Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Facebook Dilemma

OK, I've caved in and signed-up…I feel dirty now.

So as most of you know, I've been a big Twitter user for a longtime.  I'm a big fan and often encourage others to use it.  I find it very useful as a means to keep up with friends, but more importantly as a new source.  It's spoon feeding of a lot of what I used to follow via RSS.

Meanwhile, I've had little interest in Facebook.  I get really annoyed when people post links on Twitter or send me links to their Facebook page, but when I click it I can't see it!  You're required to login to view it.  Welcome my friend to the walled garden.  You can't just view the content, no you have to join the cult first.  Grrr.  I don't want to join, I don't want to really participate, I just want to be able to absorb what has been sent to me.

So over the past several months my reluctance to join has been decreasing.  I mean, I get why it's so popular and it is beginning to appeal to me somewhat.  And it's not like it's going away as it's kind of a pretty big thing.  ;)  Thus I've been toying with the idea of signing up and getting a Facebook account.

And now I'm really at a crossroads; Chris Muench is the first person to actually reach out and send me an invite to join.  Damn you Chris!  ;)  So now I feel I'm going to have to make a decision.  It's join now or keep being a curmudgeon —which really isn't difficult for me to do, and resisting.  Part of me is sad because I'm leaning towards doing it.  :(

Interesting…I got the invite on Monday (12/7 appropriately enough), but in the body it has "Invite sent: Oct 26, 2009".  That makes the USPS look like a pretty speedy service!
December 9, 2009 @ 12:58 pm | Category:
Saturday, November 21, 2009

Alternative Breakfast

So earlier this week I was getting my kids ready for school and feeding them breakfast.  I wasn't aware of it, but my wife had bought raisin bread the day before, that my youngest and I both love.  Toast was an easy decision for her and would be for me on a non-workout morning, thus this was a bit more difficult for me.  I needed to eat more than that because I had worked out that morning.  Typically on those days I have either oatmeal (the plan that day) or cereal, both with nuts and fruit.  Sometimes I'll have toast and eggs, but didn't really want them and was a bit pressed for time.  but I really wanted raisin toast because I hadn't had it in quite a while.  What to do, what to do…

Rummaging through the leftovers in the fridge I came up with a wonderful and delicious alternative breakfast:
  • Glass of Orange Juice
  • Two pieces of Raisin Toast with Butter
  • Half of a Grapefruit
  • Half cup of leftover Roasted Brussels Sprouts!
And yes, it was as awesomely delicious as it sounds because my wife is an awesome cook and these were fresh Brussels Sprouts from the market.  You may be insanely jealous now, as well as a bit hungry too!
November 21, 2009 @ 09:28 am | Category:
Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bizarre Coincidence

So today at work a coworker, Marc Frank commented on one of our chat channels that "This might be the creepiest website ever"

I clicked through and thought it was bizarre because this guy looked very familiar to me.  And then it clicked with me, I know this guy, or at least I think I do.  And after viewing the image and seeing it was "justin.jpg it confirmed it for me "Justin White".  .  It's a face from a rather grim and distant period in my life…he was my divorce attorney.

Truly a bizarre coincidence as I have no idea what the connection between him and the restaurant might be.
July 21, 2009 @ 09:57 pm | Category:
Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cool Summer, Warm Winter

So on July 9th the NWS/CPC issues an El Niño Advisory.  Depending on where you live this might be good or it might be bad.  Or, a little of both as is the case here in Western New York.  For us it explains the bleak cool and wet summer we've been having (e.g. Today's high 71°F and a cool wind when it should be 80°F and humid.); although it finally looks like this week we are finally going to get some real summer like weather.  Yea!  On the flip-side, it means we likely get a warmer and dryer winter.  The precipitation in this part of the country is the opposite of what most of the country gets, as stated in the advisory.  And if it strengthens into the Fall as expected, it means we'll probably have a fairly mild winter.

So what does this mean for me?  A cool summer cycling season, but the likelihood of an extended and possibly year-round cycling season courtesy of a "warm", dry winter.  FTW!
July 18, 2009 @ 10:33 pm | Category:
Monday, July 13, 2009

The Civic hits 150K!

By some amazing feat I've managed to keep a car —in this case my 1998 Honda Civic EX coupe, intact for the outlandish period of 11 years and 1 month and captured it as it hit 150,000 miles.  Ironically right in front of the GM plant on River Road that I loathe for oh, so many reasons:

The Civic hits 150K!

