After my fit of Linux experimentation the other da…

After my fit of Linux experimentation the other day, I’m back to full-blown Microsoft mode. My assistant system administrator at work thinks I’m nuts because I’ve had as many as four operating systems on my workstation in one day but that’s just the geek in me.

I rode my bike back and forth to work today and I must admit that it felt wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. I haven’t been cycling since Monday but I rode hard today, opting to come back on the gravel Erie Canalway bike trail and I feel very energized and motivated to ride again. I think I’m going to do a long ride Sunday morning – perhaps along the Canalway to Albany or at least out that way and back. I’m going to make it an early morning ride before it gets too warm. It’s suppose to be a beautiful weekend, with above average temperatures and everything.

I’ve been playing around with StyleXP and themes on my Windows XP machines both here and at work. I’ve settled on a background called “dejablu” and a theme called “Windows .NET”, which I guess is suppose to be the look of a future version of Windows. I also like “Windows MX”, which is just someone’s crazy name I guess.

Work was a tough day to day. One of my co-worker’s grandfather passed away last night and he was pretty torn up about it (understandably). But he wanted to work to keep his mind focused on other tasks. I just don’t know what to say in these situations, because I consider this co-worker my friend and I don’t like to see people hurting, but I have to maintain my whole management persona. I really wanted to give him a big ol’ hug and a “there there” and let him just let it all out. Not that I’m a big bully at work in “management mode” and don’t give a hoot about people’s feelings. Hardly. I have a habit of speaking my mind (probably a little more than I should), and that’s probably gives me the old foot-in-mouth disease half the time, but I blurt out both the good and the bad.

Earl and I have been watching “The Caroline Rhea Show”. Love it. A redressed Rosie O’Donnell set is very noticeable, but other than that, I think the show is fresh and we wish Caroline the best of luck.

Earl just announced to me that he’s going to bed, I think I’ll join him.

I’ve made a discovery while surfing the internet h…

I’ve made a discovery while surfing the internet here. It’s a new program I’ve found for Windows XP to dress it up a little bit – it’s called “StyleXP”. You can google to find it. It’s a little plug-in that allows desktop themes to exploit the built-in “skinning” capabilities of Windows XP. Microsoft put this wonderful functionality in their newest incarnation of Windows, but they haven’t really done much with it. I mean all we get is the “Windows XP” theme with three color choices. What fun is that? With StyleXP, you can download tons of ‘visual styles’ for Windows XP and you can really add some flair to your desktop. If you have Windows XP, it’s worth the $19.95 shareware fee after 30 day trial to try out StyleXP. Too bad I don’t get a free copy for this shameless plug. πŸ™‚

If you’ve been watching the webcam page the past couple of days you may have noticed the workcam hiccupping a little bit. I had jumped into a Linux experiment again. Alas, but since all the servers and other workstations at work are Microsoft based, and because I use an ancient DOS-based billing program that refuses to run on anything but the MS-DOS flavor of DOS, I had to stick with windows. I hope to get the cam working again tomorrow morning. You can see how my beard is coming along. It grows slowly, so I start my winter beard the first of September. Actually, I cheated this year and started Aug. 25. πŸ™‚

I’ve mentioned before about my obsession with “Bewitched”. Well, for some reason last night I had a wonderful dream about meeting Agnes Moorehead. Surprisingly, she patted me on the hand in the dream and told me to continue life with the flair I know so well. Just be yourself. Now what the heck is that all about. The dream seemed so very, very real, and I woke up this morning with such a surprising feeling of peace and calm. (Too bad it didn’t last through the workday!) Maybe someone on the other side had Agnes tell me something that I haven’t come to terms with yet. I guess I’ll have to meditate on it some more and go from there. Surprisingly, as I type this, I can remember the dream so vividly and I find myself smiling. I often remember my dreams, but they fade away as the morning churns on. I’m kind of surprised that this one has stayed with me.

