Ponderings and Musings

Pop. Jiffy Pop.

I always find it amazing how much crap goes through my brain. Especially when I’m cycling. I get into this whole “athletic zone” and think about a myriad of subjects, all of them unimportant.

On my ten mile jaunt this evening, I decided that I need to change my nickname. This line of thought came about because I was asked what “J.P.” stood for*. Most people know me as “J.P.” Its the name I tend to use except with doctors and dentists and such and that’s only because they don’t know better. I do a lot of talking on the phone at work, especially with a really big telecommunications company that rhymes with “Horizon” and when I say my name they always mangle it. “J.B.”? “J.Z.”? “Chippy?” “J.T.”?

So I’ve decided that from now on they can call me Jiffy. Like Jiffy Pop. I’ve always been a big fan of popcorn. I like Jiffy Pop, especially over a campfire (which you’re not suppose to do). And as I think about it, Jiffy Pop is probably better than “Jiffy Lube”. Jiffy Lube sounds kind of kinky. If I were to do porn movies, then I could be Jiffy Lube, but at the family reunion this weekend it would be kind of odd to have Earl introduce me to long lost relatives as Jiffy Lube. People would blush. Including me.

I once toyed with the name “J. Bear”. But I don’t really feel the name adequately describes me. I’m not a big fan of labels, anyway. Besides, I think it would subconsciously give me permission to gain weight. And we all know how I feel about that.

So the next time I’m asked what “J.P.” stands for, I’m going to tell them Jiffy Pop. “Oh.”, they’ll say with an odd look on their face. Then they’ll try to normalize the conversation… “How’s your day going?”

“Just Peachy.”

# # #

I met an online buddy face to face (for an appreciable amount of time) for the first time today. I mentioned Mike a couple of months ago. We’ve been chatting back and forth on e-mail, and since he had the day off we decided to get together for lunch. It was good fun. We talked old department stores, roads, cycling and rollerblading, beards, the fact that we’re exactly a month apart in age and that he grew up just around the corner from my aunt and uncle’s house and we’d probably seen each other as kids. It was cool and it’s nice to have a new friend. Earl and I will probably get together again with him soon, if I didn’t spook him today or anything.

Toughen Up Cupcake.

I’m in sort of a “Woe Is Me” type of mood today and quite frankly I’m finding myself tiring of it easily. I can just imagine how my co-workers feel.

Last night was a hot, steamy, sultry night. The air was very heavy and very warm. You could cut the humidity with a steak knife. While this weather would be welcomed on the weekend, it doesn’t work out well during the week because it makes it very difficult to sleep in our house, considering we don’t have air conditioning. So I slept on the bed, and the futon, and the floor, and the front porch, and the living room couch and so on… and never got more than an hour or so of continuous sleep, interrupted by bouts just plain uncomfortableness.

So I’m a little cranky today.

Now let’s not confuse “cranky” with “surly” as I like to think that I’m being civil to people for a change. But I’m finding my patience wearing thin with customers. (Them: “I’m calling Hong Kong, and it’s taking over five seconds for the call to connect!” Me: ” Did it ever occur to you that Hong Kong is 3/4 of the way around the world and perhaps it takes a few extra seconds to let your fingers do the walking?”)

Just before lunch I had a meeting with the director of our department, who informed me that I will be attending a short training session on some new equipment tomorrow in Syracuse. That news actually put me in a better mood. It’s a little change of pace. A little bit of fresh air. And it shows that the company values my contribution by investing a little time in me.

So instead of taking a nap during my lunch hour like I vowed I would do when I woke up this morning, I celebrated by emptying the dishwasher, cleaning up the kitchen a little and writing in my blog. (Yes, the domestic God in me lives on, at least to a point.)

Sometimes its good to just suck it up and roll with the punches. You’d think at 36 11/12 years of age I’d know that by now.

Rumbles Of Relief.

As I type this blog entry, a little thunderstorm is passing through the area. It doesn’t have enough punch to lower the temperature or lessen the humidity. Its all flash and no substance. The wind barely rattles the blinds.

