Halloween 2019

Sunday, November 3rd, 2019 No comments

This was my favorite Halloween ever. Looking back, one of my goals for 2012 was to go to a Halloween party because I had never been to one and had never even dressed up for Halloween. It didn’t happen. Growing up, I would help hand out candy to the kids in out neighborhood. Lately I watch horror movies in October, but that’s about as close as I normally get to celebrating the day.

I wore an afro wig to work in 2014. I went to my friend Aaron’s party bus/fundraiser to finish the movie he was making in 2015. I dressed as a pimp. I was the only one who dressed up that night. I went to Xander’s fundraiser party in 2016 and dressed up in something of a costume. I just wore a pink wig and had fake scars on my face and carried a sword or a trident or something.

This year Aaron invited me to the 2nd annual party he had at his house. It fell on the Friday before Halloween, which was on a Thursday this year. The theme was villains. I wanted to do Harley Quinn, but I couldn’t find anything that would fit me. After looking at costume ideas for a while, I decided to do the Joker in a nurse’s outfit from The Dark Knight. I ordered the costume and used a wig and face paint I already had. It didn’t take long. I figured it didn’t have to look great because it’s the Joker. Aaron’s party was a blast. Surprisingly since a new Joker move just came out, there was only one other person dressed as the Joker. He was more a Pacific Northwest Joker. I scared a few people that night who didn’t know that I was behind them and were startled when they turned to see me. A couple of people asked to take my photo, which made me realize what cosplayers must feel like. I also scared a 7-Eleven customer before the party and an employee at a different 7-Eleven after the party asked to take my pic. Next year’s theme is heroes.

The next night PDX Gaymers had a Halloween event at Guardian Games. I dressed as the Joker again. Only 2 other people came in costumes, but it was still a great time. I went to a gathering late at my friends Robert and Alex’s house afterward. After that I stopped by Subway and the employee there said that I low-key scared the shit out of her.

Joker close up

On Halloween night itself, my friend Jer had a party at his house. I didn’t dress up for this one because I was tired of dressing up. A bunch of trick-or-treaters came by his house. I kinda wanted to give out candy to them, but I didn’t. Afterwards, I briefly stopped by 2 bars and people were having a great time celebrating Halloween. As much as I’m kind of tired of bars, the energy can make me feel young again. I might try to do more of that next years, especially since Halloween will be on a Saturday.

Last Day at Intel

Thursday, October 31st, 2019 No comments

Today was my last day at Intel. I can’t say that I’m happy about it. I’ve been there the past 3 years as an FTE and was there on and off the previous 4.5 years as a contractor. The have been ups and downs the past 3 years have been fantastic. I’ve grown so much as a developer and leader.

I’ve hardly been in the office the past 3 months. The area my team occupied is a ghost town. I went in yesterday to clean out my desk. Today I had my exit interview and turned in my equipment. At least I got to keep my badge.

Feelings can change, but I feel like this might be it for me with Intel. I’ve been shoved out the door too many times by them when their business needs changed. We’ll see though. Never say never.

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Rose City Comic Con 2019

Sunday, September 29th, 2019 No comments

Two weekends ago was Rose City Comic Con. It’s one of my favorite events of the year. I was glad that this year it wasn’t the weekend following PAX, so I got a weekend off in between.

I went all three days again, though I didn’t stay long on Friday. I was tired.

I went to panels featuring Wallace Shawn, Cary Elwes, Chris Sarandon, Matthew Lewis, Jason Isaacs, Dan Fogler, Billie Piper, Christopher Eccelston (lots of people are saying this is the panel ever at this convention), Zachary Levi, and Wil Wheaton.

I did photo ops with Jason Isaacs and Wil Wheaton.

I was lucky enough to catch Kelly Sue DeConnick at her table this year. I got a selfie and tried to do the mandatory duck face, but it was hard for me to not smile while I was doing it.

I bought a piece of artwork like I always do and I took pictures of a lot of cosplayers.

There were some differences this year that I wasn’t a fan of. Construction outside meant that entry was different and one day we ended up walking around the entire building before we could get in. It was raining on the third day so thankfully they changed things up a bit. They cleared out the room after every panel, which meant you had to get in line each time if you wanted to see consecutive panels. The queuing procedure for photo ops was weird and sometimes it was hard to hear what was going on.