Earl has to take the car to work tomorrow, so I’ve volunteered to ride my bike to work. It’s been quite a while since I’ve ridden to work, mainly because I don’t enjoy the ride home with all the traffic and such, but it’s going to be a gorgeous day, and who knows, with it being Sept. 6 tomorrow (already!) it may be one of the last chances I get before a famous Central N.Y. pre-winter cold spell blows in. I hope to ride on Saturday as well, I’m thinking of going on a nice long trek.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written in my b…

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written in my blog. I suppose I’ve been a little lazy about it. The satellite connection seems to be working at full-tilt tonight though, so I’ll give it a whirl.

Our friends Vic and Dennis were over this evening… we watched the “American Idol” finale together. I must admit that I became hooked on American Idol over the past couple of weeks. And I’m glad that the person I was routing for, Kelly Clarkson, is the “American Idol”. She deserves it. She’s a natural on stage and has an absolutely beautiful voice. Unbelieveable! I wish her the best. One of the things that delighted me about the show is that the theme music was written by one of my favorite dance artists – Cathy Dennis. I think she sang on it too – the voice that sang the “ohs” sounds very familiar.

Work has been very crazy as the web page project continues. Plus, it’s football season in Central New York and that makes more work for me coordinating our football broadcasts on the station. Good fun for all! πŸ™‚

Earl and I have been keeping busy – Labor Day weekend was especially busy with his brother Rick, and his girlfriend Helen visiting. A nice visit – we went to Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse with my sister and her boyfriend, and then up to Southwicks State Park on Sunday for an all day picnic. My dad and his girlfriend Karen joined us as well.

Monday we just kicked back and relaxed. I went on a couple of bike rides over the weekend as well, crunched a particularly hilly ride on Monday afternoon. I’m looking forward to doing a long trip on Saturday if the weather holds out.

Earl and I are sitting here at Wellesley Island St…

Earl and I are sitting here at Wellesley Island State Park in the 1000 Islands as I write this. This is the first time that we’ve been here. We are both big fans of the NYS park system and we really enjoy going on picnics and such. This state park is along the St. Lawrence Seaway along the Canadien border. The weather is beautiful, though it is a little windy. We just got done eating lunch, a hot dog and Torengos with salsa. As soon as I finish this entry, we’re going to go on a hike and see what this island has to offer. By the way, we are on an actual island, the signs outside the park say “U S Mainland –>”! πŸ™‚

I’ve been successful in slowing my mind a little bit through relaxation and meditation. I think its helped me become less reactionary and more focused.

Back from our walk. We were taking pictures near a rocky cliff when something stung me. It felt like 110volts or a burn more than a sting. It surprised the heck out of me and stings like the dickens. Still hurts like hell, but I’ll deal with it. I haven’t dropped dead yet, so it couldn’t have been a bee sting. Maybe a dragonfly or something.

Earl is reading ”What If God Were The Sun” by John Edward. He seems quite interested in it. I hope to read it after he’s finished.

I enjoyed a nice dip in the river. It was considerably warmer than Treman State Park last week. There was a handsome man down at the beach with a nice full beard, with the ”full” part mostly under the chin. Gave me an idea for this fall and winter. If I hit my goal weight by the end of September and stick to it, I’m going to go for it.

My hand is still hurting me a little bit but I’m dealing with it. Earl is grilling pork chops that smell absolutely wonderful.

I just took a long walk around the entire park. There are some beautiful campsites here. I hope to go tenting before snow flies.

9:45 p.m. – Home. What a beautiful day. My pinky is still swollen and aches, but I know I’ll live. Just got to finish up the laundry before calling it a night.

I thought I’d take a moment and write a little bit…

I thought I’d take a moment and write a little bit more in the blog before calling it a night. Earl and I got back from Syracuse a little while ago. We took it easy while we were out there, not a lot of activity, just a relaxing day at the mall.

