Monday, January 31, 2005


In two days I will be free, if only for a day.

I will take a day to myself, and breathe deep.

I will travel to distant lands, and interact with the natives.

I will knowingly make an ass out of myself, and not care one bit.

Because I will be unplugged from anything that resembles technology. And I will absorb all of it.

There really is nothing quite like standing at the top of a mountain and taking a deep breath. Like a long lost friend, the sun comes out to catch up on lost time. It's been far too long. As I do whenever I get to get away from it all, I will stand there for a moment, off to the side, and just take it all in. Save the moment.

I will enjoy this trip especially because I know it might be the last with this group of people. Some I call friends, others just colleagues. But even still, they all have a common goal; to forget work for a day. To unplug, and let the moment carry us away...

Sunday, January 30, 2005

More than words...

The other day I was discussing with a friend about achieving personal goals in life. We managed to wander on to the subject of earning a college degree. They felt a tad bit discouraged because it seemed to be taking "forever", only taking classes part time. This almost automatically sent me on a trip down memory lane...

My diploma hangs securely, mounted in a cherry frame with matting and a picture of the Nittany Lion above it, on my wall. I pass it dozens of times a day, usually paying it no mind. Usually. There have been times when I'm not in such a rush, that I will stop and look at it. Read it. Remember it. Lose myself in it.

It wasn't until this conversation with my friend that I realized what it was that hung in my living room. Sure it was a diploma. Sure it was a symbol of achievement. But perhaps most importantly, it was a piece of paper a fraction of a millimeter thick that held some of the most priceless memories of my lifetime.

When I look past the writing on front, I see a significant portion of the experiences that molded me into the person I am today. I see friendships. I see random acts of stupidity. I see classes. I see a whole different life. A life of someone who wonders if he will ever land a job after college. A life of someone who wonders if he'll be able to go out with his roommates that weekend if he saves his money and eats Ramen Noodles all week.

Nostalgia is a perplexing thing. It can stop you dead in your tracks and pass time like nothing else. It can transport you instantly away from the hassles of a busy day. It can pull emotions that you're certain you packed away for good.

For me, my diploma may be the single most priceless physical thing I own. Not because of what it reads, but the story it tells whoever is willing to listen...

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The gloves are off...

Janet, over at The Art of Getting By has issued a challenge...

Hmm, who to pick, who to pick...

Pay it forward...


This morning has been crazy with a capital "C". I'm sorry for the length, but it's necessary.

I walked out of the building, headed toward my truck ready to head home from Harrisburg. I look to my left and I see an elderly lady driving very slowly toward me honking her horn erratically.

There is another elderly lady trailing behind her on foot. My first thought was that the lady in the car was coming to pick up someone and had honked the horn to notify them that she was here. By the time the two ladies reached me, I was to my truck and had the door open. The lady was continuing to honk. She stopped in front of my truck and rolled her window down.

"Have you seen her? " she asked in a panic. By this time the lady on foot had arrived.

"I'm sorry. Seen who?" I replied. The lady on foot chimed in. "Patti."

"She's a little black poodle", the woman in the car added, very worried.

You could tell from the tone of her voice that she lived alone and that her only companion was her black poodle Patti. Apparently, as the lady on foot stopped by to visit the lady in the car, Patti had bolted out the door.

"No mam, I'm sorry I... THERE! RIGHT THERE!" Patti darted out of the of the tree line and down the sidewalk away from us. She began honking the car horn again.

She informed me that Patti knows the cars honk and usually follows it. I watched as Patti explored the area around her, still within sight, but too far to yell to. Patti was fast and nimble. Looking back now, I can honestly say I think Patti had some greyhound in her. Man, was she fast. I knew that neither one of these ladies, who were both over 70 were ever going to catch this dog. I also knew that not two blocks from here was a major road and the chances of her getting hit by a car were very high if she wandered that way.

I threw my paperwork in the truck and asked the two ladies if they minded staying here, between the major road and Patti. They were very gracious and thankful that I had decided to join the hunt. In my dress shoes, dockers, and a tie I zeroed in on the elusive Patti and headed her way. About halfway to her she noticed me coming for her and began to plan her next move. It was man versus beast. Winner takes all.

Patti proudly walked a little further away from me and decided to stop by a nearby dumpster and investigate. When she took her eyes off of me I ducked between the two buildings like a ninja! This was a challenge now. And I was determined to win. (Plus I had a long drive ahead of me and wanted to get home)

As stealthy as I could be in dress shoes, I snuck around the back of the building and peered around the furthest corner at the dumpster. No Patti? Hmm. Still in stealth mode, I rounded the corner and approached the dumpster. It was surrounded by a 6 foot tall white picket fence with an open front. Still no Patti. I looked to my right and I could see the elderly ladies parked motioning me toward the dumpster. They were yelling something. I couldn't hear them. All of a sudden, something in the dumpster moved. It startled me and I jumped back a step. There was Patti, as happy as could be playing in amongst the garbage. She had crawled in through one of the two open side doors. I quickly shut the one side to seal her in and force her to come out through my side.

