Friday, December 30, 2005

The New Look

As you may notice, their is something different about my blog. What could it be? How about a whole new look!

I gave my blog a make-over. I know it is not even 8 months old, but if you think in computer years, then I am probably right on time. The major addition to this new look is a third column on the left side. Right now, the content is the same as the old version minus the weather, but in due time I will fill this page with all kinds of rich and stimulating content. Or maybe it will be filled with a bunch of BS, but that is the way it goes here in the blogger world.

Let me know if their are any suggestions for my new look. Colors, fonts, spacing, content, etc.

The New Year

I am ready to go to NYC. However, I am stuck at work till I can sneak out early. I am hoping to catch an earlier bus, so that I can get to NYC before midnight. I am going to try to send a couple of Audio Blogs while I am on the rode this weekend. I am sure in the next 6-12 months that video blogs will be hitting the web. I just imagine blogs having a bunch of clips similar to what you see on reality shows. Like when two people are arguing and the TV goes to one of the people involved and they are giving their thoughts about what is going through there head at that moment and then the TV goes to the other person and gets their reaction as well. Those moments are the most fabricated part of reality TV. If you wanted the real answer, you would have to stop the people in the middle of the fight. This would then allow them to cool down and stop fighting. Therefore the producers of the show have to keep going back and splicing in what the reality show participants were thinking. This "thinking" is often made up to make the show more interesting. Reflections about an event, from a participant, are not much better.

I am already looking forward to my next vacation. I am going out to CO at the end of January. I recently purchased tickets to the Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) show. Those guys can blow your mind if you catch them on the right night.

Have you made your New Years Resolutions? Please feel free to share a few, by leaving a comment. Here are a few of mine...

1. Find a different job close to home
2. Stay fit
3. Continue to try new foods
4. Continue to cook regularly, rather than eating out or preparing microwave foods

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

File Sharing

I am pretty excited about the coming weekend. I will be partying with my best friends in NYC. We are going to see the Black Crowes with the 70 Volt Parade and North Mississippi Allstars opening for them at Madison Square Gardens. You can't go wrong there. I have never been to NYC on New Years and it seems that lots of other people have the same idea. I will have several friends from Wisconsin, CT, MA, MD, VA, Chicago, and probably some I left out all there. Hopefully I will see one or two of them over the weekend.

Have you ever wanted to send someone a big file or several big files. Maybe a bunch of music or videos. Now you can! Check out the Motivation software. This site will allow you to store your information in your email account and allow someone else to access that specific file or files that you want to share. It is pretty neat stuff. Their website did not explain it very well (nor did I), but if you use it, you will understand. The only drawback is that you need to have a POP3 account set up on your email. Google Mail and AOL are already set up like that. If you have MSN, Hotmail, or just use Outlook on your computer then you will have to do additional setup to be able to use the program. Or you could just email me and I will send you an invitation for Google Mail. In my opinion, it is far superior to any other internet based email. There is no comparison.

I have been editing some project proposals and other reports that my company is sending out. The man who gave me the tasks really is impressed by my work. My writing has come a long way to be able to critique others. I remember when English was one of my worst subjects. I couldn't spell or use grammar correctly, but now with years of practice and lots of revisions of almost every paper I have written over the last decade by Carol, I have finally learned a thing or two. Carol, thank you very much for this knowledge.

After editing these papers it is hard to believe that these people get any projects approved. I have read a few others that have already been approved and they are all littered with spelling and grammar mistakes. I guess you can ignore a few mistakes if the price is set correctly. However, that means you could be sacrificing quality to go with the lowest bidder. There seems to be a problem with that, but I can't quite explain it right now. Instead you can think about this. When you go shopping, do you always look for the cheapest price on any good? Do you ever buy something more expensive, because you perceive its quality to be of higher value than the lesser priced item, therefore, it is worth buying the more expensive option? Do you get your car fixed at the place where it is least expensive or where you know the job is done right? Now think how the government always goes towards the lowest bidder. Somewhere in there, they are getting bad service and poor quality. The lowest price doesn't always mean poor quality, but often it makes a difference.

Happy Fourth Day of Hanukah!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Audio Blog Has Arrived Here!

