Well, I got to spend the changeover to the new year with family. . . and ponder the meaning of this odd old song.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
It was nice out today, comparatively. It was very mild for late December and the sun shone the whole day. It is an odd December. We had winter storms, up until Winter actually started. Then the weather decided to be friendly.
I found a webcam that shows the downtown skyline as seen from my neighborhood. My house is a couple of blocks beyond those apartments and to the left of the image. That little strip mall with the green signs on the lower right, next to the interstate, contain my gym. http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/esp/aqm/kccam.htm
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Tonight I saw The Duo Trio, my brother's band, at Mike's Tavern, followed by a fine band from Chicago called 56 Hope Road (pictured). Their sound is difficult to classify, so they get lumped into the jam band genre. The band they remind me of the most is Eels. I had a good time. I got hit on by the aunt of the Duo Trio guitarist. She was fun to dance with at first. Then she became stumbling drunk, which wasn't fun when she was waving her cigarette around. I think she burned my hand just as she was reminding me that I was cute. Hey, (no) thanks.
The rest of the day was pretty standard. The snow looks less beautiful today. Someone pulled Kortney's car out of the ditch before I got a picture of it. There's another car which is stuck on 43rd with a telephone pole where the radiator should be. I managed to avoid sliding off the road, but I did get stuck on one of those hills yesterday and had to put it in reverse. I just went right back home, because it's just not worth the risk when the roads are that slick.
I found a cell phone in the snow in the Price Chopper parking lot. So, I called 611 to report it lost. It told me the phone was in a shared plan with 5100 rollover minutes. Wow. I navigated the IVR to a Cingular chica on the other end, who assumed I was trying to report another phone lost. I explained that I had found this phone, so she asked for the zip code, and gave me the location of the nearest Cingular store where I could drop it off. Whatever. Then, I went into the stored numbers and found an entry called "me". I called it and got the voice mail box which had no password. The first message goes, "Hi, Matt!" and blah blah blah. I found another entry called "mom" with a local number. I called it and left a message that I had found Matt's phone and asked her to please call me so I can return it. Later, Matt's mom called from Wal-Mart, where she was on break and said that I could drop it off with her in the garden department. I was only 3 miles away eating dinner. So, I did. She called me a good Samaritan, thanked me, and checked me out. I bought some thick winter socks and a couple of Christmas gifts. She wanted to reward me somehow, but she didn't have anything. If I had thought fast, I would have asked her to swipe her employee discount card.
Wednesday, December 7, 2005
Saturday, December 3, 2005
How about them Chiefs? I'm excited about the Chiefs versus Broncos game tomorrow. Looks like it's going to be a cold one. I may have to go get some kind of medium weight coat for tomorrow's game. I lost mine. The laundry lady told me I left it there one day, but when she went into the lost and found, which was just an out-of-order dryer full of stuff, it wasn't still there.
I was recruited by a curling team, so I'm curling tomorrow before the Chiefs game. I'm excited about that, too.
Thursday, December 1, 2005
milwaukee (2:36:26 AM): being the potato chip delivery guy
milwaukee (2:36:31 AM): big boxes but all really light
milwaukee (2:36:49 AM): not too many people hassling you about some chips being late
rr C Hill (2:43:27 AM): if it pays the same, sign me up.
milwaukee (2:43:29 AM): hehe
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I'm getting a lot of AIM spam today and making good use of the "warn" button. What will AOL do when every possible combination of letters and numbers is exhausted by these IM spambot scripts?
