Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tales of Berkeley

I can't believe I lived in a city with a "Peace and Justice Commission." And here's the latest from the People's Republic of Berkeley:

Berkeley's public library will face a showdown with the city's Peace and Justice Commission tonight over whether a service contract for the book check-out system violates the city's nuclear-free ordinance.

The dispute centers on a five-year, $63,000 contract the library wants to sign with 3M, an international technology company based in Minnesota, to service five scanner machines library patrons use to check out books.

But 3M, a company with operations in 60 countries, refused to sign Berkeley's nuclear-free disclosure form as required by the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act passed by voters in 1986.

As a result, the library's self-checkout machines have not been serviced in about six months. Library officials say 3M is the only company authorized by the manufacturer to fix the machines, which were purchased in 2004.

The library asked the Peace and Justice Commission for a waiver, but at its Jan. 5 meeting the commission voted 7-1, with two abstentions, to reject the request. The library is now appealing the decision to the City Council...

The Peace and Justice Commission does not see it that way. Commissioners said the library should try harder to find a company that complies with the Nuclear Free Berkeley Act.

"We really mean it when we say we don't want to be part of the nuclear machinery," said commission member George Lippman. "The act is meant to be a blow against nuclear war. We're serious about upholding that."

*sigh*. What do you say when you really can't parody a city anymore?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekend Highs & Lows

Well, following the spirit of a local rock radio station I thought I would tell everyone what my weekend highs and lows were each Monday. Theoretically, this will keep me posting at least once a week. We'll see. Anyway, for this past weekend:

The High: Double Experience Weekend on City of Heroes!! City of Heroes is a MMORPG (Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game, for the uninitiated). Think of it like World of Warcraft meets comic books. You create a hero, with special powers and the like, and then go stop bad guys. The more bad guys you stop, the more powerful your hero becomes. In any case, you gained double the experience points this weekend while playing, which means lots-o-fun!!!

And while that High may sound kinda lame (and it is, even by my standards), it's because of...

The Low: I was sick all weekend. Yeah. There's nothing better than spending half your weekend feeling like you don't even have any energy to enjoy Double Experince Weekend. Ick. I blame Brandy.

Other highlights include: Re-vamping my Facebook (I have a whole list of reasons why Facebook is better than MySpace, but that's a post for another day); Line Dancing with Brandy Friday night (yeah, we're learning to Line Dance, there's another post I need to write about!); and watching the Lakers kick all kinds of Spur ass.

Friday, January 16, 2009


You may have heard that Brandy and I got engaged (Brandy and I both changed our MySpace status to relfect this) earlier this week. I couldn't be happier about it - I am truly blessed to have someone as wonderful as her in my life. I could tell you all about how it happened, but Brandy did a superb job of it herself here with pictures here. Go ahead and go read it and then come back for my thoughts. I'll wait.

*sigh* Fine; too lazy to go click the link? I'll copy and paste it:

My uncle called me a few weeks ago to invite me down for the day so John requested it off work. Little did I know my uncle was in on the whole thing. Anyways, we have breakfast with my uncle and hang out for most of the day. As we were leaving John didn't drive to the freeway, instead he went to PCH. We ended up at a restaraunt called Captain Jacks (which is right on a canal) and he explained that he had some extra money and wanted to treat me to a nice dinner. As we were sitting there at the end of dinner, John told me that he had something else planned right after. Next thing I know we're walking out the back door to the canal where a gondola is pulling up. We get in and start our journey around the canals looking at all the beautiful houses and the stars. Under the 2nd bridge we start kissing and he pulls away and tells me he wants to break tradition for a moment and he tells me how much he loves me and then gets down on one knee and pulls out the ring and asks me to marry him. It was so romantic! Once the gondola ride is over, we leave the restaraunt and start heading down PCH. We get no more than a few blocks away and he pulls into this nice bed and breakfast. We walk up to the door (they hid the key under the mat for us so we didn't have to check in once we got there) and we walk into the room. There were candles everywhere and rose petals on the bed and some wine and fruit on the table. It was absolutely beautiful! We stayed the night there and finally made it home this morning to spread the good news.I hope you all are as excited for us as I am!

So, some thoughts from my point of view:
  • First, it was really hard to not show Brandy how excited I was about this. I mean, when you get engaged it's a life-altering moment, and I knew it was coming, but couldn't show how excited I was! It's like being a kid (or me) on Christmas Eve, but not being allowed to be bouncing off the walls. Especially the day of, I was counting down the mintues until the moment arrived.
  • Of course, Brandy attempted to thwart my plans (unknowingly). She mentioned our overnight stay in Huntington Beach and of course I packed a bag for the night for us. I did this without her knowing, so of course I had to pick shirts and hope that she didn't want to wear them the day before we went (and that they matched whatever shoes she wore that day, etc.). So of course I pick the one shirt she wants to wear the day before we go! FAIL!
  • One picture Brandy hasn't posted, but should, is her steak from our dinner together. Sucker was 30 ounces! Go ahead and look at what FOUR POUNDS of steak looks like. It was huge.
  • I had assumed, once we got on the gondola, that Brandy would be expecting the proposal. So I was (pleasantly!) surprised when I got down on one knee and heard a shocked gasp from her!
  • It's been pretty windy in southern california the last few days, and I was particularly worried about the wind and temperature for an evening gondola ride, but it was quite calm winded and warm with clear skies. All in all, a perfect evening.
Anyway, it's nearly two days later and Brandy and I are still both pretty giddy about the whole thing. I am so completely in love with her and could not be happier about the way everything worked out. I am super excited to start preparing for a wedding, and of course being able to spend the rest of my life with someone as wondeful and amazing as Brandy!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Killing time

So fairly often I find myself at work just trying to kill some time, but not wanting to get too involved with anything. For example, perhaps I just got back from the field and need to hang around the office for 20 minutes to have worked 8 hours; or for another example on Wednesdays we have a meeting at 1:30pm, a half hour after lunch, which is more time than it takes to check how the Lakers are doing, but not enough time to really get involved with anything work-related. So what do I do?

Wikipedia. Specifically, I look at lots of random articles. Why? Well, it takes ZERO brain power to click the button, and every once in a while you learn something new and exciting. Sadly, more often than not, you get the wiki pages for podunk towns or "communes" in France, but every now and then you get to read about something interesting that you would never have thought to look up.

Alternatively, I do what I'm doing now: update my blog via email. And Reva, if that link to Wikipedia works, then that's how you insert links into these types of blog posts. I know you're curious.