Yes, it has been busy — very busy — and before I knew it more than a month had passed since last posting here. To those who wrote to ask, I am well and everything is fine albeit super hectic for a while and no, I am not going to be the next Dean Allen. Thank you for asking. I knew this summer was going to be a strain but nothing like it turned out to be. Truth be told it has been nice to take an extended leave from this site — first time in five years — but the accidental vacation is over. To help catch up here’s a few thoughts and notes of what I did during the summer “holiday”…

In case you were wondering how much money you have to spend to get Apple to bend over backwards, that number is $12,718.19. When you lay that kind of money down at the local Apple Store you get first class treatment and freebies. We still could not get an employee t-shirt but they were generous with things like ProCare, .Mac, and custom motherboards. That said, Apple can kiss my butt when it comes to installing Xserves. Dell has an ingenious rail-click system that takes all of three minutes to install while Apple’s product requires taking the unit apart, screwing the lid to the frame and sliding it back in on rails that do not keep it perfectly horizontal. Johnathon Ives, I mean Pentagram, needs to roll up their sleeves and sharpen their pencils on this one.

There were three weddings attended in two states. As per request by family and friends more will be told at a later date, I ran out of room trying to include it in this entry.

We went on a fantastic trip to Sonoma Valley via the 101 and stopped at a select number of wineries in Edna, Alexander, and Dry Creek valleys. Edna Valley fantastic (it’s my favorite label) with it’s exceptional wine and extremely beautiful view of an extinct volcano behind the tasting counter. Dutcher Crossing was my next favorite with it’s non-pretentious architecture that sits quietly at the top of the winding old road that meanders through Dry Creek Valley, it was an excellent setting for lunch. The best part was having ‘the list’ given to me by the sommelier at the Napa Rose. Using the contact information on ‘the list’ we were able to get very unexpected VIP treatment throughout the region. It’s not what you know…

Many, many books were purchased. There are enough of you who continue to ask what I’m reading so here’s the short list: Max Huber, Helmet Krone. The Book., Fiasco, Fables: Arabian Nights (and Nights), the new Orange Book with a sporty-fresh grass green cover, Moon Metro’s guide to Barcelona and Rome, Brave New World, and Case Study Houses: 1945-1966. All have been started but not all have been finished, yet.

There have been several visitors from afar including Khoi, Tim, Katie, Ethan, Ryan, Kevin, and Jesse. Dave and I talked about getting together for months but he’s been just as busy and that never worked out. He’s coming back down in October and we’ll try again. If there is time I may try to sneak over to the East coast before December says goodbye and meet-up with peeps from Boston to Philadelphia.

Tired of keeping track of what files, iChat logs, and email responses where on which machine I decided to go from four computers to one. This was accomplished with the acquisition of a new MacBook Pro, fully loaded. Yes, I am aware there are tools to sync, share, burn files over a network, cable, Xbox Live but I need that confusion like I need a lessons for painting unicorns and on black velvet. Later in the month there will be an Apple yard sale with Powerbooks, one PowerMac G5 and software.

Politics in recent weeks have bored me to tears. Joe Liberman needs to give up the ghost and go on the road with a belt-way comedy routine in which he plays a carp. They didn’t vote for you Joe, accept it and move on. After reading Esquire’s interview with John McCain I think he’s been in politics too long. The same goes for Hillary Clinton but I don’t need to read an interview to know that. I’ve given up on the current junk in the Whitehouse and unless some new faces start appearing later this year I can’t see how anyone rumored to be running for President will really be any different than what we have now. I read that poppy production in Afghanistan is at an all time high so maybe the best solution is just to start a productive drug habit that lets us all forget about politics.

Sometime in October, when the second season of SXSW Survivor hits the net you will see a proposal for a panel discussion on the subject of writing. That’s writing, decidedly not blogging. It scares me to think that there are millions of people out there who probably think that these two activities are one in the same but they are not. I’ve already received commitments from real writers who have earned English degrees. While I will chime in from time to time the purpose will be to hear how we can improve our abilities to write.

Speaking of scripted reality, I love how Survivor, fresh out of Lord of the Flies ideas, has turned it’s ‘game’ into a race war. Now if only Coca-Cola will sponsor the show with a certain retro campaign then our lives will be complete.

I am super-happy-ecstatic to report that Airbag Industries has signed on with a major MMO game company to create the next version of their website. I’d love to tell you more but the NDA calls for public caning and a decade-long adventure in the middle of the Congo if I break silence to early. I can tell you that Ethan Marcotte is working with us again and is doing fantastic work (Fantastic? What am I saying? It’s freaking rad!). There will be more later in the month because at some point I will need a small bit of help from all of you. Until then I need to walk away for a bit because the hairs on the back of my neck are tingling just thinking about the project.

Progress on the Airbag Grand Prix has slowed due to all of the day labor. Ryan is in the middle of creating an application for registering and keeping track of race results. A stick in the spokes has come up and we’re trying to figure out the best way to get four players into the same race within the limitation of Nintendo’s WiFi friends system. Our only solution so far is that racers are going to have to ensure that their other ‘friends’ do not login prior to race time or everyone will have to temporarily erase their non-race friend codes during the grand prix. The good news is that we already have our first sponsor who’s new product is crazy insanely cool and is going to rock the DS gaming world when unveiled. Input on the friends code situation is welcome but at this time I think that we’ve come up with the only option for using the Mario Kart platform. Ryan wants to get it started now because he claims he’s in the zone and nothing can stop him.

On the subject of virtual distractions, there appeared to be no consensus or mass of people playing on one World of Warcraft server over another. After reading about Death and Taxes achievements I’m about ready to move over to their server and ask for an invite. Thought I doubt I would get in, I refuse to play with the third-party voice software or commit to playing twenty-plus hours a week and big guilds don’t like that much. No matter, I’ve got Saints Row so now I can give Todd a run for his money.

As of this entry there are six-hundred-and-ten comments to go before Airbag hits ten-thousand. Conversations here haven’t all been rainbows and puppy dogs but I appreciate each and every one of them, thank you. I’ll have to come up with something good for the person who breaks that milestone.