Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Environment is a Good Thing

The busiest (26 hurricanes) and costliest (over $100 billion) Atlantic hurricane season on record finally ends today. The end to the season comes just as members of the Kyoto Protocol are discussing the next goals that need to be taken over the next decade and beyond. Hopefully the US will wise up and join. With the actions of every country being felt down-wind, it is very important that the world take action to curb/delay what is becoming the inevitable. The warming, the storms, the droughts, the rising of oceans, and so many other things are big indicators that the next century or two will not be as pleasant as the 20th century. It is too bad that our administration has forgot about the environment over the last several years. Hopefully the grassroots movements will change that as awareness is spread. This is something that can not be ignored forever. The cost is too high for even the US to afford in the long run.

In personal news...I have been trying to get my car licensed in MD. This is not an easy task. Monday I went for inspection. It cost $100 to fail the inspection. Once I finish the repairs, then it will only cost $40 to get it passed. So, I then found a reputable Honda shop and brought my car there today. I just got the call with costs and what would be needed to get my car repaired. When he called and was going over all the things that the inspector said I needed to fix, my head was swelling at the cost. The inspector told me that my car was doing great considering the 260K miles I have on it. The car repair man said that I got off easy on the inspection, since there are several other things he missed. Thank goodness! However, I am not feeling lucky. I am feeling ripped off by the MD gov't for requiring this. My co-workers think I am getting off lucky. They have heard much worse horror stories on the costs of getting your car inspected. At least I only have to do this once.

So, I need rear brakes, Tie-rod, alignment, headlamp cover for my headlight, new axel and CV boot, and wiper blades. The car guy is throwing in the wiper blades. How nice, oh boy! To bad I just bought new blades less than three months ago. This is costing me $1435. Aaarrrggghhh! (that is how the pirates say it)

Once my repairs are done today, then I will go to the DMV tomorrow. It will cost $128 for plates and tags. I also have to pay taxes on my car. This will be for whatever value the state of MD decides. Then I will pay between 3-5% of the value for taxes. But it doesn't stop there.

Within a couple of months, I will receive a notice that my car needs to go through emissions testing. I am not sure of the cost of this, but I am sure it is not free.

Ok. This sucks, but I can't get let it get me down. My spirits are running to high today. I have an amazing week ahead of me, starting tonight;-)

I have a concert Friday (Phil Lesh) and then one more a week later (Rusted Root). This will end my 2005 concert season. I don't have any more shows to go too since I have been running a tight budget with my current job. Therefore, I will have to wait till Feb. to become a permanent employee and that is when I will start getting paid a little better and can buy tickets again. Shouldn't everyone have these type of problems:) (Just to make sure you know, I was being sarcastic back there.)

There is some good news in the bill area. My landlord tried to scare me with the heating costs. However, there is relief there. The yard doesn't need to be mowed anymore. This cost helps offset the heating cost by over half!

Alright. I need to get back to this conference call that is running ALL day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Some Weird Stuff Going On

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I got to eat a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with some family and friends in VA. I then flew to AL to hang with some of my family for the rest of the weekend. Then to top it all off, I got to see Zilla perform on Sunday night. I had never seen them, but I had seen most of the band members at some point in time with other bands. The show was great, the crowd was amazing, and I was sorry to have to leave a little early, but the Monday work hour was fast approaching.

I was checking out some news today and there seemed to be a lot of odd things going on. I realize that there is always strange happenings, but Google News just happen to have a whole bunch of them on its page today.

First, the Supreme Court House is falling apart. In the article it states that a chunk of the building crashed down on the steps. One person noted that the chunk fell from the right side of the building. Coincidence? However, I didn't really think that this event was so abnormal. It is easy to comprehend how a building that is so old, may start to crumble every now and again.

The two articles that really made me laugh and have sad thoughts at the same time. The first one was one in which a girl died after kissing her boyfriend . The kiss of death was performed by an average Joe. His secret...eating peanuts before performing a routine kiss. The article does not state if the man will be criminally charged. Shouldn't one of them have known. Either he should know that she was allergic or she should know not to kiss him, if he had been eating peanuts. Maybe they just started dating and he didn't know about her allergy. Maybe she just showed up at his door and didn't realize that he was eating peanuts before she got there. No matter what, I am going to start asking my dates if they are allergic to nuts. This way I won't have to worry about them dropping dead after my I eat my pecan pie for desert.

On a good note, there are approximately 1.5 million Americans with a peanut allergy. This means that the chances are slim. Half of them are men, leaving 750K people as potential dates. I am sure that at least 75% of them are not in my age group. And for the remaining, they are not likely to all live in the DC area.

The last article that caught my eye, mentioned that needles are not long enough and that fat Americans will have to possibly start enduring longer needles. Actually the article said nothing about whether skinny people will have to get used to the longer needles. If the needles are standardized, then all Americans may have to endure the consequences of the obese.

