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Monthly Archives: July 2005

There and back again

Wow – over a week since my last post. You must have thought that I vanished from the face of the earth, or something. Actually, I did take a quick trip to the moon, so I guess technically I did vanish from the face of the earth. All kidding aside, it is just very difficult to keep up on the journal entries when you have no home computer. I just got Annie back on Saturday, but the weekend has been so busy that I didn’t have a chance until tonight to make an update in my journal. A lot has happened over the past week, so make sure you are seated with your seatbelt fastened. Please make certain that you tray tables and seatback are in their full upright and locked positions. Thank you.
Up until Wednesday, nothing really very exciting happened, but on Wednesday I had to take a quick, one-day trip to LA. That made Wednesday a busy day. I had to pick some stuff up at 8 a.m. in the city, and then I booked it to Oakland Airport where I was able to catch a 9 a.m. flight to Los Angeles. Wow… I pulled into the airport parking lot at about 8:42 a.m. and was on a 9 a.m. flight – amazing. Once I got to LA I got my rental car and headed straight to business. Once I finished up my morning business, it was surprisingly already almost 1 p.m. so I met up with Tami, Katie, Molly and Amy (KT and Molly’s cousin) for lunch. Tami ended up not being able to eat with us, which was too bad. Here’s a picture of Katie (seated) and her cousin Amy (standing left) who was visiting from St. Louis. This was actually taken in Tami’s office. It was a quick lunch, but it was good to see some friends down there.

Despite attending to some afternoon business, I had a chance to read part of “The Da Vinci Code” while I wasn’t responding to numerous e-mails. It’s a great book and I am looking forward to finishing it soon. My travels took me right past Revolution Studios (see picture below) where I worked for a few weeks when I first started on RENT in October of last year.

Once my business was done, I headed straight back to LAX where I got on a 9 p.m. flight and returned to Oakland. The worst part of the whole trip was that I had to miss the young adult group (YAG) meeting at St. Dominic’s that night. They meet on Wednesdays and I like to go. Oh well, not like there won’t be another meeting.
Thursday was a pretty standard day at work, but after work I headed to St. Dominic’s to help setup for the weekend Coffee House. The Coffee House is the YAG’s only fundraiser for the year so a lot of work goes into making it happen. We setup tables and chairs, laid a red carpet, hung decorations, set lights and ran a brief rehearsal of a few parts of the show. The setup ended up taking a lot longer than most had expected – I got there at just after 6 p.m. and didn’t leave until after 11 p.m., but the place looked great when we were done.
Friday and Saturday nights I volunteered at the Coffee House. I worked as a waiter both nights, serving tables their food and drink. Friday night my tables were very slow, but Saturday I got some busier tables and was going pretty much non stop until intermission when the sales really slowed. After the Coffee House on Friday, Mike, Dan, Tony, Melissa, Olivier and I went out to the Lucky Penny Diner for a quick bite. I had an Avocado burger which was pretty tasty. On Saturday after the coffee house ended we did a really quick clean up, which included striking everything – tables, chairs, lights, stage, carpet, and doing a full clean of the kitchen. I think we finished with cleanup around 11:30 p.m. at which time many of us headed up to an after-party in Pacific Heights. The after-party was great, and I got a little tipsy because I had two and a half glasses of wine, though I hadn’t eaten in over 6 hours. When we got ready to leave the party I told Mike that there was no way I was driving him home without going to get some food first, so Chris, Mike and I went to Mel’s Diner for a bite. I took this picture of Mike at Mel’s. He looks very serious, though that is just the moment I captured. He wasn’t being overly serious during the outing.

After eating I felt much better and was able to drive MIke and then myself home without any problems.
Aside from all of the YAG work I’ve been doing over the past few days, I also managed to get some geocaching in this weekend. On Saturday I found 5 caches in Golden Gate Park and today I found 2 caches up in North Beach. I met my first fellow geocachers today at a cache up at Coit Tower. It was a nice German family that is currently living down in Mountain View here in the Bay Area. Caching in North Beach/Fisherman’s Wharf can be pretty challenging this time of year because it is the height of tourist season. There were two caches that I was unable to even look for because there were too many people around. While I was out today I found this cool fountain at Levi’s Plaza near Filbert and Sansome.

