Sunday, November 30, 2003

It was a sad week in football for me and my friends. Amy's Packers were humiliated by the Lions, Andy's Cowboys were trampled upon by the Dolphins and my Steelers were mocked by the Colts. The only person's team to pull thru this week was Vikki's Patriots who escaped defeat by the skins of their teeth. Hopefully next week will fair better for all of us.

Other than football news, The Christmas Tree went up this afternoon. It's a real beauty. We dragged it up from the basement and replace some lights. This puppy could out-shine the airport revolving light 1/2 mile from my house. I'm pretty sure this one tree has more lights on it than the four outside trees combined. But it does look good and a few birds will have a home a little while longer.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Well my new computer died already. Apparently the processor went bad. It took me an hour to pin the problem down. What's up with that? So I guess I have to call the computer company and hopefully this will fall under warranty and I'll get a new one. For now I'm using good old Speed. He's my buddy from college. We've had our differences but we're doing pretty well right now.

So I went to work today. Me and about 10 other people. It was very quiet and kind of neat. Ashley just got a GameCube for his 7 year old son for Christmas and Ashley hasn't played video games since the much acclaimed Atari so I figured with the lack of people at work today I'd take the time and introduce him to Super Smash Bros. Melee and Mario Kart: Double Dash (which I finally picked up two days ago....Finally!). Big deal you say. Well it wouldn't be except The Workplace has a theater room with a giant 20 foot projection screen. Ever seem Donkey Kong larger than Shaq is in real life? It's a very scary thing! Although I must admit, Mario Kart was a little nauseating, but that didn't take away from the extreme awesomeness of it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

You know what I have always wondered about? Those car commercials with the people sitting in the cars inside the dealership. Maybe this is just me, but one, I've never seen that many people in a dealership building before, and two, I have never seen a dealership with the rotating disk the car sits on and then you can still go and sit in the car. Maybe we just don't have those in The Cove. I don't know.

Only two more days until Turkey Day! I'm counting down the hours. It'll be my first day off with pay ever! It feels pretty nice. Too bad I have to be on Friday. From what I hear, it's a skeleton crew at the building that day. But never fret, I'm teaching Ashley all about video games (I'm pretty sure he hasn't played a video game since Donkey Kong Jr.) so he can get his son a GameCube for Christmas. So I'm thinking, go to work early on Friday, get done a little early, then head down to first floor where the theater is an hook up the GameCube and show Ashley how Galaga may have at one time been the best game ever, but today there is just no comparison. Mario on the big huge giant screen! What more could you want?

Monday, November 24, 2003

So while everyone else has stories of fabulous sport motifs and delicious dreams of vacationing, I find myself working thru the day unaffected by the painstakingly absent external stimuli that seem to surround my life. I think my problem is I get so rapped up in my books and daydreaming I feel as though my life is extremely dull and uneventful. Don't get me wrong, I am truly grateful for my great friends and family but wouldn't things just be a little more exciting if there were a galatic war going on or I was on some covert mission to sabotage the invading forces on the recently mutated Tizzo Worm? But alas, here I fair quite contently and unemotionally at the average sized yellow house on Cranberry Lane. Maybe some day I'll acquire the ability to fly thru the air and save the Earth from the machines that are taking over the world, or be that FBI agent that is going 60 MPH thru the city to capture the world's most dangerous villain, but until then, daydreams are all I have for a life of excitement and adventure. Sometimes I think I was born a millennia too soon . . .

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Ahh the joys of the holidays. Putting up the lights around the trees outside, just makes it feel like Christmas is around the corner. However, that feeling is slightly dampered when it's 65 degrees outside and you're hanging the lights with a t-shirt on. But, that does make hanging lights a much more pleasant experience. Now all that is left is the holiday tradition on carrying the Christmas Tree upstairs and testing all the lights. Since we got a fake tree last year it makes setting up the tree that much easier, but since the lights were strung in at the factory, it makes changing the bulbs and testing the strings that much more difficult.

