Well Earl and I went on a date last night! That’s right, the two love birds of almost six years together decided to go on a date. We started off at the Turning Stone Casino, where we had a lovely dinner at the Peach Blossom Chinese Restaurant. Have I ever mentioned that Chinese is my favorite food? We got way too much food and stuffed ourselves beyond belief, but we hadn’t eaten all day so we could get away with it.

After that we went on the casino floor and did some gambling. I did a little bit of roulette but mostly the video games. I broke even, came home with the same amount I went in, so that’s good. Earl did the same – he played mostly roulette as well.

After we left the casino, we threw caution to the wind and went to Syracuse – we decided to go to “Rain”, one of the clubs there. We hadn’t been there since they changed the name to Rain, it was Mr. T’s the last time we were there. Anyway, it was fun, we stayed for a drink or two, enjoyed the eye candy and then decided to call it a night.

Today we did a bit of shopping… at Wal*Mart! Now I’ve been boycotting Wal*Mart in Utica because I think that store is really crowded and dirty. Well, it’s still both, but I put a smile on my face and we did some shopping. We then had a little lunch at Burger King in North Utica – a store that should be avoided at all costs because the staff is an absolute mess in there, and then came home. Also watched Rosie O’Donnell from Friday off of TiVo. Actually, it was Caroline Rhea. I LOVE HER! She is very funny, I’ve been a fan for a long, long time. She’s getting the hang of doing the talk-show host thing – I think she’s going to be fabulous when Rosie retires at the end of this season. It’s sad to see Rosie go, but it’s great that Caroline is going to be taking over the reins.

Tonight I taught Earl how to use “LimeWire”. He’s going crazy with his music now. πŸ™‚

We had a long, long chat about my spending habits. I don’t know how he puts up with me. I had better get my act together. So I threw some more items up on ebay, trying to put more money in ‘kitty’. We really need to remodel the bathroom, and the house in general, so I should concentrate on that as well.

So it’s St. Patrick’s Day today! Since I’m seven parts Irish, I suppose I should be celebrating but I’m not one to be going out and getting drunk and acting foolish in public. I don’t mean to sound stuffy, but I have so much more I can do today. πŸ™‚

How do you like this… I started this entry with Adobe GoLive but ended up installing Macromedia Dreamweaver and using that to finish it up. After trying several different web site managers, I think I’ve settled on Dreamweaver for now.

Friday night we met up with Dennis and Victor and went to Chili’s in Syracuse for dinner. Followed by “The Time Machine” at Carousel Center. We were rather disappointed in the movie. It seemed like it was all about the special effects; there wasn’t really a plot to it. Oh well, can’t have a great movie everytime you go.

Yesterday was the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Utica. Marched along with the rest of the radio station. It was cold! About 27 degrees, but fun nonetheless. Earl and I then did some work around the house and went to the new Applebee’s for dinner.

I must have had a great night’s sleep last night, because I raked out the flower beds today, installed a new doorbell and threw out a bunch of outdated computer junk. Plus, Earl has completed all the laundry and we’ve picked up the house. It’s nice to feel productive once in a while.

I’m just about coming to the end of Book 2 of Sylvia Browne’s “Journey of the Soul” series. I am really, really, really getting into this religious thought. Finally, something that makes sense to me. We’re hoping to find a church nearby that we’ll feel comfortable with. I want to make sure that we go to the church that meets both our needs.

Thursday night we watched Rosie O’Donnell’s interview on ABC Primetime. We’re really liking Rosie’s attitude toward her homosexuality and such. I think because it parallel’s ours. I’ve always thought that I never had to tell anyone that I’m gay. (I know what you’re thinking – it must really be obvious!) Well, I guess it might be, but I’ve always thought that if I didn’t make a big deal about it, then no one else would make a big deal about it, and that theory has been working right along. I think if gay people didn’t make a such a big deal about it, then the rest of the world wouldn’t make such a big deal about it. Except the Bible beaters of course, who contradict themselves more and more each day with their silly arguments. “The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin, therefore you are going to hell.” O.k. The Bible also says that if you cut your hair or beard it’s a sin, and therefore you are going to hell as well. I guess they must skip over that part. There was a hilarious list somewhere on the internet about “all sides of the story” when it came to the Bible – I’ll have to see if I can find it.

Tonight it’s “Six Feet Under” followed by “Queer As Folk”. Not really getting into QAF these days. They have such a negative portrayal of gay life going on. Of course, this just perpetuates the hate and such. Homophobes just love to say “that’s how all gay people live”. Of course, after that whacko in Texas we could say that all mothers drown their children, but of course that’s ridiculous. When you point this out it falls on deaf ears, so what are you to do.

