Welcome to Glenn's Blog!

Here I will periodically post random thoughts and stories about what's going on in my life and the world around me. As if anyone cared. But seriously, you've found your way here, so hopefully you will enjoy at least some of what I have to say, even if you aren't entirely interested in it. At the least, it should be a good way to waste time.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Weekend in Review

So, it was a surprisingly busy and productive weekend with me and Connor. Two bachelors/roommates living life to the fullest. Or, at least, hanging out and being guys anyway. Saturday he had a basketball game in which he scored three times. And that's pretty good considering he's been playing with the 1st graders, even though he's just a kindergartner. His team really dominated the other team actually. Not that they really keep track of such petty things as the score. But the kids tend to. They notice. The score was something like 26-6, I think. He was proud of himself. Then in the afternoon he had a play date at a park with his little girlfriend from school, in which he also got to give her his Valentine's Day card and a large Hershey's Kiss. I may have helped somewhat with the procurement of those items...

Kids are funny at this age (6). They run around and play, and then get distracted and play with other people or by themselves, and then at one point or another get sad because their play date isn't giving them quite enough direct attention. And then they come together and run around together some more. And then they sit and share "secrets". Connor said they were saying secrets about me. Probably they were making fun of me. That's what I would do if I was that age. That's what most kids do, isn't it? "His hair is gray like my grandmother's". And things like that. Kids tend to point out the obvious. But in the end they spent a couple of hours there playing together at the park. Playing tag, playing on the swings, playing on the monkey bars, and so on. They ran out a lot of their energy in those two hours. Which, frankly, is always a good thing from a parent's perspective.

Sunday we got a lot of chores done at home, including washing the car, pulling some weeds from the back patio, cleaning the toilets, and putting all of toys and other miscellaneous things away where they belong. Connor made it into a sort of game by saying that it was our cat Buster that was telling us what chores we had to do and when. I also got a little bit of time while he was on a "break" to go through some of the files in my file cabinet and office desk, and clean out and shred or throw away a bunch of stuff that's old and no longer needed. There were some things I found that I hadn't seen in nearly 10 years. Why do we hang onto this stuff? I tried to be pretty liberal in just tossing stuff that I would probably never again use anyway. Sometimes it's tough to let go of "stuff". In any case, I'm slowly but surely whittling down the amount of stuff I'll eventually need to move.

In between all of that Connor got to practice riding a bike, which he has not really had too much experience with till now. At least, not without training wheels anyway. He did good though, and rode all by himself for some significant stretches of sidewalk. At least, until the sidewalk turned. That inevitably lead to a bail out and/or crash, and a bit of whining because the bike doesn't do what it's supposed to, apparently. It's always the bike's fault. But he's excited about trying again, which is a good thing. And this morning he was going on and on about how he didn't realize that the balance was so important and that you can't turn the handlebars too much too quickly. So I guess the bike has been cleared of its transgressions. Parenting win, I suppose.

Then after dinner we cuddled up on the couch and Connor watched his favorite YouTube celebrities doing their thing. I baked some chocolate chip cookies from some store bought dough. And the sun slowly settled and the clock wound on, and before I knew it, it was bed time. The weekend was done, the work week getting ready to show its ugly face once again. And that, pretty much, is my weekend in review.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Whoosh. And rant.

Do you ever feel like you go to bed one night, and it's somewhere in the middle of the Christmas season, and then you wake up and it's the middle of February? Whoosh! Time just flew right by you. Hours and days and weeks have just flown by. Well anyway, here we are in February already. It's Monday at work, and it feels like I've been here forever.

Yesterday I went to the bar at Chili's and tried their $5 margarita of the month. This is a picture of it. Doesn't it look tasty? It was, it was. I had two. And also chips and salsa. Oh and some boneless chicken wings. Yum. This month it's called the "Hearts on Fire 'Rita". According to their website, it contains Maker's Mark Bourbon, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, and Lunazul Blanco Tequila, along with grenadine and Chili's sour.

Anyways. Time for a rant, because why not?

I've recently been considering upgrading my personal computing situation. I've been using desktop computers for, well, ever, it seems. And I've been thinking about migrating over to a laptop platform. I used to use the desktop platforms because a) they were cheaper, and b) the larger screen made it easier for doing composing-type activities. Which, frankly, I'm just not too inspired to do anymore. Plus I'll need to move at some point this year, most likely downgrading in size substantially, so it may not be functional for me to dedicate space at home for a desktop setup anymore. And to be honest, having only one spot where you can work on your computer is something of a drag. So, yeah, I've been looking at Mac laptops.

