Monday, January 30, 2006

Trending downwards once again.

My visits are trending downwards once again. Ahh, a return to normalcy. Being lost in a corner of the internet is highly underrated.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Let me explain.

I tried to do something really, really stupid this morning. Let me explain. Yesterday when I went into work, I looked at the ad which runs from today until next Saturday evening. On the front page, we a 32 inch Magnavox LCD (HDTV Ready) tv on sale for $898. It's normally $1299. Even better, they are throwing a free Tivo when you buy the tv.

I calculated it out and with my team member discount along with the ten percent you get for opening a credit card, I could have walked out the door for about $791. That's an absolute steal. The tv is really a nice tv and has gotten stellar reviews all across the web. I will be buying a Tivo at some point so I that only sweetened the deal.

I thought about it all evening trying to talk myself into it. When I did that, I spend the next while trying to talk myself out of it. By morning, I'd talked myself into it so I loaded up and headed to work to go pick up my new TV and Tivo.

I've been promising myself that this year would be spent paying down my debt, not increasing it. With an actual income this year, I figured I could pay off some of my stupid college debt. I promised myself I wouldn't make any major (i.e. TV, Laptop, Motorcycle) purchases this year in an attempt to get some of my debt paid down. With that in mind, I headed off to get myself eight hundred dollars deeper in debt.

When I got to work and put in my application, I was approved but only for a house card and not the Visa that I wanted. They gave me a five hundred dollar credit limit. That wasn't going to cut it so, I called trying to talk them into bumping my limit up a few hundred dollars. I wasn't successful so I immediately closed the account and walked out the door downtrodden.

I came home without a tv and without a free Tivo but I didn't come home any deeper in debt either. I wish I'd gotten the tv, but I know it's probably better that I didn't I mean I already have a functional tv and there is no real reason to replace it except for the fact that LCDs are so sexy and my current CRT isn't so sexy.

Oh well.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

My Calendar

Here are the races that I have on my calendar as of right now:
  • February 17 - Love Your Heart 10k, Auburn
  • March 4 - Auburn Classic Half Marathon, Auburn*
  • March 11 - Heros Take Flight 5k, Auburn
  • March 25 - Azalea Trail Run 10k, Mobile
*Indicates probable.

That's the races I'm planning on for the next few months. I don't know that I'll actually end up 'racing' them and going for PRs but I'll be entering them for the fun and tshirt. The Azalea Trail Run is a world class event drawing top runners from around the world. In fact, a Kenyan was only two seconds off a world record some years back. It should be a blast.

Friday, January 27, 2006

I guess I'm still immature

This might be scattered and a little bit of everywhere. As my Dad would like to call it, in his corporate jargon, a 'brain dump'. I guess I'm still immature, I think of different things than he wants me to when he says brain dumb. It makes me chuckle.

My videos finally went live on Google Video. I had to resubmit them. For whatever reason, there was some sort of issue, maybe they got lost in the que. At anyrate, I resubmitted them and they all went live. I was worried that some might not conform to the terms and conditions and would be turned down but everythings fine. I'll probably muster up the courage to link to them soon for your viewing pleasure.

I'm still seeing the effects of the big Digg. The aftershocks are consequently smaller but I can still see my story traveling around the internet when I look at my logs.

Speaking of server logs, you might remember this story that I linked to, you know the one where Michael S. Rosenwald posits that America has to be fat. Well, I have the sneaking suspicision that ol Mike was checking out what the blogs were saying about him and he might have stumbled upon my writeup and link to Jeremy Zawodny. It might all be coincedence, but I like to have my theory, so follow me for a minute.

Take a look at this visitor and how they arrived at Backside 180, then the articles they viewed:

Note the area that the IP originates from. If you guessed that Silver Spring, Maryland was 'within the beltway', as they like to say on Sunday morning political shows, you'd be dead on. My guess is that either there is another person in the world who thinks that Mr. Rosenwald is an idiot and they just happen to live in the same city that the paper that published his article or it's him, checking up on himself and what the blogs are saying about him.

Well, if you happen to see this post Mr. Rosenwald. I still think you're an idiot, but it's nothing personal. I'm sure you can't help it.