We decided to go to Carousel Center (the future DestiNY USA) because there was a bit of a cloudburst going on as we got to Syracuse. So instead of Barnes and Nobles we ended up a Borders, which was a good thing because I was still able to find the book I was looking for. It’ll make work that much easier! πŸ™‚

We also went to CompUSA, where I purchased Microsoft FrontPage 2002. I’ve been working on the websites more, and I had heard good things about this latest version of FrontPage, so I thought I would give it a try. Let’s see if this experiment is a success! I’ve had mixed feelings about previous versions of FrontPage, but as I do more studying of HTML and such, I’m beginning to see why the software does what it does, and now I feel more comfortable with it.

We also moved over to our new home of tonight. If you go to the old address, you’ll still get to our new home (we left a forwarding number!) but update your bookmarks if you’re a regular. We moved to our own server because there’s a lot of stuff we want to do with the site and we haven’t had the opportunity to do so. We’re probably going to webcam more of the house, in a sort of “Big Brother” way. We both think that’s kind of neat. I’ve also been working on videos I’d like to share, and we’d like to upload more pictures and stuff to our photo gallery, but we were limited in space with our previous “residence”.

I’ve been thinking about going to a massuse the last week or so. Actually, I’ve been thinking about it for about a year, but now I feel comfortable enough in my body to go and have someone rub me down. My legs have become quite muscular if I do say so myself, but my chest and arms are still those of a city boy (what happened to the hay and poop slinging arms I had on the farm?), but as of today I’ve lost 28 lbs since May 1st and I’m feeling pretty good, so I think I deserve a really firm, good massage.

We’re planning a visit to a state park tomorrow, though we haven’t decided which one. I better decide tonight before going to bed.

Well I’m writing a short little ditty while Earl i…

Well I’m writing a short little ditty while Earl is taking a shower. Just got back from a bike ride, my first in seven days. It’s just been too hot to enjoy cycling this past week, with record highs near 100 all week long. Went to the Canalway trail, about 3 miles in there’s a tree that must have fallen in the thunderstorms last night. A cyclist was skimming his bike underneath the tree. I didn’t want to exert that much effort, so I decided to turn around and head back and call it a day. I was very hungry and hot anyways, so that was o.k. Ended up going 14.75 miles.

We’re going to Syracuse tonight for supper and to stop at Barnes and Noble. I really enjoy going there – I need to pick up a couple of books for work. Then tomorrow we’re going to go to a state park for the day again. Probably Fair Haven, on the other side of Oswego.

Well you can tell it’s the middle of August. I’m b…

Well you can tell it’s the middle of August. I’m beginning to make television resolutions – I’m not going to watch new sitcoms this fall. On Thursday I really wanted to see “The Rerun Show”, since it was featuring a Bewitched segment, and I am a die-hard Bewitched fan. So I caught the tail end of “Will and Grace”. First of all, some feel that as a gay man I should automatically be in love with the show. I’m not. I think it’s a waste of time and actually a vehicle for more humor to be derived from the so-called “gay life”. Then I got to thinking about a lot of the sitcoms lately, and they’re all the same and can all be termed under a three word phrase. “Blah blah blah”. The dramas aren’t much better, but at least their watchable. I can tolerate “Judging Amy”, but even that’s bordering on idiotic.

I don’t know why I’m feeling so hostile towards television today. Maybe because I watch some of the shows from the 1950s and 60s and they were just of higher quality. It really irritates me that the actors and actresses feel that 19-22 episodes a season is bordering on too much work. The first season of Bewitched was *39* episodes long, and that was including Elizabeth Montgomery’s pregnancy AND all the special effects that they had to do “the hard way” (without computers) for each episode. And it was for like a tenth of the money. At least the reality shows are somewhat enjoyable in that it’s allegedly normal people making asses of themselves for a somewhat normal amount of money. The folks on Big Brother 3 make $750 a week for only the weeks they’re on the show. I think that’s cool. It’s not an outrageous amount of money.

