Monday, January 31, 2005

Monday, Monday, Monday

Buckhead Meets Ghost town
On Friday night I went to see The Zutons and Keane perform at The Roxy in Buckhead. With my extra ticket I dragged my friend Melissa with me since she has talked about her love of live music, and I took a chance that she had never been to The Roxy. The plan was to eat some pizza at Ray's and head up to The Roxy for the show. Let me preface this next statement by saying that it has been a good five years since I last "went out" in Buckhead. Holy fucking shit! Buckhead has become a ghost town! When I moved to Atlanta ten years ago Buckhead was the destination (even then I was too old, 30, to be out in Buckhead). I am not naive, I have heard the stories about Buckhead residents hating the bars, and have sat in a traffic jam or two on a Saturday, so I expected "change". What I didn't expect is the bars to be gone, they have not changed names, they are nonexistent -- vanished! Here's a short list
  • Rio Bravo
  • Have A Nice Day Cafe
  • BAR
  • Lu Lu's Bait Shack
  • World Bar
  • The Dog House
  • John Harvard's (and whatever it became after this)
  • Bier Garten (and whatever it became after this)
This was just walking along Peachtree; I didn't bother wandering on to the side streets.

Where does Atlanta's youth go to hook up these days (other than Moe's & Joe's). Seriously, I'd like to know...

That's The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia
I live in the worst power grid in the city of Atlanta. I must, since in the last twelve months I have lost power no fewer than five times (this excludes the time my neighbor's tree fell, and the numerous times I have returned home to see my microwave blinking 88:88). I was one of the lucky 300,000 to lose power on Saturday night -- for five and a half hours. Now, before I bitch too much, kudos to the people who repair power lines. I may have sucked for me, but certainly it was worse for them. What can you do with no electricty? I managed to cull twenty t-shirts from my collection, almost clear my bed of stacks of clothing, read two magazines, imagine how romantic it would have been if I had someone there with me, drink beer "before it went bad", listen to music on my iPod, think how fortunate I am not to be homeless or outdoors like my feral cat-friend JFK. And then the power returned...

From Fine Beers To Decent Movies
One of my big activities planned for Saturday was to partake in the tasting of newly opened cask-conditioned ales at Sweetwater Brewery (why can't I find a link to them?). Being the beer snob that I am, I signed up for the event two months ago to make sure I could get a ticket. Unfortunately Mother Nature's annual end of January Atlanta ice storm postoned the event a day. There is something to be said for anticipation and the disappointment when it does pan out, since come Sunday I just couldn't get up for drinking.

Luckily, Melissa was suffering from a case of cabin fever and convinced me to go to the movies. Neither of us had seen Sideways, so that was the movie of choice. I'm no movie critic, but here is my score 8/10. The acting was excellent, and the story well crafted although I want to leave theaters happy, not down which is how I felt. Was I supposed to take away that the loser wins? I don't think so.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - nervous: Super Bowl Party 'T Minus Six Days'
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 26 playing Belle & Sebastian
Current Read - iPod & iTunes Hacks

Monday Morning Weigh-In
Starting weight - (approx since I didn't have a scale) 198 lbs
Target weight - 178 lbs
Current weight - 196 lbs (one month down, missed my target, no time to panic)

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Friday, January 28, 2005

Ramble, Ramble, Ramble

Steam Blowing, Log Entry Version 2.0
I am all for non-Microsoft browsers. I cut my Internet teeth using NCSA Mosaic, was a huge Netscape supporter until they got snapped up by AOL, and eventually succumbed to the Evil Empire's Internet Explorer. Right now I am typing this entry using Firefox. I want to love Firefox, however it needs to stop crashing under Mandrake Linux, and stop creating zombie processes under Windows XP Home. This can be done, the world needs it to be done.

[UPDATE 12:30pm: Of course this story about another developer leaving Mozilla for Google won't help.]

Last night saw my return to the Red Light Cafe for Thursday night bluegrass. As I have mentioned before, bluegrass is a relatively new music style for my ears. My past history with bluegrass consists mainly of bands on Hee Haw and the constant replaying of "Rocky Top" by the University of Tennessee marching band. The band last night was called Chatham County Line, who I am told are neighbors of my friends in Raleigh, NC. From what I heard of the band they were quite good, and I was quite amused how they kept huddling around their one microphone as if they were posing for a group photo. I would have heard more if not for the couple on a date at the table next over who refused to stop talking (folks, you are at a music venue shut the fuck up!). Kudos to my friend Bill who waited until the girl excused herself before asking the guy to keep his voice down.

Found Money
Twice this week I found money, or at least things which could be used like money. Yippee! I found a $50 Green's Package store gift certificate given to me on my birthday last year and a $50 rebate from Amazon arrive in the electronic post this week. Gentlemen, start your eCommerce engines!

All I am missing from looking like Timothy Busfield from thirtysomething is a tweed jacket with suede elbow patches. Combine my current beard and slightly-longer-hair than I have sported in years with the burnt orange turtle neck sweater I am wearing today and you get "pseudo intellectual english professor Paulie" -- which I have been trying to get Mattel to produce as a replacement for Barbie's pansy-ass manfriend Ken.

Websites Of The Week (my name is Paulie and I have endorsed this message)
Here are some websites that I have visited during the week

  • YongFook: Japanese food. Don't ask, just go.
  • ALS Ride: If you are up to the task of riding a bike in North Georgia, consider doing this; it's for a good cause.
  • Smart Playlists: still trying to learn how to use my new toy better.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - "off", coffee + mexican + beer = bad combination
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing Modest Mouse
Current Read - nada

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Free To A Good Home

My officemates kill me sometimes. Our breakroom table has become the land of the "free to a good home", and I am afraid that I am one of the people who started it.

