Here it is November 1st already. Christmas is next month! Egads!

Earl is in New Castle, Pa. this evening on business. He drove down with a couple of work associates. We have an agreement… we’re not afraid to fly, as long we we’re with each other. So he drove since I couldn’t be with him. A little kooky, huh.

In his absence I’ve been catching up on odds and ends around the house. Wrapping up my final ebay shipments. Picking up around the house, that sort of thing. I think I’ve given up selling on ebay for a while. (Buying too!) With the economy bouncing around so much, I don’t think people are really in the mood to be buying other people’s junk. So, I’m going to let it rest a little bit.

I did spend the past half hour singing my lungs out to one of the “Godspell” CDs I have. I love that show. I wish I could be in it again. Actually, the first time I was just in a musical review of it, so we didn’t get to act it out, just sing the songs. I think it was a fund-raising dessert theatre or something. I want to be in the full fledged show this time around. Earl’s been bugging me to get involved with community theatre, but I haven’t done it yet. Maybe I’ll have to pursue that a little bit. My stint at SUNY Fredonia kind of broke my self confidence in half when it comes to performing. In high school, I was in all the select choruses, Area All-State, All-County and all for both voice and tuba. (Yep, I played the tuba, and I loved it). I auditioned for SUNY Fredonia twice, the first time for voice, in which I was not accepted, and the second time for tuba, which I was accepted (honestly, I think I was accepted because there were no other freshman tuba players and an orchestra sounds funny without one). To make a long story short, when I arrived my freshman year, I was put in “remedial singing lessons” (after being in all these select choruses!) and my tuba professor completely hated me (I think it was the gay thing, but I can’t be sure – the feeling was mutual, I despised him), so he humiliated me by making me play scales in front of my entire conducting class. And just for the record, I got a 4.0 in remedial singing with a “what the hell is he doing in this class, he should be in performance!” next to my grade on my transcript. SUNY Fredonia was such a waste of my time, and unfortunately my parents’ and my money.

I was always expected to go to college after high school. My parents hoped for the best for me, as all parents naturally would. Don’t get me wrong, I love to sing! I love to make people happy by entertaining them. But I realized about 1/2 way into my senior year of high school that I wasn’t sure college was the way to go. My grades in high school were excellent; I was in honor society, I was in numerous extracurricular activities (mostly music related), I loved school. Everyone expected me to go onto college, so that’s what I did. Fact be known, I wish I had gone to BOCES half day like the other vocational students did and become a barber. I was afraid of being labeled a hair-dressing fag. So I didn’t pursue that career path. To this day, I wish I had, and I just might start getting on that path some day soon. When I turn 40, I’d like to have my own barbershop, be my own boss and just do my own thing. Hell, I could be a singing barber just like in the old days.

I protested and didn’t watch Survivor tonight. It seems scripted and rigged to me. I really don’t care about these attention grabbing whackos. That Jeff Probst is just all too serious about his job. “The tribe has spoken”. Whatever. The tribe spoke to me too. Survivor is so 20 minutes ago. By the way, I taped Wonder Woman off of FX in the mid 1990s, and I have Jeff Probst doing commentary between the episodes. He was a geek then too.

Boy does that picture look awful. I look like a ghost! Happy Halloween!

Last night was the great Windows XP install. Microsoft has built in “Product Activation”, which essentially means that the software is tied to your particular computer, and it can’t be installed on another computer as well. No more illegal copies of software, which is probably a good thing. It does crunch the budget though. So anyways, Earl and I had to go out and purchase an additional copy for his computer. His webcam got fussy about it, so we traded cams and now I’m on the IBM Net Camera. It’s not as orange tinted, and I still have to adjust the settings. I took the other IBM Net Camera Pro to work, and the picture is much clearer, take a look!

I’ve been thinking about one’s ‘priorities’ since the September 11th attacks. I think Americans are getting back in touch with their country, in touch with their nation and in touch with each other again. This is a good thing. Unfortunately, it’s obvious that the human race is not ready to live in harmony and peace with one another yet, and that is very sad. Different people of the world screeching “my God is the only God”, “your God is wrong, my God is right”, etc. What’s up with that? Why can’t people treasure each other’s beliefs rather than ridicule them? It doesn’t make sense to me. My beliefs may not match up perfectly 100% with my neighbor’s, but who cares? We’re working towards a common goal: to live the most fulfilling, productive, contributing life that we can. We’re both celebrating our time on Earth here together. Why must we dwell on our differences instead of celebrating our commonalities? Humans have such a lesson to learn. I hope we learn it soon, for all our sake.

