Sunday, December 05, 2004

I finally got some artwork up in my apartment. It ONLY took me eight months. I've taken a picture of it with my webcam, so you'll be able to see it for a duration. Here's a better picture of the print.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Shrimp and Sausage Wraps

By a popular request, here are the wraps I made to go with the Kiwi Apple Salsa (below).
  • 2-3 tablespoons peanut oil (or other vegatable oil)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 andouille sausage, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Patak's Hot Curry Paste (cumin, curry, or chili powder will do)
  • 1½ cups rice (make with chicken broth)
  • 12 (½lb) raw medium sized shrimp, de-veined and de-tailed
  • Tortillas
  • Kiwi Apple Salasa (my homemade salsa) or any other sweet & spicy salasa
  1. Saute bell pepper, onion, and sausage in oil.
  2. Mix in curry, rice, and shrimp; saute until shrimp is done.
  3. Serve on warm tortillas with salsa.
Serves 4-6 (approximately enough to modestly fill 12 tortillas).

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Kiwi-Apple Salsa

I wanted a sweet and hot salsa, like a mango salsa, for some sausage and shrimp wraps I made. My local store didn't have any mangos, and the papyas were huge. So I poked around the roduce section and decided to make the salsa out of apples and kiwis. The results were amazing. In the batch I made I retained all the seeds of one jalapeno, which resulted in a sweet salsa with a sucker punch (medium to hot).
  • 1 gravenstein apple
  • 3 kiwis
  • ½ onion
  • cilantro
  • 2 jalapanos
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 pinches salt
  1. Finely dice jalapenos, removing all seeds and some of the interior. (Retain and add
    to increase heat.)
  2. Peel and finely chop apple and kiwis. Finely chop onion and cilantro.
  3. Combine all ingredients.
  4. Optional: use a food processor or blendor to make it smooth. (As a garnish, the original
    batch was left chunky.)
Makes approximately 1½ cups (12 oz.) of salsa. Double or triple for a large group.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Kevin's Lemon Chicken Fajitas

My friends often crave and rave about these fajitas. "It's easy to make-- you can do it yourself!", I say. So here is the recipe. The "secret" is in the simple marinade. Remember, you can't rush the marinade; for the great flavor, it will take the 2 hours.
  • 1.5 pounds Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • Few pinches of kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or other vegatable oil)
  • 2 bell peppers (mix it up-- red, green, yellow)
  • 1 large onion
  • Tortillas
  • Salsa
  • Avocado
  1. Combine chicken, oregano, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and oil into a container. Marinate for 2 hours in the fridge.
  2. Chop up onion and bell pepper.
The Grill Option
  1. Place vegatables in foil packs. (Expect 2-3 packs.)
  2. Grill chicken and place packs of vegatables on grill at the same time. Flipping vegatables once. Remove packets when chicken is done.
  3. Cut chicken into strips and serve with tortillas, salsa, guacamole, etc.
The Cast Iron Skillet Option
  1. Toss vegatables with a bit of oil. Fully heat cast iron skillet (3 or so minutes). Toss in vegatables and leave alone for a minute or two so, until vegatables get "roasted"/carmalized. Saute until done. Place in bowl and set aside.
  2. Place chicken in cast iron skillet without oil. Leave in place for 2 to 3 minutes for "roasting"/carmalization. Flip chicken, again leave for a few minutes. Cook until done.
  3. Cut chicken into strips and serve with tortillas, salsa, guacamole, etc.

Serves: 4

Other Options

  • Include other vegatables in foil packs such as mushrooms, squash, etc.
  • Cut onion and bell pepper into large pieces and place directly on grill, instead of using foil packs.
  • For marinade, use lime juice instead of lemon juice, or both.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Your vote counts! Decision 2004.09
My favorite internet radio station, Ampedout (duh), has submitted an audio clip to All Comedy Radio's Radio Comedy Competition. Help Ampedout by voting for their clip! $1000 is on the line!

Here's where you can vote. (Registration required.) You will be voting for "Law Office".


Chocolaty Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
(Okay you chocolate fiends. Enjoy!)

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla

  • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. Nestle's cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, optional

  • 1 1/2 pkg. (2 c.) Toll House milk chocolate morsels
  • 2 c. Quaker oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In a large bowl beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until creamy.
  2. Sift in a medium bowl, flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  3. Combine flour mix into sugar mix and well.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients (morsels, oats, nuts).
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. (Use a cookie scoop if you can!)
Bake 10 minutes. (Use parchment paper)
Ginger and Garlic Eggplant Chicken
Here's a recipe that I threw together tonight. A bit of a Kung Po style. With the marinaded chicken and the garlic and ginger, this recipe gets the Chi flowing. Zesty!
  • 1.5 lbs Chicken (diced)
  • 1 Large Onion (diced)
  • 1 Eggplant (diced)
  • 2 tbl Olive Oil
  • 2 tbl Peanut Oil
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbl Ginger
  • 1/4 Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Water
  • 1/2 tbl Thai Hot Chili Sauce
  • 2 tbl Honey
  1. Dice the chicken and Marinade for 4 hours.
  2. Toss Eggplant in Olive Oil and broil until slightly browned. (Having the Eggplant slightly cooked sped up the process.)
  3. Heat up pan, add Peanut Oil, and add Chicken (without Marinade). Brown.
  4. Saute in Onions.
  5. Mix in Eggplant
  6. Add Marinade and simmer for a few minutes.
Serve with rice.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Due to popular request, here is my curried veggie recipe.