Work went good this week although I feel as though I'm being thrown to the wolves a bit. I haven't gotten as much one on one time with my exec/boss as I'd want but it's still going ok. I've got some travel/racing plans for the spring and I've turned in requests off which have all been promptly approved. It just so happens that I'm off next Friday night and there is a show in Atlanta that I think I'll attend.

I missed Armor for Sleep at the Warped Tour this summer so I'm going to try to catch them next Friday. They are playing with Boys Night Out whom I did see at Warped Tour and they were mighty good, except for some assholes in the pit. Hopefully this show will be better, I'm already getting stoked and it's still a week out.

Running has gone well this week. I've taken it down a few notches and am trying to do it just for the enjoyment and not race myself everyday. That's how I got injured and now that I'm somewhat ok, (knock on wood) I don't want to reinjure myself by going out too hard. After tomorrow morning, I'll have put in ~25 miles which is on pace for my 1200 mile goal. I'll still be behind at the end of January but I can catch up over the next eleven months.

I'm ready to sleep now so, I'm done.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Michael Rosenwald is an idiot.

Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo! fame read an article that appeared in the Washington Post entitled, "Why America Has to be Fat." He does a good job of detailing why the writer and self admitted fatass Michael Rosenwald is an idiot.

I'm not going to say any more than go read what Jeremy says it's insightful and he does a better job than I would probably do. That article and Jeremy's analysis pretty much sums up why I have no sympathy for fat people any more, even though I like him used to be one.

Three posts inside of an hour and a half, that might be some sort of record for me.

There is just something about it.

I got ahold of a George Winston album from my parents at Christmas. It's called December. They played it most days and I was so enthralled with most of it that I ripped it. For whatever reason Variations on the Kanon by Pachelbel is my favorite song right now. There is just something about it. I found some other versions of the song online and they are not near as enrapturing. Strange.

"How the hell did you go from my solo comments to 70?"

Schmims' question was probably the most appropriate. "How the hell did you go from my solo comments to 70?"

Sitting in that hotel room, I obviously didn't have much to do. One night, I was thinking about how much I liked working on N's Powerbook and how I was ready to make the switch and leave Windows behind forever. I started writing and what you read is the end result. The article in and of itself wasn't what was responsible for the seventy some odd comments, Digg was. I submitted an older article to digg back in the spring but it didn't go anywhere. It only got nine diggs and never made it out of the mass of stories.

On a whim and because I thought my article was decent, I decided to submit this one to digg as well. I submitted it about six that evening and the diggs started to pour in. When I went to bed, it had eleven diggs, little did I know what I'd wake up to.

Backside 180 doesn't get much traffic. I get ten or fifteen hits a day, not a whole lot. That's fine with me. I don't really do it for glory, more to entertain myself and to leave a written record of my life.

When I woke up the next morning, I got a text message from brother saying that I'd gone front page on digg. I was super stoked. I logged on to see that I'd already gotten over two hundred diggs and lots of comments on the blog as well as on digg. Go here to see my articles digg page and read the comments there. Far and away, the comments on digg are from haters. For one reason or another the mostly believed several things. 1) I'm a Mac zelot. 2) I'm an idiot and have no idea what I'm talking about. 3) Somehow I'm gay. 4) The story didn't belong on digg. 5) Some combination of the above. On Backside 180 though, most of the comments were positive. I attribute this to the diggers being trolls who mostly didn't read the article and the blog commenters to people who actually read/digested what I had to say.

I think this was my favorite comment:
I hope you got paid well for this advertisement -because in my eyes your integrity is shot!

Your use of the language..your word choice and sentence structure have definelty been through a marketing machine!
I like to think of it as some vindication of my education. All those Marketing classes sunk in and I learned something! People, I'm a Marketing Machine!

Most of the comments were pretty entertaining to read. It would have been fun to get on and fan the flames, but I stayed away. It wasn't worth the shouting match that would have ensued.

Here is what happened with my traffic levels. Here is a graph that tracks my hits for the last nine days.
Pretty crazy. I don't think I've had an over one hundred hit day and last Thursday, I just missed thirteen thousand. A Boy and A Powerbook eventually recieved seven hundred thrity two digs, one hundred nineteen comments on digg and seventy on Backside 180. Traffic is returning to normal. Hits have been high since going front page on digg, but they are mostly residual hits from Del.icio.us and other places that have linked to the post. I will say thanks to anyone who enjoyed it enough to link back to me. That was pretty fun. I doubt I picked up too many more readers, especially when they read the next several posts and see I'm more of a life blogger than a tech blogger.