Back to Eastern Standard Time. Sigh. I hate the conversion back and forth between daylight and standard time. Human being put such an importance on time. Personally, I couldn’t give a hoot about it staying light until 9:30 in the middle of the summer. Granted the time change in the spring is much more jarring than the one in the fall, since we get an extra hour at this time of the year, but still, leave the clocks alone.

Rick, Earl’s brother, and his girlfriend Helen came up for the weekend. We had a wonderful time together. Friday night we went and saw “K-PAX” with Kevin Spacey. A very enjoyable movie. I liked it a lot, we all had a wonderful time.

Yesterday we went up to Ottawa, Ontario to tour around a bit. Unfortunately, the Parliament tours were booked for the day, but we were able to tour the grounds and such. It was odd to see American flags on sale in Canada, but heartwarming nonetheless.

We took a walk by the American Embassy and then did some shopping. The computer store at the Rideau Centre was jammed with people buying Windows XP. Apparently many stores have been jammed with people buying Windows XP.

I did make an absolutely wonderful discovery while in Canada.

I LOVE this stuff! After doing some research on the web today, apparently Pepsi Twist is available in the midwestern U.S. as well as in Canada, but it’s not here in Upstate N.Y. This soda is awesome! It’s my second favorite flavor of Pepsi ever, my first favorite being Crystal Pepsi, but unfortunately I was the only one that apparently liked it.

Speaking of Windows XP, I tracked my Amazon order and it will be here tomorrow; so tomorrow night is the big computer night. I’ve backed up everything on my hard drive and tomorrow I’m going to wipe it out and start fresh with Windows XP. I’ve been using the beta version (Release Candidate 2) for a while, and it’s been very stable, so this puppy should fly along nicely. I’ve ordered XP Plus as well. I’m looking forward to delving into geekdom tomorrow night.

I’ve received a number of inquiries about my clock collection lately. It seems like more and more people are becoming interested in equipment made by Standard Electric. If you haven’t seen my collection, here it is.

I’ve also discovered Netgrocer. I’m placing my first order today. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Well, here it is a stormy Sunday night. I believe we are experiencing what is probably the last thunderstorm of 2001, and it’s a bit of a dud. I want some angry weather damn it! I love major storms, I always have. I think it’s because I grew up near Lake Ontario, where it seems that we had a lot of thunderstorms. And they were good ones. Lots of lightning, lots of wind, lots of thunder. If I had lots of money and had paid attention in my Earth Science class in high school, I’d probably be a storm chaser. Hurricanes, tornadoes, you name it, I want to be there. I think it’s because I have such a respect for what Mother Nature can do. Humans can build incredible life destroying bombs, dam up mighty rivers and put thirsty metropolises in the middle of the desert. But Mother Nature can sweep it all away with just one relentless downpour. The Earth needs to be respected and honored, not “used”.

We went with our friends Dennis and Victor last night to Carousel Center to see “Hearts In Atlantis”. What a good movie! Unlike last week’s cinematic lesson in boredom (see last week’s entry), the time flew during this movie, and it was just wonderful. For the first time in my 33 years of existence on this planet, I did not have popcorn with the movie. I am an absolute popcorn maniac! I love popcorn! I could eat nothing but popcorn and be very, very happy about it. But lately, popcorn at Hoyt’s cinemas has sucked. Quite a bit. So I opted for Reese’s Pieces instead.

Friday night Earl and I were antsy so we decided to go out to dinner. In Albany. 83 miles away. We ended up eating at Houlihan’s in Crossgates Mall. We also purchased a new inkjet printer for the house. This HP deskjet 960c is awesome. (The geek is now shining in me). It prints real PHOTOS! Very nice, very nice indeed.

Today we just kind of lazed around the house. Is lazed a real word? I just took a shower 40 minutes ago, and it’s currently 7:38 PM. I don’t know why I bothered to take a shower since I’ll be going to bed in a couple of hours, but it was pretty nice nevertheless.

