time to change

“Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology. Where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory thoughts. Our Unification of Thought is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people. With one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!”

So I’ve moved my domain to just be a blog. About time, I know. And to mark the occasion, I’m going to try to attach a photo for the first time, too.


Well… we did it! We finally bought a house. And in the last few weeks, I have actually cataloged ALL of my books.

This might seem trivial to most people, but I needed library-quality software to accomplish the task… and Delicious Monster did the trick. Granted, I’m still waiting to get the barcode scanner (which would’ve made the initial upload faster), but overall it’s a really cool tool.

Boxing 20 boxes of books and hauling these heavy suckers up into the attic, however, was no easy task. My back hurts, I have trouble breathing from the stuff in the attic, and Tina’s afraid that the stuff is going to tumble down on top of us. But it’s all up there. And anytime I need to go get one, the boxes (thanks to my extreme anal retentiveness) are numbered so I can go right to the box that contains the book I’m seeking.

Then we had the toilet in our bathroom decide to not really flush. And the toilet downstairs run constantly. Oh, and the heating system had a bad blower wheel which wasn’t covered under the home warranty purchased at the time of sale because it was improperly maintained. But hey… the joys of homeownership.

Next up? Fixing the automated sprinkler system that the prior owners said didn’t work (but we’re pretty sure they are idiots)… reseeding the lawn (cuz’ they didn’t do any yardwork either)… and cleaning the carpets (because they let their two full-sized goldens run rampant through the house).

God I love my house.

Building Nicknames

The Raleigh, North Carolina city council approved the building of a brand-new 480 foot tower building near Crabtree Valley Mall, to be named Glen-Tree Tower (Glenwood is the road it’s on). This mall, however, is about 3 miles from the center of town (where all the tall buildings are). Of course, this new building is going to be the tallest building in the city.

Now, this happens to not be the first time that a city in this area has tried such a thing. In fact, if you’ve ever visited the Durham area (especially near Duke’s campus), you might have seen a tall, out-of-place building with a large spire on top. Technically, this is the University Tower. It’s more affectionately known, however, due to its size and shape as the Durham Dick.

In the last 24 hours, however, just since the announcement of the new Glen-Tree Tower, I’ve heard THREE other nicknames for the Durham Dick… none of which I (or my NC-native wife) have EVER heard before. First was the Green Pickle. Now, this was uttered by a City Councilman. So I initially thought that perhaps he was going to say Durham Dick and then realized at the last second that he was being recorded for radio and TV and that Green Pickle was the first thing that came to mind as the building does have a sort of green hue to it given it’s mirrored facade. But overall, I dismissed this name as just stupid.

Tonight I get home and my wife tells me that she heard two other names…. Duke Kook (insert REALLY puzzled look here), and Green Weenie (which, again, I think I can understand).

So… I was sitting here trying to think of a name for the new Glen-Tree Tower. Something catchy… something alliterative. And I stumbled on it pretty quickly. The Captial Cock.

I just wanted to be the first to publish it. Cafe Press logo items will be for sale shortly. 🙂


Uh-oh. I’m in trouble. I was going to write about something else… then all of the sudden, I’m asked if I read a book from the library.

“No”, I responded.

“Well, what about the Disney book?” my wife asks.

“No…” I say.

And then came the crux question… the one that changed the outcome of this entry.

“Did you send the thank you note?”

Oh crap. I KNEW I had to do it… remember even being REMINDED to do it. But didn’t do it.

I feign horror.

“No.” Thinking fast, I add “Can I send one from Disney?”


Hmmm… guess I can’t blog about random stuff today because I have something I actually have to go write in the physical universe.

A thank you note for a beautiful birthday gift. And in case she reads it here first: “Thank you, GrandMa (on the Albright side)!”

long hours at work

When I was a teenager, my folks didn’t want me working. They thought that my attention should be spent on homework and they did a really good job of always providing me with whatever I needed from a material perspective.

But when I was 16, I finally got a job working for the local Burger King. My parents were NOT happy with me – they even refused to TAKE me to work – even when the weather was incredibly bad… and I remember one particularly nasty day of walking through the snow, slush and blowing wind just to get to work.

Of course, the job was not exactly easy – food service isn’t a cakewalk (don’t let anyone tell you any different). I didn’t like touching raw food (still don’t), especially condiments that I would NEVER even eat. And the pay is even worse.

Federal Minimum Wage when I first got a job had just been raised to $3.15. I remember this clearly from the big poster that was required to be placed in the BK breakroom. Even if I worked EVERY available hour between when I got out of school at 3pm, until I went to bed around 11pm (8 hours), I would still only be able to make $25.20/day.

Flash forward to now. I make well more per hour than I did per day back then. This is a good thing (and would be even better if inflation didn’t exist). But now that I’m no longer an hourly employee, I have to work until the job is done. I don’t get to stop when the clock strikes 5pm every day. And on most days, I have several hours of work to do each evening.

And it appears that these days, it’s even longer. With one negotiation, I’ve been working until 7-8pm every night for months. Which dilutes my “per hour” equivalent rate.

So these are the days where I long to be an hourly employee again…. and let’s not even start the conversation if I feel like all my time is well spent. 😉

I love Bloop!

OK… time to coin a term.

“Bloop”… as in “Bloop, Bloop, Bloop”… the sound a TiVo makes when it’s fast forwarding through all of those crappy commercials.

I loving having Bloop. And I’m very sad when I have no Bloop but have a commercial staring me in the face.

