January 2008

Enough Speaking.

I guess I’m in a little bit of a ranty mood today. Am I the only one that is sick and tired of hearing the antics of Britney Spears and her clan of idiots? I’ve never found her to be exceptionally talented and back when her first song came out I was very hesitant to play it on the radio. I believe my comment was “Wow, technology can do wondrous things!”

I realise1 that a good chunk of the American sheep have become obsessed with all things Hollywood. I know that it’s apparently very important to know which celebrity showed her cooley as she staggered out of the limo last night. Personally I believe that Paris Hilton is the anti-Christ that the wingnuts are always shrieking about.

Here’s my take on this Britney thing. Who cares if she shaved her head months ago. Did the country go whacko years ago when Tyne Daly did the same thing? Of course not. Is Britney a responsible mother? Probably not. Neither is a good chunk of mothers out there today but we don’t see everyone losing2 their mind over it. There’s always going to be good mothers and there’s always going to be bad mothers. It’s just the way it is. Crimminy.

The newest five alarm fire is that she’s speaking in a British accent. Big whoopin’ doopin’ doo. Has anyone thought that she might have wanted to reboot her life or even just a change of pace? I know that if I grew up with that southern accent that she’s had all her life I’d be out making a change too. Truth be known if I could pull of a believable Irish accent I’d do it full-time. “The British accent shows that she has a personality disorder.” Give me a fscking break. Maybe she was just sick of sounding like a hick.

I realise1 that the media wants us to pretend that there’s no war and all is rosy in the United States. Celebrity deconstruction sells ad time much better than world annihilation. But enough already with the Britney talk. Let her be.


1 Since I can’t speak with a convincing Irish accent, I type with one.

2 As long as I’m ranting, for the love of god please note that ‘lose’ is spelled with one ‘o’. “I’m losing weight so my jeans will be loose.” Loose as in “loose change” = two ‘o’s. Lose as in “lose the sidekick” = one ‘o’. Thank you.

Moby gets credit for inspiring me to superscript my numbered notes.

Good Morning, Captain.

Before starting this blog entry I briefly wondered how many times I can write about the fact that I’m not a morning person and then I decided that I don’t really give a shit, it’s my blog and I can write about whatever I damn well please.

This should be an indication of my mood this morning.

There is nothing responsible for putting me in a less-than-sunny mood this morning other than the fact that it’s not even 7 a.m. and here I am up and about. This idea of offering only one section of a required course at 8 a.m. is ridiculous. I wonder what the folks that work during the day and go to night school are suppose to do about getting this class onto their schedule.

I wrote a letter to the president of the college asking him to have someone please fix the clocks. None of the clocks in the creatively named “Academic Building” work properly. The time displayed in the hallways is nothing close to what we consider real time in these parts, but I do know what time it is in Guam, Halifax and Moscow in case you’re wondering. None of the classrooms have clocks because it depresses the students. I’ve heard that theory from a couple of folks but I believe it’s because the school is cheap and they didn’t want to go to the expense. I get depressed when the instructor starts on time and people come wandering in for the next ten minutes because they don’t know what time it is.

Earl was out of town last night and that has me somewhat cranky as well. As I burrow under the covers I think about the fact that It’s cold in our house because our energy costs have gone through the roof again. I think I’m ready for winter to be over. I’m ready for warmer weather and wearing as little clothes as socially acceptable. I hate bundling up. I wish I could wear shorts all year ’round.

I am so tired of this presidential election I could scream. People are rampantly hating Hillary and few know why they hate her, they just know they have to hate her so they do. I guess I can’t really complain though because I have no basis for my complete distrust for Obama but there’s something that just doesn’t add up right for me when I listen to his speeches and his other plans for a better tomorrow. And don’t even get me started on the other side of the fence, all I see are cranky old men doing cranky old things that will at the very least undoubtedly cost Earl and I more money to prove that we are still human beings because after all, if it ain’t fear sanctioned love, it’s not love. If the truth were to be known, none of the presidential candidates really do anything for me and this is all going to boil down to the less sucky choice.

