Earl and I are sitting in the local Jiffy Lube as I write this blog entry on my Pocket PC. We’ve been out on a ride this afternoon, enjoying the beginning signs of spring. It hasn’t really felt like spring the past couple of weeks with temperatures in the 30s and 40s. It’s nice to see the sun. And, its been nice to spend time together, especially since Earl is spending more time in Ohio with work.

I am looking forward to my trip to Iowa this week. I leave Tuesday afternoon. I’ll be spending the night with Earl outside of Cleveland. Then comes the long haul to Emmetsburg, IA on Wednesday. That’s why I’m getting the car serviced, so I have one less thing to worry about.

I am hoping to have internet connectivity on the trip. But at the very least I’ll be actively updating my moblog. So while I may not be able to share my snarky comments, at least you’ll be able to see what I’m up to.

Was the term “snarky” invented on the internet? I’ll have to do some research on that.


Back at home… Jiffy Lube turned out to be a nightmare! We were there almost two hours! The service guy informed us that we needed to flush our transmission since it hasn’t ever done before and the car has 96,000 miles on it. At first, he didn’t have the right fittings to hook the “flushing machine” up to the car. But then he found something that would work so he proceeded with the job. Well then the hose broke and transmission fluid spewed all over the engine and the windshield and down the front of the car. He hooked it up again, correctly, and continued with the servicing, though it took a lot longer than promised. Plus, with all the excess transmission fluid on the engine, the car smokes like its on fire whenever we park it now. He assured us that this was temporary and only until the fluid burned off the manifold. I like being an exhibitionist, but I don’t need to be the center of attention because my Impala appears to be on fire!

This should make the trip to Iowa REALLY interesting.

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I’m really starting to groove on my moblog. Of course my cell service was down most of the day (apparently it doesn’t work when there’s a sun in the sky) so I didn’t get to take as many pictures as I wanted, but nevertheless I was able to upload a few.

I think my reality-TV aspirations from last year are starting to creep up into my forethought again. Now I don’t want to go dunking for apples with Julie Chen watching so that I can win a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Big Brother. But I want people to see me. I want to perform. I want to have people stop me in the mall and say “I saw your moblog on TextAmerica and you’re whacked.” Hey, I’ve had a few offers to do some mildly obscene things on my webcam (especially under my desk at work of all places), and while the sentiments are quite flattering (I think), I don’t think I want to be the next Dirk Diggler. Not that being a Dirk Diggler type wouldn’t be interesting, but I really don’t see myself in a Marky Mark body nor do I have anything in my underwear that’s been surgically enhanced. At least I no longer have the body of Kevin James. Not that Kevin James isn’t cute mind you, but I don’t really have his physique either. I just would like to keep my webcam “G” or “PG-13” rated.

I don’t know why this need for attention is surfacing again. Perhaps because Earl is out of town more than he used to be, maybe I feel lost without my personal cheering squad. Now I’m not belittling my relationship with Earl to “cheering squad” status, but part of our relationship is that I’m his biggest fan as he is mine. at the very least he is extremely tolerant.

I’ll probably go moblog crazy on my computer training excursion to Iowa. Having a moblog is a great lesson in assertiveness. I can ask any drive-thru attendant at any given fast food place, without a trace of humor in my voice, “Hey, wanna have your picture on my website? Just hide the super-sized fries.” Before the camera in my cell phone, I would have never done that. Sure, back in the day I accidently unleashed my old roommate’s Springer Spaniel in an Arby’s drive thru, which resulted in the dog running across several roast beef sandwiches, but that wasn’t a study in assertiveness. That was more a study in stupidity. Of course I got all embarassed about it. To this day I avoid that Arby’s, and it’s practically the only one left open in the area.

So don’t be surprised if you start seeing more of me. With Earl’s new camera, and my moblog, we’re bound to make our mark on the internet. If you see me on the street, be sure to say hi and ask for an autograph.

The Future Lies Ahead.

I have been on an on-going anti-television kick over the past month or so, limiting my boob tube enjoyment to “Judging Amy”, a little bit of “West Wing” (when it doesn’t border on idiotic) and “The Screensavers” on TechTV. However, I did see an ad for a new lawyer show called “Century City”, so I added it to my ReplayTV to do list. Since this show takes place in 2030, I thought it would be interesting.

I just got around to watching the latest episode tonight. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I thought it was well done, was a somewhat realistic look at the the world 27 years from now and I hoped for it to continue.

Apparently, it’s been cancelled.

