Saturday, June 26, 2004

Well, at the end of probably the most insane week of work yet, I am off to camp! Which is good. I could use a nice two week brake. Play some volleyball, teach some kids, I can't wait! With that said, this camp barely has internet or cable or anything cool like that so it will be about two weeks until you hear from next. Make sure you come back then! And Andy, don't take my link off your site! This is legit!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Has anyone else noticed the sudden boom in birth control advertising? First, it was The Patch. A nice alternative to The Pill. They claim you no longer have to remember to take your pill everyday. That's all fine and dandy, but let's not forget you need to remember to slap that patch on you. Then there was this pill that you only took for a week around the time of your period. I don't even get how that one worked. Then, since those to buddies were duking it out on TV, The Pill decided it needed to make a come-back. Ortho Try Cycling was back with a vengeance. Then, came the birth control that not only appeals to women, but men too. This is the four periods a year pill. They funny thing is, the side effect that women love (only 4 periods), men love too! I think the commercial should have a man's voice saying, "Let's here it for four periods a year!"

Now, I know what most of you are thinking. "Why in the world is this guy talking about women's birth control?" Well frankly, I live in The Cove, and really, what else is there to talk about? I think a few teenagers around here could use some good commercials . . .

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Think about this next time you don't feel like washing your hair!
Now I've never been one for shopping, but last night I experienced something so grand that may just make me a shop-a-holic! So I was at scoping for some new books to read. I found one I've been wanting to read for a while now (The Di Vinci Code), and there on the right hand side of the screen was a button. It read something along the realm of "1 click purchase." I though, "Hey, I want to buy this book, let's click and see what that does." So I clicked it, and BOOM! It said my order had been processed and was underway! I about wet my pants right there on the spot! No stupid forms to fill out, no addresses, names, credit card numbers, phone numbers, mom's maiden names, none of that junk! I have an account there and, imagine this, they actually USE the information I gave them. Tell me why I wouldn't buy from there again? You can't think of a reason can you? I thought the same thing. Then I saw, "Buy another book, and don't pay shipping!" That was it! Bowel movement all over the place! There was nothing left to do but find another book and buy it. So I found one, clicked the oh-so-magical button, and that was it! No shipping, two books, and a dirty seat, but who cares! If every website could make ordering that simple, I'd be broke!

Okay, next topic. A few days ago I called up a friend and asked her if she wanted to play some Frisbee Golf. She responded, "Frolf??" I said, "No no. Frisbee Golf." She said, "Yeah, Frolf." Now, if this were any other friend they'd be making this stuff up just to humor me. But she was dead serious about this Frolf. Now, I'll be the first to admit, I am no expert on the game of Frisbee Golf, but I do know enough it to know what its name is. I told her so and she insisted that her friends play and its called Frolf. This is like calling the game of volleyball vball, but promising like vball and not "V" Ball. It just isn't right. After just excepting what she had to say, I inquired more into the game her friends play. Now, keep in mind, these people have grown up in The Cove, but I feel that really isn't a good excuse for what you are about to hear. It appears that Frolf is a game in which you would use a club (any club will do I believe) and actually whack a Frisbee, on the ground and attempt to hit a target. Now, two things came to mind. If I ever would whack a Frisbee with a club, I guarantee I would break it in a few rounds. And second, How can you possibly even hit it anywhere! It would take all day to knock the disk to a single target! The amazing part was my friend actually thought that was how you play. It's all good now, I have her squared away, and I promise, you will never find me playing this game of Frolf!

Monday, June 21, 2004

AHHHHHH! The giant birds strike again! Only this time there were many of them ferociously ripping apart what I could have only believed was once a dead cow in the middle of the road! If one was huge, they were all enormous! Luckily they didn't fly of with my car as I drove past screaming. These are obviously vultures of some sort, but have mutated to giant winged beasts! It's about time I run for my life!

Since Janet mentioned the privately manned space flight today, I'll skip that topic and ask you check out her blog for more information. Just know that Jimmy is going into space much sooner than he originally though!

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Well, I just got back from V-Ball. I played okay tonight. Started off a little slow, but caught up torward the end. Once I get my two weeks of the stuff all day long I should play quite well for a while.

The riding lawn mower broke down today, so my dad and I had to cut the whole yard with the push. Which wouldn't be so bad had it not been for three factors.

1. We have an acre of grass to cut
2. The grass area is not flat. You're either pushing up or running down with it.
3. The push mower path is about half of the riding path.

But we took turns and we got it down in a few hours. Not a fun way to spend the afternoon, but I didn't really mind.

