Nodeblock! I'm three writeups away from level four and I can't think of anything to write, as in words, not topics. Shit, there is always something to write about, but for some reason, I can't make anything work. Sometimes I can't even start, other times, I get three paragraphs in before I realize I'm ranting and my point is going no where (this is what has happened with that writeup I promised you drownzsurf). And sometimes when I am hit with a stroke of inspiration, I'm up to my neck in work and can't spare the time to jot even a few paragraphs down. So I'm going to daylog a bit for sanity sake, sorry if it's not very interesting.

I updated my age on my homenode today. As I reviewed it, I though, "Hey, I'm not 24 any more." I remembered I wanted to write something about my birthday, because I had a really good time. However, because of my paranoia, I didn't want to post it on my birthday, confirming a date. I am even a little cautious admitting to being a Gemini but it seems to be a nice little compromise between my realistic understanding of the world and my paranoid understanding of the world. Anyway, it's not like a clever person couldn't find out an awful lot of information about me from reading between the lines of my homenode. But I've specifically selected the trivial information about myself and omitted anything I don't want coming out when I run for president. But yeah, I'm twenty-five now.

The week leading into my birthday, I took a vacation and got to spend some time in the west end of Vancouver. Sorry I didn't let anyone know I was coming, but I was with my wife and she thinks it's weird I want to meet people from the Internet. Besides, weren't you all on the island camping? Anyway, the city was gorgeous and we met some nice people. In a lot of ways it reminds me of Seattle, except the mountains are closer and all the buildings have balconies. You cannot get a hotel room in Seattle with a balcony. Usually the windows don't even open. Seattle has an unscrupulous suicide rate, which has literally affected the architecture of the city. Vancouver has laws about smoking indoors. Therefore, nearly every building in Vancouver has a patio or balcony and Seattle has none.

Not being able to smoke in a bar was rather aggravating, but I delt with it because I was getting Crown Royal for $3 CAD (which is about $0.45 USD, isn't it?). But the most extraordinary thing happened when the bar closed down. I am well acquainted with bar etiquette in Washington, at 1:30 the bar tender starts screaming for everyone to leave, "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here," sort of thing. But in this little bar on the west end of Vancouver, someone lit up a cigarette. This is how I knew the bar was closed. So I lit up as well. And then...then I smelled that unmistakable smell. As others began to light up, there was more than just tobacco burning. After a few minutes of this, the bar tender pipes up, "May I have your attention please?" Here it is, he's going to kick us all out, I thought. Once we quieted down he announced, "I believe you'll be much more comfortable in the back by the fireplace." God bless Canada! As we ventured back, there was someone already enjoying the fire and a variety of smoke as well. Naturally, I sat next to him, only to find out he was the owner of this fine establishment. We enjoyed ourselves into the no-so-wee hours of the morning.

It disturbs me a little how difficult it is to get back into the United States. Evidently, one must now prove citizenship at the border, which can be done with a passport or birth certificate. I had neither. The border guard said the most idiotic thing when I showed him my Washington State ID, "Having an ID doesn't prove citizenship. Speaking English doesn't prove it either." As if we weren't coming from a nation where English is spoken, not to mention, it's spoken in England! After some standard questioning at the border station, however, we were allowed to continue. I think they were too busy ripping apart the car of these kids who were obviously in Canada for the same reason as other 19-year-olds. This problem at the border was really the only downer to the trip; all in all it was spectacular.