31 August 2005

And the top 100 songs are!!!

So in thinking back in time, I thought about what in the world were the top 100 songs the year I graduated high school. Check out this list from 1991 (truly horrible I might add):

1. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, Bryan Adams
2. I Wanna Sex You Up, Color Me Badd
3. Gonna Make You Sweat, C+C Music Factory
4. Rush Rush, Paula Abdul
5. One More Try, Timmy T
6. Unbelievable, EMF
7. More Than Words, Extreme
8. I Like The Way (The Kissing Game), Hi-Five
9. The First Time, Surface
10. Baby, Baby, Amy Grant
11. Motownphilly, Boyz II Men
12. Because I Love You (The Postman Song), Stevie B
13. Someday, Mariah Carey
14. High Enough, Damn Yankees
15. From A Distance, Liette Midler
16. All The Man That I Need, Whitney Houston
17. Right Here, Right Now, Jesus Jones
18. I Adore Mi Amor, Color Me Badd
19. Love Will Never Do (Without You), Janet Jackson
20. Good Vibrations, Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch Featuring Loleatta Holloway
21. Justify My Love, Madonna
22. Emotions, Mariah Carey
23. Joyride, Roxette
24. Romantic, Karyn White
25. I Don't Wanna Cry, Mariah Carey
26. Hold You Tight, Tara Kemp
27. You're In Love, Wilson Phillips
28. Every Heartbeat, Amy Grant
29. Sensitivity, Ralph Tresvant
30. Touch Me (All Night Long), Cathy Dennis
31. I've Been Thinking About You, Londonbeat
32. Do Anything, Natural Selection
33. Losing My Religion, R.E.M.
34. Coming Out Of The Dark. Gloria Estefan
35. Here We Go. C+C Music Factory
36. It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over, Lenny Kravitz
37. Where Does My Heart Beat Now, Celine Dion
38. Summertime, D.J. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince
39. Wind Of Change, Scorpions
40. P.A.S.S.I.O.N., Rhythm Syndicate
41. The Promise Of A New Day, Paula Abdul
42. I'm Your Baby Tonight, Whitney Houston
43. Love Of A Lifetime, Firehouse
44. Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave), Roxette
45. This House, Tracie Spencer
46. Hole Hearted, Extreme
47. Power Of Love-Love Power, Luther Vandross
48. Impulsive, Wilson Phillips
49. Love Is A Wonderful Thing, Michael Bolton
50. Rhythm Of My Heart, Rod Stewart
51. Things That Make You Go Hmmmm..., C+C Music Factory
52. I Touch Myself, Divinyls
53. Tom's Diner, DMA
54. Iesha, Another Bad Creation
55. Something To Talk About, Bonnie Raitt
56. After The Rain, Nelson
57. Play That Funky Music, Vanilla Ice
58. Temptation, Corina
59. Can't Stop This Thing We Started, Bryan Adams
60. I Can't Wait Another Minute, Hi-Five
61. 3 A.M. Eternal, The KLF
62. Time, Love and Tenderness, Michael Bolton
63. Saideness Part I, Enigrna
64. Around The Way Girl, LL Cool J
65. I'll Be There, Escape Club
66. Cream, Prince and The N.P.G.
67. Now That We Found Love, Heavy D. and The Boyz
68. Show Me The Way, Styx
69. Love Takes Time, Mariah Carey
70. Cry For Help, Rick Astley
71. The Way You Do The Things You Do, UB40
72. Here I Am (Come and Take Me), UB40
73. Signs, Tesla
74. Too Many Walls, Cathy Dennis
75. Crazy, Seal
76. I'll Give All My Love To You, Keith Sweat
77. Place In This World, Michael W. Smith
78. Something To Believe In, Poison
79. Wicked Game, Chris Issak
80. Get Here, Oleta Adams
81. Round and Round, Tevin Campbell
82. Silent Lucidity, Queensryche
83. I'm Not In Love, Will To Power
84. Piece Of My Heart, Tara Kemp
85. Real Real Real, Jesus Jones
87. Just Another Dream, Cathy Dennis
88. Everybody Plays The Fool, Aaron Neville
88. Strike It Up, Black Box
89. Rico Suave, Gerardo
90. Disappear, INXS
91. Groove Is In The Heart, Deee-Lite
92. All This Time, Sting
93. The One and Only, Chesney Hawkes
94. O.P.P., Naughty By Nature
95. Freedom 90, George Michael
96. I Saw Red, Warrent
97. Miles Away, Winger
98. Do You Want Me, Salt-N-Pepa
99. The Motown Song, Rod Stewart
100. Shiny Happy People, R.E.M.

I mean, holy shit. Gerardo (an album my roommate owns by the way)! That guy was pure rubbish. Color Me Badd is in there. Whatever happened to them? Hopefully they fell off of a cliff in a tragic bus accident. Sure there are some good songs in there, but for the most part, it's bad stuff, very very bad. Hair bands, Mariah Carey, Bryan Adams, C&C Music Factory, Timmy "fucking" T?? Who is that anyway? I don't even think I remember that guy, and I have a mind for trivial items.

OK, 1992... Let's see if that's any better..

1. End Of The Road, Boyz II Men
2. Baby Got Back, Sir Mix A-lot
3. Jump, Kris Kross
4. Save The Best For Last, Vanessa Williams
5. Baby-Baby-Baby, TLC
6. Tears In Heaven, Eric Clapton
7. My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It), En Vogue
8. Under The Bridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers
9. All 4 Love, Color Me Badd
10. Just Another Day, Jon Secada
11. I Love Your Smile, Shanice
12. To Be With You, Mr. Big
13. I'm Too Sexy, Right Said Fred
14. Black Or White, Michael Jackson
15. Achy Breaky Heart, Billy Ray Cyrus 16.
16. I'll Be There, Mariah Carey
17. November Rain, Guns N' Roses
18. Life Is A Highway, Tom Cochrane
19. Remember The Time, Michael Jackson
20. Finally, CeCe Peniston
21. This Used To Be My Playground, Madonna
22. Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough, Patty Smyth
23. Can't Let Go, Mariah Carey
24. Jump Around, House Of Pain
25. Diamonds and Pearls, Prince and The N.P.G.
26. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, George Michael and Elton John
27. Masterpiece, Atlantic Starr
28. If You Asked Me To, Celine Dion
29. Giving Him Something He Can Feel, En Vogue
30. Live and Learn, Joe Public
31. Come and Talk To Me, Jodeci
32. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana
33. Humpin' Around, Bobby Brown
34. Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover, Sophie B. Hawkins
35. Tell Me What You Want Me To Do, Teven Campbell
36. Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg, TLC
37. It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday, Boyz II Men
38. Move This, Technotronic
39. Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
40. Tennessee, Arrested Development
41. The Best Things In Life Are Free, Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson
42. Make It Happen, Mariah Carey
43. The One, Elton John
44. Set Adrift On Memory Bliss, P.M. Dawn
45. Stay, Shakespear's Sister
46. 2 Legit 2 Quit, Hammer
47. Please Don't Go, K.W.S.
48. Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes), Mint Condition
49. Wishing On A Star, Cover Girls
50. She's Playing Hard To Get, Hi-Five
51. I'd Die Without You, P.M. Dawn
52. Good For Me, Amy Grant
53. All I Want, Toad The Wet Sprocket
54. When A Man Loves A Woman, Michael Bolton
55. I Can't Dance, Genesis
56. Hazard, Richard Marx
57. Mysterious Ways, U2
58. Too Funky, George Michael
59. How Do You Talk To An Angel, Heights
60. One, U2
61. Keep On Walkin', CeCe Peniston
62. Hold On My Heart, Genesis
63. The Way I Feel About You, Karyn White
64. Beauty and The Beast, Calms Dion and Peabo Bryson
65. Warm It Up, Kris Kross
66. In The Closet, Michael Jackson
67. People Everyday, Arrested Development
68. No Son Of Nine, Genesis
69. Wildside, Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch
70. Do I Have To Say The Words?, Bryan Adams
71. Friday I'm In Love, Cure
72. Everything About You, Ugly Kid Joe
73. Blowing Kisses In The Wind, Paula Abdul
74. Thought I'd Died and Gone To Heaven, Bryan Adams
75. Rhythm Is A Dancer, Snap
76. Addams Groove, Hammer
77. Missing You Now, Michael Bolton
78. Back To The Hotel, N2Deep
79. Everything Changes, Kathy Troccoli
80. Have You Ever Needed Somone So Bad, Def Leppard
81. Take This Heart, Richard Marx
82. When I Look Into Your Eyes, Firehouse
83. I Wanna Love You, Jade
84. Uhh Ahh, Boyz II Men
85. Real Love, Mary J. Blige
86. Justified and Ancient, The KLF
87. Slow Motion, Color Me Badd
88. What About Your Friends, TLC
89. Thinkin' Back, Color Me Badd
90. Would I Lie To You?, Charles and Eddie
91. That's What Love Is For, Amy Grant
92. Keep Coming Back, Richard Marx
93. Free Your Mind, En Vogue
94. Keep It Comin', Keith Sweat
95. Just Take My Heart, Mr. Big
96. I Will Remember You, Amy Grant
97. We Got A Love Thang, CeCe Peniston
98. Let's Get Rocked, Def Leppard
99. They Want EFX, Das EFX
100. I Can't Make You Love Me, Bonnie Raitt

Not so much better. Let me look at one more year, the year of college graduation... 1995. This HAS to be better doesn't it? Not neccessarily of course...

