Apr
28
2009
0

Quick Update

Lot’s going on…not much time to post.

Anyway, last weekend was Joey’s wedding. While everything wasn’t super-smooth, in the end, Joey & Carrie were married and everyone had a good time. I’ve uploaded pictures here.  Special thanks to Gavin, as I totally stole lots of his pictures 🙂

There were lots of people I hadn’t seen in a long time that showed up (Bob & Sue, Sean Kenally (aka NascarTrojan), Carley & Connie Haney, our extended family & Jenny’s friend Tracey)

Written by Dan Smith in: Family | Tags: , , ,
Mar
23
2009
0

Araphoe & Breckenridge…

Today is my second day of skiing. Yesterday, we cruised around the slopes of Araphoe Basin. It’s a fun resort that reminds me alot of Kirkwood. The resort is spread out, without many lifts to access the terrain. You need to traverse to get to lots of fun stuff. The conditions were good, but not great. It was firm in the morning, and slushy in the afternoon. (The highs were in the 50s)

Today, I went to Breckenridge. Overnight, it snowed between 3 to 5 inches. So, when we got to Breckenridge, the conditions were “Dust-On-Crust” There was a very nice layer of powder, but on top of some very icy hard-pack. It made it difficult to turn, as I’d quickly sink into the soft snow, and slip on the ice. However, the Breckenridge resort is really cool. It’s very large, the lifts are well placed, and there are lots of fun tree runs. (Though, I’m not great at tree runs)

Tomorrow, we are heading to Vail for the day, then driving back to Boulder for the night.  (It’s time for me to stop skiing…my legs are exhausted after only two days, and we have a huge day tomorrow!)  I have to come back to San Diego on Wednesday  night, so I’m looking forward to hanging out in Boulder for the day.

Written by Dan Smith in: Personal,Sports |
Mar
21
2009
0

In Colorado

Well, I’m writing this post from Denver, CO! We arrived yesterday afternoon. We checked into our hotel in aurora then headed downtown for the evening.

We started off by enjoying some Chinese food at JJ’s bistro, then we headed to a bar called The Gin Mill, where we tried to play a game of connect 4. The bartender there was really nice and referred us to another bar called The Fallen Tap or something like that. They had 75 beers on tap, but really lousy pool tables.

Today we are exploring the art district on Santa Fe St. Later today we’ll head back downtown and hang out. Tonight we are going to head up to the ski slopes, and I’m looking forward to skiing the next 3 days.

Written by Dan Smith in: Sports | Tags: ,
Mar
08
2009
0

Getting Better

As some of you know, I’ve been sick since Thursday. I had a sore throat, cough, runny sinuses and a small head cold. I’m feeling better now, but I still have a slightly runny nose, and I have a tight chest. Other than that, I feel fine!

Written by Dan Smith in: Personal |
Feb
08
2009
0

Temptations…

As many people know, I’ve been really busy at work recently. It hasn’t been uncommon for me to work 60+ hours per week slaving away trying to get our product released…

When working for that many hours, I’ve become unmotivated to buy much. I just don’t have the time or energy. The good news means that I get to save lots of money…

Well, I just spent a chunk of that money. Recently, Dell Home had a 15% off coupon for anything. My DVD player here at home died, recently, and I thought I’d try and pick up a cheap DVD player. Well, I decided instead to buy a PS3 to be my DVD player. Now I just need to get some games for it. (GT5 is a must)

Written by Dan Smith in: Personal | Tags: , ,
Feb
01
2009
0

Superbowl

Today is the Superbowl! I’m not really rooting for either team, but I hope it’s a good game. I’m not doing anything too exciting, except for eating lots of Chicken Wings and Guacamole 🙂 I can smell the wings cooking right now…and I’m hungry!

Written by Dan Smith in: Personal | Tags:
Jan
26
2009
0

Back to normal…

Things are slowly getting back to normal for me.

First, thanks to a co-worker, I discovered that Tech Restore would fix my iPod Touch screen for $129.  Since that was much cheaper than Apple quoted, I sent them my  iPodTouch and also told them to replace the battery.  Their service was fast and I’m very happy that I have my iPod back!  (Woo-hoo!  More Bejeweled!)