Tonight after the 5:30 mass at St. Dominic’s I went to the final film screening of Fr. Frances’s St. Dominic’s Summer Film Festival. It is an impromptu festival of films shown at 7 p.m. each Sunday after mass. He’s been showing them for a few weeks now, but this is the only one I’ve gone to. Tonight we saw Grave of the Fireflies which was an amazing but very sad story. It takes place in 1945 during WWII in Japan. A young boy and his younger sister lose their mother in a fire bomb attack and their father is killed in battle. They must try to survive on their own. It was very moving, but emotionally demanding. Anyone who has a sibling will be especially moved by this film, I think.
Well, this concludes the in flight entertainment for tonight. On behalf of Lance and the entire flight crew, we would like to thank you for choosing LancesWorld.com. We know you have a choice when it comes to web surfing, and we are happy to have been able to serve you today. We certainly hope you will come back and see us again very soon!

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Farewell, my friend, farewell.

Today I laid to rest my good friend and companion of 9 months, Annie the iBook. Yes, I learned this past week that she was on her last legs and that her hard drive would soon be failing. I backed up all of her data on Thursday night, and it is a good thing I did. By this morning just before I took her to the undertakers at the Genius Bar @ the Apple Store, she exhaled her final breath. Granted, there was still an image on the screen, but her heart had clearly given up and she would no longer access and data or pump any blood. So I gave her up. She is still under warranty, so the hard drive will be replaced at no cost to me, but she will never be the same.
In happier news, I have been geocaching today. It has been great – I’ve made three finds already, and might be able to get 1 or 2 more in before the end of the day. Who knows. I will post some pictures when I get to a computer (I am making this entry on my Sidekick). I am thinking of starting a new Geocaching journal so this doesn’t become geocaching central. What do you think?
I went out with some friends last night and had an awesome time. Mike was going to come, but he wasn’t feeling well, so elected to stay home instead. Elisabeth, Chris, and Michelle came out along with Elisabeth’s brother, Brian, whom I had not previously met. Chris graduated from ND in May and Michelle from St. Mary’s. I met both of them and Elisabeth @ St. Dominic’s recently. I am happy to be expanding my friend base. We went out to The Lion’s Den and The Fishbowl, both of which were very nice.
I am thinking of going to a concert tomorrow. Ladysmith Black Mambazo is playing a free concert at Sigmund Stern Grove tomorrow. I found out about that because of my geocaching. Some people have tolds me that they think geocaching is weird, but like it or not you can’t deny that it exposes you to some great locations that you would otherwise miss. I would likely never have visited the grove had it not been for geocaching.
Well, typing on this tiny keyboard is getting hard, so I am going to sign off now. Until next time!

Categories: A Day in the Life | Comments Off

Geocaching Success!

Hello one and all!

So, I was so excited about Geocaching that I went out last night after work and bought myself a GPS unit at BestBuy. YES, I could probably have gotten a better price if I bought online, but I really wanted to have something to start with this weekend. And so excited was I that I couldn’t even wait until the weekend, so I went out in search of a cache this morning before work. I had to go to TI this morning to drop some stuff off at the accounting office, so I looked up some coordinates for a cache on the island, and using my GPS, I headed down the road to the spot. The GPS literally put me exactly at the cache’s location – I am very happy with my purchase.

Before I get into the cache details, let me tell you a little bit about my device. It is a very entry level GPS device made by Magellan. It is called the eXplorist 200 and I actually got a pretty good deal on it. It was an open box item at BestBuy, so I got almost 33% off the original price. I paid 100.99 + tax, which wasn’t too bad. Amazon.com sells GPS devices that are comparable for under $100, but I wouldn’t have been able to have one of those until sometime next week (unless I paid for overnight shipping, which would have negated the cost savings). The main problem with this device is that it has no way to connect it to a computer, so all of the waypoints and location data have to be entered on the device itself. Considering that it has no keypad, that makes it a little tedious, but for $100, what could I expect? It maps where I want to go, so it’s worth it to me.