Tomorrow I'm heading a meeting about the web application I've been working on at work. Supposedly I've been told I'm "bridging the gap!" Whatever the heck that means. All I know is that I've impressed a few guys with what I've been doing and now somehow I am an expert on it. Oh well. Maybe I'll make more money soon . . .

Friday, June 18, 2004

Tell me the point in using the debit on my Visa Check Card instead of the credit? I'm charged to use it. I get no real benefit from it. I have to enter a stupid PIN that the guy whose looking over my shoulder can surely see since it can only be 4 numbers. Thus, why would I not use the credit part of the card? It still takes the money directly out of my account. It's very secure. I don't need any ID to use it (provided I remember to sign the back of the darn thing) and it doesn't cost me anything extra? Why am I even given the option of debit? But even worse, why are places like the movie theatre making me use the debit! Come on now. If you can do the debit, I know you can do the credit!

By the way, I really hate those new emission inspections they are doing on cars along with the "annual" inspection. It costs me an extra $60 for the mechanics to simply visually inspect my car's exhaust system. And by visually inspect I mean with only their eyes (or eye, remember we are in The Cove here), these guys simply check to make sure they can see two parts. They don't care if they work at all! All they do is look at the darn thing and then charge me $60. To top it off, the "annual" inspection is now semi-annual for some reason as I now have to take my car in yet again in 12/04. Come on now! It's a brand spankin' new car! Give me a break! And give me my money back! I am not paying for Mr. Mechanic's other eye!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Like I said yesterday. The world just waits until one day to unleash its chaos. Today I received absolutely no phone calls. How nice. It lets me get stuff done.

I went out to a new place for dinner tonight. It was this Italian place. Very good. I had some cajun chicken pasta. I would have liked to have tried some on the micro-brewed beer there, but one person I was eating with wasn't 21. I was denied the beer. But the waitress was cute so I didn't mind too much. The table next to us was a family of 8 or so. They talked about Lord of the Ring the entire supper. I was pretty amazed considering have the family looked like they could have cared less about a movie like that.

After dinner I got some shoes at the mall and went to see a movie. If your wondering, I'm not a lonely looser, I did all this stuff with Julie and Christen. We saw Stepford Wives. It was a very good movie. Nicole Kidman really can't be in a bad movie. But it was quite entertaining. I should go out to see movies more often. However, this lateness factor is not cool at all!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Boy! What a day! On my drive to work I got a phone call about a plant being down. Sounded like a routine job. Ashley was already out at another plant fixing them, so I took this one. It turned out to be a bit of a hassle, but somehow I fixed the problem (I could explain to you how I fixed, but you would have absolutely no clue as to what I was talking about) even though what I did shouldn't have really fixed it. But hey, it was fixed none-the-less. Then, another plant calls. I tell them what their problem is, and who to call to fix. Then, the first plant calls back again with a new problem. The second fix was much more straight forward than the first. In the meantime Ashley is on the phone with yet a different plant fixing another problem. Needless to say, this day was hectic! It's bizzar. The world seems like it always waits to unload all its chaos on one day. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

In all of the recent activity surrounding my life, I completely forgot to mention the recent transit of Venus! A transit is when a planet passes directly between Earth and the Sun. Of course, this can happen with only two planets, Mercury and Venus. When the Moon does this it's called a lunar eclipse. Anyway, since Janet brought it up, I'll speak a little more about it. I didn't really watch it for three reasons. One, like Janet said, you'll see it happen again in 2012. Two, it is barely visible to the naked eye. And three, by the time the Sun rose on June 8th, the transit was already in progress in our viewing area. Because of the orbital paths of Earth and Venus, transits occur very predictably four times every 243 years. Once one occurs, another one follows eight years later, then the next 105.5 years later, then eight years after that, then the whole process starts again 121.5 years after that.

The neat thing about the transit of Venus is that it was used to approximate the distance between the Earth and the Sun. A few transits ago, back in the mid 1700's astronomers desperately wanted to know how far we were from the Sun. Of course estimates were made on the fly, but who knew how accurate those were. Finally someone came up with the idea of using the Venus transit to determine this distance. This method of using a transit to determine our distance form the Sun is known as the Parallax Method. It was devised by British astronomer Edmond Halley (yes the comet is named after him) in the 18th century. Basically he said that if you have two people on two widely separated latitude points on Earth, they'll observe Venus passing through the Sun along different paths. By measuring the angular shift between these two paths, our distance from the Sun can be estimated.

