December 27, 2004:  I had a great XMas and I hope that you did as well :-)  Saturday morning I arrived at Ashish, Jill and Nikhil's place around 8:00 am and proceeded to make breakfast :)  Fresh blueberry and raspberry pancakes with eggs over easy and slices of ham were on the menu that morning. Hehehe, needless to say, no one left the table hungry! After breakfast, I hung out until about noon and then headed back to Dublin for an hour or two. After that, it was off to Danville to spend the rest of the day with Michael, Shannon the kids the the rest their family! I had a blast over there and I totally feel like part of the family when I'm there. All the aunts, uncles and grandparents know me when and I feel right at home yapping with all of them.  After eating and drinking my fill (and helping clean up!), I left there around 8:30 PM and headed home. All in all, it was a great day!

Spidey sent me some shots of his XMas morning with Kathy1


Looks like Spidey is going to have some fun in the snow!


Bill, Kathy and the pup enjoying Christmas morning 
(and it looks like Santa brought Kathy a little something shiny to wear around her neck! :-)

Sunday was a nice relaxing day. I watched a couple of movies. First was Yosi & Jagger. This was a foreign film (from Isarael) about two soldiers who are in love with each other and try to make that work in the middle of war. . It was only 70 minutes long, but I really enjoyed it.  After that I watched Collateral and for Hollywood blockbuster flick, it was pretty good :)

After that, I put together a BIG ol' pot of chili that I'm going to serve up for Club Quagga's first TX Hold'em poker tournament. (We're going to have it this Tuesday since most people have most of this week off) and it should be a lot of fun)! I cooked the chili ahead of time so that is has a day or two to 'sit' and give the spices a chance to really come together! Peppers in the pot include 6 jalapeņos, 2 Anaheims. 1 cup dried red chilies, and 3 green bell peppers. Also in there is some ground and cubed beef, red beans and lots of good spices. I can't wait to eat it up (LOL, must be strong and not eat it before Tuesday.... drool >:)

And now it's Monday. A quiet day at work and hopefully, it stays that way for the rest of the week!

Check out this really cool tribute to our soldiers overseas. It's really well done (thanks to my brother Tim for sending it to me!)

Hope all is well in your world :)

:Penz

December 24, 2004:  And of course, XMas would not be complete without having posted the Penziner Family XMas photos!  So here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas from Tim, Suzanne, Tyler and Zach :-)


Suzanne, Tim, Tyler and Zach all smiling for the camera :)


Tim and Suzanne - Aren't they adorable?!?! They sure are! :-)

It's a beautiful sunny CA day today. I was up at 4:30 AM to take Justin to the Oakland Airport and bid him farewell as he flew back to CT to spend the holiday's with his family. I'm sure he's going to have a great time!  After that, I came back home and snoozed for a while. Then, I had to run to the DMV this morning as they screwed up my registration (when I got my new car then sent me new plates instead of transferring over my BADAUG personal plates). Happily, I was in/out of there in under 8 minutes! I didn't even think that could happen at the DMV!!

Got a sweet package from Andy and Tucker Bourassa today. It's a hand packed Christmas stocking and it looks like it's filled with lots of goodies! I'm not going to open it until tomorrow!!  Thank you Andy and Tucker for being so thoughtful!!!! :D  I miss and love you both!

Going to enjoy a relaxing afternoon. Do a little grocery shopping and then just take it easy!  I'm looking forward to spending tomorrow with the Parikh's and Tanner's. Should be a lot of fun.

So, to all my friends and family all over the world (HI, AZ, NM, OH, KY, MI, FL, NC, RI, CT, MA, NY, NH, VT, Iraq) I certainly wish I could be closer to many of you during this holiday season, but hey, that's why I travel throughout the year to come and see you :) You'll all be in my thoughts and hearts this Christmas and I wish each of you a very safe, joyous and wonderful holiday! 

All the best!

