and the coffee shop was a great respite from the holiday craziness.

Last night, my family unwrapped Christmas gifts as we usually do. I bought my 9-year-old nephew the game Simon. He continued to unwrap toy after toy, including a go-cart, and he kept coming back to the Simon game, as did my other nephew... and my brother... and my brother-in-law. It was ironic to see this kid get so much for Christmas and ignore the expensive for a relatively cheap game.

After breakfast with family, I headed home today. It felt good to get home.

Merry Christmas everyone!
kybearfuzz: (Canada)
So I finally managed to pull the Ottawa photos from my camera. I really enjoyed that trip and I now have an itch to do it again. Here are a few highlights from the trip:

  • From my poor geography skills, I didn't realize that Ottawa was right across the Ottawa River from Quebec. It was fun to jump from province to province. This time of year was especially fun because of the changing of the seasons. Autumn was definitely booming.

  • I love how all street and traffic signs have both English and French. It was fun to see the French be secondary on the Ontario side of the river, and the primary just across the way on the Quebec side.

  • Mer Bleue Bog was beautiful, despite a name that conjures up images of swamp land. It's not a swamp. Bogs are actually spongy vegetation masses where plants and trees can grow, but they are relatively free-floating. Because of the acidity of the water, the bog doesn't degrade due to bacteria or bugs, so there is no degradation smell.

  • The National Gallery of Canada is a beautiful museum. We didn't walk to see paintings, but my buddy Steve ([ profile] brownbearon) wanted to show me the architecture, which is impressive. And there is a giant spider statue outside. Now that was a tad creepy.

  • I love seeing the city statuary and building design. The Canadian Parliament building has a very cool design and it's beautifully situated on the Ottawa River.

Photos from my trip are now posted on my Flickr. You can see the set by clicking the photo below:

Me and Little Trees
Me and a Small Evergreen at Mer Bleue Bog
kybearfuzz: (Canada)
Sorry for another "bulleted" entry. I was out of town for a large chunk of the week, so I didn't have a chance to write up anything.

  • I spent a lot of Monday and Tuesday nights inking pages for the next issue of "Grizzly & The Bear Patrol." Inking usually doesn't take as long as penciling pages, but I end up doing a lot of correcting and adding details on the way.

  • Wednesday, I flew out to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to hang out for a few days with [ profile] brownbearon. He was a great host and tour guide. He took me around to many of the Ottawa sights and a couple of jaunts to Quebec which is across the Ottawa River. Many photos were taken. I'll be fixing them up to post soon. I also chatted a bit with Ken (former LJ-User "Ottawacub") on Friday night, who said he would have come out to meet us but he was a bit tipsy after a glassblowing class he is in.

  • Saturday, I flew home and it took FOREVER! After clearing security and customs, the first flight ran late. So I had to race through the Washington-Dulles airport to meet my connection. I arrived at the gate to find it was delayed by a 1/2 hour. A group of Canadian students heading to New Orleans were not so lucky, as their boarding time started before they even got off the Ottawa flight. I had a few minutes, so I ran to their gate and told the gate agent that the students were getting their bags and were on their way. She said they'd wait for them and I hope she meant that. I finally got home at 8 PM. I was beat.

  • Sunday, I skipped my workout (I counted the run through the airport Saturday as a "workout"). I ate lunch and went to see matinee of "The Green Inferno". A young (and stupid) girl crushes on a guy who runs a group that wants to protect a Peruvian tribe from deforestation. He's a douche, has a bitch girlfriend, and treats the group like they are stupid. And yet, they all fall under his spell, sign up to travel to Peru, and chain themselves to the bulldozers while posting their activities to the web. Patting themselves on the back for their efforts, they try to fly back to the city and crash in the South American rain forest. There, the survivors are captured by the very tribe they went to protect and bad things begin to happen. Yeah, it's very gross. The plot is predictable. And the acting for some of the cast was questionable (I'm being kind). However, there were a couple of very handsome bears and cubs in the group of survivors, so at least the eye candy was good. My favorite is a bearded Chilean actor Nicolas Martinez. And it's set up for a sequel I think.

    Nicolas Martinez
    Nicolás Martínez in "Aftershock"

    I spent the rest of the day doing laundry, inking comic pages, and watching TV. I was still beat from the day before. I decided to bail on work on Monday. I have a lot of vacation time to burn still, so I figured why not.

  • Today was a relaxing kind of day. I got a chest and back workout in, showered, had lunch, and sat at Barnes & Noble with an iced coffee and inked more comic pages. I finished them up tonight while catching up on my Netflix. It's been a good day.
kybearfuzz: (Dreaming)
As my temporary work position is winding down, I've been thinking about taking time off and debating on where I'd go. I'm sure this influenced the dream I had this morning.

