My "online presence" - IM, Facebook, LiveJournal, et cetera - has been almost non-existent lately. I'd like to say that it's because I finally have a life now, but alas, that is not the case. Rather, Pidgin has not been working for me at all, really, and I haven't bothered to see what might be wrong with it. But it seems to be working now. Also, I just haven't really had all that much to say, in terms of a blog. And as for Facebook and whatnot, I'm not too fond of the new changes to it, and my MySpace profile is just coasting now. I don't really see any need to update it.
But over the last couple months a few things have finally happened that I ought to blog about, and so I think I finally shall.
First, I went back to Wisconsin at the beginning of June for the first time since I've been stationed here at Fort Jackson. My sister Katelyn and best friend Jeremy were both graduating from High School. Also, Katie made the trip out from Washington to Wisconsin to see me again, and also meet most of my extended family for the first time. Much fun was had by all, I think. My sister's party was pretty good; a full keg of J.T. Whitney's Badger Red Ale was on hand, along with a quarter-keg each of their Orange Cream Soda and Root Beer. All three were splendid as always. A nice Lutheran graduation party.
After her party, Katie and I attended Jeremy's party, which, surprisingly, had a very weak selection of fine alcoholic beverages. Corona Light? But there was some nice New Glarus Brewery "Totally Naked," a nice, somewhat light Summer beer. No Spotted Cow, though. But New Glarus is great, as always.
Anyway, the bonfire there was superb, even despite the wood having been soaked a bit by the rain the night before and earlier that morning. Our timing for arriving at the party, however, was not so good. Most of the first round of food had already been consumed and the second round didn't show up 'til almost midnight, if I recall correctly. I got to seen Ethan again, as well as Jenny and Kim. Everyone's changed so much in the last year. And, of course, seeing Jeremy again was great.
Speaking of everyone changing so much, my sister has also changed a lot. She's so much more mature, and at times I might mistake her for a college student, a Junior, perhaps. She enlisted in the Army Reserve, but that contract is going to be terminated, I believe, and she will be entering the ROTC program in La Crosse. She'll be studying to become an RN in the field of Physical Therapy.
Also, she has a boyfriend. Her first. He's a very athletic fellow, half-Mexican, half-Irish, and named Edward. He seems alright, I guess.
As for the other events of the 6 or so days I spent in Wisconsin, the Monday following my sister's graduation (where at I saw saw AN's Jim Lincoln, there for his little brother's graduation), Katie and I wend to Devil's Lake for the afternoon. We took along a nice picnic and then climbed the boulders of the East Bluff. Great fun. And noone got hurt. (I think 2 people have died on the bluffs already this year.)
The drive to Wisconsin itself was very pleasant, excepting only for the rising gas prices the farther North I went. On the way up to Wisconsin I stopped in Charlottesville, VA to pick up some of Colin's stuff from his apartment there and bring it up to Wisconsin with me. His roommate Jesse was very nice and even made me some coffee after I had loaded up the stuff.
My VW's starter didn't die on me, nor did it's malfunctioning thermostat cause any problems. There were really no problems to report other than me almost hitting not one, but two, deer (at the same time) on the highway between Rockford, IL. and the boarder with Wisconsin. I also think I might have almost gotten pulled over, until the cop must have realized that he was following me onto the on-ramp for a toll highway. Not sure why he would have pulled me over, but he was acting rather odd... almost like he was debating whether he should. >shrugs<
Going through Ohio on US-31 (a HORRIBLY-maintained highway) I passed over "No-Name Creek." I thought this was rather hilarious.
Stopping for dinner in a city in Indiana somewhere East of Indianapolis, I passed by what was obviously a rather newly developed commercial area; lots of new super-stores, fast-food restaurant, and other shops when I drove past a road... "New RD." read it's street sign. Interesting.
I bought a lava lamp while in Wisconsin. It's cool. More on that later, maybe.
Also, I have Netflix now and have been enjoying it greatly. Most recently I've been using it to catch up on a lot of classics, and other older movies I would most likely not go out and rent at a store. Good stuff.
As far as movies currently in the theater, I'd really like to see Oceans 13, Evan Almighty, and 28 Weeks Later. Though, for the latter of the three, I'd first like to see 28 Days Later.
Music. The Killer's new album, Sam's Town, is AWESOME. Not just for it's singles by themselves, but the album as a whole is amazing. It's one of those albums with which one doesn't feel like skipping through the tracks, from song to song. One really wants to listen to the album from front to back, not skipping a track. And that's just plain rare. 'nuff said.
And not too much else to be said with other music right now.
My new computer has still not been repaired yet, but I am probably only about a month away from getting the insurance claim money for it, finally. Then I can at long last replace the Hard Drives and be on my way. Though, a computer tech at a local computer repair/build shop thinks that it could simply be that the RAID volume is corrupted, not that the drives themselves have gone bad. In which case I can have my machine up and running again for about 60 bucks, pocketing the rest of the $1,500 the computer was insured for to save for another large purchase to be made in the near future.
And as large purchases go, I've already mentioned my latest large purchase: a Black 2001 Volkswagen Jetta VR6. Heck. Yes.
Got it in May. Pictures to be posted today or tomorrow, probably.
That's all I can think of for now. Later I might eleborate on some of the things already mentioned here.