1. Gangsta's Paradise, Coolio
2. Waterfalls, TLC
3. Creep, TLC
4. Kiss From A Rose, Seal
5. On Bended Knee, Boyz II Men
6. Another Night, Real McCoy
7. Fantasy, Mariah Carey
8. Take A Bow, Madonna
9. Don't Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days), Monica
10. This Is How We Do It, Montell Jordan
11. I Know, Dionne Farris
12. Water Runs Dry, Boyz II Men
13. Freak Like Me, Adina Howard
14. Run-Around, Blues Traveler
15. I Can Love You Like That, All-4-One
16. Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?, Bryan Adams
17. Always, Bon Jovi
18. Boombastic / In The Summertime, Shaggy
19. Total Eclipse Of The Heart, Nicki French
20. You Gotta Be, Des'ree
21. You Are Not Alone, Michael Jackson
22. Hold My Hand, Hootie and The Blowfish
23. One More Chance-Stay With Me, Notorious B.I.G.
24. Here Comes The Hotstepper, Ini Kamoze
25. Candy Rain, Soul For Real
26. Let Her, w Hootie and The Blowfish
27. I Believe, Blessid Union Of Souls
28. Red Light Special, TLC
29. Runaway, Janet Jackson
30. Strong Enough, Sheryl Crow
31. Colors Of The Wind, Vanessa Williams
32. Someone To Love, Jon B.
33. Only Wanna Be With You, Hootie and The Blowfish
34. If You Love Me, Brownstone
35. In The House Of Stone And Light, Martin Page
36. I Got 5 On It, Luniz
37. Baby, Brandy
38. Run Away, Real McCoy
39. As I Lay Me Down, Sophie B. Hawkins
40. He's Mine, Mokenstef
41. December, Collective Soul
42. I'll Be There For You-You're All I Need To Get By, Method Man-Mary J. Blige
43. Shy Guy, Diana King
44. I'm The Only One, Melissa Etheridge
45. Every Little Thing I Do, Soul For Real
46. Before I Let You Go, BLACKstreet
47. Big Poppa / Warning, Notorious B.I.G.
48. Sukiyaki, 4 P.M.
49. I Wanna Be Down, Brandy
50. I'll Make Love To You, Boyz II Men
51. Dear Mama / Old School, 2Pac
52. Hold On, Jamie Walters
53. Keep Their Heads Ringin', Dr. Dre
54. The Rhythm Of The Night, Corona
55. Roll To Me, Del Amitri
56. Scream / Childhood, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
57. Freek'n You, Jodeci
58. I Wish, Skee-lo
59. Believe, Elton John
60. Carnival, Natalie Merchant
61. You Don't Know How It Feels, Tom Petty
62. Back For Good, Take That
63. Tootsee Roll, 69 Boyz
64. You Want This-70's Love Groove, Janet Jackson
65. Tell Me, Groove Theory
66. Can't You See, Total
67. All I Wanna Do, Sheryl Crow
68. This Lil' Game We Play, Subway
69. Come And Get Your Love, Real McCoy
70. This Ain't A Love Song, Bon Jovi
71. Secret, Madonna
72. Player's Anthem, Junior M.A.F.I.A.
73. Feel Me Flow, Naughty By Nature
74. Every Day Of The Week, Jade
75. The Sweetest Days, Vanessa Williams
76. Short Dick Man, 20 Fingers Featuring Gillette
77. Brokenhearted, Brandy
78. No More "I Love You's", Annie Lennox
79. You Used To Love Me, Faith Evans
80. Constantly, Immature
81. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, U2
82. 100% Pure Love, Crystal Waters
83. Ask Of You, Raphael Saadiq
84. Sugar Hill, Az
85. Good, Better Than Ezra
86. Brown Sugar, D'angelo
87. Turn The Beat Around, Gloria Estefan
88. 'Til You Do Me Right, After 7
89. 1st Of Tha Month, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
90. Like The Way I Do If I Wanted To, Melissa Etheridge
91. I Live My Life For You, Firehouse
92. Dream About You-Funky Melody, Stevie B
93. Cotton Eye Joe, Rednex
94. Thank You, Boyz II Men
95. I'll Stand By You, Pretenders
96. I Miss You, N II U
97. Give It 2 You, Da Brat
98. Best Friend, Brandy
99. Misery, Soul Asylum
100. Can't Stop Lovin' You, Van Halen

OK, this last list just leads me to the basic conclusion that popular music sucks. That was the basic premise of this entry of course. Popular music, it stinks. It's too influenced by mass media radio right now and how they can kill songs in the span of oh, I don't know, about 10 hours. Especially radio in North Carolina right now, it's unbelievably BAD. B-A-D bad. I tune in, and then I tune out, almost immediately. The same songs, over and over and over again, relentlessly. They're killing radio these media giants. Media giants like Clear Channel. They own, oh, I don't know, about a million radio stations, and independant control is over and one with. DJs don't even get to play music that they want now. Before, they had a little latitude, but now, nothing... Programming is sent down from the head office.

What were the top songs from your years?

30 August 2005

Return of dogs and everything else...

The Bea is back in town, well, back in the apartment that is. The SO’s dog ran away last Friday, and it turns out, a couple down the street from where she lives saw her chasing a jogger, and grabbed her so that she wouldn’t get run over out on the road where the SO lives. They sequestered the Bea with their other dog for a few days until they could give the Invisible Fence people a call, and they were able to get in touch with the SO’s Dad, and then subsequently the SO, so now, The Bea is back in the fold of things. Which is very nice, because she’s such a sweet dog, and well, it was sad to think that she had run off and might never come back. Luckily, we don’t have to worry about this, as the Black Dog is back in the house. Although she seems a little tired, or not quite herself yet. She’s not chasing the Shark around the apartment like a maniac yet, and not chewing up anything, yet. I’m sure once she gets back into the swing of it, she’ll be terrorizing us once again whilst we’re there. This I have no doubt. The story turned out well though, and everyone is happy that The Bea is back, well, maybe The Shark (the cat) is not so happy about this, but she’ll get over it just like she always does. Or she’ll just get chased around the joint haphazardly.

What is with this State of North Carolina? Sometimes I’ve really got to wonder. First, they held out for the longest time in allowing high alcohol content beer, with the reason being that if you sold higher alcohol beer, people would drink it to just get drunk. Silly logic right there. So instead of say 8 beers to get wasted, you could drink 5 or something like that. Guess what lawmakers, people are still going to get drunk no matter what the alcohol content of beer is (unless it’s zero, and then, well, you don’t get drunk at all). Now, we have this proposal in front of the State legislature that would allow for NC to have a lottery. This is a big deal here, since we are the only East coast State to NOT have a lottery. The lawmakers in Raleigh keep telling us it is for our own good, and that lotteries tend to “play” to a more poverty level demographic, and these people think that we don’t know how to spend our own money. Talk about government intrusion into daily life. On the other hand though, an increase in the cigarette tax would be a bad thing. Considering that North Carolina now has the lowest cigarette tax in the entire WORLD, the lawmakers don’t see the need to increase it, because it would possibly harm small rural tobacco farmers. Hey, genius, I hate to break it to you, but tobacco ain’t the cash crop it once was, and this increase in the tax isn’t going to hurt anyone. On the other hand, it might be good for North Carolinians, because then, it’s possible, a few more people might give up smoking because it becomes too expensive, and they drop the habit, which in turn would better the health of this State’s people, which in another turn might allow for healthcare costs to go lower in the long run. So what I’m trying to say here is that the lawmakers won’t give us a lottery because they “know” what’s good for us, but they won’t increase a cigarette tax on something that isn’t good for us… I don’t get their logic. Not at all. I’ve written lots of letters about this, but only once in awhile do I actually hear anything back from my elected representatives in Washington and in Raleigh. I wonder if the FBI or the Secret Service has my letters to President Bush on file? That would be cool to find out if I had an FBI file. Freedom of information act, here I come. That will be my goal this week, to find out if I have an FBI file somewhere, and to see what’s in it. If I do have one, I’ll post it on up here for all to see. I’m thinking that I’m not that subversive though. Liberal yes, subversive, probably not. Although I’m betting that J. Edgar Hoover is doing backflips in his grave right now, because I’m sure that there are literally hundreds of thousands of people in the US that he’d like to have files on these days, and not tell them about it. I think we’ve come a long way since those days, well, I hope at least. Then again, there is the Patriot Act and all. It appears that after looking at the FBI website, it’s rather easy to send in a request for information, but who knows if it will get processed and all, I mean, they are probably fairly busy, and don’t want to deal with a literal nobody, that being me, asking if they have an FBI file. Check out their homepage at: www.fbi.gov . Looking through just a little bit of the information that they have posted up there, it does appear that the FBI has dirt on EVERYONE. And I do mean everyone. Check out their electronic reading room on their website. http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/foiaindex.htm

How did I get off on an FBI tangent? I don’t know. So yes, the lottery, North Carolina, why don’t they just do it and get it over and done with? Instead of all of this money that is currently leaving the State to go to Virginia or South Carolina when people cross the State border to buy lottery tickets, it could all be staying in State here and possibly helping with educational costs. States have benefited from lotteries in the past, and what’s to say really, that North Carolina can’t benefit the same way, or possibly better? I think we could, if, of course, it’s done correctly. For instance, look at Georgia. They initiated a lottery, and they then take the proceeds, and anyone within the State that maintains a certain grade level when graduating high school can go to a state college or university in Georgia for free. That is an incentive for sure. There are some decent schools in Georgia, and to go for free, well, damn. I’d take that. I just got done paying for my schooling last week. 10 years later, the payments are done. And I mean, almost exactly 10 years later. I graduated technically from the University of Maine in August of 1995. Here it is, August 2005, and I’m done paying off loans finally. 10 years my friends, 10 years. That’s a freakin’ long time to be paying something off, but it’s finally done and over with now. So I can’t complain too much anymore. Now if I can pay off some of those other bills lurking in the back.

Am I not the only person in my workplace that isn’t obsessed with college football? I’m starting to think that I am. Football season is fast approaching, and we have the now yearly ritual where I work of the NC State fans starting to get fired up. Call me hateful if you will, but NC State is never going to go anywhere with their sports programs. Sure, they’re OK, but they’re never going to be top notch, in anything. Football is their best shot, and they still sort of stink at that. State fans have a certain disdain for Carolina fans for some reason, but the converse is not true. I think that they’re just mad that Carolina is pretty much better at everything than they are, and that they think that they’re second class citizens in the realm of Universities within the triangle, which is more or less true. Carolina and Duke rank way above NC State as far as universities go. It’s funny, but State people hate, and hate might be too light of a word to use here, but State people absolutely hate and loathe Carolina people. It’s comical even. If you were a U-Maine alum, and knew about the rivalry that we had/have with BU in hockey, it doesn’t even approach the hate that State fans have for Carolina fans. I know people that lost March Madness betting pools last year because they couldn’t pick Carolina to go past the first round of the tournament because they hated them so much. Of course we know what happened. State got drummed out, and Carolina went and took the National Championship. This only increased their fire and rhetoric. People, it’s just college sports. It doesn’t affect you one way or another. Monday mornings during football season, my boss will roll in here, and the only thing that she will talk about for 3-4 hours on Monday morning is the State football game from that weekend. Win, lose, or draw. She will discuss ad nauseum. She sits on the other side of the room from me, yet I can hear her discussing football at my desk for many hours… It’s sad actually. I have a co-worker who went to a tailgate training camp last weekend to “get ready” for the upcoming football/tailgate season. These are sad sad things my friends. If I ever take a sport that I don’t participate in that seriously, please someone shoot me. Which, unfortunately, seems to happen at NC State tailgate parties, well, at least last year it did. www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9007042/

My incessant rambling has now gone on way too long.