It’s been so hot and muggy that I haven’t ridden my bike the past couple of days. On Saturday, I left at 5:30 a.m. and rode to Homer (near Cortland) … just shy of 80 miles, in 7 hours. It was very hot, and very, very hilly. I’m quite sunburned, despite the sunscreen I had on. Earl met up with me and we went to Robert Treman State Park just south of Ithaca. A great state park for swimming! I’ll have pictures on the site by the end of the week.

I’m writing this at work, I better get doing something productive!

Here we are winding up another weekend in our happ…

Here we are winding up another weekend in our happy little household. Woke up a little bit late this morning, 9:20 to be exact. I guess I just felt like sleeping in. Decided to go for a bike ride, so I was on the road at 9:50 from 2 hours and 20 minutes – ended up riding almost 25 miles around the area. Came home and weighed myself for my weekly weigh in, 194.5 pounds! Absolutely blew me away! I started my whole exercise/diet regime at 219 pounds, so I’d say that’s quite an accomplishment. I hope to stabilize at 190 lbs., I think I’m going to have to go below that for a little bit so I have a little room to fool around and finally stabilize at my intended weight.

Earl has started up golfing again. We went and bought him a new set of clubs yesterday, which seemed to make him quite happy. I’m glad that he’s getting out an enjoying the summer sun. Actually, we did quite a bit of shopping yesterday in Syracuse – I needed a new keyboard at work so I picked up the Microsoft Office keyboard. It has some extra buttons on it to make work easier – I bought it because I really liked the feel of it. The keyboard on my HP here at home is nice enough, though it is a bit mushy to type on. I’m very picky about keyboards.

Earl and I also went for a walk tonight, which was quite nice. We walked for 2 miles this evening after supper. I hope to do at more often as well, as we both seemed to have enjoyed it very much.

It’s very, very humid – it’s been that way all weekend. It is suppose to cool down considerably tomorrow night, so I’m planning on cycling to work on Tuesday and Wednesday.

We watched Big Brother today. It’s official. I’ve become obsessed, as I dreamed about being in the house with the rest of them last night. It happens whenever I get hooked on a reality show. I’ve dreamed I was on Survivor, I’ve dreamed I’m on the Amazing Race, now I’m dreaming I’m on Big Brother. I’ve also dreamed I’ve had a walk on role on Queer as Folk and Judging Amy. I guess television really gets to me.

We went to the movies last night and saw “Signs”. First of all, we went to the theatres in Carousel Center, which was a mistake because people are always rude and talking on their cell phones or just being plain inconsiderate. Then, sitting to the side and back of us was a mother of three with her children, including a NEWBORN baby! Why on earth would this woman bring these kids to a movie theatre? Then, to top it all off, I really didn’t care for the movie. I thought it was boring. It just sort of rambled on… We had an enjoyable sandwich at Au Bon Pain in the food court afterwards before heading home.

On the techy side, I’ve gotten really, really deep with my Palm m515. I’m really liking this. I picked up the Rand McNally atlas on chip last night and was messing around with it on the way home. I’ve also started reading ebooks and emagazines on their as well. Plus, I picked up Tetris for the Palm, which I love and have been playing away at that.

I’ve begun studying for the MCSA Exam 70-270 “Microsoft Windows XP Professional”. I’m taking the test first weekend in October. I’ll earn a MCP certification and then go on from there for the MCSA track. I really want to earn this certification, and it’s going to be my ‘project’ I concentrate on this winter.

An eventful workday in the life of J.P. :) Yeste…

An eventful workday in the life of J.P. πŸ™‚ Yesterday our new webmaster/assistant system administrator started at work. Pretty cool guy – he’s picking up fast and knows a LOT about computers. I really think he’s going to work out for the company, and I know I’ll learn stuff from him.

I just finished “Ab Class”. Earl and I have become hooked on the Big Brother live feeds. Well every night, the Big Brother house hampsters (as I like to call them), do ‘Ab Class’ where they work out for 15 minutes out int he backyard, concentrating on their abs. Since my legs are becoming pretty buff if I do say so myself from my bike riding, I decided that I need to work on my abs and upper body as well. So I do ‘ab class’ – 30 minutes of aerobic exercise followed by 10 minutes of intensive ab training from exercises I downloaded from the web. I forgot where they came from, but they are pretty intense, I’m pretty sore the next day. Sore is good, right?

