Another birthday has passed. It has been an eventful year: I got married, and I've become part of a new family.

My wife Pebble is the most amazing person I've ever met. She's smart. She's kind. She's giving. She's forgiving. Most of all, she's open in a way I thought nobody could be. Marriage and life aren't always wonderful, but she's a wonderful wife, and I know I've chosen the right partner. We grow closer every day, and I honestly can't remember what my life was like before I met her. (I'm pretty sure it sucked.)

For my birthday, she bought me the complete collection of Planet of the Apes movies on Blu-ray. I didn't even ask for it. How cool is that?

My stepson Bailey is about to become ten years old. Like his mother, his emotions and thoughts are always right at the surface, so I always know where I stand with him. He is sometimes incredibly cute, and other times he's apparently possessed by Satan, but I know we'll always love one another. He loves his new grandma and grandpa (my parents), and enjoys spending time with his new cousins (my nieces).

We also got a puppy. He's a Yorkshire Terrier named Mouse, and he thinks he owns the house. I believe there is nothing cuter than a Yorkie puppy.

Our little cabin in the woods is nice, but we all agree that we'd like more space, and we're all getting tired of driving two hours a day to get to and from our occupations, so we're probably going to be moving closer to Atlanta some time this year. But we're not in a hurry: we do like our little cabin in the woods.

My forties are shaping up to be a lot better than my twenties and thirties were. Life is good. (But I occasionally complain about it anyway.)

I've done more traveling in the past year than any other. My wife and I went to Waikiki for our honeymoon, and also visited Pensacola and the Grand Canyon. I went alone to Australia for three weeks on business, finally putting my passport to use.

Career-wise, I'm in a bit of a rut. I had hoped to do some job searching this year, but with the economy the way it is, I consider myself fortunate to have the contracting gig that I have. I'll try to acquire some new skills this year. Maybe next year...

Killbots Want Peace Too

Originally uploaded by darkpony

Pebble and Kris Got Married

Our Wedding

April 5, 2008

It was beautiful, thanks to my lovely wife. Thank you to everyone who helped make this a special day.



Another year has gone by. I didn't really set many goals for myself last year, so I'm not disappointed by any failures (although I am disappointed that I didn't set any goals). I lost 20 pounds and ran the Peachtree Road Race, but I've regained the 20 pounds.

The biggest change in my life is that the thing worked out and I am now part of an "us." This is making me very happy. We live in a newly-purchased old cabin in the woods. I'm now spending my weekends doing yardwork and other handiwork, which is a big change from my old lifestyle. I now have access to a chainsaw and will soon have a tiller. At some point, I'm going to have to learn about wells so I can get rid of the sulfur smell in our water.

I never understood why all the guys with wives and girlfriends never have any free time to hang out with us unencumbered guys. Now I understand. There's not much "me time" anymore, but I don't miss it. (Love you, sweetie.)

I am practicing guitar whenever I have some free time. I hope to be able to play some actual music by this time next year. I also want to master the drums on Rock Band.

I'm going to start taking a self-portrait on each birthday. I hope my deterioration will be very slow. I haven't decided yet whether the beard is going to be a permanent part of my appearance.

[UPDATE: 2/4/2008: Beard is gone.]

[UPDATE: 2/26/2008: I miss my beard.]

Two Years Later


The two-year anniversary of my private pilot checkride went by recently. This has legal significance, as a pilot is not allowed to exercise the privileges of the certificate (license) unless one has had a checkride or a flight review in the past 24 months. So, as of the end of this month, I can't fly again until I've had a flight review.

A flight review really isn't a big deal. You are required to spend one hour on the ground and one hour in the air with a flight instructor, who will determine whether you are still a safe pilot. However, since I haven't flown since January, I'll need a couple of refresher lessons before my review.

I also need to renew my aviation medical certification, due to the blood-pressure medication I've recently been prescribed. So that's another hurdle to negotiate before I can fly again.

Right now, I have no plans to go back up in the air. I have better things to do with my time and money. I hope that I will get back into the left seat someday, but for now, I'm content to gaze up at the sky and say "It sure would be a nice day to fly."

