Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tattoos & Dragons

Got up around 8am, made some breakfast (pancakes) then headed out to my brothers for a tattoo party. Both Robert and I needed to get a touch up on several of our tattoos. My buddy Moose, the one who actually did my three tattoos was coming over to my brother's today to do tattooing all day. We needed to be there at noon because we had to leave by 3pm to get to our D&D session today and it's about an hour and a half away from my brother's place.

We got there a little early and hung out with my brother's family while we waited. It's so cool how Robert had integrated himself into my family. This was the first time Robert was at my brother's house so Mike had to show him his Star Wars room and his many many arcade games.

Moose arrived and after eating lunch we got started around 1pm. Robert was first as I wanted to make sure he got his tattoo fixed first just in case we ran out of time. His fix took about an hour and the result are like night and day. He had gotten Sonic the Hedgehog symbol on his forearm last year. But the guy who did it, didn't do a great job, so Robert asked him to fix it.. and he did. Or I should say he didn't. Still looked like sloppy work. So Moose went at it and I think Robert was extremely happy with the end result. It's much sharper and darker and looks amazing.

My turn was next and I have having Moose touch up my Lord of the Rings tattoo that he did last year for me. There was this small area that I felt didn't get enough red. Well Moose had something else in mind and did about half my yellow over again, made it much richer and he did all the red and made it look more like it was burning through my skin.. I love it. This time around the line work was killing me. I had to keep telling myself to breath. I don't know why the pain was more intense then last time but man I was hurting.. the shading didn't hurt as much (which is different from last time).

We did mange to go over our exit time but it was worth it. We got out of my brother's place and headed to Dallas and Jes' place for D&D. We arrived about a half hour later then we planned but everyone was still just settling in so we didn't miss anything.

We jumped right into our continuing D&D campaign, Dash was doing okay this time. I mean he didn't die and that always a good thing but my buddy Nar almost did. There was lots of conflict on what to do next. Half of us wanted to get out of the temple and back to town and the other half wanted to continue to explore deep catacombs under the temple. In the end the group who didn't want to leave got into a bit a trouble (hence why Nar almost died) so some of us (excluding the rogues) came back to help out. In the end we did leave the temple and back to the town where Dash (that's me) got kidnapped and now has a knife against his throat... what will happen next.. we have to wait two weeks!!! Good stuff.. so much fun.

It's also my friend Jen's birthday, a large group are going out to drink and see a movie called The Room which I will not be partaking in because of my big plans tomorrow. Anyways before we called it a night we sat Jen down and we all sang to her (we had the lyrics printed out) to "Still Alive" the song from Portal (one of her favorite games) as the line was sung about the cake being so delicious and moist we presented her with a chocolate cheese cake that looked liked the cake from the game. Jen was over joyed, she was truly at a loses for words.. it was pretty epic. And I have to say that our little group weren't that bad of singers :)

I said my goodbyes and headed home. My buddy Brett was joining me as he was attending the event at my place tomorrow and was going to crash at my place and help me set up tomorrow morning.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Magic Mountain Time!!!

Today I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain with my friends Josh and Nicole. But before I left I got up early (6:30am) and worked on my next MASH 4077 podcast as it's due to be released on Monday July 1st and I won't have any free time the next few days. Luckily for me Josh and Nicole were running late so I got to not only finish my MASH podcast but I also manage to clean up the house a bit for this weekend.

I got to Magic Mountain around 11am and I couldn't believe how packed it was. Not only was it packed but it was hot and I mean HOT, 110f. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to physically stay out in that sun all day. I planned to just hang out with them for a few hours but honestly once your body acclimates to the temperature it's not that bad.. I mean it's hot and you feel gross but after a while it doesn't bother you.

We rode a total of about seven roller coasters (Revolution, Viper, Roaring Rapids, Ninja, Superman, Jet Stream and Apocalypse) from Noon to 11:30am to 7:30pm. We didn't want to stand in the unspecified time line for the new roller coaster Full Throttle. It was such a made house, figured I'll go again when it's not so busy after the newness wears off.

All in all it was a fun, though extremely hot time at Six Flags Magic Mountain.. Thanks Nicole for the invite.

