Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It Is Good to Be Back

Lately I have been thinking that I should pinch myself to make sure that "this" is real. Usually I tell myself not too, since if it is a dream, why would I want to wake up.

School finished and my class started to spread out across the world after a short celebration. I took off to TN and AL to see my family and friends. I ran into several people that I don't see often, some I had not seen since high school. One friend had gotten engaged that evening! It is always great to see and hear about what others are up to in their lives.

After eight days in the South, which ended with a surprise birthday party for my mom, I headed back to Columbia, SC. I drove nine hours, did three loads of laundry, ate some Chinese food, slept for four and a half hours, and then caught a plane to Denver, CO. Now I am sitting in paradise surrounded by snow.

Last night's dinner was a feast with about a dozen of us chowing down, drinking, and then finding room for dessert. After we rested up from eating a nice dip in the hot tub finished off the evening. Now I have an incredible ten days of CO in front of me!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Chillin in AL

Thanksgiving this year was great! I had all the essential foods...turkey, dressing, etc. I always enjoy coming to AL. It is very quiet and peaceful were my parents live. Their house looks out over a barren field, which is occasionally planted with crops. Today I got to see the sun rise over the horizon of the field.

I was up early to go shopping. I have never been shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. I have always watched on the TV the long lines and "crazy" people that have been waiting in line since four in the morning. I can now report firsthand that there are lines outside the doors and lines of people 30 deep waiting for the registers. All I could think is that marketers have a done a great job in promoting this shopping day. The stores I walked in were not in chaos and the entire shopping process, including drive time, was done in just over an hour.

Tomorrow I am heading to Atlanta to SCI one more time. This will probably be my last show with them, since they are reportedly breaking up next summer after one of the band members leaves. I have seen them at least 30+ times, so I can only say, "thanks for all the wonderful times."

Three more weeks of school and I am free!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nuttin But Stringz


Nuttin But Stringz released their first album on October 3rd. These are 2 violinists that got their start playing music on NYC's Subway trains. It is incredible music that reaches across a number of genres including jazz, classical, hip-hop, and rap. My good friend promotes the band and I recommend that you check them out. www.nuttinbutstringz.com

You can order their album on Amazon.com.

I have one of their songs as an MP3 that I would be happy to email out to anyone.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Five Weeks and Four Classes


As of today, there is five weeks left in my fall semester. What a relief! While I am loving what I am doing, I am getting excited about leaving the country for a while next year. My fellow Global Trackers just received our itenarary. We will start with a week in Dublin, Ireland, starting in April. Then to Porto, Portugal and finally ending up in Madrid, Spain. I am going to do a bit of traveling in Europe before April with my roommate. It should be blast and great jumping off point for my internship in China, that follows. You may ask what internship? That I don't know, but I will have one before I get there!

I was excited to see the election results. America has given me hope. Also, I hope that the rest of the world sees that America may take a while to wise up about the problems in our country, but we will correct ourselves eventually. Since our international relations are at a low point, I believe they can only get better with a change in the government. I am intersted to learn from people in the countries I will be visiting next year, what they think of the recent change.

Last night my class had dinner at an Indian restarunt. About 100 people attended and one of our professors gave a quick history of the celebration of Diwali. I learned that Diwali is considered the "festival of lights", just like Hanukah! Pretty cool. The pick up top is a sampling of the food we got to eat.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Go Vote!

Having an entire day off from school on Tuesday, will allow all of us plenty of time to make it to the polls. I hope that everyone who is registered to vote in my program goes to the polls. I don't know what is happening in the local politics for the most part. I do know that we have a House of Representatives spot that may get turned over to a democrat if enough people come out to vote. More importantly, people need to vote "no" on Ammendment 1. This is an ammendment that wants to declare that marriage can only be allowed between a man and a woman. There are nine states voting on similar ammendments.

Hopefully the US population and government will realize one day that outlawing marriage between two people is wrong. The fact that an ammendment such as this is on the ballot is a bit laughable. I am sure the rest of the world is laughing at us. Why should we waste our time worrying about who falls in love and gets married? All marriages should be celebrations of love, no matter who is getting married. Lastly, I have yet for anyone to tell me how I or anyone else will be affected if my friends in CO, my neighbors in DC, or more recently my neighbors in Columbia decided to get married.

Unity '08

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Party

The link is to my Halloween party pictures from this past weekend. Check them out. I dressed up as Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff). Enjoy!

Halloween Pictures

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Some Pics

Follow the link to see some pics of a recent visit with my family, a concert, and the "Jew" Pimp.

Just click on the big picture...no need to sign in. Click here for pics.

Enjoy!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

WWW Day

Yesterday was WWW Day! What did you do on WWW Day?

WWW Day is a day to celebrate the World Wide Web and reflect on how it has changed your life. Well, I had a marketing exam and then Rosh Hashana dinner, so I did not reflect yesterday. But this morning I will.

Top Ten Ways the WWW Has Changed My Life:
1. I can easily and cheaply stay in touch with lots of people
2. I can shop from home
3. I can read about any subject at anytime
4. I don't have to ask people for directions
5. I can stay home and still get my work done
6. I can sell to the world
7. I can find a job without visiting the office
8. I don't have to use the library to write a paper
9. I can train more effectively
10. Allows me to share my life on a page that anyone can read

How has the WWW changed your life?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy New Year

Tomorrow night starts the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana (translated, it means "The Head of the Year). Now for a little lesson...

Typically in the US the new year involves parties, drinking, and staying up till at least midnight. On the other hand, Rosh Hashana is usually celebrated by going to dinner with friends and family, then to the synagogue for a few prayers, and we eat apples and honey. There is, however, one important similarity between the Jewish New Year and the American one: Many Americans use the New Year as a time to plan a better life, making "resolutions." Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year. More

The apples and honey are symbolic for the year to come. They are supposed to represent the sweet new year that we would like to have. If you have not put honey on apples before, it is awesome stuff and should be done as soon as possible. It is a great snack anytime during the year. Some other traditions are using bread and honey, instead of apples. Also, many people go to a river or stream and throw bread into it. Technically, you are supposed to "empty your pockets", so don't bring your wallet, keys and phone. This is called Tashlikh ("casting off"). This practice is to symbolize the casting off of our sins. This is the

After Rosh Hashana, we spend the next 10 days asking for forgiveness for all of our sins over the previous year. There are lots of technicalities to how you should do this, but I am not going into that. So, on the 10th day of the new year we have Yom Kippur. This is the Day of Atonement or the day we ask g-d to be inscribed in the "book of life" for the coming year. I like to compare this to the twelve step programs. The programs tell you to take "one day at a time." Well, the Jews take "one year at a time."

Basically, on Yom Kippur we ask g-d for forgiveness once a year. This could be compared to Catholics who ask forgiveness every time they go to confession. Or at least that is way I perceive. I certainly don't know enough about it to say very much.

The coolest part of Yom Kippur is the "sounding" of the shofar. This is when a person blows on a ram's horn.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

On My Way to China

Today was exciting. I have been heavily involved in my operations management class. My group turned in its project today, I had a class in operations today, and I had an information session with three members of the supply chain/operations field. They were from Sonoco, Michelin, and Pfizer.

So, after all this I went and met with my internship advisor. She made it seem quite easy to obtain an internship in China. I will be working with an agency in China that will help me find the internship, a place to live, obtain my visa, give me a cell phone, and lots of other benefits, such as 24 hours service line in case I get loss (since I don't know the language). Pretty cool.

I don't expect all this to happen overnight, but hopefully I will have all the details worked out before the semester is finished.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Success in Hartsville

This past Sunday was awesome! I had a blast putting myself through torture. I loved it so much that I have no doubt that I will be doing this again one day. My time was three hours and five minutes. I came in 42nd place overall. Thank you Shaun, Emily, and Nanda for getting up in the middle of the night to come support me.

A little play by play...
I woke up at 4am and loaded up the car. My roommate and I picked up a couple of fellow classmates and we headed out to Hartsville. We arrived just as the sun was trying to come up.
I went and set up my things at the transition area and tried to warm up. It was fairly chilly, so I happily plunged into the water when the horn was sounded. The water felt like a bath at 85 degrees. I finished the swim feeling great.