29 August 2005

Parties and dogs...

This weekend I had a party. It was a good time for all I think. Well, it looked like folks were having a good time. I wished that I had been less drunk so that I could have take some pictures of the folks there and all. I never remember that there are about 13 cameras in my house, until it’s too late, and then, well, it’s too late. With the recent purchase of a computer, I am convinced that I should now also get a digital camera, because those are just 2 things that should go together I guess. And, I’ll have a place to store my pictures. In the past, I’ve stored pictures of mine on my roommate’s computer, and every once in awhile, he’ll get a wild burr and replace the hard drive, or just replace the computer, and next thing I know, I’ve lost any and all pictures that I might have had on there, and there is no way to get them back. So… Now I have permanent storage. And this is a good thing.

The party though, it was a good core group of my friends, and the SO’s friends all coming together to drink some beer, hang out, and eat a lot of food. I have to say, I threw down some money on this weekend’s venture. I spent I think it was $120 on food and beverages. That’s a lot of dough right there, but well worth it. Everyone seemed to be well fed, and well watered. There were deli rolls, mini quiche, pasta salad, sausages, turkey burgers, salsa, queso, and a few other things that I purchased. My most recent favorite discovery though was seeing that they now have Monterrey jack salsa con queso, such good stuff. Oh, and I made some semi-famous Lyster dip, which includes one block of cream cheese, one small container of sour cream, and an entire jar of green olives. This stuff is good, if you’re an olive fan that is. I know some folks who only like their olives floating in gin or vodka with a slight hint of vermouth, but I’m willing to bet that this concoction takes a very close second place to that. A very close second place indeed. When I’ve been at other parties in the past where this mix has been present, it has always been one of the first things to get eaten and it gets to the point where people are licking the bowl. I swear, it’s that good. Steve Lyster is a genius, at least when it comes to making dip. And fixing bikes, and well, I’m sure there are other things in there as well that I’m not aware of and I’ll think of a few later on down the line. I actually shamed Jason Darden into coming over for the party as well. He wasn’t even going to come, and then he heard that people were there, and he has a hard time NOT being around people, telling stories, and making with the funny. Now if we could only get Joel Darden to a party, but I have a feeling that is never going to happen within the next 2-3 years of his life. Possibly, never again. Then again, I think I can shame him into it as well. I might have to send out a “save the date” notice to people about the Halloween party this year, as I intend for it to be a massively good time. October 28th, that’s going to be the date for certain. Friday night, people are ready and willing to get down with the get down. It should be a good time. For the first time, I’m not having the Halloween party on Halloween. Why one might ask? Well, last year, I did it on Halloween, which was a Sunday evening, and it bombed party wise. Sure, there were big happenings on Franklin Street, but nobody came to the house for the most part, and this is what I’m really looking for. The best one I ever had was on a Friday night, so now, we go back to the schedule until the time when Halloween falls on a weekend again.

Something bad also happened this weekend. The SO’s dog, Beatrice, ran off unfortunately. She was let outside, and we assume that her shock collar for the invisible fence had a dead battery, and most likely there was some sort of animal in the back yard that she wanted to chase, and she took off running. When you have a lab/greyhound mix of a dog, they like to run, and The Bea can run very fast. This was Friday night, and Saturday morning we made trips around to the local animal shelters to see if someone brought her in, but no luck there. It was probably too early to check around the shelters anyway, and I’m going to go back and check again this week as well. The SO has called the police in Durham to report the missing dog, so they have a report on The Bea now as well, and her description. I think we need to whip up a few flyers and put them up in the direct neighborhood just in case folks around there might see her dashing around back yards, chasing horses, chasing deer, rabbits, and anything else furry that scrambles around. I have distinct hope that we’re going to recover The Bea, mostly because when the SO got her, she was a street dog anyway, a stray that nobody wanted, and she lived on her wits before, so I’m pretty certain that she can do it again, at least until the animal control folks can grab her, and bring her to a shelter so that we can get her back. Also, I have a feeling that she might just be on a grand adventure, and will show up at the door of the apartment, tail wagging, tongue lolling out the side of her mouth, looking for some water or something. She’s such a sweet dog, I could also see someone just taking her in, because she is so affectionate, and well, friendly. She is a little bit of a terror on occasion though, eating and chewing on things that she shouldn’t chew on, but then again, she’s a heck of a lot more positive than negative. I hope that she turns up, or that we find her again. I’ll keep looking for a long time before I give up on that dog.

25 August 2005

Crazy things...

I have been having this really hard time getting good sleep, and if you've read anything in my postings before this, you know that this is an ongoing saga in this kid's life that doesn't seem to want to end anytime soon really. Well, I've made the decision, with a lot of prompting from the SO to get to the doctor, and get this taken care of. Word on the street is that there are some good drugs that can get me back into a good sleep pattern, and get me straightened out and ready to roll again. This lack of sleep is affecting pretty much all facets of my life as I know it right now really. I can't ride, too tired. Don't exert myself at work too much, too tired. And so on and so forth. Apathy has become my downright partner in crime for the most part, and I don't like it so much anymore, so I'm doing something about it. I'll go see my Doctor buddy Gonzalo Fernandez sometime very soon, maybe as soon as tomorrow so I can get this taken care of. I need to. It's funny that when I'm the least stressed out, I don't sleep very well. By all indications my life is pretty damn great. I have a great SO, the job isn't that bad, well, the commute is, but the job itself, once I'm there isn't that bad, and in general, life is good. I have a bunch of great friends, and a great life. It's just I can't sleep.

I feel like there are going to be some drugs in my future, sleeping drugs, and this will get shit straight in a hurry. I'm psyched about it actually. I almost imploded last night as I was at the SO's house, and Bea, also known as the black plague was fidgetty last night in her cage, and whining and barking, and in general, I got 2 hours of sleep last night. I almost wept I was so damn tired. That was the last straw for me. I did not have a good night.

This evening, I have a little date with Tylenol PM, and I'll get some rest on that stuff.

Oh yeah, and I got a new 'puter boys and girls. Yes, I got myself a new Apple iBook, and this thing kicks ass. I dig it, a lot. Wireless internet, so hot right now.

Time to grab something to eat, and hit the rack.

And before I take off for today, remember this...

21 August 2005

Now I'm mad...

Now I'm mad. I was just perusing some information on the internet about the Mt. Washington Hillclimb bike race, where people pay for the priveledge to ride up the Mt. Washington auto road in New Hampshire. Guess who won?? The vampire Tyler Hamilton... Check out the story here:


I'm mad about this because last year during the Vuelta Espana, Hamilton testing positive for blood transfusions that would increase his ability to ride bicycles at high levels, and was subsequently suspended and kicked off of his team, Phonak, which has suffered other doping infractions pre and post Hamilton's suspension. His teammate Perez was caught doing the same thing, blood transfusions. Oscar Camenzind was busted for taking EPO, and now another former teammate of Hamilton's was just busted last week for taking EPO as well, Fabrizio Guidi.

Now, this is an unsanctioned event and all, but he rode it anyway, even being under suspension. That's just total and complete bullshit really. He doesn't deserve to race a bike right now. He's still waiting for an appeals court to hear his appeal on his doping conviction. And even though it is an unsanctioned event, he should know better than to race this event, and he shouldn't have toed the starting line. Damn, if I was the 2nd place guy, I would have to kick his ass. That's just bad form to ride a race when you're suspended, even in an unsanctioned race such as this. What the hell was he thinking??

I guess that the man has no scruples about taking other people's prize money when as of the writing of this entry, he's still considered a cheater, and has been suspended for it. I might have to write something angry on his website.


I just checked, and I can send in an entry for his website in the guestbook, but it won't get published I'm sure, as it's a moderated site and all, and I'm sure his webmaster won't like what I'd have to say about his "win" this weekend.

I don't like cheaters...

The thing about Mt. Washington though is that it's just a tough place to be. I've been on the side of that mountain in lots of different weather conditions over the years. I've been there when it's been nice, and I've been there when it's been scary bad weather. One of the coolest things I've ever seen though was the night I spent at the Lake of the Clouds hut near the summit of Mt. Washington. This is a hut maintained by the AMC along the Applachain Trail, and of course it's in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I made some reservations there, hiked up later on in the day in the summer, and slept in the hut that night. Looking out that night though, there was a thunderstorm coming across some of the adjoining ridges, and you have a wide and exposed view from the hut, so you could look across, see the storm moving towards the mountain, see the lightning flashing across the mountains, and splashing colors across the hills. It was awesome, best storm I've ever seen. Then there was another time when I was up on the mountain ice climbing with some friends of mine, and we got socked in first with fog and clouds, and then the wind came. Mt. Washington has the highest recorded wind speed ever, and the location of the mountain itself is right in the way of the intersection of the major weather makers in the Northeast, making it bad weather central. Here are some facts about it:

Elevation: 6,288 feet
Latitude: 44° 16' N
Longitude: 71° 18' W
Highest wind (world record, April 12, 1934): 231 MPH
Average wind velocity for the year: 35.3 MPH
Lowest temperature (state record, January 1934): -47°F
Highest temperature (August 1975, June 2003): 72°F
Average temperature for the year: 26.5°F
Average annual snowfall: 256 inches
Maximum snowfall in a season (1968-69): 566.4 inches
Maximum snowfall in a calendar year (1969) 495.2 inches
Winds exceed hurricane force (75 MPH) on an average of 104 days a year
The summit is in the clouds about 60% of the time
Fog is reported (for at least part of the day) over 300 days a year


Of course, the real reason to go up there is to ski Tuckerman's Ravine, which the only way you can ski it is to climb up into the bowl either during the winter, or later on in the summer. In the winter, things can get tricky because of crevasse's and avalanches, and things get tricky in the Spring because large chunks of ice like to fall down and crash into rocks and people.