Curried Veggies
3 cups (4-5) boiled new potatoes
4 tbl olive oil or peanut oil
1 Yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
2 cups baby carrots
2 tbl Patak's curry paste (or similar curry paste)
1 can coconut milk
8oz sliced mushrooms
  1. Cut up new potatoes and boil in salted water until cooked (though not too soft), drain and put aside.
  2. Chop up bell peppers and saute in oil, in a large pot
  3. Add baby carrots and curry paste. Saute a bit more. (Note: you can always add more curry paste after the fact.)
  4. Add in coconut milk, mushrooms, and potatoes, stir and simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve with rice. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Ooch, it's been a few days since I've updated the blog. I've had other priorities. Such is life.

And yes, for those who want some new pictures, I'll work on that.

The leg brace is long gone and I am walking around without problems. I'd say I am 70% there. Still need to regain some leg strength. It's amazing what it takes to go down stairs. Running and jogging is still a bit off.

Job Search
I've been doing a bit of QA for O'Reilly, and my resume has been updated.

I've posted my resume to such places as Monster and I must say that Monster has the best setup, so far.

City Of Heroes
City of Heroes has been a blast. Almost like playing Champions online, makes me want to play Champions again. I'm on the Justice server with the rest of the Ampedout crew, in the Ampedout superhero group. There you will find me playing:
  • The Incomparible Arcane Bynk (controller illusion/radiation)
  • Grinning Jack (tanker invuln/fire)
  • Vitus (controller kinetics/empathy)

Fun Stuff
Much better than, it's

Here some crazy Engrish and Cosplay from Japan:

Thursday, May 27, 2004

What's up? I get the cast off my left hand/wrist tomorrow. Yeah! Also I get a mobility brace so I can move my knee, 30º at first. Which means I should be driving!!!

Spent Wednesday and Thursday with car stuff. Finally got a new one. Huzzah!

Here it is:

No, no, not the old Nissan Sentra in the front. The Nissan Altima 1998 GLE in the rear. Geeez!

Yes, another Altima. If I can get in an accident and only suffer the injuries I have, then at minimum my "new" car was going to be an Altima. Got a pretty good deal on it. Needed new tires which I got today at CostCo. The interior needs a good detailing/shampooing. Also, it could use a tune-up. (Probably missed its 60K... total miles 65,000.)

More after tomorrow's doctor's visit...
Okay, humble pie time. Stream-Jockey is in use. Of course I did a search for Stream-J and found nothing. Oh well.

Friday, May 14, 2004

New Word of the Day
Stream-J (stream-jockey): Like a DJ (disc-jockey), but applicable to a "jockey" of online music or of a shoutcast music stream. Example: Stoicite is a stream-j for AmpedOut.Net.

(Note: far as I know I'm the first to use this term when I became an alternate stream-j for AmpedOut last November. If you can prove me wrong, and point out a previous usage, I'd be most humbled.)
Cantenna/USB Dongle WiFi Fun!
I just ordered up a D-Link USB 802.11b dongle. It should work great with a homemade antenna or a cantenna (link1, link2). It will be cheaper and less work than your typical cantenna/pcmcia combo: no coax hardware, no hacking the pcmcia card. There should be little signal loss since the dongle will be directly in the can and no lossy coax cable-- just get a can and make an adjustable sliding slot for fine tuning. The D-Link is 40mW, which seems to be a standard power. It will be a nice supplement to my laptop since there is little I can do with its built-in wireless. Stay linked as I get the shipment and work on the cantenna.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Recently viewed DVDs
  • Insomnia (2002): remake of a Swedish film, Al Pacino & Robin Williams & Hilary Swank, engrossing.
  • The Thomas Crown Affair (1999): remake of 1968 film, smart & witty, well written & directed, wild sex scene between Pierce Brosnan & Rene Russo, Denis Leary at his cynical cop best.
No more walker!
Woot! The BynkMobile has been garaged. I have now upgraded to a cane/walking stick. The choice was either floral patterns on my cane or American flags. Guess which one I took.

The Bynkie Doodle Cane & Gimpy-Bynkie Doodle Dandy with KOMPRESSOR POWER.
The true nature of cats has now been revealed. Just watch out for KoUSes (Kittens of Unusual Size). Ahh, tis a Wonderous World of Phobias.

