Sunday, July 31, 2005

So here's the interesting scenario of the week. I'm at my good friend from high school's (Kim) wedding chatting it up with my high school bud Jay and high school Calculus teacher. This in itself is not unusual for us since our calc class from high school gets together once a year to have lunch with our wonderful teacher. What made the moment interesting was the fact that Jay and I were downing Long Islands while The Big M. (calc teacher) was downing something the bartender liked to call, Better than a Pina Colada. When was the last time you got "happy" with a teacher from high school and enjoyed every minute of it? It was the first time for me. Quite the predicament.

So let's get back to Kim's wedding. I'm pretty sure it's the nicest wedding I'll ever be at. Though my sister Jenn's wedding was extremely nice she is my sister and as such I am completely biased with that so we will pretend like Jenn's wedding never existed for the sake of this conversation. So there was a small group there from my high school that I hadn't seen since December and before. And we picked up right where we left off. It's amazing to think what our small group has accomplished over the last 6 years. California radio, Chicago bands, Atlanta Alzheimers research, London teachers and the list goes on and on. In any event, it was great to see them all again and though it was semi-weird watching one of us get married, the evening couldn't have been planned better and the drinks couldn't have been more plentiful!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Here it is, by popular demand...

Friday, July 29, 2005

So my buddy Andy made me this really nice marquee for my arcade. Because it was a little on the large side I decided to get it printed out professionally. So I did some research and found this little place in Roaring Spring (perhaps you’ve heard of that city, it’s world famous you know) that does printing and copying and such. I thought to myself, “This is going to be great!” So over a week ago I took the digital copy down there and told the lady working there what I had and the dimensions that I needed it printed out at. “Oh yeah,” she says. “That won’t be a problem.” So I left the place feeling pretty confident that they would do their job. So earlier this week I got a phone call from this lady and it went something like this, “So...yeah...there seems to be an issue with the picture you gave me last week. Sr. Manager is refusing to print it out because you are using Jimmy Neutron and she needs to know that you got permission from Nickelodeon to do such a thing.”

First of all, it’s not like Jimmy was demoralized or anything. He’s just waving! Second of all since when are pictures of cartoon characters illegal to print out? And thirdly, holy crap! It’s going in the basement of my house not on the front porch of the White House! So I went down to the place and talked with the lady there from before. She apologized and thought that the whole situation was ludicrous as well. We both had a good chuckle and I took my digital copy and left. On the way out I noticed a giant print out of a Harley Davidson motorcycle in the store...I wonder if the logo on those is copyrighted…

In any event, everything worked out as it appears we have a very nice printer at work which with a little bit of help I can use for free. So take that copy place in Roaring Spring! My work doesn’t care who the heck Jimmy Neutron is or the stupid company who owns him and his face!

Monday, July 25, 2005

I'd be willing to bet my life that the EZPass people weren't out testing their equipment in the 90 degree, 2000% humidity weather. Randy and I were out today testing our new RF (radio frequency) tags and reader. Beside the fact we had to run (and I use that term loosely) Ethernet about 50 feet outside the main office into the parking lot to operate the equipment, it was f'in hot to boot. We stuck an RF tag up on The Van windshield after which I drove around the parking lot like it was the NJ Turnpike. Randy held the RF tag reader antenna up in the air while we tried to monitor a laptop to see when the read actually took place as I flashed by. The results were less than impressive. So far we can't exceed a distance of five feet from the antenna. The company we purchased the reader from promised us at least 15! I'll tell you what, when this junk gets installed it better be at least 20 degrees cooler and I better be sitting in an air conditioned room watching it happen.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

So there was a guest star appearance at Alan and Suzzie's wedding yesterday. It was none other than Mitch! There was some other supporting cast from Miller 2nd (my dorm floor for two years at college) there as well. It was a great time. I hadn't seen some of these people since my senior year of college. We had some memory recaps and of course we pretty much talked about Frisbee the whole time. It was all we could do to keep from stripping down to our boxers and playing outside the reception.

For those of you who don't know, Frisbee was a favorite pass time for the guys of Miller 2nd. During the Fall and Spring months we would play everyday at 4PM outside the cafeteria, rain or shine. Of course it was more fun in the rain. We played thru lightning storms, 30 MPH winds, extreme heat and we even played in a foot and a half of snow one day, though that game didn't last too long. We took out lights with our crotches, gave black eyes to girls, and dented nearby cars. We even started up the U.F.O (Ultimate Frisbee Organization) club at college which continues to be in existence to this day. Some may call us crazy, others may call us obsessed, some even call us "dog like." Just don't call us bad Frisbee players.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Coincidence or paranormal. You decide.

