Ponderings and Musings

Well here it is Sunday night. The opportunity to kick back, relax, think about the weekend and get ready to haul off to work again Monday morning. And it was another busy weekend! I’m ready for fall, when the activities calm down a little bit! 🙂

We started off the weekend Friday night with a bit of shopping at Sangertown Mall, the only full-fledged mall left in the Utica area. Utica originally had three malls, Riverside in North Utica, Charlestown in East Utica and Sangertown in New Hartford. Riverside has been converted to a strip mall (A move I question – I always liked Riverside), Charlestown gave up the ghost not too long ago and was converted to business space (it was originally an outlet mall – but I don’t think it really caught on), so that leaves us with Sangertown. I ate Chinese in the food court, while Earl enjoyed Italian food. I LOVE the chinese food at Sangertown, so much so, that I broke my vegetarian code and had sesame chicken. Outstanding, but the chicken was a little grissly.

Yesterday we went to Bristol, Pa. for Earl’s dad’s birthday. Drove down in the morning (five hours), enjoyed the party with the family, and drove back. We got home around 2:00 a.m. Then today, we went to my grandfather’s 86th birthday party up at his camp on Sandy Pond. It was nice, as I had not seen the majority of that side of the family since the holidays. My aunt/godmother is doing well; I’ve been concerned for her because she has breast cancer, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. She seemed to be in good spirits, I admire her courage, she’s always been a trouper.

Amongst all this fun and frivolity, I wiped my hard drive on my computer and installed Windows XP Professional Edition, beta 2. I’m waiting for my “Release Candidate 2” notification from Microsoft, so I can get the latest version of XP installed and start trying it out. I’m a big-time geek when it comes to new Microsoft products. On the way home from Sandy Pond, we stopped into Syracuse to pick up a Systems Administrator book for Windows 2000 Server, because I’ve just begun supporting it at work and I need some answers to some situations that have arisen. Wish me luck there.

My mustache is on day eight, and my beard on day one. I’ve given up shaving my face until 2002. I want to see how full my beard will get.

Another busy week. It’s amazing to me how fast time flies by! Here it is Thursday night already. Earl and I are planning a trip to Bristol, Pa. this weekend for his father’s birthday party. But then we have to hurry back on Sunday for a party for my grandfather’s 86th birthday. I can’t wait until we can chill out for a bit.

My sister and her fiancee announced yesterday that they are canceling, their wedding plans. The wedding scheduled for September 22. Of course the rest of the family is just in a fit about it, but Earl and I wholeheartedly support their decision. If they’re not 100% sure of what they’re doing, then why go through the motions, only to have heartache down the road? They’re still getting married, just not so soon, after they work out some details of their relationship. I admire them for the courage to make the decision, a decision that they made together.

Well now I’m trying a mustache again, and we’re five days into it. It looks like this.

I usually have a mustache, but I’ve gone most of the summer without one. I was planning on growing it in full for my sister’s wedding, but I’m going to keep growing it just for the heck of it. Stay tuned for progress on that front.

I think I’m giving up on the cash register project for the time being. It’s nearly impossible to find information on these old beasts. I’m going to put them in storage and see if I run across anything on them.

Had dinner with Dennis and Vic last night, it was Dennis’ birthday. We watched ‘Big Brother 2’… I’ve never seen such a bunch of self-centered people in my life. I know CBS wanted to make it more exciting than last year’s run (which was like watching paint dry), but these people are just full of themselves, and one guy even mentioned that nine out of twelve of them had agents before they went in. What the fudge. I wish these reality show producers would get a grip and put real people in these shows instead of these people that want to sit there all day, work out, smoke (there’s a contradiction!) and be a complete jackass on television. We’ll probably still watch the shows, but I wish CBS would answer the clue phone. It’s ringing.

What a busy week. It’s great being system administrator for a radio station. I’m learning computer skills every day, and it’s great. I’m such a geek.

Earl and I had a wonderful dinner last night at Jack Appleseed’s in Utica. For the first time in quite a while, I ate chicken. Being a vegetarian since the beginning of the year, this was something for me, but I really like the taste of Chicken Marsala. When it was wonderful, except I didn’t care for the chicken. The sauce was great though. I wonder how Eggplant Marsala would taste?

Saw “Six Feet Under” for the first time, while visiting our friends Dennis and Vic Wednesday night. I love that show! We’re going to have to sign up for HBO again so we get it here at the house. I’m hoping that the cable company is going to be able to install cable for us, along with high speed internet. Living out here in the rural part of town, I’m not sure that the cable goes by the house, but the neighbors have it, so I’m sure they can get it here.