Secondly, I went to Mammoth over the weekend.  It snowed all weekend, and there was much powder to be had.  As always, when the slightest bit of snow falls at Mammoth, they close the entire top of the mountain, but there was plenty of fun to be had on Chair 22 & Chair 5.  (I didn’t see that Chair 12 opened until too late.)

We had a big group up in Mammoth: Bryan & Ash, Andy & Anne, Guillermo, Josh & Brian all joined me in a Sierra Manors condo, plus Jessica and friends were staying at Motel 6, and as always Rachel was there, too!

…but the big news is that I finally got my car back!  After dozens of calls to AIG (my insurance company) and Pat at Mammoth Collision Repair, I was able to work things out so that Mammoth Collision Repair would fix the broken tie rod (plus a leaking brake line and a broken strut), then I would drive it down to San Diego to have the body work completed.

So, things are finally getting back to normal!

Written by Dan Smith in: Uncategorized |
Dec
28
2008
0

Sigh…

In continuing to recover from my unlucky week in Mammoth, I went to the Apple Store to find out how much it would cost to fix my cracked iPodTouch screen.  I setup an appointment at the Old Town Pasadena Apple Store.

I met with the Apple Genius James, and he looked at my iPod for a few seconds.  He then proceeded to type a few things into the store computer.  He then looked up at me and said, “We can fix the screen, but it’s going to cost about $220”  I thought about it for a few seconds before declining.  He mentioned that there may be some non-Apple dealers online who would fix the screen for less.

After looking around the internet, it doesn’t seem like it will be possible to fix it for much less than $200.  The screen itself costs $150 from Apple, and that doesn’t include labor, warranty, etc.

So, my choice is to pay $200+ for a fixed screen.  I’m leaning towards buying a new one.  A brand new 16G iPodTouch is $299.  The new iPodTouches have a faster processor, a brand new battery and a speaker.  Plus, the Macworld Expo is next week.  Maybe Apple will add a full Bluetooth stack to the iPodTouch.  Maybe they’ll release a 64GB version and lower the cost of the 32GB version.  Now that I have my iPodNano, I’m not in a hurry to buy something new!

Written by Dan Smith in: Computers,Hardware | Tags: ,
Dec
28
2008
0

Christmas celebration!

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  I certainly did!  My brother Dave picked me up at my house at around 12:30PM on the 24th of December.  We braved a bit a traffic on our way to our parents house in La Crescenta.

We arrived after Sally & Roger did, so Dave & I needed to take a few breaks before secretly wrapping our gifts without the little girls finding out what they have received!

We enjoyed a tasty dinner of burritos and tamales, but not before stuffing ourselves full of cookies 🙂  After dinner, we unwrapped presents.  Leila made me an aluminum robot.  It’s pretty cool.  I’ve placed it in my room.  We had a standard gift exchange, and Jenny‘s boyfriend, Gavin, bought me an iTunes gift card, which is always very useful!

We also had a joke-gift white elephant exchange.  I scored with a handheld 100 vs one electronic handheld game.  The best present was brought by Sally, and it was a football which held snacks.  Each time the football was opened, it played an NFL-themed song.  Leila was happiest with her gift of a 5 pound chocolate Easter Bunny.  She wouldn’t let anyone get near it.  Keana was able to open up more presents than anyone else!

I bought a few books for Keana and Leila, and I also bought them some Remote Controlled Helicopters.  I thought that they would really like them, but they both weren’t too excited about that gift when they opened them.  Sally was amazed, and she was pretty stoked, so hopefully they enjoy those presents!

On Christmas Morning I woke up and opened up our stockings.  We were given the standard stuff (toothpaste, shampoo, etc).  I also found out my parents gave me some new lock cores for my Yakima rack, and some random binoculars.  (4×30)

Later, we opened presents.  My parents also bought me an iPod Nano (to give me something to ski/run with) and a really cool Coleman Fishing Pen.  My brother also bought me an iPod Nano (4G), but I took it back to Fry’s and bought an Airport Extreme Base Station instead.