Some people ask what makes Geocaching exciting if you are told exactly where the cache is hidden. Well, the fun is not so much in knowing the location as it is in getting there. Today’s was easy to find because I know Treasure Island pretty well, but some of the caches are hidden along hiking trails or, as I said before, underwater or on rocky cliffs. While my GPS will show me on a map where the cache is, it isn’t useful for getting there. This isn’t a step by step navigation GPS like the ones you find in cars – it literally draws a straight line from my current location to the location of the cache. Not very useful if there are things like mountains or lakes or canyons in the way. I am really excited to start looking for some other caches that are harder to get to.

When I found the cache this morning, I was very excited. There is just something about finding a hidden item that is exciting. Think about it – there might be a Geocache within less a mile of your current location and you have no idea. But there may be fifty or more people that have visited that cache. The cache I found this morning was places there just over a year ago (July 8, 2004) and since then, 72 people have logged a visit to the cache, and the closest cache to my house (which I will look for no later than this weekend) has logged 121 visits since April of 2004. Today’s cache was a tupperware container which contained a logbook, some toy cars, a domino, a magnet, and various other knick knacks. Some people get really into their Geocaching and they have made personalized stickers or objects to include in the caches they find. Some people even carry with them things they call a “cache pack” which might include plastic bags or supplies to repair damages caches they find. I just love the idea that things like this exist. I think I’ve found a great new pastime.
Here is a picture of me near the site of the cache this morning. I took it myself with my cell phone, so it’s not great, but it gets the job done. I really wanted to document my first find in some way.

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Geocaching

OK – So I found this TOTALLY AMAZING website today about a new and potentially very exciting sport called Geocaching. I am totally excited, and I am going have to buy myself a GPS unit so I can give it a go. If you have ever been at all interested in the idea of treasure hunting, this is the game for you. It relies on a lot of trustworthy and honest people, but apparently it’s working in big cities like San Francisco, which is good. The basic idea is that a participant (the owner of a cache) hides some sort of treasure (the cache) in a location. They report the location of the cache on the Geocache website using GPS coordinates. The cache must include at least a logbook which must contain a message about the cache. Other than that, the cache might contain toys, games, tools, money, tickets, and any other variety of items. Seekers can visit the Geocache website and look up coordinates for caches hidden throughout the world (as of the time I wrote this, there are 182,603 active caches in 216 countries). When a seeker find the cache, they are supposed to leave a message in the logbook. If the cache contains other items, they are allowed to take an item from the cache, provided that they leave something in its place. They then report that they have found a cache on the Geocaching website, and that’s the game. Anyone can hide a cache, and anyone can search for a cache.
The game can get more interesting, though. For example, you can have an item called a “hitchhiker” in a cache. A hitchhiker is an item that you are supposed to remove from the cache, and then place in another cache that you find later. For example, a candle travelled from Australia to Arizona with an enterprising geocacher. Another hitchhiker has included a Mr. Potato Head that has travelled from cache to cache. Some caches are accessible only with special equipment – for example, some caches have been hidden underwater, others hidden on rocky cliffs accessible only with climbing gear. They have been hidden above and below ground, in cities, in forests, in deserts, and in virtually any other imaginable environment.
I looked, and there are at least 20 caches within stirking distance from where I live (many in Golden Gate Park) and over 6,000 within a 100 mile radius from my house. There are even over 1100 caches within 30 miles of my house in Utah.
This is such an amazing idea, and I am totally excited about it. Can you tell? I am definitely going to start this, and you should too! AMAZING! Check out the website at geocaching.com.

