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BLOGS FOR JULY 2008

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Week ending July 27th, 2008
Back to the grind :)

Well after such a fun weekend last week it was back to work. As usual, I am up to my ears in projects and other than a few minor glitches, things are going well. Our new boss is attentive and understands the processes well so he's really helping us get our projects out the door.

I had plans for this weekend but at the last minute things changed so instead I got to chill and relax. Saturday of course was Church and that was great as always. We didn't have Pastor Bob but that's OK. David does a great job as well. My condolences go out to the Laurie family and the loss of their son this past week. We're not sure why God makes the choices He makes but we trust that He has plans for everyone. You know what they say -- "Only the good die young."

Today I decided that I had neglected my truck for far too long so I filled 'er up with a full tank (that'll be $100.00 please - yikes!), gave it a much needed bath inside and out and got an oil and filter change. The lease on the truck runs out in February and I haven't decided if I am going to keep it or buy something new. I was thinking about a GMC since we get the employee discount. However, I do like that it's a Toyota (rock solid) and that it's 4WD. I got it to go snowboarding with and to haul the bikes so the more I think about it, the more I am content with keeping it.

Oh and speaking of new vehicles, I have been pondering selling both the Bandit and RR since they are paid off and buying a new CBR1000RR. Honestly, I don't like the looks of the new RR but I do like the performance. And I could use it for both street and track since I think at this point I don't plan on doing anymore racing, just track days. But, there's also the house I want to buy too so I can't be out buying toys of I am planning on being a homeowner.

You know, I was going walk down to the beach and try and get a tan on this "whiter than white" body but the sun has been inconsistent today. Living this close to the ocean we sometimes get a lot of haze so one minute it's bright and sunny and the next it's overcast and cool. Ah well, maybe next week. I do really like living this close to the beach. I don't even need A/C here :)

As I finish up this weeks blog, I am already contemplating a few options for what to do next weekend. I think I might end up in OC helping a friend work on his new fishing boat. That'll be fun to get the thing going and do a little tuna fishing!! Woot. Just hanging out with the guys, shooting the breeze and catching lots of fresh sushi!

Well that's it for now. I hope you all had as fantastic a week as I did! Remember to keep smiling. No matter how bad you think your life is at the moment, someone out there has it much worse. Life could be a LOT worse for us all than it is now. So live in the moment, stop to smell the roses and SMILE!!! LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!!

 

Week ending July 20th, 2008
What a FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC week!

As I mentioned in last week's blog, my friend John offered me a three day VIP ticket (with LUXURY box, mind you) ticket to this year's MotoGP race at Laguna Seca. I was like "Ummm, yeeeeeah, I thiiiiink I can do that!" So I put in for my vacation time and took a half day off on Thursday and all of Friday off! I made sure my backpack was loaded, tossed on my leathers and me and the Bandit hit the road around 11am on Thursday.

On the way up I stopped in LA to have lunch with some former co-workers. What was interesting about that lunch is that so many people were still working there! That place never changes, lol. The lunch was good and the company was excellent. I figured I wouldn't have a chance to stop by too often during working hours so I jumped at the opportunity to reconnect with old friends.

After lunch I hit the road again around 2pm and other than the smell of lovely cow patties along the way, I rolled into Monterey at 7:00 pm. John met me out front where we unloaded my stuff, I took a shower and then we headed out to Schooners for dinner. Schooners was great as it's right on the ocean. So we had a nice dinner and watched the dolphins jump. That was way cool!

After dinner we headed to bed where I was introduced to the NIGHTLY singing choir of SEAGULLS!! Man those birds were hollering every single night, lol. One would start squawking then they'd all join in. We didn't get much sleep over the next 3 nights but it was still fun. Other than that the hotel was first class.

On Friday morning we rode up to the track and had breakfast in our very own VIP suit! This place was awesome. Catered breakfast, lunch and even dinner. We had all the water/soda/coffee, etc we could drink. The room was really nice and it was just above the garages for the racing teams along the last corner/front straight!!! It had AC, TVs and all the works. After breakfast John and I walked downstairs where we bumped into Loris Capirossi. On the way in I bumped into Valentino Rossi as well but he didn't want to take photos. John was like "Man how do you recognize all these guys?" and I was like "Well I've watched their racing careers for years so I know who they are!" haha.