New Eyeglasses

New Eyeglasses
Originally uploaded by kristopherjohnson

I've worn contact lenses since I was a teenager. I've never liked eyeglasses: they're too heavy, too fragile, too dusty, and just plain uncomfortable. In contrast, contacts are lightweight, they rarely get dirty, they provide peripheral vision, and you don't have to wear ugly clip-on sunglasses over them. I've never understood why anyone would prefer glasses, other than because their eyes simply can't handle them.

But, a persuasive woman suggested she'd like to see me in glasses more often, so I decided to give glasses another try. My fifteen-year-old pair had very large lenses, which are great for visibility but they are heavy and unfashionable. I wore them only in those rare times when my eyes were irritated by allergies or other problems. I decided to try some new frames, and after some searching, settled on this Ray-Ban #6127 Bronze frame.

I figure I'll wear them for the rest of the week to see if I can get used to them. I expect to be back in my contacts next week, except for time spent with the persuasive woman.

UPDATE: I hate wearing them, but the persuasive woman likes them, so, well...

MacBook Display Problem

A couple of weeks ago, my Macbook's display started "flickering." It seemed like I was getting some electromagnetic interference, so I didn't worry much at first. But, it got progressively worse, and now the screen is unreadable.

I took it in to the local Apple Genius Bar, and they took it in for repair. I should have it back in a week or less.

I'm glad I have a Genius Bar nearby, considering all the problems I've been having with recent Apple products. I've been using computers for almost thirty years, but have never needed repairs or service until I bought the iMac G5 and the Macbook.

UPDATE 2007/07/19: Got the Macbook back, and it's working fine now. According to the service form, the following parts were replaced:

630-7691  PCB, MLB, 2.0GHZ DC, SMS/KIONI
607-0199  ASSY, HEATSINK, M42(1.0mmConnect
605-0994  SVC, TOP CASE W
646-0302  DSPL 13.3 GLOSSY AUO

Peachtree Road Race 2007

Peachtree Road Race T-Shirt

What kind of idiot gets up at 5:00 AM on a national holiday to go run six miles in the heat? I'm that kind of idiot, and today I joined about 55,000 other such idiots in the Peachtree Road Race.

My goal was to run the full course, without slowing to a walk. This goal turned out to be unrealistic. I ran the first three miles without a problem, but then I reached "Cardiac Hill," a long uphill stretch so-named for the obvious reason, and also because there is a hospital conveniently located next to it. About halfway up the hill, I started feeling dizzy, and I decided it was better to abandon the goal than to collapse.

After clearing the top of the hill, I set a new goal: run the remainder of the course. That didn't work either; after a half mile or so I again started feeling queasy.

So, I set yet another goal: walk to the five-mile marker, and then run the last 1.2-mile stretch to the finish. I accomplished that.

I didn't really run a 10K today. I ran a 5K and a 2K, with a 3K walk in between. My time from start to finish was 69 minutes, 28 seconds. I expect to do better next year.

I'm not disappointed in my performance. This was my first time. I don't have any steep hills in the area where I usually run, so I wasn't prepared for Cardiac Hill. The course is tricky, because the first half is mostly downhill, giving you a false sense of optimism, and then the second half is mostly uphill.

After finishing at Piedmont Park, it is a half-hour walk to get back to the MARTA train station. That's something they don't point out in the informational handouts. I would have rested for a while in the park before starting the walk if I'd known.

So anyway, now I have the "coveted Peachtree Road Race t-shirt." It makes it all worthwhile.

I was impressed with how well organized the event was. Getting 55,000 into the starting area, lining them up, giving them water and t-shirts, and getting them back home seems to me like a major undertaking, but I never felt crowded, delayed, or unsure of where I was supposed to go and what I was supposed to do. MARTA, the city police, the Atlanta Track Club, and other involved parties seem to really have their @#$% together for this event.

I didn't take my camera with me. There was one shot I really wanted to take: a wide-angle shot of hundreds of runners lined up at the banks of porta-potties, taken from above the parking lot. Maybe next year . . . .

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