Southern California – Coast to Coast

Dino

I had to travel to Southern California this week for work, but the exciting thing is that I rented a car for the occasion. I drove out of San Diego, up route 5 to the Mission Viejo & Laguna Beach area. I was very close to The Hills, I think there was a TV show about The Hills. In between meetings, I was able to catch up with San Diego Dave and checked out his hometown, which is essentially a beach town with a couple taco joints, bars, and surf shops. Many folks drove around in Lexus SUVs with surfboards on tops, so surfboard sales must be good. 

After a bunch of meetings, I had to go to a dinner program with a couple of big customers in Palm Desert. It was 115 degrees in Palm Desert and I checked my gas tank regularly, because I knew running out of gas in this desert would mean certain death for me! I made it to dinner, enjoyed a great meal and then retired back in Palm Springs (which is on my top 5 favorite places in America). I was only in my hotel room for about 6 hours because I had to leave at 3AM for a flight. I stopped at the famous rest stop with the huge dinosaurs and snapped this picture. 

Here’s a video of one of my favorite parts of the drive:

July 2014 – Closing A Chapter

Very few people got to experience the solitude of my temporary living situation in Canonsburg, PA. Canonsburg is the birthplace of Perry Como and Bobby Vinton, there is a statue of Perry Como on the Main Street with a microphone, but it could easily be mistaken for a random man just enjoying an ice cream cone. The town has seen better days, but with the emergence of fracking, it’s best days actually may be ahead. Right now Canonsburg is still closer to the depressing side of the spectrum, lots of tattoo parlors, vape shops (selling electronic nicotine), and the buildings are peeling and dull. My apartment complex leans against a hillside cemetery and it was not uncommon to see mourners orbiting the grave stones as I leave for work in the morning. The apartment itself is a dormitory of anti socials who mostly heeded the call of the oil boom as you see plenty of license plates in the parking lot from Texas with drilling equipment in their pickup beds.

Asides from the town and living circumstances, I pushed through insane storms commuting home to see the family every weekend. This was the winter of the polar vortex and I remember snow storms filled with lightning, horizontal snow that blurred the lines of horizon so you could not separate earth from air, cars spun out, tractor trailers pulled over, and following the one truck who pushed forward, searching for his tire tracks and brake lights through the the dense fog of intense white.  Just last Sunday, it rained so hard and the wind was so fast, the rain was slapping the side of tractor trailers and blowed straight up five feet above, defying all gravity. Branches were blowing off trees and littered the road, it was the first time I actually pulled over, I could not see anything but a windshield that resembled what a kayaker might see if flipped over in class 5 rapids.

It wasn’t all bad, far from it, people have been sincere and friendly. The local pride and love of fireworks is intense! Work has been really picking up steam and we are on track to have a fantastic year. We did lots of reconnaissance and now are prepared to show off Pittsburgh, which is a truly wonderful city (much better than Canonsburg). The Pirates are a much more exciting club than the Phillies right now and I love watching their games.

All this leads me to how deeply relieved, excited, happy, ecstatic, I am to be moving into my dream home on Friday. The house sits on a blissful acre of land, my family will reunite with me, and we will be in a much nicer town with lots of lakes, Mexican restaurants, and even a baseball card store! We will be about 25 minutes or 14 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Please do your best to swing out and see us, we will be fantastic tour guides! We can take you to a huge German Beer Hall, check out the strip and see all kinds of little markets, if you must, we could eat Primanti Brothers sandwich stacked with fries and slaw. We belong to all the museums and the national aviary, and Jac wants someone to accompany her at the arboretum. I am always happy to watch the Buccos (Pirates), so come on out and get a very cheap vacation with excellent tour guides + place to stay.

Same Blog/New Blog

July has been a month full of change and I haven’t been able to document much of it due to technical difficulties. GoDaddy (the company that hosts my website) discontinued its blog service without my knowledge. This was really annoying because my blog actually costs money, I have been paying a monthly fee for years to maintain the blog and keep it running smoothly, so it was a real shock to see the website taken down and the blog gone.

I called GoDaddy and they sent me 549 files (it was essentially the last 7 years of my life distilled down to compressed files) and told me to import them onto a new blog hosting company. Unfortunately, transferring my old blog to WordPress is not an easy task because you can only transfer a few files at a time and then you have to wait a couple days for the transfer to process. I have about 300 more files to go. In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that the blog is not dead, it is just being rebuilt.

More to come, give me some time to catch up and finalize these transfers.