Entries categorized "Life in General"

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Esta undecision me molesta...

Taking MRhé's advice, I'm writing a post while things are slow in the office. In fact things are slower than slow. Things are dead around here. Slower than dead. It's zombie slow around here. In fact this office itself may possibly be zombified because i can feel it sucking the life out of me. If the zombie office gets me, do me a favor and put a bullet in my head because that's the only way to kill a zombie. And I don't want to spend eternity shuffling around the office decomposing and looking for people to bite. There are no bite-worthy people around here, even for a zombie. Maybe I'd feel differently if I worked in an office like Josh Harnett's in that flick 40 Days and 40 Nights, but I don't think an office like that exists anywhere in real life. So there you go.

This office is a ghost town. There are tumbleweeds rolling down the hallways and I think there are like two other people here besides me. My manager is out on vacay and a bunch of other people took the week off as well. I am saving my vacation for later in the month, thus, I am here watching the clock and trying to be somewhat productive. Time does not go by this slowly at home, that is for sure. Friday night seems to morph into Sunday night in the blink of an eye but 15 min of office time feels like an hour.

What does all this mean? Is there a point here?

Basically I'm trying to determine what the best time of escape might be that is as early as possible but is not too early. Frankly I'd like to leave now but I think that it is too soon. But what if I did? Would anybody even notice? Would anybody even care? What would happen? Would I get in trouble? I can hear car-keys getting picked up and office drawers closing around me as I write this.

Should I stay or should I go now? Come on and let me know because this indecision's bugging me.

Life is such a mystery at times...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hopefully I don't do something dumb while driving to a site with my boss today...

Happy Friday everyone! We made it. Was it just me or did this week seem to really kind of drag on? I don't know, but it did for me.

Just gotta get through today and the weekend is here.

I have to go visit a customer today which I am absolutely THRILLED about. Not. And my boss is coming with me so that means that the chance of me saying something stupid quadruples. As my friend said to me the other day, 'Yeah, you do have that whole 'honesty' thing.. just don't talk and you're good'.

Ok. That's kinda hard to do when you're in a car with somebody for four hours... I'll just use some corporate buzz words and talk in corporate-speak and I think I'll be ok. Peel the onion! Low hanging fruit! I'll ping you on that!! (Ug.)

In the meantime, I've got a new story up at Faster Than The WORLD today so head on over and check that shit out!

Update:
Well I'm back, at 3:30 PM on a Friday. Can't complain about that! AND I didn't say anything dumb, as far as I know, so yay me! Driving down to the site with my boss was not bad. We just talked about movies and stuff.

I have to say, as managers go my current boss is pretty good. I've had some pretty horrendous managers over the years, some that have literally given me nightmares, so I should not complain about my current boss or give an impression that he is a bad guy. And no he does not know about this site (as far as I know) so I'm not just saying that. Ha.

Have a good weekend!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Longest Day of the Year!

Happy Longest Day of the Year!

As much as I enjoy the fact that today is a very long day here in the good ol' Northern Hem, and we are lucky to have the sun shining here where I am today, I can't help but be reminded that the days start getting shorter from this point forward. Dammit. I think before the days start getting shorter we should get a week of nice, sunny 12 hour days first. It should be a requirement. Then after that, things can start getting shorter again.

Speaking of the days getting shorter, my kids start their Summer Vaycay today. I asked my Wife what the heck she is going to do with them now that they are home all day and she told me she had no idea. Maybe it's time to start learning about the character building values of doing house-hold chores. Ha. Somehow I don't think that will go over too big with them... Maybe a trip to the town pool and the playground would be more to their liking. Ya think?

The Sox took two out of three from Atlanta and are now back to a nice double digit lead in the A.L. East. I like that. I like it when the lead is two digits. When it's only a one digit lead, things feel too close. Anything 10 or over is nice.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial..

A friend of mine e-mailed these to me (and probably 165 other people, including you) but they made me laugh (or LOL) and gave me a needed mini-break from the mundane-ness of the office. So due to a substantial lack of anything else worthwhile or post-worthy, I am posting this list here for your enjoyment and LOLs.

THINGS YOU'D LOVE TO SAY OUT LOUD AT WORK

1. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of shit.

2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.

3. How about never? Is never good for you?

4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.

5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.

6. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.

7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.

8. I don't work here. I'm a consultant.

9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a damn word you're saying.

10. Ahhh...I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again...

11. I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.

12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.

13. I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don't give a damn.

14. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you

16. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.

17. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.

18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.

19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?

20. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.

21. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.

22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial. (*My personal fav. LOL)

23. And your cry-baby [email protected] opinion would be...?

24. Do I look like a people person?

25. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.

26. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.

27. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.

28. If I throw a stick, will you leave?

29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.

30. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.

31. I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.

32. A cubicle is just a padded cell with a door.

33. Can I trade this job for what's behind door #1?

34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

35. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?

36. Chaos, panic, & disorder-my work here is done.

37. How do I set a laser printer to stun?

38. I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted a salary.

39. Who lit the fuse on your tampon?

40. Oh I get it... like humor... but different.

Friday, June 15, 2007

It's just not Friday without my Dunkin's sammitch in the morning..

Earlier this morning I walked out the door, jumped in the car and drove off, completely oblivious to the fact that my wallet was still sitting on the kitchen table. By the time I realized I had forgotten my wallet at home I was already half-way to work, so I am Dunkin's sammitch-less today.

It feels very, very weird not having my Dunkin's sammtich this morning. My Reward Friday routine is fully disrupted.

Thankfully I have plenty of gas in the car to get home because that is totally something I would do, walk out the door without my wallet and discover that it is missing when the 'hey dummy you're almost out of gas' light came on in my car..

In other un-interesting news, today is a half-day for me and I am leaving the office early! Woop! (Half-day? Must be nice...)

Today my kids are 'graduating' from pre-school and this afternoon the school is having a kid's parade to celebrate, so I will be heading out to see that extravaganza. I am not really sure why pre-schoolers need a graduation ceremony / parade, but they have fun with it so there you go. Good enough for me. And if it gets me out of work early on a Friday? Bonus!

Have a good weekend. Hopefully the Red Sox can remember how to win a game or two against The Giants over the next few days. It's Zito vs. Yo-Yo Tavarez tonight, or as I call it, Wack-job A vs. Wack-job B. Hopefully the Red Sox will come out on top in this battle of wack jobs. (Why does that sentence read as somewhat questionable to me? Hmmm. I can't wait to see how that phrase affects my search engine referrals. Phht.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Never grow old, The Evil Powers of Rock and Roll...

Social DSo I bought my Social Distortion tix for the July show in Hampton N.H. tonight. So what if it's like a two hour drive or whatever.

AND I will have a special guest. Yes, for the first time in years, I will not be going to a show alone, unless you count the George Strait show I went to recently. My Wife came with me to that one... but there is usually not a pit at George Strait shows like there is at Social D.

So I will be there. With bells on, as we used to say. Fuck yea.

Update:
Check it out here is a you tube video of Social D's new song, Far Behind. Great tune. Can't wait to see these guys again!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Decisions, decisions...

So my favorite band, Social Distortion is coming back around on tour but it looks like the closest they will come to my area is Hampton Beach N.H.

That is a friggin HAUL from my house, not that Boston or Providence R.I. are exactly close though... Plus Hampton Beach is always jammed with people. I used to go there a lot back in the day, yo. We used to drink all night and then decide to drive up there. We'd usually get there just as the sun was coming up. We'd spend the day there at the beach and I would get burned to a crisp and spend about 20 bucks worth of quarters in the video game arcade. When roller blades first came out I got a pair. I thought they were extremely cool because unlike four-wheeled roller skates, roller blade wheels are in-line, so it was like skating in ice skates. I would bring them with me and spend hours skating up and down the strip at Hampton Beach. Blades were brand new then and people would be like, what the heck are those things! Ah youth.

One time I went up there with a buddy of mine, two girls and a bottle of Jack Daniels. By the time we got up to the beach the Jack was gone, the girls had had enough of us, and they threw us out of their car and left us standing on the side of the road. Obviously we were not getting laid that night. 'Ok. Now what do we do?' Start walking. Somebody will come by. Lo and behold, as we're walking down the road, who drives by but one of our friends from back home in his sky-high lifted Toyota pickup truck. Saved! It turned out some friends of mine had rented a beach house that weekend so we crashed with them.

The next day I woke up in the morning, semi-hungover, dry-mouthed and starving hungry. I asked my buddy who was renting the house, 'do you have anything to eat?'

'All there is is relish and hot-dog rolls.'

So I preceded to make a relish-dog which consisted of a hot-dog roll with pickle relish inside. And a beer. The beer was ok. The relish-dog was not. 'This is fucking gross!' I yelled and threw it against the front door where it hit with a loud, 'SPLAT'.

'YOU FUCKIN ASS'OLE!!' my friend shouted at me, 'What the hell is the matter with you! We're renting this place!' I just laughed at him, 'Ha ha ha! Got anything else?'

I was not a total dick. I cleaned up the mess, though, as I recall, for various other kegger related reasons we were all booted out of that house later that weekend. Don't look at me! It was not all my fault! And at least I got a ride home. Hmmm...

Wow I did not really mean for this to turn into a reminiscing post but there you go, a brief glimpse into the days of my youth. Those days are gone and now I'm feeling old as I try to decide if I want to drive up there to Hampton to see Social D.

By the way I finally got around to watching 'Another State of Mind' the other night. Very good flick. Even if you are not into Social D, Youth Brigade or Minor Threat, the story itself, which follows the adventures (and mis-adventures) of Youth Brigade and Social Distortion's first 'tour' across the U.S. and Canada in a beat up and eventually, broken down old school bus, is great. It's a very interesting behind the scenes look at those bands in their early days and seeing a young, tattoo free Mike Ness working on a 'new' song, 'Another State of Mind', throughout the movie, is cool to see. It's definitely worth an add to your Netflix queue. And be sure to watch the version with the commentaries too! You won't be sorry.

Update:
I guess all the bands want to hit vacation spots this summer. I was looking at Clutch's site to see if they are coming around the area and they are going to play a show up in Portland Maine in August. Portland Maine?? No way I am driving up there.

I'm still on the fence about the Social D show in N.H. But I am leaning towards going. Fuck it.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A sincere and heart felt thank you on Memorial Day

I know it's late in the day at this point but I wanted to send out a sincere and heart-felt THANK YOU on this Memorial Day to all the Men and Women in the U.S. Armed Forces, both past and present.

I have read a few posts here and there online asking if the average citizen remembers and appreciates the sacrifice that the Men and Women in our all volunteer Armed Forces are making on our behalf, and I just wanted to say that our family is truly grateful for everything that those Men and Women have done, and are doing for us right now at this very moment.

To all the Veterans, Thank You.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rock, rock till you drop... (Some stone wall pics)

Hey everybody! I hope everyone out there is having an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. Yesterday was a very good day. I got my stone retaining wall completed and I also removed a ton of dead branches and brush from an area of the yard we are going to fix up. I was done by around 3 PM so I got to spend the remainder of the day getting a little relaxing done, hanging out with the family, listening to some tunes and having a few Corona's. Nice.

Here are some pics of the wall in case you are interested to see how it turned out.

Here is before. I had already dug out the side of the hill at this point.
Before: Very muddy and messy

And here is after:
Much nicer..

Next we will put some mulch on the hill and then my Wife is going to do some planting up there. That is her department, flowers and plants. I do the grunt work, she does the details. Believe it or not, every one of those rocks I dug up from my own yard. We have a lot of rocks here. You can't stick a shovel in the ground without hitting one.

Over the next few weeks we are going to work on fixing up that dirt area behind the wall and make it nice. If you compare the two pictures, you'll see all the rocks are gone, because they are now a wall, and I got rid of all the old logs and junk in the back too. That whole area used to be the 'construction zone', where I would pile all the rocks and dirt and other stuff from all the yard-work. We are going to turn it from a construction zone into a fun zone. Because we like fun.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Updates from last week...

Well I still am chained to the desk until I get a new wireless router. I'm thinking of getting the Airport Express.

In the mean time, chained to the desk for updates.

Last week I did the following:

- Went to a Red Sox game (Tue night game. The Sox lost 7-2. Rats.) courtesy of Iain of The Baseball Desert, who had an extra ticket for the game.

- Met Iain from The Baseball Desert.

- Met Beth's Dad.

- Met Beth's Fiance'.

- Met Jerry Remy and got his autograph.

- Had a Rem-Dog for the first time. My god. This was the most biggest hot-dog I had ever seen in my life. It was the size of a keilbassa. Good thing I like hot-dogs.

- Did not meet Beth. Supposedly she was in Chicago for work but I think she is avoiding me. We were supposed to meet at a Pats game once too. Hmmm. (If you read this, just kidding Beth!) So now I know everybody in Beth's family except for Beth, which is kind of funny.

It was great to meet all those guys as I had never met anybody from the mysterious web-o-sphere before, so that was cool. It was great fun having a few beers, getting some Rem-Dogs and going to the game. The Sox lost but we stayed right to the last out. There is always hope, after all.

- Had to go on a trip for work. That was not fun. It was only one day but it was a long day. 20 hours total. On the flight home the plane got delayed for an hour but I'm not complaining because it almost got canceled and that would have been the suckiest of suck-ness had that happened. But it didn't so I lucked out.

- This weekend I started building the third and as far as I know, to my knowledge, unless there's something my Wife is not telling me, final retaining wall in my back yard. Actually this one was all my idea. Despite the rain I've got it 90% done this weekend. I just have to find a couple nice flat cap-stones and back fill it and it is done. Look for before and after pics some time in the next week once it's been completed.

I miss my wireless interents.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

That's no moon, it's a base-station

Hey what's up blog? Long time no speak! Where have I been? Well ya see, the problem is that my wireless network is broken and it looks like it can't be fixed by conventional methods. Yeah, I do have the land-line plugged in to the computer so I am not completely offline, but who wants to sit at a desk to write? Not me, that's for sure.

The problem is with my wireless router, which is an Apple Airport Base-Station, circa 2001 (a.k.a the 'Snow' base-station). I can't get a signal on either of the two laptops that we have, the Mac or the PC. I've tried doing all the normal sofware re-set stuff on the router but none of that has worked. Thinking the dang thing is just plain fried, I called Apple to see what it would cost to potentially get it fixed. They told me that my base-station is so old that it's been end of life'd, meaning, no service, no parts, no nothing. I'm basically shit out of luck, time for a new base-station.

Great.

So, since the thing is basically a paper weight at this point, I figured what the heck I may as well try and fix it myself, so took it apart and fiddled with some do-dads and messed with a thing-a-ma-bobber and un-plugged some wires and plugged them back in again and then I put it all back together. I was not expecting any improvement but lo and behold, I actually got a signal after plugging it back in and I thought to myself, 'Wow! I am the MAN!' My kids were psyched. 'HOORAY! WE CAN PLAY WEB-KINS AGAIN!!'

At that point I thought I was good to go and back in action but unfortunately that only lasted about 30 min and then the signal was gone again. I then tried the tried and true repair method of punching the base-station and whacking it with the side of my hand several times but that did not fix the problem either. Still no signal, still no love from the base-station. And I had always treated it so nicely, too, keeping it hidden away underneath my Wife's dresser, where nobody could bother it or do it any harm... Sigh.

I'm going to try taking it apart one more time just for the heck of it. If that doesn't work I'll have to suck it up and buy a new wireless router. That blows.

The people at the Apple Store that I had spoken with earlier had tried to make me feel better by telling me that after 6 years I had gotten my money's worth out of this base-station but that does not make me feel better at all. This sucks! Rotten base-station...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Sox make Moms everywhere happy... Dice goes full 9..

Hey what's up everybody! Hope all the Moms out there had a great Mother's Day yesterday. We had the Moms up to our house for a little Mother's Day brunch. Nothing fancy. It was bagels, muffins, that sort of thing. My Sister-In-Law made some super-good smoothies and also some super, SUPER good guacamole salsa dip, which I ate way too much of. We had a nice sunny day, though it was a little cool, but it was nice enough to go spend some time in the afternoon out in the yard.

After everyone went home, I listened to The Red Sox game on the radio as the kids were outside playing. It was not sounding good for The Sox as the O's had the lead for most of the game, until the 9th inning. I have to be honest, in the bottom of the 9th, I was not expecting much. If the Sox could tack on a run or two to prevent the shut-out, that would be cool, but I did not have a lot of hope in the Sox pulling out a win being down by 5 in the 9th. Still, I continued listening, as there is always hope, however small the amount.

As the bottom of the 9th inning started, it looked like the Sox were going to get something going, and boy did they ever, as they amazingly erased the 5 run deficit and eventually came back to win the game in the bottom of the 9th.

As the inning started and the Sox were advancing around the bases, I began to get a little antsy. I could not just sit and listen so I got up and got a broom and started to sweep around the patio to help relieve the tension. I am not good at just sitting and relaxing anyway. I can usually sit down for about 5 min, then I feel the need to get up and be doing something.

So I swept the patio and listened to the game. As Tek came to the plate with the bases loaded I went to the shed and put the broom away. For some reason I felt that if I listened too closely or with too much... enthusiasm, I might break the spell. I had to let The Baseball Gods know that I was not overly worried about this 9th inning rally. So I put the broom away and nonchalantly came back to the radio, quietly saying, 'Come on..' Next thing you know, after a double by Tek, the Sox were were within striking distance.

The Red Sox batters continued to find ways to get on base as Lugo's turn came up and he came to the plate. 'Come on, Lugo...' As the play unfolded I listened to Joe Castiglione's exciting call on the radio. Lugo got a hit and reached first on a slide as the feed from former Sox fave Kevin Millar was bouncing off the glove of O's pitcher, Chris Ray, who was covering first.

With Joe Castiglione yelling 'The Red Sox WIN' in the background, I was jumping up and down in the back yard yelling 'The Sox WIN!' myself, as my Wife and Kids looked on as if I had lost my mind. 'The Sox win 6-5!!'

Wow. That was awesome.

And as I write this, tonight's game has turned out pretty good too. I only caught bits and pieces of it between commercials during '24', but Diceman avoided the meltdown and went the full 9 for the win tonight. My Sister-In-Law was at the game tonight and it was a good one to see. Nice.

I will be at tomorrow's game and it is going to be extra cool as I will be meeting up with internationally famous Red Sox writer, Iain of The Baseball Desert for a few pre-game brews and maybe a Red Dawg or two. I have never met another Red Sox blawger, or any other blawger for that matter, so this should be a lot of fun. I am looking forward to it.

Not only that, but when I told Iain I'd be interested in having a beer with him during his trip out to Boston, he informed me that he had an extra game ticket, and would I be interested in taking it?

'Um. Hmm. Let me think about it for a.. OKI'LLTAKEIT!!'

Thursday, May 10, 2007

NHL Conference Finals Picks and other awesome things...

With the NHL Conference Championships starting tonight, here are my picks, (i.e., who I want to win).

West:
Detroit Red Wingers vs. Anaheim Ducks - Ducks. Ok I am fully disappointed that The Sharks did not make it into the Conference Finals. Plus I hate the Red Wings and thus, hate to see them advance. I can't give you a reason why I hate the Wings so much. It is a completely irrational hate, especially considering they don't even play in my main team's (The B's) conference, though I think it might stem from their consistently preventing my favorites in the West from making the Cup finals several years ago. Plus I hate their red uniforms. So there.

Like I said, totally irrational.

It's kind of lame that I'm really rooting against The Wings more than I am rooting for The Ducks, but it is what it is. There's some kinda love and there's some kinda hate.

East:
Buffalo Sab-Rays (That's how I pronounce Sabres) vs Ottawa Senators: Ottawa - Ottawa has been my 'team' in the East since the Playoffs started, so I'm sticking with them. Plus, have you ever seen that movie with Jim Carey where The Sabes win The Stanley Cup and there is rioting in the streets of Buffalo? I would hate to see that happen in Buffalo. Rioting, rubber bullets, explosions... it's no fun.. except maybe if you are watching a Jim Carey flick... What is that movie called again? Jim Carey is like a TV reporter or something who goes to cookie baking contests and stuff and makes weird faces... Oh well I can't remember. So ya. Go Sens!

In other news, things that are awesome:

The Weather:
The Weather has been SOOO awesome the last few days and I so forgive Mother Nature for that rotten weather we had earlier this Spring. It's shorts and t-shirt weather and everything is coming alive outside. I love seeing all the green popping out on the trees and hearing the bird's chirping and watching the plants beginning to grow in my Wife's garden. Totally awesome. We put out some bird feeders and kids love them, though my wild-boy Son likes to chase the birds away, laughing devilishly the whole time. But the birds seem to have a thing for free bird seed so they keep coming back. It's all good.

The Sox:
Josh Beckett is awesome right now. Totally awesome. I had expectations that he would be a better pitcher this year, but I never expected this. 7-0, 2.51 ERA. WOW. Incredibly WOW.

Also awesome has been the Red Sox play in general. They are consistently winning series after series. It's great to see. Even though technically 'it's still early', this sets us (I like to include myself in with the team) up for the rest of the season. And hey, no meltdown for The Diceman last night. Next thing you know, Wake will be getting insane amounts of run support. That would be nice, especially since he's facing Halladay tonight in Toronto.

What else... hmm.

Well, I have to say, life has been a lot better recently. For the first time in I don't know when, I don't have any life sucking projects looming in front of me. The basement is done, the yard is pretty much squared away. I've got jobs to do here and there, that is never going to end, but there's nothing that is going to take every weekend of the summer and turn my life into a grouchy, all I ever do is work, hell. It's a really cool feeling! I had forgotten what it was like to have a weekend arrive and NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING and have my Wife ask, 'What's on the agenda this weekend? and my reply be, 'Well, I'd like to mow the grass.. other than that, nothing! You want barbeque chicken and margaritas for dinner?'

Oh yeah I like it.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Run Support request...

The Wife and Kids are off visiting the in-laws and I am left alone at home to my own devices. It's Friday night baby. What does that mean? I don't know but it's Friday.

I'm spending the evening practicing my guitar and watching the Red Sox / Twins. I'm spending some quality time with my bro, Les. Les Paul. We're best buds, don'tcha know? Through thick and thin, I can always count on good ol' Les. He fully kicks ass and he's never let me down.

Meanwhile, can we please get some run support for our man Tim Wakefield? Please??

That would be nice. No. strike that. That would be awesome... So let's make it happen people.

I've got the correct Sox cap on tonight and I'm just putting it in rally mode right from the start. Let's go you guys, Tim deserves a win... Because Wake is the MAN. Yeah, you know it.

GO SOX

Honk if you Honky-Tonk: George Strait at Mohegan Sun...

Last week my Wife and I had a rare night out with just the two of us as we traveled to the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT to see Ronnie Milsap and George Strait. This event also featured the equally rare occurrence of me attending a concert with someone other than myself.

After enjoying a quick, and, with no children present, oddly quiet and peaceful dinner, we headed South on I-395 to Uncasville, CT. The ride was about two hours though a stretch of Connecticut farm country.

Ronnie Milsap was the opener for George Strait. The show was scheduled to start at 8PM and we arrived shortly thereafter.

When we got into the arena, Ronnie had started his set and he was just beginning one of his great songs, ‘Houston Solution’. We found our seats and sat down to enjoy the rest of the show.

Ronnie Milsap still has a great voice after many years and the crowd was very appreciative of his work, giving him a loud round of applause as each tune came to an end. There is something about Ronnie’s voice and they way it carries, it has a strength to it and a purity that sticks with you. I’ve still got several of the songs he played that night stuck in my head a week after the show.

One of the nice things about this show was that the stage was setup 'in the round' in the middle of the arena, so that you could get a good view of Ronnie and his band as they moved around to different parts of the stage. Ronnie's piano's were set up on our side of the stage so we were able to get a good, direct view of him for most of the show as he played. They also had big screens set up overhead as well, but I try to focus on the stage, not the screens, otherwise I feel like I'm just watching a TV show in an arena.

Ronnie did a some songs off of his latest cd, ‘My Life,’ including the song, ‘You Don’t Know My Love’ and the title track itself, ‘My Life,’ as well as several old faves. He ended the night with one of his most memorable songs and one of my personal favorites, 'Smoky Mountain Rain'. When the song was over he and his band headed off the stage, but, after a big round of applause, he came back out for one more song, a cover of the Stones' 'Honky-Tonk Women'. At the end of Ronnie's set he exited the stage to loud cheers and he seemed to truly appreciate the response. Ronnie Milsap is a living country legend and I am pretty glad that I can now say I got to see him live.

As the stage-crew began setting up for George Strait, my Wife and I decided to walk around a little and check the arena out. This was our first time coming to Mohegan Sun and I have to say, it is a really nice place to see a concert. Unlike some venues, where the performers are so far away they look like ants on stage and you need a set of binoculars to see what's happening from the upper levels, the arena at Mohegan Sun is small enough that there is not a bad seat in the place. Even in our seats which, of course, were in the upper levels, we could see everything on stage with no problem and could see the expressions on the musicians faces as they played..

It did not take long for the stage crew to setup for George Strait and just as we got to our seats, the lights came down to the enthusiastic applause of the crowd.

This was my third time seeing George Strait live. The previous times I had seem him were awesome shows so I had high expectations. George did not let me down. He walked onto the stage in his usual Wrangler blue jeans, button down shirt and large white cowboy hat.

George Strait

He got things going up-tempo right off the bat and started off the show with the song, 'Honk If You Honky-Tonk'. At each corner of the stage was a microphone and George worked his way around the stage between songs, so that each part of the arena could get a good view of him as he sang. He had a great, friendly demeanor with the crowd, stopping to shake hands with fans and let them take pictures.

George Strait has about 54 people in his band, 'The Ace In The Hole Band'. Ok, maybe not that many, but there are a lot of people on stage with him. There's bass, drums, fiddle, steel guitar, piano, keyboards, and multiple guitar players, who also do double duty with the fiddle and steel guitar as well, not to mention male and female backup vocals. For all those musicians, the band does not miss a beat. They were very tight and sounded great.

George did a great mix of new and old material, with songs such as, 'Check Yes or No', 'Amarillo By Morning', 'The Fireman', 'It Just Comes Natural', 'The Chair', 'I Can Still Make Cheyenne' and 'Unwound'. He played for a good two hours and sang close to 30 songs and his clear, clean vocals seemed to get stronger and richer as the night went on.

One of the things that makes George so great is that he does not need a lot of lights, props and stage effects to put on a great show. It's just him and his band performing, seemingly without effort, and his music is all that you need to enjoy the show.

There's a reason that I always refer to George as 'Pure Country' and it's not because that was the title of his movie back in the 90's (which was awesome by the way). Unlike so many of today's manufactured 'pop country music' singers, there are no gimmicks with George and his music. There is nothing fake about George Strait. He is the real thing, as real as it gets. A real-life signing cowboy who runs his own ranch and who not only hosts, but competes in the George Strait Team Roping Classic.

George ended the night with an extended version of 'The Cowboy Rides Away', as he made several rounds around the perimeter of the stage to shake hands and make contact with his fans. Even while the arena started to empty out, as many of the attendees were heading for the exits, the band continued playing and George was still going around and shaking hands with people. Awesome.

What a great night for my Wife and I. That show will be one that I will remember for a long time.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

George Strait set list from last week's show...

My Wife and I went to see George Strait a week ago today. What a great show! What can you say about George Strait? He is the best. The absolute best. 'Pure Country'.

George did a ton of songs and there were only about three of them that I didn't know, which was great. It helps that I have almost all of his albums..

The day after the show I tried to write down all the songs that George sang before I forgot them. Here is the list below. It's not in order and I'm missing a few songs that I just could not remember, plus I started to get mixed up the harder I thought about it. I started thinking, 'was this song one of the ones we listened to on the way home from the show, or was that one that he actually sang during the show?' but, in any case, this is most of them...

George started the night with 'Honk If You Honky-Tonk' and ended the night with 'The Cowboy Rides Away'. I wrote a review of the show that I'll have up here and also at Faster Than The World on Friday.

In the meantime, here's the list of the songs as best as I could remember them...

Honk If You Honky-Tonk
Check Yes or No
I Just Want to Dance With You
Run
Amarillo By Morning
The Fireman
The Chair
How 'Bout Them Cowgirls
Somewhere Down in Texas
Wrapped
Give It Away
I Can Still Make Cheyenne
Take Me Back To Tulsa
Milk Cow Blues
I Ain't Her Cowboy Anymore
The Seashores of Old Mexico
Texas
It Just Comes Natural
Cowboys Like Us
A Better Rain
I Hate Everything
Unwound
She'll Leave You With a Smile
Heartland
The Cowboy Rides Away

The only song he did not do that my Wife and I both missed was 'I Cross My Heart', which was our wedding song, but, we have seen him do that song before so no big deal. We had a great time.

I should mention that Ronnie Milsap opened for George and he was awesome. He still has a great voice and his songs are so good. I've had 'Houston Solution' and 'Smokey Mountain Rain' stuck in my head for a week now.

Check back for the review tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Rocky Balboa DVD won't play in my DVD player... One last update.

I've been getting a lot of hits from people looking for information on the 'Rocky Balboa' DVD not playing. When this problem first happened to me, I called the manufacturer of my DVD player, Kenwood, and told them what was happening. I had received 3 'Rocky Balboa' DVDs from Netflix and none of them played. The problem did not affect any other DVDs.

They told me they had gotten a few reports about this problem and that they would look into it and get back to me if they came up with any answers.

To be honest I was skeptical about ever hearing from them again, but to their credit, they actually called me back a few days later with some information. It turns out that there is indeed a problem with the DVDs themselves and it is not a problem with the players. The problem is caused by the copy protection on the DVDs.

They pointed me to this site which has some more detail about the issue as well as a phone number to call if you are having the problem.

So there you go, if you have a Sony Pictures DVD that won't play, it's probably due to a defect with the DVD itself, not your player. Good luck!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I appear to be having an early bout of mid-life crisis...

I want a bike. A motorcycle. I want one. I've never wanted one before, but now I do. And not because people I know ride them or are buying them, because that's not what it is. I want one because I want to feel the freedom and enjoyment that riding a motorcycle represents. The wind, the acceleration, the speed. The escape... The JOY.

And I don't want a bike so I can pass cars going 110 down the middle lane of the highway. I am not an idiot. I know better. You don't have to go fast to enjoy riding. Other people dump their bikes. That would never happen to me. Because I would be a careful driver. And the weather is getting so damn nice. Perfect for taking a little ride on a Saturday or taking the bike to work instead of the lame-mobile that I drive around in.

Plus, look at that thing. That is fucking cool dude! And I would look cool riding it, having fun, free from all constraint, except for the minor detail of obeying traffic laws.
GSX-R

Never mind that I don't know how to ride a motorcycle, or have any money, for anything at all, especially an expensive vroom vroom toy...

And where would I put it? I don't have a garage, and there's no room in the shed. I'd have to build something.

Details. Just details.

There's a bike just like that one sitting on the side of the road with a for sale sign on it that I drive past every day on my way home from work. Yesterday I stopped and wrote down the phone number. I'm thinking of calling just to find out what the going price is.

I want a bike. I know I can't have one. But I still want one anyway.

(Image Suzukicycles.com)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Who I'm rooting for in the Stanley Cup Semi's, George Strait tonight!

I never posted my picks for the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and now that the first round is over and the second round has started, I figure I better get my second round picks up quick before it's over too!Quest For The Cup

Note: These are the teams I am rooting for, not necessarily the teams I think will win.

EAST:
Buffalo Sabres vs NY Rangers: Rangers - For some reason I have always kind of liked the Rangers, even though they are a rival to the B's.

NJ Devils vs. Ottawa Senators: Sens - I hate the Devils and would root against them no matter who they were playing. It just so happens that I like the Senators, so hopefully this one works out for me.

West:
Detroit Red Wings vs San Jose Sharks: Sharks - I hate the Red Wings and would root against them no matter who they were playing. I like the Sharks because of the AHL connection with my home team, the Worcester Sharks, and also because I like Joe Thornton. And also because I would love to see the gnashing of teeth that would occur down on Causway St. if Joe is seen raising Lord Stanley's Cup over his head at the end. Yeah, I am vindictive like that sometimes...

Anaheim Ducks vs Vancouver Canucks: Ducks - To be honest I don't really care about this one but my friend Turtle is a Ducks fan, so I'm rooting for his team. And I really like the fun way that Ducks rhymes with Canucks.

So there you go, there's who I'm rooting for in the NHL Conference Semi-Finals.

In other news, I'm going to see George Strait tonight down at Mohegan Sun Casino. This is the concert I was supposed to take my Wife to back in March but it was post-poned because George had laryngitis. It was originally supposed to be on a Friday night which would have been cool. Unfortunately the rescheduled date is now a Thursday night, which is not quite so cool, since I have to work the next day, but it will still be fun and I am looking forward to it. George Strait has always been a big favorite of mine. I have most of his albums and this will be my 3rd time seeing him live. The first time I saw him, he was the opening act for Alabama. That was in the late 80's.. Sheesh. Way to make myself feel old. Anyway, it is always great to see George Strait play live and it will be nice to have a night out with my Wife.

(Image via NHL.com)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mission: Immaculate lawn... and a Red Sox sweep

I am dog tired right now. I've been busting my ass all weekend. Yesterday I spent the morning helping to move furniture. When I got back home I put together a play-house in the yard for the baby, who is now a toddler. Then after that, I did something, but can't remember what it was, except it involved physical labor of some kind from what I recall.

Next, I played with the kids in the yard. That was fun. And while all this was going on I listened to The Red Sox win another game against the Yankees. Nice.

Today I pretty much spent the day working on the lawn, raking up the old grass, de-thatching and cleaning up up leaves. I was going to practice my guitar tonight but my hands are too stiff. I've got my first sun-burn (working on my farmer's tan), I had my first t-shirt and shorts day and we had our first back-yard cookout with cheeseburgers and hot dogs. I'm hoping the nice weather is here to stay now.

And I'm hoping the Red Sox can sweep the Yankees tonight. Currently 3-0 MFY, top of the third... Let's Go Red Sox!

Tomorrow after work I've got to pick up some Scott's Step 1 to put down on the lawn and I need to get my wheel-barrow fixed. I went to use it today and one of the tires is flat and a clamp holding on the axle is broken. There is another stone wall in my near future so I'll have to get that taken care of quick!

I'm trying to get these projects done in the April - May time frame so that I can spend the summer taking it easy for once. We'll see how that goes...

In the meantime, it's still 3-0 MFY in the bottom of the 3rd. The Red Sox need to get some runs on the board to support The Diceman. Dice has pitched well in his last two games but the Sox bats have been silent. If the Sox bats don't wake up for him soon he's going to start to think people don't like him or something... (Yeah, right!)

GO SOX

Update:
And just like that, the Sox scored 2 runs and it's now 3-2 MFY, bottom of the 3rd... Keep em comin' boys!

Update 2:
Holy guacamole, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 3rd, Manny, Drew and Lowell have each come to the plate and hit solo home runs and The Red Sox have tied the game, 3-3.

Update 3:
Oh my god the Sox are scoring runs faster than I can type up these updates!! The Captain just hit another solo home-run. That is 4 batters, 4 solo homers. WOW! 4-3 Red Sox.

Wooop!

Ok, I'm afraid to stop typing now. If I keep typing, maybe the Sox will keep hitting balls out of the park...

Update 4:
No more of these things. The magic is gone. Willy Mo struck out to end the inning. 4-3 Sox. Now, let's keep it goin'

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Enough with the rain, jeeeez!

Damn I am SICK of this rainy weather. My sump pump has been running and last night I actually had nightmares about the power somehow going out and the pump not being able to work and the water rising higher and higher, flooding my basement.

I dreamt about going to Home Depot and Lowe's and every other hardware store in search of a generator and finding the stores closed or having no generators in stock. I dreamt that I called my Dad to borrow his generator and him not being able to let me use it for some kooky reason that I can't remember.

These crazy dreams had me tossing and turning all night. I'm gonna need some extra coffee today.

Here are all the songs about rain in my iPod. I think the last song in the list is appropriate...

A Better Rain - George Strait
Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain - Willie Nelson
Dorraine of Ponchartrain - Johnny Cash
Every Time The It Rains - Garth Brooks
Fool in the Rain - Led Zeppelin
Have You Ever Seen The Rain - Creedence
Here Comes The Rain Again - Eurythmics
It Can't Rain All the Time - Jane Siberry
Kentucky Rain - Elvis
Kisses in the Rain - Rick Braun
Louisiana Rain - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
The Rain Came Down - Steve Earle
Rain King - Sonic Youth
The Rain Song - Led Zeppelin
Rainbow Stew - Merle Haggard
Raining Blood - Slayer
Rainy Day, Dream Away - Jimi Hendrix
Red Rain - Peter Gabriel
Somewhere Over the Rainbow - Jimi Hendrix
Who'll Stop The Rain - Creedence

Monday, April 16, 2007

Rain, rain, go away...

It's been steadily raining (or snowing) around here for about 24 hours straight. When I got up this morning I went down to the basement to see how high the water is in the sump pump. It's getting up there. About another inch 1/2 and the pump will be clicking on.

I went outside and uncoiled the hose then I went back downstairs and clicked on the pump, just to make sure everything is going to work ok once the water gets high enough. Thankfully everything checks out and I can now go to work and not have to spend the day worrying about whether or not the sump pump is going to come on when it's supposed to, which my obsessive mind would have surely had done had I not made sure everything was ok prior to leaving.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow too. Rain, rain, go away. I want to get to work on my yard. I've got a bunch of outdoor projects to do this year and I'd like to get them done prior to the nice Summer weather, so I can relax and enjoy the season. Mother Nature is not being very cooperative so far this Spring.. but I guess all this rain is better than snow.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

To catch a rabbit...

It was about the crack of dawn on the morning of Easter. As I slept, I began to feel a presence in my room. Keeping my eyes shut, I slowly awakened. I could hear a sniffling and a rustling around near my bed. There was some kind of presence in the room with me.

Keeping my eyes closed, I could hear the presence, whatever it was, moving closer to my side of the bed. 'This is it,' I thought. 'This year, I'm going to get him.'

I could hear the unknown presence ruffling around and breathing softy, creeping up right next to me where I lay pretending to be asleep in bed.

Suddenly, I reached out and grabbed it!

'Gotcha!!'

The creature was soft and fuzzy and it felt like it was about 4 feet tall. It was squirming madly, trying frantically to escape from my iron grip.

As the thing squirmed and struggled to get away I shouted, 'I got him Mom, I got him! I GOT THE EASTER BUNNY!!'

The tussle was brief and I wrestled the writhing creature into the bed to pin it down. All at once, it began to speak in a squeaky high pitched voice, 'No Dad, no! It's not the Easter Bunny, it's your SON!!'

'What!? Don't you try to trick me Mr. Easter Rabbit! This time I've got you and I'm not letting you go! Ha-HA!'

'NOOOOO! It's your son Dad, it's you SOONNN!'

Without letting go of my grip, I stopped wresting the creature and opened my eyes. Lo and behold, the 'creature' was a young boy, and not The Easter Bunny after all.

'Darn Mom,' I said disappointedly, 'I thought for SURE it was the Easter Bunny. I thought this was the year I had finally captured him.'

'Nope. Sorry Dad, it's me. Now let's go see what the Easter Bunny brought for us.'

'Well, maybe I'll get him next year,' I said.

'Maaayy-be, Dad, maybe, but not this year. Now let's go see what we got.'

Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hoppy Easter...

Me: Well good mornin' everybody! What's goin' on this weekend, anything good? [yawns]. Sox / Rangers is the only thing I can think of....

Kids: Daaaad...

Me: Yes?

Kids: EASTER!!!!!

Me: Easter? Already? I thought that was in July?

Kids: NNNNNOOOOO! TO-MOORRR-OW!!

Me: Oh! Well. I better get my trap ready if I'm going to catch the Easter Bunny this year...

Kids: Daaaad...

Me: Yes?

Daughter: Dad, let me tell you something...

Son: [interjecting] Dad, you CAN'T catch the Easter Bunny. We saw him at the mall and he's HUUUUGGGEE! He won't fit in your trap!

Me: Well, I'm just gonna try anyway, because I wanna have some rabbit stew with carrots and potatoes on Easter Tomorrow.

Kids: Rabbit stew? NO!

Me: Yeah. Besides, that Easter Rabbit just leaves a big mess around the house, leaving baked beans and green beans and carrots all over the place. Then I'M the one that's gotta clean it all up!

Kids: Daaaadd, he doesn't leave baked beans, he leaves JELLY BEANS. JELLY BEANS DAD!!!

Me: Oh. Are you sure? I thought it was baked beans and cauliflower and stuff.

Daughter: Dad, let me tell you something. He leaves jelly beans and chocolate bunnies. Humph!

Son: And eggs!

Me: Eggs! Fried or scrambled?

Kids: Colored eggs Dad...

Me: Oh. Well, I'll try and catch him.

Kids: But Dad, if you catch the Easter Bunny, there won't be any more Easter!

Me: Oh, sure there will. We'll just replace him with another animal. Like a chipmunk or a porcupine. Oh, I know! A skunk! How about the Easter Skunk!

Kids: No way Dad. Skunks are stinky!

Me: Only if you scare them. As long as you leave the Easter Skunk alone he won't bother you.

Daughter: Dad, let me tell you something. You leave the Easter Bunny alone.

Me: Well, ok. If you say so.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Quick 'Rocky Balboa' DVD update (it still does not play)...

I recently got my 3rd copy of 'Rocky Balboa' in the mail from Netflix and as I had expected, it still does not play in my Kenwood DVD player. It does, however, play fine in my computer.

It seems there are a lot of people out there who are having problems playing several of the recent DVD releases from Sony Pictures, including 'Rocky Balboa', 'Casino Royale' and 'The Holiday', in some types of DVD players, such as players made by Toshiba, Pioneer and TIVO.

Oddly, 'Casino Royale' and 'The Holiday' both play fine in my Kenwood DVD player, but 'Rocky Balboa' will not play at all. Two out of three ain't bad I guess?

In any case, I have called Kenwood to let them know about the problem. Currently they don't have a solution. I also called Sony Pictures to see if they had a fix, but at this time they do not.

If you run into this problem, I suggest calling the DVD manufacturer's support line and also Sony Pictures' support line (800-860-2878) to let them know about it.

In the meantime, I'll be hooking my computer's video output up to my TV so I can watch 'Rocky Balboa' and hoping this does not become a frequent problem.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Saying goodbye to the vinyl...

Last week I sold my old vinyl record collection to a used record store. I did not get much money for them, 10 bucks cash and a DVD. I chose the movie, 'Bull Durham' (they did not have much of a selection to pick from..)

I had a bunch of good albums in my collection but unfortunately, a lot of the covers had been water damaged by a flood we had in the basement a few years ago. The damaged albums were basically worthless since it's the covers that make them valuable at this point.. Besides that, who wants to buy somebody's old vinyl records? Even I had not listened to them in years, even before they were damaged in the flood, and I've now replaced a lot of them with CDs or MP3s.

So even though I did feel a twinge of guilt for getting rid of my record collection, especially the ones with all the neat fold out covers, though most of them were now ruined, it was better than trying to sell them for 25 cents each at some yard sale or just plain chucking them in the trash. At least I got something for them and now there is one less pile of half-worthless stuff taking up space in the basement.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Rocky Balboa DVD won't play in my DVD player...