I am notorious for bringing in party leftovers -- pretzels, chips, etc -- so that they get out of my house before I can eat them all. As was to be expected, other people started doing the same. I used to joke that I could bring in chocolate covered turds and by noon they would all be eaten.

But then something happened...

Food someone how turned into "Whatever I don't want, I'll bring into the office. Certainly, someone will want it." Over the last six months our breakroom table has seen the following items offered up
- drinking glasses
- a wreath made of sticks
- headphones
- computer games
- an executive desk dartboard game
- deodorant, thankfully unused
- diapers, thankfully unopened
- expired aspirin (yes, expired!)
- a sheet of paper (ok, this was a joke by me. I wrote "Free piece of paper, please take" on a sheet of paper just to see if anyone would take it. I think someone threw it away)

Amazing! Anyone have suggestions as to what I should try putting on the table? I'd love to hear them. Keep in mind I am not willing to do anything that will get me fired. :)

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - dazed and confused
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio channel 26, playing The Faint
Current Read - looking for a new read

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Music To My Ears

Before I begin, I forgot yesterday's Tuesday's Toy segment
The toy for this week is one I currently own, my Samsung A680 cellphone with Sprint PCS service. Normally I'd gripe about my phone, and Sprint's normally crappy cell service (especially in the hood), but this time it made my life tolerable. With some network issues recently my cellphone was the only tool I could use to check personal email, aka "my lifeline." Now if I could only figure out how to Instant Message better...

The Big Rip
No, it is not my pants ripping due to weight gain! I have finally finished converting my CD collection to mp3s. All Ye who want to rant that mp3s are evil and should be illegal can relax, I own all of the CDs that I ripped. The final tally? Nearly 20Gig of music. My iPod holds 20Gig of music as well? Coincedence? Could be....

Second Spins
Because I had time to kill before going out for yesterday's birthday celebration at The Patio, and because I apparently needed more music to rip, I went to one of my favorite used CD stores, Ella Guru last night. I can never seem to leave there with fewer than two purchases. Last night being no different, saw me purchase "Who's Next" by The Who (replacing one of the CDs that went "missing" when my car was stolen last year) and "Give Up" by The Postal Service.

Where The Boys (And Girls) Are
Upon leaving The Patio (did I mention that they have all-you-can eat pizza and salad, and $2 draft beers on Tuesdays?) we headed over to Moe's & Joe's in Virginia-Highlands. Anybody need a twenty-two year old, or a pitcher of PBR for less than $4? Moe's & Joe's on Tuesday night is the place for you -- I couldn't get out of there quickly enough. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the human anatomy in its 20-25 year-old period as much as the next guy, but at this point in my life (read "age") looking at women of that age range is only window shopping.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - I *still* need a fortune cookie
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio channel 26, playing Keane
Current Read - my PDA User's Guide

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Full Moon Fever

Last night may not have been the actual evening of the full moon, but it was mighty close...

Zu Fuss Gehen
In English this German phrase loosely translates to "to go on foot." This was one of the few German phrases that my father, who was 100% German but spoke virtually none, taught me. As a child my father and I walked together occasionally -- kind of as our father and son time. I love to walk; it provides a view of the world you just can't get from your car. I decided that last night's exercise was to be a one hour walk prior to playing trivia.

Bad Boys What You Going To Do?
Ok, by "Cops" standards it was lame, but I did see Atlanta Police in action. When I left the scene the police were knocking on someone's door and a dog was barking loudly. I'm sure nothing more than a warning was issued.

Look, Up In The Sky
Last night's crystal clear sky meant that even with Atlanta's overuse of artificial lights you could see many stars. I used to know the constellation names, I think that I will try to learn them again.

Is That A Fuel Pump In Your Car Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?
As I walked past a gas station I heard two guys talking. "Over there, by pump number six." said one of them. I turned to look, looking for a cat, opossum, or some other animal. The other guy then chimed "I wonder how long it will take them to realize that it is still in their gas tank?" It was then I realized that someone had driven away with the fuel pump still inserted into their tank! How fucking clueless do you have to be to do this? Ok, I can see driving away forgetting to put the cap on your gas tank, but to leave with the pump still inserted? Shit!

I Bow In Your General Direction, Sir
It's official, Glenn knows too much shit. I'd call it worthless shit, but since it helps us finish in the money at Team Trivia it has a monetary value. The question last night dealt with an actress who starred in the tv shows "It's A Living" and "Wings". Both Glenn and I knew the answer was Crystal Bernard (hello, I was a teenage boy back then....), but when Glenn proceeded to name the other actors, and the fact that "It's A Living" later changed its name to "Living It Up" because waitresses complained that being a waitress was more than just "making a living", I realized that I had been served.

Happy Birthday
One my newest friends here in the Atl has a birthday today. So, Happy nth Birthday, Melissa. Take this bit of sage advice from a person who is ten years your senior, always keep in mind that you must grow old, but you do not have to grow up.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - I need a fortune cookie
Current Music - none, it's a quiet office this morning
Current Read - back to the land of user's manuals (I swear that I am going to finish something this week, although every night is already booked)

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Monday, January 24, 2005

Falcon Fever -- Wait Until Next Season

Whew, it was a whirlwind weekend...

