Decisions

Jun. 22nd, 2011 10:32 am
plumbob78: (Default)
Looking at my last pay stub, I have noticed that I have 243.25 hours of vacation time. From year to year, I am allowed to carry 240. I am already in use-or-lose status. This is because I don't take enough vacations. I have two days in. For August, but one of them is gonna be comp time or some such. I'm taking ten hours in September, the last day of my weekend shift. I need to do more. I think I'm going to try to take of the week before that. The way the schedule works, that will be 13 days off for four days (40 hours) of vacation. Then I can really do something fun with it. The question is "what?"
plumbob78: (Ecchi Elder)
Last week, I was on business in St. Louis, and my first night I decided to what I always do. I blew significant chunk of my meal allowance on a truly epic dinner. I had:

2 Hendrick's Martinis
Shrimp Cocktail
House Salad
1 half-bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
Filet Mignon with a HUGE baked potato
Carrot cake
Bailey's and Coffee.

Pre-tip damage $107.65. I think my total allowance for the trip was something like $150. OH YEAH.

Early Day

May. 22nd, 2009 02:12 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
Got off four hours early. Ate lunch (burger). It was good, but passed s sushi place later and wished I'd had sushi instead. Got the MINI washed. On internet now. Contemplating nap.

Stuff

May. 21st, 2009 08:53 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
Work Stuff: One person who was temporaily gone, now permanently gone. Another person leaving soon. Plus the other guy we knew about. Sucks. Was highly praised by a senor the other day. Always feel awkward in that situation. Like I am a big fraud.

Social stuff: Went to happy hour pre_keane with gitl from Church. Snippet:
GfC: Oh you just had your birthday, how old are you?
PB: thirty-one
GfC: Really?? You look good for your age.
PB:...

Yeah. She quickly said that since she's 26 she thinks all of her friends must be 26. But seriously, is 31 that much older than 26? Geez. She does own a gun, though...

Tech Stuff: Still love the MacBook. Still trying to figure out a bag. Like the Timbuk2, but the clors I really loved are no longer available. Next color refresh not until back-to-school time. Want to haul tis thing before then. May have to settle.
plumbob78: (Ecchi Elder)
I've already written some about Sakura-con. The highlight of this con was their anime music video (AMV) room, which was really well done. Pictures of cosplayers can be found here. After this trip I have decide that the big cons (like Otakon and Sakura-con) are definitely the way to go. There are more people and more stuff, but they feel less crowded than the smaller hotel-based cons. I may still go to Anime USA, especially if my friend Mary Jane is going, but the big con experience is definitely more enjoyable. I have to find another one to try sometime.

Tokyo was spectacular! I must go back soon. I didn't have a lot of time to wander around, because it was a business trip, but I did get to see Shibuya. I wanted to hit Akihabara, but it didn't work out. The few pictures I took during the trip are located here.One caveat, the photos of the cookies were taken in Seattle on Saturday Night. That's not the table in my awesome Japanese Hotel, but in the crappy airport Ramada. What to say about Tokyo...

Crowded. I don't think Americans know the meaning of the word. We went to Shibuya in the morning on Friday and I have never seen so many people. Leaving the metro, it was like two rivers of people in the mall that gave access to the station. And everyone was going to or from the metro, because the shops weren't open yet. Somehow we got on the wrong side, going against the stream. My dash across the hall, accomplished without bumping into anyone was a spectacular feat. The masses of people waiting to cross at intersections was like nothing I've ever seen. Think Manhattan and double it. It was a sight to behold.

Amazingly, watching anime prepared me more for this trip than I ever would have imagined. Of the three of us who went, I knew the most Japanese, despite one guy having been there before. I recognized food items from shows (Rice balls from School Rumble, bread filled with yummy stuff from Azumanga Daioh, and a type of fish cake from Black Heaven). I felt a  little embarrassed explaining my anime-viewing habits are the reason I know some Japanese (everything I know I learned from anime and Shogun). Those guys probably think I'm nuts. Still I think I was a little more savvy than somebody who might learn about American Culture from American cartoons.

I didn't eat as much Japanese food as I would have liked. We had Japanese for lunch most days because of where we were (mmm eel over rice), but the guys I was with weren't huge Japanese fans, and I stuck with the group. Korean barbecue one night. Hamburgers another (this I was actually into because I wanted to see what a Japanese "authentic American hamburger" would be like). God those hamburgers were great. One night we were treated to dinner, which was a great Japanese meal, with LOTS of Sapporo beer to wash it down, as well as some other yummy J-booze. That was where I had to explain my language prowess. First to "This is your first trip to Japan, but... I think you have some experience with the Japanese language." And later to a somewhat incredulous "Why you speak Japanese?" I think this might have been because I was the one of the three who put forth the most effort. I wanted to try some rice balls, but I was never hungry when I saw them in the convenience stores. Didn't eat any sushi until the day I left. There was a sushi place near my gate at Narita, so I stopped there for lunch. The other option was McDonalds, which I didn't want. The sushi was VERY good. Had some nice sak√©, too. 

