Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Upcoming

Okay, here goes...

So, I secured a house for my family to rent over Christmas. It is in Sandbridge, VA, which is about 45 minutes from here. I'm pretty excited about this Christmas. My brother and Steve are supposed to come down and my grandma might make the trip. It is shaping up to be one of the biggest and best holidays of the past 5 or 6 years.

Our baby bongo are doing great. My pictures of them made it into the paper and on the websites of a couple local news outlets (be sure to check the slideshow).

A couple of friends that both work with me are tying the knot this weekend. Looks like it should be a good party. We got them a rug... it was on their list. I promise.

Oh yeah, was anyone else yelling at the television last night during the debate? Politicians, in general, piss me off but right-wingers like McCain really get me going. He has to be the creepiest thing in... well... since Cheney.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Beauty, Eh?

Okay, here goes...

Man, this is good shit. I'm not sure who this guy is who posted the video but he does give a good background. He does drop the the f-bomb (and a few other of Carlin's favorites) several times but that's no more offensive than Sean Hannity. And he looks like a mix between Robert Downey, Jr and Hank Azaria, no?

Take a listen...



Oh yeah, by the way... apparently the McCain Campaign is longer granting interviews with Palin to anyone but conservative news outlets like Fox News. I guess Katie Couric brought them to their knees; who'd-a-thunk-it?! And that's what I want from the second most powerful person in the world; someone who must be coddled and kept safe from Katie Couric!?!

Anyway, have a swell day, folks.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wilderness, Sort Of...

Okay, here goes...

Me and the old lady loaded up the Yaris Saturday with the dog and enough camping gear, fishing gear and food-stuffs to sustain us for a week. She was able to ditch work early and I cut my Habitat day short to get a jump on the drive. We were out by 1pm and at the Walnut Hill Campground, outside Waynesboro, VA by 4:30pm. The tent was pitched, the fire sparked and the whiskey sipped all before the sun dropped below the trees. We were camping.


The soreness of my ground-slept back had crept away as I slipped into the South River for my first day of fly fishing. After hooking a couple baby brookies, one so small I didn't know it was on until it became park of my backcast, I noticed I was tripping over something with every step towards the bank for lunch. Upon further investigation, I realized the felt sole of my Orvis boot had come unglued. Since this was only the third time these boots had seen the river, I was about to come unglued myself.

After lunch, we tracked down a craft fair so Aubry could get her kicks too. It never fails to amaze me what people can come up with and that they believe someone will buy it. Anyway, Ollie was a big hit with the kids. Lots of kisses and hugs then back to the campsite for hobos, fires and lots more whiskey.



The next day I strapped a Band-Aid on both boots, since the other sole was acting like the first, by way of electrical tape. I tried a section of the river I had never fished and came out on top. One nice brookie, two rainbows of similar size and a handful of baby bookies; all on the same flying black ant.


I packed it in at lunch and we started back towards home. On the way, we stopped by the Orvis store in Richmond and they switched out my ailing boots for a fresh pair, no questions asked. Good guys over there at Orvis in Richmond. Good weekend all around.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Disney's New Movie

Okay, here goes...

So, I was thumbing through Sarah Palin interviews on YouTube the other day searching tirelessly for an intelligent, well spoken opinion (I mean who hasn't) when I came across this video of Matt Damon (and some bonus stuff after the interview).



I can agree with this viewpoint. So I thought, how would this movie play out? In response to myself, I came up with this. A trailer for the movie idea by Matt Damon.

New Disney Movie Trailer (Voice-over by that deep voiced movie announcer guy that died recently.)

“All-Star teams from across the country are arriving in Arlington, VA for the Junior League National Hockey Championships.”



“After a week of tough but fair competition the winner is crowned.”



“The team from Wasilla, Alaska is awarded the Championship Cup by the President and Vice-President of the United States.”





“Then tragedy strikes…”



<Panicked newswoman from FoxNews, “While driving back to the Capitol after attending the Jr. League National Hockey Championships, the President and Vice President were involved in a horrific crash. Both are in critical condition”>

“The Country is scrambling, trying to decide who will pick up the flag and lead during this time of great turmoil.”



“Then it becomes clear…”



“The mom of the MVP on the Champion Junior League Hockey team… who served as the Mayor of her town and was recently elected Governor of Alaska. She’s just scrappy, pit-bullish and easy-on-the-eyes enough to take the reins and save our Country.”



The End


Would you pay to see this movie? Me either.

Inspired by Matt Damon. Written by Wyn Hall.

Oh, and Mr. Damon, if you decided to use this script for the trailer, please let me know so I can tell my Mom I made it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Boo hoo, woo hoo!

Okay, here goes,

Well, bad news. The Dawgs managed to hold true to tradition and royally fuck up at least one game per season. These next two weeks will be drapped in black and full of tears. Only "Gandalf Falls" will be played.

On a brighter note, I have been kicking my own ass, and have lost 9 pounds in a week. My ultimate goal is to lose 30 in 8 weeks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Laying on His What-cha-ma-call-it!

Okay, here goes...

Georgia continues to roll. Hopefully the snowball will get bigger and carry us through January. Big test this weekend. Richt and the boys have called for a blackout.

One important face, or voice, won't be there though. Larry Munson put rumors aside and retired today. So many fans will take off their headphones and listen to the TV commentator for the first time in their lives Saturday night. Here's the best tribute I could find.



We'll miss you Larry.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hockey!

Okay, here goes...

That's right folks... hockey season is right around the corner. Now, just as with most sports, I don't really care too much about pro hockey. But minor league hockey gets my blood flowing. The only thing that could make it better would be if our local minor league teams (all of them) didn't suck.

On the bright side, the Scope Arena did land a kickass new scoreboard.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Yeah...

Okay, here goes...

Not much to say. Working. Trying not to spend money. Just moved a bunch of money (relative) around at the advice of my financial planner. Responsibility. Had to look up the spelling on that one.

Still learning sign language.

Being at work blows.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Okay, here goes...

After Sarah Palin's speech last night at the Repugnican National Convention (which was apparently written by Bush's speech writer before she was even chosen), I wanted to respond. However, as is often the case, I found someone who was better able to put it all into words. So, below is a letter from Sam Graham-Felsen, Obama's Campaign Manager. I took out the references to donating to Obama's campaign because, although I am an Obama supporter and I plan to vote for him, I don't want to pressure or even ask someone else to support him.

But before we get to the letter, here's a fun game I just finished playing. CNN.com has a slideshow of photos from the RNC up on their website (the link below). The name of the game is 'Find the Minority'; sort of a political Where's Waldo. Just try to find the black guy or the Asian woman amongst the rich, white people. Maybe their not all rich and white, and I'm sure the minorities that are scattered throughout the crowd are all rich too (why else would they vote Repugnican), but they are holding up signs reading "Prosperity". Which in and of itself ought to tell you what is important to that portion of the populace.

Anyway, here's the link. And be sure not to miss the picture of Palin giving the ole Nazi hi-five towards the end and the close up of one of the few black guys there, just for proof one was there.

Now back to the letter-

Message from David Plouffe: 'What you just saw'
By Sam Graham-Felsen - Sep 4th, 2008 at 2:33 am EDT

Dear Friend --

I wasn't planning on sending you something tonight. But if you saw what I saw from the Republican convention, you know that it demands a response.

I saw John McCain's attack squad of negative, cynical politicians. They lied about Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and they attacked you for being a part of this campaign.

But worst of all -- and this deserves to be noted -- they insulted the very idea that ordinary people have a role to play in our political process.