The geek in me is also looking forward to the release of Windows XP on Thursday. I’ve been running RC 2, or “release candidate 2” since late August. I’m excited about the final version. I can’t wait to install it on my computer. That’ll be my project next week.

I put some more pictures on the photo gallery if you want to take a peek of our trip to Watkins Glen.

Well here it is. Five years ago this weekend, I got down on my knee at the top of Bald Mountain in Inlet, New York and I proposed to Earl. Five years ago this weekend, I basically said to Earl “I’m in it for life.” And life has been wonderful ever since.

We took Friday off to do a little leaf peeping. We ended up driving down through the Finger Lakes. The weather was absolutely beautiful, and the leaves were at their peek. I could not believe the brillances of the golds, reds, oranges and all the other fall colors.

First stop was Fox Run Vineyards near Penn Yan. A little wine sampling, a tour of the vineyard, a couple of bottles of wine for home, and we’re on our way. They had a lovely cafe that we enjoyed lunch at.

Next stop was in Watkins Glen. We went to Watkins Glen State Park, which is known for it’s huge gorge. We hiked for about an hour before we headed back to the car due to rain. We took a bunch of pictures, which I’ll be posting this week.

Then on to Corning. We had been to Glass Museum before, so we decided to just take a leisurely stroll down Historic Market Street. The weather was quite mild for mid October, in the mid 70s, so it was a nice walk.

We then decided to drive up to Rochester. Ended up going to Chili’s not too far outside of the city, in Victor.

On Saturday we went and saw “Bandits” with Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton. What a sucky movie. I was so bored, I went to the bathroom twice just to relieve the monotony. We almost walked out of the movie, something we’ve never done before, not even during “Eyes Wide Shut.” I LOVE Bruce Willis, but this movie majorly sucked. We then had a snappy dinner at Wegmans in DeWitt. For you out of towners, Wegmans is a lovely grocery store here in Upstate New York (I think it’s in Pennsylvania too). Anyways, the large, large stores have a food court in them, much like Marché in Canada. You take your tray around and choose from a wide variety of types of food, and enjoy it for dinner. I know, I know, how domestic for two gay men to be eating at a food court in a grocery store. Those that are more in-tune with the lifestyle gay men allegedly live might say that our choice was rather mundane. But I guess Earl and I aren’t your typical fancy pants couple. And the food was dang good. 🙂

Today we went to the first of many Christmas parties. You read right, we went to a Christmas party on October 14. My grandfather and his wife (they’ve been married since 1996, my grandmother had passed away shortly before) leave for Florida first week of November, so the whole family gets together for a sort of Thanksgiving and Christmas meal combined. It’s rather nice, and it was nice seeing the family.

I did get to read a letter from my younger cousin. She and her husband, and their two toddler children, are missionaries and currently live in Yemen, spreading the word of the gospel and doing His work. I must admit that I admire them for their courage, as they do what they feel they were put on this Earth for. They are undertaking quite a feat, especially in these turbulent times. They are following their life mission, and we pray for their safety, as well as the safety of the innocent bystanders of these vicious acts. I had thought that they would be over in Yemen for a couple of years, do what they needed to do, and then return to the states. But from what I understand now, they plan on spending the rest of their lives there. We wish them all peace.

Well, the United States has begun retaliations against the Talaban. I say “God Bless America” and go get ’em.

Earl and I have been getting into winter hibernation mode, stocking up the can cupboard, doing some baking, putting the lawn furniture away, etc. And not a moment too soon, because as I type this, my little “wetsock” weather indicator next to my computer clock is showing me a snowman, and says we’re going to get snow showers tonight. I’m very excited as I love winter. There won’t be any snow accumulation, but we’re getting there!

Thursday night brought my mother to our home for dinner. It was great to get together with her, as we had not seen her since mid August. She looks wonderful, and seems to be doing very well. We had a nice time just chatting amongst the three of us.

Earl and I went out to dinner both Friday and Saturday night, and both times we ate healthy! No desserts. Saturday night we watched “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”, as I got the DVD from a week or so ago. ‘Mad World’ is my favorite movie of all time. I can never get enough of it. And the DVD has the complete version of it, which is very cool.

I put up a bunch of odds and ends on ebay this afternoon. I love selling and buying stuff on ebay. I sometimes get addicted to it. But, I’m selling more than I’m buying right now, so everything is o.k. in the financial department. Let’s make sure we keep it that way.