I got the movie 'Rocky Balboa' in the mail from Netflix the other day. I was pretty psyched about it because I had been looking forward to seeing that one ever since it had been out in the theaters. (I don't get out to movies anymore. I watch all my movies through Netflix these days.)

We popped the DVD into the player and got ready for the famous opening theme music and the word 'ROCKY' to start scrolling slowly across the screen. Instead all we got was a blue screen on the TV and a 'disk err' on the DVD display. I took the disk out, cleaned it and tried it again. Same thing.

Damn.

I was bummed. I had been looking forward to sitting down and watching 'Rocky Balboa' ever since it had arrived in the mail last week. Figuring it was a bad disk, I sent it back and waited for the replacement disk.

We got replacement disk the other day and last night we tried it out. It turns out the replacement disk has the same exact problem as the first disk. When I put it in the player all I get is a 'Disk Err' on the display. What is up with that? I am wondering if maybe there was a bad lot of 'Rocky Balboa' disks from the manufacturer or something.

Oddly enough, the disk played fine in my computer's DVD player and every other disk I put into my living-room DVD player plays fine.. so what is going on here? My DVD player is only a few years old and I have never had this problem with a DVD before. This is the first time I have run into this.

I hope there is not some new format or encoding technique that is being used for DVDs that is going to start causing me problems...

I've got a 3rd 'Rocky Balboa' disk headed my way, but I have a bad feeling that I'm going to have the same problem with it... we'll see. I might have to watch it on my computer if I want to find out what happens to Rocky.

Just out of curiosity, if anyone else has run into this problem, I would be interested to hear about it, especially if you found out what the cause of the problem was. Thanks internest.

Touch me I'm sick...

For the last week and a half I have been feeling pretty under the weather and last week I started coughing, pretty much non-stop. On Friday it got to the point where I was coughing so much, my boss told me to go home. I tried to get a doctor appointment that day, but my regular doctor was out of the office. Being the skeptic that I am, I assumed he was golfing (turns out he was at a conference, my bad).

Since my regular doc was not available, I tried getting an appointment with his backup. Unfortunately, that guy basically blew me off. I got a message from his nurse saying he had phoned in a prescription for me. I thought that was weird since he did not even talk to me, never mind physically examine me, but I went down to CVS and asked to get the prescription. They did not know what I was talking about and told me they did not have a prescription for me.

Back home I went and called the backup doctor's office. He had left for the day. It was like 3 PM. 'These fucking guys', I was thinking to my self. I was pissed. I asked the nurse or secretary or whatever the person was, to please page him because I was coughing non-stop and needed to get the prescription he has supposedly left me. After about an hour the guy called me back and told me he had left the prescription at Brooks pharmacy.

Ok. So this time, before driving all the way down there, I called Brooks and asked if they had a prescription for me. It turns out the guy had told them to just point me to an off the shelf cough medicine, called Delsym. Now I was even more pissed, since I had already drank a whole effing bottle of Delsym over the previous few days and it had zero effect on my coughing. Maybe if this guy had taken the time to actually see me or at least speak to me, he would have known that. Fucking prick.

So at that point I was pretty much screwed, annoyed, pissed and miserable from coughing. I spent the weekend coughing away and sleeping on the couch, since I was keeping the whole house up. The only thing that gave me any relief at all was Theraflu, which would knock me out enough at night to get a few hours of sleep.

On Monday I called my doctor. He could not see me that day because he was too backed up from being out on Friday. I made an appointment for first thing Tuesday and went back to coughing and misery.

Finally on Tuesday I was able to see my regular doctor. It turns out I have walking pneumonia.

Awesome.

Thankfully I've now got a multitude of medicines to take and I am finally starting to feel better. I've got an anti-biotic and an inhaler to kill the pneumonia and a fantastic codeine laced cough medicine to stop the cough and allow me to sleep. That stuff is sweet. There's no sleep like a codeine sleep... Mainly I am just thankful to have finally gotten something to stop this damned cough. Hopefully I will start feeling normal again in a few days. 'Fuck Me I'm Sick.'

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Finally some news on Troy Brown...

Hey what's up you-all? Posting has been light around here this week. I have come down with a bad cold and that has kept me on the DL in general. Besides feeling generally under the weather, there has not been a whole lot of stuff going on to post about.

We finally got some news about Troy Brown and it's sounding like he should be back with the Patriots for 2007. Brown has expressed his desire to continue to play football and Bill Belichick has stated that Troy is in The Patriots plans for the upcoming season. Of course the two sides still have to agree on a contract, but it's sounding positive so far.

Hopefully all this is on the up and up and we'll soon get some news of Troy and The Pats working out a contract for this season.

Other than that, there's not a heck of a lot to talk about around here right now. Just trying to feel better and looking forward to opening day.

This damn cold is a pain in the ass. I was doing good getting back on the exercise track too and now I'm right back on the DL. Dang it. Hope this cold goes away soon.

Friday, March 23, 2007

People at my house need to stop hurting themselves..

My wife called me earlier today to inform me that she had just fallen down an entire flight of stairs. Thankfully she is ok, except for some bumps and bruises. Apparently she was trying to carry too much stuff while at the same time, trying to close the baby gate and ended up losing her balance. Thank God she was not hurt!!

Last week, the baby fell down the stairs. She is now starting to walk and wants to climb onto everything. We have gates at the top and bottom of the stairs to prevent her from climbing on them unattended but somehow the baby pried open the bottom of the wooden safety gate at the bottom of the stairs and managed to get past it onto the steps. She lost her balance and fell down a number of steps. Thanking God once again, aside from some bruises, the baby was ok. The wooden gates have now been replaced with double-locking metal (read: impregnable) gates.

After the last snowstorm, I was outside with the older kids sledding. My son decided he was going to try going down the hill on his toy snow-ball shield, which is basically an air-filled disk with a handle on it that's about a foot wide and maybe two inches thick. It's meant to be held in your hand as a shield in snowball fights. It's not meant as a sled. I did not think that riding his snow-ball shield was such a good idea but before I could say anything he was already zooming down the hill laughing and picking up speed. He ended up sliding right off of the shield and slid down the bottom half of the icy, snowy hill on his face. Thank God, HE was ok, except for some scrapes on his cheeks and a cut lip.

Then, not 10 minutes after depositing my wailing son in the house with Mom to get his lip patched up, my older daughter was running on the driveway in her boots, tripped and landed flat on HER face. UNBELIEVABLE. Thank God SHE was ok, except for a scrape on her nose.

So basically everybody in my house is black and blue and is covered in cuts, scrapes and bruises. Everybody except me. WTF?? I'm starting to worry that people are going to think I'm abusive or something. These people need to start being more careful!

To top things off they're all scheduled to have their portraits taken today and of course everybody has some kind of cut or bruise on their face. Those will be nice to hang on the wall... Oy.

Update:
I called my Wife to see how she was feeling and to see how the pictures came out. At the time I called she was shopping in Yankee Candle for some new scented candles. After a few seconds she had to abruptly end the call. Apparently the demolition crew (my children) were in the process of knocking over an entire display in the store... [shakes head].

Suddenly I've got a headache.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's Spring AND Free Coffee Day at Dunks!

Wednesday odds and ends:

1. It is now officially Spring, which is awesome, even though it was 12 degrees outside this morning and there is still a foot of snow on the ground. That nasty white stuff will soon be gone as the unstoppable force of Spring continues to grow even more powerful with each passing day.

Sorry Winter, just because you woke up late and didn't get your ass in gear until February this year, that does not mean you get extra time during Spring to make up for lost time. Now go away. Birds, time to get a-chirpin'...

2. Because it is now officially Spring, Dunkins is giving out free iced coffee today. YAY! Who cares if it's only 25 degrees outside. FREE ICED COFFEE!

3. I'm still pissed and irritated over the Bruins loss to the bleeping Habs last night, which for all intents and purposes, ended any hopes of them making the playoffs. Therefore, hear me now, as I am officially rooting for the NY Islanders now. The Isles are now my Eastern Conference Backup Team for 2006-7. Unless they don't make the playoffs either. If the Isles don't get in, my fall-back team at that point is The Toronto Maple Leafs. And if THEY don't make the playoffs, my backup backup team is the Ottawa Senators. Yes, I know it is somewhat odd that 2 out of 3 or my backup teams are still fighting for a playoff spot. At least I know the Senators will make the playoffs this year.

4. The Dugout has a funny post today all about Manny and his gas-grill auction on e-bay, which, by the way, is not really his grill, but his neighbor's grill.. (I don't know what is more absurd, Manny selling his neighbor's grill on e-bay or the fact that this has turned out to be such a big story..)

5. I got disk one of Miami Vice Season 3 in the mail yesterday. Woop!

Update:
E-Bay has taken down the page for Manny's neighbor's gas-grill. Maybe somebody bought it. It did come with an autographed baseball after all...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Busy week ahead...

Busy week ahead.

I recently found out, late last week, that the group I am in at work is being dissolved and I am going to be placed in a new group. Not the greatest news in the world, but better than getting let go, that is for sure. Thankfully there is a lot going on at work, so they are in an adding mode as opposed to the opposite.

Switching to a new group may be a little stressful, but I am still employed so that is how I look at it. I am going to try and keep an open mind and hope this new group turns out to be cool.

Thank God I still have a job...

So, Monday might be interesting at work. It is still up in the air when all these changes are actually going to happen, but they are going to happen soon.

Tuesday Miami Vice Season 3 and 4 comes out on DVD. Go ahead, make fun if you want but I am not ashamed to admit that I love Miami Vice. I think that it is a great show. I guess I am kind of nerdy about it actually... I am looking forward to getting disk 1 of season 3 in the mail later this week from Netflix.

Wednesday it is the first day of Spring and Dunkins is giving away free iced coffee. Can't go wrong with that!

Thursday I'm going to see Fu Manchu play a show at the Middle East club in Boston. Fu Manchu is a good band so that should be a lot of fun. I started listening to those guys on the recommendation of Turtle and Michele over at Faster Than The World.

Friday is Friday.

So there you go. Lots of things going on this week and quite a few things to look forward to!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Margaritas on St. Paddys

Hey everybody. Happy St. Paddy's Day! Hope you're having a nice St. Pat's.

We are having a Mexi-St. Pat's since my Wife asked for margaritas. Ok. Well, SHE is having a Mexi-St. Pats. I'm having Jameson, Guinness and pretzels. Because I don't fuck around with holiday tradition. So there you go.

I spend the morning shoveling out after the snowstorm last night. I hate snow. All I will say about it is that there were no snow-blower related shenanigans to tell you about. Sorry. I know everybody loves it when I fight with my snow-blower... I was all geared up to put the Scott's Step 1 down on my lawn and instead, I'm out there shoveling snow. What is up with that?

Think Spring! It arrives in just a few more days. Hopefully this snow will melt soon and we can get down to some spring-time weather!

Happy St. Pat's!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Shorts and t-shirt weather...

I had to go to a customer site today to do a software update. It was pretty easy overall. No yelling or screaming was involved and I was out of there by lunch, which meant I had the whole rest of the day off, since I sure as hell was not going back to the office.

It was incredibly nice out today and when I got home I broke out the shorts and t-shirt for the first time this year. Almost all of the snow is gone. There are small patches of it here and there, which can be useful for making snowballs.

Shorts, t-shirt, 60 degree weather and possibly the last snowballs of the year. Last Saturday I took my kids sledding and I told them it was probably going to be the last time that we would get to go this winter. Now the snow where we were sledding is completely gone and there is nothing but a leftover track in the grass where we went down the hill.

I guess it's going to get cold again this weekend and there is a chance for some snow, so the kids might get one more crack at the sledding hill before Winter gives it up for the year...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Basement before and after pics...

As promised, here are some pics of my basement. This was a pretty big project. We did the whole thing ourselves. The only contracting we had done was for the electrical work, lighting, outlets, etc and adding a third zone to the furnace, which is forced hot-water heat. The rest was all us! Myself, my Wife, my In-Laws and my Dad all chipped in their time and effort to make this room into a reality.

This room would not exist without the help of my Father-In-Law, who was so huge in helping with all the cutting, measuring and general hammer swinging and other grunt work. Plus he built that super-nice bookshelf that you can see in the right of the 'After' pic, all by himself. That thing covers a whole wall and it is packed with books and kids vids. Pretty damn awesome!!

Before (click for bigger):
What a mess!

This pic is from late Oct' 2005. I had just started the project. The only thing I had done at this point was to paint the walls with Drylok (that's why they look white instead of gray).

After (click for bigger):
Much nicer...

Here it is all complete! Pretty awesome if I do say so myself. I was originally planning on paining my Green Monster wall with a scoreboard, so that it would look similar to Fenway Park, but my Wife pointed out that if I did that, I would never have room for all the numerous pictures I have commemorating Superbowl Championships, World Series wins, and various other things. She was right!

She's the smart one.

Well there you have it! The basement is now completed. On to the next project...

Gonna have to wait to see George Strait...

Hey what's up everybody? I have today off from work. I took the day off so that I could take my Wife to see George Strait tonight, down at the Mohegan Sun casino in CT.

We were going to head down there early and have some dinner and do a little gambling or whatever. I'm not really a gamblin' man, but I figured it would be a fun way for my better half and I to have a night out together and just blow off some steam.

I have never been to Mohegan Sun so I don't know what it's like there. I've heard, in the five-million or so Mohegan Sun ads that I've sat through during Red Sox games, that it's a pretty nice place. Or maybe that's Foxwoods? I don't know, the two places kind of blend together for me...

But, anyway, it turns out that all that doesn't matter because I found out this morning that George has laryngitis and the concert has been postponed till April. Wish I had found out about this sooner, since it would have saved me from blowing a vacation day, but at least I found out about it before driving all the way down to there. The casino is a good two hour drive from here so you can imagine how pissed I'd be if I drove down there to find out there was no concert tonight.

So that kinda sucks but George can't help it if he has laryngitis, so what can you do? We had babysitters already lined up to take care of the kids for the night, so my Wife and I decided to take advantage of this rare occasion and go out for a fun night of something else.

We are planning to go to dinner at a place called The Margarita Factory and then go to a Worcester Sharks hockey game. It should be a fun night and we are both looking forward to it. We don't get many nights out where it is just the two of us.

This will be our first time seeing The Sharks since The AHL returned to Worcester after The IceCats left, so that will be cool. Hopefully it will be a good game. The Sharks are playing the Hartford Wolfpack and those guys are always competitive, so we should be in for some good hockey action tonight.

In other news, we had a momentous occasion here yesterday. After about a year and a half of work, which also included several months of delay due to being 'on hiatus for the holidays' and various other work stoppages thrown in, the basement reclamation project is officially complete and it is totally awesome down there. I know there are some people who will want to see what it looks like so I will put up some before and after pics in a separate post.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Dammit, I gotta go to work today...

My numbers didn't even come close in last night's Mega Millions drawing, which was up over 300 million dollars. What would a person do with that kind of money?? Unimaginable.

Anyway, I'll never know and since I did not win the lottery, I'm off to the office once again. Whoopie!!

What I would do with 300 million dollars:
Pay off my house
Pay for my kids education
Buy a Mustang, a Challenger and a new pickup truck.
Buy a house on a beach in St. Thomas.
Oh yeah, something nice for my better half
An automatically recharging Dunkin's card.

and, WHATEVER ELSE I FELT LIKE!

Ok. Back to reality. Time to make the coffee and head out to work. Fuck.

Update:
My Wife says she'd build a garage and get a bigger kitchen and go shopping for new clothes.

My Daughter says she'd buy more ducks to round out her duck collection. Cus she loves ducks..

Ok! I am down with that!

Update 2:
Oh yeah how could I forget, Pats and Sox tickets for eternity.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Evil Powers of Rock and Roll...

Whenever I am practicing my guitar, my daughter always comes down to the basement and watches me play. She jumps around and sometimes picks up this total piece of junk guitar that we have lying around and pretends to play along. One day I put an old strap on it and showed her how to position her hand on the guitar neck and how to strum. Even though she is not really playing anything, she seems to want to. Basically, she seems really into it and appears to have a genuine interest in the guitar, even though she is quite young.

I am not sure how much of this is her imitating me and how much of it is a real interest. I think it's a combination of both, but I wanted to try and encourage her interest and see if she continues with it or if it fades out over time. The piece of junk guitar that I referenced above is not suitable for any kind of use other than make-believe, due to the fact that the neck has been snapped off of the body of the guitar, thanks to her brother's standing on it, and the only thing holding it together is the glue between the fretboard and the guitar body...

So, after talking it over with my Wife, we decided that my daughter was old enough and responsible enough to be able to take care of a real instrument, and I took her to a guitar shop and bought her this:

Click for more info..

Yes. I am awesome.

When I first started thinking about buying my daughter a guitar, I had gone to a couple shops and looked at some kid's acoustic guitars. They were all pretty low quality. They would not stay in tune and were barely a step up from the broken guitar she already had. I decided if I was going to spend money on a guitar, I was going to get her a real instrument, not a toy. Let me tell you this Ibanez Mikro is a really nice little guitar. It is not a toy that is for sure. It is the real deal. My daughter seems to really love it, and is excited about using it, even though it is still a little bit too big for her.

I have been showing her how to hold the pick and strum, and how to place her hand on the neck of the guitar and press on the strings with her finger-tips. Right now that is as far as we have gotten as far as teaching her how to play and this is something that will progress at her own pace, depending on her interest level.

I am pretty enthusiastic about her interest in the guitar. We'll see where it goes from here.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Feelings, nothing more than feelings...

I have been dealing with some some very wimpy emotions and feelings and shit lately and I actually had a whole post written up talking about them but while I was on the verge of hitting the [POST] button, I abruptly changed my mind and deleted it instead and decided to do the right thing and ignore them / bury those annoying feelings deep down where they won't bother anybody.

Plus, I would not want to affect anyone's happiness points system. There you go.

In the mean time, that does not leave me with much to talk about at the moment so I'm going to point you over to Faster Than the World where people are voting for the Funniest Movie Ever. Because we all know that voting in online internet polls is way more fun that talking about stupid feelings. Enjoy!

Besides, it's March 1st today and March FULLY RRUULEESS!! I love March. March is when Spring happens. That means snow, your days are numbered. It also means that I'll have to pick up some Scott's lawn fertilizer soon because pretty soon I'll be able to see my grass again. Yay!

I feel better already.

Did I mention that I'm going to a flower show this weekend? Yup, that's right. So NOT gay because flowers are awesome and are way better to look at than gray, icy-cold slush and snow. And they smell nice and put me in a good mood because they are ALIVE, unlike the frozen wasteland outside my window at the moment. AND you can get all kinds of good land-scaping ideas at the flower show. And I'm into that shit. So there you go, again.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I am a complete idiot...

Yes, I hear what you are saying, 'we know that already.' Ha ha. Very funny.

I did something really, really, REALLY stupid today and I would love to kick my own ass. If it was possible I would do it.

I accidentally erased some very important files on my computer this morning and of course, have NO BACKUP.

I am such an idiot.

I was looking for a picture on my computer and I noticed a folder in my documents folder. It turns out this folder was empty so I trashed it. Here's where I messed up. I accidentally had put the WHOLE, ENTIRE documents folder in the trash and then proceeded to empty it.

What should have taken just a second to delete a little empty folder all of a sudden caused a rapidly moving progress bar to open up saying that thousands of files were being deleted ...

'What the?? .. OH SHHITTTT!!!'

I canceled the trash before it completed being emptied so I did not lose the whole documents folder, but I lost a lot of pretty important files.

My only consolation is that I thankfully did not lose our pictures folder. We have been using nothing but the digital camera for years now and if we were to lose those photos, years of family pictures, kids growing up, vacation photos and other priceless, irreplaceable images would be gone.

Making me feel even more foolish, I've had a firewire drive sitting in my desk drawer, just waiting to be used for backups, and I've never done it. Needless to say, I immediately plugged in the drive and did a quick and dirty backup of all my files by simply copying them over. A 10 minute job that could have saved me a lot of problems and frustration. Too little too late.

Take this as a warning my friends, don't let this happen to you. Back your stuff up!! Even if it involves manually copying your files over to a backup drive, if you are not doing this regularly, this is something you need to get on the ball and start doing.

I had heard this advice many times myself and always was like, 'yup, I need to do that,' but I never did. Like I said, I even had a firewire drive in my desk just waiting to be used. Now I am sorry.

Don't be an idiot like me you guys. Back up your stuff now. Don't wait till it is too late like I did.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Various Pats / Sox related thoughts... (and a snowblower fight story!)

Corey Dillon is no longer a Patriot. He has asked to be released by the team and The Pats have granted him his wish. He may or may not retire, depending on what kind of offer / opportunity he gets from other teams. Apparently he feels that he still has enough gas in the tank to carry the load as a number one running back. Based on his numbers with The Patriots the last few years, I am not so sure about that, although last season I thought he was very productive and was under-used by The Patriots... Hopefully he does not go to an AFC East team, or some other big AFC rival, but I would not be surprised if he did, since that is how things always seem to work with players that leave The Patriots.

Wherever Dillon winds up, I wish him the best. When he was still on the Bengals I used to always think how cool it would be to have him in a New England uniform and then when it actually happened, I was psyched. I appreciated the effort and the work that Corey put in when he was on the team and I never fell for any of the crap that the local press tried to shove down our throats about him being a bad person or whatever. The Pats helped Dillon escape from what was, at the time anyway, a perennial loser in Cincy, formerly known as NFL Siberia, and in turn Dillon helped the Pats win a Superbowl. Things worked out quite nicely.

Best of luck Corey (except when facing The Patriots of course).

--

Well it looks like I will have soon have something else in common with Tom Brady besides the fact that we are both men and both really like football. Yes, it's true. In case you haven't heard, our man Tom is about to join The Daddy Club. All I will say about this 'story' is this: I now have to find a new millionaire-playboy-superbowl champion-aw shucks-seems like a regular guy like me but also dates super-models and plays for my #1 favorite team-athlete to live vicariously through. Damn. Do you know how hard it is to find a guy like that?? It's not easy. It's easier to find a white whale or a white elephant or a koala bear or something. I don't think it can be done actually. I mean, who out there in the sports world can offer what Brady formerly had to offer as an imaginary double life? Nobody, that's who. Who am I supposed to live vicariously through now? Petyon Manning? Phhht!! Yeah right!!

--

The Sox are not going to offer Curt Shilling a contract for 2008 and will allow him to become a free agent after this season. My thoughts on this subject are somewhat cloudy because I happen to have a huge man-crush on The Shil. Shilling is the fucking balls dude. I fully fucking love that guy (in a very masculine, manly way of course) so it goes without saying I'd like to see him finish things out as a Red Sox.

Of course, I can understand the Red Sox side of things too. He has been injured (mainly due to his risking his baseball future for our sakes in 2004, I might add) and is getting up there in age at 40 years young, so in that vein I can see why the Sox would want to wait and see how things pan out this season before signing any kind of guaranteed contract for future years.

And it is still possible that The Sox could work out a deal with Shilling after the season ends as well, provided he has a good year, etc etc. I read the article about him basically brushing off Sox owner John Henry as he tried to approach Shil during spring training by speeding up his pace and walking away too quickly for The Henry to keep up and have a conversation with him. On one hand I thought it was funny. Classic Shilling. On the other hand, it was not funny, if you know what I mean, because Shilling is obviously annoyed by the situation.

Whatever. We've got a long baseball season in front of us for things to play out in so we'll see what happens when it's over. I just hope that if Shilling has a good year, he does not hold this against The Sox when he becomes a free agent. Hopefully he doesn't decide to pay The Sox back for their wait and see attitude by donning the hated pinstripes in 2008... That would fully hella suck...

--

Manny is being Manny again. What? No way!! How dare he show up for Spring Training late, just like he does every year!! Yup. Yawn. This is a story? I've noticed the press is doing their best to try and stir us up about Manny's annual 'late to Spring Training because of [insert reason here]'. Thankfully this time around it does not appear to be working. Seems like most folks have finally learned to ignore the flailing of the sportswriters on this subject. Yay! You can fully count me in on the 'Manny Rules and can show up to camp whenever he feels like it' side of things.

The Dugout had a really funny post on this subject by the way... Good for a Friday laugh.

--

Well I think that basically about covers things here... Oh, yeah I forgot. I woke up this morning to the glory of a snow covered winters morn today... and then cursed every last flake as I went out to shovel. I hate snow. All snow. Any snow. Hate it.

This last storm was pretty mild. Couple inches, not too heavy. I was not expecting a problem getting cleared out today. SO I'm out there with my snow-blower, and things are working fine. The Airens is chugging along and I'm just mindlessly going up and down the driveway. I was actually thinking to myself that even though I hate snow and I hate shoveling and snow-blowing, I am very, very thankful and glad that I have a snowblower, because manually shoveling the driveway really, really sucks. So even though my snow blower has generally been a pain in the ass and has needed several repairs over the years, as well as temporarily serving as a comfy nest for some mice (fuckers), I was still extremely appreciative and thankful for it's presence.

Just as I was thinking these nice, happy thoughts about my finicky snowblower, I noticed that the chute that the snow comes shooting out of was kind of wiggly and loose.

'Hmmm. That's kind of odd,' I thought. 'I have not seen that before. I'll have to check that out when I'm done...'

I got to the end of the driveway, turned around to go back up, turned the crank to swivel the snow chute over to the other direction and, 'CLANG!!' The shute fucking fell right the fuck off the snowblower and landed on the ground.

WHAT THE FUCK!!!

So now I'm pissed. 'You stupid snowblower!' I yelled to no one in particular.

I took a minute to calm down and then proceeded to scour the driveway and the street for the little nut and bolt that held the chute onto the snowblower and had apparently come loose and fallen out somewhere while I was walking up and down the driveway. I actually said a short prayer to God in Heaven to help me be patient and calm and to help me to find the little pieces in all this snow and ice. It took several minutes but, YES!! There is the nut. Found it!!

Now I needed to find the screw. That should be easier. The nut was really little, so if I found that, I should be able to find the screw, right? Plus it should not be too far from where the chute fell off... Well not so fast because I had a a hell of a time finding that little screw. I was almost ready to throw in the towel and see if I could scrounge up a replacement from the box of assorted screws that I have on my workbench in my basement when I found it. YES! Thank you God! Big ups to you for your help! You are THE MAN! (or the being, or whatever God is...)

I put the chute back together and finished clearing the driveway. As I was putting the snowblower away, I noticed the chute was loose again. 'I bet there was a lock-washer on there and now that's gone,' I said to myself. 'Well there's no way I'm gonna find that.'

Down to the basement I went to get my box of assorted nuts and bolts and washers. I was in luck again because I had one single lock-washer that fit just right on the screw. Woo-hoo! Somebody really was watching out for me today. I put the thing back together and tightened it all up. I checked all the other nuts and bolts on the ornery machine while I was at it because I did not want to have to do this again.

They don't have to deal with this kind of thing in St. Thomas I bet...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Because I need to post something...

'Sup you-all. Posting is light this week. Had a long weekend and was not too into being on the computer, ya know? Plus it's been busy around here. Lots of birthdays this time of year.

I've also been dealing with a medical issue and that has been taking up a lot of my time. Don't worry, it's nothing bad, but I have had to spend a lot of time on the phone with medical insurance companies so that I can get this problem taken care of.

Seems my old plan expired and I never got the cards for my company's new plan due to an address mix up, so in the meantime I have not been able get a prescription for the medicine that will eliminate this issue.

Anyway, it's all taken care of now and that's probably more info than you really want to know anyway...

For those of you who have asked, (and thanks a lot for your interest by the way), look for my story about the Slayer show I recently attended to appear this Friday. I'll be cross posting it with my Slaytanic friends over at Faster Than the World.

I think tomorrow is, what, Thursday? I'm all mixed up this week because it is a short week. All day I kept thinking that today was Thursday. But it wasn't. It was Wednesday...

My Wife and Kids are taking off on a trip tomorrow so I will be home alone for two nights. What the hell am I going to do with myself? I have no idea. I'm thinking I might need to make a list of things to do, otherwise, I'll sit around and do nothing at all, flip through TV channels and waste time on the computer.

I'm thinking maybe this would be a good time for me to paint the scoreboard on the Green Monster I've built in my basement...

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Slayer Friday...

Hey what's up internets? Happy Friday. Hope you're having a good one. This is going to be a long weekend for me because Monday is a company holiday, so I am looking forward to that.

Tonight I'm heading down to Providence R.I. to go see Satan's favorite band, Slayer, play at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel. I've been in kind of a low, somewhat bad mood for the last few days, so I'm hoping this show tonight will help to break me out of it and provide a bit of a release for me. It should be interesting and fun.

The last time I was at Lupo's was in 2005 to see Danzig. During that show, Glenn did a special 'Misfits Reunion' set that featured The Misfits' guitar player, Doyle. When Danzig broke into the old Misfits stuff the entire place went berserk.That show was probably the wildest show I have ever been to. It might have been the loudest as well, as my ears were ringing for about a week afterwards..

I am curious to see what the Slayer crowd is going to be like, if it is going to be complete mosh-pit insanity or more of a stand there and bang your head type scene. Either way, I am looking forward to it.

Driving down to R.I. is kind of a haul from where I am, it's over an hour, but the chance to see Slayer play in a small club is too much to pass up. I am probably not what you would categorize as a 'gigantically huge' Slayer fan, I don't own every one of their albums or know the words to every song, but they are a great band and that is enough for me.

I checked out some reviews of their recent shows and it looks like there are plenty of songs in their set list that I will know. It should be a good time and that is the bottom line.

I'm planning on hitting Murphy's Deli & Bar for some chili and a beer or two before the show. I went there the last time I was in Providence and thought it was a great little spot. Lots of good, thick beers on tap and good food as well.

Expect an update on the show at some point later on this weekend...

Dunks' sausage maple cheddar: a review...

I tried Dunkins' new Sausage Maple Cheddar Sammitch for the second time today and I have to give it an overall rating of one thumb up. I think it is a good sammitch, but it is not super-fantastic. After trying it for the first time last week and not being overly impressed I decided to give it another shot, so this week I tried it again to see if my feelings had changed.

The first time I tried the Maple Cheddar sammich, I had it on a wheat bagel instead of the standard croissant. Thinking that maybe the wheat bagel was too bland for this salty-sweet sammitch, this time around I tried it on an onion bagel to see if it would be any better.

It turns out my thoughts about this sammitch are pretty much the same as they were last week: ok but not great.. I like the regular sausage egg and cheese sammitch better. There you go.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day Snow Storm Day...

Happy Valentines Day internets. Hope you're having a good one. It is snowing outside and the weather is generally rotten around here today.

After hearing the forecast calling for snow and sleet throughout the day today, I decided to pick up the flowers for my Wife after work last night, so Valentines came a little early to my house. I also got some Valentines balloons for the kids and they were very excited about those.

Balloons are very, very exciting, dontcha know? Not only do they float in the air, but you can also bop people with them, right on the head even, and that's fun.

I generally dislike Valentines Day, mainly because I don't like having things forced on me, and also because it is not a real holiday. It's a manufactured greeting card holiday. Everyone knows this of course, but like sheep, we follow along with the Valentines Day charade anyway. I buy flowers for my Wife all year round, so I know how much a bunch of roses cost and I can't help but feel somewhat annoyed when the same flowers that I know were $16 last week are now $35 this week. But, I went out and met my societal Valentines obligations. I went out and got the flowers and the cards, etc etc etc.

Every year at Valentines Day, my Wife tells me, 'don't get me anything'. I am not foolish enough to believe that, so every year we play a little Valentines Day game. She says, 'don't get me anything, flowers are too expensive'. I then go out and buy over-priced roses for her. She tells me I shouldn't have, smiles and gives me a hug. The flowers make her happy and I like hugs, so it's not such a bad game, really.

Even though I don't necessarily like it, I play along with the greeting card company's scheme. My Wife likes to get flowers and I like to see her happy, and the kids get all excited about making Valentines cards and handing them out to their friends at school, so I guess the bottom line is, Valentines Day makes them happy and they have fun with it and in the end that is all that really matters to me.

As far as this winter weather goes, I don't like it. I was really starting to believe that I was going to make it through the whole winter without having to use the snowblower. We came close! But, at the same time, we're half-way through February and this is the first snow-blower worthy storm of the year, so I can't complain about it too much. If I only have to run the snow-blower once this year, that is still a pretty good winter as far as I'm concerned.

Oh, and I took The Red Sox ball-cap off the bed-post this morning... Some internal clock went off today that said it was time to start switching over to Red Sox baseball mode. I think it might have been a reaction to the snow coming down outside my windows. I needed a reminder that Spring, and everything that comes with it, is only about a month away.

Plus, pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training down in Ft. Myers FL this week and that has me excited. I'm looking forward to some Red Sox baseball.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Various subjects of dubious interest...

Yesterday on my way to work, I was riding behind a boxy, gray colored, piece of shit Buick. What made the car noticeable to me was the bumper-sticker which said 'I ass'. I found that to be quite humorous and frankly I couldn't agree more. I mean really, who doesn't ass?

--

Wednesday night was the first time in several nights that my Wife and I have gotten an, almost, full night's sleep. We were only woken up once by the baby, who was crying because she is teething, a perfectly normal reason to be awakened in the middle of the night.

My big kids however, have found many, non-normal reasons to wake us up at around 2:30 AM. Recent examples include:

- Needs a band-aid. (At 2:30 in the morning? Why? WHY???)

- A certain toy is missing from their room. (Why are you looking for a toy, any toy, at 2:30 in the morning??)

- Needs some chap-stick (I don't know what to say about this one...)

- Worried about the invitations for their upcoming birthday party. (Again, I'm speechless here.)

- Needs a tissue (JUST GET ONE!)

- Letting us know they need to go to the bathroom (Just GO! No need to make an announcement.)

- It's too dark (WHAT!??)

--

Over the next few weeks, there are a bunch of good concerts in the area. Next week I am going to see Slayer, and the following week, I am probably going to go see Killswitch Engage. I have not decided, but since my Wife and Kids are going on a trip, and I have nothing else to do that night except sit around at home alone, I will probably go. If I'm going to be alone, I may as well do it in the company of others, banging their heads wildly to music that my Mom totally hates.

In March, I've got tickets to see George Strait and later in the month, both Clutch and Fu Manchu are coming to the area. The only problem with that is that Clutch and Fu Manchu are both playing in the same week, so I'll have to pick which band I want to see. I'd love to see both, but I can't do two shows in one week. I'll probably go see Fu Manchu because it's on a Thursday, as opposed to Clutch, who is playing on a Monday.

--

One of my many domestic duties is to function as taker-carer of all left-over dinner foods. A lot of times, after a few nights, there is a little bit everything but not a lot of any one thing left in the fridge and it is my job to eliminate this stuff. This usually results in strange food combinations, at least according to my Wife, that is. Meatloaf and Spaghetti-O's for example, with mixed veggies. Perfectly tasty, but when I tell her what I'm having she tells me I'm nuts. That is when I remind her of her love of the 'taco sandwich', which at one time she thought I was crazy to eat, but now loves.

(A taco sandwich is like a grilled cheese, but with left-over taco meat in there with the cheese. One word: AWESOME.)

Yesterday's left-over food combo was one of the strangest ones yet: spaghetti and kielbasa. Even I think that one's a little weird but, spaghetti = good and kielbasa = good, so therefore spaghetti + kielbasa fully = good.

Finally, I'm over at Faster Than the World today, trying to figure out what to do on Sundays now that football season is over. Head over, have some fun and leave some ideas for me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It's the Patriots offseason. Show me the money.

Once again, I got nothin' exceptional today. It's Wed and that means it's 'mini-reward day', which means later this afternoon when I'm all bleary eyed from starting at this screen all day, I'll take all the cigarette breaks that I would normally use during the week if I smoked and I'll use them all up at once. I'll go out to the local gas station that also happens to conveniently have a Dunkins inside of it and I'll gas up the car and get a coffee, a coffee that is far superior to the crappy office coffee I usually drink.

That is mini-reward day: afternoon break from the office, fresh air and Dunkins coffee. It generally happens on Wed. Feel free to take that and run with it.

As far as The Patriots and football in general are concerned, I've been reading all about Assante Samuel and how he wants love, affection and lots of money. Personally, I hope he's back on the team next year, but if he's going to make an outrageous salary demand and try to pull a Deion Branch, well, we all know he'll be playing for The Jets or some other Patriots nemesis in 2007 instead. Too bad.

Sometimes the Patriots hard-line methods do annoy me, knowing that they've got plenty of money to sign these guys, but chose to let players walk instead of giving them another million or whatever it is they want. To us that's a lot of money but The Patriots are one of the richest teams in the league. What's another million to these guys? Can't they budge a little to keep a good player on the team?

At the same time, I understand that the team can not cave in to every player's ridiculous salary demands either, and the old adage, 'give them an inch and they'll take a mile' comes into play. Start caving in a little bit here and there and then every player knows you'll give in under pressure. Then the next thing you know we're back in the Bobby Grier days with a bunch of vastly overpaid, yet under-achieving football players. Anybody remember Chris Slade? Yeah, I liked him as a player, I've got a framed picture with his signature at home, but was he really worth what the Patriots paid that guy at the time? His salary was definitely not in line with his output on the field.

We don't want to go back to that. 

Dealing with player contract demands and actual player value to the team; it's a tough balancing act and obviously The Patriots do an exceptionally good job at it, and I am just a fan who has no idea what's going on behind the scenes, so maybe I should just shut up and wait to see what happens. Yes. That is the thing to do.

Next...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's frigging freezing out Mr. Bigglesworth!

Wow it was cold this morning. The thermometer read 6 degrees Fahrenheit when I got up. I'm not complaining though. After all, its January 17 and this is the first really cold day that we've had this winter.

I hope The Patriots are nice and warm in their practice bubble today as they get ready to face The Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game this Sunday.

Alright, I'm giving you a heads up warning now because I'm going to gush a little here. I know I'm probably going to sound like a complete yahoo, but I don't care. I've got to get this out of my system.

I have to say, how cool is it that The Pats are in this AFC Championship game?? This is awesome! Obviously I am hoping the Patriots will be able to win the game and take yet another step along the the long road to the Superbowl, but at the same time, I am truly psyched just to actually be in this game.

I am not satisfied with where we are, but I sincerely appreciate The Patriots making it to this point, one game away from another Superbowl appearance.

The Pats are playing in their 5th AFC Championship game in the last decade and that is super-cool. Sometimes I still can't believe it.

I know I say this a lot, but I hope Patriots fans are not taking this team for granted. Enjoy this, Patriot Nation, and savor it!

Ok, I'm done gushing now. Time to get serious. Time to get down to business and get ready to face a very tough team, The Indianapolis Colts. Just because I don't like them, that does not mean I don't respect them. This is an extremely dangerous team The Patriots are facing this Sunday and The Pats will need to play their best game of the year, once again, this weekend.

Two Games to Glory.

GO PATS

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Night Awesome

Friday Night Awesome = Jack, Miller Lite, Sammiches, Salsa, Supersuckers, Kids who like to jump around like kooks. Wife who watches all the nonsense and laughs. That = your basic Friday Night Awesome

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Computer woes...

Remember yesterday I said it should be easier for me to wake up early this morning? I was wrong. It was just as hard getting out of bed this morning as it was yesterday...

Last night the hinge on one side of my laptop's screen broke. Thankfully the display is still working but now I have to figure out how to fix the hinge. At first glance, it does not look like something that can be fixed without getting a whole new display, since the 'frame' that the screen lives in has literally broken right off of the hinge. I don't know if that can be repaired but I'll have to try and fix it as best I can... Yay.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Now that I've gained the obligatory 10 pounds in holiday weight...

Time for the yearly 10 pound addition of holiday food related fat to get removed from my body. What goes on in a few weeks can take months to come off, thanks to my wonderful maple tree-like metabolism, but in any case, come off it will.

This morning, like a gahillion other people I'm sure, I had aspirations of getting up early and exercising. And like most of those people, when the alarm went off, I stayed in bed.

Fucking lazy ass.

Actually, in defense of myself to myself, it's not easy to get up at 5:30 if you go to bed around midnight and then are woken up twice in between by people announcing they are going pee or coming in to let you know about their dreams. My children like to do that stuff. We can expect an announcement of a successful trip to the bathroom, or a nightmare on an almost nightly basis.

Well, as part of my revised resolutions for 2007, I will be trying to get to bed, head on pillow, attempting to be asleep, by 10 PM, 10:30 at the latest, so that I can wake up early and exercise.

Ok, since I brought up those damn resolutions, I may as well go through the damn things. They will be quick because they hardly ever change. Lets recap 2006's resolutions:

- Be a good husband and father: Ok, you know what, this should not be a resolution. This is something that should just be. Off the list.

- Be a good employee and try to rise above my current position: What was I thinking when I wrote these? See above. Off the list.

- Get down to my wedding weight of 155: I am almost embarrassed to say that I have been saying that every year for like 4 years now. That is pathetic. The closest I've come is 159. Right now I'm in the high 160's just like when I wrote the same resolution last year. Maybe this will be the year... next...

- Keep up with guitar practice: I think I have finally found a time when I can practice at least once a week. Saturday morning when the kids are watching cartoons and the baby is asleep, I should have at least a good hour a week to play. Ha! I used to play an hour a day, minimum. Yeah well those days are gone. Take what you can get. Next...

- Find a line of work that I enjoy: Phht. Yeah right. Right now I am just happy to be able to collect a paycheck. I enjoy being able to pay the bills. Off the list.

- Write a novel: When, exactly, am I supposed to do this? Off the list. Besides I lost all interest in that.

- Finish basement: HA! I actually wrote in January 2006 that I'd like it to be finished in March. Here it is January two thousand fucking seven and I'm saying the same fucking thing! Actually, that makes me want to choke myself but hey what can you do. Since it is now 95% complete, I can confidently say that the basement will be finished by March of 2007 dammit.

- Build last stone wall in the yard and fix grass bare spots: I'm pretty sure I can do that wall this year now that the basement should be done by spring. And I have to say, I did a kickass job last year with the lawn. The grass looked great all summer (and it still looks good in January ha! No snow on it!)

- Get to work between 8 and 8:30: How about 8:30 and 9:00. Yeah. Now we're talking!

So that makes this years 2007 resolutions:
Go to bed early
Lose weight
Play guitar more regularly
Finish basement
Build final stone wall
Get to work between 8:30 and 9 AM

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last day of the year, Last Pats game of the year...

It's New Years Eve. It's the last day of the year 2006 and today is the last regular season game for The New England Patriots. Thankfully the team has made the playoffs and has won the AFC East once again. This is the 4th year in a row that The Patriots have won the division. Hopefully there are more accomplishments awaiting us in the playoffs, but I consider winning the AFC East to be a great accomplishment by itself, especially considering the fact that prior to 2001 The Pats had won the division a grand total of four times dating back to 1970.

This actually could have been The Patriots 6th straight AFC East Championship if it were not for Green Bay rolling over to the Jets back in 2002. (No I still have not forgotten.) Would have, could have... In the end that does not matter. Five out of the last six AFC East championships have gone to The Patriots and that is pretty dang good in my mind.

