D E M E N T E D P E N G U I N . N E T

August 22, 2009

“Gettin’ healthy”

Filed under: general topics — admin @ 8:42 pm

I have pretty much conceded the fact that she’s not even interested in coming back so I’m moving forward. I’m not even going to bother calling her on the weekends because she’s always out with “friends” living the social life.

It was pretty much a normal Saturday, for the most part. Gave myself a haircut and then I went to the bank, been trying to for a week now but haven’t had the time until today. Then I went to Barger Harley where I dropped off a backpack for a ride they are going on next weekend to give them to some foster kids. I have a friend coming into town next weekend so I won’t be able to go unfortunately, otherwise I’d definitely go. Hopefully I’ll be able to go on the next one.

While I was there I asked around for a reputable tattoo artist because I’m getting two new tattoos soon. One is going to be a tribal dolphin – because dolphins are free, smart, and have a great sense of humor. Tribal because of integrity and tradition. The other is a flaming skull with the words “Vitam ama quia mors sequitur” below it. Here’s a picture of what I want. I’m going to put it on the inside of my right forearm. I’m going to get the flames in color which will hopefully look pretty nifty. The text is in Latin and the meaning is below the image:

Love life because death follows

Love life because death follows

After that I started, finally, cleaning up the mass destruction that she left when she moved out. I’m about halfway done with it but it shouldn’t take too much longer to finish. Then I practiced on my guitar a little bit and now I’m sitting here blasting the metal channel on cable and drinking “dead lady” a beer. I don’t think the dogs are too happy about how loud the music is…. I’m probably going to practice on the guitar again later then do some work that I need to get done this weekend. Tomorrow I’m going to drive to La Jolla with the dogs – they love to go for rides and I love the houses. Maybe I’ll stop and get lunch somewhere and buy them a burger or something. Make it special for them since I haven’t been able to spend very much time with them.

It’s probably a good thing she left when she did otherwise she would have definitely left after how many hours I’ve been working this week. It’s a good thing for me tho, because it keeps my focus off of her and on something else.

May 14, 2009

My poor bike

Filed under: driving in LA,general topics — Tags: , — admin @ 11:16 pm
I bought my Harley Dyna Super Glide back at the very end of July 2008. I rode it pretty consistently back and forth from work since about September without incident, taken it on a few dates with Nickey, and one long local trip about a month ago. I’ve never even dropped it. How quickly things changed…. Two weeks ago from tomorrow (Friday) I was in an accident that ended up totaling the motorcycle. A car pulled out in front of me and stopped while I was going about 40 mph.

I had pictured this scenario many times in my head, and it never ended well. Broken bones, bad road rash, major destruction. Somehow none of that really happened. I slammed on the brakes, the bike dropped on the left side and slid into the front of the car that was blocking my path. I landed on my left elbow and put a hole in it about the size of a quarter surrounded by road rash, sprained my ankle pretty bad, bruised my ribs and scuffed up my knees. I’m still amazed that it wasn’t worse.

I really miss my bike and can’t wait to get back on one. I have a brand new denim black Street Bob on the way that is expected to arrive on the 20th, but I won’t be able to pick it up until my claim is fulfilled with Harley financing. Hopefully that will be done by early next week. I’m going to have to wait a few days after I can pick it up because I’m going to have some upgrades done on it before it leaves the dealership.

Here are some pics –

This was taken just hours after the accident

This was taken just hours after the accident

tank, mirror, turn signal, handlebars messed up

tank, mirror, turn signal, handlebars messed up

The case was cracked and mangled

The case was cracked and mangled

This is what I'm waiting on to be delivered - click for a larger picture

2009 Street Bob in denim black. This is what I'm waiting on to be delivered - click for full size

February 18, 2009

November to now – an overview

Filed under: general topics — admin @ 2:31 pm

Where to start….

In November Nickey and I went on our Date-a-versary, this time we went to the Melting Pot in La Jolla and we stayed at the La Jolla Hotel. Nice views, nice room, three balconies. I wouldn’t mind living in La Jolla some day. March 4th will mark our 4 year anniversary.

Hayden has been having flashes of brilliance at school, especially on subjects that he likes. He seems to be gravitating to math and science mostly, which pleases me since I share the same interests there. He’s getting so big lately, and he lost his first tooth last week. Here’s a picture:

Hayden loses his first body part

Hayden loses his first body part

Christmas was good, the grandparents did a great job with the gifts. I don’t think there was much that Hayden didn’t get that he asked for (which was practically every boy thing he saw on tv!).