You know that despite what John McCain and his attack squad say, everyday people have the power to build something extraordinary when we come together. Will you make a donation right now to remind them?

Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack's experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed.

Let's clarify something for them right now.

Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.

And it's no surprise that, after eight years of George Bush, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities they can change the course of history. That promise is what our campaign has been about from the beginning.

Throughout our history, ordinary people have made good on America's promise by organizing for change from the bottom up. Community organizing is the foundation of the civil rights movement, the women's suffrage movement, labor rights, and the 40-hour workweek. And it's happening today in church basements and community centers and living rooms across America.

Meanwhile, we still haven't gotten a single idea during the entire Republican convention about the economy and how to lift a middle class so harmed by the Bush-McCain policies.

It's now clear that John McCain's campaign has decided that desperate lies and personal attacks -- on Barack Obama and on you -- are the only way they can earn a third term for the Bush policies that McCain has supported more than 90 percent of the time.

But you can send a crystal clear message.

Enough is enough. Make your voice heard loud and clear by making a donation right now:

Thank you for joining more than 2 million ordinary Americans who refuse to be silenced.

David

David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Friday, August 29, 2008

Me and Obama

Okay, here goes...

Me and Obama. We're like this, you know?

I, like many of you tuned in to watch history last night. From the "Obama Bio" to his final "God bless the United States of America" millions were rapt.

Personally I was glad to see and hear a few things in particular. First, I was happy that he told middle America what he had planned. What the specifics of his plan for this country involves. He addressed many of the fears that most fence-sitters seem to be worried about. He met these accusations head on and that shows to me that is how he will meet the challenges that befall a President.

Secondly, I was elated that he didn't beat Dr. King to a pulp. In fact, I think he was the only person yesterday, myself included, to not mention Dr. King. If he had, it would have appeared forced and unreal.

But what did sound real, and made me happier than anything, was the genuine passion that could be heard in his voice as he spoke. From time to time, he did sound like Dr. King, but he never sounded fake and he never sounded like he was reading from a teleprompter.

Finally, and more selfishly, I would like to point out that he too chose the same lines from Dr. King's 1963 speech that I chose to highlight yesterday. Perhaps he is trying to appeal to my demographic; middle-class, white America. Sure he is. Every candidate that has ever tossed their hat into the political ring has tried to appeal to white, middle America. But I think the point he was trying to drive home was about coming together, all races and creeds (like peas and carrots), and moving forward. "...inextricably bound... We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

Beautiful, sweet beautiful history.

"The American Promise" - Obama's Complete Acceptance Speech - DNC 2008


Thursday, August 28, 2008

45 Years Later

Okay, here goes...

How many of you out there have waited 45 years for anything? Odds are less than half of you. I haven't. My odometer will roll over 31 in late November. And I don't really even have a firm grasp on more than maybe 18 of those years. So to say that someone has waited 45 years for something is foreign to me. But the fact that I have those 18 remember-able years as a basis I can realize the weight of those 45 years. Does that make sense?

Anyway, why am I going on about waiting 45 years? Well, there are a lot of people that have waited 45 years for tonight. And when I say 45 years, I really mean a lifetime. Many have died, some of old age or illness, and many of painful, horrific deaths at the hands of those who hated them for no other reason than they were told they were supposed to. But here we are today, on the cusp of history. Something will happen tonight that will be a first. Many thousands, millions of us will stare agape in the soft blue light of our televisions and witness something so positive, so life (and death) affirming that has not been witnessed perhaps since the moon landing.

So, what happened 45 years ago?



Today marks the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Those inspirational words have resonated throughout the conscious of America since 1963. And tonight, Barack Obama will be the first black American to accept the nomination of Candidate for President of a major party.

And as King said, "1963 is not an end, but a beginning." I think that is a fitting quote for 2008 as well.

As a white man, I cannot fully appreciate what these 45 years, these lifetimes, have truly meant. But as Dr. King said, "For many of our white brothers, as evidence by them being present here today, have come to realize their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

As black Americans said yesterday (taken from CNN.com):

"I was overcome by joy," said Henry March, a civil rights attorney. "This is one of most significant events in American history."

"I think about all the suffering, all the pain all the hurt of so many people," said Rep. John Lewis. "What you see happening here tonight (8/27) is the down payment of the fulfillment of dream of Martin Luther King," he said. "Just a few short years ago in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, many people of color could not even register to vote and now, these people are voting for an African-American."

"I wanted to be on the floor, not only as a Democrat, as an American, but clearly as an African-American. When I was a little girl, I never thought I'd see this day. I never thought I'd see a viable female candidate, viable minority candidate get this far," CNN contributor and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile said.

"It was an amazing moment -- not for African-Americans -- for Americans," CNN contributor Roland Martin said.

I encourage anyone who reads this to make sure to watch Obama's speech tonight, it shouldn't be hard to find; just turn on the TV.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Suggestion Box

Okay, here goes...

(warning... I drop the f-bomb and another 4-letter word today. Sorry Mom.)

I thought it might be fun to periodically dedicate a day to air my complaints about the world at large.

Jumping right in, my first rant is on Democrats. Now, let's take a step back first, just like any good Democrat. While I consider myself an Independent, I have never voted on the Republican side of the ballot; even when a Republican was running unopposed. My opinions on the big issues like abortion, foreign policy, insurance, taxes, etc. typically fall towards the left (some further than others). However, I see it as short-sighted and narrow-minded to align one's self with only one political party.

However, I do respect the Republican party, if for nothing else, for its ability to come together. You never see the Republican party bickering amongst themselves. Maybe this is because they all think alike? I doubt it. Perhaps it's all those secret fraternities and clubs that we hear about from scandal to scandal. Or are they are all so narrow and set in their beliefs that they all just fall in line? Maybe. But I think it is because they recognize the fact that they all have to come together to defeat a common enemy; just like the military. Maybe that is why Republicans are always the first ones to shout 'War!' It has to be tied in there somehow.

Then on the other side of the aisle, you have Democrats who are too busy pouting and sniffling saying that since Hillary wasn't picked as the Presidential Candidate they aren't sure whether they'll vote for Obama. Are you kidding me!?



"A protest vote."

Are you fucking kidding me!?!?! Let's us break down Ms. Ruccia's arguement, shall we? She has been a life-time Democrat. I'm with her so far. Not my approach, but I can sympothize. She believed the Party would "promote and protect" her issues. As a feminist, I will assume that women's rights and equality are high on her list of issues she wants promoted and protected. Now, I'm no woman, but I think the Democratic Party has and will continue to have, even with that damn Obama guy, a better record on promoting and protecting women's rights.

Let's continue. "Sexism against Hillary Clinton..." You mean like the racism against Obama? This is politics. If you don't have tough enough skin to put up with all the 'isms' (sexism, racism, age-ism, class-ism, etc.) stay off the stump. And she's mad the "Party didn't stand up to stop it". I believe the most influential and strongest person in the world should be able to stand alone and not have their hand held by anyone else, let alone their Party. Perhaps this is what she means by "promote and protect"?

She feels, "dooped" by the Party. I feel dooped by the fact that the roads in my local interstate are falling apart, the education system throughout the country is well below par and the War in Iraq are all bankrupt thanks to the billion-dollar Republican War-time tax breaks.

It is tough for her to say whether she would have stayed with the Party had Obama picked Hillary for VP. Bullshit. First, these two candidates are Alpha's. Hillary would not have been able to function in a Beta capacity. Secondly, Ms. Ruccia, and her cohorts, wouldn't seething if Hillary had to ride shotgun to Obama.

