July 2006

Summer Night City.


It is a hot, sticky night here in Upstate New York. The mercury is pushing 80 degrees at 11:00 p.m. Where’s the justice in that?

Earl and I just went for a ride to enjoy the air-conditioning of the Acura. We complimented the trip with a pass through Wendy’s drive-thru for a couple of iced teas with lemon. It was refreshing, especially since it was a whole lot of water, with a wedge of lemon and just a hint of tea to give it flavor.

The air is murky tonight. The moon is surrounded by haze. The air is still. The mood is quiet.

I’m chatting online with my blog friend Karl and basically just endlessly surfing the ‘net, inquisitive about any random subject that pops into my brain. To compliment the evening, I’m playing a little bit of Abba softly in the background. Gosh, I miss Abba. I wish they’d do one reunion concert.

The dryer buzzes it’s end of cycle signal. I can officially go to bed now. Let’s hope the Universe cooperates and doesn’t ring my on call pager.

Grinding At It Again.

I’m back on call this week. This week on, week off, week on thing is for the birds, especially when there are things to do, places to go and people to see. Oh well, it’ll all have to wait until next week. I’m desperately trying not to be cranky about the whole thing and I think the happy side of me is winning, so let’s hope it stays that way for the duration.

I did want to smack a woman driving a big honkin’ SUV today. The interstate is undergoing construction and there’s three lanes being jimmied down to one with a major on-ramp feeding into the mess to keep things chaotic. I was on the on-ramp which has a stop sign at the end. Cars were backed up on both the main road and the on-ramp, so drivers were alternating back and forth with right of way, contrary to the stop sign, but in a friendly, howdy neighbor driver thing. It was heartwarming.

I pulled up to the stop sign and looked at this big massive red thing (it turned out to be her hair) in a big, massive SUV, hoping she’d let me out like the 30 cars or so her had done.

Nope. She’s important. She _shook her head_ and barreled through the work zone, almost hitting one of the workers that apparently she felt was working too close to her lane.

I hope her car goes up in flames. While that sounds quite mean I don’t want her to be hurt, I just want her to be scared enough of SUVs that her next vehicle is an old, beat-up Le Car.

At the very least I hope her gas card gets rejected at the pump and she has to mortgage her house to pay for the tank of gas.

My, I guess I’m not as happy as I thought I was!

Earl is going to be out of town for part of the week so I’m going to be sitting home twiddling my thumbs. Maybe I’ll get crazy and clean the pool or something. Maybe I’ll plan an “end of the summer” party for late August. Planning a party does get one motivated to clean the house and get things in order.

Harborfest 2006 Fireworks.

Harborfest 2006 Fireworks.

Originally uploaded by bluemarvel.

Yesterday afternoon I was in the middle of blogging when we had a very aggressive thunderstorm blow through the area, flooding areas that have been flooded repeatedly this summer, blowing us around with 60+ MPH winds and cutting power and internet to our happy little home. So we did the logical thing. We drove west to Harborfest 2006 in Oswego.

Harborfest is basically a city-wide festival, with street vendors, games, displays and all sorts of family fun to be found in every nick and cranny of this port city on Lake Ontario. I always like going to Oswego because it has the whole college town vibe going on and at just 15 miles, it’s the closest “metropolitan” area to the small village where I grew up. When we were youngsters, we’d always go school clothes shopping at Westons (regional department store chain that became Jamesway before going belly up) in Oswego.

Anyways, in addition to all the fun and games going on, there’s also some drinking. Lots of drinking. There’s bands playing everywhere, with tons of people crowding the streets, all drinking beer and other assorted beverages. People get very silly, there’s a fight here and there and basically all sorts of interesting activities take place whereever you look.

Last night was the great fireworks display put on by Entergy, one of the nuclear power company in Oswego. (And Earl wonders why I glow in the dark.) The storm gave way to clear skies in time for the massive display of pyrotechnics and I must say I think it was the most impressive fireworks display I’ve ever seen in my life. They are forgiven for not doing this on Independence Day. It’s that good.

I was able to get some great shots off the show, including the one pictured above. It’s amazing how well I was able to do, considering the couple of pints of dark ale I had in me.

Carve Out A Mustache.

Carve Out A Mustache.

Originally uploaded by bluemarvel.

I’ve had a beard for the most part for the past two years. Earl was at work this morning and for a good share of this afternoon, and I was bored, so I decided it was try something different with my facial hair.

