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Purpose.

The purpose of this blog entry is not to entertain, nor is it intended to improve my writing skills in anyway (something that I strive to do on most blog entries, though it probably doesn’t show). No, the purpose of this blog entry is purely mechanical, as I am using this blog entry to document something that I am feeling right now.

First of all, before I document this bit of documentation, I must say that I am hoping that Apple just forgot to mail my invitation to the announcement they’re having next week, because I’d really like to get one of those invitations someday and I was hoping that it would be this occasion. I must be on a mailing list, somewhere.

Now, onto the documentation.

I am not going to buy an iPad3 or whatever it is called when it is announced at the event I won’t be at next week. Now some may counter that I said the exact same thing about the original iPad when it was announced and I was horrified by the name of the nifty little device that I am currently typing my blog entry on. I said last night that I wanted an iPad3, but I got ‘the look’ that only a spouse can get from his husband, and he knew that I was really joking.

Heh heh. Such a card.

In all actuality, I don’t want an iPad3 or whatever it is called. I haven’t worn out my original generation iPad yet and quite frankly an iPad3 is not really in the budget. We have much more pressing things to do with our millions, like change the world, tighten up the house plumbing and install a hot tub. Oh, and hire mostly naked men with beards and mustaches (or both!) to be our “house staff”.

In reality, I should put my money where my mouth is and make do with what I have until I can make do no more. There’s nothing wrong with my original iPad and I wouldn’t really gain anything by buying the latest and greatest at this point. Plus, I believe in my heart of hearts that something beautiful is going to come out in the Linux world someday and I need to hold on to that hope and put my money where my mouth is.

So, you have read it here. I am not interested in purchasing an iPad3 or whatever it is called. Please remind me of that the next time you see me in the Apple store.

Donuts.

The jet black hair betrayed the age shown by the rest of her outward appearance. She had leaped out of the passenger side of an old Mercury that was parked right next to the front door of my favorite Dunkin Donuts. In fairness, the Mercury sagged more than she did, but I think they both wore garments of wood grain.

The Mercury was parked in a spot that was traditionally reserved for foot traffic, but in a snowstorm such as this, anything goes. She was just getting to the counter as I came up behind her to wait in line for my turn to place an order. I could already see my iced tea being assembled by the very capable counter people.

“I’ll have six dozen donuts, mixed”, the woman with the jet black hair barked out. I realize that I say “barked out” a lot on my blog, but she didn’t have a quiet voice nor did she have a pleasant voice. Barking something out is how I hear a lot of people place orders in establishments such as Dunkin’ Donuts. To me it sounds something like the canine variety of sounds typically heard when dogs are gossiping with one another. Barking is not a condemnation, it just appropriately describes how I hear this woman in wood grain.

“SIX dozen?” the girl at the register asked.

“Yes, six.”

“Oh, having a party tonight?” Pleasant conversation is always a good path to take when trying to have a pleasant retail experience.

“No”, she said. “My husband and I are worried about the snow storm tonight and we want to make sure that we’re stocked up.”

Apparently someone had already purchased all the loaves of bread and gallons of milk at the nearby Mini-Mart.

“They say this storm could last through tomorrow.”

I stifled a knowing laugh. People think I’m critical of the folks that live in these parts. I’ve been accused of being downright ridiculous. But this blog entry was just writing itself.

“Make one of the dozen all jelly!” Ok, the bark was replaced by a bit of a squeal with that one. Delight should always be recognized.

“Is today a cookie day?” My iced tea was ready and I was being herded over to another register while the six dozen donuts were being assembled.

“Not today”, I replied. “I have cookies at home.”

We’re ready for the storm.

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Danger.

I am hoping that one or more of my gentle readers can please help me restore my sanity and eliminate some of my road rage at the same time by indulging me for a moment.

Please take a look at the rudimentary sketch I have included below.


This was drawn on my iPad using my finger, so I apologize for the fact that my artistic skills are severely lacking. I’m not looking for a critique, I’m looking for an answer.

If you can’t tell, this sketch includes two, two-lane road intersections. The little red Smart car, as denoted by the little red X, wants to make a left hand turn into the road that leads them to greener pastures. If they turn right, they go nowhere.

