Happy Easter

I have been so lazy on my computer lately. I haven’t been answering e-mail, I haven’t written in my blog. I’ve been busy wasting brain cells on the American Idol messageboards. But now I’m taking the opportunity to catch up on my blog and to catch up on my e-mail.

Earl and I are sitting at Green Lakes State Park outside of Syracuse. We’ve decided to start a new Easter tradition this year. We’re going to celebrate Easter, and the arrival of spring, with a picnic at a park for our Easter dinner. Just the two of us. In the past, with the exception of last year, we’ve gone away for Easter. One year we went to Boston and ended up eating Easter dinner at a Boston Market outside of Springfield, Mass. Last year we had Easter dinner at my Dad’s with his girlfriend Karen, and that was very enjoyable and delicious. I don’t think we’re being selfish by going off on our own, and I hope the families understand.

Yesterday we did something that I haven’t done since I was a kid. We started off the day at my Dad’s store and had lunch with him and my aunt and uncle. Initially I had planned on biking up there, but Mother Nature felt we needed the rain, so I turned around after 15 miles or so, covered in mud, soaked to the bone and mad. So we drove up instead.

We then drove to Syracuse Airport and sat in the Observation Area for two hours watching planes and gets land and take off. I haven’t done that in years. It was so much fun! And Earl said that he was enjoying himself as well, he found it very relaxing. Last night, I did some research on the internet, and found that there’s tons of people that do Plane Spotting, and I found that quite exciting. We did watch two planes land when we were in Phoenix last month, and it piqued my interest then, it just increased my interest yesterday at Syracuse Airport. I think I’m going to practice my photography while I’m plane spotting in the future. I hope to do it again soon.

So now we’re at Green Lakes State Park any enjoying the spring. There’s a woman at the next picnic table over that laughs like a loon. It’s kind of cute! At least she fits in with the wildlife.

I’ve been working hard at cycling the past week. I rode to work everyday with the exception of Thursday (because I had to pick Earl up from work – his truck was getting fixed.) I feel great and I’m growing much more confident on the new bike. I’m looking forward to the long ride coming up in May and then The Ride For Missing Children on May 16. If you wish to donate, drop me a line and I’ll send you the information on how you can.

Physically, I’ve been feeling wonderful. Today marks the year anniversary that I began my weight loss. A year ago today I was 27 pounds heavier. Yesterday I started the Slim-Fast plan again – I’m going to do it for a couple of weeks to jup start my metabolism because my weight has creeped up a little bit in the past couple of weeks. I had initially lost 34 pounds, but seven pounds somehow crept back on.

Spiritually I’ve been feeling great as well. I think I’ve cleaned a bunch of cobwebs or something out of my head because I’ve felt much more “tuned in” the past week or so. It’s important to keep your mind clear and focused. Positive thoughts.

All in all, today is quite the beautiful day. Earl and I have just enjoyed a delicious Easter picnic, the sky is clear and sunny, temperatures are in the mid 70s. And Earl and I are having a wonderful time talking, relaxing and just being together.

We wrapped up our Easter trip with a little ride and then a stop at Friendly’s. I haven’t had ice cream in a long time.

Life is wonderful.

The Spring is Back in My Step

That’s right folks, the spring is back in my step. I haven’t done very well answering e-mails lately because I’ve been enjoying the weather. Today it reached 75 degrees and tomorrow it’s suppose to be warmer!

It’s official, I’m a bicycling commuter again. Rode the bike to work for the second time this season, and I plan on doing it again tomorrow. It was chilly this morning, 29 degrees when I set out, but with a pair of sweat pants and an extra jacket I was ready for the ride. It went pretty well and I was quite energized at work throughout the day. You could say that my mood was cheery. When I got home Earl and I had to pick up the car, which was in the garage again, and then we had a nice healthy dinner at a local restaurant. I of course added Peanut Butter pie to the healthy dinner and quickly paid for it when my stomach rumbled it’s distaste for the extra sugar. Oh well.

