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Relaxation.

2010-05-31-patio

It is a picture perfect day here in our little corner of the world. The sun is shining brilliantly, there is a slight breeze and the temperature is in the mid 80s. The humidity is bearable.

As I mentioned in the previous entry, we have been working on our patio this weekend and I think we are finally at the point where we can enjoy it. Earl and Jamie are off to Lowe’s again as I type this; it is the third trip there today. We need a couple more parts for our new privacy fence along the side of the patio that is closest to the neighbors’. I plan on taking the car to the car wash tonight and getting that cleaned up for the week. Otherwise, I have ramped down for the day and am just enjoying the nice weather.

I am off from work tomorrow; it’s my first on-call week for the new job and because I have to work regular hours next weekend, I get two days off in compensation, so I’m taking tomorrow off and then I’m taking the following Friday off. Sandwiching on-call between two three day weekends is a beautiful thing. Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy the new gig?

Earl has pulled pork cooking in the crock pot and baked beans in the oven. We are going to enjoy a full on barbecue tonight.

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Relaxation.

Earl, Jamie and I are sitting in the back patio with a blazing fire in the fire pit. We are sitting on our new patio furniture as we just finished putting together the dining table for our “beach view set” from Lowe’s. The landscaping has been cleaned up and relit courtesy of new solar landscape lighting. We are officially ready to entertain this summer. I encourage folks to come up to our neck of the woods for a visit.

We were originally going to head to my Dad’s tonight for his annual Memorial Day weekend bonfire, but our projects took up more time than anticipated, so Jamie fired up the fire pit we’ve only used once in four years. The fire is quite nice. All that is missing are S’mores.

We went to the local BBQ joint for dinner tonight but they closed (at 8:00 p.m.) just before we arrived. I found this odd; they are a bar and supposedly a North Carolina style BBQ place. I find closing at 8:00 p.m. to be a little much. I now consider them fucktards. It’s a nasty word but the description is apt.

We ended up eating at the Chinese buffet that I affectionately call “China Nazi”, because they bark at you as the seat you, “YOU SIT HERE!”. We ate 90 minutes ago. I’m already eager to graze through the refrigerator. I don’t know what it is about Chinese food but it’s not North Carolina BBQ. I really wanted barbecue tonight. The fire is a good substitute.

I think we might purchase a few more things for the rejuvenated patio before the weekend is done. I’m happy it’s the unofficial beginning of summer, because it’s relaxing moments like this that make me smile.

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Oops.

So I have been shuttling my new laptop back and forth to work so that I can use it during my lunch hour whilst taking advantage of the city-wide wi-fi that is available courtesy of the company I work for. It’s a nice arrangement and now that I have settled on Linux (again!) on this laptop, I am quite content.

I am using the duffle bag that I used for my MacBook Pro and it’s predecessor, my old PowerBook G4 back in the day. All three of these computers have or had 15-inch screens so using the same bag has been a no-brainer. The bag is quite comfortable and roomy and I like the way it feels. Plus, we’ve been geeks together for a long while and it feels like an old friend.

I have gotten in the habit of not using the strap inside the case that secures the laptop down. I figured that if the case was zipped up the laptop was safe. So last night after pulling in the driveway from work I pulled my duffle bag out of the car and slung it over my shoulder like I always do.

That’s when I heard a crash on the pavement of the driveway.

I looked down and saw my two-week old laptop sitting on the pavement, DVD-ROM popped with the cover to that strewn aside.

My heart sank.

I picked up the new laptop, dusted it off, noting the new chinks in the cover and brought all the pieces into the house, where I assembled everything back together again.

Like a trouper, my new laptop fired up right where I left off at lunch. It survived.

I’m not happy about what I have done to my new laptop but I feel like we have bonded. And more importantly, it’ll always be tucked away safely in my duffle bag.

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Back Online.

So I’m sitting in the sun and surfing the ‘net with my new laptop during my lunch hour. The telephone company here, which is of course the telephone company I work for, offers citywide wi-fi for the twin cities here. I naturally have internet access on my Droid but typing a blog entry on any smartphone can be cumbersome. It’s good to enjoy this outdoors and the wi-fi at the same time. This was the one piece of the puzzle that was missing from my commuting experience; I’m happy that I got it resolved.

I put on my Facebook that I will probably delete my account on there before the end of the week. I have been following some of the drama in the tech news about Facebook’s disregard for it’s user’s privacy. Some of it is hysteria but some of it is valid. I have an e-mail account that I only use with Facebook and it has been getting spammed a lot lately. I mentioned six months or so ago that I was called on my cell phone by a weight loss company based on an ad I had clicked on Facebook by mistake. I’m not liking these things, which is ironic since I live my life relatively outloud here on my blog and on various sites scattered about. When I do delete that Facebook account, I’ll still be here and on Twitter. Twitter doesn’t seem to be guilty of the same thing as of yet but I’m keeping my eye on them.