Now, getting the Clintons out of there. Of course the Party wanted to distance itself from the Clintons. If there is one person that Republicans can use as a lightning rod to brew up bad blood, it is Bill Clinton. While I love the guy, he shouldn't be roaming the halls of the White House anymore. He is a disctaction and should only rear his head to say, "I like Obama" (or whoever is running on the Democratic ticket) and then disappear until the next time he's needed.

Finally, she and apparently everyone else at her "Fair Politics" club are worried about Obama's experience. What sort of experience did Bush have when he took office? What sort of experience did George Washington have when he took office? In my opinion, the only person that is experienced enough to handle a presidency is someone running for re-election. Maybe a Vice-President, but only if they have had a lot of hands-on time. No one is prepared for the Office of the President of the United States of America.

Getting back on track...

Don't get me started on those wacko Independents who think a vote for Nadar or some other Third Party loser is taking a stand against a tyrannical 2-party system. If the last few elections have proved anything it's that a non-Democratic Party vote is a vote for Republican. That and money, privilege and influence can buy anything; including the best seat in the Oval Office.

Okay, I could Ramble on till the troops come home but I'll end that tirade there. I think that went well. Hopefully I'll do better with this little feature than I have with other promised additions. If anyone reads this, keep me on task. Yell at me if I haven't produced an new rants.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Got A Feelin', I Feelin' I Can't Hide

Okay, here goes...

Man, I am in a good mood today and let me tell you why. First off, I had a good day yesterday. And we all know that if you have a good day today, the chances of tomorrow being good are that much more improved. Aubry and I took in a Tides, AAA baseball, game last night with a coworker and her fiance. We didn't even have to pay to get in since our friends had scored some free tickets. And even though the team usually stinks, they won last night! Aubry's favorite player even hit a homerun. Thanks Tike Redman! Check out the super-in-depth story here! Well, we all had a drunken good time.

Then I woke up this morning in a grand mood. I always seem to be in a better mood and frame of mind when I wake up next to Aubry. And on top of that, the weather has been awesome over the past few days and it is only looking better for the next 5-days. Take a look!

AccuWeather.com: 5-Day Forecast5

Friday, Aug 22
High: 82 °F RealFeel®: 83 °F
Sunshine and patchy clouds

Friday Night, Aug 22
Low: 69 °F RealFeel®: 68 °F

Saturday, Aug 23
High: 80 °F RealFeel®: 85 °F
Mostly sunny

Saturday Night, Aug 23
Low: 71 °F RealFeel®: 72 °F

Sunday, Aug 24
High: 83 °F RealFeel®: 93 °F
Partly sunny

Sunday Night, Aug 24
Low: 72 °F RealFeel®: 76 °F

Monday, Aug 25
High: 87 °F RealFeel®: 91 °F
Periods of clouds and sun

Monday Night, Aug 25
Low: 72 °F RealFeel®: 76 °F

Tuesday, Aug 26
High: 82 °F RealFeel®: 88 °F
Clouds and sunshine with a shower possible

Tuesday Night, Aug 26
Low: 72 °F RealFeel®: 76 °F
Plenty of clouds with thunderstorms


Man, that's tasty! So, here I am, chomping at the bit for the weekend to start.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mileage

Okay, here goes...

Well, my nifty new computer for my bike seems to have shit the bed. Hopefully I just need to reset it and all will start working again. I estimate that I've put in about 30 miles so far this month. Not a huge amount, but I don't really ride except to commute. And that is only around 5 miles round trip.

Anyway, that's it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ugh

Okay, here goes...

I'm sitting here with a pounding headache. Ugh. I can soldier on with just about any ailment, I have dealth with a fair amount of physical pain in my day but there is something about a headache that just sits me on my arse.

Here's a quick update on things that are happening soon:


My parents are coming up on Thursday for visit. (Note: not my real parents)










I'm getting cable today. I'll probably be staring numbly at the TV a lot for awhile. Not something I'm proud of, just a reality.










I'm getting back into trying to do some writing. I have a few stories that I add to whenever the mood strikes me.








I should open my first batch of homebrew in about a week. I bottled it yesterday.







That's it... I need to lay down.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's Lonely

Okay, here goes...

I really don't want this to turn into a College Football blog, or even a Georgia Bulldog blog, but I did want to pass this along. You see, that's my alma mater with the #1 next to it. Do you know how long it has been since those two things were published next to one another? Try 1980. But as any good Bulldog fan will tell you, they'll just screw it up anyway.

Oh, and just in case you're curious... here's the countdown to kickoff.




< src="http://sitemockups.jtvs.jumptv.com/Countdown/ga_football_08.swf" quality="high" bgcolor="#ffffff" width="350" height="108" name="georgiatest2" align="middle" allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" />

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Catch Up

Okay, here goes...

When I last left you, it was the eve of my return to the world of SCUBA. Well, I went to the course and in actuality, I probably didn't need to go. We breezed over the high points of dive tables and then hit the pool. Although it had been 2 years since my last dive, I shot through the skills in about 20 minutes and just like that, SCUBA had its claws into me again. I don't regret taking the course though. I would rather relearn all of those things in the pool at the dive shop than bobbing around in 6-foot swells, choking on boat exhaust.

The down-side is that I'm now spending every spare moment searching through online $CUBA stores for a dive computer and gauges and drooling over dive videos on YouTube. My friend and dive-buddy Brandon are trying to plan a trip for sometime in the next few months but can't seem to nail down a date. Man, I can't wait.

Moving on... my girlfriend's little sister flew into town the other night and we've been having fun entertaining her. She's 15 and is so happy to not be spending her days babysitting like she normally does. Aubry had to work Sunday, because her coworkers are selfish and wouldn't cover for her despite the fact that she had just covered for one of them less than a month ago. So, I took little-sis out kayaking. We had a good time.



Then last night we took in a Tides, minor league baseball ,game. I'm not sure her sister enjoyed it as much as we did, but I think she was entertained. We didn't have great seats so we moved to get a little closer to the action and have more room. It wasn't 10 minutes later that a ball landed within 5-feet of Aubry's little sister. Unfortunately, she froze and the guy behind us nabbed it. I even called it before the game that she was going to catch a ball since she never goes to games and we go all the time. Oh well, maybe next time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

SCUBA Returns

Okay, here goes...

One of the benefits of growing older is having more experiences to draw from. And as a person trained in the area of science I routinely look for pattern, repetition and habit. Over the past 5 or so years, I've noticed that I do not take full advantage of a situation where I may find myself. Let's take a look at the data shall we?

I lived for about three and one half years in Vermont. And while there I did take full advantage of the winter season (since that's my favorite). During the summers I did do a fair amount of hiking and kayaking but there was an area of summer where I neglected. Fly fishing.

Let's fast forward a few years to South Carolina. Now I know what you're saying. What the fuck is there to do in South Carolina? And to be honest, I completely agree. I did some hiking year round and played golf whenever the opportunity arose but I didn't really get around to fly fishing until the last few months there. And even then I didn't truly take full advantage.

Between Vermont and South Carolina, there was probably more fly fishing withing an hour's drive than I will ever see again. And now here I am in coastal Virginia within a 5 minute's drive of the ocean, at least 2 hours away from anything close to a trout stream and a severe jonesing to wet a line in a stream. Damn it!

This is only one example of how I have pissed away some good opportunities in my life. None of which have really been life changing or something I will go to my (cremated) grave wishing I could go back and change. But they are enough to make me say, "Damn it!" twice in a blog.

So, as they say the first step is to acknowledge the problem. Well, that happened a few weeks ago and I took my first step the other day. You see, within an hour's boat ride of where I live there are dozens of sunken boat wrecks; mostly from WWI and WWII.