Well I better tidy up what’s left of my mess and call it a night!

I am sitting here waiting for Earl to come home. He had to work late tonight, and then he went to work out at the gym. I’m proud of him for sticking to the work out. It’s good for him and it seems to quiet his mind, which is a good thing.

I’m listening to some Native American flute at the moment – with a nice incense burning as well. I try not to burn incense while Earl is in the room, as it bothers his allergies. I find the Native American flute music so relaxing and centering. I wish I could listen to it at work as well, but working for a radio station sort of forces me to listen to the radio while I’m there. πŸ™‚

Tomorrow night we’re heading off to Syracuse with our friends Vic and Dennis. We’re going to Chili’s for dinner – then maybe a movie afterwards. It should be a fun evening, a great way to kick off the weekend.

Saturday we have the St. Patrick’s Day parade for the radio station. It’ll be fun, though it suppose to rain! Dolly Parton once talked about our St. Patrick’s Day parade on Letterman. It seems she was performing here in town and a snow storm had stranded her. She looked out the window of her downtown hotel room (which is only five floors at the most) and saw the St. Patrick’s Day parade – in progress! She got to Letterman the following Monday and told the whole world about it.

My beard is coming all nicely. I was going to go for the big goatee and sideburns, but have decided on a full beard for now. Just in time for spring! I know, I do everything backwards.

The new computer is humming along nicely. I’m installing software, doing a virus scan and working on my journal all at the same time! Let’s here it for the Pentium 4! πŸ™‚

Well the weather outside is frightful…. sing along with me! πŸ™‚ Yesterday it was 70 degrees and quite balmy, today it is 26 and we’re under a “lake snow advisory” again. It’s suppose to warm up to the 40s again tomorrow though, so that’s quite o.k. Had quite a storm last night as the cold front came through – with a nice thunderstorm to boot.

We went for a nice ride yesterday. Started off by getting Earl’s haircut in Syracuse, and then we headed south towards Cortland and Binghamton. Ended up going to Target in Johnson City – it’s always nice to go to Target. I really can’t wait until the one here in town opens up. Picked up a bunch of stuff for the house. We usually spend $400 every time we go to Target, but we didn’t do badly this time – only $204. πŸ™‚

One of the things we did get was “SimCity 3000”. I haven’t played SimCity in years, and I am having a ball. I’ve been fooling around with it for the past four hours. Let’s see if I can keep my city out of bankruptcy! πŸ™‚

Had a nice lunch after Earl’s haircut at Brooklyn Pickle. Very healthy meal. Then after our stop to Target in Binghamton, we took the long way home. We decided on a quick meal at McDonalds on the southside of Oneonta. Mistake. Seems they were having a birthday party there and nobody could be bothered to wait on the line of customers at the counter. So, instead of getting all worked up about it, we decided to leave and headed across the street to Wendy’s. McDonalds is definitely on the JPSL now.

We did watch “Cast Away” last night on DVD. What a wonderful movie. I’m glad that we purchased it! πŸ™‚

Well I should get my butt in gear and do something other that SimCity today.

Oh, I’ve decided to go with a really big goatee and sideburns (after all this time clean shaven). If you want to see progress, you can follow along here.

Well I’m sitting here at my computer trying to relax, and Earl is surfing the internet on his computer as we speak. Apparently, he’s wandered into the “gay men’s chat room” on some weird service, and they’re all singing karaoke over the microphones into the chat room. It’s the worst music I’ve heard since I listened to the local Top 40 radio station.

It’s funny, because I used to be a Top 40 DJ, then a Program Director. I was responsible for how my station sounded – the music, the jocks, the contests, everything. But I must be getting old or something, because I really, really, really don’t like Top 40 music anymore. It’s just not my thing anymore. There’s no thought or creativity into the music at all. It’s all computers and computers and more computers, with a fairly absurd looking young man or woman lip-synching to the music that their Mac or PC generated. I mean, the first time I saw ‘N Sync, I wondered why the guy had a mop on his head but it turned out to be his hair.

I much prefer listening to NPR these days. My favorite program on NPR is “All Things Considered”. The local NPR station is WRVO-FM. Since they’re doing such a fine job, I’ll give them a link as well. πŸ™‚ Earl and I make contributions to that station several times a year. I feel much more in tune with what’s happening in the world by listening to NPR. I guess Johnny boy is growing up.