It’s been pretty crazy around the house lately. It seems everything is breaking at the same time. The pool pump died, the AC stopped working, and there was a leak in the wall of the guest bathroom which ended up becoming a full remodel. The bathroom is almost done now, thanks to my father-in-law, but there is a replacement piece for the tub that I can’t seem to find, and I lost the original part, so I might have to make it myself. During the bathroom remodel Nickey’s mom and step-dad (Lindsey) came to stay with us for almost 5 weeks. While I was at work Linksey would work on the bathroom. He does some fine finishing work and is a lot more patient than me, so I’m grateful for the work he did. All I have left is a little bit of tile work and some tub stuff then it should be complete.

Nickey’s mom and Lindsey left on Feb 9th, then Nickey’s sister came in on the 11th and stayed for four days. Now that things are back to normal for us we actually notice how quiet it is at night. Not that anyone was noisy at all, just that there was always more activity when company was staying with us.

Nickey’s mom showed up at just the right time. Popby.com has been booming lately and she needed her mom’s help in a big way while she was here. Last year at this time things were really slow with the business but the surge in orders so far this year has taken us all by surprise. Can’t complain about that!

The company I work for is being shut down on April 30th so I’m in job hunt mode. They told us on Inauguration day of the plan and also laid off over half of the people who work here that day. I’ve been sending out my resume but haven’t had many responses back. I did have an interview yesterday that was insane, it lasted for 12 hours. I got there at 9am and wasn’t done until 8:50pm. They took me to lunch and diner at least. I figure I’ve got a good chance at an offer since they wouldn’t keep me around that long if they didn’t at least find me promising. We’ll see what happens.

Rain, rain – go away! It’s been raining off an on for the last few weeks here. More on that off though. I know we need it but I’m tired of it already. It seems to affect me much more this year than it did last year since I can’t ride my motorcycle when it rains.

Until next time 🙂

November 3, 2008

Dusting out a few cobwebs

Filed under: general topics — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:20 pm

It’s been about two weeks now since I last posted so I thought I’d better do an update. I don’t want to risk losing my huge reader fanbase (all three or so of you!) after all.


Let’s see, where to start. Let’s start with Nickey. She was run over by a semi last week that was turning out of a parking lot. She was in the right turn lane coming out of the same parking lot and the semi (with a trailer) was in the left lane. Apparently the truck driver didn’t see her and made a right turn from the left lane and drove over the front part of the car damaging the left quarter panel and pulling off the bumper. It could have been a lot worse and she wasn’t hurt, although she is seeing a chiropractor now for a little recuperative therapy.


Popby.com is doing really well these days. We noticed last year that September-November are the busy time of the year for us and this year the same holds true. We had more orders in the month of October – I believe it was twice as many – than any other month that we’ve been in business. When I say “we” I really mean Nickey, I’m just there to help with the manual labor and give support. I’ve got the servers running so smoothly that they almost take care of themselves 🙂


Hayden recently started going to L.A.s Best, which is an after school program where they do homework and then participate in activities. It seems like it’s really helped him in a lot of ways, from getting his work done more reliably to giving him a lot of socialization opportunities. Being an only child he doesn’t always know the best way to compromise and I think this will help him a lot. He seems to be doing very well in school. His teacher from the beginning of the year left suddenly to start a new job at a school closer to where she lives so he had to start over again with a new teacher. The transition was a little bumpy initially but, as he does, he adjusted in about a week and things were back to normal again.


Hayden LOVES Halloween and spent hours looking at catalogs and displays (in stores) at the Halloween decorations. Oddly enough, when it came time to go trick-or-treating he was so afraid of some of the decorations people had that he would *not* go up to the door. Even though he had seen these decorations in stores – and had touched them – he was really afraid of them. Even the allure of candy wasn’t always enough to brave the walk up to the house in some cases. In the end he had quite a bit of “loot” and he even let us know when he was done trick-or-treating. He’s so sweet, he even shared some of his candy with me.


Not a whole lot is different with me these days. I’m still primarily focused on my Ecoexist.net projects and the consulting gig. We lost our pool pump motor to the pool gods about a week ago so we now have a pool with stagnant water (see the article Water reclamation overflow on ecoexist.net for a more detail explanation). We were planning on resurfacing the pool this winter anyway, so it happened at a fairly opportune time. We also just lost the condenser on our AC unit, but at least the temperatures are down in the 70’s and 80’s now so it’s not as tragic as it could have been a month ago. Hopefully everything major that is going to break has run its course already.


