Sunday, January 28, 2007


El Laberinto del Fauno

Pan's Labyrinth for the non-Spanish speakers.

We were watching Best Week Ever, on VH1 and sums up all of the week's pop culture, which saves lots of TV watching time. It's a good show. We got to see those two American Idol rejects who went on the Today Show and were mocked fairly hardcore. But also got to see Selma Hayek help introduce the Oscar nominees. She about creamed herself when she introduced the Mexican-made Pan's Labyrinth, but then she has to introduce one last movie. She barely squeaks out, almost like a sigh, Canada's "Water", which I'm going to assume is in French because it's the foreign language category. Nope, just checked and it's in Hindi.

Taking the recommendation of Doc in the Box and most critics and reviewers from around the country, J and I saw Pan's Labyrinth yesterday. It restored J's faith in movies that's how good it was. I really enjoyed it. But for the love, DO NOT TAKE YOUR KIDS TO SEE THIS MOVIE. There was a family that we saw come in with a couple of younger kids, 7-10 maybe. Thankfully they left after the first depiction of graphic violence. And it is violent. Cold blooded murder, torture, guns, implied amputation. But it makes the fantastic aspect of the movie all the more fantastic. Faeries, fawns, toads, trees even a child eating monster with eyeballs in its hands.

Excellent movie and highly recommended. Go see it now before all the Oscar hype has everyone talking about it.

Please read the post just below this for the recap of the 5K. Results are up and I beat J by 5 whole seconds! My time was 32:55 and J was 33:00. I sprinted through the finish and was able to pass 8 people! Woo-hoo! Much better performance than last time even though my raw time was longer. I came in 948 out of 1369 and my lovely wife came in 957 out of 1369. Top thousand isn't bad.

Overall results (scroll waaay down for our times or use the "find" function of your browser)
Overall Female winners and age class winners
Overall Male winners and age bracket winners


Saturday, January 27, 2007


Free beer?!?!?!?!

J and I were discussing what she actually said this week. Turns out she said that I should take the week off and recuperate but still race, so I did.

I'll get to the chicken mole recipe a bit later. Edit: there is no recipe. Enjoy the post! But first:

I crashed around midnight and J finally joined me around 1 or so. Alarm goes off at 6:30. Snooze. I'm fairly certain that she wanted to get up around 6:45 so she hits snooze twice for an actual wake-up of 6:46. I'm still torn on how I feel about snooze. I used to be a chronic snoozer but now... Hop outta bed, and assemble my carefully planned running ensemble. Start with underwear because the blue thermal doesn't keep the mouse in the house very well. Cover that up with some lovely black athletic shorts. Thermal shirt with my Sandblast Rally 2006 shirt on the outside for warmth. I was Runner 1027 and J was Runner 1026. I also wore my incredibly comfortable Adidasish pants and my trusty hoodie. We picked up one of my wife's co-workers and carpooled over to Greenville.

Parking deck, walking, "FINISH". No big start sign which I found strange. But we stroll up and there are two huge inflatable Yuengling bottles. I kept hoping for samples or coupons or door prizes but alas, all for naught. I guess drinking and jogging don't mix. So what if it was 10 am? It's okay on a gameday but not for a 5K? They did have water provided by Pepsi, muffins (blueberry, banana nut, and choco chip [WTF?]), bananas, halved oranges, apples, Nutri-Grain bar (blueberry, apple cinnamon, and um, red.....strawberry?) and Kashi bars of which I tried the honey almond flax and brought home a peanut butter and trail mix. They also had some highly inefficient propane heaters. You could literally see the wasted heat rising away, but stand in the right spot and it made your face feel wonderful and your hands if you held them up high. We arrived way too early; around 8:05 for a race that started at 9. So we stood around, had a granola bar, drank some water, chatted and then it was 8:45, time to warm-up! We go out into the road which I find quite liberating, running in the street, it's been a taboo since childhood, and stretch and bend and jump around, getting loose and ready to go.

The starting line is actually the plaza in between a hotel and some other building. I jump up and try and judge the size of the crowd. The Irish announcer said they were expecting around 1800 people. Lots of heads was all I could get from the plaza. Airhorn! Hey, that means go! So we all start jogging, people dodging in and out. J was telling me beforehand that runner's etiquette is if you're slow, get in the back and if you're fast, go towards the front. Co-worker said that some people in front were actually walking from the start. Yikes, that's how people get trampled, not at a 5K but concerts and riots. It's mostly downhill for a bit, the crowd thinning out. There were a couple jogging strollers even a dog. But as I calmed down and found a spot in the chaos, I started to look around. They're really trying to spruce it up and make it pretty. But the people. So many people. I never turned around, didn't want to know how far back I was, but there was a solid column of humanity filling the road in front of us.