The Pats will take on a difficult challenge this afternoon when they face the Tennessee Titans. The Titans have knocked off some very good teams over the last few weeks, and have a shot at making the playoffs with a win. The Patriots clinched a playoff spot last week by winning the division and this week everyone is wondering what The Pats will do today. Do they take this week and use it as a bye week to give some players some rest, or do they go out and play to win? With the playoffs on the line, you know The Titans will be giving this game everything they've got.

Personally, I would like to see The Pats play the game to win. There is still a shot at moving up into the third seed of the playoffs. An Indy loss and a Pats win would give the Patriots the 3rd seed, and while the difference between the third and fourth seed might seem minor for the first round. It can have a bigger impact in the later rounds as teams are eliminated. You never know what can happen during the playoffs. Why not try to get yourself into the best position you can?

Plus, I would honestly like to see the Pats finish the season with the best record possible. 11-5 is nice and as I have pointed out many times before, for many years that was The Pats' high water mark for wins, but why settle for good enough? I think finishing the season with a win to put them at 12-4 would make a statement about this team and put the doubters on notice. 12-4 would be a damn impressive record and I think that is something the Pats should shoot for.

Finally, there is the concept of having momentum going into the playoffs. Psychologically, I think it would be better for The Pats to go into the playoffs with the confidence of a team coming off of a win against a quality opponent, while establishing a very good regular season record along the way.

Happy New Year and GO PATS!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Holy crap where did my vacation go?!

I can't believe its Friday already. I feel like I just got out of work a few days ago, not a week ago! I need a reset button for my vacation because it feels like it went by in a blur. But maybe that's because it did!

Saturday, Sunday and Monday were a whirlwind of prepping the house for Christmas Day guests, spending Christmas Eve at my in-laws and having my family over at my house on Christmas Day. Those three days literally flew by. The day after Christmas my house looked like Toys R Us backed a semi up to my house and dumped it in my living room. There were toys toys toys everywhere. It was nuts. Wednesday, I wish I could tell you what happened that day, but I can't even remember what we did on that day. I think maybe we went to some stores to return gifts that were duplicates or not the right size, then had some dinner at Chili's. Yes, that is what we did. Insane.

Things finally started to slow down to a normal pace on Thursday. The house started to get picked up a little and I got a few of the multiple chores / tasks that I had planned to do this week accomplished. It is sad, I had all these little things I wanted to get done this week and I have not done half of them.

I went out and met up for a few beers with a couple of my old friends from college last night then got home and fiddled around on the guitar for about an hour. It was the first time I had picked the dang thing up in weeks. I wish I could get into more of a routine where I play more. I used to play for a minimum of an hour a day. Now I'm lucky if I play once every few weeks. Need to try and fix that somehow... Can you say New Year's Resolution?

Today felt more like Day 2 of my vacation and it was really the last day! Oy. Where's that reset button again? Thankfully, even though it's technically my last vacation day, I still have a long weekend ahead thanks to New Year's and don't have to go back to the job until Tuesday. I've got to get these days to slow down here and stretch these last few days off as far as I can make them!

I hope everybody out there had a great Christmas and if I don't write between now and then, have a fun and safe New Years!! (And GO PATS!! AFC East Champions baby!)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Feats of Strength to follow the Airing of Grievances...

Happy Festivus everyone.

A Festivus for the rest of us!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Seems I've rowdied on down...

I did not start the day by spilling spaghetti sauce all over myself today so, even though it was a Monday, I'll take that as an improvement over last Friday. This is the last week before I go on vacation for the Christmas break, so hopefully the week does not crawl by too badly. I am working on finishing up a project at work so that should hopefully help the week go by quick.

This past weekend was pretty good. My Wife and I went out to a Holiday Party for Grown-Ups at a neighbors house. It was a lot of fun. Had a few beers, a few whiskeys, some munchies... got to spend some time with my Wife without someone tugging at either of us. My neighbors have this party every year and usually every year, I wake up with an absolute killer hang-over the next day. That is because at the end of the night, they usually break out the pain in a bottle, McGillicuttys peppermint schnapps, Jager, that kind of stuff. They'll do shots of McGillicuttys then follow it with a shot of Jager... Followed by a shot of Sambuca or something. It's a little nutty-koo-koo.

This year I did not get involved with the mixing of insane bottled death. I stuck with strictly whiskey and beer all night and was fine the next day. I took a little shit for not downing the cup of Jager somebody gave me, but I did not care. I did not even like that shit when some half naked chick at a bar would hand me a test-tube of that stuff, never mind some over 40 year old guy in a sweater...

Sunday, I was sleepy but not in pain. Mission accomplished. Like Hank Jr. says, 'The Hangovers hurt more than they used to, and Corn-Bread and Iced-Tea's took the place of Pills and 90 Proof...'

On Sunday, My Wife, my Mom and I took the Kids out shopping for their first pair of ice-skates. We got the Kids some helmets and some hockey sticks too. I had a nice, memorable 'Dad' moment there when I checked their skates out to make sure they fit right, and I showed them how to hold the hockey sticks the right way and how to handle the puck. That was a great feeling. I felt like a Dad.

The place where we got the skates was right down the street from an apartment my Wife and I used to live in so we showed the Kids the old apartment, where we used to live, before we had them.

On the way home, in a used car parking lot, I saw a '72 Datsun 240Z for sale. At a glance, as we drove by, it looked to be in excellent condition. When I was 16, the 240Z was my dream car. I was saving up for one but I never got it. I was working as a dishwasher and I had about $1000 dollars saved up. I wound up using the money I had saved to get a car sooner rather than later, a 77 Chevy Nova. It probably would have taken me another two years to save for the Z washing dishes, but to this day I've always wished I had waited and saved up for the Datsun.

Datsun 240Z

I suggested to my Wife that the used 240Z would make a nice Christmas present for me if she was looking for a last minute gift... She just laughed. Plus, apparently she thinks the 240Z is 'ugly', to which I could only reply, WHAT?? The car of my teenage dreams? Ugly?? Dang women.

Either way, I guess that means I still won't be getting the 240Z anytime soon.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I'm The Beast from The East I'm The Dice-Man...

Friday quick hits:

Even though it's Friday, the morning did not start off too good. I got stuck behind a school bus that was stopping every 10 feet to pick up kids in front of their houses. What ever happened to all the kids waiting at a street corner for the bus to come? What's with this thing where the bus stops and waits at the front door of every kid's house?

My Wife tells me it's some kind of a law and that they have to do that if there are no sidewalks. I did not have sidewalks where I grew up and I walked to the corner and waited for the bus with the rest of the kids in the neighborhood... Uphill. Both ways. In the snow. Carrying a bag of rocks...

People seemed to be extra surly when I went in for my sammitch and coffee at the Dunks today. I almost got hit by two cars in the parking lot and for some reason people were pushing, shoving and jostling each other while waiting in line for their coffee. Merry fucking Christmas.

When I got to work, I was getting out of my car and went to grab my lunch, not realizing that the top of the food container was loose, and I wound up spilling spaghetti sauce all over myself. It was all over my jacket and pants, right in my crotchable area. Fantastic.

I went into the bathroom and wiped it all off with a wet paper towel, which of course made it look like I had pissed all over myself, but what was I gonna do? I couldn't spend the day walking around covered in tomato sauce. I got most of it off and it is not too noticeable now that it is dry, but I smell like a big pot of spaghetti sauce. Fantastic.

After work today I will be heading into the hell that is The Mall at Christmas-time to get those last minute gifts and try and find some decent Christmas cards for my Wife and Kids. I am not looking forward to that one bit. I already have a plan of attack on which stores I need to go to and what items I need to get, and I will have my iPod on while I shop so hopefully that will help me get through it quickly. Depending on how interesting my mall adventure is, I might write a post about it later...

So The Red Sox finally signed Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka and he was introduced yesterday as an official member of the team. He even got to drop the puck at last night's Bruins game. Hmmm. I don't recall the Bruins' big free agent pickup, defenseman Zdeno Chara, throwing out any pitches at Fenway when he was signed... Anyway, Matsuzaka, heretofore to be referred to on this site as 'The Dice-Man' or 'Dice', better live up to his expectations. I have to admit I am somewhat skeptical about him and I think all this hoopla over a guy that has never pitched in a Major League game is a little over the top. He is more than free to prove my skepticism wrong come spring though. Feel free to win 20+ games next season Dice. I won't mind at all. I also noticed that The Dice-Man will be wearing Johnny Damon's old number 18, which prompted me to say, 'Hmmmmmm..'

Finally, onto things that are important, The Pats play Houston at home in The Razor this weekend and The Pats need this win, not only to bounce back from last weeks horrendous loss to The Fish, but to keep The NY Jets at bay for the AFC East. The Jets are playing the Minnesota Vikings and I expect they will win that game, meaning the Pats MUST win on Sunday to keep their lead in the AFC East comfortable and prevent the division race from becoming 'interesting'.

I've got my weekly football post, The End Zone, up at Faster Than The World today too, so head over there and check it out and leave a few comments while you're at it.

My new End Zone spokes-girl

FTTW will be featuring an open NFL game day thread starting this Sunday that is sure to be an absolute free for all. It should be fun so feel free to go over there and leave some comments while you watch the games on Sunday.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Youk!! Pats playoff scenarios and other stuff...

Well, first off, let me send out a warm welcome to those of you who are reading this nonsense and happen to have the extraordinary luck of being family members of mine. Yup after nearly three years I decided what the hell, why not tell a few people about this dumb thing.

I've come a long way with this whole online writin' thing I think, going from being afraid to post anything at all and just keeping everything stored locally on my home computer, to posting completely anonymously, to giving up my first name, to yes, actually telling more than three people about this. I know a couple people have checked out the site already because I have gotten a few e-mails about it, so hi there! Leave me some comments.

Ok, on with the nonsense...

After The Pats' disastrous game yesterday, I spent the day today trying to figure out what needs to happen for The Pats to clinch the AFC East. Since it is still possible for The Jets to go 10-6, and, with the way The Pats are playing, for them to go 9-7, the division is certainly not a lock, but hopefully the planets will align and The Pats can win a few more games and maybe even cut down on the number of turnovers while they're at it..

The best The Jets can do is go 10-6, so obviously The Pats will clinch with 11 wins, or a Jets loss along with a Pats win also clinches it, since that would mean that the best the Jets would be able to do at that point would be 9-7 while the Pats would have 10 wins. Clear as mud? Yes, it took me all day to figure that out.

Yesterday a local restaurant had a visit from Kevin Youkilis of The Boston Red Sox and I just happened to have a ticket that granted me access to go over and say hi. So I did. Accompanying me was fellow Red Sox maniac, (actually I think she is a bigger Sox maniac than I am), my sister-in-law, as well as her friend, a Red Sox maniac in training..

It was a fairly low-key event. We waited around outside for about an hour for our turn in line to meet Youk. My sister and her pal had a few things to sign, a Topps player card and a ball. I did not bring anything for Youk to sign. I'm not all that into signatures so I did not bother to get anything for Youk to sign. I was just there to meet him and say hello. Yeah, I am lame. But I met Youk, so I nyeah!

Meeting Youk was pretty cool. He seemed like a real nice guy and he had a brief conversation with my sister-in-law who was wearing a 'YOUK!' t-shirt. He seemed to like the shirt as well as the Topps card that sis-in-law had for him to sign. I also could not help but notice that Youk had a Cincinnati Bengals cap next to him on the table. I guess that is ok, since he's from Cincy...

Youk signed all the stuff and we said thanks and headed out, just in time to catch the start of The Patriots game. (Most of the time while I was standing in line I was concerned about getting out of there in time so as not to miss any of The Pats game.)

I took a couple photos while my sis-in-law talked to Kevin but they are not anything spectacular. Just Youk sitting at the table signing stuff. I can upload them if anyone really wants to see them, but it's not like they are awe-inspiring photos or anything. You just let me know if you really NEED to see them, ok?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Scouting the mall...

After work I made a preliminary trip to the mall. I got out early and the Wife and Kids were not going to be home so I figured instead of going home and drinking by myself, I'd take the time and use it for a little scouting mission, just to see what's out there this year.

My Wife has given me ideas on what she wants so I have a good idea what to get, I just wanted to scope out some stores and see who had the nicest items and whatnot. Now, you may be asking yourself, why did I not just buy the stuff, since I'm already there, and thus not have to return to the hell that is the mall at Christmas time later on. Well, the thing is, the items I am to acquire are all clothing based items and thus, I need to rifle through my Wife's side of the closet and get the low-down on the proper sizes for the things I need to get. This I forgot to do prior to my brilliant idea of visiting the mall.

In any case, I was able to find several nice items and I marked their locations, so the next time, when I go back, it will be easy in, easy out. Strike quick and make a getaway.

One thing I noticed while walking around the mall: pants. Jeans specifically. What is with jeans now-a-days? I felt super old as I walked by the various styles of jeans. It seems that the big style right now is not only to have the dirtiest looking pair of jeans, but also the most torn up and hole-y.

There were jeans on sale for 40+ bucks that looked like the greasy, stained, dirty and torn shit that my Wife makes me throw away because they are beyond the point of no return. I had no idea what I consider 'work clothes' is actually style. How about that.

Yes, I know, I'm old. I am not hip. I am not with it. In fact, when I was checking my handsome self out in the mirror today (phht) I noticed that I now have a gray hair. Yup. Late 30 something and I've already got a gray hair. Damn.

One thing I figured I could get out of the way, since I was at the mall anyway, was to get everybody's Christmas Cards. I hate buying Christmas cards, but it is all part of the evil that is Christmas.

See, here's the thing. I like Christmas the holiday itself. You know, celebrating the birth of Christ and all that. What I hate are the requirements that have been tacked onto the holiday. Cards, gifts, tree, yadda yadda yadda. All this stuff ruins the holiday for me. I'm like Charlie Brown. I don't need this pressure. I just want a nice little tree to stick in the corner and look at while I sip cocoa and listen to Christmas Carols. Well this commercial dog is not going to ruin MY Christmas...

Ok where was I? Oh yeah. Cards. So I go into the Hallmark store. I figure they must have plenty of cards in here. Well they had a ton of cards but they all hella sucked! I could not find a single good card for my Wife. Not one. They were all basic variations of, 'Even though I don't pay attention to you all year long, it's Christmas time so here is a card to let you know that I love you, and even though I never say it and I suck at saying it on the rare occasions that I do, I love our life together. I am a crappy husband. Here is a card to make up for it...'

Christmas Cards cost like $10.00 a pop these days. They're giant size with bows and ribbons and multiple, semi-transparent pages, then you get through all that and the poem sucks. Oh well.

I canned the idea of getting a 'To My Wife' card till the day I go shopping. I chalked up my disenchantment with the Wife card selection to just being tired from work and moved on to the 'Mom' cards. See, it's my job to get the 'To Mom' cards for my kids. But, like the 'To My Wife' cards, I could not find a single 'Merry Christmas Mommy' little-kid type card for my kids to give to my Wife. What the hell? Don't these card companies know that kids like to give cards on holidays?

I moved on to the 'Son' and 'Daughter' cards because I like to get the kids cards from me. Same thing. I was looking for some cute cards meant to give to little kids. There was nothing! There were plenty of serious, 'To My Son / Daughter' cards that would be fine for a grownup Son or Daughter, but nothing for a cute little kid.

Yes, in the friggin HALLMARK CARD STORE, with five-thousand cards laid out before me, I could not find a single card that I liked. Actually that is not true. I found ONE card for my Daughter that had pictures of princesses on it, that she could cut out and play with, but I like to buy my cards in bulk, so I did not get it.

Finally I decided the problem was that I was just shopping to early. It's better to leave this stuff till the last minute.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's one of those, what's going on with me posts...

Started going back to the gym yesterday. I had stopped a while back because I got sick and then never picked it back up. One excuse after another, the usual drill. I was still exercising, walking every day, just not going to the gym... Anyway. I got back on it yesterday. It feels good to be lifting again, even though I am kind of sore. It's all about inertia with me. Once I stop, it's hard to start again. Once I get going, I can keep it rolling. I am not expecting to look like Arnold or anything like that. Just want to be toned, or whatever the fuck. As long as it's not fat.

My lifting playlist:
Rollins: Come In and Burn, Weighting
Supersuckers: The Evil Powers of Rock and Roll, Paid
Minor Threat: Out of Step

Got paid today so I bought the Slayer tickets for February down at Lupo's in Providence R.I. That is something to look forward to. Providence is kind of a hike, but it's going to be worth it to see Slayer in a small club atmosphere. And it's on a Friday night. Extra added bonus. There's an excellent bar right down the street from Lupos to too. They've got a great beer selection on tap and they make a tasty bowl of chili. Bonus Bonus. I'm psyched.

Killswitch is going to be playing down there later this year too. That could be a good show to see but that one is up in the air. Still deciding on that one...

The other day some of the people I work with went out for coffee and instead of the usual Dunks' they wanted to go to a Starbucks. I ordered a medium coffee, just to play fuckity-fuck with the Starbucks guy. I had a wry smile so he knew I was busting his balls.

'You mean a grande brewed?' he replied with a smile.

'Yeah. That's it,' I said.

Starbucks is ok but I prefer Dunks. I overdosed on Starbucks once when I had to spend 10 days in NYC for work. I got so sick of it, so now it does not have the big wow factor for me that most people around here seem to get from a Starbucks coffee. Give me a medium regular from Dunkies any day.

Starbuck was kickass in the book Moby Dick.

Ok. I think I've strung enough completely unrelated topics together there. Have a good one.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pats win caps off a nice long weekend

Well my long Thanksgiving weekend is winding down. After I write this I'll read a few pages of my book (currently reading Jarhead by Anthony Swafford), then it will be time for sleep. When the alarm goes off in the morning it'll be back to the 9 to 5 routine.

It was a great four days off. Thanksgiving was a lot of fun, though I ate way, way too much. I could hardly move when it was time to leave my Mom's house. It was either that piece of pumpkin pie or that last Harpoon IPA that send me over the edge.

In general, I ate way too much this entire weekend. I did have a salad at one point, but it was a taco salad. Even though technically a taco salad is 'a salad', I don't know how non-fattening that kind of salad really is. In any case, I think it can be said that when the least fattening meal you've eaten over a four day period is a taco salad, you've gone a bit overboard.

Tomorrow I'll get back into the exercise routine of walking and going to the gym on my lunch-break. And it will be back to the same old boring sandwich every day for lunch. Oh well. Only a few more weeks till Christmas vacation...

One of the highlights of the weekend was The Patriots win over The Chicago Bears today. The Bears were a very intimidating team coming into Foxboro. They had a 9-1 record and even Patriots Football Weekly had given the Pats only one out of five possible advantages in the running, passing and special teams categories going into the game.

I watched the first half of the game while I worked on covering up the lolly columns in my basement with pole wrap. I finished up the work just in time to come upstairs and catch the second half in the comfort of my living room.

It was a very exciting game, thought there were quite a few moments of stress. The end of the game was particularly stressful. With The Pats holding onto a narrow lead, I paced the living room, wrapped up in The Lucky Patriots Fleece Blanket, occasionally yelling at the TV.

My baby daughter was rambling around having fun in her walker and with my every shout or curse, she would turn and look at me quizzically, like she was not sure how to react to this noise that I was making. She is not used to seeing me yelling and shouting, so she always looks at me funny at first when something happens during a game and I make noise. Then she smiles when she sees everything is ok and Daddy is just being noisy.

The Pats were successfully trying to run out the clock to end the game when running back Corey Dillon coughed up the ball, giving Chicago a last ditch chance for a comeback. As the yelling ensued, my daughter rambled over in her walker to see what all the shouting was about and game me a smile, like, 'Don't worry Dad. It's going to be ok.'

Chicago quarterback Rex Grossman then proceeded to throw the ball up for grabs and it was intercepted by the Patriots cornerback, Asante Samuel. Game over. Baby smiles are extra lucky.

Some side notes:
Congratulations to Kevin Faulk for taking over as the Patriots all-time record holder for receptions by a running back.

Nice job to Stephen Gostkowski for his 52-yard field goal today. The first try at it was a miss, but as luck would have it, Chicago called time out before the kick, giving him a second chance, which he made.

Welcome back to punter Ken Walter. He did not do too badly I thought, considering he had basically been retired prior to re-joining The Pats today.

Pats linebacker Junior Seau left the game with an arm injury. Hopefully he will be able to return to the team at some point. He had been having a great year after un-retiring to join The Pats.

Today was Tom Brady's 100th game. With today's win Tom Brady now has a 76-24 career record. Nice.

GO PATS

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Made it...

Whew. Made it. I did not think this Thanksgiving break was ever going to arrive. The clock seemed to be stuck in extra-slow mode today, but quittin' time finally arrived.

Now the grinders have been chomped and the beers have been cracked. Time to kick back, relax and then relax some more. It's time to decompress... Whew.

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving holiday. Stay safe and have fun my friends.

OMG Terrell Owens does not like Donovan McNabb I did not know that!

There was a story on ESPN that talked about the fact that Terrell Owens will not be sending any get well messages, text or otherwise, to his former Philly teammate, Donvan McNabb, who suffered a season ending leg injury last week.

Apparently, the two players do NOT get along! NO WAY! I did NOT know that!

After finishing the short article, I was asking myself, 'Why did I click on that link?' I don't know, but that's 30 seconds of my life that I can never get back.

In other non-news, it's officially cold out here in the glorious Northeast U.S. I had to don the Patriots winter jacket for the first time this year. I don't mind the cold so much. It's the snow that I hate. If it's cold and does not snow all winter, I am completely down with that. Like, totally, for sure.

Plus the prospect of no snow equals a potential for good ice on the ponds for skating and hockey, which, really, is the only good thing that winter has to offer as far as I'm concerned. No snow = good winter. All you snow-skiers out there can bite me hard. Come shovel my driveway.

I keep telling my Wife that a nice snow-mo-bile would really make a big difference in changing my attitude towards snow, but even with all the blatantly obvious hint-dropping, so far, a snow-mo-bile has yet to appear in my driveway. Shocking, I know.

Other top stories we're following: I have to go to the store after work to get some canned pumpkin. That's because I'm going to attempt to make pumpkin bread for Turkey Day tomorrow. I'm using my grandmother's recipe, for those of you who are still reading this truly enthralling post at this point. Yes it's true. I crap you negative*

*I stole that line from Eddie Spaghetti of The Supersuckers.

Ok. Is it 5 O'clock yet? I've got a 4 day weekend to get started...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another day down, one to go...

Ok. Made it through Tuesday, which is actually Thursday, work-wise that is. That makes tomorrow Friday and that gives me an excuse for a Dunkin's sammitch to start off the day. Nice.

I am a little bummed out tonight because one of my favorite bands, The Supersuckers were playing in the area the last few days, in Boston and Providence, but sadly I was unable to see them play either show due to a severe case of negative cash-flow.

It always sucks when you miss out on witnessing The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World.

My only consolation is that I did just see The Supersuckers a few weeks ago when they opened for Social D, so it's not all that bad. And, also easing my pain somewhat, I recently learned that Slayer is going to be playing down at Lupo's in Providence this upcoming February. Yes. Slayer in a small club that has big support poles sticking up right in the middle of the spot where the pit forms.

That's right I will be there for that extravaganza. No way I'm going to miss that, negative cash flow be damned (I hope).

Hail Satan.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Short week...

Hey gang. How you doing? It's a short week for me this week as we head into Thanksgiving, meaning that every day is going to drag as I alternate between looking at my watch and the clock on the computer screen, waiting for five o'clock to arrive.

We've got one day over with as Monday is winding to a close. Tuesday is going to feel like a Thursday and that's fine by me. I'm hoping something will pop up tomorrow that will keep me just busy enough not to notice the time going by, but not busy enough to warrant me staying a minute past 5 PM.

How's that for a motivated work force? Yeah. You know it baby.

It's a slow, three day work week. The office is dead and those who have not taken vacation this week are there marking the time just like I am.

I'm already thinking that tomorrow will be a good day for an afternoon coffee run. Technically that happens on Wednesdays, as a little mid-week mini-reward, but since tomorrow is really Thursday, (even if it is actually Tuesday) that means I will have missed Wednesday and thus, can make up for it by going for coffee tomorrow afternoon.

See how that works?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Please note:

I would just like to note the following:

It's the middle of November and the temps here in the Northeast U.S. are in the 60s. Fabulous. I hope it stays like this all winter. I hope it is 55 degrees in the middle of January. Global warming rules.

You may have noticed that I've been throwing around the word 'awesome' a lot lately and I feel the need to point out that 'awesome' is not a word that can be applied to just anything around here. 'Awesome' is definitely not an adjective to be taken lightly. To receive the 'awesome' moniker on this site, something must be truly AWESOME. So if I tell you that I think something is awesome, that means that I think it's really, really good and super cool too.

Unless I am being sarcastic.

Like when I describe getting cut off in traffic by a person talking on their cell phone while driving their Ford Expedition as awesome, that's not really awesome. That's the opposite of awesome. Or if I describe the feeling of finding out that Jessica Biel has been dating Derek Jeter as awesome, that is total sarcasm right there. That is definitely the opposite of awesome. Oh my sweet Jessica, what were you thinking?

Please don't tell me that Jeter has also dated Jessica Alba. There are some things I'd rather not know. Maybe he has, maybe he hasn't. I honestly don't know, but if he has, then don't ruin it for me. Let Jessica Alba remain pure in my mind. Thank you.

While I have been using the word 'awesome' quite a bit recently, on the flip side, I have been trying to curtail my use of the word, 'fuck'. Overuse of this word limits it's effectiveness. Plus it's naughty.

A couple people have e-mailed me, ok one person, has e-mailed me, asking what I thought of the The Sox shelling out 50 million just to talk to some Hekimatzuizilla guy. (Apparently he's a pitcher?) My answer: The Pats are playing Green Bay this weekend.

Seriously, talk to me when pitchers and catchers report. I'll see who shows up at The Fort and tell you what I think then. Right now it's football season.

This may be one of the most pointless posts I have ever written. And that's saying something.

One last thing. The End Zone is on Fridays now, so head over to Faster Than the World and check it out if you get a chance!

Ok as you were. Happy Friday.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Some thoughts from Captain Crabby Crankypuss...

I've been in a crabby, cranky mood the last few days. I don't really know why, I just have. It's not just because The Pats lost again on Sunday, though that certainly did not help matters. Maybe it's that time of the month for me. I don't know. November is kind of a rough month for me. Some events occurred during the month of November a long time ago that unfortunately still haunt me to this day. I hate it because this fucking ball and chain just does not ever go away. I've tried Jack and I've tried Jesus, but I still carry shit around that won't go away. Whatever. Enough about my problems.

The Pats are tearing up the grass field down at Gillette and will replace it with an artificial surface. I have mixed feelings about it. I think the game should be played on grass, but I guess if The Pats are going to let people play soccer on it and have concerts and other stuff going on on top of the field, then it's probably the best thing to do.

It has been painfully obvious that the grass surface does not hold up to all the abuse that soccer, concerts and football put on it. The field looked horrible at the start of the season and it only became worse as the games continued. At one point it looked more like The Pats were playing on a beach out there than on grass.

Personally I don't think that soccer should be played on that field, but I can understand why the Krafts allow it. A privately financed stadium needs to generate revenue and that's the bottom line.

An artificial surface will be able to stand up to far more abuse than a grass surface can. An improved surface should also reduce the risk of injury as well. Anybody that has ever played sports on a bad surface knows that it can be hard on the ankles and knees. It's not fun when you're running down the field and roll your ankle because you hit a bad spot and stepped into a giant divot on the field.

I wish the field at The Razor could have remained a natural surface, but in the long run, it's probably the right thing to do.

The Pats signed Vinny Interceptaverde as their emergency quarterback. I guess I should not pick on him with that name anymore now that he's a Patriot, especially considering the number of picks that Brady has thrown in the last few games.

I'm not really sure what the rationale for signing Testaverde is, but I'm guessing that one reason might be that it provides a benefit to Tom Brady to have a veteran QB presence around to talk with about different situations and to bounce different ideas off of. Up until now, Brady has been the veteran / mentor to Matt Cassel and it's been kind of a one way street. Cassel gets valuable knowledge from Brady, but how much is Cassel really helping out Tom?

Now Brady will have a person there for him to turn to who has been around the league and has faced all kinds of different situations while playing quarterback. Brady has not been himself this season. Hopefully having a guy like Testaverde around will be a help to Tom as he continues to work on getting better every week.

GO PATS 

Friday, November 10, 2006

Very Superstitious..

This morning as I was getting ready for work, I went into the closet and was trying to decide what to wear for a shirt today. I started to reach for a green flannel shirt but before I could take the hanger off of the rack, I quickly stopped and paused as a voice inside my head said, 'WAIT!'

Voice: 'The Pats are playing The Jets this weekend. You can't wear green. Green is the enemy color. You don't want to give any help to the Jets by wearing something green do you? Better wear something blue. Dark blue. Patriots blue'

I put the green shirt back on the rack and grabbed a blue shirt instead. And I put on some Patriots socks for good measure.

Yes, I have issues.

---

Yesterday I got an e-mail from ticket master telling me about some upcoming concerts and shows. One of the concerts listed was Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band and it was going to be on a Saturday night. 'Hey that might be a fun night out,' I thought, so I called my Wife to see if she would be interested in going. She was more than happy at the idea of getting a night out, so I clicked on the link to see about getting a ticket.

Guess how much? For Bob Seger. You'll never guess.

Seventy-Five Dollars!! For Bob Seger! What??

I was thinking the tix would be 30 - 40 bucks, max. Am I crazy to think $75 is way to much for Bob Seger tickets? Would you pay $75.00 to see Bob Seger? Maybe I am just cheap (I am.) That price seems to be a little recockulous to me. Plus add in all the fees and other nonsense that get tacked on any you're looking at probably $90.00 a ticket. For Bob Seger. 

I like his old songs but I am not what you would call a die-hard Seger fan. I was just looking for a fun night out with my Wife. Needless to say, the Wife and I will not be seeing the Bob Seger show. Maybe if we're lucky Clutch Grabwell will be playing somewhere that night instead.

---

Things were fairly sedate at the Dunkins this morning when I went in to get my Friday sammich and coffee. There was no parking lot craziness or other Dunks related issues to report today.

---

One last thing, The Bruins continue to be 'The Hub of Frustration', losing again, last night to Toronto. The B's are not fun to watch right now. Not fun at all. The Bruins suck right now ok? There I said it.

Sooner or later they're going to turn things around. Ever the optimist...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pats / Colts / B's and Maple Syrup...

Hype it up baby. This Sunday, the greatest football game of the century will take place in Foxboro MA with The Pats facing The Undefeated and assuredly, this time, unstoppable Indianapolis Colts. At least, that's how the sports writers are talking about the game.

Haven't we been here before? The Colts come into Foxboro toting their ridiculous offensive numbers and best in the AFC record. HOW CAN THE PATRIOTS POSSIBLY STOP THEM?? Of course, this time around, people have come to the realization that the Pats HAVE stopped them, almost every single time, in this same type of situation, so the guys at ESPN are hedging their bets a little with this game. They've become a little gun-shy about picking against the Pats, even if deep down in their hearts, they really, really want to. That's you I'm looking at Tom Jackson.

Personally I would prefer to see the Patriots get a complete and total lack of respect heading into this game. I wish everybody at ESPN and the national sports media would unanimously pick the Colts to win and talk about how nobody can cover The Colts receivers and how The Pats don't have a chance because they no longer have Deion Branch and Adam Vinatieri is now kicking for The Colts.

That kind of thing just gets Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi and the rest of The Pats D that much more fired up. In my mind, a seething mad Harrison is a good thing. Unfortunately, the 'Experts' have learned their lesson about picking against The Pats over the last few years, so the disrespect factor is not as high as I would like to see.

I expect The Pats / Colts game on Sunday will be a good game and there are playoff implications riding on the outcome, but in the long run it's still just one game half-way through the season. Regardless of who wins the game, there's still a lot of football left to be played in front of both teams and anything can happen in the 2nd half of the season.

Ok. Now that I've gotten the rational part of the post out of the way, I honestly think The Pats are going to kick The Colts ASS on Sunday. I think this will be the one of those famous 'blueprint' games where Belichick shows the rest of the league, 'This is how you beat the Colts. Here you go. Have at it and have fun with it.'

A few random thoughts:
- I can't believe the Bruins lost that game to the Buffalo Sabers last night. I turned the TV off and The B's had a 3 goal lead in the third period. I came into work today and saw the score was 5-4 Buffalo and could not believe my eyes. Unbelievable. The fucking 'Hub of Hockey'. The Hub of Frustration is more like it.

- My Wife did not feel like arguing with my kids about dinner last night so she made them waffles and gave them some apple slices to go with it. My kids were dipping the apples in the maple syrup. To quote my own children when my Wife puts a vegetable on their plate, 'Yuck.'

I thought it was bad enough that they like to dip apples in ketchup, but apples and maple syrup?? Ug.

Then they were asking me, 'Want some Dad?'

'Ah, that's very nice sharing but no thank you.'

My Wife tells me to just be happy they are eating something healthy. True. I have always said that she is the smart one.

- The fact that not a single member of the Red Sox starting infield from this past season was awarded a Gold Glove is ridiculous. It is beyond ridiculous. It is recockulous. The Sox had one of the best fielding teams in the history of baseball last season and no Gold Glove love for a single player? I guess so. No Gold Gloves for YOU Red Sox infielders!

Add in the fact that a Gold Glove was awarded to Derek Jeter and that makes things even more recockulous.

Yes, that's right. When you get beyond ridiculous things become 'recockulous'. And that is what this whole Gold Glove fiasco is. Recockulous. Feel free to use that word by the way.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It's Office Candy Day!!

It's two days past Halloween. In homes across America, all of the candy has been sorted and put into gigantic piles while parents everywhere wonder to themselves, 'Holy Crap! What are we going to do with all this candy?! That is just way too much! We need to get some of this out of the house before I O.D. on Kit-Kats.'

The solution to this problem is simple: Bring it into work and leave it in a pile in the break room. Hungry nerds will descend upon the candy pile like sharks smelling blood.

The problem: siphoning the candy out of the house without the children noticing that the candy bag has suddenly become noticeably smaller. It is difficult, but it can be done, as long as you are careful and don't take too much candy out at once.

This morning I arrived at work with my bag of leftover candy and headed to the break room to drop it off. There was already a large candy bowl in the middle of a table, filled almost to the top with candy. Notice I said 'almost'. Undoubtedly the bowl was full when it arrived, but even before 10 AM, the nerds had discovered that there is FREE CANDY in the break-room. I dumped my pile on top, filling the bowl back up.

I am willing to bet that the candy bowl will be empty by the time I leave work this afternoon. Nothing attracts nerds like free food and if it happens to be free candy, well, that's simply irresistible to the cube-dwelling folk in offices everywhere.

The vending machine guy is going to be pissed. It is going to be 'no dinero' for the vending machine company, for the next few days at least, as people whittle the candy levels in their homes down to  more reasonable levels.

I'll be checking the break-room candy bowl every few hours to see how things are progressing. Of course, there are bound to be people like me coming in and filling the bowl back up with more candy, so it will be interesting to see what will happen. 

Will the bowl remain at a consistent, nearly full level, or will the candy eventually run out? How long will it take? Will it be empty by lunch? Or will it take all day?

As you can see, this will provide me with an interesting distraction to the mundane work day that looms ahead...

Check back for an update later on!

Update:
I just checked the candy bowl before heading into the superfun, always cold, dark and noisy computer lab. It's not even 11 AM yet and all of the candy that I had piled into the bowl this morning is GONE. The bowl is currently sitting at half full. Many of the nerds don't arrive at work till 10ish (it's a laid back place), so it's possible the bowl could be re-filled at some point. More to come...

Update 2:
It's noon-ish and the candy bowl is about 1/4 full. All of the chocolate stuff is just about gone. All that's left is a few straggling 3 Musketeers bars (who really likes those anyway?) and hard candy like smarties and lollypops.

Ok admission time: I grabbed a few candies myself. I noticed there were some Reeses' 'Fast Break' and 'Nutrageous' bars in there and I nabbed them. Hey, I had never tried those before and I wanted to see what they tasted like, ok? The 'Fast Break' tastes like snickers, except with peanut butter instead of nuts. I like Snickers better. The 'Nutrageous' was super good though. And I grabbed a cherry Tootsie-Pop. And that's IT, so step the fuck off.

Update 3:
For those of you still following along, it's around 4PM and all that's left in the office break-room candy bowl are a few straggling lollypops. Those will be gone soon I bet.

Well that was fun. I'm going to have to come up with more goofy things to keep track of at the office. It's like a secret side project. It makes the day go by quicker.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

When it comes down to it...

Last night was about only one thing:


Candy!!!

As my daughter so eloquently put it as she ran across a neighbor's lawn, "CANDYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!"

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween and all that...

Hey what's up interweb? I am super sleepy this morning. I was up half the night watching The 3 Time Superbowl Champion New England Patriots lay a beat down on The 0 Time Superbowl Champion Minnesota Vikings.

I like that The Pats were in a nationally televised game, but damn, those games just go way too late. I wish they could start a little earlier. But that's not going to happen. So I may as well suck it up.

Happy Halloween to all you ghouls out there. My Daughter loves Halloween and came into our bedroom this morning saying 'Trick or Treat!' I think she's a little excited. She will be a Princess for Halloween and my Son will be Superman. I am going as Tom Brady, the football equivalent of Superman.

I have been informed however, that even though I will be dressing up, I am not eligible to receive any candy this evening because I don't have a trick or treat bag. Oh well.

Fuck I need a coffee.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Parking lot insanity at Dunks

Every Friday I go to Dunkins for a breakfast sandwich and a coffee. It's part of my Reward Friday ritual. My normal daily breakfast consists of a very boring bag of oatmeal, so on Fridays I get the tasty fat. I have my rituals and this is one of them and I don't like my rituals to be fucked with. Otherwise, I get cranky.

The Dunks that I happen to go to is one of those mini-Dunkins that live inside of a gas station, so there's not a lot of parking available and it can get pretty busy. Often times the line is out the door with people waiting for their fix.

Today I pull in and there is a car in front of me waiting to park. In front of that car, there is some dick in one of those extra long, double-cab full size bed pickup trucks taking his time leaving one of the parking spaces. He's in his truck, the engine is running, the reverse lights are on, but he's not moving. He's doing something in the cab of the truck and appears to be very busy. I think maybe he was re-arranging his CD's or something. I don't know, but when you're waiting for your Dunks fix and somebody is not getting out of your way in a timely fashion, patience is limited.

After several minutes, the guy in the pickup finally looks up into his rear-view mirror, notices there's like 3 cars waiting for his spot and proceeds to back out, except that by now, the parking lot is jammed up with cars waiting for spots, thanks to this guy and his extra-long truck. Did I mention that he did such a phenomenal job when he initially parked his vehicle that he managed to block about 3 spaces? Awesome. Totally fucking awesome.

He starts to back out and then stops abruptly, obviously unsure if he will be able to make it out with all of the cars waiting behind him. (For the record there was plenty of space for him to back out.) The cars waiting in line to park are now stacked up and there is a line of them going down the street at this point.

Pickup Guy then proceeds to do a 46 point turn in his long-ass truck so that he can pull straight out of the tiny parking lot and not have to back out, since he obviously has not mastered that skill. 

'WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING GUY??' I said to no-one in particular as I watched this mind-boggling display of bad drivesmanship.

Eventually he makes it out of the space (to the sound of golf-clapping from several other drivers) and four cars immediately zip in to fill the void.

My day can continue now.

So, in summation:
- Don't make people wait for their Dunks fix in the morning while you decide what CD to listen to on your way to where-ever.

- Don't get behind the wheel of one of those extra full-size pickups if you don't have the necessary skills to actually drive it.

Thank you.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

You're a mean one...

I'm like the Halloween Grinch this year. I can't wait for Halloween to be over. There are several reasons for this.

One, my kids have been talking about Halloween since July, which, don't get me wrong, I want them to have fun, but after several months of Halloween talk, I am pretty Halloween'ed out at this point.

Two, nightmares. Since my kids have been so over-the-top looking forward to Halloween, we started letting them have some Halloween stuff early. Around mid-September, we gave them some Halloween stories and I gave them a Scooby-Doo book for their story-reader. (A story reader is a toy that, well, reads books. It comes with special books and when you turn a page, it starts reading the page. It's pretty cool.)

Shortly thereafter, my son started getting nightmares on a nightly basis. For weeks my wife and I would be awakened several times a night because of scary shadows, creeps, scary pumpkins, mean witches and all kinds of other crazy things. When my son started saying, 'ZOINKS, I saw a shadow!' I knew what it was. Fucking Scooby-Doo. What the fuck was I thinking? Another idea blows up and backfires in my face. What else is new?

It didn't help that the nightmare material is abundant this time of year. The kids go into a store with my Wife and there's Halloween stuff everywhere. Normally it's not a problem to determine what is kid appropriate and what is 'scary', but not this time of year. There's skulls and demons and werewolves all over the place and there's no way to really know which creature is going to induce a nightmare and which one is just 'funny'. There's no rhyme or reason to it. What kind of pumpkin is a scary pumpkin and what kind of pumpkin is a nice pumpkin? I don't know. One witch is 'mean' and one witch is 'silly'. How am I supposed to tell what ghost is 'scary' and what ghost is 'nice'? It all looks like the same Halloween decoration crap to me.

It got to the point where we had to take all of the Halloween stories and other stuff away and tell them they could not have it back till it was almost Halloween. Thankfully the nightmares have subsided and we have been able to get back to getting a full night's sleep again.

Last but not least in my list of the reasons that I don't like Halloween this year: candy. Candy. Candy. Candy. Candy. All day long, 'can I have some candy?' My kids wake up in the morning. 'Dad, can we have some candy?'

'Sorry no candy before breakfast.'

'Ok. Maybe after breakfast?'

Oy.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Two alarms required...

I hate getting out of bed in the morning and actually need two separate alarms in order to haul my lazy ass up.

When the first alarm, my clock radio, goes off, I don't think I actually even hear it. My body subconciously reacts to the sound by flinging an arm out and slamming a hand down on the 'shut the fuck up' button, then it's back to sleep.

About 15 minutes later, my iPod goes off. I have a set of speakers plugged into the dock where it sits and charges. You use the iPod as an alarm clock and set it to make some sort of horrendously loud beep at the desired time. This is the alarm that actually makes me get up and, in a daze, hit the shower.

Time to start another day. It's hump day at least. On hump day I often give myself a mid-week reward by going to the nearest Dunks for an afternoon coffee. Right now it's time to get the mornin' one goin... (YAWN).

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fill 'em up...

Check em out. Here are the shelves that we put together yesterday.

Notice how empty they are. This is probably only going to last about 48 hours. After that, every inch of this thing will be filled. My kids have already gotten inside the cabinets and have voiced their approval: 'It's like a really big fort in here!'

Shelves

Kudos to my Father-In-Law. He has totally awesome carpentry skills and has the ultimate set of tools. He designed and built this thing all by himself in his workshop. Once it was finished, we disassembled it, moved all the peices to my house and then re-assembled it in my basement.

I think it came out awesome and my Wife can't wait to fill 'er up!

