Saturday, June 1, 2013

Kenobi's 4th Birthday Party

Today is my little nephew Kenobi's 4th birthday. Of course his parents through a big "Spiderman" themed party. I got there about an hour early to help out. When I got there Lora was going crazy trying to get everything ready and my brother was out back prepping the BBQ. They ordered a bouncy thingy that had a water slide attached to it. But it hadn't arrived yet and the party was starting in an hour.

I decorated the back porch with streamers and balloons. At 1pm folks started to arrive and the bouncy thing just arrived and it took them a good hour and a half to get it up and running. More and more kids showed up and just stood around waiting impatiently (no they were actually very patient for the situation).

A few hours in and the party was in full swing, food was being BBQ'd, folks were having a good time and Lora was able to kind of relax. I played with the 15 or so kids most of the day. I had to fix the hose on the water slide so of course I had to change into my swimming trunks and climb up there. It was cute because the kids were waiting for me to finish so they could slide and they kept calling me Unk.. because that is what Kenobi calls me. I had a good 15 kids bouncing on the bouncy side and popping there heads in every two seconds saying "Unk is it ready yet".. I actually went down the slide several times.. but this time around I didn't dislocate two fingers (if you remember from last year at my nephew's birthday party I dislocated two fingers on my right hand sliding down a similar slide.

I had a blast playing with the kids (ages 3 to 12), squirting them with the water hose, nailing them with beach balls and shooting them with water guns. It was a lot of fun. We did cake and presents (Kenobi really made out with a ton of toys, I think I'm the only one who got him some educational writing pads so he could practice his letters). As the day wind down I got to hang out with my Dad, brother, sister-in-law, mom, Lora's moms' and my niece and nephew.

Overall it was a fun party... I know I'm going to be sore tomorrow when I get up.. but it was well worth it seeing all the smiles on those kids faces.. especially my nephew Kenobi.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Fires and Farewells

Well the fire still burns out of control.. I think the last I head they were hoping to have 20% containment by the end of the day. Smoke isn't as bad as yesterday and the ash isn't as heavy... of course all that can change with the wind. Still no threat to my place.. so yay, but unfortunately it is threatening other homes on the other side of they hill.. I wish everyone the best.

Today my "temporary" roommates Anthony and Michele are moving out. They have been living with me for the past three months. Now I hadn't lived with roommates for over ten years.. I mean I lived with Harry but he was my partner which is completely different then roommates. And I haven't lived with him in over 2 years.. so it's took some adjusting to
having people live in my house with me. But overall it was a
good experience and it reminded me how much fun you can have living with roommates.

Anthony and Michele are moving to Wisconsin to live with his mom while their baby is born, but before they left they had a going away party at one of Anthony's friends house in Simi Valley. It was fun hanging with a few of our mutual friends Robert, Will, Becca, and Rupert as well as meeting several of Anthony's friends. The party ended around 11pm and we said our goodbyes. I'll miss those guys they have become good friends over the past few years.  Good luck to them on their new adventure.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Living just outside Los Angeles in a very rural area has it's pluses and it's minuses.. a big minus are wild fires. There are a good handful of wildfires every year here in SoCal, some have gotten close to my property but I've been very fortunate that they normally are burning in the opposite direction.

We had several fires the past few weeks but again at the closest they have been more then 30 miles away... well that was until today. Around 3:30 I noticed some smoke just over the hill behind my house. It got darker and darker as the day
went on. The fire (they are calling the Powerhouse fire) was spreading quickly. The fire was about four or five miles from my house (but there was a large valley between my place and the fire) so I was feeling okay. Winds were blowing in the opposite direction and the fire was burning away from my place.

But as the winds would change smoke and ash would engulf my house and blot out the sun. Everything looked kind of brownish. By the end of the day they had no containment but luckily it shifted directions again and was heading north of my place. As of right now I think my property is safe. The fire would have to make some drastic changes to threaten my place. I'll keep you all posted on it's progress.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Buffy and Bros Continue

It's Wednesday and Robert and I continue our Buffy and Bro night.. we've seen a lot of Buffy the past week, last Wednesday, Sunday, Monday and now Wednesday again, but you can never get enough Buffy.

