Alex Camacho
Crosby, TX, United States
Born in Houston, Texas and raised all over living the life of an Army Brat. I Went to eight different schools (three elementary, one middle school, four high schools) and have one little brother who’s not so little anymore. I’ve been married for nearly fourteen years now to a woman who rocks my world and I've been blessed with two wonderful children. Our dog, Sally, is a big black lab saved from a local shelter.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Dusty Dicebag, a Deck of Cards, and a Saddle

It's been a long time, but I finally got a chance to dust off the dice bag this weekend. Oscar and Anthony were able to make it by the house on Saturday evening. I had planned on getting the new generator in the bus but I jumped at the chance to roleplay. They managed to find there old character sheets plus a few dice. It's always a little awkward for me getting back in the groove of things at first but then I hit cruise control if all goes well. Sometimes that moment of storytelling never happens and the whole thing is clunky and mechanical with no real sense of flow. This wasn't one of those times though. We took a good thirty minutes just trying to figure out where we left off last since it had been so long since we played but once we had dice in our hands it all came back for the most part. I stayed up way too late though after they left. I was wired and couldn't sleep. It didn't help that the dream I had the other night won't let me shake it loose. Ever had a dream that just stays with you and won't let go? I keep seeing that scene in my head over and over again and it always seems just a bit too real in the dark. Anyway, so I stayed awake a few hours longer to watch American Gun. It was a film that I've been waiting to see every since I heard about it but I probably should have waited to watch it. It was a dark but enthralling film. I did sleep like a rock when I finally fell away. In fact, I overslept.

I was supposed to get up early and hook up with the guys for some gaming but since I overslept a bit, it didn't quite work out. We did salvage the day though, and made it out to our neighborhood beach. We hadn't been yet and decided to enjoy it with friends. Micah, Kelly, the kiddos and Derek followed us out there only to find out that our key to the gate didn't work. Lana and wrestled with it for a little while before the people in the car behind us finally got frustrated enough to let us in with their key. Sure, we might possibly be locked in, but we're risk takers, what can I say? The kids had a blast and jumped right in the river despite it being a bit too chilly for my taste. I love the beach and while it's not the ocean, it's a good fix when I'm not up for the hour and a half drive to Galveston. There's just something I love about the smell of ocean water and the sound of the waves. We did get locked in by the way along with two other cars. After ten minutes or so, someone came in and let us out.

We ended up back at the house, chowed down on some pizza, and played a friendly game of poker. The pizza man has come to expect our standard five pizza order on the weekend. It came down to head's up with Kelly and me. Kelly always makes me a bit nervous when I'm playing in a pot with her. There was talk of a second game but Lana and I had riding lessons today. Yup, Lana's finally convinced me to get on a horse.

I love animals. I'm generally pretty comfortable around just about any animal. Large creatures that are capable of causing me great injury are a different matter though. I've never had great experiences around them either so I'm sure that didn't help matters.

I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did get bitten though. I can't quite call it a bite, more of a nibble. We were done with our first lesson, I was scratching an itch on my horse when our instructor started talking again. I stopped to listen when he started nosing me and "lipping" my arm. I didn't think anything about it until I felt the pinch of teeth on my arm. Apparently I wasn't supposed to stop. I got the message.

Anyway, now I'm home, and I smell like horse but I'm too damn tired to do much about it this very moment. I didn't get much sleep last night and I think I might just crawl in the lovesac for a nap. It's sounding better by the moment. Later!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Lazy Tuesday

My box of goodies came in today. I called up Wolfgang to get the tracking number only to find out that it had been delivered earlier today. I must have slept right through the ups guy ringing the door bell. It was a long night of cleaning up vomit and tucking Marcel back in bed so I'm not really surprised.