And here is an infinite amount of feline fun.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

This update brought to you by EFNet IRC
bynk: knock knock
stoichic: who's there?
bynk: Little ol' lady....
bynk: (sorry, I was napping.)
stoichic: how's the knee w/o staples?
bynk: very nice
stoichic: yay!
bynk: no more 1 hour to bed
bynk: well, 30 mins
stoichic: hehe
bynk: walking around w/o walker
stoichic: awesome!
stoichic: that's great newss
bynk: though for long period I probably could still use a stick/cane
bynk: in 2 weeks no more arm splint!
stoichic: !!
stoichic: that's excellent news
bynk: Mom has bought a ticket to leave on June 3rd
stoichic: well, at least i know i'll get to see her before she leaves :)
bynk: yup
bynk: Monday I should have my money for a new vehicle... not as much as I expected. Oh well.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Just came back from seeing Doctor Key (2 hours later). They took some new X-rays. Removed the "cast" from the left hand to examine it. Still some bruising in the outer metacarpals. Definite bruising below the wrist on the inside. Hand prognosis? Two more weeks of wearing a cast. Ack, I miss two handed typing. It's like I have been partially gagged.

Knee prognosis: Finally the staple/sutures have been removed. Yes, it is healing but the tough part is the ligaments/tendons. They need to grow back. So two more weeks of no bending of the right leg. Then I will be able to bend it 30º. Two weeks more and another 30º. Which means 8 weeks for full mobility (120º). *sigh*

Follow up visit in two weeks...
Recently viewed DVDs
  • Ben-Hur: looong (212 min), steeped with religion, good epic film, Charlton "Get your hands off me you damn dirty Roman" Heston.
  • Monsters, Inc.: Pixar, fun, cute, nuff said.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Today's update brought to you by AIM.
Petdance: How goes it?
Petdance: Yeah, I saw that. [the blog]
Bynk: I am hanging in there
Petdance: You've just got the left had bummin'?
Petdance: and one leg?
Bynk: yup
Petdance: Do ya get a lot of chicks with that thing?
Petdance: "Oh, you poor baby! Let me give you a massage!"
Bynk: yeah, this older chick now hangs around
Bynk: oh, wait, that's my mother
Bynk: (c:
Petdance: Well, it's a start!
Petdance: That's gotta be weird, having to actually think about walking.
Bynk: not too much thinking now... more planning and awareness
Bynk: when I go out its like taking a 2yr old to the mall
Petdance: Oh?
Bynk: take the walker... put me in the car correctly...
Petdance: Your walker runs away from you, yelling, in the opposite direction that you want to go?
Bynk: lol
Petdance: YOU laugh.
Bynk: okay, not quite at that level
Bynk: going to bed takes an hour, with changing my bandage
Bynk: And now that I'm not completely exhausted, I wake up tired... just can't sleep as comfortably with leg immobile on back... oh well
Bynk: and this too will pass
Petdance: What's ETA on getting past all this?
Bynk: well, probably 6 weeks for no brace... not super sure yet... doc appt next Tues
[6 weeks in total, 10 days down, 32 to go]
Petdance: Jeepers.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Introducing the new BynkMobile! It gets great gas mileage. It might even produce more gas than it uses. *fart*

Comes with the optional left arm rest and a right hand SpeedGrip™. Top speed of 120 fpm. I recently added the rear racing yellow speed balls to the rear drivetrain, which has increased its performance. (Yes, the tennis balls are better than the "factory" slides. Those ol' folk know what they are doing.)

No sound system yet, nor drink holders. Depending on its frequency of extracurricular use I might add some front cargo storage. And the whole thing can fold and park in a small space. Zoooooooming!

(Okay not exactly zoom, more like: slide, step, swing... slide, step, swing.)

I've heard that Tim Burton's next film will be Bynkie Zipperknee. (Bummer, hard to see the staple/sutures.)

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

How am I doing?
I've been getting this question a lot, so here we go.

I'm moving around decently with the walker. One or two naps a day are norm, plus 10+ hours of sleep a night. Eating very well, thank you. My body is definitely in healing mode. I eat standing at my kitchen counter, and I get up and move around once an hour else body parts go to sleep. I try to remember to drink lots of water and am doing a decent job of it.

I am a pro now at getting up and sitting down. My Ikea chair with ottoman is now at my desk. Now only if I could type at my usual speeds. Guess I'll just have to get used to it. (Five weeks for hand splint?) The dressings on my leg are changed once a day. I should be getting my staples/sutures removed in the next day or so.

Last Sunday mom and I made a trip to Target. (Crash and burn zzzzzzzz after that adventure.)