Looking at my two scenarios, as separated by an orange line, could someone please tell me which of the two drivers is making a correct left-hand turn in the side road? Is the person on the left, who is cutting the corner so short that they’re crossing over the yellow line and clipping the front of the vehicle waiting their turn to make their turn, or is it the person on the right, who is staying in their lane and not crossing into any oncoming traffic nor taking off the bumper of the car that is waiting but not pictured. (If you need a visual, it’s a brown 1974 Chevy Vega held together with duct tape).

I just drove 500 feet across the parking lot from Dunkin’ Donuts to my favorite parking space in the sun. Anyone want to venture a guess which scenario pictured above I encountered not once, not twice, but three times (though I’m not in a Vega and no vehicle parts bumped up against any others though several drivers did try)?

Is this lack of ability to make a safe left hand turn only rampant in this cozy little area of Jesusikistan or is this something that can be seen anywhere in the lower 48 states? (Hawaii is too relaxed to bother with left hand turns and Alaska apparently uses helicopters for their travel needs). Do our folks in Europe have the same issues? Does the UK and Ireland and Australia and wherever else they drive on the more sensible side of the road have the same issues with right hand turns?

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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Phone.

I have never been one to enjoy talking on the phone. I don’t like calling people. I always feel awkward when I’m on a phone call. It’s ironic, because I work for a telephone company and I spend a good share of my week on conference calls, but I really don’t enjoy the sport.

Because I work for a telephone company, there’s motivational marketing messages hung around the building showing teenagers all giddy because they’re talking on a phone in their bedroom. The ads remind me of those ads from the 60s and 70s when Mom and Dad were rich enough to spring for a second line and a princess phone for the daughter, where she could talk from her bedroom. The kids of poor parents resorted to stretching the telephone cord across the kitchen and into the broom closet, where they could enjoy privacy. I have never had the urge to sit in a broom closet and the only excitement I feel about having a phone in the bedroom is that nowadays it’s usually a gadget phone so laden with extraneous features that it could double as a bidet.

My sister and her family are currently living in Italy. We have relatively affordable international calling plans on our phone but I’d rather just exchange email messages. In fact, I’m most comfortable exchanging email messages on most occasions. Sometimes a chat on an Instant Messenger or a video chat on Skype is nice, but in reality I’d just like to sit down and type what I’m thinking and then wait for a response at the leisure of the other party. I prefer email over Twitter direct messages and I really prefer email over Facebook messenger or whatever the hell that annoying thing that pops up everywhere is called. Email is starting to become the written letter of the 21st century; it takes time to sit down and write a coherent email that is worthy of attention. I write a couple of emails to Earl everyday. I usually sign them “Fondly”. He can feel the warmth and that gets us through until we can see each other.

I’ve never figured out why I don’t like talking on the telephone, by the way. I don’t know if it’s because of too many screwed up Chinese take-out orders or if it’s because I was called “ma’am” on one too many occasions prior to puberty or what because phone calls in general feel intrusive to me, but it’s something that I do because I must, not something that I enjoy.

Don’t tell the telephone company I work for that I don’t have a princess phone in our bedroom. I’ll have to hide in the broom closet or something.

Diner.

One of the things that Earl and I don’t really care for about this area is the lack of diners. Now I’m not talking about the wannabe chain diners like “Denny’s Diner” or other locations of that ilk, I’m talking about real, hometown diners where the food is made and cooked locally and the locals come in and pretty much know each other.

There’s a diner (as in an old diner-car type place) not too far from here and while the food is good and the staff is very friendly, there is just something about it that doesn’t feel overly comfortable. I don’t know if it’s because it’s somewhat run down or what, but Earl and I never feel overly compelled to go there even though we’ve never had a bad experience there. The other option is called Boulevard Diner and it’s in a regular building instead of looking like a diner. They recently remodeled that location and while it’s quite nice, it has more of a family restaurant feel instead of diner feel to it. Like the formerly mentioned, we’ve never had a bad experience but it doesn’t feel quite right to us. Earl doesn’t care for it as much as I do, so I usually end up going there when he is out of town.

