Merry Christmas Everyone,
Where has this year gone? It's already December 12 and I don't even have my Christmas letter written. I need to find the willpower to stop playing video games on my computer for a couple of days or my Christmas cards will arrive late. But playing Star Wars: Rogue Squadron is just so much fun. I've always wanted to fly an X-wing and now I can. Here is what has happened in my life this year and led to my current state of fighting the Empire.
January brought the dreaded Y2K affair and life as we know it ended. Even with all of the chaos I was still able to get on with my life without any problems. When the Supercross season began, I went to see 2 of the first 3 races in Anaheim and San Diego with Gerry. Supercross racing is very exciting to watch with all the bikes jumping 30 feet in the air. Since they race in a stadium, everything is close and you can see the entire track. At the end of the month, eToys had its Holiday party to congratulate everyone on a hard Christmas season.
Not much happened during the next three months. I continued to work at eToys and commuted 36 miles each way from Warren and Sherry's house. Since I was hired permanently on December 20, I decided to start looking for an apartment of my own. After looking for a month I finally found a place in my price range that was close to work. The only problem was that it wouldn't be ready for another month. I moved in on April 8 and it is close enough for me to walk to work, which is great. No more dodging cars and putting all those miles on my bike. I actually arrive at work relaxed and energized now. A local museum had an exhibit on movie costumes so I went to check out the Star Wars section. The detail on these costumes is amazing even when you see them close up.
Working at eToys does have some perks such as company discounts, free toys occasionally, unlimited access to the internet, and tickets to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). E3 is an annual convention for companies in the video games industry. It is closed to the public but I was able to get tickets since I work at a video game retailer. All of the big manufacturers show up and set up huge displays, which makes it a lot of fun. I traveled back home to attend my friends Don and Deanna's wedding on May 28. It was a nice ceremony held behind a salon we always stopped at on our weekly rides. Seeing all my friends and riding buddies was great. When I returned home I took my bike into a local dealer to investigate a noise coming from the engine. I didn't see my bike again for a long time.
June was uneventful since I didn't have any transportation. I had to cancel my planned vacation to visit Oregon since I had no way of getting there. I borrowed Raudel's extra bike in July and went to see the races at Laguna Seca. They managed to cram two series together for one weekend and it seemed to work even though it was a little expensive. To get all of the racing completed they started on Thursday so I had missed quite a bit when I arrived on Saturday. My bike was still in the shop with no end in site so I decided to go buy a used one. I picked it up from a different dealer then where my other bike was being worked on because I was upset at the first one. The day after getting my 1986 VFR750 I rode down to San Diego to attend the Comic Con. It is the largest comic convention in the country and I've always wanted to go, but I never lived close enough.
My bike troubles continued when, just 3 weeks after buying the VFR, it broke down on the side of the freeway. I was on my way to the Hollywood Bowl to see John Williams who created all the music for Star Wars and many other films. I missed the concert but at least I didn't have any troubles the day before when I went to see a taping of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. If you haven't seen this show yet, you should turn on Comedy Central some night and check it out. The VFR was only in the shop for 2 weeks, which was good because I needed it to attend my 11-year High School reunion in September. I know you're probably thinking that High School reunions are usually held at 10 years, but my class is a little slow. A week after getting back it was finally time to pick up my first bike from Santa Monica Honda. Wow, only 3.5 months to fix my bike, they're fast. I'm glad it was still under warranty or it would have cost me a fortune. The following week I returned to my parent's house so I could go to the Oktoberfest in Modesto. I've made it there five years in a row now.
To begin October, I went to Willow Springs to see the AMA races. The track is only 45 minutes from Warren and Sherry's house so I stayed there to save myself a little driving time each day. The next weekend eToys moved into a new building that is even closer to my apartment then the old one. I can actually see it from my kitchen window and it only takes 7 minutes to walk in. The new building is pretty nice. I have a little more space and since we now have a backyard, the company throws a barbecue and beer bash every other week. Free beer is a great company perk.
Nothing major happened over the next couple of months. I was kept pretty busy at work with our new website and holiday preparations. I also continued working on my own website upgrade that I had started during the summer. I finished it and now there are a couple of thousand pictures up from my life. I'm glad that it is over. It took forever to scan all those pictures. I had four days off for Thanksgiving weekend and accompanied my sister and Richard to Warren's Mom's house for a huge feast. Warren had to return to work afterwards, but Sherry, Richard and I continued up to our parent's house for the remainder of the weekend. Since we were all together at the same time, we celebrated Dad's birthday and mine by having cake and opening presents. Last weekend I went to the International Motorcycle Show and saw all of the pretty new bikes. My 1999 CBR600 is already out of date. I guess I'll have to go get a 2001 model.
It is now December 13 and this letter is finished so I am closer to getting my Christmas cards out. I didn't have the willpower to stop playing Rogue Squadron though. I played some more last night and was able to finish the game with a Gold Medal in each level so you can all call me Supreme Allied Commander now. That's it for this year. Hope to see you all soon. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.