Skiing the steep bowl is pretty unreal. As when you're climbing up it to ski down it, it's steep. Steep as in, standing straight up and reaching your hand out in front of you as far as it'll stretch allows you to touch the snow you're climbing up. It's probably somewhere near 40 degrees or a little more. It's steep enough so that when I was skiing there with my friend Sarah and she fell near the top of the chute we were skiing down, she fell all the way to the bottom of the bowl. There's no stopping once you start to fall on something that steep. Here are a couple of pictures of the bowl at Mt. Washington taken this past Spring. Bear in mind, I think the pictures I put up on here were from March or so of this year. Still a ton o' snow up there on the mountain at that time. I think they still had snow there on my Birthday this year, June 1. That's a lot of snow to keep around, even in New England in the Spring. My parents never wanted me to go up there and ski the ravine though, they thought I'd get killed, or seriously injured, which is of course a distinct possibility, as there have been people killed there before, and there have been people seriously injured as well, and have had to be carried out on stretchers from the mountain, which is never a good thing. I personally saw one person get run over by what I would call an extremely large chunk of ice one day when I was up there skiing. When someone yells "ICE", you do everything you can to get out of the way, this guy got tossed like a rag doll, and have to be carried out on a stretcher, it was pretty bad looking. I'm not sure what happened to him later on, not sure if he made it or not. I think that he did, I'd like to think that he did, but he got whacked hard. Just in the wrong place, and the wrong time unfortunately.

Well, time to go and find something to eat, I'm getting hungry over here. I haven't had anything to eat yet this day, time to go and forage, which means I'll probably get some take out food from somewhere and stuff my gullet. In case you were wondering what a "gullet" is...

$100 a bottle???

I'm reading some news articles this morning, and I notice one that catches my eyes. Some article about Sam Adams brewing up $100 bottles of beer. What the?? I have to check this out. Checking out their website, you see that the Utpoia beer that they've brewed up (50 proof beer my friends, 50 proof beer) is described as follows:

Truly the epitome of brewing's two thousand year evolution, Samuel Adams Utopias offers a flavor not just unlike any other beer but unlike any other beverage in the world. Its warm, sweet flavor is richly highlighted with hints of vanilla, oak and caramel. Our 2003 batch topped out at a record breaking 25% ABV, beating the records that Samuel Adams® Triple Bock® and Samuel Adams® Millennium had set before it. And like those groundbreaking brews, Samuel Adams Utopias™ is not carbonated and should be served at room temperature. In one of many examples where Samuel Adams Utopias pushed the boundaries of beer, it received the highest recommendation (96-100 points) from the prestigious Wine Enthusiast Magazine (November, 2003 edition). Due to legal restrictions, Samuel Adams Utopias can not be sold in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, and West Virginia.

Web link: http://www.samueladams.com/world_of_beer.aspx

This is something that I'd like to get my hands on, unfortunately, due to legal restrictions, and the $100 price tag, I think I'm going to have to pass on this one for now, although, it's tempting to get some. I've had their Triple Bock before, and it is really delicious, maybe a little too delicious, but hey, a beer that comes with a cork and is recommended to be served at room temperature, that's a good thing, and at 25% alcohol, this ain't something you throw in a funnel and swill it down. Even the damn bottle is gorgeous (at 100 bucks I would hope so of course) This would be something that you'd cherish I think. So if there are any people out there wondering what to get me for the party next weekend, look no further than Sam Adams Utopia brew. Feel free to bring a couple of bottles if you will. Of course, because of the legal restrictions, that are being repealed I believe in NC, you can't get this beer yet, but there was a bill out there to lift the alcohol restrictions on beer in NC, so we'll be able to get stronger better beer soon enough. This is a good thing, as the reasoning for the law really doesn't make any sense. The politicos in their ultimate wisdom to keep the people from hurting themselves, decided that lower alcohol beer would make people not get as drunk as higher alcohol beer. This of course makes no sense, as we all know that if you're out for an evening of drinking to get drunk, there isn't much that is going to stop you from attaining said goal. And this is a law coming from a State that doesn't have an issue with selling you grain corn liquor at the ABC stores, which is also in my opinion an illegal government monopoly, but that's another story. So yeah, in North Carolina you can get grain alcohol, but you can't buy beer that has more than like 5% alcohol in it. How crazy is that? Like I said though, law is being repealed. Finally, they're making some sense. Now if we could get a lottery... That would be something, but once again, this is something that the politicians in Raleigh say would be bad for us, because people would spend improper amounts of money on it. Damn, when did they become big brother and decide what was important for us to spend money on. It's another silly thing, as right now we live in a State that is surrounded by other States that have a lottery, and the good people of NC just travel to one of the surrounding States to purchase their tickets if they want to play that bad. So by not having a lottery, you're actually losing business and money to other States. Once again, kind of silly.

I made a trip to Costco yesterday after throwing down some savory meat (barbeque for those of you not up to snuff on my made up slang terms for things) at Jim's BBQ. If you haven't been to this place in Chapel Hill, or I think they are a chain, elsewhere, you need to go. This place is a carnivore heaven. I can't get enough. They have some good stuff there indeed, and nary a vegetable in sight. Of course they have a website, I mean, who doesn't these days:


Anyway, back to Costco ( http://www.costco.com/ ) you can get anything at this place, and by anything, I mean anything. Check out their website. I even saw in the news a short while ago that they were selling of a Piccasso, yes, a real one, on their website, sure the pricing was high, but it's a damn fine piece of fine art. Walking through their store in Durham, I can't help but be amazed by the SIZE of things, and everything comes in large sizes of course. I mean, what's the point of being a wholesaler if you don't provide everything in large sizes. Example, I got 20 bars of soap for $7. 20 bars! The same soap, grocery store yesterday, would have cost me like $5 for 4 bars. I think I'm getting a good deal here, and since it's more a "durable" good, soap that is, meaning it's not going to go bad anytime soon, why not get 20 bars of soap for cheap? It only makes sense right? Indeed it does. So do yourself a favor, go to Costco and get a membership, and shop there, it's not going to hurt you. I think I'm heading back there next week before my party so I can purchase food items for it, instead of actually making something. Sure, that's cheating, but hey, it's a whole lot easier I'm thinking. They even have a travel agency there with packaged up vacations that seem on the cheap side.

I hate to say it, but it's hot, damn hot outside again today. This perturbs me, as I'd like to go outside and ride, but the heat is making me NOT want to do this. i still might get out there and ride this afternoon, but if I'm going, it's going to have to be damn soon. Check out the temps I'm looking at right now:


I dare say, it's silly out there. This Southern thing sometimes really sucks. Too hot, too hot I say. Oh well, I knew that going into this whole thing, so I can only really blame myself for this one. I'll get past it, but when your motivation has been lacking to begin with, and the heat keeps getting cranked up, well, it takes away more motivation. I'll get back on it though, as the season is kind of rolling down to getting close to ending, I'll get back on the bike, and train a lot from November through to March to prepare for race season 2006, I hope. This is my plan at least, because right now, as mentioned previously, this race season for me is wrecked and for the most part, done and over with. Oh well, as my coach (www.coachrusty.com) told me, sometimes it's good to NOT be a bike racer for a little while, kick back, relax, and then get back into it. He's looking at making a comeback to racing himself next season, which could be fun racing with him, as I never had the chance to do that, and he's one of those freaky mutant people who is just fit all the time anyway, and comes out on group rides around here, and can still throw it down over the course of a couple of hours. Sure, his endurance is a little lacking, but his high end is still brutal. I hate people like that, and by hate, I mean, I'm envious. The people I really disliked where the folks in college that were taking the same classes as me, except not really studying for them, and still getting better grades than me, whilst I worked my ass off. It came way too easy for them, just not fair.

I've also been working on my playlist for the party next weekend. This is something important here. Have to have the right mix of music to get that booty moving I think. It'll be what I'd like to call an eclectic mix I'm sure, but it should be all good. I mean, damn, I used to be a DJ and all. How can I screw it up? Well, The Chad would say I'd be able to screw it up in many different ways, but then again, I've heard some of his music selections as well, and they aren't much better than my own. Yeah, there are some bands that I enjoy that are considered "bad" by some in the music snob cirlces of the world, but I can still dig it can't I? After all, I'm not the one who has a tattoo of the steal your face symbol on my leg. Bringing that up normally stops all attacks on my musical selections. Well, not really, but it's a good one to bring into the conversation without a doubt.

And to end this entry, I have to place one more photo in here, as it is one of my most favorite, and possibly one of the funniest pictures that I've ever seen of my friend Jason. Check it out, and avert your eyes from things that you might be able to see if you check out the picture hard enough:

20 August 2005

Damn, it's hot out there...