Left to do:
Cover up Lally columns, box in and hide sump-pump, finish doing any leftover trim and paint. At some point we'd like to get a table for the kids to sit at and do activities, but that's for later down the road.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

There's no Football today...

Well, there's no Patriots football today that is, but you can still read my NFL story over at Faster Than the World. Check it out. I hope you like it.

I am going to be getting some stuff done today I hope. We are, supposedly, after weeks of delay and frustrating waiting, going to be putting the finishing touches on our basement room today.

I can't tell you how good this is going to feel to get this thing done, not just because I'm sick of working on it, but because we can finally get rid of the piles of stuff that are all over the place in our house.

My Wife and I are both people who do not like a mess. If the kids make a mess with their toys and stuff, that is fine, but we want it picked up before bed. Otherwise, we're likely to put it all in a big trash bag and throw it out the door. Well over the past year that it's taken to do this project, the stuff that had been piled up in the basement, out of sight, has been piled up all over the house. It had to go somewhere while we worked.

This has caused an underlying current of stress for my Wife and I. It's just a daily thing that is there, silly or not. I hate seeing those piles and my Wife hates seeing those piles. We know we have no choice and they have to be there, but we hate them none-the-less, and it gets under your skin, and it causes a stressful environment. It's just one more thing you have to deal with.

Well hopefully after today, that problem will be rectified and it's going to be a relief.

And If I'm going to spend the day in the basement working, at least it's a bye week for The Pats.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Let me know when style points start to count in the NFL...

Today was a day off for me. Yup, I was one of the lucky ones. It was a good day. We took the kids to the top of Mount Wachusett, which is a 'mountain' located near our house.

I have a hard time referring to Mount Wachusett as an actual mountain, having been a frequent visitor to the real mountains out West (The Rockies), but whatever. It's still a nice place to take the kids and walk around.

It was a warm, clear day and we had some great views all around. We brought our lunch with us and had a little picnic and, the highlight of the trip, we saw a frog! Yes, that's right, a real. live. FROG! It was swimming in a walled in pond at the summit, along with some fish, and my goodness, it was breathtakingly exciting.

The things that my kids get excited about... it's funny. They came very close to swimming with the frog on several occasions, but thankfully they managed to stay out of the water.

After we came home, I did a little reading on the interwebs and I was surprised to read so much bitching about The Patriots game yesterday. The Pats won the game, but, it was not considered by many to be a 'good' win.

What?

I don't get it. The way some people talk about The Patriots right now, you'd think they were 1-4, not 4-1. I read and hear a lot of, 'Yeah, they're winning, but it's not convincing. They're ugly wins.'

Phht. Whatever dude.

A lot of people seem to think The Patriots are going to stomp every team they face into the ground. They think they're going to run for 200 yards in every game and not allow a touchdown on defense. Well why not, I mean, they ran for umpteen-something yards last week, why didn't they do it again this week? Hmm. I don't know, maybe because they played against a different team this week?

Hell-o!

Instead of being happy that the team got the win, against a divisional opponent no less, most of the stuff I read had people complaining about the way they got the win. Who cares? They way they got the win was by scoring more points than the other team. The last time I checked, style points don't count for shit in the NFL.

GO PATS

Friday, October 06, 2006

Random Thoughts for a Friday

First of all, it's REWARD Friday, so reward yourself for getting through the week.

My iPod woke up sick this morning. I went to sync it up with my computer and it was giving me the spinning disk of death on the display screen. A few weeks ago the iPod holder that I use when I work out broke and the iPod hit the floor 3 or 4 times before I figured out what was going on and why it kept falling out of the holder. The spinning disk of death is usually not a good sign, so I let it have the day off.

I attempted to listen to the radio on the drive in to work but, I shit you not, I could not find any radio stations that were playing any music. Every button I pressed brought me to some stupid DJ yukkin' it up with his compadres in the studio. Sickening. Radio sucks.

The only CD I had in the car was 'Nevermind' from Nirvana. I had been a while since I last listened to that one. I still like that record, even if it is somewhat main-stream / over-played or whatever you call it these days.

I remember when it came out. I loved Nirvana's first record, 'Bleach,' and I was in a record store, Newbury Comics in Natick MA, and they were playing 'Nevermind' in the store. I went up to the desk and asked the guy, 'Is this Nirvana?' 'Yup!' I bought the cassette on the spot. Nirvana hit it big shortly thereafter.

Switching gears, Monday is a company holiday so I've got a long weekend this weekend. Psyched? Yes I am. I'll be doing a lot of work around the house on Saturday and Sunday, so it will be good to have Monday off to hopefully do nothing. I'd like to get most of my work done before The Pats game Sunday afternoon. I don't really see it happening but we'll see how that goes. If not there's always the radio.

My Wife is having a 'girl's night out' tonight, so I'm home taking care of the kids. I'm watching 'Cast Away' on TV. Great flick. Right now the boat is going past Tom Hank's raft out in the middle of the ocean. GET UP TOM! GET UP!

On a final note, Faster Than The World has some new writers debuting over the next few days. They've got a hockey writer now and that is awesome! Hockey Rules. So head over there and check that out if you get the itch for some interesting stuff to read. And don't forget about the Halloween Fiction writing contest and also my NFL stories on Sundays. This week it's all about my favorite backup teams.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My nemisis, the snack machine...

Usually when I go to the snack machine at work, I get a bag of peanut M&M's. I would love to get a bag of regular peanuts, or maybe some peppermint patties, because they are less fattening, but those items are located on a row in the machine has not worked for months.

The low-fat snacks sit there, tantalizing you, making you want them, but they are unselectable. No matter how many times you press D-5, D-5, D-5 on the machine key pad, you just get a mocking, 'BEEP' and an 'Invalid Selection' on the machine's display window.

So, in an attempt to make some kind of healthy snack selection, as opposed to, say a can of soda and a bag of chips, I usually get the peanut M&M's. That way I can at least tell myself that I'm getting the peanut factor, since peanuts are supposedly good for you. Granted they are chocolate coated peanuts, but it's the thought that counts.

Today I went to visit my nemesis, the snack machine, and as usual, like some kind of sadist, I tried to get the plain bag of peanuts, even though I knew that the machine would sit there and laugh at me internally, giving me the 'BEEP' 'Invalid Selection', which I think is machine language for 'Fuck you dick'.

After a few tries at the peanuts, I sighed defeatedly and went for the peanut M&M's, but I was not paying attention as I pressed the buttons and I fat fingered the keypad. I had pressed the wrong number combo!

'OH NO!' I thought, 'I'm gonna wind up with Good N' Plenty or some horrid thing like that!'

I anxiously watched the snack machine window, waiting to see what would fall into the bin. It was a bag of chocolate M&M's. Oh, the irony. You vindictive snack machine. I hate you.

'Bitch!' I spat, cursing the machine out under my breath as I walked away with a bag of fat pellets in hand.

Was it a Freudian slip perhaps? Did my subconscious really want the chocolate M&M's and make me 'accidentally' press the wrong buttons on purpose? Or was it just another case of the vending machine playing fuck fuck with me...

We'll never know, but I ate the chocolate M&M's anyway.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Blah, whatever...

Lately what's been happing with this thing is that I think of something I might like to write about, usually while I'm at work, since that's where I spend 80% of my life, and I try to make a mental note and file it away for later.

I try as much as possible to avoid coming in here during work, so I tell myself, 'That would be cool to talk about on the site. I'll do that when I get home.'

But by the time I get home, I am no longer in a writing mood because when I get home, I've transitioned from my paying job to my other job, which is taking care of all the various things that need to be taken care of here at home. By the time that stuff is done, I've lost all my motivation to talk about whatever it was that I thought was funny earlier in the day, which sucks, because I like writing in here and getting comments on posts and all that. It's fun.

On top of that, I've been trying to do other stuff, like read more and things like that, but there's only so many hours in a day, so the site has been the thing that's been falling off the plate lately. There's got to be some way of working all this stuff in somehow, but I can't seem to figure out how to do it... Oh well. Maybe if I wrote faster... har.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

My quick visit to Chelsea, MA...

I took the kids to the Museum of Science in Boston today. We had a lot of fun.

On the way there, I was heading down Storrow Drive and took a left where I should have taken a right. Next thing I knew, I was on I-93. Grrr.

Frustrated, I got off the first exit that came up. I went around some ramps and somehow found myself on the double decker bridge that crosses over The Mystic River. Grrr.

I got off the first exit I could, again, and found myself in Chelsea. I had never been to Chelsea before. Neither had my kids. 'Welcome to Chelsea kids,' I said.

Actually, I had been to Chelsea a few times before, but each visit was always an occasion like this one, where I was wondering how in the hell I had wound up here, and how in the hell was I going to get where I really want to go.

'What's in Chelsea?' the kids asked, 'I thought we were going to the Science Museum.'

Grrr.

I found my way back to the highway without too much difficulty and headed back across the double-decker bridge towards Boston, stopping only to pay the 3 dollar Tobin Bridge fee. Grrr.

I went around some more ramps and found my way back to Storrow Drive, except that now I was heading back West, in the opposite direction of where I was trying to go, instead of going East towards the Museum of Science.

I should also note that during this whole little tour of Boston / Cambridge / Chelsea, I could see The Museum of Science off in the distance, I just could not figure out how to get over there. That's how it is driving in Boston. One slip and you're fucked.

As I headed down Storrow Drive in the wrong direction, I, once again, got off the first exit that I could, which deposited me at the bridge that goes across The Charles River, taking me over to Memorial Drive. As I crossed The Charles, I could see the Museum, off to the right.

'There it is Dad, right over there! Just go that way!'

My kids are so helpful.

I got onto Memorial and headed back towards the Museum. The thing about theses two roads, Storrow Drive and Memorial Drive, for those who are not familiar with the paved cow-paths that make up the Boston road system, is that they are on opposite sides of the Charles River and they both basically end at the same spot.

'Ha! Now we're getting somewhere!' I thought.

'We're here! We're here! I see the sign! Turn here Dad, don't miss it!!'

My kids are so helpful.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Fall Friday...

I got home from work with a cheese pizza for the kids and a chicken sandwich for me. My wife had to go out to attend to some family stuff over at her Mom's. She took the baby along with her so it was just me and the kids tonight.

We had our dinner and it was good. After dinner we went downstairs to the (almost) finished basement and listened to some records. I still have a lot of my old records from when I was little, the ones that have stories on them like Peter Pan, Horton Hears a Who and stuff like that. The kids really like listening to them and that's cool. It's neat that I was able to keep those records in good shape and they are still around. Now my kids are listening to, and enjoying the same records that I used to listen to when I was young. That's just cool.

It was fun listening to the stories with the kids.

After that we came back upstairs and my daughter noticed the sun was going down, so we got our jackets on and grabbed some blankets and went and sat outside on the porch and watched the sunset.

It was a half-moon and there were a lot of wispy clouds moving across the sky, all lit up by the fading sun in pink and purple colors. We talked about what we could see in the clouds. It was nice. My daughter and I saw horses running across the sky. My son saw space-ships taking off.

When it was nearly dark, we came back in and they got ready for bed. I let them watch a video tape, Bob the Builder, and have a little milk before bed.

It was a very nice evening.

Now the house is quiet, so I think maybe I'll have a beer and watch some of the Red Sox / Orioles game. Maybe I'll play some tunes on my guitar while I watch.

It's the last series of the season for the Sox. No post-season for The Red Sox this year. I have to admit, it makes me feel a little sad. Like, I'm not gonna go break down and cry or anything, but, with the whole baseball season coming to a close, the chilly fall weather and the sun going down earlier and earlier, I can't help but think about how the nice days are slipping away and soon it's going to just be cold and gray around here. I hate Winter, so hopefully we'll have a bunch of nice Fall days this upcoming October to get outside and enjoy before the bitter days of Winter arrive.

In the meantime, it's one last series for our Boys of Summer so I'll be trying to soak some of it in. I made sure to watch Curt Shilling's last game the other night. I think that guy is great. It was good to see him get the win.

And on that note here is a list of the Red Sox players that I thought were 'The Balls' this year for The Sox:

Jon Papelbon
David Ortiz
Curt Shilling
Mike Lowell
Willy Mo Pena
Kevin Youkilis

These were the players that stood out for me this season. I know some of the names, you may look at them and scratch your head, wondering why, but these were the guys that, to me, were not about flash, they were about showing up every day and playing the game right. These were the players that really made the games enjoyable for me to watch. Thanks guys. Now, how about going out on a high note eh?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Rainy Saturday...

Hey what's up everybody? Not much going on around here today. It is a chilly and rainy day outside today.

I have not been writing with the same frequency of late. I've been trying to do some other things, like read and play my guitar during my free time, so the site writing has taken a bit of a back seat to that, but I'm still going to try and write something at least every other day.

Today I did some more Mr. Fixit around the house. I replaced a kitchen light fixture that has been broken for a very long time. It was good to get that done. And I've been helping my Wife hang some pictures around the house.

"If you can't be handsome, at least be handy."

It's looking like it's going to be another rainy day again tomorrow, a good day to kick back and watch some football games.

I'm looking forward to the Pats / Broncos game on Sunday night. That should be a good game. The revenge factor for The Patriots is high, so I'm hoping to see the Pats come out flying.

Well, my Wife just arrived home with some pizza for our lunch. I'll probably write some more about The Pats game tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

When Carbs Attack...

I've been doing pretty good with my workout and eating regiment. I've been working out almost every day, some days twice a day, walking in the morning and lifting weights in the gym at work during lunch. Of course, the needle on the scale has not budged off of the 160 line, but it feels good to know that I am at least doing something about it.

Yesterday after the gym I ate lunch but I was still pretty hungry afterward. I was craving some kind of chips or candy or something. I thought about heading to Dunks for a coffee as that usually helps curve my cravings, but I did not. I was pretty busy at work and taking off to grab a coffee would not have been a good idea.

I should have just had some of the office coffee which is not that bad, but instead I caved in and had a soda and some pretzels. Lots of sugar, lots of carbs. Then to top that off, my Wife wanted spaghetti for dinner, so stack some spaghetti and a piece of bread on there too, cuz you've got to do something to sop up the tomato sauce. I did have a salad with dinner so it was not a complete disaster.

I guess it could have been worse. I could have had a beer too, ha.

Before I got married, I used to have a chew after working out to help cut down on the hunger, but I quit that stuff the day I got engaged over 12 years ago and I'm not going back to doing that again, even though every now and then I still do get the craving for a good chaw...

Overall I've been doing good with the regiment. It was a minor setback yesterday but not killer. I'm sure my friend the scale will remain stuck at 160 either way.

Monday, September 04, 2006

R.I.P. Steve Irwin...

I heard the news on the radio today that Steve Irwin, a.k.a. The Crocodile Hunter, has died in an accident while filming an underwater documentary. This is terrible news and I am truly, truly saddened to hear this news.

Steve Irwin was an inspirational person to me. I looked up to him and I thought he was great, not because of his tv shows and documentaries, which were cool, but because of his outlook on life and the way he lived it.

Steve Irwin lived every day doing what he loved to do and from watching his shows, it seemed like every day was the best day of his life. I always thought that to be so fucking cool. I spend most of my time in an office; a drone, a grunt, just trying to make ends meet and support my family. I can't say that I love my work, but it's a decent job, and it's a paycheck.

Watching Steve made me believe that it is possible to wake up every day and look forward to what's in store for you. He lived it to the fullest, 100 percent every day and he inspired me to try and live the same way.

Steve Irwin was 'the balls'. Rest In Peace, Steve.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dude, what day is it?

Hey whas up yo? What is this here computre thingy anywayz?

I got back last night from a trip to the White Mountains of N.H. with my family. It was a lot of fun, at times, agonizing and also, surreal. I never thought I'd be uttering the words, 'IF I HAVE TO STOP THIS CAR RIGHT NOW...', but I did. I actually did.

Thankfully I've got another day to recover before returning to work, because I'm kind of exhausted. Today would have been a day of relaxation, but for some crazy reason, I thought my kids might like to take in their very first real, live baseball game.

We had tickets to see the Worcester Tornadoes this afternoon. The problem? Non-fucking-stop rain. In the hours leading up to the game, I was looking on the team site and calling the hot-line phone number, trying to see if the game would be called. It was friggin pouring out so it had to be called, I mean, it had to be, at least that's what I kept telling myself.

Time clicked by but no update on the team phone number or their website. Finally I said well, I guess we're going to the game. I don't know what had come over me, I really don't, but we all got our raincoats on and headed out into the rain to watch some baseball.

My wife dropped me and the kids off at the ball park. My daughter was wearing her ladybug raincoat, which is red with black spots, just like a ladybug, along with matching boots, with eyeballs and antennae popping out on the front toes, and my son was dressed up in his frog raincoat and boots; green with yellow spots also with matching green boots and eyeballs popping out of the front toes.

As I walked up to the gate I asked the guy taking the tickets, 'Are they gonna call this game?', still not quite believing that I was actually there.

'No way to know,' was his reply.

Well, I have to give credit to my kids because they were super-good; standing around in the rain, eating a pretzel and pop-corn and looking at the covered up infield of the ball park, asking when the game was going to start while I drank a beer, wondering what the hell was wrong with me to actually think we were going to see a baseball game today.

They were starting to look at me with one of those, 'Dad, what are you doing, are you nuts?' looks. I'm sure they'll be recounting this story to the amusement of others in a few years. I can hear it now, 'Remember when Dad took us to see our first baseball game.... in the RAIN?'

I bought them each a baseball to cheer them up and that seemed to make them both much happier.

Mercifully, there was an announcement over the loudspeakers that the game was going into rain-delay mode. My wife came and picked us up in the van and we all thankfully climbed in.

That was not exactly what I was hoping for when I was planning to take my kids to their first-ever, real-life baseball game. I was kinda hoping for blue skies and sunshine. I guess maybe we'll get another shot tomorrow when the Tornadoes try to make up the game in a day night double-header...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A day off...

Hey what's up internets. Today is a day off for me. I'm not a at work. I'm at home. I decided to take a little mini-vacation and roll right into the long, holiday weekend.

I was supposed to take a trip up to New Hampshire today with the family, but one of my kids has some kind of stomach thing.

It was quite blechhy around here last night, so we decided to hold off for one more day and head up north tomorrow instead. We are going to visit the White Mountains and go to a place called 'Storyland'. I hope it will be a lot of fun for everybody.

Today I've been hanging around the house and taking care of a few odds and ends, like fixing a drippy faucet, putting a dimmer switch into one of the bedrooms, scintillating stuff like that. Later I'll be mowing the lawn. Woo!

Try to contain your excitement, please.

My wife says I've become a regular 'Mr. Fix-It'.

Hey, like Red Green says, "if women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Recovery...

Hey what's up everybody. Hope you are having a nice weekend.

Today's been a pretty laid-back day, which is somewhat rare for me. I'm usually going somewhere or doing some kind of chore, but this weekend was just fun. No working on anything.

I went to see The Pats game yesterday vs. The Washington Redskins. It was a good game. The Patriots flat-out destroyed Washington. It was quite an impressive show. Of course, it's only pre-season, so it is totally meaningless. Teams can look unstoppable in the pre-season and then go 2-14 on the year. Not that I think the Pats will have a bad year, I think they look to be in good shape for the season.

It's been a cloudy, rainy day around here and I've just been kicking around the house not doing much of anything. I've been feeling pretty tired today because I did not get home from the game till about 2:30 AM this morning. That's way past my bedtime. Thankfully it was a Saturday night game so I had all day today to get back to normal. I even took a nap. I can't remember the last time I took a real nap that involved actually falling asleep.

My Wife and I started moving some stuff out of the living areas of our house and down into our basement today. Our basement is not finished, but it is to the point where we can start using it.

Our house has been a mess for almost a year now as I have been working down there, turning the basement into a room. My Wife is a school teacher and has a friggin ton of... stuff (I wanted to say shit, but it's not really shit, it's all useful stuff for school, it's just that there is a LOT of it.) and it had to go somewhere while I worked, so we've had boxes stacked up all around the house.

My Wife and I are both kind of neat and orderly type people. We don't like messes. We like things to be organized and put away where they belong. I guess you could say we are both somewhat obsessive perhaps, not OCD obsessive, but we definitely don't like having the house a big mess. We are both that way so it's never a problem, but having these stacks of boxes all over the place has been a constant irritation to each of us. Today we started moving the boxes back where they belong. It felt so good to get those things out of the way and back in the basement where they belong.. It's like we got part of our house back and actually, if you think about it, we did!

I've only got a couple things left to do down there and the basement will be 100% done. We're going to put in some cabinets and shelves and also a large table for the kids to do arts and crafts and stuff like that on. Once that is done, a little more paint, and that fucker is done.

I've been jamming down there with my guitars a little. It's pretty echoey down there. I need to get some stuff on the walls and on the floors to keep the sound from bouncing around so much.

I'll probably write a little more about the Pats game later on. A good time was had by all, other than ingesting maybe one too many processed meat products. I'm going to download the pics I took at the game from the camera and if there are any interesting ones in there I'll post a few.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend gang!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Weekend wrap up

Hey whats up everybody! Hope you had a nice weekend, outside of Red Sox baseball related matters anyway.

I did not get to see the Pats / Cardinals game on Saturday because I was out that night, but I caught the end of the game on the radio as I drove home. I was somewhat surprised at the outcome to be honest. I was expecting a little bit more of a challenge from the Cardinals, but I'm sure not going to complain about a game that was totally dominated by The Patriots, who won 30-3.

I'll be going in person to the next Pats game, vs. The Redskins, this upcoming weekend. That should be a lot of fun. The 3rd pre-season game is usually the final 'tune up' game for the regular season and it generally features the longest amount of playing time from the starters, so I am looking forward to that.

I went to see Rollins Band play in Boston Saturday night and had a super-fantastic time.

This was my first time seeing Rollins live and he did not disappoint. It was an incredibly good show. I'm not going to say too much about it right now as I will be posting more on that later. I was working on an incredibly over-long post all about the show last night, so look for something on that a little later in the week.

I did not see any of the Red Sox game last night since I was busy doing other things, and you know what, that is just fine. I was irritated when I got up and saw the score this morning, but, I would have been even more irritated if I had actually sat and watched that debacle.

I am not throwing in the towel on The Sox playoff hopes, but if they don't get things turned around soon, they'll be playing for pride in September.

Friday, August 18, 2006

It's not easy figuring out the best way to have fun

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

I've been having a small inner battle with myself for the last couple days, trying to decide what my best plan of action will be for Saturday, when I will be going to see The Riverboat Gamblers, Rollins Band and X at the Avalon in Boston.

I live about 50 miles west of Boston and normally I would just drive in, find somewhere to park, get a beer at a local bar and then head into the show, but here's the thing: The Avalon is located right across the street from Fenway Park and the Red Sox just happen to be playing an afternoon game vs The Yankees Saturday. That means that area of the city is going to be absolutely packed with people tomorrow.

So, do I drive in early, maybe even try to get a ticket to the Sox game, hang out and then go to the show?

That would be fun, but, if I go in early and can't get a ticket to the game, then what do I do, hang out around Yawkey Way, The Cask n' Flagon and The Baseball Tavern for 7 hours? That plan has trouble written all over it.

Plus, if I go in early for the Red Sox / Yankees game, whether I get into the game or not, will I be wiped out for the show afterwords? I would not want to be all tired and worn out before the RG/Rollins/X show even got started. What would I do after the game ended, take a nap in my car?

Or...

Do I just wait till later in the day to drive in to Boston, hope the area around Fenway has cleared out a little and pray to find a parking place?

Maybe it would be better to take the train in?

What to do, what to do, WHAT TO DO?

It all boils down to a basic decision that needs to be made, go in early or go in later.

Right now I'm leaning towards going into the city after the baseball game is over. I mean, what are my chances of getting into the Sox game anyway? Unless I want to pay a minimum of $200 for a ticket, which I don't, getting into the game is highly unlikely. I could try to get a game day ticket, but that means standing in line for 5 hours. No thanks.

The good news: no matter what, it will be a fun day.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Confession time...

Confession:
I ate a bowl of mint ice-cream last night... for dinner.

Rationalization:

- I had a bad day at work and needed something to cheer me up

- I had an upset stomach and mint helps fix stomach-aches.

- Mint ice-cream is not as fattening as say, chocolate ice-cream*, so it's not as bad to eat.

* I totally made that fact up to help myself feel better about eating ice-cream for dinner

Ok, so I ate ice-cream for dinner, but other than that minor transgression, I have been doing pretty good with the eating and exercise and what-not, so the diet damage from the ice-cream is minimal I think... Roll on.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

To do list

Things to do this week:

- Eat less
- Exercise more
- Read more
- Spend less time on inter-wang
- Practice guitar
- Figure out how to fix lawnmower transmission
- Go see Riverboat Gamblers, Rollins Band and X

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Starting to Feel the Chill of an Early Fall

Last night after work we had dinner in the back yard. It was really nice outside, but a bit cool, which took me by surprise. My daughter actually put on a sweatshirt because she was a little cold. It felt more like mid September, not early August. I'm not ready for Summer to end yet. The weather needs to stay hot for a few more weeks please.

I finally managed to drag my ass out of bed this morning and get out for some exercise. It was cold out! I was wearing just shorts and a light jacket and I was kind of chilly. Damn.

I warmed up once I started walking.

Something about August always makes me feel somewhat melancholy. It's like once August hits, I can feel the Summer slipping away and Winter looming ahead. I try not to think about it, but I can sense the cold and dark weather coming. It's like you can feel it in the air.

In the meantime, we just gotta enjoy this summertime weather while it lasts!

I was very sleepy again this morning. My baby daughter slept better last night, but she still woke up a few times because her teeth were bothering her. When the alarm went off I have to admit I got back into bed, but then my daughter started crying a little so I got up to help her. After she was settled I figured I was up so I may as well get my ass in gear.

My not being able to wake up in the mornings is more my own fault for not going to bed early enough than my daughter's for waking me up. I've gotten into a bad habit of staying up way too late, sometimes past 11 PM the last few nights. I need to get back to getting to sleep earlier so that I don't have such a hard time waking up.

I know if I can get into a routine, I'll be all set. It's overcoming that initial inertia and starting the routine that is the hard part. Well, I got it done today.

Try and keep it going again tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Try, try again...

For the past two days I've set my alarm with every intention of waking up and exercising before work. Unfortunately however, my baby daughter has been having a terrible time sleeping the last few days, which means that I have had a terrible time sleeping as well.

My daughter has a tooth coming in and it is really bothering her, so when she wakes up at night, my Wife and I take turns getting up to try and help her feel better.

So this morning, when my iPod, which also doubles as my alarm clock, started playing Turbonegro's 'Remain Untamed' at 5:30 AM, the only thing that remained was my ass in bed.

I'll just have to try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Thank God for Columbian Supremo...

Thoughts that went through my head today as I sat through one of the most boring training sessions ever in the history of man:

'Thank goodness they refilled the Columbian Supremo coffee in the break room'

'Boy there's a lot of lines and circles on that diagram. I have no idea what any of that means. Guess I shouldn't have stopped paying attention two hours ago.'

'I'm in acronym hell. How does anybody remember all these damn acronyms? Fuck I hate acronyms. WTF.'

'Elisha Cuthbert is hot'

'I wonder how much I could get for the old freezer in my basement'

'I gotta pee'

'Have the Pats signed Laurence Maroney yet?'

'I'm not going to remember any of this next week'

'Stay awake. Stay awake. Stay awake...'

'Is it 4:00 yet?'

Monday, July 24, 2006

Just plain beat...

Usually throughout the day, as things happen to me or as I read about events that occur with the Patriots or Red Sox, I think, hey, that would be a good subject for a post on the site.

Or maybe I'll think of some cool idea for a graphic that I could work on for my site banner.

But then, by the time I'm home from work and everything is settled down in the house, it's after 8:30 and I am just beat. I don't want to think about stuff, I don't want to do anything. I just want to sit and do nothing bug veg out on the couch.

Take tonight for example: I was planning to write a little about the Pats, since training camp starts up this week, but when I rolled up the driveway this evening, my wife pulled in right behind me with a car-load of groceries to be put away. While we were getting all that done, we discovered a bottle of corn syrup had somehow opened up and run all down the inside of the cabinet, making a sticky, glue-like mess, so I had to clean that up. Ug what a mess. Then it was time to cook dinner, then clean up after dinner and finally, after battling with them to eat a single pea and a single carrot, it was time to get the kids into bed.

Now it's almost 9:00. Whew. I feel old and tired. Maybe I'll just sit and relax for a little while and if I feel better I'll try and bang something out later... If not, well, you'll know I was at least thinking of writing something!

Update:
After I wrote the above post I made myself a whiskey and ice and sat on the front porch swing with my Wife and watched the sunset. We saw a shooting star and tried to figure out some of the constellations and wether a planet that we were looking at was Venus or not. Neither of us knew if Venus came out in the day or in the night, (maybe both?) so we were not sure which planet we were looking at. Either way, it was nice.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fun with music...

Stolen from Michele and Turtle, who stole it from Pril, who stole it from somebody else.. Either way, it's fun!

Step 1) Pick a band or singer
Step 2) Answer the questions using only song titles
Step 3) Post

Artist - Ozzy:

Are you male or female?: Mr. Crowley

Describe yourself: Believer

How do some people feel about you?: Diary of a Madman

How do you feel about yourself?: I Don't Know

Describe what you want to be.: Flying High Again

Describe your current mood: Revelation

Describe your friends.: Over The Mountain

Share a few words of wisdom.: You Can't Kill Rock and Roll

Saturday, July 15, 2006

11 years of putting up with me...

Today is my 11 Year Wedding Anniversary.

Yup, thats right. My Wife has been putting up with all of my nonsense for 11 years.

She is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I am not just repeating some mushy Hallmark Card poem when I say that I feel like the luckiest guy in the world that she has chosen to be my Wife, and to share her life with me.

This afternoon I'm taking her out to Legal Seafoods at the Long Wharf in Boston and then we'll be taking a sunset Harbor Cruise.

Our lives are very hectic these days with the kids, work and all the projects that seem to always be going on around here. It will be nice to have some fun and spend some time celebrating our special day together.

Happy 11th Anniversary Sweetheart. I love you!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I know style...

Quick back-story:

We have an old couch that is going to go in the basement. There is nothing wrong with it, other than the fact that, according to my Wife, it's the wrong color.

Me: "What's wrong with it? It looks fine to me."

Wife, rolling eyes: "IT DOESN'T MATCH!"

Me: "Doesn't match what? Everything down here is white. How can it not match?"

Wife: "It doesn't match because it's going to be up against a big green wall!"

Me: "Phht. Looks fine to me."

Wife: Rolls eyes.

There you have it. That's the back-story.

So my Wife has been on a quest to find a slip-cover for the couch that will match the Green Monster that I've painted in my basement. For you men out there, I know there's a lot of you bachelor-types who might not know this, but a slip cover is a fancy cover that fits on the couch and makes it look like it's got different upholstery. It's kind of different from the old sheet you might have used, or maybe are using right now... Women like this stuff. I don't know why. It's along the same lines as decorative pillows.

Anyway, The Wife is on a quest for a slip cover. Tonight we were sitting in the living room. I was watching the Sox / A's game, which is still in doubt as I write this, with the score tied 3-3, and my Wife was searching on the internets for slip-covers.

I glanced over at some of the pictures of the various styles she was looking at and asked, "Do they have any Patriots slip covers?"

"No."

"You didn't even look!"

"I don't need to look. I just know they don't have any."

"Gimme that thing," I said, grabbing the lap-top.

I fired up google and did a couple quick searches. Sadly, I had to concede to her. I was not able to find any cool Patriots slip-covers.

BUT

Look what I did find!

Dude! THAT THING IS AWESOME!!!

While I was searching for some Pats slip-covers, my Wife had gotten up to get herself a drink of water. She came back and asked in a smirky tone, 'Well, did you find any Patriots slip-covers?'

'Nope. Better!' I said, showing her the Patriots couch.

She was aghast.

'We need to get this,' I said. 'THAT THING IS AWESOME!!'

'We can't afford it.'

'Look! There's even a matching recliner!'

'We can't afford it.'

'How about as an anniversary present for you?'

'Oh, yeah. That's real romantic. Just what I want, a Patriots couch.'

I guess some women just don't know style + romance when they see it.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New and interesting uses for a ShopVac

Earlier in the day, while putting a new roll of toilet paper on the dispenser, my Wife had somehow managed to flush the roller.

How do these things happen? I don't know.

I was getting ready for work when I heard an, 'OH MY GOD!' from the bathroom.

'Whah? What happened!?' I yelled back, thinking something was wrong.

'I DON'T BELIEVE IT!' was all I got back.

Now I was getting concerned. Just as I was getting up to see what was wrong, my wife emerged from the bathroom looking completely flabbergasted.

'Is everything ok??'

'Yesss. You're not going to believe it.'

'WHAT!'

'I flushed the roller for the toilet paper dispenser.'

'You what? How the hell did that happen?'

'Well don't get mad at me, it was not on purpose!'

'Well I know that, but what do you expect me to say?'

I had to leave for work and did not have time to deal with the problem right then. The toilet was still flushing and seemed to be ok, but I thought it was a little strange that the roller would go down that easily. I had a sneaky feeling the roller was just stuck in there and I was going to have to figure out a way to retrieve it, but for now the water was going down so I headed out to my paying job.

When I got home it became obvious that the roller was lodged in the toilet. The problem was, how was I going to get it out in the least disgusting way possible?

I did not have a lot of options.

I tried the plunger, that was not working, a wire, also not working and as a last resort, my hand (yeah, gross) which was, once again, not working.

Now what?

I washed my hands five or six times and got online to see what google could come up with. I typed in 'snake toilet', and google found this site, which contained the brilliant suggestion of using a ShopVac to recover the roller. Apparently, and, incredibly, my Wife is not the first person who managed to somehow accomplish the feat of flushing away the TP roller.

I got my ShopVac out of the basement and drained as much water as I could from the toilet. Then I stuck the nozzle in the hole and let er' rip. Thankfully, (mercifully) the roller was the only thing in there and after a few tries, I was able to get it out.

I never thought I'd be using my ShopVac to fix a toilet. I jokingly let my Wife know that she officially 'owes me one' for that little mishap.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. I can only imagine...

Monday, July 10, 2006

When was the last time I posted?

When was the last time I posted? Last week or something? I can't remember. Dude, I am flat out all the time busy. Some day I'd like to spend a weekend just doing nothing but hanging out in the sun. Maybe when I'm too old to move I can get my son to come over here and help me with all this stuff.

Last weekend, with the help of my father-in-law, who has had to give up way too much of his life for this project, I got the closet doors installed and framed with trim in our basement, a soon to be finished room. Got some baseboard trim in too.

This week the guy from the oil company is going to come and finish up the heat and then we can get the rest of the baseboard trim in. That should be pretty easy. And we have one window and one door, a pocket door, to frame up with trim. Oh, and the cabinets and shelves. Sheesh.

I think then it will be finished and it will finally be Miller Time on this basement project for real.

A couple cool things happened to me over the past few days.

My baby daughter, who is 4 months old and is doing great, rolled over from her back onto her tummy. She's on the move now! Pretty soon she'll be crawling. What a joy she is.

My 'big kids', my daughter and son, who are 4 years old, have been doing really well too. They start summer-time camp and summer-time pre-school this week. They have been taking swimming lessons and they are really doing great at it. They swim like fish and really love the water.

I think I really have something in common with my older daughter. She seems to really like music. She is always coming up with her own tunes and songs. When I play my guitar she jumps around and dances. Plus she likes the Ramones. And Black Flag. And Social Distortion. Her fav is The Ramones.

That's good 'jump around music' she says.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Starting over...

I've done a pretty poor job of getting back on track with my daily exercise routine. I've managed to get up and get outside only one day each week since I started again, but I just kept telling myself to keep trying and to start over the next day.

Well this week I've actually managed to get my tired self out of bed to go outside and exercise for two days in a row! Woo! I'm on a roll now. This morning I even ran instead of walking! Well, I jogged. Whatever. It was faster than walking.

I'd rather just walk, because I hate running, but I need to kick things into a higher gear with this whole losing weight thing.

I'm also back on the 'looking for people to jam with' list. This is a subject that I have found difficult to get my thoughts together on. I've actually tried to write a post about this several times but my thoughts surrounding the whole series of events are kind of mixed up and jumbled.

It turns out my latest stint playing with the band I was briefly in just did not work out. I thought that things were going well but I missed a practice one week so that I could install the floor in my basement and the band leader got all pissed off about it, to the point where he could not even respond to e-mails for over a week. I thought that his reaction was a bit over the top and ridiculous, and it really annoyed me that he was so angry about my not being able to make practice that one week.

Practices were on Sunday afternoons and I had told them right from the start that there would be times when I would not be able to come if there was something going on with my family or work that needed to be done at home. Everyone in the band seemed cool with that, until it actually happened, that is.

I was going to try and just blow the whole thing off but the issue with my missing practice did not go away and I decided that it was not in the best interest of either myself of the band to continue with them. I realized that I was not going to be able to give them the kind of commitment that they were going to need to accomplish their goals and from an irrational, emotional standpoint, the fact that the band leader was so pissed off at me made me even more pissed off at him and the whole situation. I thought it was asinine and it got to the point where I just did not want to deal with it. I was in this for fun, not a hassle.

I thought about trying to keep going with the band and see if things would work out, but my gut was telling me that it was not going to happen. I was at the point where I had become so annoyed with the whole situation that I would not have been able to let it go myself, so I told them thanks, it was fun and wished them luck. I realize I was probably being a little bit irrational about the whole thing, but sometimes you just have to listen to your gut. Most of the time, your gut is right and your head is wrong.

So now I'm back hoping to someday find some people I can just jam with and not have to worry about learning songs that I don't really like as fast as I can. I'll probably put another post up on Craigslist after my basement is finished and I have a cool place of my own to do some jamming.

Every time I do this whole band thing I learn a little more. I've been playing my guitar for a while now but I have not been in a lot of bands. I'm basically a newbie at this whole thing. I did not think it would be so hard to find people in common to just hang out and jam with. I'm sure my time constraints and grown-up responsibilities do not help the process. I'll just keep at it. Next time I will be a little more strict too, NO Beatles tunes.

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch...

Pet Peeves:

- When guys walk around the office wearing just their socks, or worse, in their bare fucking feet. What the fuck dude? This is work, not your fucking living room at home. Put your god-damn muther-fucking shoes on. I don't want to look at your stinky, overgrown toenail havin', crusty-skinned feet. Hygiene alert! Sheesh...

- The Red Sox losing 3 out of 4 to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Notice I said, '3 out of 4', because losing tonight's game is not an option. The Sox are getting the win tonight and that's it. Getting swept by The Rays is simply not going to happen. Not. Gonna. Happen. End of discussion.

- Bitchy people. Oh wait. That would be me right now.. Never mind.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 230th Birthday U.S.A.

I'd like to wish a Happy 4th of July to everybody that stops by here today. Hope you have an enjoyable and safe holiday.

The Declaration of Independence

My thanks go out to those that originally forged this document and to those that still defend it today.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Looking straight down the barrel of a nice long weekend...

Hey! It's Friday night and the weekend has officially started for me. I don't have to be back in the office 'till Wednesday. The weather around here is great right now. Nice Sunset goin' down outside, cool breeze, just a nice summer evening. I'm having a few Coronas and getting ready to practice a few tunes on the gee-tarr while I watch the Sox in the background.

The Sox are not doing too good tonight, down by 5 in the 4th. That streak is in jeopardy. Oh well, it can't last forever. Then again, it's only the 4th inning. There's a lot of baseball game left to go here.

As I watch this Sox / Marlins game, I am amazed at how empty that stadium is down in Florida. The place is almost completely empty. The bleachers, fucking empty. It's incredible and at the same time, kind of sad. I mean, this is a team that won the World Series just 3 years ago and their stadium is friggin' empty. As a fan, it makes me appreciate what we've got here in Boston. Hopefully that goes for the players on the field too...

I'll be working on a few songs tonight, trying to learn some of the tunes that the band plays. This is hard for me to believe, and it's actually gotten me quite irritated over the last few days, but there is already some friction with the band. I guess one of the guys is pissed off at me because I was busy busting my ass in my basement this past weekend and could not make practice. That really gets under my skin, but my wife tells me to just show up to practice and see how it goes. Maybe I am making more out of things than is really there. We'll see.

Last week I left my Last.FM counter on while I was practicing and now my stats are all skewed. The fucking BEATLES are at #2 on my most frequently played list last week. Yeah, because I played that damn 'Birthday' song over and over again to figure out how it goes... humph.

Well I better start working on some tunes. I don't know how much I'll be posting this weekend so everybody out there have a safe and happy 4th of July. Don't blow your fingers off with an M-80 or anything.

I would like to say a sincere Thank You to all the men and women in uniform who are out there serving for us and putting their asses on the line for us right now. Think about them while you're kicking back this weekend and make sure you give the Vets a good, loud round of applause when they march by at the 4th of July Parade this weekend.

Tonight's Songs, for those who care:
Turn The Page - Bob Seger
Skulls - The Misfits (mine)
Prison Bound - Social Distortion (mine)
Volcano Girls - Veruca Salt
Megalomaniac - Incubus
Mother Mother - Tracy Bonham

Saturday, June 24, 2006

By request... Basement pic

Ok, some people have asked to actually see what this basement I am always writing about looks like.

I worked down there for 12 hours today. Here's how it looks right now:

Floorinprog_1

We actually have more of the floor finished than what is shown in the picture. I just took this while I was taking a quick refreshment break. We are about 1/3 of the way done with getting all of the floor in. We should be able to get the rest of it finished tomorrow..

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I, awake

Now that my baby daughter is sleeping through the night, I decided it was time to try and get back to my morning exercise routine, a (mostly) daily 2 mile walk.

I had intended to start up again on Monday but when the alarm clock went off at a shockingly early 5:30 AM, the closest I got to actual exercise was the step I took out of bed to hit the snooze button on the alarm. This same scene repeated itself on Tuesday and Wednesday. Not a good way to start, but each day I simply told myself that I would try again tomorrow.

I finally managed to drag my tired, sleepy ass out of bed this morning and get my walk in. I thought it was appropriate that I started up my routine again on the first full day of summer. I was half asleep through the first mile, but it felt good to get outside and get some fresh air and exercise.

Later in the morning I went to make my coffee for the drive to work and realized that I only had about 4 and 1/2 scoops of coffee left. I usually make my coffee with 3 scoops, so what was I going to do with that last scoop and a half? Make an extra large coffee of course!

By the time I got to work, I was good and fucking wired let me tell ya. Although I need my morning coffee to get me going every day, I don't drink a huge amount of it throughout the day. I usually have a medium sized cup in the morning for the drive to work and a small cup in the afternoon when I start to get that drowsy, 'blah' feeling around 3 o'clock.

Today, not only did I have the extra-large cup of coffee this morning, I had a Pepsi before lunch and the afternoon coffee. For me, that is a lot of caffeine, so now I'm feeling pretty twitchy. Sleep might be a problem later, which could definitely throw a kink in my ability to wake up and exercise tomorrow morning. It's a vicious fucking cycle.

Friday, June 09, 2006

'Awesome!'