Goodnight Johnny, Goodnight
If you are old enough to remember "Bicentenial Minutes", Pet Rocks, and the first time my blue-suede Pumas were in fashion, you might have had an emotional moment when you found out that Johnny Carson passed away yesterday. I know I did. In my youth Johnny Carson defined late night television. He was a legend, dominating the genre and opening up avenues for comedians for thirty years. When he retired it was with style and class, no great fanfare, a simple "thank you" monologue -- never to be seen again.

I didn't get to watch many Tonight Shows in the 1970s (remember children, VCRs were almost non-existent in the household then), and by the time the 1980s rolled around the Tonight Show had lost some of its clout, thanks in part to the new kid on the block, David Letterman, whose show "Late Night" was geared to the young "Gen Xers."

Oh, So You're Paul
Since my carjacking last August I have met a lot of people who know about me without ever meeting me. I assume this is what it's like to be a minor celebrity, or maybe not. This weekend while doing my civic duty of planting trees with Trees Atlanta a very nice young lady who lives in East Atlanta came up to me and said "Oh, so you're Paul..." Flattering? Yes, but I hope that in the future it occurs for completely different reasons.

Weekends Were Made For Michelob
Unless you are a beer snob like me. I attended a great birthday party this weekend -- Little Easy's 38th. It's an annual combined cajun food festival, birthday party with quality beer. And as the old song goes, "these are a few of my favorite things." The only thing that would have made it better was if it was my birthday party -- selfish bastard that I am. Well, there is something else that would have made it better, but I digress.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - fresh, interpret this as you wish
Current Music - none
Current Read - back to the land of user's manuals

Monday Morning Weigh-In
Starting weight - (approx since I didn't have a scale) 198 lbs
Target weight - 178 lbs
Current weight - 197 lbs (oops, perhaps too much beer and food this weekend)

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Friday, January 21, 2005

How Did It Get To Be Friday?

It's Fridaypalooza!!!

"So, Why Do You Want To Hire Mexicans?"
Because I was running late this morning; because today is Friday (and I miss my Fridays off); because I needed coffee; because I wanted to say hello to the lovely Ellen who works there, I stopped in at Joe's Coffee Shop on my way to work.

While leaving I heard a man ask the question which inspired the title. It made me laugh. I only wish the other man's answer was "Because I am opening a Mexican restaurant, stupid."

Re-nauguration Day
The word "freedom" was included twenty-five times in the President's Inaguration speech yesterday (and "liberty" was used seventeen). [thanks to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart for supplying those stats] It's no secret that I have never been a fan of the Presidential Bushes. So, my one shot is "Hey Mr. President, I'd like the freedom of knowing that there will be Social Security for me when I retire (around 2030). Get this country's shit together!" *** stepping down from soapbox ***

All Wound Up With Nowhere To Go
It would have been the perfect night to go out and run, pounding my frustrations into the ground with every stride, except for one thing -- I really didn't want to be around anyone.

It would have been the perfect night to get plastered, except for one thing -- I really needed the exercise.

It became the perfect night to ride indoors, unfortunately I could only muster up thirty minutes of riding.

Must See TV
Staying at home does provide ample quality time for watching the telly. Here are some shows that I enjoy.
  • Look Around You: This is a bizarre 10-15 minute program on BBC America. My best description of the show is that it mimics the 1950's - 1960's science films shown to me in elementary school, with the exception that the 'facts' in Look Around You are completely whacked. For some reason it didn't air last night. Rats!
  • Good Eats: Having met and worked with Alton Brown (sorry for the self-promotion, I needed the pick-me-up) this has long been a favorite ITP. Alton's science is far more reliable than that of Look Around You, and the results are edible. Yum!
  • TV Funhouse: A short-lived "variety" show on Comedy Central. It was an expanded version of the segments that were on Saturday Night Live.
That's Incredible!
You would think that by now I would have seen The Incredibles in the theater. Hell, I have referenced this movie at least twice in the past two months. Nope, instead I have gone and done a complete 180 and have pre-ordered it for when it comes out on dvd in March. I've waited this long, what's another two months, right?

Websites Of The Week (my name is Paulie and I have endorsed this message)
Here are some websites that I have visited during the week
And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - frustrated
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing The Mooney Suzuki
Current Read - nothing today (still -- starting again tomorrow)

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Always Double Down With Eleven

I get an electronic Newsletter from Las Vegas (or at least from monthly. New York and Las Vegas are perhaps my favorite cities in this country to visit. I'll give secondary nods to New Orleans and Boston. Chicago is the city that I would like to travel to, but have not.

Viva Las Vegas!
Why Las Vegas? First, I get an energy there that I get nowhere else. Perhaps it's all of the oxygen they pump into the casinos, perhaps it's the near-constant daylight brought about by the neon lights, I don't really know. Second, I like to gamble, low stakes. I stink at gambling and get frustrated with my bad luck, but like to do it nonetheless.

Today's newsletter made me laugh -- here are some highlights.

In a week's time you can see the following two shows
  • Cher with the Village People at MGM Grand on Jan 29th
    • I'm sure that all of the queens will be wild at this show
  • A Flock of Seagulls at Mandalay Bay on Feb 4th
    • The only thing better would be to see a "A Flock of Seagulls" cover band, "A Flock of Doves" perhaps?
BRILLIANT! Did I ever mention that I saw A Flock of Seagulls in Florida circa 1983? Yeah, I was as cool then as I am today.

