May 2006

I’m Easy.

“We’ll feed you pizza and wings” is what the e-mail basically said. It was an e-mail from my aunt, who was asking her favorite nephew and computer geek to visit one night this week to help out with some computer woes. I take a certain pride in maintaining the various computers in my family and I’m always eager to help out. Plus, Earl is out of town on business tonight so I would have been a little lonely around the house.

So I headed west on the New York State Thruway.


More importantly, the 50 minute drive gave me the opportunity to listen to the latest album I’ve downloaded to my iPod: “The Very Best of Stars On 45”. I never cease to be amazed by the Stars On 45 medleys from the early 1980s; there’s a different version of each medley for each country it was released in, due to musical clearance issues, and there’s a ton of variations of the “Stars On 45 Theme” and the “Stars On 45 Jingle”.

So tonight was a geeky good night after all: good music, IT superpowers used to spread good will and great conversation and laughs with my aunt, uncle, cousin and my mom.


I know it’s only Wednesday but I’m already thinking about our activities for the upcoming weekend. There’s so much to do with such little time – it’s bear night in Rochester, I believe it’s Pride weekend in Buffalo, there’s BBQ to be had just about anywhere; the list goes on and on. But there’s one thing that tops the list of “must-do” activities this weekend.

We’ll be waiting for our cable repairman.

Nothing says “fun-filled weekend” like waiting for the fourth visit of the Adelphia repairman. It really is a necessity, since our internet connection only works when the sun isn’t out and the temperatures are cool. I suggested to the technician on the line that predictable outages may be related to a heat issue but I think I deviated from the script or something because they immediately sounded flustered and mumbled something about writing that note down in my technical file.

I wonder what else my technical file contains. Are there notes about my demeanor on the phone? Because technically I hate Adelphia, but they’re the only game in town when it comes to broadband internet so I have to put up with them. But they’re not good at what they do and I’ve told them that.

I know what you’re saying. “It’s only your internet connection.” First of all, how dare you speak such profane things to a Super Geek like myself and secondly, our phone service rides the same connection so our telephones don’t work when the sun is out or when it’s warm.

I called Adelphia on Monday where they set up the service call for me. “Oh, you’re lucky, there’s an appointment available on Sunday.”, said the perky technician.

“Yesterday was Sunday.”

“Yes, but I’m talking about this coming Sunday.”

I just sighed and took the appointment, grateful that I didn’t have to wait for some second coming or something. So this weekend I may be arrested for kidnapping the cable repairman and holding him hostage until he gets this internet connection fixed. Let’s hope he’s cute.


I stuck to my plan and was productive today! The deck is officially decked out with plants and flowers and if I do say so myself, looks quite good.

I even cooked supper tonight and everyone involved survived. I just love grilling out on the deck. I’m thinking of trying to grill a tossed salad this weekend to see how it turns out. Stay tuned.

Tomorrow it’s back to work on the early shift and I’ve just finished my chores so I’m ready to call it a night. Tonight I’m keeping it short and sweet.

Bay Cruise.

I’m still getting used to iWeb, but I’ve posted a few pictures from our harbor cruise while we were in Portland, Maine.


I had visions of Earl and I going on a picnic today; just the two of us in the Jeep. We’d take some sandwiches, a little macaroni salad and make some iced tea. We’d frolic in the fields, welcoming the unofficial start to summer.

Instead we worked around the house, getting the deck ready for the season. The debit card has skid marks on it.

When the original owners of our house built the deck, they never completed the project. The floor part is there, it’s a reasonable size and it offers wonderful access to the pool, but they never put a railing on it. So we have posts of varying length sticking up where the railing should go. We decided to do something about the posts. Now don’t get ahead of me now and think that we built the railing and walls and all that. We’re not that handy nor crazy. No, instead we made a virtual railing, installing the hangers for hanging plants and mounting solar powered lamps on top of the posts.

I’m taking the day off from work tomorrow, using a little comp time. Originally I was going to go for a road trip and do some research for my road geek web site. Instead I’ll continue the deck project and buy some plants and such. When I’m through it’ll be “J.P.’s Jungle”.

Sometimes staying local isn’t that bad.


Portland, Maine Lighthouse.

Originally uploaded by macwarriorny.

Earl and I spent the day in Portland, Maine doing the things that tourists visitors in Portland, Maine do.

I don’t know if I’m the only one that has noticed this, but “Tourist Information Centers” on the turnpikes have become “Visitor Information Centers”. Apparently in our über-PC world, “tourist” has become a derogatory word and instead we need to use “visitor” instead. Maybe it has something to do with accessorizing with fanny-packs. I found the whole concept amusing.

Anyways, Earl and I went on a boat cruise around the sites of Portland, Maine. This little boat ride focused on the various lighthouses, summer mansions and scattered islands around the Portland area. It was a very enjoyable journey.


Afterwards we walked around the Old Port area, which is very, uh, “visitory”. We picked up a couple of Christmas ornaments for our tree; it’s a tradition in our merry little household to pick up an ornament from every place we visit so that we can reflect our journeys around the holidays. There was talk today about adding a third tree to our holiday decorating to accomodate these new ornaments and of course I’m very excited about that. I’m writing about it in my blog now so that I remember the conversation come December.