It figures. Television isn’t about putting anything interesting out there anymore. Of course, it’s about making money. And apparently, CBS has determined that after three episodes, this show isn’t going to make money. So off it goes.

At least “The Screensavers” is still interesting. They’ve moved people around on TechTV, some have left, etc., so there’s new dynamics in the ensemble on the show. As an ubergeek, I find myself learning loads of stuff. If you want to check out their website, you can do so here.

Speaking of being a big geek, the moblog is finally up and running with some quality pictures from my phone. I had to finally go to Cingular Wireless in person and practically throttle the guy behind the counter. But he got everything up and running. They had to completely wipe out my account and start fresh, so I have a new phone number, but hey, that’s the price you pay for technology. Apparently something wasn’t set up right when I upgraded my phone back in February, and every time I turned the phone on or off generated an error that finally added up to a whole bunch of errors in their system. They were unable to reincarnate Alexander Graham Bell (I think that would have been faster), so it was just easier to bag the whole ordeal and start again. Be sure to check out the moblog if you’re so inclined.

My biggest critic.

I decided to take a shower before writing in my blog and calling it a night. I sometimes go a little crazy in the shower, especially when Earl is out of town, and start singing in “full voice” – the voice I was trained to use in college so I could fill a 500-seat auditorium without the use of a sound system.

Tom (our cat) was not amused.

Just as I was cranking up a memorable rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Rubberneckin'”, I heard the unmistakeable sounds of a very displeased voice. Tom had jumped up between the shower curtain and liner and started caterwauling like someone had just set his tail on fire. Naturally, I did what ever good parent would do and ignored him completely.

I made it through Rubberneckin’ in it’s entirety and the started on my encore… Andy Kim’s “Rock Me Gently”. He then switched from a tail-on-fire sounding emergency to a downright yowl. Apparently, Tom does not like Andy Kim. I don’t think he knows what he’s missing.

Always one to please my fans I decided to wrap up my little concert with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem. I sang it pretty much like my performances for the local hockey and baseball teams (who have since left town – should I take offense?)

Tom thanked me by being downright screaming louder than any crowd I’ve sang in front of.

But I know he’s part of our family – he yowls were right in tune with “land of the free” shrill.

I guess you can’t please anyone.

ps. I haven’t forgotten about my moblog already… I’m on Tech support call number 24 or so with Cingular One. They have until 12 noon tomorrow then I get all happy with Catherine Zeta-Jones and T-Mobile.

Electronica Maximus.

Well today I decided to embark on a little adventure and add to my already popular blog. That’s right, I’m adding a “moblog”. This is a mobile blog, one which includes pictures uploaded from my gee-whiz spanking new beauty of a cell phone, my Motorola V400. I’d show you a picture, but…

… it’s not working. Cingular One has been cranky with me today. Or maybe I’ve been cranky with Cingular One. Either way, I have no cell phone service right now, which makes my new moblog rather barren.

First of all, if you want to see the moblog, it’s here. I’m rather excited about it, because I can post pictures to it with just the click and click of my cell phone camera, the touch of a button or two, a few wireless transmissions and viola! the world see what Earl and I see. has a great (read ‘free’) service that seems to be just wonderful. Many of the host/geeks on TechTV use the exact same service and everyone thinks they’re cool.

So I was able to upload one picture to my moblog when all of a sudden, right when I should have been working, my wireless web connection on my cell phone went dead.

1. Tech support call to Cingular One number one reactivated my phone. It didn’t work.

2. Tech support call to Cingular One resulted in a re-reactivated phone, and an offer to add insurance to my phone should I drop it in the toilet or something equally destructive. Still didn’t work.

3. Tech support call to Cingular One revealed that the Cingular One “switch” was all clogged up and that they would call my home phone when my phone service was restored. They never called.

4. Tech support call to Cingular One revealed that there was nothing wrong with their system, nor would there be, nor had there ever been a problem with my service, their service or their switch and that my gee-whiz spanking new beauty of a cell phone was at fault. Whammy! Wrong.

5. Tech support call to Cingular One resulted in the admission that Cingular One representative number one really screwed up my account and apparently Ma Bell herself was coming in to reprogram my portion of the switch. Apparently this entails 24 hours of hard labor, a bag of doritos and a lot of Mountain Dew, because I am not to even think about the phone for 24 hours.

So someday you’ll see my moblog in glorious technical color.