To compound the stagnant pool water issue, it seems we are starting the rainy season. If I remember correctly from last year, once it started to rain it lasted for almost two weeks before it let up. This means that we have more water than we can possibly deal with!! Sheesh. I’m also a bit nervous since I haven’t yet driven the motorcycle in the rain and am dreading getting caught on my way home from work. I know it’s something I’ll have to eventually deal with, but I’d rather avoid it for as long as possible.


I think that’s most everything, but I’ll update again if I think of anything I might have missed.

October 6, 2008

Hayden’s 6th birthday

Filed under: general topics — Tags: , , — admin @ 7:15 pm

Hayden’s birthday was on Saturday, and as far as six year old standards I believe it was a pretty good day. He had a cake and party favors on Friday in his class, which he was pretty excited about, and he did a great job handing out cake, juice and party favor bags to everyone. He even got a gift from one of his classmates today.


About a month ago we gave him the option to either have a party and have some friends over, or we could take the money we would have spent on the party and use it instead on a shopping spree at Toys R Us. He made the obvious choice, the choice I would have opted for as well, and we went on a shopping spree. He had been making his list since the first moment he decided on the shopping option. It was at least a full page of things he reeeeeeeealy wanted. Things like Lego’s, Bionicals, and some Hot Wheels sets. In the end, after we left Toys R Us, he had almost exclusively all Star Wars toys made up of action figures as well as a few ships for them to use while they battle each other. He really has a huge imagination and can spend hours playing out a dramatic portrayal of his version of the movie. His favorite character is Master Windu, but unfortunately they didn’t have any so we’ll have to save that for Christmas or something I guess.


The other part to his birthday was that we went to diner at Bubba Gumps at City Walk in Universal Studios. It started out that he could bring one friend with us, but it ended up being more kids than that. He chose to bring Sophia, who is a girl he had a crush on last year, was going to marry, and had the ring already (and he still has it). It seems that he’s not as sold this year on marrying her now and wants to date more than one girl. Sheesh, he’s only six! Anyway we ended up bringing her little sister and her older brother with us as well. Her little sister is four and completely adorable. They sang him a happy birthday song at the restaurant and gave him a good sized sundae as well. Oh to be six 🙂


Here’s a collage of pictures of Hayden in Oceanside playing in the surf. The funny part about these pictures is that he has to swim with floaties in our pool at home and won’t put his head under water. In these pictures he goes out in the water up to his neck without any fear – I had to keep calling him back!



September 26, 2008

Why is it so hard to find the time?!

Filed under: general topics — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 11:33 am

I do try to keep up with this blog, but I just can’t seem to allocate enough time in the week to do my twice a week posting schedule. How does that happen?


I have updated my other blog, with a how-to on how to build a grey water filter. I had a lot of other things I was hoping to accomplish last weekend that I was going to post on that blog about, but it turned into a garage cleaning adventure instead. That’s okay tho, because now we have plenty of room for our two wheeled rides, as well as a workout area too. A few more weekends and it should be finally cleaned up!


Nickey has been loving her new “Scoot”. She’s been riding it as much as possible and it really has been saving us some money in gas. Unfortunately tho, if it’s outside of a few mile radius then she can’t take it (top speed = about 42mph), so she has had to use the car a little more than we had hoped. I’ve been riding my motorcycle to work every day for the last few weeks. The only days that are bad are Fridays, but I have started riding down the lane divider when traffic is really bad. I just had to bite the bullet one day and do it. It is a bit intimidating but not as bad as I thought it might be. Also, I finally got my endorsement on my license yesterday. The DMV’s here seem to be really booked up and it was hard to get an appointment quickly. I had to drive out to Thousand Oaks (about a 40 minute drive on the freeway from home) to get an appointment this month. Now I can drive on the freeways, at night, and with a passenger!


Hayden has been doing great in school. He does the obligatory battle over homework sometimes but that isn’t very often. He was able to get the teacher he really wanted this year, but unfortunately she just took a new job at a school closer to her home and today was her last day. We’ve been reassured that his new teacher – a recent third grade teacher at his school who lost her class due to an attendance drop – is just as good as his current teacher was.