I’m even more sad when I’m in real life and I have no Bloop.




Tracking me…

More and more people are worried that governments and private corporations will soon have the ability to electronically track you for every moment you’re breathing. Satellites already have the ability to read newspapers from space… all it takes now is the ability to quickly locate a specific person.

Are you going to knowingly agree, then, to have something on you that will make that location possible?


Are you sure?

Well… let’s check, shall we?

Do you have credit cards? Do you use them? I’m guessing that folks do so at least once per day on average. That card can give an exact street address the moment you use it. (Whether you’re talking about a generic Visa or MC, or whether you are using store-specific cards like a JCPenny card or a Sears card, it’s all the same.)

No credit cards you say? OK, how about an ATM card? Same situation there.

OK, so somehow you live “off the grid” (as was most recently stated on the TV show “Committed”) and pay for everything in cash? You think you’re clean then?

Hmmm… what about loyalty cards? You know what I’m talking about. The Kroger Plus Card, the Food Lion MVP card, the Suncoast Replay card, the Eddie Bauer “explorer” card… again, every time you use it, someone, somewhere, knows where you are and what you’re up to.

Alright… so let’s just assume you don’t have any credit cards or loyalty cards at all…

Do you have a car? Have you taken it for service recently? Did you notice that JiffyLube knows your car and you… and the last time you came around for an oil change?

You didn’t? OK, what about calling for pizza? Didn’t Dominos or Pizza Hut call you by name when you spoke with them? Didn’t they already know where you lived?

No? Really? Wow… I’m impressed.

Alrighty. What about a phone? Do you have a cell phone? You DO? Game over. And here we reach what I really wanted to talk about… my new PHONE! 🙂

Yeah, I finally got the v710. It’s cooler than I thought. But it has a pretty scary feature. It allows you to enable its own internal GPS system. If it’s so enabled, and you call 911, they can remotely flip on the system and instantly know where you are (even if they didn’t have the time to triangulate your signal – which is already a possibility for non GPS phones).

But hey… I already have credit cards, loyalty cards, my car, and I order enough pizza to support a small country. So this feature shouldn’t scare me too much.

Promises, Promises isn’t just the name of a Naked Eyes tune

Man I really hate when someone tells me that they’re going to do something and then fails to live up to their promise. I hate it even more when it’s something that’s created excitement and a bit of longing.

Ok, so I was at the mall on Saturday. I talked with this manager of a cellphone store who told me that he could get me a new cell phone that I wanted… but that he had to work his connections with the distributor to get it. I was supposed to call him on Monday to make it happen.

I called on Monday… and he told me that the phone would be there on Wednesday. I am now excited and I work on convincing Tina that I really need the phone (not that there was much convincing to do as my current phone has been on a Peruvian Death March for several months now). But all in all, I’m excited that I’m going to get this new phone.

So I call on Wednesday. Phone’s not there (I had asked for 2 of them so that Tina could get one, too, so when the distributor told the manager that he only had one, the manager didn’t get the one). But the manager tells me that he’ll get in touch with the distributor and call me back in an hour.

Three hours later, no calls. I call the store. Manager’s gone home for the day. Store personnel have no clue what I’m talking about, but they give me the manager’s cell number. I call it. He’s not there and I leave a message.

But by this point, it’s now 3.5 hours after I was supposed to get a call back, I’m probably not going to get the phone today… and since I’m going out of town for the weekend, I won’t see it until Monday.


But I really hate it when people lie to me.

Um, I said 81, not 18!

It’s friggin’ cold out there!

When I moved to NC from Indiana about 6 years ago, one of the reasons for the move (besides being bored with the midwest) was the fact that each winter became a trial of how to survive in the great white north. It’s friggin’ cold, eh? Hozer.

So I moved somewhere that I was told you could play golf 11 months out of the year… where I would probably never need my ski jacket again… a place where, when people refer to toboggans, they’re talking about hats, not sleds… a place where I would have to DRIVE to see snow.


In the last several years, there’s been an uncanny cold snap down here. Not to sound arrogant, but I think the cold followed me as I moved. Because I’ve needed my ski jacket (the one rated well enough to keep sherpas warm while they scale Everest) every year I’ve been here! And yes, it really is only 18 degrees (F) outside.

So, if anyone has a direct line to the weather folks, please get them to turn up the thermostat. Thanks. 🙂

Convincing someone that I’m going to write…

So I told you that I was going to write. But I didn’t. If you know me, you can harp at me.

But such is life.

My life is consumed with work… and TiVo. Someone should’ve invented this YEARS ago. I’ve wasted a lot of time over the years trying to record shows that were of interest. Now, I just say whether I like certain types of shows and BAM, it automatically records them.

OK, so anyone remember that “as seen on TV” remote control with the dials that would supposedly work with any VCR? You just dialed in the time to turn on and off the recorder and wow… no more manuals and blinking 12’s. Sayonara, suckers!

Hehe… god, I love this device. You can ignore all of the crap you never wanted to watch anyways and simply focus on the stuff you did. And my god, if you need to walk the dog, tinkle, or even get some work done in the middle of your show, all ya’ gotta’ do is hit the big yellow pause button.

But hey, if that wasn’t good enough, now there’s TiVoToGo. Simply transfer what you’ve recorded on your TiVo to your computer and play it whenever. The only limitation is the size of the harddrive on your laptop.

Now all we need to do is wait another few months until someone develops an iPod-based media player. Then you can transfer your shows to your iPod and watch them there. If I could develop software, I’d be rich. 🙂