Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My big gripe today: winter has apparently ended and no one bothered to inform the calendar. This weather is ridiculous. I don't know if it's because of global warming or what, but for years now the winters around here have sucked with a capital S! And what's worse, I keep buying season ski passes for The Knob in the hopes that this year will be better than last and year after year it keeps biting me in the butt. Well that stops right here! Starting the end of this winter (or whatever season you want to call it right now) no more season passes to The Knob. If that means getting tons of snow, but at a 4 hour flex price, then so be it.

In other news, check out this blog if you feel like no one could ever understand how you think. You may be surprised. http://postsecret.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Here's how this day went. Volleyball tournament (coed 4's) in The Cove today. We started off doing quite well (I had a couple real sweet hits off a back 2 set, it was awesome (of course only fellow volleyball nuts know what the heck I'm even talking about here)). We wound up tying for first in our pool (although since we split with the other 1st place team, and they beat us in total points we wound up second). So it was off to playoffs. About this time we crapped out and lost in the semi-finals to a team that really wasn't better than us. So usually I'm down after losing in the playoffs, mainly because it happens quite regularly and I'm heading back to my chair to gather my things up when my phone rings. It's The Workplace. "Hey can you go fix this? So and so said they tried this, but I can't get a hold of them."

So I quickly leave The Cove and head to one of our most dreaded plants. When I get there what do I discover? Nothing short of sheer stupidity. Here someone laid a garden hose, with the water turned on I might add, on the floor and it had filled up an enclosure with delicate, yet very vital circuitry (Opto 22 to be exact) with water. Of course like most circuitry it doesn't work under water. So with the tools in my car and a terrific co-worker/friend/turned boss working on his PC from home being my eyes on the phone, Ashley and I switched some Optos around and got the thing working again for the rest of the weekend. Of course me being soaked by a hose, along with dirt, grime and a sliced bleeding finger did not add well to my already disappointed state of loosing in the semis.

So The Workplace will get my bill for 2 hours come Monday morning (I wonder how much I cost per the hour?) and I took off for home to shower. Luckily to cheer me up, my friend took me out to Hooters for my first time ever. Just to clarify, it was actually her idea (that's right, this friend is a girl and she wanted to go) since she loves the food there. I must admit the food was tasty, but I also must admit that I was slightly distracted from my normal food focused state by the people serving the food (for obvious reasons). Just for a heads up, there are way more families there than single guys if you can believe that. I don't think I'll ever take my 12 year old boys (not that I have any right now) there though. That's just got to be way too much hormone overflow for them. So the day's emotions sort of fluctuated like the Stillers game two weeks ago, but all in all I guess I'm still happy to be around.

Now in this world of ups and downs...
So nice to know there are jackalopes around.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I MADE IT!! HA HA HA!! I am at the top. Right now if you do a search at Google for "james barley", yours truly, me, the Jimmy himself, will be the number one result. Oh how I have waited for this day. No more James Barley the woodturner from Canada at the top. It's all me!

Sigh...Oh what a sad sad world I live in...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Here we go!!! Pittsburgh's goin' to the Super Bowl!!! Here we go!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Tomorrow is Steelers Day at work which means we get to wear Stillers gear at The Workplace! How kick a** is that??!! I'll be sporting number 43, Troy Polamalu of course...
I must be becoming an honest man or something. Suddenly I’m paying for the music (or TV Shows) I download and for software as well. I’m not quite sure what is coming over me. Well okay, maybe it’s not so much honesty as easibility. Downloading tunes these days has become such a hassle with those peer-to-peer applications. First you have to find about 50 computers that have exactly what you’re looking for if you want to download the thing this century. Second there is no guaranty that you’ve downloaded what you think you’ve downloaded. Take that time in college my roommates and I tried to download The Matrix 3: Revolutions before it was out. We ended up with some form of Swedish porn. These days there are wrongly names files, corrupt data, even incomplete, or poorly ripped tunes out there. Thirdly I’m sick of searching for hackz and crackz that don’t work on the latest versions of the software I’m looking for. I usually wind up with some sort of porn a long this search to. Also the software thing now I can sort of sympathize with since that’s pretty much what I do at work. If I were to write some simple little program I’d want people to pitch in a little bit (a few bucks) if they were going to download and use it (unless the thing was super-duper useful and it put bigger companies like Apple or AOL in a frenzy and they had to pay me to take the thing off the web, then it would be free). Maybe my days of illegal activities aren’t over yet, but frankly I just don’t fee like putting the time into it anymore.

