Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My leasing office makes me so mad sometimes. I told them I was moving out at the end of my lease, so they got together my papaers to sign, but nearly every piece of information was wrong. My name was misspelled. My move out date was wrong. My rent due for February and March was wrong. And on top of all that, they scheduled a "pre-move-out inspection" for February 14th. Obviously, whoever sets these things up is single... Grrr.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dunno why I'm just now getting around to this, but if you didn't get a copy of my "Christmas" (MLK Jr Day) letter in the mail or in person, it's either because I don't have your address or I don't like you. Or perhaps I was so much in awe of your awesomeness that I just plain forgot. Who knows? Anyway, here's an unsigned PDF version for you to practice forging my signature on and send to all your friends and nemeses!

I'm pretty sure I'm getting sick too. I've been sniffly the past few days, but when I went to bed last night my throat was getting scratchy. I turned my vaporizer on, which certainly helped me sleep better, but I don't know that it made all that much of a difference in how I feel otherwise. My nose is getting to be very drippy, and that's really quite annoying. Stupid winter. I blame the rapid temperature change from bitter cold to balmy to bitter cold in a span of 3 days.

Vista's out! Who wants to get me a bootleg copy? Maybe Jon Stewart will give me his copy... I stayed up to watch the Daily Show last night since Bill Gates was on. This ought to tell you something about my level of nerdiness - Bill Gates was way more entertaining than Bill O'Reilly was on the Colbert Report. I really had high hopes for that show a couple weeks ago, but it wasn't funny, it wasn't informative, it wasn't controversial. It was just boring. By contrast, Jon trying to get get Bill Gates's password was hilarious. Also, several months ago when the Woz was on the Colbert Report was also entertaining. Sorry O'Reilly, apparently no-spin also means no-fun, and the world's biggest ubernerds are cooler than you.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Oh no! I'm all out of candy in my desk! =( How am I supposed to make it past the 4:30 doldrums without sugar? Especially when it's 78 degrees in my office and I'm dressed for the 25 degree outside. I'd crack a window open if I could... Oh well. At least the sun is well on its way to setting, so it should cool off soon.

It appears that I've been neglecting my blog. It's not like I've had a lack of things to talk about, it's just that things have been insanely busy the last week or so. After a failed skiing outing in Charlottesville, Nana and Jimmy stopped into town on their way back to Erie and took us all out to dinner at Blue Iguana. Mmmm, good stuff. This was Friday a week ago. I did finally get rid of my Contour for $800 cash. I felt like some sort of drug dealer counting out $20 bills on my coffee table, but it was gone in time to drop it from my insurance before my bill was due, so that made me happy. Craiglist is great as long as the price is low enough and you're willing to scan every inquiry carefully so you don't get wrapped up in the good old, "I'll wire you twice as much money as it costs, then you write me a check for the remainder and give me the merchandise, by the time my check doesn't clear, I'll have your stuff and your money and you'll be out of luck!" I did get a couple of those, but they're usually pretty easy to spot. Anyway.
Last week was hectic at work. I hate those days when teh day ends and you can't think of a single thing you've accomplished, but you've been busy all day. Mostly that means putting out fires for other people isntead of doing your own work. Mark tendered his resignation, so we're losing yet another production guy, and this is the last one who ever worked with Manish, so that entire department is going to have some serious problems in the very near future. Luckily, we're in a bit of a downturn in development, so Dave and I got drafted into doing production work for the next few months until they hire and train someone new. Work's got to get done somehow. And at least with us doing it, it will give us a chance to put some better processes in place and better document what needs to be done down there so the next person they bring in won't be quite so lost.
Otherwise things are going fine, just super busy. Emily and I are still discussing preliminary wedding things and trying to get all the pieces put together for our summer road trip to Maine. The fuzzies are fine. Word on the street is that a couple of our favorite breeder's chinnies are pregnant, so we are keeping our fingers crossed to be able to get the girls new playmate after we move. We got our apartment switched to the floorplan we wanted in the building we wanted and with a better move-in date. Which means that in the next few weeks, all our stuff needs to start getting put in boxes. And a lot of my stuff needs to get sold, given away, or disposed of in some other way. Brian - I'm sorry buddy, but your awesome entertainment center has been given a death sentence. Maybe I'll keep all the material and use it for extra shelving in our closet or something. But in the mean time, I'm on the lookout for a new entertainment center that will accomodate my TV and all our other stuff that needs to go nearby it. Moving is always exciting, and this move has an added wrinkle, so hopefully everything will go more or less smoothly.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Also, craiglist is awesome. After Ourisman offered me $150 and Carmax offered me $250 for my Contour, I posted it to craigslist for $1000 and have gotten about 15 responses. A couple seem like scams, so I'm not replying to them, but I've gotten at least 10 serious inquiries, including one person who's supposed to come look at the car tonight and is bringing cash. My goal is to have the car sold before 1/26 so I can drop it from my insurance before my new policy kicks in.

