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Blues for the Season

While out doing our business this morning, a strapping young lad from down the street nearly stumbled on us. Out and about at 5ish in the morning, and dressed in his finest Christmas boxers, we escaped his notice as all his attentions and remaining powers of focus were directed elsewhere. Our young neighbor was working hard to entice the object of his affections to return to the warmth of his apartment with a medley of Blues on his harmonica. This was clearly requiring more concentration and balance than he had available.

The lass of his interest, dressed in holiday party attire (velvety and with ornaments), was more interested in Pongo than our nieghbor, and seemed to have had enough warmth for one night. She did not appear to be a fan of the Blues, and neither did she appear to be sympathetic toward the possibility of her suitor turning blue. Glad tidings were not on display.

She seemed to prefer walking alongside us, and as she arrived at her car and the Blues were becoming background music, she left us with that timeless phrase of the walk of shame, encapsulating her sense of the spirit of good will prevalent during this special season: “F’ing drunks, man.”

Chuck posted this on Saturday, December 17, 2005 at  6:09 am.   Comments Off on Blues for the Season 

The quest for coolness

Scorching hot on a weekend I’m both on call and buring with moonlighting work. The apartment’s been a sauna the last two days, but I’ve been hiding in the air-conditioned cube and little Pongo’s just suffered through. Since I’m working at home today though, I broke down and turned on the little window A/C. It only cools one-third of my apartment, merely turning it on triggers a direct tap from SDGE to my checking account, and the wiring in this apartment is so old there’s a 20% chance I’ll trip a circuit breaker by trying to use both it and the computer at the same time, but I’m a wimp. Sure briefing cases in the boxers sounds like a decent lifestyle choice, and is one I’ve embraced at times, but the uncovered flesh still sticks to the chair and the sweat dripping on the keyboard is probably just as bad for it as all the other fluids spilled on it over the years. So as Quicken shovels cash like an ancient locomotive’s engineer shoveled coal and I turn off all the electrics I can on the west side of casa, I’ve got a cool breeze for a while.

But once I make decent progress on the work, I’ll find another way to stay cool. Whatever it takes, it doesn’t matter if I look pretty anymore – everything’s about the personal comfort.

Chuck posted this on Saturday, August 27, 2005 at  1:26 pm.   Make the second comment. 

One day at a time

It was a good weekend: I’m full, sore, relaxed and have clean undies. I’m indulging in a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon to help perfect the mellow initiated at yoga this evening. Pongo is burrowed into my bed, miffed that the laundry-based fortress of solitude has been diminished. Sure, tomorrow will bring a return to the mundane, but I can handle it.

Chuck posted this on Sunday, August 14, 2005 at  8:56 pm.   Comments Off on One day at a time 

New Month

It must be the first of the month – the neighbors have a new Pay Rent or Quit notice on their front door.

Busy in the cube, busy in the courthouse, making a bit of an effort to get busy at home, and in the rare times I’m here in the virtual retreat I’ve been tweaking the backend rather than posting for y’all. No apologies, just ‘splaining.

Snuck away for my first swim in over a week this afternoon, and starting to make plans an October roadtrip. Both are helping with the attitude. That, plus the fact that tomorrow morning at dawn the cube-people’s electronic leash passes to another minion. My one week out of four is almost at an end. The weekend is one day away and looking beautiful. Maybe with a happier Chuck and the slightly more tolerable weather we’ve had the last few days, Pongo will even come out and play.

Chuck posted this on Thursday, August 4, 2005 at  4:53 pm.   Comments Off on New Month 

I Could Do This

A little training is all I’d need. Thumb boy would have to take me to the pool with him, and maybe even share a lane, but I could totally do this. I don’t even need no stinkin’ Speedo.

Pongo posted this on Wednesday, July 27, 2005 at  7:12 pm.   Comments Off on I Could Do This 


[A] cellphone to me is a secular form of purgatory — merely a subtle, more nagging version of the electronic ankle bracelets that perverts and felons have to wear.

A brilliant observation by Paul Theroux in this morning’s New York Times, leading to several rambling, probably incoherant, thoughts.