We stayed up pretty late watching Shall We Dance. Marcel wasn't all that interested and fell asleep on the couch. I tucked him in and Lana and I crawled into bed. All seemed well until I heard him get off the couch and stumble into the kitchen. I jumped out of bed to make sure he was okay and found him stumbling around the kitchen half asleep. He wasn't very coherent but I managed to get out of him his tummy hurt and he needed a glass of water. He was filling his glass when his tummy revolted all over the kitchen and I do mean all over the kitchen. I didn't know a six year old's stomach could compact that much food inside. I managed to get him out of the mess, clean him up and back on the couch without too much trouble. So there I am, half asleep myself, in my boxers, standing in a pool of vomit lost on where to start. I decided cleaning myself off was probably not a bad place to start. It took a couple of towels, a steaming hot mop, the dust pan, lots of bleach and about forty minutes. About the time I was dozing off again with the smell of bleach burned in my nostrils, he was up again. He made it to the toilet thankfully this time. He did this a few more times but mostly it was just his tummy making sure it was empty. I think Lana rolled over once in her sleep but I'm not sure. My baby could sleep through an earthquake.

I was pretty excited about getting my box in today even if I am too tired to really mess around much with the bus. Turns out they shorted me all the bulbs. I'll call them tomorrow to bitch I guess. I still need to find a wiper motor and front seats. I'm pretty sure I found the front seats for two hundred here in town but I still haven't found the wiper motor. I could just buy one out of a catalog for another two hundred but I see them on some of the forums going for around seventy five. I'm not sure if my patience can hold out. Once all the wiring is replaced and upgraded to twelve volts, I can pass an inspection. Which means it will officially be my daily driver. Whoo hooo!!! I shouldn't celebrate too early. The wiring and conversion are going to be quite the task. I think tomorrow I'll try to get up early to get a good start before I have to get ready for my brother's poker game.

Turns out Anthony is a mean poker player. Lana had a meeting on Sunday so it was the perfect excuse for me to get the guys together for some games. Micah, Derek, Anthony, and me started off with a game of Strange Synergy. By the time I managed to pull a win out my butt, the meeting was over and poker was mentioned by the girls. After four pizza's, a snack run, and ice cream, we ended up playing well into the morning hours with Anthony and Micah calling in sick in the morning. Derek stayed strong despite all the peer pressure to call in sick and bailed a little early so he could make it to work on time. It's been a while since we had a full house like that for games. I think I like the idea of a Sunday game day. Roleplaying was even mentioned. It looks promising so far...

Maybe tonight I'll work on my GURPS game that I've been wanting to run. Gather up all my books in the living room, pop some popcorn and watch some movies to set the mood while I take gaming notes. It feels like a sci-fi movie run tonight. 'Night!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Game Anyone?

We ended up going to my brothers house last night for a friendly game of poker. He had every seat on his poker table filled. It's probably a good thing too because Lana's poker table is still at Tracy's place. I think he's taken to having it there for his Saturday games. I thought about bringing my octagon table just to be safe but Mike said he didn't need it. I ended up at the end of the table right next to the beer fridge. Lucky me. It wasn't too bad but it did get annoying constantly scooting up. By the time the blinds went up the third time I thought I was out of the game. I was down to my last three chips. Yeah, it was five hundred seventy, but that's nothing when you look around the table. To make a long story short, I pulled off the win by clawing my way back. I ended up going heads up with Lana for the win. I don't think other folks there really understood Lana and I wanting to play it out but I hate not to. Lana's an excellent player and I love a good challenge. Their opinion being it doesn't matter since the money is going to the same place. I don't know what their thinking but daddy needs a new twelve volt 1967 wiper motor. ;)

I think I'm going to stick to home games and tournaments. The games are friendlier, hardly anyone acts like an ass win or lose, and everyone's there to have fun and improve their game. I love playing games but I can't stand a sore loser, or even worse, someone who doesn't know how to win gracefully. When we were at the casino there was an older guy there just steaming at the collar over a few lost pots. He even blamed the guy sitting to his left for his bad call on one fold. He had asked the guy his opinion on what he should do and he folded on that. Did some parents just not teach them what a good sportmanship is?