Do you think Patti was coming out without a fight? Uh-uh. Patti wasn't mean. No, she never even barked. She was just uber-playful. I called, I whistled, I made that schnicking noise with my mouth that you make when you want an animal to come. Nothing. I motioned the ladies to join me, perhaps the owner would be more successful. After 25 minutes of the owner trying I was getting a little irritated with Patti. At first it was funny, but now the fun had worn off and I wanted to go home. Now.

I took off my coat, took a deep breath, opened the opposite side door, and climbed on in. The two ladies gasped. Lucky for me, most of the trash was in the form of boxes, but you could tell that the dumpster hadn't always been used for that. Patti back into a corner and looked at me like "HA-HA, look what I made you do!"

I grabbed Patti's collar and escorted her to the front of the dumpster where her owner was waiting. The woman's face lit up with a smile and for a second I thought she was going to cry as she hugged her. She didn't care how dirty Patti was, or that she smelled like garbage. She had her companion back. Safe.

I exited my dumpster dive, the ladies thanked me about a hundred times, and I was on my way. Smell and all. As I headed toward the parking lot and my truck, a lady was opening the hood of her car. She looked lost. Then she looked at me.

"Is everything ok?"

"I think my battery's dead. I left my lights on."

"I have jumper cables, do you want a jumpstart?"

"oh, thank God, yes please. I'm from Florida, I'm not used to this weather."

I couldn't figure out what that had to do with leaving her lights on but hey, whatever floats your boat. As I hooked cables to her car I was careful to explain that there was a reason I had a slight stench, and that I really do bathe. She laughed and said that I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time today. I told her it was the "story of my life". I closed her hood told her she was set to go.

"Do I owe you anything?" she asked.

"No, just have a safe trip home."

I got in my truck.

Smell and all.

And I drove home feeling good about what I had done.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Instead of listening to the usual music tonight as I exercised, I turned on the TV. Not paying much attention to what channel was on, I slowly looked up to see three very attractive, exotic, looking young women talking about being girlfriends and trying to decided if they should "stay over" or not. It took but a single glance, to realize that I stepped in a great big pile of FOX.

I had engaged the O.C.


Urgent message from FOX executives:
"To whom it may concern:
We at FOX are holding The Delawarean's interest
captive. We will continue to subject him to the punishment
of attractive women, sassy narratives,
and unexpected plot twists unless our demands are met.
Any attempts at denial will be met with a preview
of the next new episode. The time for
resistance is over. The Delawarean is now a sheep."


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Aruba, Jamaica, oooh I wanna take ya...

As I'm kicking around this notion of leaving my current job today (as I do everyday) it occurs to me that I haven't taken a vacation in what seems like eons. So I checked into it, and found that indeed I was right. I HAVEN'T taken a vacation in eons! As a matter of fact, I haven't taken a vacation since I've worked at my current place of employment!

I leaned back in my chair and began to dream of different vacation spots I'd like to go. For a brief moment, a smile formed on my face, but that was stripped away by the brunt force that is reality. So I decided to dig a little deeper and went on a quest to find out how much annual leave I really did have. Are you ready for this? Turns out, I have 32 days of vacation saved up! THIRTY-TWO! And you don't even want to know how much sick time I have, because I'm NEVER sick (knock on wood). So anyway, having 32 days of vacation immediately brought me to my next question. What happens if I jump ship? I'll be damned if I'm going to throw a month of vacation time away. Back to the digging!

After reading the rule book and consulting with some colleagues, I found out that if I quit, I'd get paid for each and every day of vacation I've earned. (HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES!) *does a little office dance* I really can't fathom getting my next four paychecks in one amount. It was a very welcomed surprise after yesterday. Maybe I will try and negotiate an extra week to myself before I switch over. I've always wanted to go to Europe...

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

When nerds go wild...

So I just finished up with Sky Captain and the World Tomorrow. How bizarre, how bizarre. There are a few reasons why I wanted to see this movie. (other than Paltrow, and Jolie) For starters, this was the first movie (I think) to be filmed entirely in front of a green screen. That requires tremendous adaptation by the cast due to the fact that there are little or no props and the actors have no idea of their environment other than what's written on the script. In fact, I was reading that the actors didn't have a clue what the movie even looked like until they saw it at the premiere.

I'm very surprised at the star caliber that they were able to land for this movie given the screenplay. It's as if some nerdy screenwriter put Casablanca, War of the Worlds, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Buck Rogers into an industrial strength paper shredder and then glued the pieces together and WA-LA! Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

I guess I was expecting a bit more, given the star power and hype, but all in all, it was mildly entertaining.


Today was a rough day. One of my good friends at work was forced to resign. It came as a shock to everyone in our section, but it hit a few people especially hard. This person was a good, solid, reliable person, and someone you just enjoyed shooting the breeze with around the water cooler. *shakes head* Reasons will be reasons, but that won't change the fact that the desk that once was occupied by my friend is now nothing more than another open position to fill.


On a lighter note, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow just arrived this evening. So I think I'll bury my bummed out self in it tonight.