We started off the night with Season 7 Ep 3 "Same Time, Same Place" Willow cannot find her friends in Sunnydale, where a flayed body has been found.

This was a good episode, I really enjoyed the scene with Spike talking to Willow and then he's talking to someone invisible and then they go back and do the scene again and you realize that he's talking to Buffy and Xander. I had a hard time watching that demon eat parts of Willow's skin. I felt the pain Willow was going through. It was very well done. 

Next was Season 7 Ep 4 "Help" Cassandra "Cassie" Newton, a student at Sunnydale High School, goes to the new counselor Buffy with an alarming prediction: She is to die on Friday. Buffy scrambles to save her, but fate prevails when Cassie suffers heart failure.

I really liked this episode as well. I liked the guest star who played Cassie. Again it rarely happens on Buffy but people die of natural causes, it's not always demon related.

Then we did Season 7 Ep 5 "Selfless" Anya gets back into her old Vengeance demon ways by helping a girl get revenge on an entire fraternity by having a spider demon tear their hearts out. Willow, returning to college, discovers this and she, Buffy, and Xander fear the worst of Anya.

Another excellent episode, we get Anya back story and her present day struggle with being a vengeance demon. We see a short re-appearance of Dark Willow, and Buffy fighting Anya to the death. Again not a big fan of Xander in this episode. He was very much a dick in this one.

And finally for tonight it was Season 7 Ep 6 "Him" When Dawn, Buffy, Willow, and Anya all mysteriously fall for a handsome Sunnydale High quarterback, it's up to Xander and Spike to stop them before they do any real damage.

A funny episode to end the night one. Nothing to special, just lots of laugh out loud moments. 

Another fun filled night of awesome TV, tasty foods and the best of friends.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Judging The Geekie Awards

Today I finished judging my entries for The Geekie Awards. Overall it was a fun experience and I'm very happy to be part of it. I hope this award show becomes an annual event.

There were so many great entries and it was tough choosing my favorites in each category. I went through all of them, gave them their rating and made comments then I went back through them again to make sure the ones on top actually deserved to be on top.

It was fun but also very difficult as you're not judging the topic as much as the overall production/presentation. If you haven't guessed I was a judge for podcast entries so there were podcasts that I had no interest in the topic and vice verse, a topic I loved. It's tough not being bias but I guess that's part of the job of being a judge, being able to look/listen to something with an open mind. I think I did a pretty good job at that.

I can't wait for the actual award show in August. Should be a great time... and since I was a judge I get the VIP status :) Not sure what that entails but it should be fun. I'll keep you guys updated on when tickets go on sale for the award show.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day BBQ & More Buffy

Stayed over at Robert's place, so we woke up, got ready for the day and headed out to breakfast at IHop . Once breakfast was over we headed to my mom's down in Newport Beach. This was going to be the first time that my buddy Robert got to meet my Mom and family.

Robert and I got there first, then my brother Michael, sister-in-law Lora, nephew Kenobi and niece Molly arrived. Then my aunt Joyce, uncle Marty and their kids Austin and Matt and finally my grandma. Also Lora's moms Vicky and Debbie joined us.

My mom lives on Balboa Island. They live on the water and have a nice deck and dock with several boats. So we hung outside on the deck and dock. Some folks went swimming in the harbor, some just hung out on the deck and talked. We snacked on smoked sausages and chips. For lunch we had BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs. My aunt Joyce made this incredible strawberry whip cream cake thing that was just the best.. plan on making it in the future.

Several family members went out on the smaller boat (Whaler). We had planned to go out on one of Chuck's sailing yachts. But as the day winded down it didn't look like that was going to happen.. so instead Robert and I took the small whaler boat out. My mom's house is about a 35 minute boat ride in the harbor until you get to the ocean. It was fun out on the water with Robert. Once we got to the ocean I wanted to take Robert to the "seal hotel" (buoy) just outside the harbor in the pacific ocean. The waves were pretty big and the whaler was being tossed all over the place. Robert was having a blast watching me panic as I was trying to keep control of the boat. Once we saw the seal hotel we headed back in. The return trip was interesting as several times I had thought I had taken the wrong path but in the end we did manage to find out way home. Now the fun began. Trying to bring the boat in between one of Chuck's sailing boats and the neighbors dock. I tried three or four times but couldn't do it. Robert was literally rolling on the floor of the boat laughing while I tried to dock the boat over and over again. Finally my brother came down to the dock and helped me out.

