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The Chair.

Earl and I are just back from a nice dinner out and a stop at Staples. My work schedule just kicked into overdrive with the onset of tonight; as the big project I was mentioning before has relegated me to the midnight shift for the rest of the week. To get my head into the right place, I have tomorrow during the day off from work, aside from a mandatory conference call.

I have mentioned before that I have a recording/creative studio in my office here at the house. This is where I make my DJ SuperCub mixes, record a commercial or two here and there and work on various other projects. One of the issues that I have had with the studio over the years is the fact that I have a stool that is too tall for the counter instead of an adjustable chair designed for the type of setup I actually have.

Tonight we bought the chair I need to bring all of it together.

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I have already made a video using the studio computer whilst sitting in the chair and I can already tell you that this has opened up a world of possibilities in my creativity. Sitting in a chair that is the proper height without the fear of spinning off the thing and spilling over onto the counter has helped me find my creative mojo again. The iMac is a dream to use when you’re not hunched over like you’re just back from Notre Dame. People, I feel the ergonomics!

Now, let’s see what I do with my free time tomorrow!

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Lenovo.

 

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Okay. I officially welcomed my new laptop into the family today by posing for a new gay geek picture with it.

After a month of tweaking the computer and figuring out how I wanted to use it, I believe I have everything working the way I want it to and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg to do so. The only thing that’s not quite where I want it to be yet is recording video using my webcam, but that’s why I have the small selection of mini video cameras laying around the house.

And yes, I’m running Windows 7 Ultimate. The latest incarnation of Ubuntu Linux is wonderful, but it’s not quite where it needs to be to be a mainstream desktop environment. As I was telling my friend Matt on the phone earlier today, I work on computers all day long for a living and I love every moment of it. However, when I come home I want to enjoy my computer, not struggle with getting it work and I want it to be a rather affordable experience. I believe the my new Lenovo laptop, which has top of the line specs, was the most sensible way of achieving that goal.

And for the curious, I still love my iMac that runs my recording studio.

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Pie.

I have mentioned before that one of my preferred ways home from work takes me through Amish country. The drive brings me through several Amish communities, each marked by their own little one room school house and cooperative work on a barn or something similar. One of these communities sells cedar chests, another sells quilts. Today I noticed that one of the houses had opened their normally vacant baked goods stand so I decided to stop.

I picked up a blueberry pie as a treat for tonight.

If memory serves correctly, Grandma Country baked pies on Friday back when I was a kid so for some reason I always think of Friday night as pie night. I have never had an Amish made pie before, but it was quite impressive looking and I imagined it would be just as delicious. The young girl working the stand wasn’t particularly chatty; she handed me my change in a shy way that seemed slightly peculiar as she tried to avoid touching me. She seemed startled when I wished her a good day but I smiled anyways. She didn’t smile back.

And I was right, the pie was delicious. I’m looking forward to another piece tomorrow night. I think I’ll stop by that stand again the next time it’s open as there was a considerable number of goodies to choose from.

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WFNY

Shortly after starting my new job here in the Jtown I brought a radio to work so I could softly listen to some tunes in my cubicle. Even though I have a prime location in the cube farm next to the windows, there isn’t much in the way of radio reception in my little world of technology. Aside from a smattering of religious-oriented stations that sounded like a lot of people yelling in a peculiar cadence, the only other scan stop on the dial was 94.1. On my first stop on the station they were playing “The Main Event” by Barbra Streisand. This was followed by the theme from “Hart to Hart” and then one of the Supremes’ early hits.

Groovy.

I had never listened to 94.1 in this area before and it turns out that the station is fairly new as it’s a simulcast of the much older 1440 AM. WFNY is a locally owned station and touts it’s “Variety Format”. It’s slogan is the Glove Cities Favorite.

I’m listening in the car as I type this entry. They are currently playing “Everything Is Beautiful”, which was preceded by Sheila E.’s “The Glamorous Life”. Now this is variety. I love it.

Since the specialty of my radio days was the imaging of the station (I picked the jingles and the “Mr. Voice” as well as a bunch of other things), I always pay very close attention to how a station sounds between the songs. It sounds like WFNY has chosen a local singer to sing their jingles, which are a cross between 40s jazz, a bit of a skee-bop thing and melodies that remind one of the introduction to “The Jetsons”. I. LOVE. IT.

In these bland, generic times where every Main Street is faltering, only to be replaced by a Wal*Mart, Lowe’s and nation wide Burger Bomb joint and augmented by corporate owned radio where the tracks are picked by a computer and the air “personality” is on five stations in five states simultaneously, it is a refreshing change of pace to listen to “the little guy” do the local radio thing and just play what the hell he wants. It’s a reminder of what once was.

