Category Archives: Club Josh

The Wreck of the Z3

May has been quite the month here at Club Josh. As the title suggests, I was involved in an accident with my Z3 coming home from work at the beginning of the month. Faithful readers know how much I have wanted a Z3 since they first came out in the 1990s so this was an especially tough blow. I was hoping that the damage would be below the total point of the car, but sadly the repairs to the car were too extensive and the insurance company totaled the car out.

It was especially gutting because I didn’t think the damage was that severe and the car still only had 69k miles on it, but I had to remember that as a 19 year old car, it really wasn’t worth that much – only to me on an emotional level.

I did some sole searching about what I would do, and most people agreed that I needed to let my Z3 go. It had become something of a daily driver which I never wanted it to be. I think if I had a beater car to commute in, I might still have the Zed. In the end, the practical side of me decided it was time to return to Crossover/SUV land and I was really impressed with the look and feel of the new Subaru Crosstrek.

This weekend, I was able to get my new car, a 2018 Crosstrek, but as it ended early, it is still difficult to say goodbye to my Z3. I really hope to get another one in the future. It was such a fun car to drive, despite all of the minor issues that I had to repair in the short time I had it. It was these minor issues that really made me re-consider getting another one. I just was not ready to pump an additional 1-2K into an older car and I was ready to have a new car that I could take on road trips. Plus, I could not find any for sale Z3s that met my criteria.

So off on a new car adventure! Z3 I hardly knew you and Subaru, let’s get to know each other!

Catching Up – It’s been too long!

I really can’t say what exactly led to the decline in my social media postings and blogs, but since September 2016, I have done exactly no blog posts. I have managed to post some Gorn photos – that lasted until December, but even then my Instagrams and Tweets have declined dramatically.

Looking back it was a confluence of work and other things happening in real life that get in the way. At work, I was deeply involved in a project which inherently makes me not want to talk about what is going on – it helps that I actually can’t (LOL). My project ended at the end of May and I have slowly been easing back into regular work routine. As for the rest of life, the change in political climate and the complete deluge of 24/7 news and information made it difficult to focus on any particular thing. Let us also not forget how powerful laziness can do.

However all is not bad several great and amazing things have happened in the last 9 months:

Kris visits – Kris and his family were down for his wife’s performance at the Skirball Puppet Festival. Was so great and felt so good to see him and finally meet his son!!

Jean Michel Jarre – after having yearned for decades to see him live, my dream finally came true in May when I saw him at UC Berkeley’s Greek Theater and the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The show did not disappoint and I was so, so happy to see him. As a bonus, I actually met Jarre earlier in February when I won a Facebook competition to go to a Q/A panel in Hollywood. It made up for the fact I missed him when he was signing at Amoeba Records. Sometimes living in the OC is a disadvantage to quick reactions to things. Of course my Social Media malaise was partly to blame since I rarely check it at work so didn’t know about the appearance until it was too late. But all was right in the world when we met. I think a separate detailed blog post with photos and such about my Jarre geek out this year is required.

Twin Peaks! – It has returned after 25 years and boy oh boy am I loving it. Its been a long wait and nothing is as thrilling as re-visiting the world. Tonight is episode 8 which is almost the halfway point of the 18 total episodes of the season. Its been typically Lynch paced which can be frustrating because you want the payoffs to come, but it has been so good that I am willing to wait. As much as I want to just binge watch the whole thing, I am glad its released weekly so we can all analyze and re-analyze what the hee-haw is going on and that makes it that much better.

The Z3 – I still can’t believe that I went out and got a Z3 over Labor Day weekend last September. I know I posted a photo when I took delivery, but the whole experience is again worth its own blog post.. 9 months later I am still loving it. I have of course got a few dings here and there and had to repair some of the smaller items but nothing dampens my enjoyment of driving the car I have wanted since the late 1990s.