Hayden is really getting excited for his birthday. He’s going to be six on October 4th. We were planning on throwing him a party but Nickey had a different idea that she proposed to him. He could either have a party, or we could take the money we would expect to spend on the party and instead let him go to Toys R Us and have a shopping spree. He opted for the shopping spree and has been making a list of, what seems like, everything he sees. I swear, he want’s every single Bionical and Lego set out there. He’s also getting really excited for Halloween and Nickey has been putting up some really gory decorations for him. We even have bloody footsteps up our front steps. Spooky!


The weather is showing signs of changing. It was in the 70’s to low 80’s for a little over a week after Mom and Bob left, but now it’s back up to the high 90’s again. Our pool dropped six degrees during the “cool spell” and has been hovering around 75 degrees since. It’s getting close to the time to close down the pool for the winter. This winter we are going to drain the pool and resurface it, which it’s been in serious need of since we bought the place. I’d really like to tile the whole thing, but I’m not sure what that would involve and I’m not sure I could do that myself. We’ll see tho.

September 15, 2008

The two wheeled family

Filed under: general topics — Tags: , , , — admin @ 4:38 pm

Since getting a new job farther from home, I decided to finally bite the bullet and get a motorcycle. Something I never thought I’d do. It seems, however, that I’m not the only one overcoming their fears of the two wheeled motorized mode of transport. Last weekend we went to a scooter dealer out in Irwindale and bought Nickey a new 50cc scooter. I’ve gotta say, she is really cute on that thing! She’s got a half helmet, leather gloves, and her movie star sunglasses.


We opted for the 50cc because then she wouldn’t need to get her endorsement. It’s only for around the neighborhood so she doesn’t need a lot of power, and can get up to just over 40mph while getting 70-90mpg. It’s got quite a bit of storage – a trunk, storage under the seat, and even a glove box type of compartment up front. It also has room for a passenger so Hayden can go along with her. It took him a while before he’d even sit on it while it wasn’t running, but now he’s like a dare devil on the back shooting people with his finger (for some reason) while he rides and he almost refuses to hold on to his mom, even though she is quite adamant about him hanging on to her. She loves to ride it whenever she can, and even makes up reasons to go to the store just to ride it! On the weekends we usually go places together – her and Hayden on “Scoot” and me on my motorcycle. Here’s a picture of Scoot and my Harley together:



I’m not sure what’s gotten into Hayden lately, but he has really turned into a TV kid. He never wants to go anywhere anymore, he just wants to watch tv, a movie, play games on the computer, or play video games. We are starting to curb this as much as we can, and are going to implement a “No TV or Computer” time zone on the weekends, probably between noon and 6pm. We tell him he needs to turn off the tv and go out and play, but his response is “It’s boring!”. Sheesh! He’s not quite six years old yet and he already sounds like a teenager!!


My Mom and Bob came to visit us last weekend and, as I feared it would be, it was really hot. I know we had a great time and I think they did to. They took us out for almost every meal and watched Hayden a couple of times while we went on a date and while we ran some errands. We got to spend a lot of quality time with them catching up on family events. Apparently my mom hasn’t changed much in the humour department, because – as she liked to do when I was a kid – she cannon balled me in the pool while I wasn’t looking. I got her back without even trying tho, because the water was a lot colder than she expected it to be :). As misfortune would have it, the very day they left to continue on their journey up to Fresno the temperature dropped down from the mid-90’s to the low 80’s for the rest of the week.

September 3, 2008

Labor Day weekend

Filed under: general topics — Tags: , , — admin @ 1:00 am

It was a pretty laid back holiday weekend for the most part. We went out to a few places to eat, ran a few errands, and I did half of a small home improvement project. The highlight of the weekend was on Monday when we took a drive out to Ojai, which is about 30 minutes south east of Santa Barbara. It’s a small town that seems to attract a lot of local tourists, and a lot of motorcycles. We saw at least as many motorcycles as cars, maybe even more, and most of them were cruisers. Nickey suggested that we might consider taking a ride there on the Harley when I get my motorcycle certification.


Ojai is a very interesting town. Unfortunately most of the shops were closed due to the holiday, but it seemed to have many unique and eclectic retailers selling clothes, art, furniture, toys, and many other things. My personal favorite was an eco-friendly store that had a lot of great stuff in it, and I had a great conversation with the owner. I’m sure we’ll be at least semi-annual tourists of the town, although I don’t think Hayden will be as excited to return as Nickey and I will be. It’s almost all boring adult stuff there.