After that we walked around a bit and looked at all the bikes, vendor displays, AMA and MotoGP racing pits and even got to chat it up with the likes of Tommy Hayden, Danny Eislick and many more. After that we hung out at the VIP suite and watched the practices.

Later that night we headed to "The Sardine Factory" for a really, REALLY nice dinner. Jenny was there along with our other friends (Ron, Andrew, Monica, et al) and afterwards we headed back to Schooners where I ran into none other than Kevin Schwantz! We got to chat with him for a few minutes and that was pretty cool.

Saturday morning we were back at the track early. This time I bumped into Valentino Rossi again and he shook my hand. (No time for a photo!) I don't think he really understood my English though, haha. The funny part of the day was realizing I stuck my phone in my pocket without locking it on the ride over and it made about 75 phone calls in about 2 hours to everyone I knew. LOL. Sorry if my phone called you! It even dialed people I had forgotten were in my phone. Needless to say, those numbers are now deleted so that won't ever happen again :)

We were there early enough to watch practice and qualifying. That was awesome as we even saw a pretty big wreck right on our corner (we were in suite 3 right on the last corner of the front straight). We saw Jamie Hacking running across the track (while the officials were telling him no) so he could get his backup bike and qualify. After that I took a lot of pictures and then we headed back to the hotel where we showered and then headed back to the Sardine Factory for dinner again and then hung out on Cannery Row for a while.

Cannery Row was a trip. Every bike you can imagine was there. Even some old 2 strokes and lots of, gag me here -- Ducatis. Haha. The best bike of them all was the very rare Honda RC45! After hanging out at Cannery Row we headed back for some rest and once again got up early to get to the track.

This time we loaded up the truck in advance. We got the races where we had breakfast, walked around, bumped into more famous people (Tom Cruise was there, but we didn't talk to him). Later that day we got to walk the pits and look at all the MotoGP garages (very cool!) and then the races! That was one of the best races up until Casey Stoner crashed. I didn't bring Nicky any luck but it was good to see him finish ahead of Colin Edwards (KARMA! KARMA!).

When the races were over we headed back to the hotel, loaded the bikes up, popped in a few DVDs and made it back to Irvine by 11:30 pm. I unloaded my bike and put my racing gear on and then rode the 60 miles back home. It was a nice, cool, quiet ride. I ended up hitting the sack around 1:30 am. Needless to say I was a happy camper after spending a GREAT week around the MotoGP atmosphere.

I have to give a big shout out to John who "hooked a bruddah up" with the best tickets money can buy if you are going to watch a race. That was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I didn't want to pass it up. It was, hands down, one for the record books as far as quality fun goes. You can have your fancy cars, houses and money. But having a birds-eye, front row seat to the best racing in the world is an unforgettable experience - priceless!!!

John, thanks again! I definitely owe you more than one. YOU ROCK!

That's it for now. I am going to load up the photos later tonight after John sends me his (and I combine them with mine). Should be one of my largest photo albums to date. Come back later tonight or tomorrow to check them out.

Have a GREAT week everybody! (Stepping off of Cloud 9 now, muahaha!)

 

Week ending July 13th, 2008
Man, I am drained (physically and mentally)! This was our Corporate "conference" week and I was invited to a roundtable discussion on Tuesday to talk about some strategies for storage and archiving. We have a lot of solutions to fit the customer's needs but it soon became apparent that we don't have all the information necessary so we're going to go back and meet with them again soon to get more details.

Later that night was one of two vendor parties I got invited to! I got to strut around in a suit looking all important and stuff, lol. This party was at the top of the Hard Rock hotel which was really nice! I went with a friend of mine and it was funny to watch all the guys drooling over her. She's cool peeps so I can understand why they like her. The party was fun, I ate a lot and we all had a good time. There wasn't much discussion about solutions but I did see a lot of familiar faces so it was good to reconnect with friends and catch up on their happenings.

