Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Now, whether he knows it or not, I think my dad is a smart guy. And when it comes to lawn care, he is just about the smartest. In fact, the only grass I see greener than his lawn is The Masters course in Augusta, Georgia. And being the green thumb that he is, when he tells me to do something with the lawn, I do it, because I don't question his ability. So, when he tells me we need to cut my grandma's grass, then we obviously need to cut her grass. Now, if you've never used a push mower before, then you're either lazy, extremely weak, a girl, or all three. When you use a push mower, and the grass is wet, you need to be careful that the grass doesn't clump up on the underside of the mower. Today, the grass was wet, but the grass needed to be cut. So I met my dad at my grandma's house after my run and we proceeded to cut her lawn. It was so long that I couldn't even finish a pass before the grass bag was full. I didn't have more than 5 passes done when it was time so eat. So Dad and I went in for some food and warmed up some. Now, it was quite cold outside when we started but it was bearable. Once dinner was over we looked out the window to see the poring down rain, suddenly change to a heavy snow and back again. Keep in mind, it is April now. The rain and snow kept up and eventually slowed down enough so we could finish.

Now, I'm obviously no expert in lawn care (yet), but I felt as though the grass was now just way too wet to cut, but Pop said we must finish! So we go out and I start the mower and I notice that there's not much going in the bag, but the grass is getting cut. By this time, it's frickin' FREEZING outside to the point where I could see my breath and was wearing gloves and a winter coat. Again, I'm not a lawn expert, but I sure as HECK never cut grass in a winter jacket while enjoying winter fresh breath. The more I cut, the less went in the bag and the more clogged the mower. Finally, after another 30 minutes or completely making a mess of the yard, Pops finally decided to call it quits and return to finish tomorrow. Like I said, I'm no lawn care expert yet, but today's lesson was quickly and easily learned: Don't cut grass after it has just pored down rain and blizzarded! Ever!

Monday, April 26, 2004

If you could over-do-it on frisbee this past weekend, then I'd say I did it. I should have taken the hint Saturday when it hurt to walk, but I didn't. I played hard again Saturday afternoon. Then came volleyball Saturday night and finally more frisbee Sunday afternoon. Come Sunday evening I could barely get up from a sitting position. But like I said before, it was so worth it! And Andy knows what I'm talking about; being muscle sore is a great feeling!

Once I got to work this morning, the soreness started going away, but a nice stiff drink tonight might make things even better. I'm working on a time clock at work these days. It uses a OP7200 touchscreen with a Rabbit 2000 board and processor. We've got a barcode reader that spits out the bar code ID in RS-232, while the touch screen interface should allow users to clock in and clock out with ease. These Rabbit boards are quite robust. There's an Ethernet port, allowing the Rabbit board to be a web server on top of everything else it can do. Our ultimate goal would be to clock people in and out and send that information real-time via Ethernet to our main computers miles away, yet still allowing user to hit the Rabbit board via web browser to see the state of the unit and possible records for the day. I'm still amazed at what this little $400 piece of work can do. And, I seem to learn new things it can do everyday!

Saturday, April 24, 2004

And it was so worth it! I drove thru the pouring down rain yesterday just to get to frisbee on time. Cars were pulling off the road and going 45 MPH on the PA Turnpike, but a little rain didn't stop me! RainX to the rescue. It's great stuff. No matter how hard it's raining, you can always see. And since usually storms travel from west to east, I caught back up with the storm in the middle of the frisbee game. It was just like old times. Sliding in the mud while catching a frisbee, not too much can be beat that in life. Although some may disagree, others know what I'm talking about. We go again this afternoon. I'm hoping for some more rain, but a sunny day would be nice too. Maybe my sneakers will get dry. MORE FRISBEE!!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Only one day left until Ultimate Frisbee weekend! I am counting down the hours! Let's just hope the weekend turns out as good as it's supposed to be. The great thing about frisbee is that you play rain or shine. Well, as long as the dedication is there. I know I'm dedicated. It's up to a few others to be as well.