Tomorrow I start taking powerful and expensive antiviral drugs which may give me a rash and diarrhea. The HIV diagnosis itself never really stressed me until my most recent blood work came back showing that I had 419,000 copies of the virus per milliliter. The doc says that's a lot of strain on an immune system. The goal is less than 50 copies per mL. My CD4 cell count has increased from 235 to 264 per cubic millimeter over three months. Then, in mid-November it went the wrong direction to 246. The doc wants it above 300. 800 is the low end of normal. If the virus kills off too many CD4 cells, a simple pneumonia could kill me. When my number is up, so be it, but I'm not going to worry about something which I cannot control. I'll simply remain determined to live well. I'm going on the ART (antiretroviral treatment) meds, including Truvada and Viramune. So far, without meds, the only symptoms I've seen are some skin blemishes which the dermatologist said was common staph and some redness which they decided was a reaction to an antibiotic they put me on. I'm seeing the best available doctors. I've been eating healthily and working out. I'm getting stronger and keeping a positive attitude. The less I dwell on it, the better I feel, and that's that. I'll know if the ART meds are effective by mid-January. Unless I have a bad reaction to the drugs and have to switch regimens, that'll be the next update on the topic.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
In the meantime, I found an eclectic music site to keep me entertained. http://aurgasm.us
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Well, Vegas is mostly the same, but I'm here with my brother and sister-in-law and we're having a ton of fun. The impetus behind the trip was to see UFC56, and it did not disappoint. I saw some exciting fights replete with blood and some brutal knock outs. Our seats were decent.
Despite acres of slot machines, all I get out of playing them is slightly older and slightly less than break even. It can be relaxing to zombie out in front of the slots, but I can't fathom why you would in a place like Las Vegas where there's more to do than you can accomplish. My shift from playing blackjack, primarily, to playing poker has also been a positive thing. Poker is more profitable and fun. I've played at Bally's and at MGM Grand. While MGM Grand's poker room is nicer, the play is tighter. I enjoyed playing in the soft games at Bally's and taking money from the beginner players there in the low limit Texas Hold 'Em games.
Our journey from our hotel took us to the Monte Carlo, where we simply got onto the train to Bellagio where we had pastries and crepes for breakfast. The poker room there had higher limit games. I was amazed to see players with triple my annual salary in chips in front of them. Then we went to Bally's for poker (I won. . . a lot) and then lunch at Ortanique. We walked around in the Paris casino and did not stay. The poker area was the same as Bally's. The next stop was the MGM Grand, where we played poker (I lost a few bucks) and watched the fights. We took the monorail back to Harrah's and checked our comps. Lisa had enough slot points to buy us all dinner. We selected Bambaleo, a Mexican restaurant in the Rio. We took the shuttle there and I had the best guacamole I've ever had. It had bits of jalepeno in it. Zing! The poker room at the Rio looked entirely too serious. We proceeded to the Palms and watched the hipsters standing in line for the clubs. The people watching there on a Saturday night is phenomenal. It's Sunday, and we slept in. Time to start again.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
After work I went by Wal-Mart Supercenter to grab a gift for my nephew's ninth birthday and found myself in the electronics section playing Call of Duty 2 on X-Box 360 until I was nearly late for the birthday dinner. I snagged a very cool General Grievous vehicle toy and action figure. The birthday boy requested burgers, and they were delicious. I can't recall ever grilling burgers during snowfall, but watching snow fall through the grill smoke is a strange sight. He also requested chocolate cake. Also delicious.
Last night, the nephew and I went skating at the Crown Center Ice Terrace and they had Christmas music blaring on the loudspeakers. Mid-November is a bit early for Little Town of Bethlehem. I had promised him hot chocolate, but we stayed until they closed. So, we went to the 42nd Floor of the Hyatt to Skies, which is the rotating restaurant at the top. The first time he stepped off the elevator and saw the big windows, his eyes bugged out and he gasped and froze. I thought he was going to faint. After the host showed us to the lounge area, he was fine. We had hot chocolate, cheesecake brulee, and vanilla ice cream. We stayed up there for an hour and the thing had rotated about 180 degrees til we were facing the downtown skyline, which looks great from up there. Since the floor is the only part that moves, the art, the view of the city, and the lighting gradually, constantly changes. After the sugar buzz started, we were goofing around and leaning against the glass, but since the floor is moving under you, your feet are going left as your forehead gets pulled to the right by the glass, which adds to the dizzying sensation of leaning against a window 500 feet above the downtown streets. Good times.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
Well, I had a good visit from my folks this weekend. We confirmed that they'll be watching the neice and nephew during Thanksgiving week, so I can abduct my brother and sister-in-law to Las Vegas to see UFC56. I'm really excited about the prospect of a Fall vacation to see some fights.