Now as I speak it’s a beautiful moonlit night. So of course I had to do the logical thing. Take down the outside Christmas lights. It’s suppose to be 85 tomorrow, let’s not have the Christmas lights still up!

This past weekend was a good one – Earl and I went to Buffalo on a scenic little journey. Did a little shopping and eating. Sunday I rode my old bike training circuit to get back in the swing of things. I think I’m starting to get used to the clipless pedals. For those not familiar with these pedals, I have a cleat on the bottom of each of my cycling shoes. The cleats snap in, securing my feet to the pedals. Theoretically, I should be faster as I’m transferring more power to the pedals because my feet aren’t sliding around, and I’m getting power on the “up” as well as the “down”. This is true, I am more efficient and I feel more at “one with with the bike”. However, it’s not good to be “at one with the bike” when the bike is coming to a stop. You can’t just lift your feet up to unhook your shoes from the pedals, you must twist your heel outward. So I’ve fallen a few times, usually with an audience! But I think I’m getting the hang of it. Slowly.

Now I think I’m going to go for a little walk around the yard on this beautiful night, ready myself for the bike ride tomorrow and call it a night.

The Times Shouldn’t Be Changing

Here it is Thursday this week and I’m still suffering from Jet Lag. Now Earl and I didn’t go anywhere mind you. We didn’t jet off to some exotic location for fun and frolic…

No, we switched from ‘Standard Time’ to ‘Daylight Time’.

Like most people, I do enjoy sunlit summer evenings, however, I do not adjust well to Daylight Time. My body just refuses to adjust and I end up dragging through the morning until about noon, which is really 11 a.m. Then I’m wide awake at midnight because it’s really 11 p.m. and then I can’t wake up in the morning again and it’s a vicious cycle.

So I’ve been grumpy. Except today, I’ve been in a pretty good mood and am cranking through the day here at work. I’m actually looking forward to a bike ride tonight. It’s sunny and 50 degrees as I type. Not exactly ideal cycling weather, but it’ll do. I really need to get training for “The Ride For Missing Children.” By the way, if you wish to donate, please drop me a line.

Earl’s in Buffalo but is expected home this evening. It might kind of late when he gets back, but it’ll be a welcomed sight.

My How Time Flies

I can’t believe how fast time is flying by this week. Here it is Wednesday night already and I feel like the week has just begun. It must be a blessing to be so busy that I don’t realize how fast the day goes by. Maybe it’s a curse because life is passing me by. Who knows.

I got a new toy in the mail today – the Microsoft Office System Beta 2 Kit 2003. It is awesome. If you’re a regular Microsoft Office user, you need to upgrade when the finished product of the latest version comes out.

I admit that I’ve become very hooked on American Idol. Now I’m participating on the message boards. I can’t believe that I, a 34 year old man, is arguing with a 14 year old girl about who’s hotter, Josh or Clay, but there you are. By the way, I think it’s Josh that’s hotter. Actually, I’m offering my well thought out opinions as a former Top 40 Radio Station Program Director. Yeah, that’s it.

Since it’s Wednesday night, it’s also “The West Wing” night, which I must admit I’ve found to be quite disappointing this season. Tonight Air Force One can’t land for some reason. Let’s see how that pans out.

It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature

On Friday I had the pleasure of doing my first commute to work via cycling of the season. It was a chilly morning ride, with the temperature hovering around 42 degrees and a 20 MPH headwind, but the ride home was spectacular with a gentle warm breeze, a sunlit sky and a temperature in the mid 60s.

Today, six inches of snow fell on us.

After work on Friday we had the pleasure of driving to Albany with the sunroof open for dinner and a movie. We decided to eat in the food court at Crossgates Mall and then see “The Core”. The food was better than the movie. I thought the movie was just o.k. The special effects were less than stellar and overall the movie didn’t seem to have any urgency about it. I didn’t have to take a pee break, so it held my attention the entire two hours, but it isn’t a movie I’d go see again. It was predictable.

Saturday morning we awoke to 70 degrees and a light rain. We decided to take a drive so we went to get Earl’s haircut in Syracuse, had a little bit of lunch and then headed to Rochester for a little bit of shopping at EastView Mall.

