Thursday, June 30, 2005

If the package does not fit, you must acquit.

Say what you will, but the United States Postal Service and I do not get along. Never have. Probably never will.

The vigilant Ebayer that I am, has allowed me to hone my skills and save tons of money on things that I would have paid fortunes for in stores. Most have been things like electronics, auto parts, collectibles and underwear. (kidding)

So I figured what better way to accessorize my Jeep than eBay? I went searching for a nice license plate frame to replace the cheap plastic dealer advertised one and found this:

Pretty spiffy huh? That's chrome AND engraved! Bling-bling.

So I pay for it and the seller sends me an email saying it's been shipped like the good little Ebayer his feedback says he is. And I wait in anticipation of Pimping my Ride. And I fully realize that not a pimped ride does a license plate frame make, but I really can't stand free advertising for dealers. (This is why I remove all stickers or free crap they give you ASAP.)

A week passes and nothing.

I email the seller and ask him for a tracking number. He supplies it and I learn the Post Office has delivered it 10 days ago. Hmm.

So I call up the Post Office and talk to my carrier. He says that whenever there's a package that won't fit in my mailbox, he sets it on my patio. That's fine. However he usually leaves a little note saying "PACKAGE ON PORCH" so I know to look. I informed him that I never got a note and he never remembered delivering anything lately to "the guy with the big fish tank" as he calls it. (Which is sort of creepy because, you can see my aquarium through the window, but I don't need him peering in here.)

So this leads me back to my point. One of two things happened; A) He delivered the package and someone stole it from my porch, or B) it's still floating around the mail system in Alaska or Fiji. (And you can believe that the first place I checked was everyone's Jeeps that lived around me for a fancy frame- because yes, my neighbors are that stupid to actually display it.)

So my question is: What kind of feedback do I leave the seller on eBay? I paid for, but never received my purchase. However it wasn't his fault. He did his part.

I'm thinking that he mailed the package. If it didn't fit in my mailbox, that's not his fault. If the package doesn't fit, you must acquit.

I'm thinking "Neutral" feedback? What do you think?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Only because I'm such a nice guy...

Janet, over at The Art of Getting By has taken it upon herself to "tag" me. (Everyone all together now: "Thanks Janet")

I suppose I should feel honored for getting "tagged". It's nice to know what a high priority I am on her list-o'- people that watch movies. Either that or she reached the bottom of her list and I was all that was left. Kind of like that kid in gym class that gets picked last.

So, to show how much of a team player I am, here we go...

Total Number of Films I Own: defines "Own" as:

To have or possess as property.
To have control over.

So going with that, I'm looking at 228 movies. That being said. The number I've actually purchased is significantly less. Let's just say I may be a member of an Internet DVD rental club and may have access to a DVD burner. You may do the math...

The Last Film I Bought:

Like Janet, I too have a technicality here. The last film I bought was a gift for my mother on Mother's Day. I got her the Phantom of the Opera DVD as part of her gift. As for the last film I bought for myself, it was The Village.

The Last Film I Watched:

The last film I watched was Lost in Translation. I thought Sofia Coppola did an excellent job directing this. I felt connected to the characters in the movie right off the bat and that's what captured my interest for the rest of the film. I was a little let down by the ending, but I think it's good that not every film these days has a happy ending.

Five favorite films I either watch frequently or that mean a lot to me:

In no particular order:

The Goonies flat out kicks ass. Enough said.

Saving Private Ryan means a lot to me because it was very well made (unlike Bruckheimer/Bay explosion films) and is something that reminds me of my grandfather every time I watch it.

Braveheart is my #1 favorite film of all time. I love the story, the setting, the acting, the action, scenery, the score, just everything about it. Bravo Mel Gibson.

The Back to the Future Trilogy. I'm not quite sure what it is, but whenever any of these movies are on TV I find myself habitually watching them. It's a sickness really.

And last but not least, Ghostbusters 2. Huh? Yes, you heard me right Ghostbusters 2. Allow me to explain. This movie reminds me of my college days. You see, I had a roommate that could perfectly mimic Peter McNicol. You know, the nerdy art museum director;

And what was his most famous line from that movie? "IT'S VIGO!" So after we found out that my roommate sounded just like him, I printed a picture of Vigo out and hung it on the wall in the den of our apartment like so:

And every time the phone or doorbell would ring, he'd yell "IT'S VIGO!"

I guess you had to be there. Shut up, or I'll tag you next!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

And the world rooted him on...

Evidently this guy got tired of having to restart his computer one too many times...

Someone give him bail money please, no one got hurt and he was just doing what we all want to do.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I hate it when...

- I'm driving down the road and the person in front of me flicks their cigarette out the window and it hits my vehicle.

- I'm at the car wash washing my Jeep and a bird with a nest up in the rafters shits on my car while I'm washing it. (that happened to me today)

- people who are walking in a crowded place decide to just stop dead and begin a conversation.

- I'm trying to get home form work on a Friday evening and every license plate I see on the road is beach traffic from another state.

- Those flys that divebomb your head come out in the summer time.