After a little shopping we went to a local microbrewery for lunch where I had a Lobster Roll sandwich. It may have been the first time I’ve ever had lobster. While quite tasty, I don’t know what the big deal is, but then again I’m really not into seafood all that much. I was semi-expecting some sort of salt water orgasmic experience after observing the way some people carry on about lobster, donning their bibs and cracking over the poor little beast’s various appendages with something that looks like a walnut cracker. At least it didn’t taste like chicken.

Afterwards we made the trek home and once in Massachusetts we opted to do some shunpiking, taking the more scenic Mohawk Trail/MA 2. We stopped at the restaurant at the famous Hairpin Turn just east of North Adams for supper and ate out on their patio that overlooks the mountains and the parking lot. We both found the parking lot quite entertaining, watching cars try to manuever their way around the very small area that sits on the edge of a cliff. Good times.

There was more shunpiking home as we made our way through the darkness along NY 5S, winding our way through the Mohawk Valley.

We’re all ready for our next adventure.

Portland, Maine.

Portland, Maine.

Originally uploaded by macwarriorny.

Earl and I have a road atlas that we picked up a couple of years ago. While its growing further and further out of date, there is an important list of noted in the front. Using the contents page, which lists all 50 states, we keep track of the states that we’ve been in and those we still need to visit to complete the list. Our checked lists have been unbalanced because I have been in one state that Earl hasn’t.

So tonight we’re spending the night in Portland, Maine.

Always looking for a good trip, I’ve been planning three different trips that are relatively local to our home. So I’ve thinking about driving to Maine for the past couple of days and while doing research on good barbecue, I ran across Beale Street Barbeque, which has three locations in Maine. I mean after all, when you’re looking for some good barbecue, one naturally thinks of New England.

So after a five and half hour drive, here we are. The barbecue joint was *wonderful* and is highly recommended. Afterwards we went and caught “X-Men: The Last Stand”. While we both enjoyed the movie, we didn’t think it was as good as the first two.

Downtown Portland seems to be pretty hoppin’, we’re going to go check it out again before calling it a night.

Memorial Day.

Today is one of those days that I like at work, everyone is gearing up for the long Memorial Day weekend and basically in “maintenance mode”. Half of the people in the office have taken the day off, the other half are doing what needs to get done and then keeping busy with important projects like interjecting comments on the American Idol message board, checking the progress of ebay auctions and searching for a new computer for my their mother on Retrobox. Naturally these are all arbitrary examples that I am unfamiliar with.

Memorial Day has been set aside to remember those that have died in our nation’s service. There are thousands and thousands of men and women that have passed on while fighting for the American Way. While researching Memorial Day on the internet, I found this site which outlines the history of Memorial Day, including it’s official birthplace of Waterloo, New York, not too far west from here. Before reading this I thought Waterloo was cool for being in the famed Finger Lakes and having a big outlet shopping center.

I’ve often wondered why we celebrate Memorial Day by buying cheap refrigerators and low-priced automobiles. At least that’s what the advertisements would have you believe; screw the family picnics and whatnot, you need to get your butt out there and buy something now! I mean, nothing says “remember our fallen heroes” like a cheap Datsun. (Notice the use of an obsolete car manufacturer’s name in order to avoid complaints. I’m so clever.) I mean, does attending a parade through town honor those that have served followed by attending the memorial service at the local cemetary and then going to Montgomery Ward (still clever) for a discounted microwave all go hand-in-hand? “One of these things just doesn’t belong…”, I believe is how the song goes.

Anyways, no matter how you celebrate Memorial Day this weekend, let’s all just take a brief, reflective moment and thank the diety of your choosing for blessing us with the life we have and remembering those that have served our country to make it better.

Then we all can dig into the ribs and baked beans at the family picnic.



Originally uploaded by macwarriorny.

It’s a gorgeous day here in Upstate New York. Sunshine filled sky, temperatures near 80, it’s all revving up for a beautiful Memorial Day weekend.

Get out there and enjoy the day!

Waking Up Is Hard To Do.

It’s 6:29 a.m. I’m on the brink of cowering in fear under the sheets and blankets, knowing that any second the alarm is going to go off, signaling the fact that I need to get out of bed. Being the freak geek that I am, the alarm clock is set to the atomic standard, so it’s right in sync with the local NPR station. The alarm goes off just as their joyous news music kicks in and “This in NPR News, I’m Jean Cochran…” blares out of the 15 year old device.

I’ve been semi-awake for the past 29 minutes as Earl got out of bed at 6:00, stirring Tom, who has been pawing at my face and making noises that sound like he’s been strangled; it’s his way of saying that he’s hungry.

“Shut up! Stop making noise! Leave for work! Don’t you have a breakfast meeting?” my brain screams as I muster all my energy to make an effort to be civil in the morning as I say, “Good morning sweetheart.” I even manage a weak smile. Truth of the matter is, it’s not Earl’s fault that I have to get up and go to work at this ungodly hour of 8:00 a.m. I could easily abandon this lunacy and get a real job as a greeter in a 24 hour Wal*Mart Supercenter, but no, I go for the challenge of a normal workday.

Still trying to be civil, I stumble into the bathroom to do my thing, which makes Tom utter more strangling noises. I tell him “I’m using my litterbox”, trying to use familiar terms for His Impatientness, but he doesn’t care. There’s kibble to be poured.

After putzing around the house and catching up on e-mail and whatnot for a half hour or so, I find the sanctity of the shower. The water is like magic as it washes away the waking crankies. While I won’t be truly awake until after lunchtime, at least I feel like I’m able to make an effort now.