Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving wasn’t too major of a production this year. Sadly I believe most of the key family connections are no longer alive. So, it meant it was only my parents and my younger brother this year. Oh, and Buddy (the dog with one blue eye).

I try to make something for Thanksgiving, and this year I made some mac and cheese and cornbread at my house and brought it over to my parents. No cooking disasters for me, everything seemed to turn out ok. So that was a good thing.

Less people as well as older and less energetic equals a lot less holiday drama. I don’t believe there was a single incident, door slammed, yelling, etc. Wow, that’s really an amazing feat now that I think about it. Certainly a first.

I walked Buddy a few times, it’s her favorite this to do and I enjoy it quite a bit as well. We’ve become quite the walking tandem.

Between watching football games we did Skype with my brother Anthony and his crew. Ryan is turning into a little person and we’re pretty sure he said “hello” to my mom while Skype-ing with us. Ant and I exchanged stupid things we did as kid stories and he soundly defeated me. I believe he has an hour and a half of stories to my 30 seconds.

The next day I did get some Black Friday shopping in. Treated myself to a fine Best Buy PS4 deal. Haven’t really played any games recently, and there’s several years of fine titles for me to give a shot now that it’s getting a bit colder out.

Though a bit sad at how diminished the holiday gatherings have become, it wasn’t too bad this year. Nice to see everyone getting along and enjoying themselves.

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2016 OmniUpdate User Training Conference: Travel Day

Traveling over to LA with Lou went pretty well. I woke up a little before 2:00 am with no problem. Drove over to his house and his super friendly father in law gave us a ride to the airport. We arrived at the airport with no issues, got our boarding passes, etc.

Security was a cinch too. We didn’t have to wait in line at all. I did have to be patted down (this seems to happen to me often), and Lou had to have his notebook checked out, but besides that no issues.

The flight was pretty easy. We sat next to small children or skinny women, so there was plenty of space for us on the ride. Very minor turbulence, and the take off and landing were very smooth.

The shuttle service from the airport to the hotel was great too. The driver was super nice and very fast.

However, travel and the early morning hours left me a broken man. I was dehydrated, had a really bad headache, and my whole clock was just off. Quite frankly I was mad that I wasn’t in the comfort of home for a good part of the day. Not in good shape.

After taking a very long shower, attempting to eat (it was difficult to put food down I felt so lousy), and drinking water constantly I eventually got close back to being my normal self. Oh and I no longer curse California to hell as I’m now feeling a lot better.

Later in the day we had the conference registration where I got some cool long sleeve tech shirt thingy. Might be good to go running in on colder days. We also had a little area for people to play huge games. A massive game of Jenga, Operation, etc. It was pretty cool, and we were able to meet a lot of people from other schools. Though I was still feeling pretty lousy and probably said some very strange things to some of the folks.

The Millennium Biltmore, the hosting hotel is pretty unique. It’s very old and really sums up the golden age of Hollywood. Very glamorous and you can tell it must’ve been a very big deal back in the day. The only drawback is that our rooms are pretty old too. But alas, I just need a place to sleep so I’ll live.

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Christmas 2015

This year was a bit more quiet than past holidays. Spent the day at my parents with my younger brother Frank as well. Ant couldn’t make it up from Florida this year, and there weren’t any guests in attendance either.

I wound up giving out a lot of gift cards this year. Not so much because it’s easier/safer, but mainly to get these guys to get out of the house to use them up. 

To Florida I sent an Amazon gift card, an assortment of board games (notably Monopoly), a solar charging light/phone charger, Richard Scarry books, a beaver dog toy, and a Netflix gift card. Really wanted to get a little something for everyone, as well as things to entertain.

I got Dad a gift card to Bagliani’s and a block of cheese. For Mom a gift card so she can have s shopping day and get away from the guys. Frank got a new tennis racquet and Netflix so he can watch the Marvel shows (almost binged them all already).

I made out quite all right. The first thing I opened were sponges, so I was a bit concerned. However, it picked up after that. Got some much needed towels, a Lowes gift card (used on a mitre saw), a Sports Authority gift card, and my Mom surprised me with a new tennis racquet (I’m so bad, but it’s fun).

Dinner was quite, and I just hung out with the family for the day. We Skyped with Ant s few times, so that was nice too. 

All in all a quiet but nice Christmas.

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2015 Honey Badger Holiday Party

Honey Badger Holiday Party 2015Had another fine Honey Badger Holiday Party this season. It was an excellent turnout, and a lot of fun.