It was fairly easy to get around Tokyo as an American with minimal Japanese skills. The metro was very easy.

Efficiency. Everything ran very well. The shuttle to and from the airport was one of the most well run systems I've ever seen. Ticketing, taking luggage, boarding passengers. You would have to be an idiot to get on the wrong bus or lose your luggage.

Everyone was very friendly. The way people said "good morning" and "thank you," it wasn't like they were just saying it, more like singing it. I don't know whether this is just something about the language that they always do it this way, or whether it was because I was mainly interacting with staff at businesses and they were dealing with a customer. Customer service, by the way, was excellent over there.

I kinda wish I didn't have to come back.

"Yes, Mr. PlumBob. It came through." Those word were music to my ears leaving Tokyo. I used some of my miles to upgrade and flew business class from Tokyo to San Francisco, and First class from SF to Seattle.  Business class is nice! I was actually able to sleep for most of the flight to the States, despite not being totally exhausted.

When I got back to Seattle, the first thing I did after twelve hours on planes was, of course, rent a car and go look at planes. The museum of flight is most excellent and I recommend it if your ever in Seattle. Pics here. That night I grabbed dinner at a red Robin and went to bed early. Got out of Seattle earlier than expected, after a bit of a scare (my original flight was canceled; thank God I got to the airport three hours early). After business class the day before, coach was doubly horrible. Middle seats all the way back to DC, too. Landed here around 11. Took today off work. Slept LOTS. Eleven days of running around must have taken a greater toll on me than I had realized.  But it was a great experience. I loved it. I want to go back to Japan so bad. I need to get off my ass and renew my passport.

*Blargh*

Mar. 12th, 2009 06:42 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
Dumb shit that I am, I forgot to take the chicken down last night or this morning, so I couldn't cook what I'd planned on. So I went to Ray's the Steaks on the way home. Once I stopped at the place it should've been, discovered it moved like a month ago and found the new loacation. The new digs are much nicer and much larger, though I feel the place has lost some of its character. The steak was still very good.

Been off my game lately. Getting to work at a decent hour but staying hella late. And not even to do the extra stressful crap I need to get done. Just doing normal stuff. Not good.

Like the subject says, you know?

Miscellany

Oct. 21st, 2008 07:14 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
Vacation was good. At some point I will sift through my photographs and post the worthwhile ones to flickr.

Work is work. I'm pretty sure one of my branch mates doesn't plan on being here past the new year, though he hasn't said anything to us proles. I have some evidence to support my belief, and when I asked my senior about it, she said she couldn't say anything because she was sworn to secrecy, but she thought my hunch was on the right track. So more work for the rest of us next year. But that's OK. If he's unhappy he should GTFO. I don't want anyone to be unhappy. It would be nice to have some warning though. I'm working Thanksgiving and Christmas next year, which is pretty much back to business as usual (I've done it something like three of the past five years. This year I promised myself that for once I would have these big family holidays off and let someone else do it. I was one of the last to sign up for shifts next year and no one had taken those, so I put my name on. Because clearly no one else was going to jump on that. I guess this is kind of unfair, but when one thinks about it, I'm the obvious choice. I'm single, my family is local, and I really have nothing better to do with my life. So I don't want to do it all the time but I will. I never accept 'because I don't want to" as a valid reason for not doing something from other people, So I can hardly accept it from myself.

Watching lots of anime, reading some books.

Life is OK.
plumbob78: (Have a Nice Day!!)
So remember how my weekends ended on Saturday? Well I have to work this coming Sunday because the person who's supposed to be working is being pulled in two directions and cannot so two things at once. Which is OK. Another guy is taking Saturday and I'm taking Sunday and everything works out OK. It would have been easier if we'd known this was definitely going to be a problem and could have given the whole 2 weeks to somebody, but it's OK. What burns me is when some useless fucker who hates doing this part of the job and thinks he should be exempt or some bullshit tries to get other people to take a Friday that he is scheduled for so he can do other things at our other office. He had planned on shirking that day because there would be three people at the desk (which is more than needed). And after we find out our other coworker can't work that day and we mess our lives about to help, he still tries to shirk. I hate that guy. I have problems with him for a number of reason but this is the one thing he does that really INFURIATES me.

October can't come soon enough. I want nothing more right now than to go away and not think of anyone or anything in this town.
plumbob78: (Default)
On Sunday I will start two weeks of weekends. I'm also working Saturday, to cover for someone who's been pulled to do something else. Because Tuesday through Monday would be 7 days, I am taking Monday off. So I work Saturday and Sunday, then have Monday through Thursday off. Then I work Friday and Saturday. Then Sunday and Monday, then have Tuesday through Thursday off. Then work Friday and Saturday.