I was disappointed in one aspect of the sitation though. I deliberately mentioned Scoble and threw phrases such as Microsoft Sucks, Vista slips and other incendiary phrases hoping to get his attention. I was looking for a link and a response from him. I even took a jab at his son who recieved a free iBook hoping to raise his hackels. It didn't seem to work. I don't even know if he saw the article.

So, that my friends is how you go from mostly no or solitary comments to over seventy. You get dugg.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Switch. A Boy and a Powerbook.

I remember it pretty clearly. N's windows HP box was having some serious issues. Even a low level reformat couldn't help that thing. She decided she wanted a new computer. She decided she wanted a notebook. We went to Best Buy, we checked out what they had. She liked some of the smaller Sony's. I speced out a few Dell notebooks. Then, after a trip to the bookstore, she decided she wanted a Mac. Why, mostly because she liked the design. She's a girl and she makes purchase decisions based on factors such as cuteness and design not technical specs.

I didn't want her to get a Mac. I didn't know much about them. I didn't want her to shell out that much for a Powerbook not even knowing if she would like it or learn it. She had her heart set on it and eventually ordered a 12 inch 867 Mhz Powerbook. We went to see my family in Washington and when we got back to school, it had arrived. She pretty much loved it immediately.

I did too. Once I figured things out and had some time to play around with it, I began to learn my way around the operating system and get out my my Windows centric paradigm. Months later, I would ask her why she loved her Pbook (our affectionate name) so. Her reply, "It makes sense. I hated my Windows computer, I was always screaming at it, the Pbook just makes sense to me." It was true, other than one incident when we deleted programs out of the dock and off the hard drive (a bug that's been fixed), she never screamed at it. She customized the theme the way she loves to do. We made iMovies, we used iPhoto to easily catalog and edit our digital pictures. No camera drivers needed! It's all so effortless. No searching for good spyware/virus free software. No downloading of crappy buggy software, no missing DLLs.

I've convinced her to upgrade each time to the next OSX. It keeps getting better and more refined from my point of view to her, it just works. When I had the chance, I'd borrow it to take to campus. The twelve inch Pbook is the ultimate portable for both she and I. It's lightweight and small enough to fit in out packs and seem almost as if it isn't there.

Then we got iPods. I was jealous of the seamless integration. iTunes for Windows and my Windows formatted iPod are great but it's not the Mac experience. I would get to borrow the Pbook from N for times here and there but never long enough to really get knee deep into OSX the way I wanted to. She complained when I installed software and I was never able to customize it the way I wanted. I didn't use it enough to warrant a separate user account but I loved each minute that I got to use it.

My motto was, 'I love the Powerbook and I love OSX. I would get one as a second computer or portable but I'm not ready to give up my Windows box. There are some things that I just can't to on a Mac.'

That has changed. I'm ready to dump my dull little box, dutifully performing its dull little tasks for something different, something powerful, something better.

I've spent the last two weeks exclusively on the Powerbook. I've been using it very heavily too since I have nothing else to do. In the last two weeks, there have been few things that I've wanted to do that I have not been able to do. For instance, Blogger's formatting tools aren't available in Safari but I could use Firefox to get to them if I wanted. I've done all the browsing I've wanted. Every website has worked. I've read all my RSS feeds every day, I've blogged. I've pirated music. I've streamed music from my iPod. I've watched videos. You name it, I've done it. I've done everything in the last two weeks that I normally do on my PC at home and never wished I was back on that Windows box. I haven't given a second thought to security, viruses or spyware. I know being on the Powerbook I'm not immune, I am still smart about what I do online, but I don't have to live in constant fear that some Active X control is going to surreptitiously install itself and brick my box.

I read Scoble, he's the Microsoft Blogger who has the title of Technical Evangelist. This is something he notedwhat in a recent post:

"But, go even further. I really don’t want religious customers. I want skeptical, educated, pragmatic customers. This is why I talk about my competitors so much and let you know what they are doing right (just last night I pointed out that the MacBook has a better power cord design than a PC, even if I did it in a snarky way). By the way, business schools teach that you should NEVER talk about your competitors cause your customers might like their products better and leave.