I didn’t ride yesterday or today, which I feel a tiny bit guilty about, but I needed to rest. Plus, I didn’t get out of work until 7:00 p.m. tonight, so it was really too late when I got home to go riding. I had to get some groceries (healthy stuff, believe it or not), so I went to P&C and went wild with my “wild card”. I’ve grown to really like Rice Milk, plus I have no pudge fudge brownies I made with yogurt. I must admit that I briefly thought about stopping at McDonalds on the way home, but I’ve worked too hard to feel good to start clogging up my body with McFat again.

My left eye is doing some funky thing tonight with allergies. It’s a little watery and swollen – I hope it feels better in the morning.

I just got off the phone with Earl – he’s in New Jersey tonight meeting with a customer. He’ll be back tomorrow. I think we’re going to go for an all day picnic adventure on Saturday. We haven’t done that in a while, and I think it would be fun for both of us. I’m anxious to go swimming in Lake Ontario at one of my favorite state parks – Southwick State Park a little southwest of Watertown. Very beautiful. I grew up near there and it’s nice to get up there from time to time.

Well I conqured a milestone today on my bike ridin…

Well I conqured a milestone today on my bike riding. I participated in “Tour De Heart” – the American Heart Association’s bike ride for ‘Team Shania’. Shania is a little girl that lives in the Mohawk Valley who’s had numerous heart problems, has had three open heart surgeries (and she’s only three!), but despite the obstacles she’s faced – she’s full of energy and life! So they had a benefit ride for her today (this is the second year). The radio station I work for was a sponsor, so I decided this would be an excellent test of my cycling training I’ve been doing. We had our choice of 5, 25 or 50 miles. I went for the gold and signed up for the 50 mile ride. Oh my goodness. This was a workout. We began riding through the Ilion Gorge – a beautiful, yet twisty and UPHILL ride for about 9 miles. We then turned east. I started up this massive hill when my chain flew right off my bike. And it was pouring rain at the time. So I jumped on the sag wagon, where they took me about 2 miles up the road (and hill), to a relatively dry area. I popped the chain back on, which is something I hadn’t done since I was 16 years old or so, and was well on my way. Actually, I waited for the pack of riders to catch up with my jump in the sag wagon and rejoined them. Lots and lots of hills, but I rode them all. I fell behind again, and at the end of the 50 mile ride I was second to last, just shy of 4 hours. It felt great! Earl and I raised $360 for the ride, and come to find out we raised the most money. Very exciting. Later this evening, Earl and I drove the course so he could see what the ride was like, as he had stayed back at the park where the festivities were taking place. I was telling him that that’s my one disappointment about cycling – he doesn’t get to see where I go and what I do. He said maybe someday. πŸ™‚

Tonight we watched Saturday night’s episode of Big Brother, courtesy of TiVo. I must say that I’m enjoying this year’s crowd. Earl is constantly watching the live feeds while we’re upstairs in the wreck (computer) room. I think he’s enjoying it as much as I am! I sometimes think the whole three month thing is a little too long, but we’ll stick with it this year.

Got an incense burning as I type this. It’s relaxing me quite a bit. Must be the opium scent. πŸ™‚

I threw my shoulder out Wednesday night during my bike ride and it’s been popping in and out and hurting me a little bit. Last time I saw the doctor about it, he just gave me pain pills and said it seemed fine. One of the reasons I’m not going to the doctor anymore. I believe more in the alternative therapies anyways. Maybe I should get my butt to a chiropractor or at the very least a masseuse. Problem is, insurance will only cover it if my primary physician refers me – but my primary physician doesn’t really believe in the alternative therapies. Maybe I need to find a new primary physician!