Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Not really a success

Damn, it's been a whole week, and this blog is aching for some new content.

The visit from my sister was really nice last week. I think he had a fairly good time here and I know I really enjoyed having her.

N and I got up to the mountains just fine and did do our camping trip that had been in the planning stages for some time. While not really a success, I would definitely categorize it as a partial success.

We got dropped off at the border of the National Forest, hiked up set up camp and had a general good time until we had to zip up into the tent for the night. It was pretty uncomfortable. Maybe it was the side hill we were sleeping on, maybe it was just the fact that we weren't in a comfy bed, but neither of us got much sleep.

She was physically uncomfortable and also scared. I did my best to alleviate her fears about animals or people bothering us, but I don't know how much good I did. At least she was sleeping at the time the coyotes began to howl and make a racket.

Other than the fact that neither of us go much sleep to speak of, it was fun. The next morning, I got up and was able to do some hiking on the trail. (She went home early due to being cold and tired) My brother joined me and we had a good time.

We got back to town and are heading into a week of lots of work. It is spring break for the University as well as the city schools, so it is pretty hectic around work.

My goals for the week are as follows: watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Extended Edition (that I received for Christmas), plant the garden, start my papers.

So far all I've done is watch movies. Lets hope I get industrious and change that in the next few days.

Mood: Achy
Music: Much the Same

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Flesh Wound

The perils of working with raptors. I guess not many people can say they have been bitten by a Bald Eagle. Posted by Hello

The bald eagle and I are no longer friends

My sister is in town for the remainder of the week, so I probably won't post much, I'll be trying to keep her entertained. Yesterday, I took her to my volunteer job so she could hang out and see all the raptors.

The bald eagle and I are no longer friends. We were trying to force feed him last night. He didn't take to it too well. As I clutched him to my chest, he reached around aiming for my jugular. He got a pretty good bite on my neck. Maybe I'll post a picture later.

Oh, also, this weekend is the big trip to the AT. I don't know if the weather will cooperate, but hopefully it will.

Mood: Happy
Music: Amber Pacific

Monday, March 21, 2005

The deed was done.

Tomorrow, I'm headed up to meet my brother halfway between here and Charlotte. He is brining my sister, so that she can come down and hang out for the rest of the week while she is on spring break.

Since my iPod is still at Apple being repaired, I thought I'd burn some new cds for the 6 hours of driving I have to endure tomorrow. One of the cds that I burned was one from Armor for Sleep. What I ended up doing, was putting their new album and their old album on one CD. That made the CD in my truck with only the old album on it effectively obsolete.

As I got in my truck for a quick trip to Kroger, I put the new cds in my visor and tossed the old one down to the floor. As I barreled across town in search of chocolate chip cookies, I realized that something should happen to the perfectly yet 'obsolete' CD on my floor. Once I wheeled into the Kroger parking lot, I reached down to pick it up. It's still a good CD, not scratched, basically perfect in every way, music and physical condition.

I decided that I would spread the gospel that is Armor for Sleep to some unsuspecting soul. I quickly scanned the parking lot and didn't immediately see any candidates for donation, but the late model Mercury Cougar in front of me with Iowa plates looked like as good a candidate as any.

I slid out of my seat, locked the door, and scanned the parking lot for anyone watching. As I walked past the drivers window, I checked inside to make sure there was in fact a CD player. Check. Then I placed the CD down by the door handle on the window.

The deed was done. I went into Kroger and did my shopping. When I came out, I was hoping that car wouldn't be gone with my gift lying on the ground. Joy, although the car was still there, my package was intact. I thought about just getting in my truck and sitting there until someone came out to find it. But, I thought that might be a little weird. I got in my truck, started it up, and backed across the parking lot.

I found a quiet corner and started to enjoy a cookie. I sat there for a few minutes, just jamming out to Sample this, Too. After a few minutes, no one had come out to the car, other cars came and went, but the owner of the late model Mercury was no where to be found.

After several minutes, I lost my curiosity about what the person might do when they found my gift, and I just started to feel weird and stalkerish. I cranked the engine and pulled out of the parking lot, destination home. Never to know.