While in South Carolina, my pal Brandon convinced me it would be a good idea to enroll in a SCUBA class. That was one of the best things I have ever done. I only have a dozen dives under my weight belt but I love it. There is something about the weightlessness, exploring a place that such a small portion of the world's population has ever seen and of course getting to collect all the cool gear that just gets me all excited.

All of this to say I signed up for a SCUBA refresher course the other day. A Rusty Diver course as they call it. That's what I plan on doing this evening. Getting reacquainted with my old friend SCUBA. Hopefully I'll be wasting all my money swimming around in the Atlantic this summer.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

At The Helm

Okay, here goes...

Let's get a bit more serious, shall we?

While most of us were drinking beer and eating grilled foods under the guise of celebrating our country's birthday, Senator Jesse Helms was drawing his last breaths. And I can't say I'm all that broken-up about it. Helm's was one of the last bigots to walk the halls of Washington; at least one of the last men to do so openly.

This past week I've been reading and hearing many of my fellow Americans go on and on about how great Jesse Helms was. Well, have you seen this re-election campaign TV ad? Take a look at this video he put out and tell me what you think.

Luckily, someone in the media has a descent pair of cajones. Once again, Roland S. Martin has hit the nail on the head with his article on Sen. Helms. If you're ever in need of a good, honest political commentary, you cannot go wrong with Martin. He seems to always say what I, and I'm sure a lot of Americans, are thinking. Be sure to read Martin's article, and any others that he writes. Good stuff.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Logging Miles

Okay, here goes...

So, I arrived home after work the other day to find a box full of bicycle accessories on my frotn porch. I decided that if I'm going to be spending more time on my bike I should get some goodies for the little guy. I tore into the box like an 8 year old on Christmas morning. Inside I fould all sorts of shiny, new toys.

After unwrapping my new bike tool I set about clamping and zip-tying all of my new stuff to my bike. And when I was done, I was ready to take on the world. I set out on a trip around the block to test my handiwork.

The sunlight glisened off my new detachable, LCD headlight and shimmered across the reflectors of my 3-setting taillight. But the most beautiful thing was my new wireless computer. I started out a 10mph pace to see if it would work. Then pumped it up to 20 and everything flowed together like a moutain stream. The world slowed and kids on the sidewalk stopped and stared in awe.

So I've learned that my trip to work is a little more than I thought. It is a 5.2 mile roundtrip. I also figured out that I average about 14mph on my trip to work. Now I don't know where this falls on the competancy meter but I feel pretty good about it.

I waited until Tuesday to start my odometer reading since it was the 1st and I want to see how many miles I can fit into a month. However, I didn't ride today because of the smoke from the wildfires in North Carolina was blowing in and I forsee this being a problem throughout the summer. I did miss my morning bike ride though.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Drunken Loser

Okay, here goes...

A few things come to mind for today's blog. First, the pool party.

Friday night was a blast. Well all met at Dennis and Allyson's for a pool party/farewell for a co-worker. Many beers and much food was consumed. I lost 3 games of beer pong. Which led directly to me not remembering some key points of the night. I think I had a good time.

And now the bad news. If you reference one of my entries from last week, you will notice a picture of Uga VI; the winning-est of all University of Georgia mascots. While I was reliving my college years with beer, drinking games and general revelry, Uga VI was passing on. He succumbed to hear failure Friday night and will be missed.

RIP Uga VI, hopefully your son will carry on the tradition.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Insert Woo Hoo It's Friday Comment Here

Okay, here goes...

Having had a day to calm down, I feel better. I'm still not thrilled that Georgia lost the College World Series, but I'm dealing with it much better today. Moving on...

One of my coworkers is moving on and we're having a good-old-fashion pool party tonight to see her off. I haven't been to a pool party since I was in Junior High. Unless you count getting drunk in a hotel hot tub/pool... on several occassions.

So I whipped up my famous homemade salsa last night so it could 'ferment' overnight. Hopefully no one will drown with all the food and booze.

Peace out...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nobody Knows...

Okay, here goes...

Georgia lost. I don't want to talk about it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Looking To The Future

Okay, here goes...

Well, today is a day of mourning. The University of Georgia baseball team lost Game 2 of the College World Series last night. After winning such a great game to start the series off, this win evens the championship series to 1-1. This time tomorrow, the season will be over and a CWS champion will be crowned. I take the full blame for this lose, as this was the first game I watched, in full, during the post season. Of course, the last game I watch any part of was lost as well. So, tonight... I will not be watching the game. Hopefully I will be able to get the play-by-play online. Go Dawgs!


And looking further into the future, I will be meeting with my financial advisor later today and signing on the dotted line. So, by tomorrow I will have a plan for the future. This is a huge step for me. Ever since I was a young teenager, I honestly never believed I would live past the age of 30. Because of this, I have never really bothered to prepare for the future. Everything, up to this point, has been lived in the present (at the time). As things have worked out, I have reached 30 and now I guess it is time to change my plan. And what better way to change your plan than to actually get one?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Losing air

Okay, here goes...

You know how tired I was from my commute to work yesterday? Well, I nailed down one reason. Aside from pushing myself much harder than normal, my tires were way under-inflated. So, in classic fashion, I waited until this morning before leaving to try to fix the problem.

I pulled out my handy-dandy-on-sale-at-AutoZone air compressor to play bike mechanic. This is one of those cheap air compressors that is used to fill up pool rafts and floatees. Well after about 15 minutes of deflating the tires, then filling them, then wanting a little more air in them and deflating them again in the process... I got enough in there to get me to work.

After kissing a wet dog nose, I bolted out the door and down the street. About halfway down the next block, I realized that my back tire was in about the same shape as it had been to begin with. Luckily the front tire is much better off now and I wasn't as late as yesterday. So, I didn't have to push so hard.

Today's lesson is to be happy with what you got. Now excuse me while I go look for pretty new, fancy road bikes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thanks, Thanks A Lot...

Okay, here goes...

My legs are tired. That's all I really have the energy to say, but I'll ramble on since, afterall, that is why blogging was invented. Now, when I say my legs are tired, I don't mean the rest of my body is saying, "Hey stupid legs, get with it. Your friends, the upper-half, want to do stuff. So perk up!" No. My legs have talked the rest of my body into mounting a protest today. Against any physical activity and they have begun their final assualt on my brain. Here it is, barely 8am, and I'm fighting to stay awake and get work done. Usually this doesn't start at least until 9am. They've even tried to talk me into taking the first ride on the elevator at work. I've been here over a year and I've never seen the inside of our Otis. But today, it's been looking pretty good.

You see, I've been commuting to work somewhat frequently using the old 'pedal power'. I live about 3 miles from work now and it just makes sense. Today I was running late and really had to double time it, to get to work on time. And my legs have been mad ever since. So let's take a look at the cause of my pain.

Over the past few years my father has really gotten into the whole biking for exercise culture and even goes to the grocery store and post office via two wheel action. Keep in mind that my parents live in a somewhat suburban area of, what is becoming, a suburb. So we're talking at least 10-15 miles round trip. For a man in his mid-60's with no atheletic ability, I'm impressed. You could say he has inspired me to "get on your bike and ride", as the late Freddy Mercury would say.

Another person who has inspired me to throw my leg over the hulking Trek beast is Jill Homer. The 'flatlander' Alaskan who spends more time on her bike than off. She routinely knocks off 30 miles on her bike then rides it to work and back. Remember that Alaska is under a blanket of snow for 8 or 9 months out of the year and then re-read that last sentence (but remember to skip this one, or you'll just be stuck here like my Black Crows CD in my first car's CD player). Anyway, she makes my 6 mile roundtrip commute (8 if I go to the gym) look like a trip to the bathroom. Nonetheless, she does inspire me.

