Skype Silliness

What was supposed to be a scheduled Skype video chat between my family here and our relatives in Hungary became more of an impromptu stand-up routine with only half the participants. My mother, sister and I exchanged prop-comedy with my cousin, Gábor, and his wife, Kati.

A half-hour exchange became, as usual, twenty-five minutes of show-and-tell silliness ending with five minutes of “So, how are things?”

My cousin showing off a book of portraits of his family was a nice touch to end the show with.


Pet Day

Had me a full day of some good, ol’ fashioned pet-sittin’.

Lilo and Stitch, Theo and Gordon, and Faith and Hope.

A surfing troublemaker, an alien without a family, a Huxtable, a Flash and a couple of religious optimists.

It all sounds like a Disney movie. Just not a very good one.


Virtually Hanging Out With Rodrigo

Had a brief Google Hangout today with Rodrigo and his two fur-babies. Ten years ago this would have been considered impossibly expensive science fiction. Now, thanks to Google (and others) we can video chat with friends almost any time we want to for free.

This was double cool because he was video chatting with his Android phone and I with my iMac. Once I get my iPhone we will be able to do this from phone to phone. And that will be triple dog dare cool.

Even Star Trek didn’t have this capability, except maybe through a tricorder which not everyone carried.

I got to watch Lilo and Stitch in real-time, as well as see Rodrigo’s sad cup of coffee minus the coffee.

Every generation says this, but these really are amazing times we live in.


The Recyclabler

Heard this guy (apparently from Arizona, judging from his license plate) going through our neighbor’s trash this morning. He was keenly focused on collecting whatever glass recyclables he could find.

At first I was kind of appalled by his audacity since he wasn’t trying to hide his rummaging at all, but as I watched him I realized he must do this a lot. He was working in a very neat and organized way, and he didn’t leave any kind of mess behind. He was wearing latex gloves, collecting glass bottles, placing them into large trash bags and then hoisting those into the bed of his truck.

Obviously he was going to turn them into a recycle collection center for money. Since they would end up there anyway, and since he wasn’t hurting anyone or really even stealing, I ended up kind of impressed with his spunk. Yes, Lisa, I said spunk.

He came across the street, took one look inside our container, and immediately closed the lid. Nothing in there for him to pilfer since we ourselves take glass and plastics to collection centers. Since we pay for CRV when we buy the stuff, might as well get some of our money back, darnit!

Recyclable Stealer 06-26-13 lo-res

New Cat-Sitting Gig

Another neighbor asked me to watch her two really pretty cats, Faith and Hope, while she’s away for a few days. Apparently I am slowly becoming the neighborhood animal-sitter. Must be my lower functioning brain.

This will be much easier than my other cat-sitting stints because it’s only two cats as opposed to eight and a dog. And there’s no insulin injection involved. Plus, I don’t have to spend the night there and the neighbor said that I only have to check on them every couple of days. I will check every day, just to be a good sitter.

Feeding will be much easier as well with them having access to dry food whenever they want instead of twice-a-day feedings of can and dry as with the other house.

And don’t get me started on the poop-scooping difference. Two cats vs. eight cats. Almost a relief and a joy.

Coincidentally, while writing this post I got a text from my multi-animal neighbor asking about my availability in late July. I literally finished watching their animals just two days ago. But at least they pay.

This new sitting gig gave me a chance to look around her house, in a non-snooping way…no opening drawers or cabinets, and see what kinds of stuff she’d collected over the years with her husband, Nick, who passed away almost three years ago from a sudden and aggressive illness. He was a good guy, Navy man, who must have had the loudest sneeze ever recorded. We could hear it from across the street, two houses away, inside our house and him inside his garage.

She even keeps out the Christmas village decorations year-round that she collected with him. She’s seeing another person but hasn’t removed anything that reminds her of her late husband. Must be pretty tough for the new guy.

One day down, only eight more to go.


Pinestrawappleberry Cake

My mom’s first ever attempt at baking a pineapple cake from a recipe she found online. She added a layer of strawberry jam in the middle and fresh strawberries on top.

It tasted pretty good, but just became really thick and heavy. It never really rose in the first place.

Was a good first try, though.

She tried planting the top part of the pineapple that she cut off, but a critter of the night ran off with it.

Pineapple Cake 06-25-13 lo-res

Foursquare Infographic

Found out today that Foursquare has introduced a cool new service called Time Machine that displays a person’s check-ins using infographics and even an animated map of their travels.

The check-ins are broken down into data points that among other things include categories, most recent and most visited check-ins, as well as badges earned and friends followed.

It also breaks down all the info into yearly comparisons.

Unfortunately, having just a feature phone I haven’t checked in as often as I would have liked so my activity is a little sparse compared to heavy users.

Foursquare Info Graphic 06-24-13 lo-res

Hungarian Skype, Episode Two

Partook in another Skype chat between my mom and me and my cousin and his wife. This one lasted just long enough to see some of the inside of his house and to set up a more involved chat for next Sunday with additional members of both families on either side of the planet.

This one was a bit more goofy and laugh-filled and less awkward and clumsy.