Yeah, I said hot. Hot as in, hotter than Georgia asphalt, that's how hot it is today. I made the mistake this morning of coming home from the SO's joint, and eating a light breakfast, and then laying down to take a little nap before going off to ride the bike. I say this was a mistake mostly due to the fact that I slept in a little longer than I should have, meaning, it's now 2:37 in the afternoon on Saturday, and I didn't ride, and now have no plans to do such a thing, as you can see from the title of this entry, it's amazingly hot outside. I did have a good dream though whilst I was sleeping, which I wrote down, because it would make a good action/adventure movie. I don't want to disclose it here, because then someone will lift it, and put it out before I get a chance to do it, and then, I'll be ripped off, and broke. Oh wait, I'm already mostly broke, so I guess there really wouldn't be much else to lose on that front of things. Maybe I'll share it with the general public someday, but right now, it just sounds stupid, but it was a cool dream to be sure. I was, of course, the center character, and it didn't end happily. Action? Adventure? A Jedi craves not these things. Yeah, well, the general public does. Maybe I should write a query letter, and at the very least, that guy who has a blog with the funny query letters could put mine on there and make fun of it. I would provide the link to this blog, but I can't remember what it is, hold on, let me look for it. Found it. If you want a good chuckle for yourself, check out the trash on this blog: http://queryletters.blogspot.com/ I guess I should not make fun, as mine should get up there sometime soon. I did a search for my own blog on Google, but alas, it doesn't show up anywhere out there. I guess that guy's blog is pretty popular, unlike mine which serves as a place for me to dump random thoughts of mine, political misgivings, and who reads it? I think my sister and the SO, and that's about it. If someone else is reading this, leave me a comment. It'll make me think I have at least one fan out there who I don't really know. And if you're family and reading this, you don't count. So comments from you. I wonder if the ex-SO reads this still? I sent her the link once, and she didn't like it I don't think. I honestly thought she would enjoy reading it, but alas, I don't think she did at all, and that's OK. When I sent her the link to it, I had forgotten that I had written things about the SO, and she didn't like reading that. Oh well. The SO kicks ass (plug for her here, as I know she'll read this at some point in time)! As a matter of fact, we're going to Costco this afternoon at some point in time. I love that place. Large bulk items are so cool. I wonder what I'm going to come away with when I leave that place this afternoon. Anything is possible I'm going to have to believe. I hear that they have some kick ass stuff. In other news though, I've got to get my ass back on the bike on a more consistent basis, that's all I'm going to say about that for now.

My roommate just got back from visiting Trek this past week, and he brought back this one brochure for Nike watches, and I've got to say, they look kick ass. I mean, I'd buy one right now, although I'm pretty sure they are going to be out of the price range I'm going to want to pay for a watch that is going to get jacked up at some point in time I'm sure. I already have one nice watch that I don't wear a lot now, why would I want another one that I wouldn't wear on a normal basis? For normal everyday wear, I've got the always reliable Fossil watch, which might get replaced this afternoon at Costco if I can find one that I like at a price that I like. But this thing is going on 3 years old with no issues, and it's beat down like an old dog as well. It's faded, smelly, scratched, been crashed, dropped, and smashed into walls and the roads around the Southeastern US, and it's still going. It's like a damn Timex, only better. As the last Timex I had, first time I knocked it around a bit, it failed on me, crapping out after only being on the wrist for like 3 or 4 months, and in my terms, that's complete unacceptable. I mean I should be able to trash a watch for days, months, and years without it complaining and dying on me. If it does, I never buy another one of those again. Timex is out. Completely out. The best watch for punishment I've ever had of course was the Casio G-Shock watch. That thing was a monster, and it didn't ever die, it just disappeared. I lost it somewhere, or someone stole it, needless to say, that thing was the bomb. Bulletproof it was, and word on the street is that the British SAS use them, so they can't be all bad if those badasses are wearing them into combat.

I know that this might be kind of old, but if you don't have the Red Light District by Ludacris, do yourself an immense favor, and get that record. I'm listening to it again right now for about the millionth time, and it's still awesome. I mean, any rapper who gives a direct diss to Bill O'Reilly is a favorite of mine forever. Basically he says, check me out Bill, I'm making a lot more money than you'll ever get, you're a creepy old man, and I'm bigger than the world. I guess they had some words when he tried to "boycott" Luda from being a spokesperson for Pepsi. That guy and his "boycotts". What a jackass. No spin zone my ass, he's a bitter old guy who shouts down his guests, and never makes hardly a valid point ever. I mean, that's the ultimate sign of me of someone who has no control over his own show when he has to start shouting people down when they start to make a good point, or if his guests are correct, and they have an opinion or a viewpoint that is different than his narrow definition of what's right in the world. He tells them to shut up, and shuts off their microphone. He does really deserve a good ass kicking I think. Seriously. Someone needs to knock his ass out. I'd love to be on his show, just to show him I can yell really loud when I need to. I mean, what reason would I have NOT to do that? I can't really think of one. Fair and balanced my ass... The no spin zone? The guy is a joke who sticks right to the RNC talking points for the day or the week. He's a tool of the Republican party, and of the Fox network, and even more so of Rupert Murdoch. Do I begrudge him this though? Hell no. He's making big money doing this and his radio show, and his books (as thinly referenced and researched as they are). He's making big bank, and I can't begrudge him that at all. Do I have to like it? Of course not, but hey, everyone has got to make a living, and he's making one hell of a living, and if he can look at himself in the mirror, which I'm sure he can, he's all good. I'd still love to get on his show though, damn that would be hot. I wonder if there is a way I can apply to get on there, and start my career as a professional pundit? That would be all good. I mean that would be a career I could embrace. I could spout off my opinions and get paid for doing it. That would be nice, ah very nice.

Anyway, I think I've had enough for today. Time to kick this out the box, and get some lunch. I mean, I'm damn hungry over here for some reason, even though I haven't done anything, and the SO is here so we can roll over to Costco ASAP.

19 August 2005

Pulling triggers and headaches from Hell...

So I did it. I pulled the trigger on the new computer. Well, my first computer ever. It took me until I was 32 years old to purchase a computer, and as my sister so succinctly put it, it was time to do it. Now I just have to figure out how to pay for it. Just kidding, I’ve got it like that. Not exactly “like that”, but enough. I let my past sway me, and I bought a new Apple iBook. I say I let my past sway me because back in the day, when I first started college, they had this program called MacAct, which was pretty advanced for 1991. They wired 3 dorms on campus with fiber optic cables, and then networked every dorm room in those 3 dorms. I know, this doesn’t sound that radical, but remember, this was 1991, and fiber optic cable was something of an unknown, and kind of really super cutting edge at the time. As well as networking that many computers was pretty cutting edge. The school actually gained nationwide recognition for doing it, and advancing computing by doing that. Anyway, as the name implies, we all received Macs for our dorm rooms. The good old Mac LC I think it was. And damn if they didn’t have 40 meg hard drives, yeah, a WHOLE 40 meg. Needless to say, I loved the Mac, and have lusted after one ever since that time period of my life, and now, I have one being built for me by Apple. It should be aight I tell you, aight indeed. 80 gig hard drive this time though, slightly larger than the first Mac that I had in my life. I had to get a laptop as well, the techno geek inside of me wouldn’t allow for just one desktop computer in my life. I need this portability of course. Why? I don’t know, I just feel like it should be that way. Everything else is going portable, why not my first computer? I figure in 5-10 years, everything is going to be wireless anyway, might as well be ahead of the curve this time. Although, checking out their website, I found myself drooling over the desktop systems that they have as well. All in good time. Maybe I’ll just get a kick ass desktop when I buy a house. That way I can have super power at home, and medium power on the road. It’s all good.

I have finally discovered Podcasting, which makes me happy. There are a lot of talk shows and other stuff out there that I don’t get to hear on a normal basis, and they have it on iTunes, so now I can just load it up, and listen at my leisure. There are some news shows that I’d like to catch, but I’m not in the car at those times of the day, so I can’t catch them, or they’re just not available where I am. Mostly, they’re the whacko left wing nut shows that are the antithesis of say, Rush Limbaugh, but just coming form my side of the equation. They’re entertaining, but I don’t put a whole lot of credence into what they “tell” me, just because it’s sensationalism just like the crazy right wing stuff, but it is entertaining. And that’s the difference between myself and someone that listens to say Limbaugh, or Savage. I take everything my guys say with a grain of salt, but there are a lot of people from the right side of the equation who take things that Limbaugh and Savage and others say as gospel, and the complete and utter truth. And hence we have dittoheads, which just tells me that these folks just repeat what they hear, and don’t think for themselves, and even more surprising, they’re actually damn PROUD of being dittoheads. That’s just silliness. Oh well, only in America can someone be a pretentious windbag, and make a ton of money at it. OK, maybe not only in America, but it does help being located here and all. I’m really sick of the machinations of both sides really. They both make me dislike what is going on. Attack, repel, other side attacks, and so on. That’s the way politics in America is being run today folks.

I had a head busting migraine headache yesterday morning. I think it has something to do with A. Not sleeping very much, and B. Not exercising very much these days. I need to A. Get back on the exercise train and B. Take knock out drugs to get me to sleep during the week and get back in a natural cycle of sleep and stuff like that. I woke up yesterday morning, head pounding, eyes hurting, and feeling like my head was getting ripped apart by wolverines. This, not a good thing. I asked the SO to bring my some drugs and water, and then passed out as she left the room to head off to work. Next thing I know, it’s 11:30, and my head, still ripping. I take said drugs, and pass back out for a little while, until like 1:30 or so, wake up, and feeling almost euphoric, but still head-achy. Get some breakfast, watch some TV, surf some internet, and then lay back down for a nap, get back up, watch some more TV, and then am asleep by like 10 that evening, and slept like a rock. I seriously think I get too tired out, and that’s why my head creeps up on me, and brings me down every once in awhile. This is not a good thing. Not a good thing at all. Though today, all is well with the head, but I’m still feeling sleepy and sort of run down. Again, this weekend, will try to catch up on sleep, and get some good downtime in the bed, and between the covers. Will start riding again this weekend, with some solo rides on Saturday and Sunday, and continuing through next week and beyond. With the SO starting school again soon, and with her testing coming up, and teaching, and writing, and studying, and so on and so forth, she’ll be relatively unavailable most weekends, so I might as well ride the bike, and see her in the evenings where applicable. She’s going to be one busy little SO for certain. Good luck to her though. She’ll get through everything just a-OK I’m betting. After this fall, it’s ABD kids, ABD.

18 August 2005

Working days are here again...

Do you ever have one of those days at work where nothing seems to go right from the moment you walk into the joint, to the time that you leave?? Today was one of those days.

First thing this morning, I walk in the door about 10 minutes late, and the boss is waiting by the door talking to someone else. Oops. Sorry about that. I’ve been making a semi-habit out of being late lately, and I need to stop that, considering I used to get in here regularly around 7AM or even earlier. Regime change is required. I will work on that one the rest of the week.