Of course, this took a few attempts and a good number of years to get right. Finally on the transit of 1882, William Harkness found the distance to the Sun be 92,797,000 miles. Not too bad considering the Black-Drop Effect (You can see this effect by stretching your arms out and bringing both pointer fingers together in front of a bright light. See how they appear to touch just before they actually do? Imagine how this must have reeked havoc amongst astronomers with such little error allowed). In any event, the average distance from Earth to the Sun is 92,955,850 miles. 150,000 miles is nothing in astronomical terms. Pretty darn impressive if you ask me.

So when the next transit of Venus occurs in 2012, what will the world hold the next transit after that? Where will science have brought us by 2117? Something neat to think about; if humans are on Mars on November 10, 2084, we'll be able to witness our own planet, Earth, move slowly across the Sun in a transit. A mere spec in a sea of light.

Monday, June 14, 2004

An interesting weekend. Though, if you ever go to visit your friend who still lives at home, make sure you plan something or else you'll be running errands for his mom the whole day! Most of the day Saturday was spent going to the grocery store to get food for lunch, which was never made, running back and forth form house to garage sale to get all furniture back to the house, taking mom to the nail place, getting the car fixed, picking up Mom from the nail place and then getting more furniture at the yard sale. Needless to say, PLAN SOMETHING WITH YOUR FRIENDS!

Friday, when I got to Annapolis, Roman and I headed out to a place called Key West. It was a bar where a Jimmy Buffet cover band was playing. Apparently it was also Ron-A-Polooza night. I am still as clueless about this as you are. I guess there was some guy named Ron there and we were celebrating his existence. Anywho, most of the people where were in their 40s and had gone to high school with the band. Well, Roman and I weren't there for too long until we realized that all the "adults" around us, were GROUPIES! And groupies for a cover band at that! It was quite the scene. By the time we left, most of the people there were drunk and our Philippine waitress was singing Margarietaville on stage into the mike. This might have been okay had her voice not been high and squeaky and had she known that she did indeed sound awful. But she loved it, the groupies loved and we had a fun night!

Sunday I drove back home to play some V-Ball at The Park. My team went defeated the whole night! Though we think we did win one game, but the scorekeepers had a little trouble keeping track of the score (that's why I personally never keep score) and we had some poor line judges, a.k.a., players on the other team. But, I could have cared less. I go to play, and that's what I did!

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Apparently there is some late breaking news stating the ex-president Ronald Reagan has passed away. I mean it's all over the news. It must have just happened! Okay, have you noticed the sarcasm yet? I don't mean to be disrespectful at all here, but isn't there more news happening in the world than a week long funeral? Isn't it interesting though now all the issues with the war seem to disappear when there is other news to talk about? It makes you think that maybe they are just trying a little too hard to make it seem like there's more bad things going on over there than there actually is.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

I drove down to Shippensburg again to today. Now around here, you don't really see evidence of the cicada take-over. You may see a dead one here or there on the road, but you don't here them and you rarely see them. However, as I was driving the turnpike today, particularly around the Breezewood area, they were just flying all over the place. There as no point in cleaning off the windshield because as soon as you did, another 5 would splatter into it. It was crazy! I had 7 of the little beasts stuck in my windshield wipers and about 50% of the glass was covered with cicada internal organ goo. Dead cicada bodies littered the roadway as dead bugs would just shear off of the car in front of me. Where's Moses when you need him?
I've done it before, and I'll do it again. Some emails I get just require being posted on my blog.

Perhaps you recognize the above from your Blog[Referring to previous entry]. Might I pause to clarify? It takes a true (and humble) genius to put together seemingly unrelated pieces of information and come up with a revolutionary theory. To the untrained mind the three brilliant light flashes in Seattle, the UFO sightings and the humongous Cove Bird are all items for trash newspapers or topics on Oprah. The untrained mind does not see the connection and misses the entire point. I submit that I did not jump to a conclusion. To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw ... Some men see things as they are and accept them. I see things and put them together in a new way. [If you are wondering, the approximate quote from Shaw, and as used by the late Bobby Kennedy (brother to President Kennedy), goes something like this: Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that are not and ask, 'Why not?'"]

In conclusion, I would like to humbly assert that I am not a kook.


PS I think the Cove's Amish population is behind the Seattle lights, the UFOs and the Cove Bird. It's all part of a nefarious plot to discredit President Bush and the National Bowling Congress.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Ohhhh the heat! And the humidity! What better weather to run in. Some may say I'm crazy . . . Yeah! Crazy like fox! Actually it turns out, I'm not the only person that finds the smell of skunk intriguing and not stinking. So I'm not as crazy as I thought I was. This person shall remain anonymous due the fact that I live next to her. HA! You may think that gave it away, but I do live next to at least 4 girls, so you still have no idea who I'm talking about!

