March 2006

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March 27, 2006: Well it's been a BUSY past couple of weeks, which has been good :)

Let's see, the weekend of March 17-19 I spent most of my time with Mark and Jessica Hamel who were in town from Germany! Jessica had to fly out here for a pharmacuetical convention (LOL high class drug dealers :) in the city and Mark got to tag along for fun! It was great to see the both of them. They looked wonderful and both seem to be doing very well! We all hung out on Friday night and did dinner together. On Saturday morning, we all went out to breakfast at Savor in Noe Valley before dropping Jessica off at the convention center. After that, Mark and I spent the rest of the day cruising around the bay area. Hehehe, amongst our travels, we couldn't resist stopping in for a quick wine tasting at Rosenblum Cellars where a few bottles were purchased (of course). On Sunday morning, I met up w/Mark and we spent about 1/2 the day together and took a nice drive up through Mt. Tamalapias and down to Stintson Beach. Was really nice. That night, I took to myself to chill and catch up on some errands. I had planned to spend at least one more night with Mark and Jessica before I left, but an unexpected business trip to Chicago nixed that :( Ahhh well, looks like I'm going to have to fly to Germany soon to see them again (yay!!! :)

This past weekend was a good one. I got to see my friend Johny T., of whom I've been friends with for many years since I moved to CA, was in town. He and I got together for our annual night of dinner/drinks/amazing conversation. LOL these nights are so full of intense conversation, that it seems to take about a year for us to get through them. LOL, sounds weird. It is :) We're gonna try and chat w/each other at least once a month moving forward to try and break that pattern :).

LOL for any of your WoW (World of Warcraft) fans out there, my character Busterian (Dwarf Paladin) hit level 50 last night! I am very very happy :) LOL, such a geek I am.

That's it for now. Hope all is well in your world :)

Penz

March 13, 2006: Sunday was a pretty good day. I was up at 5:00 AM as I had to host/lead an effort to help troubleshoot a technical issues at one of our large customer sites in Chicago, IL. I'd end up being on the call from about 5:30 AM to 10:30 AM. There are better ways to start a Sunday, but the call/effort went well, and I had a pot of coffee to keep me going :) After the call, me, Becky and Susan went out to do a little grocery shopping and had lunch at PF Chang's. Afterwards, we stopped by an open house on Atherton Avenue and were sadly disappointed at what 6.5 million dollars gets you these days :P Heheh, we ripped that place apart, but had fun looking around. Later on that afternoon, I'd head home and spend the rest of the evening catching up on other stuff I had to get done this weekend, as well as just taking an hour or two of 'me time'. I was pretty tired as I had an early start to the day.

This week should be fun. On Thursday, Mark and Jessica Hamel will be in town. They are flying in from Germany as Jessica has a conference to attend here in San Francisco. I plan to spend most of my time this weekend with them.

March 11, 2006: So, today was an awesome day! It actually started last night, after work, when I headed to Atherton to meet up with Rob, Susan, and Becky (in town from FL!). We had a fun night together. We met up around six and went out for dinner at Rob and Susan's favorite Chinese restaurant in Woodside (mmm, salt and pepper shrimp!). After that, it was back to the house where we enjoyed some conversation over a 1997 St. Superey Dollarhide Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. Oh my, it was freaking tasty (and one of the best 'old' wines from my collection). After Rob and Susan headed off to bed, Becky and I would stay up until about 11:00 PM catching up, talking and laughing before we finally crashed out.

Our Saturday started about 6:30 AM. By 7:30, Susan, Becky and me were on the road heading towards San Francisco. At 8:15 AM we'd find ourselves waiting in line to get into Mama's for breakfast in San Francisco (1701 Stockton St. - Northbeach district, yes, remember this address). I had been to this place once before about a month ago with Justin, Erin and Trish and oh my.... breaksfast there is to die for :) For breakfast, Susan got the crab benedict; Becky got the dunegeness crab omlettte with white cheddar cheese and leeks and I got the cranberry walnut french toast with fresh berries and Italian sausage. LOL if that wasn't enough, we also shared a piece of blueberry coffee cake and carrot cake! Heheh, good think we part the car about a 4 blocks away, We needed that walk afterwards :)