Shanghai Disneyland – It’s been a year since it has opened and I am glad that I have kept in touch with the people I have worked with there. It truly is a special time and so grateful I have kept in touch with my friends. I still miss the bill free existence and the glamour of living in a major international city, but I am also so, so glad I can see my family on a regular basis.

Travel – Other than the trip to Colorado in August, Daniel and I really haven’t been able to go anywhere other than camping with my Mom. We are hoping to go somewhere in October (likely Tokyo where else) and I am likely heading to the Caribbean in December on my first ever cruise. The Gorn is a bit antsy so hoping we can get to some new places soon.

Podcast! – Daniel has started the Room 396 Podcast and I have appeared on the first 5 episodes to date. If you want to know what I actually sound like take a listen and tweet me your feedback!

That is it, we are all caught up and look for some more details on the Z3 and Jarre coming up. This week is the 27th anniversary of Club Josh so hoping to do some refresh items here and there (Lots of Jarre items to add!!) and hopefully re-start the blog a day!

Change Again

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve returned back to the USA and have been getting settled back into my old routine. It’s been quite the shock to the system to come back to the States and part of me feels like I had a stroke and had a feverish dream about China. Then I look back on all my wonderful photos and am glad that it was real and I really did get to experience something as wonderful.

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the past year and the future and would not change a thing about what I did. Such a great experience and I hope I get asked to do something like it again. Back in reality, I’ve been getting used to my old job which honestly is just like the job I was doing in China, just with more English. I am glad I am fortunate to go back into a comfortable place to ease back into things. I do miss my friends and life in Shanghai. It was much simpler (no bills and no worries) and my friends were great people who really made living overseas so much better. I hope our paths will cross again and I am glad we have been able to keep in touch.

On the homefront, it only took 5 days for Daniel and I to find a place to live and so far we are loving it. It’s not as close to work as we used to live, but its nice and quite and the apartment, even though its smaller, still feels big. I’ve decided to keep most of my stuff in storage and will start pulling things out as needed (I urgently need a toaster!). It also gives us plenty of storage for the extra stuff we have no place for until we are able to finally buy a place in the future.

In the car front, it’s been a rollercoaster ride. I’ve now been without a car since the end of May 2015 – the longest I’ve ever been without a car since I got my license. The first few weeks were the toughest, but honestly it hasn’t been that bad. We’ve been carpooling everywhere and its been fine. We’ve had a few pain in the rear end days where schedules or what have you haven’t worked out and that really got me thinking about what kind of car I really need. I honestly don’t need an everyday car, just something that I can use a couple times a month.

Thinking about the future and not wanting to have car payments – I’ve had them since 1996 – I made the decision that I should get a used car. Me being me though, I’ve also decided I don’t need a boring practical car, but I should get something enjoyable. Nevertheless, it has led me down a crazy road and my next post will be the complete story (I hope) about me getting the car of my dreams.

Stay tuned!

Club Josh: The Twentieth Anniversary

Has it been 20 years?? Holy smokes! At the very least, its nice to know I’ve accomplished all but one item on my What’s Ahead List from 2005. Maybe this will be the year that I redesign my Jarre site. Being in China makes it a bit more difficult. Being in China. Crazy. 20 years ago working at the University on my one page long scrolling webpage, I never would have thought that it was possible to be working in a foreign country let alone on a long term project that means a lot to me.

So much has changed in the world in the last 20 years. From technology to social issues, I begin to realize what my parents went through from the 1960s to the 1980s. I’m glad at least for the last 15 years I have kept something of an update. Varying in update frequency for sure, but I still look back and remember stuff that happened back then. Time has faded my memory for sure. I remember thinking exactly that when I started the blog portion of my site. I just wanted to remember the great things I experienced over the years, many years later.

For those of you who have been there for a day or 20 years, I thank you for continuing to indulge me. Here is to many more years and to finally crossing things off of my web site to do list!

Quick Hits May 2015

A lot has been going on here and I have had zero time to post and do anything web related.