But down the rain comes.

It’s been in the high 80s to mid 90s for almost a week. Relief may be coming our way by the end of the week. Maybe.

I can’t remember it being so hot in June. And I’m a weather nut. It’s going to be a very interesting summer.

But Don’t Lick The Cashier.

On our way home from Buffalo today, we decided that we needed a little chocolate high, as we were both very groggy from staying up past our bedtime and sleeping in a hotel room last night and then wearing yesterday’s clothes again today. So when we stopped for gas in Canandaigua, Earl ran into Wilson Farms and grabbed a couple bottles of water and a couple packs of Mallo Cups.

Oh My God.

I have not had Mallo Cups in a couple of years and I had forgotten just how wonderfully delicious they are. As an added treat, I had completely forgotten about collecting Mallo Cups points!

Oh My God Again!

I love collecting points. Granted, you need 500 points for a free Mallo Cup or something like that, but still, it’s a goal that everyone should strive for. I’ll probably eat my weight in Mallo Cups just to get that free candy bar.

These points have reminded me of the good ol’ days of S&H Green Stamps days. For those unfamiliar, let me quickly explain. You went to a the market or gas station or department store that featured S&H Green Stamps. Based on how much you spent, the cashier would spin a little wheel like contraption mounted above the cashier that dispensed the proper number of stamps for the amount of your purchase. (If you go to Subway, you’ll find the exact contraption if used there to give out Subway stamps.) You then took those stamps, licked them (I really think they tasted like ass, now that I think about it) and pasted them in your S&H Green Stamps book. Once you had the proper number of stamps, you browsed a catalog of varied merchandise and sent your stamps into the mail order company. They mailed you back your selected item. The big spenders with thousands of stamps got things like canoes and tents or entire living room set. We weren’t as disciplined as we should have been so we would only have a couple of books and would get a Tupperware canister set or something like that. The canister set had to be in avocado.

We were extra lucky in that we had an “S&H Green Stamps Redemption Store” in Syracuse. I can still picture it to this day, right next store to the old A&W on Brewerton Rd. in Cicero. This store resembled a Service Merchandise catalog store. Sure enough, there was that canoe and tent set for 10,000 stamps or something big. On the other wall was the avocado Tupperware canister set.

As I reminisced over S&H Green Stamps, I took the opportunity to search the internet for information and found that they have morphed into S&H Greenpoints. A quick scan of the website shows that they can be used with a nice variety of places, like Best Buy, Barnes and Noble and The Apple Store.

Oh My God Thrice!

I’m all excited about collecting points for a new avocado canister set, just like the good old days. It’ll give me a place to store all my Mallo Cups.

Kick In The Pants.

I’ve been a little down on my job this week as a result of my on-call duties. This round of on-call has been busy and I don’t take sleep interruptions well. I’ve been cranky. I’ve been somewhat foul. I’ve startled those around me with a blue flair for language.

Tonight we attended a company function. It was a village-wide celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the founding telephone company I work for. The company turned the backyard of the corporate office into a huge picnic for any customer that has dial tone with the company, plus all the employees of the affiliated companies throughout Upstate N.Y. It was a very impressive affair. There were live performers, delicious food, souvenir champagne glasses and tours of the equipment and facility. Many members of the community came out to greet their neighbors, and a couple of state politicians attend the affair as well.

The group of companies is family owned and operated. The owner and president of the company gave a well received speech about the goals and achievements over the past century, and what our company has to look forward to on the road ahead. Earl and I chatted with many of my co-workers. Pleasantries were exchanged, it was all good.

It’s exactly what I needed to get my career spirits back in order. On-call doesn’t seem so bad anymore. I’m looking forward to going to work on Monday. I mentioned a couple of entries ago that I envisioned myself working for a baby Bell someday. I no longer have that vision. I’m happy where I am right now.

June Is Bustin’ Out All Over.

It’s not often that I write in my blog before going to work but for some reason the inspiration has slapped me upside the head for a change.

It’s June.