Sunday, January 23, 2005

Rusted Steel...

I could post one of those inspirational speeches here, but I'm just going to quote Mike...

Remembering Johnny...

It is with great sadness that I feel I must step aside from the snowy football filled weekend to remember one of the greatest entertainers of our time. Johnny Carson passed away this weekend. I can remember watching him at night with my parents when I was young, and remember thinking that it would never be the same when this "new" Leno character took over. My stepfather was a big Carson fan. In fact, one year I bought him the Best of the Tonight Show for Christmas. He was an American icon of entertainment.

When someone that was part of your childhood is lost, you can't help but feel like a small piece of you has died with them. You feel like the world has lost a person that tried to make made it a better place to live. Or at the very least, a funnier one.

(Thanks to Tink for correcting me)

They've earned it...

What dreams may come...

Last night I pondered to myself, could this be the year? Will my home state finally show what it's been hiding all these years? Pennsylvania is a football powerhouse. Always has been. Always will be. Many of the best Hall of Fame NFL players grew up there. Today is judgment day for 4 NFL teams, and frankly I can't wait! I can only cross my fingers and hope that Super Bowl XXXIX looks like this:

Saturday, January 22, 2005

If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen...

In light of the fact that it is now snowing, I have proclaimed that I shall cook today. This is not something I normally do. This is not something I particularly like to do, but once in a while I get the urge to build something from nothing. The urge to create. To capitalize on the key tastes of ingredients to form, well, something.

  1. Endust (for dusting off cookbook) - CHECK
  2. milk - CHECK
  3. butter - CHECK
  4. pasta - CHECK
  5. spices - CHECK
  6. sauces - CHECK
  7. jumbo shrimp - CHECK
  8. water - CHECK
  9. fire extinguisher - CHECK, DOUBLE-CHECK
  10. phone number to Papa Johns (just in case) - CHECK

I'm a firm believer that grocery stores should be divided by skill level. All your serious cooking supplies would be in the "advanced" isles, things like can vegetables and sauces would be in the "intermediate" isles. And then you'd have your beginner isles, which would contain all your frozen foods, like TV dinners, pizzas, hot pockets, chips, soda, and ice cream. They should have a guard at the entrance of the fresh meat section to card you. I can see it now...

"I'm sorry sir, you're not qualified to cook this turkey. You mind if I take a look in your cart? You don't have anything else in here that's over your head do you?."

There'd be a shady looking guy on the front sidewalk as you left the store...

"Psst... wanna buy a turkey?"

So wish me luck in my endeavor, and when you're trying to picture me taking on this challenge, it's probably going to be something like this:

Friday, January 21, 2005

Don't say I didn't warn you...

It's going to snow (yay!) here in Delaware shortly. It's going to snow a decent amount too. Not Erie, Pennsylvania snow, but still snow nonetheless. Below is a classic example of what not to do after it snows.

(CAUTION: Rated "R" for foul language and plain stupidity)
File size: 2.42 MB

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Deep Thoughts...

Why is it that when we're driving and looking for an address, we turn the volume on the radio down?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Revenge of the nerds...

Once again, from Mellow-Drama...

I am nerdier than 31% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

I really thought I was much nerdier than that. I am actually disappointed. :(



So I had a talk with some guy interview with a potential employer today about that job I've been ranting getting excited about lately. It was quite odd. What employer comes to your current place of work to ask your current boss if it's going to cause waves if he were to hire me? Then after that's all simmered down, he comes in my office, and proceeds to tell me about what responsibilities I would have if I came to work for him. I very abruptly interrupted him and suggested we duck in to a more private conference room. I don't need the rest of my coworkers knowing my business.

He tells me that they're very excited about me selling my soul coming aboard. Whoa nelly! I haven't agreed to anything yet there, pardner. I tell him that I'm not signing a damn thing until I see some numbers I'd like to discuss the situation further in a formal interview and not at my current place of employment. He agreed.


I received an email from a friend today that encouraged me to "remember the firm handshake," and that there's "nothing like a pansy handshake to ruin the whole deal." Now, in my lifetime I've shaken a lot of hands, from men and women, young and old. I can still remember my grandfather showing me how to "shake hands like a man". He would tell me that a firm grip shows your character. That's all well and good, but I think this mentality has skipped some generations and has gaps in it's cult following. You can never tell if someone is a "hard shaker", a "moderate/firm shaker", or a "pansy shaker" as my friend put it. Nowadays, you reach in to shake someone's hand and you either end up crushing their palm because the pressure is not reciprocated, or you reach in, expecting to apply moderate pressure and your hand becomes the crushie. And heaven forbid you get a "hard shaker" that uses both hands like their playing tug-o-war with your shoulder. Geesh. Calm down buddy, I write with that hand.

Fortunately, for me, I had shaken hands with this gentleman before, so during the little talk, I simply accessed my "handshake file" in my brain and remembered that this man believed in the firm shake.

That's my kind of boss, I thought, as I returned the appropriate shake.


Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


I just finished watching Open Water. Remember how I have this affection with diving, aquariums, and marine life in general? Yeah, ah, screw all that.

I've been wanting to see this movie for a while now, just because it had an "oceanic" theme. Jaws, Deep Blue Sea, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, you name it, I'm drawn to it. This movie scared the b-Jesus out of me. Fish fan or not, you can't help but be drawn into the primal fear that surfaces from being stranded in the middle of the ocean.

What's more impressive to me, is that this is an independent film, with a cast of unknowns. It makes for incredible realism and the two leads are very believable as a real couple.

The real scary part to me is that this movie is based on a true story. And even worse at that, is the fact that this sort of thing is not uncommon.

In all honesty, this will not curve my love of the water (much). I will still feed my fish...(with my eyes closed)

Monday, January 17, 2005


There are times in ones life when something so extreme happens that time stands still. It causes one to reassess their life, their surroundings, and their future. It could come in the form of a tragedy. It could result from unexpected news, good or bad. It is moments like these that we deal with throughout life. The curve balls that life throws and the speed bumps in the road we travel append themselves to us, to our emotional being. Those who are strong-willed compress the bad deep within us and focus on the good. Those who are not as strong, only hear the bad and loose focus on the good.

Occasionally, these moments come along when nothing has happened to you at all. Nothing exceptionally good. Nothing exceptionally bad. But something has happened somewhere, to someone that causes you to take a step back and open your eyes.

After reading Tink’s post this evening (and several others about her little one before), I really didn’t know what to say that would help. It’s not often that I don’t have a witty remark or encouraging word to pass along to try and brighten someone’s day. But today was different. I wasn’t able to. What had she done to me with that post?

I made myself some dinner and sat down next to my laptop with her post on the screen. Reading it again, and again. Each time trying to come up with something to say. I got up and looked out my window. There were people walking their dogs. I looked up at the sky. The wind was pushing the leafless trees about. I thought of my life and the trivial things that I Blog about each day. At that moment, I knew what it was that I wanted to say.

I had just experienced someone else’s moment in time. For them, that moment has passed many months ago. For me, the moment happened as I was pondering what to respond with. I took my own step back and reevaluated the important things in life. It’s not this job that I’m trying to land. It’s not the petty pains of a leaking sun roof. It’s not even the annoyances of some one messing up a much loved puzzle. It’s about being happy. It’s about letting people know you care. It’s about picking up the phone and calling a father that you haven’t seen eye to eye with in the past just to tell him you’re around and that you’re going to call him more often. It’s about realizing that a different perspective on life can open your eyes. It’s about waking up each morning with a roof over my head and heat to warm my home in the winter.

It’s about telling someone how much you appreciate them. It’s about saying thank you. It’s about saying thank you to strangers as they hold a door for you. It’s about saying thank you to Tink for opening my eyes again. For that much needed slap in face that I think everyone needs from time to time to realize how much they have and take for granted each sunrise. Thank you Tink. Thank you with my newly opened eyes.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition...

A fellow Blogger, Mellow Drama, would like to point out the obvious.

I'd just like to state, for the record, that my place is spotless 99% of the time. (That other 1% proves I'm not anal about it) Sadly, 99% also represents the amount of time I spend sharing my place with just me, myself, and I.

A "nail biting" story...

This is absolutely incredible. (and a bit unbelievable)

(image courtesy of KUSA)
The thing that gets me is this:

"This is the second one we've seen in this hospital where
the person was injured by the nail gun and didn't actually realize
the nail had been embedded in their skull,"

Please tell me it's not that easy...

"If you're going to have a nail in the brain, that's the way you want it to be,"

Okay, did all you little boys and girls out there just hear that? If you're going to blast yourself in the face with a nail gun, make sure you do it like this... What ever happened to "USE WITH EXTREME CAUTION"?

I'd like to take a quote from Tink's page:

"Someone needs to add a little chlorine to the gene pool."

Sunday, January 16, 2005

A shout out...

A Blogger friend of mine is having a bad day. Sometimes you just don't know what to tell them. I'm pulling this one from back in the day when I used to be a DJ...

Brian, bud, this song goes out to you... it can only go up from here.

I dare you to move.

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everyone's here
Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next?
What happens next?
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before
Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself
Lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before

A part of me...

I'd like to share with you, a certain hobby of mine. My eternal fascination with photography. You'll need the Macromedia Flash Plugin to view the little scrapbook I threw together. It's just a hobby, but I enjoy it. It takes my mind off of the hassles of work. I mostly enjoy shooting nature shots and whatnot, as you can probably tell. But nevertheless, a digital camera is usually hiding within a few hundred feet of me at all times. I've learned a lot about technique and patience from my friend Wendy and I pray for the day that my photographic eye is as good as hers. But as with anything, you don't get better unless you practice... Enjoy!

PS- I'm having some HTML/JS brain fart right at the moment, and Blogger doesn't want me to put my Flash player in the entry column so just click on the "Enjoy" link above. Grrr... I really don't feel like redesigning the whole site for this...but I might just to prove my

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Devil Went Down to Delaware...