Did they take the CD, listen to it, and love it like I hope they did? Or, did they just think it was some sort of joke and toss it onto the ground? I'll never know, but hopefully Armor for Sleep has one more fan tonight.

Want to know more about Armor for Sleep? Here, why don't you try a free sample. If you have bittorrent, the first one is free. See how easy it is? It's like a drug.

Seriously, download it, listen to them, love them. They are dream rock at its best.

Mood: Upbeat
Music: The Early November

Friday, March 18, 2005

Moment of Zen

I'm sure everyone had a wild night last night, so here is a moment of zen. I took this last summer at the Japanese Garden in PDX. Then ran a Photoshop filter over it. Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Oh, to be at an IrishPunk show on St. Patty's Day

I'm sure by now, all of you are very aware that today is St. Patrick's Day. Since I have given up beer, I won't be partaking of a Guiness tonight, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't.

I'm up and off to class to take a test in Promotion Strategy, but in honor of the day, I thought I would tell you of where I'd rather be. Today, I'd rather be in Boston going to a Dropkick Murphy's show or even better, I'd rather be in San Diego going to a Flogging Molly show.

Oh, to be at an IrishPunk show on St. Patty's Day. Could there be anything better? Too bad I'm stuck here taking tests... at least I can hear the on my iPod.

Where would you rather be tonight?.

Mood: Green
Music: Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphy's all day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

"I know that car."

Tuesday morning was a particularly seasonable morning here so I decided to take the scooter to class rather than drive my truck. I was really enjoying the wind in my face and the freedom that comes from riding the scooter when I pulled up to the red light at a busy intersection here in town.

I sat at the intersection thinking about school when the crossing traffic moved from standing still to flowing through the intersection. I watched as cars crossed my view. I noticed a white Hyundai cross in front of me and I thought to myself, "I know that car."

Thinking of who it might be, I glanced immediately at the rear view mirror for the tell tale hang tag. Check it was there. Driver. Yep, it's him.

I recognized our old, grumpy, annoying ex-upstairs neighbor as soon as I saw him -- it didn't take more than a glance.

I like to keep tabs on the world around me, in particular the lives of those who live in the complex with me. Whether it be trying to figure out how many kids the divorced older fellow actually has, why the guy across the streets wife left him, or watching the old couple start dating, fall in love, move in together, then subsequently move out together (presumably for a proper house).

The man who moved in above us was always an anomaly to me. I never quite figured him out. He was such a strange one. When he first moved in, I figured he moved here ahead of his family, the kids might have to finish the school year, then they would move here with him. Well, time came and went, no family ever appeared. In fact, I never saw him with anyone else, he was always alone. Except for one time when he was with a woman, but it just seemed like a date, and I never saw him with her again.

Why would a single man pay all the extra money for a three bedroom apartment when he really only needed a one, maybe two bedroom one? I didn't know, still don't. He obviously had no family, and no pets as far as I could tell.

Things were fine at first when he moved in. He didn't bother us, and we didn't bother him. That all changed several months into him living here. We started to get 'anonymous' complaints filed against us at the office. It was always evident who these were coming from though.

He would complain that we played music too loud too late, or the TV was kept at an unacceptable volume. Fair enough I guess, but that sure didn't stop him from waking up at 6 am every morning on the dot and stomp around his apartment. No kidding, it sounded like he was wearing led boots from the minute he crawled out of bed. Funny thing was, early in the am was the only time he walked that loud... Makes you wonder doesn't it.

Several months ago, he just stopped being around. At first, I didn't even really notice he was gone. I guess one day, I just noticed his Hyundai wasn't parking out front each night. Then I saw the property manager entering his apartment one day and she confirmed for me that he had indeed moved out.

So, fast forward back to Tuesday morning. There he was crossing my path yet again. I didn't know he was still in town. But, evidently he is. He must still be working for the University, because he still had his A zone tag proudly hanging from his mirror.