That's not enough to sell you on Sin City? How about these fantastic star sightings, also courtesy of the newsletter, that you could have experienced
  • Vince Vaughn was spotted at Tabu at MGM
  • Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and cyclist Lance Armstrong (sans Sheryl Crow apparently) were spotted at Light
  • Anna Nicole Smith was levitated by Steve Wyrick during a recent show. (ed note: I know she has lost weight, but I still find this to be impressive)
  • Conan O'Brien dined at Nobu in the Hard Rock
And they say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. I think not.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - deflated, I've got some issues to work through today
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing Mercury Rev
Current Read - nothing today (still -- taking the week off)

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Do Something For Yourself

I declare today to be "National Inside The Perimeter Do Something For Yourself Day." Hell, I've already done something for myself this morning...

I ordered a credit report. You thought what?!? Get your mind out of the gutter!!

Did you know that in seven states you are entitled by state law to a free credit report (hell, in Georgia you are entitled to two) every year? The Big Three credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) make it hard to follow up on this, but I say it's worth the effort. If going directly to one of the Big Three is too much work for you, go to the web site, a site set up by the Big Three in accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, to get one. Be forewarned that this method may take a little while longer than going directly to one of the Big Three.

Along with swearing that "This year I will meet 'Ms. Right'", getting a credit report has been an annual January task for me for some time. If you've never done it before you may have 'shock and awe' with the number of credit accounts you have open (eventhough you told those companies to close them!) as well as the number of agencies that have inquired about your credit rating. Remember that knowledge is power, so educate yourself! This is especially true if you have been turned down for credit, or are planning on taking out a loan.

Happy Birthday!
Today is the nth -- where ((n greater than 35) and (n less than 40)) birthday of my good friend Little Easy. Happy Birthday buddy!

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - frigid
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing The Thrills
Current Read - nothing today (still)

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Who thought that this space could be educational???

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Beer Is A Four Letter Word

You may want to sit down for this one. No, I am not giving up drinking, it's the only vice I have left! I'm going to tell you a story children...

What seems like a lifetime ago I was once "dry"; I did not drink alcohol. It gets better, this occurred during my college years. It gets even better -- wait for it -- I attended college at the University of Florida (UF is usually on Playboy's "Top 10 Party Schools" list -- yes, I really did set a link to Playboy). And in case you were wondering, I am old enough to have been legal to drink when I was eighteen.

Why? It was a extremely painful New Year's Eve somewhere around 1985 that forced me into non-drinking mode, followed by a neverending desire to pay off my student loans which kept me in it through my final days of college.

What changed me? New Orleans. Seriously. During a trip to the Big Easy to attend Lollapalooza in 1993 I decided enough was enough. To my friends astonishment they exclaimed "What is that in your hand? You don't drink!" My reply, "Incorrect, you've just never seen me drink."

The microbrew craze of the DotCom 90's also helped me continue my appreciation of beer as I learned that all beer didn't have to taste like Budweiser. And while I have slipped a bit, desiring the occassional Iron City, Lone Star, or High Life, I still contest that I am a dyed-in-the-wool beer snob -- just like Michael Jackson. NOT THAT Michael Jackson, THIS Michael Jackson.

As Paul Harvey would say, "And now you know the rest of the story. Good' Day."

(by the way, love is also a four letter word and boy do I love beer)

Tuesday's Toy Of The Day
I don't have one! Booo! Hisss! I've not seen anything over the past week that has geeked me up enough to refer to it in this space. The closest thing to attaining Geekdom was the announcement of the Mac Mini. More investigation is needed for me to figure out if I really want to dive full-on back into the Apple world.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - frigid
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing The Thrills
Current Read - nothing today (still)

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Monday, January 17, 2005

26 Reasons To Like Me

Due to the New York Jets' loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, today's regularly scheduled entry "NY Jets Victory Celebration" will not be seen. In its place, please read this...

26 Reasons To Like Me
Shortly after Al Gore and I invented the Internet, we decided to kill some time by compiling these silly lists. Here's another for you to read (stolen and slighty modified from one of my friend's Live Journal entries -- thanks Stacy)

A – Accent: none, which is surprising since I was born and partially reared in Queens, NY. I'll blame the other part of my rearing in Florida for the loss of my accent.
B - Breast size: hmm, never measured -- let me check; ok, it's a 'handful'
C - Chore you hate: mopping the kitchen floor
D - Dad's name: Wilbur
E - Essential make-up item: a dozen roses, all women love to get roses; oh you mean like facial make-up, then my answer is 'none'
F - Favorite perfume: anything that I cannot smell from across the room, but can during intimate moments
G - Gold or silver: silver
H - Hometown: Whitestone, New York
I - Insomnia: never, I can sleep anywhere at any time
J - Job title: manager of software development -- NERD!!!
K - Kids: none that I know of, heh, heh
L - Living arrangements: flying solo in my house inside the perimeter (but you knew that, right?)
M - Mom's name: Kathleen
N - Number of apples you've eaten: Do people know this? I'll answer 42 because we all know that is the answer to everything.
O - Overnight hospital stays: haven't been in a hospital since I popped out of mom
P - Phobia: many would say 'commitment', I'll answer 'heights'
R - Religious affiliation: I support them all
S - Siblings: Older brother, much older brother (sixteen years)
T - Time you wake up: Weekdays, 5:30-6:00am. Weekends, about 7:00am.
U - Unnatural hair colors you've worn: define 'worn'. I guess I'll answer 'none'
V - Vegetable you refuse to eat: brussel sprouts -- they is NASTY!
W - Worst habit: blogging; not taking life seriously enough; eating too much when I am trying to lose weight; I could go on for ever -- oh yeah, self-deprication
X - X-rays: yearly dental and I once had an echocardiogram (a sonogram of my heart) done
Y - Yummy foods you make: of course everything I make is delicious, but if I had to pick a couple of real winners; jambalaya, beef stroganoff, chicken picatta, chocolate tofu pie
Z - Zodiac sign: on the cusp of Cancer and Leo