After a successful transition onto the bike, I was off. I knew this was my event and I hammered through every inch of the course. I flew past people on the hills. I finished this section of the event with a big smile on my face.












Then, I got off the bike and put my running shoes on. This is when the race turned ugly. My legs were stiff and my knees were full of lactic acid. I could barely run, but I knew if I stopped I wouldn't be able to start up again. So, I pushed on with step hurting more than previous. Around the fourth mile, my legs were starting to loosen up and by mile five I was running normal again. My last mile of the run, ended up being my fastest.

When I crossed the finish line, I felt really good and tired. My first triathlon was a success!

The best part was my victory kiss!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

ExxonMobil Will Survive

ExxonMobile will survive without me. I missed their information session this evening, since I got the time wrong. 5:30 is not the same as 7:00. I will have to remember that.

Tomorrow I will get to shake hands with about 30 or so corporate people from the Columbia area. The school has organized a dinner for us to practice our etiquette and social skills. The evening should be fun and funny. Fun for the the free dinner and socializing. Funny for all the mistakes we get to make and talk about later.

I got to play a game today called BAFA, BAFA. It is a game to teach cross-cultural differences and cultures. I was an alpha, so I got to touch and stand very close to people, smile and laugh, shuffle cards for no reason, and talk about men and sports. That is about it. The Betas were "rude" people who butted into conversations, couldn't speak except for a very simple language, and were basically a very capatalistic group of people. It was pretty funny for the first thirty minutes. It was starting to get old towards the end. Perhaps the visiting groups should have been bigger to make the game go faster. Anyway, I was tired afterwards, so I came home and napped. That is why I love school.

So, I got two more days! Carbo-load time!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pfizer Visits USC


I attended an information session with Pfizer tonight. Their were people from there Internal Auditing (IA) division. I have no interest in IA, but I went for the experience. As a bonus, I got some food and gift bag. The bag had all kinds of great Pfizer consumer products, that will soon be sold off (I think before the end of the year).

Tomorrow I will be seeing a session with ExxonMobil. I have some friends in Boulder, CO that would probably ask me to stand outside of the school and protest that ExxonMobil is even setting foot on the campus. However, it should be an interesting session and I will get fed again.

My entrepreneurship class ended today and next week I will be finishing up Leadership. At that point I will only have four classes! What a relief. In fact, I will finish up a third class before the end of the month and I won't be starting any new ones till the end of October. We have a pretty hefty exam schedule in October and a couple of long weekends. All in all, October should be a bit more relaxing, aside from all the organizations, sessions, internship searching and interviewing, and all the other extracurriculars.

So, in less than five days I will be participating in my first triathlon and I can't be more excited. Tomorrow morning is my last "real" workout before the race. Friday I won't train at all and then just a few minutes on Saturday to loosen everything up. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Elie Wiesel Speaks in Columbia


Wiesel spoke at the Koger Center in downtown Columbia tonight. This is not the first time I have heard him speak. It is truly amazing to hear the silence in the room as we all strain to hear his next words. Everyone there wants to listen and learn from him, which is encouraging to me. I see Columbia as a small southern college town, with small southern town problems. However, as Wiesel pointed out, Columbia is better than it was 19 years ago during his first visit here. This is also encouraging.

Wiesel reminded us that Darfur is every person's problem. He said that when any religion or race is discriminated against it is to the detriment of all of humanity. Wiesel studies the Talmud and in it is a famous saying that, "when you save the life of one person, you save the world." Wiesel preaches this concept in slightly different words.

Wiesel spoke about interviewing an author in France, whom he was hoping to ask for a recommendation for a job with a government official. This author was famous for being in love with Jesus and relating everything to Jesus. He gave a few funny examples how things always came back to Jesus. At some point Wiesel gave up. He asked one last question of the author, in which he responded that, "Jesus suffered too." Wiesel then looked at the author and said, "I know of children that suffered far more than Jesus did and not a word is ever spoken about it." He then got up and left the office without ever asking for a recommendation. After reaching the elevator, the man came out of his office with tears rolling down, stating he was truly sorry. Before Wiesel left the man said, "Maybe something should be said?" This is how Wiesel's first book came about. Very cool story and a wonderful talk.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Entrepreneurship Rocks

Today I got the pleasure of listening to 20ish presentations from my class. Normally I dread sitting through 4+ hours of presentations, but today was about entrepreneurship. This is something that I highly value, since I am one of them. I love listening to business ideas that people have. People always talk so passionately about them. I just love it when their eyes light up when you ask, "So, what is your idea?" Some presentations were the standard, some creative, but they all had a touch of emotion which is the part I love.

In other news...
I have 6 days till my triathlon. It is this coming Sunday. I am so excited, nervous, anxious, and a few other emotions. I checked out the course this past weekend. It is a bit hilly, which is to my advantage. The lake and surrounding area is beautiful! I will be sure to take some pictures of the event. I believe my roommate will be joining me early in the morning to give me some support.

The IMBA Allstars had their first indoor soccer match this afternoon. We won! However, it was by forfeit. The opposing team only had 3 people show up. We found three people who would play, so we scrimmaged for about 45 minutes. It was great to kick a ball around, since it has been a couple of years since I played last.

Currently, I am in the midst of working on a leadership project for a class. It is a time consuming project that has been put off as long as possible, since I don't care for the professor. I was actually half way done with the project and then the professor changed the assignment, which meant I needed to start from square one. Very frustrating.

The rest of school is going well and keeping me so busy that I have resorted to taking things one day at a time, like I am in a 12 step program. This program ends when I finish the semester in a little over three months. They will go quick, which is a relief.

I am actively involved in the internship search. I am looking for an internship in supply chain management over in China. If you have any ideas for me, please let me know. I am hoping to secure an internship before the end of the year, so that I may book plane tickets and everything else that is involved with the leaving the country for five months. I get excited whenever I think about traveling next year. So many new countries, cultures, people, and languages. It will be truly awesome.

Check out my roommates video he used with his project. Please vote on it too. All the people in the video are in my MBA class. It is great. Anand is a true playa!

Click Here!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Crowded Campus

Last week the fall semester started. This had no direct affect on me or my schedule, since my classes are on more of a block schedule. However, the campus and town of Columbia has become taken over by undergraduates. They have filled up the elevators, created waiting lines at the gym, and best of all, they look great sitting out by the pool.

Training has reached a peak for my triathlon. It is less than three weeks away. In my constant search for the next challenge, I think I have found one. In December, there is a half marathon run a couple of hours from town. I am not sure of all the particulars, but I am going to go for it. I have never run that far, but I should have some great support from some fellow classmates.

My weekend was spent reading a massive amount for classes, going to a happy hour, trivia night at Delaney's for a Bday party, and a night in Myrtle Beach seeing STS9 and G Love. All in all it was a great weekend.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Light At the End of DA

Today, I have been productive, but not enough. I have so much more to do! Preparing for this next week has not happened like I thought it would. I am going to keep cranking out the work and see where I get. The good thing is that I can see the end of DA. It is coming!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Scratching My Chin, Thinking About It

In a couple of hours I have my final accounting exam. It has been a long week studying for it, but I am feeling pretty good about the whole thing. One thing I know for sure, is the whole process has made me a bit frazzled. My hair is disheveled and I have scratched my chin so much this week, while thinking about accounting, that I am beginning to feel a bit disturbed. If I am not careful, I am afraid that my lip my flip up and swallow me whole!

Any suggestions on how to cure this problem?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The End of Accounting

Tomorrow marks the end of another class. Even though we had an outstanding teacher (I hope he reads my blog), I will not miss this class. I say this because I have done almost nothing but accounting this week. A little reading hear and there for other classes, but nothing in comparison.

I did manage to have a little fun last weekend. Below I have a contest for my fellow IMBAers. If you can tell me who is in the picture, I will be buying you a beverage of your choice at your choice of establishments (this is not a full bottle, but rather one drink). Good Luck!! Oh yea, if you were with me when the picture was taken, I am sorry, but your are excluded from this contest. I will permit any asking or collaboration among your peers. Please post your answer as a comment.

Training is coming along. I was able to complete 1000 meters in the pool without stopping this morning. That is a new milestone.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I Did A "Floyd Landis" Today

I still haven't quite figured out why I have more energy one day versus another. I know it is a combination of rest, hydration, calorie intake, and several other factors which I try to be mindful of. So, whatever the factors where today, I had it! I woke up full of energy and hit my bike hard for 12 minutes, then I ran for a mile, then back to the bike. I did these brick exercises three times, before I had to stop and clean up to go to class. But that was just the beginning...