One of the most over-used words in my vocabulary is the word, 'awesome'. An extremely versatile word, it can be used to describe both the good and the bad.

For example:

- The insanity that is I-84 in Hartford, CT: Awesome. It's like driving on the highway version of a back-ass country road; the twists, the turns, the left hand lane you're driving in suddenly becoming an exit ramp! One minute the speed limit is 65 MPH, the next minute it's 50. Whee!

- The person driving in front of you doing their best to get somebody killed by cutting off not one, but two tractor trailer trucks: Awesome

- Hanging around doing nothing for three hours because the person you are supposed to meet with today forgot they have meetings all morning: Awesome

- A vending machine bag of peanuts and a Coca-Cola for lunch: Awesome

- The Slayer / Garth Brooks play-list you made for the 2 hour ride home is exactly long enough to get you from door to door: Awesome

- Soft tacos for dinner: Awesome

- With Shilling on the mound and 'Tek at the plate, the Red Sox finally get a win vs the MFY: Awesome

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Beat...

I was going to write something about all the recent goings on in Patriots Nation today but I'm just too beat to get down anything substantial. I had kind of an ass-kicker of a day, a 2 hour drive down to a customer site, make them happy all day, then drive home 2 hours in the driving rain.

Got home kinda late and wound up eating a few pretzels and beers for dinner.

...And I've got to do it all again tomorrow. At least these guys I'm going down to see are nice to deal with, and I'd rather drive home and sleep in my own house than have to spend a night in a lonely hotel room, that's for sure...

A banner day for the site today, went over 5000 visitors. I know some people get that in a month, but for me that's pretty cool. A sincere thanks to everyone that stops by here.

I also had a couple of my favorite songs featured on Faster Than the World today, which is super cool. That site kicks ass on a daily basis.

Rollins Band is going to play Avalon in Boston this August. Dude. I am so there.

No more rain. I think we all need a break from these never ending clouds!!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Practice makes perfect... or something

It's Friday Night and my wife has taken the kids out to visit with her folks, meaning I'm all alone and I can practice my guitar without the headphones on.

I have a list of songs I need to learn for band practice so I'll be working on those while I keep an eye on the Sox game in the background and have a few Reward Friday beers...

For those who are still reading, here is the list of songs I am trying to learn at the moment:

Already Gone - The Eagles
Down On The Corner - Creedence
Heartbreaker - Pat Benatar
Rock Me Right - (unknown artist)
Secret Agent Man - Johnny Rivers (um, yeah, whatever, if I get my way this will offset with something down the road let me tell you...)
Megalomaniac - Incubus
Cochise - Audioslave
You Oughta Know - Alanis Morissette
Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
Every Breath You Take - The Police

Also played along with, for my own enjoyment:
When She Begins - Social D
Don't Take Me For Granted - Social D (Yes I know, I listen to a lot of Social Distortion. Hey, they're my favorite band...)
The Bars- Black Flag
I Just Wanna Have Something To Do - Ramones
Astro Zombies - Misfits

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

'Long' Weekend

Hey what's up inter-frammers? I know... Site content around here has been a little sparse lately... The long weekend kicked my ass and not in a party party party way either.

Friday I took the day off from work and my wife and I brought the kids to a place called Southwick's Zoo. It was a lot of fun and the kids seemed to have a good time.

My son was running all over the place looking at all the different animals they had. We could hardly keep up with him. My wife and I ended up just kind of 'herding' him and his sister around the zoo as we took turns trying to keep up with the kids and at the same time push the baby carriage. The kids had fun and that's all that counts so it was a good day.

Saturday I pretty much spent the whole day working on my basement. Anyone sick of hearing about my basement yet? With the help of my father-in-law, I got the drop ceiling framework installed. That was huge. It feels like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on this project now. I will be so glad when it's finished... The electrician is going to come in tomorrow to finish up the outlets [he was supposed to come today but we won't go there...] and put in the lighting and then once that's done, I'll put in the ceiling tiles.

After that, I think the next thing to do is to tackle the floor and that is going to be a task, let me tell you. I am actually going to try and take a class at Home Depot on how to install it... Have I mentioned how happy I'll be when this thing is done?

Sunday and Monday were dedicated to getting outside chores done. With all the rain we've had around here lately, my grass was very high once again. It was so tall, I had to go over some areas twice... I don't really mind mowing the lawn but it sure takes out a chunk of the day. I spent the rest of the day Sunday getting a bunch of outdoor stuff done at home and then Monday I went over to the in-laws and helped them out with their work. I'll spare you the oh-so-thrilling recap. There was a cook-out in there somewhere involving beer and brats (as in bratwurst).

Sunday night, I actually went out to meet up with some musicians that I had gotten in contact with through Craigslist. I had put in a new ad a few weeks ago looking to try and hook up with, or start up, a new band and I got a response from a band who was looking for a guitar player.

I was very up front right from the beginning that I could only do one night a week and they were cool with that. One night was all they were looking to do as well so it worked out good.

The second stipulation I had was that I did not want to get locked into doing one 'style' of music. I don't mind playing covers of songs that I'm not really into, as long as the others in the band are open to doing songs that I like to play as well.

The last band that I was in, all they wanted to do was pop songs and any suggestion of a punk or metal tune was completely out of the question as far as they were concerned. I told them I was interested in trying to do a Danzig song [Do you wear the Mark] and they looked at me like I was nuts. I did not really like that, but at the time I was just happy to be in a band so I put up with it.

This time around I decided I was not going to do that again. Like I said, I don't mind playing stuff that I'm not into, but if you're going to ask me to play a bunch of damn Beatles tunes, then you're going to play something from The Clash or Social D along with it.

The good news was that, thankfully, these guys seemed to have no problem with that. Of course, it's only been one meeting, so we'll see how it goes. I am optimistic though. At least they knew who Social Distortion was and had heard some of their songs, so that's a good start.

The really cool thing is that this band wants to do originals. They are actually more interested in the originals than the covers, which I think is great. They played me some of their songs and they were very cool. I actually liked the originals better than the covers, so that aspect of this whole thing has me pretty psyched.

I am hoping this will work out because it seems like a good situation, but they were up front with me too and told me they still had some other players that might come in and try out as well, so I was not 'in' yet. Hey you never know, the next Eddie Van Halen might show up to one of their practices, and if that happens and they tell me thanks for your time, but we've got the next Fast Eddie V here and we're going with him instead of you, that is completely understandable.

I appreciate having all this stuff brought out right in the beginning so everybody knows where people stand. I would much rather know the whole deal up front than go along a few weeks thinking I'm in and then all of a sudden, it turns out differently. That would not be fun.

For now, they liked me enough to give me some songs to learn and told me to come back next week, so I'll just take it from there. If it lasts a few weeks, I'll start to try and figure out how I can get some Misfits tunes worked into their list of covers... I gotta offset those damn Beatles tunes somehow.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Thank You!

On this Memorial Day I'd like to send out a sincere and deeply respectful THANK YOU to all the men and women who have served our country and especially to those who are actively serving right now around the globe.

Remember while you're cooking-out and tipping back your beer, at that same moment there are American Soldiers out there putting it all on the line for you. Thank you.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Oh darn I missed that big important work meeting...

That's because I got a jump start on the long weekend and took today off. Woo-hoo! Long weekends rule.

Of course, even when I'm off, I'm not really 'off'...

Today will be a day spent with the kids. We are planning on taking them to a zoo or something... that should be fun. Then tomorrow it's basement duty, I'm hoping to get the rest of the drop-ceiling installed. Sunday it's yard duty and Monday I'm going to help my in-laws with their yard duty.

All that is still better than a day at the office and I'm sure there will be a cook-out thrown in there somewhere...

As for the meeting I missed today, we can just take it offline. I don't have the cycles or bandwidth right now and at the end of the day, I don't want to churn on this too much. I'm OOTO...

Monday, May 22, 2006

A quick tale about the Wachusett Spring Fling

Well for those of you who may be wondering, my wife and I had a lot of fun at the Wachusett Brewery Spring Fling. It rained a little bit but thankfully there were some tents set up so we ducked underneath to keep dry. The rain only lasted a short time before it finally stopped.

Now, before I go any further into this mesmerizing tale, I must warn you about a few things not to do at an event such as this.

After drinking a bunch of high-test draft beers on an empty stomach, do not, under any circumstances, finish drinking the left-over iced coffee that's been sitting in your car for several hours, then drive down some back-ass, hilly, twisty, turny as fuck country road while sitting in the passenger seat. DO NOT DO IT. If you do, there is a good chance that you will yack before arriving safely home. Don't say you have not been warned.

Now on with the Spring Fling story:

I had a Monsta Ale for B over in Zurich (so nice of me), as well as a Black Shack and a Country Ale for the other folks who requested I 'have one for them'. Not a problem.

My wife had a Summer Ale and it took her two hours to drink it. In her defense she is most definitely not a beer chick. She's more or a margarita / mud-slide kinda gal.

While we were milling around the Spring Fling, checking everything out, we heard part of the band 'Trebek'. They were finishing up their set and doing some cover tunes. I was not paying a super amount of attention to them because we were walking around and looking at the various things going on at the Spring Fling, but for background music I thought they sounded pretty good and I could have swore when I was standing in line for a beer I heard them doing a cover of 'The Bars' by Black Flag... Which made me perk my ears up and upped their coolness factor a few notches for me. Of course, I could have been mistaken because I was too far away to hear exactly what they were playing but let's pretend it was Black Flag, just because.

My wife did not like them. 'Too heavy' she said. Again, the wife is not a hard rock chik, so no surprises there. I thought they sounded good, so maybe if I ever get a chance to go out and they are playing somewhere nearby, I will go see them.

The beers all tasted great. After I got all my drinking obligations for other people out of the way, I had a few Monsta Ales for myself while my wife worked on her Summer Ale. 'You don't have to drink it if you don't want to,' I told her.

'No, it's alright,' she said unenthusiastically. Obviously, she was not there for the beers. She was having fun watching all the people, listening to some music, and just spending some time together hanging out without someone yelling, 'MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY!!'

A little while after Trebek's set ended, Clutch Grabwell came out. They always put on a great show and are a blast to see live. John Boyle, the lead singer, came out wearing some kind of crazy scottish getup that included a checkered pom-pom hat and fake red hair, shouting, 'GET IN MAA BELLY!!' That guy is a riot and Clutch Grabwell play great music to jump around to. You can't go wrong with them. Their riffs have a great hook that is just heavy enough for my tastes but with plenty of grrooove from the bass and horn section that the wife gets into them them as well. They have mass appeal those guys.

Except for the puke part at the end, a good time was most definitely had.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

We are a go for Wachusett Brewery Spring Fling!

The sun is out and it's looking like it will stay that way for most of the day, meaning that we are a GO for Wachusett Brewery's Spring Fling today.

I'm going to do some work in my basement this morning, (it wouldn't be the weekend without some quality time spent in the basement) and then this afternoon we will head over to the brewery for a few cold ones and some live music.

I've had a few people tell me to 'have a beer for me while you're there'.

Ok, if I have to.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Overheard in the nuthouse...

Recently overheard here:

-ARE YOU CRAZY!!?? YOU JUST SPRAYED YOURSELF IN THE FACE WITH LYSOL!!

-She only likes me for my body Mom (from the mouth of a 4 year old boy, wtf??)

- Mom, do you like my Devilock? (also from a 4 year old, this time the girl...)

So today I'm sitting at the dinner table, and my daughter says to my wife, 'I like sitting between you and Dad, Mom' and my son says, 'I like sitting between you and Dad too.'

So I say, 'I like sitting between you guys. Where is baby going to sit when she gets big? We'll have to move to a bigger room!'

At this point, my wife interjects, 'Well, someday after the basement's done, I want to build a breakfast island in the kitchen and tile the floor...'

[Stunned silence as my mouth hangs open]

'You want to build and island in the kitchen... and tile the floor... You. Mmmm, hm.'

I look over at the son. 'What am I going to do kid?'

He just smiled back at me.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Baseball Terminology fun...

Not much to post about today.

The Sox lost to the O's (had to happen eventually), the Sun is finally OUT, and if I don't cut my lawn tonight, it will be 3 feet tall by the time I get a chance to mow again. I am a slave to my lawn... (but it looks good, nice and green!)

Yup, not much goin' on in this wape of the woods, neck of the wape right now, but there is a great post over at Two Grim Dudes listing fun Baseball Terminology. So check it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

They come for me, Ministry...

Well, I might not have had any luck getting Patriots tickets this past weekend, but I had no problem getting tickets to see Ministry at the Worcester Palladium in June.

If you're going to the show, maybe we'll... run into each other, heh... (I know, bad joke, wakka wakka.)

In other music related items, I was reading Clutch Grabwell's site the other day and noted with extreme excitement that they will be playing at Wachusett Brewery's Spring Fling this weekend, AT THE BREWERY.

To quote Jeff at Grabwell's site:

Dude. If you know what I'm talking about, then you know what's up. If you don't, then simply call Westminster and ask them. This is it. Do not fumble around and [email protected]#$ this up, ok?

Seriously.

Lets hope it does not rain, because I'm working on lining up a baby-sitter for this one... Wachusett Brew's Spring Fling is not to be missed, not when it takes place at the legendary brewery location...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Music for Mother's Day...

Some songs for Mother's Day. Might want to save some of these till after your visit with Mom...

Danzig: Mother... Can you keep them in the dark for life? Can you hide them from the waiting world? Oh, Mother...

Cash: When I was just a baby, my Momma told me son, always be a good boy, don't ever play with guns, but I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die...

Haggard: Momma tried to raise me better, but her pleading I denied, that leaves only me to blame 'cause Momma tried...

Ed Bruce (or you can go with Waylon and Willie's version too): Momma's don't let you babies grow up to be Cowboys. Don't let em pick guitars and drive them old trucks...

Misfits: I'll bring back a souvenir for it's my Mommy's dream...

Mudhoney: Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. Look at your son. You might have loved me, but now I got a gun. You better stay out of my way. I think I've had a bad day...

Queen: Tie your Mother down, give me all your love tonight...

Social Distortion: Mommy's Little Monster shoots methadrine. Mommy's Little Monster had sex at 15...

D.A.C.: I was drunk, the day my Mom got out of prison, and I went, to pick her up, in the rain...

Aerosmith: Keep in touch with Mama kin. Tell her where you’ve gone and been...

Update:
Be sure to check out Michele's fine Mother's Day musical selection as well, and of course, Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Weekend update...

A post just for the sake of posting, so you know it will be good. (Phht...)

This past weekend was great. My baby daughter was baptized on Sunday and we had family and a few friends in attendance. The ceremony was short but very well done and enjoyable.

The Reverend at my church is an extremely nice man who is also a very down-to-earth person as well. He is an easy person to talk to and is able to explain mysterious things like 'church stuff', as I call it, in a way that is easy for me to relate to. He has helped me a great deal over the last few years since first I met him.

After the ceremony we had everyone over to our house for lunch. We kept it casual with sandwiches and various other snacks. It turned out to be a fantastic day weather-wise, so people were able to hang out in the yard, relax and just enjoy themselves.

I turned on the television when the Sox game started and also put an AM radio outside for the benefit of those (myself included) who did not want to miss out on the sunny day but still wanted to hear the game.

I happened to be inside watching the game on television when Tek hit the second grand-slam of his career and I announced Jason's accomplishment quite loudly, 'GRAND-SLAM FOR THE CAPTAIN!!'

The sarcastic response from the women gossiping in the other room went something like, "I think something just happened in the ball-game."

I then stuck my head out the window to inform those outside who might have missed it as well and was greeted by more sarcasm:

"Tek just hit a grand slam.'

'Um, yeah, we heard... How could we miss it?'

Later in the day I got my wife to throw the wiffle ball for me while I took a few at bats. She tried to bean me a few times, prompting me to yell, 'HEADHUNTER!'

She had me swinging at a few balls outside, which drew a comment from my sister in law, 'Aw man you should not have chased that one, that was way outside!'

Damn peanut gallery... I was able to launch a few balls into orbit (the other side of the yard) as well.

I must admit that I was very bad diet-wise Sunday, eating chips, brownies, ice-cream and beer throughout the day, but I (rationalized) told myself that it will be The 4th of July before I allow myself to eat so much junk in one day again, so I forgave myself and got back on the right path with a rice-crispy treat. (Those are healthy snacks).

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cinco de Mayo + Reward Friday

First it was St. Paddy's Day falling on a Friday and now Cinco de Mayo lands on a Friday too?

Combine that with some sunshine and temps in the high 70's and you've got a whole lotta 'Whoa Yeah!'

Is it 5 o'clock yet?

Sunday, April 30, 2006

I'm building a monster in my basement...

A Green Monster.

Monstah

Right now it's a work in progress. It needs a couple more coats of paint. When this part is finished I'm going to get some stencils and paint the scoreboard on there too. I want to try and paint letters and numbers that are approximate to the actual size of the real scoreboard, so it will wind up looking like a section of the Green Monster, not a full, mini-sized scoreboard.

I'm thinking I'll paint a little doorway and in a darker green paint, that you'll have to look closely to notice, I'll write something like 'Looking for Manny?' With an arrow pointing to the door, or something goofy like that. (I'd be open to suggestions actually...)

It should be pretty cool when it's finished. (If it's ever finished...)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Pink Hat Brigade has a new member...

No, it's not me... (wise-ass)

The other day, I got home from work and my kids were outside, enjoying a nice spring day. As I got out of my car, my daughter came running up to me and I was surprised to see that instead of wearing her 'batting practice' red and blue Sox cap, she had switched over to a (brace yourselves) pink Red Sox ball-cap.

"Daddy look at my new hat! It's pink!!

"It's very nice," I said. "I really like it!"

"I know, isn't it cool? See ya!" and off she went, running down the lawn (I wish I could harness that energy).

To be honest, I prefer the red and blue batting practice cap, but I'm not going to tell her that, and if it makes her happy to wear a pink Red Sox cap, that's all that matters to me.

I hope the Anti-Pink Sox Cap Gang will cut her some slack. After all, she is four and her favorite color happens to be pink. The thing that counts is not the color of the hat but the 'B' on the front right? And if you could see the way she can hit the ball off a T at her age, pink hat or no, the only thing you'd probably say about it would be some thing like, 'Wow that little girl in the pink Sox hat can really swing the bat!"

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Recent observations...

Noticed recently:

File under - Protect me from myself:
New software recently released for the latest iPods now has a setting that allows you to set the maximum volume for the device. I don't really have a problem with that and I guess it could actually be a pretty handy setting, but I have to wonder, is it really necessary?

How about this for an idea: if you think your music is playing too loudly, just turn down the volume. I know, call me crazy!

Oh wait, that would mean you might have to take some personal responsibility for your own actions. Never mind.

File under - Football Geek:
Speaking of the iPod, I've been listening to the Patriots PodCast over the last week or so and I have to give it an enthusiastic thumbs up! It's no secret that I can't stand Boston Sports Talk Radio, so The Pats Podcast has been a great find for me. Get it on iTunes.

File under - Nerdery:
While at work, I've seen people goofing off in a variety of ways, from playing solitaire, to shoot-em-up video games, to just plain sleeping at their desk. I'm certainly not perfect myself and have been known to occasionally waste valuable company time and resources goofing around on the internets.

My personal goof-off sin involves Bloglines. I go there several times a day to check for updates to people's sites. It's not like I'm spending hours there or anything like that but, let's face it, the less time spent wasting time at work, the better. That is where this handy little Konfabulator widget comes in. It displays the most recent Bloglines site updates right there on the desktop. Very cool! (And free. Bonus!) "This'll put you in solid with your boss..."

1st Baseball Post: 5 reasons why the Yankees will win the A.L. Pennant

Reason #1: They have one of the best if not the best pitching staff in baseball. Two words: Randy Johnson.

Reason #2: They have the best shortstop in the game in Derek Jeter.

Reason #3: A-ROD breaks out this year and finally claims his unfulfilled championship destiny as a NY Yankee.

Reason #4: Johnny Damon is the best lead off hitter in the game, and now that he's cut his hair, he'll be even faster on the baselines.

Reason #5:
APRIL FOOLS!!

Ok. I know. That was an easy one. Did I get ya? Yeah. Didn't think so, but it was fun anyway. The Yankees win the A.L. Pennant this year...Phhht! Hah!

This morning I tried to explain to my kids the concept of April Fools Day:

"Here's what you do. When Mommy comes downstairs, tell her something like, 'we don't want any jellybeans for Easter'.

They gave me a befuddled look and said, 'Nnnoooo Dad, we do want jellybeans on Easter!'

'No, you're not getting it,' I said. 'It's a trick. It's not real, you're just playing a silly joke on somebody. So when Mommy comes down, say something like, 'I want some carrots for breakfast'.

'But Dad, we want waffles for breakfast, not carrots!'

Forging onward, I tried to explain again, 'You guys are not getting it, April Fools is a joke, you don't really mean it.'

'A joke?'

'Yeah'

'Okaay. Dad, why was six afraid of seven?'

'Why?'

'Because seven ate nine!'

I give up.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Drinkin' Iced Coffee, Iced Coffee, Staring At The Wall...

The weather has officially turned awesome and it's now Dunkin's Iced Coffee time. Had my first one of the year the other day, now at a cost of $2.05 at the local Dunks.

I remember last year, they were like $1.76 or something like that. It seems they just keep jacking up the price. Two bucks for a cuppa coffee seems a little steep, but it doesn't matter, they know they've got me and they know I'll pay. Oh yes, I'll pay...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Watcha doin'?

Hello. What's going on. Nada? Cool.

Me? Just havin' a beer and playin along with a few faves:

Ball and Chain (Mike N)
Death or Glory (The Clash)
The Old Account (The Man in Black)
Simple Man (Ronnie)
The KKK Took My Baby Away (Joey)
Do You Wear the Mark (Glenn)
Some Kinda Hate (Glenn)
Tell Me (Galaxie 500)

Happy Friday

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I need a day off from my weekend...

I am totally beat as I write this. I spent all day Saturday putting screws into drywall. I went through two and a half, five pound boxes of sheet-rock screws. Sheesh. It was not mentally difficult, since there's no measuring or cutting involved, but it was tedious and time consuming and it does get tiring after a while. Thankfully I had some help from my Dad, who came over and gave me a hand with it, or it probably would have taken me twice as long to do.

Today I started filling in all the seams with drywall compound and tape. This was also not a particularly difficult job, basically you're just slapping goop in the seam between the boards and then smoothing it down, but it's still tedious and after spending all day doing it, tiring.

My father-in-law came over and helped me, and the two of us got about 1/3 of the walls done... This project seems endless, but that's how it goes when you only have the weekends to work on stuff.

Sometimes it seems hard for me to believe that a contractor can finish a basement in about two weeks, but then again they do have all day to work on it, 5 days a week, along with help from two or three assistants. I suppose being a professional as opposed to an amateur do-it-yourselfer helps a lot too. Heh.

Thankfully I've had a lot of help from my father-in-law. If it were not for his help, this project probably would not even be happening. It's a lot of hard work but I think it will be worth it. It's gonna be a nice room when it's done, someday, I hope.

(Tell me this is not the most exhilarating thing you have ever read on the internets...)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

St. Patrick's Day and Reward Friday both on the same day?? Fan Effin Tastic!!

I'd like to wish everyone that drops by a happy and safe St. Paddy's Day. And don't sweat that whole 'no meat on a Friday' thing. I think the Big Guy upstairs will understand. It is St. Paddy's Day after all!

mmmmm. so yummy.

Enjoy your Guinness, Jameson, Baileys, and Corned Beef and Bangers and Mash my friends.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

What's goin on?

Hey internets. It's March. I know a lot of people do not like March, but I do.

First off, my birthday is in March, and even though I don't like to have a big deal made out of my birthday, I do enjoy getting a card from my wife and small, hand-made gifts from my kids and stuff like that on my birthday. Also, I usually celebrate my birthday with a little extra alke-ma-hol. Not to get loaded or anything, just to mark the day. There was once a time when I did not think I would make it past the age of 25. Thank goodness that I have. I would have missed out on a lot of incredibly great stuff.

The other reason I like March is because St. Patrick's Day is in March. I am not Irish, but I do like Guinness and if St. Patrick's day is an excuse for me to have one, I'll take it. Here is a St. Patty's Day oddity for you: to my knowledge, I have never had corned-beef.

Another reason behind my fondness for March is that it is followed by April and also Scott's 4-Step lawn program goes on sale in March, and when lawn products are on sale, Spring can not be too far away.

Since I'm not posting too much lately, here are a few quick updates:

Fat Fighting: I am in the 150s muthafuckas. That's right. It has taken me what has seemed like forever and I was seriously beginning to wonder if that damn scale was actually broken, but I am now within striking distance of that elusive goal of 155 and the ultimate goal of eventually getting under 155...

Basement: The sheet-rocking is almost done. All the walls and closets are done. I now have to do small areas like above the closets and doors and stuff like that, then it will be time for the taping phase. Woo. I will be so glad when the sheet-rocking is done because it will start to feel like a room, not a basement.

Once the sheet-rock is completed, it will be time for paint. I am going to try and paint one of the walls to look like The Green Monster at Fenway.

Baby: We brought the baby home from the hospital on Thursday morning. As I'm sure you can guess, helping with the baby has taken up almost all of my time. My wife had a c-section so I am off from work this week to help out with taking care of the kids and getting things done around the house.

I don't want to get too mushy on everybody, but our new baby is truly a gift from heaven. She is such a good baby and I truly believe that she may be the cutest thing that I have ever seen (not that I am biased or anything, ha ha!) She only cries when she is hungry or has other diaper related issues. She spends most of the time sleeping but when she is awake she is happy and is very inquisitive about this new place she is in, looking all around and listening to all the new sounds and voices. She really likes to hear the voices of her big brother and sister. Whenever she hears them she opens her eyes and looks around to try and see where they are.

Right now she likes to be awake at night and sleep during the day, which makes things hard on my wife, and me, to a much lesser extent. We have gotten very little sleep over the last few days because the baby is active at night and we have been up at all kinds of crazy night-time hours.

I have been drinking mega-amounts of coffee these last few days. For my morning cup, I usually fill the water level for the amount of coffee to the '3' line. These last few days, I've been filling it up to the '5'.

We have been trying to get the baby on a normal time schedule by waking her up more during the day. We are hoping this way she will want to sleep more at night. We expect her to still wake up when she is hungry, but that is ok.

Well, that's the, 'all about me', update, which I'm sure you all love.

It's looking like the NFL Idiots are not going to be able to meet their deadline to try and figure out how to divide up all that money they all make before free-agency starts on Monday, but I will try and write about that another time. I'll shoot for something tomorrow.

Right now, it's time for some wild Saturday night action: I'm going to have a Miller Lite and watch a few episodes of Miami Vice, Season 1. Wooooo!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

All is well...

Hi interweb friends! I just wanted to put up a quick post to let those who may be interested know that my wife gave birth to a happy, healthy and very cute baby on Monday! Mom and Baby are both doing great and are resting comfortably.

I just came home quick to change and grab a few things for my wife, then I'll be heading back to the hospital. My wife is very sore so I need to be there to help out wherever I am needed.

Thanks!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Procrastination...

Wow, looks like I got in the mood to write a few posts last night eh? Hmm. Must have been the Reward Friday whiskey... That would probably explain the frequency of the f-bombs too. With the inconsistent manner of my posting lately, I should have saved a few for future entries. Oh well.

Right now I should be down in my basement sheet-rocking but I am procrastinating, big time. I have been looking at web pages and making some small changes to the layout of the site. I put that IM status thing back on. I figured I'd give it another shot. I don't know if anyone ever clicks on that thing or not, but I put it back up there just to see what happens...

I spent the morning cleaning the house like a madman. Once the baby comes home we expect to get several visitors and we would prefer that the house not be a complete disaster when people come over. The kids were on school vacation this past week and it seemed like every toy they own had somehow made it out of their room and into the middle of our living room. I could not even walk around in there so my wife and I went on a cleaning tear and got the whole place picked up and squared away. The kids helped pickup all their stuff and they did a good job so they both got some coins for their piggy banks and some ice-cream with lunch.

Tomorrow is going to be our last day as a 'foursome' and it feels very weird to me. It's a strange mix of excitement, anticipation, nervousness and anxiety. As I have mentioned before, I will be very relieved when the child-birth part of this whole experience is over and everyone is resting safely.

I want to try and do something fun with the family tomorrow as a way to put a cap on this season of our lives. Soon we'll be starting a brand new chapter in this story..

This song from Kenny Chesney does a good job of summing things up...

It's my life and its sure fun
Another season of my life's begun
Another race I'm glad I get to run
Another chapter of my life I'm writin'

No I'm never gonna feel like this again
Time's rushin by me like the wind
Got to grab each moment that I can
Cuz I'm never gonna feel like this again

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Assignments...

Hey what's up interwebs. I have not been writing too consistently lately. I have been spending my free time learning some songs for my new side job as a guitar player.

My assignments have been:
Foo Fighters - Times Like These
Pearl Jam - Last Kiss
7 Mary 3 - Cumbersome
Dylan - Knockin on Heavens Door
Goo Goo Dolls - Long Way Down
3 Doors Down - Kryptonite
Danzig - Do You Wear the Mark (this one was my addition to the list. I needed to balance out the Goo Goo Dolls a little... Heh.)

And I have to admit there has not been a whole lot going on in the world of sports that has inspired me to write much. The B's and C's are both on break for The Olympics and the NBA All-Star game. The Sox are starting Spring Training, which is exciting and all, but it's not enough to get me all riled up to write anything too substantial about it. I'm glad to know the boys are down in FLA, stretching out, playing some grab-ass and long toss, hitting some balls in the batting cages, working on their banter... (You know, it's a rough life those baseball players lead...) but beyond that, there's not much there for me to say about it. When Grapefruit League starts maybe I'll have more to write about...

On a completely unrelated note, my company recently moved to a new office and I'm really loving the change. My drive to get to the new place is both easier and shorter, and my desk is now located next to a window. Kick ass!! The lab even has a window in it, which is just incredibly great.

Small things like that make a big difference in improving a person's attitude towards the place where they lose spend 8 or 10 hours of their life every day...

And just to keep the theme of having completely unrelated items in one post going, this time next week I'll be a brand new Dad again. D-Day is Monday for baby number 3. I'm getting kind of nervous for the childbirth part of the whole thing. I'll be glad when that part is over and everybody is safe.

I've been telling my kids that they are going to be in charge of diaper duty. I told them I'd pay them a quarter per diaper. They just look at me like I'm crazy. (They've already got that look down. Oy.)

'Nooooo Dad, we're not changing any diapers, thats your job! We'll bring you the clean ones... '

Gee, thanks.

Monday, February 20, 2006

New side job...

I recently started a new side job that I am very excited about.

Position: Lead Guitar
Responsibilities: Framming, occasional shredding where necessary, playing lots of musical notes in quick succession.

Ok. The story is that I answered a posting on Craigslist from some guys who were looking for a guitar player. They already had a drummer, bass player and a guitarist / vocalist and they were looking to add a second guitar player. They invited me to one of their practice sessions and liked the way I played so they asked me if I wanted to join their band, and just like that, I was in. Cool!

They all seem like a nice bunch of guys and they like to play straight-ahead rock songs. They are all around my age and have a similar taste in music. They asked me what I liked to play and I told them my usual, non-commital, 'anything'.

The bass player was like, 'no, seriously what do you like to play'.

I said, 'I like just about anything. Whatever's on the radio...'

'Do you like the heavy shit?'

'Sure'

'No, I mean the really heavy shit.'

'I don't know. Guess it depends on your idea of what 'heavy' is... I like metal, punk, rock, whatever...' (I'm kinda hard to pin down sometimes.)

He said he wanted to play some 'heavy shit' so he was glad that I was cool with that.

I never really got what his version of 'the heavy shit' was, but I told him I was a big Misfits fan so I could totally do some songs about killing people and destroying the world if he wanted to...

'Nah. We'll work up to that'

Nice.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

So Much for That...

Well I did not get to see a single lap of the Daytona 500. Nor did I get half the work I wanted to complete finished in my basement.

Late this morning I got a call from work. They needed help in one of the labs so I had to go in. Not the way I like to spend a Sunday afternoon, that's for sure.

When I came home, I went back into the basement and got some more sheet-rock up. I got one entire wall done and about half of a 2nd wall up. By the time I finished it was about 9:30 PM and I was exhausted. I was so tired I was starting to fuck things up, and I was cursing my head off over my mistakes. Plus I was doing things like putting my measuring tape and my knife down and then not remembering where I left them, which caused more swearing, etc, etc. Basically I was becoming non-functional, so it was time to quit for the day.

I was annoyed because I knew that if I had not had to go into work, I could have gotten the all of the outer walls up and I would have just had the closets left to sheet-rock. Oh well. Nothing can be done about it.

I checked the results of the 500 when I got home. I see Jimmy Johnson won the race. Eh. I am ambivalent about him. I was glad to see Ryan Newman in third and Jr. in 8th. Mark Martin actually had a good Daytona (for him,) finishing 12th. Seems like he usually wrecks in Daytona so I'm just happy to see him manage to cross the finish line.

When I came up from the basement, my wife was watching figure skating on the Olympics. I could not believe how many of the skaters fall during their competition. That has got to be hard. You spend all those hours practicing for a 2 min chance to win and then the whole thing goes down the drain. We watched a little of the Olympics till, for some unexplainable reason which is beyond me, NBC had a segment on Jerome Bettis. What does Jerome Bettis have to do with the Olympics? I quickly switched channels and was happy to see that NESN was showing Red Sox Now or Red Sox Today (or whatever the fuck it's called). Much better. The were doing a feature on Coco Crisp. So far I'd say it seems like he is going to fit in well here in RSN....

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Trial run...

When I got home from work last night, I walked in the door to find my wife on the phone with the doctor. She thought she might be feeling the first signs of labor starting, and after talking to the doctor, we decided it was best to go into the hospital and get everything checked out.

We were both pretty sure that this was not 'the real thing', but we felt it was better to be safe than sorry. Either way, I was still feeling a bit nervous, 'What if this was it?' Childbirth can be a tricky thing and I could not help feeling anxious about my wife and the baby. On top of that, the idea that very soon I was going to be a brand new Dad again suddenly hit me full force and my thoughts were filled with what lay ahead in the next few weeks and months.

We grabbed my wife's bag, which she already had packed and ready to go for just this type of thing, along with the camera and a few other things like toothbrushes, etc.

As we drove to the hospital, I put on some classical music to help my wife stay relaxed. She seemed to be doing ok and did not appear to be in any discomfort.

Once we got to the hospital, we headed up to labor triage and got checked out. We spent a few hours up there making sure everything was ok. The doctors did an examination as well as an ultra-sound to be sure there were no problems. While the doctor was doing the ultra-sound, the baby was kicking the area he was looking at and the doctor said, 'Boy this baby is really kicking!'

Thankfully, it turned out my wife was not in labor and she and the baby were both doing fine. Everything looked ok and we headed home. Both of us were very tired, but relieved.

Last night we had quite the 'trial run'. Before I know it, it will be time for the real thing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day Games...

Every year, my wife likes to play the same little game on Valentine's day.

"You don't have to get me anything this year for Valentine's. Flowers are too over-priced and expensive. Just get me a card"

Yeah. Right.

"I mean it," she'll say. "I don't want you spending a lot of money on Valentine's this year."

I usually reply with a terse, Tony Almeida like, "Yah."

She knows I'm not that dumb...

This year I figured I was being sooo smart... Instead of going to the grocery store on Valentine's Day and battling with 100 other flower hunting husbands and boyfriends for the best looking bouquet, I'd beat the rush and go to the grocery store the night before Valentine's Day, on Valentine's Day Eve, so to speak. I'd get a nice, perky bouquet of un-trampled flowers, aaaand, I'd still have my pick of the best cards, because all the normal dumb-asses would be decending on the card section tomorrow.

Ha! So shrewd! After all, no normal man ever thinks to get a Valentine's card ahead of time...

Wrong.

The first part of my plan worked out ok and I got a nice bouquet of flowers, but it turned out the card section was completely barren. It was devoid of 'To My Wife' cards. The only cards that were left were 'To My Husband' cards.

What the hell?? I figured I was set getting to the store a whole day early to get my Hallmark Holiday, oops, I mean, Valentine's Day cards.

Thankfully, there was a CVS in the same plaza as the grocery store, so I headed over there. They had a more 'robust' selection of cards available and after some jostling and bumping of shoulders, I managed to target and acquire the card that I needed. I could not find a good 'To My Wife' card, those had been cleaned out, but there were still a lot of good, 'Sweetheart' and 'To My Soul-Mate' cards left.

After I got my Wife's card from myself taken care of, the next challenge was finding a card for each of my kids to give to Mom. For some reason all those cards were cleaned out too. All the good 'I love you Mommy', little kid style cards were gone. All that was left were those obnoxious, 'Teenager to Mom' cards that say stuff like, 'Even though I never pickup after myself and I go out drinking with my buddies every night and worry you to death, I still love you Mom. Happy Valentines. (Um, can I borrow 20 bucks?)'

Slim pickin's

To make things worse, the cards were totally disorganized. It was a complete mess, with all the different cards stuffed into the same slots or the wrong slots, (and of course, no envelopes).

Thankfully, after a lot of digging, I managed to find a couple cute cards that the kids could give to Mom.

Mission complete.

I feel bad for you saps who are reading this right now and haven't gotten your cards yet... good luck. I hope You didn't fall for the, "Don't get me anything for Valentines Day" thing.

Happy Hallmark Holiday Valentines Day.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

recently noticed...

I asked my wife some questions about some recently noticed odd behavior:

- If you park in a handicapped spot, but put your hazard lights on, does that make it o.k.?

A: No.

- A bunch of people in my office have built mountains of empty soda cans on their desks. They are literally surrounded by a pile of cans about 8 cans deep and 6 cans tall. Is there some kind of geek status derived from the amount of empty soda cans you can surround yourself with on your desk?

A: I don't know. Is that like beer cans but with soda? To me that's pretty stupid.

- While driving, if you look in your rear view mirror and notice that there is a mile of cars trailing behind you waiting to pass, yet you refuse to move over, are you doing some kind of public service by making us all drive below the speed-limit?

A: I gotta say No.

Thanks dear!

In other news, I finally got my iPod back from Apple today. It took exactly 6 weeks for them to send me a new, (read: refurbished,) iPod.

I'm just glad it's back. I've already been yelled at to turn that damned music down... I felt like I was back living at my Mom's house.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

WARNING: LOUD MUSIC CAN HURT YOUR EARS

From the completely asinine and ridiculous department:

Apparently, if you listen to your music too loudly, it's entirely possible that you can damage your hearing.

Somebody's going to have to pay.

If this guy has his way, that pay out will come from Apple computer, because I guess the company did not properly warn him that sticking headphones into his ears and cranking up the Mantovani can actually hurt your ears.

Fucking un-believeable.

That sad part is that this idiot probably has a good chance of winning his case. I mean, if you can sue Dunkin Donuts and win because you were not properly warned that drinking hot coffee can burn your tongue, and you can sue McDonalds and win because you were not properly warned that eating fries, burgers and shakes can make you into a fat fuck, why not sue Apple because you were not properly warned that sticking headphones inside your ears and listening to your music too loudly using your iPod could cause hearing loss.

Makes sense to me.

Personally, I just want my iPod back from the dang battery replacement service... Hey wait, Apple told me the repair job was going to take 2-3 weeks and it's been longer than that. Maybe I can sue!

Daily craziness...

I usually call home around lunch-time just to break up the day a little and say Hi to the wife.

Invariably during our phone conversations, she lets out an exasperated sigh and then asks me to hold on a min. She then proceeds to shout at our children to make them stop doing whatever mischivious thing they are up to in the background.

It seems that whenever my wife tries to talk on the phone, the kids go out of their way to start doing something they are not supposed to in order to get her attention.

I am often amazed at some of the things she has to yell at them to stop doing.

Today's mischief had her yelling,  "UHG! Don't lick the hermit crab!!"

It's a nut house...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Ho-Hum...

Waz up yo? Nada. Very boring around here right now, eh? Yup. This is what we call, 'The Sports Lull' that exists during the week prior to the Superbowl. Not much goin' on at all... And this is just the primer. After the Superbowl, that's when things really slow down.

Thankfully, there is hockey this year. Last year's NHL lockout, in a word, sucked.

The B's face the Isles tonight and will go for 4 straight wins. After flailing around for the majority of the season so far, The B's are finally starting to figure out how to win games on a consistent basis. I don't want to get too excited about this, but it looks like The B's are beginning to get their shit togethah.

Actually there is other stuff goin' on, but it's stuff that I'm just not motivated / interested enough in to write about. Theo's back. Yay. I was pissed when he left and I'm glad that he's back. Now get to work building the 2006 Red Sox. That pretty much sums up my feelings about the whole 'Theo' thing.

I love the Sox but I really can't stand all the off-field drama. I know some people think that the drama is what makes The Sox, 'The Sox', but personally I could live quite happily without it. Give me a well oiled machine [The Pats] any day of the week. Whatev...

The Sox have acquired a center fielder who should provide a reasonable replacement for Johnny Damon and I expect they will have a SS in place soon, possibly within a few days if reports are accurate. Whew, what a relief. Phht. The talk shows and papers sure did a great job whipping people into a frothing lather over this whole CF / SS situation.

I still have not told my kids that Damon is a Yankee. They were asking me about him the other day. I had told them that football was over and it would soon be time for baseball.

"OOOOOHHH! That means it's time for JOHNNY DAMON!!"

I'll wait till spring training to break it to them...

Finally, this is the last weekend in January and that is a great thing. The hardest part of Winter is in the rear-view mirror now. February is no picnic but it goes by quick. Then, before you know it, Springtime baby.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Since I'm getting older...

My son has really been getting into race-cars lately, so the other night I took the kids down to the local Ford dealership. They have a GT on display in their showroom so we went to go check it out. I thought the kids might like to see a real live race-car up close (and I wanted to get a good look at it too!)

As I stood there in a puddle of drool, staring at this incredible car and imagining what it would be like to drive one, my daughter tugged on my sleeve and brought me back to reality, "Daddy, I like that red one over there."

I looked over at the car she was pointing to, a Ford Focus. I just shook my head and laughed.

On the subject of automotive-dreams, I watched the North American auto-show today while waiting for the AFC Championship to begin. The show spent a lot of time focusing on another drool-inducing car, the new Dodge Challenger concept car. I figure if it goes into production, it should come out just about the time my days as a 30 something are drawing to a close. Mid-Life Crisis Car? Oh hell yes. I can dream can't I?

Monday, January 16, 2006

It's official: I'm a grown-up

Last night I went to a concert. A friend of mine had given me a ticket to go see Lynyrd Skynyrd for Christmas.

I was not really in the mood to go out last night. I was tired from working all day and I would have been happy to have planted my ass on the couch and watched football. But I did not want the ticket to go to waste so I suited up and headed out into the night. The temp outside was about 5 degrees and it was windy, making it feel like it was below zero.

I parked the car and as I was walking to the auditorium I noticed a couple of girls running down the sidewalk. One was wearing only a halter top and the other one was wearing a t-shirt.