Part of my excitement about my moblog was spurred on by our purchase of a spiffy Sony Cybershot DSC-F828 digital camera. This actually looks like a real camera with manual focus and zoom lens and everything. It is 8.0 megapixel, which apparently allows us to photograph a cute man from several states away and still be able to see his charming grin. True to form, we bought the Best Buy “bees knees” of the camera department. I’d show you a picture, but I can’t take a picture of the camera with the actual camera, and well, my cell phone camera doesn’t work.

Let’s here it for technology!

Home Is Where The Heart Is.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the week, I recently came to the realization that we have a new house that really is yearning to be made “our home”. I must admit that I’ve been a little scared to become attached to this new house, because the idea of another move is always at the back of our mind, especially with Earl’s career on the move as it is. He’s eventually going to be promoted again, and it’s probably going to entail a relocation. It’s a prospect that I’m very excited about, however, it does make me a little hesitant to become attached to the wonderful house that we live in.

Now I just say, “screw it”.

This week I began the project of installing my collection of school clocks. The installation project has gone well, and I have around half of my clocks installed and fully functional. Just in time for daylight savings time tonight. I’m going to work on the more difficult-to-install clocks this week while Earl is in Ohio. Let’s see how well I do installing wire in walls stuffed with insulation!

We had a little “spring fling” dinner this evening, having my mom and my sister, my aunt and uncle and my cousin and my aunt’s mother and her husband over for dinner this evening. It was so nice to get together. It’s always an enjoyable time, and we laughed and laughed and laughed. The sound of laughter and the obvious feelings of family love definitely made our house feel like home this evening.

Prepping for the party yesterday, Earl went to the brand new Linens and Things and picked up some new decorations for the great room and formal living room. We’re going to do a little more shopping tomorrow during the day – I’m trying to convince Earl to go antiquing, but I don’t think that he’s in the mood to do so. I think it’d be fun. We’ll just have to see what tomorrow brings.

Earl and I, along with my sister, my mom and her dog went to get family portraits taken today as well. So we got all dressed up and headed to The Picture Place to spend the gift certificate that we had given my Mom for Christmas and had some really nice pictures taken. The cool thing about The Picture Place is that you get your pictures an hour after their taken… so we were able to bring them home with us. I’m going to scan them in tomorrow and share them. They came out really, really well. At Earl’s request, I went clean shaven for the pictures (save for my ever present soul patch), so if you’re keeping track, please mark the appropriate spot on your J.P. facial hair score card.

And lastly, I’m starting to get really jazzed about my trip to Iowa in 1 1/2 weeks for computer training. I can not wait to take the drive. I must admit that I am a little sad because I’m going to do the 18-hour in each direction trip alone (as I always road trip with Earl as my co-pilot), but I really like the thought of the drive and the opportunity to meet other individuals that have the same sort of job that I do.

The Handyman Can.

A couple of days ago I came to the realization that Earl and I live in a new house. Granted, we’ve been here since December 1, but with all the running around we’ve been doing it seemed like we hadn’t had time to take the opportunity to make the house ours. So tonight I started a little project.

I’ve mentioned before that I collect old school clocks. The type that click ahead once a minute and are control by a master clock that is usually located in the school’s main office. I had these clocks all through the old house, and when we moved, we had to spend a considerable amount of time patching holes in walls and such because of my hack wiring job. I look back at what I did in the old house and can not believe that I was jamming wire through the walls using the end of a broom handle, while standing on the piano. To this day I wonder why Earl didn’t murder me.

I’ve been a little hesitant to put the clocks up in this house because of my hack wiring job in the last house. But Earl and I talked about it, and I decided to go ahead and put them up… but very neatly. So tonight I started drilling holes in walls and scoping out where I’m going to run wire and all that stuff. The wire I ordered online should arrive tomorrow, so tomorrow night I’ll be fishing wire through walls. I’m really good at fishing wire. And I actually ordered the correct wire, instead of using a mix of speaker wire, telephone wire and a lot of electrical tape. I’ll also take the opportunity to introduce myself to the attic. That should be interesting.

For some odd reason I think it amazes people when I tell them that I’m capable of this stuff. I don’t know why. I grew up near a farm. My family owns a lumber yard and hardware store. Granted, I liked hanging out in the office and doing the accounting and such, but I still picked up a considerable amount of Do-It-Yourselfer knowledge by osmosis or something. Earl was amazed early in our relationship because I knew the difference between “AC” and “CD” plywood. He also was amazed that I knew what waferboard was. I always enjoy dropping little bits of handyman chatter because it makes me sound butch. And I don’t mind wearing my pants plumber style and showing my butt crack on occasion.