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - disappointed
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing Husker Du
Current Read - nothing today

Monday Morning Weigh-In
Starting weight - (approx since I didn't have a scale) 198 lbs
Target weight - 178 lbs
Current weight - 196 lbs

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Friday, January 14, 2005

This Keyboard Is Loaded, And I'm Not Afraid To Use It

It's a Friday morning ramble kids. Put your seatbelts on.

It Was A Meal. It Was An Awesome Meal!
Yesterday my coworker David and I set out for lunch with no idea where we were headed. This is not unusual. Normally I am 100% sold on trying a new (at least to me) restaurant, especially when the cuisine is "ethnic." But yesterday, David had to twist my arm to visit this new tacqueria [whose name escapes me -- I'll find it later] near the office. I am so glad that he did.

At first, the outing was a comedy of errors. The waitstaff and chef spoke virtually no english, the patrons (David and me) spoke very little (awkward) spanish. Through hand and facial gestures we managed to order -- thankfully avoiding tripe and tongue. The waitress came to the table once and apparently offered to open a bottle of water and pour it into my cup. I understood nothing of what she said; I felt like such an ignorant American.

This meal rocked! Seriously, I could have recreated Meg Ryan's fake orgasm in "When Harry Met Sally". There is no doubt in my mind that I shall return, only next time with someone who speaks spanish. This place will hamper my "20 by 40" goal, however.

Rock -> Paper -> Scissors
Exercise (paper) lost to socializing (rock) when I received a call to play trivia last night. "Meet The Hashers", playing under the pseudonym "Meghan's Problem Table" kicked butt in the inaugural Team Trivia event at Raging Burrito in Decatur. We were in first place by twenty-one points going into the final question, whose maximum point value under Team Trivia's rules is fifteen. Needless to say, we won!

  1. Meghan was the lovely, yet sassy waitress putting up with our crap last night
  2. I'm still miffed that Raging Burrito closed its midtown location a few years ago
  3. If we play there again I want the team name to be "Lesbian Love Gods"
"It Looks Good On You"
I got my hair cut yesterday (one of those "nobody else but me will know" ones). It was the first time that my hairstylist has seen me bearded. Yes, she too complimented me on its appearance. As for the question "Does he color it?" Only my hairstylist will know...

The Sound Of Silence
This is all you will hear out of the Echo Lounge. Much to my dismay I found out that the Echo Lounge closed its doors last Saturday. Granted, the owner was dumb and ran the place illegally under the wrong liquor license warranting its closure, but live music is the one thing that keeps East Atlanta cool. Yes, we still have The Earl, but we need another quality venue. Hopefully someone with vision will swoop in and reopen the space.

Websites Of The Week (my name is Paulie and I have endorsed this message)
Here are some websites that I have visited during the week
  • The Onion: Read It! Love It! Live It! You'll be a better person for doing so.
  • Cheese Racing: This site is dumb, but is so out there that I must mention it.
  • PodFly: I am getting ready for the arrival of my iPod.
And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - spent
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing Elliot Smith
Current Read - the owner's manual to my digital camera (still? Yes, still.)

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Do I Have Athlete's Feet?

20 by 40
That's my story, and eventhough it's going to be hard as hell for me to accomplish, I am sticking to it. Being the nerd that I am, or at least claim to be, I need a scale to track my progress. Apparently the scale I thought I owned has gone elsewhere, so I was forced to buy a new one. As I often do I went to and happened to find a scale which has received nothing but praise from my fellow Amazon customers. As a bonus this scale not only will tell me my weight, it will also calculate my body fat -- although I am not sure I really want to know that number right now. Here's the kicker... When I opened the Amazon box yesterday I read this wonderful tidbit on the side of the scale's packaging

*Before You Buy:

This model is intended for Children (7-17) with inactive to moderately active lifestyles, and Adults with inactive or moderately active lifestyles. It is not intended for use by athletes or extremely fit people. Tanita defines "athlete" as a person involved in intense physical activity of approximately 10 hours per week and who has a resting heart rate of approximately 60 beats per minute or less. In addition, people who are involved in a "Lifetime of Fitness" and who are very fit, but are currently active 10 hours per are considered "athletes."

Basically I think that I have bought a scale for lazy people. It's a good thing that I am not one of those freaks who practices a "Lifetime of Fitness."

Easy For You To Type
You don't know how bad a typist I am. I took typing class in school -- to meet girls. I became a computer programmer -- obviously not to meet girls, but rather to make money. I should be a decent typist, but sadly I am not. I am thankful that we have electronic methods for making typing corrections, otherwise I would have spent a considerable portion of my salary on Wite Out Correction Fluid (shout out to Brookhaven Instruments Corporation, who have a link to Bic on their website -- nice netiquette).

In my time I have worn out my fair share of Backspace keys making corrections. What made me think of this was the number of times I had to retype "athlete" above. More often than not it came out "atlhete" which of course is very different. I'll blame the number of times I have typed "Atlanta" for this problem.