The next night I went to Jason's Corporate party. This was at the Skybox next to, and a great view of, Petco Park! What was great is some of our customers were there too so I got to chatting with them for a long time about their solutions. We started with two people and ended up with a conference of five, haha. During the course of the night they kept bringing out these "hors d'oeuvres". Mental note folks: When someone brings you something on an oyster shell, pass on it! I started feeling sick and by the time I got home I ended up tossing cookies for a while :( (oh joy). More Sprite please!

The next day I came in early to finish building some servers and then jetted at 11 to wait on the plumber. The only bad part is the new water heater he brought was the same model as the old, only this one works better. At least I don't have to worry about the laundry room flooding anymore! Though I was still feeling under the weather I did help him out a little bit between conference calls and some documentation work.

The rest of the week was spent resting and relaxing. I did get to watch the MotoGP races today and man, Nicky is having a lot of bad luck. What is the deal with that? On that note.....

...one other excellent tidbit is that I was given a free VIP pass to Laguna Seca next week!!!! My buddy John called me yesterday to give me the news so I will be riding the Bandit up to Monterey on Thursday night provided I get the vacation approved. Should be a blast! Haven't been since 2005 so I'm really looking forward to it! Maybe I'll be good luck for my boy Hayden and he can pull off a win!

God bless, have a great week and keep 'er shiny side up!

B.

Week ending July 6th, 2008
Great weekend for me, how was yours? Well actually it was more than just a weekend. I took a vacation day on Thursday to go with our Fourth of July day off, so I had a really nice, looooooong weekend. And I needed it. Muahaha

This was a really easy week at work. Everything I have is being certified at the moment so I had a lot of time to get some of the other minor things I needed to do out of the way. Our friend's last day at work was Thursday but I missed it so we took him out to Sushi on Wednesday. Had a REALLY good lunch too. I'll never complain about Sushi for lunch, that's for sure.

On Friday morning I played golf with Jason and Jack and played probably the best game of my life :) I shot an 80 on a par 72. Par meaning if you shot the number per hole that the course says you should shoot, then you'd end up with a 72. Eight over par is pretty darn good. Usually I am about a 12-14 handicap. So shooting 4 under my normal is pretty good. I normally have a couple of "blow up" holes a game (double bogey or worse) but on Friday I had only one double bogey and two birdies (1 under) for the day. I was 5 over on the front nine and 3 over on the back. Usually I get tired at the end of the day but on Friday I was "ON FIIIIIIIIRE!!!" haha.

After the game I went to Jason's house where I hung some drywall for him. Err, better yet -- taught him how to hang drywall himself. He's learning pretty good now and his house is starting to look better and better. By the way bro, hit those spots on the fence ya missed, mmmk?

Friday night I went out. On the way out we saw the fireworks going off and man -- right by the Del Mar fair there were a ton of people parked to the side of the freeway watching the show. I just have to say this. Just coz you have your hazard lights on does not mean it's OK to park on the side of the freeway you nerds :) It means you have some trouble and need help. Anyway, we went out to eat and I also have to say... TRY THE SEARED AHI TUNA! WOOT. That was some good stuff.

The rest of the weekend was uneventful. Church on Saturday night was great as always. We had General Dees speak and they asked all who were in the Military or are in now to stand up. So I stood up and they laid hands on me and we all had a good prayer for those who are serving or have served so that we can all enjoy the freedom we all cherish so deeply. That was a really special moment for me. All I could think was "SEMPER FI!"

This Tuesday night I am going to a vendor party at the Hard Rock in downtown San Diego after work. :) Should be lots of fun. Great place to make contacts and well, since I got an RSVP, I better show up! haha.

Well that is it for now. No motorcycle racing this weekend and no track days scheduled for a while. The RR is probably wondering if I have abandoned it. By the way, the Bandit is paid off so I may sell it to find a different street ride. Not sure what I am going to get but I may ogle another CBR :) We'll see.

Have a great weekend and talk to you later!

B.

 
 
 
 
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