Downhill, up a tad, flattens out, turn right, turn right, downhill, across a bridge, oh no! an uphill! Phew, tough, but not bad, and I haven't stopped jogging yet where as last one I started walking a half mile in. Flattens out again. There are cops everywhere. Every street on at least one side blocking the streets so that we can safely pass and not play "dodge the traffic", so thank you to the Greenville Police Department for all the blockades! A peak and it's downhill! In the distance you can see where it goes back up so the relief is temporary. Rest while you can and J taught me to "open my stride" on the downhill so you cover more ground and do about the same work. We hit the uphill and my philosophy on hills is, the faster you go up them, the quicker they're over, within reason of course, so I don't slow down and just power through it. Must stop. I slow to a walk and move to the side. Just then I pass the 2 mile mark. Huh? It's more than halfway over?!? Apparently I missed the 1 mile mark if it in fact exists. See, it's a 5K and they still mark it in miles. I guess a 3.2mil. doesn't sound as cool. Encouraged by my making it over halfway through without stopping and the fact that J passed me when I was taking a stroll, I hit the next corner and pull out my secret weapon: ipod! I had been carrying it in my pocket up to this point, just taking in the city and the sounds. And I figured fiddling with my headphones and pod would distract me from that fact that I was jogging in the cold at too early o'clock on a Saturday.

Headphones on and I just reached the hill that was looming in the distance but I know this is the last hill and that it's a gentle downward slope for the rest of the race. Offspring kicks in and I use the auditory burst to decimate that hill. But it hurt and I have to walk towards the top. J catches back up with me when I walk and we walk for a bit recovering from the ascent. J takes off and I follow a few steps behind. We pass 221 North, where we drank the other weekend, Island Jerk, the Caribbean restaurant that J won't eat at cuz she's a jerk, and lots of shops and coffee shops and all the other boutiquey places that is downtown Greenville. Maybe a butcher or bakery is the next step. And then, there in the distance, you see it. The need to get there as fast as possible kicks in but you must fight it! There is no way you can sprint that far and you've come too far to spaz out in front of all the people at the finish line, which is basically friends of runners and all the runners who have just kicked your jogging ass, but at least are nice about it. So you maintain the jog, knowing that a mad dash is coming. J kicks, there she goes, but wait! She not sprinting, she's just jogging faster, so I wait a few more strides and then take off! Full stride but controlled cuz there are kids around and pass at least 8-9 people. I even leapt through the finish line. It took a while to recover from that full sprint but I thought it was a nice finish and I beat my wife J! Burn! She said it's just cuz I was a boy but that's just an excuse.

We wait around and snag some take-home Kashi bars and an apple and hear some times. Fastest guy was 15:mid-30ish and the fastest lady, his wife, was 17:mid-30s. J and I were in at 32:something which was a slower time than last time but a far greater performance. And J did great too!

No recipe tonight, we're about to go to the store for nachos for dinner. I'll edit the promise of a recipe at the top so you won't feel like I suckered you into this marathon post.

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Friday, January 26, 2007


Not gonna do it

I'm still phlegmy and coughey and a little achey, so it doesn't look like I'll be running tomorrow morning, which sucks but J will represent us well. And she can bundle up before the race and then hand the sweatshirt and other items to me and I can hold them until she is done with the race. The route is a loop of downtown so the spectators can use the through streets to cheer on their favorite runner at various spots. I can't imagine there will be tons of spectators since it is so bloomin' early on a cold Saturday but there will be some.

I made chicken mole (accented e) last night and it was really good. The leftover chicken I shredded and will put that into soft tacos for lunch today and we're making enchiladas with the rest tonight. There was even enough chicken leftover to freeze a couple servings for lunches or dinners at a later date. I only tried a little last night but it tasted very good. I used split breasts but next time I would use boneless meat or a meat with just one large bone because I did not enjoy picking the bones out of the mole before I poured it over the shredded chicken. It's out of our Williams & Sonoma crockpot cookbook that we recieved as a wedding present. And before you ask, yes I'll get the recipe up this weekend. It has chocolate and cinnamon in it which felt really weird but is delicious.

This weekend I plan to reorganize the spare bedroom and a closet or two. So hopefully I'll have some stuff to drop off at Goodwill and some good stuff to pawn off to some other sucker on ebay.

Story: Protege bought some tires off a guy on ebay. Shipping was $6 less than what he paid so the guy refunded that money. I told him "Yes, that's what nice ebayers do." To which he said, no way, I would've kept that money and thought of it as a processing fee. Good thing I haven't bought anything from Protege! So make sure and read the feedback from the sellers and buyers that you're dealing with, some are nice, some are not so nice and some are theives.

I'll update tomorrow with J's 5K time and the mole recipe.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007


Shuffle this!