- they raise the price of stamps and make me buy the extra 3 cent stamps just to use up my old ones.

- mildew tries to grow on my shower curtain.

- I reply "hi" to people only to realize that they are talking on a hand-free cell phone.

- the navigation system in my Jeep tells me to make a U-turn every 500 feet while I yell at it "SHUTUP!"

- it's 95 degrees out and sunny and it just downpours for no reason.

- people from other floors at work come to the floor my office is on to take a shit because it's generally not as busy. SHIT ON YOUR OWN FLOOR!

- movie sequels completely ruin a good original movie.

- my apartment complex has the pest control guy come in and spray everyone's place and then a few days later there are dead bugs everywhere.

- people sweat the little stuff. Just chill people.

- my family's birthday's are close to holidays and end up costing me a mint.

- I realize too late that I have nothing other than water in the fridge to drink.

- I spend more time than I need to in front of my computer bloging on beautiful days.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

When it doubt, whip it out...

So being the proud new owner of a Jeep that I am...

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... I got to learn all about "The Jeep Wave".

Apparently there's an unwritten rule that when one Jeep owner passes another, you're supposed to acknowledge them by waving.

This is an entirely new concept for me because rather than hunt for other "Jeepers", as we're called, I usually like to PAY ATTENTION to the road and my surroundings. Plus I normally don't just wave to strange people because of the make of their vehicle.

However, in the two days I've been a Jeeper, I've been waved to about 5-6 times- that I noticed. What a nice little community.

So this fascinated me and I wanted to learn more about the "rules" and what not and found a gazillon sites. In my surfing, I came across the Delaware Jeep Association. I thought to myself, now THIS looks fun!

Think of all the 4-wheeling I could do! Legally!

Talk about bang for your buck! I purchased a Jeep and I received an entire community absolutely free! Yay, I bought friends! Lol.

(Oh, they gave me a hat too.)

I love driving this thing. It's the perfect combination of power, handling, comfort, capability, and styling for my tastes. Plus it answers the question I always ask myself when traveling; can I make it another exit with the fuel I have left? Just one more exit? Now I know:

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I'm beginning to understand the saying:

"It's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Substitute

Since I don't have time to search for a house right now, and don't foresee time in my near future, I'm left with the problem of driving to Newark every day. Well, this past January, you may remember that I purchased a Chevy Blazer.

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Well, the more I drove it, the less I liked it. It had gotten to the point that I flat out hated this thing. Not to mention that it sucked gas like crack fiend. I've come to the conclusion that it was so different from the car that I traded in before it, that I thought I liked it. But I didn't. Really.

So something had to change. And I'm not one to procrastinate. But this time I knew what I wanted. I had driven them before. A perfect combination of sport and utility. I guess it's just a Jeep thing...

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I'm happier now. Still busy, but at least I enjoy commuting now.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I'm a list maker...

Things to do:

1. Watch Multiplicity repeatedly until I figure out just how to clone myself. If this fails, resort to the 6th Day.

2. Watch X-men again and figure out how Storm controls the weather so I don't feel bad staring at a computer screen on beautiful days.

3. Put a camera in my truck so I can take a picture every day of the car in front of me on Route 1 that won't get out of the PASSING lane.

4. Perfect my "transporter" invention so I won't have to spend $60/week in gas.

5. Learn that taking my laptop in to a movie theater to do work while watching Star Wars Ep. III is not acceptable in Delaware.

6. Apologize to my fish for not giving them the quality time that they deserve.

7. Shop for ANOTHER wedding card for my father. Do they make cards that say "Hope it works out this time"? I'm about to add his name to this list.

8. Figure out where that smell in my apartment is coming from.

9. Search for a house somewhere north of the canal.

10. Click "yes" or "no" on my e-vite for attending my upcoming highschool reunion.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


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Folks, work is piling up pretty fast. Remember that calm before the storm? Well, the storm is here now and the water is starting to overrun my hip boots.

So it's beginning to look like the Delawarean might be posting only on weekends for the time being. Any spare time will be spent running my microwave with the door open in an attempt to grow a third arm to help me out.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

A trip so good, it Hertz...

CAUTION: Long post alert. Don't say I didn't warn you. (and don't say "you didn't warn me" just because I told you not to say it.) But the ending will blow you away...

Well, well, well. Look who's back.

Everything went off without a hitch and I even had a few pleasant surprises along the way.

What happened, you asked? Well, I'll tell you.

I arrived at BWI Airport just in time to make my way through security and board my Delta flight. I had picked a seat using Expedia that was next to a window and had an empty one next to it because I planned to get some work done from the two days I took off this week. Sure enough, the seat was empty but just as I reached for my laptop, a video screen lowered down from above me and they ran the "don't-panic-if-we-should-crash" instructions.

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I thought this was pretty cool. I had seen them on newer planes before but what really impressed me was the new In-flight Information System (IIS). This was right up my alley.