Yes, she has now seen the first two movies of LOTR and very much liked them. Onward to "A Fish Called Wanda" and other DVDs in my collection. She's also reading Benjamin Franklin : An American Life by Walter Isaacson. It's a good read, lots of great insight on colonial American life.

MommaGin (aka BynkMom) has been VERY helpful. I am glad she is here. She deserves something special for Momma's Day, hmmmmmm.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Wise seer Ovi says: cant have [life] without some shitstorms now and again.

Maybe this should be Ovi's corrollary to Murphy's Law, which we know can be paraphrased as "shit happens".
Some observations/notes over the last few days:
  • To quote a famous actress, "You like me, you really do!" So where is my gold statue? Hehehe. Thank you all for your kind words and support. Wealth is definitely measured in friends, not in money. (Okay, money is good too.)

  • Lord Jingles rawks! Here's a recent (04/27/2004) testimonial that he posted on Thanks man.
    It's hard to honestly put into words how good a person Kevin is. I'm going to try. My second wedding took place worlds away from anywhere that my friends and family live. However, Kevin came and stood with me. Far as I'm concerned, that makes him family in my book. Sharp, witty, has a staggeringly diverse 'punconscious'. We even share a brain - often engaged in conversation composed solely of half sentences, there being no need of the other halves.

    Generous to a fault, and always positive. Rock on, brother Bynk.

  • EvilRose... I'm sorry too that I couldn't meet you and Fedaykin in Dallas.

  • Instant messaging and chat gooooood! It's what got the message out to my friends and old coworkers. You wouldn't believe how many phone calls I got in the hospital because of it. Thanks Stoichic for getting the initial word out and Jingles for IM-ing Retina and Aelonwindseeker.

  • When you have an online presence, funny how it becomes equated with a form of health. Over the last few days I've had many people note, "It's great to see you back online." Call them eVitals if you will. Yup, I'm still sending packets of strong electrons.

  • BynkNeice is now an Amper and has confessed that she is a self-proclaimed nerd. Woot! (She Likes Pink Floyd / And Deadgrrrl too ... Now she's an Amper / An Amper o/~ ... apologies to Tom Petty.)

  • I'm popular as Jesus, Elvis, and the Beatles! Okay, not quite. Though all you need is love, right?
    bbblake: oh Jesus (about the accident)
    bbblake: :|
    Bynk: no, sorry i am not walking on water
    bbblake: but you came back from the grave, and that's pimp in my book
    Bynk: lol
    bbblake: it's what made Jesus pimp
    bbblake: shit! everyone knows that!

  • Remixes from Boole! Thanks cl0wnhammer.

  • BynkMom has been caught by the one Ring! My Precious! And liking it. Usually fantasy movies aren't her thing, but when LoTR:RotK swept the Oscars, well it piqued her interest. Still need to wait until the end of the month for the theatrical DVD and much later for the special DVD.

  • Clarification: I was in Texas TX visiting Cavorite and Ncon; then my father, his wife, and my mother (visiting from CA). I was on my way to see ReNtZ, Fedaykin, and EvilRose in Dallas when the accident happened.

Friday, April 30, 2004

So, let's cut to the chase me droogies. Yes, I am alive.

On Monday April 26th I was travelling north on Texas 281 from Boerne, driving my 1997 Nissan Altima GXE. Monday evening I was to get together with Fedaykin and Rentz in Dallas. I left Boerne about 9:00, later stopping in Marble Falls for a bite to eat. Later, 2:00pm, I stopped at a picnic area outside of Hamilton for some munchies and then travelled further north. So there I was driving 70 mph down 281, a scenic two-lane highway in Texas hill country. (Yes, many Texas two-lane highways have a speed limit of 70, something you don't see in California.)

If I recall correctly there was a car a few hundred yards ahead of me also travelling north. It passed a white Pontiac that was slowing down. As I approached the Pontiac, it had stopped to turn into a driveway. Being a cautious driver I slowed a bit. 65mph? Suddenly the Pontiac started pulling in front of me, no less than five or six car lengths ahead. I slammed on the brakes and yelled knowing that I would hit. I think I swerved a bit. (ABS help!) There was no time for a full swerve off the road. Just before impact I closed my eyes.

When I opened my eyes I was still yelling, and gasping. (I did not blackout.) The airbags had deployed and airbag smoke was in the air. Looking around I realized that there was something wrong with my right knee and my left hand. Also my nose stung. Broken? I was able to roll down the window to let out the airbag smoke. People stopped and helped out in no time. I yelled out to call 911 and got a response that they had been called already. At first a man was there asking me about my condition. I asked about my nose... there was some blood. (Airbag wacked my nose but didn't break.) He said that I had good color... I was a bit disoriented, but not in major shock.

A lady then came and spoke with me, asking were I was going and other basic questions, and gave me some sips of coke. Somebody else got my wallet and cellphone from the passenger footwell, since everything had slid from the passenger seat upon impact, and I put it in my shirt pocket. (On long drives it's more comfortable to have empty pockets.) Texans are great people in my book!

