March 2006

Carlisle, Pa.

Earl and I have hit the road for the weekend and have decided to call it a night in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This is a crossroads of sorts in the central part of the state, as we are at a Holiday Inn where Interstate 81 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike cross.

We are going to continue south for three or four hours tomorrow morning and check out the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Our primary destination is Luray Caverns, on the recommendation of the manager of my group at work.

Earl and I briefly tossed around the idea of checking out the motel bar, but decided to just call it a night and hit the hay.

I love being on the road.

Change of Time.

You’d think that after 37 years on this planet I’d be used to this by now. But I’m not. My life is about to be thrown into a turmoil in which it’ll take me a month to recover from.

Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend.

For as many years as I’ve had this blog (I think it’s almost 5), I’ve complained about Daylight Saving Time. My body doesn’t like it. My mind doesn’t like it. It throws me out of synch with the planet’s natural rhythm. I’d rather fly to Hong Kong and back and endure the jet lag than deal with this time saving nonsense.

I’m always amused when people say we have Daylight Saving Time to make the day longer. “The sun is out longer”, people sometimes say. “Ring ring”. Here that, it’s the clue phone? People. The day is still 24 hours, the sun has not slowed down it’s path across the heavens. We just monkey around with the clock so that it seems like it’s light later.

“The farmers love it because their crops get more light.” To that I say, “shut the fsck up you idiot.” First of all, farmers hate DST as much as I do because Bessie and Henna Hen can’t tell what time it is and they get impatient. Milk and egg production actually goes down for a bit. Secondly, the corn field has no idea what time it is and as I mentioned before, it’s the same amount of light in the overall scheme of things.

So now I’ll have to drive to the Central Time Zone as much as possible to feel back to normal for the next several months. And don’t get me started on that whole Indiana time zone mess that’s going on.

I apologize if I sound cranky. My alarm clock is going off right now because it thinks it’s Monday.

No Deposit. No Return.

This is what I get for marrying a man from out of state. New York has a container deposit law on selected beverage containers. If it’s a beer or soda can or bottle, we pay five cents a piece on top of the selling price and then we are suppose to take them back to the store to get a refund. There’s a rule that applies; a store does not have to accept a can or bottle if it doesn’t sell that specific type of beverage. So even if Hannaford sells Pepsi products, they don’t have to accept 24 ounce cans if they only sell 16 ounce cans.

The other rule that Earl doesn’t quite get is that this only applies to beer and soda. It doesn’t apply to any other beverage. Water bottles, wine bottles and bottles of the nasty Sunny Delight are not returnable, they are to go into the recycling bin.

I don’t agree with the container law. It was a good idea back in 1984 before all the recycling programs of today, but with all the sorting, spindling and mutilating you have to do of garbage before it goes out to the curb, it seems silly to return these select bottles and cans when they could just be recycled.

I tend to get OCD about things like this. I have a separate bin for returnables. I’m considering putting up signs that say “beer and soda cans and bottles only”. I think Earl takes great delight in putting non returnable stuff in the returnable bin.

“Sweetheart, water bottles are recyclable, not returnable.”

“We don’t have returnable bottles in Pennsylvania.”

“I understand that, but you’ve lived in New York since 1995 and you’re a very intelligent man, I would think that you’ve grasped this concept by now.”

(big sigh), “New York”, he responds with a tsk tsk tsk motion of his head.

He then throws a milk bottle into the returnables to make his point.

Driving Enthusiam.

I was recently polled in a road geek forum on how we would describe our passion for roads. Just what was it about roads that piqued our curiosity and interest so much. I answered the poll with a short statement. “I’m a driving ethusiast.”

I love to drive. I love exploring the highways and byways from the seat of my merry Oldsmobile. I find little more relaxing or intriguing than the rush I get behind the wheel of a car. Some people see artistry in the Louvre, I see artistry in overhead expressway signage.

Because I’m a driving enthusiast, I need to feel proud of the vehicle I’m driving. A decade and a half ago, I drove a candy-apple red 1994 Hyundai Excel. Was it the fastest car on the road? Hardly. Was it reliable? When the winds were favorable. Was I proud of it? Yes. It was the first car I had bought new, it was eye-catching and it served it’s purpose well. At least until the transmission died on it.