Overall, I had a great time as always. Next year I hope I remember to pay the little bit extra to get fast pass tickets.

PAX 2019

Sunday, September 8th, 2019 No comments

This past weekend was PAX West in Seattle. I rode up with Cory and Chris. We met up with mutual friends and friends of just theirs throughout the weekend. We decided to go only Sunday and Monday this year instead of all 4 days.

We drove up on Saturday. We left that morning because Cory and Chris had been invited by a friend to attend the Blackberry Festival in Bremerton, Washington. We arrived there around 1:30. We met up with our friend Justin, one of his friends, and one of Cory’s friends. We had fun walking along the boardwalk taking in the sites and food. I had some good blackberry cider and tasted some wine. I bought a bottle of wine to take home. We also met 2 groups of random strangers and had a good time talking to them. We took the auto ferry across the sound to Seattle. We had sushi with a friend of Cory’s and her boyfriend. I think we made it to the hotel around 10. The hotel was about 7 blocks from the convention center.Blackberry Festival

Cory and Chris left early for the convention center Sunday so they could get in line to get tickets to play a game. I think they both got to play the ones they wanted to. I think I made it there around 10, which was 30 minutes after the convention center opened. Because of all the shootings around the country, they had a different procedure for entering, which involved going through metal detectors. It was so great being back at PAX. Since we were only going to be there 2 days, part of me felt like I needed to hurry to see everything, but it turned out to be plenty of time. I tried to check out every square inch of the main floor. I didn’t make it to any panels this year though. Friday and Saturday are the best days for cosplayers, so I didn’t get as many pics of them as I normally too. I played a game called Code Vein, which I think I want to buy. I saw a lot of indie games, which I still need to go through my notes and further research many of them. I got to meet the guy the guy who created Gloomhaven, a popular board game. There was an indie game expo a few blocks from the convention center that day. I went later in the day. I bought a game because it reminded me of Deja Vu, a game I played on the NES. I met up with Cory, Chris, and our friend Tyler James there. I didn’t feel like being out late, so I went back to the hotel room and ordered Subway on Uber Eats while they went out to dinner.Code Vein

On Monday I got there a little earlier than the day before. I had gone back and forth the day before about whether or not I wanted to get there early to get tickets to play the Final Fantasy VII Remastered demo. I had finally decided not to when I went to bed. When I got up I got a text from Cory saying we needed to check out before we left. They were downstairs getting breakfast. After we checked out, we starting heading toward the convention center and met up with Tyler James along the way. The 3 of them wanted to do some XP thing that requires you to go to certain locations in the area, so I went to the convention center by myself. I arrived right as they were about to start letting people in. I decided to stop by the FFVII booth even though I figured they would be out of tickets. Luckily, they weren’t. The ticket gave you a time range to come back and line up to play the demo. I hope this system becomes popular at PAX. I know several companies were using it this year, if not all of them. During my first few years at PAX, I remember hearing about people waiting in line 8 hours to play demos of some of the more popular games. This was my first time trying to play one of the more popular games and it was pretty painless. I went back at my allotted time and had to wait about 30 minutes before I could finally play. First they played a short movie for us and then we got to play. It was awesome! Before I went back to play the demo I went to the annex to check out some PC games and the console free play section. I watched a little of the Rocket League tournament in the arena on both days. Other than that, all I did this day was play board games. I played Wingspan, which I had been interested in for a while. I’ll buy it some day most likely. I met up with Cory, Chris, Justin, Tyler James and his husband Shawn Tyler, and a friend of TJ’s. We played a couple of rounds of Coup before we called it a wrap. Cory, Chris, and I left for Portland. We stopped for pizza along the way. I made it back home around 10 that night.

PAX was a blast again this year. As usual, it lit the gaming fire in me again. I play Overwatch almost every day, but my goal is to make time for other games. We said that next year instead of going 2 consecutive days, we may skip a day in between and do some things in Seattle. There is a small part of me that wants to go to PAX all 4 days next year. Crazy, right?

