-= Random Ramblings... =-

Monday, January 31, 2005

When Typing Hurts

I was doing some work on my truck yesterday afternoon, and in the process managed to pinch the pad of my left index finger and get a blood blister. To most people it wouldn't be that big of a deal, it hurt when it happened, it's a little uncomfortable now, but whatever. I wouldn't normally think twice about it... except for the fact that I type for a living. Every time I hit keys on the top row (the QWERTY row) I'm hitting them right smack dab on that stupid blister. It sucks. Although I guess I should be thankful it isn't higher up on the tip of my finger because then I would be using it everytime I hit a home row key, and that would probably suck more.

Yes I know I'm basically just whining because it doesn't hurt that bad, it's just annoying, but damnit it's my blog and I can whine if I want to!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Nondenominational Well Wishing

For some reason I find this Penny Arcade comic freakin hilarious! I have no idea why, it just really made me laugh. It kind of reminds me of that boardroom scene in Dogma , which is a great movie that you must go watch if you haven't yet seen it. I won't describe the scene here, you'll just have to go watch the movie.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Phone Etiquette

I am constantly amazed that people will take their cell phones into public restrooms and have conversations with people while they uh... do their business. Maybe it's just guys, since most of us are used to standing next to other guys, sometimes with little separating partitions but sometimes not, and relieving ourselves. I could almost see some guys being comfortable enough talking to their friends on the phone and taking a whiz... but most of the times that I've run into bathroom phone talkers they're on business calls! They don't even try to hide the fact that they're in the bathroom either, they'll tinkle, flush and wash their hands all the while taking a business call! Are we really that pressed for time that we can't even take 2 minutes out of our schedule to take a leak? Does the person on the other line not realize that they're talking to someone who's going potty? Do they not care? Or do they just not want to say anything? It's not just Number 1 either, more often than not, they're in a stall doing Number 2. And believe me you can tell they're doing Number 2 and not just sitting in there because they want the privacy.

I dunno, maybe I'm just too sensitive, but when I'm in the bathroom I'm taking a break from the rest of the world. It's a nice peaceful little break from everything. So if you call me sometime and I don't answer, but I call you back a few minutes later and I sound very relaxed, you know why.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

My kitty!

originally uploaded by foxpaw.
This is my kitty, Lucy. Mirella found her wandering around, with no collar, and adopted her when she was just a kitty. She's adorable! She doesn't have any problem with people picking her up or anything, she's very mellow. She loves following us around, if we go to a different room, she follows us. She knows her name and will usually come if we call her (if she doesn't have anything else better to do, she is a cat after all). She also talks back to us, especially if we use her name when we're talking to her. She is of course the cutest kitty in the world :)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Washed Ashore

originally uploaded by foxpaw.
Me and Mirella went down to Newport Beach last night just to walk around and relax. As we got close to the shore we noticed big mounds on the beach that from far away we couldn't really tell what they were. When we got closer we saw that they were big piles of mostly wood, most of which looked like bamboo. Along with the big mounds there was also a bunch of it scattered right on the shore, apparently washed up from the ocean. Some of the pieces still had their roots attached, leading us to believe that most of this debris had been uprooted from somewhere. The only two possible explanations we could think of was that it got washed out to see during the rainstorms we just had, or that it got washed out here from halfway across the world where the tsunami hit. Southern California isn't really known for it's bamboo forests, so is it possible that all this stuff floated over all the way from Southeast Asia? I searched Google to see if there was anything in the news about massive amounts of bamboo being washed ashore but all I could find were articles on pollution caused by the rain (because of sewage systems overflowing) and a bunch of jumbo squid washing ashore. We didn't see any jumbo squid last night, and I'm kind of bummed about that. If you click on the image up there on the left it'll link you to a set of pictures on Flickr with a few more pictures of the big piles of stuff, and a slipper.

We took a piece of bamboo home as a souvenir.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Downtown L.A. at Night

Downtown LA
Downtown LA,
originally uploaded by foxpaw.
On Friday night I had to stop by the company's datacenter to finish hooking up a tape backup drive and while I was driving down there took this picture using the camera on my phone. I think it came out pretty good considering I was in the car and my camera phone is the not-very-impressive Motorola V220.

