Cycling Thoughts.

While I was cycling tonight I spent some time on a new stretch of the local canal trails. The New York Thruway Authority is doing a bang up job on building recreational paths along the Erie/Barge Canal through New York State. When completed, it’ll be a continuous trail that extends from Buffalo to Albany, with spursto various points throughout the state.

Anyways, the trail wanders through the woods along this new section, and the serenity allowed my mind to wander.


If you have a thought, savor it.
If you have an opinion, voice it.
If you have a vision, pursue it.
If you have a dream, realize it.
If you have a passion, embrace it.
If you have a life, love it.
If you have a love, live it.

Those words just floated right through my mind and brought a smile to my lips, a warmth to my heart, and the will to pedal a little bit harder.

I thank the Universe for the privilege.

Gorgeous.

What an absolutely gorgeous day. After baking through stifling heat for the past couple of weeks, Mother Nature has blessed us with temps in the mid 70s and low humidity. “And a welcomed sigh of relief was heard across Central New York…”

I must say that I feel cute today. I don’t know if its the weather or my mood or what, but I feel confident, handsome and energetic today. Earl and I are going camping at a gay campground this weekend and I admit that I am a little nervous about the upcoming experience. I don’t know why I get nervous, I’ve been to other gay campgrounds before, but its been a good number of years since we’ve been to one. Yeah, like around eight years since we’ve been, but its all good. At least it’s a bear event so we won’t have to deal with the stereotypical “put on a show” attitude that can be rather common in the bars and such. Plus, we’ll see a couple of the guys we met in Danbury this past spring, which I’m sure will be a good time.

The beautiful day has inspired me to dust off my bike and go for a bike ride after work. I’m looking forward to the ride; I’ll have to take cell phones pictures along the canal trails.

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Hacker Life.

For the past 18 hours or so I’ve been in this total “hacker” mode and living like the nerd I really am. Not tired at all, I decided to rebuild a computer last night shortly after 10 last night and then installed the beta of Windows Longhorn I have. The rebuild took around 20 minutes, the install took just shy of two hours. Unimpressed with the future Windows Vista, I wiped out the hard drive and am looking at other operating system avenues for that machine. To be fair, the software I had was pre-Beta with lots of broken parts. But if the changes in this release stay for the final version, Windows Vista is going to be seriously fscked up.

Anyways, I went to bed around 12:30 to the sweet serenades of Earl’s snoring, still glistening from the sweat I talked about in my blog entry last night.

This morning I slept until the last possible minute and violated my routine completely. I did not empty the dishwasher. I did not make a lunch. I did not eat breakfast. I did not work out and I did not go for a walk.

I checked e-mail, burned a CD, showered quickly, brushed my teeth and dashed off for work.

Earl is having supper with the bigwigs tonight, I think I’m going to continue my geek activities and have supper at a local internet café.

And chase it all down with a Code Red.

What’s In A Name.

I heard on NPR today that the Global War On Terror has a new name.

GSAVE: Global Struggle Against Violent Extremists.

Talk about trying to make shit shine.

Stifle.

I don’t think there’s much more uncomfortable than this heavy, humidity laden heat wave we’ve been experiencing here. As I type, I’m sitting here in the dark, no lights except that coming from my PowerBook, wearing nothing but a smile. I look down and my skin is just glistening in sweat.

Tomorrow the temperature is suppose to drop 20 degrees and go back to normal.

I’ll probably sit in the front of the computer, wearing nothing but a smile, to celebrate.

Reliability 1, Technology 0.

We’ve been messing around with VoIP for the past couple of months, the latest contender being AT&T CallVantage. VoIP is pretty cool technology, in that it takes phone service, which has been around for over a century, and sends it out over your internet connection. You can take the phone adapter that provides this service, plug it into any broadband connection, and your phone number is active there. Anywhere in the world.

Too bad it didn’t work as planned.

There’s a couple of caveats with VoIP. Unlike POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service), it doesn’t work during a power outage. No internet connection means no phone connection. And since it’s portable, you need to make sure your 911 information is up to date in case of an emergency.

We’ve had CallVantage service from AT&T for about two months. Our home telephone number was transferred to the service. Outgoing calls have worked beautifully with the exception of not needing to dial “1” to dial a different area code and having to dial all 10-digits for all calls.

Inbound calls have been a different matter.

At first, our phone would ring four times and then instead of transferring to voice mail, it would just drop. Callers would get what we call “dead air” and then back to dial tone.

When I had AT&T look into the trouble, they did something so that our phones never rang and all calls went to voicemail.

Not a convenient scenario.

I’ve been on the phone with AT&T Technical Support for a total of 10+ hours over the past week, and when it wasn’t fixed today as I was promised by a Tier III support person, I decided enough is enough. I placed the order to switch back to Verizon.

VoIP is a promising technology and will eventually be the way everyone is connected by telephone. But it’s not 100% there yet. And with family literally scattered all over the globe, it’s important that our phone service is reliable.

Call me old fashioned.

