progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Self-portrait from the laundromat in Fairfax:

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[livejournal.com profile] albadger and I watched more episodes of Stranger Things last week. I really like the way this series is progressing. They did a very good job with this, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the series, which should be tomorrow. In other good TV-related news, there’s a new episode of Steven Universe coming up this week!

I was inspired to write some more Confirmed Bachelors dialogue this week. I’ve also put out feelers to an artistically talented net-buddy of mine for concept/poster art for promotional purposes. And a very nice lady complimented one of the promotional videos I posted last year, and suggested I audition for local theater. It’s something to consider.

Still waiting on that job interview. Hopefully my sending out applications will result in one. In the meantime, I have another job offer waiting for me, so it’s likely I’ll be sending out another in the near future (like: tomorrow or Wednesday). Also: Wednesday is First Aid training up at Olompali, so I’ll be attending that. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but East Bay Regional Parks wanted someone with First Aid training, so this is definitely a good career move for me.

I’m finally on my own phone line. Carol and I had been on a family plan since 2012, and just this week I went down to T-Mobile to finalize the process. Another step in my continuing march towards complete independence...

I flaked out on The Weekly Puck last week. Super-sorry about that. I’ll present you with two this week, I swear!

***sigh*** Did anything else happen this week?
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Self-portrait from Kennedy Grove, in the hills above San Pablo Reservoir:

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The gears are turning. Haven’t sent my applications in yet, but that’ll be happening hopefully tomorrow. The prospect of full-time employment with a living wage is exciting, moving to a new place is also exciting yet scary. In the meantime...

People visiting the park just don’t want to let summer end! We had two weddings last week, plus a foot-race and a bunch of people going bonkers in the campground. Somehow, I still managed to get other work done (painted some fence-posts, excavated some culverts in preparation for the rainy season, etc.) despite all this. It’s beginning to take its toll on me, though. For some reason, this past week was more stressful than usual.

Plugging along with my music review series. I’d like to get back to work on Confirmed Bachelors, but my current scheduling doesn’t really allow for it. In the meantime, check out this promotional video, which is now a year old.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Self-portrait from Berkeley Espresso. I think this is as close to a decent self-portrait as I’m going to manage this week. That’ll teach me to wait till the last second:

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Unusual week. Wound up travelling to Fairfax to do my laundry instead of the miserable laundromat in Santa Venetia next to the 7-11. And am I glad I did! Not only is there a much nicer clientele (no powdered goop in the machines’ drawers, no gaggles of screaming kids scurrying around like rats) but it’s far cheaper! 75¢ to dry a load of clothes! And free wi-fi! And I don’t have to worry about that horrible parking lot where I nearly always have an accident! Sure, it’s a slightly longer drive, but it’s so totally worth it. I’ll be back.

[livejournal.com profile] albadger and [livejournal.com profile] bigjohnsf chose to meet me at the laundromat of all places. We wound up dining at the pizza place a few doors down. It was like Improv Comedy pizza as we all shouted out random toppings:

  • Applewood bacon!

  • Roasted leeks!

  • Avocado!


  • As it turns out, it was the best pizza I’d had in a very long time. I’ll be back here, too!

    Replaced the needle on the MCS 6603 record player Al gave me and it sounds great. Through headphones or speakers, anyway. For whatever reason, when I attempt a digital transfer, it comes through sounding saturated and thin. I don’t know what I can do about this, as it seems to be an issue with my laptop’s crappy sound card. I’ll keep fiddling with it and hope I can find a cure. In the meantime, the old Realistic turntable got dumped at Goodwill. It’s served me well these past *ahem!* years, but really, good riddance.

    Maybe exciting news on the Confirmed Bachelors front, but it’s still too early to say. Maybe exciting news on the video front in general, but I’m a bit antsy about talking about it until I’ve really done something. We’ll see...
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait from Berkeley’s Bangkok Thai:

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    Came here for an early birthday dinner with friends [livejournal.com profile] bigjohnsf, Jim Billy, Seph and Ian. John sprang for ice cream after. I also got some birthday cake...sort of. M______, my roommate/co-worker, bought a chocolate cake for his girlfriend’s birthday and offered some to me. He didn’t even know it was my birthday too!

    There seem to be other job opportunities in my future. A co-worker asked for my e-mail, and she sent me news on openings in other districts. Also, I’m on the lookout for local CPR/First Aid classes. Not only will that look good on a résumé/application, but it will be attractive to EBRPD the next time they have an opening.

    Keep on the lookout for the new Confirmed Bachelors promo coming soon. In the meantime, there’s this.
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait from San Rafael’s Aroma Café:

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    Exciting week! We had to remove a dangling branch from the fire road passing through the campground. It was high enough in the tree that no tool we had would work, so we had to tie a ratchet wrench to a length of rope and fling it over and over until it caught on the right branch.

    Saturday was my first day ALL ALONE in the park, meaning I was the only maintenance staff on duty. So, of course, this business with the dangerous branch happens on this day! The VS guys’ temporary solution was to cordon off the area with A-frames and caution tape.