I was on vacation, heading by plane to Portugal. I've always wanted to go back to Portugal, after having visited Lisbon back in 2009 for work. As the plane was nearing the coast, I went to the back of the plane and jumped off into the ocean. I swam to the shore where I saw huge numbers of people rushing into the huge waves that were crashing into the beach. Thia activity was a local custom called "The Breaking of the Waves." People rushed into the water, breaking the waves coming to the shore, swam back to the beach, and repeated their run. I joined in with the locals, which included men, women, and children of all ages.

When the fun of this wore off, I trekked up to the road where I found my car. I guess as part of this adventure, I had paid for a car with all my stuff in it. It was getting late and I drove down this one highway. It was dark, but very picturesque in a way. The sky was dark enough to see stars but only around the edges of the trees. It was like it was too light above me to see stars, but the horizon was dark enough for them to shine.

After a couple of hours on the road, it ended to another road. I noted the name of the street I was on as "Armitage" and decided to turn right on the connecting street. Eventually, I came up a hotel, which was full of American tourists. The cute cubby at the front desk seemed to know I was supposed to show up. He had an American accent, which I found odd. When I told him about my day, how I had jumped from a plane and participated in the wave breaking activity, he looked at me like I was crazy.

"My dad has never done that," he said, looking at me incredulously.

I'm not sure what his dad had to do with it, but I accepted my room keys to go to my room and that is when I woke up.
kybearfuzz: (Pride Purple 2013)
I sat in the airport for several hours yesterday, but I managed to keep myself occupied working on the next Bear Patrol issue. The plane finally boarded around 5 PM, a small jet with three seats per row. I was on the side with only one seat, a favorite spot.

The sole flight attendant was a slender African-American woman. She walked up and down the aisle, telling people that they couldn't put a soda in the seat pocket, needed to turn the phones off, etc. She wasn't the warm and fuzzy kind of attendant. She was militant.

After everyone was on board, she stood up at the front and made an announcement without the microphone.

"I need two people from rows 4-8 to move to rows 15-18," she said.

Everyone looked confused and no one answered. It was somewhat phrased as a question, but it was a command.

"I need two people from rows 4-8 to move to rows 15-18," she quickly repeated, "This door will not close until two people agree to move to balance the plane."

The lady in front of me agreed to move. So did I. She didn't say thank you that I recall.

I moved to the VERY last row in the plane and ended up sitting in a double-seat solo, which was fine. However, I couldn't keep the flight attendant's attitude out of my head. At first I was irritated at her and her attitude, but I couldn't deny that she was definitely in control. I wondered if this was her usual demeanor, or was she pissed off because she got stuck with this flight or something else.

She went through her announcement and stated her name was Chanell (spelling was obtained from her tag).

She closed her announcement saying in a stern tone, "if there is anything I could do to make your trip more comfortable, please let me know."

It sounded like a dare. In my current, tired condition, I certainly wasn't going to take that one on.

I wasn't the only one who noticed this I think. I noticed a young lady digging her cell phone out of her apparently bottomless purse. She kept looking over the seat to see where Chanell was, before she pulled it out. Seriously.

The young lady wanted to grab a couple of quick shots of the clouds out the plane window, which she did, and then quickly put it away, again looking up to see if Chanell was in viewing distance.

The flight was relatively uneventful and quick. As I unboarded the plane, the last one to get out, Chanell flatly said, "thank you for flying United..."

I would have been disappointed if she had gone all sweet and lightness at the end.

It's good to be home.
kybearfuzz: (McHargue Mill 2013)
I'm trying to be a more positive person. This is going to be a bitchy post, but hopefully it's at least entertaining.

Yesterday was a disaster. I can't describe it any other way. I was flying out to DC, so around 11:30 AM I left home for the airport, parking in the long-term lot. My first bout of trouble was the long-term parking bus when the lady driving the bus wouldn't help me with my bags. You want tips, honey? Help a guy out when he's struggling with the bag, backpack, and computer bag. If you don't, you get nothing -- money or sympathy.

I made it through security and parked myself at the gate after grabbing a quick lunch. My flight had been delayed by an hour. No big deal, I thought. I was planning on meeting a buddy for an early dinner and I thought I would still make that.

Then it got delayed again for another hour. I was getting irritated now, but I thought I can cope. While waiting I managed to finish drawing the last pages of the next "Grizzly & The Bear Patrol" issue, so it was time well spent.