Fast forward to 2006. I now drive a black 2005 Acura RSX Type-S. Is it the fastest car on the road? Occasionally. Is it reliable? Yes. Am I proud of it? Of course I am! I love my RSX for several reasons. I’ve always wanted a black sports car, I’ve always wanted my vehicle to make a statement and I’ve always wanted to be able to zip in and out of lanes with ease (safely, of course). Because of my pride, I often wash the car two or three times a week. And forget about driving it in the winter. And it’s only been within the past week that I’ve eaten in the car (or allowed someone else the honor) and I’m thinking of abandoning that practice because it’s entirely too risky. The car does not look good with special sauce on the seat.

As a driver I can be rather aggressive. As a passenger, I can be a pain in the ass. Sometimes I pity Earl because I can be a tad bit critical as a passenger. For example, he and I have different approaches on how to drive a stick. I always say that my way is the “right way” because my first Hyundai (an ’86 Excel) had a stick and I owned it for over 254,000 miles and it had the original clutch in it the day it was towed off the charity I donated it to. He says his way is the right way because he taught himself in a Camaro back in 1979 and his method has worked longer than mine. I then counter that I learned to drive stick in a tractor, followed by a dump truck and then finally a Ford F-150 pickup truck (for skill polish) and all he’s driven are cars. By the time we’re done discussing shifting methods, we’ve passed our destination.

And don’t get me started on turn signaling. (I use them, he only does when someone is looking.)

So as I sit at my cubicle today, looking out at the sunny skies and daydreaming about the upcoming weekend, I really shouldn’t be surprised that I’m planning a road trip for this weekend.

Where shall we escape to this weekend?


You may have noticed that I’m sprucing up the graphics on the site. I just took a gander at the site here at work and see that Windows is rendering the new graphics way too dark. I guess it’s a Windows vs. Mac sort of thing. I’ll be working on it more tonight, please be patient.


Yesterday I stopped into a brand new Rite Aid in our area to pick up a few things. I’ve had this little dry skin thing going on under my right eye and on the bridge of my nose for the past couple of months and I wanted to zap it with a little cortizone cream and get rid of it once and for all. I also had to pick up some shaving cream for my head.

I always find it such fun to browse through the Men’s toiletries area of a store. Over the past couple of months Earl and I have been using Axe shower gel to get ourselves presentable. We both enjoy the scent, it’s clean but not overpowering. Well I was delighted to find that this Rite Aid had a new scent of Axe shower gel called Snake Skin. This stuff is da bomb! It has a little bit of grit to it to help shed dead skin cells (hence the name) and it smells fantastic. I love the stuff.

While I was browsing about I also noticed that Rite Aid carries the Headblade line of shaving supplies for men that are BBC (bald by choice) like me. I tried the Headblade a number of years ago and never really got the knack of using it, opting to stick to my Mach III instead. I had never seen any of their other products; they have a shaving cream and a moisturizing cream to use after you shave your head clean. The name of the moisturizing cream?


I love it. It comes in matte or glossy finish. I opted for the glossy since my uncle commented on the glare of my head at supper the other night, I thought I might as well go for the gold. The Headblade shaving cream is pretty good too and has earned a place in the shower, replacing a long legacy of Kiss My Face hypoallergenic stuff that I’ve used for the last couple of years, except when I was out I’d grab a can of trusty ol’ Barbasol that has lived in our bathroom since we moved here.

No one has commented on my shinier head today, but I have noticed a little bit of glare from my reflection in the window near my cubicle. It’s pretty cool.


I was looking for a desktop background to spruce up my work computer and went back to a site I hadn’t been to in a number of years. Take a look at Digital Blasphemy if you want to see some really creative work. They have a free gallery with quite a few scenes to choose from. My favorite is “The Grid”.

A to Z.

My blogger friend Thom posted a little bit about himself from A to Z today and I found it so interesting that I thought I would do the same.