I'm hooked on this ipod. It's great! I used the auto-fill last night since I didn't feel like sorting through the 13 gigs or so of music we have. It selected a very good mix of techno, classical, rap, rock. Good job itunes! Although I am concerned because it said that it converted some of my .wma files to .aac files so the ipod can play it. I'm sure that will come back to bite me in the ass.

Still sick. Getting better but not 100%. I haven't exercised at all this week but we have been eating better so that's good. Hopefully I will feel fine tomorrow. I really want to be able to run the 5K this weekend. It's the one under the interstate looking sign for Jan. 27. I'm getting a shirt either way and J will be running, so at least one of us will represent our clan.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007



I had been sick for a while and then thought I was better. Then went out this weekend and managed to either catch a new bug or revive the old one. Either way I resickened myself and I hate every sniffle and cough.

J and I tried out Blockbuster's online movie rental dealie. It was free for a month so we said sure. I think we're hooked now. True Blockbuster doesn't have all the movies that Netflix has but we both like the option of returning the movies to our local store and getting free rentals with the mailed movies. So with the 3 movies out at a time plan it is actually possible to have 6 movies out at a time. They also just made it so you can rent a game or a movie with the mailer. Nice.

Our latest was Donnie Darko and all I can say is damn. Highly interesting twist on time travel and the Gyllenhaal clan did a good job, both Jake and Maggie. I should probably watch it once or twice more just to catch everything but won't. For anyone who has seen the movie I just wanted to double-check I got the story. So Frank the 6 foot rabbit somehow destroyed existence but to stop it from happening, he time-traveled back and saved Donnie from dying so that he could shoot Frank in the future and stop Frank from destroying the world? And then once Donnie's job was done in the Tangent Universe (aka the other side of the worm hole), everything went back to normal and Donnie died? I'm a huge sucker for any and all things time travel and I will definitely add this one to the list.

I am also open to any suggestions for movies that you guys like. No description required besides you liking it and I'll give it a shot. So far we have a couple of seasons of 6 Feet Under and a Scrubs season in the queue. There is also Team America, Hitchhiker's Guide (both the remake and the original BBC show), and a bunch of car videos.

G4, home of X-Play and Arrested Developement re-runs, added an occasional newsfeed on the bottom of the screen but as I watched yesterday's Arrested, the feed told me that the Nintendo Wii is now the official gaming system for all Six Flags parks. I'm not really sure what that means other than the Wii is awesome and I want one. I'm sure some of you have seen the Wii Weight Loss Program. He lost 9 lbs. just by playing Wii Sports 30 min. each day. So does anyone have a good pitch to my health insurance provider to convince them that they need to buy me a Wii as preventative health care?

So have you guys been reading the comment between me and J (not my wife J)? We worked together in my previous group and am glad he found me. I had been wondering what happened to him and I was glad to let him know that he definitely made the right decision to leave that group. I should've left when he did, but hindsight is 20/20 as they say. But he found me by merely googling my name in quotation marks. It was the damn Facebook badge that did it. My whole name is no where on this site, which I had been mindful of from the beginning, but stupid ass Facebook undid all that. So Facebook got their badge taken down and I just hope that the search engines reset soon so this blog doesn't pop up. Yes I want people from the past to find this blog and then we'll catch up and it'll be great, but I want them to search for specifics, either school names or teacher names, etc... Just my name is too easy.

I wouldn't mind so much but I haven't gone through all the posts and censored them for the masses. I will though, and I'll give you all a front row seat to the posts before they are gone forever.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Weekend O'rama

Yes I've used that title before and probably will again. At least you know what you're in for.

The weekend went something like this: party, sleep, concessions at the Boston College/Clemson men's basket ball game (we won by 20), climb, shower, eat, drive to Greenville, drive back, sleep, eat, drive to Anderson, bagel/muffin/tea at Panera, shopping, nap, ride to Greenville, eat, sleep.

Notice there was no "wash dishes" or "clean shower". Yeah, it was a fairly constant weekend. J slipped in a couple loads of laundry but my chores have been postponed until tonight. I heard the dishes whispering about a mutiny, so they're first on the list. Ingrates.

Gotta go, those crystals are calling my name.


Sunday, January 21, 2007


Is that with white or brown gravy?

Last night we went out in Greenville for Protege's fiance's birthday. An inkling went through me that maybe I should get some cancer sticks cuz there would be much drinking and standing around, two things very conducive to smoking. However a recent law was passed that outlawed smoking inside bars and restaurants within the Greenville city limits. There were other smokers and we had to go outside to smoke just like we were in New York City! How metropolitan of us. And the best part was when we made it home, our clothes didn't reek of smoke.