Once the safety speeches were over, we took off and the screens switched to the IIS. They showed the planes altitude, air speed, ground speed, outside temperature, distance traveled, distance to go, heading, and wind direction. The system cycled through these informational screens (all with real-time info) and then displayed a map of the eastern U.S. with our plane's flight path (also in real-time). The map zoomed in to the state level and as we banked the little plane on the map rotated. SWEET! I was mesmerized . I wanted to learn more about it but I figured if I started asking all kinds of questions I would be detained and placed in a small, dark room with men in suits and no senses of humor.

So we land at the world's busiest airport and I proceed to the Hertz counter to pick up the "Mustang - or similar" car that I had reserved. I really, really, REALLY wanted to drive one of the new 2005 Mustangs, so I thought why not now? But I know how my life works, and my luck would naturally give me a Ford Aspire or something and so I didn't get my hopes up.

The extremely polite lady behind the counter greeted me with a smile, and I her. She pulled up my reservation and took my credentials and then informed me that she was all out of Mustangs. My heart sank a bit, but what are you gonna do?

I tried to coerce her into bumping one from someone else but no luck. She tells me that she's got me in a 2005 Solara. Now, I'm a car guy, so I start running models through my head trying to remember what a Solara looks like. Unfortunately, all I could think of was that it was a little Toyota. So I agree and she checks me in and sends me on my way to the lot via the shuttle.

We pull into the lot and I'm scanning the cars out the window, anxious to see what a Solara looks like. No luck. (But I did see a dozen Mustangs - WTF?) I get off the bus and begin to look for stall 102. I turn the corner and see a light from heaven shining down. I had to check my ticket THREE TIMES to make sure I had the right car. And I did. And all was good.

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And my friends, the woman behind the counter at Hertz is getting a Christmas card from me because yes, she hooked me up with a DROP-TOP, auto-stick sports car!

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I believe the phrase "screw the Mustang" came out of my mouth after seeing that. And perhaps the best part? I paid for a "standard" car. I should have been given a Taurus or something. But who was I to fight "the man". I can say that I've never enjoyed driving so much in my life! Plus you should have seen the look on my family's faces when I pulled in. Priceless.

Did I mention that I love the woman at Hertz?

So anyway...

The reason I made the trip was for my brother's high school graduation. There's really not much to say. I was proud of him. We all were. He had finally made it. We ate. We partied. We parted.

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Leaving out for the flight home, I took a wrong turn and ended up going in the opposite direction for about a half-hour so that gave me an excuse to "use" the car's talents to make up some ground, if you know what I mean. (*wink, wink*)

On the flight home, I had the privilege of sitting next to two soldiers that were headed home for 15 days leave from Iraq and Afghanistan. We talked the entire flight. I really cherish getting first-hand perspectives on things I normally have to hear from the news.

The two soldiers, the eldest being 23, shared their personal photos taken while in country. The younger one, informed me that it was his job to operate what he called an "88"(I think, I couldn't hear too well with my ears popping), and then showed me a picture. What I saw next was a once in a lifetime experience.

He flipped his digital camera on and showed me a picture of him driving this huge truck with a crane on the back. In the background, this is what was happening:

Yes folks, that's him driving the crane truck that pulled down the statue of Saddam. An event that will live in history, and I never even asked the man his name. I was so awestruck that I didn't know what to say.

But the one thing I did remember to do was tell the both of them "thank you" for risking their lives over there.

Two class acts, two flights, one graduation, and one slick car later, I was home.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Turn your head and cough...

It has come to my attention that some people are having technical difficulties accessing this Blog. When I get back (and get some free time) I will make it my first priority to give the ol' Blog a complete virtual physical.

(spare me the "just put it out of its misery" wise cracks)

Just an old sweet song, keeps Georgia on my mind...

Tomorrow I head off to Rome, GA. My youngest brother is graduating from highschool.

I felt a bit bad taking time off from work so soon. I'll just have enough to cover this trip until I accrue more. But I can say one thing; there wasn't a chance in hell I'd miss this. I was a few months short from seeing my other brother graduate, so perhaps this one will have a little more meaning.

My Georgian family is a bit dysfunctional weird. I'll be staying with them for the duration of my trip (unfortunately). Married 3 times/divorced 3 times, my father is more like a co-worker to me than my "dad". Every talk with him is like a status report you'd give to your boss...

"How are things?"

"Everything's fine. Truck is running well. Settling into my job now."

"Ok, well, keep up the good work, bye."


You know how it is. You can pick your friends but you can't pick your family. I guess I should just be thankful for having them.

Each time I visit is like a walk into my childhood. I used to spend summers down there as a child. I find it refreshing to walk around the house and the neighborhood and rediscover my youth. Georgian flashbacks if you will.

First things first though. I always swing by the cemetary and visit for awhile. By myself. It's better that way. I don't like being rushed. Any time I plan to visit I tell them I'll be arriving a little later than I really am due to this little pit stop. But it's just something that I have to do. And if I told them, they'd want to go with me. That's no good.

I know that reading all of this probably makes me sound like a mental case, but I assure you I'm not crazy. The little voices in my head told me so. They also tell me lottery numbers each week but I don't play them. That'd be cheating.