I know no one takes me seriously when I declare that I want to move to Ireland but it still holds true. It’s my own fault for voicing my dreams out loud for most of my life. If you dream it and don’t follow through with it, people think you have no sense of direction.

Truth be known, my direction is usually different than everyone else’s. And that doesn’t bother me in the least. They tell me look at the big picture. They don’t get that I’m looking at a completely different painting.

Elementary Inspiration.

Back when I was in elementary school, I was one of the first selected to be in the “Enrichment Program”. I was the only one in my fourth grade class to be selected for the pilot program, which was designed to inspire students that showed an interest in the less-traditional elementary scholastic subjects such as math, social studies and spelling. My interests included maps, roads, power lines, clocks, cash registers and acting.

Yes, I’ve been a square peg in a world of round holes.

“Enrichment” took us out of the ordinary classroom and into a seldom used alcove off the library where we were encouraged to explore our interests with the guidance of teachers that were trained to handle geeks like us. I guess the job didn’t pay well though, because in the three years that I participated in the program we had three different teachers. The first was Mr. Hazard who organised a tour of the local nuclear power plants. Other than that I don’t remember much about him, though I thought his field trip was nifty and a glowing success. The second teacher, Mr. Rayburn, was my first crush and I suppose there’s a hidden side of me that wonders what that bear of a teacher looks like today. (He was 6′ 2″, had a crooked smile and auburn hair and a bushy beard to match). My crush went to crushed when I discovered that he wasn’t around my third year of the program. The name of the third teacher escapes me, but I remember him being somewhat of a hippy with his long hair, liberal attitude and out-of-the ordinary beard/goatee combo.

I decided to give that last teacher’s beard style a whirl today. I’m liking the look, it’ll probably stay around for a while.

sideburns and goatee

Vanity Wins.

So I have an appointment with our family physician tomorrow. He’s not really family in the FOD sense but he is your typical piece of hunk family physician. I haven’t seen him in a while so I thought I’d schedule an appointment and stir up some conversation. I like to call him “Dr. Lance”, what with Lance being his name and all. He’s scruffy. Maybe I should call him Dr. Scruff. I doubt he would answer.

Actually I’m going to him for a specific reason other than lively conversation about cholesterol, lipids, heart disease and whatnot. I have a rash on my forehead. This rash has come and gone for the past two months or so. I had a similar rash a couple of years ago. He gave me some meds, I paid, I wiped and and voila the rash was gone. Before our trip to Ireland it came back so I socked it with various lotions and potions. It’s made occasional appearances since. It’s a little itchy and more importantly, it’s on my face where all can see so I need to get it taken care of. It’s most likely dry skin that’s beyond the help of anything I can buy in a drug store hence the visit to the doctor.

On the bright side it hasn’t spread and it’s not contagious so it can’t be anything too serious. I’m betting on the dry skin run amok theory. Hopefully I’ll be pretty again by the weekend.


I am sitting in our local Panera enjoying a late lunch and some surfing. This is the perfect time to come to the otherwise “alternate reality” Panera as it’s between typical meal times and rather empty. I’m able to sit in a strategically placed corner and watch people, one of my favorite pastimes.

A rather handsome gentleman just came up to me and asked if my name is Ron. In the right circumstances, it could have been. It’s funny but I’ve never considered whether I look like a Ron or not. My mother wanted to name me Christopher John but my father thought it sounds too gay. He wanted to name me Wesley Walter. I’m glad they compromised on the easier to remember J.P. after famous foul-mouthed comedian Jaye P. Morgan.

The weekend has been a whirl of activity aside from sleeping at odd hours. Last night we went to Albany for their semi-monthly bear night. It was “Gear Bear” and I wore gear that would make a bear and hundreds of Village people fans proud while simultaneously making my family blush. We opted to not spend the night and got home around 3:15 this morning. We would have been home sooner but we stopped for a quick nap at the desolate “Pattersonville Service Area”.

Last night I met a few people that I’ve only chatted with online in the past, including fellow roadgeek Mike. The usual suspects were out as well, including the D-List bears from Albany. We’re rounding up a bunch of people for bear night on March 1. We tried to get Eric to tag along with us last night but he was busy being a homebody.

