Boy does that picture look awful. I look like a ghost! Happy Halloween!

Last night was the great Windows XP install. Microsoft has built in “Product Activation”, which essentially means that the software is tied to your particular computer, and it can’t be installed on another computer as well. No more illegal copies of software, which is probably a good thing. It does crunch the budget though. So anyways, Earl and I had to go out and purchase an additional copy for his computer. His webcam got fussy about it, so we traded cams and now I’m on the IBM Net Camera. It’s not as orange tinted, and I still have to adjust the settings. I took the other IBM Net Camera Pro to work, and the picture is much clearer, take a look!

I’ve been thinking about one’s ‘priorities’ since the September 11th attacks. I think Americans are getting back in touch with their country, in touch with their nation and in touch with each other again. This is a good thing. Unfortunately, it’s obvious that the human race is not ready to live in harmony and peace with one another yet, and that is very sad. Different people of the world screeching “my God is the only God”, “your God is wrong, my God is right”, etc. What’s up with that? Why can’t people treasure each other’s beliefs rather than ridicule them? It doesn’t make sense to me. My beliefs may not match up perfectly 100% with my neighbor’s, but who cares? We’re working towards a common goal: to live the most fulfilling, productive, contributing life that we can. We’re both celebrating our time on Earth here together. Why must we dwell on our differences instead of celebrating our commonalities? Humans have such a lesson to learn. I hope we learn it soon, for all our sake.

Back to Eastern Standard Time. Sigh. I hate the conversion back and forth between daylight and standard time. Human being put such an importance on time. Personally, I couldn’t give a hoot about it staying light until 9:30 in the middle of the summer. Granted the time change in the spring is much more jarring than the one in the fall, since we get an extra hour at this time of the year, but still, leave the clocks alone.

Rick, Earl’s brother, and his girlfriend Helen came up for the weekend. We had a wonderful time together. Friday night we went and saw “K-PAX” with Kevin Spacey. A very enjoyable movie. I liked it a lot, we all had a wonderful time.

Yesterday we went up to Ottawa, Ontario to tour around a bit. Unfortunately, the Parliament tours were booked for the day, but we were able to tour the grounds and such. It was odd to see American flags on sale in Canada, but heartwarming nonetheless.

We took a walk by the American Embassy and then did some shopping. The computer store at the Rideau Centre was jammed with people buying Windows XP. Apparently many stores have been jammed with people buying Windows XP.

I did make an absolutely wonderful discovery while in Canada.

I LOVE this stuff! After doing some research on the web today, apparently Pepsi Twist is available in the midwestern U.S. as well as in Canada, but it’s not here in Upstate N.Y. This soda is awesome! It’s my second favorite flavor of Pepsi ever, my first favorite being Crystal Pepsi, but unfortunately I was the only one that apparently liked it.

Speaking of Windows XP, I tracked my Amazon order and it will be here tomorrow; so tomorrow night is the big computer night. I’ve backed up everything on my hard drive and tomorrow I’m going to wipe it out and start fresh with Windows XP. I’ve been using the beta version (Release Candidate 2) for a while, and it’s been very stable, so this puppy should fly along nicely. I’ve ordered XP Plus as well. I’m looking forward to delving into geekdom tomorrow night.

I’ve received a number of inquiries about my clock collection lately. It seems like more and more people are becoming interested in equipment made by Standard Electric. If you haven’t seen my collection, here it is.

I’ve also discovered Netgrocer. I’m placing my first order today. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Well, here it is a stormy Sunday night. I believe we are experiencing what is probably the last thunderstorm of 2001, and it’s a bit of a dud. I want some angry weather damn it! I love major storms, I always have. I think it’s because I grew up near Lake Ontario, where it seems that we had a lot of thunderstorms. And they were good ones. Lots of lightning, lots of wind, lots of thunder. If I had lots of money and had paid attention in my Earth Science class in high school, I’d probably be a storm chaser. Hurricanes, tornadoes, you name it, I want to be there. I think it’s because I have such a respect for what Mother Nature can do. Humans can build incredible life destroying bombs, dam up mighty rivers and put thirsty metropolises in the middle of the desert. But Mother Nature can sweep it all away with just one relentless downpour. The Earth needs to be respected and honored, not “used”.