Saturday night's fun included a nice visit to Arthur Bryant's in the Ameristar. How can a barbecue place run out of brisket? The pork was good, but I really wanted beef. I played poker for a while and then went to Jason's house for the party and subsequent side trip to the clubs. I had Adam in tow, who was dressed up like Jethrine Bodine. If you didn't see that episode, just imagine a tall beefy guy in a blonde wig dressed like Daisy Duke. Shocking. Several club goers pulled out their cameras. Personally, I wouldn't Nair my legs for a Halloween costume, but I'm still laughing about it now.
I rested and ate Chinese food on Sunday afternoon in front of the TV. I drifted in and out of sleep during multiple NFL games. Then, I packed up my gear and drove to OP to play hockey. I scored two goals! We beat them 6-4, and I scored the game winning 5th goal. It was absolutely fun.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
The highlight of my week was a show on Tuesday night. Honky is a pretty good band.
It was more or less a typical on-call week. I did get some social time when the phone didn't ring, but I missed out on one costume party. So, I don't have anything to report there. I did get to attend Club Wars, which is a sort of local battle of the bands. My brother's band came in third, because, well, they got beat by a solid band that sounded like Tool and has a fan following. It was not surprising, since the competition is ballot based.
Since there was some kind of military exercise at the air force base, over half of the Bombers team couldn't make it to the game. . . so we forfeited. I went to play some drop-in hockey at the AMF Ice Chateau. There were only four guys there, so we played 2-on-2 half-rink where goals are scored by hitting the goal post. I had fun, but 90 minutes of non-stop skating really sapped me. I had a stitch in my side and my right lung was burning when we finally stopped. I drank chocolate milk and ate German Chocolate Cake to replenish those glycogen stores. The practice was very helpful. I needed the puck time. 2-on-2 is a passing game where you pass to yourself off the boards or cross-ice a lot. If you skate with the puck too much, you end up exhausted. Nearly 2 hours of ice time for $10. That's a bargain. I'm surprised more people didn't show up, despite the World Series being on TV.
Wilma and Alpha and a low in the Midwest may merge to form the perfect storm?
Monday, October 17, 2005
What a goofy Monday. I put the trash out, and a pack of neighborhood dogs just loved it. I had cleaned some items out of the fridge, and they chewed into the trash bags and found every tasty nibble. Consequently, trash was strewn all over the driveway and a portion of the yard. Other consequences include the trash men not picking up the stinky remnants or the torn bags and me spending time picking up stinky wet trash and bits of food wrappers which the animals had shredded. Is it legal to poison stray dogs? The thought crossed my mind.
I went to work, and the usual on-call dude was given another assignment, so I was asked to volunteer for on-call duty. Sure! No split shifts this week! Aw yayuh!
Through some email box cleanup, I discovered that I had missed OZtoberFEST this past weekend. I didn't know what it was, until I finally clicked the link. At first, I thought it might be some sort of Ozzie Ozbourne palooza thingy. No, it's a Wizard of Oz festival held in Wamego, KS. That's between Kansas City and Salina, KS. http://www.oztoberfest.com/ Judy Garland? Ruby Slippers? Live musical performance? Midget actors? I wonder if the attendees would have been any scarier than those at the Rennaisance Festival. I imagine a mix of Judy Garland fans of all shapes and persuasions, their children, a theater going crowd, and some small town farm types looking for something to do. The late L. Frank Baum is probably looking down in shame at the whole thing. You doubt me? Check this out:
"Wamego's main street will be closed during the festival. This several blocks-long venue will host numerous activities for OZtoberFest visitors. Such hilarious hijinks as OZ Jeopardy, Stuff a Scarecrow and Throw a Bucket of Water on the Witch will provide much fun for attendees."