I won't go into gas prices and trying to save money, because I'm tire of talking about it myself. And since I'm pretty sure I'm the only one that's going to read this, I don't want to 'hear' it either. Anyway, I just wanted to thank these two people for my lack of motivation and my sore legs today.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Yet again...

Okay, here goes...

Well, once again I have been AWOL for almost a month. So here's the skinny.

We've been cracking down at work, dusting and knocking down spider webs getting ready for inspection. It looks like all the hard work paid off and we're going to pass with flying colors. I was grilled, but not as hard as I had anticipated.

Then Aubry and I left for Minnesota during the final day of our inspection. We made our way through some really nasty thunderstorms to Fergus Falls, MN to get drunk and watch/participate in the wedding of one of Aubry's college roommates. Good times were had by all and I enjoyed getting to know Aubry's friends more. And what brings people closer together than playing several drunken rounds of 'Asshole' in a hotel room? Nothing, that's what.

Then Aubry's parents came and picked us up and took us to Lyle for a few days of visiting. We had a good time and her dad and I 'bonded' a bit more. The trip was capped off with a big water balloon battle where everyone ended up soaked.

During our trip back, we were delayed an hour before flying out of the Twin Cities and missed our connecting flight in Chicago by less than 5 minutes. After waiting 3 hours for the next one, we almost missed it because United's monitors at the gate are confusing as hell. But we made it onto the plane just before they closed the doors. Good thing too, as the next flight was 4 hours later.

All in all, it was a good trip.

Monday, May 19, 2008

State of the Union - One Year In

Okay, here goes...

Throughout my life, especially since graduating high school, I've had some pretty amazing years. Some better than others, but for the most part, they've all been great. With the notable exception of April 2006 to April 2007.

I think I've rambled on before about the details of that horrible year, so I won't bore you with it again. I'm just bringing it up to say that I am the type of person that rarely has bad days. Things just don't get to me. I'm usually wearing a smile and have a good word or a joke for everyone I meet. But that terrible year really tested me. And just when my life was as low as it had ever been, I got a call that would change my life.

I landed the job that I've had for a just over a year now and in the process I met Aubry. Well, as I stated in my last post, my special-lady-friend and I have reached the one year mark. Because of these two huge, life-changing events, I am happy to say that this past year (and change) has been the best year of my life.

Aubry and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary over the weekend. We set the date at May 19 because that was the Saturday of the Chesapeake Jubilee last year. The Jubilee is a bit like a county fair. So, the official date is the 19th, but we decided we should celebrate it on the Saturday of the Jubilee each year, not necessarily on the 19th. However, we are going to go out to a fancy dinner tonight.

Anyway, here are some pictures from Saturday.


I like this picture, because if you don't look at the details, it could be from anytime period. It was taken from the Ferris wheel.




Just a neat looking 'building'.




Just before the fireworks.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New House, New Blog

Okay, here goes...

So for the past few days, whenever I check my blog, I've been feeling guilty about not posting anything new. I know how all of you out there are desperately waiting for me to enrich your lives with my amazing grasp of the English language and magical fingers. Here are my excuses:

1. Recently moved into a new house. Still renting, but I'm out of that fucking apartment. This time I swear, again, I'll never live in another apartment.

2. I'm still getting settled. Did I mention I moved recently?

3. Last Saturday, I spent over $1000 on a new sofa and 'window treatments' (as you hipsters like to call them). So now I'm depressed. Although, the windows look nice and now the neighbors are not subjected to my naked, around the house dancing.

4. We've had tornadoes every few days for the past couple of weeks here in eastern Virginia. I think things are starting to calm down though.

5. I'm lazy.

By the way, my special lady friend and I are approaching our 1 year anniversary. I will accept congratulatory gifts but prefer cash.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Moving

Okay, here goes...

So over the past couple of days, I've been starting to move all the crap I own over to the house I'm renting. The people that own the place have been nice enough to let me move my stuff in early. I can't wait to get this move over with. Not because I hate moving. I've actually become quite good at it. When you move once a year, like I do, you get the routine down.

The reason why I'm ready to get out or my apartment is because of my neighbors; one set in particular. Two sets are fairly quiet, while the other set are a pair of college girls. On paper it sounds good, but when you hear them clamoring up
the stairs at 2am, it looses its luster. Couple that with their guitar-playing, sensitive, singing-like-a-clubbed-baby-seal boyfriend and I couldn't be happier about paying more than I should for my new place.

In addition, one of the good neighbors (who lives above me) has a toddler who does what toddlers do and jumps out of bed at 7am on Saturdays and Sundays and runs down the hall. Man I hate living in apartments.

Anyway, the apartment is a shadow of it once glorious self. Bleak and empty it resembles a crack den. And that makes my dog sad.

But not me!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fly Fishing Festival

Okay, here goes...

So, as advertised, Dad and I took in the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival this past weekend. We had a great time.
A few highlights:
- We both caught our first fish on a fly rod, in a river.
- We tasted a handful of wines. One maker graduated high school in a town near where my parents live now. I recommend the 2005 Echo Forest Red. Savoy-Lee Winery
- We 'test drove' a $755 fly rod and received a free hat in the process. Presenting the Orvis Helios.
- We took in a couple siminars by prominant fly anglers from all over the east coast.
- Dad was interviewed by the local news.


- But most importantly, we wet a line.



Thursday, April 17, 2008

Windy Cities and Fishing Flies

Okay, here goes...

So last weekend, Aubry and I flew up to Chicago for a visit with my brother and his partner Steve. This was a big trip as my Mom and Dad came too. This is the first time my Dad has visited my brother since he came out of the closet in 2000. To make a long story short, we had a great time. Everything went smoothly, we ate great food and caught up.

This coming weekend, Dad and I will drive to the far end of the state to take in the Virginia Flyfishing Festival. We are both really looking forward to it. And on Friday, Aubry's parents will fly into town and our parents will meet for the first time. Wow... what a week, huh?

Anyway, I lost the charger for my camera and didn't take any pictures while in Chi-town, so here are some pictures I found on the web of things we saw.



The Lincoln Park Conservatory. My Dad ended up giving in impromptu lecture on orchids while the docents looked on. They were not happy with this guest stealing their thunber. We beat a hasty retreat.


The Lincoln Park Zoo did not disapoint. We enjoyed it dispite the rain.


One of the best dinners I have ever had. Nuf said.


We just drove past Wrigley. A fan of the stadium, not the team. Go Red Sox!


My brother helped design this building. The Center On Halsted. We took a quick tour so he could show it off to my Dad. And showed me the chair I paid for/donated. Good times.

That's it...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Celebration Day

Okay, here goes...

April 1st. April Fool's Day to most, but to me, the day my dog was born. That's right, a day that changed my life. Of course, I didn't know it at the time. So, pull up some floor, pop a squat or have a seat... I'll tell you the story.

The year was 2001 and I was still in school at the great University of Georgia. I was destined to graduate in December and things were looking up. My girlfriend at the time and I had lost our dog to a speeding car a few months earlier but I was already talking about filling the void. I had been holding down a job at a local pet store for a year or so and happened to be working the register that fateful evening.

