Friday, November 26, 2010

All the leaves are brown...

(starts slightly political, then moves on.. consider yourself warned).

I was thinking the other night, when's the last time there was a news story on the major networks about the "Ground Zero" Mosque??? A quick web search shows that there have been stories written recently, mainly about the request the developer made for federal funds. But I can't remember the last time I saw a news story on TV about it. I suppose it's not important anymore, since it's no longer a rallying point for politician A or religious group B or whom ever. In a recent diatribe my brother emailed out, he asked if "they think we're all idiots?". Well, "they" do... and "we" the public tend to provide "them" overwhelming evidence to prove the point.

"We" are rallied to the cause of lower taxes and a balanced budget, but we need a strong military and bridges that don't randomly fall down. But don't touch our medicare or Social Security or the people who vote the most (seniors) will cut you at the knees (they can't reach much higher). Every politician seems to demand cuts in spending, just not in the areas that profit their constituents (or them directly). And with so many people running for congressional term limits and a ban on lobbying in the past it's a wonder neither have happened... oh wait... it's not.

But hey, you can still get a rub-tug form the TSA... I have a feeling that the incoming Congress is going to be as big of a disappointment as the last one. Prove me wrong.

OK, enough of that crap.

I cleaned out 600 email messages last night. Damn Grace writes a lot of blogs. I also found a lot of messages I wanted to keep for sentimental reasons (again, damn Grace rights a lot of blogs). Remember the old days of keeping old letters in a shoebox, only to find them during that once a decade deep clean or move? I guess the modern equivalent is a file folder of messages sent long ago.

Other news, I have to be in HKG by 6 PM on the 28th. ANd off to Viet-F'n-Nam. I'm really looking forward to adding another country to my list, and another HRC pin to my collection. Oh, and seeing the Lewii... and by then the TanJoe's.

Last night, it snowed. I was thinking some flurries and maybe just some showers. But no, it actually snowed and stuck around. There's still some out on the grass in shaded areas. I'm not ready for winter. If my plan A doesn't come through I think I'm gonna invest in a remote start for my car. I even had to break out the scarf to walk to the coffee house. Ugh!

I suppose I need to finish this up and head back. I gotta catch the first half of the Iron Bowl. WAR EAGLE!

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and are getting revved up for the Christmas season madness. Later.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

They're going the distance, they're going for speed.

Almost everyone knows i have no particular desire to own, ride, groom, stable, train, break, or otherwise interact with equine species. With one exception. I like to go watch them run around a track. My mother would be so proud that I've taken a passing interest in some kind of horse related activity, though probably not so enamored that it involves gambling, bourbon, and occasional cigars.

SO, this will be a short one, since I'm low on battery life. But a recap, went to Churchill for Angela's birthday. Her hubbie and my coworker planned a little surprise gathering in the box seats overlooking the finish line. Nice! SInce they themed the night "Mad for Plaid", I had to dress accordingly. Unfortunately I seem to lack an abundance of plaid wardrobery (its a word look it up). After a trip to some sale racks, I came away with a well coorindated ensemble for the event. Well coordianated that is for a fashion impaired straight man. On the sale racks, a plaid tie, a plaid hat, and a new Tommy Hilfiger shirt... not plaid, but a bright pink....

Oh yeah, I'm styling now.

I was actually quite amused, and may make a habit out of the hat, the response seemed to be very positive.

I did have a wee bt more to drink than I probably should of, hence the day of couch time that followed. I would like to think the fine people who created CityScoot for getting me safely home. A great idea! For slightly more than cab fare, they come get you and your car and drive you home. Brilliant!

So, not being able to sleep last night, I started thinking about stuff. Looks like the Delta option isn't going to work out anytime. The upside is I "think" I'm going to be OK for the next year where I'm at, ie no furlough. But who knows?? But since it's all the rage to move from ATL to SGN, I'm running out of crashpads in the deep south. SO, I'm thinking of way to rectify that. SO, we'll see...

Yes I'm being slightly obtuse, but I kind of like things to be all worked out before making big public declarations.

And a final thought, I'm not a fan at all of winter. But if you have to find a silver lining in the cold grey clouds it's that women break out the "hooker" boots. And that's something I'm a fan of.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Life's too short to mind, just keep on with the sweet up and down.

So, I'm another year older, though it feels like each one takes a little more out of me. I woke up Tuesday with a hurty foot... really. I can injure myself in my sleep?? Great, and I love sleeping so much it's hard to give that one up.