Mmmmmm, so with our belly's full, we then tried to head up to Sonoma to see friends, BUT we didn't know about the 32 car pile up that occurred at 2:30 am this morning and had closed off the route over the GG bridge. We spent about 20 minutes sitting on the GG bridge listening to the traffic report which told us it was going to take about 2 hours to clear the bridge and the traffic in Saulsalito. Finally we said screw this and then wegot to do what few ever get to do... make a U-TURN on the GG bridge!!!! LOL, how cool is that!?!?! :) So, we headed back into SF and would spend 5 hours kicking around China Town. We had SO MUCH FUN! We shopped, shopped, ate and shopped some more. LOL, heheheh so much fun!


Susan and Becky with the Trans America building in the background


Susan in Chinatown


Yeah, pretty cool! 5 dragons waiting to go downtown..

Heheheh, we had a blast shopping. I picked up a few cool things for my apartment (new pillows for the couch, a neat dragon scroll, and an interesting dragon plaque for the wall). After walking around for many hours (trying to burn off that breakfast), we headed back to Atherton (after a quick shopping stop in Woodside to pick up dinner) around 4:30 PM. Susan put together an amazing meal (grilled wild Alaskan Salmon, grilled asparagus, sweet/baked potatoes, and petite fours for dessert :) Oh yeah, not to mention some terrific freaking wine !!! THANK YOU LISA for allowing us to open the 2002 Sullivan Cabernet Sauvignon (well you don't know it it yet, but thanks anyway's!) LOL, I provided a few decent bottles tonight including the 2003 Rosenblum Syrah (a fantatic bottle) , 2001 Kendall Jackson Reserve Cab, and the 2003 Signorello Cabernet Sauvignon (also really good!). LOL, we drank well :)

Well gotta head to bed. Gotta get up early in the am (5:30 AM on a Sunday) and work. Long story, but it's gotta be done. Hopefully, I'll be free by noon!

Hope all is well in your world!

Penz

March 7, 2006: Great news! On Sunday, Jame's was released from the hospital and is now recuperating at home. His family will be staying with him for most of the week and afterwards I'm sure his friends in the local area will be keeping close tabs on him.

Been trying to keep busy and not let my mind 'idle' as it seems to have a tendency to think about 'stuff' that is illogical and emotional and that has been 'annoying' as of late. Heheh, but no worries, I'm ok.

I'm pretty excited at Becky will be flying into town from FL this Friday. She'll be staying with Rob and Susan over in Atherton and I'll be over there for most of the weekend. It's going to be great to have her here and to be able to spend some time with her.

Next weekend, Mark and Jessica Hamel will be in town from Germany (Jessica is attending a conference out here). I'll be spending as much time with them as I can while they are out here.

LOL, yes I'm still playing World of Warcraft. Heheheh, trying to limit myself to an hour or two each day. Hey, at the end of the day, it's fun and it's keeping me out of trouble. AND starting yesterday, I'm instituting a rule that I need to do at least 30 minutes of some type of exercise (walking/biking/etc.) before I play. Those winter pounds (which commonly accumulate on us 'bears') need to start to come off :)

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

~Penz

March 3, 2006: Today I had the best phone call of the year. I got to speak to James Canders :) His friend Jeff (who has been a saint and has been with James each day since the accident) handed James the phone and let me talk to him. Even though James' jaw is wired shut, he was able to get out a few words and let me know he understood what I was saying. I gotta say, it was so good to hear him and to be able to talk to him. I had so much that I wanted to say, and throughout it all, I was trying to not to cry! LOL, tears of happiness of course!! It was great just to be able to talk to him and let him know how thankful I was to have him still around and to tell him how much I care for him. Hmmmmm, I guess the good thing is that he already knows that :)

Like all of his friends who live outside of MI, we've all wanted to fly out there and be with James to help him in some way. Of course, having 100 of us show up at the hospital probably wouldn't' be a good thing. I mean, it's not like they have a bar in the waiting room. Where the heck would we all gather!?!?! LOL :) Seriously though, that feeling of helplessness sucks, but knowing that he has good friends/family there made it a bit easier.

The weekend is almost here :) YEAH! Can't wait :)

That's all for now :)

~Penz


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