September 2002

Here it is Sunday night and I’m looking forward to…

Here it is Sunday night and I’m looking forward to another week at work. And I mean that sincerely. Work has been kind of odd lately, with some people coming into work very cranky. I try to be as upbeat as possible, trying to set a good example, trying to be the best that I can be. But it seems like some people bring all this baggage to work with them. I don’t mean to sound cold, but when you come to work, you have a job to do. You should leave your problems at the door and you should focus on the task at hand. And you should enjoy it. If you don’t like it, then you shouldn’t be there. Simple as that.

There was a time when I didn’t enjoy my job. I was Program Director of a Top 40 radio station (owned by the company I currently work for). During the last nine months or so of that position, I was starting to feel a moral conflict with myself. Over the past ten years or so, Top 40 music has gotten very angry. Especially since I was programming a “rhythmic” station – lots of rap music, Eminem and the like, along with the usual ‘N Sync, Backstreet Boys and that sort of thing. All the rappers seemed so very angry. I always hated it when they took a great song from the 70s and starting spewing garbage rhymes over what used to be great music. I despised the fact that I had to play a “clean version” of a song, yet the record company gave us CDs with parental guidance labels on them for giveaways. I never understood why Top 40 music had to be that way. But that’s what got the ratings, and I guess like every other Top 40 radio station, we had to do what the public wanted. But by doing that, were we just feeding the hate? I was very happy when the owner of the station came to me and said he was selling it. I was offered a chance to go with the station, and it’s an offer I happily turned down. I didn’t want to contribute to the unrest in the world. But when I was doing that job, I didn’t complain about it. I wasn’t too miserable about it. I did what had to be done and I made the best of it. And that’s what I expect of the people that I work with.

I went for a bike ride yesterday along the canal trails. It had been about 10 days since my last ride, and my body complained about it, but I did it. Ended up getting caught after sunset, so I had to have Earl come pick me up at the end of the trail, rather than riding home. Today I mowed the lawn for the last time of the year and Earl and I put the lawn furniture away. It’s been a wonderful summer. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to next summer. I’m going to do that week-long bike ride next year. And I’m going to train for it all winter long.

I gotta say that I love the fall though. The crispness in the air. The way the leaves sound when the chilly wind blows through them. To me, there’s something very spiritual about the fall. The month of October always feels so mystical to me. Like there’s a certain magic in the air. It’s something that I only feel in October. Summer is too hot and heavy. Spring is full of the bloom of life. In the winter, Mother Earth is resting. But there’s something about Fall that I find so moving. I spend much more time outdoors, even at night in the fall. I don’t care that I have to bundle up. I don’t care that I can’t wear shorts. I just need to be outside.

As I was bike riding yesterday and mowing the lawn today, I found my thoughts drifting to my spirituality a little more than usual today. I really want to get involved with a Novus Spiritus study group here in Upstate N.Y. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about Gnostic Christianity. It all makes so much sense when you really think about it. It frightens me how “Joe Public” can tend to put such a human face on God. Why would God want to punish his creations to eternal “hell” just for being different? Just for being themselves? It doesn’t make sense. I laugh when I think about Dr. Laura saying that God “made a mistake” when He made people gay. O.k., let’s take that one step further. If God made a mistake when he made gay people, how are we to know He didn’t make a mistake when He was telling his disciples what to put in the Bible? How do we know He wasn’t making a mistake when He made man? God doesn’t make mistakes. But Dr. Laura does. She’s human. He’s not. What also amuses me is when the Catholic Church said that if you ate meat on Friday, you were going to hell. Then they decided that you could eat meat on Friday. What about the people in hell? Do they get a “get out of hell for free” card? There’s God making a mistake again. “You can come up now.” Please. God is all-loving, all powerful. He’s not human.

We never made it to Syracuse this weekend. We ended up going to the Remsen Barn Festival on Saturday – which is a big street festival with crafts and food and everything. Earl and I have gone every year we’ve been together. We bought some of those canned recipes – the canning jars with all the ingredients for something yummy – you just add oil or water or whatever and bake it. Today I made “beer bread” and brownies. Both came out wonderfully. We also bought some Champagne and Garlic mustard that is out of this world.

I’ve been trying very hard to get rid of my Central N.Y. flat accent and trying to sound a little more distinguished when I speak. I think I’m focusing on Canadien radio too much or something, because Earl said I was sounding very southern-Ontario. Which I think is delightful. I love the way Canadiens speak. Kind of like Gwenyth Paltrow losing her British accent, I suppose.

Speaking of her – we pay-per-viewed “The Royal Tenenbaums” last night. Very dark, but enjoyable nonetheless. I don’t know if I’d watch it twice, but I think we enjoyed it.