Aunt Bert

Sunday, September 8th, 2019 No comments

I found out yesterday that my Aunt Bert passed away on Wednesday. She was my mom’s sister. Her funeral was today. She would have turned 80 next month.

I lived with my grandparents up through 9th grade. Around 3rd grade we moved into a house right across the street from Bert and her family. I would go across the street to play at my cousin’s basketball goal, but I didn’t go inside much. Sometimes I would see her outside though.

After I moved out, I would go to my grandparent’s house on holidays, and she, her husband, and her children would come across the street to visit at some point. Sometimes I would leave before they got there and would find out after the fact that I had barely missed them. Whenever I would see her, she would want to know about me and how I was doing.

I remember her as kind, caring, and intelligent. I can’t hear the word “memorandum” without thinking about her.

RIP, Aunt Bert.

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End of Summer

Friday, August 30th, 2019 No comments

It’s Labor Day weekend and the unofficial end of summer is upon us.

This has been an usual summer for Portland. Usually I see very little if any rain during the summer. This summer there have been days where the rain poured down. A few weeks ago it got really chilly for this time of the year. Some people were saying that we never had a real summer or that we had a faux summer.

The past week or so we’ve had some really hot temperatures. We still haven’t had any triple digit days, and we usually get a few of those each year. Mid to upper 90s is enough.

It’s been a great summer. Lots of time with friends and dogs. I’ve gone out dancing some, which is rare for me. Lots of PDX Gaymers events. Competed in an Overwatch tournament. Got to take me car for a couple of good drives. I’ve gone to the beach for the first time in years. Football is back!

I’m getting ready to head to PAX tomorrow. Let’s end the summer in style.

Here We Go Again

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 No comments

A week ago today, my entire team found out that we were being eliminated, including management. That’s around 30 people. It really sucks because I enjoyed being on this team. Some of them have been working together for 10 years. I’ve been with them since early last year, when my previous team merged with their team. It’s not just our team that’s being eliminated, pretty much all the engineers in our division were being let go. It’s all cost cutting. The work we’re doing is being outsourced to teams in Ireland, India, and Poland. The term they used is that they were “right-sizing” the organization.

The good news is that I’ll still get an employee until October 31 and I can spend that time looking for a new job. I guessed what was happening last Tuesday when unusual meeting invites started going out, so I started updating my resume then. I’ve sent it out to a few contacts and applied for a few positions. There’s an internal job fair at Intel next week and there’s a good chance I’ll find another position then. I just don’t know if it’ll be as exciting as the one I’m currently losing. I’m not just limiting my search to Intel though. Hopefully, I’ll have something definite by October 31.

I don’t know how people have 20+ year careers at one company. I keep getting laid off every 2-3 years.

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Portland Pride 2019

Sunday, June 30th, 2019 No comments

Two weekends ago was Pride Weekend here in Portland. Pride has become one of my favorite times of the year. The positivity and excitement is infectious.

The Out in Tech group that I participate with had a kickoff event the Wednesday before Pride Weekend. They had a makeshift “photo booth” and I used my camera to take pictures. It was fun.

On Friday night I went to Crush to hang out with friends and have drinks. I have a core group of friends that I have become close to this past year or so. I spend a lot of time with them. They’re great people and there’s so much positivity and love between us all.

Saturday night my PDX Gaymers group had its 2nd annual Pride Game Night. We had a great turnout. Probably bigger than last year. My only regret is that I didn’t play games with new people who I hadn’t met before that night. Game Night was early enough so that people could still go to parties afterward. I went to Blow Pony. Blow Pony is a monthly dance party that I’ve been hearing about probably since I first moved here in 2012. I keep saying I’m going to go one of these months but it had never happened until now. It was awkward going by myself, but I did run into some people I knew.

Sunday was the parade. I marched with Intel for the 3rd year in a row. A lot of people don’t like the idea of corporations being involved in Pride, but my corporation does a lot for it’s LGBT employees. My manager actually marched in the parade with his wife who works for another company, but he did stop by the Intel float to say hi. Two of my other teammates marched to show their support, one bringing his wife and daughter and the other’s girlfriend was somewhere in the crowd. Once again, I was amazed by how excited the crowd was to see us. I didn’t see as many people along the parade route that I know as I did last year, but I know that some people saw me.