I’d rather have customers who go and seriously consider Linux and Macs first. If I lose them as customers, that’s OK. They weren’t mine to begin with (and they’ll stay my friends). Why? Cause it’s more important to me that they be happy.

But, if they come back and say “you know, that Tablet PC is more useful for me than anything I’ve seen on the other side of the fence” then that customer will be 100x more excited about the products I’m offering than if he or she felt “forced” to use them due to some marketing lockin or scheme or some cultish attitude."

Well Mr. Scoble. I can tell you, I'm a skeptic. I'm pretty damn educated, generally and technically and I like to think I'm pragmatic. When I have sufficient funds, I will be buying a Mac. I can't expect to be handed one from Winer, even on my birthday. I don't know which Mac it will be. It might be an iMac, it might be a 12 inch MacBook Pro but it WILL be a Mac. Call it the 'Halo Effect' call it switching, call it what you will. I believe that now, Apple provides a superior product and experience at a competitive price point and I will no longer support Microsoft when I believe they have been bested.

It hasn't always been this way but, it's the way it is now. I only stared using PCs because that is what was available. It's what was provided for me. OSX is better than Windows now and I believe it for the conceivable future. Go ahead Redmond, let Vista slip again. There will be more to follow me. Steve is on to something. Michael Dell wrote them off in the late nineties and that was a mistake. Steve and his team are proving with each Mac and iPod shipped that they are indeed back and ready to make a real run at market share. For your sake I hope you get your act together. But, I'm not convinced you will.

It wasn't some marketing lockin, scheme or even the RDF that has prompted my decision. It's a long line of frustration. It's late night support calls to India. It's spending hours of my own time 'consulting' for my friends who are less skilled in fixing spyware infestations. It's every new WMF exploit. It's every time Spybot and AdAware are ran and return with infections. It's all those annoying pop ups. It's the insecurity I feel when I have to use IE. It's everything. OSX isn't perfect, no software is. But it's a lot better and a lot further along in most every regard than Windows is.

I've never had to do any of those things on the Pbook, and I'm the maintainer of it. I've spend some time on the phone with AppleCare as you would expect to do with any computer but it's nothing like using a Windows box. Scoble said, "By the way, business schools teach that you should NEVER talk about your competitors cause your customers might like their products better and leave." Not true in my business school experience but you know what is true. The worst kind of advertising and the worst thing that can happen for a company is negative word of mouth.

I'm a leader and influencer in my circle of family and friends when it comes to technology. I'm the one they turn to when they have issues, problems or need advice. My opinion is highly valued. From this day on, I will not ever reccommend a Dell or any other Windows computer over a Mac. Apple has the breadth in their product offerings to satisfy most needs. In fact, my parents will probably be getting a Mac Mini for Christmas from me to replace their aged Dell. I'm not going to bash Microsoft and Windows, but like Mr. Scoble, I've become an evangelist and I'm the best kind, the unpaid kind.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"So, I guess you're my boss."

My Mom flew into town for a library convention for the remainder of the week. Before her two hour drive north to the site of the convention, we decided to meet for dinner. She picked the joint. It was the Whistle Stop Cafe. Apparently, it was the inspiration for the book Fried Green Tomatos. The movie was based on the book. It was pretty good. It was cafeteria style food, something your grandma might make you. I had chicken and dumplings, black eyed peas, a yeast roll, mac and cheese and a slice of chocolate chip pecan pie. So much for the diet. I wish I had my scale with me so I could see what my weight status is. Truth be told, since I got some money from work the diet has slipped and I've been eating way too much candy.

My friend, who I was so excited to see while I was up here still hasn't returned my calls. At this point, it's doubtful that she actually will. Really disappointing since I was here for two weeks and she knew that. I guess I wasn't worth making time for, oh well. Maybe there is a good reason behind it but as of now, I'm just a little miffed at the cold shoulder action.

I downloaded the new Yellowcard album that comes out next week. It's ok, but it's nothing like their old stuff. They have truly sold out. I'm sure that the album will go platinum and that makes me sad. I remember going to their shows a few years ago when they were truly a punky band and there would be less than 500 kids in the crowd -- all true music fans -- and how the band would mill around pre and post show with the crowd. Those days are long gone. Ryan, call me if you get your soul back, fucker.

