October 13, 2008 14:30

A new week is under way and it looks like the remainder of the year is going to be interesting and busy, from a work perspective. I'll need to be keeping an eye on a few things.

I noticed just recently that the pages off my home page weren't working. It turns out that my ISP upgraded their PSP engine and the upgrade turned off a bunch of settings as a security measure. Fortunately I was able to modify the code in my main page builder and everything works again (or at least appears to!).

I had a pleasant weekend. Tim stayed over on Thursday night after a few drinks at the Local and then at the Midway; his last night of bachelorhood. Friday evening I delivered him to the Mary Gay House in Decatur, where John performed the ceremony marrying Tim and Kris. It was a very nice ceremony and the reception went over well, too. After the reception I ended up at the Local.

Saturday afternoon was spent at Tim and Kris' place with their families and the left over booze and food. Again, very pleasant. In the evening I watched Run Fat Boy Run with Liza. On Sunday, Lynne and I went to see Body of Lies, which I also enjoyed.

That's about it to report for now.

October 06, 2008 18:21

Sorry for the lack of writing recently. I could say that I've been busy, and I have, but I really haven't been so busy that I didn't have the time to post the occasional update. So here's a brief one.

The house is going great. I finally had a housewarming party a couple of weeks ago. As with most such events it went pretty damn well. Of course, there were people who I was hoping to see tat didn't make it, but at the same time there were people I didn't expect who did turn up. Everyone seemed to like the place and had a great time. Very pleased.

My front yard is under control now that I have a couple of guys who stop by every couple of weeks to mow and trim. A bargain at $40. I'm still dealing with the back yard myself, and still not really sure about what direction I'm going to take. Tim and Kris gave me some herbs as my housewarming gift and I replanted them this past weekend in the planters at the front door. I'm looking forward to making good use of them.

I've fleshed out some more of the house accoutrements, such as matching towels for my bathroom, and a fruitbowl for the dining room table. I've set up a temporary bar using an old CD case, so I no longer have booze over-flowing on the kitchen counter. Yep, things are coming along.

That'll do for now. I'll try to add some more later. Time to make dinner.

One last thing, photos of the house are up here. It was easiest to throw them up there than to work them for my website. I must be getting lazy or something.

July 30, 2008 14:21

Dinner was tasty last night. Rainbow trout, a little salt and pepper and drizzled with lemon juice, and then sauteed. Accompanied by a salad of spinach, celery, carrots, spring onions, radishes, Parmigiano-Regiano, and drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil. Super-tasty.

A fellow came to the front door on Monday and asked if I would like my lawn mowed. I asked him how much. He said $25. So I said, "go for it." And then my lawn looked tidy. I still have to deal with the weeds along the side and round the back, but Lynne has loaded me a weed-whacker type thing to help with that. My plans for landscaping have encountered some difficulties, so a few changes are in store. All good, however.

The Doctor Who final is this Friday. I've read some of the reactions after it was shown in the UK and I'm really looking forward to a great episode. I've DVR'ed every episode since getting a DVR. It's also the final of the rerun of season two, on BBC on Satuday. I had not seen this season until this year, so I've been following it closely, even though I know more-or-less what happens. I think I'll end up buying all the boxed-sets.

Work is keeping me relatively busy. Some stuff I've been putting off has caught up to me, so that's what I've been working on yesterday and today. I've written up my notes and observations; I now have to articulate my interpretation of the situations and make recommendations. Two or three other projects need some attention today as well. Fun.

My office got a bit of a tidy up yesterday. I still need to get a new (bigger) filing cabinet and a work space. I might replace my current desk as well, so I can better use the space I have.

I'm trying to live by the rule that for every $10 I spend on groceries, I have to have one meal (lunch or dinner) at home. It seems to work out reasonably well. Although it gets harder when I'm buying those expensive non-food items.

I've now been a home-owner for eight weeks and two mortgage payments. So far so good. I'm still trying to work down my credit card debt - all of a sudden I needed to buy a bunch of stuff after I acquired a house, go figure. When that debt is dealt to, I'll be able to get a few more things sorted out around the place and maybe even consider a vacation. We'll see.