A young couple, at least a couple years my junior, were at the register purchasing something when a lady in her 40's came in with a tiny fawn-colored puppy in her hands. The girl I had been helping fell in love immediately and began trying to persuade her less than enthusiastic boyfriend that they needed to take it home. He made the off-color comment, "Sure we'll take it. If it doesn't work out, we can always eat it" and laughed. My coworker and I looked at each other and, without saying a word, agreed that one of us would take that dog. I pulled the lady aside and told her our plan. She immediately gave us the dog, not wanting the young couple to have her.

She told us that she bred yellow labs and her breeding female had been visited by the neighborhood boxer and she was giving away the puppies. This one was the runt and she had had trouble getting rid of her. She was tiny and had just been weened.

Over the next couple of hours, we helped the little puppy stand on the slick tile floors of the pet store and let her test drive most of the dog toys in the store. All the while, I was trying to figure out how to put it to my domestic partner that we had just taken in a new dog. She still didn't think she was ready for another dog.

I soon called her and fabricated a story about how the store was donating some large aquariums to a school and no one at the store had a vehicle big enough to carry them. We would need her Blazer to transport them. She bought it, but was not happy about being volunteered for service.

After a few minutes she arrived and I put the puppy in her arms and said, this is our new dog. She was not happy, to say the least. After I explained what had happened and that my coworker would take the dog if it didn't work out, she took the little girl home. By the time I got home, there was no chance that dog was going to the coworker.

So, we named her Ollie, after Oliver Hardy of the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. Although, she is much closer to a Stan Laurel. She has been in tow with me up to Vermont, down to South Carolina and now to Virginia. I think she loved Vermont the most and it broke my heart almost as much to leave as to make her leave.

Anyway, Ollie turns 7 years old today. She is the sweetest dog in the world and I love her.

Friday, March 21, 2008

New Idea

Okay, here goes...

So Willie Nelson was, as expected, great. The show was sold out and standing room only. If you've never been to the NorVa you're missing out. It is quickly becoming my all-time favorite venue. Although, it still has a ways to go before beating out the 40 Watt in Athens, GA. Way too many great memories in that place for it to fall by the wayside.

Anyway, one cool thing about the NorVa is that it backs up to a restaurant/bar (Kelly's Backstage Tavern). Not so amazing at face value. But if you eat dinner at Kelly's, you can get in early to the NorVa through a back hallway. I've done this a few times and it really doesn't make that much of a difference with where you end up watching the show unless there are seats. If you're going to the pit, like I am apt to do, it makes no difference. However, with Mom and Dad in tow, we wanted to get closer to the stage for Mr. Nelson.

So, we called a few days prior to the show to set up a reservation. I'd never done this before, but we figured it may be a good idea due to the popularity of the artist. Well, apparently we weren't the only folks thinking this. There were no more spots left. This was a bit discouraging but we pressed on.

We arrived an hour and a half prior to the doors opening for general admission and went to Kelly's to see what we could work out. The hostess said if we spent $10 a piece at the bar, they would sign our receipt and that would work. So, we headed to the bar... along with everyone else. After waiting for about 15 minutes to get some attention from the overworked bartender, we told her what boat we were in. We began to order 4 shots of Johnny Walker Black Label and a Cosmo for Mom and Aubry but the bartender said if we just order the shots, that would be close enough. Dad and I took our shots and we went outside to get into the early-entry line.

We ended up standing at the rail of the balcony directly in front of the stage. We were all very happy with out 'seats'. The show was great... he probably played 2 dozen songs altogether. He hit all the high notes and even covered a few including Joplin's 'Me and My Bobby McGee'. Good times.


Now onto other news. Here's my new idea... I'm going to post stills from webcams that I find around the web, whenever I have time. I will probably fall back on the Zoo, where I work. But it should add some interest to my site. We'll see... So here's day one. These are our lion cubs, that were born in August, with their mom sitting in the morning sun.

Take care...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Getting To Know A Red Headed Stranger

Okay, here goes...

Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know. But let's move on. Take the words of the old, cowboy-hippie that I'm going to see tomorrow night in his song "Forgiving You Was Easy"... "Forgiving you was easy, but forgeting you seems to take the longest time. The bitter fruit of anger, growing from the seeds of jealousy. Oh what heartache, but I forgive the things you said to me. Cuz I believe forgiveness is the only way I'll find piece of mind. And forgiving you is easy, but forgeting seems to take longest time."


Man, I hope he plays that one. I'll let you know.

My parents brought me back my dog last evening. She had gone to spend the week with her grandparents and their dogs. She was happy to see me... I love that, it makes a person happy when their dog has missed them.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

She Made It!!!

Okay, here goes...

Woo Hoo!!! Jill Homer made it into McGrath yesterday in just a little over 6 days. That alone blow me away. That these people traveled 350 miles deep within the interior of Alaska in such short time. She has posted briefly to her blog about what happened, why she went AWOL for 17 hours, so I won't go into it here. Keep checking in with her as she has promised a more detailed look at her race and hopefully some pictures.

That's it... I have a tee time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Iditarod Update 2

Okay, here goes...

It looks like the conditions are getting a little tougher in Alaska. But not only for the racers. It seems a checkpoint operator was been out trying to clear the trail for the participants and was passed by at least 9 racers. Now this might not sound like too much of a problem, until you realize the racers depend on these people for food. They whip up a meal for them before they sleep, if they do.

Anyway, like I said yesterday, details are spotty at this point on who is where. I'll let you know when I head it.

There is a bit of bad news, however. It appears that Geoff Roes has removed himself from the race. Read below...

"I talked to Geoff Roes and he was forced to turn back to Finger lake with a bad ankle and is scratching. He spent a long night at Finger lake last night and had hopes that it would be all right and it was good enough to try however he soon had to turn back. He will spend the night at Finger Lake and may be able to fly to Anchorage with Mike Ver Hoef."

Tough luck... we'll see you next year Geoff.

No word on Jill Homer, but I'm guessing she was one of those 9 racers to reach Rohn before the operator. Hopefully she's been able to ration her food enough to not be dependant on these hot meals.

I'll let you know... Keep pushing Jill!

Checkpoint Times:

CP 1 Yentna Station (mile 57)
Jill Homer 2-24 9:10pm 2-24 9:25pm
Geoff Roes 2-25 1:15am 2-25 6:55am

CP 2 Skwentna (mile 90)
Jill Homer 2-25 2:30am 2-25 6:18am
Geoff Roes 2-25 1:58pm 2-25 3:24pm

CP 3 Fingerlake (mile 130)
Jill Homer 2-25 3:00pm 2-25 4:00pm
Geoff Roes 2-25 11:56pm 2-26 scratched

CP 4 Puntilla (mile 165)
Jill Homer 2-26 3:45am 2-26 8:55am


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Iditarod Update

Okay, here goes...

We'll, right now my life is comparatively boring when looking at the lives of Jill Homer and her boyfriend (?) Geoff Roes. So, we'll just talk about them for now.

They are both kicking ass in their portions of the Iditarod. Again, you can follow along here. But here's the trimmed down version of what it says.

From 25 Feb:

"Jill Homer is setting a great pace and may be able to beat the womans record to Mcgrath. The current record is held by Kathi Hirzinger-Merchant at 5 days 7 hours and 48 minutes. The overall record is held by Chloe Lanthier-Brandner set in 1998 is 4 days 23 hours and 50 minutes."

From 26 Feb:

"Sharon reported that the first bikers, Carl Hutchings and James Leavesley, left Rainy Pass lodge at 12:35am. They were followed closely by the rest of the pack. A total of thirteen bikers went through the lodge in the early morning hours including the first woman.Jill Homer left the lodge this morning at 8:55am after arriving at 3:45am. She is still setting a great pace."