Another common typing error of mine is the combination of the words "in" and "the." Over a decade of being a C programmer has forever ruined my ability to type the sequence "in the" correctly. If you know C you know that a common data type is "int", hence I always wind up knocking out "int he" before backspacing to change it to "in the."

Maybe I spend the day typing the phrase "I am an athlete living in the town of Atlanta" until I get these bad habits corrected...

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - upbeat
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing Oasis
Current Read - the owner's manual to my digital camera

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Changing Of The Guard

This sounds so serious, but fear not today's entry is lighthearted.

I've decided that my life is stagnant and that it needs to be shaken up a bit. "Out with the old, in with the new" (a statement which has meaning in my past, but that's another story).

Sometimes You Have To Let The Man, Part Two
This morning I purchased an iPod. It's not one of those new, fancy flash-based iPod Shuffles announced yesterday by Apple at Macworld, nor is it one of the hip U2 models that somebody I know just scored, but it will be sufficient enough to raise my "Coolness Level" from yellow to orange. The only thing I need to figure out is how it's going to be able to play my cassette tapes...

Sock It To Me
A Rowan & Martin's Laugh In reference you ask? No, actually a sock drawer reference. It amazes me how one event triggers another. After the t-shirt epiphany the other day, I started examining the rest of my clothing collection (and by collection I mean "clothes accumulated over the past ten years" and not "this year's Fall collection"). Holy shit I own a lot of socks -- far more than any one individual should. Granted, I own different socks for different occassions (as if this justifies my habit); I own socks for running, biking, hashing (they go all the way up to my knees), dressing up, cold weather wool socks, etc. Name an occassion, I'll name the sock (which oddly reminds me of the movie City Slickers where Billy Crystal's character is challenged to name a food and Ira or Barry Shalowitz (I can't remember which) would come up with the perfect ice cream flavor).

You Say Cuss, I Say Curse
I had a good laugh last night watching a program called "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares" on BBC America. The premise of the show is that Gordon Ramsay, a brash, foul-mouthed chef in Britain (is "chef in Britain" a contradiction?), has taken on the task of visiting small restaurants in order to correct their deficiencies -- all in a week's time. The tagline for the show is "If you can't stand the heat you shouldn't be in the f**king kitchen." It makes me laugh that apparently even on "The Beeb", at least the American version, you cannot say "fuck", although "shit" is dropped often, as is "bollocks" (which essentially means "fuck up", or refers to one's testicles). Odd, very fucking odd.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - thick
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing Sonic Youth
Current Read - the owner's manual to my digital camera

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

All Systems Go!

I love it, I mean really love it, when a system works as advertised!

For the first time in my adult life I participated in my company's Flexible Medical Spending Plan. Basically, for all of you old enough to remember, it's like a Christmas Club account where each paycheck a pre-determined amount of my salary is diverted (pre-tax) to a fund that must be used for medical expenses within the specified fiscal year. If I fail to use the money within the fiscal year the unused portion is forfeited (not sure to whom, but suffice to say it is not returned to me). I guess you could say that I was betting "The System" that I would be getting sick enough last year to spend the X amount of dollars I was setting aside. Given the fact that I have no dental insurance and knew that another crown was imminent in 2004, it was a safe wager. The plan states that when I spend money for qualifying medical expenses I need only to fax in copies of the itemized bill proving payment and I will be reimbursed (up to, but not exceeding X).

This all sounds great in theory, but in practice it is usually a fucking hassle dealing with administration, paperwork and waiting for reimbursement.

Yesterday in the mail I received a check for the amount corresponding to receipts I faxed in just last week! Holy Fucking Hell, somebody has done it right! (and there was much rejoicing!!!) Congratulations PayFlex, I love you!

When Do Ten Brains Not Fare Better Than One?
Last night at Johnny's Pizza's version of team trivia "Meet the Hashers", usually a juggernaut when together, failed to answer the following question correctly.

Place the following four inventions in order of creation from oldest to newest
1) Otis passenger elevator
2) Machine gun
3) Goodyear vulcanized rubber
4) Richter scale

We got it completely wrong, plummeting us out of the money. Truthfully, I had no idea of the proper order and I still don't. I guess next week it's back to Taco Mac.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - mixed emotions
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing Radiohead

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Shirt Off My Back

I participate in a lot of activities which give t-shirts away. I've been known to do running and biking races, do hashing events, as well as work in the computer industry for the last thirteen years (a computer geek without at least one t-shirt from the DotCom days is not really a computer geek). I must own somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 t-shirts. I've never actually counted them, but the stack is tall and quite cumbersome to lift when I am trying to put away clean laundry.

Last night while doing laundry I realized that I was folding a t-shirt that I have owned for ten years! The shirt I was folding was nothing extra-ordinary (unlike the authentic Pat Benatar t-shirt that I acquired at my first concert in 1980); it was a softball t-shirt obtained during my stint at a company called Daugherty Systems.

Hi, My Name Is Paul And I Have A Problem
I've come to the conclusion that I have a problem getting rid of the past. I am not a pack rat, although I wish I could have been one of the Rat Pack. There is a theory abound that you should never display pictures in your household. Pictures represent the past, and if you dwell upon the past you will never be able to concentrate on making the future better. I cannot say that I subscribe to this belief, although I believe it has some merit.

T-shirts are just one example of my problem. I can't seem to put the Palm III that I have owned for a good six years out to pasture. My PDA is a dinosaur in the world of electronics; it can't do most of today's cool tasks, but in its limited way it serves my needs. I seem to have a loyalty to it, the same way I have a loyalty to people who have treated me well.

