★ Firestorm 2003

It’s hard to say if there is anything good that can come from the fires, but all the smoke from the fires has had a cool effect on the sun. Enough smoke has been created from the fires that it completely blocks out the sun. When the sun did shine through, it was red and you could look directly at it. I took some pictures of the sun as it tried to shine through. At its thickest, the smoke created an almost nuclear winter effect. One morning, the sky was orange and it looked like it was late afternoon rather than early morning.

It looks as if the fire closest to our house is almost fully contained since it looked normal today. As soon as I stepped out of the house today, however, I noticed that my eyes were irritated from all miniscule particles in the air. It must suck to be the hunter who set that signal fire. I mean, seriously man. What were you thinking? I’m sure you were trying to find your friend, but I hope you had tried everything else before setting the fire.

★ Career Fair #3

I drove up to Irvine to check out the Engineering and Technical Career fair. Unlike the sorry job fair I went to last month, this one was made for people like me. I ran into Thi at the Northrop Grumman booth. I had two interviews with her last year and it was nice seeing her again. She introduced me to people I needed to talk to for getting a job at Northrop. She also put in some good words for me. I thanked her again for everything she has done for me. A couple booths down, I met George who also worked at Northrop. I talked to him for a couple minutes and we found out that we had a lot of things in common. He told me that I reminded him of himself when he was in college. Lots of potential but it didn’t show in the GPA. He gave me some words of advice and his personal contact info. Let’s hope I hear from them in the future, hopefully soon.

I also spent considerable time on campus for the first time since graduating last June. It was like being reinserted into the Matrix after being set free. It was nice walking around and seeing some familiar faces. I spent some time using the wireless network. Not to be mean, but it felt nice watching everyone do homework knowing that I don’t have to worry about that ever again. Or do I? And of course, a visit to the OC isn’t complete without a happy hour at BJ’s.

★ Mexican Food

If there’s one thing that I like about San Diego it’s the abundance of Mexican food places. I’m not talking about Taco Bell, Del Taco, or Baja Fresh. I’m talking about hole in the wall, open 24 hours, always ending in “erto’s”, Mexican food places. There are countless numbers of these restaurants in San Diego. For example, there are at least 5 within a 10 minute drive from my parents’ house compared to a 20 minute drive to the closest one from my apartment in Lake Forest. Even those 2 restaurants in Orange County can’t compare to the quality and selection we have here in San Diego.

For example, only one of the two restaurants I frequented offered carne asada french fries. It pretty much sounds like what it is. Carne asada meat poured on top of french fries along with guacamole, cheese and sour cream. There is one item that I have yet to find at a Mexican restaurant outside of San Diego. It is ironic because it is called a California burrito. I tried ordering it at one of the OC restaurants and they looked at us and laughed. A California burrito has carne asada, pico de gallo, french fries, and cheese. It is the BEST burrito, ever, hands down. I’m going to start a petition or something to have it rightfully named the San Diego burrito.

: Driving In The Dark by Saves The Day

★ 50 States

About 2 weeks ago, I went into the Apple store to get the feet on my PowerBook surgically reattached. There were a bunch of people there with different computer problems; from someone’s iBook not turning on to new 15″ PowerBooks with dead pixels and broken latches. While waiting for other people to get their computers fixed or looked at, the guy with the busted iBook happened to notice my desktop wallpaper. It was a picture that Rochelle took while on the North Shore of Oahu. He thought it looked cool, so I said thanks. This got the attention of someone else, who was also waiting for her computer to get fixed. I told both of them that I had just come back from Hawaii and I put a bunch of pictures up as my wallpaper. It just so happened that the woman with the 15″ PowerBook maintains a website that features pictures that people have taken throughout the US. She suggested I submit some pictures. So Rochelle and I both submitted two pictures we took while in Hawaii. The concept is pretty cool and the all pictures are fun to look at.

Oh, and my PowerBook can walk again.

★ Happy Birthday iPod

A year ago today, I splurged and bought myself an iPod. I spent about $300 to have the ability to carry 1,000 songs in my pocket. In the span of a year, this little thing has been with me to a lot of different places. It’s been with me to Boston, Hawaii, Vegas and countless trips down to San Diego. Not to mention all the times I stayed up late studying for tests or just walking across campus for my next class.

A year later, the world is a much different place. For the same amount of money, you can buy an iPod that holds twice as many songs, has more features, and it comes in a smaller form factor. Apple also has sold over a million of them, so it’s more likely you’ll see someone out in public sporting the white headphones. Sometimes people try to show off that they have a 3rd generation iPod by having it on the table or on their lap or whatever. It’s at this point where I take out my iPod to “change” the song and flash them my 1st generation iPod. Then they realize that I’ve had mine longer than they have.

: Shoulder to the Wheel by Saves The Day

★ RIP PC

So my PC pretty much died a couple days ago. For whatever reason, it wouldn’t start up. I opened the case and saw the connector from the power supply to the motherboard was burnt. I have no idea why it would completely burn the plastic off one of the connecting pins. It’s not like I do anything intensive with my PC. I was playing Madden 2004 at the time. My power supply was a pretty decent one; a 300W Antec power supply that I bought not even a year ago. Now I probably have to get a new motherboard on top of a new power supply since the connector on the motherboard also got torched. Or I could get a G5. It’s probably overkill for what I do. G4s are cheaper now since they’re discontinued. My ass needs some money first.

Rochelle came down for the weekend. While she was down, we cleaned my room, went to Kabuki Sushi in PB, studied at Border’s and looked out over San Diego from Mt. Soledad. We also got some Mexican food since she can’t really get that kind of quality Mexican food in Orange County.

: Going Away To College by Blink 182

★ What’s Up Dock?

I ran into this while surfing the Internet. Someone started a thread where people post their docks for everyone to see. I admit, I do get curious as to what other Mac users store on their docks. I either see ridiculously crowded ones, or ridiculously simple ones. So I decided to share with the world what I store on my dock.

From top to bottom: Finder, Safari, Kung-Log, NetNewsWire, AIM, iCal, Mail, Address Book, iTunes, iPhoto, Image Capture, Photoshop, Taco HTML Edit, Fetch, Stickies, AOL. I try to have these somewhat organized into Internet apps, mail/organization apps, digital music/photo apps, HTML/web design apps, and Stickies. AOL doesn’t count since it’s only there when I’m online. Oh yea, and the Trash is at the end.

I prefer the dock on the right so it doesn’t take up space at the bottom of my screen. Therefore, I can stretch my web browser vertically to take up the entire screen. I also disable magnification, bouncing icons, and the Genie effect. It’s cool to show off to your friends, but a waste of time if you’re trying to do something productive.

On a somewhat related note, today I saw a 15″ PowerBook and a 17″ PowerBook at Border’s today. Along with my 12″, it was like a family reunion. OK, I’m a dork.

: Face Or Kneecaps by The Movielife

★ The OC

Spent another day in the OC. The Orange County Job Fair was a joke. At least to engineering types like myself. Not one engineering company was there. Nor were there any engineering type positions at companies that might have such positions. I turned in one resume to Canon. But even they didn’t have real engineering positions. Just technicians who basically go out into the field and fix printers.

As is the ritual during my visits in Orange County, Rochelle and I went to our favorite restaurant for happy hour. We brought friends with us and a good time was had by all.

I miss Hawaii.

: Left Coast Envy by The Starting Line
“Can I just be here one more day, until my sunburn fades away.”