The first thing that popped into my head when I saw them was, "What's wrong with those girls? They must be freezing! They should be wearing a jacket."

I watched them run down the sidewalk ahead of me, squeaking about how cold it was and then I did a double take. Wait a minute. I see two chicks running down the street wearing nothing but a thin piece of cotton and the first thing that comes to my head is that they should wear a jacket? Fuck I am officially a grown-up now. When did that happen??

Then, as if that was not evidence enough of my oldness, when I was in the concert, I got up and moved my seat cause it was too close to the speakers and my ears were hurting. Oh man...

The Skynyrd concert was good, but they are certainly a strange band. There's only 2 surviving members of the original band actually left in Skynyrd and it's almost like they are more of a tribute band at this point. Johnny Van Zant sounds almost exactly like his brother Ronnie and all the other members of the band have gotten all the original solos and riffs to the old songs down perfect.

They even play the same style guitars as the deceased, a Gibson Explorer (like Allen Collins used to play) and a Fender Stratocaster (a-la Steve Gaines).

Skynyrd has some out with several new records over the past few years and a lot of the new songs are really good. Just as an example, "The Last Rebel" album, from a few years back, was a great record. There are a bunch of good songs on that album. The funny thing is, Skynyrd doesn't play any of their new songs, they only do the original classic Skynryd songs.

Last night, Skynyrd played one new song. The rest were all songs from the original band's albums from the 70's. Weird. You'd think Skynyrd would get tired of playing all those old songs night after night, and want to play their new stuff, especially the new members of the band. Who wants to play some other guy's solo every single night? I mean it's fun for one or two songs, but if that were me, I'd want to play some of the new stuff that I actually had a hand in creating.

As a final testament to my newly discovered grown-upness, when Skynyrd started into the big, epic solo at the end of 'Freebird', which is always the final song, I got up and left the show before the end of the song because I wanted to beat the traffic and go home to bed. Oy.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Just because...

Take me back...

My fucking snowblower is headed back into the shop tomorrow. I have just the right tool for it, a sledgehammer. So frustrating...

I was rooting for SC last night, mainly because of the Patriot connection with Pete Carroll and also it being Willie McGinnist's alma-matter...  I did not watch the whole game. I just got the update from the sports report on the radio this morning. Sounds like it was an exciting game to watch.

I've had to listen to the radio a lot more lately because my iPod is getting its battery replaced. It's been gone for almost 3 weeks now. I hope it comes back soon. In the meantime I've been listening to CD's and occasoinally the radio. WEEI was somewhat tolerable in short durations during the holidays because all the regular hosts were on vacation. Now they're all back. I had almost forgotten how truly awful that station is. I can't believe people actually listen to Dennis and Callahan and The Big Show for enjoyement. Come back soon iPod!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Resolution Update Jan '06

Well, it's that time again. Time for the obligatory New Years Resolutions for '06. Most of my Resolutions are really just ongoing goals that never really change much from year to year, but, I think it's good to list them out. I feel that having them there as a stated goal helps to achieve them.

First, a review of last year's resolutions:

- Be a good husband and father - Duh. Obviously! This is never going to change but like I said, it's good to list it as an ongoing goal.

- Be a good employee and try to continue to rise above my current position. - Another one that's never going to change. I also continue to search for a job that I actually find enjoyable and not just one that pays the bills. I found a new job in the past year and although it's certainly an improvement over the old one, it's still not what I would consider to be my dream job. It pays the mortgage though so, there ya go. That's the most important thing. Ongoing...

- I want to get down to my wedding wieght of 155... - This was a goal that I was very focused on last year but unfortunately, I did not reach my goal of hitting my wedding weight. The closest I got was 159, 4 pounds off. For some reason it's like my body hit a brick wall at that weight and it literally has not budged from the low 160's for months. Over the holiday's I have allowed myself to indulge a little too much and my weight has gone up higher than I would like. I'm in the high 160's right now. Unacceptable, but not completely out of hand. 155 is certainly not out of reach. This is a goal that I have not given up on and I am committed to reaching this weight and beyond this year. I'm hoping to be a total hottie by the time summer rolls around. Well, at least a hottie as far as my wife is concerned that is...

- Keep up with guitar practice... - Once again, not really a resolution, but an ongoing commitment. I met with some other people to jam with last year and that has been fun. Better than playing along with CDs, that's for sure. I'm hoping I can maybe meet some people that live close by and have the same musical interests as me this year. I also saved up and bought an M-Box 2 from Digidesign, so I'm going to try and record some songs eventually, (once the dang basement is finished).

- I have a long term goal that am setting for myself to try and find a line of work that I enjoy. - See above...

- I'd like to try and write a novel... - I wrote like 4 pages and an outline and that was it. Pretty lame. This is still something I'd like to try and do. Part of the problem is that I tend to get ideas for things to write about just as I'm falling asleep, and at that point, I'm not motivated enough to get out of my warm comfy bed to go get the computer and write stuff down. To help with this problem, I went out and bought a notepad and I will keep it nearby my bed. I'm hoping that maybe if I get an idea I will at least jot it down in the notebook.

- New for this year, I need to finish my basement. I'd like to have this done by the end of March if possible.

- In the Spring I have one last stone wall that I would like to build in the back yard and general lawn care stuff that never goes away. I need to work at the few bare spots that are in the yard and get some grass growing there so it does not become more widespread.

- Here's a simple one. Get to work between 8 and 8:30. This one is actually harder than it sounds.

Well, those are some exciting 'resolutions'. We'll check back on them in 6 months...

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

My kids are watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Saves New Years (or some such crazy thing,) and my wife is on her way home from the local Chinese Food restaurant with a pile of healthy (ha!) stuff.

I just wanted to take a moment to post and send out a Happy New Year wish out to everyone that stops by this New Year's Eve. If you came by to read this website during the past year, I'd like to say thanks to you. I appreciate everybody that stops by. I'd like to especially thank those of you that come back!

Happy New Year everyone. Be safe and have fun! See you next year! Ha. I love that joke.

I'll be heading to The Pats game tomorrow. I'm hoping to take some good pics with my digital camera (if I don't forget it on the way out the door). Hopefully my gas grill will not blow up into a giant ball of fire and burn my eyelashes off like it did the last time I tailgated at a Pats game.

I'll be writing about the Pats game later. Check ya next year friends!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to put up a quick post to wish everyone that stops by a Merry Christmas! I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday!

Friday, December 23, 2005

The longest day...

Is it just me or is today the longest day of the year? This day could not possibly drag by any slower. I guess that is always the way it feels on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend...

Happy Festivus!

Enjoy Festivus everyone! A Festivus for the Rest of Us!


(Festivus Poles.com)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Condolences to the Dungy family...

I would like to offer my heart-felt condolences to Tony Dungy and his family. There are no words for the kind of tragedy that has befallen him. I can only offer my sympathy and say that I am truly sorry to hear the news about Dungy's son.

Here is the ESPN story for those who are new to the situation.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

24, season 4 and Howard's last day...

Just getting out some odds and ends that have been kicking around the old skull...

We got the "24" season 4 DVDs in the mail from Netflix the other day and my Wife and I have already watched the 1st disk. I swear to God, that show is like crack. It's such a good show. I can't stop watching it. When we get to the end of an episode, my wife and I look at each other, "You wanna watch another one? I need to see what happens!" We usually wind up watching 2-3 episodes all at once because we are totally sucked in. Awesome show.

Tomorrow is Howard Stern's last day on FM Radio. I've been listening to the show all week and he's had some really cool guests come in to say goodbye. Today he had Jackie on which was cool.

I have not listened to Howard as much since I got my iPod, but I used to be a devoted listener and I still consider myself to be a big fan of his.

Before I got my iPod, I would listen to The Howard Stern Show every day on the way to work. His show got me through a lot of shitty commutes with a smile on my face. I remember when he first came on in Boston, he was on at night. I used to work 3rd shift so I'd listen to him on the way in. At first when I turned on WBCN and it was all talk, I had no idea what was going on. I didn't know who Howard was. I had never even heard of him, so I was like, 'what the fuck is this shit? Where's the music?'

So when Howard first started in Boston, if I put 'BCN on and heard Howard I would switch stations because I didn't want to listen to people talk, but a few times I would put 'BCN on and Howard would be doing some funny bit or he'd have a cool guest on and I started to become a listener. Once I got into the show, I would listen to it every night on the way to my 3rd shift job. Then one night, Howard was gone. I was totally depressed. I thought, "That sucks. Fuck! He must have done something and pissed off somebody and they took his show off."

Little did I know, he was not off the air, he was on in the mornings now, while I was fast asleep after coming home from 3rd shift. Now, you'd think I would have known he was moving to another slot, like they would have made an announcement or a promo or something about it on the station, but if they did, I never got the message. One night, he was just gone and I was totally bummed.

Eventually, I got off the 3rd shift and they moved me to 1st shift. So I was now driving into work, in Boston, for 6AM. The commute was pretty bad a lot of times. I lived way outside the city and had to come in The Mass Pike to Rte 128. It was a horror a lot of days. I remember having to drive in the grass one time. It was crazy.

Anyway, as I would drive in during the morning commute, I would never listen to WBCN because I fucking hated Charles LaQuidera and his Big Mattress show. HATED IIIIIIT! I thought LaQuidera sucked, his show was not funny and all he ever played were songs from Aerosmith, J. Geiles or The Beatles, so I would go out of my way, not to put 'BCN on, because I knew I'd get all irritated and driving in the horrendous traffic was bad enough.

Then one morning, I was switching stations and I hit the scan button or something by accident and the radio tuned to BCN. And there was Howard's voice! I know it probably sounds really silly, but I was soooo happy! I still remember how glad I felt when I heard Howard again. I was so excited about it I even wrote a letter to WBCN telling them how happy I was that Howard was on in the mornings to help me get through Mass Pike/128 hell every day.

As far as I was concerned, Howard was the only thing worth listening to in the morning. He made me laugh out-loud countless times. When he went on one of his 20 minute commercial breaks, I'd listen to a cassette or something till it was over.

My favorite bit to this day was some crazy 'Lost in Space' goof they did where Dr. Smith was gay and he was after Will Robinson. Billy West was the voice of the Captain of the Lost in Space spaceship and he was also Dr. Smith (I think). Howard was The Robot. In the bit, after Dr. Smith got nowhere with Will Robinson, he went after the Robot. I remember Howard yelling into his megaphone in the Lost in Space Robot voice, "Danger! Danger! That's my pencil sharpener you wierdo!" and Billy West going, "Oh Noooo! Oh Nooo!" in his Dr Smith voice.

I also used to like the H-Oh-Double-Yew A Arrr Dee. S - T- E- R- N! song they'd play sometimes.

My favorite part of the show was actually when Robin would do the news at the end of the show. I guess that's because the thing that I liked best about Howard's show was the interaction between all the personalities in the studio. I used to get a kick out of listening to them all just goof on each other.

It's kind of sad, tomorrow is his last day. I'm sure he's going to start a whole new revolution with satellite radio. After all, his radio show kicked ass, his book kicked ass (probably the funniest, most laugh out loud book I have ever read) and his movie kicked ass, so I have no doubt the satellite thing is going to kick ass too. I just wish I could hear it. Maybe I'll get one of those Sirius things for Christmas or something. Till then, I'm gonna miss ya Howard. Thanks for the laughs dude.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Johnny Damon, you need to stay in Boston...

It seems I'm not the only one who's ready for Spring already. This morning my daughter came downstairs wearing shorts and her Red Sox 2004 World Series Champions T-Shirt. She says she "can't wait to see our best player, JOHNNEEE DAY-MOONNN!!" Well, that settles it. You're just going to have to stay on The Red Sox Johnny. You would not want to upset a cute little girl now would ya??

After breakfast, we took the kids outside to let them romp around in the snow. They had a lot of fun, making a snow-man, (actually it's more of a snow-mound, but they like it), sledding and looking for polar bear tracks.

Now my Wife is making us some hot chocolate to warm up. (I could use some Yukon Jack Peppermint Schnapps in mine... I'll have to put that on my list for later to pick some up...) While the water is getting hot, my daughter has changed back into her Red Sox summertime clothes. Ha. Maybe we should watch the World Series DVD later instead of Christmas Movies. :-)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Phrase of the day...

Hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!

The phrase of the day around here was, "I can't believe..." As in:

"I can't believe ABC News just did a 2 min segment on Jessica Simpson's break up but only gave 15 seconds to those 2 soldiers trying to say hello to their families. Disgusting. DISGUSTING!" (Wife quickly turns off tv.)

"I can't believe it's friggin' snowing out. I just can't believe it!"

"I can't believe I have to wear these winter boots already. I just can't believe it!"

"I can't believe I actually have to get the snow-blower out of the back of the shed. I just can't believe it! It's too early for this!!"

"I can't believe how good this turkey is! More potatoes please."

"I can't believe you two kids don't want to try some turnips!" (joking)

"I can't believe I ate so much."

"I can't believe Bledsoe just threw that pick. Actually, I take it back. I can believe it."

"I can't believe the Cowboys blew that game."

"I can't believe people already have their Christmas lights out!"

"I can't believe how fast Thanksgiving came and went."

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'd like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to everybody that stops by to read this!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday believe it or not.

I love getting together with my family, having a great meal together and spending time enjoying each other's company.

Nice and simple.

I appreciate that there's a lot less stress involved with Thanksgiving. There are things to do of course, you have to cook and often times you have to travel, but that's pretty much it as far as hassles go. You don't have to put lights on the house, put up decorations all over the place, or go to crowded malls. There's no running around like a nut getting gifts, writing out a bunch of Christmas Cards or wrapping presents.

Thanksgiving is just about getting together and spending time with the people you care about, watching some football and maybe if your lucky, taking a nap. Ahhhh. It's just nice.

Today I am most thankful for my wife and kids, and my baby girl who is on the way. I am thankful that they are all happy and healthy. I am thankful that I can provide a nice warm house for them and put food on their table.

As I think about all the things I am thankful for, I can't help but think of the men and women who are serving in our Armed Forces right now, who are away from their families and putting it all on the line for you and me. To all of them I am most grateful. I hope their Thanksgiving is especially safe and enjoyable.

This morning I opened my eyes and rolled over to find my son staring me right in the face, eyeball to eyeball.

"ITS THANKSGIVING DAD!! IT'S THANKSGIVIIIIIIIINNNNNNGGGG!!"

"..It is?" I mumbled. Despite the shockingly loud wake-up call, I was still not quite awake yet.

"YEAH!! IT IS, IT IS, IT IIZZZZZZ!"

Now I was awake. "Well, Happy Thanksgiving!!" I said.

From the other room, my little girl was waking up and I heard, "DAD!!" ITS SNOWINNNNGGGG!!

"WHAT?? NO. It CANT be. It's not supposed to snow till Christmas."

"YAH!! It IS, It IS, IT IIIIZZZZZZ!!! Can we go OUTSIDE?? I want to go Belly WHOPPING like FROSTY!! Look!! The cars are all getting covered with SNOOOOWWWWW!!! MOM!! DAD! It's SNOWING!!"

If you cant tell, my kids were a little bit excited this morning. After I have a cup of coffee, I'll take them outside for the first snow of the year. Then we'll come back in for a little breakfast and watch the Thanksgiving Parade.

Later on we'll pack up the van and head over to my folks for Thanksgiving Dinner. My Mom makes a mean Thanksgiving dinner. My grandmother and my aunts and uncles all come over, as well as my sister, her husband and a few of their friends. It is always great to see everybody.

After we've come home tonight and the kids are in bed, my wife and I will probably kick back and watch "Planes, Trains and Automobiles". It's kind of a tradition we have. We always watch that movie at Thanksgiving time. It's one of our favorites. Last night on the way home from work I bought the DVD version, since our tape was starting to get worn out. Normally we would have watched it last night, but 'LOST' was on, and we could not miss that. (We are both addicted to that show.)

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Absolutely no...

On my way home from work I stopped at a local music store that was having a going out of business sale. I was hoping I could pick up a nice, small guitar amp at closeout prices that I could plug headphones into while playing and thus not wake people up, keep people awake or otherwise bother people with loud, obnoxious frim-framming.

As I walked up to the store, I saw there was a big sign in the window that said, "EVERYTHING MUST GO!!"

"That's a good sign, literally and figuratively," I thought.

I walked in and asked the guy behind the counter what they had left for small practice amps. I told him I wanted something with both clean and distorted channels as well as built in reverb and he showed me what they had left. There were 3 models; one from Peavy, one Fender amp and an Ibanez. All the amps had what I was looking for, plus, the Fender had a bunch of built in effects like flange, delay, chorus, etc.

I asked the guy if he cared what guitar I played and he said I could try whatever I wanted, probably hoping I'd buy one. I didn't want to grab anything too fancy because, in all likely-hood, I would want to buy it, since I'm a total sucker for these little games, and then I'd be all bummed after I realized I could not. I grabbed an Ibanez and started messing around with the amps.

As I started trying out the different amps, a guy who looked to be about high school age with long black hair came over and grabbed a Hamer Flying-V knock-off from the guitar rack and sat down next to me. He plugged in and started to play bits and pieces from every song on Metallica's "Kill 'Em All" record. Then he did a metal-ized "Smoke on the Water", which made me kind of roll my eyes a little.. I was waiting to hear "Stairway to Heaven" or "Back in Black" next...

As the guy was playing "Seek and Destroy", the man from the store was behind the counter listening and making comments, "Sounds good. Someone came in yesterday and was playing that same thing."

The metal-guy moved on to Kirk Hammett's tapping solo that he does at the beginning of "Am I Evil?", another 'Tallica song from "Kill Em All."

"Yup, heard that one yesterday too..."

While the metal-dude was jammin' away, I ignored him as best as I could. He was not really bothering me or anything but I was trying to decide which amp had the best sound, so I was trying to concentrate more on that than his ability to mimic other people's work. For the record, the metal-dude was pretty good. He played all the Metallica covers really well.

Though I was doing the best I could to pay close attention to the sound and features of the 3 amps I was trying to decide between, I could not help but hear the guy next to me run through the Metallica/Megadeth/Deep Purple repotoir. I smiled inwardly as I actually found it kind of amusing that he was basically playing every overplayed song you've ever heard somebody do when they pick up a guitar.

It reminded me of the scene in Wayne's World when Wayne picks up the white Strat from the guitar store window and starts to play "Stariway to Heaven" and the store manager points to a big sign that says, "ABSOLUTELY NO STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN ALLOWED"

I had narrowed my choices to the Fender and the Ibanez. For sentimental reasons, I really wanted to like the Peavy the best, but the Fender and the Ibanez had the better sound to my ears so the Peavy came off the list.

The Fender came with a lot more built in effects than the Ibanez, 80 percent of which I would never use, plus a higher price tag which was almost double the Ibanez.

The one effect that I was interested in was the Reverb and I could not get it set the way I liked on the Fender. No matter how much I tried, it sounded too much like I was in an echo chamber. I like just a little bit of reverb and there was always too much with the Fender.

I wound up buying the Ibanez amp and I kind of surprised myself in doing so, because I never thought I'd pick an Ibanez over a Peavy or a Fender amp, but the little guy sounded great, had the right features and kicked some ass. I thought it sounded the best out of the 3 choices and I got a great deal. I saved 60 bucks on it. Nice.

By now the heavy-metal dude was long gone. As I was paying for the amp, the guy at the counter said, "Well you sounded pretty good" (Probably just being nice, I'm sure).

"Thanks. At least I played all my own stuff and not somebody elses."

That's when the guy kind of smiled and said, "I know, that other person was not following the rules at all."

Seeing I was confused, the store-guy brought me over and showed me a sign next to the guitar rack that read:


ABSOLUTELY NO:

Finger Tapping, unless you are Eddie Van-Halen himself.
Smoke on the Water
Stairway to Heaven
Back in Black
Seek and Destroy
Am I Evil?
Enter Sandman
(Actually, just don't play any Metallica at all...)

Funny.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

'Determined little bugger...'

Part of my lovely 'welcome home' to wonderful New England included catching a nasty cold on the plane incubator ride home. I have hardly been able to sleep at night because I've been coughing so much. Cough, cough, cough, the whole night through. So enjoyable... I often go down and sleep on the couch so I don't keep my better half awake. That's part of the reason I have not been writing too much. I'm just too dang tired. I hardly sleep at night, work all day and then get home and am totally unmotivated to write things here. I have ideas in my head on things to say, but don't have the energy to typety-type-type.

This past week my wife (who also caught a cold from the plane by the way,) and I keep looking at each other and asking one another if we'd had any odd dreams lately. She'll say, 'I had the weirdest dream, like we both went down to some tropical island and sat on a tranquil beach and did nothing...'

'Hmmm, that's funny', I say, 'I had the exact same dream'.

So now I'm sitting here trying to drink down this downright nasty hot lemon flavored medicine concoction that I'm hoping will allow me to get some sleep tonight. It's supposed to soothe your throat and stop you from coughing. I hope it works because god-damn this is some nasty shit. I can drink down just about any alcoholic beverage straight up, no problem and enjoy it as it goes down but this kind of stuff... Ug. Gag me.

I was standing in the kitchen blowing on the awful brew to cool it a little and taking short sips when my wife came in, took one look at me and started laughing at me because I was making some crazy faces over the taste every time I sipped.

'Why don't you just take some Nyquil,' she asked.

'I don't like the hangover in the morning. I need to be able to get up and function'.

'Well that's not going to go down easy. I don't see it happening.'

'Oh yeah? Watch.' I said, taking a big nasty tasting sip.

'You're a determined bugger, I'll give you that,' she said.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Back on Mainland Time...

Hey what's up interweb? Miss me? Ha. Didn't think so... If you are wondering why I suddenly disappeared, I was here:

Take me back...

My better half and I took a mini-vacation to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary and we just got back yesterday from a trip to St. Thomas (in the U.S Virgin Islands).

After spending a few days in paradise, I find myself having a difficult time re-adjusting to the bleakness that is Massachusetts in November. My wife and I had a wonderful time and after returning to the cold, gray and of course, what else, rainy weather here, it almost feels like the whole thing was just a dream.

If I didn't have the pictures, the souvenirs and of course the rum, I'd almost swear it was a dream. The best damn dream I ever had...

Well, you have to wake up eventually I guess, so here I am, back in Massachusetts. Whee.

I've got a few stories about my vacation and some thoughts about the Pats game too. I'll post on those a little later...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Oh by the way...

Happy Halloween...

Bonfires burning bright
Pumpkin faces in the night
I remember halloween

Dead cats hanging from poles
Little dead are out in droves
I remember halloween

Brown leafed vertigo
Where skeletal life is known
I remember halloween

This day anything goes
Burning bodies hanging from poles
I remember halloween

Candy apples and razor blades
Little dead are soon in graves
I remember halloween

This day anything goes
Burning bodies hanging from poles
I remember

Halloween

~ G. Danzig ('Halloween' by the Misfits)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Libary needs more books...

I've been dying for something to read since I finished my last book.

Usually if another book or author is mentioned in the book I'm reading at the time, I'll write down the name and then go check it out after I've finished. I've found some of my favorite books that way, like when I was reading Alaska by James Michener some time back, he mentioned the book The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, an incredible true story about an ill-fated expedition to the South Pole.

Since I just finished reading C.B.'s book and was looking for something to read next, I thought I'd check out some of the authors that he had mentioned in his book.

I headed over to the library to try and get my hands on a book by Charles Bukowski but there were none to be found there. I was disappointed but I asked the librarian to order me a copy, and in the meantime, I figured I'd try another book.

I'd already read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas so I thought I'd try another one of Hunter S. Thompson's books. None available. Not a single book by the man at the library. Now I'm like, WTF? Moving on... I decided I'd read Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck, one of the classics that I've always wanted to read but never have. Not there. Come on. You've got to be kidding me! There's a whole fucking row dedicated to Danielle Steel right next to the Steinbeck books but Of Mice and Men is not here? Now I was getting irritated. Every book I was interested in reading, I was unable to find.

Hemingway was mentioned pretty prominently in My War and having never read one of his books, I decided I would check one out. I knew the library had to have some books by Ernest Hemingway. Thankfully, they did. I decided on The Sun Also Rises.

I've always enjoyed reading so called 'classic' literature but one thing that annoys me about these books is that when you flip one over and read the back cover, they hardly ever tell you what the dang thing is about. Usually somewhere, either on the back or inside cover of a book, you can get the gist of what the story is about and decide if it's something you're interested in reading. Not with the 'classics'. All they usually say is how great the book is and how it's 'magnificent' and a 'masterpeice'. I know its a masterpiece but what the heck is the story about? Supposedly, Madame Bovary was a masterpiece and I hated that one...

Back to Hemingway. I decided on The Sun Also Rises which is described as '...a truly gripping story, told in lean, hard athletic prose...' Sounded good. Not sure what it was about, but it sounded good...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Last Day. First Day.

Yesterday was my last day at my old job. Today was my first day at my new job. 2 very weird days, one right after another.

My last day at my old job felt like some kind of dream the whole time. All day long I'd catch myself thinking stuff like, 'this is the last time I'll be driving on this stretch of road for a while', 'won't be walking these halls again', 'shit this cube looks empty without all the pictures of my kids', and of course, 'won't have to deal with that fucker again'... There were lots of shaking hands, see ya's, good lucks and exchanging of e-mails with folks. In the end, it's those folks that gave that place any semblance of being a cool work environment.

Honestly, after almost 10 years, the only thing I can say that I'll miss about the place is the guys that I worked with. I worked with a great bunch of guys and we always looked out for each other and watched each other's backs. The guys in the lab were the part of the job that was fun. Even during the shitty times when we were all like, holy fuck, get us the fuck out of here, dude, I gotta get my resume updated, we always had a good joke or insult to get somebody to crack a smile.

We never took things or each other too seriously and that's one thing that I'll look back on and smile about when I think l about the old place, knowing you could walk in the lab in the morning and give a greeting like, "WHATS UP YA FUCKIN HO-BAG BITCHES??" and not get summoned to HR for questioning. Ya just got a laugh and a "WHATS UP FUCK-TARD?" or some other crazy thing in return. I'll miss that camaraderie...

Now it's time to start fresh. Turn that page, as they say.

Today I started at a new place. New job, new faces, new things to learn. It's exciting but a little scary too being the new guy again. I've been the old, grizzled, know everything, go to guy for a long time; the trainer, not the trainee.

Now I'm the new guy who knows practically jack shit. I was nervous starting over.

I got all dressed up in my best 'business-casual' clothes (that my wife picked out for me), showed up plenty early, was all smiles and polite and attentive the whole day long, taking notes and asking questions.

I was on my best behavior. I didn't say the F word once the whole day (if you can believe it!)

It's going to take me some time to learn the ropes at the new place, but I'm really looking forward to it. It was time for a change and I needed a fresh start. Now I've got it and I've got a good feeling about this new place. I think it's gonna be cool. Maybe I can throw a rescue line to some of the guys at the old place someday too.

I got the hardest part over with today. Day one is always the worst and I didn't look like a total buffoon. I got to show that I know my shit a few times, which was a confidence booster. Tomorrow I can ditch the 'business-causual' for jeans again. Next thing you know, I'll be greeting the new faces every morning with a hearty, 'WHATS UP BITCHES?'

Ha. How about that. Not dreading going to work. Now that's something new... I like it.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Blah.

I'm feeling very blah tonight so this post will probably be kind of lame. It's raining out again. I'm sure it will be raining tomorrow, and since there's a hurricane driven storm headed up here, I expect it to continue to rain for the rest of the week. I'm pretty fucking sick of non-stop rain, but I guess I should not bitch about it too much. At least my basement is not flooded (knock on wood) and I'm not down stream from a leaky, wooden, 100 year old dam.

I was clicking through the channels on the idiot box earlier this evening, looking for a good scary movie to watch, since it's getting close to Halloween, and I happened to chance across the Chet Curtis report on NECN where Chet was interviewing Colby Buzzell, author of My War. Since I'm a big fan of C.B.'s book and his blog, this immediately grabbed my attention.

Chet asked him several questions about Hum-Vees and Stryker vehicles and then they put up a graphic of the cover of the book which I thought that was pretty cool. I'm glad to see C.B's book getting some good exposure.

Unfortunately, that's all I saw since I only caught the tail end of his interview. Since C.B. was on NECN, I thought maybe he'd be doing interviews on some of the other networks since usually when someone does an interview like this for the news, there are several stations stacked up in a line, each one waiting for their turn to do basically the same interview.

Usually the person being interviewed gets asked the same thing over and over again by all the different reporters from each station.

Anyway, I flipped around but didn't see any other interviews being conducted. I hoped NECN would repeat it so I waited around and kind of kept my eye on the 9:00 PM news show they do, but they did not repeat the interview. Oh well.

It was pretty neat to see the little bit that I did see of Colby getting interviewed. I've read his book and was an avid reader of his blog back when he was writing it and untill now I've only seen still photos of him. It's neat to see him 'in the flesh', so to speak, on TV.

He was wearing a Black Flag t-shirt for the interview, which I got a kick out of... Usually people get dressed up, wear a tie or whatever if they're going to be interviewed on TV for a news program. Not C.B. True to form. Ha.

'You know what Stewart C.B., I like you. You're not like the other people, here, in the trailer park...'

Friday, October 21, 2005

Some things that are scary...

With Halloween approaching, a few scary things are a - brewin'...

FROST: We had the 1st frost of the year this morning. Winter is nearing closer. Can you feel the dread in my voice?

Also on the weather front, there's another dang killer hurricane on the loose. GO AWAY HURRICANES! We've had enough out of you!

Looks like this weekend will be another washout. Blah.

Manny trade rumors are back again. I get so tired of these. Personally, I like the guy and all his little 'issues' or 'quirks' or whatever you want to call them don't really bother me that much. The media in Boston loves to help run players out of town and Manny has been high on their target list for quite a while. Stupid media.

Yes, sometimes, Manny does not run hard to get to 1st base. That can be a little annoying at times, but his bat more than makes up for that stuff in my mind. Tell me how you replace Manny's bat in the lineup with anybody else in the league (Ortiz does not count). Plus, laugh if you want, but I think Manny does a decent job out there in left field. He's thrown some strikes to Home Plate to get runners out on several occasions.

I guess in the end, whatever happens, happens, but I personally would like to see Manny stay in Boston. DONT TRADE MANNY THEO!

A few Halloweens ago, my wife and I started a fun tradition where we rent a movie that scared the hell out of us when we were young kids. It can't be a scary but cool movie, one that creeps you out, but you like watching anyway, like 'The Shining' for example. It has to be a movie that scared you so bad, you were unable to watch the whole thing. You were either too afraid to actually sit and watch it, or you closed your eyes through half of it.

Last year, we rented 'The Exorcist', which scared the hell out of both of us way back when. It's still scary, (but in a good way now). We also rented 'The Omen', which was not too scary for either of us but is still a good Halloween flick as well as 'The Amityville Horror', which actually did scare me quite a bit when it first came out, but I've seen it enough times now that it's not scary anymore, but still creepy and fun to watch.

This year, my wife has picked 'Pet Cemetary', which I have never seen, but she says she was unable to watch all the way through. I have picked 'Hellraiser', a movie that has always freaked me out, big-time. I have never sat through the whole thing. I almost picked 'Night of the Living Dead', but I've seen it too many times. I don't think I would get scared enough watching it. I'll save that one for next Halloween.

Another movie that I always enjoy watching every year around Halloween is 'The Crow', not for any scare-factor, just because it's a cool Halloween flick. I dig that whole 'Eric Draven comes back from the grave to wreak vengance' thing. (Too bad about Brandon Lee though. That guy was really on the way up. Damn shame.)

I'm open to any good Halloween movie suggestions anybody has! If you've got a good one, let me know.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Chore filled weekend...

Well the rain finally subsided on Sunday and there were a few occasional glimpses of sunlight, though it was mainly just cloudy, windy and raw all day. Still, it was better than rain though and I had a lot of outdoor projects that needed to get done.

First I had to pack up my wife's car with some furniture and stuff that she was going to take and try and sell at a yard sale.

Next I had to fill in a big hole in the yard that I had dug the week before. (Don't ask. Believe me you don't want to know.) That was fun.

I'll have to re-seed the whole area where the hole was with new grass because now it's just exposed dirt. I was thinking of making a pretend grave stone and sticking it there, at the front end of the now filled in hole, to pretened like somebody's buried there or something for Halloween. I could write a line from a Johnny Cash song on the pretend grave stone:

"Here lies Less More
4 Slugs from a .44
No Less, No more"

My lawn was incredibly high, having not been mowed in about 3 weeks since it's been raining every weekend, and it really needed to be cut before it got completely out of hand. The grass looked green on top but once I started cutting it, I could see it was a good thing that I did not let it go another week because underneath the nice, dark green top, it was turning a yellowish-green color, meaning that the grass underneath was starting to rot because of all the wet, heavy grass that was matted down and lying on top of it. Not good. So, it's a good thing I cut it but it was a pain in the ass to do. It took forever because I had to go extra slow, since it was so high, and it still got all clumped up so I had to go over the rows twice to chop it all up. Oh well. The weather was pretty unpleasant while I was cutting the lawn and it started to look like it might rain again right in the middle of the job. Thankfully the rain held off so I could get it all done.

The other thing that I had to do yesterday was paint the interior of my basement walls with some stuff called "Dry-Lock". We are going to re-model our basement and turn it into a playroom / den / office / escape from maniac children area, so step one was to repair a few cracks in the foundation and coat it with this goopy, white dry-lock stuff. It's supposed to help cut down on moisture, so I think it will be worth the effort in the long run, but it was kinda tough to apply. Not in a difficult way as in being complicated or anything, it was just hard work to coat the walls with this stuff. Imagine having to paint with warmed up marshmallow Fluff. That's what it was like.

While I was painting away, I listened to The Pats game on the radio. The Pats pretty much got their asses handed to them by the Broncos for most of the game. Denver ran up 2 quick TDs on long bombs from Jake Plummer. It was not fun to listen to.

I hate to use injuries as an excuse, but at this point, the number of starters on this team that are unable to play due to injuries of some kind is getting ridiculous. Dillon, Faulk, Poole, Gay, Harrison, Seymour, Light, Brown, Bruschi, Scott, and on and on and on...

Incredibly, despite being down by nearly 4 touchdowns at one point, The Pats actually made a game of it and came very close to tying the game, pulling to within 8 points with time left on the clock.

Unfortunately, you can only go to the well so many times, and this time, their last ditch drive fell short and the Pats wound up losing 28-20 to Denver. It was a valiant effort, especially when you consider that there were backups for the backups playing at several key positions throughout the game.

Now that The Pats have a bye week, I'm hoping they can heal up and get some guys back. After the bye week they've got Buffalo to contend with, who is always tough, and then they face off against the Colts. I'm like a broken record, but it seems like every week the opponent the Pats are facing gets tougher and tougher. Fine. The tougher the challenge, the sweeter the reward when you accomplish your goal I say.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Friday night out...

I left work Friday and put the Red Sox playoff game on the car radio for the ride home. I was in a pretty good mood since it was officially the weekend and I was going to be seeing one of my all-time favorite bands, Social Distortion, later that night.

I drove about 5 miles down the road and ran into a horrendous traffic jam on the highway. I then spent the next 2 hours just trying to get home. It was a fucking traffic jam nightmare. I wound up getting off the highway and driving all around the back roads untill I finally made it home. By the time I arrived home I was in a terrible mood from the drive and the performance of The Red Sox did not add to it.

I walked through the door and was feeling kind of tired and cranky but my bad mood from the commute dissolved quickly now that it was over and I was finally home. My wife and kids were just finishing up some pizza so I had a couple slices and then grabbed a beer and sat down to watch the end of The Red Sox season. My kids both love Johnny Damon so when he was at bat for the final time, I made sure they watched him because he might not be back next year.

After the game ended we put the kids to bed and I headed out to see Social D, who were playing at The Palladium in Worcester that night. I got into town and had to figure out where to park. There were not any other big events going on that I was aware of so I figured it would not be a problem. There was a lot right across from the Palladium so I went to go park there untill I saw the sign that said $15.00 to park. Fuck that, so I turned around while everybody behind me watched me and probably said, 'What the  hell is this fool doing', but I didn't care. I drove 1 block down the street and there was a lot that was open for $5 bucks. Ha. Now who's the fool? I had a mind to go stand next to the 15.00 lot and tell the cars to go down 1 block and it was 5 bucks, but I decided why bother, since it was totally not worth it.

After I parked the car, I walked over to The Irish Times, which is a bar that is right across the street from The Palladium. I went in and orderd a JD shooter and a Guinness, found a good pole to lean on and watched some of the games that were on the TV. I split between watching the B's and the Anaheim / MFY game that was on. I was glad to see The Yankees getting beat, especially after The Sox got swept out of their series.

I pretty much hung out in the bar and watched the games. I was not really interested in seeing the opening acts for Social D and I figured I would hang in here where I could get a better drink (Guinness) in this bar than in The Palladium (Bud). I was not trying to get drunk or anything, just killing some time before the show. I finished my beer and then ordered an Irish Coffee, heavy on The Irish please, to perk me up a little before heading over to see the show.

When the bartender brought my drink over, the guy sitting at the bar next to me was like, "What is that?" I guess he never saw Irish Coffee before, which I thought was a litte odd, but I told him it was black coffee with Jameson whiskey in it. "Oh," he says, "Sox fan?" Even though I wasn't really drinking this over depression from The Sox, but more to wake up a little because I was feeling kinda beat after work and all, I just told him, "Yeah. Sucks the Sox lost. Oh well". Maybe he was a Yankee fan or something, and was trying to push my buttons. I don't know.

I went back to my spot and finished up my drink, then headed over to The Palladium.

The last time I had been inside the Palladium was at least 10 years ago when I saw Living Colour there. It had not changed much since then. The Palladium is actually a pretty good place to see a show. There is an upper section where you can stand and not be bothered and there is a bar there as well, and there is a lower section where the pit is. Last time I was there I got thrown out for crowd surfing and I wondered if that rule would still be in effect.

While I was waiting for the show to start, I spent the last of my money on a Jack and ice and just kinda hung out. I went over and looked at the shirts and stuff but there was nothing I was interested in so I walked over to the front of the upper section. I got a really good spot to stand and see the show. I was right at the wall for the upper section so there was nobody blocking my view or anything. In the spot where I was standing there were 4 kids sitting on the railing who looked to be no older than about 13 or something and I thought that was pretty cool but also a little odd that kids that young would be at a Social D show. I wanted to ask them how old they were but I didn't want to bother anybody either, so I just stood there and sipped my drink and watched the stage crew set up all of Social D's stuff. After awhile the kid's Dad came over with a beer so I asked him, "Hey dude, how old are these guys?" He told me they were all between the ages of 9 - 12 and they were all in a band together so he wanted them to see a real live band close up and personal (or something like that). I thought that was pretty neat. When I was that age the only music shows my parents were taking me to see was Kenny Rogers, so there you go.

Finally after a little while the lights went down and Social D came out. They started out with "Reach for the Sky" and all the people on the floor immediately started jumping around and a mosh pit formed right up. (Do they still call it 'moshing'? I am so out of touch I really would not know.) I stood there for about a min and was like, "Fuck This. What am I doing standing up here?" so I headed right down to the lower level to get into the pit and enjoy the fun.

I quickly learned that The Palladium still frowns on crowd surfing as I watched several people try it only to get pushed to the front near the stage, which is what always happens. Once they got anywhere near the stage, they would get grabbed by security and thrown out. Despite the fact that people were getting kicked out of the show, people still kept trying it, which I thought was pretty dumb, but whatever.

I moshed around to the first several songs and like a tool, I fell down once because the floor was slippery, but I got picked right up by everybody else that was in the pit. Good to know that little rule of ettiquite is still around. As all the typical pushing and shoving was going on, people were continually trying to surf and getting thrown out. It was a good time but after a little while I decided to just stand off to the side and just watch and listen to the band. Plus, at one point I tweaked my ankle and rolled it, so I decided to take a break from the pit. The old guy needed to rest and catch his breath for a min!

Social Distortion put on a great show and played a great mix of the newer stuff and their old favorites, like Prison Bound, a ripping good version or Ring of Fire and of course The Story of My Life among others. Social Distortion is truly one of my favorite bands and I personally relate to so many of their songs. It was great to see them. After the show I was trying to remember what each song they played was, but I could not remember. I found that to be a litle strange, since I sang [yelled] along with most of them.

While I was standing on the edge of the pit watching the show, people would bump into me which was no big deal, especially considering where I was, but I of course would move a little too and, not on purpose, be bumping into other people around me. For some reason, some chick kept shoving me if I even bumped her the slightest bit, so I moved away from her. I don't know what her problem was. It's not like I was doing it on purpose or trying to bump into her or anything. Besides, you're standing right on the edge of a mosh pit. What do you expect is going to happen? If you don't want to get bumped into, don't stand there. Duh.

Every now and then I would jump back into the pit and mosh around till I needed a breather again, then I'd stand on the edge and watch the band, having a great time the whole time.

After the show ended, I hung around and tried to grab a set list from some of the stage hands who were handing them out to people but they handed them all to chicks, (which came as no surprise to me).

At that point, you'd think all the excitement for the night was over. Wrong. While I was driving home, cruising down the highway, it was raining pretty steadily, as it had been all day. Out of nowhere a car, which I think was a BMW or some kind of luxo-sedan, came flying up behind me. When they went to pass me, (I was in the middle lane), they totally lost control of their car on the wet pavement and smashed into the concrete barrier on the left hand side of the road. After the car hit the barrier, it came careening across the highway. Somehow, I stayed totally calm, tapped the brake and turned the wheel so he would miss me, saying, "What the Fuck dude!" The car missed me by what seemed like inches and flew across the highway with debris going everywhere, and narrowly missed a second car. It then hit the right hand side concrete barrier and came back across the highway, right in front of me again. This car was going back and forth like a pin-ball before it finally came to a stop again on the right hand side. All this happened in a matter of about 20 seconds.

I continued down the highway, still calm, and somewhat amazed at myself that I was still calm. I wondered if I should turn around or something but the more I thought about it, the more I thought, I just want to get home. I didn't have a cell phone so I could not call anybody or really do anything anyway, so I decided to just get home before something else happened. Hopefully that car had air-bags.

The next day, I woke up and my ankle was killing me from rolling it over so I had to wrap it all up in an ace bandage and walk around all day like a gimp. Aside from that, (and nearly getting killed in a car accident,) I had myself a great Friday Night Out.

 

Friday, October 07, 2005

Reach for the Sky...

Today is going to be a good day. I can feel it in my bones.

Reasons:
It's Friday and Friday rocks the howwse.

The Sox are playing this afternoon and I believe they are going to win. There will be no White Sox celebration at Fenway tonight. No. Fucking. Way.

I'm going to see Social Distortion tonight.

{Digression:

E-mail to friends(?): 'Hi! Hey I was wondering if you guys would be interested in going to see Social D with me in October... If you'd like to go, just let me know!'

[Mr BnW then buys a single ticket, refusing to miss the show and knowing in advance what to expect from extremely lame people that he used to hang around with]

Responses: 1, "I'll think about it" (then never heard from again), 2, "Dude, I'm too old. I might break a hip. But if you get tickets to 'Sesame Street Live' let me know" and the rest did not even bother to respond.