July 12, 2008 09:45

Two weeks ago I bought a grill (barbecue). I decided to go with charcoal rather than gas, because, in the end, flavor is more important than convenience. And I haven't been disappointed.

I cooked out first on the Tuesday after the grill was acquired and assembled. Meat of the day was steak - 14oz rib eyes, an inch thick. I must admit to some trepidation, since it had been a long time since I had cooked over coals. But the steak came out fantastic. Aiming for rare, it came out a little closer to medium rare, but it tasted so good I really didn't care. Accompanying the slabs o' cow were sweet corn, roasted green beans and spring onions (green onions), and bread, which had been wrapped in foil with a sprig of rosemary and heated on the grill. It was quite a meal, and thank you to Lynne who handled the veggies.

The next cooking the grill faced was on July 4th. I had a few people over and we cooked burgers and hot dogs. We also had a large slab of salmon for the non-mammal eaters. Again, everything came out tasting great.

Last night I threw chicken into the mix. A little rosemary and oregano and onto the cooking grates. The flavors were great again. I did the bread thing again, but I also added some garlic powder. Accompanying the dish was a salad (lettuce, green pepper, spring onions, celery, carrots, radishes, Parmagiano-Regianno) and reheated pasta side-dish. Yum yum yum!

Yes, I'm very pleased with the grill. Next time I do chicken, I'll have to look into marinades, but it was good even without one.

July 02, 2008 16:23

It has been an eventful year, and here at the halfway mark it seems like a good time to reflect.

Work has been busy and it has been slow. Much has changed in the projects that I have been working on, and this change is, I think, ultimately beneficial for the customer, even if it does impact my client's hopes and plans for the year. Fortunately, I am covered through this period, and I do have some good micro-projects going on. I am also quite pleased that I am continually well regarded in my field, by the people I work with.

The biggest change to my life this year has been the purchase of a house. I decided that it was time to sink some money into this endeavor. The dog day care next to my apartment had just become too annoying and I was feeling the need for change. So I got my finances more or less sorted out, found a realtor, found a mortgage lender, and found a house. I actually put offers on three houses, as one fell through I found another. And it was this third that was the charm. I moved in at the start of June and have really loved it. Even my first mortgage payment didn't faze me. But my credit card balance has shot up as I've bought various bits and pieces; I've spent a lot of time and money at Lowes, buying things like gardening stuff, shelving, paint, blinds, tools, and general house stuff. I've got lots of ideas for things to be done, eventually.

Romantically this has not been a great year so far. There have been people of interest, and a few dates, but nothing has really worked out. I've met several new people, which has been good. But ultimately, nothing really to report from the first six months.

On the more general social side, things have been pretty great. Since moving to East Atlanta, I've made a bunch of new friends and gotten to know some other people better. I've found out that it's easy to get sucked into industry night activities when you're friends with local bar and restaurant workers. The Euro 2008 competition led to making acquaintances and reconecting with various people. My new drinking and dining establishments are great, but I still visit my old haunts.

Overall a good first half of the year, with lots of opportunities for greatness as the year continues.

May 08, 2008 21:12

Hello everybody! I realise that it has been two months since I last updated this page, and I apologise most profusely. Yes, I've been busy, but I've also had some slow times in which I should have paid more attention to my loving fans. That said, here now is your update.

Starting with the most recent news, I am currently in Statesboro, GA. Statesboro is the home of Georgia Southern University. Aside from that, I know very little about the place. The reason for my being here is to do some work with the local Coca-Cola bottler. And then head back to Atlanta. Tonight I ate at a local restaurant called Hugh's. I had their prime rib special, and it was really good.

For the past couple of months I have been looking at houses. I am finally growing up and investing in property and a place to live permanently (or as permanently as anything with a finite lifetime can live). Over the course of the past two months I have made offers on three houses. The first place I put an offer on was really quite fantastic. My first offer was countered. I couldn't afford the counter and so we said, "I'll talk to you in a month." A month later I was able to re-offer at the counter-proposal. Unfortunately there was another offer on the table. So we went to final best offer and I missed out. The other offer was full of contingencies and mine was clean; but ultimately the other offer was for more money. The next place I put an offer on was next door to where friends of mine used to live. The offer was countered, and I met the counter. Then one of the sellers found out that he was being laid off. Deal off table.