I’m going to call it a night!

I am writing this entry at work as I wait for my l…

I am writing this entry at work as I wait for my lunch to arrive. I’m caving in and eating Chinese food again today. I’m determined to be a man that’s not afraid of anything, and I’ll just have to deal with it if something obscene arrives in my General Tso’s Chicken! πŸ™‚ My office mate is not in today, he came in 45 minutes to late for work with pink-eye so I sent him home (I have the authority to do that) and told him not to come back until his eye is checked out and he has been cleared by the doctor to return.

My geekdom has proven fruitful, as I successfully transferred the company over to the new phone system I installed on Wednesday morning. Now if I could just get everyone to figure out how to use it. It really isn’t that complicated of a system, but some people are slow at the sort of thing or something I guess.

We watched “Big Brother 3” Wednesday night, and my girl Lisa won. I was very excited to see that, though I really felt bad for Danielle, because she did play a good game. I guess this proves that yes, the good guy does win these reality shows sometimes. I guess Danielle just bent her integrity a little bit one too many times. Honestly, I was surprised that Lisa won 9 to 1, I thought it would have been closer than that. I sit back and wonder what I would do if were in the Big Brother house. I suppose that I would be pretty much myself and lay all my cards on the table in that what you see is what you get with me. I’m the type that kind of naturally flies under the radar a little bit, at least in my own head, but I don’t believe in purposely not winning competitions and that sort of thing. So I would give it my all and just be myself, I suppose.

I’m looking forward to the weekend, as Earl and I really don’t have that much planned. We’ll probably go get his haircut in Syracuse and do that sort of thing. I just sort of hang out in the barbershop because I don’t have hair to cut. I am growing a little goatee though, because I’m getting bored with shaving my face. Tonight we’re joining the folks from Earl’s office at happy hour for a drink or two. That should prove enjoyable.

Well, it’s official. I’m a big ol’ geek. :) First…

Well, it’s official. I’m a big ol’ geek. πŸ™‚ First of all, I can’t believe how lazy I’ve been about writing in my blog for the past week. I was working hard to write in it every couple of days, but then I kept putting it off, and here it is a week later. And I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t answered my e-mail either. Maybe I’m suffering from computer burnout.

The reason I’m a big ‘ol geek. We’ve decided to put a new telephone system in at work. It’s a used system that we purchased for next to nothing. I picked it up yesterday (Saturday) and took it to work. I thought I’d spend a couple of hours tinkering around with it, as I plan to take at least two weeks getting this system installed. Well I got to work at 9 a.m. and worked on the system until 4:30. Earl and I then went out for supper, we had some good, down-home BBQ at Piggy Pats in the little hamlet of Washington Mills, just south of Utica. We then went for a little ride and then headed home, where we watched Big Brother. I’ve mentioned my obsession with Big Brother before. I’m really happy to see Lisa in the final two, I hope that she makes it! Now it’s up to the jury to decide if Danielle or Lisa gets the $500K. I’m routing for Lisa. Anyways, we weren’t in much of a mood for more TV, so we played around on the computer a little bit, and then Earl decided to go back to bed at 10:00. Here’s the ultimate geekdom part – I went back to work and worked on the phone system until 2:30 a.m. Yes, that’s right. Amongst the guys parking to go to the strip club, I was headed to the office. On a Saturday night!

I tried to sleep in this morning, but was awoken at 9:00 a.m. because the cleaning lady at work decided to plug the vacuum into the same surge protector that the servers were plugged into (the $2000 one) and decided to blow everything up. Lovely. So I had to go in and put a $19 power strip in until tomorow when I can better assess the situation. Earl and I then went for a ride looking at houses in the general vicinity. We’re not planning on buying a house, but we may build one and we want to see what the housing market is like, since we’ll be selling the house we’re currently living in.

We then went grocery shopping as the happy household couple. Went to a new P&C, which is completely backwards from the one we usually go to. What’s up with that. Why don’t retail outlets make their store much the same, instead of doing this mirror image thing. It’s like being in a weird dimension.

Now I’m trying to catch up on e-mail. I worked on Earl’s computer as it was getting cranky again. I’m going to buy him an iMac for Christmas. Now, I can’t believe that I am buying an Apple product, but they seem to be so much easier to maintain and run then these Windows beasts that I think it’s the best way to go. Once my current HP Pavilion 760n runs its course, I’ll be getting an Apple as well.

Here it is the end of the weekend and alas we are …

Here it is the end of the weekend and alas we are getting ready for another work week. The weekend flew by, as we had a lot going on, but nonetheless enjoyable.