It makes me wonder yet again. What is he all about? Did he move to a house, or just a nicer apartment? Better yet, did he move because he was tired of us young kids having too much fun and interrupting his sleep? I hope so, cause he was a real ass.

Mood: Jovial
Music: Punk O Rama

Less than two weeks out

As it stands today, N and I are less than two weeks out from our 'get our feet wet' hike on the AT. I talked my parents into coming up to the mountain house for that weekend. The plan is to head up friday night, get a lift to Big Bald, hike south for a day, camp for the night, and hike out Sunday for a lift back down to the mountain house. I didn't really think about it when I started planning this, but this time of year it is still pretty cold in the mountains, and the weather is fairly variable. I'm hoping we don't get rained or snowed on. I dont' think that would be good for the first trip into the wilderness.

I did a gear inventory this morning, so I know what we need to go buy and what things I have. I've been consulting the REI webpage a lot because they seem to have a lot of good information. In fact, I used this list to help me decide what we need to take with us.

All in all, things are shaping up and I think that the trip will go well. One thing I am concerned about is that N doesnt' seem to want to do any training with me. I walk most nights in additon to my pushup/cruch routine that I have developed. She is a pretty busy girl and can't/doesn't seem to find the time to walk with me.

We do have plans to go out to the local state park tomorrow and do a bit of hiking, so hopefully that will go well. She has been in quite a funk today. Hopefully that will have lifted by tomorrow...

Mood: Bleh.
Music: CKY

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A show of solidarity

N is Greek and her family are members of the Greek Orthodox Church. N and I individually aren't particularly religious, but her Mom is. Her Mom is a Sunday School teacher and a fairly devout member of the church. For instance, whenever we travel, N usually calls her to let her know that we are getting on the road. Her Mom will reply to her, "Don't forget to say a prayer before you get on the interstate." The Greek Orthodox calendar is measured differently that the regular Christian calendar, so their lent didn't start until this week.

One of the lent activities that they partake in is fasting. N's Mom fasts and encourages N to also. N does just to keep her Mom happy and to please her, not for any particular spiritual enhancement. This will be my third lent spent with N, and for the past three years I have joined her in her fasting as a show of solidarity.

The first year that we fasted together, we tried, but didn't really do it. We cheated quite a bit. Last year though, I was determined to do better, just to prove to myself that I could do it. As an added bonus, I decided that I would not only give up meat (excluding seafood, for some reason it doesn't count) but I would also give up alcohol (particularly beer) and soft drinks.

We actually did a really good job last year. We didn't cheat once. We got through the entire forty days laying off it all.

This year, I have decided to do it again. So Sunday was the last day that I ate meat, had a soft drink, and my last opportunity to have a beer for forty days. I also decided to give up candy this time too. Mostly because I have been on one hell of a candy binge lately and I figured it might be good for me to lay off of it for a while. I also tend to have very little self control when lots of candy is around, unless I have a goal like this to lay off of it.

So, in the end, I'm fasting for forty days and forty nights, laying off a lot of food that I love not for any really religious reasons, but more just to prove to myself that I can do it. To prove to myself that I have the self control and wherewithal (is that a word?) to do it.

I'll let you know how it goes this time

Mood: My arms are week from too many pushups.
Music: Colossal

Monday, March 14, 2005

Here is one of my other favorite birds that we have in now, she is a mature RedTail Hawk. You can't really tell from the picture,but she has a lot more white than they normally do. I like her because she seems like and old stately lady. She is pretty calm when you handle her. Posted by Hello

Here is the Bald Eagle that we were working on last week. He is doing better, although h has had part of his wing removed already. Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 13, 2005

40 days and nights

So, I'm back. It was a good little weekend jaunt up to NC. I didn't get do do the things that I wanted to do and was so stoked for, but that's ok. I did get to see my family, suprise my parents and eats lots of good food and candy, so all in all, it was good.

Tomorrow is the begining of Greek Lent, so that means that I'll be laying off the meat, beer, soft drinks, and candy for 40 days and nights. More on that later, now I just want to go to bed.