:Penz

December 23, 2004:  Nothing too exciting has gone on over the past few days. Just been working from home, which has been nice. I've had the chance to finish up a lot of work 'stuff' that's just been hanging out there, which means my plate will be pretty clean as we roll in the new year. All in all, it's been a good year at Avaya and I'm hoping that next year will be as well.

Well, the holiday season is in full swing and boy oh boy, I can't wait until it's over :P  Heheh, Seriously though, check out this awesome picture of Meredith and Adam. It was taken at her Christmas party and it truly captures the love shared between these two :-)


Meredith and Adam

And here's a picture that proves that sometimes the best things in life do come in a box! Here is Sean Crenshaw enjoying what will probably end up being his favorite toy this holiday season (the box the toys came in!). HE IS SO CUTE!!  

Let's see, last night Alex and I went to the movies and saw "Meet the Fockers". LOL, it was pretty damn funny, though maybe not quite as good as the first. Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, & Robert De Niro all put on a good show, and I really enjoyed seeing Hoffman perform as he's a really good actor.

After that, we went to On the Border for some dinner. LOL, well, two shots of tequila, and 2 pitchers of margarita's later, we were feeling pretty good! LOL, good thing we were right across the street from our apartment complex. Hehehe, food was good, and I had fun checking out a few cute "early 20ish' gay guys sitting across from us who I'm sure were gay. The funny part is that I think they though Alex and I were together. LOL, too funny.... but Alex saved himself as one of his really cute lady friends stopped by to share some drinks with us and hang out. :-)  Hehehe, it was a fun night!

Let's see, tomorrow should be a nice relaxing day. I'm thinking of heading up towards wine country and spend some quality time w/the grapes :)  We'll see how that goes.  

On Christmas day, I'll rise and shine and head over to Ashish and Jill's and spend the morning w/them. I'm going to make breakfast as holiday gift to them :) Hehehe, spending the morning with 'my cute boy' is going to be fun!

After that, it's off to Michael and Shannon's house to spend the rest of the day with them and their family. For the last few years, I've spend XMas with them and it's always a blast! I'm looking forward to a fun day of eating drinking and hanging out with this crazy fun crowd!

So, with that said, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!


December 18, 2004:  OOoooohhh, I've been a bad blogger :) Haven't been updating my journal lately. Well, that's ok. Time to play catch up. So, what have I been up to?  Well after returning from New Mexico, I spent the past week at work. Nothing too exciting happened. A couple of nights after work, I got together with Alex and Ryan to play some basketball (which was good as I need to start getting back into a regular routine of getting some exercise). 

On Friday night, Club Quagga met for a fun night of poker! It was just me, Alex, Tim and Ryan, but we had a lot of fun night of poker, good friends, fine food, and fine wine. Not your regular poker night, as we dined on leg of lamb, jasmine rice and cooked spinach with cranberries and garlic; an assortment of red wine (including a 1997 Cabernet from St. Supery's Dollarhide Ranch, a 2001 Rosenblum England-Shaw Syrah. a 2002 Rosenblum Anette's Reserve Zinfandel, and the 2002 Rosenblum Port), and a  delicious desert of Budapest chocolate cream truffles by Kron. (they were sooooo yummy!).

Hehehe, well, after feasting, Ryan jumped out with an early lead after a couple big pots, and he managed to slowly build that lead the rest of the night. I started out ok, but as the night continued, my stack rose and then dwindled to just a few dollars until the very end of the night where I made it up in a couple games of 727 (hehehe, I love that game! The 'great equalizer' for a few of us ;). Alex, in a unusual change of pace, had an unfortunately bad run of luck, losing steadily throughout the night, even after buying back in a couple times. Tim was up and down most of the night. Several times he found himself with a short stack only to go on a run and get myself back above water. By the end of the night, he almost doubled his money. 

The night ended a bit after 3am -- a late night indeed. I think even a new record for latest Quagga night. Good time as always!