After EastView Mall I intended to head north to NY 104 and drive home along Lake Ontario, but a little voice (my spirit guide?) was telling me to head south and enjoy the Finger Lakes. So we headed down Interstate 390 to Corning. A beautiful drive, though the temperature had dropped to 40 and it was raining a little harder. By the time we got to Corning, though, the rain had stopped and we endured the chill in the air. We decided to eat at T.G.I.-Fridays. Right after ordering I saw a relatively large party walk through the restaurant, and lo and behold, my dear friend Kevin was part of the fun. I haven’t seen Kevin in over five years. So I walked over to his table and chatted with him a little bit. He looked good, though I could tell he wasn’t quite right. I was saddened to learn that his lover of seven years had passed away from cancer just a couple of months ago. It was good to see him, and we promised to stay in touch – I hope to renew that friendship again. Come to find out, he’s been in touch with my old roommate Jim (another good, good friend I lost touch with a while back) and he’s going to contact him and see if we can all get together again. I knew there was a purpose for heading south! Earl and I are best friends and inseparable, but it’ll be nice to get together with some of the old gang and do some catching up. I knew there was a reason for heading south!

Today I did some major overhauling on our website (if you haven’t noticed by now). I think it looks pretty good, though I may replace the background with something a little more artsy. Now we’re buckling down for the work week – Earl’s out of town for part of the week. It’s going to be lonely.

Just Say No

It’s become a kick with me to “Just Say No”. Now, I’m not talking about drugs. In fact, I’m very proud to say that I’ve never done drugs in my life so in that respect, I’ve always just said no.

No, I’m referring to television. Now I’ve griped in the past couple of months about the degradation in quality of “Will and Grace”. After watching last week’s episode I think I’m done with the show. When a talented actress like Debra Messing is relegated to farting in the hallway, then it’s time to “Just Say No” to Will and Grace.

I was toying with the idea of subscribing to Showtime for ‘Queer As Folk’, but after reading the hateful comments regarding the show on the ‘official’ message board, it’s best to just “Continue To Say No” to Queer As Folk. By the way, if by some wild chance that a writer of “Queer As Folk” is reading this blog entry, please answer the clue phone, it is ringing. Not all gay men and lesbians (not even a tenth of them) act like the characters that you have put together for that show. You should be ashamed of yourself and please stop doing such a disservice to the gay community.

I can proudly say that I didn’t watch the Academy Awards on Sunday. I’ve never understood the whole “honor thyself” attitude of the Academy Awards… if there has to be an award show for these talented individuals, then let it be the People’s Choice Awards, where the audience selects the honoree. And then to have individuals use the Academy Awards as a platform for an anti-war speech is ludicrous. If any of them tried to say similar sentiments in Iraq, they would have been shot. Those with the silver spoon in their mouth really don’t understand how good they have it.

And, last but not least, I am just saying no to peace protests. Now, I’m a democrat. I’m a tree hugger. I’m a “do-gooder” by nature I suppose. And before the war began, I worried about innocent lives being lost. But now is the time to stand behind our country and defend her. It is time to honor those protecting us. It’s time to be proud to be an American.

Spring has sprung. It was 75 degrees here today a…

Spring has sprung. It was 75 degrees here today and unbelievably gorgeous. Everyone seemed to have an extra “spring” in their step and a certain amount of life has returned to everyone’s mood. I think spring is affecting me as well in an instinctive way. Spring is traditionally the time when animals come out of hiding and mate. I’ve certainly been more randy lately.

Earl has been busy putting together photo albums from our trip to Phoenix on his iMac. I must admit that the end result is pretty slick looking. Now I need to reboot my computer so I can make a CD cover for Earl’s new creation. I can’t believe that his Mac doesn’t come with the software to make a CD cover. I think he’s just not finding it.

Saturday, March 8, 2003 Earl and I are on our w…

Saturday, March 8, 2003

Earl and I are on our way to Phoenix. I am currently sitting at Albany Airport.