I heard that the other driver was an older lady (70+... 83 as it turns out). She had broken her left arm, no doubt due to hitting the driver side door upon impact. My car hit the front passenger side when she turned in front of me.

While waiting for EMS I noticed the place under my dash where my knee hit... I broke the plastic and my knee in the process. My other knee didn't suffer the same fate, since it was my right leg that slammed on the brakes. (A break due to braking.) My hood was crumpled and a long horizontal crack was at the base of the windshield. Various plastic bits from the shift lever had come loose on impact. I never got a look at the Altima's front end, nor the back seat. My car was facing to the east, perpendicular to the road and onto the shoulder. Her car was some 25 feet to my left in a similar position, maybe pointing north and east.

The fire department and ambulance came pretty fast. An EMT (Diane) checked me out and placed a neck brace on me. Amazingly the doors opened without problems. Power was still on in the car, which is why I was able to roll down the window. Though we couldn't remove the key due to steering wheel lock. *Ding-ding! Ding-ding!* A few people, including a fireman in the passenger seat, carefully removed me on to a back board and then stretcher and into the ambulance. Ouch the knee! In the ambulance the EMTs did all the usual stuff (IV, vitals), wrapped my hand, and splinted my leg.

They delivered me to Hamilton General. Over time they took full body X-rays, CAT scanned for internal injuries, and more IVs. This took forever! For much of this time Diane, the EMT, stayed with me. The nurses asked a bunch of questions: name, age, address, medical things.

A state trooper came to get my story, leaving his card. I heard him talk to the lady in the Pontiac, who was also in the ER. Though the trooper did not ask her what happened. (She wasn't very lucid.) She was later air-lifted to another hospital due to her age and condition. At some point the trooper asked somebody if she had her seatbelt on. (More on that later.)

No broken neck, spine, nor internal injuries. Good! Finally the neck brace and back board were removed. Fricken uncomfortable they were. Fracture in the left hand and chip/fracture in the left wrist. Broken right kneecap, split horizontally in two. Through out this time I was lucid, just in pain. I never went into shock.

Hamilton General being a small hospital couldn't do anything about the knee, so they transferred me to Hillcrest Hospital in Waco. Finally they called my father and told him what was up. I spoke with him for a bit. I told him about the accident, the transfer, and operation. More than likely he wouldn't get to Waco until after my operation, 4 hours. His wife Catherine and my mother Jean, who was visiting Texas, would of course be coming. I was with them the previous four days.

The transfer to Waco was with Diane the EMT. I chatted with her the whole way. An hour later I was brought into Hillcrest. At Hillcrest they asked more questions... okay, the same questions. They took even more X-rays since Hamilton didn't send all of them (body, neck, spine). And CAT scans of wrist and knee since X-rays couldn't fully resolve details. Oh yeah, they finally gave me some meds to take off the edge of pain.

With the on-call orthopedic surgeon, Doctor Boeham, we discussed options. One option was to send me to KC and have my knee operated on there. I opted to get it done ASAP. Let's start healing! So they put me under and I woke up seemingly minutes later... a "cast" on the hand and a "cast" on the leg with an incision on the kneecap and wires wiring it all together plus some bone bits removed. (Cast = ace bandage, splint for the hand, vecro immobilizer for the leg.)

I remember little of Tuesday morning due to aesthetic. I stayed all of Tuesday in the hospital. My father went to Hamilton to get my stuff from the car.

I was released on Wednesday. A rental car was loaded up with my stuff from my Nissan and I was wedged in with my immobile leg. Wednesday night my mom and I made it to Denton.

Thursday we made it to KC (9am-5:30pm). Thursday night was in my own bed and my mom on a sleeping mat in the living room.

So here it is Friday and I'm online and able to move around with a walker. No bending of my right knee though I can put weight on the leg. Only a few fingers and thumb available on the left hand.

Well I need to see a KC orthopedic Doctor next Wednesday to remove the sutures/staples from my knee. Daily changing of bandages on knee. In 6 weeks I'll probably have the casts off. My mom will probably stay for two weeks or so. Work with lady's insurance company on paying for a new car and medical.

Oh yes, my guess on the old lady in the Pontiac? She slowed down and stopped heading south on 281 across from her driveway. Having seen a car go by she didn't look for on coming traffic or looked too far down the freeway. Texas 281 just beyond Hamilton isn't a very busy road. She unfastened her seatbelt since she had to open her gate. In her usual habit mode after unfastening her seatbelt, she turned into her short driveway to the gate. There was very little I could do except to swerve a tad bit and slam on the breaks.