Here we go.

Accent: I have a touch of Toronto, Ontario in the way I speak because I had a Canadian voice coach in college and when I was trying to neutralize my Central New York nasal sound when I was in radio, I paid very close attention to disc jockeys on Energy 108 from Toronto and the CBC’s “As It Happens”.
Booze of Choice: I’m not much of a drinker, but I do like beer or two from time to time. Or five.
Chore I Hate: Folding whites. Too many darn socks!
Dog or Cat: Cat. Tom is our son. I’ve only had one dog in my life; when I was growing up we had Sunshine, a German Shepherd/Husky mix. She liked to sleep in the snow.
Essential Electronics: If it beeps, bonks or flashes, I’m interested.
Favorite Cologne: Not a huge fan of cologne, I prefer to just smell like myself.
Gold or Silver: Gold. It works better with my skin coloring.
Hometown: Pulaski. I’ll let you guess the state.
Insomnia: Rarely. Earl is jealous of the fact that I can say I’m going to sleep and be asleep within three minutes, anywhere, at anytime.
Job Title: Officially I am a Network Operations Center Technician II at a local telephone company. I prefer “Mr. Telephone Man”.
Kids: Thought about it, never pursued it.
Living Arrangement: In a beautiful house with my partner of almost 10 years.
Most Admired Trait: I have no idea. I have been called “Mary Sunshine” at work but not in the last couple of months. Maybe I need to work on that.
Number of Sexual Partners: Not as many as you would think. I tend to add to the number in groups. Kidding.
Overnight Hospital Stays: It’s been a while, but quite a few when I was a kid. The last one was when I was 17. It was two nights. Bionics Upgrade.
Phobia: I used to have a huge fear of elevators but I got over that. I guess the only phobia I have is electric shock therapy; I can’t think about it and I can’t stand the sight of anyone getting it. I have to leave the room if I see it occurring on a television show or something.
Quote: “Life is such a sweet insanity.” Totally stolen from the theme song of “The Hogan Family”, as performed by Roberta Flack in the late 1980s.
Religion: Baptized Methodist, now I just focus on spirituality, but if it had to be nailed down I’m probably closest to Wiccan.
Siblings: A younger sister.
Time I Wake Up: 1 1/2 hours before the start of work (it varies). On the weekend, between 8 and 9.
Unusual Talent/Skill: I can roll a barrel across my folks’ back lawn without falling off.
Vegetable I Refuse To Eat: None. Bring ’em on baby.
Worst Habit: Venting my frustration. Loudly.
X-rays: Quite a few, the latest was in 1992 when I had to be tested for TB for a job. I’m allergic to the TB test stuff, so I always ended up getting an x-ray every year.
Yummy Foods I Make: Anything that you would find in a diner. I love to make french fries. Unfortunately, I don’t do that much anymore. My arteries were becoming too clogged.
Zodiac Sign: Cancer.

Front Porch.

Front Porch.

Originally uploaded by macwarriorny.

In celebration of the sunshine, Tom and I sat on the front porch together for lunch. For some reason he doesn’t feel the “Thou shall not nudge the PowerBook” rule applies when we’re doing a little sun surfing. Perhaps I’ll have to remind him how these things work.

It’s always so refreshing to sit outside and just listen to the sounds that ride the breeze. A crow screeching about something in the back lawn. Song birds tweeting a sweet little tune. The sounds of the New York Thruway off in the distance, the warning signal of an Amtrak train. I could just sit back, make myself comfortable and listen and observe for hours. I find it so peaceful.

A great way to recharge the batteries in the middle of the workday.


As I’m sitting here at the kitchen table getting ready for supper, I look out over the patio and notice a jet contrail in the sky. Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention, except the contrail is dark. And the jet is apparently doing a U-turn.

Undoubtedly the trail is dark because it’s nearly sunset and the sun is creating some odd shadows in the sky.

To the right of this little spectacle we have two smaller contrails, presumably further away, that are running in parallel with each other, same direction, same speed. That strikes me as odd too.

Now I’m going to have to pay attention to the sky and see what’s going on.