Second thing this morning, sit down, turn the computer on, and damn, we have a broken part at a customer location. This is never a good thing, as when you make car parts that make the car go, and they break, the cars don’t go anymore, and this really pisses off your customer. To the tune of about 15 phone calls in the first 30 minutes of being at work. Try dodging and weaving your way around a broken part issue. It’s like tiptoeing through a minefield with clown shoes. It can’t be done. It can’t be done that is, until you get the part back, and prove that the customer caused this breakage and failure themselves instead of the supplier (that being me) causing it. This is what the case is going to be with this part, I know it. But in the meantime, I have the customer yelling at me from a distance. I hate it when that happens, especially through the phone. Hey, I understand, this is important, and I’m not taking it lightly of course, but there’s no need to cuss me out over the phone when we’re in a conference call. How unprofessional. Then again, most of the guys at Ford are what we like to call “old school” and they really don’t know how to interact with people in the real world of automotive suppliers. Because back in the day, Ford had their own companies who provided just about everything for them, so they DID actually have to yell at them. Because if you’ve ever worked for a large company where you get the bulk of your supplied material from a sister company, they are the worst suppliers ever. I say this because when you have a problem with the stuff they are sending you, they won’t do anything about it, they’re family. Screw it. It’s like the one bad kid at Christmas in your family that everyone ignores because he’s the only bad one, and if you ignore him enough, he’ll go away, or stop acting out. Same thing for sister companies. They suck. It’s really that simple. Anyway, the part that broke, not our fault. I can’t wait to shove that down their throat. By the time I get to do that though, Ford will have charged me 2 arms and 2 legs for a problem that was not ours, and I’ll fight with them for the next 3 months trying to get our money back. See, they’re not really in it for the quality aspect of things, but when they find a “problem” with a supplier’s parts, they can hit them with monetary charges, and this is what the brass at Ford like to see. They’ve actually mandated it lately. Charge suppliers as much as possible so we can start making the bottom line look better and better. I shit you not. They’re going to nickel and dime their way back into profitability. You’d think they would do this by producing a car that the American and global markets would want to actually purchase, but instead, they charge their suppliers out through the nose for crap like this. Is it any wonder vendors like my company want to do business with Toyota and other foreign car manufacturers who are now re-locating the US in incredible numbers? Nope. The foreign car companies have a much better business model. And while they’re cars are not very exciting, what they are is dependable, and highly rated, and the Japanese actually care if they’re making a quality product or not. This whole marketing campaign by Ford in the past, and currently, the whole “Quality is Job 1” is such a sham. If anyone ever asks me their opinion on a car purchase, I always tell them, buy Japanese. You might pay a little more, but damn, it’s worth it. Let me just relate a story about a big 3 product that a co-worker of mine purchased in previous years. Let’s say for the sake of argument someone I work with purchased a Chrysler minivan in the year 2000. By the time this minivan hit 35,000 miles (2004), it had had 2 transmissions removed and replaced, and was going in for a 3rd. Now, this is time and money folks. I had a 1998 Subaru Outback that had been driven over 175,000 and the only thing I had to replace in it was an alternator that cost me $125. Sure, the car died shortly thereafter, but most of that was my fault for not caring for the vehicle properly. I didn’t care for that thing at all, and I STILL got 175,000 miles out of it over 6 years. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me, compared to the Chrysler that dropped 3 transmissions in far less mileage than I had on my vehicle. Buy Japanese cars, you’ll be happy. And the best part about purchasing a Japanese car these days is that more than likely, it was made in America, by American workers. And also, a lot of the parts that were supplied for that vehicle were more than likely made in America. Take Toyota for example. They have manufacturing facilities in Kentucky, Indiana, California, Canada, and they’re opening one in Texas and Baja. They employ well over 120,000 American workers either directly at their manufacturing facilities, or at the companies that supply them in the USA. And, unlike some stupid American companies, if you don’t drive their cars, you can STILL park close to the plant and not in some satellite lot a mile away from where you work (Ford, Chrysler, and GM make their workers who don’t drive their products park a mile or more away from their assembly plants when they come to work, and then they have to take a shuttle to the workplace, but if you drive one of their vehicles, you can park very close by).

Anyway, this whole bad day at work continued in the afternoon as I got pulled into meeting after meeting for new programs we’re starting working on, and finding out how far behind I and my company are for these new programs. It’s scary. We have some stuff that’s starting in less than a month, and we don’t even have machinery in this facility yet. Usually, you need about 2 months just to get everything de-bugged and running well. I feel overtime coming into play sometime soon here. And damn, don’t you know, I don’t get paid for working over. I hate it when that happens. Then there were problems out on the manufacturing floor. Bad parts, part assemblies, and so on and so forth. It never ends. I swear. Working in automotive quality will make you old quick. I think I’m just about done with it for the most part. I need to look around and see what else is going on around the triangle and see what I might be able to find in my field, and not in automotive. I’ve just about had enough really. Then again, working here does allow for some freedoms that other jobs might not. The boss is pretty laid back about coming and going, which is nice. As long as you get your 9 hours in during the day, she’s good with it. For instance, I can come in at 7, and take off at 4. This is a good situation. Or I can come in at 8, and leave at 5. Or come in at 6, and leave at 3. You get the picture. Maybe I’m just not motivated enough to find another job right now. This one pays well, and the people are mostly OK as long as I don’t talk about anything important with them (such as politics), and the benefits aren’t that bad either. So maybe I’ll just stay for a little while longer, and suck off the teat of this place. I’ll see if they give me a pay raise this year, and if that rolls through, well, how can I say no? It’s just not possible.

Oops, phone is ringing again. I wonder who is going to be yelling at me this time. Automotive quality, that’s what it’s all about. When you do well, nobody calls to say, “Good Jorb.” But when the shit hits the fan, everyone is calling, and calling, and calling, and calling…

15 August 2005

Iran, Kung Fu Hustle, and Apple...

In hindsight, maybe drinking the Diet Air drink last night was not such a good idea. Seeing as how Guarana is a substance that works like caffeine, only stronger, it appears that this little drink kept me awake throughout the night. Of course, I didn’t realize this until it was too late, and the drink was consumed. I hate that I didn’t read the label more closely of the drink. Consumed around 9:00PM, and by 10:30PM, I was wide ass awake and staring at the ceiling. 2 hours later, I got dressed and went back home from the SO’s house. By 3:30AM, I had watched several really bad movies. By 5:30AM, I had read just about everything there was to read on the internet as far as news goes, and posting some random useless thoughts on usenet groups that I tend to frequent, and watched all of the stupid movies that I could find out there. Then, laid down at around 6AM, dozed for oh, about 30 minutes, never really fell asleep, and then got up, showered, and came to work which is where I’m sitting now, typing this little ditty on the ‘puter. The funny thing is, is that I’m not even tired for the most part. I feel actually kind of full of energy, but I’m thinking that this feeling is going to go away before the end of the day. We’ll see. I still hope to get in a ride this afternoon of course, before the daily thunderstorm rolls through and drenches everything.

Fact. I’ve never owned my own computer. I was thinking about this fact this morning when discussing purchasing a computer with my sister via e-mail. It’s pretty funny (funny strange, not funny ha-ha) that someone who is internet savvy and computer savvy doesn’t actually own a computer, or has ever owned a computer. Interesting no? So I was thinking about getting an Apple Powerbook, which in my opinion is like the Ferrari of the computer world. If I had the big dollars, I would get the large screen version (17”), but I think I’m going to have to go with the small screen edition (12”) for this kid’s price range. Although, looking at it now, the iBook is attractively priced at $999 for the 12” version, so I don’t know, we’ll see. I’ve been jonesing to get a computer for a long time now for some reason, and I think that this might be the week for the most part, have to check the funds of course, and then go from there. Since my roommate already has wireless in the house, it’ll be easy to kick back in bed, write some stuff, and do my work in the bedroom, or in the living room, or wherever. Could be good stuff. I’ll get an opinion back from the big sister, who is knowledgeable about all things Apple at this point in time. If she thinks it’s a good deal, then I’ll roll with it. I’d of course have to get the Superdrive so I could burn DVDs. It would be nice. Ever since I had a MacIntosh back in college (it was a loaner so it actually wasn’t mine), I’ve liked Apple computers a lot. Even crazier was that back in the 1991 when I had the Mac, it had a 40 MB hard drive, which at the time I never thought I could actually fill up, it seemed enormously huge. Of course, bear in mind, the only computers I had exposure to previous to this were some old Apples like the IIE or something like those, where you still had a boot disk. This had its own internal hard drive, that was something new and exciting. Of course by the end of the school year, I had enough crap loaded onto that hard drive to fill it, and then some. It didn’t take long, and with the fledging “internet” that rolled into our rooms at the end of the year, we could chat with others across the country. That was pretty edgy back then. I’d like to think I was on the precipice of the instant messaging revolution that we see now, since I was doing it 14 years ago with QuickChat over our small intranet, and later internet. Yep, I’m a groundbreaker once again.

On Friday I purchased the movie Kung Fu Hustle. This is yet another movie that I would highly recommend everyone to see, that is if you’re either a fan of Looney Tunes cartoons, or kung fu movies, this is a great combination of the 2. It has unlikely heroes, and unlikely villains. Normally what we see in action movies are the young good looking people taking the lead of things. This is just the opposite in this one (well, for most of the movie). Essentially you have a bunch of old crusty folks kicking some serious ass, and it’s done in a style that I’ve not seen before, which makes me want to find the other movie that this particular director made called Shaolin Soccer, which is also, from what I hear, excellent. So check it out, and if you haven’t seen Wedding Crashers yet; what the hell are you waiting for?? Get out there and see it. I’m not going to tell you again.

Anyone want to put money on when the United States attacks Iran? Actually, what will probably happen is that we’ll just let Israel fly over, drop a bunch of bombs on their nuclear facilities, and let them deal with it. Since Iran essentially has made it their mission in life to wipe out the Zionist nation, but I’m sure Boy George will get us involved in that whole mess before he steps out of office in 2008, and then leave the clean up to whomever has the unfortunate role of assuming the Presidency after him. The consequences of the US using military force in Iran could be catastrophic. The Middle East has been destabilized enough by the United States, invading, or even dropping bombs in Iran would make it worse even still, but hey, why not go for the trifecta while we’re over there I guess. I reiterate, George W. Bush is a moron. I guess he can’t help it, he just is.

