ENTRY 0019, December 31, 2006
another year has passed. And again, I have only done this one
entry for the entire time... Why do you ask? Well, It's because I
took my entries in a different direction. What and how, you may
ask? Well, it all started right before the last blog I
wrote, back in 2005. Sheila and I had gone to Phoenix and to
Bookman's used book store. There, I found a copy of James
Kochalka's book, American Elf
. For those of you unfamiliar with James
Kochalka's work, you can check it out here
and here . He is a bit
weird, and I really do not like his music much, but he has done a daily
comic journal every day since October 21, 1998. It inspired
me to start my own on January 1 of this year. I am not
going to post all of them, like he does, but here are a couple of
examples of what I am doing.
So, every day I have been adding a page to the journal. It is
interesting. It isn't necessarily anything special or significant
each day, but just something I noticed or happend that day. I
actually started this to improve my drawing skills. After
reviewing my progress from day one to day 365, I find that I still suck
at drawing, but my printing is getting a bit better...
Anyway. In the last blog I mentioned that Sheila and I got
tattoos. Again. Since then, we got some more. Sheila
got her tudor rose colored in. It looks really nice. I got
a completely new tattoo.
I said in my last blog "Next, I'm going to start getting tattoos of the
scientists I admire..." Well, here are the top two, in my book,
Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. In between them is a symbol
taken from "Fullmetal Alchemist" which is an anime show that Sheila and
I really like. (More details about this show can be found here.)
It combines several symbols from traditional alchemy. The four
compass points represent the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and
Water. The Serpent represents renewal. The crown represents
the precious metal gold, and the wings represent eternal life.
The last two represent the goals of alchemy, to transmute base metals
into gold and to create the Elixer of Life, which would guarantee
immortality. I plan on adding more names and more symbols over
what's new? (Or, more precisely, what has happened since I last updated
this blog, just over a year ago?)
-Bush is still a lying moron. The evidence is coming in that he
lied far beyond what we ever suspected. His approval rating is
rivalling that of Nixon, and the majority of Americans don't see any
improvement in the world's situation next year. (Surprisingly, a phone
survey conducted last week indicates that about 25% of Americans think
that Jesus may be coming back in 2007. The fact that so many
people believe this is frightening.)
-We still have two working rovers on Mars. They have exceeded their
expected lifespans by about 1000%. That is still Too Cool
- The Mars Orbiter has discovered evidence that water has flowed on the
surface of Mars within the last five years. That is amazing.
- The shuttle has returned to flight, and the construction of the ISS
continues. They had a problem with an old solar array, which has
delicate, paper-thin leaves and was a bit balky during re-folding, but
they got it all in place and some new parts installed.
- We had an election. The democrats won both the House and
Senate. Woo Hoo! Change may be in the offing!
- On a totally unrelated note (According to the White House) Secretary
of Defense Donald Rumsfeld quit, just two days after the election went
to the democrats. Interesting...
- (Dec 29, 2005) Gas prices spiked at nearly $3.00 a gallon here in
are now down to just over $2.00. I never thought I would be happy
to see gas prices hit $2.00 a gallon...
-(Dec 31, 2006) Gas prices slowy began creeping back up, went
down right before the election for some strange reason, and are now at
about $2.65/gal again.
- We hit 3,000 dead American soldiers in Iraq. This is in
addition to the 53,000+ iraqis killed by direct military action. (For
details see here.)
- Our travel mentor and dear friend, Tom Smith, died suddenly. He
had been dealing with cancer for years, but went into the hospital for
gall bladder surgery, and never came out. The phone call was
rather unexpected. Tom had been working on getting us upgrades to
our flights from December 22 to 30. The Caller ID had his name,
so I picked up expecting to hear from him about our trip and whether or
not we would be going by business class. Instead, it was his
wife, Carol, informing us that he had died. It was like a punch
in the stomach. He will be missed, badly.
- I finished my Master's degree. I now know how to teach science
- ComicCon was great! We met a bunch of folks we wanted to meet
(Like the prime voices from "Fullmetal Alchemist") and ran into Lewis
- For a graduation gift, Sheila got me a Hot Tub! It is great for
- For a graduation gift, I got myself a Nikon D70 Digital camera.
It is great for taking pictures.
-We had a minor brush fire north of the town on September 17.
Here is a view or two:
- We had a MAJOR, fast-moving brush fire just south of town on October
26. It burned thousands of acres and killed five
firefighters. By a strange, sad coincidence we knew family
members of three of them. Here are a few views of the burning
-We went to London to be in Europe for Sheila's Birthday. She now
officially states that her age is "between thirty-nine and
death". Works for me. London was great. We left LA.
on December 22nd, arrived in London on the 23rd. We got
food, books and toiletries, then went to bed. The next day we did
a bit of shopping before the stores all closed. The 25th was
spent relaxing, watching telly and eating a Turpigen dinner. The
26th, Boxing Day, was spent going to a few shops, then to a Blue Man
Group show. (The theater was directly across the street from our
flat!) The 27th and 28th were more sightseeing and shopping
days. The 29th, Sheila's birthday was spent sleeping in and going
for a walk. The 30th, was spent on traveling home (again in
Business Class, thanks to Tom) and unpacking. the 31st was
resting and recovery.
Lots of other stuff happened, but that is enough for now.
Well, I gotta run.