"Geoff Roes, The first foot racer arrived in Finger lake last night at 11:56pm."

None of this makes any sense without this map (remember they are stopping at McGrath):



Here are the checkpoint times for our heros:

CP 1 Yentna Station (mile 57)
Jill Homer 2-24 9:10pm 2-24 9:25pm
Geoff Roes 2-25 1:15am 2-25 6:55am

CP 2 Skwentna (mile 90)
Jill Homer 2-25 2:30am 2-25 6:18am
Geoff Roes 2-25 1:58pm 2-25 3:24pm

CP 3 Fingerlake (mile 130)
Jill Homer 2-25 3:00pm 2-25 4:00pm
Geoff Roes 2-25 11:56pm

CP 4 Puntilla (mile 165)
Jill Homer 2-26 3:45am 2-26 8:55am

Apparently, updates will be spotty at best at least through this next checkpoint (CP 5). I'm sure Geoff has left Fingerlake, but they don't post a time. He was running 20 miles a day in preperation for this, so I'm sure the tank isn't empty yet.

Reports are saying the snow is getting thicker and more powdery so the going should get slower. And apparently, many people are having trouble with moose not wanting to share the trail.

Good luck Jill and Geoff!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Shining and Snow Bikes

Okay, here goes...

Aubry and I watched The Shining last night. I have seen it several times in the past but Aubry had never viewed this cinematic masterpiece. She and her mother are not big fans of 'scary' movies and so there are many in this genre that have eluded her
to this point. But we're working on chipping away at this. We watched The Ring a few weeks ago. Although, I don't really care for horror movies, there's something about watching them on the wall with a projector, while you're curled up on the couch that makes them seem more appealing.

Aubry chose to watch most of it with her fingers crisscrossed in elaborate patterns before her eyes. I, however, love how Jack Nicholson has mastered the portrayal of people that are a little off kilter. His facial expressions, his body language and probably most convincingly, his hair all come together to make it impossible to not believe everything he's handing the viewer. Beautiful.

Switching gears (you'll get the pun later)... For those of you who aren't following the adventures of Jill Homer, you should be. For the back story, check out her blog. Jill is a jounalist in Juneau, Alaska who is obsessed with riding her bike in terrible conditions. Presently, she is slogging her way 350 miles across Alaska in the bike portion of the Iditarod. You read me right... And it seems that she's doing pretty darn well.

"Jill Homer is the first Woman into Yentna at 9:10 if she has a good race it is possible to beat the womans record to Mcgrath." This is a snippet from the website Alaska Ultrasport where updates may be found about the racers. I encourage you to seek this out, follow along and be there, at least through cyber-space, to cheer her as she crosses the finish line. Or if you like my blog more, and who doesn't, I'll relay anything I find.

Good Luck Jill!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hummer vs Rusty Bumper

Okay, here goes...

So, the other day I was at work when one of my co-workers bumped into my truck with his Hummer. I've read, and do believe, that vehicles like the Hummer are causing a great deal of havoc around the world, but this is much more acute and much closer to home than I ever imagined. The damage was minimal and my rear bumper got the worst end of the deal. The side of the bumper was dented in and the tail light on that side was cracked as well.

After contacting his insurance company, I was asked if I needed my rental to be another truck or would a car suffice. I said that a car would be fine, thinking I haven't driven a car in years and I could use a break on gas. When I arrived to switch out my truck for the rental, I was suprised to be handed the keys to a Dodge Ram 4-door full sized truck. Now, this didn't really fit into my gas saving idea (although it is FlexFuel compatible), but who am I to complain.

I received the call yesterday updating me on the situation with my truck... remember it? They are replacing my rusty bumper with a brand new one, replacing the tail light and I think they may even be repainting one of the rear panels. This one has started to show the signs of rust creeping along under the paint. Woo Hoo!!!

Anyway... we're still watching Sopranos episodes. Season 5, Carmela just filed for divorce. I know it's the push to the end, but the plot is thickening even more!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Grace Potter and The Nocturnals

I'm going to see these kids tonight...

This video is from YouTube and I don't know how to post it here. So, here's the link. You won't be sorry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DZ5jOwdUBA

Thursday, February 14, 2008

3 Beauts: Hockey, Neat Photo Settings, Hot Tea

I thought I'd take a stab at the 3 Beautiful Things blog, but with a cell phone, photo twist.







Getting into hockey games for free.







The negative effect of cell phone cameras.





Black and white pictures of black tea.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Back From The Hole

Okay, here goes...

Well, we returned from our vacation last Saturday evening with heavy hearts. As with most vacations, we walked back into an immense amout of work. Being a week behind is always great to come back to. Which is my excuse for not posting anything since being back. So, as a bit of a peace offering to appease both of you readers out there, I offer up this photo montage in hopes that is will make up for and take the place of my usual long-winded 'Ramblings'. Enjoy.

A look up the mountain...


A look down the mountain...




We did accomodate the paparazzi...

We went to Yellowstone with snowmobiles to see Old Faithful...



We smiled... then crashed...


We ate some...










But we drank more.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Big Heading To Wyoming

Okay, here goes...


So, as I mentioned in yesterday's entry, Aubry and I went to see Big Head Todd and The Monsters last night. So after getting off work and doing a few last minute things in preperation for our trip, we headed on down to what has become a bit of a home-away-from-home for me lately; The NorVa. Still the only place where I've caught a live act since moving to Virginia.


After braving the traffic and crowds brought into town by the Reba McIntyre and Kelly Clarkson concert a block away, we made it to The NorVa. I was a little nervous about what kind of 'seat' we were going to get, since doors opened at 7 and we weren't able to get there until after 7:15. Luckily, it wasn't a problem.


The opening band was The Ben Phelps Project. Not a bad little quintet out of the Hampton Roads area. Good vocals and the potential of a good lead guitarist. The only thing I'll take away from them is that even though their drummer is talented, he was too much for the band. I realize the drummer shouldn't always be pushed to the back and told to keep the beat, but when the band is focused on songwriting and guitar, he should not try to be center stage all the time.


After a somewhat brief intermission, the stage was set for the main event. The band came out to, suprisingly, little fanfare and jumped right into a blazing set. Rapidfire guitar changes were the only breaks in a very solid hour and a half set consisting of over twenty songs. They were pushing the new stuff but stayed true, as any good band should, to what got them here and what got the fans in the door. I caught myself several times in a bit of disbelief that I was seeing a band that had been a part of my life for so long.


Although I had never seen them live before last night, I had an idea of what Todd Park Mohr would be like on stage. There's a sound or a way of playing guitar and signing that has always come across to me in recordings, that makes it sound so effortless and smooth. It doesn't happen often but Johnny Cash had it, Jimi Hendrix had it, Stevie Ray Vaughan had it, Roy Orbison had it and Todd Park Mohr has it. I know that Big Head Todd has never acheived the widespread acclaim that these others have but I think that may be intentional. I also know that when Mohr would grin and step back to the mic after ripping through a solo the wallpaper in the place would begin to peel off and the rock n' roll would be dripping from the ceiling.


I think I've said enough.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Out Of Focus

Okay, here goes...

It is 7:35 in the morning and I'm already having trouble staying on task. Perhaps it is because I didn't get a lot of sleep last night... but I did. Maybe I didn't eat a good breakfast... but I did. Maybe I deviated from my normal, set morning routine... but I didn't. I haven't had any caffeine yet this morning, but that's not usually a problem. Hmmm, what could it be? Could it be that I'm going to see Big Head Todd and The Monsters at the NorVa tonight?! They are one of the bands that I have listened to for most of my life yet still haven't seen live!