But it was a nice day out today. The Stillers won an exciting victory over the Browns. The five turnovers by the Browns, some during very pivotal times didn't help their case at all. You'd think that a team whose QB was 9/24 for the day would not be pulling a win at all. Now if only the Nittany Lions could pull such stunts as well . . .

Friday, November 21, 2003

Yay! The weekend is here! Kate is coming so that's always exciting. Work today was quite interesting. I think I may be developing a burner control system soon. The automation part will not be difficult. It's all PID loops and very little user interaction. This makes control very simple. The hardest part will be making the system diagnose its own problems. But even this is very do-able. But this idea has to pass the big guys up on the third floor. Not a problem though. I'm sure Gary will, "talk to Paul about it."

Oh and guess who called today? My good buddy Freddy! No famous quotes today. He was just too darn busy to say a whole lot but as always he was intense! He never disappoints! He said he had over 45 trucks lined up this morning to load. Ashley and I both had a little chuckle at that one. That is very very very unlikely.

One a final note, I got the new Dave Matthews Band CD in the mail yesterday. Yes Andy it's another live album, I know you don't approve but it's good stuff. The bonus CD has a song from the 9.11.03 concert in Hershey, PA that my friends were at this summer. I just thought that was pretty cool.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

First of all, Vikki, you need to get your head out of the gutter. I had to think real heard to figure out why you freaked when you said what you said. I get it now, but after some thought. Second of all, I'm not surprised Liz screamed over Ed. I'm sure she hit octaves most females only dream about. The phrase, "Oh My God!!" comes to mind.

Hey how about my opinion on Ed?? I thought it was quite sappy. I did like how after the first five minutes of the show I had no idea what the show was going to be about because the commercials lead you to believe that the whole show was Ed proposing in NYC with dancers all about. My favorite line of the whole show? "YOU'RE IMPOTENT!!" All in all, I enjoyed the episode. Now I'm wondering what the rest of the season will be or if it's even going to be on next week. My only complaint . . . Where was Warren??

Finally, I've been thinking a lot about math lately. I'll provide my thoughts as soon as I get the chance to draw some diagrams and get organized.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Well, I wanted to leave a little early from work today so I could take my snowboard in to be sharpened and waxed. Where's the story in this? Well The Van had to go in for an oil change today so I gave Gary my keys to go take The Van in and pick his van up. Then when mine was done we were going to go get it. Sounds like a great plan. Well, it was. However, Gary's van got pushed behind until late morning and then since Dwayne was going over to Roaring Spring (that's where The Van was) tomorrow, I was just going to go with him and pick it up. A great alternative. However, when the time came for me to leave work, I remembered that Gary took my keys to drop off The Van. And of course, Gary left the keys with The Van. So I had to go to Roaring Spring to get The Van and my keys allowing me to be unable to make it to The Locker Room before they closed to drop off my board. Oh the joys of work! But oh well, I'll have to try again some other time. What is it about rain and me leaving work early that keeps me from getting to my destination??

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Ode to A Plant by Jimmy

Oh Plant! Why do you torture us so?
Why oh why do you say no
When we tell you to fix this and fix that.
You refuse to put on your hard hat

And go out next to your plant and take a peak
to see if you can spot a leak.
But instead you choose to pick up the phone,
And I'd much prefer to deal with Tyrone.

But today we came and fixed your bind.
My morning routine I left behind.
Now please oh please do what we say
So I can have a more pleasant day.

This afternoon the phone rings . . . Of course with one glance at the caller ID Ashley's eyes begin to role. This can mean only one thing. Freddy is trying to call. Usually his problems are pretty trivial. He thinks the program should have this or do that. But today, he was trying to add Antistrip to his mix. This is not uncommon at all. Most plants add 1 to 5 oz of this admix per ton of mix. It helps the asphalt adhere to stone and stick better. Anywho, Freddy wanted to put 15 oz per ton is his mix! Well the program could not support such big numbers (it dispenses via an encoder with about 150 counts per rev). It sounded like a circus on the phone! Freddy was taking phone calls, batching, checking if the proper ounces came out, and who knows what else. This guy is INTENSE. But I'm sure he was loving every minute of it. I expect to be there by noon tomorrow, but maybe he'll surprise me and fix everything . . .

