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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?

Christmas 2018

Saturday, December 29th, 2018 No comments

Overall, this Christmas has been much better than last year. We actually decorated a tree this year, which we didn’t do last year. There were times when I wasn’t feeling the spirit much, but it always came back. One of the things that helped me get back into it was Overwatch’s Winter Wonderland event. The music, skins, and map decorations are so festive it’s hard not to feel happy, at least until the match starts.

I won’t go into too much detail, but someone close to me is having a hard time and it has put a damper on my mood at times, but we can usually turn things around.

I took a 2-week vacation from work and 1 week is now over. I think I think this is the longest vacation I’ve ever had professionally. So far I’ve done exactly what I planned: played lots of video games, watched a lot of TV, worked on my podcast websites, worked on projects at home, and spent time with friends. I listened to my Christmas mix all the way through this year, but I don’t think I heard “Last Christmas” at all, which is a shame.

I know material things aren’t the most important part of this time of the year, but gifts are still one of my favorite parts of Christmas even though the excitement isn’t the same as it was when I was a kid. I always feel fortunate that people think about me. Here’s my haul this year:

  • Princess Mononoke on blu-ray
  • Marvel trivia box
  • Dancing Groot pop vinyl
  • Lucio and Junkrat pop vinyls
  • Jupiter’s Legacy Vol 1
  • Lunch bag for work
  • Card game and emoji toys (I regifted these)
  • Rainbow socks
  • Tardis fish tank ornament
  • Many Christmas cards (I’ve forgotten to mention these in previous years)
  • Some stuff I treated myself to:
    • Gloomhaven, Founders of Gloomhaven, and Spirit Island board games
    • a new car (post coming soon)
    • an Instant pot

Overall, this has been a fairly good year. There were difficulties, but I think I got through them okay. Professionally, I was thrust into a leadership position around mid-year, and recently I got great feedback about how I’ve been doing. I think I surprised a lot of people. Health-wise, there have been ups and downs, but I’ve done well these past few weeks. I’m eating more home-cooked meals and less junk food. I think I’ll have a workout partner in January, so that should help keep me motivated.

I’m so ready to take on 2019! I think some good changes are coming! I know that January 1 is just another day and it doesn’t mean that anything is going to change, but I think it’s a good opportunity to start over or make a course correction.

As always I hope everyone has a happy holiday season and a great new year! Take care of each other!

Thanksgiving 2018

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 No comments

Thanksgiving weekend was last Thursday.  I was off from Wednesday afternoon until Sunday.  I worked from home Tuesday and Wednesday.  It was nice being out of the office for a while.

I was dreading the holiday because it looked like I was going to be spending it alone.  Then I went from having nowhere to go to having 2 places to go.  Xander and I went to our friends Tom & Stan’s potluck brunch and then to a friendsgiving hosting by one of Xander’s friends.  I baked a sweet potato pie for each one and Xander took bread.  He had dog walks and dog care in between.  It was a long day, but satisfying.

Now unto Christmas!

PAX 2018

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 No comments

Finally, I have returned to PAX!

This past weekend, I went to PAX for the first time in 4 years.  I think it was still referred to as PAX Prime the last time I went.  Now, it’s officially PAX West.  I wanted to go this year if I could get badges, but when I missed the onsale I resigned myself to staying home. Luckily, my friend Cory had bought extra badges and sold me one of his sets. I went with him, his partner Chris, and our friend Cody. We rented an airbnb in Burien, which is right outside of Seattle.

I drove to Seattle Friday morning on my own, parked at CenturyLink Field and took a Lyft to the convention center.  I met Cory and Chris to get my badges and headed off on my own to a Life is Strange panel.  This ended up being the only panel I saw that weekend.  There weren’t a lot interesting panels as far as I saw on the schedule.  Gearbox, Major Nelson, and Destructoid, some of my favorites from years past, weren’t on the schedule this year. Does Destructoid still exist? There was a Giant Bomb panel one night, but I think we went out as a group that night.  I spent the rest of the day at the convention center wondering around, taking pictures of cosplayers, and checking out video games.  I met the others (Cody had arrived by bus in the meantime and had been picked up by Cory and Chris) at the airbnb, and we went out to a brew pub for dinner.
D.Va cosplay