I've been meaning to get this off my chest for quite some time now...

We all know what this is. It's one of the greatest puzzles of the 20th century. For some, it is a cult challenge to become the fastest cube solver ever. For others it's simply a reminder of the 80's. While others yet need more of a challenge and step up to the Professor's Edition. Apparently, there are many coma-inducing products from the mind of Mr. Rubik.

Circa 1985, I became the proud owner of a Special Edition Rubik's Cube. One unlike any other I have ever set my eyes upon. My cube isn't one of those cheap "peel-off-the-stickers-and-rearrange-to-win" cubes. Oh no, it's hard plastic tiles that prevent you from cheating. The center blue one even has a stamped logo of the Rubik's Cube brand.

For the past, oh I don't know, TWENTY YEARS or so, I've been trying to solve this thing without cheating. (i.e. getting steps off the Internet) All throughout high school and college this cube sat on the night stand by my bed and whenever I'd get bored, or need to pass some time, I broke out the cube and went to work, always making progress, and determined to win. It became my own little personal challenge.

After I graduated college and moved to Delaware, I didn't really know anyone, so the cube got more play. Then one afternoon it happened. I had solved the cube. On my own. Without cheating.

I moved the finished cube into my spare bedroom and put it next to some of my framed photography. There it sat as a beacon of hope, symbolizing that I could do anything if I put my mind to it.

Time passed and one day I got a call from an old childhood friend. He and his wife were going to be passing through on their way to Ocean City and wanted to visit. Except for his wedding (which I was in), I had never really met his wife. They only stayed one night, during the week, and I really didn't get to spend much time catching up. In fact I had to work the next day, so I left for work and asked them just to lock up when they left.

I came home that evening and glanced around in their room to make sure they didn't forget anything. Then it happened. I fell to my knees and yelled "WHY GOD WHY????" It was my cube... They had disfigured it. No longer was my precious cube sporting six sides of uniform color. It was like looking at a car accident. You want to look away but you just can't.
I asked my friend about the cube a few days later. He said his wife got bored while he was in the shower. Uh-huh. Devil woman. Baby did a bad, bad, thing...

I have since been trying to remember how to return my cube to its glory but it's been an uphill struggle... This is my progress thus far:
No apology was ever issued. No condolences were ever given.
This is not over.
The Delawarean always plays nice, until you break his toys...

An epiphany...

I just realized (as in just now, like 5 seconds ago, ok 10 seconds ago now) that I have off of work on Monday. This changes everything... Go me!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Into each life, a little rain must fall...

I should have recognized the signs from the beginning. Mother Nature has officially pissed me off. Rain, sleet, snow, hail, thunder, lightening, subzero cold, scorching heat, bring it on. I'm a rock, until it begins toying around with my life.

Today I got in my SUV to go to work. It had been raining HARD all night. As I accelerated out of my parking space I heard what can only be described as someone urinating in my back seat. I looked in my rear view mirror and what do I see but a stream of water pouring in THROUGH MY MIDDLE DOME LIGHT! If I had a child in a car seat, they would have just taken an icy bath.

So naturally I was taken by this. I slammed on the brakes and whipped into the next open parking space. Big mistake. All of the inertia I had carried the remaining water forward and to the little overhead temperature/compass thingy, which then poured out all over my dash!

*insert rant of explicatives here*

It was at that moment that I realized that my moon roof was the culprit and I was livid. So I drove to the dealer on my lunch hour and demanded that it be fixed and that the warranty covered it. The dealer says "I've got an opening next Wednesday."

*insert ability to remain calm*

I calmly tell the technician that while it is certainly wonderful that he has an opening next Wednesday, my vehicle appears to have an opening RIGHT NOW. And as far as I can tell, it's still raining. He walks to the back of the shop and chats with some greasy dude then returns.
"We can squeeze you in now," he boasts.

An hour goes by and they tell me my truck is finished and that they completely took it apart and put it back together. Something about a clogged drainage tube or something. So I thank the man for "squeezing me in" and head on my way.

I get in my truck and begin to survey the area.

*insert rant of explicatives here*

*delete ability to remain calm*

As I looked up at the moon roof, I knew instantly that it had been Mr. Greasy that inspected my leaking problem. All over my spotless tan headliner was what can only be described as an environmental hazard. Remember that oil tanker the ruptured in the Delaware River a while back? That's what the inside of my roof looked like.

Back into the shop I went.

"Now you can replace my headliner because it looks like a dog drug his ass across it now." I calmly stated. The shopkeepers response was the trademark "deer-in-headlights" look.

I'll spare you the gritty other details of me chewing out the dealership manager, but I will tell you that I now have a clean headliner and a sealed moon roof.

Moral of the story: The Delawarean always plays nice with others, until you break his toys...

PS- an update on the job situation is coming soon... It's looking like I'm jumping ship... More to come.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


It's that time of year again when the Green Berets decide to launch their "Shock and Awe" ground campaign on the citizens of the United States. Careful planning and psychological warfare enables them to infiltrate our peaceful society and hold the commonfolk prisoner. Resistance is futile. They may not get to you in the first wave, but rest assured, there is no hiding from them. They are organized. They are determined. They are ruthless. They will stop at nothing to reach their goal.