My First Audio Blog: this is an audio post - click to play

Now when I am on the road, too tired to type, or just want to supplement my writings, I can talk to you. My first attempt was short, but I am at work and didn't want anyone to hear me. I will try to post a couple while I am away this coming weekend. I foresee lots of clips including concerts, random thoughts, and perhaps the occasional drunken dialing.

Happy Hanukah

I went back to Memphis this past weekend to celebrate. My family was celebrating the 60th anniversary of my grandparents. That is a long time! I can't imagine being together with someone longer than the amount of time you have been single. I definitely have something to aspire too.

The pictuer of above is from this weekend. My cousin Emily and I were goofying off I after a game of checkers. The picture below is from this weekend as well.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Worktime Ramblings

I feel like the winter time blues is spreading around the this town or maybe just my company and home. There are several people walking around my office coughing and sneezing. Others are looking tired from all the stress of the holidays. One of my roommates went out of town last weekend to Florida and came back very sick. Even I have felt very unmotivated and lazy lately. I have only been working out about 3 days a week, which is about half of what I like to do. I attribute some of this to the short days. I walked out of my house just as the sun is coming over the horizon. I am at work before it finishes rising. Then I leave work after the sun has set. It seems unjust to me that we should all be deprived of the sun. Now I know why all the northerners look so pale...they are stuck inside, out of the sun. Just now...I got am email stating that another co-worker wasn't feeling well and that he was going to pop some pills and try to come in this afternoon. Most of these people have sick days, why aren't they using them? Is work that important that you would sacrifice your own health for it? Why bring whatever you have into the office?

I have a theory. People get sick around this time, not from the cold of winter. People get sick from the lack of sleep, the over eating, and stress created by the holidays. I am lucky. Hanukah is not a major holiday, therefore I don't feel the stress of it, like I would on Yom Kippur. I have never been a person who regularly over eats and I pay special attention during the holidays to avoid this. Finally, I will miss out on sleep, since I will be traveling and hanging with my family. However, since I am currently in great health and avoiding the other two pitfalls, I should be OK. Now you should ask yourself if you will be OK.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I am a Vegetarian

I bet that title makes you laugh and chuckle at the thought of me being a vegetarian. I am the one who wouldn't put a vegetable near his mouth until just a couple of years ago. However, this statement is not true. I am still eating meat in all its various forms. But I have a co-worker who thinks that I am a vegetarian. Every time he stops by when I am eating I happen not to have any meat on my plate. It was pretty funny when I first heard, but this past week or so might prove him "almost right". I have been in a crunch since obtaining my title and tags for the state of MD. I had already trimmed my spending, since I am not on salary until the end of next month. But I needed to trim some more after my dealing with the MD gov't. So, trimming my food budget was fairly easy. I now eat all kinds of things, including vegetables. I decided that I wouldn't buy any meat until I got my finances back in order. Therefore I have not had meat in a while, except for a burger that I ate this past weekend for dinner. I had no idea how easy the transition would be. I am beginning to think that I could continue this trend indefinitely. However, I really don't see that happening in the long run.

Work has been busy this week, which is a good thing. I like to have too much on my plate. This weekend I will be seeing my Uncle Stan for a few moments on Sat. and Sunday night, while he passes through town on business. The rest of the weekend will be productive. I have vowed to make head way on my applications. So it will be done!! Then on Sunday, I will be doing the usual at the soup kitchen and then I am planning on meeting up with some friends for lunch and pottery painting. I have you ever gone to a pottery store and painted your pieces? I haven't, but after this weekend I will have. The last time I played with pottery was 9th grade art class with Mr. Wilson. I loved that class. I made some great pieces of art work, using all kinds of different mediums. Most of it I still have tucked away somewhere and I know my parents have most of my pottery that I made.

I applied for a job this week. Hopefully I will hear something, even though it is the holidays. I turned down a job offer this week, since they were not going to pay much more than I am making now. It is sometimes odd to me that I have my resume out there and that random people are asking if I want to work for them. I have never done job hunting like this, but it is easier in some ways. On the other side, it is very impersonal and often hard to get in touch with a live voice.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Funny, Rockin, & Relaxing

Those words just about some up my weekend. Friday I went to the DC Improv. I liked the opening comic better than the headliner for the most part. The headliner did have a great twenty minutes of talking about cereals. I found this to be the best part of his act. He pointed out some great facts. Such as the trademarked phrase, "two scoops in every box", that is emblazened upon every Rasain Bran cereal box. He managed to pull out three or four different size boxes that all say "two scoops". I just realized that my telling of this joke will not be funny to anyone. The end.