The next day we all went together to the convention center.  We split up shortly after we arrived. I really liked going around on my own.  If I’m trying to keep up with others, I might miss something I’m interested in, like an interesting cosplayer.  I did more of the same as the day before and I also played some video games and board games.  I actually waited in a long line to play a game, which might be a first for me.  I bought one of board games I played – Dice Throne.  We went to Pike Place (my first time) before heading back to the airbnb. That night we took a Lyft to the PAX Pink Party, which is an LGBT event.  It was an okay party.  Cory and Cody met friends of theirs.  I briefly met with somebody I’ve known online for a few months – the president of Seattle Gaymers. We stumbled upon another party downstairs, which was much better than the Pink Party.  I actually danced and sang in front of other people.  After this we got some food at Sizzle Pie and headed home around 2 in the morning.  I think we were all feeling old at this point.
Group Photo

On Sunday I was very tired and sore.  I tried to find activities that would allow me to sit down.  I did wait in another long line to play a game and get pictures of cosplayers.  Also, I played more board games, played some Jack Party Pack, and watched some fighting game competition in the Arena area, which was in the main exhibit area this time.  That night, they went out to eat with a friend of Cory’s, but I decided to go back to the airbnb.  I was pooped.
Cosplayers

I decided to drive back early Monday morning.  Xander had to leave Reese here by himself Sunday night because he had another dog to sit. This was the first time I’ve ever gone out of town and left Reese at home and not at a kennel or dogsitter’s place.  I didn’t want Reese to be here by himself too long. Also, I was exhausted and I don’t think I had another day in me.

It was so much fun getting to go back to PAX!  I’m glad that I went with people I know this time.  Just being around so many people who share the same passion as you is amazing. It was great rediscovering my way around the convention convention center. There’s so much there and it seemed like each day I found an area I had forgotten about, though some things had moved or changed.  I’m 4 years older and a lot more out of shape than I was the last time I went and it showed.  I was tired and sweaty a lot.  I needed to rest often.  When I was with the group, I had a hard time keeping up. I ended up skipping parties and panels I was interested in because it would be hard for me to get there.  I guess that’s motivation for getting in better shape before next time.  I’m really hoping that next time will be next year.

Road Trip to the Painted Hills

Monday, September 11th, 2017 No comments

Last week for vacation week for me. I think it’s been a while since the last time I had an entire week off, not counting last year’s unemployment.

I didn’t really have any plans for my vacation except that I knew I would go to Rose City Comic Con. I was content on playing video games or watching TV the rest of the time. On Thursday of the week before, I reminded Xander that I was going to be off for a week (not surprisingly, he had forgotten) and he suggested that we take a road trip to Crater Lake. The next day I remembered hearing about fires in that part of the state and I went online to discover that the lake wasn’t visible most of the time because of the smoke. So, on Saturday Xander suggested that we should go to the Painted Hills instead. The plan for whatever idea was to leave Monday and return Wednesday since we had to host game night Wednesday. Xander found a cabin near the Painted Hills which was very inexpensive, but didn’t have running water and used a generator for electricity.

We left Monday around 2pm with Reese. I usually leave Reese behind because he can be a handful and having a dog can limit what you can do. We almost took him with us on a trip to the coast a few weeks earlier, but left him behind in the end. My biggest concern on this trip was keeping him cool. He has a lot of fur and doesn’t handle heat well. The owners of the cabin promised us it would be hot. The Airbnb listing for the cabin did promise air conditioning, however.

Early in the trip we we through the Gorge. There was a big forest fire started there a couple of days before by some kid throwing fireworks. It got smokier and smokier the closer we got to the the place where the fire started – the Eagle Creek Trail. Xander, our friend David, and I hiked this trail a little over a year ago. We made a stop in this area because I wanted to get gas. I shouldn’t have been surprised to find out that the gas station was closed. The scene at the gas station was somewhat apocalyptic. We couldn’t see any fire, but we could see enough smoke coming from the trees to know that the fire was close. A flock of birds flew overhead along with helicopters. There were cars pulled over on the side of the road. The sun was red. We let Reese out of car and he seemed very confused. The interstate we took was closed later in the day and it is still closed a week later.
Eagle Creek Fire

The rest of the drive down wasn’t quite as interesting. We listened to podcasts and the radio. At times it seemed like we were the only ones on the road. I guess it’s a benefit of travel on Labor Day. We saw lots of windmills up close. We drove through some really small towns. We were on a lot of winding roads, which I hate. Why couldn’t they just build a straight road there? As we were getting close to the end, we encountered some livestock in the street and some people, along with their dog, trying to herd them. They got all of the cows in the other lane, but I was afraid that if I moved at the wrong time, the cows could charge my car and do some serious damage. Eventually they got all the cows into the grass and we could safely pass.