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Destroying the dream

So, yesterday I went to Stonestown mall. I was actually going to look for a book at Borders, but decided to do some sock shopping while I was at the mall. In my quest for the perfect pair of socks, I visited Macy’s, Gap, ExpressMen, and J. Crew. While at J. Crew, I saw an article of clothing which I have always dreamed of owning – a pair of red pants.

Now, I have seen plenty of red pants in my day, but they have all been for women. J. Crew, however, is offering a pair or Red Chinos for men, and they were on sale for only $20. I saw the pants, and knew that my chance to fulfill a lifelong dream was at hand. When I found that they had my size, I was even more ecstatic. But once I had the pants in my hands, I began to wonder if they were really for me or not. I mean, red pants aren’t exactly common. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man in red pants, to be honest. After much deliberation and consultation with various fashion consultants (except the number one fashion consultant in my life – my sister – who was at an amusement park for the day), I decided to at the very least try them on. This picture shows you the result of that endeavor.

OK. So, I just don’t think this particular pair of red pants is for me. To be fair, they don’t look terrible, but they just weren’t the right thing. I don’t think I look awful, but if I am going to get red pants, I want to make sure they are exactly right. In my opinion, this particular shade of red was wrong. Had it been a richer red, I probably would have gotten the pants. I just hope that I don’t regret my decision to not buy the pants when I’m 80 years old. I can just see it now… I’ll be an old, senile geezer sitting next to a mailbox which I’ve mistaken for a bus stop and when little Billy from down the street, wearing a beautiful pair of red pants, comes to deposit a postcard the following will happen:

In an effort to make my point, I will wave my cane around dangerously and say, “Those are very nice pants Billy. You know Billy, I once dreamed of owning a pair of red pants, but when I had my chance, I let the pants go. Did you know that Billy?”

“I’m sorry Mr. Johnson,” little Billy will say, skillfully dodging my renegade cane.

“Billy, don’t let your dreams pass you by, Billy,” I’ll say and point my cane directly at his face. Unfortunately, because of my age, my depth perception will not be what it once was, and I’ll accidentally smack little Billy right in the nose at which time he’ll run home and tell his mother that I tried to beat him up so I could take his pants, which will cause me to become an outcast in society and even my Meals on Wheels will stop delivering.

Boy, what a mess I’ve caused for myself by not buying those pants.

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Get to know Lance

Hi there. Seeing as how it is the LancesWorld.com birthday, I thought you might like to get to know the creator and mastermind of this site a little bit better. (That would be Lance, in case you don’t know already.) In the extended entry there is a WHOLE slew of questions that I answer for you. This was some personal survey that I found online, and since I had nothing better to do with three hours of my life, I filled it out for you, my loyal readers. Here is the first section to get you started. Check out the whole thing in the extended entry.
What does your name mean? According to babynamesworld.com, Lance means “knight’s attendant” or “land.”
How old are you? 23
How old are you mentally (maturity)? Oh, maybe 30, but I know how to act my age, too.
What are your worst qualities? I can be too judgmental.
What are your best qualities? I work hard and I am a kind person.
How long does it take you get get ready in the morning? 30 minutes

Read more »

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Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday Dear LancesWorld.com!
Happy Birthday to You!
Yes, that’s right – today we celebrate the first anniversary of the founding of LancesWorld.com. The first entry in the journal was published two days later on July 12, 2004. Since then, the site has been going strong, though I know there is still much room for improvement. First, the basic design of the site hasn’t changed in an entire year, which is why I am proud to announce that grand plans are currently being developed to create a new face for LancesWorld.com. Unfortunately, the LancesWorld.com staff plastic surgeons have been called away to perform an emergency operation on Michael Jackson, but that should only delay the site’s re-design by a year or two. After careful study and analysis, the Bush administration has estimated that you will see a new and better LancesWorld.com around November of 2008, just in time to swing the presidential vote in favor of the Republicans. It’s true – this site isn’t just a Lance-centric destination, it is also a major player in the American political arena.
Alright, well maybe this site hasn’t really accomplished all that in just a single year, but there’s hope that I might be able to achieve such influence by the second anniversary, right? In all reality, though, a new design for this site is underway, though with my schedule, there is no telling when exactly it will be ready.
Thanks to everyone who visited LancesWorld.com over the past year. I hope both of you will continue to visit regularly over this coming year. And please, do pass this site on to others who might be interested in living vicariously through me. Over this next year, I am going to try and post some new pictures… I’ll aim for a new picture in the journal each week. OK… maybe one a month. We’ll see. Maybe if I had a new digital camera… donations are accepted through PayPal. Just kidding.
Alright, Birthday party at my house!