I have to say, I'm pretty bummed that my brand new car has already gotten snowed on. I mean, it would have gotten snowed on in the dealer lot anyway, but somehow it seems more annoying when it's in my possession. Oh well. At least now is a good time for it to go back to the dealer to get the undercoating done. No road salt is going to wreck my undercarriage! Bring it on winter (but wait until Tuesday night please)!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

And speaking of good news, good riddance to Patrick Nix. Maybe now he can go ruin some other promising quarterback with the Hurricanes instead of screwing up Taylor Bennett like he did with Reggie Ball.

Much to Brian's probable dismay, I finally decided on the Matrix. In the end, I just couldn't justify the added cost, lower fuel mileage, and more cramped interior of the Mazda3 over the Matrix. Yes, it's certainly more fun to drive, but from a daily use perspective, the Matrix just made more sense and in the long run is probably the wiser "investment." Plus, the Mazda dealer hasn't been very good about responding to my questions, and I had two Toyota dealers beating down my door to offer me a better deal than their cross-town competitor. I'm quite happy with my new car, and it's awesome that it currently has less than 30 miles. I've never owned a car with less than a thousand times that many miles on it. Now I just need to come up with a Keanuism to put on my license plate. You know, something like WHHHOA or INOKNGFU. Unfortunately, "strange things are afoot at the Circle-K" just can't be condensed down very well. Suggestions? I would also accept something from another character in the actual Matrix movie, but Keanu has all the best lines in all the best movies.
Don't let the pretty picture fool you, it's like 14 degrees outside with the windchill.  Stupid winter...