I went to the pool this afternoon. I could feel that my legs were tired, but my arms were fresh, since I had not swam in several days. I started swimming and just kept on going. Before I knew it, I had completed 1200 meters. That is 300 meters more than I have ever done previously. And thanks to some encouragement and motivation from my swim coach, you know who you are, I made it to the 1500 meter mark, So, I did the impossible to day, just like Landis. Of course many people swim 1500 meters everyday and only one person wins The Tour every year, but if you stretch it far enough the comparison is there.

Now I just have to keep this up for about five more weeks, then it is milkshakes from Zesto's, bacon cheeseburgers from Wendy's, and lots of Dr. Pepper from then on out...or at least until I find another challenge.

Check out my friends band, I Voted For Kudos.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE NEW IV4K ALBUM "MY NEW OBSESSION" FROM INTERPUNK


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It Just Keeps On Coming

The IMBA program at USC is gearing up for the fall. I started a new class this week and have gotten a sneak peek at some upcoming classes. Needless to say we have only cracked the surface. My newest class should be a blast. It is covering entrepreneurship. I love it and have already had a small taste of it, so I am looking forward to learning just about anything I can from this class. The group project for this class involves making a realistic business plan for a product/service of our choice. My ideas have been swirling in my head with thoughts for the project. I will let you know what my group decides for a product.

To a more sobering thought, my Leadership and Ethics class which starts soon, has just put out the first set of materials. The grading system is tough. My peers will be deciding every class how I performed during the class. This means that if I do not make an insightful comment or repeat an idea that has already been stated, then I will not score well for the day. In addition, a quiz will be taken in every class concerning the previous class discussion. Thank goodness I am a talker. Now I just have to learn how to say something meaningful, instead of spouting off a bunch of bull.

For those people in classes that don't like to address the class, I suggest a daily dose of Paxil or Valium to ease your anxiety.

Any good business ideas? Post them in the comments!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Grades...what is the point?

The measurement that grades give rarely reflect the intelligence of the person. Can society not think of a better way to measure a persons performance?

I bring this up because I was a little frustrated by my accounting and statistics grades today. I know many others felt the same, since their was a complete silence after our test was handed back to us. Everyone was taking notes, trying not to think about the grade they had just received. In fact, they were taking diligent notes because of the grade they had received.

That is the wonderful thing about the people in the IMBA program. While temporarily they felt shaken, they are determined to perform better. I myself fall into this category. An "A" is not out of reach; instead it is just a matter of putting in some extra practice. Some logic...if practice makes perfect, then practicing statistics makes an "A" on the next exam. Does that sound right?

For those of you who are still feeling bummed about the grade, put away the test and cheer up. The next\last exam is not for three weeks!

I started a new class today called Entrepreneurship. This one is right up my alley. We are going to have to pick an idea and create a business plan. I have a little experience in the business plan, but I have a lot to learn. My Berkman personality tells me that I am not the planner; instead I like to do just "do" and make decisions on the fly. So, this will be a good practice in patience.

I have ideas for businesses daily. However, if this does not come as easily to you, try to think of it this way: While going through your day, what need in your life is not fulfilled? What item, device, or service could fulfill that need? Does it exist? If not, then you have found your idea. If it has, then can it be improved upon? Some of the best products come from making small modifications from an existing product. Also, making small changes means that you don't have to reinvent the wheel to think of a great product, just how to make something better.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Pools, Beaches, and Biking

What a weekend I have had! After a tough week at school, I got the chance to forget it all at a pool party, which started Friday afternoon. And as much time as I spend in class with everyone in my program, I still enjoy hanging out with everybody outside of class (even more so, since we aren't in a school environment). I spent a few hours sipping on beer and margaritas and chatting it up with everyone. I was sufficiently pruned when I left to go to services at the local reform synagogue.

the synagogue was small, but nice. I enjoyed the younger rabbi, but the melody of the tunes dragged on a little. The rabbi is new, so this may change as he officially takes over next week. I was eagerly welcomed by several of the congregants. They introduced themselves and asked lots of questions. I even met a couple who lives five houses down from me. I might be house-sitting soon, according to them. I still want to check out the conservative synagogue, to get a comparison.

Yesterday was once again spent trying to ignore the fact that I was in school and had responsibilities. Several people from my program and myself took off to Charleston to hit the beach and do some exploring. I had never been there and was eager to check it out.

The day was spent at the beach (see pics below) and then we headed into town to see the market and have dinner. The water was warm and lots of cute girls walking around. I am sure there were some cute guys, but somehow I missed them. The town of Charleston reminded me of New Orleans's French Quarter. The market was set up the same and the old buildings had the familiar historic european charm. However, there were no women in doorways trying to lure us in, there wasn't music flowing out into the streets from all the bars, and no one was walking around with a drink in there hand. Instead, the town had lots of nice restaurants, art galleries, and a lovely water front at Battery Park.

On the way back, about a few dozen miles from Columbia, I started getting that feeling that I was headed back to the "real" life. The life of school and homework. This is the life that I love much more than work life, but just like in the work life, it is wonderful to escape from it now and again.

So, today I woke up and went biking for about forty miles and then ran for two and a half. I really was hurting on the transition from bike to run today. I ended up walking the last few tenths of a mile because I got a cramp in my thigh. I guess I still some hydration learning to do. After a 2 quart pitcher of cool water, my roommate and I did some laundry and reading. Now, I have to finish my work for the week.

The group pic has Lee, Lourdes, and Natalie in it. Then the other pic is of Hawaii Chris. This man can swim in the ocean!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

First Major Test Completed...Ouch

Today I had only one thing to do, that was to take my first Decision Analysis test. I studied for this test for four days. I felt confident and ready when I went to school today. I walked into class, got my test (which came on a CD), and began. I thought the test felt thick, but all the people in South Carolina only print on one side of the paper, so I was not too surprised. After I answered the first question, I was feeling good, however, it all changed shortly there after. For the remainder of the test, about 2 hours, I spent looking at my computer screen. Trying to figure out the answers and then checking my answers were quite difficult. This test was much harder than expected. I am not sure how I did. When I received a perfect grade on my Globalization quiz, I was sure that my method of preparation was working. However, now I am in doubt and will have to re-double my efforts for the next test in Decision Analysis. This will not be fun, but I will "go to the mattresses" if need be to perform well on the next test.

I added some new blogs on the right side of the page. My fellow IMBAers are getting on the blogging bandwagon. If you would like to know what Columbia, the business school at USC, and some other things around town look like, check out Adrian's blog. He has got some great pics.

Some better news...
Yesterday, I went to the gym and was able to complete 900 meters in the pool! That is the most I have done to date. Tomorrow I should be back in the pool for at least another 900. I owe it all to a wonderful swim teacher, Emily. Thank you Emily. She got me swimming like a swimmer should swim. Now all I have to do is get good at it:)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Prepared for A Tough Week

This weekend was spent preparing for the week. I have an exam, a quiz, a paper, and a project due this week. I feel confident that I am ready or will be with only a little extra effort. I have finished all my reading for the week as well. This is a vastly different approach to my studies, than my constant procrastination in undergrad. I am not quite sure what the difference is, but I am hoping to keep up this pace.

Last Friday I had a great time eating, drinking, and dancing with some friends from my program. Saturday, I learned how to swim! It is not that I couldn't swim before, it is that I learned how to be an efficient swimmer. A wonderful woman from my program showed me how the pros do it and it made all the difference. I swam further than I have throughout my training and did not get nearly as tired. I have about six weeks till my triathlon and I am getting nervous and excited. I am also excited about not having to wake up so early every morning to get a workout in. The days are getting shorter and I am spending more and more time in the dark.

Today we had a great speaker in my Global Strategic Management class. A man named Dave from the Haier America Company, spoke to us about his experience with the company. The company has a great history concerning its growth and expansion into a global company.

The amazing thing that is happening over the next couple of weeks, is that I am finishing my first couple of courses and starting new ones. The rate at which these courses and weeks are flying by is awesome.