I would like to thank:
* Airbags, seatbelts, crumple zones, and ABS.
* Well made digital cameras, cellphones, and laptops... none of which broke.
* Cellphones and 911.
* All the good Samaritans who stopped to help.
* The EMTs in Hamilton.
* The nurses and doctors at Hamilton General.
* The nurses and doctors at Hillcrest in Waco, especially Doctor Darren Boeham the orthopedic surgeon.
* Everybody who called me on Tuesday in the hospital. (Sister Kim, Stoichic, Retina, and O'Reilly-ites.)
* Oh yes, and Todd the occupational therapist.
* Charlie, the Progressive rep in TX.
* My Ampedout friends for sending a card, balloons and flowers; and for their concern and well wishes.
* Strangers who helped me up stairs in Denton.
* Megan my friendly neighbor.

* Stoichic for getting the word out.
* My dad for coming to Waco and greasing the wheels and running around.
* And finally my mother for using her retirement and vacation time to help her son out in Texas and KC.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Here's the update you've all been waiting for. March 20th, the first day of spring, was my planned departure date. But it was cheaper to start renting the Budget van on a Monday. So here's the sordid details.

MONDAY 2004-0322
Picking up the Budget van took an hour. I packed the van single-handed (okay, I used two hands). By the time I got the car on the trailer took it was 3pm PST!! Wow, I didn't know I had so much stuff. (I was warned of this.) I filled the whole 15' (800 cu') van, though not to the top (400 cu'?). I expected to leave at least 4 hours earlier.

To get to KC I took I-80 and got to Reno NV (239mi) Monday evening, staying at a Motel 6. Originally I wanted to get to Elko NV on Monday evening. (Yeah, right.)

TUESDAY 2004-0323
After gas and all I ended up on the road about 8am PST. This day I drove through all of Nevada and Utah, eventually stopping in Evanston WY, which is on the western edge of Wyoming (833mi total / 594mi for the day). Two states in one day. Again, stayed in a Motel 6. My original itinerary had me in Laramie WY by this time. Though with leaving at 3pm PST on Monday this schedule was blown.

WEDNESDAY 2004-0324
This time I got on the road early, 7am GMT (lost an hour with PST to GMT). I promised Deadgrrrl that I would meet her in Lincoln NE on Wednesday evening so I had some catching up to do. I ended up driving until 9pm CST (lost another hour). I arrived in Lincoln after 11 hours of driving: subtracting time for breaks, gas, naps, eating, etc. (1621mi total / 788mi for the day. Wow! 45 miles short of all the driving from Monday and Tuesday combined.) And yes, Deadgrrrl and I went out for some REAL food. Deadgrrrl rawks!

THURSDAY 2004-0325
From Lincoln to KC was only 3 hours, so I ended up arriving at StoicHome at 11am CST. Huzzah! Didn't do much on this day, except hang around with the Stoics.

FRIDAY 2004-0326
Kristi (aka Stoichic) and I went out apartment hunting in the Kansas City area (both Kansas and Missouri).

First stopped by the apartments that Gargoyle (Stoic-brother) lives in. Decent.

Second was another complex that was innumerable, though a friend of Kristi lived there.

Stopped at another place called "Silverwood"... hmm, better.

"The Falls" was next.. Yikes! Dorm type living, and not as nice as "Silverwood".

Last was "Wood View" (Kansas City, KS). Michelle the leasing agent was very cool, the place was great, and she offered it for a great price. (amenities: washer/drier, balcony, good sized kitchen, fireplace, tennis courts, pool & hot tub, workout room). SOLD! (Details below). Only some 6 miles from StoicHome. I was very, very happy that I could get into a place so quick. (I think Stoicite was surprised, thinking that I would be haning around StoicHome for a few more days.)

That evening Kristi and I moved everything in. And I still made it to that evening's show, Dopamine, staring Stoicite, DrunkJeff, Bbblake, and Bynk!

WEDNESDAY 2004-0331
Had Stoicite and Stoichic over for some curry chicken.

THURSDAY 2004-0401 (April Fools!)
Today. Woot! Internet connectivity via RoadRunner! Life is good, and I finally can get some things done.

SATURDAY 2004-0327 through THURSDAY 2004-0401
Organize, move, assemble, buy stuff at Bed Bath & Beyond and at Walmart, phone hook up, return Budget rental and trailer.

The kitchen and bathroom were finished first. Still working on bits and pieces of the living area. Getting closer but work is still needed. The bedroom will be a bit longer to get right. Still need a TV, vacuum cleaner, and a gas grill. CostCo, here I come!

My FULL-SIZED washer and drier come on Friday. Ack! Need to clear the cardboard out of the space (below).

Total space: 25'x25'= 625sq'; includes balcony and external storage.
Cost: $525/month, including water and washer & drier.

Living area: 17'x12'; fireplace, ceiling fan, door to balcony. Very ample.

Kitchen: 8.5'x8'; dishwasher, decent amount of cabinet space including a small pantry. After microwave and toaster oven there's really only a small amount of work area.