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Windows Vista, Part 2.

Somebody in the Microsoft marketing department wasn’t thinking too clearly when they came up with Windows Vista. Not only does the name lend itself to one my new favorite terms, “Crashta La Vista Baby”, Vista is also an abbreviation of the biggest problems with Windows.

Viruses
Infection
Spyware
Trojans
Adware

It’s all so clear to me now.

World Travel.

My sister recently announced to the family that her boyfriend’s work is taking him to Russia, and that she and her boyfriend are moving to Moscow for a couple of months.

Wow. Talk about moving away for a little bit.

What’s even a little more surprising is that if this happens (and it most likely will), Earl and I will fly to Moscow to visit them in February for our winter vacation.

Double Wow.

I’m very excited for my sister, as it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about this ever-shrinking world we live in. I have a cousin that’s a missionary in Yemen, and I reason that if my cousin can stay in Yemen, my sister can certainly survive Moscow. I don’t know why I make that connection, I just do.

I find the thought of visiting Moscow to be fascinating, as I’ve never dreamed of visiting Russia before. I hear it’s a beautiful city! I’m a little nervous about the flight over, because it’s very long and I think I’ll be bored to tears. Then again, I’ve dreamed about flying to Sydney, Australia and never thought about the length of that flight, so Moscow can’t be that bad.

I see some culture shock on the horizon!

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Outdated. Not Expired.

“Save Me”, Lisa Fischer.

I was cleaning out some junk in the basement this weekend and came across two huge Rubbermaid bins of CDs and 12-inch singles I had collected from the various radio and club gigs I’ve had over the years. When I was in radio, I always made a point to get multiple copies of CD singles for the station so I could keep one for myself. Radio is full of perks like that.

Anyways, I’ve been busily ripping all these early to mid ’90s tracks into iTunes to enjoy on my iPod. Who knew that I would enjoy records by artists like Stevie B. here in 2005? The folks that listen to top 40 music these days probably don’t even know who Stevie B. is.

Lisa Fischer is an awesome vocalist. Absolutely incredible. Where is she now? No one knows.

“Rescue Me”, Madonna.

One of the cool things of having promotional copies of these CDs is that they contain versions that could only be heard on the radio. Not too long ago I heard a teenager review to Madonna’s “Holiday” as an ‘old’ song. Wow, that comment certainly made me feel obsolete. I remember when Madonna was a new artist on the scene. I recall thinking that she must have a huge ego to be using only one name. Who did she think she was, using only ‘Madonna’ to identify herself.

“U R The Best Thing”, D:Ream.

I was lucky enough to inherent a memory that could remember obscure record titles that others quickly forgot. Flash in the pan artists that are probably working at a local burger joint now. For example, the record I’m listening to now. “U R The Best Thing” is from the movie “Naked In New York” with Eric Stoltz. I don’t think I remember that movie.

“The Right Time”, I to I.

Oh well. Listening to this older music has taken me down memory lane. It’s been a pleasant little trip. I wonder when the 90s are going to be trendy again, much like 80s music is now.

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We had a wonderful gathering with my mom, my aunt and uncle and my cousin here at the house today. It was a beautiful day with fabulous food, great company and good conversation. It’s nice to spend time with the family from time to time.

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Come Rain, Come Shine.

I mentioned way back in April that I had fallen in love with a song called “Come Rain, Come Shine” by Jenn Cuneta. Its still the number one rated song on my iPod after all this time, and after doing research, I see that it’s starting to make some noise on the radio airplay charts. I’m not surprised, I was always ahead of the game at picking hits which made me a LOUSY program director in radio.

Anyways, this song is one of the only songs to sample a Paul McCartney song with his approval, the background riffs being “Silly Love Songs”.

It’s rare that I would have an interest in a song for such a long time. Usually I listen to the same track over and over until I absolutely burn out any further interest I may have. I was notorious for that as a radio program director; playing a song so often on the radio that the audience would be just short of freaking out and throwing things at their car stereo until I pulled back on the rotation a little bit. For example, many Top 40 stations would play (they probably still do) their top three or five songs of the week 60-70 times a week. This would guarantee that whenever a listener tuned in, they would hear one of the hit songs of the week within the short time that they may tune in. Always one to overdo, I upped this to around 100 to 110 times a week, the record being held by “Feel It” by The Tamperer featuring Meja at a whopping 126 times in seven days. Translated, that means that song played every 80 minutes in one week on Wow FM, The Beat of Central New York. (Perhaps we should have called it “The Beast of Central New York”) If you stepped foot in a club in the late 90s, you probably know the track by the lyrics… “What’s she gonna look like with a chimney on her, what’s she gonna look like with a chimney on her” and then the ominous music from The Wizard Of Oz would be sampled.

Small wonder Wow FM no longer exists and I’m no longer in radio.

Anyways, “Come Rain, Come Shine” would easily find itself in that category if the station were to exist today. Jump over to Jenn’s site and take a listen in the multimedia section. It’s a pretty cool track.