We ended up having a nice flight. I thought the movie was an odd selection – it was “Spy Kids 2”. On the way back it’s suppose to be Barbershop, I’ll probably buy the headphones for that.

We got into our hotel around 9:30 p.m. Mountain Time. Phoenix is beautiful! Even at night. Fairly warm – 70 degrees when we landed. A decided difference from the 20-degrees we left back in Upstate N.Y.!

Earl wasn’t feeling well (he’d been feeling a little sick to his stomach all day), so we decided to order room service. We are staying at the Embassy Suites Biltmore off of Camelback – and it has an Omaha Steakhouse in it. I had a wonderful steak sandwich, and Earl ate a little bit of a “Nebraska Burger”. I hope he feels better tomorrow.

Sunday, March 9, 2003.

We got up fairly early, 8:30 to be exact. Today is “get acquainted with Phoenix day” so we decided to drive around and see what the area has to offer. We started off with breakfast at the hotel – Embassy Suites does that for free and it’s a full selection, not a limp bagel and a thimbleful of juice. I had fruit and orange juice, Earl had french toast and then we were off. We ended up driving towards Scottsdale on AZ 51 and exiting at Bell Rd. We headed east and it became Frank Lloyd Wright blvd. Our first stop – Taliesin West, the desert “camp” of Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect. One word – impressive. Actually, one word doesn’t do it justice as it was awesome, inspiring and beautiful. I absolutely love the “organic architecture”, building structures to be in harmony with their surrounding environment, rather than challenging them. The Sonoma Desert is good with that anyways, as all of the shopping centers, housing developments, etc. seem to blend beautifully with the desert, rather than contrasting with it.

Taliesin West, in typical Wright fashion, was built with thinking outside the box, literally. You’ll rarely find a squared off corner, anywhere. The use of glass and indigenous elements is astounding. If we’re ever rich, I would hope to honor our land with a harmonous structure for a home.

After touring Taliesen West, we headed onto “Loop 101” and stopped at a good-sized shopping center. We needed to pick up a few items from Target (it was actually called ‘Target Greatland’), including some shorts since it’s 85-degrees today. I had also picked up “King of Shaves” clear gel for the trip because it was easier to pack, but the stuff sucks. Major razor burn on my shaved head and not a really close shave at all on my face, plus Earl hated the stuff too, so we picked up a can of Foamy.

After Target we went to In and Out Burger, one of the fast food restaurant chains out here that we had originally experienced in Nevada back in ’01. They do two things – burgers and fries, it’s all fresh, never frozen, microwaved or heat lamped. Very good to eat, but very, very busy. Now we’re back at the hotel for a change of clothes, a quick breather and then we’re off hiking.

O.k., a little later. We’re back from the South Mountain Park in South Phoenix. Kind of cool. We drove up to three different summits and watched the sunset. Did a little bit of hiking while we were up there. It felt good and the sunset was stunning.

Now Earl is changing into long pants and we’re heading out to dinner before calling it a night. I think we’re going to go to “The Cheesecake Factory” which is about a block away. It’s a beautiful night, I’m looking forward to walk. This vacation is off to a beautiful start, I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Earl and I spent the day in Sedona, Arizona today. We started the morning around 9:00 with another Embassy Suites breakfast buffet, and then headed north on I-17. We gassed up in A___ Way and then headed up tothe ruins at Montezuma Castle. This place was impressive. The Indians built a five-story dwelling for about 35 people in the side of a limestone cliff. And the dwelling is about 75-100 feet above the ground. Awesome. I commented to Earl that it’s amazing what people did without “technology” – is all this man-made, fabricated stuff the way to go?

After Montezuma Castle, we stopped at Sonic for lunch. For those that haven’t been to a Sonic before, it’s “America’s Drive In”. You drive up, order and they bring it out to the car. Growing up, we had a similar restaurant called A&W. Nowadays it seems like A&W is shoved in with KFC and Taco Bell and doesn’t have a drive up in sight. Anyways, it was an excellent lunch.