I finally got started on something new at work. Don't worry, I haven't finished the stupid web app yet, but I've decided to move on anyway. The new project is much more fun. Not just coding dribble. I am making a time clock. It will be used to clock people in and out. We're using a small touch screen and bar code reader. The computer is not a PC but a microprocessor board called a Rabbit Board. It uses the Rabbit 2000 microprocessor and has a whole bunch of digital and analog inputs and outputs. I say out with the old and in with the new!

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Not a whole lot to report today. Luckily I got to sleep past the sunrise today, which was a nice thing. Tomorrow I'm hoping to sleep even later! Well, ten minutes later at least, but hey, a lot can happen in your dreams in ten minutes. You could wind up finding that treasure you've been looking for in the basement of your long ago moved away from house. You could finally remember that darn combination to your high school locker and finally get your books out so you can study for your test. You could wind up finding your clothes so you can stop being naked in front of all of your work colleagues. Or you could wind up kissing that really cute girl who taunts you with her gorgeous hair and looks, and likes to stay just out of your reach. I hope be dreaming the latter tomorrow morning, and let's hope that ten minutes is enough!

Monday, April 19, 2004

First a few notes. It was not me who sang to Vikki for her birthday but the people that worked at Red Robin. I don't want everyone going around thinking that I sing to them or anything. That would be misleading. Second, to answer Andy's inquiry, I get my gas in The Cove, usually at the Turkey Hill, or Exxon, or Mobil. But not the Mobil that charges 15 cents more than any other place. I don't even consider that an option. I will say this though. If I wasn't living rent free, I would definitely not be driving everywhere I do at the expense it is today. Luckily Vikki drove to Annapolis from Messiah and back and she refused a gas payment which was supremely grateful of her. I'll tell you what though, a motorcycle is looking better and better. I saw a whole mess of them this weekend. The initial hit would be a little costly (I don't want a Harley of anything to that caliber) but at these prices, the gas money would quickly add up. And also, it's not always Red Robin. Actually I haven't been there since last October.

So work started at 5:45AM this morning. Which wouldn't have been too bad, but some people had to have sandwiches before we left Roman's. Couldn't wait until you got home. Causing Jimmy a very late night and tiring Monday. But an early start means an early finish and I did save the world yet again! This was the second PC to be struck by lighting in a week at the same plant. If you don't think about things and believe everything you hear, then you need to stop believing that lighting never strikes the same place twice. It does, it did, it better not get me out of bed before the sun rises again!

Thursday, April 15, 2004

So I'm on my way to Somerset to save the world, yet again, and I hear a new report on the radio. The DJ said that the world's oldest working person has called it quits. Ray Crist, a retired scientist, has yet again retired at the ripe old age of 104! To most of you this mean nothing. But, if you are an alumni of Messiah College, you would know that Ray Crist's job was a Messiah College professor. The small town school as made big time news. Turns our Professor Ray has been working for $1.00 a year for all 34 years at Messiah. You would think his plans now would be to just sit back and relax but the man has plans to continue research on "metal eating plants" and writing papers. I just hope I can still think when I'm 104! For more information click here.

Oh and by the way, I did wind up saving the world, yet again!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

I have just been informed of a major spelling mistake! I could go back and edit yesterday's blog, but it almost seems funnier as is. But if you are curious, it should be nipples, not nibbles.

On the work side today, I spent the whole day installing and learning about this software called Visual SourceSafe, or VSS in computer lingo. Basically what it does manage all of your source code for your computer programs. It's pretty slick. You run this software on a server that also has your source code, then when you want to go in and change stuff, you have to check out, and check in your files. This allows for multiple people to be modifying the same program at the same time. You can also easily go back to previous versions of your software if you feel as though your recent changes should be undone. And the coolest part is, since I am the first one to test and run and install this stuff, I get to be the Administrator of it all. That means, if you want to install it, or you need privileges, you come to me! I am the key holder, the answer man, and the just The Man!

Freddy Says: "My computer . . . it's just sitting there! It's not doing anything!!"
Let it be noted that that is what computers do if you do not interact with them!