This year is even worse. They've managed to bombard our TV's spreading their message. I've personally been handed a brochure and sternly been asked to help their cause. I ran. It was all I could do to resist them. I looked back only to see the weaker, slower, older citizens grovel before their might.

I know my days are numbered. The members of the resistance are disappearing fast. It's only a matter of time before I too give in. One day they will surround me and I will have no choice but to support their cause...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Got Stress?

Read this.

How's my driving?

Today a coworker and I decided to break for lunch. We opted to run through the drive-thru at McDonald's for something quick. (And no, Becky, I did not get an apple dipper) What I did get, was cut off an inordinate amount of times in my short quest for food. This sparked a topic of conversation that I felt I had to share. My coworker, being from the heart of New York City, is used to people cutting each other off, horns blowing, fingers waving, and just about anything else you can expect from the big apple. I added my two cents that being from PA, I have noticed that Delaware drivers (in general) have a complex.
He agreed.
Here's our prognosis: wild drivers are everywhere, however the skill varies by geography and someone should tell them that.
Let me explain. In New York City, everyone is in a hurry all the time. They have places to go and they want to get there as efficiently as possible. Drivers jockey for position as each vehicle moves. Watching a native New Yorker drive in downtown New York is like looking at a Picasso; you're thinking "what the hell are they doing?", but in the end you're simply amazed.
This is because NYC drivers have the skill sets to drive like that. Cutting people off correctly requires intimate knowledge of your cars dimensions and abilities. NYC drivers can put a moving truck in the three inch gap between you and the car in front of you if you let it there long enough.
This brings us to Delaware. People in Delaware drive exactly like people in New York City- except they don't have that skill set that is needed to be able to successfully drive that way. Escalating matters, the complex that I spoke of earlier is mixed into Delawarean (again, a generalization) mindset. We noticed that Delaware drivers see each road trip as a NASCAR race. They have an irreversible lust to be at the front of every other car on the road. Each road trip is like a challenge for them to get to some imaginary finish line where they will be crowned with the title of "Biggest, Baddest Driver in all the Land." Whatsupwitdat?
Don't get me wrong I'm a car guy. I love sports cars. I used to drive my sports cars fast. But I did so smartly. It absolutely amazes me that my four mile commute to work is more hazardous than being trapped in a room with Sally Struthers and having a twinkie in your pocket...
I just don't get it...

Monday, January 10, 2005

Smile, you know it's funny...

Because we care...

So I come home tonight to find a special piece of mail waiting in my mailbox. It's what's left of one of my Netflix orders. No... strike that, it's a nice little inviting white envelope with the USPS logo on the front and a BIG see through window so you can view the horror that your package went through as it made it's last journey from the warehouse to your hands. It's like watching a war movie and seeing that moment when the hero gets shot, and he's going to die. The postal carnage was almost too much for me to take. I felt like yelling "MEDIC!"

So I flipped the nice clean white envelope over to open it and what do I see? Two big words in bold print that read like a letter from the battlefield sent home to the family of a fallen solder. Those words: WE CARE.

Obviously not enough. Because if you really cared, you could have at least lied to me and told me that the postal carrier had no plans for this evening and didn't feel like going to Blockbuster so he jacked my movie. LIE TO ME POSTMASTER!

Oh the humanity...

That would be the top cover of my Netflix envelope.
We care, my ass.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

It's the end of the world as we know it...

... and I feel fine...

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto...

The other day, one of my closer friends called me "automated." I didn't know if it was an insult or a compliment. So I began to think. They are absolutely right. EVERYTHING in my life, is in fact, automated in some sort of way. My home computer network runs everything in my life. From important (secure) items such as my finances, to little things like ordering pizza. It's all done online. I can surf the net via my PDA, while I'm in the shower, while printing a document from my laptop in the living room to my bedroom printer, all while listing to mp3's from my bedroom computer through my home stereo in my living room. If I wanted to. Wireless technology is great! "That's not automated", you might say, but take my typical work day for example:

My bedroom TV turns on at 6am to CNN so that I can get the scoop on what happened overnight. I watch for a little bit and hop in the shower at the EXACT SAME TIME every day. I know this because my TV turns off and music begins to play from my mp3 library on my bedroom computer. While I'm in the shower, the coffee is brewing, and my PDA is updating the stored websites and email that I choose to take with me for the day. After showering and such, I walk into my living room at the EXACT SAME TIME everyday. I know this because, my computer runs a virus scan and shuts down my music. As I walk from the bedroom to the kitchen, my living room TV turns on to CNN, my aquarium light turns on ,and my fish feeder dumps some food into the tank. I grab a bottle of water, my coat, and my keys while my TV turns off and I head out the door.

While I'm at work, if bills are due, my home computer is paying them online, then begins defragging itself. My fish are fed once more before I get home. On the way home I stop to get gas using my Speedpass watch.