So, yeah. Call me in the middle of the week for fun! Just not next Wednesday. That's Saw Doctors.

Ugh

Aug. 4th, 2008 09:22 pm
plumbob78: (Have a Nice Day!!)
Had a plan for work today. Other crap came in and thwarted me. Also, stuff I needed to do what I wanted got eaten by the computers. And one of the coworkers is sick, so I'm covering for him at the other office tomorrow. So no chance of doing that stuff then. This sucks.

Should be excited about Otakon this weekend, but I'm not. Hopefully that will get better.

Had to kill my credit card because someone got hold of the info and started charging shit to it. Sucks. May not have the new one before I go to Baltimore. That would also suck, as I will be limited to cash. And I can spend A LOT in that dealers' room.

I think I'm just gonna go to bed.

I'm back

Jul. 24th, 2008 08:56 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
Only for two days, though.

Trip was good. Flights were fine. Should not have listened to Death Cab for Cutie all the way home, though. Was left feeling..."less than positive."

I think maybe I will take a long walk on Saturday.
plumbob78: (On the Job)
I knew this trip would be better than my last when my traveling companion told me he abhors when people try to save money on TDY's by eating at shifty restaurants. I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy the next few days.

Stuff

Jun. 23rd, 2008 08:02 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
Yesterday I went to target and bought a wok-like thing. And some coat hangers.

Then I came home and bought some T-shirts from Think Geek, including one awesome shirt that baranoouji and papercuppie will appreciate.

My luggage made it home yesterday. Today at work I completed some necessary tasks to resolve a "problem" with the rental car company in TX. Hoping I never hear of the matter again.

Apparently my brother is home from Florida for a few days. So I will be going out to my Parents' on Wednesday.

Thursday night is a birthday party. Friday night a farewell happy hour for a co-worker.

The days are just packed.

Crash

Apr. 22nd, 2008 07:22 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
Two years ago, when I went to Charleston, I came back with a nice white and blue ceramic wet-shaving set (cartridge razor, brush, bowl, stand). I have been using it with great pleasure ever since. This morning, I had a butterfingers moment, and my fancy razor took a ~5.5-foot fall from face-level to the bathroom floor. It is now in two pieces (not including several ceramic chips), a state it was never meant be be in. No I have to get a new nice razor. I'm not sure if i will be able to find an exact match for the broken one. The PlumBob is sad.

On a good note, I've been attending a conference this week, and it's been most informative. I presented yesterday, and folks were most entertained. Apparently I am an exciting and engaging presenter. Go me.

something

Mar. 22nd, 2008 11:29 pm
plumbob78: (confused/disappointed elder)
Perhaps tomorrow, if I wake up early enough, I will relate the good things from the weekend.

Possible bad stuff coming down the line at work. Time will tell.

That girl I met two weekend ago? Hasn't e-mailed me back. Marcie the bartender thinks I should e-mail her again and ask her out for a drink or something. I don't know. What say you, o intertubes?

[Poll #1218]

Stuff

Mar. 8th, 2008 01:45 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
I'm sitting at home doing nothing right now, because I had planned to do Laundry but forgot I don't have any laundry detergent. I just got home from a few hours of being out and about, so I don't really want to go out to buy stuff right now. Guess I will do the laundry tomorrow.

I was at a conference most of this week. It was good. Got me out of the office. Wednesday night I went to the Saw Doctors show with Chris. He drove. I drank. Rather too much, actually. But I had fun. The opening act this time around was a bluegrass band from Alaska. They were awesome. And not just because there were pretty girls in the band. Drunkenness aside, Wednesday was a real good time. There were even a few other folks I knew at the concert, which was cool.

Thursday i was tired all day. After the conference let out, I came home for a nap, before going to a happy hour with some folks from the host organization. Some of us stayed out until about 11 o;clock. Then I came home and dicked around on the internet until 2, which was dumb. Yesterday I went to work, and didn't get everything done that I wanted too, which wasn't even that much. I will be hella busy Monday morning. Am actually contemplating going in for a couple hours tomorrow to make things easier. We'll see. I didn't do anything last night. Cooked some hot dogs here, fooled around online for a while, then went to bed. I'm thinking about tidying up around here a little, but really I just wan to take a nap. We'll see.

:D

Mar. 7th, 2008 07:28 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
working two Sundays and a holiday, plus three hours of comp time expiring and being bought, means a big paycheck!
plumbob78: (Default)
Angst at the office (not mine) made much of the week suck. There were some good points, though.

1) I met my LJ friend papercuppie in person on Wednesday. We went to the Lower Arlington Bar and Grill. We drank. It was good.
2) Last night I ate Vietnamese in Clarendon with Chris, Becca, Carson, Kristin, Doug. and Katie. Then we went to Dr. Dremo's. And drank. And it was good.
3) Today I decided to vanquish all remaining sadness through commerce. After eating lunch, I went to Anime Pavilion. I bought Black Heaven and Ikki Tousen.