We drove the last part of the trip in the dark. I don’t like driving in the dark in unfamiliar areas, but oh well. A city with lots of light would have been fine, but it was hard to see at times. We arrived at our destination in Dayville, OR around 9pm. The cabin owners had told us to look for a steep driveway. We didn’t know just how steep. My car could not go up this steep, unpaved driveway. We got out and decided to walk even thought we didn’t know how far it was to the cabin. It was hot outside and going up the steep driveway was hard on me and Reese. When we got up to the top of the first hill, I was winded and we couldn’t see how much farther we had to go. Xander decided to scout on ahead. I was looking for other places we could spend the night on my phone. Even if we made it to the cabin, I figured it would be hard getting all our stuff from the car to the cabin. And walking back and forth for two days would be annoying. Thankfully, a few minutes later a truck came back with Xander and the owner of the cabin. He took us to get our stuff and drove us to the cabin. It would have been a pretty long walk from where we stopped to the cabin. He told us that we were the first ones since they started renting the cabin in December that didn’t make it up the driveway. He left the keys to the truck with us and told us we could use the truck to get back and forth. We never saw either of our hosts again after this because they were working and we were out a lot. The cabin was roomier than I expected and it really cooled down at night. Since we left most of our entertainment in the car, we just hung out for a while and went to bed.

Our hosts lived off the grid. They use a generator and solar panels to provide electrify to their home and the cabin. They had a solar shower outside the cabin and an outhouse as a bathroom. There were also horses in a pen outside the cabin.
cabin

We headed out to the painted hills on Tuesday, which was about an hour away. More long, winding roads. Once we got close to the trailheads, you could see the hills and they were amazing. We didn’t actually spend that long on the trail. Just long enough to walk around a bit and take some photos. All of us were getting really hot. I think it was in the 90s and the time and it was supposed to get up to 106 later in the day.
Painted Hills

Once we left we went back to Dayville, we went in search of a watering hole. Xander had it in his mind that he wanted to teach Reese to swim, but we couldn’t convince Reese to get in the water. Xander got in a little and I put my feet in the water.

After this we decided to drive to the nearby town of John Day. It’s still a mystery who John Day is.  I promised I would prepare a powerpoint presentation on him one day after we got back. We drove around the city a little, got some pizza, and headed back to a picnic area we found along the way. After eating, we took a walk around and came to stream with some deer in it. Reese went down to the water and took a drink, but still wouldn’t get in.  We stopped to take some photographs on the way back.
cows

The cabin was still hot when we got back so we hung out outside for a while before we went outside. We couldn’t get the air conditioner to work. We had a Magic the Gathering tournament. Late in the night we watched a movie called “The Road to Galveston” on a VHS cassette that was in the cabin.

We got up pretty early to drive back home the next day. Much of the drive was smokey and we couldn’t see too far in the distance. We drove through areas that looked like it had been affected by fires in previous years. It’s sad to think that so much of the state is burning.  The drive seemed to go on forever. We made it back around 2pm on Wednesday. There was some ash in the air, which I had seen people posting about while we were out of town.

A couple of hours later, Xander and I hosted game night at the Q Center. I was so out of it. I played a couple of games and spent the rest of the night on the bench outside talking to people who were taking breaks. Lately, we’ve had this tradition of going for drinks after game night, but I was too tired. We went home.

On Thursday, I did a lot of cleaning. The rest of my vacation was devoted Rose City Comic Con, which I will talk about later

I’m glad that I got to go on a road trip with such a great friend and my dog. They were great company and we had very few problems. I wonder what the next adventure will be.

Twin Peaks Festival 2015

Monday, November 30th, 2015 No comments

I’m going to catch up on blogging about some of the events I participated in this year.

Back in July I returned to the Twin Peaks Festival. It was my second year. I didn’t think I would go back after last year, but after news broke that Showtime was bringing the series back, I decided I wanted to go back. Matt H and Mel were coming back, but also coming were Caitlin (from The Twin Peaks Podcast and Intro to Brisco) and Matt A (from Hooplecast and a frequent contributor to several podcasts that I listen to). We all rented a cabin together about in Snoqualmie Pass, which is 20 minutes away from where most of the festival activities were.