Mood: Confused
Music: Radio Bam

Thursday, March 10, 2005

I'm going to head off for NC in a few hours. I'll be suprising my parents for my Dad's 50th birthday. It should be a great weekend. I have some stuff planned that I think will make good blogging material. Hopefully I will come back with some pictures and stories to relate.

On a side note, it is fast approaching two weeks until N and I make our inagural trip on the AT. We will be going on a weekend excursion to prepare for the longer trek planned for June.

See you Sunday. Have a great weekend.

Mood: Excited
Music: Matchbook Romance

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

"Do the chickens have large talons?"

This afternoon, I went out to do a shift at my volunteer job. When I got there, not much was going on, just the regular chores, scrubbing floors, cleaning cages, prepping food. No one was in the treatment room, so I poked my head into the Critical Care Ward (CCW) and said hi to one of the other volunteers who was cleaning the floor. After the customary "Hello's, How are you doings?" she asked if I had seen the new Bald Eagle we got in. I hadn't so I walked over to see him. He was sitting at the back of his cage, and I could tell his right wing was injured by the green bandage on it. He was a smaller eagle (~4300g) but notheless still a huge bird compared to what we typically deal with. I admired him, and noted that due to his plumage, he probably was just getting to be mature, probably in his fifth or sixth year of life.

We went about our normal chores, feeding, medicating and cleaning up after all the other birds. The only things left to do for the day were to give the eagle some fluid, as well as change his bandage. The veterinarian wasn't around, so we just kind of hung out for a while waiting on her to drop by the center. She finally called and told us she would be by shortly and we could work on him.

When she got in, she told us she had been in surgery on a Cockatiel. She told us to go get the eagle so we could begin work on him. The other two volunteers who are both girls didn't seem to into grabbing him, so I grabbed the special, extra thick eagle gloves and headed into the CCW.

When I opened his cage, he was with his back to me. I eventually coaxed him into turned around so that I had a clear shot at his feet. ** After a few seconds to get myself psyced up to grab a 9.5 pound bird with a 7 feet wingspan, I thrust my hand and grab for his ankles. I capture him, pull him out of the cage and into a safe area where he can thrash and not injure himself further. He thrashes his wings, flails his head, and gnashes his talons. At one point, he even got my hand with his beak. It hurt through the thick leather.

Once he was under control and I was able to cradle him, we carried him into the treatment room. Doc, cut away his bandages to reveal a nasty wound that was beginning to fester. Without his system pumped full of antibiotics, he would be goner.

Treatment included undressing, washing, and redressing the wound. Which was all very painful, this was evident because he began to thrash and try to get loose from my grip. We gave him a shot of Butorphenal (SP) to help ease the pain, and take the edge off. Then, we gave him fluids and put him back into his cage to rest for the night.

The good news is that even though part of his wing is dying, and will have to be removed, he will probably live. He just won't be returned to the wild. His options now, are to become an education bird and do outreach, or to become a blood donor for other eagles who are turned into rehab centers.

It is not clear how he became injured. I don't' think he was found near a highway, he doesn't appear to have been caught in a fence, and the X-rays were negative for a gun shot wound. It doesn't appear as though there was any malicious intent to cause his injury. But, at least he got to us, and we will be able to help him. At least he is getting the care he needs. At least he didn't end up like these eagles.

I'm not scheduled to volunteer again until next week, but I'll try to go out and get a picture of him.

It was really neat working on him. Working with all the birds is fun, but it is especially neat when such a special bird comes in like a Bald Eagle.

** It's at this point, as I stare at the birds massive talons that in my head I hear Napoleon Dynamite say, "Do the chickens have large talons?"

Mood: Feeling like I've made a difference.
Music: New Found Glory

Monday, March 07, 2005

Bodies, emotions, love, and the like.......

I never got around to playing Halo, which is ironic because it is exactly what I want to do now, but can't. My roommate came home and claimed the TV for himself. Now, I'm here, again, bored.

Many things have happened between N and I in the last two weeks. Most of which I have not mentioned her for various reasons (believe me I'd love to share but...). Now, she seems to be crushing hardcore on one of the boys in her class.