As I was getting ready for the night on the town, a shirt caught my eye in my closet. It's a khaki number that has a vaguely corduroy/velvet texture but the part that really stood out was the suede patches on the elbow. That's right, freakin' elbow patches. This shirt had to be worn. And I really hope it offends someone somehow. It's that kinda shirt. It was also a Christmas gift from my grandparents and I hadn't worn it yet, so it got the nod.

Some other friends had a party the previous night and since I was drunk on Fri. night and I'm advancing in age, I decided not to drink. My body can't handle 2 consecutive nights of drunken debauchery and since it is one of the few intoxicants deemed legal without a prescription in this country, I decided to pass and be the designated driver for the night. I had some Grand Marnier when we got there at 10 pm and then had water the rest of the night.

My all-time favorite part of the night was around 1 or so. Outkast's "Hey ya!" was being played and so I was doing some throwback dancing, specifically the mashed potato. Some guy walked by and saw it and gave me the slash across the throat move that means "stop that." I said "it's the mashed potato! Come on!" That was about it but I successfully offended at least one "cool" person at the club. I thought I was gonna do it with my elbow patches but it was my dancing that got the job done. Also, if there is a better song from this millenium to bring back some long dead dancing moves than Hey ya, I don't know what it is.

I respect dancers. Actual professional dancers. I cannot dance. I embraced this fact long ago and now just try and shake and move to the beat and do what makes me feel good. I'm not trying impress anyone and even more so now that I'm married and get to go home with a girl no matter how spastically I dance, so there!

It was fun though. They all had a good time and I had an okay time and got the satisfaction that I was being responsible and making sure my friends and wife made it home safely and jail-visit free. But while I was sitting there I couldn't help but think about Rob and the plight of the bouncer. Granted they are getting paid to be there, but it really is exactly the same, night after night, day after day. I had a small glimpse of how that job can grind on your soul and psyche.

We're continuing her birthday extravaganza by dining at the Melting Pot tonight. Off to shower and get so fresh and so clean.

Friday, January 19, 2007



I wanna be a rock star

I don't have any real problem with Nickelback but I really dislike the lead singers dye job. No recent pictures have made it my way, but hopefully he has changed it. Oh Canada!

The rock wall went well yesterday. No new scrapes or bruises. The scrape on the back of my right hand is still healing from last week. There is a route whose hardest move is at the top when you're tired and your mind starts telling you that you can't do it. Once again it defeated me yesterday, but next time I'm doing it first and it will be my bitch.

A friend of ours is throwing a "Professor and Naughty School Girl" party tonight. During seminar some time was spent scanning the auditorium for ideas. One of our profs, an avid kayaker and outdoorsman, wears sandals with socks often, so that's a possibility. It would definitely be comfortable.

Protege is giving his literature seminar today but Subaru's wife (who received a harness and climbing shoes for Christmas and now goes to the wall with us) informed me that he has conjunctivitis! Pink eye is no laughing matter and is contagious.
Cases of pinkeye that are caused by bacteria and viruses are contagious. (Conjunctivitis caused by allergies or environmental irritants are not.)
So hopefully it's an allergic pinkeye and not bacterial or a virus. Either way I'm staying the hell away from him and his diseased eye. While it has not been a problem, I've had my fair share. Much handwashing and drink and hand watching will ensue during the post seminar drinks.

I watch. I'm a watcher. People are so interesting. In fact that might be why paparazzi rags are so popular. People like watching people and if that person is famous, all the better. My personal favorite is watching people's reactions. For example, if you see a stunning blond or a mutated troll waltz into a room, quickly take a glance at them and then watch the faces of the people around you; it will give you a glimpse into their head and what they're thinking. In the case of the blond, it will probably be along the lines of "Damn!" but what you want to look for are the married men or men playing with their kids, who know they're not supposed to look but are drawn by primal instincts (read: penises) to look at the attractive specimen of a woman. Also note how long some men look, you might be surprised or you might not be depending on how low your perception of the average guy.

The second case is much more telling. We've all seen them. Either someone mentally retarded or physically disabled. They're immune from ridicule because they had no choice in the matter [the socialites with gauze all over their face from their recent facelifts, have a field day with because not only did they choose to look like that, they paid stupid amounts of money to look like that]. Most looks will be disinterest, sympathy but the ones to keep an eye out for is the look of disgust. These looks are thankfully few and far between but are known to happen. A bar that my friends and I used to frequent was a fairly busy place on Fri. or Sat. night, so we would get there early and stake our claim on the uber-comfy leather chairs near the bar. It's a coffee shop/bar type of place. In strolls a physically challenged woman who was about 4 feet tall and was using a crutch. My friends take note and innocently wonder what happened. Birth defect, accident or just a bruised ankle? But a certain pretty boy was at the bar and happen to turn around after his drink was delivered. He is about to move away from the bar when he looks down and a look of pure disgust plants itself on his face. Thankfully the woman doesn't see it because she's ordering but my friends and I all see it and proceed to mock and lay judgement to this sorry excuse for a human being.