I'm stoked about going home soon. I'm ready to get into my store and really take ownership of the electronics department. Get it arranged and do things the way I want them done. I've never really been in a position of leadership/management in any of my jobs before. It's kind of strange actually. When I was in Auburn for the first few days, I met my MMB (Movies, Music, and Books) Specialist. He said, "So, I guess you're my boss." Damn straight. That was wierd to hear someone say that but I think I can handle it.

In all my previous jobs, I've tried to do a decent job and be a good hardworking employee but since I've graduated and this in a sense is my career (albiet temporary) now, I have a different outlook about the job. I'm glad I've responded this way so far, I was a bit concerned how I would handle the situation to be honest. At other jobs, I've always used the excuse that 'I'm not getting paid enough to do that' or 'For six bucks an hour, this is the quality work you are getting out of me.'

Earning closer to eleven dollars an hour is enough motivation to get a better work ethic out of me. Only three more days. And I actually get to sleep in for each of them.

As you may know, Tuesday is the day all new music and DVDs come out. The sales floor has to be set with all the new merchandise when the store opens at eight. That means that we needed to be in at five to prepare and get everything out. This was the third time that that I had to be in at an ungodly hour. But I got up and was there plenty early, just like a good worker bee. Arriving, punching the clock and droning on through the day.

Beware of geeky dissection and analysis of meaningless topic ahead:

The strange thing has been that there has been no hot water at three and four in the morning here in my room. I'm not sure exactly how the plumbing system is set up here in the hotel but at all normal hours hot water is never more than a few seconds away. The only conclusion that I can come to is that the water heater is set on a timer to click on around five or five fifteen. That way they don't have to have hot water all through the night when no one needs it. Seems like a reasonable plan to me but what about those of us who go to work earlier than five. When I turn the hot water on full blast it has been heating up in a few minutes. I guess they have some sort of commercial grade water heating system that senses a demand for hot water and clicks on. That is the only way I can explain it. Has anyone else had this experience at a Hampton Inn or other such hotel? Can you comment on their water heating and delivery capibilities?

Ok, enough of that.

Monday, January 16, 2006

That's kind of a bummer.

It's a cool drizzly afternoon here in the deep south on this Martin Luther King Day. I'm off today. In truth, I'd rather be at work earning time and a half than confined to this hotel room. I slept in till eight this morning. That was nice. Since then I've just been internetting and reading. Between yesterday afternoon and this morning, I polished off Viva la Bam Seasons 4 and 5. Bonus footage, commentaries, the works. I'll probably hit up some Seinfeld later in the afternoon.

I haven't been exercising and I can feel it. As lame as it sounds, it's not really convenient here at the hotel. I rode the bike for half an hour the other day which was fun but the seat was so hard and uncomfortable, I ended up with bruises that are just now feeling less tender when I sit. My knee feels pretty good, but going up and down the stairs to my third floor room, I can tell something isn't right. I hope this knee thing isn't going to be a death blow to my running career. That would really suck. I'll pick it back up over the weekend and hopefully the time off will have been good for it.

J2 heads out to sea for three weeks starting today. That's kind of a bummer. I submitted some content to Google Video recently and less than half has gone live. We've been waiting patiently for it to go up but for some reason it hasn't. Even though some if it is pretty embarassing, I think I'm going to provide you all with a link once it all goes live because some of it is actually pretty entertaining.

I'm looking forward to returning home and getting back into the regular routine of things. I want to see N again, a week without seeing her is tough, it's like a part of me is missing. I hope she will have time for me and not be too into this new dude of hers.

Friday, January 13, 2006

I'd leave without even looking back.

I had a nice first part of the day today. I internetted, I Seinfelded, I read, I ate, I napped. It really couldn't have been much better considering my circumstances. I went in to work at four. I ended up working until about ten fifty which wasn't too bad.