I guess I just refuse to grow up.
{End of Digression}

So here's some Social Distortion Mojo for The Sox. I am fully expecting to go to the show in a great mood after The Sox extend the series at least one more day.

So if you please take this moment
Try if you can to make it last
Don't think about no future
And just forget about the past
And make it last

Reach for the sky cause tomorrow may never come

"Time's up, what's it gonna be, Merv?"

GO SOX

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Why Macs rule...

I finally got my new hard-drive installed in my laptop. It was very easy to do.

I removed the bottom from the computer and the drive was easily accessable. All I had to do then was undo 4 screws holding the drive in and pop the drive controller cable off the motherboard. The old drive came right out and then I replaced it with the new one.

The only part that made me a little nervous was popping the drive controller connection off the motherboard. It was snapped into the motherboard pretty tight and at first I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be a 'permanent' connection. (I was a little worried the instructions might have been wrong. Screwing up my computer would not have been a good thing.) Thankfully after a little gentle prying, it came off with out a problem.

Once I got the new drive in I just had to install the operating system. That's it.

Mac OS 10.4 comes with this great program called the Migration Assistant. Once the OS is installed, the Assistant comes up and moves all your files and preferences over from your old drive (or computer) to the new one. No settings to have to re-configure, no apps to install, no files to search around for. It all just worked (as it should) and when it was finished, I logged in as if nothing had changed. The process could not have been any easier. I didn't even swear once the whole time! Ha!

Now I have all this extra space. It's so roomy here. ECHO! Echo... echo...

Now that I have plenty of space, I'm thinking of saving up for an M-Box and maybe recording some songs with Garage Band.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

No I'm not hiding under a rock...

Posting has been pretty light this week...

Have I crawled under a rock after the last Pats game? Has watching the Red Sox continually lose ground to the goddamm Yankees driven me bonkers?

No, I am not cowering in a corner somewhere.

My laptop needs a new hard drive and until the drive arrives and I can get it installed, I'm not using the computer very much. Add that to the fact that I try not to write while at work, and posting has been light.

And to be perfectly honest, I've not been happy with my writing lately. I've been very stressed out the last week or so and I feel that it's been showing through in my posts, so I'm using the wait for a new hard drive as an excuse to take a little break.

Once I get the drive installed in my laptop and I can sit in my living room again, instead of sitting at a cramped desk surrounded by giant piles of junk, I'll get back to doing some regular posting.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Today...

This is my 3rd attempt at writing something about today, Sept 11th. I feel like I should write something but I am not sure what to say about it. What can I possibly add that has not been said already by people with a lot more writing skill than mine.

We all know what happened today. You don't need me to tell you to remember and never forget. All of us will have the memories of our own experiences of what happened on Sept 11th 2001 in the back of our minds today as we go about our lives.

Some things I will always remember about that day:

I will always remember that it really was a perfect Sept day. Blue skies, sunny warm but not hot. Perfect weather.

I will always remember what I was doing when I was first told the news.

I will always remember the person that told it to me.

I will always remember the distraught woman who stood next to me as a group of us watched CNN. She had booked flights for people on the planes that day and was hoping and praying they were on the 'other' flight, not that it mattered in the end.

All I can say is, try to remember those who lost their lives, the ones that were murdered, the ones that fought back, the ones that sacrificed their lives to save other people and the ones that are sacrificing right now for all of us, wether you believe in their cause or not, they are doing what they do for us. Remember the people that are important to you and make sure they know what they mean to you.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Irritated...

I'm feeling irritated.

I bought some RAM for my computer, 512 MB. Then I opened it up expecting to see a single 512 DIMM and an open memory slot. Instead I discovered 2, 256 DIMMs, taking up both slots. So instead of having a full Gig of RAM, I've got 768MB and a chip that I can't use. It's totally my own fault for not checking but it's still irritating.

I also bought a new drive for my computer because the the original drive is jam packed. Apple has this neat program that moves all your files and stuff for you called the Migration Assistant. There's just one problem, it doesn't work with FileVault, which of course, I have turned on. To make a long, boring story short, in order to be able to turn off FileVault I needed to make room on my drive and wound up having to delete 10 gigs of music to do it. I had to effing trash my music library. I've got most of it on CD so I can get it all back, but again, irritating.

The rest of my irritation I blame on The Red Sox, who are down 8-4 right now to the MFY after blowing a great opportunity in the 7th with the bases loaded. Instead Tek grounds into an inning ending double play. Grumble. I won't even talk about what happened in the 6th with hitter after hitter getting on base while Bradford just stayed and stayed and stayed in the game, and I'm yelling "WILL YOU FRIGGIN LIFT THIS GUY TITO!! JEZUS! GRRRR.

Shilling better be sharp tomorrow. I was hoping to take 2 out of 3 this weekend but I will settle for no less than 1 out of 3. A sweep by the MFY is not an option. You HEAR ME RED SOX??

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Brain Dump...

I've been feeling very run down and tired lately. I've got all kinds of shit going on and I feel like I just can't keep up with it all. I feel like I keep falling farther and farther back on stuff. Then, just when I think I'm making some progress and start to feel like I'm getting caught up with things, something happens to set me back.

It's as if I'm clawing to barely keep up and keep my head above water lately. Of course, most of these feelings are probably all in my head, but they are there none-the-less. In the meantime, can somebody toss me a life jacket please?

The Sox won on Ortiz's awesome walk-off homer last night and the Yankees lost to the Devil Dogs, making our lead in the East, 4 and our Magic Number, 22. I'm hoping we can win this series against The Angels and head into this weekend series against the MFY with a 3 game lead, minimum. I hope the Sox see the opportunity that is in front of them this weekend. They could really slam the door on The Yankees chances for the division and put a serious kink in their Wildcard hopes too. Seize the moment Red Sox!!

But, first things first. We still need to get past the always tough Angels...

The World Champion New England Patriots kick off the NFL season tomorrow vs The Oakland Raiders. It's still hard to believe it's already time for football! I am pretty excited about this NFL season and am really looking forward to tomorrow's game. It will be so cool to see the 3rd Superbowl Championship banner unveiled at THE RAZOR. I'll probably be bouncing off the walls tomorrow waiting for the game.

I found a cool site, massachusettsgasprices.com. Use it to find the cheapest gas stations in your town. There is a Konfabulator Widget you can use to go along with it here. There's probably a Dashboard widget for gas prices too, but I have not tried any of them out yet.

I've been listening to a really cool podcast that features some great jazz guitar, No Idle Frets, on the way home from work and it really makes the commute fly by. I start listening to it and just zone out driving. The next thing I know, I'm half way home.

I finally reached critical mass on my computer drive, with barely 500 Megs available, so I ordred a new drive to replace it. I bought some RAM too so my computer will be much happier once I get it all put in.

I've been toying with the idea of dropping the silly psudonym that I use around the interweb and just using my first name when I leave comments and stuff on my friend's sites but I'm still building up the nerve to do it. I know, I know, talk about making a big deal out of nothing. I can be such a goof about some things! Oh well.

I'll end this one with a quote to get you ready for The Patriots game tomorrow:

"I had an equipment manager at Michigan. He's got so many Big-Ten rings, he doesn't have enough fingers. He said, 'You know, Tom, you know what my favorite ring is?' I said, 'What's that?' And he said, 'The next one. The next one. That's my favorite."

-Tom Brady

 

Friday, September 02, 2005

Pre-season finally over, Sox sweep...

Before I get into last nights games, a rhetorical question:

Why do people feel the need to speed up if you come up behind them on the highway and then attempt to pass them? And I'm not talking about being an ass and tailgating somebody on purpose to annoyingly try and get them to move over. I'm talking about when you're a normal car-length or so behind somebody, and you want to go around them. Why do people speed up and try to prevent you from trying to pass? I don't get it. Then, after a mile, they have slowed back down to their original speed... Ah, the joys of commuting.

Last night was, thankfully, the final pre-season game for The Patriots. Belichick did not play any of the starters and that was fine by me. The Pats did not do to well, losing 27-3 "in what could loosely be called a game", to steal a line from Patriots.com.

Last night was more about guys on the bubble getting one last chance to make the team. I felt bad for the receivers on the that bubble, since QB Matt Cassell pretty much threw over everybody's heads.

To be honest, I only half-paid attention to the game. To give you some idea of the level of interest I had in watching it, the highlight for me was seeing the new Dunkin's commercial with Troy Brown teaching the Pats mascot dance moves and answering phones in Bob Kraft's office, (along with playing offense, defense and special teams of course!)

Of all the pre-season games, game #4 is the least meaningful. When pre-season started, I was excited to see some football again, even pre-season football, but now I am sick of it and ready for the real thing. Well, the real thing is less than a week away now. Bring on The Raidahs and let the smack-talk begin!

In Baseball-land, The Sox won and the Yankees lost, getting us back to a much more comfortable, but still tenuous, 3 1/2 game lead. Thank you, Seattle!

Personally, the magic number that will make me happy is 4 and 1/2. Anything over 4 and 1/2 games makes me feel safe about the race for the division. That reminds me, what's the magic number? Do the Sox have a 'magic number' yet?

This weekend the O's come into Fenway while The MFY are playing out in Oakland in what could wind up as a pivotal series for the Wild Card race.  All we have to do is beat these dang pain in the ass Orioles, a team that the Sox always seem to have trouble with, and I think we will be in good shape. Hopefully we can take this series with Baltimore and the A's will help us out in the West.

Think Positive!
 

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Vacation, happy to get away...

Hey what's up everybody! I'm back from my vacation with The Fam on Cape Cod. I still have one day left (to recover from my vacation) before I go back to work on Thur.

Relevant Vacation Stats:

Sox record: 2-3 - The Sox did not do well on my vacation, going 2-3. The standings have not changed much since I left, which is a shame because the Spankees lost several games this past week as well. The Red Sox could have made some hay on this trip and put a little more distance between themselves and the MFY. Oh well.

A lot of the games didn't start till 10:00 PM so I didn't get to listen to them (I was camping. No TV. Revel in the glory of radio.) Most of the time I had to wait for Gil Santos to tell me the results on WBZ's morning sports report. Sat and Sun the games started at 4 PM so I got to listen to those, which was nice.

Beers consumed: 16

Weight gained: I'm afraid to find out. I ate like total shit down there. Way too many fried clams and scallops and french fries and smores... ohhh. Now I know I'm going to pay. Big time.

Beach Days: 3

Hermit crabs captured: I lost track. At one point my kids had created a whole 'Hermit Crab Village' by digging a big hole in the sand and stocking it chock full with hermit crabs, which then had to be constantly policed, (lest they escape!)

Sunburns: 1 - but it was not too bad. Nothing killer. Just some minor discomfort when carrying children on my back.

Books read: 1 - I read most of Master and Commander. I'm not finished with it yet but I'm down to under 100 pages so I should be done with it soon. I have enjoyed reading this book a lot. I like stories that place fictional characters in an actual historical context and I'm also a big fan of stories involving ships at sea. After this I'll probably read 'The DaVinci Code'.

Fun had: Immeasurable. The weather was great the whole time. We went to Skackett Beach 2 days and Chapin Beach 1 day. One day we just stayed around the campground and relaxed. We only had one day where it rained. On that day, we went to a place called The Children's Museum, which is not really a 'museum' at all but is a big open room with loads of toys and interesting stuff to keep kids occupied.

Now we're back home. We were sad to leave the campground and our vacation behind but everybody is happy to be home, where you can take a real shower and watch tv.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Vacation all I ever wanted...

It's official. I'm on vacation. No work. No phones. No computer inter-web thingy, no tv, no fuckin nuthin! I'll be camping out and going to the beach, drinking beer and sitting next to a camp fire toasting marshmallows and making smores. I'll still have the radio so I can listen to Joe and Jerry and Gil and Gino... and I'll have my iPod and a couple flashlights... I'm set.

Talk to you when I get back!

(Go SOX, GO PATS!)

Later!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Numbers jinx...

I have been trying to lose weight and on June 26, 2005, I wrote that I had finally gotten into the 150 range on my scale. Ever since I wrote that, the needle on the scale has not moved 1 millimeter. I have been stuck at 160 for a month and a half and it's very frustrating. I am not sure what I am doing wrong, or why I am stuck at this weight, but I am.

I think I put some kind of weight loss jinx on myself by writing that I was only 4 pounds away from my goal, so now I am writing about it again to try and un-jinx myself.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Avoiding the urge to be a lazy ass...

I've got a list of chores that need to be accomplished. Most of them involve paint and wood-stain and I hate painting and staining. BUT it has to be done so I decided it was time to suck it up and get started. "You've gotta get it started if you wanna get it done," as Aaron Tippin says.

My Wife and Kids were going to be gone for the entire day today at some baby shower thing so I figured this would be a good day to try and get all the painting and staining pain in the ass-ness over with.

Before I could start with the painting, I needed to clean and prepare the surfaces. A lot of the wood that I have to stain had some mildew on it so I had to scrub that all off with a brush, soap and water. By the time I got that done several hours later, it was time for lunch so I had a quick sandwich and then took stock of my stain and paint supply. It turned out I had very little left to work with so I headed to the store to get more paint. They had to match it up with a sample to get the right colors and that took a while. Then they did not have the type of stain that I needed so I had to head to a different store to get that.

A few more hours later, I had everything I needed, and was on my way home. I felt like I was finally ready to start the real work and get this job over with. Painting and staining in itself is not that bad. It's all the prep work I have to do ahead of time that seems to be the biggest pain. As I was pulling into my house, I thought that the sky was looking very forbidding. I did not want to begin painting and then have it start to rain, so I checked the weather radar and there were a line of big orange and red blobs headed my way. Grrrrr...

So much for that. Scratch getting the painting done. I was pretty annoyed but I would have been even more angry if I had gotten it all done and then it started to downpour before it was dry. At least I got all the prep work and materials ready. Now all I have to do is go out, tape it up and start staining. Whee...

Now I had a big head of steam to get something accomplished on that damn list. Times like this when there are no children or Wife around are very rare and I needed to get some shit done so I could say I at least did something today.

My Wife has some unfinished shelves in the basement that needed to be stained so I wound up doing that. The game today was rained out so I watched Red Sox Rewind of the 86' team as I was working. It was pretty cool and it did not bother me as much watching all the Game 6 highlights, etc, now that The Sox have finally won it all. (Even when doing little everyday things, driving around, getting chores done, The Red Sox are in the background. The Sox permeate life.)

I was glad to get the shelves done, but I've still had a nagging 'unfinished' feeling bugging me all evening because I feel like I did not get what I wanted to do accomplished today.

I've had a list of stuff to do all summer and now that unfinished list is starting to bug me. I can feel myself getting into one of my obsessive modes and I won't be happy until every thing on that list is crossed off and then taken down from my refirgerator. I'll wind up going to on a tear now to get it all done... after I come back from vacation that is!

Starting on Wed, I'll be taking some time off, turning off my phone, computer and all other nerdy devices, and heading for Cape Cod. I can't wait!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

My War

C.B. has a new post up over at My War.

Get over there and read it while it's still available. (And pre-order his book while you're at it.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Extra cookies...

When I donate blood, I listen to, Keith and the Girl!

Ok, so I donated blood today and for some reason the juice just was not flowing so I had to get stuck in both arms for them to get the amount that they needed. It was not a big deal and I got Nutter Butters out of it, which is really cool because I am normally not allowed to have such delectable treats. On my way out of the blood-mobile, I stole a bag of Oreos too. I figured I earned it for going the extra mile. Plus, I'm sure eating Oreos is one of the healthiest ways for my body to recover from giving my life-fluid. Now it's time for some coffee.

Alright, if you're not totally grossed out and are still reading this nonsense, I'll move along to my next topic, The 1st Place Boston Red Sox.

It turned out The Spankees and the O's both lost last night, giving The Sox sole possession of 1st Place by 1/2 a game. I'll take it. The Sox are putting a beating on The Devil Dogs to the tune of 9-2 in the bottom of the 7th, while the O's and Twinkies are tied in the 8th. It would be nice if the Spankees could lose again tonight (duh.)

Lets hope the bats stay strong tomorrow as The Sox head out to Chicago to play 4 against the other 1st Place Sox. Unlike The Red Sox, The Other Sox really own 1st place, with a 12 game lead over the 2nd place Twinkies. Must be nice. I'd like to see the Sox start to put some distance between themselves and the O's and MFY. You've got to start somewhere.  1/2  a game will hopefully become 1.5, then take it from there. One game at a time.

Switching gears slightly, I could not help but feel a little sad to see Alan Embree designated for assignment. It's too bad he could'nt pull things together this year but he had become a heart-attack waiting to happen with every outing. Every time Embree came trotting out of the bullpen I would roll my eyes and say, "Ok, here we go. Come on Chaw..."

I'll always apprecitate Embree for what he did with The Sox over the past few years, especially in the playoffs last year. Plus, the guy's a Chris LeDoux fan, so that right there makes me like him. I'm sure Embree is bummed out about this desision but it had to be done. He was part of something special and he'll always be able to look down and appreciate that fancy ring on his finger. No matter what happens that Sox Championship Ring is something they can never take away from him. Good luck Alan.

"In Theo We Trust"

Update:
The Sox won, the O's lost. Texas, now it's your turn.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Red Sox Nation... +1

Hey everybody! I have not posted something in here in almost a week! I've had a few days off so I have not done much geekin' out lately. Every now and then I would think about posting something but I never go around to it.

I had a long weekend as it was my 10 year Wedding Anniversary last Friday so I took that day off from work. The Grandparents took the kids for a couple nights and my wife and I actually went out to a movie and a dinner.

When I got home on Thursday, my wife was still out. It was totally weird to walk into my house and not be jumped on by crazy, giggling little people. It was very quiet and it felt strange.

After about 1/2 an hour my wife got home and I suggested we go see a movie. We still had not seen Revenge of the Sith yet, so we decided to see it.

When we got to the theater, my wife went and got the candy and popcorn while I went up to the ticket counter and asked for 2 tickets. The lady smiled and said, "You're kidding right?"

"No...." I said, a little confused.

"Oh, I thought you were here to see the Sox / Yankees game."

The theater we had gone to also shows the HD broadcast of the Sox games up on the big screen and apparently the fact that I was standing at the ticket counter alone, wearing a Sox / Pats "CHAMPIONS" t-shirt and my World Series ball-cap made the lady think that's what I was there for.

"Sounds cool, but not today," I said.

"There's already 250 people in the theater for the game." I can't say I was surprised. I was tempted to check it out myself.

Can I just say, holy shit movies are fucking expensive. $20.00 bucks for 2 movie tickets and 7.50 for a small box of popcorn and a box of junior mints (they're so refreshing!) And the movie studios can't seem to figure out why not as many people go to see movies anymore... Hmmmm.

Ok. Anyway. Revenge of the Sith. I am an admitted Star Wars nerd and I thought this was definitely the best of the 3 prequels. Unlike the first 2 prequel movies, I actually liked Revenge of the Sith a lot, even though it was a sad story.

On the way home, I turned the Sox on the radio. It was a tie game going into the late innings. I kept the volume on low so my wife and I could talk about the movie and our day, but I could still hear if something happened in the game.

We talked about my job and the anxiety it caused me to be looking for a new one. For some reason, the job searching made me worried. My current job offers security and the ability for me to take care of my family. Potentially making a change would be a step into the unknown with a lot on the line and that is something I fret over at times. We talked about the ongoing battle I have with myself about wether to suck it up and deal with work or keep looking for a new job. It was nice for the two of us to be able to just talk.

By the time we got home, the Sox / Yankees game was still tied going into the final innings. We sat down on the couch and I reached for the remote to switch on the game and catch the end.

"Before you turn that on and get into the end of the game, I have something I need to talk to you about, but I don't want to make your anxiety worse..."

She had a serious tone so I was immediately worried. I was afraid something was wrong.

Then for some reason it just popped into my head.

"You're pregnant."

She nodded her head, "Yes" and smiled. "Happy Anniversary. Hope you like your present."

I loved it.

It turned out the Sox lost the game and I didn't see a single inning, but that's one that I'll always remember. How often does a happy memory get tied in with a Sox loss to the Yankees?

Get ready for a new member of Red Sox and Patriot Nation!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

--cant think of anything for a title--

Hey what's up everybody! I have not posted in here for a few days and I'm sure you are wondering what I am up to (yeah right!)

There's not too much to report really. I have just been kind of taking it easy.

Last Sunday was a perfect day. I sat around in my back yard patio and enjoyed what turned out to be a beautiful summer day. I thought about listening to the Sox game but decided to listen to a good mix of summertime music that I made instead. Since the Sox got their butts kicked, that turned out to be the right choice.

I pretty much kicked back, had a few Coronas, watched the kids play, looked at the bushes and flowers, watched the trees swaying in the breeze and just decompressed. It really made me feel good to just sit under an umbrella and not have to go anywhere or do anything and allow my mind and thoughts to just float. Sometimes it's good to think about nothing.

Later on in the day my kids and I hit some whiffle balls. They really enjoy that and it's fun for me too. I think it actually helps relieve stress to whack that whiffle ball across the yard. I started out by throwing the ball in the air and then hitting it but eventually I talked my wife into to pitching a few balls to me. It was a lot of fun. I could not help but think about the fact that men get paid millions of dollars to do this. Throw the ball, hit the ball, catch the ball. Sure they have to put up with a bunch of crap from the press and listen to us knuckle-head fans, but still, they get paid to play baseball. If you have not gone out and had a game of catch or hit a few ball lately, I suggest you go out and try it and remember how much fun it is. The Red Sox are lucky guys.

Speaking of the Sox, I guess the All-Star break happened. I did not pay attention to it at all to be honest. I guess there was a record broken for home runs during the home run derby? Don't know. Didn't watch it. The A.L. won the All-Star game. Other than that, I have no idea what happened during the All-Star festivities. Baseball season, along with summertime, is half way over. Man, that really seemed to go by fast. 6 weeks left, then September. I don't want to think about it!

Yes, I miss Patriot football and rumor has it there may actually be a hockey season this year, but I'm really trying hard to cling to every iota of this summertime season.

I've also been doing a lot of front porch sittin'. These summer evenings have been so nice the last few days. After the kids are in bed my wife and I have been going out on the porch swing with a little cocktail and hanging out, talking about the day and watching the sun disappear. It's been really nice and I think it has done me a lot of good mood-wise.

I've also been working on the job search the last few days. I put my resume up on Monster and a few folks have contacted me. I wrote back to them and now I am waiting to hear back. We'll see where it goes from there. All of the jobs look kind of far away, like an hour (or more!) drive. I'm trying to cut down my commute so these jobs may turn out to be too far away, but, any contacts I get are still worth following up on...

The MF Yankees will be in town starting tomorrow with Cornrollio going up against Moose. I got offered tickets to a game this weekend and it killed me, because I know that Shilling will be back this weekend, but I had to turn them down. I just went to a game against Toronto about 2 weeks ago and I can't afford to go to another game so soon, even if it is Sox / Yankees. Stupid bills. Maybe in the late August / Sept timeframe I'll be able to go to one more if a ticket comes up.

I've really been enjoying podcasts lately. I just started listening to them and I like them a lot. I put my favorites in my links area. If you have any podcast recommendations, let me know!

Well, this post is kind of all over the place, but that's what happens when you don't write in a while. Later.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Perfect day...

What a perfect day... sunshine, coronas, acoustic guitar, kids playing in their kiddie pool.

Hope you are having a great day too.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Thank God it's... Thursday!

The countdown to the long weekend has officially begun and I am watching that clock tick down to 5. I've got tomorrow and Monday off. Lucky me!

I probably won't be posting too much for the next few days since I'll be outside having fun and enjoying life and stuff.

I'll be at the Sox game on Sunday so if you're going to the game, look for me in the beer line in the grandstands behind home-plate. I'll be wearing my Red Sox World Series ball-cap.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July! Try not to blow your hand off with any fireworks mmm kay? And be careful with sparklers too!

FYI, if you take a box of sparklers and then light up all of the sparklers at the same time, at that point, it's not a happy-go-lucky extra-large sparkler you're holding in your hand. When you light them all at once, all the cute little sparklers actually combine together to become a giant fucking torch that can really burn the hell out of your hand.

Although it can provide some momentary entertainment to those who witness you holding a giant fireball in your hand, the sparkler/torch burns out very quickly and then for the rest of the day it becomes really hard to pick up chicks while your sitting with your burned and blistered hand jammed into the ice at the bottom of the beer bucket, so don't be that guy!

Also, if you decide to use a potato gun this weekend, be sure to aim it away from people, cars, boats, neighbor's windows, etc, etc when you shoot it.

Not that I would know anything about sparkler torches or shooting potatoes at people. I'm always the cool one hangin' back with my beer watching the mayhem. Honest. Ok, maybe it was my idea to light off all the sparklers at once but my friend grabbed the box from me and lit them himself, prompting me to say to him later, "Boy, I'm glad you tried that and not me dude. Hey, while you're sitting there with your hand in the beer cooler, can you hand me 2 Coronas? I want to go talk to that chick over there."

Finally, I want to say a sincere thank you to everyone that has served or is currently serving in our Armed Forces. It is because of you that Independence Day exists. THANK YOU!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Accomplishments with numbers...

Some meaningful numbers this weekend:

159: My weight on Saturday. I don't usually toot my own horn but I have to say I am quite proud of myself for getting down to this weight. Getting into the 150's is a major accomplishment for me and I've taken off over 25 pounds. I have not seen the 150's on my scale in almost a decade. With 3 weeks left to my ten year wedding anniversary, I am now 4 pounds away from my goal of 155, which was what the scale read on the day I got married.

I need to be really good and maintain discipline over the next few weeks if I want to lose about a pound a week. 4th of July will be tough, with beer, hamburgers, brats and other temptations, but as long as I indulge a little without over doing it I will be ok.

0: The Red Sox number of games back in the A.L. East, i.e. zero. Meaning The Sox are in sole possession of first place in the division. Hee. Hee. Heh...

1.5: The number of games The Sox are ahead over the 2nd Place O's in the A.L. East (for now...)

8-5: The current score in the Sox / Phillies game. It was 8-1 when I started writing this, but Wells seems to be having some problems and may have tweaked his injured foot again. Effin-A...

It's the bottom of the 5th... long way to go with the bullpen warming (oh shit...)

8-1: The current score in the O's / Braves game, going into the 9th. The Braves have the 8-1 lead. It's looking good for the Braves to swweeeeeep the O's. Hopefully the Sox can hang on to win this game and get a little 2 game buffer in the standings.

580: As in, AM 580 WTAG, the radio station that I'm listening to Joe and Jerry call The Sox game on as I hang out in my back yard oasis. (Side note: I'm loving the wireless network right now...) I love it back here in my back yard.

When we first moved into our house, our back yard was literally a swamp. After a lot of back breaking, hard work over the last few years, it's now an awesome summertime hang-out. If you want to see it, let me know, maybe I'll put up a before and after pic.

I hope McDonald's does not want to move into my neighborhood. (Yes, I'm still fuming over that New London thing. I'm not going to let it go either.)

1-2-3: The correct combo of Tequila, Triple-Sec and Green Juice to make a nice pitcher of Margaritas. Throw some ice in the pitcher. Then, using a juice glass, use the 1, 2, 3 method. 1 glass of tequila, 2 glasses of triple-sec, 3 glasses of the green juice. Squeeze in juice from a lime. Add some salt to the top of a glass... Now we're talkin'...

91: The current outdoor temperature, and I absolutely love it. Love it, love it, love it. Not a snowflake in sight out here. If you hear me bitch about the heat this summer, feel free to smack me. Enjoy this Summah-time while it lasts my friends.

:-)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Don't drop your iPod...

The other day I was at the gym sweating away on an exercise machine. I got a little over exuberant and knocked my iPod on the ground 3 times. Not good. Then when I got home, I was getting out of my car and it fell out of my pocket and hit the ground again. Unbelievable!

"What the hell is wrong with you, you stupid dumb-ass?" I said to myself.

After all this iPod battering it started acting up quite a bit. It started displaying the spinning, 'disk check' graphic when I tried to update the songs on it, and it also started skipping songs and rebooting all on its own.

All this odd behavior made me worried that I had done something to it by dropping it so many times so I did a software restrore and re-loaded all the songs last night.

After the reload, it had a minor glitch when I tried to unmount it from the computer. It disconnected from the computer ok but it still said 'don't disconnect' on the iPod display. I'm hoping that was because the computer had gone to sleep with the iPod still connected and the iPod forgot where it was (or something).

Another little flakey thing that happened was, this morning when I was walking, it suddenly skipped ahead like 9 songs. I had accidentally touched the lock switch on top of the case and it got moved halfway between locked and unlocked. That litte switch can act a little funny sometimes if it's not set all the way to the left or right, so I'm hoping it was just a random event.

Since then, no problems or complaints. I'm hoping I'm out of the woods now and that my iPod is back to normal. (I can't get through the day without my iPod!)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Nice comeback win for The Sox last night...

When I checked my mail this morning I was surprised to have a trackback notification from Typepad. Having never gotten one of these before, I was pretty suprised by this. It turns out that Universal Hub liked my recent story about my trip to New York and linked to it. That's pretty cool!

Hello to everybody that arrived here via Universal Hub and thanks for stopping by!

It's totally frantic today here at the ol' Software Factory (like always) but I feel a lot better now after my little rant about work the other day. Sometimes it's good to get stuff that's bothering you off of your chest. The search for job happiness continues...

Moving on to things that might actually interest somebody, I watched the Sox come from behind win last night and was impressed with the methodical hitting and base-running attack The Sox put on The Indians to take the lead in the late innings. Even Big Poppi stole a base last night. You don't see that every day! 

I like Keith Foulke and have been one of the people that have stuck by him despite his problems earlier in the season. That being said,  I have to admit that I was a bit nervous going into the bottom of the 9th with a 1 run lead. Although there were some nerve rattling fly balls, none were hit hard enough to get out of the park and the Sox got the win and the shaaawweeeep over the Indians.

To make things even better, both the O's and the MFY lost last night.

The Pats added more depth to their punt return team by signing RB Chad Morton. The Pats have some speedsters that can return the ball, but outside of Troy Brown, a lot of the guys on the return team have a history of injury problems; Tim Dwight is a prime example of this type of player. It's good to see Belichick adding some insurance just before camp starts.

Hopefully guys can actually stay healthy through camp and the pre-season. If they can avoid the injury problem and not have any linemen retire this time around, The Pats are going to have one of the deepest teams in the league when the season starts.

Finally, before you forget, go over to MLB.com right now and stuff the ballot box for Johnny! Vote early, vote often folks. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

We are 138...

I'm going to bitch about work in this post so feel free to move along to your next destination on the web if you want to.

Work has been incredibly frustrating lately. My friend at work told me today he felt like an 'automaton', (thus the title of my post). I know, cryptic. What can I say? I really don't expect anyone to get this post. This is just me finally getting some venting out.

I get totally paranoid when it comes to writing about work, a feeling which I hate. I mean, the whole point of this site is for me to have an outlet for my thoughts but I'm afraid to write about the place that I (unfortunately) spend most of my life. How lame is that?

I really don't like being anonymous on here to be honest. I'd like to be able to post as just me, not this stupid nickname (that I'm totally sick of by the way). I'd like to be able to post pictures of events that happen in my life or even a picture of myself. But I don't because I'm afraid to. I'm afraid somebody from my job might stumble onto this site and discover who I am.

How ridiculous is it that I have to basically be afraid and worry about what I post on my own personal site. What does that say about the place that I work?

Oh and the commute fucking sucks; an hour and a half today...

The funny thing about my job is, if I were an outsider looking in, it would probably look pretty cushy. I mean, its a software company. I basically sit on my ass all day and mess around with computers.

The actual job itself is fine. The work environment and the attitude of the management there is what drives me crazy. I guess I just don't fit in at a big, bureaucratic, politically correct place where you have to worry about what you say to somebody or what you write in an e-mail; a place where honesty and straight talk get you in trouble; a place that is mainly interested in getting something out the door and who cares if it's a piece of shit?

I'd like to find a place where I can be part of a small team that actually takes some pride in what they work on.

But what can I do? I often feel like I am trapped there. I have a wife and kids and a mortgage and bills. All that depends on me and my income. We are a single income family so as much as I may hate my job, I tell myself I need to suck it up and deal with it for my family's sake.

Every day on my way home I say to myself, "I gotta check out Monster tonight and see if there's anything out there." I've sent out a few resumes and gotten a couple bites, but nothing has come through yet. I just have to keep trying. There's got to be something out there that I can do that does not make me miserable and still allows me to support my family.

Alright, well, looking back on what I just wrote, I'm feeling like a whiny little bitch right now.

Now, do I post this or do I wimp out? Am I making a huge deal out of nothing? I have yet to see my company's URL show up in my referrer list... Fuck it.

[POST]

Thursday, June 16, 2005

NYC: Day 3

Hey what's up everybody!

Today is my 3rd and thankfully, final day of work down here in New York city. I'm a country-boy at heart so after a few days in the Big City I start to miss grass and trees and fresh air. New York is a cool place to visit but the non-stop bustle can get kind of tiresome and after a while all the buildings and concrete starts to make me feel a little claustrophobic.

Yesterday was a very long day for me. I was at the customer from 6AM till sometime after 8PM, and oh, what fun it was... I won't bore you with the details...

The bright spot of the day, or more appropriately, night, since that's when I finished work, was my planned excursion to the Red Sox Nation hideout, Harrison's Tavern.

After work I headed over to my friends apartment where he was, once again, having a beer and watching The Yankees / Pirates game. At least this time he had gotten his computer out and was monitoring the The Sox / Reds game on the internet.

I was a little frazzled after a long day and needed to decompress a little before we headed out so I grabbed a beer and settled into his bizzaro, Yankee watching universe and relaxed for a few moments. Once I finished my beer we grabbed a taxi and made our way over to Harrisons.

If you are a Sox fan stuck in NY and want to catch a game, Harrisons is a good place to go. Its a nice little bar with big open windows that let in the night air and give it a very open feel. They've got good brews on tap like Harpoon, Newcastle and Guinness and the bar food is good as well. The woman tending bar was cool but she was kind of an airhead. She was entertainment all by herself.

In the back of the bar there is a widescreen projection of The Sox game on a big pulldown screen and there are tv's over the bar showing the game in HD. They have The Yankees and other sporting events on too.

One of the nice things about Harrison's is that they have the game audio turned up so you can actually hear Orsillo and The Remdawg call the game.

I settled in at the bar, had a couple Newcastles and just relaxed while watching this final game in the Sox / Reds series. The Reds are not the best team in the league so The Sox pretty much cruised through this one and completed the sweep. It was good to see Arroyo get the win and also to see the Sox finally win a series. After St. Louis and Chicago had their World Series vengeance, we got ours against The Reds. Even if it was not against one of the upper echelon teams in baseball, I'll still take it.

Once the Sox game ended, we turned our attention to the Yankees game and hoped the Pirates could hang on for the win. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. As we were all groaning in disgust at the Yankees comeback, some Yankees fans in the bar did their best to drown us out with some overly loud clapping and hollering. Whatevah...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

On location: NYC...

Yo, whats up everybody? I'm down here in NYC for work related purposes. I'm all about making customers happy. That's me in a nutshell. (Help help! How did I get in this bloody nutshell??)

I arrived here yesterday. On the trip down, I first sat in some Boston traffic on the way to the airport, then I took a short plane ride, and finally, I sat in some NYC traffic on the way to my hotel. I spent less time in the plane than in the car... Hmmmm.

Anyway, couple quick observations:

1. Its hot down here and very humid, but I don't mind it. If I start to think it's too hot, I just think about the time I spent pushing my snow-blower up and down my driveway last winter. Nuff said.

2. Eye-candy abounds down here.

3. The people working at Dunkins could use some training on making breakfast sandwiches, especially the part where they actually cook them. I'm not really complaining though. The mere existence of a nearby Dunkins is like an oasis in this land of Starbucks.

[Side note]

The first time I came down here, I really had to bust my ass for this customer and I wound up drinking lots of coffee because I would get so tired and frazzled. The only coffee I could get was Starbucks and got sooo godamm sick of it, but I needed caffeine to keep me going so I was forced to drink it. As I was walking back to my hotel after a long day, I saw a guy crossing the street with a Dunkin's cup in his hand. I ran up to him, pointed at his Dunkin's coffee and frantically asked him, "WHERE'D YOU GET THAT??"

The guy was taken aback a little since he was probably not used to crazy people getting in his face and asking about his coffee, but he quickly realized what was going on. He pointed down the street and said, "Right down there dude, but it's not as good as Boston Dunkins."

That is true, but New York Dunkins is better than no Dunkins.

[/side note]

4. The people I'm with think I'm a little nuts because I walk all over the place and don't take cabs. I like the exercise and besides that I'm too cheap to pay cab fairs to get around. Plus I hate dealing with receipts and filling out expense reports.

5. My first day here I secretly wore my 04 ALCS Championship shirt under my work shirt. It was like I was a spy hiding my secret identity while I was in Enemy Territory. 

So, last night after I got out of work, I walked over to Hells Kitchen to visit a friend of mine who has an apartment there. It was a long day with the customers so it was nice to just chill out and way better than sitting around in my hotel by myself. We were just hanging out, relaxing, drinking a beer and watching baseball. Sounds normal right? Wrong. We were watching The Yankees game. WHAT??

I was in bizzarro world. Here we were, 2 Sox fans, sitting around in NYC having a couple beers watching The Yankees play The Pirates. I felt like I was in some weird alternate dimension as I listened to the YES network announcers gush over the different Yankees players as they came to bat and watched the YES network promos that all seemed to start with, "The New York Yankees are the GREATEST TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS..." Gack!!

It was most disorienting, kind of like that Star Trek episode where there's a transporter malfunction and the Kirk winds up in that parallel universe where Spock has a goatee and Sulu wants to assassinate him so he can become Captain of The Enterprise... (Yes. I'm a nerd.)

Getting back to reality... As we watched the game, I was rooting for the Pirates (of course) and muttering insults at each Yankee player as they came up to bat.

After a couple of innings in this strange parallel universe, I asked my friend, "Don't you get NESN down here?"

"Nope."

"Dude ya gotta get game day audio or something, come on! Spend the 10 bucks and become an official member of Red Sox Nation. How can you live like this?!"

After a couple innings I had started to have enough of the Yankees game, especially since the Yankees were winning, and I asked my friend, "Aren't there any bars around here that show The Sox? Where are all the secret Red Sox bars?"

We wound up going down to a bar called The Mercury, where they have large screens showing both The Sox and The Yankees. We walked in and I saw Fenway and The Sox playahs dressed in their whites along with the familiar NESN graphics. Ahhhh. Much better. Good old, soothing green Fenway Park.

We were served by a lovely Irish lass who served a strong gin and tonic and put the Sox game on the TV screen right where we were sitting.

David Wells pitched a gem of a game and the Sox were swinging the bats and scoring runs. Mike Timmlann ("whoa Black Betty, bam-a-lamm..") and Keith Foulke came in and were both were lights out. Wells, Timmlann and Foulke combined for a 1 hitter. Nice.

Today is going to be a long day. I'll be at the customer from 6AM till after 7 PM.

When I get out of work, my friend is going to take me to a place called Harrison's to watch the final game in the '75 Vengeance Series vs The Reds. That's my light at the end of the tunnel for today. No matter how long and sucky today may wind up being, at least I can relax and watch The Sox tonight.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Motivation level = 0

First off, it's Friday. Thank God it's Friday. Make sure you reward yourselves today.

As I went into Dunkins for my traditional 'Reward Friday' breakfast sandwich, I was dissapointed to find that the Steak, Egg and Cheese bagel sandwich is no longer on the menu. After choking down a momentary wave of saddness, I quickly pulled myself together and went back to gool old, reliable Ham, Egg and Cheese bagel sandwich. Yummy.

After a very hectic week, I'm feeling pretty burnt and right now my motivation level is extremely low. I'm pretty much hiding out, doing busy-work and waiting for The Sox / The Cubs game later today. The suck-factor of today's 2:00 start has already been pointed out over at Surviving Grady. Even though I'll be forced to 'watch' the game with MLB Gameday, Sox / Cubs is still going to be cool.

Thankfully it's a weekend series so I'll be able to watch some of the games on TV Sat and Sun. (Tryin' to keep that positive vibe...)

Today's Sox / Cubs game makes me think how cool the 2003 World Series could have been if certain events had not transpired in both teams League Championship Series that year... But we won't go there, if you don't mind.

The 're-match' series with the Cards earlier this week was painful. You might have noticed that I did not write any posts during that series. That's because I was A. Too tired and B. Too frustrated by the results of the 1st two games. At least Wells came in and prevented the Sweep. So The Cards took 2 out of 3. If it makes them feel better about themselves after getting swept by The Sox in last years World Series, thats fine, but we still keep the Trophy and the Rings...

On a side note, I've decided David Wells is just a wierd guy and I'm just not going to be able to get used to him in a Sox uniform.

He has the capability to make me like him if he keeps up his recent pitching performances, but was I the only one that found his recent tour of Yankee Stadium's Monument Park on NESN really annoying? What was NESN thinking with that segment?

I know Wells is a big Yankee fan and that deep down, he is a Yankee. I try to get past this fact and focus on the job he's been doing for The Sox, which so far has been decent. I tried to watch him play tourguide in Monument Park but after a while the sight of seeing a Sox player walking around Monument Park and gushing about all the great Yankee players enshrined there was too much for me. I wound up becoming totally irritated by the whole segment and turned it off.

Note to Wells: Dude, you're a Red Sox now. WTF? Go be a Monument Park Ranger when you retire. For now, focus on your current team. Thank you.

<GO SOX>

Friday, June 03, 2005

Corporate Harley riders...

Today at the SW Factory I saw this totally buttoned down corporate looking dude walking outside heading to lunch. What made me notice him was that he was carrying a studded leather jacket and a black half-helmet with a big Iron Cross sticker on it.

I always get a kick out of business man bikers..

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Resolution update...

6 Month Resolution Check:

- Be a good husband and father. - I'm doing my best :-)

- Be a good employee and try to continue to rise above my current position. - I continue to work at this one, even though my job can be pretty frustrating....

- This year is my 10th Anniversary. I want to get down to my wedding wieght of 155... - 7 pounds to go...

- Keep up with guitar practice... - Check.

- I have a long term goal that am setting for myself to try and find a line of work that I enjoy. - What can I say about this one? I workin' on it I guess...

- I'd like to try and write a novel... - I've written a few pages and that's it. This one is a tough one. It's really hard to find time for this goal and I have not worked on it in a long time. It seems like I always get ideas at night when I'm almost asleep but I'm too lazy / tired / cozy / to get out of bed and write anything down... I'm not giving up on it though...

Belated Memorial Day Thank you!

I meant to post this yesterday but was just too busy to do nerdy computer things indoors.

To all the men and women of our Armed Forces, past and present, thank you for your sacrifices and everything you have done for us!

I spent Memorial Day relaxing at home with my family. I have you to thank for that.

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I can't take this anymore

[Rant]
Look at this fucking shit: www.weather.com - 10 Day Forecast.

Between today and Monday, it is going to rain, every. single. goddam day. EVERY DAY!!!

WED THUR FRI SAT SUN MON

Clearing up on Tuesday of course!!!