I think I would only attend such a thing if it were free, I was in a group, and if it were close to home. . . or if a tornado carried me there and I could click my heels three times for an immediate escape. Okay, I'd go if they had real winged monkeys.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Later, I tagged along with Hoss to a Mr. Olympia watch party at his personal trainer's house. I felt small in a room full of bodybuilders, but I made a lot of acquaintences, and I learned a lot about the sport by listening to their criticism of the competitors in the show. Ronnie Coleman is simply a monstrosity. He won again, but I couldn't tell a dimes worth of difference in the top five competitors. They're all freaks by choice and I respect that. I think that was the theme for the day.
After that, Hoss tagged along with me to the fazed.net gathering. So many crazy things happened, I wouldn't know where to begin. The keg floated. The jello shots were mostly consumed. I enjoyed socializing on the balcony. The weather was great. Hoss took me back to my car, and I went back to the party. We made a food run to Pancho's, and I had my second Carne Asada Burrito in two days. Beef, pico, and guac. Simple and good. I had more fun than last year, somehow. They're a fun bunch, though.
On Sunday, I watched TV, ate food, played ice hockey (we won!!), ate food, and watched TV. Perfect!
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
The ants are eating the spider eggs in the back of my mailbox. When I'm checking my mail, I'm not in the frame of mind to clean spider eggs out of the back of the mailbox, so I'm glad the ants are taking care of business. I just have to brush the ants off the envelopes and keep moving. Mailbox cleaning won't make the to-do list unless something takes up permanent residence there, like the wasps whose nest I pulled out of there last spring.
My invisible roommate paid his October rent, so I have to make it to the bank at some point soon. I literally haven't seen him for two weeks. I'll notice that his laundry basket will be moved, his lamp will be on or off, his computer mouse will be in a different position, but he's invisible!
I did night work last night for a few hours. I have night work tonight. And Thursday. And Friday. It's officially vampire week for me. Not being home at night might be contributing to the fact that I never see my roommate.
Sunday, October 9, 2005
I stopped a slap shot with the top of my left knee. I later took a flying fall and landed on my left hip. So, if you see me favoring my right leg a little, that's why. I also got speared in the right side. Hockey is a truly exhilerating game. I don't feel the pain til the adrenaline wears off. I played a heckuva game, as did my teammates, but we lost miserably. Go Bombers! It's going to be a good season, if we work on our passing.
Formula One has a drivers' cup and a constructors' cup. With the drivers' cup comes the glory. With the constructors' cup comes the money. I recorded the F1 race in Suzuka, Japan in hopes of watching it tonight. How about a race with only machines and no drivers? Today, I was following this driverless car race. It looked to me like the Humvee was going to win. http://www.grandchallenge.org And it did.
I have a lingering optimism after having an amazing night at the casino last night. The NASCAR fans were in town and they were well represented at Harrah's. When I finally was seated in the poker room at a low limit Texas Hold 'Em game, I found that most of the players at my table didn't know what they were doing. It was like taking candy from babies. I turned $100 into $440 in a matter of a few hours. Rich said it was like the perfect storm. I like to think that my skill had something to do with it.
Friday, October 7, 2005
At the sushi place, I was greeted by the sushi man's wife, who has been in a tough battle with breast cancer. She smiled really big when she saw me. She was happy to report that she had hair again and that she was in remission. Happy day. :-)
Tuesday, October 4, 2005
I'm guessing it's some sort of really mean Hurricane-like drink. I suppose, if it's successful, the shop keepers in the French Quarter will be cleaning up after many more Katrinas.
Friday, September 30, 2005
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Friday, September 16, 2005
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Sunday, September 4, 2005
Friday, September 2, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
I went to the office today, then I went to the gym for the first time since last Friday, when my shins began feeling like fire. I think Oxaprozin, an Ace wrap, and two Extra Strength Tylenol got me through it. I also think there may be consequences later. It's chest and biceps day, though. It's nothing shin related, except a little warm-up on the treadmill. Getting the blood flowing felt good. Now, all at once, it's time to eat, time to ice my shins, and time to go pick up some keys which Lisa borrowed. I'll probably take my ice bag with me and go see if Lisa cooked extra. Otherwise, I'll end up in a "drive thru" somewhere.