I had another bout of depression, or gloomyness at work today. I'm glad that working retail isn't going to be my career, I don't think I could do it. It's just so meaningless, so capitalist. I don't think the people at work like me too much. They are friendly to me but aren't exactly reaching out. I think they think I'm a bit strange/weird/off. I know that if I were in their shoes I would handle the situation differently. If I had someone I was training and they were from out of town, had no friends and were living in a hotel, I'd invite them over to have dinner, drink, or go out. I was hoping to hit it off better with them and maybe even become friends. It doesn't appear that's going to happen.

I was talking to N about it, telling her what was going on and how I was feeling. She agreed with me and we came to the conclusion that the world isnt' as thoughtful as we tend to be. Oh well. This time next week, I'll be in my bed at home. Sleeping with my beagle. I can make it.

The whole thing with N dating this guy and taking him home with her still gets to me. It probably always will. I read Postsecret (http://postsecret.blogspot.com) and if you don't you should start. It's good stuff. Last week, there was a postsecret that read something to this effect: I'm in my sixties. I have a wonderful family and a loving wife. I love them dearly but if the girl that I fell in love with at college walked through the door and asked me to leave with her, I'd leave without even looking back.

I don't want to be old, married and content yet still feel that way about N. At this point, I'm afraid that's how I'm going to turn out. It's been two years since our relationship ended and I still can't get over her. I still feel about her they way I've always felt. There are things about her that drive me nuts but if I had the chance, I'd probably marry her tomorrow. I don't know why I can't get past her and why my heart breaks every time she speaks of another guy. It is jelousy but it isn't really like that, it's more heartbreak than anything that she isn't with me.

All that has been leaving me in a funk. I hope I can get out of it soon. I'm not usually a down person and I hate being depressed, its leaves me so helpless feeling.

So, I robbed a bank.

Things are better. Life feels a little less like a prison at this point in time. I went into work yesterday at four am. The good part about that was that we were done by noon thrity, so I had the entire afternoon to do whatever. I like that. Getting home to the hotel yesterday I was actually pretty depressed. N is dating someone new and things seem to be going well for that. That depresses me. I want her to be happy but I want it to be with me and not some other schmuck. I'm selfish like that.

That stuff combined with no money and living in a hotel room and lonliness was starting to get to me and I was pretty depressed for the bulk of the afternoon. N's brother and his wife drove down to meet me for dinner Wednesday. We had sushi. It was fun, the food was good and the company was nice to have. I spend more than I wanted. After the fifteen fifty five that I spent for dinner without leaving a tip left me with about two dollars and change until next Friday. That was also depressing. Even though a sizeable percent of the world's population survives on less than a dollar a day, I'm not sure that I could do it. Even with stealing from the continental.

I knew I had to do something. So I robbed a bank. I went in and told the teller to give me everything she had. I put my hand in my jacket pocket and pretended like I had a gun. She was really scared but forked over five hundred and twenty six dollars. I made what I thought was a clean getaway, but I've seen several patrol cars drive through the hotel parking lot. I think they are on to me.

I didn't really rob a bank, but I did come into some cash. I went back up to work later in the afternoon when I knew the HR guy would be there. I basically laid it out for him and told him I needed some help. He agreed to give me a thrity dollar a day perdium. I walked out two hundred and forty dollars richer. I actually got eat Subway for dinner. Yum.

I'm feeling much better about things now that I have some cash. I feel more flexible. In fact, I might even go shopping on my next off day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I snagged three and two more yogurts for lunch/dinner.

Today is my day off. In case you are wondering that pretty much translates to boredem. I'd actually probably rather be at work earning a little dough truthfully. At any rate though, I'm not and so I'm forced to entertain myself in the best ways I know how. I got up fairly early even though I didn't have anything to do this morning. I wanted to make sure and get to the continental at a reasonable hour so that there would still be some good for for the snatching. I ended up having a biscuit and four donoughts for breakfast. Yes, I know, not eactly diet worthy. Whatever. They did get a new stock of bananas this morning. They were pretty pitiful looking yesterday and I was all ready to complain this morning but they had a bunch of new, good looking ones. I snagged three and two more yogurts for lunch/dinner.

For some reason the wireless is on the fritz today and I'm not getting any reception in my room. Up until this point, I've had stellar reception but this morning, nothing. I could get some in the hall but not in my room. I was thinking that maybe there was an issue with the 10.4.4 upgrade I did last night when I went to bed. I was going to be severely upset if there was an Airport Express issue in 10.4.4. I think the problems are on there end so for the meantime, I'm in the lobby browsing and I'll go back up to my room in a little while to watch some movies.