Security Note: The opinions and actions expressed in this blog entry do not necessarily reflect those of the author.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

We don'’t always make the best decisions in our lives. My life is no different than anyone else's. Luckily we have people know as friends that yell at us and are honest with us that attempt to get us back on the right track. The only bad decision we can ever make is to decide to not listen to these friends when all they want to do is make our life better. The greatest thing about friends however is that no matter how many times we decide not to listen, they will continue to stand by our side and yet still point out our mistakes.

Monday, January 16, 2006

In case you missed it this weekend I shall recap the Stillers game just as it took place exactly one day ago (subliminal message: New England Lost! Hee Hee! Stupid Tom Brady!!).

Wow Ben looks good today! Touchdown! Yes! That’s right! Owe come on, where’s the flag! Another Touchdown! Push ‘em back!

Half time: Can you believe what’s going on here?!

Nice! No! Yes!…Enter last quarter.

NO! NO! What happened to the blitz? NO! YEEESSSSS (jumping up and down) – NOOOOOOO (immediately falling on the floor)! WHAT THE #@$% call is that!? (followed by more obscenities). Yes! YES! YEAHHHHH WAAAH WHOOOO (more jumping up and down and high five slapping)! AHHHHHH NOOOOOOO (falling on floor yet again)!!!! GET ‘EM! GET HIM!!!! SOMEBODY!!!!

Block it! BLOCK IT! HE MISSED IT! AHH HAHAHAHA YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! Rapped up with extreme body fatigue and relief while slumping into a rag doll on the couch.

If football was like that every weekend I don’t think I’d watch but once a year.

Monday, January 09, 2006

I didn’t quite meat my quota last Friday as I only played Need For Speed: Most Wanted for 9 hours straight. The time was cut short by my need to get up somewhat early the next day for my uncle’s 60th birthday party/Solstivus celebration. I must say it may have been the largest Solstivus festivity ever! Not only were there heaps of gifts given this year, but there was a Book of Solstivus created by none other than Til himself. There should be a link up shortly so you all can read and learn more about the ridiculous holiday founded by my family. It has yet to be decided as to what gifts will make the Hall of Fame and Honorable Mention this year but some of my picks right now are “Old Used Couch Arm Rest Covers,” “Collection of Years Past Ski Passes,” and “Broken Single Earphone.” While the Giving of the Gifts observance was larger than ever, it will take some time for the Elder Committee to decide on what gifts were the best. Of course after the Giving of the Gifts we all partook in the Solsti-Bowl in which a Miracle of Sostivus Past took place not once but twice! This was of course the Miracle of the Jumping Gutter Ball. All in all I think this proves that not only do I have one of the most bizarre families ever, but we have fun being bizarre.

And by the way, can I get some colder temperature and a little bit of snow here? It’s frickin’ January and it’s frickin’ 50 degrees outside. This wouldn’t irritate me so much if it wouldn’t happen every year! Now I have proof. Just check out previous posts from past Januaries. What the crap kind of ski season is this?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Have sports actually gotten to be easier to play over the years? Think about it. Most sports these days include equipment to play with whether they be bats, clubs, rackets, skies, etc. And in most sports this equipment is getting better and better allowing the athletes using them to be worse and worse. Lets look at golf and tennis for the time being. Pull out one of your old grandfather’s one woods or moms old tennis racket and you’ll find a much smaller, heavier cousin of today’s extreme gear. The old golf clubs and tennis rackets we actually made of wood and the heads were rather small. A golfer needed to hit his ball perfectly in the center of his wooden club head to hit a beauty off the tee. A tennis player had very little room for error as well to get some topspin on the ball sending it back over the net toward his opponent. Now head into any sporting goods store and see the latest; super light, metallic golf clubs with heads bigger than beach balls and very light weight titanium rackets with mesh covering more surface area than my aunt Sally.

