Monthly Archives: April 2009

Busy Weekend — and it isn’t over

It’s only Saturday afternoon, and I’ve already had a busy weekend. And it is likely to stay busy.


Government Interference

For some reason, I’m still on one of the mailing lists for National Karate in the Chicago area. Normally, I glance at the e-mails just to see what is going on. Most of them are announcements of school closings and events, and there are only one or two every few months. I’m not worried about being on the list.

Today, I got one from the director of the school informing us of a couple of changes that impact the May tournament. Both of these changes are the result of a new state law — probably one that someone believed would protect people.

The first change is that every participant, or at least everyone sparring, must either have a physical in the last year in which they are cleared for this kind of activity, or have a physical from a physician on site. This seems to apply to everyone from the 4-year-olds (at least if it covers non-sparring classes, very few at that are spar yet) up through the teenagers and into adults.

Second, every woman 18 and older who is sparring must have a pregnancy test the day of the tournament, and the physician must read the test and clear them to compete.

Now, I believe that anyone participating in heavy physical activity probably should check with their doctor to make sure that they don’t have a hidden condition that could kill them before they start, and it probably isn’t a good idea for women who are expecting to spar. But, I don’t really like the government both requiring that this be done, and requiring that the organizers of the tournament — in this case the school — check all of this documentation before the tournament.

I’d be relieved that I won’t have to deal with this (and pay for an extra physical or two), except for the fact that if California doesn’t have a similar law already, it is only a matter of time before we have one.

Not a good week so far

This hasn’t been a very good week so far. The fact that I have a head cold, sinus infection or really bad allergies is a part of it. But most of the problem is that my main task for the week, getting a build out the door by Wednesday, has been nothing but trouble.

A Build By Murphy

Open House Listing

Tomorrow, our plan is to spend at least part of the day looking at neighborhoods. After about six months of living in a rented house in Oceanside we are starting to think, again, about where we will want to buy when our house in the Chicago area (hopefully) sells.

Last summer when we first heading this way from Chicago, I thought that Oceanside, Carlsbad or Vista would be a good deal — and I’m not convinced I was wrong. However, the last few weeks I’ve been thinking that some other neighborhoods might also work out — RB, Poway, Rancho Peñasquitos, some of northern Mira Mesa, Tierrasanta, and possibly neighborhoods nearby. So, I’d like to spend a few hours looking around some of these areas.

However, we haven’t engaged our local real estate agent for this activity, so we won’t have access to houses that aren’t holding open houses. So I’ve been trying to find some source that lists open houses for a given date. So far I’ve only found one listing, which only showed three for tomorrow, which seems kind of low for a Sunday in mid-April in what is still a buyer’s market.

So if anyone has possible places I haven’t looked, please let me know.

Where to get a simple, cheep pavilion

The next two weekends, we will be attending events at Buddy Todd Park, which is less than a mile from our house — at least based on the mileage on my pedometer from the walk. Next Saturday is the Anime LA picnic, and the following Saturday is the Anniversary event for The Canton of Summergate (SCA).

While I was walking to and from the park, for exercise and something to do, it occurred to me that it might be nice to have some sort of a portable shade structure that we can easily bring to the park and set up. The issue is that I’d like something that won’t cost too much to acquire, and will at least pass as appropriate at the SCA event — I doubt the Anime crowd will care.

If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Protected: Not 100% Happy With Work

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

How We’ll Give a Travel Agent Nightmares

I don’t think I’ve shared this yet, but if I have please forgive me.

Our travel plans for this summer will result in a rather complicated set of ticketing which will probably give the Travel Agent at AAA that robot_grrl should visit in the next week or two nightmares — or else make their day if they like challenges or get paid by the segment booked.

Details follow


Not that long ago, we came back from our Easter service. Not too surprisingly there were a few differences I noticed from the last few.

First, this was the first time in a few years I haven’t been running graphics for Easter services. More about at least part of why that was later. On a more drastic front, this service was held outside, at the Oceanside Amphitheater — right on the beach just south of the Oceanside Pier. This is also a very large event, and the church brought in a number of outside speakers in addition to the regular message by Pastor Shawn.

One thing that I noticed that was a big difference between how New Venture Christian Fellowship does this event and how Wheaton Bible Church has done similar events. As near as I could tell, with the possible exception of the person providing the lyrics for the musical part of the worship, the entire technical crew were hired professionals; whereas Wheaton Bible Church as almost always used their regular volunteers for similar events.

I can understand this from the camera crew completely, since New Venture has remote control cameras in their facility so none of our volunteers are used to regular camera work. But we do have regular sound technicians who should be capable of running sound for the event.

In spite of these differences, the key message was the same, and the message is what is important.

Quick Trip Report

In this case, its a report of a quick trip, not a quick report of a trip. But anyway…

Yesterday, robot_grrl, Derrick and I took advantage of the currently Disneyland “2-fer” promotion, and the fact that after I’d asked to get the day off, Tara decided to also take the day off, and headed up to Disneyland.

Morning on the Train

Long Day + Crowded Train + Inebriated Baseball Fans != Nice Commute

Even though I was able to sleep in a bit today — robot_grrl had the day off due to low volume again today — I was feeling dragged down even before getting to work. On top of that, today wasn’t a bad day, but wasn’t encouraging (I’m still doing a job that doesn’t match either my skills or interests). So, when it came time to leave, I was glad to head out.

But I had to drop something by a co-worker’s desk on the way out since I’m off tomorrow and he or another coworker may need a piece of equipment that is in my office being used for automated testing. This took a bit long, and I had to run to catch the shuttle to the train station. Fortunately, I was spotted and the driver stopped for me.

But, as I was getting onto the Coaster, while listening to The Annals of the Kings and Rulers (a.k.a. The appendix to The Lord of the Rings), I heard the announcement that if anyone wanted to wait and not take the crowded train, another would be along in 27 minutes. As I was hearing this, I got upstairs and found it very packed.

Today was the first of the roughly monthly afternoon games for the Padres. This was the first Coaster after the end of the game, and had a large contingent of fans — both of the Padres and their opponents, the LA Dodgers. By the time I got upstairs the only seat available was with three loud young baseball fans who had consumed more beer (I presume) than was probably good for them. They were in the loud and obnoxiously friendly stage. I choose to stand downstairs through the first two stops instead of joining them. I’m sure the woman about my age (+- 10 years) who also got on at my stop was very wise in not joining them.

Fortunately, I was able to get a seat after two stops.

The we arrived at Oceanside, and I headed for the Sprinter. The Sprinter at that time is a 1 car train, and the platform was already very crowded, including many of the loud and probably inebriated baseball fans. On top of that, several were smoking in spite of the NCTD’s ban on smoking on the platform. I quickly decided to call Tara, who was just up the road at the Sunset Market, to see if she could give me a ride to my car. Fortunately, she and Derrick hadn’t left, and I was able to walk up to them and get a ride back to the station near the house.

Fortunately, these games are only monthly (except September, when there are two) and the ones in July and August will be on days when I’ll be in Arizona or Montreal. But for the others, I think I’ll drive.