As I type my way through this blog entry I’ve just had a group of senior citizens plop down at the next table wear they are discussing the futures of this “new electronic mail”. They are apparently going to their country club afterwards because they’re all discussing the upcoming vote regarding women wearing slacks at club functions.

Our latest adventure at the house has been a leaky toilet. I just completed my third run to Lowe’s to fix it. I told Earl the next time we are looking for a place to live we are not buying a home that has trap doors installed in the ceiling under the second floor plumbing. We should have seen the signs before. When we are done with this toilet project we will have fixed all three toilets, the washing machine connection, three out of five sinks and the dishwasher connection since buying the house in December 2003. So much for good plumbing, considering the house is only 10 years old.


Back At Work., originally uploaded by iMachias.

Earl snapped a photo while I was spinning at the local bar tonight. I’m am officially the house DJ on Friday nights. It’s all done off my PowerBook now; I don’t use CDs and I don’t use vinyl. I keep busy during the week recording my vinyl records in the computer.

Word has hit the street that I’m back DJing again and the crowd was appreciative. I forgot the high that I feel when I’m able to fill a dance floor by picking a good music selection and keeping the beats aligned.

Doing this full time at the radio station back in the day was good and it made me a small celebrity, but if the truth were to be known, I much prefer to be in a club in a DJ booth doing my thing. I can’t say “fuck” on the radio, I can say it over the mic in a bar (though I rarely do).

If you’re in the area, drop me a line and I’ll give you a special tour of the DJ booth.

I also snapped a photo without a flash so you could see the cockpit.


Earl and I also went to the Toronto Marlies @ Binghamton Senators hockey game here in Utica tonight with my sister, mom, uncle and cousin. My sister’s boyfriend is an aggressive hockey player and is the left wingman for the Marlies. It was our first time watching him do his thing on the ice and I must say that I was quite impressed. We snapped a few photos in the stands and they can be found on my Flickr account. I love this picture of my sister Jennifer and Earl.

Hockey Game: Jennifer and Earl.


365 Days: Day 24., originally uploaded by iMachias.

When I was part of the traditional American work force I was faced with the same challenges day in and day out. Go to work at 8:00, feed my face at 10:00, break for lunch at noon, back to my desk at 1:00, feed my face at 3:00 p.m. and out at 5:00 p.m. Interspersed with the fun were telecommunications emergencies and countless pee breaks. And maybe some surfing on the internet if I was feeling daring.

It was a good job, but the challenges stayed pretty routine from day to day. I didn’t feel “movement” in my career. Hence, the return to college.

One of the exciting things about being a college student is the complete rearranging of my schedule each semester. My homework schedule that worked well for fall isn’t going to work for this semester and I couldn’t be more pleased. So far my professors are reasonable with expectations: Professor Frightful doesn’t collect homework at all this semester, he’s just going to quiz the hell out of us. My engineering classes allow at least a week to complete a given assignment and I don’t know what’s going on with my physics homework yet but I’ve heard rumblings that the instructor is “excellent”. This typically translates to “easy homework”, among other things.

I think I’m excited because I feel like I have a whole new set of challenges on the path ahead of me. The path is still the same and I’m still headed in the same direction, it just has some new additions and deletions along the way. I feel like the pavement has changed color a little bit. My new school schedule along with my “gigs” and whatnot along the way are giving me a feeling of contentment. It’s good to feel great.

To get all philosophical on you, one of the most important things a person can do is find the path of their life journey. There’s going to be detours and dead ends along the way, but when you’re not following your path you’re just wandering aimlessly.

I wouldn’t write it on a fortune cookie (too long), but it’s workable.

Play In The Snow.

365 Days: Day 23.

365 Days: Day 23.,
originally uploaded by iMachias.

I’m not as disciplined with the “365 days” photo series on my Flickr account as I thought I would be. I’ve already missed seven out of 23 days.

This afternoon I decided to get some fresh air after successfully completing my first round of homework for school. I resisted the urge to make a snow angel but I did go for a 1 1/2 mile walk.

I’ll probably have a video to post later tonight.