Last night I woke up just after 300AM for no apparent reason. This is not a totally uncommon event, however things were not as usual. Just as I awoke, my fan started making noises like the power was going out. I checked my clock (that's how I knew it just after 3) and it still had power so I assumed there was no power issue. The uncommon thing was I suddenly came down with an uncanny fear of something I didn't know. It wasn't a fear of a lurking presence or of evil, but a fear of something that I did not know. I was just scared. My body began to get hot as I removed my covers. It took some time, but I eventually made it back to sleep to then wake up again, but at my normal time of 7AM. My morning routine was its typical thing, and I didn't think a thing about that night's bizarre events.

Then on the way to work, my usual road I take was closed just a few miles from my house. After a slight detour and a lot of curiosity, I made it to work only to find out that the reason the road was closed was due to a barn that had caught on fire. A driver who must have either fallen asleep or been drunk at the wheel crashed into the barn and took out a power line, causing the barn to catch on fire. The driver was trapped in the car, but was pulled out to safety by some neighbors that heard the commotion.

Later I found out the accident occurred just after 3AM. The time I woke up earlier that morning. I assume the power flickered enough from the downed power line that my fan reacted from it, but the clocks kept on ticking. Could it be that the emotions and fear felt by the accident victim were so great that somehow I picked up on them just after awaking from a deep slumber? If not, why the unusual unknown fear that I could not explain? And why did I suddenly start to get hot after awaking when the room was a very confortable 70 degrees? The more I think about the incident the more I freak out about it.

For those of you that think coincidence (I know who you are) that's quite understandable. But as I was explaining earlier this evening, there is some stuff in this world that will never be explained and the connection we all have to this very universe is so completely undeniable yet so mysterious, how can we ever explain all that there is to explain?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

So have you ever just sat down one evening while eating a few chocolate chip cookies and think, "Wow! Isn't life just like a CCC (chocolate chip cookie)?" Think about it. Some of our life is constant and bland (the dough) while other parts of our life is exotic and thrilling (the chocolate chips). Some cookies are larger than others and some are smaller. Some have more chocolate chips than others and some have less. The thrilling parts of our lives are somehow randomly dispersed throughout, much like the chocolate chips are in the cookie. If you store your cookie right, it will remain fresh and taste good, but let it be exposed to and absorb the impurities of the air it will soon become stale and be overtaken by germs and mold.

As we eat the cookie we begin to live our life, enjoying each bite with all the plainness of the dough and excitement of the chocolate chip in an almost perfect blend of opposites. The taste of the past bites remain in our mouth for a period of time until we take the next bite. Sometimes the past gets stuck in our teeth and we are forced to stop for the moment and free ourselves from it. Then, in one final bite, the cookie is all gone all that remains is the taste and memory of the cookie.

The taste of the cookie remains sweet and satisfying in our mouth. We peer down into the cookie jar and see all the different cookies and chocolate chips breaking off and becoming part of other cookies. We finally wash the last remains of the cookie down with a nice cool glass of milk, containing all the purity and refreshment that is yet to come.

What could possibly be a better metaphor of life than a chocolate chip cookie?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Is it hot outside or is it hot outside? When is there a break in sight? What do I care? I don't think about the weather anyway. So this past weekend was the weekend of parties. My friend Liz had a house warming party (very classy) and to top that day off I got a hug from her sister Mer! Yeah Andy! You like that??!! Then Sunday my colleague Ashley had a pool party with his fam, myself and Randy's fam. It was a fun time. What goes well with some goofy guys from automation, a pool, and a pool slide? Beer of course! I bet you didn't know you could have such a fun time on a pool slide. There are tons of different ways of going down (and smacking the water). The evening was capped off with a quarter stick on dynamite being detonated. That stuff has a kick let me tell you. So then Monday rolled around and I wanted to be in bed. But hey, there's another weekend just around the corner with a pool party and wedding. The summer of non-stop weekend fun has just begun!