Monday, January 15, 2007

It's been a busy and productive weekend. I spent most of my Friday being somewhat lazy. But I did clean up my apartment and do some laundry. I finally took down my christmas tree and packed it away. That corner of my apartment feels so bare now. *shrug* Soon enough, my entire apartment is going to look pretty bare I suppose. I went to look at another apartment complex and decided I didn't want to live there, so on Saturday, Emily and I went to put a deposit down at Regent's Park. We were hoping for a mid-rise place (they have higher ceilings), but none were available, so we got basically the same floorplan in a garden-style.
Earlier in the day, we played our final flag football game against Notre Dame. It was a game we certainly could have won. I think Colorado would have decimated us in the next round, but whatever. The officials were terrible, but we should have been able to overcome that. At least it was reasonably warm and the rain held off. It was a fun season and I'm already looking forward to next season, when hopefully our offense will gel a little better. It's just like GT's varsity team! Stellar defense with spotty offense!
After getting cleaned up and dopping off our apartment stuff, my parents had us over for brunch. All of Bobby's family was in attendance, along with Grandma, and Laura and Greg. So we had quite a crowd, but it was a lot of fun and the food was great. My dad made his awesome crab cakes and my mom made 3 quiches (bacon, spinach, and mushroom). After completely stuffing ourselves, it turned out there was dessert as well - grandma's cremepuffs and my favorite cake. Top that all off with fresh coffee, hand-delivered from Columbia less than 2 weeks ago. Mmmm...
Saturday night we spent about an hour sitting on the floor of the bookstore going through wedding planning materials trying to decide what to buy. We ended up with a couple books and a couple magazines, and even though I'm still completely overwhelmed (as I expected I would be), I feel a lot better about the whole process now that we have some reference materials and have read through some things. I think there's a lot of little things that would be easy to overlook, so having all these checklists and anecdotes of people's prior experiences should help us out a lot.
I went car shopping on Sunday. Neither the Toyota dealer or the Mazda dealer had the exact car I wanted, but I test drove both of the high-end models just to get a feel for the car. The Matrix is very roomy, but not big-looking on the outside, and it's a very smooth ride, but the automatic tranny just felt slushy. Maybe that's just personal bias towards a manual. But they're getting a manual in stock today, so I'm going to drop by and give that one a spin. It does feel like it might be a touch underpowered considering how much stuff you could potentially load in there, but again, being in better control of how the power gets to the wheels might make me feel a little better about that. Otherwise the car is perfect, and it's a Toyota, so it'll last forever. I really dig the completely flat cargo area and the plastic floor with adjustable tiedowns too, it just seems very practical. The Mazda3 5-door felt a little cramped for me, and even with the moon roof shade open, I felt like my head was dangerously close to the roof. There's not as much cargo area, and the rear seats fold on an angle. There's more room back there than it intially appears however. And I have to say, in terms of driving responsiveness, the Mazda beat the Toyota into the ground. The manual tranny is very slick and the higher torque kicks in at much lower RPMs, so the car really hauls. Merging onto 66, the car hit 60 in 3rd without even breaking a sweat. And on the windy backroads, the suspension and handling felt absolutely great. Unfortunately, I think this car could get me into a lot of trouble. For the particular trims I'm interested in, both cars are about the same cost, and there wasn't anything that really jumped out at me about either one. Maybe after I see what Toyota's stickshift feels like it will be easier to make a decision. I will say, however, that (especially) after driving the Mazda3 (I didn't notice it as much after the Matrix), my car feels like driving a soggy sponge. Emily's never understood why my cars don't have names. I dunno; that's just never really been by thing. But we decided last night to call my car Spongecar Squarewheels. To make a more direct analogy: Mazda3 - scalpel, Matrix - good steak knife, '96 Contour - rusty butter knife.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Why is it always raining when I want to go test drive cars? Grrr...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Is it the weekend yet? *sigh* I still have a ton of work to do and I'm already exhausted. At least I'm off tomorrow, but I'd like to be off right now. Maybe getting some lunch will make things all better.

Monday, January 08, 2007

We start our 9/80 schedule this week, and while I'm certainly looking forward to having Friday off, it does mean working an extra hour every day. In my case, that means getting up an hour earlier, which wasn't so bad this morning, but I'm sure by Thursday it will be terrible. I suspect I'm also going to be ready for lunch at 11 and want a nap at 2, but we'll see how this goes.

Friday, January 05, 2007

By popular demand, this was taken by David and Lynda after the brief misting at the Gator Bowl:

Thursday, January 04, 2007

What a vacation! The week before Christmas, I was in the office, but mentally I was already pretty much checked out by Wednesday. I got a lot of busy work done though, and that kind of stuff always needs to get done eventually anyway. I took off on Tuesday and Wednesday the following week to run some errands and take care of things at home before skipping town. It's nice to have a couple days to just be lazy and get up whenever, go to bed whenever, take a nap whenever, and just relax, but still be able to get stuff accomplished.
Thursday I was up at dawn's crack to get a cab to Dulles and make my way to the well-hidden Z gates. There's a Subway down there that serves up breakfast, and as unappetizing as it sounds, by 9 am, I was starving and wasn't likely to get anything to eat until at least 2 pm otherwise. My flights were uneventful, despite a last minute gate/plane change in Charlotte. After arriving in Savannah, my checked bag was nowhere to be seen on the conveyor. Turns out I got to Dulles so early that they went ahead and put my bag on an earlier flight, so it arrived 2 hours before I did and was waiting at the ticket counter. Would have been nice to be notified about that sort of thing, but whatever. I got my bag and Emily took me home and we met Murphy (her mom's new hamster) and then I zoned out for a while until Erin showed up and we had dinner.
Friday the plan had been to get up early and have lunch at the Lady and Sons (Paula Deen's restaurant), but we (mostly me) dawdled and when we arrived at 11:30, the 50 people waiting in line were cued up to wait until 3:30 to put their names down for dinner reservations and since lunch was already completely booked solid. *sigh* We weren't about to wait around for 4 hours just to come back later, especially since we already had dinner plans. That evening we changed islands to have a cookout with Emily's grandparents at their retirement cottage. The community and "cottages" are basically a golf course community without the golf course. The houses are huge and very there's little fountains and shrubberies all over the place. I hope when I'm old, I'll have enough stockpiled to be able to retire someplace that nice. Dinner and dessert were good and then I'm pretty sure we watched some football when we got home. I watched a lot of football over the break, but I'll spare everyone the details.
Saturday, we got up way early and actualyl got reservations for lunch at Paula's restaurant. To kill time beforehand, we walked around downtown and window-shopped until 11. Lunch was so good. Emily's fried chicken is better, but all the side dishes were to die for (and probably from), and the zesty cheesy meatloaf was super yummy. For dessert I had warm peach cobbler and emily had sweet potato gooey butter cake or something to that effect that just about incapacitated us for the rest of the afternoon. We watched some more football and just kind of hung out around the house.
Sunday was more doing nothing for most of the day. We played a bunch of games and watched some TV and movies and were generally pretty lazy. Hey, that's what vacation is for, right? Kenneth and Erin's New Year's plans (or lack thereof) fell through, so they opted into dinner at home at the last minute. Meanwhile, Emily and I had dinner reservations at the Sapphire Grill downtown (next door to Lady and Sons). The place is a little kooky one you get inside, but it's very cozy and intimate, and was a great place to have a quiet dinner. Our waiter was awesome and the food was incredible. I had a 14 or 16 oz NY Strip that was cooked (or, rather, not cooked) to perfection served with some sort of cheese potatos and fried sweet onions that tasted like cinnamon apples. Emily had chicken stuffed with a lot of really good sounding things. Our casear salads were excellent and included croutons with a delicious tapenade spread. The dessert menu was daunting and everything sounded so good, despite how full we felt. We settled on a chocolate torte that nearly killed us, if not for the strong coffee. Seriously, if you're ever in Savannah, and need a nice place for dinner, you should try to get to the Sapphire Grill. It's on the pricey side, but all the food was fabulous, and the portions were really sizeable, so you get a lot for for your money. Despite the threat of imminent rain, we decided to make our retreat from the downtown party scene and head out to the beach on Tybee. We watched fireworks goining off from 4+ places at once right around midnight and a few minutes afterwards basically had the entire beach to ourselves. Now seemed like as good a time as any, so I asked Emily to marry me, and she said yes! =) We toasted each other and our future with champagne as we welcomed 2007.
Monday morning we told Emily's parents and then hopped in the car for Jacksonville and the Gator Bowl. We had a fun time down there even though we missed the pre-game tailgate party and Tech lost to WVU. Still a good game though and gives me hope for next year. We ran into David and Lynda, so of course we had to tell them about getting engaged, but I made them pinky-swear not to tell anyone else until I had at least caled my own parents after the game! After the loss, we hit up a bar at the Landing for the first half of the Rose Bowl. By the time we finished out spinach queso, the line to get in was way out the door, so we surrendered out seats at the bar and headed home. After sitting in lame traffic (Emily drove) and making several phone calls, we got home in time for the Fiesta Bowl. Please tell me someone else (besides me) stayed up to watch the whole thing... Ridiculous. It's no secret how much I like Boise State, and now I think the whole country has seen why. It was like watching a fairy tale. Congratulations also to my boy Ian Johnson on his engagement.
We spent most of Tuesday in a stupor from the previous day. I read more of my book about the evolution of cosmological theories (apparently, Einstein was a bit of an ass. Who knew?) and made some more phone calls and sent some emails. We wanted to make sure that at least our families knew about our engagement before word spread too far on its own accord. Then we watched Wake put up a good fight but ultimately they were overmatched by Louisville. Emily's mom made some delicious chicken and salad and then it was off to bed before a long day of (Emily) driving.
We got home late Wednesday after an uneventful drive. The furry ones were excited to see us again, and we were glad to be home. It's nice to sleep in your own bed again, you know? Emily and I were entertained by LSU stomping all over Notre Dame. Then the reality of having to go back to work today set in and I had to go to bed. Boo for back to work. I did get caught up on all my emails and actually got a little work done today. And tomorrow is already Friday! Yay!

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  • I'm Rev. Adam
  • From Oakton, Virginia, United States
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