After a trying week last week, being back in Louisville and working is kind of a relief. Yes, I did have a great time with all my friends who made it to TanJoe manor for the gathering and hot tubbing. Unfortunately (for everyone but them and the Lewii) they've decided to move to the toher side of the planet. I'm selfishly hating that while simultaneously turning green with envy for the second time in the last few months. I imagine I'll get a wish list when I trek over after Christmas filled with those things they may have overlooked on Tanya's many lists.

I do wish them safe travels and good luck on the endeavor... even if it means separation from my special some one for a year (that's you Joe) and, more heart wrenching, no Mac and Mandy to teach bad habits.

One of the many high points of last week was my hot date to a GT football game. Maggie was nice enough to escort me to see the Yellow Jackets get soundly smite by the Hurricanes of Miami. But that's not important. it was nice to sit out in the sun and be back on campus again. They seem to keep throwing buildings up there. Keep in mind I haven't really been back on campus in almost 10 years, so I suppose some construction is to be expected.

Maggie and I drove around and pointed out the buildings that held some weird trivial facts or quirky memory. Of course, they seem to have remodeled most of them so the places I used to sleep between, or to often during, classes are gone. I do wish I had not been a commuter, and should I ever have kids I'm demanding they go away to college. I'm not going to pay for it, but I'm going to make them.

I thinkt he most amusing conversation was along the lines of "remember being here and having such wild eyed optimism about the possibilities ahead?? What happened??" Damn you adulthood for taking our fun irresponsibility away. Or maybe it was EMAG. the F i ever received. That class sucked. Part of the reason I changed majors from engineering (between the quesrter with EMAG, Calc 5, and Statics... I was ready to climb Tech Tower with a high powered rifle).

But the upside was the adventure of underage drinking, the fun of football in the south, and knowing you could wear pajama pants to class and it was socially acceptable. Ahhh youth.

But now we're all grown up, well.. some more so than others. I'm still doing well at shunning most the responsibility and trappings of adulthood.

Other highlights of last week. hot tubbing with some hotties, sitting at the table beside Kanye (who may or may not have interrupted our converstion to tell us how much better Beyonce's conversation is), Burger and beer at the Vortex with ET, drinks with the old boss, and movie watching with with my fake GF. Despite some challenges, it was a really good birthday week.

Well, work tonight. It's only going tog et ore stressful and ludicrous from here on out. Peak season is just starting up, winter weather fun is kicking in, and we're gonna be shorthanded (Congrats Mutt, we just wnat you to know, we're all counting on you!) due to some shortsightedness on our management part. A perfect storm for bitching about work blogs. Look forward to it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rest high above the clouds no restrictions, television we bounce 'round the world.

Is it wrong that I judge the clientele of my corner coffee shop by the percentage of Mac's versus PC laptops? At this one, Mac's consistently out number PC's, making it uber cool. Am I some sort of computer racist??

I spent a few days back in Atlanta last week. As usual, I had a great time visiting with friends. This visit ended the longest streak away from home since I moved, almost 2 months. I saw a lot of folks, imbibed a good bit of libation, and had a general great time. My mental health seems to improve when I'm down there. If only a major international airline headquartered in the Atlanta area who was rumored to be hiring dispatchers soon would call me up...

I also spent some time conversing with mom. She has been having some mysterious health issues of late... and no one seems to know what it is. But the parts they checked seem to be in great shape (really, only 30% artery blockage for a 68 year old who smoked for 40 years and was raised on deep south deep fried goodness... good job!)

We talked a little bit about where things have come in her life. For instance I'm sitting here having coffee, a bran bagel, and a banana. All are proudly proclaiming to be organic, which as far as I know means they were raised without human designed chemical additives. Mother, on the other hand, grew up with EVERYTHING being organic, cause that's how it was. They grew all the vegetables, and I'm thinking there was no DDT involved. The meat was fresh from the slaughtered cow or pig, which didn't have any growth hormones injected in them. "Farm fresh" eggs really were farm fresh, and usually brought in that morning.

Today we pay a premium for this type of food. Oh the irony. Of course you could grow it yourself if you have land and time. Figure that's what you did, and grand dad did. Of course having slave labor in the form of 9 children (plus a couple others they raised) helps, but you have to feed them. But there was no daycare, or needing the latest gadgets or fashion. Clothes were made. A trip form Dahlonega to Atlanta was an epic event involving wagons or loading the whole family in the one vehicle... usually a log truck. They may as well been setting off with Odysseus to invade Troy. Today it's an hour and a half on a 4 lane road through a series of never ending outlet stores.