Which reminds me. Back on September’s journal, I mentioned that my beard would stay around as long as my financial responsibility remained. Well, I gave in and shaved off my beard. But I am remaining financially responsible. My beard was just not coming in as well as I had hoped, plus as much as I cleaned my face and beard, I felt like I was dirty. So I went ahead and shaved, and have settled on this look.

Just a mustache without a soul patch. I haven’t been without my soul patch in quite a while! I’ll probably trim the mustache a little more, but this is basically what I’m going with.

I heard from someone about the IBM register system I was working on restoring. He has a similar system that he’s restoring. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only nutty geek in the world.

October 2, 2001

Wow, here it is October already! Tomorrow’s weather says it’s going to be in the 80s, but by the weekend, it’s going to be in the 40s. Gotta love Upstate N.Y. weather.

I’m bushed. I’ve been going into work at 5:30 a.m. for the past two days, as I’ve been training our new morning show at the station on the on-air equipment. Tomorrow they fly solo for the first time, and they are going to be spectacular. I just know it! Today I was pretty much just a safety net for them, as they did most of the show on their own. I gotta say that I didn’t really enjoy going in at 5:30 but boy did I like getting out at 2:00. I was able to get so much personal stuff done before everything closes at 5:00. Back to the regular grind tomorrow.

I think starting with this month’s page of the journal, I’m going to work my way down, instead of the putting the latest information at the top. It seems to make more sense as far as layout goes. I’m upside down at times I guess. 🙂

Earl and I just got done watching “All About Joan” or whatever that show with Joan Cuzcak is called. I really like her. I really like the show. I used to be an avid Dharma and Greg fan, but after the second season or so, I got bored with it and haven’t really watched it since. So tonight between 8 and 8:30 we watched an old episode of Bewitched. It was from the fourth season, called “Once In A Vial”. The one where Endora gets bewitched by a love potion and is going to marry one of Darrin’s clients. It’s a pretty good episode, especially since Agnes Moorehead really gets to shine in it. Bewitched is my all time favorite television show, and I watch it every chance I get. I also liked “Tabitha” with Lisa Hartman back in 1978. I have several of them on tape. I guess I have odd TV tastes, because I also have all the episodes of “Isis” with Joanna Cameron. I remember them from when I was a kid. I picked up the episodes on-line, thank god for ebay. I think I have a picture of her somewhere on my hard drive.

There she is! Now do you remember her? “Oh zephyr winds which blow on high, lift me now so I can fly…”

Sometimes when I read what I’ve written in my journal, it frightens me just how much my erratic thought processes shine through as I’m typing. Take the last paragraph I wrote. I started out with Joan Cuzcak, jumped to Dharma and Greg, popped over to Bewitched and ended up putting a picture of Isis up. Figure that one out. You should try to have a one-on-one conversation with me! 😉

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!

Here it is Monday. Life seems to be returning to normal, but in a way, we all know it’s not with a war looming on the horizon. I was asked today at work if I would defend my country in the armed forces, as if they would need an overweight 33 year old man. I responded with a hearty “yes, of course”. Words can not accurately describe the atrocities that occurred on September 11, 2001. Action must be taken to assure that those events are not repeated.

On to the geeky side of things. The new server arrived at work today. I’m very excited, as this is going to be our new mail server running Microsoft Exchange 2000. I always try to be creative when naming new servers that I maintain, and I’ve decided that this one will be named “chatterbox”. After all, e-mail is chatter, right?

In the late 1980s, I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in suburban Boston. I maintained a cluster of computers for one of the Corporate Personnel groups. My VAXstation was named ENDORA, so my e-mail came from ENDORA::WINGJ (which would now translate to It was kind of cool. ENDORA was part of the BWTCHD cluster, which also included ARTHUR, SAMTHA, DARRIN, TABTHA, CLARA and SERENA. So I’ve always been quirky about computer names.

Beard progress is moving along nicely, as it is now day 23.

If you’ve been reading the journal regularly, then you know that because I still have a beard, I have not spent any money unnecessarily. I’ve added a short addendum to the deal I made with myself. After all, if I do get bored with the beard, I’ll shave it off. But as long as I keep my soul patch (that little bit of hair under my lower lip), then I still haven’t spent any money I shouldn’t have.