We had my Dad and his girlfriend Karen over for dinner Sunday night, along with Karen’s son Colin. It was a really nice time. Earl went all out cooking up a fabulous meal – he always does that and is always supportive of my family. The conversation was great, and it was the first time that my sister met Karen and Colin. I think everyone got along splendidly, and we’re looking forward to doing it again soon.

I checked in on my Mom tonight – she’s walking around with walking pneumonia these days. As if pneumonia wasn’t bad enough, someone had the bright idea to make it walk. Ha ha such wit. Anyways, she’s drudging through it, but she says she’ll be through it soon enough. I worry about her. I’m trying to get her to become more grounded, and start concentrating on her spirituality a little bit. I think it’ll help her. So when I meditate I pray for her, and bask her in emerald green light to help her with her illness.

I’m working my way through Sylvia Browne’s “Journey of the Soul” series. I’m on Book 2. It’s very interesting. I actually look forward to reading it. I’m trying not to rush through it so I can savor all the information.

Tonight we kicked back and watched “Bewitched” along with “The West Wing”. You know, “The West Wing” is so cleverly written. A very enjoyable show. And of course “Bewitched” is timeless. I can’t wait to see what Columbia Pictures has planned for the 40th anniversary of Bewitched. I’m hoping for a DVD set with hidden goodies. I guess we’ll have to wait for two years and see what they do.

Work has been going along splendidly, if not at a rather hectic pace. Have you noticed that time seems to be speeding up somehow? Now I don’t want to sound like a loon, but it really feels like time is flying by much faster than it did before.

Well I’m going to meditate and call it a night.

Another exciting weekend in our household! πŸ™‚

We kicked it off Friday night by having dinner at Casa Too Mucha in New Hartford (again). It’s a great place to eat – if you are passing through the area, drop me a line and I’ll send your directiobns from the Thruway. Well worth the stop.

Saturday morning we were up bright and early for “America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk”, a walkathon for the American Heart Association. The radio station I work for participated in it, as we were doing a live broadcast. I had to put on my happy face so early in the morning! Earl’s company walked in it – and they raised quite a chunk of change! It was cold, cold, cold, but it was for a worthy cause so we didn’t mind too much.

We then took a nap, and then decided to go to the Turning Stone Casino (not too far from the house). It was PACKED when we got there, we couldn’t even find a parking space. So, since we were half way to Syracuse already, we decided to go all the way and have dinner at Spaghetti Warehouse. It was great. On the way home, we stopped at the casino. Earl took $200, I took $100. I decided to play the video slot machines. Well, what do you know… I won $2,250!!! I absolutely couldn’t believe it! Bells rang, people laughed, music played, and an odd woman rubbed my shaved head for good luck. I have never won ANYTHING in my life, and here I won this nice chunk of change! I believe it was an affirmation from God, because I said a silent prayer right before spinning the reels, and I was also playing Earl and my commitment ceremony date – 12/26/96. And voila! 9,000 credits later I had $2,250. So today we went to Best Buy and purchased a new computer. Earl’s computer has been slowing down quite a bit, so I gave him my old Compaq (which has been running fabulously), and I got a new HP Pavilion 760n. It’s a Pentium 4 1.8ghz with 512MB memory, and lots of other goodies. I love it!

Now I’m in the process of cleaning up the “wreck room” for the computer moves. I am walking on Cloud 9 tonight…..

What a weekend it has been! Actually, what a week it has been. Wednesday morning at 4:00 a.m. the phone rang – it was Earl’s cousin Julie from St. Louis. Her brother (Earl’s cousin) Rick passed away at age 43 from a brain anerism. Earl and Rich were close – so we were planning on driving out to Chicago this weekend for the services, pre-empting our planned trip to New York. So on Wednesday night we cancelled all of our reservations for New York and starting making plans for Chicago. Then we get a call Thursday morning – the services are Friday morning, which there was no possible way for us to get to Chicago in time, and the family really understood if we didn’t make it out there. So after some conversation with the rest of Earl’s family in Pa., we decided not to go to Chicago and to go to New York after all. But we had released most of our reservations, so we ended up staying at the Sheraton New York Towers instead of at the Meadowlands. The money was about the same so it didn’t really make a difference.

So we took the day off from work on Friday and headed out about 11:00 a.m. Took a new route for us – Route 8 down to Deposit, and then over Route 17 to the Thruway and down the Palisades Parkway to the George Washington bridge. Very nice and surprisingly quick ride – about 4 hours all told, which was a nice change of pace. Usually it takes about 4 1/2.