Then it got delayed for another two hours. At this point, an early dinner with my buddy was turning into a late one, which he couldn't make. I texted him that I was going to miss it and we'd try again later.

So four hours after we were supposed to leave, six hours after I'd gotten to the airport, we finally boarded. Then we sat for a half hour while the plane was de-iced with the air turned off. To make it equally fun, sitting behind me in the stifling warmth, was Goober Pyle and Otis the Drunk from "The Andy Griffith Show." One sang, the other laughed, and both were giving off a slight racist vibe. When we finally took off and were flying over DC, one commented "Oh, look I can see Obama's girls playing in their yard," to which the other replied, "At night? You couldn't see them." Nice, huh?

So when the flight finally landed and we got off the plane, I trekked through Dulles Airports maze to baggage claim. It took a bit for my bag to roll around. It showed up, face down. I pulled it off the carousel to find the front ripped -- large gash through the front of the bag, the zipper torn off the fabric, etc. I was livid. It wasn't a new suitcase, but it was pretty solid.

So I dragged it to the United Baggage Office and stood in line. It's now after 9 PM and I'm exhausted and angry. The little mouse of a clerk I finally spoke with said, "Sorry, sir, we don't cover external damage."

"Well," I sternly replied, "your airline managed to rip into the bag, so the external damage went INSIDE."

She quickly added, "Would you like to speak to a supervisor?"

"Yes, please," I retorted.

I never saw the supervisor. She came back, did some typing around on her computer, and said that she had a similar bag to give me. So they replaced the bag with a new one. I was relieved actually as I didn't expect that. I was thinking I'd just get some cheesy voucher. So I transferred my clothes and stuff from the old bag to the new one and left.

Finally, I arrived at my hotel at near 10:30 PM. I was worn out and hungry. After dropping off my bag in my room, I walked to the 24-hour McDonalds for a shake and finally got settled.

A crappy day, right...?
kybearfuzz: (Mark in Browns)
It's not so bad, coming back to work after the trip. Everyone is usually very happy to see you home. I did managed to comb through the 200 photos I took and posted a selection of each.

Teddington Station

Click Above to go to Teddington, London, England

Glasgow City Centre Station

Click Above to go to East Kilbride, Glasgow & Edinburgh in Scotland

Happy Monday!
kybearfuzz: (Totally Purple)
I posted a video from my day in Glasgow but Flickr is still processing it, so I suspect there is a problem with it. I'll try to fix it later. Uploading takes a while.

The video from Edinburgh is fine though.

Here's the link in case it doesn't load:
kybearfuzz: (Old Lady Shades 2)
Its snowing here. Kind of fun, I suppose, that my first snowfall of the season is here.

Last night, after leaving the warmth and wifi of the local Starbucks cafe, I wandered the streets of Teddington looking for a restaurant for dinner with little success. It's not like there is a shortage of places to eat, but a third of them are Indian food and my system couldn't handle a second night of that. So I walked around a lot looking for something appealing and found nothing. I've always been told that if you don't know what you want, then you're not really hungry. Eventually, I begged off and just had a bag of crisps and a diet coke in my room while reviewing some things for work. Boring, I know.

I did find a couple of interesting night sights to photograph. I'll post those when I get home.

One of the things I have enjoyed are BBC game shows. One is called "Pointless" where the goal is to find the lowest number of guesses to a question. Sort do the opposite of Family Feud. The host is adorable.

Well. Off to brave the snow. Happy hump day!
kybearfuzz: (Old Lady Shades 2)
Last night, I ate dinner at a local Indian restaurant. It wasn't crowded. The only other folks in the main dining room was a trio of young 20-somethings. Young and loud, I couldn't help overhearing their spirited and dramatic conversation.

It seems that one of the young ladies had a cheating boyfriend who had been shagging his ex-girlfriend. She had discovered a litany of undeleted emails on his phone between them and she was alternately reading them to her friends and sobbing during the commentary. All through this I was playing a zombie game on my phone.

Her main goal was "totally" confronting him in public, embarrassing him in front of friends and family for being a cheating loser, and giving herself "closure" in the incident. Naturally, she remarked at the cheating pair would likely get back together now that she and he were over and they "deserved each other."

Eventually, she couldn't stay and apologized to her friends for wrecking dinner and left to confront the boyfriend. The friends continued to comment after she left, the young lady wondering if she should have gone with her. Her boyfriend seemed happy she didn't. She begrudgingly agreed that she have likely been stuck waiting three hours in the car waiting for her. Or worse, be stuck between the fighting pair.