We then headed up to Sedona and walked around the town a little bit after taking a short drive in Oak Creek Canyon. We climbed to a little over 7,000 feet (in the SUV) before turning back. It was a little startling, but there was snow up there.

After walking around the town we went on a jeep tour with Pink Jeep Tours. We took the sunset Broken Arrow tour. We piled into this bright pink jeep with another family of three and into wilderness we went. I hope to have pictures of the adventure on the photo gallery soon. If you’re ever in the area, we HIGHLY recommend Pink Jeep Tours. The views were breathtaking and the ride was unforgettable.

Afterwards we had a nice dinner at Heartland Café. I enjoyed a vegetarian dish. Then it was a pleasant night drive through the desert the 120 miles or so back to Phoenix.

Sedona is beautiful. Another reason for Earl and I to retire to Arizona someday. Tomorrow, we head south.

Wednesday, March 12

First of all, I didn’t write a blog entry last night simply because we were just too tired!

Earl and I started the day by heading southeast. We drove to Tucson and then headed south on Interstate 19 towards Nogales. Our first stop was the little town of Tubac for a potty break. It’s a quaint little dusty town out in the middle of the desert. Lots of arts and crafts sort of stuff. Then we went onto the Tumacacori Ruins, a church built in the early 1800s. It was sort of surreal.

After touring Tumacacori, we drove down to the border city of Nogales. We parked the car on the United States side and walked over into Mexico. It was both our first time in Mexico. Shopping is the name of the game down there! If you like to barter, go to Nogales. I bought a cheap pair of sunglasses for $8.00 (down from $15), a blanket for $30.00 (down from $35.00) and a cowboy hat for $35.00 (down from $80.00). Earl is better at bartering than I am, as he actually bought the hat and also a hanging planter for some obscenely low amount of money.

I thought getting back across the border would be hard, but all we had to do was show our licenses and what we bought.

After Nogales and lunch at a local cafe, we headed to Sabino Canyon in Tucson, where we hiked about 2 miles until sunset.

After a quick bite to eat at Cracker Barrel in Casa Grande, we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.

Today was our “wild card” day, where we didn’t have any specific plans or destination in mind. We decided to head east and ended up going to a ghost town outside of Apache Junction. We took a tour of a gold mine and did some sight seeing.

After the gold mine, we headed up the Apache Trail (which is mostly dirt) through Tortilla Flats and Apache Lake to Roosevelt Dam. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking! We took a ton of pictures which should be up on the photo gallery soon.

We had a quick lunch at Jack in the Box in Globe and then headed back to Phoenix.

The folks out here seem to be much more in touch with what’s going on around them. They are more in tune with Mother Earth. Something cities on the East Coast seem to forget about with their garish colored buildings and fast, fast attitude.

Tomorrow we head home and then embark on a little weekend getaway to round off our vacation.

Arizona has been beautiful. I can’t wait to return.

Thursday, March 13

Even as I type the date, I can’t believe that it’s March. It’s seemed like July to me. But I guess that’s what Arizona’s weather can do to you.

Earl and I are currently sitting at gate 11 in terminal 2 at Sky Harbor. He’s reading the newspaper, I’m feeling antsy. I love to people watch, but I don’t like waiting for flights. We’re flying on US Airways because of freezing rain in Cleveland. I’m strictly a Continental sort of guy, flying on US Airways will be kind of weird. We’re going through Philadelphia instead. We’ll be in Albany about any hour later than originally planned. I guess I can deal.

US Airways flight 735 from Phoenix to Philadelphia. The pilot just announced that we are somewhere over Missouri. We are experiencing light turbulence. He is leaving the fasten seatbelt light on. The flight attendants made an announcement that everyone should stay in their seat with their seatbelt fastened. So why is everyone jumping around like jumping jacks? Ignorance. Mark my words – one of them stumbles or something and they’ll be suing US Airways. I think suing should be illegal and you get what you are dealt – or what you deserve.

I have decided that if the plane goes down, I am saving Earl and myself – these fools can fend for themselves. Mostg people weren’t even paying attention o the safety demonstration – so they wouldn’t even know how to get out if they had to. I might help the girl sitting to my left, she seems nice enough and I think she’s a vegetarian.