I’m reminded of a song we used to sing in high school chorus. “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over. All over the meadows and hills…” Actually, I sang that song as a high school sophomore in Area All-State Chorus which was being hosted in Holland Patent (local school) that year. That weekend was memorable in many ways for me.

My maternal grandmother and my dear Aunt Jenn came to that concert, along with my mom, dad and sister. The concert was held in the gymnasium instead of the auditorium for some reason. The audience had to sit on the bleechers. I miss my Gram and Aunt Jenn very much. We all rode home in the ’78 Impala together after the concert.

Because Holland Patent was quite a distance from Pulaski, all of students from Pulaski spent the night between rehearsal and the concert in a small motel outside of Rome. The motel is still there. We hung out at the bar next door that night. We slept four to a room, two to a bed. I didn’t sleep, because, well, I was a sophomore in high school that knew what he was to become but dared not tell a soul who was sleeping in the same room with three other guys…

“Because It’s June. June. June. June.”

It’s funny how a particular memory can trigger another memory which goes on and on and on. I believe the song that’s ripping through my head now is from “Carousel.” It was part of a medley we sang that also included the song “When you walk, through a storm, hold your head up high. And don’t be afraid of the dark. At the end of the storm, there’s a starry sky…”, or something like that.

Today the sky is full of sunshine and the horizon is clear. And my mood and the weather are in concert today.

Because it’s June. June. June. June.

Workin’ the Dreamscape.

Earl and I jammed so much into this past weekend that it felt like we had a whole week of vacation. That made work especially tough to look in the face this morning. I woke up feeling all depressed about having to go back to work and drudging through another day. But I got up, opted to go for a nice power walk and took the morning square on.

It wasn’t bad once I got to work. It was thankfully rather busy today so the day just flew by. I don’t know why I get down in the dumps getting up in the morning, because I certainly love my job. I just do so well when I’m dreaming. I mean dreaming, as in dreaming while I’m asleep. All the things I wish I could do, I do. I studied lucid dreaming, where you basically are aware that you’re dreaming and control what you’re dreaming, a number of years ago and I pride myself on the fact that I’m fairly good at it. I have to remember not to do it too often, for then I don’t get any rest and I end up cranky. But I bet I’m the only nose twitching dreamer on this side of the whole dreamscape. On the other hand, perhaps this is only a dream and I’m currently sitting in a nut house making rag rugs with blunt scissors and humming to myself loudly. Who knows. It does make on thing along the lines of “The Matrix”, does it not?


I am trying to build up the motivation to get back on a healthy lifestyle again. If you take a look at the Moblog and gander at the picture entitled “Heid’s”, you’ll note that last night’s supper was a large fries smothered in beef gravy, a hot dog with sauerkraut and mustard, a hot dog with chili and cheese, a half a deli-style pickle and a medium diet pop.

This gluttenous supper was in celebration of the fact that Earl and I had just spent an hour or so walking at a good pace along Onondaga Lake Park.

To celebrate eating the entire meal and refraining from licking the tray (we were in public after all), I had a hot fudge sundae about an hour later. The trouble is, all that food was good. My stomach was saying “feed me!” “feed me!” and I was saying “yeah, baby! yeah, baby!”.

I can’t motivate myself to eat a salad instead of fries with gravy. In the past I’ve eaten so much salad I’ve pooped dandelions. Fat free dressing is taste free dressing. And now we have those wonderful “healthy” alternatives of Olestra and Splenda. Why does better living through chemistry always use names that end in “a” or “uh”. I’ve mentioned in the past was a wonderful experience Olestra was (the tree that I borrowed along the Thruway still has not recovered) and Splenda gives me a headache. As I’m typing this, I’m thinking “man I have a headache”, small wonder, I drank that stupid diet pop last night!

I try to drink iced tea but you can only take that for so long. Lemonade has sugar in it and we all know that sugar is the cocaine of the calories crowd.

So I’m stumped. I have no idea how to get motivated to eat healthy and to exercise. On the bright side, I’m typing this entry as I cool down from a 10 mile bike ride. It was kind of odd, my bike addressing me as a stranger in all, since we hadn’t seen each other in so long. But the ride was good.