After this I went on the Big Gay Boat Ride with some friends. It’s an annual event that I had heard about, but never thought much about going on myself. At this point I was exhausted and at the end of my energy. I still had fun though. There were drinks, food, and a drag show. Two contestants from Rupaul’s Drag Race were there, but they weren’t two that I recognized.

Portland Pride 2019

Pride month ends today. The suburb of Hillsboro had it’s first Pride celebration and Beaverton had its first Pride parade this month. It’s so exhausting, but enjoyable and fulfilling.

Optimism Feels Good

Friday, May 31st, 2019 No comments

Another busy month. Busy is good, right?

I’m having fun with the dogs. Max is settling in nicely. He finally seems comfortable sleeping in the bedroom with Reese and myself this week. Reese’s leg bothers him sometimes, so I’ve tried not to do anything too strenuous with him. He started limping a little bit last month, but it’s been a while since he’s had any trouble walking as far as I can tell. Fingers crossed. I want to take both of them to some events soon.

I’m dealing with an algae bloom in the saltwater tank. I don’t think I even mentioned here that Xander and I set up one in January. It’s more expensive and more work, but I think it’s worth it. This weekend I’m doing more work on it and cleaning out the filters in all 3 tanks.

I don’t know if the weather getting better has anything to do with it, but I feel so optimistic right now. Life is pretty good. I’ve spending a lot of time with great friends and I’m constantly meeting new people. Work is good. My dogs are good. I got a promotion and a big raise recently. I’m catching up on a lot of things wasn’t making time for before. I think this is going to be a great summer.

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Max

Saturday, April 20th, 2019 No comments

Two weeks ago today, I brought home a new dog that I named Max. I’m so grateful to have him, but there’s a small part of me that can’t believe I have 2 dogs to take care of now.

I’ve had the thought several times over the years of adopting a second dog, a playmate for Reese. Sometimes I even searched online for local dogs that were available. Each time I convinced myself it would be a bad idea, mostly because of the time commitment. And I got lucky with Reese. He’s well behaved and was easy to teach. A new dog might not be the same way.

This time I convinced myself that it would be okay. I’m home usually when I’m not at work. Reese could be his company when I’m not here. My hours are pretty flexible, so I can work from home some if I need to.

I found a local rescue, Street Savvy Dog Rescue, and filled out an application for one of their dogs. I was disappointed to find out that the dog I applied for wasn’t available at Street Savvy. They use an external website to list their dogs and somehow I must have ended seeing dogs in a different location. The manager of the rescue, Barbette, told me about a dog they had coming in from Mission, Texas that she thought I might be interested in. I believe they rescue all of their dogs from Texas. They called him Milo. She told me where to find a video of him and once I saw it, I immediately fell in love. I found out he would available at an adoption event at PetSmart a couple of days after he arrived in Portland.

I believe it was a little under 2 weeks from the time I saw the video to the time he was in Portland. In the meantime, I cleaned up my place and purchased some new stuff for him. The day before the adoption event I contacted the Barbette to make sure he had arrived and would still be at the adoption event. Everything looked good. I filled out another application and sent pics of my home. I kept a lot of this close to the vest because I wasn’t sure if things would work out.

The day of the event I was pretty nervous. I wasn’t sure what the process would be like. I didn’t know if it was a sure thing that I would be able to take him home or if I would be competing against others who were interested. It turned out that I worried for nothing. I met him, filled out the papers, paid the adoption fee, and took him home. Most of his vaccinations had already been taken care of. They even gave me a collar, some food, a leash, and a blanket.

Max

Max has been great to have here. He’s very agreeable and sweet. He’s slightly bigger than Reese, but he loves to follow Reese around. Reese doesn’t like being licked in the face all the time, but hopefully Max will learn. They think he’s a basset hound mix and about a year old. He can be stubborn at times. He likes to pull on a leash. We’ll be working on that. I’ve already signed him up for classes. He’s not as hyper as Reese, but he’s pretty similar in temperament.

Max in the car

I’m looking forward to many adventures together.