Bedroom: 12'x11.5'; sliding glass door to the balcony and a 5.5'x5.5' walk-in closet.

Bathroom: 5.5'x8.5'; shower/bath.


An interesting shower stall in a Reno Motel 6.

The long road in Nevada, with some salt flats to the right.

Views from a rest stop in Nevada.

Yup. There's all my worldly belongings.

Rock formations in eastern Nevada.

Somebody also moving. Two Budget vans towing cars and another person in a pickup.

Heading towards the Rockies.

There be hills!

Coming out of Nevada into Utah. You can tell because of the immense salt flat.

Okay, it's okay to love your Toyota car dealer, but isn't this a bit much? I knew Utah was a strange place.

A nice welcome sign in Utah.

Yes, who in the Donner party ordered long pig?

FedEx must be three times faster like this.

Getting gas in the snowy hills above Salt Lake City.

A sunrise in Wyoming, just outside of Evanston.

Cool rock formations? Then this must be Wyoming.

A wind farm on the eastern edge of Wyoming.

Part of a military museum in Nebraska. Kris, have you been there?

The walkway to my apartment.

Tennis courts, basketball, volleyball next to my apartment.

Getting closer. The evergreen makes it seem so alpine.

First floor, the balcony on the left is mine.

My Woodview wooded view. You can barely see the power station behind those trees.

Front door to #205.

The spacious living space... fireplace, ceiling fan, and a door to the balcony.

The Ikea desk. Very nice.


The washer and drier will go here soon!

Bathroom. Walmart had a cool retro-surfing shower curtain with woodie wagons.

View from the bedroom, to the balcony. Still working on bedroom organization.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Yup, it's the last night in California... Kansas City bound. Woot! And there's lots of last minute things to pack... the essentials you can't pack until last minute. You know, computer, clothing, and bed. Welp, enough blogging, back to preparing. Get back to you all in KC!
Sent to the KC crew

Hola All!

The time is near. I pick up a 15' Budget truck with a tow dolly for my car on Monday. I head out on the same day to Kansas City, with a planned arrival of Thursday afternoon (see below). The weather looks good for next week along I-80, so I will be taking that route... No freaky upper midwest early spring snow storms in the forecast.

JEN: Hope to see you on Wednesday night.

KRISTI/CRAIG: Can you send me directions coming from Lincoln NE to your place? I don't trust Yahoo Maps in this regard. Also, since your street is somewhat narrow, I'll probably drop my car off nearby (Walgreens?)

I have the truck through Monday, and I doubt that I'll get a place in a few days. So maybe I'll get a storage space for a short period. (Yes, I have more stuff than I realized. *grin* I was warned about this... ~250cu'?)

IMPORTANT: My cellphone number now is 707-XXX-XXXX, which will change at some point to a KC number. Since net connection is not guaranteed next week, cellphone will be the best way to reach me.



The weather along I80:
(Advance the day to the proper day of the week.)

The route:

Route Summary
Origination: Santa Rosa, CA
Destination: Kansas City, MO
This Route Distance: 1802 mi. This Route Driving Time: 25:09


The planned schedule:

506 7:13 Elko NV (Monday 22 Eve)
1109 15:17 Laramie WY (Tuesday 23 Eve)
1598 21:56 Lincoln NE (Wednesday 24 Eve)
1780 24:47 Kansas City MO (Thursday 25 afternoon)

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Here's a great blurb that a (ex) coworker sent to me. I think it says it all. Thanks Scott!
Hi Kevin,

This quote was excerpted from a speech given by the principal at the most affluent high school in America(circa 1976), to the last graduating class he would preside over for some time. He and his family were preparing to travel the world to do whatever they needed to survive and thrive in a global quest for new experiences.

"...There will be few, a very few, who will be brave enough to walk away from the secure life in order to grow stronger by exposing and applying themselves to a wide range of new, challenging and, indeed, threatening experiences. But the tangible rewards of such ventures far eclipse the hollow triumphs of living in a static world. The renewal of self means much more than that which makes the self feel safe. I urge that this be your primary goal, your primary challenge throughout your life--that of self-renewal..."

Best of everything to you!

-- scott

Friday, March 12, 2004

Ahh, now some big praise from the key players.... Thanks everybody!

Been a pleasure working with you, Kevin. If you need me as a reference,
don't hesitate.

Best of luck to you.
[Safari VP, Product Management]

Hi, Kevin,

I don't know when you'll leave but I wanted to let you know how much we at
BvD have appreciated your continuous help on Safari. This really was a GREAT

Good luck for your next job,
[Safari lead developer. This is high praise from a man of few words. I was very surprised when I got this email.]


Bets of luck, Kevin. Sorry to see you go. You have been a BIG help.

[Safari VP of Managing Director]


Thanks for your support over the last couple of years with Safari. I'l always consider you an original member of our team. We've built something to be proud of in the Safari service.

