It's been a week, so I can reflect on my holiday to the West Coast.

I can do this in bullet points.

- Los Angeles and the surrounding area is awful.
- San Francisco is still great.
- Northern California is gorgeous, but very country.
- I hate living where I do, but it sure is cheap.
- I hate driving everywhere.
- San Francisco is expensive.

Where Mother works is really nice, but so remote I'd never want to spend more than a few days. I think people in the SF Bay area have it right: stay in a mild climate and head up to the snow and such on the weekends. It's much easier that way, especially heading back to a city's superior public transit and entertainment options. I'd love to go to SF to live, but housing is insane. A place the size of my house in a decent area would be $750K. Yikes.

I wanna live in Europe.



Everything is in order for filing my income tax return. For once I don't dread this use of an evening, as I'll be getting a cheque worth approximately $7500 as a 'reward' for buying a home at well below its value. Unfortunately, as always happens with homes this money is spent already. Your boy has to buy new windows and gutters. I have the old kind made of aluminium and single-pane glass. This is not optimal for energy conservation or for collecting another cheque next year for installing energy-efficient windows. Uncle Sucker thinks I need to be bribed to do anything, and I'm not telling him otherwise. Next year, it's siding and appliances. I'd do it this year, but my basement is leaky and I will get my pathetic bathroom refinished. I think it will look better with a weekend and some materials.


Do you really think she'll pull through?

The Smiths - Girlfriend In A Coma

I had a tape of 'Strangeways Here We Come' back in junior high. A kid called me a fag when he saw it. Turns out he was gay. I still don't talk to him.


I need to move

Help ol' Aaron. I need to leave where I am. I have no reason to stay where I currently reside. My 3 options are: San Francisco, California; Canada; Europe. Knowing what you know of me, where should I go? Thankfully my employment with the US government makes it very easy for me to work just about anywhere I please. Where will I be happy? All I want is to not hate my very existence.


I can correctly pronounce 'Antigonish', a nondescript city in Nova Scotia. Is that bad?


Meaningless milestone

After a looong plateau, yours truly is down a total of 50 lb/22.6 kg. I'm getting close to where I was pre-depression and am ready to blow past that. It really doesn't mean much in and of itself, but round numbers are good for the psyche. I'll be happy to get back in the gym tomorrow - I've spent the past few days working on the house. I made a couple impulse buys that have improved the joint immensely.

Speaking of impulse, I have trebled the amount I am putting into my retirement fund. I rationalised this by telling myself I won't even miss this money. Right now I am a hermit, so the money is better in the retirement fund. I've got about $400 socked away in the 'Aberdeen fund', so I figure I can step on the pedal re: retirement. I plan to be retired the second I am able to be. Working past one's mid-50s should be done exclusively for joy and beer money. I hope to be a part-time flight attendant when I retire from the salaried world. I figure the discount would be a plus.

Still pining for San Francisco. I feel 8 again, in a good way.