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Would you like to take a survey???

Hey there folks.
I just took a Blog Survey that is being conducted by MIT. If any of you are interested in it, you can take it by clicking on the “I Made Some Science” image below.
Take the MIT Weblog Survey
So, today was a pretty typical Saturday for me. I woke up to the sound of small feet running around upstairs – that would have been Henry. He doesn’t usually wake me in the morning, but I was a little on edge during the night because I was concerned for a friend of mine who has a medical condition, so I think I was just more alert than usual. I tossed and turned in my bed from about 7:30 to 8:30, at which time I finally dragged myself out of bed. Just before 9:30 my friend called me to let me know that he was alright, which put me much more at ease.
After he called, I drove to the gym and worked out. It was a great workout today. I’m not sure if it’s a sign of a stronger heart or a broken machine, but I was able to keep up a faster pace today without raising my heart rate to extremely high levels (163 was the max. rate I hit today) and without running out of breath. After my 35 minutes on the elliptical, I did some upper body weight training, which went really well. I’m happy with my membership to the gym so far.
After the gym, I headed home where I showered and got ready for the rest of the day. Then I headed to Trader Joe’s to pick up some food for the week. I bought some Tilapia, some Seafood Medley, some deli meat, a loaf of Whole Grain bread, and a few other essentials. I really love Trader Joe’s. The things they sell are really good, and the prices are really low, compared to Albertsons, Safeway or Whole Foods.
For most of the afternoon I just sat around doing nothing. Seriously. I think I did a Yahoo! Crossword Puzzle, I talked to Molly, Katie and Tami on IM, I read a chapter in C.S. Lewis’s “The Four Loves” and that’s about it. Pretty much a slow afternoon. Oh yah, I did some laundry, too. Wow. For dinner I ate Thai food with Patrick and Christina, which was nice. It was from this place called Marnee Thai which is very close to the house, and only about two blocks from Thai Chef (which used to be Thai Spice). The food was very good, but I think that Thai Chef does noodles better. The non-noodle dishes were definitely much better from Marnee Thai.
So now here I sit, writing this entry for virtually no other reason than to keep myself occupied for a few minutes tonight. That’s right, all of you who just read this entry, you have wasted some very precious moments of your life. But please, don’t let that keep you from coming back to read my entries again in the future – all the other entries will be much more useful, I promise. Well, tomorrow is Sunday. I’m looking forward to mass at St. Dominic’s tomorrow evening. Should be good. I guess that’s all for now. :-)

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From Happy Hour to Happy Hours