Once we got situation in our hotel room we headed over to Times Square and went to the 1/2 price tickets stand just for the heck of it. We ended up getting two tickets to see “Bea Arthur On Broadway: Between Friends” – and it was very, very enjoyable. Of course Bea Arthur is famous for her roles on “Maude” and “The Golden Girls”, but she is even more accomplished on the Broadway stage, and this one woman show was absolutely magnificant, went singing and stand up and storytelling… it was a hoot! We hung around at the stage door afterwards, but she just kind of walked straight to the car, so we didn’t get her autograph, but we did see her up close, it was a little shocking to see how frail she has become. But she still has that fire she’s famous for – and we thoroughly enjoyed her show.

Saturday we headed over to “The Art of Shaving” to use the gift certificate that Earl had gotten me for Christmas. I ended up purchasing the most expensive straight razor they had (he actually helped me pick it out), and I got my complimentary shave and lessons on how to use the razor properly. I felt well pampered. Spent a little more money than I anticipated, but that was o.k. Earl and I had originally scheduled the “royal shave” – which was the full treatment, but cancelled the reservations when we thought we were going to Chicago. I was lucky that they could squeeze in my complimentary shave. I promised Earl he would get the full treatment the next time we were down there. When I get more confident with the straight razor, I’ll take pictures to share here on the web.

After that we headed to the Village. Took a stroll up Christopher Street and surrounding streets as well, did a little shopping, had lunch at the Christopher Street restaurant, which was very good.

We then walked all the way from the Village back to the hotel – 8th to 53rd! Quite a jaunt, but we needed the exercise. Besides, the weather was absolutely beautiful – sunny and 58.

Saturday night we tried to get more tickets at Times Square, but they were sold out, so we went for a nice walk through Central Park and watched the ice skaters and such. We had dinner at The Stage Deli, and went back after our walk for take out dessert. After all, you need to be rewarded after so much exercise – and what’s a better reward than a huge hunk of cheesecake? πŸ™‚

This morning we got up and headed out early – got home around 2:00, which gave us a chance to get the chores around the house done. We watched “Miss Congeniality” on DVD, which is a great movie. Watched a bit of the Olympics before calling it a night.

Well here it is Sunday already! Time really does fly these days – I think that means that I am happy with life. πŸ™‚

Earl and I did a “home shopping spree” yesterday – we went and bought things we need for the house. Sort of a “spruce” up if you will. We both received our tax returns, plus Earl got his yearly bonus, so we had some ammo in the checking account. So we bought new sheets for the bed, a hamper, some decorative planters and such. We went to Albany and went to “Bed, Bath and Beyond”. Very nice, very nice indeed.

The geek in me is trying out a new web-authoring program again. This time I’m trying out Adobe GoLive. I downloaded a trial version. So far I like it very much, but this is the first page I’ve ever edited with it. Let’s see what I think in a week or two! πŸ™‚

We did a little more shopping this afternoon… bought a pair of surround speakers for the living room surround sound system, and a pair of speakers for the wreck-room stereo. We have glorious music throughout the house! Plus we bought some tools at Lowe’s and some household stuff for Mariruth (our cleaning lady). Yes, we are presumptious enough to have a cleaning lady. Actually, Earl has some wicked allergies and she comes in twice a month to clean the house from top to bottom. That let’s him and the cat co-exist peacefully! πŸ™‚

Next weekend we are headed to New York. We are staying at the Embassy Suites Meadowlands. We’re going Friday morning and staying until Sunday. I’m finally going to be able to use my gift certificate at the Art of Shaving, plus we’re just going to do touristy stuff – combining Valentine’s Day and Earl’s birthday into one trip. I already gave him his birthday present, even though his birthday isn’t until the 20th… two tickets to John Edward at a seminar in Providence, R.I. (John Edward is from the TV show “Crossing Over with John Edward). He’s a psychic and a medium, and from what I hear gives wonderful seminars. I’m looking forward to it – and I know that Earl is really looking forward to it too.

Well Earl is downstairs watching the SuperBowl as I am trying to figure out how to ship an ebay shipment to Canada. It’s a $5.00 book and I can not believe the paperwork involved with it! It might be easier just to drive it over and drop it off. Oh well.

Friday night we went out to dinner with Dennis and Vic, to a local restaurant called “Casa Too Mucha”. It’s mine and Earl’s favorite local restaurant, and we eat there quite a bit. The owner, Patty, has a couple of CDs and she is quite the singer. I’ll have to find one of her songs online and post a link to it so you can hear her wonderful voice. Ever since Earl and I were out west last year, I’ve enjoyed Mexican food. I particularly like anything with green chiles on it.