My realtor found me a new property, still with some work to be done on it, but the owner was doing it. I made an offer. He countered with a small change. I accepted. We went binding on Monday. I now have to pull a whole lot of paperwork togther for the bank by Monday. Which will be difficult since I'm currently at the other end of the state and I have meetings until midday on Monday. But I can pull everything together over the weekend and then I shall have the loan type stuff sorted (or at least the first phase of it). This whole house-ownership thing is becoming more real, man.

Last weekend I went to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby. John didn't come this year (first year father and all), so Tim came with me instead and we all had a good time. Didn't really know about the horse that got injured until much later. We did drink a lot of whiskey and ate a lot of good food and hung out with a lot of great people (Karen, Adam, Eric, Keith, Elizabeth, others). And generally had a good time.

I've suffered quite a bit this allergy season and had several instances of allergies turning into colds and other nastiness. The first bout went allergy to cold to chest infection to asthma. I ended up on antibiotics and steroids for the best part of two weeks. The next bout of allergy turned to cold has left my right ear in a state of non-equal pressure, which is very frustrating and uncomfortable. But I haven't been to the doctor on that one yet.

Let's see, what else? Season two of Torchwood was great, but I was upset with the loss of Tosh in the final episode. The new season of Doctor Who has got off to a pretty interesting start. Interestingly, the Sci Fi channel has the latest episodes, and BBC America just finished showing the last season. No matter, it meant that I got to transition between seasons without a break. Quite nice. Lost has been good. And I'm still watching the reruns of Scrubs on Comedy Central every weeknight.

I helped out raising money for Lauren and her Breast Cancer Awareness people a couple of weekends ago by helping to pour beer at a fundraiser. I think I did a good job - we raised a good bit of money. And I drank a lot of beer.

Liverpool got knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea, which sucked. And they'll end in fourth place in the Premiership. There goes another year. Final league game is this Sunday.

I think I'll leave it at that for now. I'll endeavour to write at least once more before I relocate to East Atlanta.

March 01, 2008 11:52

It's only 12 hours old and I already feel teasingly better. Wow. To have hung out with S and then to hang out with J. Last night was super fun even though my plan was to just have a pizza and a beer and go home.

I deserved that. Now just let it grow.

February 29, 2008 17:49

Thank fuck for that. It's finally the end of the month. I have rarely been so glad to see the end of the month. It wouldn't be correct to call it a roller-coaster month, becuase, well, rollercoasters generally have more than a couple of upward movements.

It was a very draining month - physically, emotionally, mentally. Work was nuts, having to be on-site at 4am several days and many days lasting over 12 hours. This week was wall-to-wall meetings. Those long days were then typically followed by poor sleep and generally poor diet. I can't really eat before 6am without feeling nauseous. By the time the weekend came I was a zombie. A zombie with chores and bills that didn't get addressed during the week. I even had a day off - except that it got rudely interrupted by meetings.

The few peaks were good, in particular: Asian Pot Luck in the Hood, Whisky Tasting, Liverpool v Inter Milan, tax refund, phone call from my sister (although her timing still requires some work). But as for the rest, well, I'm glad February is over. I'm glad tomorrow is March. I had a reasonable day today, I guess, working from home and taking a long lunch break. I feel like I got some actual work done, even though it wasn't necessarily the work I was expecting to get done.I was going to meet up with Ashe tonight, but I'm thinking that I'm going to pop out for a beer and a pizza and then come home and clean. Tomorrow I'd like to go see a few houses and do some grocery shopping. Maybe even sleep in. Yeah, come on March. Work is still going to be crazy busy, but hopefully a bit more manageable.

January 31, 2008 22:17

As January comes to a close, I must say that I'm pretty happy with the year so far. Although I may have bitched a bit about it, even the long hours this week (I've been up since 3am this morning and am sorely looking forward to bed) haven't really been too terrible. Next week may be different, but that's another month entirely. And my football team has been less than lacklustre in their performance and results, but even that isn't bringing me down very much in the grand scheme of things.