Since it’s been so long, I can’t remember the day to day that well. I got there the morning the festival started. I intended to get there the night before, but I had to stay to get some work done. They posted a video of the cabin on Facebook the night before, so I at least got to see it. When I got there the trivia contest was about to start. Matt H participated in it and did pretty well.

I remember going on a a hike to see Ronette’s Bridge. We climbed over a fence to get a good view because the way we came was closed. On the way back I hurt my knee a little bit on the landing. It took a day or two for it to feel better. I also poked a hole in the top of one of my shoes. I still haven’t replaced these shoes yet. We met some people on the bridge. One is from Portland. I may be having a transplant dinner with her and her friends on Christmas Eve.

I remember the bus tour, which was fun, but pretty much the same as the year before.

I remember eating at Twede’s and seeing Kimmy Robertson at a nearby table.

I remember the celebrity dinner, where I got to meet and get pictures with a few cast members, including Ian Buchanan and Catherine Coulson. Unfortunately, Catherine Coulson passed away from cancer a couple of months later. She seemed fine that night. The dinner went really late, so we didn’t stay for the costume contest or the dance.

I remember drinking with some new friends: Gary, Stephanie, and Michael. Stephanie and Michael knew each other. Gary went with us as we toured some of the sites and all 3 came back to our cabin to play board games with us one night.

I remember the picnic, where we got rained on a good portion of the time. We got a walking tour of a few more sites afterward.

I remember my car not starting when we were supposed to go the last official event of the festival. It was a long drive and I was bummed out about my car. We got to see more shooting locations.

When we got back my car still wouldn’t start, and I had to have it towed to a nearby city early the next day. It cost a lot to get it fixed. I had to miss out on the rafting trip we had all planned to go on. It took 8 hours for them to finish with my car because they were backed up. I spent time exploring the city I was in. I can’t even remember the name of it now. I arrived back in Portland after dark. That whole ordeal put a damper on the end of the trip and my car hasn’t quite been the same since.

I’m glad I went back to the Twin Peaks festival. It was good seeing friends I made the previous year and making new friends. David had been in North Bend a week or two before the festival and I believe filming started on Season 3 shortly after the festival ended. Maybe I’ll go back in a few years, but I don’t see myself going back next year.

Back to the Homeland

Friday, June 26th, 2015 No comments

Three weeks ago, I was in my home state of Mississippi. I hadn’t been in Mississippi since December 2012, about 2.5 years earlier. It was past time.

I was there from June 3-7. I had planned on going to Mississippi for Super Bulldog Weekend in April. However, a high school classmate of mine passed away in January and a group of students decided to have a multi-year class reunion to commemorate those who we have lost. The span of years represented kept growing as time went on. In the end I think 11 years were represented.

I stayed with my friend John and his partner while I was there. I arrived on Wednesday night after a decent amount of time traveling. I didn’t have to leave early in the morning this time, which was good. Once I got to John’s we went to bed shortly afterward.

On Thursday, I met John and one of his co-workers for lunch. Afterwards, I drove around the Jackson area for a while. I drove past my old high school, went by my mom’s house (she’s in Georgia now), and went to my favorite Dairy Queen for some ice cream. I was a little disappointed not to see my favorite DQ employee who worked there for so longm even after I moved away. After ice cream, I went shopping. I got some Target clearance cloths, one of which was a shirt that I wore to the reunion. I also used a Best Buy gift card to buy a video game named Catherine for John. When John got off work, we went to his gym to go the one of the classes there. I think later that night we played that video game and watched Buffy. Buffy might have been the next night.

On Friday, John had to get his car fixed. We got some breakfast, but John slept a good bit of the day and I did some more sight-seeing. That night we went to a comedy show in Jackson. There were a lot of racist, homophobic jokes, which is okay if you’re funny. These guys weren’t that funny. We played the video game some more that night.

I don’t remember what happened during the day Saturday, but that night John and his partner went to see Mad Max while I went to my reunion. I had a great time at the reunion. It was more fun than I expected. It was great seeing people that I hadn’t seen in 18 years, though I keep up with some through Facebook. Some people have changed a lot, some not so much at all. A lot of people told me I looked exactly the same. Once I left, I went back to John’s for breakfast at dinner. We played that game until 7 am the next morning. We almost beat it. I just wanted to get some sleep before my flight.