First is the unfortunate reality of that statement as I spent the last week (Friday to Friday) attached to one of the electronic tethers. I’ve spent time on call for the cube people before, but until last week they provided a pager. Now, at least one week out of four, they force me to be one of those people I normally pity – those who carry their cell phones everywhere. Ready to annoy and insult those around me at a moment’s notice. Nope – ten minutes to find a private spot to return a page isn’t the excellent customer service we provide, so instead I have to content myself with a silent protest and take ten minutes to return a voice mail message, feeling nostalgic for a small, vibrating pager as I carry a cell phone that I refuse to answer at the gym, at the pool, while walking the dog, etc.

The article, the main point of which was the author’s use of short wave radio during his year’s of traveling overseas, also brought a bit of nostalgia on those points as well. I remember the BBC broadcasts in pre-Internet Togo. Reliable, unfiltered news in English. While I certainly have no need for that now, it did bring up some good memories and got me thinking about a question several people have asked me recently: do I miss the overseas traveling?

The answer is no, not really. There are still places overseas I want to go, but in the nine years since I left the Foreign Service, I’ve been to many places in the western United States and developed some great memories of little known and under-visted places there. Depth, not breadth. Nissantruck offers comforts that business class can’t touch and Pongo certainly prefers riding shotgun to riding cargo. And that doesn’t even get to the fact that I have no desire to subject myself to TSA screening in this new post-9/11 world.

So, on a beautiful Sunday 3 1/2 years into my stay in San Diego, I am feeling a bit nostalgic today. But its a good Sunday. Good coffee, good paper, just a bit of work. Not as good as if I were just basking in the sun all day, but a pretty good Sunday.

Chuck posted this on Sunday, March 20, 2005 at  4:38 pm.   Comments Off on Nostalgia 

Animal Cruelty

Sick, greedy, bastard (the owner that is). I have no trouble working for my keep. I gather the laundry. I prewash the dishes. I bark at the ghosts at three in the morning to keep them from bothering the big guy. But this is unconscionable. You humans can mark yourselves up all you want, but leave us dogs to our natural spots and colors. [Link via Nala]

Pongo posted this on Monday, March 14, 2005 at  4:32 pm.   Comments Off on Animal Cruelty 


The cell phone’s been turned off battery died. The last work documents have been uploaded over their slow-as-molasses dial-up connection. The professional week is over.

Roadtrip plans have been bouncing around a bit, but the current goal is to cheer for Cal at the Pac-10 Swimming Championships tomorrow then head out to Palm Springs with Pongo and chill for a few days. I’ve been using the new camera a lot and getting much more comfortable with it, so expect lots of pics from both legs of the mini-vacation.

Chuck posted this on Thursday, March 3, 2005 at  4:39 pm.   Comments Off on Yay! 


I’d love to be posting something political about the court’s decision to force Jose Padilla to be either charged or released, or maybe some insightful but slightly paranoid rant about the coincidence of a new bin Laden threat being announced on the same day as that ruling.

But really, while truth, justice and the ‘merican way are all muy high on my list, the only thing I’m really caring about right now is getting out of town for a three-day SoCal birthday roadtrip. Me, Pongo and the iPod’s roadtrip playlist blaring through Nissantruck’s stereo. Getting the left arm all tan and letting Pongo pretend he’s flying as we celebrate my 41st. If you’re interested in joining us and will be in the Palm Springs area this weekend, have your girl call our girl. Attorney-client privilege will be extended to all birthday related debauchery proceedings.

Chuck posted this on Monday, February 28, 2005 at  6:35 pm.   Make the second comment. 


Still a bit sore from yesterday’s water polo, but certainly not as much as I expected to be. A good night’s sleep and Pongo had me up and at ’em early this morning. Not sure who ’em was, but Pongo was quite insistent that we go look for them. So we did. Pongo’s mere presence must have scared ’em off though. We found nothing that I thought was interesting.

Good breakfast, some mental stimulation, and now I’m tinkering with the sites. Exploring the backends of WordPress and Coppermine. I also put up a new gallery over at Vista from last year’s Crew Classic. Some of the images had already been posted, but I wanted to test out some of Coppermine’s features with a larger gallery. I hope to be posting several new galleries in the coming weeks and wanted to be certain I understood what I could do and how to do it.

The more I use both packages the more impressed I am with the features and flexibility of the software. Especially when more and more others would charge me for similar software, it’s nice to still find good resources out there free of charge.

Chuck posted this on Sunday, February 27, 2005 at  3:07 pm.   Comments Off on Exploring 

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