We hung out for another hour or so before we called it a day. We had planned to stop by Disneyland on our way home but we were tired from being out in the hot sun all day, we decided to head back to Robert's place, grab some dinner and watch some Buffy.

We ordered some Bossa Nova and had it delivered to Rob's place. We continued our Buffy Rewatch / 1st Time. First up was S6 Ep 21 "Two to Go" After flaying Warren alive, Dark Willow turns to Jonathan and Andrew—who are still in jail—while Buffy, Xander, and Anya rush to the Sunnydale police station to protect them and try to stop Willow. Dawn convinces Clem to take her to Rack's in order to find Willow. Turns out Willow is already there, has murdered Rack and absorbed his magic in order to become more powerful. After leaving Andrew and Jonathan safe at the Magic Box, Buffy finds Dawn at Rack's with Willow and a fight ensues. Magically, the fight ends up at the Magic Box. Giles appears, to stop Dark Willow.

As I mentioned in my last blog post about Buffy... these final four episodes are some of my favorite Buffy of all time. So I enjoyed this episode alot. Again it's so much fun watching this with Robert who's never seen any of them as he's having the same reactions that I had when I first saw them. When Giles showed up at the very end Robert almost did an air fist pump.. Giles is one of his favorites and it was so EPIC when he shows up and knocks Dark Willow back.

Then the final episode of Season 6 Ep 22 "Grave" Dark Willow defeats Giles and decides to end her suffering and the world's by bringing on an apocalypse.

Not the most amazing finale but a good ending to the whole Dark Willow storyline. Though I'm not a big Xander fan it was cool that he was the one who stopped the end of the world. Buffy had no real part in stopping it.

We then started the final season of Buffy.. Season Seven Ep 1 "Lessons" Dawn finds vengeful spirits in the new Sunnydale High School. Giles helps with Willow's rehabilitation in England. Love crazy Spike...

Not a bad start the final season. I love that they are back at Sunnydale High School and that Buffy is working there now. I'm glad Dawn is now part of the Scoobie gang and learning to fight like her sister.

And the final episode of the night S7 Ep2 "Beneath You" The Scoobies find that Anya has cursed the ex-boyfriend of a woman who wished he was a worm. Buffy learns that Spike has gotten his soul back.

Wasn't a big fan of the main storyline with Anya and the worm creature... but I did like the entire Spike crazy storyline and "something" taking the forms of past enemies and even the Slayer herself.

Got to spend a day and a half with my best friend and it was awesome. Said our good nights and I headed home... it was a very fun day. Robert got along with my family and they loved him.. which of course I knew they would.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Star Trek, Buffy & Chocolate Wine

My buddy Aaron crashed at my place last night after our day at Magic Mountain. So today we got up, had some breakfast and then started to watch a Star Trek special on The History Channel. We only watched an hour of the 2 hour special.. it was all about the new rebooted Star Trek. Around 11am Aaron went into town to get a haircut and I was going to join him around noon to grab some lunch and then go to the movies.

So I meet up with him at Baja Fresh and we grabbed some lunch... next door to Baja is the theater and we wanted to see Star Trek Into Darkness. This would be my second time and I was super excited to see it again. Afterwards I came to the conclusion that this movie is my favorite of the new Star Trek. I laughed, cried and was on the edge of my seat the entire time.. even though I had already seen it. I love Cumberbatch, he's such an amazing actor. I love everything about this movie and I can't wait to see it again.. but next time it will be in IMAX 3D.

After the movie I headed to my buddy Robert's house for an unscheduled Buffy and Bros night. While we watched I got to try some Chocolate Wine.. I never heard of such a thing but it was extremely tasty.