Hence, my new mustache, courtesy of the friendly neighborhood barber. I’m going to let it grow in and keep it around for a while.

Little Work Nugget #214.

“You need to make sure you type ‘admin’ in all lower-case letters when signing in.”

“I don’t know what you mean by lower case”, responds the befuddled customer, obviously confused.

“Small letters.”

“Oh, you mean lower caps”, the customer exclaims, as comprehension sets in.

When It Rains…

As I readied myself for lunch today, Earl dropped me an e-mail to let me know that he would not be able to make our lunch appointment. Apparently the plant outside of Cleveland had flooded last night and he had to be on a conference call. The situation was eerily similar to that of about a month ago, when the same thing happened in the southern part of the state.

Big hurricanes. Lots of rain. Flooding where it hasn’t flooded in a really long time. Lots of heat. Volcanoes erupting and earthquakes in the ocean. I get the feeling that someone is trying to say something.

So I ended up heading home for lunch. I looked outside and noticed that it was raining like crazy. The street was flooding and it was just coming down in buckets. Did that make me stay at the office for lunch? Of course not. I borrowed my co-workers emergency umbrella, saddled up the car with a pair of water skiis and surfed home.

Surf’s up dude.

Deception In Metric.

Oil companies are reporting record quarterly profits for the 2nd quarter of this year. Shell is up 40% from the same time last year.

Kind of makes you really hate that “$3.129” that appeared on the gas station price board this morning, doesn’t it?

Instead of going on and on about how consumers are basically being screwed by big business when we try to fill our tanks (note the interesting visual that comes to mind when you really read that phrase), I believe that oil companies should embrace the New American Way by changing the public perception of gas prices in lieu of addressing the fact that they’re getting rich while we consumers are mortgaging houses to afford the fuel needed to commute.

This is the perfect opportunity to go metric.

Just imagine how much better you would feel this very moment if you drove down Main St. USA and saw that gas was $0.829 today. By the way, why do they charge to the 9/10 of a cent? What part of Lincoln’s head are they chopping off that penny anyway – the top of his head or his neck? Anyway, motorists wouldn’t be nearly as manic if they thought they were paying less than a dollar for gas. All we need to do is switch from gallons to liters and presto, perceived instant savings.

Makes cents to me.

I’ve always been a metric sort of guy. On the radio I would give the temperature in fahrenheit and celcius. I design road signs in millimeters for my road geek web site. When I was single, I was asked how “big” I was to which I replied “14.65”, not that I measured or anything.

If the U.S. would join the rest of the word and go metric, we’d all be a little bit happier. No more trying to convert quarts to acres. No wondering how many bushels to peck.

And lots of cheap gas!

Little Things.

Sometimes it only takes one little thing to make the day seem brighter and better. This morning I woke up not feeling quite on my game. There were a variety of reasons; it’s been very sticky and hot sleeping the past couple of nights, several of my dreams have been apocalyptic in nature this week and my stomach is feeling a little bit off this morning, undoubtedly because of the nachos and beer I had for supper last night. No regrets though, it was good.

Anyway, Earl and I eat these healthy Special K breakfast bars for breakfast and Earl has a sort of unspoken rule that we don’t open the next box of them until the current box is empty. We’ve been eating strawberry and blueberry bars since we discovered these little goodies, but last week Earl brought home another flavor: Chocolatey Drizzle.

This morning I was finally able to open the Chocolatey Drizzle box. I haven’t had my first bar yet, as it’s sitting to the left of the PowerBook with the promise of breakfasty goodness. But the prospect of eating this little delight has made the morning not so bad.

It’s like a little bar of sunshine.

Cavallo’s Nachos.

Cavallo’s Nachos.

Originally uploaded by bluemarvel.

Nothing says “you’re half way through the week!” like a plate of nachos to share at one of our favorite haunts, “Cavallo’s”, in the Village of New Hartford.

Three beers at supper also contributed to the sentiment.

Well, Duh.

Lance Bass has come out of the closet. Good for him. I’m glad to see he’s happy.

I’m trying to figure out a way to humorously tie this to the campy cartoon series “Josie and The Pussycats in Outer Space” for some odd reason but I’m falling short. He doesn’t have a skunk stripe in his hair (though many gay men do). He’d probably look good in Alan’s ascot. I wonder if his ears wiggle like Melody’s. I’ll probably blurt out something witty at work and then forget to write it down.

Welcome to the team Lance! Just don’t follow George Michael’s lead – that sort of thing leads to all sorts of trouble.