On Saturday, Justin from CO came out to DC for work. He and a co-worker came out to the Rusted Root show at the 930 club. We met Sean and his crew before the show for a drink. The show rocked, we got some food afterwards, and we all went home. Sunday, I got up and made it to the soup kitchen. I am glad I did, since it was the least amount of volunteers that I had ever seen show up. This actually made it more fun, since we were all a little busier than normal. The rest of the day I spent cooking and reading, since my internet connection has been down since Thursday night. Hopefully I will come home today and it will be fixed.

The worst part of the weekend was when I was eating dinner on Saturday, I looked up at the TV and learned that Richard Pryor had died of a heart attack. While I am not suprised, since he used and abused his body throughout much of his life, it is still sad to lose a member of society that could make anyone laugh.

I read today that a study found out that women who had abortions were likely to have long term mental and emotional affects from the procedure. Perhaps they could expand on that a little and state, "any person who remembers a single, isolated event in their life, maybe mentally and/or emothionally affected from it." Isn't it silly not to think that everything that we remember for a long time affects us in some way? I remember playing t-ball when I was five. I am not sure how this affects me now, but it probably helped me become a good sportsman for years after I played. Now it just provides a good memory. I bet they spent years of time and lots of money figuring out something that almost anyone could have told them. But now it has been recorded in a scientific manner, so it must be true.

Peace Out!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's Pearl Harbor Day

This past week I was fortunate enough to get to see the news happen, before it was reported on. This rarely ever happens to me and I consider myself fortunate that it doesn't happen often. I am not a person who likes to be in the middle of things. So, check out this article to see the full story.

My part in this...while coming home from my company's holiday party last Thursday, I was passed by a speeding car. I took no notice of this, except that they were really moving. I was going just over 70 mph and they flew by me. I would guess about 85-90 mph. Soon after that I was passed by two police cruisers going about as fast as the original car. They had their lights on and were not after me. Thank goodness. A few minutes later I was home and changing for a my date. I stepped out of my house 15 min. later and started walking towards the Metro station. I heard and saw a helicopter flying above me. It was dark, so I couldn't see what it looked like, but I have heard helicopters before when they are checking on the traffic in the morning commute. My thoughts were that there must have been an accident on the Beltway and I was really thankful that I got off at my exit before the traffic got backed up.

The next morning, I had to go to the DMV to get my plates. On the radio I heard about an incident in Woodside Park (this is the name of my neighborhood). After getting to work, I checked my neighborhood's Yahoo group and it confirmed what I thought. There was a police chase on the Beltway and they fled into the Woodside Park neighborhood after crashing their car. I thought it was cool that I got to see a high-speed chase, even if I didn't know it at the time. Isn't the big city wonderful!

Another story...I forgot to tell this one early. I was riding on the Metro with Sean last weekend. We were coming back from the Sarah Silverman movie. At one of the stops a guy and pretty girl got on the train. They were all dressed up for a formal outing. Sean asked me what was going on, since we had seen so many people dressed up around town. I said that school is almost out for the semester, but the couple on the train looked to be about my age. The next thing that happens was awesome and unbelievable! The girl took the guys head and shoved it into the wall of the train. The guy was stunned, but tried getting her hands off of him. She started pushing and punching him everywhere she could, while yelling at him. He got up and tried to get away. She screamed that he wasn't going anywhere. She jumped on his back and tried to pull him back, but he kept walking till he got to the end of the train car and was able to step off the train when the doors opened. She followed him and never stopped screaming. Needless to say, it was pretty hot to see this girl go off on this guy, but I refrained from telling her this. Partly out of the inconvenience of getting off the train and having to wait till the next one and the other part was fear. The doors to the train shut and we took off towards the next stop. This brought an end to our excitement for the evening.

I learned something that night. If I am really bored, then I can always go for a ride on the Metro and find a free show. Sean thought that was the craziest thing he had seen on the Metro since moving to DC several years ago. I agreed, but I have only been here three months. Can you believe that? I moved here three months ago as of tomorrow. Wow!!