On the work front, there's some sort of management shuffle going on to consolidate things and improve services. It sounds like they're forming a committee to evaluate headcount and such. Maybe we'll get some more people. Maybe we'll get pink slips. <shrug>
Monday, August 15, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Monday, August 8, 2005
I have a trainer at the gym telling me what to eat these days. It is a far departure from eating whatever I crave and whatever tastes good and whatever is cheap and convenient and whatever my favorite restaurants are serving. I might actually burn out on chicken breasts at this pace. If I consistently chose those over beef, turkey, or white fish, that would mean eating 24 ounces of chicken breast meat a day. If protien powder didn't come in a variety of flavors, I might burn out on that, too. A huge change in my lifestyle includes keeping fruits, greens, and yogurt around now. I eat bananas for breakfast anyway, but never in the quantity which I'm eating now. I'm cooking and washing dishes a lot more. I can't say that I'm saving any money, though. This is six meals a day! My metabolism is already in overdrive. I can't say that I feel better, because I'm always stuffed. And sticking to the diet is moderately challenging when traveling. Luckily, the Hilton I'm in now has a good room service menu. If Hilton did the cooking all the time, I could totally envision making this diet a lifestyle. Just leave the tray in the hallway? Okay!
I'm in Minneapolis and we're getting ready to move a big chunk of internet gear from one room to another. It's just a few OC192s. Some servers. Some switches. Some routers. Eh, we're ready. Internet access on cable modems in Minneapolis might be a little, uh, intermittent for a short time tonight. I tried to rest this evening, but ended up in the hot tub. Then, I watched some trash on TV. Anacondas is a terrible movie, but I couldn't stop staring. Hotel cable doesn't leave many choices. I could have watched a guy bread fish with crushed fried pork skins (chiccarones) to reduce carbs. Anacondas was less frightening.
Wednesday, August 3, 2005
The most unique thing about today is that someone other than me or a family member actually posted comments here. Woot woot!
I played hockey to the hilt last night and really, really hurt when I went to bed. It was beyond the normal soreness, which I can work out by stretching and drinking a lot of water. I had a powerfully bad headache when I woke up. And again when I woke up with chills and sweats. Flu? And again when I woke up and called in sick. Then, the telemarketers who never call me decided today was a good day. And the random work contacts called. And the boss called. It's amazing how plugged into work I am on a sick day. After that, the ibuprofin started working. I tried to get at least a couple of consecutive hours of sleep and went downtown for some Coconut Curried Chicken & Shrimp on Egg Noodles. That's comfort food for me. I finally felt better, but not in time to make it to the rink for the Wednesday night 30 and Over League game. I think I would have passed out anyway. The mode for tonight is relaxation. . . and to work this midnight maintenance window. I will go to the gym tomorrow, even if I have to go to the hospital after that. :-)
Monday, August 1, 2005
Road trips to Lincoln, NE to conduct job interviews are atypical for me. In fact, it's a first. But I (not so) secretly hope the guy from Oklahoma gets the offer. Not that I'm biased, but he came across as a really great guy with most of the right credentials and experience, which is more than I had hoped for after reading all the candidate resumes. I'm sorta jealous of the position he may get, because it's a sweet spot. The Nebraska network has a few challenges, but it's far simpler than Kansas and Missouri. I knew the interview was over when he was asked if he likes corn. I knew he was a shoe-in for the spot when he grinned and gave an answer that was almost as funny as the question.
Speaking of road trips, the trip to Tahlequah to float down the Illinois River was big fun. Drunk and fun Jason spent more time out of the boat than in it. There was an impedence mismatch, because I was 100% sober for that portion of the adventure. JL jumped in the water to relieve herself, but couldn't make it go. . . for about a quarter mile. I'm still chuckling. The impedence mismatch continued later for another reason as I tried to derail/heckle some kind of WTMI girl talk conversation as I held the flashlight for them on the way to/from the campground restrooms. I'm still shuddering. Sorry girls. The camping portion was fun, but less eventful. We had beverages and made s'mores, after we found some wood that wasn't too green to burn. Unlike all previous camping trips to this point in my life where eggs and bacon were fried on a griddle in the morning, someone went into town for some Braum's breakfast. I think I liked that better. Proper! </hammer> It's only better because there's not a Braum's within 90 miles of KC. When I lived in Oklahoma, I'd drive past 3 or 4 of them a day. I miss Braum's. Not enough to move away from KC. By the way, my Chiefs tickets are in hand!