Friday, July 15, 2005

What is our fascination with large things? Let’s take animals for instance. If you pass a chipmunk or squirrel in your car, you think nothing of it. But you see a deer, or bear outside the window you nearly wreck your car due to the biggest rubber neck ever. People go on vacations to see whales and moose, not groundhogs and jackrabbits. What is it that fascinates us so about large animals? Is it their strength? Their massive internals organs that are needed to sustain such a creature? Is it the fact that they are just bigger than we are or make deeper sounding noises? And what is even more fascinating than large animals is large animals accompanied by smaller versions of them. When was the last time you heard of someone saying, “Eh it’s just a mother bear and her cubs. Let’s keep moving.” Even someone who sees bears everyday wouldn’t pass that up. About the only large animal that no longer grabs my attention is a cow. Though have you ever seen one of those bad boys run? It is utterly humorous!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

So have you seen those new inflatable swimming pools? If you haven't you must go thru this life with your eyes closed. I was working at Shippensburg today and counted at least 30 of them during my total trip. They are blue and beaker shaped with a round lip. The funniest thing about them is that they have ladders that come with them. Now grant it, some of them might be about 4 feet high, but I've definitely seen some that are only a foot and a half high, and they still have ladders. Apparently the leprechauns and gnomes swim in those.

By the way, to see a picture of me from the Pottstown Volleyball Tournament, check this link out.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Was work insane today or what? I can't say I wasn't expecting it though. So since my mind-set is still at camp, let me tell you about my favorite camp story of this year.

So Fridays we go bowling with the campers at a place called SportsPlus! Since we have a decent amount of campers we take a big yellow school bus. Well this past Friday it was raining hard so the whole volleyball camp got to eat lunch in the cafeteria (we usually just eat lunch outside the gym). Bowling was right after lunch and suddenly we had five minutes to get ready and leave. Not a big deal, but I told one of campers she could go talk to one of her friends outside just a minute prior to the bowling announcement. So I go off to start looking for her. Keep in mind, I still need to change out of my volleyball gear and into some jeans and the camp t-shirt. Well the camper is no where in sight and suddenly I see the volleyball girls making a mad dash for the bus. I figure the missing camper must be with them and take off for the gym to change. I pretty much scoped out the gym real fast and dropped my drawers to change. I was booking it out to the bus until I'm within 100 feet of the bus and I see it start to pull away. I come to steady halt and think to myself, "Huh...They just left without me..." I wasn't going to be one of those people who run after the bus so I just walked back to the cafeteria in a confused state.

There I run into the camp director's assistant who informs me that the bus should be leaving shortly for bowling. I correct him and tell him it already left, but without me and he just chuckled. Now I was pretty confident that they wouldn't have left without a missing camper but apparently they didn't count the counselors before they left. I figured they would at least notice half way to SportsPlus! that the only male volleyball counselor wasn't on board, but no. It wasn't until after they were at the complex that my fellow counselors and campers realized Coach James was MIA. Luckily I caught the next bus out there, and happily I could have really cared less. I found the whole situation rather funny actually. My head counselor felt pretty darn bad and I definitely milked it all day (and weekend) long.

My campers just laughed at me for missing the bus. When I told the camper I was looking for earlier that I missed it because I was looking for her, she felt pretty bad then too and then offered me some of her root beer, which was pretty good by the way (don't worry, I only had a sip). Then another girl decided to see how hard she could slap a ketchup packet on the table with me standing right by it and completely lathered me with the red stuff. Since the day already was completely wacky I just laughed at her while she felt so bad that if you even mentioned the word ketchup she began to get upset.

Ah well. Just another day at camp, and one of the many reasons why I continue to go back. Honestly who wouldn't enjoy a day like that compared to working my butt off programming?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

So this is it. The two weeks of camp I look forward to all year long is over. It's a depressing thought. I'm anxious to get home to see some friends, yet I'm not anxious to leave because it involves saying goodbye to friends. Two weeks is too short. Come the end of the session I am just starting to form those relationships with the campers and just starting to get to know the friends I am +living with. All in all, it was well worth the two weeks vacation to come here. It's always a self learning experience and the people I get to meet and relationships I form are just truly amazing. Sometimes when the world seems so dark and so lonely, it's nice to be shown that there is light and there is fulfillment. Next stop; IHOP, and then The Cove. The only thing I don't mind saying goodbye to is Long Island and the gas prices in the state of New York...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

One week of camp down and yet still another to go. I've had a decent amount of people ask me why I use my vacation from work to yet just work some more at camp. Frankly I don't find camp work, but fun. Sure you don't get to sleep in and you're dealing with kids all day long, but hey, I get to play and coach volleyball for at least 7 hours a day and the only bad thing about that is that the gym is not air conditioned.

So far I have made two D&B trips, watched approximately seven movies and had chicken for dinner at least 4 times. By the way, speaking of D&B, did you know they have a new drink menu? Seems Vanilla Stoli is the ingredient of the year as it is in almost every new drink. Some drinks to test out next time you're there: Tropical Fling, Razzamatangini, Wedding Cake, and of course, the never outdated Naughty Redhead. Don't worry, I'm sure the new menu can be found later this month at the Barley Bar.