Big Bird
Heron Flight



©2000 - 2010 All Rights Reserved - Sam Snyder - Somewhere, NJ USA


Rand-O-Blog (A Blog of Sorts)

December 24, 2003

"Against Hate"

A new journal entry on Christmas Eve.

Posted at 11:59 PM (EST)

December 23, 2003

"Chasing Down a Sunset"

I wanted to write the conclusion to "The Drummer's Story" tonight. But after doing some Christmas shopping at the Rockaway Mall and then hanging around at Border's bookstore until almost 11 PM, I just didn't have the time to get the article written. I will do it in the next few days. Promise.

Instead, I offer you a gallery of sunset photos. I was going to post these on Christmas day. Since my writing plans were botched for tonight, I will give you the sunset tonight.

When I left work today, this gorgeous sunset was just beginning. I made a quick turn to travel some back roads instead of the highway in order to find a clear vantage point from which to take some photos. Frustratingly, I could not find a suitable place to stop my car along the road and take photos. I drove a few miles to the next town, Lebanon, and proceeded to drive up the hill to Round Valley Reservoir. I thought for sure that I would be able to take some good pictures from there. Nope. I continued on around the reservoir until I finally came to a rise in the road that gave a clear view of the western sky.

The thing about sunsets is that they change rapidly. Often, in the time it takes to move to a good place to take pictures, the peak of a sunset's beauty could be passed. I was worried that such would be the case with this one today. Thankfully the clouds and aircraft trails were such as to prolong the beauty of this sunset. I was able to find a safe place to stop. I also had time to play around with different exposure settings for a few of the photos.

It pays to carry a digital camera at all times. I have had great photo opportunities so many times and have been able to take advantage of them often because I usually have my camera with me at all times. There have been times when I didn't have the camera handy and missed some great photos. If you have an interest in photography, I encourage you to keep your camera handy at all times.

There are 21 photos in this gallery. Some of them appear to be repetitive at first glance. However, if you look at all of them you will notice the changes in the sky from photo to photo.

Posted at 11:59 PM (EST)

December 22, 2003

"The Drummer's Story: Part Two"

Here ya go, folks! Part two! I think there will be one more part. Soon.

Posted at 11:59 PM (EST)

December 21, 2003

"The Drummer's Story: An Introduction"

As promised earlier this weekend, there is a new journal entry about my experience as a drummer. This entry is only an introduction. The story will be continued soon.

Posted at 11:59 PM (EST)

December 20, 2003

Is there anything of significance to write about today? I am sure that today was a significant and even life changing day for many people in the world. I am sure that people died. People were born. People celebrated birthdays and anniversaries. People made love. People treated each other badly. Things probably went on just like they do every other day.

I, on the other hand, hung out with my bronchitis and didn't do much of anything today.

I did manage to do a little Christmas shopping, just a few things. When I took my daughter to work, I walked around the store and found a few things for the kids. But I couldn't take too much of being in such a crowded place. If you don't feel well to begin with, don't get yourself into a situation where you are surrounded by rabid last minute Christmas shoppers, half of which look and smell bad. Just don't do it.

* * * * *

Meet Gibson. He's a camel. Get it? CaMEL GIBSON? He is also a puppet. Go ahead, click his picture to see a larger one. I found him while I was shopping today. He has little black camel hooves, hair under his chin, on his tail, on his hump. Yes, he has a hump. You can't see it too well in the photo though. There are some things that you really shouldn't put pictures of on the internet. Your hump is one of them.

Gibson is a cool camel. He's down with all the ladies around the oasis. Ya know what I mean? He's a hard worker too. Always bustin' his hump. (Duh.) He's well edumacated, has a sophisticated fake British accent, and is one hell of a drummer.

* * * * *

During the course of shopping at Best Buy for a gift for someone, somehow I ended up with a System of a Down CD for myself. Tremendous! Love it! Fast. Aggressive. Sounds best at ear splitting volume in the car. You know it's loud enough when the guy in the car behind you is banging his head in time with your music, even though the windows in your car are all the way up. That's the way I drove to and from the store today. Then again, that's the way I drive almost all the time.

* * * * *

I spent the rest of the day reading "Hammer of the Gods" and watching "X2" before falling asleep for a few hours. I don't know... Halley Berry with white hair? And when she does that frosted eye thing? I don't know... I liked Halley Berry in the Flintstones movie. She was sexy in a primitive way. The whole white hair, frosted eye thing is a little too fa-reaky for me.