So, What Did I Learn This Weekend?
If you read this space on Friday you'll remember my grand plans
  • buy refrigerator
  • read up on html
  • understand how to use
Well, I was 0 for 3. Ooops. Actually what I learned this weekend is that I currently need a lot of social interaction and sleep. Much hashing, drinking and sleeping were the orders of the day. Who can blame me when it is sunny and 68 degrees in January? Oh well, there is always next weekend...

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - puzzled
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing William Shatner

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Friday, January 07, 2005

Working For The Weekend

Loverboy. Yes, Loverboy. Unlike Journey, it would have been okay for a high school girlfriend to like Loverboy. In hindsight, I really had a warped sense of reality back then.

Today is the first Friday I have worked since the one prior to Thanksgiving. As I have chronicled it is my 'tradition' to take every Friday between Thanksgiving and New Year's off from work (read the fine prose posted from Joe's in prior posts). Tradition or not, this first Friday back to work is hard to deal with. I keep wanting to scream "I'm not even supposed to be here today!" (Clerks reference)

Refrigerator Magnet
Today is 'The Day' boys and girls! I am finally putting the old refrigerator out to pasture. Armed with gift cards I am swinging over to Sears after work to purchase a new one (to be delivered just in time to keep all of the Super Bowl party food safe from all those nasty things that live in inferior refrigerators). Maybe with my purchase I can help them make enough money to steal that crystal football sponsorship back from ADT.

I'll See Your Party, And Raise You One
As always seems to be the case I am double booked tonight (my, aren't I popular). Well, it's seems to be the case except when I have nothing to do. Gee, maybe those free nights would have been well spent seeing The Incredibles, but I digress.

Tonight I am to attend a birthday party for my good friend, and fellow East Atlantan, Glenn. Happy 39th Glenn! I'll tell you what it's like to hit forty when I get there later this year. From there I'll be heading over to a 'wine and re-gifting' party hosted by my good friends and fellow Survivor dinner party hosts. I've got a doozy of a re-gift which I shall not divulge just in case anyone else who will be attending the party is checking in today. :P

Learning, Always Learning...
If I have learned one thing from this blogging exercise it is that I am not the greatest speller. along with a right-click plugin for Firefox have been my saviors (which I spelled correctly, thank you very much). M'ster if you ever read this you'll understand my troubles playing Scrabble.

Although already packed with activity I am really going to try and start to educate myself again. On what you may ask?
  • html - I feel like this blog template is too limiting
  • - I've got pictures to post and a camera phone I want use better
Wish me luck.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - anxious
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing William Shatner

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Humping Around The City

Made You Look! Ah, childish humor it makes me laugh at least.

When Streets Get Humped, We All Get Screwed
The other day I found out through the East Atlanta email list that Ormewood Ave, a main street which connects Flat Shoals Ave and Moreland Ave, was getting speed humps installed. I hate speed humps! Speed humps (along with the not-so-approved technique of leaving big metal plates covering roadwork) have become a popular defense against this city's shitty drivers.

Do speed humps slow down drivers? Yes, but to a damn snail's pace. When many drivers encounter speed humps they slow to a speed which would safely ensure the transport viles of nitroglycerine. It's even more frustrating to see people in SUVs slow as if their vehicles were not designed to encounter bumps (which really may be the case, but that's another story).

Furthermore, speed humps cause people to take alternate routes, which simply moves the danger rather than eliminating it. The people whose street gets humped may get the problem out of their front yard, only to have passed it along to their neighbors -- and that's not very neighborly. Finally, speed humps do nothing to solve the other issues of traffic safety ignorance such as running red lights (by coincedence yesterday I came upon two separate accidents which occurred in the middle of intersections controlled by traffic signals), ignoring stop signs, not paying attention (read 'cellphone usage', 'food eating', 'reading', etc), or seeing pedestrians and cyclists as annoyances on the road which must be eliminated.

Okay Einstein What's Your Solution?
Education and enforcement are the only ways to curb dangerous driving habits. We will never completely eradicate traffic safety problems, especially in a city which loves its cars, and whose mass transit system (again, another story) is abysmal, but we need to try.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - ready for the weekend
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26, playing Razorlight

Drive Safely -- and I mean it!
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

On A Road To Nowhere

One of the ramifications of claiming that you plan to lose twenty pounds in fewer than eight months is that you must exercise regularly if you have any hope of backing it up. Well, I suppose I could become a bulimic, but that seems a bit extreme -- at least this early in the game.

Don't Call It A Comeback
Last night's exercise was an hour on my bicycle trainer. This is a common exercise routine for me (yeah yeah the weather is gorgeous I should get outside, and run or bike. Whatever!), especially when I can pop on some tv to help pass the time. Little did I know that by not bringing the remote control to the bicycle that I would have to exercise my restraint in addition to my legs. I decided that would watch, in spectacular HDTV, the 71st (FedEx) Orange Bowl broadcast on ABC which is owned by Disney. The winning team would become the proud possessor of the ADT National Champion Trophy (um, crystal football), which of course used to be called the Sears National Champion Trophy, and oh yeah, some worthless (at least monetarily) thing called pride. Do you get what I am after here? Embedded somewhere in the last few sentences is the concept of sports, winning and pride, all obscured by marketing. Yes, I know it's the "American Way" but hasn't it gotten way out of control? Oh, and lest I forget, the game was horrible.

