February 2008

Temporary Freeze.

I hereby declare that this whirlwind of a week is temporarily frozen so I can sit down and write a cohesive blog entry.

This week has been insanely busy. I did not plan for this week to be insanely busy but apparently the Universe felt differently. And we all know that when it comes down to one against the Universe, the Universe wins, especially when the Universe has the arsenal black holes and such involved.

Where to begin. Earl and I are having a bear party this weekend. It’s sort of an appetizer for the subsequent bear night at the bar I spin at. Because of this party I’ve been keeping busy making sure the house looks respectable and that the snacks and whatnot will be in order. There’s quite a few guys coming and I think it’s going to be a great time. Let’s hope Mother Nature cooperates, although if folks get snowed into the house I won’t be upset in the least.

School has been going well this week, though the homework has been keeping my busy. Even though this semester has had more homework than previous terms, I feel like all of my homework is geared towards my degree. Aside from the lesson on using my slide rule (WTF?) and doing computations with logarithms I feel like I’m gathering useful information that I’ll need when I’m finally a real Civil Engineer.

In between getting the house ready for company, school work and chatting with friends and family online, I’ve also been engaged in the hyper-amusing activity of keeping the driveway clear of snow. I don’t know if it’s global climate change or what but this winter has been sort of whacky. The traditionally coldest week of the year wasn’t and usually by now the great lakes are frozen enough that we don’t get a lot of lake effect snow. This year seems to be playing by different rules. I guess Mother Nature is shaking it up a bit to keep it interesting. We’ve all heard the reports about the changing weather patterns worldwide; I’m interested to see if we are going to see more severe thunderstorms and such in the spring and summer. I might have to chase me some tornadoes.

Earl and I are going on vacation in a couple of weeks. We are spending most of my spring break in Las Vegas. I’ve planned a couple of side trips courtesy of reading Karl’s blog and I’m looking forward to the adventure. Once upon a time I dreamed of living in the desert in relative isolation. The idea still appeals to me somewhat though I’d rather living in relative isolation in the Irish countryside now. It’s a little greener. Nevertheless, I’m really looking forward to the trip to Las Vegas and I think that Earl and I are going to have a fabulous time.

Now, back to my whirlwind.

Dreaming of Sunny Spells.

Today the beautiful city of Dublin, Ireland enjoyed relatively chilly temperatures between 9 and 12 degrees celsius. That’s around 50 degrees for those that prefer the unscientific method of measuring these things. Said temps were accompanied by sunny spells.

Here at home we have about 10 inches of new snow with the majority of the storm expected late tonight through tomorrow night. I’ve already cleaned the driveway out once and that took 1 1/2 hours because I had to use the “snail” setting on the snowblower.

Is it crazy of me to hope this is the last big storm of the season?

Spread Some Music.

On Saturday night I drove to Ithaca to go to Leather and Bear Night at the Common Ground. It was a solo night for me; Earl had to work early Sunday morning and since it’s a bit of a drive to Ithaca he wouldn’t have had nearly enough sleep to be functional, so with his blessing I made the trek alone.

It was a great time and I was able to make new friends and chat with guys about the upcoming Bear night in Utica (this coming Saturday). I was also entered into the “Best Buns” contest by an apparent fan and I came in second out of 10 or so. I don’t know what happened to me that I would be showing off my ass in public like that, since I’m so shy in that type of setting (grin), but there you are.

But I digress.

While I was at the Common Ground I chatted with the owner of the bar, a very nice guy by the name of Doug who invited me to be a guest DJ. We’ve exchanged a few e-mails and now it’s official, I will be the guest DJ on Saturday 26 April 2008 for the Leather/Levi night. It’ll be my first time spinning in Ithaca and the Common Ground has a GREAT dance floor and sound system. I am really looking forward to the experience.

One of the things that I like about the Common Ground is that it’s relatively secluded outside of the city limits. It’s a little bit country, even though you’re a little bit rock and roll. And one of the things that I’ve always loved about Ithaca is the nighttime view as you enter the city, even at 4:30 in the morning. I just love the terrain there.

Seize. Freeze. Senility.

Going back to college at 38 years old (at the time) was a difficult decision to make. I had several concerns with the decision; I feared attending mandatory physical education classes with students that lifted weights for a living, I worried that my age difference from my classmates would be measured in decades and I was concerned that I could no longer get high from ditto paper.

I never considered that the brain turns to swiss cheese around the 30s.

Today I have two big exams. The first is already under my belt and was in the class that is turning out to be my favorite class of the semester: Statics. It’s this class that will set the foundation for my ability to design a bridge, road or sign that doesn’t move. I’m finding the class to be common sense. We’ve learned a small handful of equations and we crunch a lot of numbers. I am usually able to complete my homework easily. I’ve received glowing comments from the professor.