I bought Dave some Tahitian beer and a bottle of Scotch.  Dave & I pooled our money together to get some ceiling speakers for my parents.  They weren’t really sure what they wanted, so we owe them a rain-check.

Needless to say, I’m lucky to have a great family!

Written by Dan Smith in: Family,Personal |
Dec
21
2008
2

Alaska Airlines Flight 2199

As my loyal readers know, I had a minor car crash while in Mammoth Lakes last week.  My car suffered some body damage, and a broken tie-rod.  My car was taken to Mammoth Collision Repair, where they were going to fix the broken tie ride, and fix the body enough for me to drive my Escape home.  However, due to stormy weather, they were unable to fix the car.

So, since I need to get back home so that I could be at work on Monday, I needed to find a way home.  I first looked into renting a car from Enterprise in Mammoth.  They charged $60/day to rent a car, but they tacked on an additional fee of $200 if I didn’t return it to the Mammoth Lakes Enterprise Location.  So, it would have cost me $260 plus gas to rent a car to drive home.

The big news in the town of Mammoth Lakes last week was the fact that Horizon Air had just started air service into the Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH) I was curious what it would cost to fly home to San Diego.  After logging onto Alaska Airline’s website, I discovered that I could fly from Mammoth to Los Angeles to San Diego for $182 (including all fees and taxes).  On Friday Night, I purchased my plane ticket for a Saturday trip home.

I arrived at the new airport terminal around 3:20PM for the scheduled 4:05PM departure.  However, the plane still had yet to arrive from LA.  (It was scheduled to land around 3:15PM).  When I checked in my bags, I found out that the flight left LAX at 3:25PM, and my flight likely wouldn’t leave until around 5PM.  The delay wasn’t a big deal, except for the fact that the Mammoth Airport Terminal is kinda bare.  There was not Wi-Fi (though, I’m told that there are plans for it to exist), no bar or TVs to keep waiting passengers entertained.

The airport security opened the secure terminal at around 3:45PM, and I was the first one it.  Inside, the boredom continued.  There were a few vending machines, a single male/female restroom and lots of seats.  I started talking to one person, who worked for Good Morning America as a travel correspondent.  Essentially, he was based out of Seattle, but traveled around the USA capturing pretty pictures of travel destinations.  His piece on Mammoth (and other winter destinations) is scheduled to air on Jan. 10, 2009.

The Q400 from LAX landed in Mammoth at about 4:15PM, and the airport crew quickly went to work unloading all of the passengers and baggage.  About 30 minutes later, everybody traveling to LAX had boarded the plane, and we were ready to depart.

Once boarded, I saw that the flight wasn’t very full.  I’d guess that there were 30 passengers on the plane.  (I think that it holds 78 people).  We took off without issue, and the plane soared into a gorgeous sunset.  We headed south over Bishop, flew over the high peaks in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, across the central valley, over LA and into LAX.  The total flight time was about 55 minutes or so.  The flight didn’t include any food, but apparently all Horizon Airlines flights alcoholic beverages are included in the ticket price.  They featured Snow Cap Beer from Pyramid (which I don’t really like), so I enjoyed a nice glass of Red Wine on my way back.

The plane arrived at LAX without incident, and I had to hustle to grab a shuttle bus to the American Eagle Terminal for my flight to San Diego.  Nothing too exciting happened on that final flight, but my bag wasn’t quite quick enough to make the connection.  It was delivered to my house this morning.

Overall, the flight was enjoyable from Mammoth to LA.  It’s much quicker than driving, cheaper than renting a car one-way and serves free beverages.  However, I can see some problems.  First, the Mammoth Airport Terminal is really boring.  Hopefully they spruce things up for travelers stuck there because of poor weather conditions.  Secondly, only one bag is allowed “for free” from Horizon.  If you want to bring a bag of clothing, and a ski bag, be prepared to pony up an extra $25 (or more).  Thirdly, living in San Diego, it would be really nice for a non-stop for San Diego to Mammoth for only $99!

Written by Dan Smith in: Uncategorized |

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