We went with our friends Dennis and Victor last night to Carousel Center to see “Hearts In Atlantis”. What a good movie! Unlike last week’s cinematic lesson in boredom (see last week’s entry), the time flew during this movie, and it was just wonderful. For the first time in my 33 years of existence on this planet, I did not have popcorn with the movie. I am an absolute popcorn maniac! I love popcorn! I could eat nothing but popcorn and be very, very happy about it. But lately, popcorn at Hoyt’s cinemas has sucked. Quite a bit. So I opted for Reese’s Pieces instead.

Friday night Earl and I were antsy so we decided to go out to dinner. In Albany. 83 miles away. We ended up eating at Houlihan’s in Crossgates Mall. We also purchased a new inkjet printer for the house. This HP deskjet 960c is awesome. (The geek is now shining in me). It prints real PHOTOS! Very nice, very nice indeed.

Today we just kind of lazed around the house. Is lazed a real word? I just took a shower 40 minutes ago, and it’s currently 7:38 PM. I don’t know why I bothered to take a shower since I’ll be going to bed in a couple of hours, but it was pretty nice nevertheless.

The geek in me is also looking forward to the release of Windows XP on Thursday. I’ve been running RC 2, or “release candidate 2” since late August. I’m excited about the final version. I can’t wait to install it on my computer. That’ll be my project next week.

I put some more pictures on the photo gallery if you want to take a peek of our trip to Watkins Glen.

Well here it is. Five years ago this weekend, I got down on my knee at the top of Bald Mountain in Inlet, New York and I proposed to Earl. Five years ago this weekend, I basically said to Earl “I’m in it for life.” And life has been wonderful ever since.

We took Friday off to do a little leaf peeping. We ended up driving down through the Finger Lakes. The weather was absolutely beautiful, and the leaves were at their peek. I could not believe the brillances of the golds, reds, oranges and all the other fall colors.

First stop was Fox Run Vineyards near Penn Yan. A little wine sampling, a tour of the vineyard, a couple of bottles of wine for home, and we’re on our way. They had a lovely cafe that we enjoyed lunch at.

Next stop was in Watkins Glen. We went to Watkins Glen State Park, which is known for it’s huge gorge. We hiked for about an hour before we headed back to the car due to rain. We took a bunch of pictures, which I’ll be posting this week.

Then on to Corning. We had been to Glass Museum before, so we decided to just take a leisurely stroll down Historic Market Street. The weather was quite mild for mid October, in the mid 70s, so it was a nice walk.

We then decided to drive up to Rochester. Ended up going to Chili’s not too far outside of the city, in Victor.

On Saturday we went and saw “Bandits” with Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton. What a sucky movie. I was so bored, I went to the bathroom twice just to relieve the monotony. We almost walked out of the movie, something we’ve never done before, not even during “Eyes Wide Shut.” I LOVE Bruce Willis, but this movie majorly sucked. We then had a snappy dinner at Wegmans in DeWitt. For you out of towners, Wegmans is a lovely grocery store here in Upstate New York (I think it’s in Pennsylvania too). Anyways, the large, large stores have a food court in them, much like Marché in Canada. You take your tray around and choose from a wide variety of types of food, and enjoy it for dinner. I know, I know, how domestic for two gay men to be eating at a food court in a grocery store. Those that are more in-tune with the lifestyle gay men allegedly live might say that our choice was rather mundane. But I guess Earl and I aren’t your typical fancy pants couple. And the food was dang good. 🙂

Today we went to the first of many Christmas parties. You read right, we went to a Christmas party on October 14. My grandfather and his wife (they’ve been married since 1996, my grandmother had passed away shortly before) leave for Florida first week of November, so the whole family gets together for a sort of Thanksgiving and Christmas meal combined. It’s rather nice, and it was nice seeing the family.

I did get to read a letter from my younger cousin. She and her husband, and their two toddler children, are missionaries and currently live in Yemen, spreading the word of the gospel and doing His work. I must admit that I admire them for their courage, as they do what they feel they were put on this Earth for. They are undertaking quite a feat, especially in these turbulent times. They are following their life mission, and we pray for their safety, as well as the safety of the innocent bystanders of these vicious acts. I had thought that they would be over in Yemen for a couple of years, do what they needed to do, and then return to the states. But from what I understand now, they plan on spending the rest of their lives there. We wish them all peace.