This article is nuts! But you can't kiss it and make it go away, since it isn't allergic to nuts. Doctors/nurses now have to judge if a needle will be able to reach the butt muscle. Currently, most needles are 3cm long. That is over an inch! If you think about a finger prick and how small the needles is, then an inch is enormous. Luckily there is hope. I have a plan!

If you don't want the longer needles, then this is what you can do. Buy a whole bunch of regular sized needles, as they are sold now. They might even go on sale, once the new size comes out. Then, whenever you go to the doctor, bring your own. If a shot is needed, just hand them to the doctor/nurse and state that you would like them to use your needles. If they stare at you oddly, just smile. If they to talk to you about the dangers of drugs, calmly tell them that you read on this blog somewhere about bigger needles coming out. If that doesn't convince them...RUN!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

The holidays are here! Actually I tend to think that the holidays start with Rosh Hashana and never stop till after New Year's. Then you get a month or two off before Purim. They keep coming until Passover ends. Then you are pretty much free and clear of any major family holidays till Rosh Hashana rolls around again. Of course you still haveMother's Day, Father's Day, and July Fourth thrown in there. And don't forget all the birthdays, anniversary's, and other celebrations that occur through the year. So if you know enough people, then you never have to stop celebrating, except to occasionally sober up. Which is done so that people don't start calling you a drunk.

This Thanksgiving is going to be a great one. I am spending tomorrow with lots of family in VA. Friday, I will wake up early and fly to AL. There I will spend the weekend eating, chatting, relaxing, sleeping, seeing the new Harry Potter movie, and some other miscellaneous items. On Sunday I will head home to the DC area and ready myself for three weeks of staying in the same town, since my next trip won't be until the end of December.

My job is starting to pick up and I am enjoying more. I seem to know what I am doing more often; just don't ask me what I do. The application process has bee started, although it has been a slow start. I will have some of them done before the end of the year.

I checked out Umpheries McGhee last week at the 930 Club in DC. They put on a great show. I had not seen them in a couple of years and I thought they looked and sounded great. My next show is Sunday. I am going to see Zilla at the State Theater in VA. I have never seen them, but I have seen most of the band members. Zilla is an improvisational band comprised of some players from String Cheese Incident and a couple of other bands. I hear they are funky and can rock the house!

In other news...My co-worker lives next to some guy name Jeff, that was just convicted of manslaughter. I am sure it is on the net somewhere, but I don't think I want to know anymore. Jeff killed his wife's secret lover. Obviously she wasn't very good at keeping secrets. (bad joke) Jeff killed the man with a shot gun and later confessed to the murder. He has served a year already as the trial has been going on. He will serve a minimum of 18 more years. This allows him to be back out on the streets when he is in his 70's. My co-worker seems to think the guy is nice and friendly. He has been a good neighbor for as long as he can remember. Jeff helped build an addition on to his home. He has come over with his wife for dinners and other social gatherings.

What does all this mean? Not much, unless you are cheating with someone else's wife. If that is the case, watch out for a man with a shot gun pointed at you, who appears to be married to the person you are sleeping with.

That is all the wisdom I can dish out today. Until next time...eat lots of turkey.

Gobble, gobble!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Can You Tell A Difference? Traffic Woes...

When you steered your computer to my blog today, did you notice a difference when it loaded? Take a close look. Okay, okay, okay...if you don't see any differences, I will tell you.

I have been trying my hand at html. The big changes are in the sidebar. I added a link to my pictures on flicker.com. However, right now I only have three pictures there. I will be adding lots very soon, since I have been working on processing my pictures as well. Also, I added a weather box so that you always can tell what type of weather I am experiencing at the moment or if you start to wonder what the weather is at your place, you can find out. In addition, I added a section for the books I am reading at the moment. I added an email icon. I centered a few things, widened a few things, and basically tried to make the page look and feel better.

I am pretty new to the html world. Before now all I knew how to do was make text bold, create a link, and skip to the next line. Now I am learning fast and hope to keep changing this page till I can take my skills to Bill Gates and say, "Ha, look at that." To which his reply will probably be, "Who are you? Guards!"

Anyway, I have begun the process to apply for grad school. This feels like a daunting task. But attending school without applying and getting accepted first, will not help me get a degree. The online part is fairly easy. The essays are the next easiest. Going to the effort to obtain and send out all of the letters of recommendations, transcripts, resumes, and other junk is the hardest part. However, as a constant, daily reminder that this is all easier than working is my commute to and from my job. Let me ask you this...