Freddy Says, "And let me tell ya, I don't drink! And I'm really stressed here! But I don't drink or smoke!"

Monday, November 17, 2003

So explain something to me. If you're having trouble with your plant and you call up the experts (I'm included with the experts) and they tell you what needs to be replaced on your plant, why would you not listen to them? If you need new solenoids and we tell you that you need new solenoids, than just us telling you does not fix the problem. You need to actually replace the solenoids in order for your plant to work properly again. So now bigger things are happening and I have to get up early tomorrow morning to go fix things. And you don't want Mr. Barley finding out you didn't listen when the engineers told you to do something . . .

Here's another thing I have issues with. Now if you didn't know, I'm a huge video game buff. When a great game comes out, I want to buy it the day it comes out and have some fun for a while. This worked great this summer in NYC. I'd see Mario Golf released, I'd go buy Mario Golf. So now, today was the big day for the game I've been waiting for to be released for YEARS! Mario Kart: Double Dash! So after work I went out The City to get my hands on it, however, I wasn't thinking that this is Altoona I'm going to here. Funny, three different stores, and none of them had it yet! Come on guys! Get on the ball here!! When I come back on Wednesday, SOMEONE better have it!

One final thing. Everyone seems to be talking about Ford's and stuff. Let me express my opinion about them. I prefer to quote the brilliant scholar Mitchell Wyatt in saying, "Why is Ford like a rock? I've driven rocks before and they don't go very far!" Okay, so Mitch actually didn't say that exactly, I changed a word in his quote . . . And if you don't know what it was, well then you know even less about cars than me.

Today's Vocabulary Word: floccinaucinihilipilification: The action or habit of estimating something as worthless

Saturday, November 15, 2003

So I just got back from seeing the Matrix 3, at the movie theater mind you. It was very good. Why was it so good? Have you ever seen the cartoon Dragonball Z? If you haven't you're missing out but if you have you know it's just about the greatest cartoon ever. The Matrix was Dragonball Z without the cartoon. Very Very nice. I'll spare you the spoilers, and just tell you to go see the movie if you haven't.

Okay, next topic. How about those Nittney Lions? If you saw them play today you'd wonder how they ever managed to obtain a 2-8 record going into today's game. It was spectacular! I think Kate got a little annoyed when I yelled in her ear when she was talking to her folks on the phone because of a blocked punt returned for 6 yards and a touchdown! It was one cheer after the other. I better see a repeat performance next weekend! If not, I may be very disappointed.

By the way, Vikki spilled soda all over herself at dinner tonight. Let's all stop and have a good laugh!

Thursday, November 13, 2003

It was another exciting day today at The Workplace. Don't worry, I stayed well away from the satellite dish. However, as I sat at my computer coding away, a fly fell from the ceiling right beside me. In starting to get a little more concerned. I mean, those things are dropping like. . . Hey come on, that's like the first pun I've had on this blog in a while.

So as I sat at my computer with the flies falling from the air I stood up and looked out the window. All I could see was white! Why was that? Because there was a freakin' white out going on outside! The wind has been insane for the past 24 hours. Last night I wound up sleeping in the basement because the wind just screams thru the shudders outside the windows. So with the wind and the lake effect snow, there were periods of no visibility today.

Then, as I'm driving home from work, nearly getting blown off the road (there was no chance I was going to drive The Van anywhere today, I don't think so) I look up at the telephone poles and notice how the wires have a frequency that would rival most CB radios! I was just waiting for one to snap off and shock the crap out of me and my car.

