Sunday, October 30, 2005

Mr. 5000

In just under a year of frequent blogging, this crappy little blog has reached 5,000 hits. Sure I might be responsible for 3,604 of them but hey, a hit is a hit. I know I'm not reaching the heights of most of the blogs I read, but it brings a little glimmer of light to this shady little corner of the Web.

In other statistic news, I have a perplexing stat that I'm not sure if I should be proud of or not. We all know that Google is the most powerful entity in the digital universe. So should I be honored that an photograph that I took shows up 8th on a Google image search? Of all the images in the world, billions and billions, I get number 8. Under normal circumstances, I'd be proud, but the search that returns this image is sadly the words:

"Fallen Soldier" (CAUTION clicking this link directs you to Google's images search and returns a series of images. Some of which may be gruesome).

I stumbled on this by monitoring my referring links to this blog and noticed about twice a week this particular image was directing people here.

There are any number of high-ranking images that I should be known for. Like "Mr. Universe", "God's gift to women" or "smartest man alive." That sort of thing.

(I also find it ridiculous that Google's Blogger, doesn't recognize "Google" or "Blog" in its spell check.)

Sunday, October 23, 2005


There are moments in time when one realizes that all the pain and hard work they've been doing for such a long time actually pays off. Like when Daniel gets fed up with doing Mr. Miyagi's chores, and realizes he's been learning karate motions the whole time.

It's a revelation of sorts.

An enlightenment.

A broadening of ones' horizons.

So I'm sitting here working on something for work (go figure), and it dawned on me.

(Insert flashback here)

You see, for quite some time now, I've always pushed myself quite hard, professionally speaking. And no matter what I did, I felt like my wheels were spinning. I'd get a promotion, but three days later it was back to the grind stone trying to find out where that next rung of the corporate ladder would be at. I would always answer that "where do you see yourself in 5 years" question by pointing to the chair of the person that's asking it. No matter what I did, the perfectionist within me would be whispering "is this the best it can be?" I'm always my own worst critic.

So as the events of the past year in my life unfolded, I'll admit that it doused the flames of my burning drive to do my best. The perfectionist within stopped whispering driving thoughts and started whispering "Why bother? You see where it got you the first time." I couldn't get motivated. As hard as I tried, (and believe me, I put on a good front), I simply could not find the drive to take as much pride in my job as I had before. It was a slap in the face that left a scar.

When I took my new job, I was put in position that required that fire to be there 100% of the time. I tried to look at it as a new start. A new fence to paint if you will. And I was handed the brush and pointed toward the fence. But my all still wasn't in it. I felt out of place. Uncertain if this fence was even worth painting.

So back to my point...
As I'm working here, I'm thinking about upcoming tasks and everything I'm invloved in and I realize that this fence is, in fact, worth painting. And that the more of the fence I paint, the more this company realizes it and other people want me to paint their fences too. And some even want me to sand their floors and wax their cars! And that's when it hit me.

The better I wax, sand and paint, the more I'm learning and peers within the Miyagi do-jo respect my abilities. Things that seemed intimidating before are now clear to me. I have a direction and I know what I must do. It's a level of confidence that was restored.

And with it comes the fire. And just past the smoke, is the next rung of the corporate ladder.

Feel free to read this again with the Karate Kid theme music on. It's a completely different experience. Trust me.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Shit happens...

Just when you thought you got a break in life and things might not be as cruel as they seem in this world, this happens.

Now why couldn't some Hurricane Katrina victim win this? Or better yet, ME?

I'd do good this with that money. Like pay Ashlee Simpson not to sing anymore, or buy Ty Pennington some Ritalin. Things that would make this world a better place to live in.

Actually the real reason I'm disappointed at this is because I forgot to stop and by my damn tickets last night...

UPDATE: Speaking of Pennington, check this out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Choosing the right domain name...

Choosing the right domain name...

It's not always easy choosing the right domain name, but you can't do much worse than these people.

Firstly, there is "Who Represents?" - a database for agencies to the rich and famous:

Second is the Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views:

Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island:

Need a therapist? Try:

Finally we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales:

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Ann Arbor is a bitch.