It was held at my home for the second year in a row, and I was glad to at least have a couch this time around that they were able to sit on. I suppose I’m getting there slowly but surely.

Many brought amazing treats or beverages. It’s really great to see so many contribute even when we’re not playing a team sport. A pretty great bunch.

We picked teams (my partner was multi-defending champ Cait), and got started on some games.

  • First off was Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa. It’s just a variation on rock, paper, scissors, but oh so much fun.
  • Then we played the Christmas Ornament game, which involves moving an ornament across the house by blowing on it. Again, a fun time to watch others.
  • We then had a round of Honey Badger Trivia.

After all that fun, we had our gift exchange. Jen provided all the rules, and the exchange began. All went well, everyone came away happy and it was a good time. I got some card based games.

In a surprise gesture, the team created an amazing Honey Badger card (it really is awesome), and were incredibly generous in giving me gift certificates to Home Depot, Wawa, and Amazon. I mean they were really generous. So very kind of them, again they are pretty great.

I then coaxed the team into having our photo taken in front of the Christmas tree at the arboretum. It’s a pretty scenic spot, and just a few steps from my home. Everyone was a good sport, and we got a pretty amazing Honey Badger photo.

We then returned to play some Marit Kart 8. People then began to slowly slip out as it was on a weeknight after all.

All in all I’d have to say it was another success!

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Cornfield of Terror

This installment of the Honey Badger Fun Day took us to R and J Farms for their Cornfield of Terror. We’ve done the corn maze in the past, but decided to be a bit more brave this time and enter the Cornfield of Terror.

We got tickets then waited in line for a little bit. The line wasn’t too bad, however had we arrived a few minutes later it would have been an entirely different story.

A tractor picks up a group and takes them away into a maze of corn. The driver was a good sport, and put on a solid act. While on the ride to the Cornfield of Terror and chainsaw wielding guy and Mike Myers paid us a visit. They both did a really good job. Myers smelled weakness and taunted a poor old lady for most of the ride.

Once we got off the hayride, we could enter the fun. Sadly a poor girl in front of us got a bit too scared and backed out at the last second. We did attempt to cheer her up and encourage her that there was nothing to fear, but alas I don’t think she ever went in.

Walking through the maze was a lot of fun. Again, I though the various actors did a pretty amazing job. My favorite was their taunts. They did a great job of taunting a “blondie” throughout most of the maze. It was quite funny to overhear.

The guys also did a great job of popping up out of nowhere, running by, and a scarecrow come to life was well done too. What really stood out to us was a green fox laser light tunnel thing. It was really awesome looking, wish I had a photo of it.

All in all it was a very fun time, and I was very impressed with the experience. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad I got to take it in this year.

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Dustin and Ginny’s Wedding

Dustin and Ginny’s wedding was a fine time. The ceremony (I believe that’s what it’s called) was on the beach in OC. Parking turned out to be quite interesting, it was a Saturday in OC after all. Glad that I had left plenty early, I eventually did find a spot several blocks away.

Chairs were beginning to be laid out as I arrived. As one of the first to arrive, I found myself letting others know that yes, this was the location. Met some interesting folks for sure, all very polite.

The beach scene was nice and pretty quick. Before I knew it, all was done. It was interesting to watch folks dressed up walking on the sand. I didn’t get nearly as  much sand in my shoes as I though I would.

Things then moved to Greate Bay. I’ve been to a few weddings there over the years, so I had a good idea of what to expect. Immediately upon arriving I began to eat, and eat a lot. I was quite famished, plus it gave me an excuse to not have to initiate conversation with people I didn’t know.

A few people sang and play instruments. It was nice.

Jared, the best man was a nervous wreck with having to give his speech. There was no hiding it, you could smell the fear on him. As a long time friend I did my best to calm him down and let him know he’d be fine.

Despite my encouragement, when speech time came I was expecting bad news. He is not known for his public speaking skills, or any speaking skills for that matter. However, I must admit he got up there and spoke from the heart and seriously gave one of the best speeches I’d ever witnessed at a wedding. It was truly a clutch performance, right up there with the catch (from dodgeball). An amazing moment that I will surely never forget.

My amazing table was table 5, and it seemed like a collection of wedding misfits. I fit right in. They were great, very entertaining. They couldn’t believe my age which did bring a fine smile to my face. They were a lot of fun.

All in all it turned out to be quite a fun time, and they both seemed so very happy. Very glad to see that and I wish them nothing but the best.

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