October 2008

Weekend Kick Off.

It’s going to be a fully geek weekend for me as I am on-call until Monday morning. I have various projects to keep me busy so I won’t be bored or anything like that. I’ll probably write in the blog quite a bit. I tend to get chatty when I’m not as distracted by the work week.

Back in 1986 I was just discovering the gay bar during my freshman year of college. It was around this time that I first stepped into “Doc’s” in Jamestown, New York. Located in the basement of a pediatrician’s office, I never drank or anything but rather just enjoyed the vibe and the music. I was introduced to the experience by a college senior and fellow music major named Steve. He resembled Herbie (“I want to be a dentist”) from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and was an AMAZING pianist. He probably still is. Last I knew he lived in Schenectady.

One of the things I liked about Doc’s was that the DJ played the British dance stuff that was popular in the mid 1980s. One of the tracks that he played was by a duo called “Pepsi and Shirlie”. Their most popular song was “Heartache”. It’s very 80s sounding.

Bonus points to those that can name the group we first saw Pepsi and Shirlie with.


Keep On Movin’

This week’s on call schedule had kept me very busy. I haven’t had time to do much more than eat and work and get some naps here and there.

We can thank Mother Nature for her contribution to the experience.

Now if I could figure out how to post my picture of our first snowfall from the season using this iPhone app.

Door Number 2.

Door Number 2., originally uploaded by iMachias.

A couple of weeks ago Earl and I went to heat a pizza in the oven. We spun the dial and hit 350, popped the pizza in the oven (on our fancy pizza stone) and went about our business. Ten minutes later, the kitchen was filled with gas and we were lightheaded.

Our house was built in 1996 but the stove was built in 1985. We figured it was time for a new stove, so off to Sears we went and picked out a basic gas range with a few frills and good looks. Naturally everything in that area must match so we picked out the matching microwave. We stuck to our household mantra: “All shall hail Frigidaire”.

Tonight we installed the new stove and microwave. There was no shouting, screaming, cussing or anything like that. It was teamwork, teamwork, teamwork all the way. Everything passed inspection and no bubbles were formed on the gas connections so we are going to ready, set, cook!


Work is an interesting environment today. Early in the morning it seemed like the theme was “Talk very loudly in your cubicle and make sure your cell phone rings ridiculous ringtones.” That all simmered down when…

… the Human Resources Manager was seen in black. This is never a good sign. We are now down one person. Unfortunately, that person was never one to talk loudly in his cubicle. He never really talked at all. Not even on the phone, which is odd, working in a call center and all.

Today kicks off my first full week of on-call since returning to my job almost six months ago. I’m not feeling overly pressured by the thought but some of my co-workers are giving me the “psych out” about how I’m going to get no sleep and be very busy all week. Talk of blizzards, rain, violent winds and such are being shared with me to keep me on my toes. I take it all in stride. They don’t realise how good I am at psyching people out in my personal life. And besides, if it’s a busy week, I can roll around in the overtime loot. Naked.

One thing that I’ve never understood is the use of pictures of people sprinkled through software applications. I’ve mentioned before that one application we use has images of Asian woman sprinkled here and there. We now have this image on a sign-in page:


I don’t believe the woman looks very happy. Dignified, yes. Excited about being in a software application? No. And quite frankly I’ve never understood why the guy is sitting out in the middle of a really shiny floor in his office chair. Where did his desk go? Is he playing office chair NASCAR? Does this make the woman angry that he’s not at his desk and sliding across the shiny floor in his office chair?

Many questions on a Monday.


Rochester’s Inner Loop., originally uploaded by iMachias.

Earl and I drove to Rochester late yesterday afternoon. Both of us have spent some time in the city famous for Kodak and Xerox, but there was much for us to explore.

One point of interest was The Village Gate on North Goodman Street. With it’s eclectic selection of shops we browsed around a bit and found some interesting toys to bring home. I’m always happy to see people embrace an old building and turn it into something useful instead of ripping it down and building another generic strip mall. There are quite a few restaurants in The Village Gate. Business seemed good.

We opted to go to a restaurant not too far away. Earl has been there before and knew that I would enjoy The Old Toad. He was absolutely right; being a fan of pubs, The Old Toad was perfect for a Saturday night supper and a few pints of Guinness.

Here is Earl looking over the selection on the menu.
Bear in the Old Toad.

Since I was driving home and still feeling some effects from the Guinness, we opted to walk around the area for a bit and peer into the windows of the shops and see who was going to what nightclub or restaurant. We walked over Rochester’s Inner Loop several times. I enjoy the design of that roadway. We are going to have something similar here in a couple of years.

So we walked around before taking the long way home. We drove 98 miles to and from Rochester and only took the Thruway for the last 30 miles or so. Sometimes the back roads are the best way to go.

Weekend Kick Off.