I stopped by Taco Bell and picked up some dinner and got home just in time for Robert to arrive. He is crashing at my place tonight as we are getting up early and heading out to my brothers for a tattoo party (both of us are getting tattoo's touched up).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Twitter, Pipes and Buffy

Today I noticed that I lost about 7 followers on Twitter in the past 24 hours, I'm not sure why. It could be Twitter cleaning out spam bots or it could be folks who aren't enjoying what I'm having to say. Regardless you try and not let it effect you but it always does for a few minutes at least, but then it passes. I made the mistake of complaining about it on twitter and kind of got a little backlash with some complaining that I really have nothing to complain about, since I have over 2400 followers. What they don't understand is that Twitter and all of social media is very important to podcasters. It's our main source to getting news out there about our podcasts. I may have just over 2400 followers but more is always better. Plus I have been stalled at trying to get to 2500 followers for about six months and I was finally showing some movement and got to 2462 but now I'm dropping again. When it comes to social media and podcasting, be it followers on Twitter or Likes on your Facebook Page, more is always better.

Went to Lowes today and picked up two more repair kits for my busted water well pipe as well as a portable sauntering iron as my last resort. As my previous repair didn't take and my well pump has been off for about three days, I didn't have much hope for this quick fix idea.. but to my surprise the very first one I tired (cheapest of the group) worked great and now my well pipe is sealed, the well pump is back on pumping water and not a drop of water coming out of the pipe.. woohoo.. now I can return the two items that I didn't have to work and get my money back.. which is always a good thing.

If you're a regular reader of my blog you may have noticed that I didn't blog about Buffy Wednesday that's because it was pushed until today.. Buffy Thursday. Drove down to my Robert's place, we ordred some pizza and wings and continued out Buffy Rewatch (for me) and 1st time (for Robert). We started tonights viewing with S7 Ep 15 "Get it Done" Buffy Summers introduces Principal Wood to the rest of the crew and he gives her a bag that he got from his mother. One of the girls commits suicide after talking to the First. Buffy uses the set of shadow figures in the slayer's bag to trigger a portal. On the other side, she meets the Shadow Men, who tell her of the origin of the Slayer and offer to infuse her with more power. She refuses upon discovering the cost. They leave her with a terrifying vision.

I liked this episode. It delves more into how the slayer was created. It also shows us what exactly the first evil has waiting for our heroes.. and it terrifies Buffy.

Next up is S7 Ep 16 "Storyteller" "Storyteller" refers to Andrew Wells, who became a pseudo-member of the Scooby Gang after being one of the The Trio, Buffy's enemies in Season Six, and has been held hostage at since Summers' home since early in the season. Andrew composes a video documentary narrating the apocalyptic adventures of Buffy and the Scooby Gang.

Fun episode, Robert mention how much he is enjoying the character development for "once bad guy" Andrew and I agree with him. I love the idea of documenting Buffy and all her deeds. I mean I'd be doing the exact same thing if I was in his shoes. Lots of humor in this episode.

We then watched S7 Ep 17 "Lies My Parents Told Me" The Scooby Gang investigates Spike's trigger. Robin Wood and Giles team up behind Buffy's back.

Been waiting for this episode.. a god Spike back story episode. And of course Woods finally confronts Spike about killing his mother. Spiked looked like he was done for but then suddenly old Spike is back and almost kills Woods. And Buffy is so pissed at Giles for trying to deceive her. 
And the final episode of the night was S7 Ep 18 "Dirty Girls" A group of Bringers chase a new Potential into the grasp of Caleb, an evil villain in priest's clothing. He gives her a message for the Slayer, burns her, stabs her, and throws her out of the car. Willow and Faith return to Sunnydale and find the injured girl, who tells Buffy that Caleb says he has something of hers. Buffy gathers a group of dismayed Potentials for an attack against Caleb after she and Faith discover his stronghold. The attack is a disaster; Caleb easily overpowers the whole group, including Buffy, Spike and Faith, killing two potentials and seriously injuring Xander. The terrified survivors are taken to the hospital and Buffy reflects on the debacle.