I think I’ll have a Corona and chili cheese dog to celebrate.

Ah, the last day of September. I love it. My favorite season is fall. I love the crisp, cool evening air; I love the smells of everyone starting up their fireplaces and wood stoves; fall and winter always seem more family oriented to me. We tend to see our families more with the impending holidays, and to me, there’s an overall increase in ‘human warmth’.

Tomorrow and Tuesday morning I have to go into work at 5:30 a.m. The radio station hired a new morning show team, Doc and Dee, and I need to make sure that they’re all set with the equipment and stuff. I think they’re going to be a great asset to the station, and I hope the ratings reflect it.

After struggling around a bit with my webcams, I’ve finally decided on the Kodak webcam for my system. I am really pleased with it, and I’m vain enough to say that I like the orange tint that it gives my hair and beard. You can take a peek at my webcam page if you want to see what I’m looking at these days.

On the technie-weenie side of things, I’m really like USB stuff. It makes hooking up stuff to the computer so much easier. It’s a shame that Linux isn’t keeping up with USB as quickly as Windows, because I really like using Linux as my chief operating system. But I always feel so limited about what I can do. That’s why I’m still running Windows XP.

I’m starting to use ICQ more and more for chat instead of Yahoo Messenger. It doesn’t seem to mess up my system as much. My ICQ # is 125628700 is you want to say hi. I have it on whenever I’m online. Yahoo is really sucking as far as their servers go. I can’t connect to their pages half the time, nor their webcam or chat servers.

I mowed the lawn today; it hadn’t been mowed in three and a half weeks, it really needed it. I have a feeling it’s the last time I’ll be mowing it this year. Earl cleaned off the back deck as well and put all the lawn furniture and stuff in storage.

Not much else going on this weekend, except we’re doing some shopping this afternoon. We’ll probably do a snappy trip to K-mart. I’m very anti-Wal*Mart; there’s always screaming, snot-nosed kids with abusive parents trolling around, a very kind senior citizen put on display in the front as a greeter and surly cashiers. Plus, Wal*Mart is slowly taking over the country, and I’m not a big fan of that. I’m more of a K-mart or Ames kind of guy, though I do admit I like Target as well, though Target won’t be moving to this area until Nov. 2002.

Earl and I took the day off from work on Friday. It was nice to get away, as I had been combating the latest internet virus until wee hours of the morning Wednesday and Thursday. We decided to go for a nice ride in the eastern part of the state, and we hit a good chunk of the Hudson Valley. We even took a look at a covered bridge … The Rexleigh Covered Bridge.

This is just off Route 22 about 30 miles north of the Thruway. For the life of me, I can’t remember the town it’s in.

It was a beautiful day for a ride, with the leaves just starting to show off their glorious colors. We took a picnic along with us for the ride as well, and enjoyed that at a road side stop. It was a wonderful day together.

On Saturday, we went to Syracuse for the afternoon and evening, basically just to goof off. We started by getting haircuts at Shoppingtown Barber Shop. I have this thing about men going to real barbershops, and Earl likes the way the barbers cut his hair there, so that’s where we went. Of course, I shave my head, so I usually just hang out with the other guys in the shop, but I had a little fuzz on top this time around, so I got that buzzed off too. Looks pretty interesting with a full beard! 🙂 Then we went to Dinosaur BBQ. It’s a dive that can’t be beat. Great food, great atmosphere, we LOVE the place.

Then we went to the SU-Auburn game at the Carrier Dome. Being originally from the Syracuse area, I have a strong pride when it comes to the Orangemen. I’m glad they whomped Auburn 31-14.

Today we went to the Remsen Barn Festval of the Arts… pretty much arts and crafts and GREAT food. We picked up a bunch of homemade salsa and such.

When we got home I got the devil in me or something, because I completely ripped out the computer (wreck) room and rearranged and tossed a bunch of stuff out. The room looks a hell of a lot better!

We both feel energized and ready to take on another work week!