I missed posting and talking about the Nepal Earthquake
Big Changes at home: Selling Car and Moving everything out of my apartment
New stuff at work: Being Relocated to another part of the world!!?!
San Andreas: Looks like an awesome cheese fest and I can’t wait to see it!
Club Josh at 20: It’s the 20th anniversary of the web site and I gotta do something!
Jean Michel Jarre: My favorite musician has been releasing singles and has a forthcoming album for the first time in 7 years
Twin Peaks: The show is returning in 2016 (how will I be able to see it in China?)
Periscope: My latest app obsession and some great people to follow.

That is about the last month or so in quick hits. I hope to expand on the topics in future updates over the next few weeks as I get settled in my temporary digs.

Thanks for sticking with me and see you on the other side of the world. My plan is to go back to a daily update starting with June 1. Should be a doozy!

PS – fun thought, maybe I should do a trip diary for the time I am overseas. That would be one heck of a long update!

One Month Left

Last weekend, I headed off to Phoenix for one last visit to the relatives before I depart on my big adventure. I’ve got about one month left before moving away and the trip was a combination of seeing people as well as dropping off some important items that I did not want to put into storage.

Daniel and I had a good time, despite me having to work on Friday at the last minute. I was still out of there by 11 and by the time we packed the car and had lunch we were on our way at 130. Thankfully we didn’t get caught in too much traffic on our way out of town. We made good time and pulled up in Phoenix just after 7pm. As I was driving, I was trying to think of how many times I’ve actually driven the route from LA to Phoenix and just how much it has changed. I remember one of the first times post 1999 when I moved back to LA that it seemed like forever to get to Phoenix. Now it doesn’t seem that far – partially due to the urban sprawl over the last 15 years, but also due to the fact I mentally divide the trip between 100 mile segments.

Saturday we went to Sedona, AZ – sort of a last minute field trip. It was nice to go for a 2 hour drive and see a part of Arizona I haven’t been to yet. My nephew was along for the ride and I hope he enjoyed it as well. Around dinner, we met up with my Aunt and Uncle which was a nice surprise to say goodbye before my departure.

Sunday I finally was able to set up my new laptop! The first Club Josh laptop since my Dell I purchased in 2005! Ten Years, man a lot of technology has changed since then. I got it because I could not lug my 24″ iMac overseas and I was due for an upgrade. When I was younger I updated technology at a much faster rate, but in my old age I guess I am not as prone to be an early adopter. But so far, the new computer is so much faster and I’ve got one month left to put it through the paces to make sure that I have gotten all my programs and links ready to go.

The only issue I had was that it took me a long time to figure out why my iTunes wouldn’t see where my music was on my external drive, but it turns out there are configuration files you need to migrate as well. Consider it a pro tip. Oh and Google Searches of tech problems is the best thing ever. There has yet to be something I haven’t been able to resolve thanks to the net. My 1995 self is so jealous.

That’s it for now. Unfortunately I have fallen way off the update a day wagon and with my schedule it looks like it will wait until June to re-start once I am in my new place.

Josh – where are you going??? Don’t worry I still will write up a complete saga of where I am going soon!

Big News

Still trying to come to terms to what I agreed to do today. Potentially life changing as well as career impacting. Nervous, excited and scared all at the same time. Much to do before it happens, and as I get closer I will share more.

More Soon..

Europe 2014 is here!

I’ve actually posted the first pass of my travel diary for Europe 2014 in the Trip Diaries section of the site. I’ve actually removed the two entries I had here in the main blog since it was a duplicate of what I’ve placed there. Normally, I just leave the duplication, but since each day I was able to post a photo, I’m OK with no diaries here. Hopefully it will get more of you to check that section out!

Here is the Europe 2014 Trip Diary!

The next step is to actually drop some highlight photos and figure out how to add some galleries so I can post a small portion of the 600 photos I took on the trip. I also need to add the maps to the main archive page of the trip, but then again I still need to do that for every trip from 2000-2014. But hey it’s a start.

Any grammar and typo corrections are welcome..