14 August 2005

The slow crawl back...

This weekend began what I would like to call the slow crawl back to fitness. Whereas back just a month or so ago, I was training and riding like a madman, and was fit as all get out, I took some time "off" shall we say, and let myself go downhill faster than 1988 Ford Grand Marquis with no brakes ( http://www.schapansky.com/phoney-sale/April%2012%20036.jpg ). Anyway, lots of overeating later, I'm setting out on this mission to regain the fitness that I've lost over the last 3-4 weeks. Yes, it's horrible out there, but the main objective that I have for right now is to get in good enough shape again, so that I can ride in the Carolina Cup which is the race that my team presents every year, so yeah, I said no more racing for this year, but this is the exception of course. Have to go and show out for the team. Aside from that, it's just a good race to be at year in and year out.

The ride on Saturday (first ride back) was unbelievably horrible. Of course it was hot as shit outside, I mean, literally, it was like 98 degrees, and nice and humid. Luckily during the ride it rained on me, about 3 times as I rode in and out of the rain band that had formed around the outskirts of Chapel Hill. I say luckily because if you've ever been in the South, in the summer, and it rains, and it was already hot and humid before it rained, it only gets worse as it rains because the rain hits the already steaming pavement, and then you get a nice cloud of steam coming from the rain hitting the pavement. This sucks. The legs felt like lead balloons, and I felt weighed down (no doubt from the pounds I've put on over the last few weeks), and well, overall, I could manage about 2 hours out there before I was completely wiped out. Please bear in mind that 4 weeks ago I was regularly riding between 3-4 hours per day. Anyway, it sucked. I couldn't climb, I couldn't ride the flats, and the heartrate was astronomically high. But then again, it was the first ride back in a few weeks, so what the hell did I expect? Not much more than that of course.

Sunday, was actually a lot better. I rode, and felt decent. I managed to get in a couple of hours on the bike without too much effort. The heartrate was still high, but my average speed was up almost 2 MPH from the ride on Saturday. Still not moving very fast, but I felt like things were starting to operate again after just a couple of days on the bike, which bodes well, and makes me think that it's possible that my fitness and work from a month ago might just come back a lot faster than I first imagined. Which, I hope does happen. We'll see.

The general plan is to complete a series of 2 hour rides over the next week or so. Starting a week from this Monday, intervals will start that week, at least one day of intervals, and I might head out on some group rides, but I'm NOT doing that before I start to feel better. I don't want to ride with others until I know my fitness is starting to rear its head again. But yeah, some intervals will be in order just to try and build up. I figure since my "road racing" season is over, I don't need to ride for much longer than 3 hours at the most, since the races I'll be doing for the rest of this season are going to be shorter than 2 hours in most cases. No need to ride excessive amounts if you don't need to. And I don't, so I won't. Another goal is to race some cyclocross this season. Not a whole lot, but just enough to have some fun with it, and if there are races that I don't really care about, and just want to finish, and get a good workout, cross does that for me. I'll start incorporating some running into my workouts, and get that polished up, and will build the bike up, and start working on cross skills once again, so I can mount and dismout. Should be a fun season I think, I hope. And once again, it'll give me a good workout for an hour or so. Cross is more of a "touchy feely" sport, where even if you just finish, people clap for me. It's not the same as road racing at all.

Expect more riding updates later. For now, time to shower, and eat.

12 August 2005

Party time and molester mustaches...

I really do think that it’s party time for the house. I’ve yet to hold a party this year, and it’s far past time to do so. In the past, I would have had about 3 or 4 by now. It’s time to send out the invites, and see what kind of riff raff I can get to come on out to this party at the house. Normally, it’s a pretty sedate crowd, but it should be fun as always. I’ll get the bike people, the SO will get the library people, and so on and so forth. It should be an interesting mingle of people I think. So interesting that the night could get wild and crazy, I’m pretty sure of that. Needless to say, there will probably be fire, and beer, and did I mention fire?? Yeah, for some reason when people get wasted, they feel the need to burn things. Wood, tires, cars… Hopefully nobody brings fireworks again, because that could just be disastrous right there. Last time I was shooting off fireworks from the front porch (of course; why do these things incognito??) a car stopped in front of the house. The car looked like whomever was in it was checking out what was going on. Of course, it was a cop. Luckily, said cop just drove on by, never said anything, didn’t even speak over the loudspeaker. I’m trying to avoid any legal intervention for this party. So far, we’ve been pretty lucky with that, no cops. The neighbors must not mind too too much, or else I would have been taken down a long time ago. Then again, back in the day, the house that I live in now was super duper party central. It was more like a renegade bar than a house. Things have calmed waaayyyy down since Doug moved into that joint, but back in the Dave, Scott, Scott days, there was some trouble. I think I heard a story once that they had so many people at their legendary Christmas party one year that the house was chock full o’ people, and so was the yard. So massive it was, that they went through 20 some odd kegs during the course of the night, and so massive had the party become that they had printed t-shirts and matchbooks to either sell or give out to people. Now that my friends, is a party. I would only HOPE to have a party that big, at least once. In a couple of weeks though, it will be party time again. Save the date on your calendars, it’s going to be the 27th of August my friends. Should be a good time I hope. Loud music, lots of booze, and tons of people. Good times. Good times indeed.

What I’m really excited about today (yeah, it’s a slow day) is that I can go to Best Buy this evening and get Kung Fu Hustle on DVD. I’ve been waiting for this one to come out. I will hold my praise for this flick until after I see it this weekend. Have I mentioned before that you should go and see Wedding Crashers? OK, maybe I have, but damn it, go and see it fer christ’s sake if you haven’t already. I can’t recommend this movie highly enough. Kung Fu Hustle though, another Chinese Kung Fu movie indeed. Something else I’ve been stuck on lately. Been digging these kinds of movies for years now, but my appreciation for all things Kung Fu has grown over the past few years, and this is due mostly to American audiences finding out that these movies are kick ass. When more people think this, more movies come to us from across the way, and we get the higher quality stuff. This ain’t no Saturday afternoon badly dubbed Kung Fu movie that you would have seen on some local cable channel when you were young, no these are highly refined Kung Fu movies, still badly dubbed in some cases, but they are good shit.

I had yet another run in with someone this afternoon who wanted to be in my space. This is getting to be a serious issue. At the good old Golden Corral this afternoon for lunch, there was a couple behind me in line. I was standing at the cash register, paying for my meal, when this woman is invading my space not only with her person, but with her tray. Look lady, when you creep up on me like that, it makes me want to smack you away from me. And she even had her tray in my space. What the hell is that all about?? I didn’t say anything this time, because she was old, and wouldn’t have taken the scolding very well I’m sure of it. But damn, get the hell away from me. I don’t need someone standing in my space when I’m just trying to get some food damn it. It’s not like if you get closer to me you’re going to get through the line faster or something. Damn it people. Like someone once said, I love social gatherings but I hate people. Getting into my space is damn worse than not using your turn signal when you’re driving, and that just drives me up and down the wall, not just up it, but back down as well. They put those little flashers on there for a reason, use them.

It’s kind of funny now how time passes without even realizing it. I was thinking about it the other day and I graduated college, not high school, but college 10 years ago, and right now I’m looking down the barrel of a 15 year high school reunion next year. Damn, I’m getting old as evidenced by my gray hair and stopped demeanor. 1991, it was a good year indeed to graduate from high school. Vanilla Ice was racing up the charts, or actually back down by the time graduation came around, Great White was still rocking out with Once Bitten Twice Shy, and Bon Jovi was still kind of kick ass (well, at least to some people). The first Gulf War was over, and we didn’t feel threatened like we were going to get drafted to go to war, even though we thought that we probably would earlier on in the year. The guys I was in high school with, we were gung ho to go as well when it came to pushing out Iraq from Kuwait, we saw that as a noble cause back then. Man, times change. I had one classmate who was completely against Gulf War I, but he was the exception and not the rule. Everyone else was talking about lacing up the boots and getting the job done if need be. Glad we didn’t have to do that. Very glad. 1991 was also the year of the molester mustache (at least at Mountain Valley High School). We were lame back then. I’m glad high school was only 4 years long. To be any longer, I think we would have killed one another really. It’s amazing when I go back home, and see some of the folks that never really left town, they’re still doing the same things they did when we were IN high school, except now they’re 32 years old. They never left town, and not that it’s a bad place to live, but at least get some more experiences out there. See other places. You don’t know what it’s like to live somewhere else, unless you, well, live somewhere else. It’s kind of sad when I hear that these guys are still heading off to the home football games wearing their old jerseys from high school, and getting wasted before the games, and then drinking with the high school kids after the games. Not surprisingly enough, the same guys who did that with us when we were in high school, are still doing it now, it’s just that they’ve been joined by others now. Anyway, yeah, 15 years. How things change, yet sometimes remain the same really.

Almost time to pack it up for the weekend and get outta here like a bald guy. Get it? Some do, some don’t.

11 August 2005

Personal space and Hey-Zeus...

Personal space. Don’t people know about personal space? I wonder about this because whilst I was out getting lunch this afternoon, I had ordered my sandwich, was waiting for it to come off of the grill, and this slack jawed redneck rolls up behind me, orders his sandwich, and then immediately stands so close to me, I swear I could feel him breathing down my neck. This, in my opinion, is too close. There is about a 3-5 foot bubble around all people that should be observed at almost all times. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule (SO’s and others that you want to let that close to you), but by and far, it’s not something that should be invaded. It makes me feel cramped, and makes me want to turn around and tell whomever it is behind me to get the hell away from me. Which is what I did to the good old boy standing behind me at the sandwich shop. It went something along these lines, “Um, sir would you mind taking a few steps back?” To which he responded, “Huh? What? Oh… OK.” When I asked him the question, he looked at me like I just stepped on his head while he was drowning and gasping for air, or I just shot his puppy in front of him. Sorry buddy, but you’re in my space, and there is no way to get around that, I hate it. Which brings me to the subject of my boss, who is a close talker. She arrives near and dear to your ear, and then talks right on top of you, and moving away, it doesn’t help, she just moves with you. In order to not get fired, I don’t mention it, or push her into the wall. I’m pretty sure that this would not go over so well, but damn, she talks close. And loud. This woman definitely has more energy than just about any 4 year olds combined that I could imagine, and word on the street is that she’s calmed down over the last few years. I pity her kids. They must be bouncing off the walls all of the time and driving others up and down walls like you read about. But going back to personal space, please respect mine and other’s personal space at all points in time, because it’s just no cool to stand so close to me. I think there’s a song in there somewhere.

