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July 24th, 2004

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09:29 am - Yeserday was...
Yesterday was...

Annoying. The external LCD on my phone had broken, and then yesterday morning I awoke to Dee making some noise about water on the desk, getting into the computer. Yeah, that's a wake-up shocker. Pulled the laptop off the desk, and got it dried off. She also noticed that the cell phone got a little wet. As we were getting ready to head out to the Con, I realized that there was a drop of water on the inside of the main LCD window. Eeep. But things seemed to be fine at that point. Later, though, I missed a call and a voicemail was left. I picked up my phone, and dialled voicemail. Didn't hear a peep. I forget exactly what happened, but it also turns out that the End Call/Power button was no longer working. At one point, the battery got popped out and, therefore, I no longer had a cell phone that could turn on. (Not that a phone without a speaker is much use either, but...)

So we ran out to a local mall to try and find me a phone. Found a Cingular booth at the first mall, but they weren't really helpful and said there was a "service center" at another mall. (Both of these malls were off of the light rail, making it very convenient to get to.) Second mall location was just another booth, so the first booth had brushed us off, and the guy I talked to at the second told me that unless I could sign a new contract (either by upgrading or adding a line), the phone would be hideously expensive because they want people to sign contracts. But then he put a demo phone (the stupid ones that don't work) on the counter and says that he could hook me up with that model phone, one that he had but didn't plan on using. So we talked about options through Cingular again, and I went back to that phone, asking how much. He offered for $75, probably expecting me to work him down, but I said OK. (The cheapest "contract extention" would have cost $120 + phone over a year, which would have extended my current contract end by 4 months.)

So we walked down to his car, he pulled the cell phone out of his trunk, opened up my phone and moved the SIM card over, and handed it to me, I turned in on, and while it was powering up I laid 4 $20 bills on his car and told him that I didn't expect change (I am way too easy when it comes to money). I dialled Dee, and lightly left my hand on the money, until Dee answered and I talked to her. I figured that was the best way to figure out if the phone worked :^). Took my hand away from the bills and he picked them up, so I guess I did it reasonably - - being my first ever grey market purchase. (There were no markings on the box, but I know how these cell phone outfits work -- they give phones cheap or free to the employees, so they can play with them and be able to "sell" the phones -- especially the up-models -- by talking about their experiences with them. As if I care!

Entertaining. So then we went back to the Con, and watched Anime. The first item that I went to see intentionally was Comic Party. They showed an episode from the middle, and it was just a blah episode to me. I need to see if they have any other showings, because if it's not any funnier than that, I don't think I'll bother finding anything else on it. Later we moved to another screening room, and I remember Galaxy Angel, which I thought was hilarious and rather Excel Saga-like. Dee wasn't much amused by it, but then she didn't care for Excel Saga either. Also saw an episode of Dirty Pair: Project Eden, which was cool but sorta lacking in context, other than the big explosions.

Then I got a call from Sean, to make arrangements to pick up Suzy's ComicCon pass before she got there. We hung out for a little bit and talked. There was a pretty nice Chobits cosplayer at the table next to us, and we talked about how we think you either thrive on the attention and keep cosplaying, or you get aggravated by it. The person behind us seemed, to me, to be the aggravated type that day.

After Sean departed, we hung around (my foggy memory forgets if we watched any more anime at that point), but around 7:50pm we headed out to the train station to meet Suzy. Waited quite a while for a trolley at the Gaslamp station, but it ended up being a Green Line train, which meant we didn't have to transfer to get to the train station, hooray!

Coincidental. While we were waiting at the train station, I started poking at the Coaster ticket machines, and this older gentleman walking by mentions that the Coaster doesn't run until 9pm. So I started talking with him about light rail, and how it was pretty nice here but that I liked San Jose's no-step cars better. He mentioned that the San Diego cars are similar to those used in Frankfurt, Germany... which makes sense, as the internal signs note that they're manufactured by Siemens, which I always considered a German company. Then we got to where people grew up, and he mentioned having been to Roanoke, Virginia and Blacksburg.

Blacksburg! Hot damn! We talked about that place, and he was trying to remember a bar he had taken his son to for a drink on -- or shortly after -- his 21st birthday. Said it was a place across from a little mall, but he couldn't remember the name. So I asked if it was Macado's, and he lit up and said it was! Wow. He went on to say one of his sons had owned restaurants in Blacksburg... Zeppolli's (which didn't ring a bell for me) and Backstreets. Backstreets... probably the best pizza I had in Blacksburg. Wow. Small world!

Then Suzy called to give an update, and the gentleman had to get going. But it was really really fun to meet up with him. Really really amazing.

Friendly. Soon enough Suzy's train rolled in, and then we headed up on the trolley to the hotel. Dee mentioned something about the in-room menu not having a grilled cheese sandwich, so I suggested we drive out to Mimi's Cafe for dinner, which was agreed to. Some fun times over dinner, and then we headed back to the hotel, to find basically no parking in the entire damn structure. We happened to see two kids parking their car in a placard space, so I rolled down the window and asked if they had a placard, and they said the desk told them to park there, but they were very nice and moved their car. Sorta feel bad doin' it to them, but I didn't want to worry about the rental car getting towed or worse.

I wanted to go out and get a drink, so Suzy joined me as we went out. We asked at the desk for a close bar, and they gave us some directions, about three blocks away. Not sure that we ended up where they described to us, but we found a little "English Pub" that was rather quiet patron-wise. Hung out there until they did their last call at 12:30 (an hour before the required last call in San Diego). The pub was also handy because they also sold cigarettes.

As they were kicking everyone out at 1am, Suzy asked one of the bartenders if there were any other places nearby, and he directed us another three blocks down to, what he called, the oldest bar in San Diego. It was a bit more active there, too. They had a live band, and the crowd was a bit older than the first place. In total, I had 1 LIIT and 2 screwdrivers (the first bar was much more generous in the alcohol), and Suzy had 3 Heinekens. I had a light buzz at points, and we talked and talked and talked. It was fun.

Ended up back at the room around 2:20am and crashed out. But it was a fun day, and hopefully today can be just as good -- or better!
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