I think I got about 3-4 hours of sleep before I left for the airport. I said my goodbyes to John and was off. After I left I got a text saying my flight was delayed an hour, so I could’ve gotten more sleep if I had known sooner. After a layover in Charlotte, I arrived home that night after a long flight.

The trip to Jackson was short, but great. I came back 4.4 lbs heavier. Ouch. The following week in the gym was rough. I hope it’s not as long before I’m in my home state again.

Raleigh 2015

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 No comments

Jay and Jack

This past weekend I went to Raleigh, NC, for Jay & Jack’s annual charity podcast for Autism Speaks.  I was supposed to go last year, but backed out because of so many things happening all at once.  There was a point where I thought I might have to do it again this year, but I was determined to go and thankfully was able to.

In my head I thought that my flight left at 6 am on Friday morning.  The night before after I got in bed around 10 pm, I checked my itinerary just to be sure and I learned that it actually left at 5:15 am.  The last few times I had early morning flights I didn’t get up soon enough, so I barely made it there in time. I got up at 2am after sleeping a little under 4 hours.  I got there in plenty of time.  There was no line at security even though there is usually a decent line for 6am flights.  The flight there was long, but I had TV and books to pass the time.  Dan picked me up from the airport along with a few others we went to a restaurant and met up with the others.  Most of the people I had met before at SDCC 2011 or had contact with them online.  I did meet some new people though.  After dinner we walked over to an ice cream place.  When we were stuffed we went back to our hotel and played a card game before going to bed.  I was rooming with Jon this weekend.  I roomed with him at SDCC 2011.  I didn’t get to see him much back then, so I was glad to be able to hang out with him this weekend.

I slept about 10 hours that night.   I missed a chance for an early morning run that some of the group went on.  Hopefully, they’ll keep that tradition alive next year.  By the time I got up, it was time to go bowling.  I like to bowl even though I’m not good at it.  I got to meet Dale for the first time at the bowling alley.  After bowling, we went shopping for snacks and headed to the ice plex for the 12 hour charity podcast.  I’ve listened to bits and pieces of the podcast every year since I’ve known about, but I don’t think I’ve never listened to the entire thing. It was a lot of fun.  The guests were entertaining and we kept ourselves entertained.  I guess I did miss a little bit when everybody started skating.  I didn’t actually skate myself.  Maybe next year. We went to bed around 4 am.

On Sunday, I got some breakfast with a few people and we went to Jay and Colleen’s for a barbecue after doing some grocery shopping beforehand.  There was so much beer and food and it was so good!  It was nice We played Cards Against Humanity and watched the season premiere of Game of Thrones. It was nice getting to hang out with the group one last time.  We had a short after-party at the hotel later.

Monday morning a small group of us had breakfast and the hills drove Vicki and myself to the airport.  My plane didn’t leave until that afternoon, so I had a long wait.  I watched TV and got caught up on emails.  After a long time in the air I arrived back in Portland late Monday night.

I had an awesome time in Raleigh, meeting new people and seeing people I hadn’t seen in years.Going into it, I thought it would be at least a couple of years before I went back.  Now I know that I’m going to try my best to go back next year.

Thanksgiving 2014

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 No comments

This past week was Thanksgiving.  After Hawaii I had said that I wouldn’t use any more vacation days this year, but I decided to take Wednesday off so I would have a 5-day break.  I was happy that for the 2nd year in a row I got to have a Thanksgiving meal.  While we were camping in September, Alston and his girlfriend Stephanie asked me if I wanted to join them for Thanksgiving.  That was the last mention of it until the week before when I asked Alston if it was still on. Alston said that everybody else had backed out, but I was still welcome to come.

I looked online and got an idea for something healthy to cook: roasted Brussel sprouts.  I also made a sweet potato pie.  When I got to their place they had snacks ready while the other food was being prepared.  They made turkey, stuffing, corn bread, mashed potatoes and cranberry relish.  It was a delicious meal.  I wasn’t so keen on the Brussel sprouts, but I just didn’t like the taste.  We all ate so much.  It had trouble standing up straight for very long after the meal.  We ended up going for a walk afterwards.  According to the scale I put on 3 lbs that day.

