Heading to Hawaii

So I bought myself a little something...
So I bought myself a little something…

Well, the day finally came, and I’m really in the Navy now. I just got orders to the USS Hawaii, a fast attack submarine out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It’s really amazing to think it’s been nearly three years of school and qualifications, but now I’m done with both Mechanical Operator and Engineering Laboratory Technician qualifications.

ELT school was actually pretty rough; a lot of mistakes and a lot of frustrations. I constantly felt like I was making mistakes and not being able to figure out how to fix them — but in the end, I was able to push through and actually start to get better at chemistry and the basis behind what we do.

Anyway, I ended up splurging just a little bit and getting something to replace my Mustang. It’s a 2013 Camaro, the V6 in a standard, and I pretty much love to drive it. I make up excuses to get out of the house I think. Definitely living the American Dream now — two car loans! Woo! It’s weird being an adult, that’s for sure.

The whole task of getting all of our furniture and cars out to Hawaii seems pretty daunting at the moment. I’m really not sure how that process really goes, but I do know that we’ll be paying out of pocket to ship Carissa’s new car over there. Anywhere from 1-3 thousand dollars; it’s still cheaper to buy the car here and ship it, however. The downside is that’s just another thing on the credit card. On the plus side, the future is looking bright when it comes to money — we’ll be getting base pay, submarine pay (including around 30 months of back pay), nuclear pay, housing, subsistence, and cost of living allowance. And, I’ll probably re-enlist and get a promotion on top of it. Pretty weird to think of having all that!

She's Snow White and I'm a "sexy" cop.
She’s Snow White and I’m a “sexy” cop.

Anyway, being done has its perks — I get to pretty much do nothing at work for a couple of weeks (good for getting all of our stuff in order before we go). We went to a pretty fun Halloween party on the weekend, now that I have weekends back. And, we even had an NFL get together on Sunday. All in all, very relaxing lately!

I’ll try to keep this updated on moving to Hawaii, and all the adventures we will likely get into. Before we head out, however, we’re definitely heading back to Texas. I will eat at least one full brisket before going to island paradise!

ELT School

Here's the 2013 Chevy Spark. It actually looks pretty cool compared to the best of the cars this size.
Here’s the 2013 Chevy Spark. It actually looks pretty cool compared to the best of the cars this size.

Well, I finished the classroom and basic laboratory stuff for the ELT (Engineering Laboratory Technician) school I’m in. Just a few more weeks and I’ll actually be done and qualified, with a projection of October 25th. Our boat is going to be going up and down for some maintenance, so who knows just when things will really be finished. We’re both really excited to leave South Carolina and try our luck out in Hawaii, Guam, or wherever else the Navy might send us.

In preparation for that, and after a lot of research, we traded in my Mustang, which was a hard thing to do. Now we have a 2013 Chevy Spark, a cool little mix between a hatchback and a smart car. We didn’t get all of the features I was looking for initially, but the deal was almost too good to pass up. It’s nice to finally have something new though. Until we can figure out when we move and to where, I’ll be driving it mostly because it gets amazing gas mileage. After that, I’ll get my reenlistment bonus and I’ll finish paying off my loans and put down a good amount on something cool.

Just another 4 or 5 hours and I'll be done!
Just another 4 or 5 hours and I’ll be done!

Apart from that, I still just have a little longer to go on the tattoo. It’s looking pretty good, even though I had to switch artists because mine ran off somewhere. Oh well. Either way, I have another on the way if things work out.

Because of my transition back to the submarine crew, I manage to get a 3 day weekend, which is pretty nice. Sadly, it starts out with a long day and a lot of work, but it’s a shorter light at the end of the tunnel as compared to my original mechanic qualifications. In the mean time, it’s time to get some steaks on the grill and enjoy the weekend!

Big Bend

The Jeep. Badass.

I had a really great time at Big Bend. It’s the kind of place where you can get away from everything. And when everything is Midland, it’s a pretty enjoyable event. My parents had bought a 2001 Jeep in December, but it’s been too cold to really go out and do anything (or other things pop up), so it’s taken this long to test it out. I’m glad I got to do it before I leave though. I stayed in a little town called Lajitas, overlooking the river and Mexico. Very quiet and peaceful, minus the roosters crowing every morning.

The waterfall in a canyon in Big Bend

Big Bend itself is pretty incredible though. It’s one of those places where pictures don’t do justice so putting them online is kind of like a blind person describing Taylor Swift — it just can’t compare to the real thing. (One day, she will be mine.) There were two main parts to the trip, one was the little bit of hiking I did and the other was the driving. The hiking itself seemed like a lot of fun but I really wasn’t set up for anything tough, so I only did the small stuff. One thing I managed to find was a waterfall in the canyon, which is so remarkable since the rest of the area is a desert. But here was green and full of life; lots of ugly mule deer around too. As well, there were some old Indian paintings on the side of the rocks, some of which nearly perfectly preserved after hundreds of years.

Me trying not to get myself killed

The other experience was the driving, which is so completely exhausting. It’s hard to describe the roads out there, but imagine being on the side of a mountain on a road that is actually just a path of loose rocks. For someone who hasn’t really driven a standard since ’05 (and that was a Porsche, not a Jeep), it’s a pretty challenging endeavor. I finally figured out more of the Jeep’s capabilities and was able to get more comfortable towards the end, but the process of learning in that kind of condition was a fun challenge. Of course, I am still here so I made it safely. By the time I was done driving, I was ready to have a beer and call it a night.