Good luck in Missouri!
[Safari board member]

Good luck Kevin. Thanks for all the hard work!

[O'Reilly board member]
Some repsonses from O'Reilly-ites and Safarians. "You like me! You really do! *grin*

Take care-best of luck!

Best of luck to you, Kevin on your big adventure! I hope this move is really good for you! If your ever in the area again, stop by and see if I'm still here! Take good care of yourself!

We'll miss you, dude.

Hey Kevin,
Congratulations on your graduation. To the start of many adventures. We'll miss you.

Hi, Kevin--
Bon voyage! You'll be missed!

Great email Kevin. I liked your FAQ. Almost makes me want
to move there with you. But we just bought an extreme fixer
upper by the River. We get three seasons there. Hot, Cold, and Flood!

Good luck,

LOL! (In response to the FAQ)
Congratulations Kevin! Sounds like an exciting change (and the property prices are enviable ;-)

Best of luck!

Good luck. Enjoy.


We will miss you.
Good Luck and if you need anything, let me know.


Hi Kevin.
I will miss your smiling face and amazing stories!
Good luck to you in the midwest.
Take care!

Wow, we'll miss you! Have fun hanging out with Andy. Don't let him lead you astray (or vice-versa :-)

Best of luck with your move, Kevin. Sorry I missed your party today. It sounds like you're off on an exciting and probably fun new chapter in your life. I wish you the best!

Hi Kevin!
Best of luck. It's been great working with you.
Take care,

Hi Kevin!
Best of luck on your move -- it will be quite a change for you!


Thursday, March 11, 2004

Moving off to Kansas City MO
Here's the email I recently sent out to my co-workers at O'Reilly:
Hola O'Reilly-ites!

Friday the 12th is my last day at O'Reilly. I'm moving off to Kansas City MO, land of cow parades and an affordable cost of living. I've learned alot in the 5 years I've been here and it has been great working with the whole lot of you.

I will always be a huge fan O'Reilly books, conferences, Safari Books Online, etc. I will never get over the habit of mentally red marking content problems in competitor's books. I guess I'll be O'Reilly's second biggest fan. (Andy Lester gets the number one distinction. AndyLester= tech reviewer, perl guru, persistent submitter of errata.)

And if you ever want to reach me:
email: me at kevinbingham dot com
ICQ: 92274042
AIM: NegatorGM Kevin "Bynk" Bingham

It's been real, it's been fun, and it's been real fun.

Thanks for everything,
-Kevin Bingham

me at kevinbingham dot com


Q: Why are you leaving?
Cost of living is reasonable, and I'll be able to afford a house. Also it was time to rattle my cage a bit. I've briefly pondered moving north to Oregon or Washington for the last year. KC won out.

Q: Why Kansas City MO?
I have friends there. For the last 2 years I've been listening to the shoutcast radio station Ampedout ( On Friday nights Stoicite (owner) and his friend DrunkJeff have a live show (lewd, rude, funny, and fun). Listeners chat with them and make hilarious comments. In September 2003, I travelled to KC to meet them and 13+ other Ampers. A fun time was had by all. I returned to visit for New Years 2003/2004 and decided I liked the place enough to move.

Q: What is the cost of living in KC?
1950's ranch style house, 3 bedrooms in CA = $400k+
1950's ranch style house, 3 bedrooms, with basement in KC = $80k+
'Nuff said.

Q: When are you actually leaving?
I hop in the Budget truck on the 22nd. I was thinking of buying a van and towing my car, since I only have a few large household items. But cost and reliability turned me to renting.

Q: Do you have a place to live?
Not yet. Though there are vacancies in KC, unlike CA. And I'll spend a few days with my Ampedout friends while looking for a place. (Trying to find a place 1800 miles away doesn't work very well.)

Q: Do you have a job? What will you be doing there?
I'm on the job hunt. I'll probably be spending April job hunting, visiting my father in Texas, learning new tech, and "catching up on my technical journals"(1).

Q: Isn't it hot/cold/humid/windy, etc?
Yes, it's a place with more than two seasons. Amazing. No more two-season California. I've always lived in northern California, so it will be an adjustment. (Answer to the cynic: Yes it is, and humans do live and thrive there.)

Q: What about the user groups you host in Sebastopol?
Greg Dickerson is the new host for the North Bay Linux User's group. Sonoma Perl Mongers has found other places to meet. And yes, I'll be joining the Perl and Linux groups in KC.

Q: What about family?
I am leaving family behind (2 sisters, niece, nephew, mother). Though I'll be within a day's drive of a cousin (Detroit), my father (Texas), and many other cousins and aunts and uncles (South Carolina and Tennessee).

Q: Are you taking any O'Reilly books with you?
But of course!

(1) Quote from Scotty in Classic Star Trek episode, "Trouble with Tribbles".