After all that has happened, I had hope things were finally looking up, but methinks we are going back down the rabbit hole. All that I feel for her just complicates the issue.

I did what I though was right and honorable when faced with a sticky/tricky/awkward situation at the expense of others (the girl) and now, it is hard to watch/read as she goes on about this boy. I know it is her right and she really has no obligation to me as I have none to her, but after the way I was made to feel for what I did, oh, I don't know.

It's all just such a tangled mess, with bodies, emotions, love, and the like.......

Mood: Really bummed.
Music: Dave Matthews

there is something in the water

I find myself sitting here, not doing much of anything -- procrastinating about the killer Anthropology exam I have in two days. I've been contemplating getting up and going to play Halo, but haven't budged from this chair. I have a new MacAddict sitting on my bed, but even it hasn't had the power to draw me from my computer.

I did some research for my Anthro paper a little earlier. I found some pretty good sources, but I think I'm going to need to go to the library to get some good hard core scientific sources. I did some quick research the other day and found a paper written about Lacamas Lake, the area that I'm writing my Environmental Problems paper on. I ordered that from the State of Washington, hopefully, it will come soon so I can get started on that paper.

For some inexplicable reason, I'm diving into these papers witha vigor not ever seen, maybe it's the fact that I only have so many papers left to write in my college career and I want to go out on with some good ones under my belt (the majority of the ones I have written have been shit). Maybe, I don't know, there is something in the water, that's probably it.

My dad's 50th birthday is on Monday, so N and I are heading up to NC to suprise him for the weekend when he returns from Singapore. We are going to stay with brother and sister in Clemson Thursday night. I'm looking forward to it, it should be lots of fun.

Alright, I think it's time for some MacAddict.

Mood: Slothy
Music: Brand New

No sign ever came

N stayed over with me on Saturday night and then she asked me to stay over with her last night. I agreed. I had to get up early this morning (6:45) to register for fall classes. So, I got up and registered, which took way longer than it should have. By the time I finished it was nearly 7:40 and getting close to time to wake N up. I rolled over and snuggled up against her. At this point, I realized I was fairly horny and kinda wanting to fool around some. I laid my arm across her stomach. A few minutes later, I repositioned so that my arm slid down closer to her lower parts. After a few minutes I repositioned again (playing it cool the whole time) and put my hand down in between her legs.

At this point, I was starting to get a hard on and looking for some sign from her that I was cleared for takeoff. No sign ever came, so I just ever so slightly started rubbing, hoping to elicit a positive response from her. Nothing. In fact, she reached down and grabbed my arm and put it back over onto me. Damn. So much for that.

What I was trying was innocent enough, I was just trying to give her a happy wakeup. I mentioned this to her after we were up and moving about, she said that she wasn't in the mood. That's fine, at least we didn't get into an argument or anything about it.

I guess I'll have to try again later.

I got registered for classes and everything seems a go for December graduation. At this point, I'm just wondering what kink life will throw in my plans. I know it's coming at some point. In the fall, I'm registered for:
  • Intro to Archeology
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Services Marketing
  • Strategic Management
Mood: Rejected.
Music: Halifax

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 license

I don't really think anyone has ever payed attention to this, or actually cares, but it is worth noting, I have changed the Creative Commons license for this site. It is now licensed under the Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 license. (Previously it was under the Attribution 2.0 license).

The links can also be permanently found on the left sidebar at the bottom.

A Day Full of Promise II

Today is to a day full of promise, Part II. Hopefully, today will be the Sunday that I so desperately wanted last week and was unable to have.

The semester is half way over now, and that means it is time to turn towards those daunting projects and papers that will soon come due. I have a paper for Physical Anthropology that I need to get cracking on as well as a paper for Environmental Problems.

I think I've chosen topics for both. For the environmental problems paper, I think I'm going to write about fertilizer runoff into water sources (Nonpoint source pollution). For my physical anthropology paper, I think I'm going to write about the newly discovered Homo floresiensis, also affectionately known as the little hobbits.