Mom remembers when they got electricity in the house. There was one wire in the kitchen that held a single bulb. Above the bulb were one or two plugs for appliances and what not. Then came the radio. Remember that thing we used to listen to in the car before iPods and CD's? I guess that explains why mom, and the older generation in general, are voracious readers. That's what you had to do at night.

I can proudly proclaim that our family was one of the first in the area to get a television ("this thing will never take off"). It was a huge monstrosity of a thing, a cabinet the size of a large bureau. Seriously, it was massive, and with a screen probably no larger than the laptop screen I'm typing on. Saturday nights, chairs were lined up in the Dowdy house for the kids and neighbors to enjoy the broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry. That's it, one channel, one show.

In contrast, by roughly the same age I had a computer (it was a Commodore 128 but still), cable (only about 50 channels back then... the horror), all kinds of portable electronic paraphenalia, a microwave to cook the food we bought in the grocery store. Mom was impressed with not having to grow her own food (she still does prefer home grown tomatoes form her "garden" or fresh grown veggies), I was impressed when I went into the first supermarket that I could get anything fruit or vegetable from anywhere in the world (what the hell is an eggplant.. an egg isn't a plant!).

Remember that thing we all read about in history class called the space race?? For you younger types, there used to be this country called the Soviet Union who was out to destroy the American way of life. But since going to direct war was akin to suicide, we raced to prove who was better in different ways. One way of proving superiority was to see who could build the bigger rocket and penetrate deeper into the dark recesses of space (hrrmmm, think men were in charge of this one?). SO we launched rockets with radio transmitters and monkeys and dogs and finally people up there. We even went to the moon (allegedly). Mom, I think, believes the moon landing was real, though I got the impression she was skeptical. Her aunts, no way. Which is completely logical. Imagine growing up when the steam locomotive was the most advanced and fasted form of travel. And in the span of a single life time, suddenly we can fly a man 5 times the speed of sound to the moon? No effin way! Actually, the great aunts believed whole heartedly that the launching of these rockets were going to cause the weather to go crazy and crops to fail... maybe she knew something about global warming then?

It's easy for us modern educated people to ridicule such beliefs because we grew up with it as fact. For me, thinking back about 15 years ago and seeing those first cell phones that had a bag you carried around with them and trying to imagine I'd have something like an iPhone and all its mystical powers was crazy talk. Or that you watched too much Star Trek. But there it is, right in front of me.

Or even this internet thing. We all love the interwebs! You wanna look something up, a few buttons pushed and you have everything you ever wanted to know about South African Fruit Trees or any other ridiculous topic. Want to know the weather in Djibouti? We got it (currently 83F, clear, calm winds and 58% humidity). Want to know how the city council race in Boonkoodle Mississippi went? We got it! Who remembers an encyclopedia??? The book ones?? When was the last time you guys picked up a book to do research?

So, now we have the modern world, when a generation ago Paris was an unachievable destination (I've been), Australia was a mythical land (well, true, but I've been a few times), and i can talk to anyone on the planet from anywhere on the planet... well almost anywhere, I don't have T-mobile signal at Jersey's house in New-Nan. But 5 bars on an island in Thailand was the norm.

Kind of makes me think that in 40 years when I look back at the things I grew up with and try to convey to my kids or grandkids (should I ever procreate) how life was before the internet, or when every phone had a wire and you hated calling people with 0 in the number cause you had to twist that rotor all the way around.

Of course we'll be living on the moon. On a side note is anyone disappointed that we don't have the flying cars and moonbases that we were promised by the year 2000???

It was an interesting conversation, and I really should be more into having them. Of course then it turns to the inevitable "is there anyone special..." conversation. Mom seems to want more grandkids. The current ones are too old. Wait till I tell my youngest niece her grandmothers wants a new kid because she's too old now. I'm thinking this conversation should come up Christmas morning.

Otherwise, I'm working on the planning of my trip to Vietnam. (Why is it I always want to say that like the guy from Forrest Gump "Viet-EFFING -NAM!"). Looks likes like New Years in Saigon is in order. I have to work on getting a visa, which is a pain since I have to surrender my passport for 5 days, and that means no jumpseating for 5 days. But I suppose the Lewii are worth it.

I think I've rambled enough. I'll be back in the ATL on Wednesday. Look for me!