The view from Lajitas

I was only out there a couple of days, but it was a really good break. Everything is so calm and peaceful. It’s just you and nothing else. And the view is pretty much awesome at all times. I definitely will be back, and next time with the right hiking gear.

Well, besides Big Bend, my life has been pretty uneventful. I quit my job on the 15th of this month to give myself time to get into Navy shape, which isn’t to say I’m not already. But I figured I should just step it up and go all out. Also, when you have nothing to do all day, the gym becomes the reason to get up. Well, and watching my favorite 80’s movies, eating fruit snacks, and drinking diet Mountain Dews. Yeah, I can be lazy too! Just a few more weeks and I’m out and gone for a while. I’m not taking anything with me, so if you want to get in touch, you’ll have to shoot me a message on Facebook so when I finally get to a computer I can check it. I’m actually looking forward for to the break from technology for a bit. I guess you could send me letters but that just feels archaic.

I'm going to miss you blowing dust, 100 degree weather, yellow jackets, rotten egg smell, posinous gas, etc.

Anyway, I’m planning one more possible trip. Unfortunately flying is out of the question — Southwest just raised its rates so much that driving (at least across Texas) is more feasible. Oh well, I’m used to a lot of driving. Maybe I’ll hit up Austin or San Antonio, or if I’m inclined to 9 hours of driving, Houston. But then maybe I won’t do anything and just focus on beasting at the gym. We shall see.

I’ll probably make one more post before I go. It’ll read “Oh my God, what have I got myself into this time”. Sike, Charleston is going to be kick ass.

26 September 2009

My humble abode

I’m back! Actually, I never left or intended to abandon this web log, but the end of Australia and the start of summer followed by moving into my own place and going to school has left me pretty distracted. All of my courses are intense and I’m stuck working on papers and projects pretty much all throughout the week, even the weekend.

Not much else in my life is particularly new or interesting, however. I have my eyes on a girl, not that I have time for a relationship, so we’ll see if anything happens. I’ve been messing around a little with a few girls but most of them are freaks I want to avoid at all costs. Oh well. Been hitting the bars (Bays and Limelight) here and there, and I’ve appreciated not paying for booze at frat parties again.

In other news, that’s about it. I managed to hit a deer with my car, which was scary, but the damage is all fixed now. I pretty much just get up and go to school and come home. Exciting stuff right there.

7 July 2008

The most important news, however, is my new car stereo system. I know that if you’ve talked to me in the last two weeks that you’ve probably heard me rattling on about my sweet new system, but today it reached an epic level that made me warm inside my heart and numb inside my ears. Before I get to that though, here’s a fancy order list:

    2004 Mustang
    Sony 52x4w Deck
    4 Polk Audio 6×8”
    1 Kicker 600w Amp
    1 Custom subwoofer box
    2 10” Kicker subwoofers

The moral of this story is that this is a really loud system. When my dad heard it, he complained that I needed to turn the vibration feature off. I take it he meant the amazing bass.

So today I pulled into Best Buy to pick up some nerd stuff and I managed to set off a car alarm just by driving by. I have never laughed so hard. That’s my story!

19 June 2006

Definitely has been a dependable car

Hrm. Where has June gone? I’m not entirely sure. For the most part, I have been spending my time at work, where I got a raise. It’s cool to know that my boss values me like that, and it’ll give me some extra spending money to lay down on stuff for my new Xbox360 and DS Lite. Possibly even save it for the future (yeah right).

Also, I’ve got my Mustang. It’s way better than I thought. I really like it quite a bit. Random people are trying to race me. Apparently, all you have to do is drive aggressively and people think I’m trying to challenge them.

Otherwise, I don’t have much to report, which is why I probably delayed writing this. I haven’t seen anyone except Mikey, which we played some awesome Table Tennis together, and Ellen, who I met for some coffee and tried to remember why I hadn’t done that sooner. Regardless, it’ the usual summer drag, albeit nicer as I don’t have school as well this time around.

Just waiting for August. I’m pretty excited.

11 October 2004

Well, it appears that when I was filling up my car that I indeed left the gascap on top of the car. (So that’s what the sliding sound was!) Which really wouldn’t be all that bad because I mean, I could just stop and pick it up right? So I stop and go to pick it up and somebody runs over it.

Ok, so I’m out a gascap. No biggie, those things are probably what, 5 bucks? Then I remember that I drive a Porsche, where everything costs more than it should. 35.75 later, my gas cap was being shipped to me and I should get it by tommorrow. Well, I hope so. That or I have to use a rag as a temporary.

Thankfully, I got my gas cap in today before I have to go to work tommorrow. Ah, very nice indeed. So I open up the package and I think “Hrm, there’s no metal threading… oh well”. I put it in the tank and it doesn’t fit. Wonderful.

After calling the company and waiting for about 6 hours, they tell me that they “don’t know” and will “check into it”. So, unable to put up with this, I call another company who buys directly from Porsche and they set me up with another gas cap. And this time, I made them check that it had the threading. It did.

However, it will be what, Friday or so before I can drive myself to work? Terrible! The other bad part is since this is a German import, I’m paying 52.45 for this wonderful piece of plastic and metal that is the size of my fist. Awesome!

So, excuse me while I impale myself on a rake for ever forgetting to screw in my gascap. I repeat, if you EVER have a foreign car, don’t break or lose anything — you’ll be sorry.