Earl and I once ended up in a bear event ad online – it was a picture of us kissing that was featured. No one asked for our permission to use it and we didn’t really mind but it shows that anything that goes on the internet is fair game, regardless of how much legal mumbo jumbo (or lack there of) may appear on the site.

I have dropped quite a few blogs from my blogroll; I was skimming over the ones that post 20-30 entries a day and decided not to waste the bandwidth at all. The news that was featured wasn’t unbiased and sometimes it felt like nothing more than an attempt to ramp up ad dollars so I just dropped the feed altogether. I feel saner now.

Fight For You.

This track came up on Pandora during my commute this morning and I instantly fell in love with this track. The vocalist is haunting and the track is electronic genius.

Here’s Morgan Page (with vocalist Lissie) and “Fight For You”.

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Happens.

Today’s jump on the scale confirmed something that I had already suspected: I have started losing weight again. And this is a good thing.

The irony of the situation is that I started losing weight when I stopped trying. I’m eating normal meals in what I like to call “Leave It To Beaver sized” portions (eating serving sizes common in the 50s and 60s vs the gargantuan sized portions we eat today) and I have opted for less fat if in a situation where I have to eat a fast food meal (no fries, no mayo on the grilled chicken, etc.)

My body is liking being treated normally again. I have to admit that I’m quite pleased.

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Yoko.

I follow Yoko Ono on Twitter. I don’t exactly know how I stumbled across her Twitter feed but once or twice a day she’ll tweet something profound and this will make me think. I have never been a fan of her music work, though I do enjoy the remix of “You’re The One”. I have to admit, though, that I am a fan of what she has to say.

Her Tweets are always positive in nature and are usually short; something like “Today tell someone how beautiful your hometown is” will appear on her feed. I did tell someone that very thing that day and it made me smile.

Earlier today I tweeted something Yoko-esque: “Feed the soul and a smile will surely follow.” It made me smile and if it made one other person think, smile or ponder then I have been successful.

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Glonk.

I have a fear. I fear that I am going to lose my gay card. That’s right ladies and gentleman, I walk that fine line of being a card carrying gay and just being a down low geek that likes guys. I have done two things this week that brings this fear to the surface, but I am going to be a big man and admit these two things in public right now.

1. I am no longer a Mac boy. I am a PC. I replaced my MacBook Pro with a brand new Lenovo Y560 running Windows 7. Using my Microsoft TechNet subscription, I was able to upgrade it to Windows 7 Ultimate. It’s pretty sweet and I have loved this computer right out of the box. The configuration of this computer in a Mac would have cost me $2650. I paid $1310 (including tax) for my Lenovo. I think the savings was worth it.

And! Not only am I no longer a Mac boy but this has been compounded by the fact that I jumped AT&T ship and am now thoroughly enjoying my Motorola Droid on the Verizon Wireless network.

And! I bought a Zune HD. The Zune HD does not get the credit it deserves. The device rocks and I totally recognize it for the good solid piece of equipment that it is.

2. I can’t get into “Glee”. I mentioned this last fall during the first half of the season and one would think that I should truly enjoy “Glee”, being an ex-band and chorus fag but I just can’t muster up any energy about the show. I’m sorry. I have tried. Last fall I talked about the Sue Sylvester character being excessively frightening. Either they have softened the character up or I have mellowed out because she’s pretty much the only thing I look forward to now. The auto-tuning of the musicians is making me insane and I have to admit that I enjoy the fact that the fake pregnancy story line has seemingly been dropped.

Earl, Jamie and I usually watch “Glee” courtesy of the DVR on Wednesday night. During the actual broadcast of the show, Twitter and Facebook are both breathless explosions of, well, glee, about how great the show is but I’m just not seeing it. I do find Puck mildly enjoyable on the eyes and as I said before I’m enjoying Sue Sylvester this time around but other than that I think the whole series completely jumped the shark with Joan Rivers Olivia Newton-John. And I know, I’m going to lose even more gay points with the Joan Rivers/Olivia Newton-John joke in that last sentence but I can’t help it, Ms. N-J looked shellacked.

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Phrase.

Mother's Day 001

 

In celebration of Mother’s Day, Mom joined Earl, Jamie and I for a nice dinner. Earl cooked up one of his usual feasts and we used the fancy plates, the dining room and everything. It was a very nice experience for everyone involved. I even kept my elbows off the table.

As Earl cleared the plates and gave Mom and I a chance to just chat a little bit, we caught up on family stuff and got into a little bit of a discussion about how time marches on and how things have changed. I casually uttered something during the conversation that I have said a few times over the years and it wasn’t for a few moments that I noticed that tears had welled up in my Mom’s eyes.

I had said, “I wouldn’t change a moment of my childhood. For better or for worse, the good or the bad, I wouldn’t change a single thing. It made me who I am today and I think that that’s a good thing.”

It’s the truth. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m a lucky man to be able to say that and I recognize that. My mom thanked me for that wonderful Mother’s Day gift to her.

No Mom, thank you and Happy Mother’s Day.