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
In Liberty, where I was working Monday morning, the Perkin's Family Restaurant at Highways 152 and 291 doesn't open til 5:30 am. But the Awful House on 152 is open 24 hours. This fact became dreadfully clear at 5am after the cable technicians and I were finished working and very hungry and standing disappointed in the Perkin's parking lot. What about Bob Evans? They don't open til SEVEN! There is actually a song on the Awful House jukebox called "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk". Listen here, if you dare defile your mind (You can't unhear it!): http://music.walmart.com/m/007/24/38/64/51/22/0072438645122.01.01.011.mp3 I'm reeling two days later over the fact that Honky Tonk rhymes with Badonkadonk. The "she's got it going on like Donkey Kong" lyric is so white. If the song had the word "bling" or "crunk" in it, I would have to crown it as the supreme poserism. He could have coined his own term for a big ol' butt instead of recycling some tired old street slang. Honky Tonk Badonkadonk could be Tex-ass, or Kans-ass, for that matter. I've seen some of each. Which do you think is bigger? On average?
I played hockey tonight and had a blast. I scored and was complimented on how my skills are improving by, quite possibly, the best player who was there tonight. I had tacos at Maloney's again. Ric, his son, his son's girlfriend, a defenseman named Jason, and a man whom everyone just calls Dog Balls were also there. I would say I had a good time until a couple of picture phones came out and it degenerated into a slide show. My attention turned to the Royals game at that point. Plastic basket of tacos and a water = $2.74. I love that place.
I called mom after that and she said the surgery went well. She got to go home the same afternoon. She has four incisions and she's sore, of course. She had just taken a pain killer, so that was a short conversation, but I got the gist.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
My roommate who has been incommunicado for the past nine days finally called, then returned home. He was apologetic, but I was just glad to know he wasn't in a hospital or jail somewhere.
I mentioned that I was from Idabel, OK in an entry here and now I get random IM messages from people who grew up in the area. That's cool, because there are usually 3 or fewer degrees of separation. Like, "My aunt graduated with your uncle," or "We grew up right around the corner from each other! Did you know so-and-so?" or "We used your dad's pharmacy."
I was lazy today. I worked maybe two hours. It's boom or bust. I also postponed tonight's all-nighter until Sunday night. I just don't think I could get everything done with the resources I have. Not all the checklist items were completed by my coworkers, so it was a no-go, anyway. I somehow don't feel motivated to track them down and ask them to do their jobs. The deployment dates in the checklist aren't jokes. They're real. Until my hand is forced.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
I got the shaggy hair cut off. My head feels better (read: cooler). At least the sweat tends to evaporate before drenching my hair and running down my face. Who ordered a 105 heat index?
The Minneapolis guy was kind enough to take my on-call for the evening, despite the fact that he had surgery this morning. He owed me one for filling in for him on 4th of July weekend while he was in Hawaii looking for a place to move. I needed the relief. I was literally nodding off every time I got still. I've been going too hard during the past couple of days. Two all-nighters in a row at work! I needed some time to unwind. So, I rested. I played hockey. I had tacos at Maloney's again. I'm putting the phone on "High+Vibrate" and entering a coma as I type this.
My sleep has been abbreviated and regularly interrupted. Consequently, I've had some really crazy lucid dreams. In one, I was pulled onto a stage at a rock show and entered into some kind of contrived contest where the contestants wear costumes with animatronic masks that speak for them. Nightmarish, but somehow funny, too. And I could fly. <shrug>
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
After hockey last night, we had 75 cent tacos at Maloney's in downtown OP. It's at approximately 79th & Floyd. My problem is that you have to drive past Casa Paloma to get there. Four Tuesday tacos and a Coke, $3.66. The price is right.