Now I didn’t get panic stricken like that Surveying test last semester, but I found myself struggling to remember the equations that I usually can rattle off without an issue. This seems to be the case with my ability to take a test. Going into the test I’m golden, during the test I’m bronze at best. It’s like everything I’ve studied falls out of my brain the moment I sit down to take the test.

I don’t remember this feeling during tests back in my high school days. (I can’t remember taking tests during my first run of college back when I was 18 and 19 but I must have at one point or another.) I guess I’m attributing the phenomena to growing older.

I feel confident with my performance on the exam. I would even go so far as to say that I did very well, despite the struggle I had remembering what I needed to remember.

I guess I’ll just have to double up on the studying or something.

Waking Up.

Mother Nature graced us with bright sunshine today. I can feel spring approaching the front door. Soon it will be knocking and we will enthusiastically welcome it.

The bright sun and relatively moderate temperatures did much to bring me out of hibernation. To celebrate, I’ve decided to wear my sandals whenever I don’t have to trudge through snow.

More pictures available on my web gallery. Look in the folder entitled “February Sunshine.”


I found one of my favorite scenes from the “I Dream of Jeannie” series. Enjoy Jeannie’s sister singing “Electric Nights”.

Larry Hagman’s comedic timing in this clip is fabulous.


A couple of years ago CBS cancelled the show “Judging Amy”. I was bitter about it, wrote several letters and blog entries on the subject, raised some hell with the CBS e-mail servers and then let it lie. By the way, the show is not out on DVD yet because Fox and CBS are arguing over compensation.

This past week NBC announced the cancellation of “Las Vegas”. The series finale is a cliffhanger that wasn’t suppose to be a cliffhanger but the writer’s strike messed all that up and now there’s no scheduled resolution to the dangling storylines.

I don’t watch a lot of network television. With my recent dismissal of “American Idol” (the unbelievable praise of the vocalists singing key changes [what the hell], out of tune performances and “runs” was giving me gas) and the aforementioned cancellation of “Las Vegas”, my consumption of network television viewing has been weeded down to one show: “Private Practice”. I probably should do some research to see if that’s been cancelled as well as I haven’t seen it pop up on the TiVo lately.

Now that I think of it, we can save $10 a month by getting the networks removed from the satellite service. Perhaps I should look into that.

No Choices.

I’ve been trying to be a good citizen by keeping tabs on the Presidential nominees and getting together as much information as possible so that I can make an educated, valuable choice at the polls in November. I’ve scanned blogs, read speeches and watched news reports on the candidates from both sides of the coin.

The truth is, I’m finding this all very depressing. A while back I mentioned that if I were to vote at that moment I would vote for Hillary as our next president. I still find her to be a very strong candidate but I’m not sure she has the backing necessary to win the presidency. There are too many irrational people in our country that don’t like Hillary and refuse to vote for her. When asked why they wouldn’t vote for her, they have no response. They just don’t like her. I think some of it has to do with Hillary tolerating Bill’s fling with Monica and to me that’s beyond ludicrous. First of all, it’s none of our business and secondly the American society has instilled such ridiculous societal norms upon ourselves it’s a wonder we can function at all (but my feelings about all that are being saved for an upcoming blog entry).

I keep hearing all these claims about how progressive United States is but in truth that’s all a bunch of hot air. If anything, Americans in general are gleefully running backwards and against the grain of the world as a whole. Healthcare for everyone? Of course not, it would hurt the insurance companies! Equal rights for same sex unions? How crazy, it will end civilisation! Live in fear of a handful of people? Absolutely. “Be afraid, be very afraid”, that’s the new American mantra.

Whoever is elected as our next President has a very challenging path ahead and that’s putting it mildly. I believe that ANYONE is better than what we currently have, but when you set the bar in the basement you only have to climb the stairs to get over it. (Bush Lite has done a bang up job of doing some mighty fine damage in eight years.) The problem is, when I go to make cast my vote in November, I don’t think I’ll find anyone listed that is going to do what is necessary to turn our country around. Hillary is a little too old school for my tastes these days. I think Obama talks a good talk but I’m not sure he can walk the walk. And don’t get me started on the other side of the fence. I’m trying to learn but I just find them entirely too creepy. We have a war out of control, an economy that is rapidly deteriorating, ridiculous “security” controls in place at our borders (which wastes BILLIONS of dollars) and a populous that pretty much comes up 50/50 on any poll on just about any topic. Were we this divided before the Civil War?

So I’ll continue to read, learn and digest the information available on all the candidates for the presidency. I hope to find a light in the tunnel.

As it stands right now, the power is still out.