I see now that there is another initiative in Kansas going around their school board to allow them to teach Intelligent Design (ID) and Evolution as Science in their school systems. What the hell is wrong with these people? Don’t people know that ID is just a very thinly veiled version of Creationism. Why do they need to teach ID in a science class? There is no justifiable science behind it. Their answer is always the same, “Well, evolution is just a “theory” and it can’t be proved either because it’s still a theory.” Umm, people, let’s get a grip really on this. Yes, evolution is a theory, in so much that there is enough scientific fact and evidence to prove that it’s true, but there are holes within the theory, the missing links so to speak, that haven’t been filled in yet, but are certain to be in years to come. This so-called “theory” has so much evidence, vetting, and documentation, and fossil records, that it pretty much is fact. ID has, well, nothing. No scientific basis at all in the real world of the real world. ID folks just want to push religion back into public schools. I swear, I think we’re moving backwards in this country instead of forwards. Is it any wonder at all that our students are falling way behind the rest of the world in things like science and math? It’s starting to make sense now with hearing about this ID movement in Kansas. Here is a good fairly in depth description of intelligent design from my favorite website, Wikipedia which covers a lot of the aspects of this pseudoscience: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design

What is more utterly amazing, is that in the statistics I heard today, there is a full 45% of the US population that believes in ID, or even worse, creationism (or essentially the Book of Genesis from the Bible). We seem to be turning into a nation not of thinkers, and do-ers, and movers and shakers, but into one of religious fanatics. People seem to believe that the salvation of the nation lies within the belief of the Lord Jesus Christ and being Christian. But hey, while that’s all fine and dandy and nice, and I don’t have a problem with Jesus as a whole, but I have a huge problem with Christians in general, and their narrow minded views of the world as a whole, and their narrow minded views of the United States and its citizens. Doesn’t anyone else have a serious problem that there is a weekly conference call between the President of the US and the evangelical leaders of Focus on the Family? A highly religious Christian group based in Colorado. Here are some of the articles that they have on the front page of their website:

• Straight Talk: How to deal with a strong willed woman
• Myths About Living Together
• The Proper Care of Husbands
• God Save This Honorable Court
• Can Homosexuality Be Treated and Prevented?

And other such drivel that these folks put out. Check out their webpage here: http://www.family.org/ It really actually disgusts me to see these folks acting in this way, and kind of makes me mad, because if there was ever a bleeding heart liberal in the world, I’d have to say Jesus was the original bleeding heart liberal. These folks like Focus on the Family, take what is good and dare I say righteous about the Bible, and pervert it to meet their own prejudiced feelings. Do you really think God and or Jesus care if you’re gay? I highly doubt it, and if these people are correct in their assumption that God will judge all before allowing us into this place called Heaven; why are they so concerned about it? God will judge them, and judge the gay folks, and I’m betting the vast majority of gay people get through the pearly gates before they do. And one more thing. Why in the hell are all of these religious groups always have something with “family” in their titles and or names? Do they actually think that they are the only people in the world who care about their families? Maybe I could start a liberal group and name it something like, “Focus on Everyone.” And the purpose of my group would be to refute just about everything these evangelical groups come out against, and to protest anything that these evangelical groups promote. Now that, would be a good time.

Israel and links...

Yes! I’m psyched! Why one might ask? Well, first of all, this is the first time in recent memory, going back to last Friday, that I’ve awoken in the morning without a screaming headache. Yes, the first time since last Friday. I just chalk up the rash of bad headaches to not sleeping, and not getting proper rest, and running ragged back and forth to New Hampshire, Maine, and all points in between of course. The other reason I’m psyched? Well, it’s Thursday. And Thursday means that it’s cone of meat day at the local deli. Yes, cone of meat day. See previous entry about the cone of meat, and all will be understood of course. Believe me you, there is some magical about the way lamb, tomatoes, feta, and lettuce all come together on a pita, and then you drench that shit in taziki sauce, you ain’t never had anything that good in your life. It might make you want to slap your momma (as some in the South would say). Every Thursday, this is what I look forward to when I come to work. Eating lunch, and getting a cone of meat. Sad that my life has been pared down to really simple pleasures when it comes to work. You’d think I’d get a sense of fufillment coming to work, doing the job, and doing it pretty decently I might add, but no, I just dread getting out of bed every morning to drive to Roxboro to work again. And it’s really not the job that I dread, but the drive. 45 minutes that makes me want to poke my eyes out with spoons.

This past weekend my sister Kerri took off from her new home in Malmo Sweden to travel to, of all places, Israel. She’s gone off to cover the Israeli settlement pull outs, and to take pictures and document that activity with a writer so that they can jointly come up with a story about this important thing taking place. I guess if someone wanted to stand on the side of the road as history rolls by, this would be one not to miss, so she’s there. Snapping photos, with an extremely long range lens I hope, and staying away and above the fray that is sure to come as some Israeli settlers have claimed that they will fight the troops that are being sent in to evict them from the land. It could get messy. Instead of Israelis fighting the Palestinians, and the Palestinians fighting the Israelis, it’s going to be a mini civil war I think. Infighting between just the Israelis, and it could get bad. I’m hoping that no, it doesn’t, but it could. Kerri has left her contact information with myself and brother Joel “just in case” something goes wrong. I’m just crossing my fingers, and wishing that she stayed in Sweden instead, where it’s nice and safe, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that they hate Scandinavian countries, or people from Scandinavian countries, so in the future, she should just stay there instead. But, oh well, if there is someone out there that has marched to the proverbial beat of her own drummer it would be my sister. I’m sure that in this case, the more we would have said not to go, the more determined she would have been to go. So, she’s there. Good luck.

Here are a smattering my favorite internet links:
www.roadbikereview.com (read the discussion sections only – it’s infuriating but I can’t stop)

That’s about all I can think of for right now.

10 August 2005

Does anyone sense a recurring theme here???

Another night of lost sleep for the most part. This time, it wasn’t insomnia, but rather loud events that conspired to keep me awake. I swear, it’s a fucking conspiracy against me to NOT get any sleep any time soon. This past weekend, with the traveling, and the wedding, and more traveling, not a lot of sleep was garnered for me. Early morning travel times of course. Then, Monday evening, well, too much West Wing is actually NOT good for you. I think I’ll just buy the season DVDs, and then I can skip the West Wing marathon, and watch them at my own pace. Then last night, Tuesday night, oh damn, it was kind of horrible.

Here I am, worn slap out (as they say in the South), and wanting to crawl into bed early, and sleep, sleep deep sleep. I worm my way between the covers at about 8:30 and crack open a book to read for a short while before falling off to sleep. This strategy works very well, as I’m out by about 9 or so, drooling on my pillow and dreaming of, well, nothing that I remember, but I’m sure I was dreaming of something. I’m awoken a short time later to the sound of empty beer bottles being tossed into the recycling bin at my house. Doug is home, has had a few beers, and is getting rid of the empties. This isn’t normally a loud sound, but at night, when you’ve been sleeping for about an hour or so, and you are kind of a light sleeper to begin with, well, it wakes you up with a shock. Now, I’m awake again. It takes me about 15 minutes or so to relax and get back to sleep, at which time, I’m awoken again to the sounds of loud microwave cooking. When I say loud microwave cooking, my roommate has a bad habit of slamming everything shut, which once again, normally isn’t a problem, but when you’ve been sleeping, and are just getting back to sleep, it wakes me up with a start again. Time check, 10PM. I fall back asleep, for the 3rd time this evening, and am sleeping comfortably until about 11, at which time my roommates girlfriend calls the home phone. Once again, being a light sleeper, I kind of sit bolt upright in bed, and awake to the shrill ring of the telephone. The ringer, in my opinion, is almost as bad as the alarm clock. Almost. It does rank a very close second place. I doze back off again, for the 4th time this evening. 20 minutes later, approximately 11:20-11:25, the phone rings, again! How many times have I asked her not to call the house after 11?? Oh, I don’t know, about a million. The worst thing is, is that Doug is not there to answer the phone, so it keeps ringing, and ringing, and ringing, until I’m wide awake, again. I fall asleep, again (5th attempt at getting to sleep), and again, am awoken by loud microwave noises from the kitchen. Slamming of doors, cooking of popcorn, and more bottles getting tossed into the recycling bins. It is now past midnight, and I went to bed and fell asleep, for the first time, at around 9. Now I’ve got about an hour of good sleep, and the rest of the evening, I’ve been awoken time and again by something or someone, and by the time I get to sleep for the 6th time this horrible evening, it is now almost 1 in the morning. Wake up time was supposed to be 5. Better push that alarm clock ahead to 6:30 instead. So now, I get about 5 hours of sleep for the night, and not what we would call “quality” sleep. My nerves are frayed, I awake puffy and burning eyed, and am tired just getting out of bed. It’s going to be another one of those days. The drive to work of course serves to infuriate me further. It might be time to start looking for work closer to the house possibly. Or at least make some excursions onto the internet at home, and see what might or might not be out there for me in a closer vicinity to where I live.

One might think, well, with all of these distractions in your house, why don’t you bolt over to the SO’s house. Well, most of the time, it’s not much better over there because of her upstairs neighbors, who have a certain penchant for walking heavy, and not being active at all until well after midnight. At which time there is much laughter, lots of walking around, and lots of playing ball in the house with the 80 pound dog. Once again, this all adds up to Tommy not sleeping so well, or ever seeming to get restful sleep at all. It’s driving me outta my gourd. Maybe I need to find like a nightshift job, because at least during the day, the house would be empty, and there would be no sound, and I could sleep very well indeed. You just don’t find nightshift jobs though in my particular line of work of course. Oh well. The sleepless streak continues. I’m so far in sleep debt right now, that if I slept straight through the next few days, I still wouldn’t be caught up I don’t think. Ah hell, why worry now?