It just takes a simple understanding of society and order to function as a proper human being. That's all we ask. You're no better or worse than your fellow human, be it hot blonde or brunette mutant. And if you get all high and mighty, you can be taken out.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Who needs courage when you have.....a gun!

Prof. Farnsworth from one of the "Tales of Interest" episodes of Futurama. I believe the story title was Whizzin' as it was an homage to the Wizard of Oz. The munchkin song went something like this "We resemble but are legally distinct from the lollipop guild, the lollipop guild..." and then Nibbler ate one.

The Tales of Interest always begin with someone asking the Professor's "What If" machine a what if question. That particular one was Leela's desire to know her true home.

We had a postdoc who worked with us who really hated most everything mainstream. Music, clothing (he actually bought a Member's Only jacket off of ebay and wore it, it was awesome), and TV, except for the fact that he watched American Idol. Not all of it mind you, but just the opening shows, I think they're called selection shows, where they chronicle the tales of the nutty wannabes who slept in front of the studio for days or drove 400 miles naked in the snow just for the chance to be ridiculed by whoever the judges are. I assume Simon is still there. Paula? Has she been canned yet? But he would watch the first shows because it's all drama, joy and agony. The contestants who are so unbelievably bad that it's a wonder there friends lied to them and told them to go try out. As I said over in PoP's comment box, it's all trainwrecks and people with actual talent.

So I might be willing to watch American Idol, but I would just be watching it for the wonderfully awful contestants. Kind of like the people who only watch NASCAR for the wrecks. But then once all the contestants are selected, I would stop watching the show because I ultimately don't care whose singles I will be hearing on the radio in the near future. Or whose concerts will be coming to a town near me.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007


What you're missing

First, Idiocracy. It's freakin' brilliant. My head actually hurt the movie was so stupid, but let me explain. Luke Wilson is an average Joe Nobody. Average in every way and he's a grunt in the US Army. He is volunteered for an experimental hybernation government project along with a local hooker, played by the very funny Maya Rudolph of SNL fame. They are supposed to sleep for a year. Yep, doesn't happen. They both wake up in the year 2505. Unfortunately all the people with high IQs haven't had kids or only had 1 or 2, and all the people with low IQs have had kids left and right. So the average intelligence of the human race plummets and the world in 2505 is full of idiots.

The two past people are now the smartest people in the world by a large margin. So how stupid are the future people? There is trash everywhere. Literally everywhere. Their clothes come in dispensers, are synthetic fibers and are emblazoned with logos. The english language has detiorated into pure slang and profanity. Even doctors are morons. Joe actually escapes prison by simply telling the guard "Hey, I'm not supposed to be here." They water crops with Brawndo, an energy drink, because "it's got electrolytes and it's what the plants crave."

It's a great movie and am going to recommend it to as many people as possible. Go rent it. I will probably need to watch it a couple more times to get all the satire. It's dripping with it.

Now DAKAR RALLY! For those not in the know, it's a rally from Lisbon, Portugal to Dakar, Senegal. Roughly:

There has already been a death. On the 4th stage, motorcyclist Elmer Symons from South Africa who was riding a KTM for JJE / SSC TEAM RACING. He crashed and the helicopter was on the scene almost immediately but there was nothing that could be done.

Americans are doing pretty good. Chris Blais on a bike with Red Bull KTM is 4th overall and gaining. He's doing really well and hope that he keeps it up!

Robby Gordon has a nasty Hummer tube frame racer that is doing okay. He got stuck in some wicked deep sand dunes on Stage 8, but he's still in it.

Mark Miller (who I honestly had never heard of but he's won Baja a couple times) is driving a VW Tourag with Red Bull and was doing great but all the Vdubs ran into trouble yesterday and yielded the lead to Mitsubishi.

Those are the only Americans getting face time with TV but let's scan the rest of the list.

which, judging by the Team Gordon means he's probably carrying alot of parts for Robby's race Hummer.

Good luck to the Americans and all the other competitors! You're almost there!



That is not real. Sputtering is real. As a prank once another group came up with a fake article about spluttering and gave it to a group member, who bought it hook, line and sinker, and actually presented it in group meeting. Their advisor was not happy. They were very happy. Check those references people!

My real post for today will concern:
The Dakar Rally, currently running Stage 10.
Idiocracy, Mike Judge's new movie starring Luke Wilson (you might recognize the name Mike Judge from such projects as King of the Hill, Office Space, and Beavis and Butthead, he holds a place in my heart right next to Matt Groening and his pal David X. Cohen who worked together a couple times on the Simpsons but most importantly Futurama)

I also had a really weird dream last night. REALLY weird. I don't remember much but I do remember that J and I were on some sort of boat. I vaguely remember the water being purple. We first had a round of disasters and then another. A few of the disasters involved a giant flying fighting robot, typhoons, killer frogs or other amphibian. I don't usually have this many dreams. My previous sleep must've been deeper than my current slumber. We'll have to fix that. Or start writing my dreams down and pitching them to various shows. Maybe I'll start a dream journal!