After a fairly intense day at work, it’s good to kick off the weekend with a little French and Saunders. I fecking love British comedy – especially French and Saunders.

Politics. Again.

Last weekend when Earl and I were in Pennsylvania with his relatives the subject of the upcoming elections came up. To me this is somewhat of a foreign concept because there was an unwritten rule in my family that you just didn’t talk politics. You certainly participated by going to the fire hall and casting your vote, but you didn’t talk about it.

Anyway, as Earl and his family were playing cards, his step-aunt and I conversed in the living room and she asked who I was going to vote for. I said without hesitation that my vote was going to Obama and I stated the various reasons why: the past eight years have been nothing short of a nightmare and I believe a step in the wrong direction for the United States. I said that I believed that Obama’s message of “change” and “hope” is completely valid. I did preface my comments with “I would have voted for Hillary”, but that’s water under the bridge. Michelle said that she would probably vote for Obama as well and stated her reasons why. We were pretty much in agreement.

The next day at the wedding reception, Earl’s aunt asked us who we were voting for. Earl responded with “Obama, of course.” The aunt nodded and had nothing else to say. She is obviously for McCain. The conversation stopped there. We were being polite at the wedding reception after all. I had a hunch that there may have been racial concerns. Another said she wasn’t voting for Obama because he’d probably be shot before inauguration and she didn’t want to see him dead. Love that logic.

All that being said, I think Earl’s stepmom said something that I think a lot of people need to think about. Unfortunately, race plays a big part in many people’s decision. Personally I think factoring in race when making a decision like this is crazy but then again I don’t even come close to thinking like the rest of the crowd. Earl’s stepmom simply said that people should just close their eyes and listen to what the candidates are saying. If your judgement is clouded by race, then take race out of the picture. Close your eyes and open your mind because then the choice is perfectly obvious: she’s voting for Obama (but would have rather voted for Hillary). I have always liked my mother-in-law.

Listening to NPR yesterday I heard a person make a comment that I found to be brilliant. This is the longest presidential campaign in the history of our country. It is also the most expensive. The media coverage has been nothing short of overwhelming. The person said that if you had not made up your mind this late in the game, with less than two weeks until the election, then the motivation, thought and consideration behind your vote is going to be dubious at best. I couldn’t agree more. Granted, this is the perfect time to sway undecided voters in one direction or another, but if the truth were to come down to it, Americans should be making intelligent, well thought out choices based on the information that has been presented before them over the past countless months before casting their vote. A rushed, uninformed decision before doing whatever electronic gimmick you have to vote these days is not doing your duty as an American citizen. Picking the “handsome one” or the “white one” or the “woman who can see Russia from her house” or the “man with the bad hair” for those reasons alone is irresponsible. It’s our duty to know our candidates and make that well thought out vote.

Personally I can’t understand why a person doesn’t vote for Obama. A vote for McCain is a vote for “same same same”. The vote in that direction also says to me that you ‘tolerate’ Earl and I as a couple. (I will not be simply ‘tolerated’). It says that health care is not a basic necessity for everybody. (Sick people are o.k. if they’re poor?) It tells me that you trust Anita Bryant Jr. and the whacky Jesus 7 with the nuclear launch codes should something (god forbid) happen to John McCain. I hope the witches don’t get her on Hallowe’en.

Know your vote and know it well.

Rise And Shine In The Dark.

This is my favorite time of the year. I enjoy the cool, crisp autumn breezes, the crunching sound of the leaves when they’re walked on and the lack of oppressive humidity and heat that summer usually brings to these parts. What I don’t enjoy is trying to get up in the morning when it’s still dark. This task fights against the natural programming of my body.

This coming weekend would normally marked the end of Daylight Saving Time but because of Bush Lite and his wacky cast of characters, we have to wait a few more weeks before getting the clocks relatively aligned with what is really occurring outside. I don’t know why this frustrates me but nevertheless it does. I mean, last year we had to endure the same extension of Daylight Saving Time as we do this year. Maybe I should go back and read the blog from a year ago to see if I complained about it then. I probably did.

Meanwhile, I’ll stumble around in the dark getting ready for work. I think I need to buy one of those light therapy boxes to give myself a boost.

Lab Rat.

I’m sitting at the local medical center waiting for my turn to have a chest xray. Nothing peps up tired blood and kicks off a work week like a healthy blast of radiation.

I’m wondering if our fine citizens are going deaf or if medical facilities are trying to distract patrons from horrific screams because the music in this waiting room is loud. This is not the first waiting room that I have encountered this. When I was a kid there was a small speaker at the family doctor’s office. Said speaker played music from the 40s from an AM radio station. It wasn’t loud.

After my chest xray I head over to another lab for the last of my blood work. I haven’t eaten since 7 p.m. last night. I am hungry.