The couple left soon after. I finished myself and went for a frigid walk. I felt sorry for the young lady, but I can't help but be somewhat entertained by such a strange public display of emotion and drama. That sounds evil, doesn't it? It just seemed a bit over the top. I half expected the trio to walk about asking for gratuity for the show. It did ring of Eastenders, I thought.

Happy Tuesday all.
kybearfuzz: (Baptist)
I was in DC this past week, from Monday afternoon to late this morning. The training covered the Freedom of Information Act. While it's obviously one of the most powerful tools for transparent government around, it is also the subject of the most boring training classes every put together. The instructors tended to be relatively dynamic, but it's like listening to someone be enthusiastic about wallpapering. The class is just a necessary work evil.

Mid-bicep Workout PhotoOn the flight back, I was seated in the exit row next to a slender, older lady who was likely in her sixties. The flight attendant stopped to ask if we were aware we were in the exit row and whether we agreed to perform exit row duties in the case of an emergency. We both agreed.

After the attendant left, I looked at the exit door to see how it was supposed to be opened and noted the weight of the door was 42 lbs. I then looked at the lady and thought, based on her overall appearance, "I doubt you could heft 42 lbs. so easily."

I wondered if airlines shouldn't be more considerate of who sits in these seats. I can lift 42 lbs with no problem, one of the perks of working out (even at hotel gyms -- see Shameless Comment Whore photo to the left). However, if I were not there, I wondered if this lady could have handled the door on her own. These are choice seats for economy class. You get more leg room, so you can stretch out, which I'm sure is one of the reasons why she sat there.

Luckily, we didn't need to find out. The flight was pretty much routine and unremarkable, which is how I like it. No screaming children, no panicking passengers, no smelly person next to me.

It's good to be home.
kybearfuzz: (Old Lady Shades 2)
My trip to Sacramento was a good one, though I didn't really get much time to see the city. By the time our training class let out for the day, the sun was usually going down and the temperatures along with them. I did get to see my buddies Johnny and Chris for dinner again before I flew out on Friday.

Wednesday was fun. The class was about drug residues in cattle, so as part of the course, I got to visit an auction house and a dairy farm. Sadly I don't have any pics of the cattle auction because they didn't allow any photos. It's not like I would have taken pics of the cows, but the blue collar farmers! Oh wow... the jeans, the cowboy hats, the facial hair -- so many good things to see.

A cattle auction is an interesting thing to say the least. A truck with a trailer pulls up, lets a group of cows or calves out, each getting a tag, and then moves on. The auction part is entertaining. A cow comes out, they post her tag number and weight on a board, then the auctioneer rambles incoherently with his head moving back and forth amongst the bidder like a tennis fan with Tourette's Syndrome. The cow runs back and forth in the pen with a sexy cowboy who shoos her back through another gate with a long rattle on a stick. I likened it to a beauty contest. The cow comes out, struts her stuff in front of the judges, she gets a final score in terms of bids (X dollars per 100 lbs), and then exits. I kept singing "Fat Bottom Girls" in my head when they came out for some reason. Some cows didn't seem to mind the attention while others seem pissed to be on display. One poor bony cow only got $10/100 lbs. I felt sorry for her.

Pretty girlThe dairy farm was entertaining. The lady who owns the place really cares for her animals. I'm surprised how easily these cows just walk into place, get the udder hook up and just sit still until done. The calves are adorable. Each one gets her own "room" in a pen until she's a few weeks old and then into a large pen with the others. Each one is on her way to becoming a dairy cow like dear old mom.

My group had a case study project to present on Friday morning. It was fun, but we got a bit of rave reviews thanks to a scroll of cartoons of people we "interviewed" I drew. The odd part was the fact I drew it with a Sharpie on a roll of paper towels. Necessity is the mother of invention.

As fun as Sacramento was, I admit I was happy to head home. It took literally all day, thanks to a delay on my connection in Salt Lake City. I pulled into my driveway at 2 AM. I've spent most of the weekend in recovery mode. I took today off to get a few things done.

Two weeks until Christmas. Happy ... er.. Monday...
kybearfuzz: (Default)
St. Jorge Castle
Mark the Tourist

I have about 300 photos from my week in Lisbon. I managed to whittle it down to a bit over fifty to post in my Flickr account. I put them in a separate set for easier viewing.

It's good to be home and sleeping in my own bed. I'm still on Lisbon time though, which has me waking up at 5:30 AM (about 10:30 AM there) so sleeping in is hard. I took today off to catch up on things at home, paying bills and doing laundry and the like.

Back to work tomorrow, so I plan on enjoying today :)


kybearfuzz: (Default)

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