A week or so ago, we noticed that what had been a closed down diner was open again. Since we rarely go by this location, we don’t know how long it has been open, but this morning we decided to go and take a peek. Like the “family restaurant” feeling diner, this one looked to be in a regular building instead of a diner car.

Walking into the diner this morning proved my suspicions wrong, because the building is built AROUND this old diner car that has been restored to an impressive state. Earl and I enjoyed our Sunday morning breakfast at Bev’s Place today and it felt like a diner, it smelled like a diner and the atmosphere showed us that it is very much a diner. Unfortunately, like everything that call itself a diner but isn’t attached to a chain in this area, Bev’s Place is not open 24 hours (sometimes you just want diner food at 3 a.m.) but I was able to order lunch during the breakfast hours today so I am content.

I snapped a photo this morning because I really liked the feel of the place. We look forward to going back again soon.

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Obsolescence.

As I move into my mid 40s this year (because 43 is not a mid-40s age, it’s still an early 40s age) I am slowly coming to the realization that my completely out-of-step existence with the rest of the world is becoming increasingly apparent; not because of my somewhat different thought processes or eccentric behavior, but rather because I think I’m getting too old for the ever-young gay demands of the community.

When I got home last night there were two stereos blasting in the house. Jamie listens to music that is not really my thing; I just hear gargling, shouting and guitars, but that’s just my take on it. There’s nothing wrong with the music, I just don’t go and seek it out, and because of the age difference between the two of us, I don’t find this surprising.

In the kitchen I heard the chipper jingle of “Kiss 108 FM!” After the chipper jingle all I heard was blips and bleeps and moaning sounds that were autotuned beyond any sort of musicality. I felt like someone was holding seashells up to my ears and then making trilling noises into a hole on the other side. I refrained from saying anything about this because it was obvious that Scott was enjoying Kiss 108 FM, heck, I enjoyed the station very much when I lived in Boston from 1988-1990, and I didn’t want to impede any efforts at supper that Scott was making. The thing is, Scott is a couple of years older than me and I couldn’t understand a word the robot on the radio was saying but Scott was singing right along. I couldn’t find the necessary capabilities within my brain to comprehend the electronic gargling sounds. I felt left out, old and obsolete.

Supper was quite tasty though.

A couple of weeks ago when Earl and I went on that really long ride in the Jeep, I actually looked at my watch towards the end of our dinner and made the claim, “Wow, it’s getting late!” It was 10:00 p.m. on a Saturday night. Ten years ago I would have been readying myself for a night of DJing at the local club, where I’d do my thing until 2:30 and then possibly go to an after-hours party after helping get the bar cleaned up. I’m sure that’s what the kids do today.

When did I become so obsolete?

The other night I watched a clip (in error) of “Bionic Woman”, that awful remake of the 70s show where Jaime Sommers wasn’t really acting like Jaime Sommers. The show was dark and menacing and Jamie seemed very angry. When she jumped up onto a building using her bionics, the camera pulled back so that you could see the leap of 30 feet or. The entire leap was shown from ground to roof and it was embarrassingly obvious that there were cables and harnesses involved that had been computer-erased from the scene. What happened to using a little bit of imagination when we are only shown the beginning of the leap and the landing on the roof? Though this is a poor example, is it bad to think that it’d be better to engage my imagination while watching a television show instead of painting everything in such an obvious manner, however poorly executed that demonstration might be?

And while I’m talking about harnesses; I look at these pictures of young guys on the internet wearing leather harnesses that just go across the top of their chest and around their shoulders. All I can see an ill fitting halter top like you’d find on a beach near a trailer park. I don’t find anything hot about these new, mini harnesses. My understanding is if you’re going to be wearing a harness, you’d better be ready to be hauled up into the air by it like some sort of Cirque du Soleil Sex Act. And am I completely obsolete by thinking of Mary Lou Retton (which most people these days would seemingly say, “Who?”) because I thought of a dismount eligible for scoring if you’re engaging in a Cirque du Soleil Sex Act? If I barked out the name Mary Lou Retton while DJing in a club today, people would look at me like I have a propeller on my head. I know, if I barked out “Lady Gaga” people would either get all breathless with excitement or throw sides of beef at me (I know she does something with eggs and meat) but I couldn’t name a song of hers outside of the one where she sings her name a lot.

