Saturday, September 21, 2013


A good word to describe the last two mornings. 

Summer is winding down, fall is nearly (officially) here, and cool beginnings to the day are upon us here in NW Kansas. 

I've even seen a gang of turkey hens traipsing through my backyard during the past week.  Life is pretty good.  

Football also is here (hooray!), and I thought by the fourth Saturday of college football that we'd be done with all the money games and state-legislature-mandated contests (anyone bother to watch Texas A&M play Sam Houston State University?). 

Nearly every college pigskin pundit is lamenting today's contests. 

Patience, patience. 

Hey my family members!  What is the mood climate in Austin today?  I would have tuned in for last Saturday's matchup of Ole Miss versus the Longhorns but the television coverage was limited to the Longhorn (a.k.a. The Reason Texas A&M and Nebraska Left The Big 12 Conference) Network.   Which means more folks saw the game at the stadium then saw it on TV. 

At least I can watch tonight's K-State against Texas game on ABC. 

I'm not publicly taking sides for this one.  My supervisor bleeds Wildcat purple and many of my kinfolk see nothing but burnt orange on fall Saturdays. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A conversation, then a hotel visit

While getting gas midweek last week (prelude to an overnight business-related trip) on the other side of the pump was a pickup-travel trailer combination.  Given my interest in these particular types of camping rigs I gave it more than a quick glance while simultaneously filling my vehicle's tank with petrol.  Not a large rig but not small, either.  The tow vehicle was a Ford 3/4 ton with a diesel engine.  The driver noticed my interest and greeted me. 

I began the conversation by mentioning I am looking to purchase a rig of my own in the near future. 

His response?  Not what I expected:

"Let me give you a piece of good advice.  Don't buy a travel trailer.  Just keep your truck, load it up with what you need, then use hotels for your camping." 

Given we were on opposite sides of the gas island I couldn't see his expression but I'd wager he wasn't smiling. 

We talked for about another minute or so.  Turns out he was from Georgia, headed for Idaho.  Does this trip twice a year. 

Fast forward to the evening.  I'm now in Wichita and checked into my hotel.  Free wi-fi, but free does you no good when you can't connect.  The room is acceptable but nothing beyond that.  No kitchen (of course), need to head out for the evening meal. 

Even hearing the fellow's wisdom from earlier in the day I still long to camp.  Not worry about when the linens on my bed were last changed or laundered.  Cook for myself if I desire.  Not having to hear doors closing up and down the hall for a good chunk of the night.  Being able to run a fan all night if I desire (white noise), some hotel AC/heat systems have this feature, some don't.  My stay last week did not.  Still feeling like you are in your own space. 

Hotels have their purpose, but I've "camped" in enough of them the last 10-15 years to last me a lifetime. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My prediction was correct, and it sure didn't take long

As I noted in my last entry I did indeed watch the iPhone presentation (not live, but on Memorex) this past Tuesday evening.

First, I noticed the event only rolled out the two new iPhone models.  I was not surprised by the offerings but the absence of any other products seemed to make this past week's Apple "special event" a bit disappointing for ol' Geoguy.  I very much missed Steve Jobs this time around, particularly when I saw the time remaining and Tim Cook appearing to wrap up the iPhone 5C and 5S details.  I thought, "Could he be taking a cue from the master and about to do a 'just one more thing...' product intro?" 

Sadly no.  Everyone at the live event then got to hear three songs from Elvis Costello.  That moment I was glad I was not subject to live event "real time" and could just hit fast forward on my Apple TV remote.  I am not a Costello fan.

Seems I am not the only one who found the event or the presentation lacking something.  Maclife's Michael Simon shares his take.  

Still the phones themselves are impressive.  When the 5C's introduction concluded I remember thinking:  "Every kid in America will want one of these."  I then annotated that sentence to include "every kid in every industrialized nation..." 

It's less than a week later and Geoana is already making her case to get an iPhone 5C.  Both her mother and I explained to her that the cost of the phone will include a monthly data plan, which does add a certain amount to the monthly bill.  Thus the child is now taking more stock of her cash on hand plus anticipated income via pet watching and babysitting.

How will all of this play out?  Keep visiting this blog.

As for me I am more than ready to see what Apple will add to their next release of the iPad mini (the model I am likely to own).  And I can certainly wait until next month to find out.  And yes, Geogal did read the previous entry and didn't think my last sentence was particularly amusing.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Monday Night

Walked a great distance with Geogal.  That's fine, considering I was rather sedentary last night. 

And no, I will not be watching the unveiling tomorrow of the new model iPhone (or plural).  I still work for a living and ply my trade in a field that has nothing to do with technology.  I will do the same thing I did when Apple gave its keynote at the WWDC earlier this year:  watch it on Apple TV in the evening. 

I don't expect any drool moments for me tomorrow.  No, I'm still pining for the combination MacBook Air and iPad mini.  And those Airs they unveiled back in June are at the top of my birthday list. 