By half-time the game was essentially over and I had about ten minutes left in my ride. Not being a quitter, I decided that I would finish my ride even when I found out that the half-time entertainment (which I think was the "Pontiac High Performance Half-Time") consisted of a U2 video, and "live" performances from Kelly Clarkson, some guy named Trev Atkins, and your favorite lipsyncer and mine, Ashlee Simpson. Can you say "train wreck?" I knew you could.

In the scorecard of life I think I gained some extra credit for being able to finish my ride without getting off the bike to change the channel. Come to think of it, had I walked across the room to change the channel and then gotten back on to the bike, I would have gotten more exercise. Damn! Why didn't I think of that then?!?

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal...
Current Mood - upbeat
Current Music - Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 26 -- unfortunately playing Trent Dabbs

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Trivial Knowledge For $200 Please, Alex

Wow, Meet The Hashers kicked ass and took names last night at Johnny's Pizza in Inman Park. Ending the game a mere eight points from perfection (we actually only lost three points due to our only incorrect answer -- the other five points are accounted for in the points we wagered on the final question.) I believe we racked up the highest score ever seen in The Trivia Factory's history. My contributions last night consisted of helping the table look good, not drinking much beer, and not interrupting the teammates who brought their "A" game last night. Yes, I am the consummate team player.

Slow News Day
Today my coworkers have brought in yet more free cake. BRING IT! I care not, for I have reintroduced 'discipline' into my eating vocabulary.

Toy Of The Day
My continual search, slowed momentarily by the Visa bill I received in the mail yesterday, for my next toy continues. The latest playa is the iPaq rx3115. Having given up on bringing all of my life together into a single device (T-Mobile, lower those rates and you'll have another Sidekick II customer) I am looking into going toward a new PDA which can also do music/video (sorry Palm, I just don't think you have the lasting power you once did). Of course, no purchase can be made until this year's Consumer Electronics Show is over so that I know what the next wave of electronic toys will look like.

And This Just In....
My friend Stacey just sent me a link to this article in Sunday's Boston Herald. The article discusses a temporary Starbucks advertising campaign being used by some of Boston's cabs.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Boston's Common Grounds

Apparently the common grounds in Boston is Starbucks. You'd think that in the city famous for the Boston Tea Party I'd be able to find an old school coffee shop and get a cup of java; you'd be wrong. I saw more Starbucks Coffee shops in Boston than I have seen in my life (mind you I have never been to Seattle, and the last time I visited Manhattan was prior to Starbucks' invasion).

I thought I wouldn't like Boston, eventhough it is one the breeding grounds of Blue State mentalilty. I figured the New England accent (pahking the cah in Hahvahd Yahd) would grow tiresome quickly and I would be ready to kill someone faster than you could say "Reverse the Curse." I was wrong.

My hotel, the Boston Sheraton, was accomodating enough to give me room 1927 (think Murderer's Row -- 1927 Yankees) although being a Mets fan (and you should still be one too Kevin!) I would have preferred room 1986. From my room I could see Fenway Park to the left, the Prudential Center to the right, and the Charles River straight ahead.

What I learned is that I had to take to the streets in order to appreciate Boston, or at least the portion of the city I was able to see.

On Friday I noticed numerous pubs that fit the description of "my type of bar." Due to the wedding festivities and New Year's I was only able to make it to one of these, Bukowski's Tavern, home of the Dead Authors' Club and possessor of the Wheel of Beer. Unfortunately by the time I got there on New Year's Eve I was too drunk to appreciate either of those, but I was not so far gone to appreciate the box at the entrance which said "put your party hats here, you look stupid as shit wearing them."

Much to the amazement of my friends I woke early on Saturday morning and went for a walk. I walked down to the Charles and along it for a short while. The old trees along the Charles are amazing. They have character beyond belief, many of which have succumded to brisk winds off the Charles and have taken to growing at an acute angle as opposed to straight up and down. From the Charles I went up and walked along Commonweath, which has a wonderful median full of old specimen trees and statues. Commonweath reminded me of the Neutral Grounds commonly found in New Orleans. Finally on my way back to the hotel I stumbled across the 25 mile marker for the Boston Marathon. I briefly thought about traversing the last 1.2 miles to the finish line, but quickly came to my senses and went back to the hotel.

The reason for my Boston trip? Kevin and Christie's wedding. One of the best weddings I have ever attended. It's always a treat to see two people who looked honestly happy to be getting married. I thank them for letting me be a part of their lives, and I wish them the best!

My final conclusion? Boston was nice, a place I'd like to visit again, but there seems to be nothing there to lure me from leaving my life Inside The Perimeter.

Cheers (and I'm not talking about the bar based on the Bull and Finch)!
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Saturday, January 01, 2005

2005 - "20 By 40"

Happy New Year's to anyone reading this!

I've come up with this year's theme "20 By 40". I have been bitching about my weight and now it's time to do something about it! My goal is to lose twenty pounds by the time I turn forty. Given the fact that my birthday is in late July, I have approximately eight months to accomplish the goal. That breaks down to losing roughly 2.5 pounds a month.

I'll worry about what my theme will be when August rolls around when August actually rolls around.

I've only started assigning themes to years a few years ago.
2003 - "Get The Job Done"
2004 - "Return To Personal Goals"

Some people think it is weird that I come up with themes for my years. I just think it helps me focus on what I think is important. Businesses do it all the time, why not apply it to my personal life?

Paulie [eatl/ga]