Back later.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I found 2 PDAs last night

They were just sitting around. And then J and I were walking around campus and she jumped into a moat and was being chased by swimming iguanas. This might have been a dream. She did make it out safely though.

I ran most of the 5K route from a couple years ago. The ipod helped. Or at least it did in my head. And slow Smashing Pumpkins is not good running music. Sorry Billy. But fast SP definitely is.

J and a friend from work attempted to do the 5K route that we will attempt in less than 2 weeks. They finished in 21 minutes. They also took a wrong turn because that is wicked fast.

It will be fun to run in downtown Greenville. Hopefully another warm streak will come through. The temp was in the low 60s-high 50s last night. Awesome. The radio just said that the newest cold front is coming through, so that won't last.

My parents are going back home tomorrow morning. They were here for around 3 months but it's never long enough. Yes, they're just a phone call or half day plane ride away, but a 4 hour car ride is much easier and more convenient. For Christmas Dad took Mom back to Portland, Oregon. They were missionaries out there in the late 70's and early 80's, which is why my brother and I were both born out there. So they went back and said alot had changed but it was still pretty.

It was funny. According to my father, lots of white Californians moved out of Cali and sold their modest houses for oodles of cash and could afford huge houses in Oregon, but they weren't used to having yards or anything, so it's all these McMansion subdivisions. Some friends of ours sold their 5 acre mini-farm and a develelpor put 32 houses onto that 5 acres. Yikes. Hope you like your neighbors. It used to be lots of mini-farms everywhere and now the sprawl has taken over. Our friends bought a 32 acre farm with the proceeds of their sale. He also said that there are now strip malls everywhere. So I imagine it looks like Orlando now, instead of the Pacific Northwest. I can't remember the term Fast Food Nation used, but it was the McDonalding of America, or something like that.

I realized yesterday that I haven't been using the post labels, so I'll start doing that. And once things settle down, get ready for a blog makeover. And for some old posts to go away, so save your favorites now.

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Monday, January 15, 2007


Happy MLK Jr. Day!

AKA MiLK day! (Not disrespectful, just easier to say)

If you don't know who Martin Luther King Jr. was, please read up on 20th century American history. He was a big deal.

Nice relaxing weekend. This week at work I will be writing my papers, making crystals, and analyzing crystals.

The cats and I went for a walk this morning. If the university is closed, which it is this year thanks to someone making a big stink about how SC didn't really observe MLK day, I generally sleep in and take the morning off. I got up, played with the cats, scooped out their excrement (better than leaving it outside for someone to step in, right irresponsible dog owners?), took them for a walk, showered, ate lunch and dropped off mail and errands.

I was planning on going climbing today at the campus gym but univ. is closed, so that's not happening. Instead, as a warm-up for next weekend, I will be recreating my last 5K run. It starts out near the library and finishes near the stadium. I probably won't be running in the street this time though.

Slowly and surely our house is de-clutterizing itself. The spare bedroom is in great need of reorganizing once again. Maybe we'll even throw some things out.

Shit, spoke with Advisor last Friday and he doesn't feel that I'll be able to get out by August. So looks like it'll be at least 6.5 years in grad school and another lease. Remember how I promised J that if I wasn't out by Aug. we would move? Well I did, and I'm not, and we are. In that order.

Ran across a new website the other day. It's Chowhound. Basically it's a large user-friendly forum where people discuss places to eat and shop. I hear there is some controversy about posts being removed and users being banned, but I don't know what all that's about. I joined because I didn't find any good info on Clemson eateries and no one had suggested my fave hot dog place in the "Southern Hot Dogs" thread, both of which were grave injustices. Seems like a good place to get tips on where to eat if you're new to the area or are just looking for something different.

TO WORK! And if you're not working, ENJOY YOUR DAY OFF!

Friday, January 12, 2007


I screen my phonecalls

I'm addicted to J's ipod. And now fully understand why Apple has a 70% control of the personal music player market. itunes is pretty straightforward to use. Just click and drag over to the ipod and voila! That's it. And so far I haven't paid one dime for any music. But I don't really have any new music either.