Why does everybody like to go to work at the same time everyday? Is it because you like to hang out with all the other people inching along as they go to work? Do you look forward to the, "oh, we are moving...oh, we are stopped" every five seconds. Maybe the motion of the stop and go is somehow relaxing and soothes you on your way to and from work. I find it remarkable that people do this everyday for years and most travel farther and for longer period of times than I do. Not only do people do this in the morning, but just when you think that they must have had enough, everyone decides to return home at the same time too. Once again they inch along with all their commuting buddies, pretending that they don't know each, even though they see each other all the time. In fact, maybe that is the answer! Next time I find myself creeping along the street, I will try to make conversation with my commuting buddies. This will not only occupy my time, but will allow me to meet my fellow DCers. If I have people to chat with the time will go by quicker and I will feel involved in their lives, and then I will start to look forward to meeting up with my commuting buddies, so that I can find out the details of their day and how Frankie Jr. is getting over his cold (This sentence ran on just like my commute). The most I can hope for is that I don't make them mad and that they speak english. I will let you know how it goes.

In other news...NY was great. I saw Galactic on Saturday night. They played the best show I have ever seen them play. From song 1 to the end of the second set was just pumping. I should not have stayed for the encore, since it appeared that the band finally was winding down and losing their energy. Also, I got to see Joseph, one of the crazy people I biked with this summer. I met him in Brooklyn, we had breakfast for lunch, and walked through Prospect Park for a while.

It appears that there will be no more traveling till the end of next month. However, if I get a warm weekend, I am going to try to head out to the nearby mountains for a hike and some camping.

Come and look back soon for some new pics!

Friday, November 11, 2005

New York...Here I Come

After work today I will be heading to NYC for the weekend. Saturday, my friend Rachel will be showing off her artwork in NY. I added a link to her website on the right side of the page. Then that night I am going to see Galactic with Seth. I have not seen this band for a couple of years, so I am excited to catch them again. Finally on Sunday, I will be meeting up with Joseph for lunch and a quick tour of Brooklyn. It should be a great visit. Plans are already in the works to spend New Years in NYC. I think the Black Crowes are playing Madison Square Gardens that weekend.

This past week has been very busy. I helped make Thanksgiving baskets last night for the needy. It was more a social thing, but the little bit of work we did and the money that was raised should help a lot of people. On Wednesday I checked out a new venue, Rams Head Live. I saw Gavin Rossdale's (former lead singer of Bush) new band, Institute. They were great! hardly anyone was there, so I got great pics and even a little bit of Gavin's sweat from his hair as he shook his head during a few tunes. He performed Everything Zin and Machine Head from the classic Sixteen Stone album (I used to be a HUGE Bush fan).

Monday and Tuesday were filled with family. I haven't been to this big of a family dinner in at least two years. I had my Aunt and Uncle from Mobile visiting with their daughters and one of their grandchildren. Then my cousins from VA were all in attendance. I had never met the two younger boys. Jacob's son is very outgoing and is working on his basketball skills. Leslie's son, Michael, was exhausted from spending the entire day driving down from VT. However, he was a trooper and made it through a wonderful meal and several pictures. After six years in CO without family, it is wonderful to be suddenly surrounded.

Some More Happenings

Last weekend I checked out Soulive at the 930 Club. I met up with Gary and had a few drinks and headed into the show. It was a Saturday, so I knew the show would run late. However, the band did not take the stage until 11:30 pm and at one o'clock the first set was not even finished. I had to leave shortly there after, since my dancing was slowing and my bed was calling. I guess I should have taken a nap after my bike ride that morning.

I also got to catch the new Zorro movie. I am a big fan of the masked crusader. His newest film was filled with Hollywood action and cheesy lines. I loved it! At the end, as he is riding off into the sunset and the film freezes on the frame of him with Tornado; it is exactly how the original Zorro starring Tyron Powers ends. I just hope that it is not Zorro's last ride as the title suggests.

On Sunday, I woke up in time to get a quick run in, shower, and make it down to the soup kitchen in DC. I have been trying to volunteer here regulary. It is fun and I have been meeting some cool people.

That is most of what I have been up to lately. If you notice, I have made a few changes on the blog. I am trying to add some content to it. If suggestions or if you want me to add a link to your website, let me know.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


The Funkasaurus's were awesome. We kicked some butt in a few games and had a great time. Thanks for having me on your team for the weekend.

I got to see Maeve! My wonderful biking Queen. I even got to eat some cheese curds. Her sister, Kathleen, is amazingly hospitable. However, our visit was short lived since I had a tournament to attend.

Our frisbee field had a wonderful backdrop.

Roman getting serious on the field. he just about grabbed the frisbee right out of the guy's hand.

Roman in a Maeve's costume. Maeve definitely looked better in it. But give me a few drinks and.......

Betty Boop was really friendly.

Here is the "One Night Stand" with his game face on!

Here is the Winona, WI gang from 5th Street that I stayed with on Halloween.