It has been a good month. My annual teetotal went well. I didn't really lose any weight to speak of, but I'm sure my liver is grateful nonetheless. Staying in has saved me a bunch of money, which is something I'll need to try to continue. And even though I have stayed in a lot, reading several books in the process, I've also maintained a fairly active social calendar. Sure, I've been devoting a certain amount of that social time in the direction of one person, but that's a good thing right now. Who knows where it will lead, but I very keen to follow that path.

I haven't done everything that I wanted to accomplish this month. I don't feel in any way disappointed about that. I'm happy to reflect on the successes and the inspirations and new ideas that are bouncing around in my brain; more new directions for me to explore.

But for now it is sleep time. Tomorrow is a new day and a new month. I already have lots of things filling up my calendar very quickly. But if things continue to go as well as they have in January, I think I'm going to enjoy 2008 a whole lot.

January 27, 2008 22:42

Sunday night. I've had a really good weekend. Things seem to be pretty good right. Of course, I know that things are going to be pretty crazy for the next three weeks, but right now I'm feeling good about life.

Yesterday I awoke in Savannah (well, Pooler to be absolutely precise), showered, dressed, checked out and headed to Waffle House for breakfast. After a good meal I headed for the door when one of the patrons who had left just before me came back in asking if anyone had jumper cables. I did and offered to help, which allowed him and his friends to get their car (van) started, enabling them to get to work on time. I must admit that I paused a little before responding, but since no-on else (good Christians, I'm sure) responded, I (an atheist) offered a hand.

I made good time getting back to Atlanta. I got into a good groove, and was sitting around 80mph (~130km/h) for most of the trip back. Music was provided by Mogwai, Therapy?, and something else that I can't remember. Which seems odd. Very odd. In any case, it was the expected boring drive back, with some good tunes to keep me company.

Once home, I spent the afternoon with bills and some reading. I also checked on the FA Cup results, the important one being that Liverpool made it to the next round. Later in the afternoon I went to Philips Arena to watch the Skills Session of the NHL All-Star weekend with Katrina. I also ran into Patrick and Armando and Gabby. The skills tests were a lot of fun, but the highlight was probably the new stars game.

After the game, Katrina dropped me home and direction for the evening changed. I picked up Mandie and we went to Beep Beep Gallery to check out the opening of a new art show, Nostalgia: Pop Art from Childhood. Colleen and Kerri from the Local both had pieces on display, so we ran into them, along with Patrick, Susan, Liz. In light of the theme, it was no surprise that most of the art was full of references to the 1980s. There were some really good pieces; I might look into going back and seeing what's available.

We mingled at Beep Beep for a while and when Colleen headed over to El Bar for work, we decided to follow her. I had not been to El Bar before, but I was familiar with where it was (under the El Azteca on Ponce). The space is really small, but it was nice. Mandie and I chatted about various topics over the music. Then we headed out to a friend of Mandie's, where I met a bunch of people and played bowling on Wii. It was a good time; we hung out there for an hour or so. I won the first game of bowling that I played, but couldn't repeat the performance. I wasn't absolutely terrible, though. It was getting late so we came back to my place and watched Arrested Development.

Today after sorting myself out (shower, dress, etc) I met up with Lauren and Matt for brunch at Highland Bakery. I had eggs benedict, but the hollandaise was very runny. It wasn't bad, just very runny. After feeding I did some grocery shopping. I did some more prep-work on my taxes - I'm now just waiting for my E-Trade statement to arrive and then I can send it all in to my accountant so he can work some magic. Laundry was started. Dishwasher was unloaded. Some reading was started. Unexpected nap occurred. And then it was time for more hockey.

I drove over to Katrina's and we caught MARTA back to Philip's Arena for the actual NHL All-Star game. It was fun, although not really as exciting as a regular game. The Eastern Conference won, which was the desired result (the Atlanta Thrashers are in the Eastern Conference). And then it was back on MARTA to Katrina's and then home, to finish laundry.

So, yes, I find myself happy, relaxed, pleased with the weekend. I shall go to bed with a smile on my face and hopefully sleep well.

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