Are you reading this, Geogal?

Sunday, September 08, 2013

End of one week, beginning of another

We went to a wedding yesterday.  Nothing of note for us, really.  In telling people about our whereabouts this past weekend I used the phrase "peripheral invitees" liberally.  The groom was a former classmate of Geogal this past year and that is the extent of our knowledge and/or contact with the wedding party.  I had never met the guy before yesterday afternoon and Geogal hadn't seen him for many months.  We knew two people who also attended.  (Another classmate of my dear wife and his significant other.) 

That was it. 

Ceremony was uncomplicated, lasted a total of 40 minutes.  Reception was a ways away.  Geogal and I were among the first to arrive at the reception site.  Turns out most folks were locals and had gone home to change into more comfortable attire before hitting said reception.  We decided to hit a furniture store and check out some living room sets before going back and making a reception appearance. 

Now, take into account that the wedding commenced at 2:30.  Done by 3:10.  When will the dinner be served?  We don't really know.  The only things provided for the guests were lame salty and sugary snack foods and an open bar.  I'm not drinking (because I'll be driving later) so I made do with weak punch and tonic water on the rocks (no limes available, either).  Yeech. 

Around 6:15 they began the food line.  Meal was actually OK, fried chicken with mashed potatoes, corn, and dinner rolls (gotta like the Midwest).  But the whole time we were wiling away the minutes trying to make conversation with the other couple Geogal and I were fending off starvation (lunch had been many hours before).  We also recalled many of the things we did correctly at our wedding more than two decades ago.  Things such as providing a map from the church to the reception site, since many of our guests were not local.  Also having real food available almost from the time the reception started.  And so on.  I suppose since we are not relations nor close friends with the wedding party we can be complete snobs. 

So, after hearing one of the most inappropriate toasts I have ever heard anywhere (given by a man of the cloth, no less), being visited by the groom at least twice and noticing he was way drunk by that point and throwing around the "F" word gratuitously never minding whether or not there were small children in earshot, and eating our fill, we decided to take our leave.  Good idea, too.  We did well to get out of there before the dancing, carousing, and drunken fistfights began. 

So that was our Saturday. 

Today was much more relaxed.  More low-key.  Just what we needed. 

And did I mention Geogal and I are now hooked on watching "Duck Dynasty?"  

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

More post vac

What did we do on vacation?  Practically nothing. 

No joking.  Got suntanned by the pool.  Got a bit sunburned by the pool.  Get in the pool.  Get out of the pool.  Go back to room and relax.  Go back out when sun goes down.  And so on. 

Got to eat Thai food.  Got to eat duck.  Got to eat at Chevy's (Ontario Mills), a nice repast after getting off the plane.  And no visit to The Golden State is complete without satisfying one's burger fix at In-N-Out. 

Our return flight featured on-board TV, courtesy of Dish Network (watch it on your device, such as my trusty iPhone).  Which would not have been bad had I been able to choose from several of the college gridiron matchups taking place at said time. 

Problem was, we only got to choose from about 15 channels, none of which I watch much.  Food Network, Bravo, HGTV, Animal Planet.  Among the offerings was NBC 4 from NYC, which featured Notre Dame playing, oh I forget, someone else.  Not an exciting matchup.  I think watching paint dry could have proved more entertaining.  However the on-board features including something called "flight tracker."  Watch the progress of your plane overlaid on a map. 

I was in hog heaven.  What a joy it is for yours truly to look out of the window and be able to correctly identify the highway and landmarks below.  Doesn't take much to make me happy. 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Suitcase unpacked and taken down to the basement

Which signals the end of "summer" in the Geohouse.  More so than the arrival of the school year or the passing of Labor Day. 

Seriously, we really did an unpacking over the past weekend.  Geogal and I returned from a sojourn to the California desert (the nice, nice part) and Geoana stayed here in our burg as school already had commenced. 

Vacation getaway was a long time in coming.  Given last summer didn't really have one, and the summer before involved a family-centric trek to Rocky Mountain National Park Geogal and I were more than ready for a trip that involved only us.  Time to reconnect after her school and related sacrifices over the past 12 months. 

I'm also happy to report the trip had no glitches whatsoever, not even with the TSA.  In fact both our flight to and flight from So Cal featured planes that were about 1/2 full.  (Never happens to old Geoguy!)  Stretch out and relax...

Going home was interesting.  Land in Denver in the early evening.  Get luggage.  Catch shuttle to long-term parking.  Drive out of DIA.  Grab a bite.  Hit the grocery store for items not available in our small town.  Gas up.  Then get on the Interstate.  Already dark by this time. 

Talk to keep ourselves focused.  Listen to podcast to keep ourselves focused.  Get coffee to keep myself focused.  Pull into our driveway at 1:30 a.m. after 4 hours and 15 minutes of driving time. 

Then try to act as if the following day is normal. 

Is is yet time to be thinking about our next get-away-from-it-all??