Hayden starts school in the morning, first grade to be specific. I think it will be good for him to get back to a regular school schedule, he has turned into quite a home body this summer and hasn’t even wanted to get dressed unless he has to. It’s quite a change from last summer where he’d almost get agitated if we didn’t leave to go somewhere by early afternoon on the weekends. Hopefully he’ll remember most of what he learned in kindergarten, but we’ll find out soon enough. I’m sure we’ll have lots to update in the weeks to come 🙂

August 28, 2008

Latest news

Filed under: general topics — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:45 am

Nickey and Hayden just got back Tuesday night from their week long excursion to Washington and then to San Diego. They left Seattle *early* on Sunday morning, flew to L.A., were home for about an hour, and then drove to San Diego. That’s a pretty busy week for a 5 year old and his mom! I was hoping to see them when they came home for that hour on Sunday, but I had to be at a class instead. I did end up driving down to San Diego though because Nickey forgot something at home that she needed, so at least I didn’t have to wait the whole seven days to see them. As much fun as it might have been to have a whole week to myself, it’s just not the same coming home to an empty house. The only thing I liked about it was having the ability to watch whatever I wanted to on t.v.


I started my motorcycle training class last Sunday, which I have two more classes left to go. I’ve been riding the bike to work almost every day now and I’m getting pretty comfortable. I really love riding it and have put about 250 miles on it so far. It still blows my mind that it’s legal for me to get on a 630 pound motorcycle with zero prior motorcycle experience and take it out on the streets.


The family is doing well, popby.com is doing well, I like my new job a lot, and the weather is starting to cool down a bit. Life is good.

August 17, 2008

Two weeks until school starts! And, the motorcyle experience

Filed under: driving in LA,general topics — Tags: , — admin @ 7:52 pm

It is going to be really good for Hayden to go back to school. Last summer he was really restless and wanted to go places all the time. On the weekends, if we hadn’t left to go somewhere by noon he would start to ask if we were going to go do something. He was much more of a wanderer back then. This summer he’s turned into a sloth – he doesn’t even get out of his pajama’s unless we tell him to get dressed! He never wants to go anywhere anymore (unless it’s to go get something to eat, which he wants to do every time we do go out) and complains when we tell him we’re leaving saying he doesn’t want to go anywhere. Then when we’re out doing things he keeps asking when we’re going to go home. What a difference a year makes. It’s almost like he’s turning into a teenager at 5!!!


It’s also going to be good for him to hang out with kids his own age. All of his friends from school haven’t been around for him to play with all summer, or their parents are only our “friends” when they have to see us at school, so he has only been around us for the most part. The stories he tells and the imagination he has are unbelievable and would probably be even more appreciated by someone his own age.


I’m getting much more comfortable on the motorcycle. I’ve had it since the 26th of July, so about four full weekends so far. The first weekend I didn’t drive it out of the driveway at all – just back and forth in the driveway. The second and third weekends I drove it on residential streets about 7 and 16 miles respectively. This weekend I decided it was time to venture out onto surface streets. Yesterday I drove it 20 miles on somewhat busy streets, then today I’ve driven it about 65 miles total. This morning I drove it to work – from Lake Balboa (West Van Nuys) to Brentwood over by Santa Monica and back. That was about 37 miles, then this afternoon I drove it an other 24 miles out to Topanga Canyon and back on Devonshire. I’ve got starting and stopping down pretty well, turning I’m feeling more comfortable with, and I’ve had to make two quick stops without panicking. I’ve found that starting out on an incline is much harder than I thought and need to do a lot of work on that since there is a major hill on my way to work and I will NEED to be able to start out on a hill. If it wasn’t for the hill then I’d probably take it to work tomorrow, but unfortunately it’ll have to wait.


Nickey and Hayden are heading to Seattle on Wednesday for a family reunion on her mom’s side. I can’t go since I just recently started a job and would have to take those days without pay since I’m a contractor. They will be back on Sunday for about an hour then will be driving to San Diego for a Brian Buffini Mastermind conference. Then they will be back Tuesday night. A whole week to myself. Most guys would probably be like, “I’m going out!”. I’m like, “What projects can I get done? Bead board in the kitchen. Can I get the tile in the bathroom removed and replaced before she gets back? Can I pull down the drywall in the bedroom, insulate the walls, replace the drywall, tape it, texture it and prime it before she gets back?”. Note the “before she gets back” consistency 🙂


Hi mom! Sorry I haven’t been living up to my twice a week commitment!! I’ll try to be more consistent. We love you.

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