But it gets better! As you should now know, today was Run Thursday. If the 32 degree air temperature wasn't going to stop, I sure as HECK wasn't going to let little 50mph wind gusts deter me. So there I was, Stupid Jimmy running in the freezing wind storm with his little shorts and a sweatshirt on. And oooooh were my legs cold! Running with the wind wasn't too bad at all, but coming back, oh baby, there were times when I don't even think I moving forward. It was unbelievable. It was running with a 20 pound weight dragging behind you. When I finally made it back to the house, my legs were bright red and numb, along with some other numb body parts. But hey, I say, why not get tough while you get in shape? When those aliens come to abduct me, I'll be ready.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

It's Wednesday night, time to talk about Ed. Another creative episode. All problems lead to the same night in a episode wide recap. I must say, the pet psychologist was an unexpected twist and I must admit, Mike was on the top of the hill with his wittiness and funny remarks tonight. Ok, so enough beating around the bush. How about that kiss with Phil and Molly! Another unexpected twist! Can you imagine little Mollys and Phils running all over the bowling alley and high school? Although you might never get the chance since Ed is moving to NYC. Yeah right! Who's going to be happy if Ed and Carol live in NYC? No one, that's who. So let's just face it, something is going to happen and either one, Carol moves back to Stuckeyville and they get married, or two, something happens and there's no marriage and Ed faces the fact that he'll be 17 forever.
Maybe I should be concerned. Today I found two dead flies lying next to the plant simulator in my cubicle and a third one struggling to survive (I put him out of his misery). Could this simulator be giving off harmful radiation maybe? Or deadly electromagnetic waves perhaps?? Speaking of radiation, The Workplace just installed a small satellite dish for satellite internet connections. Now, I'm no expert on satellite dishes but when I receive an email stating to not stand in front of it, I get a little concerned. Supposedly this thing pumps out about 400W or power, about the same as a small microwave oven. I think I'll keep far away from that thing. I'm not into the whole tan-during-the-winter thing. And I'm not really into the get-tan-from-a-satellite-dish thing either. Although, we did think that we could park our giant vans under the thing and it will keep the windshields from freezing up. We'd just have to make a mad dash out of the van when we park it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Brrrrrrr. That's what I said when I stepped outside today. I had to dawn the snowboard jacket and hat. I bet they never saw a snowboarder at The Workplace. I'm pretty sure I'm the youngest employee there. Now I'm anxious for the snow to fall. Those sick days might start adding up pretty quick. . .

So I saw this very funny movie last night called "The Man Who Knew Too Little." Although I forgot to pay attention for the first 10 minutes or so, I still wound up laughing at the majority of it. Sometimes I think I want to be a secret agent. I'd be a much better than Bill Murray anyway. I'd blend in like none other. I've taken those online superpower quizzes and it turns out my superpower alter-ego is The Chameleon. Give me a cool gadgets, an exploding pen, and a car that's the "shiznet" and you could just call be double O' Eleven. Seven is already taken.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Not much to talk about today. It's still pretty cold outside and if it's going to be this cold it might as well snow. Maybe if I'm lucky. . .

So how about that eclipse huh? Boy, if it wasn't the most spectacular thing--Okay, so I peaked out the door to take a glance. Come on, it was like 15 degrees here! I'm not about to freeze my butt off watching a infinitesimally small shadow on the cosmic scale move across our terrestrial satellite. Besides, It'll come around in another two years or so. I'm still holding out for those aliens that live near the Orion Nebula. Maybe they'll get here next week. . .

Sunday, November 09, 2003

So I'm a little disappointed right now. I spent the last 3 days downloading what I was told was the Matrix: Revolutions. Well, big surprise, it wasn't. At least last time we tried to download the Matrix 2 we got Swedish Porn. It turns out I've downloaded something called "Skriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday 13th." I have never heard of this flick before and it appears that it could be a movie a few high schoolers made. However, the first 3 minutes I watched seem pretty funny so I may watch it anyway. It looks like a Scary Movie type flick, hopefully without the ear penetrating penises. So I guess I'm going to the movies to see the Matrix 3. Which is okay. My buddy Joe Blake says its good.