Yesterday after work, N and I put on our new hiking boots and headed out to the state park for a hike. Twenty minutes in, we stopped at a big rock and had our picnic lunch I packed. After all was said and done, we hiked about an hour and forty-five minutes. It was a good walk, and a good way to start breaking in our boots for the upcoming short hike over spring break.

That's it for now, I'm off to enjoy my Sunday, and you should be doing the same.

Mood: Sore
Music: Northstar

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

If one propels oneself into the troposphere

Tomorrow is a big day, you see, I'm planning on graduating in December so, the search for a real job is starting to ramp up and hit full steam.

Tomorrow is the logistics career fair at school. I've been to career fairs at school before, but just to look around, get a feel for what they're like and talk to a few companies. Tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow I'm going in search of a job. Not that I will probably find one, but I will be meeting and greeting with the intention of returning in the fall in search of interviews.

Since the fall of 2001, I've been living the good life. I finally reached that stage where I'm an adult but not really. I was thinking the other day that I can pretty much do whatever I want now adays without really answering to anyone. I don't have to tell Mom and Dad where I'm going or who I'm going to be with, as I did in high school. For instance, when I tell them about my hiking trip this summer, they won't care, they will just want to know the requisite information (i.e. when will I be back, when will I contact them, nothing anyone else concerned about me would want to know) I get to enjoy these simple joys of being free from the totalitarian control of parents but without really facing all the challenges of 'real' adulthood.

I'm still on the payroll at home, I look forward to my stipend that comes from Mom and Dad at the begining of every month. It's really the best of both worlds. I don't have to work (although I do) and I can pretty much do what I want within the confinds of the law.

Starting tomorrow, that will all slowly start coming to an end. By this time next year, ideally, I'll be living on my own (without roommates) and settling into a job. I'll be out in the real world with nothing more than a piece of paper from a university saying that I'm trainable. I'll have to rely on my skills, wit, and charm to earn a living. I won't have that monthly stipend to cover all my bills and most of my expenses.

It all makes me a little nostalgic for the simpler days of my youth. But, I can't stop the progression of time and the inevitable changes it brings. I guess I can only embrace it and dive headlong into it the way I devote myself to the other important things in my life.

So, here's to being young. So, as I put on my suit tomorrow morning to walk out the door to dive into the real world and meet my future, I guess I should think about those proverbial words:

One should hyperesthetically exercise macrography upon that situs which one will eventually tenent if one propels oneself into the troposphere.

Music: Greenday
Mood: Nervous, Nostalgic, Optomistic

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

I guess because I'm a geek and do stuff like that

I'm starting to get pretty stoked about the trip to the Appalachian trail that I am planning for this summer. I've started to immerse myself in all things hiking. After class yesterday, N and I dropped by the local outfitter downtown and had a good twenty minute or so about boots, food, supplies, and clothing.

I have a lot of the basic gear that we will be needing, but there is still a bit that I need to acquire. My birthday is coming up soon and I was going to ask my Mom for this phone, but I think I might just ask for some camping gear instead.

I've already started thinking about training and the type of physical shape that I will need to be in. Last night, I had a brisk walk of three miles and did forty push-ups and one hundred sit-ups. I feel pretty confident that I can handle ten miles a day with a forty-five pound pack. N on the other hand, I'm not so sure about. I think she is into the trip though and willing to put forth a real effort to get in shape as well as work hard.

I pulled out my rucksack as well as a lot of my gear today. I loaded my pack down and walked around the apartment for a while with it. The last time I really used it was several summers ago in Europe. I remember that the first few days of my backpacking trip were pretty much hell on my back, but after I got used to carrying the pack, it was no problem.

I think, just to prove to myself how big a dork I am, I'm going to sleep in my sleeping bag. Why you might ask? I don't know, I guess because I'm a geek and do stuff like that. So, I'm off to bed, after a little Halo, to sleep in my sleeping back on top of my comforter and sheets.

Later, I'll post links to all the places I've gathered good information about the AT. You know, because I know you're interested in that kind of stuff.

Mood: Tired yet uplifted
Music: Dave Matthews Band - Everyday