South Carolina radio stations suck. Alot and all the time. They play the same damn Pearl Jam and Nirvana songs over and over. J and I are both alternative junkies. We were in high school in the early 90's (the peak of grunge rock if you'll remember) and both raised in the suburbs, so we're both fans of early 90's alternative. There is a radio station in ATL that is 99.7 on the FM dial. It's 99X , Atlanta's own alternative station. The DJs aren't mind-numbingly annoying (or at least not for the hour that I can pick the station up around Atlanta) and they play a great variety of early 90s stuff and current songs also. But for New Year's they were counting down the top 99 albums. And I just checked the site and it looks like they took it down. Okay, I just emailed one of the DJs and hopefully he'll help me out. I do remember that #1 was Red Hot Chili Peppers "Blood Sugar Sex Magik", which while I don't agree with, should definitely be on that list. Nirvana's "Nevermind" was 3rd (#1 in my books, despite their short tenure). Don't remember any others.

But the list contained everything from the Violent Femmes to more recent stuff like The Killers. Excellent list and if I can find a copy of it, where my "new" music will come from.

We're searching for a new department head and you should've seen the spread we laid out for the guy who was here yesterday. Sushi, shrimp, wings (which were very cold), cold cuts, croissants, even these cute lil' deviled eggs, which I forgot to try. And of course booze cuz what's a chemistry function without booze? Lame, that's what. No, not really, but the only time there isn't alcohol at a chemistry function is when it's the bowling party at the on-campus rec room that used to serve beer but I think they got busted for selling to underage kids and I don't think they'll ever get that privelege back. You figure an ON-CAMPUS bar would be smarter and stress to their employees that this is an incredible thing and we don't want to lose this deal. And also that the vast majority of people on-campus are underage. Oops. No more beer on-campus, guess you gotta go downtown. It was fairly inexpensive beer too. Jerks.

I'm discussing with Advisor today about me trying to get out in August. Hopefully he concedes but it isn't necessarily the end of the world if he doesn't. It just means at least 6.5 years in grad school if I were to graduate in December. Yes that's a long time but remember that 1.5 of that was spent in another group. But it's a long time no matter how you slice it.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Are you paying attention?

Our new fangled Democratic Congress is getting ready to vote on some major bills. They took Monday off so that they could watch the bowl game. I know the bowl game was at 8 pm eastern but I guess the senators and congressmen wanted to tailgate all day. Or they had to do last minute shopping for their party.

They will be voting on increasing the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25.
Organized labor and other supporters pitched the bill as coming to the aid of the working poor. Business groups and other opponents said it could lead to higher prices for goods and services, force small companies to pink-slip existing workers or hire fewer new ones, and crimp profits.
A quote from the article. Basically people actually making minimum wage want it to go up and people paying minimum wage don't want it to go up. And to those who say it will lead to higher prices, the higher prices are already here. Imagine if all fast food workers made $7.25/hour. That's almost enough to live on and a HUGE addition to McD's bottom line. At least they don't have to pay benefits. (Technically they do but if the employee doesn't stay for more than 90 days then they don't, hence the high turn-over in workers.)

Speaking of which, we ate breakfast in a very scary McD's in North GA and have you seen the new tray mats? It's a job application. Seriously. And there are bullets on the corner making the case for why seniors, teenagers, stay at home moms and people who like to stay up late should work there. And they're giving away free coffee for most of Jan. from 5 am - 8 am, which is obviously a ploy to get you into the store so that you'll have to get a biscuit with your free coffee.

I need to make biscuits. From scratch. I've never done it. I've helped my dad and grandmother make them but have never made them myself. Maybe I'll make them this weekend.

I vacuumed last night and that made me feel better about our dirty apartment. It's just so cluttered with all the gifts from the wedding. Maybe I'll go through things this weekend and get rid of stuff. I'll take it to the Salvation Army and try and not throw anything away. Or maybe I'll post it on

Apple just unveiled their iPhone. Looks pretty cool. Cingular exclusive through '09. $499 for the 4 GB and $599 for the 8 GB. Whole screen is a touch screen. Once the price comes down, this might be my new phone. Just take the price for a new video iPod and a the newest fancy phone and it's about the same, except that there would only be one hunk of technology in your pocket instead of 2. Nice.

Sharp came out with a 108 inch LCD TV. It's massive.

That definitely wouldn't fit through my door.

These are what are on the Democrats "100 hour agenda":
includes measures to bolster national security, increase the minimum wage, cut the interest rate on student loans, reduce the price of prescription drugs, overturn Bush's restrictions on embryonic stem cell research and end some subsidies to big oil companies.
I read they passed the national security bill (obviously), and hopefully will cut student loan rates and make stem cell research okay and of course end the subsidies to oil companies who are doing just fine without gov't handouts.

My pants wearout in the crotch alot. Jeans, khakis, you name it. I think they means my thighs rub too much. Which means I'm overweight, which we already knew. Thank Jebus for Old Navy and child labor in 3rd world countries providing me with $20 pants.