As I walk in the door my TV turns on to Comedy Central because I usually need a good laugh after work. I dock my PDA and the entire process gets itself ready for the next day. Around 6:30pm I go into my spare bedroom where I have one of those universal weight machines (that has dust on it most of the time) to try and exercise. The computer in that room begins to pull my "songs to exercise to" playlist from the computer in my bedroom and play them at random. It turns off the music about an hour later and I go relax.

What would happen if my power went out? (don't ask, it has and I freaked out) It begs to ask the question: who made who? Are we too dependent on technology? And where did I get this tech-nerd mentality from? No one else in my family even owns a computer? I tired to pull them in to this century but I found that is like asking Mother Nature for 365 days of sunshine a year.

Now if only I could get someone to do my laundry...

Saturday, January 08, 2005

My own prison...

Although I don't have any furry pets, I do have an undying devotion to aquariums. Since I was small and my parents took me to the Baltimore aquarium I wanted to be a marine biologist. I even took a tour of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute after I graduated high school. Somewhere my career goals changed, but I never lost my love of diving, the ocean, and marine life in general. That is why I must always have an aquarium in my house. Wherever I live. It's a necessity. I've been keeping a tank for about 10 years now and up until three years ago it had always been freshwater. When I moved to Delaware I decided that I was going to change it to a saltwater coral environment. In my opinion saltwater (marine) fish are more responsive and WAY more colorful than your average goldfish. I also found out they're 100 times more work to maintain and more expensive to buy. So every Saturday for about an hour and a half it is my duty to service the tank which includes cleaning off the glass, changing filters, emptying liquid waste (fish urine) out of the separator tank and cleaning the sand. After all that's done I check each of the fish by watching them, checking for spots, injuries, weird actions, and such. And that doesn't even include feeding them. The majority of them eat marine flakes, however Nemo and Marlin (hmm... wonder where I got those original names from?) eat frozen brine shrimp. But when it's all said and done, the stress is wiped clean just by watching them....

Friday, January 07, 2005

Addicted to the white powder...

Only four more weeks until my annual work ski trip. I'm completely looking forward to breaking something this year! This year we're going to Camelback! I attempted to learn how to snowboard last year. Honestly, I picked it up pretty quick unlike some of my colleagues who got fed up and decided to spend the second have of the day in the lodge at the bar. I've only ever been skiing once as well, but I picked that up pretty fast too. I just can't decide whether to board or ski? Oh yeah, it's going to be a total bummer if I would happen to change jobs before I get to go! (more on that as I am permitted. I not jinxing anything!)

I believe it was the great writer Homer that said it best... "DOH!"

Thursday, January 06, 2005

CAUTION: Political rant ahead

Yes folks, I thought I could go for a few months at least until I would feel the need to rant on politics, but alas I cannot. (those of you not interested in politics can play solitaire or something)

So the election is over, (finally) and it really doesn't matter who you voted for. It's over. Or at least I would have bet the farm that it was. As I've said before, I'm a middle of the road kind of guy. I lean right on some things and lean left on others. I study each and every candidate (because I'm a nerd) and I try and find the good points about each of them. This year it was damn near impossible but that's another blog...

So why is it that there are certain Senators who shall remain nameless, *COUGH* SENATOR BARBARA BOXER *COUGH*, that feel it necessary to spread red tape around Congress like a 15 year old kid toilet papering a house on Halloween? The only positive thing I can foresee from this is her trying to declare herself as the "only Senator that stood up for the American people."

Quick someone give her a medal, take her picture, and get her out of the way of real business. I mean come on. I could see if Kerry was leading the march, but at least he has the intelligence to know when it's over...

Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Awww yeah...

Gotta love those authentic restaurants...

Deep thoughts...

If Jimmy cracked corn and no one cares, then why is there a song about him? (hat tip: Mellow Drama)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Should I stay or should I go now...?

Over the past year or so I have had a few opportunities for career advancement. Some of which I've taken, others I've turned down for some reason or another. Today I was presented with a MAJOR (do you see that, it's in all CAPS, you know it's big) opportunity. This is the second time this door has opened for me, only this time it's big enough to drive a bus through. Simply put I'd be flat out stupid for not jumping at it. Then why you ask, am I even thinking about it? Well, you have to understand my situation. My current employer is such that, under normal circumstances, would take an act of God to get promoted for most people. However, my field is highly sought after and I'm only 1 of 2 people (the other is my boss) that possess the technical skill for what we do. Couple that with the fact that I bust my ass everyday and I'm very good at office politics and I've managed to turn myself into a "valuable employee". So I have been promoted twice in the three years I've been there. Mainly because I've been offered jobs with other companies and work has made a counter offer. Now this is where I could use some advice.

I very much enjoy my current job, my colleagues, and organization in general. One of the companies that has made me the previous offer has come back to me with what is basically the key to the city. What's the downfall you ask? Well, as of now I work a standard work week. If I accepted the offer, I'd be part of a consulting firm which means my workload moreless doubles. I'd be on the go all the time. Fortunately I wouldn't have to move.