Lastly, my Nike+Ipod device is awesome!! I have made two runs with it and it tracks all kinds of great data. I wish I had a easy way to connect my bike and swim information to my computer and then have all three sports compared to each other. With an all-in-one device/program, I could compare speed power output, calories burned, duration, and some other variables. Those guys at Apple need to get on it, because I am ready for it!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Technology Is Connecting Me to Myself

In class we often talk about how the "World is Flat", with the advance of technology around the World. However, today I got the ability to connect to myself with new technology. What do I mean?

Today, I received my Nike+. It is a device that plugs into my Ipod and tracks my running with a device on my shoe. After running, you plug in your Ipod to your computer and it downloads your information. At this point, you can go to your nike.com account to look at your most recent workout or any previous workout. I believe nike.com will hold up to one thousand workouts. I will be using this device over the weekend, which will give me time to really look at how it works and tracks my progress. I love this stuff!

On the school front, I have a Globalization and Corporate Responsibility quiz tomorrow. I am not nervous about it, since it is a short answer test. I know I can write about anything, which makes a written test fairly easy for me, unlike standardized test, which throw me for a loop with all the different choices. Wish me luck.

Finally, I have some wonderful, outstanding news! My oldest friend, Seth, proposed to his girlfriend today and she actually said, "yes!" Actually, I knew she would say yes. They have been dating for 7+ yrs and have lived together for at least three of those years. Now I just can't wait for the bachelor party.

This is a picture of Seth and Amy taken last month, when they were seeing String Cheese at Red Rocks in CO.

Friday, July 21, 2006

One Quiz, One Project, No Sweat

Having taken the accounting quiz and turned in my first group project, I felt confident that I would score great on both. Now I have gotten my grades and they confirmed my thoughts. I wanted to start out strong and I did. Whew!

I could feel the nervousness in the classroom last Thursday as we waited for our quiz. Most people in the class had not taken a test in years. Afterwards, most of were smiling and feeling good, a few were worried and anxious.

Over the weekend I saw Pirates of the Caribbean. Great movie! I will being seeing the third one when it arrives on the big screen. Saturday I read and studied all day. I cleaned the house and relaxed as well. Sunday, I got in a good run in the morning and continued studying. I prepared a bunch of food for the next few days, so that I can quickly and easily cook it when I am hungry. Sunday evening I went up to the gym for a swim, but they had closed the pool, due to the rain and thunder. Luckily I ran into a couple of classmates playing raquetball. I love raquetball and had not played in years. So, I joined Adrian and Jason for a few games. My shirt was soak with sweat when I was done. The pool was now open, but I was only able to do a few laps, since I was so tired from raquetball.

Today I went and got my new drivers license, plates, registration, title, and so forth from the good state of South Carolina. It took a few hours of running around to different places, but now I am official. This is the fourth state my car has lived in.

One thing I found strange about South Carolina, is that they have no emissions testing. I asked about it and the woman did not know what I was talking about. I said something like, "you know...the place where you get your wipers, headlights, tail pipe emissions checked?...so that cars are not spewing out more toxic fumes than they are supposed too." Needless to say, all I got was a smile and a firm "no, we don't have anything like that here. Do they have that in MD?" This is something that will have to be instituted, if Columbia gets to be a bigger city.

The Tour DeFrance just ended yesterday. I don't think anyone from my class was interested in it. But an American won again! It was a very exciting race to the very end. The winner, Floyd Landis, will now be enduring hip replacement surgery. He has been living with constant pain throughout his training and the race, because of the arthritis in his hip. Crazy, is what you call that!

Here is some pics of Lance Armstrong's Team Bike and Time Trial Bike. They were on display at the Discovery Channel Headquarters, located in Silver Spring, MD. I loved visiting their lobby and looking at all the exhibits.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

First Quiz Tomorrow and An Idea

First, I would like to start out by saying that I forgot an incredibly big thing that happened to me in the past 200 posts. I became an uncle in Feb.! My little nephew, Asher, is a big boy whom I have hung out with twice so far. Now that I live only 6.5 hours away, I hopefully will be seeing more of him. That might seem far away to many people, but it is the closest I have lived to home in over seven years.

School is moving along quickly. I have an accounting quiz tomorrow, which I just got done studying for. A couple of guys from my program came over and we knocked it out. I am feeling confident about it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My 200th Post!!

Wow! I can't believe that I have posted so much to this thing. In a moment of reflection, I will share with you some of the more exciting things that have happened over the last 199 postings (in order of when they happened):

1. I skied in my shorts and t-shirt on the last day of the ski season at Copper Mountain.
2. I graduated college from the University of Colorado - Boulder and had a graduation party at The Fox Theater.
3. I started biking across the US from New Haven, CT to raise awareness for Habitat for Humanity.
4. I bicycled naked in Badlands Nat'l Park, SD...one of five Nat'l Parks I got to ride my bike through last summer.
5. I competed in the Tug-of-War competition at the Red Neck Games in Gillete, WY.
6. I completed my bicycle ride in Seattle, WA after two months and over 4000 miles.
7. I moved to Washington, D.C.
8. I went to New Orleans to help in the re-building process.
9. I quit my job and moved to Columbia, SC.
And finally, something that will be continuing for a while...
10. I started my graduate program at the Moore School, located on the "real" USC campus!

I hope you enjoyed that and I hope that every 200 postings is as exciting and fun as these have been.

School continues...I have gotten ahead of the game in terms of reading. This week I am going to take my first couple of quizzes and turn in my first group project.

Yesterday in my Global Strategic Management class, we talked about Starbuck's and other coffee producers. Below are a couple of pictures of me at the very first Starbuck's ever, which is located on the famous Pike Street in Seattle, WA. I do not drink coffee, except on rare occasions...such as visiting the very first Starbuck's. I believe I ordered a mocha grande with an extra shot of expresso with whipped cream on top. It tasted like every mocha grande with an shot of expresso with whipped cream on top that I have ordered from Starbuck's in every state that I have done that. That is called great quality control and standardization. Take care.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Yes...I Had Lots of Hair

I apologize for the interruption in this weeks Career Development, but I hope many of you got a good laugh. For those of you who would like to see me with all my hair, just click on June 2005 or July 2005 archive and look at my pictures from those months. I like this picture taken at the end of May 2005, right as I was starting on my cross country trip. I got a nice beard in that one. Enjoy!

Today I have gotten my life organized for the next week or two. The room and house is clean. I have no more excuses not to get my work done, except for some grocery shopping.

This weekend I went and saw Superman Returns and enjoyed it. They picked a great person to play Superman's role and the action was great and the story line was solid. After that I had a quick drink with several people from my IMBA program. I have only begun to hear the troubles they all got themselves into last night. However, I left when the bar hopping began, so that I could get up and ride today before the heat hit us.

So, I woke up and was on my bike at 8am today. I rode two hours and covered 35 miles. I was hoping to go for a bit longer distance, but it worked out well, since the heat was intense. Also, I would have had to stop for water since the last five miles was completed without any. Tomorrow and all week the temperature will be hovering around the 100 degree mark. Ouch!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wow! They Really Want Us To Work





















Today the photos are of the town of Grayton Beach taken from the beach and then a pic of Phil, Robby, and I cooking.

The Moore School has us all working long, hard hours. It is primarily reading and absorbing massive amounts of information. Occasionally we get to deviate into written assignments. The projects are just starting and we get to wait till next week to take our first quiz.

I am going to really enjoy my Globilazation and Corporate Responsibility course. It is basically a business ethics course. Our first day consisted of a great debate involving Nike and their child labor and working conditions. I believe it is best to have this course at the beginning of the program, so that it will be in our minds throughout our time here. Ethics is something that is new to business schools and really it is new to business too.

If you want to check out some stuff I am reading, below are some newspaper articles that are fast reads.

“Who’s afraid of China Inc.?”


“Under Pressure, Dubai Company Drops Port Deal”

Monday, July 10, 2006

First Day of Classes























Just to give you a couple of more pics from FL. One is our house that we stayed in while in FL. It was a great location...two houses from the beach and two houses from The Red Bar (it is famous down in that area). If you look closely you my find something that is not "quite right" with the picture. The other picture is one of our sunsets with the Grayton dunes on one side and the ocean on the other.