Tuesday, January 09, 2007



I'm fighting this disease that is trying to take over my body. It's a cough with scrathcy throat and some phlegm. I hope I win.

I'm fighting this post-holiday blues and the funk that is associated with it.

Our house is slowly becoming clean and liveable again.

Leon ran outside again and spent the night outside, again. I let Julio out by himself after Leon ran out and then went to Devil-Mart. When I came back, some neighbors were trying to get a yelping cat off the roof. Yep, it was Julio. He got to the next building where the roof meets a 2nd floor landing and got down. When I called "LEON!" this morning, he came running from the woods. I'll check him for ticks later tonight.

We're making Italian brats for dinner. I'm looking forward to it. There might also be peppers and onions.

No one sells fans during winter. I meant to look in Orlando but forgot.

Shit. Have you checked out Jack's blog recently? Sadly, all it says is "Adios." We'll miss you Jack, you wrote like no other. Damn. Now his blog doesn't even register anymore. I hope he's okay. Trash said he was abducted but I don't believe him.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Babar the Elephant

I watched that a bit on HBO.

I'm back from the impromptu Orlando visit, and since I missed half of Thurs. and all of Friday, I need to catch up on work a bit and the house is still dirty.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I just hope it isn't connected to a train.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Weekend of Seth

J has a bachelorette party this weekend in Orlando. She bought a plane ticket with the new el cheapo airline Allegiant Air that is a leisure destination airline. What that means is they fly from Greenville to Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale and that's it. If you live more west of us, they only fly to Vegas. But I have to pick her up at noon so she can catch her flight at 2:35 today. She'll be back on Sunday around the same time. I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend with some basketball concession stand working, hanging out with the cats, some Castlevania, sleep, intoxicants, etc... a Weekend of Seth if you will.

EXCEPT for the fact that J didn't double check the dates when she bought her ticket. She in fact bought a ticket for NEXT Thurs. - Sun. And she kind of has to be in O'town for this bachelorette thing, which means that she will be driving there today, and since I wasn't doing anything important (campus is still dead, classes start next Wed., what dissertation?) I will be joining her.

The best part: this is not the first time J has purchased the wrong ticket. Roughly 4 years ago J was trying to purchase a ticket to fly home for Thanksgiving so she bought a ticket from Orlando to Greenville and back. She apparently forgot that she was in Greenville at the time and needed to fly from Greenville to Orlando. Yeah, she bought her opposite ticket.

Moral of the story: J is no longer allowed to purchase airline tickets. Maybe bus tickets or amusement ride tickets but no airplane tickets.

I'll give you a secondhand review of Allegiant Air after we pay the $50/segment date change fee and pay the difference in airfare ($40) for switching her mistake flight to a flight that she will actually need to fly to her friend's wedding in Feb.


I will probably update from Orlando since I don't really have anything to do this weekend.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007



I've said it before and I'll say it again, where are the flying cars?

We have a flying train (the maglev in Japan, if you consider 2 inches off the ground flying) and I saw yesterday a flying bed. The mattress sits a couple feet in the air and has 4 tethers that keep it in place. Both outrageously expensive to boot.

Where are the hover boards? Hover bikes? Hover cars? Personal rocket packs that are fuel efficient, easy to use and safe?

The future just gets lamer and lamer. At least we can eat cloned meat. Not really sure how I feel about that but I guess it's ok. Last time I checked it didn't make a difference if the steak I had at lunch had the exact same DNA as the burger I had last week. It'll just be like that one cow was gigantic and is able to feed many many people without the hassle of a herd of gigantic mutated cows.

The holidays were fun, relaxing and stressful. Our B'ham reception went well and I got to introduce J to lots of people I've known for a long time, some since high school, some before that. My sunday school teacher from when I was 4 was there. No I didn't remember her.

We're trying Blockbuster's rental program because it's free for a month. We have the 3 out at a time which is $17.99/month, but you can actually have up to 6 out at a time. How? The envelopes the movies are mailed in is good for a free in-store rental so you get 3 in the mail, watch those, then take them back to the store and get 3 more movies. While you're watching those 3, the next 3 in your queue are mailed out. But they don't carry movies that Netflix has like "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" and I hear there are movies that even Netflix doesn't have. And the first time we ordered Clerks II, the bonus feature disc showed up, but we gave that back and got our free rental and the right disc showed up later in the week.

The DVD of it comes out on Jan. 23rd so check it out if Blockbuster isn't your source of DVDs. I'm assuming they're in bed with the MPAA somehow and will not have a movie that is both rated NC-17 (for showing some female pubic hair, the horror!) and makes fun of the double standard set forth by the MPAA. Violence - okay, sex - bad.

My New Year's Resolution: Train for our 5K on Jan. 27th and beat my old time and hopefully not lose to anyone in their 70's.

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