Now there’s a woman holding onto the front door handle for support looking out the window. What the heck. I hope she doesn’t get sucked out the door and take half theplane with her!

The lady in front of me, who’s been up and down more than a whore on

Friday night, has her seat reclined as far back as it will go and she’s leaning forward to talk to her husband. I just headbutt her.

So we have a 1 1/2 hour layover in Philadelphia. I wonder if there’s a Chick-Fil-A in the airport. That would be very nice. 🙂

Earl mentioned something about going to Baltimore for the weekend, but I don’t know if we are going to or not. I doin’t know if the East Coast is getting a nor’easter or not, and if we go anywhere I want to head away from snow, not towards it.

Monday, March 17

Earl and I ended up not traveling anywhere very far this weekend – sort of. Friday we just kind of kicked back and caught our breath, and then decided to head to Albany to see “Bringing Down the House” with Queen Latifah and Steve Martin. Great, great movie.

On Saturday, we took a drive through the Catskills and ended up in Danbury, Connecticut. We went to a local mall, looked around and had dinner and headed home.

On Sunday, we headed up to my dad’s to pick up Tom (our cat). It’s really weird not having him in the house, I’m glad he’s home. Apparently he was the purr-fect gentleman up there.

And then today it was back to work. I approached work with a calm serenity today except for one little explosion. I stopped half way through and said to myself – “It’s not worth it”. My mood was decidedly better after that.

Earl and I are getting really revved up for our tr…

Earl and I are getting really revved up for our trip to Phoenix. I reserved a parking space at the airport for the car — they’re going to detail it while it’s there (clean it inside and out) and have it warmed up for us when we land.

Work is going well — I’m remaining focused for the most part and not getting all stressed. I’ve done a little bit of Pilates which I think is helping. Those Pilates tapes are hard!

Tonight we are going to Spaghetti Warehouse with my sister and mother. We haven’t gotten together with them in a while, so it’ll be nice.

I’m typing my blog entry on my Palm Pilot tonight….

I’m typing my blog entry on my Palm Pilot tonight. I don’t know why I’m using my Palm Pilot, except I suppose that I just enjoy using it. So here it is.

I had quite an experience last night. I did some Tai-Chi before going to bed, and it made me feel very, very calm. I felt very serene, at peace with myself. It was a beautiful feeling. Something must have hit my soul from the practice, because last night I had the first “flying” dream I’ve had in quite a while. It’s a dream I used to have quite often. The setting and circumstances were always different, but I always had the ability to fly. I would gently ride the air currents. I’m myself – my body, my face, at least as I see myself, but I have such a feeling of exhileration as I’m flying. It’s been a long time since I’ve had that dream, but it was wonderful to have it last night. My centeredness lasted much of the day. I became a little cranky towards the end of the work day, but I managed to get myself back to center. I should practiceTai-Chi more often.

I’m still studying for my MCSE certification in Windows XP. I had to switch back to Windows at work, simply because our company is too Windows-centric to try to rebel against existing systems with Linux. It was hampering my productivity, and a good manager recognizes when that happens. So I’m back on Windows XP at work. I’m using at home right now as well, though I still have SuSE installed… Linux isn’t too chatty with my Palm Pilot. I want to use my Palm more, and to do so, I guess I need to be using Windows, at least for now.

Tom went to the vet yesterday to have his teeth cleaned. He had to have a tooth pulled and during the surgery he had to have an IV for hydration. So, he has two shaved patches, one on his side for the pain patch he has, which comes off on Monday, and the other where his IV was on his front leg. He seems to be in good spirits though. Doesn’t like the antibiotics I have to give him twice a day, but who does.

I can’t believe that Earl and I are just one week away from our trip to Phoenix, Arizona. Absolutely amazing how fast time is flying these days. I really think that the clock has actually sped up! I’m looking forward to doing blog entries on the trip. I have internet access and everything.

Since Earl is in Buffalo this evening, I’m taking it easy. I think I’m going to call it an early night, read a bit and go to sleep.