Friday night we went to Olive Garden in Clay (north of Syracuse) for a little din din and wine. It was an enjoyable meal, at least what I remember of it. You see, Olive Garden has a wonderful house white wine. And I don’t drink very often, like maybe once every six months or so. So two glasses of wine and I’m throwing the car keys at Earl, the room is spinning a little bit and I’m giddily happy. Frightening. This sort of scene happened before, but at least this time I didn’t hang out the car window like a sick dog waving to the truck drivers on the Thruway on our way home.

Yesterday Earl had his company picnic, and of course I accompanied him. It was enjoyable afternoon, but the rain started up about 3:30 and it disbanded early. It was suppose to go until 6, but everyone was out of there by 4. Afterwards, we went to the 25th anniversary party of the couple that owns the radio station and advertising agency I work for. They’re good friends and we’re friendly with the entire family, so it was nice to get together with everyone outside the office.

I’m still a little obsessed with Big Brother… I guess I’ll never understand strategies unless I’m on the inside looking out, but either Danielle and Jason are really good at hiding their alliance or the other two in the house are just blind. I suppose we have a vantage point that the contestants don’t really have.

We just got done watching Thursday’s episode of Caroline Rhea. I enjoy her show, but sometimes it feels like it’s still getting a solid footing. I hope that she does well, though.

Now Earl and I are just doing maintenance stuff around the house – getting ready for the work week. A ho-hum relaxing day!

"Weapons of Mass Destruction". I’ve heard that ph…

“Weapons of Mass Destruction”. I’ve heard that phrase so many times in the past few weeks in the news that I’m really beginning to become sick to my stomach every time I hear it. I must be so naive. I can not understand how any human being could have such hatred toward another living soul, let alone a country full of people. To come up with these horrible weapons with actual plans to use them. To actually plan out a way to kill hundreds or thousands or more of fellow human beings. Where does such evil come from? I don’t know if I’m very simple mind or more spiritually advanced, but I really, really, really can not understand the magnitude of this evil. Quite frankly, it frightens me.

With the anniversary of September 11th tomorrow, one can’t help but think of these things once again. The country is at status “orange”, which of course is high alert. Talks of attacking Iraq are all over the news and on everyone’s mind. I find myself praying a little longer, a little harder I suppose, supplementing my many daily prayers with a couple of extra thoughts and moments.

I read the “pieced together” accounts of Flight 93, which crashed in Southwestern Pennsylvania on September 11, after the passengers and crew all became heroes and apparently overtook the hijackers, thwarting their plans to crash into the White House. I read this account at work yesterday, and found myself tearing up as I read it. It’s amazing that even a year later, one can be still moved to tears. And my recurring nightmare of nuclear war has reared it’s ugly head once again – with Earl and I consciously making the decision to cross over to The Other Side. I’ve had this nightmare pop up once or twice a year for as long as I can remember. Funny thing is, I remember crossing over to The Other Side, or waking up just before I do – and it was always with someone else, someone I knew, but couldn’t place the face for the longest time. After Earl and I met, he appeared in the “someone else” role. What an ironic way to find out that you’ve met the kindred spirit that you’ve always dreamed of. I guess it’s an odd affirmation that Earl and I are suppose to be together.

I’m writing this at work which probably isn’t the …

I’m writing this at work which probably isn’t the best way to ‘lead by example’, but I needed to take a short break and this seemed a great way to do it.

Last night I had this wild dream about being in the elevator at work and it turned on it’s side! Now what is that suppose to mean? So that dream was still lingering when I got to work this morning. I got on the elevator and it began to shake me about like a martini shaker. At least it didn’t turn on it’s side. Now this elevator has been dubbed “shaky” by me in the past, but it was nothing like this. I didn’t think it was going to make it to our floor. But, I guess “Thy Will Be Done” – and if it’s my time, it’s my time.

Here at work we’re getting rid of our Linux internet gateway because the computer it runs on is so slow and replacing it with a router. After this machine is decommissioned, we will officially be an “all Microsoft” shop. Which should make Bill Gates happy. πŸ™‚

My officemate is currently listening to Rush Limbaugh. I’m rarely interested in this radio program, but a woman wants to know if she wants to wear Red, White and Blue or Black on September 11. What’s up with that. Be yourself.

Went on a killer bike ride yesterday – only 35 miles but I crunched a massive set of hills. I was able to get up to 41 MPH on the way down the other side. I thought I was going to conk out before I made it up there, but by gosh I made it to the top! I had to cheat though and stop halfway up through… had to go the bathroom, so I went in someone’s bushes in their front lawn. I hope they didn’t consider me rude.

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.