I'm told by UB that the giant birds are taking over. Apparently a flash of light out in Seattle and a UFO sighting in Mexico and me seeing an ENORMOUS bird the other day all seem to fit together for him. I guess us NON-KOOKS need a little evidence before jumping to conclusions like that. If I see it again and the jumbo thing is playing a banjo, then I'll be ready concede.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Let me just say how proud I am of my buddy Andy for getting a Frisbee. It almost brought tears to my eyes. Now when I come to visit you we can throw. I think I exhausted my sister's husband when he was here for memorial day throwing the Frisbee all the live long day. But hey, make a guy a Long Island Iced Tea and he'll do anything!

Today was meeting filled. A meeting from 10AM to 12PM on time clocks, and one form 1230PM to 2PM on cure systems. Questions got answered, but not without a price. I thought Ashley and I were going to leave the time clock meeting with no answers, but we had an agenda and we weren't leaving until we had our answers. As a side benefit, they were the answers that we wanted, so everything worked out quite well indeed. You might as well call me Time Clock Boy as I soon will become one of the only people who know exactly how The Workplace's time clocks work. Mainly because I am one of two people developing the whole system. Why am I still underpaid?

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Well, gas is now 10 cents cheaper than it was a few days ago. I'm not quite sure how this happened. I know OPEC decided to increase production on Thursday, but I don't quite think we'd see changes this quickly from it. Oh well. I'm not complaining at all.

So I was driving down the usually back country roads yesterday. The road I was one is quite surrounded by trees and overhangs and such. As I approached a covering a gigantic bird flew out from the tree not more than 25 feet in front of me. Now usually birds don't scare me, but when it's got a beak bigger than my fist and a wingspan longer than me, it freaks me out a little bit. I believe my exact words at the time were, "Holy CRAP!!" I have no idea what type of bird this one, but it better not be coming 'round to my neck of the woods. If it does you won't see me outside anymore. Can you imaging the size of a dropping from that beast?!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Hurray for someone finally shooting for the X-Prize! Attempts at building reusable space crafts have been going on for years with no real headway. Lockheed Martin has been doing rather well on its reusable VentureStar, but government funding and projects just aren't going to get the job done. Thanks to Janet for catching me up on the news there.

Some helpful advice to Roman: Make friends in high places! I'm sure there is someone that is the boss of your boss. It's most likely he isn't as big of a jerk as your boss and might not even know about how your boss is. Get to know the people above your boss and impress the crap out of them!

Finally, who knew that Wilson Phillips was still making albums? Sometimes I'm glad I don't keep up with pop culture. OK, most of the time . . .

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Here's something fun you can do at home if you need some fun. Go out to your local hardware store and buy a bag of cement. Then, pour some of the bag on your head (this works best if you are NOT wearing a hat). You need to make sure it is raining outside because now you need to go out and walk in the rain a little bit just to get your hair damp. Finally, wait a little and behold the magic head of hair the will not let your fingers pass through it nor will it ever move out of position. Also, the light white tint it gives off is rather appealing. Of course, you can make things easier on yourself and just stand in a production plant while cement dust flies everywhere for 15 minutes. Either way, I'm taking a shower after I eat dinner.

And, since I'm all alone for dinner tonight, I'll be dining on the very fabulous Fox's Pizza. It's no Papa Johns, but they're out in Altoona and they only deliver to The Cove on Tuesdays. Pizza and beer and a head full of cement. What more could you ask for?

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Today was a great day to go running, and lucky for me, it was Tuesday Run-Day, so once I got home from work, I wasted no time in shedding my clothes (not all of them) and hittin' the blacktop. The only problem was after about half way thru my run, I felt like crap. Now, I could blame it on a multitude of things. It could have been that I only got about 4.5 hours of sleep last night, thanks to some friends and an early morning wake-up call. Or perhaps the fact that it was dryer outside than a Jim Barley clothes dryer. Or it could have even been the fact that I ate 4 very fine Dunkin' Donuts before I went to bed last night. Actually I blame it on all three. But I still finished and stopping or slowing down was never an option!

On the work-side of things, I'm getting stuff done left and right. Web App is awaiting some feedback, and Time Clocks are now hitting a database and producing a log easily viewable via an internet web browser. Nothing feels better than a pat on the back by The Boss and a little hoot and holler to go with it.