The datacenter is in the building at the end of the street, One Wilshire. If you look at the fullsize photo I added a note pointing out which building it is.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


originally uploaded by foxpaw.
The picture's a little dark because the light was on, but I snapped this picture this morning as I was leaving my apartment to go to work. It's a picture of the light right outside the door to my apartment, and there's bees all over it! There used to be a beehive right outside our bedroom window, I could hear them buzzing around and every now and then they would land on the screen and chill. I had no problem with that, they were way up high so walking by them they didn't bother you, and they had no way of getting in to the apartment because there's a screen on the window. Well one day I came home and the exterminators had been there and gotten rid of the beehive that wasn't bothering anyone. That was a month or two ago. Now they're back, and they're much closer. Right outside my door. So I have to walk by them to get in or out, and they could possibly fly in to the apartment as I'm doing it. Yay! I called the leasing office to let them know as I was walking out to the car, and hopefully it won't take them a week to do something about it like it took with the leak in the ceiling.

Did I mention I'm moving out as soon as my lease is up?

Thursday, January 13, 2005


My poor truck got rearended last night on my way home from work. It happened on the 405S just before the interchange to the 10. I was in the fast lane, traffic was stop and go. We had just had an extended "go" period and we came to a stop again. I didn't stop fast, I came to a nice leisurely stop. I was stopped a couple of seconds before I heard the unmistakeable sound of screeching tires directly behind me. I looked up into my rear view mirror to see the headlights approaching fast. After 2 or 3 seconds of screeching tires I thought "He's been stopping for a while, he'll probably stop in time.", then CRASH! That unique sound of crumpling sheetmetal. Great. It sounded pretty bad, so I get out of my truck expecting to see the back end pretty mangled. The first thing I see is that what hit me was a stock two wheel drive (so not very tall) Ford F-150 that looks like a company work truck. The hood is buckled, the front grill is completely smashed and pushed in. It looks bad. Fearing the worst I look at my truck. I have to look at it for a few seconds before I can see the damage. The step in the middle of the bumper is pushed down. One of the license plate lights popped out (I popped it back in and it stays fine), the other one broke off. There's a small dent on the right side of the tailgate. Cosmetically, that's it. If you're not really looking for it, you almost couldn't tell that my truck had been in accident. We exchanged insurance information, the guys (there were two in the truck) work for a plumbing company and the truck is a work truck, so it's covered by the work's insurance company. Hopefully that will make things easier, not harder. A CHP unit stopped by to see if we were ok or needed a tow, but both truck were still driveable. The Ford missed getting it's radiator punctured by about an inch. Once I got home I checked the tailgate and it's having some trouble opening, so it's obviously been warped. If I open it all the way it hits the bumper, so the bumper is angled upwards now. There's also a crack in the plastic surrounding the right tail light. Overall the truck held up really well though. It'll need a new bumper, probably a new tailgate, and maybe a new tail light. It's gonna suck having the truck in the shop for a few days to get that done, but it could have been worse. It wasn't my fault and there wasn't a whole lot of damage to my truck.

I don't have any pictures because my camera's been misplaced and my cell phone was completely out of juice. Not that it would have been able to take any decent pictures since it was almost 8pm.

Nissan 1 - Ford 0

Monday, January 10, 2005

Leaky Ceiling Update

The finally fixed everything. They had to pull up the carpet in the living room and take out the padding, let the carpet dry (for 3 days!) put a new pad in and put the carpet back down. The leak itself was apparently fixed in one day. From what I understand though there's still some more repairs that need to be done. They were going to do them this week, starting tomorrow and going until Thursday, but since it's still raining (supposedly through Wednesday) they're most likely going to push it back until later in the week, or sometime next week. I'm so moving out of here as soon as my lease is up...

Friday, January 07, 2005

Persian Mousepad

Persian Mousepad
Persian Mousepad,
originally uploaded by foxpaw.
About half of the employees for the company I currently work for are Persian. My boss just recently got back from a trip to Iran, he hadn't been back there in more than 25 years. It was actually a pretty interesting coincidence that the day that he was flying in to Iran was the exact same day that he flew out more than 25 years ago. Anyways, as I said he just got back and since he's such a good guy he brought everybody in the company these mousepads. It's a little persian rug glued to a really stiff piece of those crappy cheap foam type mousepads. He brought back three different designs. As a mousepad it actually works pretty well, especially considering I have a crappy ball mouse here at work.