For those that know of some of my past driving exploits (see September 10, 1986), this is a rather remarkable feat for me.  It's certainly the longest period of time I've owned a car and about double the mileage of the most I've ever accumulated.  We've talked about replacing it a few times over the past several years, but it's simply a great car.  But the time will come for it to go, as it would be nice at this point in my life to have a 4-door car.  But it's hard to stomach a new car payment after being without it for the past 7 years that this one has been paid for.  It no longer rides quite like a new car, but it's very well maintained and averages 33mpg (30ish in the winter, 36 in the summer!)  And although it doesn't shine or smell like a new car, and it only has a couple of small rust spots, it's still in good condition.

It's due for an oil change and the high speed front-end shimmy is back again, so I believe the left front tire also needs to be replaced.  And earlier this week the wipers started to operate very slowly when you first turned them on.  And of course today when I was out it poured rain and they won't work at all now.  Thank God for Rain-X, one of the greatest inventions ever even with working wipers.  So obviously a new wiper motor is needed.  But even with this pending maintenance it's far cheaper than replacing it.  And now part of me wants to push it to 200,000 miles.  It's certainly a very realistic and doable prospect, it is a Honda after all.  So even if I do decide to move —that's a little more than another 3 years of driving at my current rate, somebody is going to get a very low cost, but awesome used car if I do.

Roll, Baby, Roll!!!
July 13, 2009 @ 12:49 pm | Category:
Wednesday, July 01, 2009


So just shy of 8 months ago was when I was Joining the iPhone Cult.  And today I officially exit the cult.  I've long known this day likely would come, as my phone —both iPhone and previous RAZR's, were company supplied.  Thus as part of a cost cutting effort they have revoked phones from a number of us.

To say I don't care and I won't miss it would certainly be a lie.  I used it extensively for email, calendaring, notes, texting and todo's as part of My Organizational System (GTD).  This was a primary tool for getting things done while not in the office.  A tool I found to be 10 times more valuable than my laptop.  But my voice usage (which was used to determine my usage) shows that I used my phone very little for business.  This is true, because the overwhelming use of my phone was the data plan, not voice.  But irregardless, I get it, as the bottom-line is that this was about the cost.  Not just of my phone, but numerous others.  It adds up, and it was determined to be too great of an expense for what they felt they were getting in return.  That's entirely fair, after all it's the companies money, right?

So it will likely be an adjustment going from an iPhone to no phone at all.  After 4 years of having some kind of a phone, I've come to depend on it.  It was invaluable for reminding me of meetings and responding to email after hours.  All of that will now have to be done from my laptop.  Something that frankly will happen less than when I had the phone because it has nowhere near the convenience.  On the plus side, I know I will never get called on holidays and such as I did last 4th of July.  :)

The time may come when I do get another phone at my own expense, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.  Because I would certainly want a smart phone with a data plan at this point.  And being I'm raising a family of 5 (including my son's child support) on a single income, it's certainly not an easy expense to justify.  But all in all, it could be worse.  Losing my phone is an inconvenience, losing my job would be a far worse scenario.  Sadly, one that's probably not completely out of the realm from my perspective.
July 1, 2009 @ 12:56 pm | Category:
Sunday, March 01, 2009

Wurlitzer Spinet Piano

Being our girls started taking piano lessons a few months back, we've bought a piano for them to practice on.  The little plastic keyboard wasn't cutting it anymore and we were hopeful that this would encourage them to practice more.  Thus far it seems to be working out as they do seem to be using it even without being told they need to practice.

As noted by the title, this is a Wurlitzer Spinet Piano.  It was a little more that we intended to spend, but for the added cost the sound is much better.  It was also kind my wife's preference to buy a Wurlitzer as they were originally made here in North Tonawanda where we live.  That was long ago and this one was actually produced by Baldwin who used to own them.  In any case, it's here and it looks like this:

Wurlitzer Spinet Piano
March 1, 2009 @ 09:53 am | Category:

Ice Fishing 2009

So in what has become an annual tradition, I trekked off to Michigan to go sit on a frozen lake and freeze my ass off.  And what also seems to be part of the tradition most of the time, we didn't catch squat.  Only the Northern Pikes we biting, and the closest we came to legal (24 inches), was a couple of 22 inchers.  Here are this year's pictures.
March 1, 2009 @ 09:22 am | Category:
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