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!!!

I am very close to a meltdown / tantrum over this weather. I'm telling you. I just. cant. take it!!!

For more emphasis, here are some more exclamation points... !!!!! ARRRGGGGGG!!
[/Rant]

Monday, May 23, 2005

Long time, no post...

Hi Everybody!

Sorry I have not posted something in a long time, well, a few days, which I guess is a long time for me. I've been wicked busy at work and at home and have just been too burnt out to post anything.

Another weekend, another rainy day. Are we ever going to have a weekend where it does'nt rain? I am really sick of this weather pattern we are in. At least it was nice on Saturday and I was able to finish up my kid's swingset / slide / rockwall / clubhouse thing. That was a huge project. It was not hard to build, just very time consuming. It took me, my Dad and my Father-in-law 2 days to put it all together. Now it is done and the kids really like it so that makes all the time spent well worth it.

It was actually fun to spend some time together with my Dad and Father-In-Law working on that project and now we can all look at it with pride and watch the kids enjoy it, which is a nice feeling. Warm fuzzies all around!

I did not see many of the games this weekend but I kept up with the results, as I always do. I saw the end of the game Sat and watched Wake's press conference afterwards. Man, poor Wake looked so bummed out after the game. Sitting in front of that brick wall answering questions from the press, he looked like he was up against a firing squad or something. I'm sure it must suck having to sit there and answer questions from those a-holes in the Boston press. That's got to be the worst part of what those guys do...

I listened to most of the game on the radio yesterday. It was nice to hear Clement go the distance for the rubber game of the series.

I also saw in the news that Troy Brown is back where he belongs on The Patriots. Bingo! That is great news. I had hoped he would be back. The Pats also made what I thought was a pretty cool and classy move in signing Otis Smith and then allowing him to retire from the game as a New England Patriot.

"I wanted to retire as a Patriot because the greatest success of my career came in a Patriots uniform." - Otis Smith

My man, OTIS!

Patriots game tickets went on sale at 10:00 AM on Sat and were sold out at 10:05. Unbelieveable... After my failed attempt to buy Red Sox tickets online, I did not even bother with trying to get Pats tickets. As much as I would love to go to a game, I did not want to waste any more time in any virtual waiting rooms so I'm glad I did not waste my time trying to get Pats tickets.

How the heck is your average Joe fan supposed to get tickets to a Patriots game?

Monday, May 16, 2005

I'm Qui-Gon-Jinn

Hmmm. I took the quiz 3 times, while secretly hoping to come out as Han Solo.

The first time I came out as Boba Fett, and was like, whoa, that KICKS ASS!

Then I took it again and it was Qui-Gon-Jinn, also not bad, but I kinda liked being Boba Fett.... Hmmmmm.

So then I had my wife answer the questions for me and I still came out Qui-Gon-Jinn. So I guess I'm Qui-Gon-Jinn.

I don't know. He did kick some butt in the 1st movie but then got killed by Darth Maul. BUT he also is ultimately responsible for Darth Vader. Cool.

I guess if I have to be a Jedi, Qui-Gon-Jinn is the best one to be. I'd rather be him than Obi-Wan or Mace Windu (please) or especially that dumb-ass Yoda. The Sith Lord is hanging out in the same city, like 3 buildings over from the Jedi Council chamber and Yoda can't figure it out. Stupid Yoda...

Friday, May 13, 2005

Stupid weather...

Late afternoon. Friday. Awesome day outside. I'm itching to get out of here and enjoy the evening. I've got a lot of things that need to be done this weekend, especially mow the lawn. It's like a foot high and is totally out of hand.

To bad it is going to rain again. What the hell?? It's beautiful outside all week while I'm here at work, stuck inside this windowless tomb, but then, when the weekend finally comes, it does nothing but rain. COME ON Mother Nature!! Give us a break for cryin out loud!

My grass has got to be mowed this weekend, rain or not. I've had it. I'm getting shit done this weekend wether you like it or not Mother Nature. Your stupid rainy weather is not going to stop me.

"I don't think the heavy stuff's gonna come down for while."

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there. I hope you have a great day today!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Randomness...

- First off, what do you think of my banner?

It's just something I slapped together and I'm not sure if I like it or not, which means expect me to tweak it endlessly till I'm satisfied... and don't be surprised if I change the colors around again too... Hey at least I keep all 10 of my readers on their toes!

- Sometimes I wish this site got more visitors and other times I'm happy to just kind of fly under the radar... Sometimes I like what I've written and sometimes I think what I've written totally sucks... Sometimes I do and sometimes I dont...

- The Sox won today, beating Detroit 2-1. I need to say sorry to Arroyo for accidentally wrecking his No-No. Yes, I accidentally said the words 'no-hitter' in the middle of the game and shortly thereafter, the No-No was history. Sorry Cornrollio. It was an accident. What was I thinking??

- I am very happy because I scored some tickets to the Red Sox game this Saturday against Seattle. I was wondering if I was going to be able to get to a game this year, so I am wicked psyched!! (Emphsis on the Boston accent there.) I'm just hoping the game does not get rained out. The forcast is not looking good right now. I will have to burn something when I get home and make a plea to the Weather Gods and the Sports Gods for some clearing of the rain clouds on Sat.

Besides going to the Paahk and seeing the 2004 World Chapmpion Red Sox, I am excited to see a game against Seattle, mainly because of Ichiro. He is my favorite non-Red Sox player. I love the way that guy plays the game and the way he holds his baseball bat like a samurai sword when he's at the plate.

I'd like to see Pokey too but he's hurt. Oh well.

It's a night game so I'll be heading into towne early to drink and eat sausage sandwiches and stuff. If you're in towne or going to the game and want to hang, look for the guy wearing the Sox cap and holding a beer in either An Tua Nua, The Baseball Tavern or Boston Beer Works. I'll be around in there somewhere. If you don't see me, check the line at The Sausage King... ;-)

- Finally, file this under 'What a friggin' tool'. RAC must be having a fit...

- Tomorrow is 'REWARD FRIDAY'!!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Trying to be productive...

I have a list of things that need to be done but unfortunately, most of them are outside jobs that require things to be dry, which it is most definitely not. So, I'm trying to get some things taken care of inside the house, like laundry, dishes, vacuuming, yadda yadda. Just trying to be helpful around here...

I'm working on a banner for the site. I'm not even sure where to start but I've got nothing else to do now that the chores are done. I don't often have a chance to sit quietly and work on this kind of thing so I figured I'd give it a shot while the wife and kids are out...

Wow. This post is pure excitement huh?

Clement is pitching vs Texas today. Hopefully the Sox can get another win and make it 2 in a row. Also it was nice to see The Celts kick some butt and tie up their playoff series vs Indiana. Last night's win prompted Dan Shaughnessy to write an article comparing Paul Pierce to Larry Bird. All I can say about that is, WHAT?????

Saturday, April 30, 2005

In my basement at least, I am a rock star...

In an epic show of laziness, I wound up not leaving the house at all. We still had some te-kill-ya and a couple high quality beers in the fridge so that's what I went with.

Instead of going out by myself and watching somebody else play, I went down into my basement and played my guitar along with some songs on my iPod. None of the songs I played along with were exceptionally difficult, but they were all thoroughly enjoyable to play along with.

Sampling:
Mother - Danzig
Hybrid Moments - The Misfits
Tell Me - Galaxie 500
Story of My Life - Social D
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - AC/DC
Rockaway Beach - Ramones
We are 138 - Misfits
I am the Highway - Audioslave
Prison Bound - Social D
Keep Away - Godsmack
Situation - Godsmack
Show Me How to Live - Audioslave

Wild Saturday nite... (NOT)

The wife is visiting relatives with the kids and I am home trying to think of something to do.

I check the movie listings. Nothing looks good. Strike 1.

Maybe Clutch Grabwell is at the Plantation Club. NOPE. Strike 2.

Hmmm. I'd like to go see a live band or go to a bar or something but I'm wondering how much fun it will be to go by myself. I'm starting to lose my motivation now...

I'm thinkin' I might just head down to the packie and get a fresh bottle of Jack and some beers and crank out some of my own tunes. I think that's the ticket because I'm feeling more and more lazy as time ticks off the clock...

Quite the wild Saturday night, I know. I have like, zero social life. Sigh.

Monday, April 25, 2005

SNOW!??!

My wife called to inform me that it is snowing at my house and the kids want to go out and go belly-whopping like Frosty The Snowman.

April 25th and it's snowing! Not funny mother nature. Not funny at all...

I am a total slacker

I am a complete and total slacker. I did not watch one sporting event this weekend. Not one. I watched the Sox come back and tie the game on Fri and then blow it in the bottom of the 9th. That's it.

I did'nt watch any of the NFL draft but then again, I can't think of a more boring thing to watch than the NFL draft, except for maybe poker.

The Celts are in the playoffs and I think I watched like 10 min of the game.

I guess I was too busy having a life to watch a lot of tv this weekend ;-)

I did, however, fix a leaky sink faucet, fix a door that was not closing right, fix my kid's bed, which also doubles as a trampoline, (thus the need for repair) and put some Pats and Sox licence plate holders on my wife's car, which I think she really appreciated. When I showed them to her I could tell by her facial expression and the way she rolled her eyes that she was overjoyed to have those cool Patriots and Red Sox licence plate holders on her car.

Friday, April 22, 2005

What I'm up to right now

What I'm up to:

Watching the Sox.

Wearing a rally cap.

Listening to The Misfits: 'Static Age'. Glenn Danzig... His voice... really. I don't have the eloquence to describe how amazing that voice is.. Cliff Burton (RIP) described him as having the greatest voice he ever heard. Hard to disagree with Cliff.

Side note: One of the best shows I ever saw (Actually, the best show I ever saw) was when I saw Corrosion of Conformity, Soundgarden and then Danzig as the headliner. Amazing. Absolutely Amazing show.

Half heartedly banging head and curling upper lip like Elvis to 'Angelfuck' as I type...

Importing Mother Love Bone: 'Stardog Champion' into iTunes.

Watching the Sox tie the game. Rally cap is working....

Pre-ordering Colby Buzzell's book. What are you waiting for?? Go get it!

Watching Embry give up the winning run. 'Awwwww FUCK.' ::shit::

Taking off my rally cap.

Finishing up a beer.

Sending a thank you note to militarybrat for the heads up on C.B's book.

Going to bed.

Goodnight.

Various topics and lets not forget, Happy Reward Friday!

First off, it's that day, the day we all wait all week for, REWARD FRIDAY!! So have a good Reward Friday.

My wife had a girls night out last night and did not come home till like 2AM this morning so I was up late worrying about her since she did not call me to let me know she was ok. I can't complain since I've done that to her plenty of times in the past before I learned my lesson, (though I'm not going to give her the silent treatment like I used to get...) In any case, I had a hard time getting up this morning since I only got about 4 hours of sleep.

It was my carpool partner's turn to drive and I was in a bit of a surly mood due to the lack of sleep. He likes WEEI, which is fine, but I can't stand Dennis and Callahan. Cannot. Fucking. Stand them. I hate Mitre too. So, being forced to listen to those jackasses on WEEI's morning drive did not help my mood. Today they were all haughty and uptight about some picture depicting Johnny Damon as Jesus and the other Sox players as deciples. First off, who cares? Get a clue, it's meant to be a joke! 2nd, that picture came out months ago and you're just discovering it now? Get the fuck over yourselves lame-asses... I am continually amazed at the supposed popularity of the WEEI morning show.

Thankfully, being Reward Friday, we stopped at Dunkins before heading into The Software Factory and that immediatly fixed my bad mood. My Dunkin's steak egg and cheese sandwich and medium coffee this morning were perfect. Bad mood ovah.

The Celts will play their first game of the playoffs tonight against Indiana and I have yet to sit through an entire Celtics game. It's going to be rainy this weekend so in true Fair-Weather Celtics Fan Fashion, I will probably watch one of the weekend games. Like I said before, if they get into the second round, I'm set. Everything after that will be gravy. Of course, a 17th banner would be nice, but lets get through the first round of the playoffs first...

Matt Clement pitched brilliantly last night, or so I read, since I did not actually watch the game. My wife was out being a party animal, so I watched the directors cut of "Aliens" and got that out of my system.

Ripley: You know Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage!

Anyway, just yesterday I was comparing Clement to Rick 'Wild Thing' Vaughn from the movie 'Major League'. Hmmm. Did Clement read my post and say to himself, "Hey, I'm really gonna prove that guy wrong tonight!" Well, you can all thank me now because it worked! (Yah. Right...)

Ok, maybe it was not my post from yesterday that did it, but whatever it is, I hope it continues. The Sox starting rotation has been doing great.

Enjoy your Reward Friday alcoholic beverage(s) of choice this evening after work. I might go with the Jack and Ginger tonight...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Aliens...

For some unexplainable reason I have had an acute need to watch the movie 'Aliens' lately. I am not sure why...


(Eclectric Dragonfly)

Ripley: I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
Hudson: Fuckin' A...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Some statements of the obvious

The Sox swept the Rays this weekend. This is a good thing.

The Yankees got swept by the O's this weekend and Steinbrenner had a hissy fit. This is also a good thing.

The Celtics won the Atlantic Division for the first time in over 10 years. This is a good thing. Nice job guys. Now we have to wait and see who they'll face when they get to the playoffs. They had better not get swept like they did last year, or I'll be pissed.

I drop a lot of f-bombs in my posts. This is not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing but I will try and curb the amount of 'f-words' I use in my posts. I think it sometimes gets a little out of hand.

I am somewhat obsessed with the condition of my lawn. This can be a good thing because it means our yard stays nice, but it can also be a bad thing because I can get too fixated on it.

The weather this weekend was awesome and I was able to do a lot of jobs that needed to be done around the house. My hands are blistered and I have a feeling my back is going to be incredibly stiff tomorrow. I've still got a big list of jobs that need doing but none of them are terribly back breaking.

The weekends go by too fast.

3 Day Weekends should be the norm.

Going back to work blows. How come time does not fly by at work like it does when I am at home?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Happy 'Reward' Friday...

Happy 'Reward' Friday everybody!!

What is Reward Friday you ask?? Well...

Reward Friday is a Dunkins' Breakfast Sandwich and Coffee instead of crappy Software Factory coffee and oatmeal...

Reward Friday is a lunch out at a restarant instead of a ham and cheese sandwich...

Reward Friday is a few Jack Daniel's and beers after work...

Reward Friday is a totally unhealthy dinner that could even involve fries and possibly an ice-cream...

Reward Friday means a Mudslide for your better-half...

Reward Friday means pulling into the driveway and the Sun is still out...

Reward Friday means that you don't have to give baths, even though it really is 'bath night'...

Reward Friday means, 'You can stay home and play tomorrow Dad?'

Reward Friday means a Sox game and hopefully they win...

I love Reward Friday.

This post is a total giveaway but I don't give a fuck. Happy 'Reward' Friday!!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Mixed up and Blah...

I've been wanting to post something on here but I have not gotten around to it. I've not been able to post at work because there's too much shit going on right now and when I get home, I just want to zone out and go outside and enjoy the great weather with my family. The last thing I want to do is look at a computer.

Work has been shitty and has been causing me some stress that I don't need. I can't really go into any detail on this here. There are some things that you don't want a permanent record of for people to be able to Google. Even though this is an 'annonymous' journal, it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to some things. Work has sucked lately. I'll just leave it at that.

On top of work, I had some other unpleasant responsibilities that I had to handle this week. I can't go into those either, so I'm sure this is a really exciting and informative post for you to be reading.

One good thing that came out of this thing I had to do is that I gained some information that may help me relieve some issues I have been having at work. I wish I felt comfortable saying more about it here but it's weird, some of the conincidences that can occur. Just when you are feeling like things are really shitty and are trying to think of ways to improve a situation, sometimes a way out can present itself if you just realize that an opportunity is there and try to take advantage of it.

Even when you have to do something sucky, sometimes there is some good that can come out of it if you look at if from the right angle and I'm hoping that will happen.

Sorry this is all so vauge and probably makes no sense at all. It helps to write about it though so, there ya go!

Friday, March 25, 2005

1st Post!

Hi everyone! This is just my first post to see what this thing looks like. Very boring, I know.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Yah whatevah it's snowin. Go Sox!

I'm sick of snow, sick of bitching about the snow and I'm sure you're sick of reading me bitch about snow. So instead, try to remember what green grass, budding trees and a brand new Baseball Season feels like.

Think Spring!!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy St. Patrick's Day!



Have a Jameson, or a Guinness, or maybe put some Baileys in your coffee.

Or maybe have a Jameson, THEN a Guinness, THEN a coffee with some Baileys in it. Yeah, I like that better... and something boiled to eat, with potatoes.

Whatever you do, have a fun St. Patricks Day!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Pats, Celts, Sox, Snowblower

From what I can tell, there is not much to talk about today in the world of sports.


(DreamWorks)

The Pats released Earthwind Moreland and signed a few new assistant coaches. No news on the Pats Offensive Coordinator job...

It's looking like Antoine Walker is coming back to the Celts. Interesting. Very interesting. The deal is not final yet but it looks like they just have to dot the 'i's and cross the 't's and it is going to happen. This should make Paul Peirce happy. I liked Antoine so I'll be glad to see him wearing The Green again. Maybe I'll even watch more than 1 quarter of basketball before the season ends. 'Twan may provide the spark this team seems to need right now.

Curt 'THE MAN' Shilling threw 47 pitches from the mound today down at Spring Training. This article in the Globe reports he was not happy with his performance but Francona and pitching coach Dave Wallace were 'encouraged'. Personally, I'm more than encouraged. I'm thrilled.

In other 'Life in General' news...

The Snow-blower Saga continues... My now famous snow-blower was picked up today so that whatever is wrong with it can be repaired. Normally I would attempt this kind of manly repair-work stuff myself, since a snowblower is really not that complicated a machine, but since I don't have a garage, working on it outside in the middle of winter can be rather unpleasant, especially if your numb fingers run across a sharp edge or drop a bolt or nut or something else important in the snow and it gets lost. Violent swearing and other nonsense usually ensues when that kind of thing happens. So, in my mind, it is worth it to shell out some dough to get it working again. I'm just hoping I can get it back before the next big storm...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

If you're looking to kill some time, you've come to the right place...

First things first. What is up with Blogger? It seems like it has been been excruciatingly slow lately. It is just me? Maybe I am too impatient...

My wife and I have been watching the Curb Your Enthusiasm DVDs (which is a hilarious show by the way) and I commented to her that I could see myself getting into some of the same types of trouble that Larry David always seems to wind up in on the show. She then informed me that I do have a few of Larry David's traits.


(HBO)

Hmmmmm. I was not quite sure what to make of that, but I figured it can't be good. Seeing that I was bothered by this she reassuringly told me I was not a complete jackass like Larry David but I do suffer from an occasional lack of social etiquette and am generally completely oblivious to what is going on around me in social situations.

Instead of being bothered by all this, I have decided to take the ball and run with it. Now when I get into a situation and I'm not sure how I'm doing I'll ask her, "Am I being all, 'Larry David' right now"?

If the answer is no, I know I'm doing good. If it's yes or 'just a little', I just smile and she'll say, "I don't think it's necessarily a good thing that you have taken Larry David as a role model."

Heh, heh, heh...

Switching gears here, sorry there's been more "Life in General" and less "Pats and Sox" lately, but what is there to talk about? I'm not one to dissect the goings on at Spring Training, other than to say, 'Hooray! Its Spring Training' and I generally ignore all the Steroids/A-Rod/Ring Ceremony nonsense. That does not leave much to talk about sports-wise.

It is fun to see all the guys on the Sox working out and getting ready for the season. It definitely puts me in a good mood. I am looking forward to some semi-real baseball next week when they start playing some Grapefruit Leauge games. It will be nice to see the guys back in action and to check out the new guys on the staff. I'm very interested in Wade Miller. I have a good feeling about that guy. I think he is going to be a steal.

NESN has been re-playing the 2004 ALCS and World Series. Although I have not watched all of them, I have caught some (or at least parts) of the re-run games. They are fun to watch. Check out the October archives if you're interested in seeing the face of insanity and what I was going through during the '04 Post Season. When I re-read some of those old posts I think, 'That was a whole different world back then', Pre-Red Sox World Series Champions 2004.

The Pats made Adam V. a 'franchise player'. No surprises there. I don't see it as a big deal. They did the same thing with him the last time around just so they had more time to work out the deal. I don't see Adam going anywhere.

As expected it's looking like Drew Bledsoe will be re-unitied with Parcells in Dallas. I find it somewhat surprising that Drew would want to play for Parcells again, considering how relieved Bledsoe seemed be when Parcells fucked over left The Pats. It will probably be good for Drew to have Parcells yelling at him again. Maybe he can resurrect his career and finish it up on a good note.

The Winston, I mean, Nextel Cup heads to California this weekend.

How about that, there was a little bit of sports to write about after all!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Mr. Grumpy

Rather than subject everybody to my usual tirade about all the snow yesterday, I'll just say, my snowblower broke and it was not a good scene.


(meaning-is-use.com)

At least I was lucky enough to have yesterday off as a company holiday so the day was not completely ruined. The morning and early afternoon was actually pretty nice. I went outside with the kids and did some tromping around and sledding, then we came in for some hot chocolate and warmed up by a fire.

Things went down hill in the late afternoon once the snow had stopped and I went outside to shovel. I spent $$$ back in Sept getting my snowblower all tuned up and now, here it is, the middle of winter and the thing does not work at all.

Spring can't come soon enough for me.

Calgon, take me away.


(hawaii.com)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Managing Sox withdrawl and other things...

After weeks of non-stop, all Sox, all the time, it is a little strange not having any baseball games to watch. I think I am going through a withdrawl period. Unfortunately, there's not much to help me through it. The Pats only play once a week. Usually, the Bruins would help fill the void but there is no hockey. That makes me wonder, with no B's this year, what's NESN gonna do? Are they just going to show Fan Attic and Charlie Moore shows every night?

There's still the Celts I guess... Yeah... Right. Do I hear crickets chirping? Don't get me wrong. I still love the Celtics even though the NBA is, well, pretty much a wreck. The season is just starting. They've got a new coach and some new players. We'll see how they do I guess. I watched some of the game tonight and saw Waltah's 3 pointer to end the half, followed by Tommy Hiensohn's "I LOVE WALTAH!!!" That brought a smile to my face. I love that guy. "THESE GUYS ARE RIDICULOUS!!"

Things are not well in Patriot-land. I think everybody on the team is hurt. Ok, maybe I'm going a little overboard but the loss of the two Ty's is a difficult one. The backfield is definetely strapped and we are heading into a game against a good passing team. When I said it was ready to start a new streak, I did not mean going the wrong way. Asante Samuel, Wilson, Harrison and potentially Gay will be back there. Not quite as scary for QBs but still... not terrible either. Gay is the weakest link there. Will O.T.I.S be back? Bill (I should have written his name in for President) Belichick, Romeo and Charlie will think of something I'm sure. "In Bill We Trust".

[politics]
Speaking of the election, it's over and Bush won. Can we all move on now? It was not really a surprise Bush won but I thought it would be closer than it was. Folks at work were quite depressed. Not a lot of Bush supporters there. Personally, I'm not exactly a supporter of him either. I just thought the other guy was worse. Anyway, a lot of people were unhappy with the results, in my corner of the world at least. I thought some people went a little overboard with obnoxious pictures stuck on the side of their cubes and stuff... but I won't go into it.

Some of the blogs I read that have the Democrat point of view and support Kerry have really gone off the deep end. A lot of the sites that used to post rational, well thought out and well written opinions have really lost it today and they are already starting with the "Hillary in 08" stuff. Are they insane? I guess so, because they have obviously not figured out what kind of person the people in the U.S. are going to vote for. I knew over 2 years ago when this was all just gearing up, a liberal Democrat from MA would not win. Do they really think people are going to vote for Hillary? I know a lot of Democrats and even they can't stand her...

Personally I just hope somebody, from either side, can produce a candidate that I might actually be happy to vote for but that is 4 years away. Right now we need to do the best we can with the guy we elected and hope things don't get too fucked up. Postive thinking! Positive thinking!
[/politics]

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Living in the Post-Red Sox Championship, Post Pats win-streak era...

It's been a few days since I posted last. I've been kicking back, basking in the Red Sox World Series win and catching up on some sleep.

Things are returning to normal around here in the Post Red Sox World Series Win World.

I'm back on a normal sleep schedule so I can wake up and exercize in the (early) mornings again. I'm trying to ignore all the candy lying around from Halloween and lose another 5 pounds by Thanksgiving.

Halloween tip: Put all the candy you know you are unable to resist on top of the bowl. When the kids come to the door encourage them to take big handfuls. That got rid of most of the dangerous stuff, like Hersheys, Kit-Kats and Peanut Butter Cups.

I've had quite a backlog to catch up on at the Software Factory. The last few weeks, everybody has been pretty distracted by the playoffs. Now that I am able to focus on my job instead of concentrating on just trying to keep my eyes open, gulping coffee and worrying about baseball games, things are getting done quick.

We've had some movies from Netflix sitting on our shelf wating to be watched for about a month now. We're finally getting caught up on those and I've been catching up on my book reading too (Jurassic Park).

Some various things going on the last few days:

The Sox won the World Series!! (I love saying that.) This event has had such an impact, it is hard to describe. I don't miss my lost identity as a long suffering Sox fan one bit. The best way to describe my feelings after the Sox win is one of great release and happiness. All those years of pent up frustration are dissovled away. It is a great feeling...

I went back and read my old posts in the October archive. The playoffs were quite a roller-coaster ride. It still has not sunk in all the way that they actually won the Series. Several times a day, I will just stop what I'm doing and remind myself, "The Sox Won the World Series, they did it!" Then I remind myself the Pats won the Superbowl. Insta-smile. Yeah baby. Ba-da Bop Ba-ba.... I'm lovin this!

I'm soaking it all in and buying all the stuff to go with it. I've got the t-shirt, sweatshirt and pennant. I looked everywhere for the hats but couldn't find one anywhere so I ordered them online. I was gonna order the DVD and some other stuff but the wife had to step in. "Will you leave a few things for people to get you for Christmas, pleeeze?"

The parade was awesome. I did not go to the parade, but it was a great thing to watch and see all those happy fans and players enjoying themselves. The only downer was some ass-hat beaned Pedro with a ball. WTF?

One thing that is not normal around here is the Pats getting beaten on Sun by the Steelers, 34-20. The streak had to come to an end eventually. Unfortunately, it came to an end against one of the most obnoxious teams in the leauge. The Pats made the Steelers look good, giving up 24 points on turnovers. (I still believed we had a chance to come back in the end)

The Steelers and their fans are one of the more annoying teams the Pats face on a regular basis. These guys came out and said that they won the Superbowl in 2002, prior to getting crushed that is, in the Pats home opener after that 1st Superbowl win. Reminder to Steelers fans: we've won another one since that AFC Championship game. You remember that game I'm sure...

Am I the only one that thought the signs the fans had in the stands were pretty lame? "The Streak is Weak" and "21 and Done". 21 and Done? Think about what your sign says dummy. 21 wins in a row. Earth to Pittsburgh. The Streak is Weak? Name another team that has a longer streak. Oops you can't, because we own the record. I am gloating now, I know, but I've earned the right. Deal with it.

As far as the game went, things did not look good right from the start. When I saw the game start with Dillon sitting on the sideline, I had a feeling 'this could be the end'. I went out for trick or treat with the kids and they Pats were on top 3-0. While I was out, I'd ask some of the folks in the neighborhood what the score was. "You don't want to know" was the response. I got back in from trick or treating and the score was totally out of hand.

I like Faulk, but lets face it, he is not what you would call a 'power runner'. He's great on those screen passes and getting shifty in the back feild to get those extra yards, but he's not going to plow through anybody. Maybe if the d-line was he was running against was made up of wet tissue paper, he would be ok... Plus, he tends to fumble the ball at the worst possible spot on the field.

On top of everything else going wrong in the game, Brady throwing picks, the D not stopping the run and Rodney Harrison making way too many tackles in the back field, they lost Ty Law and Matt Light.

Of course, almost on cue, ESPN and the rest of the sports writing world has now forgotten all about Peyton (OVER RATED) Manning and anointed Rothlesberger as the next 'greatest quarterback that ever lived'. The Steelers and their fans are happily enjoying the fact that they kicked our asses. Well, I'll give it to them, they did, but we gave them plenty of help. I am thinking we gave the game away. You'd think they won the Superbowl. It's one game and it was an aberation to boot. I hope we meet them in the playoffs. Enjoy it now Steelers fans.

Next up, the St Louis Rams and a chance to start a new streak. Keep your chin up Tom.


We'll get 'em next week.

I'm a little worried about all the injuries though. Hope we get some guys back for this game. Looks like Ty Law (and half the secondary (gack!)) is out for an extended period. Maybe O-T-I-S Smith is available...

Well this is a long post. That's what happens when you don't write for a few days. If you're still here, thanks for reading this far! =)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Finally watched Fahrenheit 9/11

So the wife and I finally got to see Fahrenheit 9/11 this past weekend. I did not shell out to see it in the theater, especially when at the time I hadn't seen Spiderman 2 yet. Hey, I don't get out much. When I go out to a movie I want to be entertained, not pissed off. I only get to see one or two movies a year in the theater.. So I added it to the ridiculously long Netflix queue and it finally arrived.

Anyway, some points:
I don't hate Michael Moore. I know a lot of people seem to hate this guy but I'm not one of them. He has an opinion and he's allowed. I have no problem with it. Do I agree with all of it? No. But I do admit I believed enough of it to be re-thinking my vote right now. This movie definetly made some valid points, in my mind anyway.

Having had some experience in 'the business', I know all about editing tecniques to manipulate a person to see things a certain way. None the less, this was an emotional movie. When it was over, I was saying to myself, "How can I be thinking of voting for Bush? This is a disaster!"

A few days later I've had time to think about this movie and let things sink in a little. The emotion is gone and I'm basically back on the fence. I'm taking one last hard look at both of these guys. I'm Jay Severin's worst nightmare I guess...

Bush's connection with the Saudi's and the Bin Laden family is disconcerting. And you have to wonder where would this guy be without his Dad's influence. He'd probably be selling cars or something like the rest of us working stiffs. But that is the way the world works. It's not what you know, it's who you know.

I was also bothered by what was shown of the terrorist reports prior to 9/11 being over-looked or ignored. I was bothered by the scene where he tries to get some congressmen to look at some enlistment info for their children, since there are very few of them with their own kids serving. I thought it was funny when he drove around in the ice-cream truck reading the bill through the loudspeaker.

Some parts of the movie I disagreed with and did not like was what I thought was the portrayal of our soldiers in a negative light. The people serving in the military are doing an extremely difficult job under very difficlut circumstances. It is not right to undermine them. He showed no positive scenes at all. That bothered me, when there are a lot of good things happening in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I also did not like his portrayal of the Marine recruiters, trying to make them out as some kind of vampire praying on poor people.

The whole thing with the Oregon coast being un-protected was a strech I thought, and this is not a federal issue, it's a state issue. (It is a little worrysome though...)

I felt especially bad for the mother who had lost her son. This was one of the hardest parts of the film to watch.

So, this movie definetely made me think. It made me think about everything that is going on in the country and the world and it made me re-think my vote too.

Supposedly there are websites that debunk a lot of the stuff shown in the move. I tried finding some of them but all I've found so far are sites with movie trailers trying to promote and sell their own movie. I don't get any info but I can watch a quicktime trailer and buy a DVD... real helpful.

Here's the big problem with Fahrenheit 9/11 in my mind. This movie brings up a lot of points but it seems to me a lot of it does not apply to today's situation, even though the film is only a few months old. What does the Gore/Bush election have to do with this one? I am not going to vote out Bush just because I may or may not be pissed about how he won the election. Especially not if the guy trying to replace him is a total stiff. Does the stuff about pre 9/11 terror reports bother me? Yes. Is it going to bring back all those people? No. What are we going to do about it now? What is Kerry going to do vs what Bush is going to do to make sure it doesn't happen again? Am I pissed there is no WMD found? Yup. But we are there now and can't just back out and leave it a disaster. We need to finsh the job and continue to protect the country. Who's going to protect the country better, Bush or Kerry? I still say Bush. I don't agree with Bush on a lot of things, the environment, free speech / censorcism (is that a word?), abortion, gay marriage amendments (it's a state issue, not a federal one), the whole religeous thing he has going on there with the Evangelists... but I do think he's better to lead in a time of war than Kerry. In the end that is what it keeps coming to. Those are minor issues if some kind of devistating attack happens again here in the U.S.

Kerry needs to show me he's going to kick some ass and not take a poll to decide what to do on the war. He needs to show me he's not going to gut our military. He's not doing it yet.

I have said before, this is a choice between two evils. Both choices are lousy. So congradulations Michael Moore, your movie definetly got me thinking and I guess I am back on the fence, but in the end I have to say I'm still leaning toward Bush. Then again, ya never know, I might just break for Kerry when the moment arrives in the voting booth. We'll see...

Saturday, October 02, 2004

The joy of being cheap...

Lawn cutting season is winding down but the dang mower has not been starting lately. I was hoping it would go to the end of the year so I could just fix it in the spring.

When I turned the key it just clicked. I knew it was either the starter or the solenoid. How do I find out which one? This is why I love Google. Type in a question, get an answer! Get the jumper cables out of the car and run the hot wire off the battery to the starter and see if it turns over. It did, so the starter was ok. Solenoid was bad. So I head down to Sears to get a new one and can't help but notice the sign on the wall that says how much a visit to my house would have cost to fix this thirteen dollar part.

New solenoid = $13.00
Sears cost to come out and fix it = $83.00 (holy crap!!)
Anonymous Guy cost to fix it himself = 1 beer.

That's a nice savings.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Crash Course in Brain Periodontal Surgery Update:

"Show to me in surgery
The art of fighting words to conquer life"

Visited with the Gum Dr. today. An interesting man, not going into details...

I am almost back to normal and I can eat regular stuff again.

As expected, I lost five pounds. Fan-F'n-Tastic! Only 6 pounds away from the goal. I've conquered some bad eating habbits in the last week. Now I need to keep it up, not revert and get those last 6 off.

and.. I need to get back on the excercise routine... no matter how hard 5:30 AM is.

A beautiful fall day.

Today was a beautiful fall day.

I got out of work a few hours early because I had a doctor appointment. I did not return to the software factory when it was over. I returned home.

I made the right choice.

The kids were still taking a nap so I got to sit and read a little and relax with the wife. Very nice.

When the kids woke up we went outside and enjoyed the outdoors. Digging in the dirt, collecting rocks, playing with toy cars, rollling down the hill, playing tag and collecting yellow and orange leaves. It's fun playing with the kids.

All and all a very enjoyable time with the family on a beautiful fall day.

Name change?

I'm toying with the idea of a name change. Anonymous is pretty, well, Anonymous!

The adress of the blog is mrblackandwhite. Maybe I should change my name to match.

I like 'Anonymous' because that's how I prefer to be. At the same time, when I leave a comment somewhere, I'd like it be be somewhat distinctive, instead of just another 'Anonymous' poster...

Hmm. Thought required here... a deep subject I know.

Update:
Well, I gave it a shot. Staying 'Anonymous' is better.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

No more rock, just the reading network

I was driving though the old college town the other day and thought I'd tune in to the old college radio station.

I was expecting to hear some college rock (formerly known as 'alternative' rock but now alternative=mainstream. Go figure). Instead some lady was reading the latest "Yankee Magazine" articles and pushing the "Recipe Hour, up next!"

What? That the hell happened here?

Back in the day I was a dj there and we used to play all the cool alternative rock bands nobody ever heard of and it was great! A lot of those bands that nobody ever heard of went on to become pretty big. Nirvana comes to mind there. I played "School" on Bleach so many times there was a groove in the record. Yes, that's right vinyl. I'm old-school mutha-fucka.

Soundgarden, Social D, Killdozer, D.R.I., The Buttholes, Galaxy 500, Bullet LaVolta, Dead Milkmen, Fields of the Nephilim, Little Henry Rollins, Agony Column, Think Tree, Ministry, Public Enemy... oh well. Now they're playing the "Reading network". That sucks!

I was pretty bummed out about it.

Makes me think of the words from an old song I used to play on the old station:
"I went down my old neighborhood. The faces had all changed there's no one there left to talk to. And the poolhall I loved as a kid, is now a 7-11"

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Bands I won't be seeing anytime soon...

Social Distortion

Yup. As expected all I got was 'not interested' or no reply at all from my recent attempt to get somebody to go see Social D with me. [Insert various "poor me" comments here]. I'm still toying with the idea of going alone...

Godsmack

I love these guys. I know they have been around for a while now but I just got into them fairly recently. (What rock was I hiding under?) They have been dominating my iPod the last few weeks. They're coming on tour with Metallica. Tell me that would not be a good show to see?

Ok, so Metallica sold out and their last album was not exactly the high water mark of their catalog. But hey, I am an old school fan (since 'Ride the Lightning' in '83 thank you very much) and they still do the classics. Although, it does suck mightily the way they do these lame-ass medleys now... but whatever. I wont be going anyway [insert another "poor me" remark]

boo-fucking-hoo


Monday, September 20, 2004

Netflix reviews for the Star Wars DVDs

I noticed you can get the Star Wars DVDs from Netflix now and added them to my ridiculously long queue. I may be a dork but reading these reviews made me feel a lot less dorky.

First off, why do people feel the need to write a review that re-caps the plots of the 1st 3 (or is it last 3 now? Stupid George Lucas..) Star Wars movies? Do they actually think there is someone out there who has not seen these films?

Question: What does the acronym ESB stand for? (I felt a lot less nerdy tonight when I was like, what they hell is that?) It stands for the Empire Strikes Back.

I also learned a new word: "Younglings". This made me invoke one of my favorite acronyms: WTF?

It's time for Flannel already

Just like that, Fall weather is here. It was summertime shorts weather one weekend ago, this weekend it was jeans and flannel shirt weather.

This morning I woke up and it was in the 30's. This strangely seemed to coincide with my getting my snowblower tuned up. Pretty soon I'll be raking leaves and putting pumkins on the front steps.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Blogging at work = trouble at work

This past week I was slacking at work. I was not giving my job my full attention while I was there because I was distracted by blogs. I was spending time adding links, reading other blogs and occasionally posting while at work. Bad employee! Bad!

This is a trend that cannot continue. When at work, I must be focused on work. Job security cannot be put at risk. There is too much on the line (i.e. wife, kids, mortgage, bills) depending on me.

Lunchbreak would be a more appropriate time to read all the blogs I have become interested in and maybe post to my own if something interesting enters my brain.

Crash Course in Brain Periodontal Surgery Update:

The surgery went well and was relatively painless. No more discomfort than expected. I was able to listen to some classical music on my iPod while they did their thing and I pretended as best I could to be somewhere else. The sucky part now is that I can't bite into anything or brush one side of my teeth for 10 days. I guess that's one way to loose wieght. My mouth is not very sore and I got some good drugs from the pharmacy if I start getting really uncomfortable.

To protect the area, they surgeon put some stuff in my mouth that feels just like bubblegum when you press it against the roof of your mouth. Feels kinda wierd.

Crash Course in [Periodontal] surgery

Today I have to have a procedure done to help prevent some problems I am having with my gums. I'm sure the gory details are not necessary.

It don't expect it to be pleasant. Is going to the dentist ever pleasant? Hopefully I will heal quickly and be back to normal soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Today's quote

Quote of the day:
"I think we need a 'tool of the day' award"

Stickin it to the oil companies

I found a car pool partner this week and it cuts my 100 mile a day commute to work in half.

Less money on gas, less money on oil changes and car maintenance, less money for the oil companies. Less driving stress for me, more money in my pocket.

I like car pooling.

How to get my ass out of bed

I've been going out at 5:30 AM to exercise. I'm trying to drop 10 pounds. The problem is getting my lazy ass out of bed at 5:30 AM to do it!

I've been using my iPod as an alarm clock and it works good but I need to change the song. I was trying to use Vivaldi's 'Autumn, part III'. I figured it was something that would not be too jarring to the person next to me sleeping but that just is not cutting it. I'm switching back to Pink Floyd's 'Time'. When all those clocks go off, that gets me out of bed!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Shakin off the rust

I was looking through some of the things I posted recently and how about that, someone actually read my blog and left a post! That's pretty cool. Thank you!

I have been enjoying writing here and scraping the rust off any writing skills I had in the past.

Hope some of this proves interesting to some folks, but if it does not that is ok too. I'm just doing it for the fun and to blow off steam and vent some thoughts now and then. I have to say I was kind of nervous writing my first few entries but I think that feeling is starting to wear off. The rusty gears in my brain are getting some oil from writing these entries and that is a good thing.

A few new links and misc quotes

Quote of the day:
In response to one of my usual wise ass remarks: "Kiss my Grits". I'd gotten so used to the standard "Fuck Off". =)

I added a few more links on the side over there on the right. They are not in any order as usual.

Enjoy the links!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

September 11, 2001 - Never Forget

Darryl Worley - Have You Forgotten Lyrics


I hear people saying we don't need this war
I say there's some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground?
We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down
They say we don't realize the mess we're getting in
Before you start preaching
Let me ask you this my friend


CHORUS 1
Have you forgotten how it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away?
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside
Going through a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?


They took all the footage off my T.V.
Said it's too disturbing for you and me
It'll just breed anger that's what the experts say
If it was up to me I'd show it every day
Some say this country's just out looking for a fight
After 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right


CHORUS 1
Have you forgotten how it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away?
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside
Going through a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?


I've been there with the soldiers
Who've gone away to war
And you can bet they remember
Just what they're fighting for


CHORUS 2
Have you forgotten all the people killed?
Some went down like heroes in that Pennsylvania field
Have you forgotten about our Pentagon?
All the loved ones that we lost
And those left to carry on
Don't you tell me not to worry about Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?


Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?"

- NEVER FORGET

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

How to waste an entire workday..

I friggin' hate computers.

I came in today with a plan to get some work done. Instead I came in to find that the server had 2 failed drives and the whole thing was totally f-ed up.

I then pretty much wasted the rest of the day swapping drives, doing drive repairs and rebooting systems. What a waste of a work day.

At least now it's working.

Maybe I'll be productive tomorrow.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

So what's up with this?

Yo Yo Yo. What's up everybody?

So what's the deal here? What's this all about?

It's not about anything. It's just a place to put down thoughts and ideas.

It' also a place where I can write about whatever I want without the fear and loathing of the wrong person reading it. That's the whole point of keeping this site anonymous. As long as I don't fuck it up, I can write about whatever comes to mind and not worry about pissing off somebody in my family, one of my friends, or somebody at work.

I just have to be careful not to give away too much! There are a few hints on here that could potentially give me away, but the people that would recognize the hints are extremely unlikely to come across this blog.

So that's dumb you say. In one sentence I'm saying the point is to stay anonymous and in the next I'm saying there are ways to figure out who I am.

Well there is no way to write a completely anonymous blog. Your personality is going to come through in the things you write about and the stuff you put on your blog. Besides, the chance of getting caught, however slight, adds to the fun... and having fun writing is the whole point of this little outlet of expression.

Thanks!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Hello!

Hello there everyone.

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