First episode of the night was S6 Ep 15 "As You Were" Riley returns to town with his new wife Sam. He enlists Buffy's help in tracking down a demon black market dealer known as "The Doctor". It turns out that "The Doctor" is actually Spike. Riley finds out about Buffy and Spike's affair. Buffy ends things with Spike.

I like this episode, it was a nice resolution to the whole Riley thing. And Buffy finally breaks things off with Spike (after Riley finds them together). 

Next was S6 Ep 16 "Hell's Bells" Xander and Anya's wedding day finally arrives, but a surprise visitor makes Xander have second thoughts.

A fun episode, you feel bad for Anya and Xander is just a jerk. I have never been a big fan of Xander and this episode didn't do him any favors. 

Then it was time for S6 Ep 17 "Normal Again" The Trio unleash a demon whose powers make Buffy believe that she is in a mental institution and that Sunnydale—and all her friends and adventures—have just been figments of her imagination. Eventually Buffy attacks her friends, locks them in her basement, and unleashes the same demon on them. Tara eventually finds them and Buffy recovers from the demon's poison by drinking the antidote.

Love this episode.. one of the coolest stories of the season. At the end it really makes you think, is this world that we know all in Buffy's head.. is Buffy really in a asylum... good stuff.

Next up was S6 Ep 18 "Entropy" Anya seeks vengeance on Xander and finds comfort with Spike. Willow and Tara arrange a date.

Another good episode, Anya is back and she's pissed. I liked how she is trying to get all of Xander's friends to wish him ill will so she can curse him. I also liked seeing Willow and Tara getting back together. 

And finally one I was really looking forward to S6 Ep 19 "Seeing Red" Tara and Willow cuddle in bed after their reconciliation. Meanwhile, The Trio steal the Orbs of Nezzla'Khan, which grant their owner strength and invulnerability.
Buffy has to stop Spike from raping her; horrified by his own actions, Spike leaves Sunnydale. Buffy confronts The Trio in mid-robbery, and renders Warren powerless by smashing his orbs. Warren escapes, leaving Andrew and Jonathan behind to face the police.

Warren returns the next day with a gun. He shoots Buffy, and a stray bullet into the upstairs window kills Tara. Xander frantically tries to stop Buffy's bleeding while Tara lies dead in Willow's arms. Willow's face is contorted by pain and shock, blood splattered all over her, eyes glowing deep red.

This is the episode I have been waiting for.. I mean the first 40 minutes is good, nothing to special but the last few minutes is so EPIC. I remember watching this for the first time and just being stunned. Of course back then I had to wait a week for the next episode.. nowadays you just select the next episode on Netflix. I love that Robert had the same reaction I had 10 years ago when I first saw this. It's such a jaw dropping, OMG, moment.

And our final episode of the evening S6 Ep 20 "Villains" In the aftermath of the vengeful Warren's assassination attempt, Buffy tries to recover from a severe gunshot wound, while Tara is also hit and dies. Willow, consumed by wrath and rage over Tara's murder, consumes herself with deadly black magic from the Magic Box which physically transforms her into a dark being. "Dark Willow" then magically heals Buffy, and then goes out seeking to kill the murderous Warren. Jonathan and Andrew share a jail cell while they debate their next move. Warren, aware that Willow is after him, seeks allies at a demon bar and approaches junkie warlock Rack for help, while Buffy, Xander, and Dawn grieve after they learn of Tara's death as well as finding out that Anya has returned to being a Vengeance demon. Spike travels to a remote African village where he asks a mysterious cave dwelling demon to make him his former self.

Like the previous episode this is a continuation of the last 10 minutes of the previous episode. Dark Willow is awesome..  she plays a really good big bad. What she does to Warren is terrifying. I remember when I first saw it I was shocked.. just for the fact that Willow would do that but that they would show that on TV. These last few episodes are what I have been looking forward to this entire season.. can't wait to see the final two.

Afterwards I crashed at Robert's place since we were both driving down to my Mom's for a Memorial Day BBQ.  It was a really good day.. got to spend the day with good friends (Aaron and Robert) and watched some of the best geeky movie/show around (Star Trek and Buffy).. oh and I got to drink some tasty Chocolate Wine.. it was a good day.