First of all. They're expensive. Like, you need to donate a kidney to afford them expensive. And to add insult to injury: Apple removed all of its functional ports and replaced them with Thunderbolt ports. And nothing else. This actually happened, I think, back in late 2016. That's how much I pay attention. Here's the thing - there's NOTHING that natively plugs into thunderbolt ports. Except for Apple's even more obscenely expensive Pro Display, if you're into that sort of thing and can sell your first orn child to afford it. The most recent Thunderbolt 3 at least will accept USB-C connections. So that's something. But get this, even Apple's own celebrated and massively popular iPhone won't plug into their laptops, without buying another connector cable or an adapter. Sorry, but removing all USB-A type ports from their laptops, not to mention SD card slots, seems like just a clever way to force you to buy more adapters and cables. A sort of "screw you" to the consumer. As if it wasn't enough that you paid $2000-3000 for their laptop, now you also have to buy an adapter to actually plug any of your peripherals into your laptop to use them. Like you used to when the MacBook Pros actually had these connections built in.

Sigh. Rant over.

So, to be realistic, I'll probably eventually succumb to my own internalized peer pressure and buy a new 15-16" MacBook Pro. And an adapter off of Amazon so I can actually use it the way I want. That will come later this year, likely after I've moved and settled in somewhere new. And then I can retire my late-2014 model Mini.

So yeah, here we are in the second week of February already. It's not my week with Connor but I'll get him back Thursday evening to take him to basketball practice. And then he'll be my Valentine's date. So there's something to look forward to. And...whoosh! Time has flown by and it's about time to pack up and head for home.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Week Two: Done

So in the past I've written posts at the end of the first week of the semester, entitled appropriately enough: "Week One: Done". So I thought I'd mix things up this year with this post. Here we are at the end of WEEK TWO. How's that for craziness? Actually it's been a weird time as I've been struggling to get past this head cold that's been with me for the past two weeks. Ever since I got back from that cruise. Oh yeah, I took a cruise. Just a little 4-night jaunt out of Long Beach to Catalina and Ensenada. This was my 16th cruise overall, and fourth on Carnival. And it was the first that I've taken as a solo cruiser. But it was actually pretty fun. You can read my review and see pictures on Cruise Critic.

Anyways. It's Friday at the end of the second week of school. I'm actually going to a cabaret show featuring music of Andrew Lloyd Webber tonight, put on by the Sacramento Theatre Company. I've never actually been to any of their productions, now that I think about it. Guess I'm branching out. Earlier this week I subbed in for my brother on bass at a rehearsal of the Sacramento Symphonic Winds. It had been awhile since I played in a concert band setting, but it was actually pretty good. Though they're playing, among other things, some music from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with studio-quality arrangements. Those suckers are not sight-readable. Oh well. A good time was had anyway, despite it being past my bed time as it ran till 9:30pm. Well I'll be out past my bed time tonight too. What a week this is turning out to be! Maybe I should have focused on week-twos more often in the past.

Other than that, not much is happening in my world right now. Just slowly working towards that time when I'll be able to breathe clearly again, and not be periodically coughing up stuff. Today is the best it's been in two weeks, so that's something. And this Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday. Maybe Connor will let me watch it. Probably not though. He has his own plans, his own designs. But the 49ers are in it, and he likes the colors red and gold, so there's hope.

I'm going to cut this short as I'm at work, and darn it if I shouldn't probably be doing something productive. In fact people keep stopping by and interrupting me and making me do stuff. The nerve! Well, at least it forces me to get my steps in for the day...

Friday, January 17, 2020

Day at Sea

Well it's Thursday morning just after 10am as I sit in a cushy lounge chair at the aft "Serenity" section of the Carnival Inspiration. It will be Friday morning before this posts, as frankly I just don't want to pay for internet service. Which means, by the time this posts, I'll be getting ready to disembark and head for home.

It's been a great little getaway, a Monday-Friday cruise that one of the comedians on board refers to as a Section 8 Cruise. Yes, it's a cheap quick trip on an older ship to one of the least interesting Mexican ports (albeit one that has been working slowly but steadily to improve its image). I was offered $40 massages with happy endings multiple times in Ensenada yesterday, and one shopkeep even promised that he has great girls and no "crusty women". Keeping it classy, Ensenada.

But it's been a relaxing time at sea with mild temperatures and sunny skies spattered with white fluffy clouds. Lots of booze, lots of food, and lots of DJ-run pop and hip hop music. And also a rather entertaining piano bar. Also, I played just a wee bit of slots in the casino, and came out $4 ahead. So, that's a win.

This morning I had eggs Benedict at the Sea Day Brunch, then spent some time walking around the ship up on the open decks. And now, I'm just staring blankly at the vast ocean behind us as we slowly churn our way back to Long Beach. Sometimes doing nothing is just what the doctor ordered.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Vacation Time

I realize this is my first post of the year, or if you are one of those "glass half empty" people, my first post since last year, but I've been terribly busy doing absolutely nothing of consequence. So, therefore, it is time for a vacation.

I'm currently a board the Carnival Inspiration in Long Beach, about to embark on a four-night journey to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. This was sort of my Christmas present to myself, and incidentally the first time I've ever traveled as a solo cruiser. So it should be interesting.

I've been onboard for about two hours now, and we just got the OK to go to our staterooms. While waiting i've had lunch at Guy Fieri's burger bar, and my first tropical drink to start the trip off right. Now I suppose I will relax a little bit before we have the obligatory Muster drill. And then we're off!

See you on the ocean. Or. I guess. Back on land. At the end of the week...