Monday, July 2, 2012

You Can Go Back Home

I just returned from visiting my parents. They live in Yuma, Colorado. They moved back to Yuma three years ago after a 26 year stint in Salt Lake City, Utah. Yuma is the town I spent most of my school years. I was there fifth grade to high school graduation.

When I graduated high school, I could not wait to get away from that town. I disliked the town and most of the people I went to school with. I could not tell you why, but I did.

I did not visit Yuma until my parents moved back. I would travel about anywhere to see my parents. So, going to Yuma was a small price to pay to see them.

With an accidental step into Facebook, I started to hear from former classmates. At first I just accepted the friend request and continued to ignore Facebook. Until Xbox Live added Facebook functionality. I, on a whim, posted on Facebook from my Xbox mentioning my skill to do it. Immediately a classmate I haven't seen for years asked for my Xbox screen name so we could game together. I complied. We still play first person shooters together and I look forward to the times we get to do that.

Last year just before my Thanksgiving trip to see my parents I mentioned that I would be going to Yuma to my Xbox friend. He said he would also be back to Yuma at that time and we should hang out in person, without a controller in hand. I agreed and we exchanged cell numbers. Another classmate that I have kept in contact with over the years without the help of the internet was also going to be home for the holiday. So, he agreed to meet us and we would have a mini class reunion.

The Friday after Thanksgiving we decided to meet at the local watering hole and catch up. My Xbox classmate invited a couple of other classmates to join us and our numbers grew to five. The two new invites were women that I hardly knew in high school. The fact they remembered me and I them was surprising. We chatted and had a good time that night and I started to feel more of a kinship to my classmates. Probably more than I did during our school days.

Flash forward to last week and I find myself back in Yuma. As usual we spent a lot of time driving to bigger towns for some entertainment. We always do this as Yuma does not have much to offer. On one of the days we were in town we attended a flea market organized by the local credit union. While browsing the tables I ran into a classmate's mother. We had a good conversation. Again, I had another positive moment in Yuma.

While we were talking my mom found one of my classmates that worked at the bank and brought her over. We hadn't seen each other in years. I thought it would be a little awkward since she was my prom date in high school, but it was not. It was actually nice to see her and catch up a little. I think my mom enjoyed this part. She still has our prom photo hanging on the wall in her house. I guess she thought we would end up together. Well, that is not going to happen, but I did start to realize that Yuma and Yuma-ites are not the assholes I remember. Maybe it was me and they were fine. That is probably the more likely scenario, but it feels better to blame them.

Anyway what I am trying to say is that after a year or so of reacquainting myself with the town and the people I spent so much of my past with, I find I do not dislike it anymore. In fact, I look forward to my next visit this Thanksgiving. I guess I can go back home.

Monday, June 18, 2012

UFO Sighting

I have always been fascinated by the paranormal fields. I watch every show about UFOs, bigfoot, ghosts, Bermuda Triangle, etc. I am not sure I could be called a true believer. I have more of a curiosity of the people who have the encounters. My belief was that if you believed hard enough you can see what ever you want in a photo or video or in distant lights in the sky. I, also, believe that a smaller percentage of the encounters just cannot be explained conventionally. Maybe one day we will be able to explain, but for right now we cannot.

I thought that I would never see anything like a UFO or bigfoot in my life. I thought it would be cool if I did, but did not expect it. This brings me to my encounter.

Saturday, June 9, 2012 approximately 10:00 pm.

My wife, her mother, and myself had just spent the day at an event called Symphony in the Flint Hills, and were driving back to Kansas City. We were headed north on I-335 and was just about to the Topeka city limits when I noticed about 7 goldish/yellow lights in a hap hazard formation. I pointed them out to my wife and remarked at how weird those lights seemed. She agreed and we kept an eye on them.

The lights seemed to be about 30 degrees up from the horizon in a cluster of varying altitude. At first I thought it might be a series of radio tower lights, but these were not red. The lights seemed to be more or less hovering. Eventually the lights moved into a horizontal line without seemly changing altitude. I have included a sketch to further illustrate.

My first reaction was to try and explain it away. I thought that it might be night sky divers from Ft. Riley, but the objects did not seemed to be falling. They seem to hover. Though I cannot be 100% sure as I was driving on an interstate highway. So, I am just going to say this is unexplained. Maybe someone who lives in the area has an ordinary explanation for what I saw. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A day in the life

Monday Recap:

-Got out of bed. This was no small feat I promise.
-had a healthy breakfast. Oh God why can't donuts be healthy?!
-watched Wil Wheaton's new show Tabletop on Youtube. Excellent stuff.
-work (yawn)
-went to Weight Watchers and weighed in. Another 0.8 pounds gone. I wonder where they go.
-had a healthy lunch. Oh God why can't french fries be healthy?!
-more work (more yawns)
-received the game I got in a trade.
-received my check for the money I earned in a bowling tournament. I'm a professional bowler, now.
-worked out for about an hour at the gym. If I keep this up, I'm going to name my arms pythons. Yeah, brother!
-had a healthy dinner. Oh God....nevermind.
-mowed the lawn. Not a euphemism. Sadly.
-killed a jumping spider.
-had an online discussion about the jumping spider and its high AC. (DnD reference, sorry)
-tried to read, but was too restless
-played Modern Warfare 3 until 1 a.m. What? No. I'm not 12.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I don't get to spend as much time alone as I would like. Don't get me wrong. I love my wife and cats and friends, but I have always required alone time. Time to recharge. Time to think. Time to reflect.

Recently my Friday lunch hours have become my alone time. Last Friday I went to Half Price Books, browsed and purchased a couple of Legend of Drizzt paperbacks. Since I was close to a Bo Lings Chinese restaurant, I decided to grab some food.

Sitting alone and not talking to anyone I was able to get some much needed brain time. Ideas started flooding in. It was nice. I tried to read one of the paperbacks I just purchased, but new ideas kept me from concentrating on the words I was trying to read. I kept settling on the idea that was generating about a table top RPG (roll playing game.) After some serious thinking and eating (Bo Lings makes the best General Tao's chicken in the city) it was time to head back to the office.

On my way home it started to sink in that I don't get a lot of time to think like this. My world is full of many distractions. Most self imposed, but they are distractions none the less. Usually my alone time is filled with Modern Warfare 3 on the Xbox or surfing the web or tv channels. All those things I consider distractions from using my brain.

I realized that the hour and a half that I was away I had done more real thinking than I probably do in a week. I'm talking personal type of thinking. Work thinking does not count in this example. I came up with ideas for a book and an RPG. Just in 90 minutes. Just think what I could do if I did this for larger chunks of time each week.

So, on my drive back to the home-office I realized I'm too distracted. If I'm not playing a video game or watching tv, I'm probably on twitter (computer or phone) or some other mindless activity. I decided that I was going to take back my brain time. I needed to get back to some creative thinking while recharging my batteries. I used to spend hours drawing, reading, working statistics (don't judge), and other quiet and creative activities. I'm going to try to get those moments going again. If anything it will feel good to be creative again. Wish me luck.