That is a fact. I've met her personally a few years ago. She's loud. She's huge. And she hurts my feelings at least one a year, usually. And I don't know why.

Today she did it again.

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During my time at PSU, I was fortunate enough to go to a PSU-Michigan game in Ann Arbor, MI. I have sat in the middle of 111,000 rival college students and cheered for my team. It's very nerve racking. I can't imagine having to play football for them. This week's game took about 5 years off of my life. Guaranteed.

I thought weekends were for relaxing. I about had a heart attack in my living room.

I need a beer.

Um... yeah....

I stole this from NPR Junkie because I really didn't have anything else to say today. Hey, at least I'm honest.

On a lighter note, I think I'm going to patten a drink called The Delawarean. It's like a cosmopolitan, only you chug it down because you suddenly have too much work to do.

How to make a delawarean

1 part success

3 parts ambition

1 part joy
Add to a cocktail shaker and mix vigorously. Serve with a slice of caring and a pinch of salt. Yum!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Do you hear what I hear?

Do you hear it?

That's right - NOTHING! No whurring of computer fans, no ringing phones, and no "ding-dong" email notifications. Just the sounds of a cool breeze, trickling water and the occasional fish jumping at a water bug.

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This is Mud Mill Pond. Doesn't it look relaxing?

I took one step out of my Jeep and inhaled deeply. Yup, that's nature. And I love it. I took a second just to survey the area and take it all in. (Like I do everytime I go do something out-doorsy) We loaded our gear in the canoes and set sail paddle.

The weather was perfectly overcast to keep the sun off of us and the rain had just let up enough to make it a little misty. The pond is there due to the existence of a dam constructed just to the left of the boat launch area. With all the rain we've had lately, it created a nice little waterfall effect.

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We trekked north, entering a small hidden passageway that lead to the stream the feeds the pond and pushed forward. One guy had a single-man kayak and we would send him ahead of the fleet to explore and report back when areas got hard to navigate for a full size canoe. A valuable asset indeed, and he saved us a lot of unnecessary maneuvering.

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Navigating under fallen trees and bridges was fun. It was almost a challenge to see just how far up the creek we could actually go. That's kind of the secondary point of the trip each year, after relaxing that is.

Last year we went about 6 miles round-trip. I don't think we made it quite that far this year. That was in part due to man. You see, the end of our trek came at a garbage pile. It was SO disappointing to have all that beauty of nature come to an abrupt end because of some ignorant people. Here's the end our road:

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Oh, we also saw a rather nice, new Nike hiking boot float by us. I don't consider myself a treehugger, but come on people. Surprising enough, the water was shallow enough to see that the fish were still alive. Quite the troopers considering.

On the way back, our scout boat spotted this little monument:

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This is a Mason-Dixon marker. The small sign in front tells you about the line itself and that, although old, it is not the original marker. It is a symbolic replacement due to the fact that the original marker lies in the bottom of Mud Mill Pond. Which only makes sense with the line splitting the pond.

Well, that about covers it for that little adventure. Nobody fell in this time. A relaxing time was had by all. Now back to work...:(

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Without a paddle

Columbus Day is right around the corner. And for me, that means the annual canoe trip.

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As a state employee, I had this day off - paid. As a consultant, not so much.

But I never take a vacation and for the past 6 weeks I've been putting in close to 12 hour days for 6-7 days a week.


I think I'm going to appreciate this year's trip more so than last. It's very peaceful out on the water. The only electronic device is my cell phone to capture these crappy pictures and it gets turned off when I'm not using it. These shots are from last year as we explored parts of Silver Lake and its tributaries.

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Each year we pick a different water body to make the trek on. This year's lucky winner is Mud Mill Pond. We'll put in there and just simply explore.

No emails. No voicemails. No traffic. Just peace and quiet and a paddle. And some mud...

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It's no Blue Ridge Mountain hike, but it's the next best thing living in a vertically challenged state.

I think maybe I appreciate little adventures into the great outdoors more than other people I know simply because I don't get to do them very often. I envy those people who just up and quit their job and travel the world for a year or backpack through Europe. At what point in life did I miss that option?

So come rain or shine, my friends and I are going canoeing.

And I'm going to do my very best to forget all about work for a day