For more current news...
The first day of classes went great today. Not much was given and it felt very natural to be sitting in class again...not that I have been out of the classroom that long.

After classes I had a quick moment to run home and make some lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent learning about myself through the Birkman Test, which we took before coming to Columbia.

The Birkman Test "helps your organization maximize its human capital and achieve results that are both superior and sustainable." What does this mean for me? Well...I am learning the answer to that question. Ultimately I agree with 90+% of what is being discussed. The personailty, actions, traits, and interests are fun to look at. The test has shown me a few things that I do not agree with, but mostly has reinforced to me, that I am striving for the right goal.

if you do not know...that ultimate goal for me is to become a Professor of Business. There is a lot more to it, but that is the simplified version.

This evening, my roommate, Shaun, and I went and worked out at the school's fitness center. It is a wonderful facility that was recently built. I have been swimming there for the past couple of days in the indoor pool. Tonight we did free weights and machines that worked our abs, tri-ceps, and bi-ceps. My arms are sore and I am sure that I will feel it tomorrow on my morning ride.

The Birkman test stated that my number one area of interest is Outdoors. This means that I need "hands-on work in an outdoor or natural environment." This may include "physical or mental exertion outside of office confines." It goes on to state that people score high in this category because of environmental concerns. I had a few other high scores in the scientific, artistic, mechanical, musical, and literary areas.

I was suprised to see my lowest scores in Persuasive and Social Service areas, since I have a few friends that would tell you otherwise. Mainly I am thinking of how I always used to try to convince my friend Lauren in CO to come do something. She would call me out on my behavior and tell me to stop, which sometimes I did and other times I kept pushing. Anyway, I haven't learned exactly what it all means.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

School Has Started

I have so much to say and not enough time at the moment. SC has been a whirlwind of activity. I arrived in town last Monday and have managed to endure three days of orientation, while setting up my house, and checking out the local scene of bars.

I have a wonderful group of people that I will be sharing this MBA experience with, although I am still learning many of their names. Tomorrow I start with my first two classes, out of five I will be taking over the next seven weeks. This will complete my first 9.5 hrs of grad school. This fall it appears I am taking eight classes and 19.5 hrs. That is quite a load they have given us, since we will be looing for internships at the same time.

However, I don't want to complain, since I don't have to go to work everyday. School is so much more fun than that, even with all the qork involved.

I have lots of photos I would like to share. I will get them on the net soon enough.

Here are a couple in the mean time... One is of me and my car before moving to Columbia. The other is from my recent vacation to Grayton Beach, FL.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Soaking Up the Sun

I had my last day at my job last Thursday. My co-workers threw me a little party with cake and ice cream. Then, I headed for home to finish packing. I had an old family friend, Casey Copen, stop by for dinner. She is in DC for a couple of months doing research for her dissertation. This delayed my packing, but I got done by midnight. Just in time for it to rain on my bed, which was tied down to the roof of my car. The bed was in plastic, so it faired well. By four o'clock in the morning I was on my way to Columbia, SC.

I could only go sixty with the bed on my car. I was tired and slept for an hour at a truck stop. Then to top of the trip, my pillows flew off my car. I was able to recover two of them, but my favorite was a goner. I am just glad that no accidents were caused by this.

After arriving in SC, I unpacked, bought a dresser from a fellow off Craigslist. My room is all set, except for a little more unpacking. I went to Delaney's that night. I chatted with some undergrads who were staying for the summer. Around eleven I headed for bed, since FL was in my head.

I woke at 4 am to go to FL, but decided to sleep some more. I got going about 6am. I ended up being about thirty minutes ahead of my friends, which was perfect. We have been soaking up the sun, drinking at night, dancing in the bars and clubs, swimming till our arms give out, and taking regular naps after almost every meal. I love vacation!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I am too excited to sit still

I was exhausted yesterday, since I haven't slept in my bed for 6 nights in a row, plus the fact that I stayed up late. So, when I got home from work yesterday I packed up my car, went running and then had dinner with my friend Annie, and proceeded to pass out on my bed. I awoke at 5 am and could not fall back asleep. I was too excited to get my day over with, so that I could get on the road.

I have been a joy at work all day, talking, laughing, and saying goodbye to everyone has been fun. I have my exit interview in an hour. After that I am pretty much free to go! I have to pack the last few items in my car and I will be ready to take a nap, so that I will be rested for the road.

My stay in SC will be short, since I am driving on Saturday to FL. I will be down there with three great friends for an entire week. After that I will stop by AL to see my parents, sister, nephew, and brother-in-law. I am hoping to get loaded up with odds and ends for my new place in Columbia.

Only a few hours to go!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I Have More Stuff Than I Thought

I packed up my things last night. It only took about two hours, since I don't own very much. However, when I got everything stacked up in the living room, I began to realize that I might not be able to get everything into or onto my car. So, I took out several things that I could live without. Now I have two piles...musts and wants. It will be interesting to see how much stuff makes it in my car. If you are going South on I-95 this Friday, look for me. I will be the one with a queen bed on his roof, a bike on the trunk, and my head bobbing to the music with the windows rolled down.

This morning I took my mom to the airport. She always tears up when I am leaving or she leaves me. You would think that a week of being with me, that she would be ready to get back to her own bed and have a day off. Oh well, maybe I will understand one day. We did have a great time and I saw lots of things that I would not have, if she had not made it into town. Thanks mom!

A couple of hours ago, I had lunch with some co-workers and a good friend that I know from growing up in Memphis. Saying goodbye to my friend at lunch, was the first time I felt sad about leaving. I have said goodbye to several other friends before now, but today it got to me. I know that I will see all of these people again, but sometimes it feels like it won't be soon enough.

South Carolina......I will see you on Friday!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

How the Time Flies

My mom and I have been having a great time. We have done a lot. Over the weekend we saw "Addiction to Oil" with Tom Friedman giving a talk afterwards. Saturday we went to the Natural History and Botanical Garden Smithsonians and the WWII Memorial. My friend Chad, from Pittsburgh, joined us for the day which made it that much more fun. He helped me take a picture of me "making good use" of the Washington Monument (the pic will come soon).

Sunday we went to the Spy Museum and had some great food in China Town. That night we met up with some cousins of mine in Georgetown at Bistro Med. The food was awesome. I got the Bistro Chicken, which was a chicken breast topped with sauteed spinach and then a layer of cheese on top of that. It was surrounded by a plate of rice, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, green and red peppers, and onions. I don't like a lot of spinach, but this dish was too good not eat it all.

Yesterday, I left work early and we toured the capital building. The building has underground tunnels, lots of statues, and incredible art. Sitting in the balcony of The House, I was reminded of all the times I had watched C-Span.

Tonight I am going to eat some great Burmese food and start packing. I haven't even gotten started and I leave in less than 3 days. That thought is so exciting! I wish I could pack it all up tonight and hit the road in the morning. However, I don't think my new house will be ready:)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Mom is on her way

My mom is currently in the air headed towards DC. I will be picking her up in about an hour. I have been so busy over the past week, that my room is mess, the fridge is empty, and I have no clean towels for her to use.

Since I have to drop her off at my house and then head back to work, I am hoping that she will occupy her time at the grocery store and perhaps do a load of laundry. Aren't moms wonderful! I don't have anything special planned tonight, except for a haircut. I scheduled the haircut before I knew she was coming in town, otherwise I would have done that one differently. Oh well.

Yesterday, during lunch, I helped a friend move a couch. It was a sleeper couch, the kind with the bed inside. Needless to say, it wasn't light. It did not fit on the elevator in his building so we had to go up the stairs. This required us to lift the couch over our heads to get around the turn in the stairwell. It was a fiasco of grunting and then laughter as we spilled the hallway ash try full of sand. In the end, the couch arrived in the apartment without us scratching the walls of the hallways and stair wells.

Tomorrow I am having my last BBQ with my co-workers. Also, I will be getting the chance to hear Tom Friedman talk after seeing his most recent movie called, "Addiction to Oil." I think you can figure out what that is about.

I have one week left of work!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My mom is coming for a visit

Tomorrow afternoon my mom will arrive in DC for about a week long stay. We don't have any rock solid plans, but we will definitely check out some of the Smithsonians and Memorials in DC.