Let's talk about Joe for a second. I found his webpage earlier and found it rather humorous. The best part is the random pictures in the top corner. Hey where's the picture with you eating the spider Joe? I also enjoyed reading about his Senior Project, a topic I am very familiar with. I think it's gonna be a lot of work and it may need to be scaled down a bit. But hey, if you need help on the GUI, give me a shout. I made one last year for my Senior Project and now it's my job. Even though his website did crash my system a few times, it's still worth it to check it out and here this guy's stories.
There are just some things that you shouldn't be doing if it is cold enough for me to be wearing a hat outside. One of those things is cutting the grass. Now maybe if it was a 30 minute job that would be ok, but when you're sitting on a mower chopping up leaves and grass for 2.5 hours . . . well, that just needs be done when it's warm enough to feel your fingers. But my hands and digits are slowly recovering. The more I type here the more tingling sensation I get back.

So I went to church with Julie and family today. Today was the first day Julie has been back since Easter. So there was a big celebration for her when we all walked in. A little awkward for me since I didn't know anyone there but it was nice knowing that things with Julie are slowly getting back to normal. Her dad is the minister there but instead of giving a sermon today he talked about the last 7 months. From his stories you could see how clearly God had worked in their lives.

So since The Dad and I only got the one room painted this weekend, I guess we'll have to finish the rest some other time. However, since I made plans for the next few weekends I think I'm pretty safe. This just goes to show you, when you make plans with your friends, you're parents will respect that. Am I making my point? You know who you are.

How to speed up your trip at Radio Shack: When you go to pay for your purchase and the guy at the counter asks you for your name, address, age, number of kids, favorite color, yada yada yada, just tell him in a very serious tone that you are homeless. This may work better if you're wearing cement covered jeans, a dirty shirt and haven't shaved in a few days. However it will stop the questions and get you on your way.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

And I'm spent! Today was the busiest Saturday I've had in a long time. I woke up around 9am to start painting the living room. So first, we have to move all the furniture against the two walls we're painting. This is not hinky dinky furniture I'm talking about here. Massive bookshelves and large desks all made of very heavy wood. So once we get those moved we tape up the borders around the floor and the windows and the doorway. Finally we are ready to paint. "By the way," The Dad says. "Mom only got us one can of paint. So this on can has to last. No ifs ands or buts." These aren't two small walls either. So we get the trim done and the first coat of paint. And there's only half a can of paint left. And my wall was looking pretty thin. I was a little concerned. The final thought was, if we don't have enough paint at the end, make sure you get the parts of the walls that are exposed good, and the parts behind the furniture can be spotty if need be. Luckily we had a little paint to spare at the end and all was good.

So now the room I am sitting in looks nice and the whole house smells like paint. But life is good. So now all that's left of my day is eat some dinner, watch the eclipse and go to bed.

Only 260 Mb to go until I can see the Matrix 3!

Friday, November 07, 2003

I think Winter is upon us. And, despite what some people may lead you to believe (Andy) that is a good thing. It hot me today when I was driving back to Somerset and with all the mountains and trees around there were absolutely no leaves to be seen. Now if only those leafless trees had some snow on them.

Of course, I had to make up for going to Somerset again with a nice stop for lunch at Pizza Hut for the buffet. I just can't seem to get enough. But boy, let me tell you, I was troubleshooter dude today! I was solving problems left and right. Bam! That's not working because that valve is closed! Bam! That's not working because there is that hidden Brain Board in the control room. Bam! That's not working because it's analog and it has to be at this address. Too bad with all my great troubleshooting skills I still couldn't complete the original task at hand. When people provide you with the wrong information and you're writing software based off of that information, things don't work too well. So it's back to Somerset next week.

Oh and don't forget about the lunar eclipse tomorrow night. The East Coast will have the best view so if you're still in the area, and I think all of my friends still are, and it's nice and clear outside, take a look at the sky around 8:06 p.m. Just a heads up, I have discovered in my many many years on this planet that people get crazy when there's an eclipse. So especially you at Messiah, be ready for a very energetic night!

Today's Plumbing Tip: If your water blending valve is not supplying you any water when you tell it you want cold water, make sure your cold water valve has been turned on.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

I have been a downloading animal! Well, okay, maybe not quite. But I do like the zoom zoom! Now all I need is another monitor and I could just become one with the internet forever.