June Meeting For Comic Fest 2013

Attended the latest Comic Fest 2013 planning meeting at the Town and Country Resort with department heads and various other volunteers such as myself, although at this meeting I was finally designated as the Fest’s official photographer, so I guess that kind of makes me head of the photo department.

Many topics were covered, some for much longer than they should have been, but the overall feel was definitely much more accomplished and organized than for the inaugural Comic Fest just last year.

I still wish I could get some more interest in cosplay for the event but budget concerns that I don’t understand keep it from being seriously addressed.

After the meeting one of the committee members came up to me and asked if I was seeing anyone because she noticed that I wasn’t wearing a ring. At first I thought she was coming on to me, which was made even more uncomfortable by the fact that her husband is in charge of programming for the Fest and he was sitting right next to her during the meeting. But apparently she plays match-maker as a side “profession” and wanted to set me up with a red-head she knows. While her track record is not bad (two of the now married couples belonging to the committee got introduced to each other by her) I thanked her for her interest in my well-being and politely told her I do not like being set up, especially by someone who really doesn’t know me very well at all.

Then she asked if it was because I was gay, to which I said “no” with as much butchness as I could muster. I told her that my life motto at this stage in life is “I belong to no one and I belong to everyone”. Suddenly it dawned on me that I could just as accurately be describing a pimpless hooker.

I may have to revisit my motto.


A Bird In The Hand

While I was taking a shower this morning my neighbor from across the street came running over and started chatting with me through the bathroom window (something that I will never be able to come back from) and said that a chick had dropped out of its nest in front of her house and she didn’t know what to do with it. Since I regularly animal-sit for her cats and dogs and because I often go to the Zoo I was obviously an expert on wildlife.

I’d seen and heard the chick chirping loudly while recently house-sitting and knew it was already fairly mature.

She said her gardeners almost stepped on it while working and they placed it into a large, clear plastic storage container. They added some bird seed in case it needed to eat.

Once I finished my shower (and put some clothes on) I went across the street. My neighbor was out running an errand so I talked to the gardeners. I checked on the chick and found it trying to fly out of the container. I knew it needed to be set free so I let it climb onto my hand and I raised it just high enough so that it could fly out. It almost landed on a half-wall a few feet away but ended up just staying on the ground in the corner, safe, comfortable and free to pursue a life of religious fulfillment.

I knew the chick would be ok since it looked perfectly healthy and very close to being able to fly like a regular bird, so I left it there and came back home to get some stuff done and to prepare myself for…wait for it…house-sitting for the same neighbor again starting tonight.


Back On Cali’s Radar

After all these years of listening to and/or watching a multitude of tech podcasts, Cali Lewis is still the one podcaster/tech journalist that gets me all twitterpated. And, after a long drought of not contacting her, I sent her a short tweet which she quickly replied to.

So you’re saying there’s a chance…

Cali Tweet Reply 06-21-13

California Poppy Update

Came time to transplant the California Poppies (I first wrote poopies by accident, thought it was funny) that I grew from seeds I got for free from a San Diego Zoo horticulturist during their annual Garden Fest celebration. Out of the five pots I planted seeds in only two actually grew. Here is the original post about me planting them.

I hope these little beauties survive the trauma of transplantation.

A New Look

Finally, after wanting to update my blog to a new theme for a very long time, I found a really good free one that I liked called Graphene.

Spent a good chunk of my day creating a new header from one of my photos and adjusting all the settings that the theme offered, but I think it was definitely worth it. I’m much happier with it. Looks a lot more professional and polished.

Now if I can just get any of the Lightbox plug-ins to work.

Blog Old vs New 06-19-13 lo-res

My Tweets, Vizified

So I signed up for an account with Vizify, which then gathered my Twitter data and created a short animated infographic that showed me information like what I tweet about the most, what was my most popular tweet, what times of the day I most often post, and the three Tweeters I interact with most.

Of course this will be updated as I keep posting.


Galley Lunch With Bryan

After this morning’s Flamingo Fest photo group meet-up at the San Diego Zoo, I got together with my friend Bryan (who was also at the meet-up) to enjoy a Father’s Day lunch at The Galley at the Marina in Chula Vista. Since his family was out of town and my father stopped being a few years back, we both found ourselves looking for a good meal to partake in.

I couldn’t wait to chow down on my usual tuna melt with house chips. The Galley makes one of my favorite versions of that sandwich and their house chips are fantastic.

That was the ordering plan anyway.

I was stomach-broken to find out that for Father’s Day they started their dinner menu early (since those items are conveniently more expensive) and neither tuna melts nor house chips were being prepared. Lunch fail.

I decided to instead order the Portobello Melt (getting any kind of melt seemed important to me) with fries. It tasted fine but was really messy to eat, and the sliced mushrooms turned the sourdough bread a dirty, charcoal-ish color in many spots. Plus it was a lot more filling than I was expecting. I couldn’t even finish the sandwich portion.

The meal was good, but not great. Not sure I would order it again. The service though was really good, which doesn’t always happen there. Our waitress, even being noticeably quite pregnant, was hurrying from table to table making sure all the guests were happy and content.

This was the first time I had a meal with just Bryan and me. I would have no problem doing it again since he’s good company, and especially since his wife is probably reading this.

Hi, Heather!


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