Yesterday we did our monthly Syracuse run – as Earl desperately needed a haircut. So we visited Shoppingtown Mall Barber Shop, and shot the sh*t, and then did some shopping. It’s amazing how much difference a new pillow can make in your sleep patterns. We decided that we needed new pillows, so we picked up a couple at K-mart and we both slept like babies last night. I don’t think I kicked Earl once! πŸ™‚ And the cat didn’t get tossed around either. He insists on sleeping at our feet, or between us sometimes, and we occasionally end up bouncing him around the bed like a trampoline.

We also went grocery shopping at Wegmans. Gosh, I wish Wegmans would come to Utica!

While we were in Syracuse we stopped at Barnes and Noble. I love reading and I love Barnes and Noble – I’m glad that they’re building a store closer to us. I hope our budget can handle it! πŸ™‚ I bought the three book series “Journey of the Soul” by Sylvia Browne. I’ve been doing a lot of reading of Sylvia’s stuff lately. I’m finding much of it to ring true for me. For those that don’t know, Sylvia is a world renowned psychic. Her thoughts on religion are wonderful. Through trance of her spirit guide, she has been able to learn so much of God and the Other Side and so much. As I do more research, I am beginning to identify myself as a Gnostic Christian, rather than as the Methodist I was baptized as. I’ve always been a little bit confused by the teachings of the church… for example, if God is all loving, then why would he punish those that sin and send them to hell? An all loving God can’t be a vengeful God. That made no sense to me. Well as I read Sylvia’s books, I’m realizing that this whole hell and punishment and vindictive and judgement stuff is man-made to scare people – that God is really an all-loving, all-knowing God. I think I am going to join her “Novus Spiritus” study group.

I had to run into work today as the broadcast computer was completely screwed up and played nothing but 2 1/2 hours worth of commercials! πŸ™‚ So much for music! πŸ™‚ Computers can be so helpful, but they can be such a hinderance at times. While I was there I started the 300MB download I intended to do tomorrow during the day. At least it won’t slow down the internet connection for the rest of the office by doing it now. My workstation at work runs Linux and I needed to do some upgrades, so downloading we-a-go. Linux is nice in that it is completely free and doesn’t crash hardly at all. One of our Linux servers has been up and running for the past 74 days without needing a reboot! The other Windows servers need reboots all the time. I hope Linux continues to catch on.

Well here we are at high speed on the internet! Pardon my French, but this is fushin’ awesome! I left work today at 12:30 p.m., eagerly anticipating the arrival of our satellite installation guy. Well he arrived at 2:30. I just love how the cable and satellite people give you a time like “between 1:00 and 5:00”. It’s a good thing that things are slow at work and I had a little flexibility in my schedule. Anyways, he added another dish to the collection on our milkhouse (which now brings us to FOUR dishes – one for DirecTV, one for DirecPC, the old DirecPC one and the old Primestar dish. The neighbors are going to think we’re weird. I’ll have to take down the non-functional dishes when the weather settles down.

Anyways, the install went flawlessly, and now we are just cruisin’ along on the internet. Where it used to take 10 minutes to download a 2MB file, I downloaded a 3.5MB file today in FIVE SECONDS. Absolutely amazing. This even blows away the system at work. Now I don’t have to abuse company resources anymore – I can use the system at home. Plus, it doesn’t tie up the phone lines, which is very nice as well. Definitely a GREAT investment.

Earl’s been doing some surfing online as well. He’s very pleased with the new system.

You know how sometimes you get a song in your head and it makes you crazy until you hear it for real? That happened to me last night. I was saying my nighttime prayers, which includes the Lord’s Prayer, and I got that folk song version of The Lord’s Prayer going through my head and I couldn’t fall asleep. It’s funny, because that’s how my mother taught my sister and I the Lord’s Prayer, with that song. Anyways, after a little bit of research at 11:30 last night, I found out that the version I was singing in my head was by Sister Janet Mead and was a Top 10 song in 1974. I downloaded it, and now I can play it at my convenience.

Driving into work today I dug out one of my old Human League CDs. They may have not been the most talented, but I do really, really, really enjoy their music. It has a sort of “ordinary folk” feel to it. I was grooving on “(Keep Feeling) Fascination” on my way into work, and the underrated “Heart Like A Wheel” on the way home. It was kind of cool.

I’m really liking this trial version of IBM WebSphere Homepage Builder. I think I might by it for real when the time comes around.