    Videos will be resuming shortly. I have a couple of Vlogs prepared (one with another Confirmed Bachelors mini-promo attached; no singing or clunky piano playing this time, though) and have the first draft of a script for another proper CB promotional mini-sode written. More to come, so watch this space.
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait from the Hercules Library. Don’t like this lighting, it makes me look old:

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    Well, I made a nifty discovery this week! Turns out, there’s a “hidden” entrance to the Bay Area Ridge Trail located right in the middle of Hercules. I love discovering things like this! One of these days, I need to park at the southern end of Sobrante Ridge and just hike the ridge trail into Hercules. I need to plan this out so I can have someone pick me up at the other end.

    Interesting times; had a “play date” on Sunday, then went to the Emeryville Public Market for the first time in ages. There’s also a local net-acquaintance who’s finally trying to hook up a real-world meeting. On top of that, I got another donation for my show, and for the first time it’s from a name I [gasp!] don’t recognize.

    Like I said, interesting times, my brothers. We’ll see where this leads...
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait from Big Basin’s Silver Falls:

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    The 28th was my last day in park housing. It was supposed to be the 27th, but a [former] co-worker informed me it was meant to be Free State Park day, and thus trying to move and battle crazy throngs people slamming the day-use kiosk was not something I wanted to deal with. I opted to stay over an extra day. I spent my additional day avoiding the park entirely and visiting Santa Cruz.

    The rest of the week was all about hiking. I started by taking a trip out to Henry Coe (as detailed in last week’s post) and ended with a rough trip out to Maple Falls in The Forest of Nisene Marks north of Aptos. In between, it was all Big Basin, including an extremely wet trip to the legendary waterfalls of Berry Creek (see above, also this video) and a trip up to Ocean View Summit then back down the Hollow Tree Trail. I’d say I hiked something like 35-40 miles last week, the most miles I’ve logged in quite a while. And it seems like I’m in better shape than I was in 1999, as I was a lot less sore than the last time I went out to Berry Creek Falls.

    Also, spent the last hours of my park housing shooting videos. Including a new channel trailer and a new Confirmed Bachelors promo mini-sode (really, more of a skit, but still...).

    I know it was lonely out at Big Basin, but I’m really going to miss it. Still, I need to move on. So, we’ll see where 2016 takes me...
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait from the old road above San Pablo Reservoir. Trust me, the lake is back there:

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    Saw my first bald eagle today! Just an immature fella, but still pretty amazing! I thought it was an osprey when I first saw it. I hiked way further afield compared to how I usually do. All in preparation for next week, where I take advantage of the fact that my park housing is paid for the month of November and spend every day hiking.

    This week is also going to be all about stepping up the job search. Still no bites on the applications I sent out. There is possibility for employment in another field, courtesy of a friend, but I don’t want to talk about that just yet.

    Next week, in addition to hiking, will be all about doing more shooting for Confirmed Bachelors. I’ll be editing the text I have now.
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait from outside park housing again:

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    Yes, it does seem like the end of this pay period is my last day at Big Basin. That’s on the 15th, which is this coming Sunday. My park housing is all paid up till the end of the month, so I don’t actually have to be out until the 30th. Since I still have some work to do on the next Confirmed Bachelors promo(s), I’m considering exploiting that fact. And there’s also more 11th-hour exploration of the park I want to do.

    We have had some rather heavy rain these past couple of days. Even a hailstorm, with some hail-stones the size of marbles, this morning. I was actually surprised we didn’t get snow, considering how chilly it’s been. All those “ICY” signs on some of the twistier mountain roads, which had been laughable back in August, suddenly are something to take seriously.

    Varied thrush. I’ve been seeing them a lot in the park lately.
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait from the main drag in Orinda:

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    Interesting, exciting times I live in. My time at Big Basin is coming to an end, and it’s time to see what awaits me in the future. Lots of job opportunities, not all of which may be with State Parks. Exciting and more than a little scary. We’ll see what the future holds; something good, hopefully.

    I already posted it but just as a reminder, the latest Confirmed Bachelors promotional mini-sode is now available for viewing. More coming soon.
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Latest promotional mini-sode! Please watch and share with your friends!

    Sahara 2301

    Oct. 5th, 2015 07:02 pm
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait from Sobrante Ridge:

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    I think I’ve found my new favourite place ever: Empire Grade! It’s funny that I never tried the back road from Big Basin to Santa Cruz until a month from the end of my season, but there you are. In any case, it’s a BEAUTIFUL drive and drops you in the back door of Santa Cruz via UCSC. The only dodgy part is the connection from 236 via Jamison Creek Road, and I’ve been on way worse roads (Lodge Road and China Grade immediately spring to mind).

    A rather stressful week at work. A rather troubled co-worker quit in a huff on the same day a court referral had a medical emergency. Why do these things have to happen all at the same time? In any case, I really need to step up the job search as the sands are running out on this one. Cross your fingers for me.