LOL, Saturday started around 10 AM for me when I woke up feeling a bit 'cloudy' from the night before. A big ol' cup of coffee and a shower helped clear that up. For the next hour and a half, I crashed on the couch and watched "Love! Valour! Compassion!" as my body slowly healed itself :). After that, Alex and I headed off to Berkeley for lunch. LOL, we went to this really good Ethiopian restaurant for lunch. The food was REALLY good, but it was not what my stomach needed!! Heheh, but I survived. After lunch, we took a walk through main street where there was a street fair going on and then through the Berkeley campus where Alex had to take a picture next to the clock tower wearing his USC shirt. Hehehe, let's just say he lost a bet and was paying up.

After that, it was back to Dublin where Alex ended up crashing for the afternoon. I pretty much did the same but before I did, I took a few pictures of my car, with the new window tint:

 

Click here for a few more good pictures of the car.  Hehehe, yeah, I love this car :-)

LOL, oh yeah, I almost forgot, I got an iPod! I've been considering getting one on/off now for a couple of months and as fate would have it, my buddy Ryan got a second one from his company as a Christmas gift. Well, since he already had one and didn't need a second one, he sold me his 20 GB iPod for $200. Heheh, considering it's only a few months old and I saved about $100, that's a pretty damn good deal (came w/all of the accessories including the charger, ear buds, remote control extension, etc.). So, for past few days, I've been having fun using iTunes to rip my CD's and create my own library. 

The next step is hook this puppy up to my car. I've done my research and have decided NOT to go with the FM transceiver or the cassette adapter, as both appear to suck. So, I'm going to hardwire/direct connect the iPod to my stereo. I'm thinking of going with the Neo ION connector to do this as I can plug it into the CD changer output in the back of my car and just run the cable up to my console. I'm also thinking of waiting a 2 more weeks to see what the Monster iCruise is all about. If it has more features than the ION, I'll probably get that. We'll see. 

I intend on holding the iPod with a Belkin TuneDok holder. Hehehe, I just a brand new one on eBay which is shipping to me for $15!

OK, well that's it for now. L8RZ!

:Penz

December 8-12, 2004:  My good friends Ashish, Jill and their 18 month old son, Nikhil and I flew out to Albuquerque, New Mexico to visit Candace and Bob. Candace just retired from many long years of had work, with her last 10 or so years being at Quintus and then Avaya. She had a very challenging and  rewarding career and she's earned her 'rest' :)  She and Bob moved to NM about 6 months ago and bought a beautiful house out there in the North East part of the city.

On our first day there, we took a ride up to Santa Fe and spent the day there touring the city. That night, we had dinner in and shared a few bottles of wine (Ashish, Jill and I brought out 6 bottles of fantastic wine to share with Candace and Bob and let's just say, there weren't any left over by the end of our visit :). 

On Friday, we took a ride up through Bandolier National Monument. This is a beautiful area and we had perfect weather for our visit to this sanctuary. We spent about an hour or so walking through the Pueblo ruins and they were truly amazing (I'll post some pictures up here as soon as I get them from Ashish).

 

<== Candace and Penz in Sante Fe, NM!

For lunch, we went to a great restaurant the Rancho de Chimayo. This is one of Candace and Bob's favorite little places and after eating there, I know why! Candace had this pork dish with an adovada sauce that was delicious. It was so good, that I brought a few jars of it home w/me and bought the cookbook so that I could learn how to make the dish. The green chile and pork stew that I had was really good too, but I liked Candace's dish better :)

After lunch, we took a nice leisurely drive back to Albuquerque. That night, I took a ride to meet up with a few guys that I play XBox online with. Heheeh, other than playing XBox together, we really didn't know each other, but I had a great time meeting up with "Big Beef", "Spider" and the rest of the crew. LOL, after a few shots of Wild Turkey we kicked on the XBox and had a great night hanging out together.

On Saturday, we took a nice leisurely morning and just hung out. Bob made some tasty blueberry pancakes for breakfast and after that, I took Nikhil for a 1.5 hour walk (needed the exercise!). That afternoon we headed over to Bob's daughter's house for a little get together there which was a lot of fun. Met some nice people (most of them from Bob's family) and ate some great food!. That night, we drank some more wine before hitting the sack.

An on Sunday, we flew back to CA :-)

:Penz


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