I'm finding it really amusing that I have an authentic persian rug as a mousepad.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

This Old Apartment

Leak catcher
Leak catcher,
originally uploaded by foxpaw.
So the ceiling in my apartment has sprung a leak. Apparently all the rain has just been too much and it's started soaking through. I called the leasing office Monday afternoon and they assured me that fixing the leaks is their top priority and that the roofers would be out on Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon around 5:45 I'm talking to my girlfriend, who's at home, and ask her if they fixed the ceiling. Nope, still leaking Tuesday afternoon. I call the leasing office and tell them that my ceiling is still leaking. They assure me that fixing leaks is their top priority and that someone will be out today to fix my leak. Well sometime during the night it stopped dripping, I'm assuming it ran out of water because I get up at 7am and I'm sure they didn't have anybody up there working on it that early. So now I don't get to find out if it's still leaking or not until it rains again. Yay! I guess that's what I get for moving into the cheapest one bedroom apartment I could find.

The picture is of the bowl full of water that I collected just yesterday. There was already one bowl full that was collected on Monday that had to be dumped out. This is the biggest mixing bowl that I have too, it holds a lot of water. Hooray for buildings built in the '70s :/

Monday, January 03, 2005


Test picture
Test picture,
originally uploaded by foxpaw.
I just discovered Flickr. It's a free picture hosting service, although it has paid accounts with less restrictions. What kind of restrictions? A 10MB/month upload limit, and ummm, oh yeah that's the only restriction. Plus I can use it to directly create blog entries like this one. It's pretty nifty, and I find it much more useful than Picasa's Hello program that Blogger recommends. All my public photos (of which currently there is only the one you see to the left) are available for viewing at http://www.flickr.com/photos/foxpaw/.

I discovered it thanks to A who probably started using it because there's an iPhoto plugin for it. Damn Mac users. :P

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, you also get an email address that you can email pictures directly to (ie from a camera phone) and you can link that email address up to a blog so that with one email you can upload the photo and post it on your blog. Photoblogging from anywhere where you have cell phone reception even if you don't have a computer handy. Now that's cool!

Goodbye 2004, Hello 2005

2004 is finally behind us, and what a busy year it was. Lots and lots of things happened this year that I happened to be in the periphery of. They've been talked about in better detail and from a better perspective than any I could ever muster, so if you're interested, you can read Mirella or A's posts on the subject. As for my small part in those larger events, I hope I at least provided some help, or some comfort when others needed it so much. Here's hoping that the coming year will be just as exciting, but in a good way ;)

As for my part, the last few months have been pretty trying. In August I lost my job that I'd held for 6 years. While I knew that my time there was ending, the shock of it actually happening was pretty hard to take. Thankfully they were nice enough to give me a sizeable severance check, which along with the money I had in savings allowed me to (just barely) urvive until I found a new job in November. Things are still pretty tough though. I buried myself deeper in debt just getting here, and the new job isn't paying as much as I'd hoped, so I'm just barely getting by at this point. Things are in the works for that to change, and hopefully change will come soon. Keep your fingers crossed.

An unfortunate side effect of having lost my job is that I haven't been able to keep up with my karate. Since my job is up on the other side of LA, and I don't get out of work until 6:30pm, there's no way for me to make it to my group classes during the week. I've been going to the Saturday classes, but studying one day a week isn't enough to keep in shape, or to improve in skill at all. There is a dojo just down the street from where I work, and I attended one class there, but work's been busy and with the holidays and everything that's all I ever made it to. All this means that Will, my partner in fu for the past 3 years, is going to be testing for his brown belt before me. I'm happy for him and I know he'll do just fine, but I just can't help but feel a little bit disappointed that I won't be there testing with him. This will be the first time that we don't test together, and even if I do get back into the swing of things soon, he'll have his black belt before me. I don't mind at all, it's not that I have any kind of ego that's being hurt by this fact, but it's just strange to think about the fact that he's going to be higher rank than me for a while. We've been the same rank for so long that it's going to take some getting used to.

This is also the first year that I wasn't able to be with my family for the holidays. Since they moved out to Florida a few years ago they either came out here, or we went out there. This year neither coast was in financial shape to do any traveling, so we had to settle for phone calls. Thankfully my older sister, Carolina, still lives out here and I did get together with her and her boyfriend Matt for dinner one night. I manage not to think about it very often, but when I do, I realize that I miss my parents a lot more than I thought I would. Not enough to make me want to move out to that humid wasteland, but I do miss them a lot :) It seems like 2005 is going to be a better year financially for all of us, so here's hoping that this year we'll be able to spend at least a little bit of time together as a family again.

It seems to me that 2005 has started on a good note so far. Let's keep that momentum going and make the most out of the coming year!