    A new Confirmed Bachelors promotional mini-sode is in the pipeline. Half of it is already shot. In the meantime, my latest Vlog:

    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait from atop Vollmer Peak. Sorry about the angle (i.e.: no cool vista behind me), but I was a thrall to the sun’s angle:

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    Got some hiking in on my days off, as you can see. Though it was so hot, I think merely existing got me some cardio! Looking out the window of the library and seeing the cool, gray, I can’t believe it was over 100°F earlier this week. Others want the warmer weather and they can have it. I thrive in cooler weather like this.

    For those who haven’t seen it yet, I have finally posted the Confirmed Bachelors promo video that I promised. There’s an outtakes reel up now as well.
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Another self-portrait from between the park housing and the trail camp:

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    Bad news first: I’m really feeling the pinch this month, money-wise. I was rather profligate during my too-brief vacation, in a month with a big car insurance payment, no less. And rent went up this month. Ugh!

    But let’s not concentrate on the negative. On the plus side, it’s Labor Day. Actually, it’s after Labor Day! Meaning we’re past the peak season at the park. Meaning we maintenance folk can do actual maintenance instead of just cleaning restrooms all day! T__ and I went out in the Gator today to do some post-lunch clean-up, and if you could have heard the cheer we let out as we saw the gate to a particularly loathsome campground shut with a sign on it reading “CLOSED FOR SEASON,” you too would have been cheered. I suggested breaking out the champagne.

    Strangest thing I’ve said in a while: “This toilet brush looks like Liza Minnelli’s hair.” Cruel, yet true.

    And the good news just keeps on a-comin’! Finished shooting the Confirmed Bachelors promo video, and I’m roughly half-way through the editing process. If I’m very diligent, I might be able to post it as soon as tomorrow! It’ll be up later this week for sure. And let me tell you how much it delights me to see characters I’ve been writing about for months finally come to life, even if it is just me playing both parts on a spare “set” and skeletal costumes. In the meantime, my latest Vlog:

    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait from the streets of Santa Cruz. Note the unusually tall strawberry-trees (Arbutus unedo) in the background:

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    Getting near the end of the busy season. I’m ready to see it behind me. Poor T__ (co-worker) was stung by yellowjackets twice in the space of two days. And let me tell you, if I never hear a restroom described as a “potty” ever again, I’d be perfectly happy. Lots of families with kids still around, so I’m constantly hearing [strident, sing-song voice], “Do you have to go potty?” [shudder]

    New favourite word: “moist.” Not really, but I recently found out that, for some reason, everyone else hates it. And I want to make them suffer. So I’m going to use it all the time now. Consider it payback for people still using expressions like “my bad.”

    Promo video for Confirmed Bachelors is 100% shot. The Charlie footage took about five to ten minutes. The Oliver footage took half a freaking hour! If that doesn’t tell you which character I’m more of a natural to play, nothing will. On the other hand, my throat was as sore after voicing Charlie for ten minutes as it was for portraying Oliver for thirty. Make of that what you will...
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait from just outside of park housing:

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    Exciting developments RE: Confirmed Bachelors. I’m so close to getting the promotional video up! I’m going to try to shoot some of it later tonight. Hopefully it should be up by at least Labor Day. Watch this space!

    Not really a lot else to report here. With school resumed, the season at work is already beginning to wind down, with fewer campers and day-use visitors alike. Labor Day will kind of be our last hurrah, and campgrounds will gradually be closed one by one. I intend to apply to other organizations as the season winds down, to get my name out there. Not sure when the last day of my season will be, though my supervisor did say he wants to keep me for the full nine months, so it’s looking like I’ll be down here until December.
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait, après-swim, from the shores of the South Yuba River:

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    Took a few days off work this week. Went up to the South Yuba River to take advantage of the world-class swimming holes. Seriously: if you like swimming and you’ve never been, you need to go at least once in your life. Got a teeny bit sunburned on my upper back but nothing too terrible. Wound up meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] 2ndbanana & Bob in Sacramento at...a pool party. That’s right, after I went swimming, I went swimming some more! I was determined to cram as much fun into my mini-vacationette as possible!

    It was about 9:45 when I finally left Sacramento. The thermometer on my car read 88°F. How do these people live?

    Oh, and my latest Vlog:



    Back to work today. My glasses broke again. Just before leaving for work. As my temporary solution was to rubber-band them to my head, my co-worker M____ took pity on me and helped me fasten the earpiece together with some first-aid tape. I really wish I had my vintage specs handy.
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    Self-portrait from Acacia Walk in the Berkeley Hills:

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    I’d write about the latest on Confirmed Bachelors, but I’d rather just show you. Also includes my latest thrift store find:



    Work has been hellish. I’d go into details, but I think I’d rather just forget most of it. Saturday, in particular, was extremely stressful. I’m taking a few days off next week. I think I’ve earned it.
    progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
    So...I don’t know if anyone has been following my Vlog series on Youtube, but here’s the latest news:



    I don’t know, maybe I can only concentrate on one creative project at a time. But I know that Confirmed Bachelors is the way to the future, not more tired internet movie reviews.

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