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Like I said yesterday, there's nothing like better than running in the rain when it's warm. Too bad it was 40 degrees when I ran today. However, what I failed to point out was how nice the warm shower feels after you run in a cold rain. Ahhhhhhh. My running shirt did seem to get a little rough in the rain and of course when you run your shirt does not stay in one place. No, it moves up and down with your body. However, when it's cold outside, and I know at least one sex knows what I'm talking about, your nibbles tend to be a little more....perky? That may not be the right word, but with my rough shirt rubbing against my chest, now my nibbles are all brush burned and it doesn't feel good for my current shirt to be rubbing against them. Ok, I feel as though I've given you too much information. Let's move on to a new topic.

Now, I've worked at camp for two summers and hopefully I'll be adding a third to that list this year. I really enjoy being a counselor. I think the kids get a lot out of it and I learn a lot about myself. Now I hear that Andy wants to work camps this year. That would be all fine and dandy, but you know what gets me? It's the fact that I was mocked by this Andy last year for working at a camp. I'm not asking for much, all I want is an apology. Just an "I'm Sorry". It could even be a "James, I was wrong to ever mock you." Heck I'd even settle for a "James, you are the supreme master of all that exists!" Enjoy your camp Andy. It is the most fun you'll have, and a huge learning experience. And, I'll be keeping a watchful eye on your blog for some sort of apology.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Well it was an eventful Easter as it always is. Of course I survived it just as I do every year, but I don't think is something just anyone can survive. In any event, I do hope The Easter Tradition carries on for more years. It is great to see family that you so rarely and to be able to enjoy it and laugh at it with everyone else there.

Well, it looks like rain this week. Ok by me as long as it is semi-warm outside as well. There's nothing better that running in the rain when it's warm outside. It's like nature adding to your sweat-count 100 fold. Nothing better! Of course if it's cold outside, then there are things better. I'll just continue to hope for warm air. Maybe if I could get John Kerry in The Cove he could just give a speech and it would warm things up real fast (just for the record, I am still undecided on my presidential vote, this statement was made soley to get remarks from others).

Saturday, April 10, 2004

That was a close one. So I'm driving to the mall to get the last minute Easter cards when suddenly I look in my rear view mirror and see a cop chillin' just a few 100 feet back. I glance at my speedometer and sure enough I'm going about 65 in a 55 construction zone no less. So as my heart starts pumping faster, I keep a constant eye on my mirror. Suddenly I see the cop move and a few seconds later his lights come on. In the mean time I am just feet away from my exit ramp and the traffic is pretty heavy. I'm thinking to myself, "If I can just make it to the ramp, he'll never see me get off." At this point my heart is racing, and I don't really no why because I'm on my own insurance plan these days and I have a job and can afford a ticket. I don't have to worry about my parents being upset or anything. But, I'm still nervous as all get-out anyway. So my eyes are no longer fixed on the road but on the mirror. The cop car is getting closer and closer. Finally I make it to my ramp just as the cop pulls a van over who was just about to pass me. Wow. It's time like that which make you go the speed limit for the rest of the day. Of course tomorrow I'll be back to the usual driving habits. Just to point out, I'm not a speed daemon or anything. I just think 70 should be the standard speed limit everywhere. Except of course in towns and such.

On a side note, the Easter card selection was pretty poor. The guy standing next to me was obviously in the same boat as myself. We were both scoping out the remainder of the Mother cards. I wonder if Hallmark keeps a hidden stash for us guys who like to wait until the last minute?