So it was another day out of the office. However, lunch at Pizza Hut for the lunch buffet more than made up or it. It's all you can eat pizza for 7 bucks or so. You can't beat that. Maybe if I'm lucky we can eat there again tomorrow.

So, I have received word that Penn State has made some sort of agreement with Napster that will allow students to download music for free from the newly resurrected service. A good idea, but with a poor goal and guidelines to follow. First, students cannot burn what they download onto CDC unless they $0.99 a song. That right there would kill me. My MP3 player can only play MP3s and WMAs from a CD. A bad rule right there. More people share their files right from their computers anyway. Actually if you think about it, letting users burn the songs would result in less sharing because once they burn their songs to a CD, they will erase them from their harddrive and probably just stick the CD into their CD holder to played at a later time. I would rather grab songs from a buddy's computer than hassle with copying a CD. Second bad rule, students cannot download any song for free, only certain ones. This is defeating the purpose. I don't want someone telling me what I can and cannot download. In fact, people the RIAA does and I don't listen to them. Although a goal of keeping students from breaking the law is admirable, with guidelines like that, it just seems very unrealistic.

With all that in mind, Roscoe has informed me that he now has a blog. This means he gets added to the little side bar over there. What are the rest of you doing? I know you have time in your busy busy schedules to tell the world about what you're up to. Hey Sco, I like the little "still single" phrase in the corner there. Perhaps I could add something like that to mine saying, "still under-paid."

Freddy Says: "Well, everyone who pays with a Visa just gets a tax exempt."

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

So it appears I can leave work at 3pm on a rainy day and not get into an accident. Although it wasn't Friday and I wasn't heading towards Breezewood. I may avoid that scenario for a while still. So this could be the last time I ever "sign on" to the internet. The Cable Dude is supposed to venture out here to the cove in a very short while to hook up the cable modem. I'm skeptical still. This will be round number 3. But they did run the line so we should be good to go. I'll let you know what happens when it happens.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

So apparently today the space-time continuum took a drastic dip in the kata direction and left me behind. You know how when you're completely bored and time just creeps by? Well, today was nothing like that. I was busy THE WHOLE DAY! Not bored, but busy, always working on something and every time I looked at the clock it was only two minutes later. I wasn't even anxious to leave. Old Einstein was having a little fun with me I think.

And now it's time for today's disgusting story. I'm out for The Tuesday Run and getting real close to the end of the line so I'm pushing it pretty good. Suddenly a small truck is heading for me. No big deal, I run past very large trucks all the time. Well, this small truck goes past me and no sooner is it past that I get smacked in the face by hundreds of little who-knows-whats. Now, I don't know about you, but I run with my mouth open a little so I can breath when I run. And of course, when your mouth is open and hundreds of little who-knows-whats fly at your face, some make it in your mouth. Not a big deal I figure, it was just some hay or something. Well, luckily theses little who-knows-whats are stuck to my face as well so when I get back to the house I can see what they are. Turns out, they were all gnats! I bet I swallowed a dozen of them! It must have been a Cow Poopie Truck or something that past me. But I was slightly grossed out. Of course that didn't last too long. It's not like I've never eaten bugs before . . .

Monday, November 03, 2003

Nothing I can say today can possibly compete with Vikki's blog so just go there and read her Sunday entry. Maybe if I'm lucky, something funny will happen to me later this evening.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Today I ran with the cows! That's right, it was like I was running with the herd, well, there was some high voltage electrical wire between us. I run by this farm with about 15 cows and usually their just standing or sitting around. Today, they were in the woods about 50 yards from their usual location. As soon as I started running by them, they started running with me. Honestly, how many times have you seen a cow run? And on top of that, how many times will you ever be able to run with those cows.

I don't know about this new donut trend Andy. However, Krispy Kreme is moving into the area here in the cove and if they have that neon light thing here, I'll give it try, but so far, I'm not impressed with their normal donuts. Here's the question, have you ever had Dunkin' Donuts right off of the conveyor? That my friend, my be hard to beat.