20 May
          We’re all geared up for the big move. The packers are coming on the 26th and 27th, and loading us up on the 28th. Then we’ve got a few days in a really nice hotel here in Victoria before we leave on our nine day cross country excursion on the 31st. Of course this means all my contact information is going to change (including this web address) which really sucks, because I haven’t heard back from BAEN yet, and I bet they could lose my stuff if I tattooed it to Jim Baen’s forehead. (Hmm….never mind.)
          The 17th was our wedding anniversary, and Pen and I went up island to the Wikaninnish Inn and Pointe Restaurant in Tofino. We had great weather, and it was a nice drive. The view was breath taking: coursing streams, lakes, towering redwoods, craggy, snow-capped mountains, the ocean—there’s nothing more awe inspiring than nature, especially when you’re whizzing past it at seventy miles an hour on twisty roads. (Where’s my motorcycle when I need it?) It was also a chance to see a lot of the smaller communities that we’d missed, such as Port Alberni—proud location of the Somass Motel—honest. 
          Anyway, we arrived at the Wikaninnish, which I’m sure is native for prohibitively expensive, even though Pen managed to book us one of their nicest suites at the same cost as their least expensive. (No, I don’t know how she does it.) The information they sent us said that our room had a “limited view of the beach.” Apparently it was limited by the fact that humans don’t see 360 degrees, because we were on the ground floor and the water lapped up to within thirty feet of our room’s big picture window. Just slide open the glass door to our balcony and we stepped right onto the beach. Heck, they even provided us with binoculars for watching the couple in the next…er…flora and fauna. The room had a fireplace, king size bed, and one of those big soaker tubs big enough for two. Even the shampoos and stuff were Aveda products. (Guys, ask the women folk if you need an explanation.)
          The restaurant was gorgeous, done in hand carved wooden beams with floor to ceiling windows that looked out over the ocean. And the food was incredible—expensive, but incredible. I ordered a potato and leek soup as an appetizer that was out of this world. The waitress arrived and placed a bowl in front of me. In the center of the bowl was a teaspoon of diced potatoes and leeks.
          I looked up at her and said, “It’s a rather dry soup, isn’t it?” 
          She laughed, and then poured the broth into the bowl. 
          Hey, my motto is why just play dumb when you can be dumb?
          Anyway, I’m not sure how Pen plans on topping this anniversary next year, but knowing her, she will. I hear they're booking civilians on the space shuttle now.

9 May
          So I was climbing the narrow set of stairs to the fifth level of the parking garage yesterday, when I got jammed up halfway between levels one and two. It seems this fat SOB and his portly son--they must have weighed at least five hundred pounds between them--had decided to rest between floors and hold a debate as to the exact location of their car. 
          The father looked incredibly like the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons, complete with a skin tight yellow T-shirt proclaiming him to be a "Love Machine". Or maybe it was "Glove Machine. It was hard to tell because half the wording was tucked under a roll of blubber, and covered in gravy and mustard stains. The son was a smaller version of the father, but with more hair. 
          Anyway, unable to get past them, I waited patiently while they argued back and forth as to whether it was on level three or level four. The son seemed convinced it was on level four, while the father was positive it was on level three--probably because there was no way in Hell he could climb all the way up to level four, never mind count that high in the first place.
          Meanwhile, there's now a lineup behind me of at least a half a dozen people. One poor women, lacking in my divine patience, finally asked if the two would mind moving so we could get past.
          The father puffed out his chest, stared down his nose at us, and said, "We're not moving until we're finished, Lady, so you just get comfortable and we'll move when we're good and ready."
          To which I replied, "Get out of my fucking way, now." Hey, even my Buddha-like nature has its limits.
          Apparently Shamu was quite taken aback by this. "If you don't mind, I don't want my son exposed to that kind of language."
          Who was he kidding? The kid had to be at least fourteen.
          I smiled politely, or maybe it was menacingly--I sometimes get the two confused, and said, "If you don't want him exposed to violence as well, get your lard ass up those stairs as fast as you can waddle, you pasty-faced troll."
          I think it was the "pasty-faced troll" line that did it, cause he turned in a huff (well, a lot of huffing, and puffing too, I might add) and proceeded up the stairs, son in tow, while the crowd behind me politely applauded.
          I've said it before and I'll say it again--people who say that violence never solved anything obviously aren't very good at it. 

6 May
          So I'm posted to Borden, Ontario effective 31 May. Even though my Career Mangler promised me he'd keep me here as long as there was a position for me, and then confirmed that there was, in fact, a position available, I'm posted. Which means starting over at the bottom of the pecking order as far as promotions go. And of course we really didn't need all that extra income from Pen's job. Not to mention I'm going to be making less money there, but they're going to charge me more for housing. Now you know why they hide all the Career Manglers away in a bunker somewhere in Ottawa.
          Of course if I have to be posted somewhere, Borden's not so bad. At least I'll still be teaching (electronics again) and not freezing my butt off on a flight-line in Cold Lake or Bagotville, or shipped off to sea (although if I had gone to sea, I probably could have stayed here in Victoria--but then I'd never be home anyway.) And being back in Ontario puts me closer to the writing community, which means attending the odd convention (odd in every sense of the word) again, which I've really missed. And I'll actually have time to write. 
          And of course Pen will be closer to Chantel, and her family, and my family. Actually, Toronto is just a half an hour down the road, so we'll be closer to everyone's family. So with the cut in pay and all, don't be suprised if we show up on your doorstep for dinner.
          I can't tell you how much we love it here in Victoria, and don't want to leave. Well, I could, but being a writer it would turn into a long, rambling, heart-rending diatribe, and I don't want to subject you to that. Okay, that's not true either. I'm just too lazy to write it. It's bad enough I have to feel it without having to express it. Hey, I may be a writer, but I'm still a guy.
          Still, if you go check out my office after I'm gone, I'll bet they'll never get the claw marks out of the floor where I had to be dragged out by my fingernails. So it's not all bad.
 

2 May
          I need an impetus to write. (Mostly so I'll stop using words like "impetus" in every day language.) I love writing, but it's hard work, and right now I'm in rest-and-relaxation mode. Problem is I've been in that mode for about three months now. I could finish up Darkside 2 with a month or so of concerted effort, but you try psyching yourself up to write the sequel to a book that you can't sell in the first place. Come on, I dare ya. 
          I suppose I could work on other stuff, but then it means that I'd leave something unfinished, and in my world that's just not done. Kinda like leaving food on your plate, or enemies at your back. Which brings me back to my original statement. 
          Any suggestions?

Reality check:

1. Still not rich
2. Still not published
3. Still not a Sgt.