Now here's where it gets interesting. This project that I would be potentially be overseeing has the possibility to expolde. (not literally) But let me just say that potentially the US Congress would be providing funding for it and you'd eventually see it on CNN. Yes. That kind of "big". Of course this is all a series of "ifs", but they're big "ifs". Still not seeing the downfall?

The downfall is that if I'm not successful, and/or the project fails, I am most likely out of a job. Another downfall is the fact that I am a standout at my current job, with the new firm, I'd just be one of many that have the same skill. Follow me?

Do I just need to suck it up and take a chance at the bigtime? I watch MTV Cribs all the time. I want to be on there! Doesn't everyone? The reality is that it's a big gamble and my luck usually sucks pretty bad...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

And everyone knows it's Wendy...

Much to my surprise, this morning at work I got a call from a good friend of mine that I had not seen or heard from in about 4 years. My friend Wendy had called to chat and see what's been up. Now Wendy is someone I met in college. She was our neighbor for a few years and as soon as she realized how cool I was, she instantly wanted to be my friend. So she graduated a few years ahead of me and landed this really cool job in one of those "Top Secret Government Agencies." She got to travel all over the world right out of college and do cool things. I was totally jealous, but I'm happy for her success. Last I knew, she was in the middle east sniffing around for "someone" or "something".

So this morning she calls and tells me that she's now living in Florida, ON THE BEACH. She not only now has a really cool job, she lives right on the damn beach and just finished up her SECOND masters degree! Hmm... maybe I should have asked her if she's looking to adopt? When it comes down to it, I am really happy and proud of her for working so hard to achieve what she already has. That's not going to stop me from being envious though. Did I mention that she's the one that got me turned on to photography? Yep, I learned everything I know from her. She sent me a pic of the view from her back yard...

Yup. Exactly. I was so awestruck that I asked her for the full size version so I could set it as my wallpaper. You know, I used to ask myself why people lived on the beach in FL and put up with all the hurricanes and what not. I'm beginning to see the light...

Monday, January 03, 2005

The post holiday crash...

Now it's set in. That time of year that I hate. It's really not fair but we do it to ourselves every year. First you have Thanksgiving. The family gets together and eats and argues and yada yada yada. But hey, it's still a holiday and generally you're excited because it signals that Christmas is just around the corner. So for the entire month of December (actually for guys, just like 3 days before Xmas) you get all pumped up over getting ready for Christmas and that carries right over to New Years. Right about now most of us are on some kind of subconscious high that just seems to be recognized as "the holiday spirit". But what happens after New Years? I'll tell you exactly what happens. You roll over and ask the girl laying next to you who the hell she is! I'M KIDDING! I am SO kidding, calm down. I'm not a pig like that. You (most of us) go back to work and mope around because there's nothing to look forward to but more work.

That's how my day went today. Everyone came back in to work, and with the emotion of an earthworm, managed to muster their "good mornings" to each other. I sat in my office starring at the computer screen trying to muster every ounce of energy not to doze off. The only thing that I had to look forward to was knowing that I have 2 movies from Netflix in my mailbox. Oh yeah! Looks like tv dinner and a movie for me tonight!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

It keeps going and going and going...

Still barking...

Just thought you'd like to know...


Now don't get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE animals (not that way you sickos). In fact, if I was home a little more I would probably have a dog, like a lab, or maybe a retriever. Anyway, as of late, my neighbors decided to get this dog that has to be the most vocal mut I have EVER met. They let the dog out on their patio for hours at a time and the thing just sits there and barks at every little thing that moves. I'm talking leaves, people, trees blowning in the wind, etc. I love waking up at 6am to a dog barking to NOTHING on my days off. I mean come on. It'd be one thing if this dog barked at people to alert its owners of trespassers and such but Cujo here needs some serious training classes. Hmm... did you ever see the movie Son of Sam? Wasn't there a dog barking in that movie too?

Saturday, January 01, 2005

That new car smell...

It's about time really. Yesterday (that's right, on NYE) I decided to trade in my piece of shit car for an SUV. It's so nice to know that you can walk out to your car and just know it's going to start today. It's like gambling really. Only now the odds are in your favor. You turn the key and feel like you've just beat the house when your car cranks right up. It's like a shot of adrenaline and you just want to go drive somewhere! ANYWHERE! Then it rains on your shiny new car and you get all pissed off because you're trying to keep it clean. You curse Mother Nature and as soon as it stops raining you gather up your quarters for the car wash. All guys do it. It's just second nature to us. And don't even get me started on trying to peel off window stickers and those STUPID dealership stickers that every car dealer puts on your back bumper or tailgate in a cheap attempt to get some free advertising. Uh-uh. Not on my ride, thank you. I know half of you are thinking, man, I have one of those on the back of my car. It's always that or a cheap "complimentary" license plate frame with, convienently, the dealers name on it! I give it about a week until one of my friends spills some kind of food in it and I end up banning them from riding with me. I can see it now... "well I was going for that new car smell but Starbucks eminating from the upholstry just sets the mood doesn't it?"