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Now I'm not a big fan of golf. In fact, if you know me, you know that I actually enjoy mocking the sport and the people that play it. Despite the fact that I don't really enjoy golfing [sic], I do have a lot of respect for those that play it. Heck my dad is a golfer and his dad was a golfer. These guys are hitting a ball, about the size of my eye, with a stick with a big fat end on it, and are in complete control of where the ball goes. I am amazed at the skill you need to play the sport. Of course, it still doesn't mean I like to golf [sic]. If you're wondering why I'm writing about golf today, it's because The Masters, probably the most respected golf matches of the year, is being held right now in its annual location, Augusta, GA. While my dad, being the avid golfer that he is, has never played this course before, he does tell me it is the mecca of all golf courses. People go to bed dreaming of the day they may someday even be special enough to attend the all-great tournament let alone play the course. I'm told $20,000 wouldn't even cover a month's worth of membership there. In fact, I was even informed that my grandfather was offered tickets, not to spectate, but play at the awed-course (not in The Masters). He turned them down on the account that his wife was unable to go with him. That my friends is commitment. That would be like me turning down a helicopter ride to the top of Mt. Alaska to snowboard in 6 feet of powder. Fat chance of that ever happening. So while I may not like to golf [sic] and I may even mock those that do, I do admire the skill it takes to play the sport, and the men that play it.

By the way, since this is live, I just heard Tiger Woods say, out loud, "I am so f***ed." And he didn't hide any letters saying it.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Wow, look out dogs! Two crazy dogs strolled out in front of me today along the back roads of the cove. And of course I was going over the speed limit, because that's what you do on the back roads of the cove. I had to slam my breaks on and fish-tail just slightly to avoid hitting one of them by mere feet. It brought back a quick flashback of a more . . . not-so-fortunate day, but that quickly passed and I continued on my way, just slightly on edge. I guess no one told those dogs to look both ways before crossing.

You will all be very happy to know that earlier tonight I played my first games on The Arcade! It's not really near done, I still have to add a keyboard drawer, the coin slot, a marquee and make it look all good and stuff, but the TV is in it and so is a temporary PC. It was Metal Slug 3 and World Class Bowling all the way! And one HECK of a big arcade monitor!

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Here's something fun to do. Do a search for my good pal Andy Vogel at Google.com. No quotes, just andy vogel and check out the third listing. Is there something you're not telling us Andy?
It's nice when your boss send you to a plant to fix a problem right in the middle of a busy time and never thinks to tell you that the guy running the plant has been to jail on a few accounts and apparently enjoys getting into fights and beating the SNOT out of people. It probably was a good thing I didn't know as I wound up holding up production at the plant when I got there. If there's one thing you DON'T want to do at a plant, it's hold up production. You could cut that tension in there with a dulled knife. But things eventually got fixed and I managed to walk away with my life and some dignity . . . Eventually. Just another day. And in a few short weeks, I'll be doing this!

Monday, April 05, 2004

A little heads up for those of you who ever get a Check Engine light on in your car. Don't check your engine, check your gas cap. Make sure it's on tight. There's nothing more embarrassing than taking your car to shop, the dude plugs in his laptop to the steering column to see what the light is on for, says, "huh," walks to the gas cap and gives it half a turn only to see the light go out. Now, you'd think, if the Check Engine light comes on for the gas cap, then why not just have a gas cap light? Heck I can even see, on my dashboard on a sunny day, a light that says "Gas" on it. And this isn't the low gas light either. That's the Check Gauges light. Anyway, what does the gas cap have to do with the engine? It's so stupid! To me, "check the engine" does not mean, "check the gas cap." Oh well, just a heads up for the rest of you. One man's mistake is another man's knowledge.
I took a little break from blogging recently to catch up my . . . Well, I don't know. It sounded like a good excuse until I realized I just never got around to it. I've had a stupid cold for the past few days. While I don't feel bad, my throat has had this tickle that causes me to cough uncontrollably every 10 minutes or so. I look like that dubious dancing baby, but taller and with more clothes, every time I have an attack. But oh well. I figure, with my immune system, if anyone else were to have this illness they would have died days ago. Things should be on the upside by tomorrow.

In other news the wind has overtook my house and I am now living 3 miles away with a pile of dead cows, trackers, and beat up pick-up trucks in what used to be my front yard. Okay, so that may have been a bit of a stretch. And there is a bathtub in my neighbors front yard. But it has been unbelievably windy here for the past few days. Good luck walking in a straight line for more than 5 steps. It's a good thing there are mountains all over the place or else I may find myself not in the cove anymore just like Todo.