This past weekend was a blast! I had a big dinner on Sunday night to say good bye to my friends in DC. I cooked brisket, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, artichoke dip, corn on the grill, and a few other assorted items. It was eaten accept for the mash potatoes. There was over 7 pounds of them...I guess I went a little over board.

Since last Thursday I have not had a night or lunch off. Everyday I am meeting my friends for meals and events. I do not have a day off planned until I reach Florida for my vacation, which is only 10 days away.

Someone asked me at my dinner what were my favorite memories from being in DC. I didn't have a good answer. I have loved my time here and have had lots of great times. My immediate thoughts turned to all the memories of me leaving DC to do other things. I went to New Orleans with a group of people, took a friend from DC to Colorado, went camping in Shenandoah Nat'l Park, and went out of town to a winery and some caves. These things are the big events that happened while I was living in DC.

However, while I was in the area I mainly just met up with friends and had dinners, drinks, and good times. It is hard to say which moments stick out the most. I remember when my friend from Chicago dropped into town and few of us went drinking and walking through the pouring rain from bar to bar. Or when friends from Pittsburgh came in town and we rushed from one Smithsonian to the next until we just couldn't look or read another plaque on a wall. These were all the smaller things.

When leaving a town or friends I do not get very sad. People who know me, realize that I am always traveling (usually they are too). They know that I will be back to see them or that they may come visit me at anytime. It is one of the beautiful things about the modern age...travel.

Friday, June 09, 2006

I Am Glad That is Over

The deed is done! I turned in my letter of resignation. Everyone is happy that I am going to grad school. They said they will have to be nice to me for now on, since I will probably be their boss one day.

The Nationals won last night, which was exciting. The stadium is a bit old, I learned that the Redskins used to play their, until it became to small to house all their fans. The stands were about half full last night with 25,000 people in attendance. Our seats were awesome. We were only a few rows behind the Phillies dugout. Sorriano hit a home run to increase the Nationals lead to 5-2, which ended up being the final score. I will post a couple of photos from the game soon.

Tonight I will be heading out to a happy hour to say good bye to most of the people I have hung out with since I arrived in DC last fall. Then I will spend the late night dancing to a friend's records at a club he is spinning at.

This entire weekend should be jam packed. Saturday I am aiming for a nice 2-3 hour bike ride in the late morning. Then, I will be checking out the North Mississippi Allstars and MOE at Wolf Trap, which is a small amphitheater in the DC area. Sunday I am having a dinner for my closest friends in DC. About 12-15 people should be showing up to feast on whatever I have time to cook up this weekend. It should be a lot of fun.

Oh yea...
For those of you who don't know. Saturday is World Bike Naked Day! This is something I think we should all participate in, whether you are clothed or not. The purpose of the ride is "to draw attention to oil dependency and the negative social and environmental impacts of a car dominated culture."

I for one, am going to try to make it to the DC ride on Sunday morning. I know it is a day later than the rest of the World, but that is the only day the promoters could get a permit to demonstrate. If you always wondered what it would look like to bike naked, I can give you an idea. Just check this posting from last summer!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Two Weeks Left at Work

I will be turning in my resignation today at work. I am not sure where the standard two weeks was created. I am sure if I Googled it, I could find out. However, at the end of today I will make the awful walk into my manager's office and give her the bad news. I am not looking forward to it.

The hardest part will be actually doing work over the next two weeks. I have plenty to do, but when you know you are leaving it is hard to keep up the momentum. You ask yourself..."What is the worst that could happen? I could get fired!" And then you smile and chuckle knowing that you will be leaving anyway.

Luckily I like my job. This is in contrast to so many other people I know. I moved to DC in September last year and this is the third job I found. It has turned out to be the best fit for me and my lifestyle. So, it is always sad to leave places and people that you enjoy being around.

Last Sunday I finished The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Then I started on The World is Flat this week. All I can say is thank you for some hope! The Clash was depressing. I was looking around my world and country and thinking that in the not too distant future all that I have come to know will cease to exist. We will all be fighting and fearing for our existence.

The World is Flat is much more exciting and uplifting. This is due to writing styles as well. The Clash is textbook writing and other book is written through stories, which makes for an easier read as well. Now that I am a couple of hundred pages into The World is Flat, I can't wait for the future. I already utilize or at least know about almost all the technology he is speaking about, but the direction that he states that the world is heading towards is awesome.

Tonight I will be checking out the Washington Nationals vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. Should be fun!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

16 Days!

I have 16 more days in DC, but who is counting...I AM!

I am at the point that I am having trouble staying focused at work. I sit at my desk and gaze out the window. This week I have just been getting up and chatting with everyone in the office for a couple of hours a day. I go to the bank, post office, movie store to fill up a little bit of my time. This doesn't mean that I don't get my work done, but I now find myself doing the minimum rather than above and beyond. I am sure this is a natural behavior that many employees take on during there last 1-4 weeks with a job.

Last weekend I went to see Al Gore's film, "An Indisputible Truth". It is a great film about Global Warming. I left the theater thinking that I wished the film would be shown to every classroom in the US. Kids need to be told this information while they are young, so that they grow up with the idea that their behavior will have to change as the world changes.

I am very passionate about the environment. One of the first things I noticed when I visited Columbia, SC and the campus, was that there was no recycling bins. I have been recycling for 7 years now. I go out of my way to make sure that a can, bottle, paper or anything makes it to the correct container. My solution will be to take my recyclables to a private business near town. I have found that USC has a recycling program that recylces, but I failed to see any cans or bins. Perhaps a group on campus is already formed to help expand the program.

I would like to pledge right now, that before I finish my time at USC their will be easily found recycling bins at the business school and the rest of campus.

I have a busy two weeks ahead of me as I say good-bye to my friends, my mom will be visiting for 6 days, and I have to pack. I am so ready for it!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend Re-cap

I guess I was in a mood to watch movies this weekend. I ended up seeing Da Vinci Code, X-men III, and rented Lord of War. Da Vinci Code was great. I have not read the book and found the movie very good. I was surprised by a few things and liked how the movie took me along for the ride of the mystery, without giving it all away. X-men was a bit of a disappointment. I am a big fan of the cartoon and loved the first two movies. The third deviated from the cartoon (I am unsure about the comic books) and the turn of events were disappointing, although surprising. Perhaps my expectations were a bit high for this film. Finally, Lord of War was great. Based on actual events, Nicholas Cage plays an illegal arms dealer. It was good stuff.

The rest of the weekend...I got in a bike ride, mowed the lawn, BBQ'd with some friends, napped, read a book and finished Quiz 2 of my Excel exercises for grad school.

I am paying my last rent in DC this week. The end feels near and I am anxious, just as many of my classmates seem to be. When I see people, I make sure to give them a healthy good-bye, since I know that I will not see them for a little while. Fortunately, I am a traveler by nature, so I usually see people again.

This morning I got up early and went for nice run. It has been getting pretty warm, so it felt great outside around 6:30-7:00. Every time I go running now, I think of the new Nike + Ipod that is coming out soon. I can't wait! I will be getting the device and trying to insert it into my New Balance shoes. What a wonderful device.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

YMSB Tonight

It was a big day yesterday for my girlfriend, Cindy. She just got back from London and found out all the family news that she had missed over the past week...Marriage problems with the brother, health issues with mom, and now there will be only three people at her graduation, instead of the 7+ that were anticipated. The silver lining is that now the two sides of the family won't have to see each other at her graduation tomorrow, but I know she really wanted everyone there.

So, hopefully tonight will take her mind off things for a few moments. I am going to make dinner, pasta puttanesca, and then we are going to see Yonder Mountain String Band (YMSB). YMSB will be tearing it up in Baltimore at the Ram's Head Live venue on the waterfront. I really like this venue. They only serve micro-brew from a brewery in Delaware, called The Fordham Brewery and it is small and cozy inside. I saw Institute (Gavin Rosdale's new band, former lead singer of Bush) a few months ago.

In other news, my roommate's house guests have been visiting for about 10 days now. When you have four people that live in a four bedroom house, things can be great if you all get along ok. When you throw in two more people that sleep on the couch and never leave the house (night or day) and do not clean up after themselves, then things get a bit frustrating. There are other issues, such as the fact they are hooking up, when one of them is married. I don't like this behavior going on where I live. I know one of them is leaving Sat. and that day can't get here fast enough. I am not sure when the other one is leaving, since I was never even told that we were going to have visitors. Ugghh! Well, it is not worth putting up a fight or saying anything, since I will be leaving in 30 days.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

You're Better Off by Bike

That is the slogan that is being used in London on Billboards, bus stops, magazines, etc. The ad has the website posted on it. Unfortunately, a quick google search did not bring up an example of the ad or the web address. I will try to get a copy of the ad and post it soon.