Hope to see more friends tonight. But first, I think I may take a nap.
plumbob78: (Kickin' Back)
I spent last week in St. Louis, Missouri for a working group/conference. St. Louis seems like a nice place, although it's awful quiet for being a major city. The town just doesn't have that big city vibrancy you find in New York, or even here in DC.

Got to StL on Monday, went into the office and caught up on e-mails, got the particulars on an unrelated meeting I needed to have with some folks out there, as well as another meeting I need to attend tomorrow. Then checked into the hotel. My coworker and I over to the Gateway Arch, which was only a block away. Got a few pictures, which I will post to flickr when I am less lazy. Wandered around the city for a while and got dinner.

Tuesday the working group started. I gave my presentation. It was OK. I think I may have rushed through it a little, but this may just be my self-critical nature overreacting, as it was well received by the audience. That night there was a "no-host" (i.e. "our cheap-ass agency won't give us money to host you") social at a blues club. I had a good steak and listened to some good music. Also five beers. I left early (9:30) because the other folks in my hotel were also leaving, and I had no clue about the safety of walking the St. Louis streets at night. Apparently I had nothing to worry about, but the observed lack of people walking around the previous night made me cautious. On my return to the hotel, I went to the bar in the connected restaurant and stayed until  they closed at 11:30. The bartender there was beautiful. She had blonde hair and eyeglasses.

Wednesday after the conference let out, my coworker and two other guys in our hotel went to this microbrewery/restaurant in LaClede's Landing. I had buffalo meatloaf. It was good, as was the potato/onion hash that came with it. After dinner I went back to that bar at the hotel, drank more beer and looked at the bartender all night. A 50-something lady from Kansas City decided I was sad and needed comforting. She bought me a beer and was constantly trying to talk to me. Reassurances that though I'm at a difficult time in my life, everything is going to be OK.  "There's somebody out there for you," was another theme. She really annoyed the piss out of me. Before she left, she gave me a variation on a hug that entailed wrapping her arm around y neck and shaking me. I tried to be polite and wished she would go away.  The bartender said she thought the lady wanted to kiss me. I shuddered.  Bartender also opined the lady might be mentally unstable. I'm not qualified to make such a determination myself. But I guess a bartender is almost a psychiatrist so we'll take her word for it.

Thursday the conference lasted only half the day. While everyone else went for lunch and a tour of the Anheuser Busch brewery, I went to another meeting, got lunch from the cafeteria and worked the rest of the day. That night, we had dinner at the home of some co-workers who'd transfered to StL last year. After returning to the hotel, I spent my last night in StL hanging out in the bar. That bartender really was lovely. I told her so.

Flew home on Friday. Went out to dinner with jduffy1535 (livejournal) and baranoouji (livejournal). We went to Ray's the Steaks. There was a 2.5-hour wait so we parked the car and went to bars. I had a martini and two gin-and-tonics. When we got back to the restaurant, they were running behind, so we sat on their porch to wait and chatted for a while. I had a glass of red wine while waiting. When we were seated, we ordered a bottle of wine for the table (we were going to do glasses, but changed our minds at the last minute). Because we were seated late, they gave us soup (seafood bisque) for free. I had a green salad and an onglet (hanger steak). That steak was damn good. I also drank most of the bottle of wine, because my friends were driving and already tipsy, respectively. So yeah, I was pretty well tanked by the end of the night.

Yesterday I woke up around seven, popped 4 ibuprofen and drank a lot of water. I drove out o Sterling and had a look at the Mini Cooper. It seem like a delightful little car. I don't even have to move the seat all the way back to fit in it. I can sit comfortably in the car and still fold down both rear seats. The rear visibility isn;t the best, because the car (and therefore the rear window) is very small, but I think I could get used to it. I didn't take one for a test-drive, because I'm not yet at that stage in my car search, yet, but it's definitely still on my list of possibilities. Yesterday evening I went tout with friend to eat wings and watch the Pats game. They beat Jacksonville, so I am still happy. Today I think I will go to John and Molly's house to watch the Giants game. Tomorrow real work starts again.

Pre-flight

Jan. 6th, 2008 09:22 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
I woke up at (:30 today, which is pretty impressive given I went to bed at 3:30. Did laundry. Got lunch, swung by one of my offices to check some travel stuff because I had a nagging feeling something might be fouled up. Looks like everything is squared away though. Chatted with MJ at the office for a while.

Came home screwed around on the internet, packed, screwed around some more. Got dinner. Am now having some last minute internet fun and drinking sprite. Bed soon. Plane leaves 8:25 AM. Must wake up early. Yuk.

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