And it makes me smile.

Here’s one of the jingles I just captured in the car. You can’t hear me say “That’s awesome”. Sorry the video is out of sync. I need to figure that out.

http://www.jpnearl.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/wfny.wmv

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Eloquence.

I have a hard time speaking in front of people. Even if it’s just one person. I guess it could be a sort of lack of confidence that causes this because I occasionally don’t trust what comes out of my mouth. You see, I stammer. I stutter. And occasionally I just freeze up and say nothing while the words churn in my head, blocked by some invisible barrier in my brain that prevents them from flowing from thought to mouth. Occasionally words jump into the thought stream and pretend that they’re what I wanted to say, when in reality they aren’t related at all. There is occasionally uncomfortable silence when the words are blocked; there is a slight awkwardness when the same word comes out repeatedly and honestly, there’s downright confusion when my forehead should have a big “?SYNTAX ERROR” sign plastered across it.

All of this surprises people when they find out that I used to be in radio. I had a hard time with it, except when I was completely alone in the studio and building. Then it was just me talking to a microphone, and as long as I used a hip Ted Baxter voice and concentrated really hard on mimicking what a radio DJ was suppose to sound like, I was okay. The confusing part of my speech was kept relatively at bay. Then I’d put on a long song and walk across the street to grab a pop or something and ask a co-worker in my ‘normal’ voice, “Want something to drunk from Thruways?” Translated, that meant “Want something to drink from Kinney’s?” (the store across the street).

A startled glance.

I listen back to some of my aircheck tapes and I wasn’t really fooling anyone, I mixed up my words more than most. I would stop midsentence. Growing up I remember my Mom having a hard time trying to get a word out here and there; perhaps it’s hereditary.

I rarely address people by their name, though I know their name, because I’m afraid the wrong name will come out when I’m fully aware of the correct name. This makes for a social gaff and some get offended. Especially when they are a vice president of the company or something. So I smile and make with the pleasantries anonymously.

Do I dislike this part of this whole experience of mine? Not really, though I do wish that I could speak like the best of them in front of an audience. I wish I sounded suave, articulate and eloquent like Alec Baldwin or President Obama.

But that’s not who I am. A friend reminded me that my friend Jeff and I have something in common (Jeff stutters and stammers from time to time like I do). I’m content to be me: the one in the corner silently smiling, remembering every word, every name, every detail and not saying a thing about it.

I guess I have my own brand of eloquence.

Nursemaiding.

So I just stopped at the gas station to fill up the car. I swiped my debit card, punched in my zip code, told the pump I wanted a receipt and started pumping. Two things happened that irked me. First of all, I had to hold the handle because New York State (at least this part) doesn’t allow you to use the little latch that holds the pump in an on position. They want you to stand right there and hold that handle yourself, regardless of the weather (and it gets mighty cold in these parts). This is undoubtedly because someone downstate (I’m projecting here) probably screwed up and doused themselves with gas and then lit themselves on fire and it was deemed dangerous to let the pump do it’s thing itself; they’d rather you stayed right there and sucked in as many gas fumes as possible. I project this onto downstate because they’re next to New Jersey where you’re not even allowed to touch the gas pump, you have to have the well paid Fuel Attendant do it while he’s enjoying a smoke.

Secondly, the pump stopped pumping at $0.04 and promptly spit out a receipt. So not only did I get no more than three drops of gas into the car before cashing out, I had to hold the handle for every drop of that four cents worth of gas.

I swiped my card again and went through the whole rigmarole where the pump claimed I had a full tank at 10 gallons but I knew better and was able to squeeze another 1.5 gallons into the tank. I figured if I had to hold the handle the entire time I was going to get every last drop into that tank that I could. It’s kind of like shaking it in the bathroom.

Because the OCD in me can’t stand to pump gas to an uneven amount (I either go to the nearest dollar or nickel, or something cute like $34.56), I had to go to a weird amount that was off by $.04 so I could compensate for the other receipt I had.

I’ll let Earl figure out the bookkeeping.

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Slick.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico makes me sick to my stomach. This morning on the drive in I heard discussion about the merits of using a “nuclear detonation” to seal the hole off to stop the leak. There were doubts as to whether this would actually be done, however, the merits were being discussed. That approach can’t be too healthy for any living things around the spill site.

I tweeted yesterday that I thought that any person that goes to a BP gas station is a fucktard. (I’ve been using that word a lot lately). I stand by that belief.

BP’s approach to stopping the spill is to make sure they can tap into the same oil by drilling close by. While we are an oil dependent nation, it’s probably not going to do us a lot of good if we don’t have a planet to live on.

I need to buy a hybrid.