So, why are we "better off by bike". I am slightly biased, since I bike often and walk to work. But, I will list a few reasons...

1. Cycling is often quicker than other forms of transport, especially in congested urban area such as DC (where I live).

2. It is an inexpensive form of transport. With the cost of gas, maintenance, insurance, and the pills to calm you down after a morning commute, it is much cheaper to bike. You will arrive with a smile on your face from the endorphins.

3. Cycling is healthy and enjoyable. Regular cycling can help improve your strength, stamina and posture, and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease among other benefits.

4. You will make a positive contribution to your community's environment by reducing congestion, air and noise pollution.

5. The spandex is cool!

Ok, so maybe the last point isn't true. But once you start biking to and from work, you will ask yourself...where else can I bike too? Then you will start adding little errands, taking weekend rides for fun, and before you know it you could be on an awesome journey across the US or World on you bicycle. But first, why don't you give commuting a try. I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy it.

I have made it point over the last couple of years to always live near my work and school. I have done this to avoid long commutes. While I love to drive, I hate to sit in traffic. When I start school in July, I will be commuting on my bike and on foot everyday...rain or shine.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Machine

The Machine is a Pink Floyd tribute band. I am normally not a fan of cover/tribute bands, but this band is officially recognized and approved by the real Pink Floyd. I saw them on Saturday and they really do sound just like Pink Floyd. Their voices and instruments might even be better than the real deal. My friend joked to me they probably have played more Pink Floyd than Pink Floyd. Whoa! Don't think to hard on that one:)

Anyway, I enjoyed it. I ran into a "show" friend there as well. Friday I caught MI3 at the theater. I thought this one was better than the last two. It wasn't as cheesy as the others and had great action, like they all do. I thought the plot leaves it open for his wife to join the Mission Impossible team. Don't worry, I did not just ruin the movie for you by saying that. Saturday, I made up a new route on my bike ride. It had less traffic than I normally deal with. Also, I had a funeral procession that I was riding next to for several miles and that allowed me to run several lights and stop signs. Sunday was spent sleeping, cleaning, cooking, reading, and relaxing.

I have had great luck with Craigslist.org in finding things I need for my house when I move to a new area. When I moved to DC, I was able to furnish my bedroom for about $225. That included bed, dresser, nightstand, desk, and desk chair. In Colorado, I found a few things from the website. I have never sold anything on craigslist. I have always been able to give my furniture away to friends when I leave an area. However, I am thinking of bringing my bed with me, instead of finding a new one. It is really comfortable and I would have a difficult time finding such a great deal anywhere else. Bringing the bed with me would mean that it would travel 500 miles on top of my Honda Accord, which would be interesting. I think if I keep it around 60-65 mph, then I will be ok. I will need some good clamps or rope. If the thing falls off it would be a bit funny, as long as it doesn't cause an accident. We will see...

Friday, May 19, 2006

The BFC was in full force today...And some sad news

The Barbecue Friday Club (BFC) came over to my house again today for lunch. We had chips and dip, burgers with all the fixings, hotdogs, corn on the cob, and Bananas Fosters for dessert. It was wonderful! This was our second week and it looks like it will be taking place most Fridays.

This weekend looks like it will be a pleasant one. I will be hanging out with Sean tonight and Jen, a friend whom recently moved from Pittsburgh, tomorrow. I am sure there will be a good long bike ride in there somewhere. I will be working on my exciting Excel quizzes this weekend, that are required for my grad school. Perhaps I will even start my resumes too.

Unfortunately, I learned some sad news this afternoon. Once again a Yale Rider, Alex Capelluto, has been struck by a vehicle and killed. Last year, during my ride across the US, Ramie was hit by a car. See previous post.

You can read this article for the most recent occurrence of a 20 yr. old from Yale. I hope that they continue this ride, in spite of this tragedy. It is a wonderful experience for everyone involved. It has been almost a year since I had started my ride and their is hardly a day that goes by without me talking or thinking about the wonderful experiences I had.

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Anxious

I have been feeling anxious lately. When I was in school, I always had something to do. I was usually so busy with school, work, and a business that I had no idea how I would get it all done. Everyday required so much energy and effort and by the end of the day, I would collapse.

Before I started my undergrad I took two years off from school. During that time, I moved to CO and gained residency, worked, partied, and traveled. I had a wonderful time doing all of those things. It was what I needed to do, at that time.

Now, I have been out of school for a year. I took a six month vacation until I moved to DC and found a job. I have always found that a 40 hr per week job is never enough to fill the day or week for me. How people wake up, go to work, work for 8-10 hours, come home, and repeat this day after day is amazing to me. I have never been satisfied with this. I have almost always had a job with great flexibility. Sometimes this has meant taking a less prestigious job or a job with less pay, but I always have seen it as worth it too me.

Sorry for the rambling.

So, why have I been anxious? I am tired after six months of working. I fill my day with all sorts of activities. I work out almost daily, I volunteer regularly, I vacation as much as possible, I cook the old-fashioned way several times a week, I visit and hang out with friends, I read books for hours at a time, I talk on my phone, and so many other things. However, during this time I feel like I have been going no where. My workplace loves me, but I am not challenged.

I guess I longing for the sleepless nights, the constant tiredness, the frustration of a difficult problem or task, and wondering how I will get it all done before the due date.

SCHOOL...you can't start soon enough!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Shenandoah Nat'l Park

This past weekend Cindy and I went camping. Below are some pictures from our trip. Click on the collage to see them all.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Slow, Dreary Day

It has been raining off and on all day here in DC. It seems to put a damper on the activity in and out of the building that I work in.

Today, I went out to lunch with a friend in the building next to mine. We tried a new restaurant, just like we do every week. It was called Mandalay Cafe and it was very good. They had Burmese food. I had the special, which was chicken cooked in some type of lemon curry sauce with jasmin rice and onions. I ordered it hot. I definitely enjoyed it.

I keep smiling every time I think about leaving and heading down to SC. Its not like there are things, or rather people, that I will miss in DC. But I just love the thought about getting out of the big city and into a quiet little town, that has its own agenda and politics. At lunch I was thinking that I only have five more restaurants to try with my friend Andrew. After that I will be on my way!

So, this weekend I am off to go camping. I have bought almost all the food I want. I think I still need corn and some deli meat. The weather should be nice. There are a few chances for afternoon thunderstorms, but I am hoping that they hold off. Either way, I will have a blast sitting by the fire, sipping on some local brews, and checking out the night sky.

Saturday we will go hiking for a while. I learned that this weekend is Wildflower Weekend. So, we might join a hike with a ranger and learn about the local flora, if they are convenient.

Just 6 weeks from tomorrow till I am off to Columbia!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Trying to Go Camping

Since March I have wanted to go camping. This is no easy task in a state that I am unfamiliar with and requires you to travel long distances to reach the camping areas. In Colorado, I would travel 10 miles from home and be able to find a place to camp. I could have probably driven just about anywhere and run across a camping sign, however, that is not how they seem to do things on the east coast. Wilderness is something that is seen to be "over there" and the city is where everything else is.

So, I want to go see Shanendoah Nat'l Park. It is supposed to be gorgeous. And this time of year, it should still be nice and cool during the day; maybe even chilly in the morning.

Got to run...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

So, What's New!

After several months of your day-to-day grind, I feel that I should start my blog back up. Why? Because I am starting a NEW journey. And that is what my blog is about...my journeys.

So, you may be asking yourself what the new journey is. I am going to tell you, but first let me give you a re-cap of the last few months. Hmmmm, it has been so long...so much to tell...ok, I will start there.

On a side note...I just had everything typed out and lost it due to a power failure at work. AARRRGGGHHHH! (that is how the pirates say it)

Now you will really get the abbreviated version. Here we go...

January:
I lost my job due to budget cuts (that is the life of a gov't contractor). So, I went to New Orleans and helped clean up. I went to South Carolina and checked out the MBA program and school. I went to CO to hang with friend and ski.