So Earl is going to get a little surprise when he comes back from Ohio. The reassuring “tick tick” of the clock system, functional once again. Let’s just hope that when he gets home I’m not straddling a beam in the attic, legs plunged through the bedroom ceiling, waiting for someone to save me.

Writing whispers in the dark.

It’s finally happened. I have confirmed that Earl and I are a “forever” couple.

I am writing in my blog while he snores away by my side. You see, we’re laying in bed. Well, I am laying in bed while Earl is already asleep. Perhaps you can hear him snoring. God love him, he snores loud enough to make cattle restless two counties away. But its music to my ears.

There was a time in my life when Friday night was “party night”. I would be spinning at the local bar, whipping up the music and feasting on the eye candy. But while I was setting the tempo for the crowd, I was so lonely. Oh I had friends and flings, but nothing everlasting. Until I met Earl. My life changed in so many ways when I met him.

And while we’re not big on the party scene anymore, its comforting to know that Friday night is still special… a nice dinner, a little internet surfing and then to bed early, Earl on my left, our cat Tom on the right, raindrops on the roof, while I ‘whisper’ in my blog in the dark.

Where’s the Beef?

I don’t usually write a blog entry from work, especially being the busy executive that I am, but I just had to write down this epiphany.

I like meat. Now get your mind out of the gutter. Of course I’m talking about the dinner table. Last night I had two cheeseburgers at McCrappys. Today I had a delicious turkey wrap (it’s called a ‘Perky Turkey’) with just hint of bacon. I haven’t felt this energetic, but more importantly, balanced in a long time. Is it possible that I was starving my body of necessary nutrients by eating a vegetarian diet? One can not find a clear answer through research, so I’m just going to go with what feels right. And right now, I know I feel good.

Mr. Hypocrite.

Earl is in Ohio through tomorrow night, which means that I’m fending for myself when it comes to meals. He’s the cook of the family. He likes to cook and make wonderful meals for us. When he’s out of town, I go into “popcorn mode” where I just of survive on a tub of well oiled popcorn for supper every night. Popcorn is my favorite food, especially when dripping with butter and various fatty oils. Plus, I was raised on popcorn. My mother felt it was a necessary part of every non-breakfast meal, whether it was a bowl of soup, a hamburger, a steak or the Thanksgiving Turkey, there was a bowl of popcorn, fresh from the Radarange, next to the main dish. Come to think of it, I may have had popcorn once or twice for breakfast too. Anyways, so now I live on popcorn.

Last weekend, after a particularly satisfying food binge, we promised each other that we would eat healthy this week. I was going to go back to my vegetarian ways. We were going to be thin and trim for our trip in June. I called him this evening to remind him not to go through the McCrappys drive thru and to go to Subway instead. (Typing that sentence makes me realize how I sound frightfully close to a nagging wife… lesson learned on that one.) After all, I had a wonderful veggie delite from Subway this afternoon for lunch while I was on the road and I thought he might enjoy the same pleasure I did. Of course, I neglected to tell him that I accompanied my veggie delite sub with a large order of Tater Tots, but I was never a stickler for details.

Well for some reason I just couldn’t face another bowl of popcorn tonight, Orville Redenbocker be damned. So I drove to McCrappys and ordered up myself a double cheeseburger value meal… large. The wench in the drive thru wouldn’t super size it for me, nor would she sell me a McRib because apparently McDonalds doesn’t feel that March is a month for McRibs. They suck. Apparently McDonalds is trying to get on the “health kick” and not offering super sized meals now because of that ridiculous “you made me fat” lawsuit. I knew I was going to feel guilty about going to McDonalds before I did it, so I drove two cities away to go through there drive thru window instead of eating at the McDonalds right down the street. Apparently in my little mind, crossing city lines wipes away any guilt that one can accumulate from betraying his lover and eating at McDonalds while his lover is suffering through another Subway sub. I don’t know what makes me think I’m married to Jared. So not only did I do a disservice to my vegetarian ways by eating two cheeseburgers, I went on a 45 mile round trip to do so. Bush Lite would be proud of my extraneous oil use! Great. Now I’m a meat eater AND a republican.

I’m going to fess up with Earl during our nightly “good night” call in just a little bit. I hope he’s in the mood to go to Tom Wahl’s this weekend to kiss and make up.

*Never one to assign blame, the fast food urge can be attributed to my blog friend Thomas’ eating an entire three pound tub of potato salad in one sitting. I couldn’t find potato salad, so instead I headed to McDonalds. Its *his* fault.