Maybe I’m more nuts than obsolete.

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Downtime.

I woke up this morning feeling sniffly and run-down. I couldn’t really call off from work today because I wasn’t feeling like I was on death’s doorstep or anything; I’m just feeling like I’ve been working and playing hard and I need some downtime.

Good thing the weekend schedule looks relatively empty. And the fact that it’s Thursday makes the weekend schedule situation look even better, because we’re thisclose to the weekend. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Earl is out of town on business tonight so I am going to hit the hay early and hope that I don’t awake to a bunch of snow in the morning (forecasters are saying to expect anywhere from nothing to something with various inches in between tonight, but I don’t buy it). I read an article this morning that talked about human sleep patterns and how an eight-hour night of sleep may be contrary to our evolution. Studies and historical documents seem to indicate that our ancestors may have slept twice each night; sleep around four hours, up for an hour or two and then sleep another four hours or so. Their bodies did this naturally. I find this interesting because my body has been trying to do that sort of thing for years but I get all panicky about the fact that I’m awake in the middle of the night and I need to get as much sleep as possible before my alarm du jour starts clanging me awake. Perhaps tonight would be a good night to try the on-off-on approach to sleeping, since the bed will be empty (aside from me) and I wouldn’t be disturbing my husbear with my latest sleeping experiment.

Life is more fun when you treat it like a science experiment.

The bright side to my “I’m not sick but my body thinks it is” feeling is that I don’t feel sad or depressed, I’m a happy, sniffly person all the way. There’s always a bright side.

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Recognition.

I had a couple of extra emails in my inbox this morning. The emails were from co-workers and they were congratulatory in nature; come to find out, a small article appeared this morning in the corporate newsletter in recognition for my efforts with the software that was officially launched yesterday.

Now that’s a good way to start the day.

I’m not one to really talk about this stuff publicly; I do what I do at work because I believe it’s what you’re suppose to do when you’re at work. I’ve said before that I believe one important part of the whole meaning of life thing is that you’re suppose to contribute more than you take from the world. No one is going to hand you success; you must work for it and earn it. When you’re being paid to do a job, I believe you should do the best job that you can do and that’s what I strive to do on a daily basis. I find fulfillment in knowing that I am working hard and that my life is good because of the fruits of my (actually, our) labor. There are lazy moments once in a while but I like to think that I am making a positive contribution to the company I work for. It’s encouraging to see that others recognize that.

I don’t know that I will ever want to fully retire when that age rolls around. I doubt that my mind could handle an abundance of idle time. I could see myself retiring and then volunteering or getting a part time job doing something constructive with my time (even if I’m handing out fries or whatever), but I can’t imagine having the highlight of my day be watching Drew Carey on “The Price Is Right”. That might work for some people, but it doesn’t work for me, at least in the mindset that I have today. It might be different once I’m at the official retiring age. I guess we’ll have to see what happens in a couple of decades.

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Launch.

So one part of The Big Project at work today had it’s official launch. There are users officially using the software that I wrote for their day-to-day operations. It’s kind of cool. The launch is going well with just a few minor adjustments that need to be made along the way. I’m pleased and I feel good.

I’m really looking forward to our vacation to Disney in a few weeks.

With the spring-like weather so far this week I have been really feeling the need to get on my bike. I’ve been daydreaming about a two week ride I want to do sometime in the near future but I don’t know when I would have the time to accomplish this. The other day I wrote about the fact that I am so very much Upstate New York proud, and I am, but I wish that I could ride my bike outside, year-round. That would help my psyche a lot. I didn’t think that I would feel the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affectation Disorder) this winter because it has been such a mild winter, but since SAD has more to do with being cooped up in the winter darkness than with actual snowfall, I have been feeling the effects of it without realizing it, I guess. The twice a day walks at work certainly help, especially on the recent days of abundant sunshine. This helps keep my mood sunny.

Because my new software is going to be used 24×7, I’m a little nervous that I’m going to get calls in the middle of the night this week. I don’t think that’s the case, because there’s enough of a backup plan to accommodate the needs of the users when I’m not available, but I still worry about this once in a while.

Perhaps I wouldn’t worry so much if I was out on my bike.