Earl’s been updating other parts of the site. I finally installed FrontPage 2000 on his computer and showed him how to use it, so you should see plenty of additions to the site over the next couple of weeks!

More to come this weekend…

Here it is the middle of August already. After two days of low humidity and temperatures in the mid 80s, were back to stifling, sticky weather. Let’s hope for a thunderstorm! Actually, if I lived in the midwest I’d probably be a storm chaser, it’s always been a dream of mine to chase a tornado or a hurricane. When I was younger, I used to chase thunderstorms across Central New York. When I was growing up, we used to get fierce thunderstorms off of Lake Ontario. Now that I live further from the lake, the storms aren’t quite as bad. A little disappointing.

Another hobby of mine has been restoring an old computerized cash register system, more specifically, an IBM 3683 and IBM 3684 system. Here’s what the IBM 3684 looks like.

You’ve probably seen one of these before, but they became pretty much extinct in the late 90s when everyone was terrified of Y2K and upgrading their systems. I’m learning more and more about these beasts everyday, and if you know anything about them, drop me a line at jpnearl@earthlink.net. I’m very fortunate that Earl is tolerant of my various hobbies, or I’d be living in the barn by now. Most people find my hobbies like these incredibly boring, I find them incredibly fascinating, but then again, I’ve always been hearing a different drum. By the way, the screen says “F 4671”, which is an error code but I don’t know what it means.

This weekend Earl and I basically chilled out and did nothing, which was nice. A lot of time spent on the computer updating websites and such.

I gave up on my beard and succumbed to the lure of my Mach III. It’s been too hot to grow the beard out, I’ll try again after my sister’s wedding.

The second journal entry! This is a new step for me, I rarely get past the first entry and then forget all about it. How about that.

An active Monday to say the least. I went to my follow-up doctor’s appointment today for my blood work and x-ray results. The doctor wasn’t it. (Lucy VanPelt would not be happy). Since I’ve become a vegetarian, my cholesterol has gone UP. That’s right UP, to like 241. It was lower when I was eating fast food every night. To celebrate, Earl and I went to Arby’s and I had a French Dip sub. There’s nothing wrong with my shoulder as far as broken bones goes, but it sure feels like it’s still falling apart. Maybe I need to get a massage or something.

Today is also day 4 of my new beard.

My mustache is coming in darker than the rest of my beard for a change. By the way, under my lip is that little blob of hair that’s always there, that’s not new.

I had vocal lessons today… I’m singing with my sister’s friend for my sister’s wedding in the middle of September. I haven’t sang in front of people in a long while, even though I went to school to be a music teacher. (I never finished). It was great. We’re singing “The Wedding Song (There Is Love)” and a song from Phantom of the Opera. Earl went along for the vocal coaching… he thought we sounded great. It was weird because I haven’t sang with anyone else in a quasi-amateur professional type setting in a long time. Kind of brings back the urge to get involved with music again. I’d love to be in a band again (I was in one in college singing back-ups) or at least a choir or something. I have a feeling Earl and I will be hitting a karaoke bar soon. 🙂

Well here I am trying to maintain an on-line journal. I hope to do this once or twice a week to let curious people know what the heck is going on with our life.

Today Earl and I went along with my sister and her fiancée to the Pulaski Field Days. For those unfamiliar with the “field days” concept, it’s a town carnival sponsored by the local fire department to raise money. There’s amusement rides, chicken BBQs and other food, a parade, games and much other merriment. It’s also like Old Home Days, as you tend to run into people you haven’t seen in a long time. Well this year I ran into a few of my old teachers from my school days, and it was wonderful to see them. As well as some old classmates. I have said for years that I never see anyone from my particular class. And I mean NEVER! Well for once I saw someone I graduated with and a bunch of others that hung out as part of “the band clique”. And Jen and Jody won two stuffed animals on the games.

My dad is a private pilot and has built his own airplanes as well. Tonight was also the first night that I’ve ever flown in his new Acro Sport. WOW! It’s an open cockpit bi-plane (four wings instead of two) that cruises at about 110-120 MPH. He used to have a Piper J-5A from the 40s that cruised along at 80 MPH, so this one is really a rush. You get to wear the old aviator’s helmet and goggles and everything in this!

My dad has aviator fuel for blood, and he’s happiest when he’s flying or working on his airplane. We used to fly a lot together, it was nice doing it again today. I imagine that I’ll become a private pilot someday as well