Now a golfer doesn’t even have to hit the ball center or swing with any type muscle to drill the ball home while a tennis player could hit a ball with his eyes closed! So while it looks like our athletes have improved over the years, really they don’t need to be as good as they once were to look like they are better. Technology makes the sports what they are today. Baseball bats can hit balls further today than ever before, parabolic skies make flying down the slopes easier than ever, shoes help you jump higher, play longer. Performance enhancers make you stronger, more focused. Even swim suits have developed to aid the swimmer with less drag.

But maybe this is the essence of sport itself. Perhaps sport does need to evolve with the times in order to keep all our interests. There has to be some kind of limit to which the human body can perform and what is the fun of sport if we have to stop there?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Here it is, by popular demand.

Why My Birthday Depresses the Crap Out of Me

Most of my friends know that my birthday is not one of my finest days of the year. The big question this year was, “If your depressed by turning 25, what are you going to do when you turn 50?” My response was always the same; “Be really depressed!” The concept isn’t that hard to understand and hopefully I’ll be able to present my case well enough here that even my readers will become depressed at their birthday. Sort of a messed up goal, but hey, I guess I’m sort of a messed up guy.

Birthdays are a simple idea. All it is really good for is giving you a point during the year at which you can relate your accomplishments and disappoints to. If someone asks you when you did something you say, “Oh yeah. I did that when I was 18.” Yes I do have accomplishments I look back on, but I also have my disappointments. Regardless of how either of those two notions make you feel, the two help demonstrate the master conception: another year of my life is over. Simple as that. Being 24, yeah that’s done, gone, yesterday’s news, just a memory, an infinitesimally small point on the timeline of history. And what will being 25 hold for me? The same thing. And as if the previous year couldn’t have gone by fast enough, this year will go by even faster, and the year after that faster still.

Remember how when you were a kid and would watch Saturday morning cartoons each episode of Thundercats and My Little Pony seemed to take up half the day? Well genius those episodes were just as long as today’s TV shows, being a mere thirty minutes. Yesterday they seemed half the day and now you forget that thirty minutes even existed. A fifteen minute trip to the corner seemed like FOR-EV-ER! Now fifteen minutes isn’t even long enough to use the bathroom in the morning.

Besides, what is there really to look forward to in getting old (as if I’m not already there)? The aches and pains of getting out of bed? The inability to control your bladder? The memory loss, vision loss, hair loss, height loss? Wrinkles, ear hairs, brittle bones, bi-focals, tri-focals, decreased muscle mass, change anxiety, countless wives (did you catch that one?), sleep stage loss, backs that won’t bend, unmentionables that do, countless bills, children, knee problems, feet problems, teeth problems, joint problems, loss of balance, loss of hearing, loss of all things important to you like your friends, families, jobs, significant others, houses, pets, the ability to eat what you want. Honestly need I actually go on?

I see others around me that play the sports and do the activities that I do that are older and frankly you can tell they are older. They move slower, don’t bend over the whole way, fall harder, jump lower, bruise easier, get injured more frequently, get tired faster. I don’t want that.

In my short 25 years of existence more people have come and gone in my life than I care to recognize. High school buddies erased from my life, college best friends never to be heard from again, neighbors that moved away, loved ones that die. And frankly this is just the beginning. In the future I will have more friends disappear, children move on, parents pass away, career changes. Are you depressed yet?
The lives that each of us live seem so small, so insignificant already, do we really need a day to celebrate all that we were and all that we may be, but will soon forget anyway? I’d much rather just be. Forget about the past because it’s in the past, forget about the future because it hasn’t yet come and just live right now, right here. As long as I can do that, I should be a-okay.