Don't forget to thank the Japanese today and your fellow American veterans. If the Japanese had not bombed us at Pearl Harbor, WWII might have lasted even longer than it did. Which means that the Holocaust might have lasted even longer too. Thank you America! I sure do love living here. In some countries this blog would be considered illegal.

DC had its first snowfall this week! It was very cold, so I only made one snow ball which I splattered all over the garage door. It scared the cat enough to make him retreat into the house. The snow did not stick well to the streets. I had an easy commute the next day, since so many schools were closed. Everyone at work showed up late, so I had the place to myself for the first couple of hours.

One thing I am really surprised to learn is how quickly DC closes everything for the weather. I would expect that they would be equipped like Colorado. This appears not to be the case. The grocery stores are hit by consumers, like people do in the South. Consumers rush to buy all the necessities, thinking they might be snowed in for the next month. I have worked at a grocery store for a couple of years and saw this behavior repeatedly. For anyone who reads this, save yourself the trouble. Usually you won't need the stuff, since the weather man is often wrong. Additionally, everyone has already stocked up on everything. This means that if the worst happens, then all you have to do is make it to your neighbors house to get what you need.

Also, they use salt on the road. This is not very environmentally friendly, nor is it good for your car. There are slightly more expensive chemicals that are much more friendly to the environment that the gov't should be using. The savings by the consumers from less repairs to their cars and the cost of clean-up in the long run should more than off-set the cost of using these chemicals. The Potomac is one of the most polluted rivers in America. Nat'l Geographic just had a front cover story about it a few months ago. This is where everything eventually drains into in this region, therefore, the gov't has no business using salt on the road ways.

This weekend should be interesting. We are expecting another snow storm this Thursday evening. It should be substantial according to the weatherman. Which means, "we don't really know anything yet...ask us Friday morning." Hopefully schools will close again and the commute will be easy. It is supposed to snow all day Friday. I can't wait to wake-up Sat. morning and see everything white. If I get out early enough I will take some pictures of my neighborhood dressed with snow.

I am going to see Rusted Root on Saturday. I have a friend from CO, Justin, who will be in town for work, but is coming to see the show. Also I am going with Sean and Annie, who live in the DC area. It should be a great time. Friday night, there is a happy hour to attend, but I doubt that I will make it with if there is several inches of snow on the ground. Sunday, I hopefully will make it to the soup kitchen and then probably meet up with Justin again before he heads back to CO.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Weekend

This past weekend was jam packed. After work on Friday I made my way to the Phil Lesh show in Fairfax, VA. Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes sat in with them for almost the entire show. It was a great show and ended before 11:30pm, which was great, since I was exhausted.

I slept till noon the next day. I couldn't believe it. But I needed it. I did a few household chores and cooked a nice meal, but that was about it. I started on some applications, but was easily and quickly drawn away by a phone call to go see a movie. Sarah Silverman's "Jesus is Magic" is hilarious. While the film has nothing to do with Jesus or Magic, I laughed really hard throughout the show. Silverman is a good looking Jewish woman who says a lot of vulgar, shocking things. Perhaps it is only shocking since it is coming from this nice looking woman. The majority of the film is her on stand-up, but they interlaced some songs and clips that really make it a movie rather than just a stand-up show on a big screen.

Sunday I woke up early and fresh. I did my morning routine and got out of the house early to go for a run. I felt good and ran four miles in under 35 minutes. I could have gone longer, but I needed to get cleaned up and out the door again. I went to the soup kitchen and helped out for a little bit. Afterwards, I went back home and got some lunch. Working around all that food always makes me hungry.

Last night I went rock climbing. It was indoors, but a lot of fun. I seem to forget that I really like to climb. My arms are aching today and it feels great. I took Lisa with me and she did great for her first climbing effort. We then had a quick dinner and parted ways, since I was about to fall asleep in mid-sentence. I got home and should have gone to bed, but I really wanted to see the DVD that was made about my summer bike trip. I just got it in the mail on Friday. I thought the movie was great. It brought up wonderful memories from this past summer. I wish I could do it again this coming summer.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Company Holiday Party

This is picture that I received today from a co-worker. This was from yesterdays holiday party at a nearby country club. In the picture from right to left is Rosa, Rhonda, myself, and some guy I haven't met yet.