I went to try and run this morning. I got to an area with a track and a school. The area was actually really nice. The trees were very old and established the homes dated from the fortys and fifties. It was a very park like atmosphere. One neat little thing is that all of the homes in the area, and I mean every single one of them, had a shiny tin roof. I'm not sure why but it was interesting to note as I ran through the neighborhood.

I wasn't able to run for as long as I wanted. My knee started to hurt at about forteen minutes and I was back to the area where I'd parked so I called it quits. I'm sure I'll go back to that area to run again and I hope that I can run longer. It felt so good to get out in the open and run, breathe hard, feel the cold wind rush past me, and start to work up a sweat.

Monday, January 09, 2006

I can drop the soap at will without rapish consequences.

Schmims is right. It's less than two weeks into the damn year and I'm already falling down on at least one of my resolutions. If it helps, I do have some semblance of an excuse.

Last night, I drove up to Birmingham to spend the night before I started work this morning. I'm here at one of the Super versions of our store for two weeks of training. Today went well. The guy I'm training with seems to have his act together and I think he will be able to teach me a lot. I already learned quite a bit just by shadowing him today. They have put me up in a Hampton Inn, which isn't bad. I talked N into letting me bring her Powerbook. They have complimentary Wifi, so I'm obviously not internetless for two weeks, which would be miserable. I brought two seasons of Seinfeld with me. They should keep me busy for most of the time. I also brought along a few books as well as some magazines. Althought it is lonely, I dont' think I'll be too bad off. Being stuck at the hotel will just be a lot like solitary confinement for the next while. Solitary with internet and tv and I can drop the soap at will without rapish consequences.

I don't get a perdium but, I can get reimbursed for my meals. They will comp ten bucks for breakfast and up to twenty for dinner. Lunch is up to me, but I can deal with that. There is only one slight problem. I'm broke. Dead broke. As in, I have eighteen dollars until i get paid Friday week. It's hard to buy a meal even when you know you'll get the money back if you have none in the first place.

With my diet that I'm trying to adhere to, that is actually really good. Nothing like being on a starvation diet when you actually have no food to eat. My saving grace is that they do have a continental breakfast. This morning I went down, got my paper and had a bowl of cereal. I stole three yogurts and two apples for later. I had one apple for lunch. For dinner I bought a buck loaf of bread at work and I think I'll have yogurt for desert.

That's pretty much where I stand. I missed the long run on Saturday because I overslept. I was annoyed with myself, but I think it was good and my knee needed the rest. With travel, I didn't run yesterday. I didn't run today either. I think tomorrow, I'll try to run. They have a treadmill downstairs and I might try to hit it. I'm not sure yet though.

I think that's all I've got for now. There isn't really too much more to tell in truth. So, yeah, I'm out.

Oh, for those readers who are penny pinching tight asses, and you know who you are, got any eat dirt cheap tips?

Earlier, it actually crossed my mind to go do an eat an run at Applebee's but I kinda scratched that idea. I do remember fromm my traveling through France days that a baquette with brie was cheap but I don't know where I can find quality brie for super cheap without being in France...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I didn't eat dinner.

My first two days at work have not been bad. The first day, I filled out paperwork as expected. Then I was instructed to do what amounted to a self paced cashier training course. I finished that in just over an hour and they stuck me on a register for a few hours. Yesterday, I went in for a full day and was paired up with an experienced team leader. I shadowed him for most of the day, helping with the things he was doing. It seems like a good, active, physical job that I will like. I probably walked at least a mile and a half just moving around the store. Tonight, my shift is scheduled for two thirty to eleven. I'm not really excited about working that late, but I don't think I'll have to do it too often and it afforded me the opportunity to have a lazy morning.

I ran at the track last night with the regular group before the big game. It was good but I'm certainly not in the shape that I was in for the race. I have some work to do to get back to the level that I want to be at. It will help by dropping a few pounds.