There was a routing problem last night, and they made me wait up til midnight to fix it. I had to bump up on caffiene, then I couldn't sleep. I was miserable today until I got a nap in. Then I ate some barbecue for dinner. I should have just eaten oatmeal. Q sauce belches are powerfully bad.
The 30 and Over hockey league game tonight was actually a close one. We were down by one point and pulled the goalie at the end. Then there was a bad pass and they got an empty net goal. Oh well. We're getting better, but 0-3 is the record, now. We've played every other team. We're the easy team, as I feared. This game was more fun than the previous two. We communicated and passed better. It wasn't as frustrating. Very fun, in fact.
My new tenant moved in hastily. I have deposit and rent checks in hand. It is a good day. I had to apologize to her mom when I showed up tonight to get my stuff out of the garage. There was no car and no lights, but I knocked and announced myself. She looked scared half to death until I introduced myself.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Saturday, July 9, 2005
Friday, July 8, 2005
Thursday, July 7, 2005
I thought of an old coworker from the ISP I worked for in 1995. I left a voice mail for him this afternoon. He called me back after work and we exchanged anecdotes and laughed like the first time we met. I'm going to have to drive down there and spend some time. He has a tarball of old emails. I'm sure we could peruse those and narrowly avoid dying of laughter. The quirky (to put it politely) characters we worked with were beyond archetype.
I bought a slab of ribs from LC's and a pint of the baked beans which contain more meat than beans. I sat down with a roll of paper towels, watched music videos on yahoo, and turned the short end into a tall pile of bones. The long end is in the fridge to be devoured this weekend. The ribs were not as tender as usual, but the flavor was better than previous. I took a nap after that. I feel rejuvenated.
Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Today I worked in the OP lab to setup an IP phone network on a bench to test the cable modems with voice ports to troubleshoot the bad ones which are returned. I chatted intermittently with the people who clean the cable boxes and cable modems. The guy in the workstation next to me had some serious cleaning chemicals for the more difficult ones, but there was also a can of industrial strength bug spray. So, I asked the obvious question. Yes, cockroaches like to crawl into warm cable boxes, apparently. In some cities, they have a box outside the warehouse where they fumigate the units before bringing them inside. So, I asked another question. Yes, it is possible to bring a cable box home which is full of roach eggs and thereby infest your home. <shudder>
Tuesday, July 5, 2005
I was in a happy mood, until I saw this ad. It cycled a few times before the image sank in.
I slept in until almost noon, despite only being at the cocktail party at Scott's apartment building until 1am. So, I had time after lunch to cut the grass, but not undertake the painting project. I cut the grass using a lower than usual setting, because it's July. I want to stunt its growth. I'm not going to water it, and it's just going to turn brown for the next two months, anyway. Along the back edge of the lawn, the mower stalled, so I disengaged the blades, started it again, engaged the blades, and it stalled again. So, I rode it down to the carport and raised the deck to see why the blades were in a bind. I found that I picked up some rusty barbed wire in the blades that must be about 100 years old. I spun the blades backwards by hand to loosen it, and used wire cutters to remove it all. There was about 6 feet of the stuff wrapped around both blades. There are a few nicks in the blades, so I'll need to grind them again. The mower ran fine subsequently, and the lawn once again looks like civilized people live here. Not the best mow, because I got too close to a rose bush and my left leg looks like a cat mauled it. I cursed and bled. Oh, and there's a nice dirt line along near the back fence where my poor mower unearthed the barbed wire, but only the dog goes back there. And the mower. Now I understand the recent flat tire. I've been rolling on a bit of protruding barbed wire.
In a coffee table book called Kansas City, Then and Now, I saw an aerial photo of my neighborhood from 2000 next to an aerial photo of it in 1962. Yup, my house was here in '62, but without the carport, back porch, deck, or barn. The most striking difference was the lack of stadiums at the end of 43rd. That was a field. Blue Ridge Mall was there, however. It had cars in the parking lot in '62. Not in 2000. The Jones Store sign was the same in 1962 as it was in 2000. There were no trees in my yard in the '62 photo. In the 2000 photo you can't even see the house for the trees. What a difference 40 years makes.