I took my PS3 over there.  While we waited for the turkey to finish and after we ate, we played video games.  I had never played most of the games we played and I owned them.  I ended up letting Alston borrow my PS3 a few days later.

It was great spending Thanksgiving with friends since I couldn’t be with family.  Hopefully, I can keep the streak alive next year.

Hawaii Part 2: The Rest

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 No comments

The second part of my trip was better in some ways and worse in others.  After LOST 2014, I didn’t have a schedule of activities, which left me free to do whatever I wanted.  However, I was alone most of time and there were occasions when I had time to kill, but not really anything I could do.  Not having a car hampered me a little, because I couldn’t go to some places by bus before they closed.

On Tuesday, I did a lot of walking around to explore Honolulu.  I was still getting used to the bus system at this point.  Once I got on the something like the 9 bus, but it turned out to be the 9S bus, which went to a completely different place.  Each bus said the areas it was stopping by, so maybe if I knew the area better I wouldn’t have as many problems.  I only wasted a little money though.  I got to see the Christian academy where the last scene of LOST was filmed. I think other scenes were filmed there as well. I went to see another movie this night.  It was The Giver, which was much better than I thought it would be.  It seems like a lot of people don’t like to go see movies while on vacation, but I do.
Sacred Hearts Academy

On Wednesday, I went to Diamondhead and hiked all the way to the top.  I was so tired and sweaty by the time I got to the top. Afterwards, I took another trip to Waikiki Beach.  I had wanted to go to a non-touristy beach, but this one was more convenient.  I got dinner at a cheeseburger place.  I went to see another movie, A Walk Through the Tombstones.  It wasn’t as good as I was hoping it would be, but it was still solid.
View of Waikiki from Diamondhead

On Thursday, we found out that Bonnie Craft passed away.  Bonnie is a big time LOST fan.  I never met her in person. She was one of the LOST fans who friended me on social media leading up to LOST 2014.  I exchanged a few messages with her on Facebook.  I think she was the one behind the thank you video that was played at the final event because she asked for photos of us.  They told us then that she had pneumonia and wasn’t able to attend LOST 2014.  I don’t think I knew at the time that she was actually in Hawaii.  I heard this day that some met her at the check-in before the Jorge Garcia Q&A, but I don’t think I did. After  I found out that she had passed, I saw her last posts from Hawaii telling people to go on without her because she wasn’t feeling well.  I then saw tweets from earlier where her sister was trying to get an update on her condition from  and shortly after that the news broke.  Very sad.  That day I went on another hike, this time to Manoa Falls.  It rained on me a good bit of the hike, which was fine because it cooled things down.  I ate dinner at a Korean BBQ place and wondered the city until it was time for bed.
Manoa Falls

On Friday, I didn’t plan on doing much because I was tired.  People came over at 8 am to do an inspection on the apartment I was in and to fix something.  I did some podcast prep after they left.  It rained a good bit that day.  I didn’t get to see a friend like we  had planned this day because he was busy entertaining another firmed from Minnesota.  Maybe I’ll see him next time I’m in Hawaii.  It rained a good bit this day..  I ate dinner at a another burger place and went back to my room after that.

On Saturday morning I went to airport way early.  I was just ready to get out of that apartment and start making my way home.  Someone I met at the last LOST 2014 event was on my plane.  I tried to get his attention before we boarded, but I don’t think he saw me.  We landed in Portland a little after midnight and I made it home after midnight. It was so cold compared to Hawaii.

A few more observations:

  • I saw a lot of military people, probably because of the nearby military base.
  • So many places there were cash only.  I didn’t eat at some places because of that.
  • I had shave ice almost every day.  It’s great!
  • I think I became an expert at the bus system by the time I left.  But I was relying heavily on Google Maps, which tells you exactly which buses to take and where to transfer.
  • I got to see a lot of crazies on the buses, but they weren’t that bad.
  • I never felt like I was in any danger while I was wondering through unfamiliar neighborhoods late at night.

I had a great time in Hawaii.  It was expensive, but it was worth it.  I don’t want to go anywhere else for a while.  I am worn out.  I have a few trips already planned for 2015, but they are more spread out.  I’m pretty sure I’m not going on the one I have planned for January.  I just want to stay home.  In 2016, I think I’ll take fewer trips and dedicate more time and money to each one.

I’m so ready for Fall.