So far, the diet has been a success. N invited me over for lunch on Tuesday and of course she had ordered Mellow Mushroom. I stuffed my face, but that was the last time I ate a proper meal. For dinner that night, I had a banana. Yesterday before work I had a banana for breakfast. Then for lunch I had a cafe mocha from Starbucks. I just looked it up on the Starbucks website and my coffee had almost 325 calories in it (I only got a little cream, not the full amount). That's terrible. Way too much for a coffee drink. I guess I should stick to the black/brewed variety. I didn't eat dinner.

Today, I woke up and finished off my last banana for breakfast. I wasn't planning on eating any lunch, but I decided I probably should, that way I wouldn't be tempted to buy and consume something not so good for me at work tonight on my dinner break.

The scale says I've dropped five pounds since when I weighed myself on Saturday. That's mostly getting my system cleared out and some water weight. Not a loss in fat, which is what I'm looking for. I've got about ten pounds to go until I'm going to be satisfied and will start eating more again.

Starting weight: 161
Current weight: 156
Goal weight: 145

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Since I didn't win the lottery.

Because I've been traveling through Georgia pretty regularly lately, I've been playing lots of Mega Millions. I watched as the jackpot grew and usually I bought one or two tickets. Thowing two bucks down in support of Schools at the chance of winning fifty million is a deal to me. Even though I've never and probably never win. None of my tickets were winners, in fact, I never matched more than two out of the six numbers. I'm just glad I didn't have any friends around to do this to me.

Since I didn't win the lottery, and college life is over, I have to do something to support myself. That starts today. I'll be leaving for my first day at my local temporary job in a few minutes. I think mostly today, I just have to go fill out paperwork and other tax forms.

From the conversation that I had the other night on the phone with the HR girl, it sounds as if they want me to go to Birmingham for two weeks for training. I didn't know this was part of the deal. This recent revelation doesn't exactly excite me. Being put up in a hotel room in Birmingham for two weeks is not my idea of fun. But if I have to do it, I've gotta do it. After all, this job is only temporary.

If you need me, I'll be out, working for the man.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I had a good year.

For certain stretches of last year, I wasn't the blogger I wanted to be. I simply didn't live up to they hype. I am going to do my damndest to be a better blogger this year. Now onto the not so hollow resolutions.

At the changeover from 04 to 05, I was online, playing Halo 2 when midnight struck. Last night, I was passed out on the couch. I woke up about one thirty and uncerimoniously stumbled into my room to the bed. I'm awesome.

I had a good year. I graduated, I landed the job I wanted. All in all, I don't have too many complaints. I think this year, things willing, will shape up to eclipse last year. My financial situation should improve markedly over the course of the next year. One of my goals for the upcoming year is to pay down some of the foolish debt that I find myself in. I'm going to try and delay major purchases such as a laptop, motorcycle, and car so that I can concentrate on becoming more finacially solvent.

By my calculations, I put in almost eight hundred miles last year. This year, I want to join the twelve hundred mile club. I think those that actually record and turn in their mileage earn a pretty good prize at the end of the year. I also want to complete in my first full marathon. I want to run a Boston qualifying time in that marathon. I have several other time related goals. Sub 18:00 5k. Sub 40:00 10k.

Over the corse of the year, I've let my diet slip. Even with all the running I've done, I consequently put on some unwanted weight. I'm sure a little of it is muscle, but a lot of it is fat. Mostly caused from Pizza, Beer, M&Ms, cookies and overindulgence. I resolve, starting tomorrow to clean up my act and treat my body a little healthier. I want to drop 10 pounds to get back to where I want to be, where I feel my ideal weight is, where I feel good about myself, and not so flabby.

I want to have fun and work hard at my jobs. For the first six months, I want to enjoy working in retail and getting some management experience. I want to be a good employee and be looked at as someone who can be counted on to get the job done and do it right. At my 'real' job (and thanks for the congratulations) which starts in July, I want to get in there and show them I am the person they hired and believed I am during the interview. I want to excel. I want to prove that I have the maturity and discipline to make it in the real world.

That's what I've got. Those are my goals/resolutions for the next year. Laid out in plain text. I konw I can do it. I know these are all achieveable. Now, I have a written record, somewhere that I can come back to and review what I want to do and where I am in those pursuits.

Tomorrow morning, I'm joining the group for a 10K Resolution run. It will be six easy miles, then onto breakfast. Six down, elevenhundredninetyfour to go.

So, what are your hopes and goals for the new year?