I'm thinking of making an attempt at a game night that consists of something other than poker though. I'm starting to wonder if Derek is alive, it's been so long since I've seen the boy belly up with a bag of dice. I've got almost a full wall of nothing but games, including a few I haven't broke in yet like Axis & Allies. The thing is "poker night" is now Friday and Saturday's. With the bus only a week away from being inspection ready though, I'll be able to get a game or two going with Oscar and Anthony. They live on the other side of town and I don't get to hook up with them near as much as I would like. We have a roleplaying game we need to continue. My dice bag is getting a little dusty and I'm ready to get back in the game. Game night anyone?

For now though, I've got a lot of stuff to do around the house. What's on my menu for today? Well, I finally got around to cleaning most of the upstairs. Now I need to scrub the writing off the walls, vacuum, fix Marcel's toy box, fix the clothes rack in the closet, finish fixing his cabinets, and moving the cable connection to Marcel's room. It's probably going to take up the rest of the day, but I need something to do or I'm just going to end up tinkering with the bus. Man, I love that car. Every time I look at it, I see it's potential. Man, I can't wait. :)

Monday, April 11, 2005

Eight Years

Our wedding anniversary has come and gone along with Lana's birthday. Eight years together. We ended up going to Coushatta's on Friday to play some poker and came home to have dinner at the Melting Pot on Saturday. It's a little weird looking back and counting the years and going, "Yup, that's eight years alright." It's funny to think that we originally got married really out of a fondness for each other and that it was financially convenient.

Not only does this year mark our eight years together but it also marks the end of my military obligations. In just a few days more, I'm officially a civilian again. It feels like a weight being lifted off my shoulders that I didn't even know was there. For the past few years I've been dreading the potential phone call of re-activation but now that's gone. I don't regret the time I spent in the military but it definitely takes a toll on the family life.

In other news, all the stuff I need for the six volt to twelve volt conversion are on their way thanks to the guys at Wolfgang International. I called them up and they pretty much walked me through everything else that I had questions about. I'm pretty excited about it because it means that it's closer to being a real daily driver for me. Hopefully sometime this weekend I'll be tearing out the old wiring and installing the new stuff. There will probably be much cussing but it's all in love.

Sunday, April 3, 2005

A Married Man

Matt finally did it. He's now a married man. We left a day early to make sure we made it on time. We made the wedding rehearsal and had time to kill so we ended up bouncing from one bookstore to another. I actually got tired before Lana did. Marcel was so hyper that it wore me out just being around him. I just don't see where he gets all the energy sometimes. I wish I did because I'd love to tap that reserve. The wedding went pretty good I thought. It ran a bit late though, and we still had a drive back so we bailed a little early.

It's hard to believe it's been close to eight years ago that Matt and I were doing PT together. There's not too many guys I stayed in touch with over the years from the time I spent in the Army but I'm glad Matt and I have. He's a good guy and I'm glad to see he's found his woman. We spent many a nights gathered around my dining room table chucking dice, eating pizza, and laughing. We always paid our dues during morning PT though. It's really pretty neat, when I get to thinking about it, how many lasting friendships are made over a simple pencil and paper game. I was tempted to get him a few GURPS books at the book store as a wedding present but I didn't know what he already had.

I found a few gems at Half Price. One was an old vinyl recording of War of the Worlds: The Musical Recording along with an old coffee table book about the VW Type Two, the VW Transporter.

I've been trying to find as many pictures of 1966 Buses to find out what direction I want to go with my own baby. I think I've decided to do an original restoration with a few minor mods to catch up with the times. The major one being the electrical work. I'm in the middle of preparing a full twelve volt conversion along with a new wiring loom. The wires are so old a lot of them break if bent a little. It's going to be a little bit of a headache getting it all sorted but it'll be worth it. I have an original wiring diagram on the way thanks to Wolfsburg West. After the wiring, I'm ordering all new door rubber and window seals. Before they go on though, I'm going to have the body work done. Lots of little nicks and dents plus a few rust spots that need to be nipped in the bud before they get worse. It's going to be a busy summer but I'm looking forward to it. Right now my first mission is getting it inspection ready. Stuff like the horn, blinkers, brakelights, and low beams need to be working. It's funny, it's like Christmas every morning. I wake up and I think, "What can I work on today?"

Speaking of, I should get back to comparing prices online. 'Night!