Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jiggity Jig

So I am frequently asked by all my faithful reader, and by frequently I mean never, "The Travel Slob, when you are not traveling, where do you hang your hat at night?" Well you're in luck, true believers, as today I show off where I live! Also, if you plan to burglarize my apartment, please notify me so I can prepare.

Here we have Command Central, right next to the Captain's Quarters. Here is where I receive orders from Travel HQ, and also where I relay said instructions. Nearby is the large view screen where I can scout out potential places to visit. Sorry, Boston, Massachusetts, but after watching the visual report "Fringe", I can safely say I'll be avoiding your strange city.

Here we have the Navigator and Gunnery stations. Nearby you'll see the quarters of my crew members, First Mate Freddie and Security Chief Nazgh├╗l, the World's Most Evil Parakeet.

Here is the entrance to the bridge, which is conveniently located near the dining deck. The glow in the viewport to the right is most likely a sign of nuclear winter. I waited a while before exiting.

Here we have the Galley, which is small enough for one. On the table I've left some Black Red Vines. Most likely I'm taking them out later as they've gone bad.

Here are my many visual security briefings. To the left is the weapons locker for hand-to-hand combat. To the right is the door where the hazardous environment suits are kept.

Another view of the galley. At the end is the access port to Maintenance Bay One. The galley seems to be in a bit of disorder since last mess. I'll need to speak to the one in charge of cleaning here.

Here is the Captain's Quarters. You get a rare treat today! Most often my quarters are closed to the public.

Now we move on to the War Room, where we store more briefings and scale models to plan combat operations.

Here's a sample of the combat troop models. They need a little work,still.

More combat and intelligence briefings. I've gathered quite a few. The boxes in the previous pictures contain more, I'm afraid. We simply haven't the storage to display them all.

And last, here's the Observation Deck. We've not had the budget to add more amenities for the crew, but we're hoping that soon more will be added.

Well, faithful reader, I hope you enjoyed the tour of the ship! Until the next time I can be bothered to actually post.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


It’s been twenty years since I’ve graduated from High School, a thought which sends shivers down my spine like when my last girlfriend used to kiss me. Officially, I’ve been alive longer than it’s taken me to earn a High School Diploma (which, I would like to note, my mother refused to believe I’d received until she saw the physical document). For some people this is depressing, but for me – not so much. The more space I put between me and my embarrassing adolescence, the better!

Sure, some people like to dream and fantasize about, “if I could go back and do it all again, knowing what I know now …” Despite being a head-in-the-clouds type of guy who still fantasizes about being a superhero someday (it could happen), I don’t fantasize about that. Apparently the teenage brain works different than an adult brain: at that age we have very poor risk assessment. Even knowing all the consequences of all my stupidity, I’d probably do the same things because my brain would be going, “Sure, last time you did this you got hurt, but this time you know what’s coming!” Then I’d do the same thing and bam! Broken shoulder all over again or whatever. The great thing about being an adult is that I can look at a large pile of boxes and go, “If I climbed that, I would fall off and break something.”

That said I still have a small adventurous streak. The easiest way to get to Portland from Santa Rosa is to take the Redwood Highway down to I-80, then get to I-5 from that and just drive north. Boring! This time, since I was driving, I decided to try something new. I took highway 29 over the mountain, from there went to 53, went over highway 20, and then on to I-5. No, I couldn’t escape I-5. Not this time, alas. Still, I recommend this way a lot more than the ‘fast’ way. Sure, I don’t save much on time, but the views are gorgeous. If I had planned ahead better, I would have taken pictures and annoyed people on the road because I’d keep pulling over the side to whip out my camera. My camera.

On a side note, Highway 29 is very exciting when you drive it at night. Successive hairpin turns for the win!

I had missed my ten year reunion. My official story is that I was uninvited to the ten year. I received a postcard asking if I was interested. I sent that back with my contact information saying why yes, I was. I received nothing else. I suppose I was just too good-looking and thus threatening to my former classmates. Yes. I like this story. I shall keep it.

The other great thing about being twenty years older is that I can now complain about money and prices and just sound curmudgeonly rather than oddly frugal for such a young man. The price to celebrate this reunion was just over one hundred dollars for me, not counting travel costs. So of course, I got there as soon as I could and stayed the whole night because dadgummit, I’d paid that much money I’m going to get my money’s worth and why do I need pay extra for my Rob Roys? I revel in my new-found tight-fisted policy.

There were plenty of people of whom I barely remember, mostly because I was painfully shy in high school. Now I’m just painful. I reconnected with a few of my old theater friends which was great. I reconnected with people I never connected with, so I guess I connected with people I was only slightly acquainted with back in the day. Of course there was a lot of, “Hi,” a look down at my badge, “Doug! How are you?” That’s to be expected. Next time, I’m putting my badge somewhere different so I can watch as people search as to whom the heck I am.

I won an award! This was a pleasant surprise because I don’t win a lot of awards. I’m pretty sure I stole my last trophy.

(Me with my trophy for "Best Stolen Trophy")

However, being unmarried, without children, and with a job yielded me the award for “Most Available”. That’s right, ladies. I have a job. What are you waiting for already?

I’m amused that every time I go up north, I manage to get some tabletop game-time in my schedule. I shouldn’t be surprised. I enjoy my computer games, but my favorite type of game still uses dice and guys and gals sitting around a table, enjoying each other’s company as well as a good hobby. Sunday I managed to get to my best friend Brent’s house for a game of D&D. Monday night I drove up to my friend Rob’s house for some Warhammer Fantasy Battles. I’m a huge nerd, but I love it. Everyone needs a hobby. Mine is just terribly nerdy.

I probably annoyed people for using my laser pointer at Rob’s so much. My excuse is that my self-control was whittled down by late hours and Vodka. It’s not a good excuse. On the other hand, Rob entertained the cat with my laser pointer! Annoying fellow gamers and cat entertainment: two more activities for my laser pointer! The possibilities are endless!

After Sunday’s game, my best friends Brent and Jer and I got in a long conversation in Brent’s driveway. One of the things we discussed quite a bit was our memories of Camp Tadmor. If you’ve seen any of my sister’s postings, you’d know Tadmor to be a horrible place with snakes, spiders, and the evil wilderness seeking to swallow hapless children whole. By the conversation my best friends and I had, we knew it to be a great place where we did crazy things and found new ways to get into trouble. We particularly enjoyed the Night Games, which for young teens involved lots of screaming and running from threats in the dark. For fun, sis. For fun. I even worked there one year. I had a blast, and overall Tadmor will hold fond memories in my life.

A part of me is a bit disappointed that I only got to Portland several times this year, but it’s a small part. I’ve many connections up there still, and I’m glad I took extra time this vacation to visit as many as possible. My one regret is that I didn’t save time for my brothers and sisters that make up Meadow Springs Community Church. Next time I go up, I need to make more time for them.