I went to my brother's house to celebrate the 4th with food and fireworks. They bought some fun fireworks. Their neighbors had a nice party going, replete with funk music and lots of fireworks. Overkill, really. It was literally a blast. There was a grand finale, where almost everyone went out into the street and lit the fuse on some obnoxious whistling, popping, and sparking thing at the same time. When the whistling and popping stopped, there was cheering, then the push brooms and garbage bags came out. Aside from a few scorch marks on the pavement, it was surgically cleaned. I stayed and watched a movie. Now, I'm ready to crash.
Sunday, July 3, 2005
I'm considering going out there to see them sometime this week.
Saturday, July 2, 2005
Today, I recovered from being out so late by sleeping a lot, washing laundry, watching TV, and answering my phone repeatedly. Aside from times at other people's houses, I really haven't watched TV for a couple of weeks. I have enough shows recorded on the DVR to waste the entire remainder of the holiday weekend, if I so choose. Meanwhile, I set up new accounting software for my increasingly more complicated property management ventures. I have a move-out and a move-in this weekend. Over the next few days I have to videotape the condition of the move-out and write a damage invoice, do some painting and mowing on a vacant one, plus some rent collection. The first was yesterday, ya'll. My bank account does this really scary first of the month rents-in, mortgages-out rollercoaster depending what posts first and if all the tenants paid. My tenants pay, but they tend to pay on their schedule. I have some cushion, but I rely on these freaks to be as honest with me as I am flexible with them. "So, you paid your warrants instead of your rent and you want to pay on the 17th? Well, you being in jail is no good for either of us, so that'll be okay if you can pay a quarter of the rent now and the late fee with the rest of it." This software should give me a handle on these situations when they compound and track the tax deductions. I need 'em.
Thursday, June 30, 2005
So, my boss thinks he's funny. His email begins:
This week’s Key Performance Indicator report follows:
1. I’d like to indicate that my key has been working fine all week.
2. . . .
While the rain has cooled things off nicely, I'm ready for it to stop. The dampness is a boon for the fire department on the 4th of July weekend, but it just means I'll be cutting a lot of grass. In my neighborhood, the fireworks are indistinguishable from gunfire or the sound of a car crash. I need the neighbors to set off one more M80 to really get my adrenaline going.
Speaking of adrenaline. This article really fired me up. http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/542.html 40 percent of the U.S. population are outside of the federal income tax system. Of those who file tax returns, a third pay no income tax, and some of them get a refund above what they actually paid in just for having lots of babies. I know the guy who cuts my hair files no return. I know some other cash economy types who don't either. That makes those tax numbers on my pay stub cut just a little harder. I'm all for repealing the income tax, which is totally unfair, and having a national sales tax now. I was previously casually for it, but it's time for the illegals and dealers and hos and hairdressers to help out. You buy bling, you pay tax. The legit folks are getting shafted. I'm a single, white guy with no kids. I pay more in taxes than most people make period. . . and I vote!
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Well, our team lost badly tonight. There was frustration on the bench, in the locker room, and most evidently on the ice. I recognized my mistakes as I made them, but they were mostly a result of a lack of communication with the defensemen, or just being a little out of position at times. I wasn't the only one missing passes. A comment was made afterwards that we have the talent, but we have just not gelled yet. The fact is, the other team played great defense and their goalie was on fire. I would like to thank the friends I invited for not showing up, because it was not pretty. Since the teams were redrafted, we haven't played an easy team yet. I'm beginning to think we are it.
On the real! http://www.zoomcom.ca/beerleague/ This 5 minute video portrays almost exactly what it's like.
Monday, June 27, 2005
Friday, June 24, 2005
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
I worked in OP today, so I was able to try the touted Tiesta Casa Paloma (81st & Metcalf). You pay Taco Bell prices for great food. And the salsa bar is so advanced of the Hot, Mild, or Fire fare, I'm hooked. That place is a gem. I'm going for the Tres Leche Cake next time. This time I was overstuffed from the Carne Asada Tortas. I'm still a Pancho's fan, for many of the same reasons plus the 24-hour drive-thru, but if I find myself in the vicinity, Casa Paloma has my business.