February:
I started a new job, two blocks from home, and I love it. I am working on the Head Start program, through Danya International, Inc. I became an Uncle!! That was the coolest thing by far. Thanks Wendy! His name is Asher and he is a little bitty thing.

March and April:
Participated in a relay-triathlon race. We got third place (first in the coed team category).

The biggest news that I wanted to tell you is that I got into Grad School! I will be attending the Univ. of South Carolina Moore Business School in the International MBA (IMBA) program. I start in July!! I went down there last weekend and found a place to live and met about a third of my classmates.

Last few tidbits...I have continued to volunteer regularly for various projects; I even organized one of them. I have been dating a wonderful woman since my New Orleans trip and we have had some great adventures. I moved into a new house. And that is most of everything.

Welcome back!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

So Sore

Last night I worked with a personal trainer at my gym. I get this luxury at no cost, since the "real" gym is still being built and we are just using a temporary spot. Anyway...the guy killed me. I feel like I got beat up. Actually I don't know what that really feels like, but I think if I did get beat up, then this is what I would feel like. Maybe I should go get beat up more often. It is a cross between pain and the satisfaction of a good work out. Mainly it reminds me how I felt several times this summer, when I had to wake up and get on my bike, after pedaling too many miles the day before.

I was trying to take advantage of DCs Restaurant Week, but I just can't justify paying for it. I love to dine out at nice places, especially when it is $30 at $50+ restaurant. But I am saving that money for other things, such as a concert tonight in Baltimore. Their is a New Orleans Funk/Jazz band playing at the 8x10 Club. They are called Bonerama. I haven't heard of them, but I want to check out the venue and this was a cheap way to do that, while catching a band that I will surely enjoy. Hopefully the rain will continue and make my drive to Baltimore smooth and easy, since no one around here like to drive in the rain.

I was talking to someone about my yoga class. I said that I can't really tell a big difference, since I started, but I just know that I feel good for the hour that I do it every week. However, when I started my class of the new session, I had had a few weeks off, since I had done any yoga. I take back what I said. I was able to get in and out of the positions more smoothly than ever before and I was able to stretch further than I did last year.

On the job front...
I am probably going to interview at an accounting firm closer to home. The job has nothing to do with accounting, which is good, since I told the recruiter that I was not interested in accounting. I also applied to the Washington Area Bicycle Association. This is the job I want the most.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Weekend

I sat through Syriana this past weekend. This movie has George Clooney and Matt Damon in it. This movie barely kept my attention. I don't really care about a fictional world of oil companies, Iran, and the US all tangled together. There is a real world relationship that is currently going and both have about the same amount of interest to me...which is almost none, except for when I have to pay higher gas prices. Then I just curse at the number on the pump, pay it, and go on about my life.

I learned this weekend that a cousin of mine was in a Bud Light commercial, guided a trip down a river with Bobby Kennedy, his wife, and two secret service men, and was an alternate for the 1964 Olympics in skiing. I thought all of that stuff was pretty cool.

Some other happenings...
My yoga class starts up again for the new year tonight.
I got on my bike for the first time in almost two months yesterday. It felt great to be pedaling again.
I am going to CO in 19 days!
I interviewed today for a new job. I will find something out by the end of the week. However, most likely I won't be moving to a new job, until I hear from my current employer what their offer will be. I won't know that is till the end of the month.

And no...I don't get off for Martin Luther King Day. This will be good, since I get paid hourly and do not want to miss a day. However, I expect it to be a slow day since the government will be closed.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Alaska National Wildlife Refuge

In case you were to busy with holiday shopping, on Dec. 22, 2005, the Senate voted against drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). This was a great accomplishment, since our current President is an oil man. I ran across an article this morning and learned a couple of facts about ANWR.

First, if all the oil from ANWR was pumped out and refined, then the US would have enough oil for 6 months. That is it! Only 6 months worth of oil for a several lifetimes worth of spoiled land. Secondly, drilling in the ANWR would not ease our current energy concerns, since it would take 7-12 years to start actually getting any oil. Even if it only took 7 years to blaze a trail to the drilling site, dig the wells, and build the pipeline to the coast, it still wouldn't be worth waiting for. Not if it will destroy the natural beauty, the natives culture and food supply, or the mystique that is associated with Alaska.

I want to go to Alaska and see nothing but wilderness. I want the mosquito swarms to stay intact, the caribou to thrive, and mainly, I want Americans to keep their hands out of there. Americans and other people will need this piece of land to inhabit as the Earth warms over and people look for more temperate climates. So, why destroy it before we get there. If we are lucky, by the time people start moving to Alaska in drones, we will have become smart enough to live in a sustainable manner.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I Am Stuffed

I went out to eat with one of my roommates, her boyfriend, and her niece that is visiting us. DC is a fairly large city, but we ended up at a resturaunt that I had already been too before. I did not mind. It was great the first time and it was great again tonight. The best part of the meal is the deserts...they come in shot glasses! I had the Creme Brulee, since that is my favorite.

I was not very shocked to hear the news about Sharon. I am sad that this time has come, but it was enevitable. The guy is old and has had a lot of stress on him for most of his life. He has done a tremendous amount of good and hopefully his successor will continue his work.

I am starting to hear back from some of the places that I sent my resume too. My current employer sent me an email today confirming that they are planning on keeping me around if I choose to stay. This was encouraging, since I have not really recieved much feedback from them. I probably will not switch to another job until I hear my current employers offer, when I become a full-time employee. This should happen at the end of this month or as soon as I return from CO. Which reminds me that there are only 22 days till I am going to be in CO!!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Debt, Recycling, & More

In keeping with my newest resolution, I have ordered a blue bin for my recycling at my house. Before I moved in, my roommate told me how she doesn't agree with the state recycling program, therefore we didn't have a recycling bin. She said it had to do with the politics of it and something else about how it really doesn't help. Well, I disagree. I have heard that recycling programs cost tax payers money, but I wouldn't mind paying for my junk not be thrown into a landfill. I think the recycling program provides jobs (which our tax dollars pay) and the recyclables do bring in some money even if it isn't enough to cover the full expenses of a recycling operation. I see the state-wide recycling industry as a baby that hasn't matured. Once recycling gains more popularity among the masses, then there will be more to recycle, more jobs, and more money to be made, because of "economies of scale."

Am I right? Who knows? But I don't think it hurts to recycle. There must be some pollution caused by the machines that pick up the recyclables, sort them, crush them and refurbish them. However, I would think that in most industries that it is less polluting to use recyclables than to get raw materials and convert them into usable products.

Hopefully I can convince my other roommate that he should recycle, since two is better than one, but not as good as three. I will just have to see how receptive my roommate is to leaving her recyclables out for me to throw in the bin.

I ran across this blog today that is all about a woman with a kid trying to get out of debt. I put another link to it on the right side of the page for reference. She has a $20K debt and spends $1300/month more than she makes. Needless to say, she has a long way to go. I think it is worth checking out if you are trying to budget, which we should all have a budget. Even if you make millions, you should have a budget. A budget is just a "spending plan". It is an idea of where your money is coming from and where it is going. This is important, since a spending plan will allow you to get out of debt or keep you out of debt.

I don't budget as well as I would like too. I know my monthly expenses and have them written down, but I am not good at saving my disposable income. Instead I notice that I have extra money and I go spend it on a trip, clothes, electronics, or just any of the 1000+ things I want in life. However, I am good at cutting my expenses to pay off a debt. When an unexpected expense, such as a car repair, comes along, I cut back on my spending until it is paid off. Since I know where my money is going, it is easy to do that. But once the debt is paid off, I don't save. Instead, I start the cycle all over again by spending my money on extras.

A song for your listening pleasure, that is all about.........MONEY!



The More part...
I am sorry for the families of the West VA miners. Unfortunately, the death of the 12 miners, has drowned out the miracle of 13th survivor. This guy received a collapsed lung during the blast and it probably saved him, since he couldn't take a big breath of the carbon monoxide filled chamber. At least that is my co-worker's theory, which made good enough sense to me that I went along with it. This is a tragedy with a bright spot in it.

I applied to a dozen jobs yesterday and one this morning. I have an interview next Monday for one of them. Wish me luck!