Hey there everyone. So the week is over, and it’s time for the weekend. Yay! Even though it was only a four day week, that doesn’t change the fact that I am glad to have a few days off. Tonight after work I went to Harry’s Bar on Fillmore Street for a happy hour with the St. Dominic’s Young Adult Group. It was awesome. We probably had about 15 people show up, some of whom I knew, and some of whom I did not, so it was good to catch up with friends, and make some new ones. We were at the bar for about two to two and a half hours, and then a group of six went next door to The Grove for some dinner. I had a good time. I was planning on making it to the gym tonight, but by the time I finished up at dinner and then took Mike home, it was about 10 p.m. and I didn’t really feel up to working out so late. I’ll just have to make sure I get to the gym this weekend.
So I finally got internet in my office today. The room I am in was never wired for internet, but I installed a wireless router in the office upstairs from mine and now I’m getting wireless signal in my office. That’s great because I was always having to go to another room to hook my computer up to the internet.
So I just saw the most ridulous KFC commercial on TV. A woman pulls into the driveway while her husband is hosing is down. As she walks up the drive, her husband spots a bucket of KFC in her arms, so he drops the hose, leaving the water on. She walks into the house and her son is playing a video game in the living room. He hears her coming and says, “Mom, I’ve just got one more level…” but before he finishes, he sees the KFC and drops his controller immediately. The mom continues to walk down the hall past her daughter’s bedroom (in my experience bedrooms are always between the living room and the kitchen…). We hear the daughter on the phone sobbing and saying, “I can’t believe you’re breaking up with me!” Then the mom walks past, and the girl says, “I have to go” and drops the phone, smiling. Then we see a great shot of them all around the table being your typical happy American family, and the mom says, “Works every time.” Yah… KFC is that good. By the way, KFC was started in the state of Utah. Unrelated to the commercial.
Pamela e-mailed me a couple cute pictures of me and baby Jesse today. Jesse is Paula’s son (adopted from Honduras). For those of you who don’t know, Paula is the Associate Producer on RENT, and my direct supervisor during post-production. Jesse is 6 months old, and these pictures were taken when Lata took us out to dinner on June 30.

In this picture, Jesse is fascinated with my glasses and is trying to take them off. Actually, I was over at Paula’s house today and while I was holding him, he actually managed to take my glasses off of me. It was pretty cute. The woman sitting to my right (wearing the bluish-green sweater) is Lata and the woman to her right, whose face you can only see part of, is his mom Paula.

Here is a nice picture of me holding Jesse. When I look at this picture, I can’t help but feel that it was bluescreened or something, but it is a real picture. Does anyone else feel that way? And goodness, look how big my hands look while I’m holding him. Amazing.

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Please don’t get me wrong

OK, so apparently, there is some confusion as to why exactly I posted a link to Joe Duncan’s personal blog when he is such a troubled person. By no means am I attempting to condone any of Duncan’s actions or make them appear to be better than we perceive them; rather, I am simply fascinated by the thought processes of such a person. Far be it from me to call him “insane,” but based on his actions and the things about which he writes, it certainly seems that his mental state is not comparable to that of the average human being. I do not mean to draw undue attention to Duncan – clearly attention is what he is after. Duncan’s actions are clearly intended to draw a response – and he has received plenty of repsonses from very upset people. When I last checked moments ago, his most recent blog entry had received 894 comments. I do not recommend that any of my readers post comments to his blog. I am simply providing you with a way to probe deeper into the mind of a truly lost individual.
Today was a typical day for me. Went in to work around 9 and got settled in. Ran some copies of the RENT score for our music editors, reviewed the screen credits and made a few changes, mailed out a few wrap gifts, and so on. I left work just before 6 p.m. and walked up to the 24 Hour Fitness closest to my office. I don’t know if it’s just me, but the 24 Hour Fitness in North Beach seemed to be a lot more humid than the one out close to my house. Within about 5 minutes on the elliptical, I was sweating like you couldn’t believe. But after those first 5-10 minutes, it got better. I did 35 minutes on the elliptical and then did a little weight training before heading back home.
Tonight I cooked a delicious Mandarine Sesame Beef for dinner. I made some rice to go along with it, but used a little too much water (all the liquid measures were dirty and in the running dishwasher, which I didn’t want to open because I have a strange fear that I’ll cause a huge flood if I open a running dishwasher) and so the rice was a little wet, but not terrible. I’ve made worse rice the past.
I wish i had something more insightful to add to my journal tonight, but I’m feeling very tired. I am excited because I should get my DVD player back tomorrow. I sent it off for warranty repair, and I got a notice that it was shipped back to me last week. According to the tracking info from UPS, it is scheduled to be delivered to me at work tomorrow. I’ve been without a working DVD player for nearly 2 months now. Can you believe it? I mean, it helps that I was out of town for nearly 4 weeks, but still, that’s a long time for me to go without watching a single DVD. Sheesh.

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