For two weeks - and you would think that I would have had a lot to blog about. I did. Have a lot to blog about, that is. But didn't. Blog. Ya know. So what's been going on? Settle in and I'll tell you all about it. Oh yeah... and all those broken promises about blogging regularly? Yeah, well... I promise, again. Yeah. Promise.
CALIFORNIA: The first week was all convention. The NAHJ convention. Actually, it started a day early, a Saturday, with Jim and the poker guys. That was cool. I missed a lot of people but I really missed Jim and the guys. So we played poker and drank - I won like $60. That made it even better.
CONVENTION: The next day, it was all convention. And for the next seven days, it would continue to be all convention - and it was actually a really good one this year, too. Great sessions. Great parties. Great weather.
FOOD: I was actually down about 20-25 pounds before I flew to California. First stop was Trine's. Really - Jim picked me up in Oakland and we drove straight to Trines. I had Menudo. Mmmmm. In two weeks, I would do Jack in the Box a couple of times - 2 tacos for 99 cents. I would do Weinerschnitzel three times. Chili Dogs. Enough said. Carl's Jr two times. Western Bacon Cheeseburger. In-and-Out Burger twice - Double Double with Cheese Old Fashioned Style. Me-n-Eds Pizza twice and Kowloon Chinese Food once. Oh - don't forget Jamba Juice - Strawberries Wild - twice. Only place I didn't do Mike's Pizzeria. :( I so need to get back to the gym. If nothing else, I need to start walking to Dupont Circle at the end of the day again. I can feel that Weinerdude Chili Dog.
SIGHTS: The hills of San Jose are great to look at - and the view from the 23rd floor of the downtown Marriott was great. Fresno, on the other hand, is flat. I've always been a big sign guy, as in street signs. How else do you know where you're going? California is a big driving town - so I shot a lot of pics with the Treo camera. Driving 101, 99, I-5 or 152 is nothing to me - it's familiar.
FAMILY: That, to me, is California. Fresno and San Jose. We covered a lot of ground. I got to see a lot of people. Kitty. Chris. Papa Rich. My aunts and uncles. Some of the cousins - not all. Nay and Pat. Meliz and Roc and George and Anita and the boys. The weather was pretty nice in Fresno, too. I got to see a lot of people and even managed to get one last poker game in with a quick overnighter to SJ. Some of the family got together at Vinland Park for a picnic/BBQ. Nana's house is coming along nice - cool new windows, some fresh paint and AIR CONDITIONING!!! No more swamp cooler.
RICH RAMIREZ: Rich Ramirez was found dead in his Livermore backyard just a couple of days after the convention ended. I worked with Rich at the Merc - he was a good guy, someone you could really count on to get the job done. He and I had this special little "Raiders" kind of thing going because he once met John Madden in a restaurant out near Blackhawk. Rich helped organize this year's convention and I credit him with a lot of the its success. They say it may have been suicide but no one has said for sure yet what happened. Stacy and I last saw him in the elevator as we were checking out of the hotel Sunday afternoon and he said he was exhausted and heading home. That's it. Not upset at all. Anyway, it's a sad thing. The Merc, with all of its layoffs and such, has been through a lot lately, too. Rich was a good guy. May he rest in peace.
HOME ALONE: Stacy and the kids stayed in California when I came back - and a few days later, Nick flew out there to join them. That leaves me home alone - for two whole weeks. The first few days, it was kinda cool - eating takeout, drinking beer, playing video games - the ones that no one ever wants to play with me - in the basement in my underwear. It's been a week - boredom has kicked in. I'm talking to myself. I'm taking evening walks through the neighborhood because there's no one home anyway. Even my neighborhood pal - Mr. VJ - appears to be on family vacation, too. Living in the basement like it's a cave. It's been raining and the heat is back - a lovely combination for humidity.
Suki has, in a week, become Man's Best Friend.