First of all Nathan Fillion!!!!  I knew he showed up at the end of Buffy but couldn't remember what episode. Also we get the return of Faith which I completely forgot about so that was a happy surprise. This was a great episode, it really puts Buffy to the test and she fails. We lose two potential slayers and many are injured including poor Xander who loses an eye. Good stuff all around.. it's setting everything up nicely for the huge showdown coming in the season finale.

Speaking of season finale.. we are only 4 episodes of way from ending our Buffy Rewatch/1st. We should be able to wrap up this series with our next viewing. Robert and I have been talking about which series to do next... in the running is of course Angel, Smallville or Babylon 5. We made watch several series at once.. it's not like we have to watch nothing but one series. Will have to make that decision in the coming weeks.. can't wait for our next Buffy night and finishing off this fantastic series.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Good Day To Be Gay!!

Big news today... the Supreme Court over turned D.O.M.A. (The Defensive Marriage Act) Which stated that a  marriage can only be legal between a man and a woman . So even though some states made gay marriage legal in the eyes of the Federal government it was not.

D.O.M.A. effected my relationship with Harry as Harry was from Austria and we could not get married and request a spousal green card. So instead Harry stayed in this country illegally rather then traveling back and forth every few months. It's something every bi-national couple has to deal with. But being here illegally and not able to work or do much put a strain on our relationship which of course ended after an 8 years. If  D.O.M.A  had not been there who know what our future would have looked like. So this ruling means a lot to me. It may be too late for Harry and I but there are thousands of bi-national couples who no longer have to break the law or travel back and forth every few months to be with their loved ones.

Of course you have all the haters (religious conservatives mostly) all over the news saying now that D.O.M.A. is gone people will start marring animals and inanimate objects... so stupid. All this means is that people who are in love can now get married and enjoy the full benefits that our government offers.

The other big news.. especially for Californians, Prop 8 appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court. Which means the lower courts decisions stands. Some back story.. Gay marriage was legalized in California a few years back, then they put an intuitive on the ballot, Prop 8 and unfortunately it passed with 52% of the vote. So after only a few months gay marriages was illegal once again. Then some couples took Prop 8 to court and fought to get it over turned. After a long court battle it was deemed unconstitutional and was over turned. Well the haters quickly filed an appeal to the Supreme Court and while they were waiting the ban on gay marriages still stood. We waited and waited until finally today the Supreme Court refused to take case which means the lower court decision that it's unconstitutional stands and gay marriages in California will resume once again.

As of July 2013, thirteen states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington), the District of Columbia, and five Native American tribes have legalized same-sex marriage.

So only 13 of 50 states but hey we're getting there.. baby steps... I mean just ten years ago we had no states and if we can get another 13 in ten years I'd be super happy with that. And I'm happy that if I do find another partner to share my life with, either local or abroad I can now legally marry them and have it recognized by my State and Country for what it is.. LOVE.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Disneyland with Christopher

Today I got up and headed to Disneyland with my buddy Christopher. This was going to be his last trip to Disneyland for a while since he's moving up to the Bay area. Though I have known Christopher for over ten years and we are both huge Disney fans this will be the first time we've have gone to Disneyland together.

We got there around noon which is pretty late for me and it was pretty busy for a weekday but then Christopher reminded me that school is out for the summer. First thing I did when we got there was grab a corn dog for lunch. Christopher went over to the Tomorrow Land food court to get his lunch. We sat in the Tomorrow Land food court area and watched the Jedi Training event that they do there every few hours. Afterwards we headed to Star Tour as that is one ride I tend to do every time I visit Disneyland.

Afterwards we rode a few more rides but like I said it was busy and lines were long. We headed over to Disney California Adventures around 5pm and that place was packed as well. We headed to Tower of Terror but it was an 80 minute wait so we skipped it. We did ride Mator's Tractor Pull ride as Christopher had never ridden that.. he liked it. We only did a few more rides there before calling it quits for the day around 8:30pm. Before we left Christopher wanted to hit up the World of Disney store.. I've never been there and OMG is that a huge place. Lot's and lots of awesome Disney stuff.. now I know why I haven't been in there.. I could spend a ton of money. We did manage to find a Sully hat to match my Wazowski hat. Anyways Christopher got a shirt he wanted and we called it a night.