Well, the United States has begun retaliations against the Talaban. I say “God Bless America” and go get ’em.

Earl and I have been getting into winter hibernation mode, stocking up the can cupboard, doing some baking, putting the lawn furniture away, etc. And not a moment too soon, because as I type this, my little “wetsock” weather indicator next to my computer clock is showing me a snowman, and says we’re going to get snow showers tonight. I’m very excited as I love winter. There won’t be any snow accumulation, but we’re getting there!

Thursday night brought my mother to our home for dinner. It was great to get together with her, as we had not seen her since mid August. She looks wonderful, and seems to be doing very well. We had a nice time just chatting amongst the three of us.

Earl and I went out to dinner both Friday and Saturday night, and both times we ate healthy! No desserts. Saturday night we watched “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”, as I got the DVD from Amazon.com a week or so ago. ‘Mad World’ is my favorite movie of all time. I can never get enough of it. And the DVD has the complete version of it, which is very cool.

I put up a bunch of odds and ends on ebay this afternoon. I love selling and buying stuff on ebay. I sometimes get addicted to it. But, I’m selling more than I’m buying right now, so everything is o.k. in the financial department. Let’s make sure we keep it that way.

Which reminds me. Back on September’s journal, I mentioned that my beard would stay around as long as my financial responsibility remained. Well, I gave in and shaved off my beard. But I am remaining financially responsible. My beard was just not coming in as well as I had hoped, plus as much as I cleaned my face and beard, I felt like I was dirty. So I went ahead and shaved, and have settled on this look.

Just a mustache without a soul patch. I haven’t been without my soul patch in quite a while! I’ll probably trim the mustache a little more, but this is basically what I’m going with.

I heard from someone about the IBM register system I was working on restoring. He has a similar system that he’s restoring. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only nutty geek in the world.

October 2, 2001

Wow, here it is October already! Tomorrow’s weather says it’s going to be in the 80s, but by the weekend, it’s going to be in the 40s. Gotta love Upstate N.Y. weather.

I’m bushed. I’ve been going into work at 5:30 a.m. for the past two days, as I’ve been training our new morning show at the station on the on-air equipment. Tomorrow they fly solo for the first time, and they are going to be spectacular. I just know it! Today I was pretty much just a safety net for them, as they did most of the show on their own. I gotta say that I didn’t really enjoy going in at 5:30 but boy did I like getting out at 2:00. I was able to get so much personal stuff done before everything closes at 5:00. Back to the regular grind tomorrow.

I think starting with this month’s page of the journal, I’m going to work my way down, instead of the putting the latest information at the top. It seems to make more sense as far as layout goes. I’m upside down at times I guess. 🙂

Earl and I just got done watching “All About Joan” or whatever that show with Joan Cuzcak is called. I really like her. I really like the show. I used to be an avid Dharma and Greg fan, but after the second season or so, I got bored with it and haven’t really watched it since. So tonight between 8 and 8:30 we watched an old episode of Bewitched. It was from the fourth season, called “Once In A Vial”. The one where Endora gets bewitched by a love potion and is going to marry one of Darrin’s clients. It’s a pretty good episode, especially since Agnes Moorehead really gets to shine in it. Bewitched is my all time favorite television show, and I watch it every chance I get. I also liked “Tabitha” with Lisa Hartman back in 1978. I have several of them on tape. I guess I have odd TV tastes, because I also have all the episodes of “Isis” with Joanna Cameron. I remember them from when I was a kid. I picked up the episodes on-line, thank god for ebay. I think I have a picture of her somewhere on my hard drive.

There she is! Now do you remember her? “Oh zephyr winds which blow on high, lift me now so I can fly…”

Sometimes when I read what I’ve written in my journal, it frightens me just how much my erratic thought processes shine through as I’m typing. Take the last paragraph I wrote. I started out with Joan Cuzcak, jumped to Dharma and Greg, popped over to Bewitched and ended up putting a picture of Isis up. Figure that one out. You should try to have a one-on-one conversation with me! 😉