Yeah, that will be cool. But wait... it gets better! I get off work at noon tomorrow and hop in my truck with my best gal and my dog for a 9 hour drive down to my parents' house (that's not the good part). The next morning (Saturday) dad will drop Aubry and me off at the airport for our trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming!!!

Oh man, I can't wait!!! I get excited about things but rarely do I get this excited. I usually don't catch myself with clinched fists, shaking my arms and smiling ear-to-ear, but I have several times over the past few weeks.

It looks like the weather is going to be a bit milder but keep snowing, while we're there. I don't mind the freezing cold, but if it wants to hang around the low to mid-20's and keep snowing, that's fine with me.

Anyway, I'm going to caffeinate and try to focus. I'm sure I'll be back before too long and if not, I'll try to keep this thing going while in Jackson. Hopefully with lots of great pictures.

Hasta...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Good Days, Weird Dreams

Okay, here goes...

The past week, or so, since I last posted has been pretty good. All the plans for the trip to Jackson Hole are coming together. I picked up my snowboard from its spa treatment Saturday and ordered a bag online. We were going to knock around town visiting all the interesting stores we had always wanted step into, but after a few we decided to spend our day laying on the couch watching episodes of The Office on NetFlix. That ended up being a great decision... what a great way to recharge.

Sunday was a bit of a bust. I laid around and enjoyed not having anything to do for the first time in awhile. I did go get a cup of coffee and read the paper, but that was about it.

One thing of note was that I had a really odd dream last night. The first thing I remember is my dog coming in with a bee (similar to a honey bee) on her back. I didn't think much of it until, somehow, I started getting bees under my skin. I'm not sure how they got there but they really hurt until I smacked my arm and killed them. I don't remember them ever stinging me but the sensation of them crawling under my skin and the visual of the lumps on my arms moving was awfully unnerving.

I looked up what the dream means and bees are a sign of good luck. Which makes me happy that one was on my dog. However, if they sting, it can be a bad sign. Again, I don't remember them stinging but they did hurt like hell. I think there is an obvious 'under my skin' connotation but I'm not sure why luck or being busy and productive would annoy me. I do know I've been a little anxious and nervous about this trip to Jackson going off without a hitch. Perhaps thats why... I just hope it's not an omen sort of dream.

Anyway, I know my arms were itchy with that creepy-crawly feeling when I awoke.

Does anyone out there know anything about dreams? Can you fill me in on this one?

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Return Of Metal

Okay, here goes...

This weekend was a full one. Saturday, Aubry and I bellied up to the counter for breakfast at our normal Saturday AM spot. From there we went out to make the first real, hands-on preperations for our trip to Jackson Hole at the end of this month. I dropped my snowboard off for a wax and edge. Aubry is in the market for a used pair of skies so we hit up a used sporting good store. In the end, she didn't make the jump and we were off to races. We had tried to get up in time to eat and catch an early movie but couldn't get out of bed. So, we were speeding to catch a later showing of The Golden Compass.





I was not that impressed with the film, but didn't really have a great deal of faith going into the theatre. It looked good, but what got me into it was how much flack it had received from the religious right (reich?). I really didn't see what they were talking about, but to each his own.


Last evening was spent in the loving arms of a heavy metal mosh pit care of Rob Zombie and the NorVa (thenorva.com). For anyone who has never seen Rob Zombie or has never seen the inside of the NorVa, allow me to paint you a picture. Rob Zombie is known for his elaborate and over the top visuals to accompany his music which has similar characteristics. The first time I saw Zombie was several years ago at a large festival show with a huge stage to hold all his exploits. There were explosions and fire shooting out of ever nook and cranny. Dancers shaking their money makers all around and at the center of it all, a wall of heavy, fuzzy noise that made my bones shake with joy, like few others have since.


Now, the NorVa is a small venue with a big reputation. They list the stage as 4.5 ft. high, 36 ft. wide, and 26 ft deep. The club itself holds 1500 of your closest friends on two floors. The main floor is where I usually reside but there is a balcony that surrounds the main floor on three sides.



That being said, Rob Zombie in that small space was incredible. No fire or explosions but a good time non-the-less. I would like to mention something that has started pissing me off at shows over the past couple years. How everyone thinks they need to take a pictures with their cell phones throughout the entire show. Along with the asthematic and/or prissy girls that line the front rail, its almost impossible to get to the front or see the band from the pit. I have no problem with girls in the pit. In the late 90's, when you started seeing more girls rubbing elbows in the sweaty mass, I was glad to see those brave and strong women down there. But now, the pink-wearing girly-girls have started getting to the show well before doors open and bringing their gym rat boyfriends to try to hold off the tide so they can hold up their cell phones and take pictures all night. This is a call to arms against people that have no business on the rail! It must end! Oh yeah, and making out with your clingy, needy, hicky-giving girlfriend before a metal show... this guy has to go too.

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year, New Emotions, Old Emotions

Okay, here goes...


I haven't posted in several days, so I'll catch everyone (both of you) up quickly, except for the long, drawn out bit at the end.


Aubry and I had to work New Year's Eve. We went to a great tapas place, Bodega, for dinner. It's our favorite place to eat out and we go there for most any celebratory meal. If you ever go, get a Captain's Choice cocktail. Sort of like a mojito without the trendy guilt.


After that, we tried to hit up a bar near the house, but alas... it was closed. What!? I don't know. So, we went back to the house and lounged around looking up meaningful and/or funny songs on YouTube for a couple hours. I was keeping warm with Jack and Coke so by the time the cork was popped on the bubbly, I was feeling pretty good. We decided to go with expensive champagne this year and we learned that although it was not as sweet, it pretty much tastes the same as the cheap stuff.


Anyway, I rang in the New Year with emotions that I haven't had in a long time; hope for the upcoming year, love and contentedness. And more important than feeling love is feeling loved. Despite having been in a 6 1/2 year relationship about a year and a half ago, I don't remember feeling those emotions. Perhaps I never did.


Which brings me to what has been bothering me over the last few days. When my ex girlfriend (we'll call her Helga) and I went out separate ways, we only did so in a relationship sense. We had been together for over 6 years and continued to live together. Despite wanting to get away, I really couldn't afford to. Then, come to find out, one of my best friends, James, was interested in her. He came to me and asked me if I had a problem with seeing her and I tried as best I could to warn him away from her. In the end, I think he had been very lonely for quite awhile and had been watching most of his friends enjoy (or not) the company of someone for years.


I put my feelings aside, as I am known to do, and said that I had no right to tell him who he could pursue. I guess in the end the situation really motivated me to make the move to another state which has resulted in my new found happiness.


The reason I bring this up, is because I hear now, although he hasn't told me, that he wants to buy a house with her. But, all the vibes that I get from him with regards to his emotional state, are negative. I don't think he's really happy. I think he's just tired of being alone. Helga has mastered, with the teaching of her mother, making someone feel guilty for not doing whatever she wants done without the person realizing it. It took a year and 500 miles for me to realize this. She makes you believe that you need her and putting up with her shit is worth it. Now she's trying to pull me back into that by giving me a guilt trip about my dog (that I got just after we started living together and still have).


Since this all started, part of me has tried to keep their relationship at arms length while maintaining my friendship with James. But now I feel like I should talk to him and try to dissuade him from making, what I feel, is a huge mistake. Should I? What right do I have butting into someones life? I guess I'm scared of losing one of the only two really close friends that I have. And I can't see myself continuing our friendship with her in the picture but I don't want to tell him that. Maybe I should...


If anyone out there reads this... feel free to lend your advice. I think I could use some help on this one.