Thought we didn't ride a ton of rides it was still and awesome time hanging with Christopher at one of our favorites places. I can't wait to visit him up in the Bay area, I love San Fransisco and haven't been there years. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Helping a Friend

So I got up this morning and checked to see if the fix I did to the well worked.. I turned on the well pump and immediately water started leaking through the patch.. then it started spraying everywhere as if the patch wasn't even on it. I quickly turned off the well pump again, signed and headed back inside to work on plan B.

Today I was heading over to my buddy Christopher's place to help him pack for his big move up to the Bay Area. I got there around noon and he assigned me to pack up his kitchen. I worked on it for a few hours before we headed out to lunch, when we got back I continued to finish the kitchen. I was almost done when it was dinner time. We headed out to Chevy's for some much needed dinner. Who know packing was such hard work. When we got back I finished up the kitchen and then moved on to a few odds and ends before calling it a night.

I crashed at his place as we were going to Disneyland the next day.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Life's Curve Ball

So today started off with a huge smack in the face. As many of you know I have been jobless for a while now and really have worked only 4 months out of the past 24 months. So needless to say I've used up all my savings and funds are extremely low at this time, in fact I had to request some money from a family member (which I hate doing). This family member was my safety net, they ensured me that no matter what I would not lose my house, they would help me out financially until I could get back on my feet. Well I got a call today from this "family member" and they informed me that they were not going to help me, for reasons I won't go into here but needless to say they didn't make any sense... at least to me. So one week away from my mortgage being due and bills being due I must now scramble and figure out how I'm going to pay for things and not lose my house. Talk about blood pressure going up and the stress mounting. I got off the phone and immediately started to have chest pains. Panic was setting in and all I could do was tell myself to calm down and to breath.

I really didn't have much time to think about what I was going to do because I was recording six new episodes of my MASH 4077 Podcast with my buddies Al and Meds at noon. We were also having some "guest" co-hosts joining us. These are listeners who entered a raffle and won spots as co-hosts.

Even though I was in panic mode the recording went great, we had very few technical issues and the conversations were fun and entertaining. There will be a few editing challenges but I'm up for them. 

Finished recording around 2:30pm, said my goodbyes and let the panic resume. I quickly checked to see how much I had left in the bank. There's nothing left in my savings.. a hundred or so in paypal and about a hundred in cash. I was freaking out.. for the first time in over 10 years I didn't know what I was going to do. I mean I lived pay check to pay check all through my teens, 20's and into my 30's but I've never had a house mortgage, especially a large house mortgage.

Four o'clock came around and I went outside to water my trees because my watering system is broke and I can't afford to fix it.. especially now.  You know that saying.. "when it rains, it pours". Well I got out near the well for my water and noticed that one of the pipes had split open and water was spraying all over the place. I quickly turned off my well pump to stop the water from spraying out. Luckily for me I have a 500 gallon reserve tank so I should be okay for a while if needed.

There were five or six small holes in the metal pipe. I quickly jumped in my car and headed to Lowes. Remember when I go anywhere it's at least a 20 to 30 minute drive. All I'm thinking is I'm wasting gas that I soon won't be able to fill up.

Got to Lowes, found the plumbing area and looked for a solution. I found a metal pipe fix-it repair pack for $11 bucks. Looked fairly reliable so I got it. I got home and it was starting to get dark so I quickly applied the patch and would let it dry overnight and test it out tomorrow morning and see if the leak was fixed.. cross your fingers.

Also while I was dealing with my well issues I remembered that I do have emergency credit cards (2 of them with a fairly large limits). So my plan B is to charge as many bills as I can to my credit card and then get a cash advance for my mortgage. I don't want to go into debt again but this will at least give me another month (July) to find a job or come up with another plan.

The panic and stress isn't gone but it's defiantly more manageable now that I have an idea of what I'm going to do. Life is funny sometimes.. it knocks you down and just for fun it's gives you a good kick in the balls.