I Have Regained Feeling in My Toes

I woke up this morning, knowing that I needed to head to the Maryland DMV. There I was going to finally finish the process of titling my car. I wanted to be there when they opened, so that I wouldn't miss very much work. I thought they opened at 8am, since that is what their website states. So, I got myself up and out the door a little later than planned, but I still had plenty of time. I stopped and filled up on gas. The sign said $2.18, but the pump said $2.21. I thought about walking in the store to make a fuss, but the other gas stations nearby were even more expensive and it was freezing outside.

I made it to the DMV with no traffic problems. I immediately got out of the car and walked up to the line that had started to form. I was about 5th in line and I came prepared. I buttoned up my jacket first. Then I reached in my backpack and put on my hat. I got my earphones and Ipod running with some Ben Folds Five, I put on my gloves, and got my Catherine Coulter book out, that I normally read when I am traveling on the metro trains. I was warm.

I checked the time and 8am had already come and passed. I looked around at all the freezing people I was standing with and they didn't look concerned. I then saw that the sign says they open at 8:30am. Another half hour of the cold. I was definitely doing better than most people. They were complaining, getting anxious, and starting to jump around.

The DMV was punctual. I ended up being third in line, for the "I am getting a new title" line. I was seen quickly, my papers checked over, given a number and told to go and wait till I was called. I was called within five minutes. The guy didn't say a word and just did his routine. After a couple of minutes he told me the price, ran my card, and handed me new plates. My car was now titled, licensed, and tagged in Maryland.

As I was driving to work I looked at my bill. I had to pay 5% tax on my cars value. I was surprised when I paid that the bill was so low. However, after seeing how little taxed I paid, I realized that they don't think my car is worth much. My '93 Accord with 259,041 miles on it, is only worth $760. At least my car knows it is invaluable to me, which at that moment I reminded it of this fact.

Now my toes have warmed up and stopped tingling. I learned this morning that my shoes don't have good insulation.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

World AIDS Day

Yesterday was an interesting day. I was feeling pretty bad about all the repairs that were needed to my car. However, I felt much better when I was out on date that night. This was our second date. It wasn't as good as the first, but far from bad. I will see her again this weekend.

However, when we left each others company, jumped in our cars, and departed ways. I was feeling wonderful, playing my music loudly, and dancing to it in my car. That did not last long. I was quickly pulled over by a fairly friendly member of the Montgomery County police. He was kind enough to tell me that my license plate tags were expired. Nooooo...Really?! After giving him my information, showing him my inspection that I was working on getting passed, and the bill I just got done paying, he went back to his car. I didn't even try to mention the fact that I spent a month trying to get my title from CO to me. That was a nightmare in itself. It took a while, so I figured he was writing me a ticket. I am used to this. I have had more than my fair share of tickets. However, luck was with me. All I got was a warning ticket. He did tell me that a ticket would have been $280 and that my car is considered unregistered, since I have lived in MD for more than 60 days. So I thanked him again and again.

So, I have no other way to get to work, except to drive. Therefore, I am now driving an unregistered vehicle in MD. Luckily this is only until tomorrow morning, when I can make it to the DMV. So, this morning I got up early and made it to the inspection place at 7:30am. The guy was fast and only charged me $25, not the $40 he stated me on Monday. This worked great. I was then able to make it to work on time, which prevents me from having to stay late to make the time up.

Thanks to my dad, I tend to read into events too much. The cop pulling me over...what does that mean? I can't figure it out. It definitely brought me back down to earth, but I didn't want to be there. I was feeling so good before he pulled up behind me. However, I did end up with a warning, which is a good thing. The girl I was with is as nice and good as they get, so I don't think it was a warning to stay away. Until I figure it out...I will have tags tomorrow, my car is driving like a dream, and I will be looking forward to lots more outings.

Tonight I have three happenings that all overlap. I am only doing one. It is either the Company Holiday Party or another date. The other event, a young professionals happy-hour, I have already called and canceled. This will be a first date, so I don't know if it will happen. I met this girl at the last concert I went to on Sunday. If that doesn't work out, then off to the company party. There is supposed to be good food and free drinks.

Have a good World AIDS Day!!
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