* * * * *

One last thing. The photo at the top of this entry is Rockport Game Farm. I happened to drive by there today. I tried to get closer for a better picture. But the pheasants started running enmasse in the opposite direction. It was quite a ruckus. So I had to settle for this photo taken from the side of the road.

I hit a duck with my car one time at Rockport Game Farm. I didn't do it on purpose. Sorry.

Posted at 11:30 PM (EST)

December 19, 2003

Holiday greetings from Bronchospasmville!

"Hacking away again in Bronchospasmville...."

Ha! I hacked that Jimmy Buffet song and it will never be the same when you here it again! Ha! Hack!

* * * * *

So yeah, yeah, yeah, I got the old bronchitis happening. I still don't feel too bad. But breathing gets a little difficult once in a while.

* * * * *

I had band practice tonight. Breathing got a little tough in a few of the heavy songs. But I made it through. We may have settled on a name for the band. I can't tell you what it is yet though. We are going into the studio on Jan. 2 to record several songs for a demo CD. There is a possibility that we will be playing out for the first time in mid-January. I know. I know. I need to fill everyone in on more of the details related to how I got in this band and all. The fact is that I have something written already. But I'm looking for a certain old picture to use with the article. If I don't find it this weekend I will put the article up without the picture. I promise.

* * * * *

I actually started my Christmas shopping today. I got tiny little 4 inch tall teddy bears for each of my three girls. That's it. Just three little bears. (Sorry, no Goldilocks in this story.) Maybe I'll get a few more things this weekend. A candy cane or two. I still have plenty of time to shop! I have at least 5 days. And I only have to work 3 of those days! No problem.

* * * * *

Well... I think that's about it from Sammy Buffet. Bronchospasmville is closing for the evening. Last call! Belly up to the bar and take a shot of Albuterol. Y'all drive safe and y'all come back now!

Posted at 11:59 PM (EST) (sort of)

December 18, 2003

"You have bronchitis and you are experiencing bronchospasms."

Bronchospasms? What the heck are bronchospasms? Sounds like something that happens to overzealous football fans in Denver.

So there you have the official word from the doctor. I have bronchitis. It's kind of weird because I actually feel pretty good. No fever. No aches. Nothing but this wheezing in my chest. After a few days of denying that those funky sounds were coming from MY left lung, I finally went to the doctor.

"Yup! You is ill, son!"

I wish every illness felt this good because I really don't feel bad!


Posted at 11:40 PM (EST)

December 17, 2003

So, yesterday I got slapped up side the head by a migraine. I suspected one would be coming any day now. I've been pushing myself and not getting much rest lately. So I wasn't surprised when this one came along just after 1 in the afternoon, just after lunch and just before I spit in the face of the girl who sits next to me at work.


What happened was this...

I got a typical migraine that started off with blind spots. No big deal. It's only half of my field of vision that gets wiped out. I stood up to get my migraine medicine out of my drawer. Big old pretty green and white capsules. The girl who sits next to me at work happened to be standing up in her cube, looked at me over the wall and said, "Man! You look bad!" I said that I just got a migraine, popped a capsule in my mouth and took a big mouthful of Arizona peach iced tea. I second later, while still looking at the girl who sits next to me at work just a few feet away from me, I gagged on the pill and sprayed her in the face with the iced tea. Oops! The look on her face was classic! But I felt like a moron! I couldn't apologize enough for the rest of the day and all day today.

So now I am the target of tasteless spit remarks at work.

"Hey! You're the spitting image of..."

"If you don't do as I, the team leader, say, I'll spit in your eye."

"Maybe we need to build the walls of his cube higher or put a plexiglass spit shield all the way around the top of his cube."

Ha ha. Very funny. No one seems to care that once I nearly died in the office while choking on one of my migraine pills. Go read about it here.

* * * * *

We had a department Christmas party at a nearby firehouse yesterday afternoon. It was a good time. The food was great. The wine was great. The desserts were great. The wine was great. The dancing was great. The wine was great. The dancing got even better because the wine was great.

I was feeling pretty wiped out by the time I got to the party. The girl who sits next to me at work and I had to park about five towns away by the time we got there. Well, it felt like that far away when we walked through the cold air. But we figured that was our punishment for not running at lunch lately. It was good to hang out and talk with some people. Eventually, after the proper amount of wine, I did get out on the dance floor for a little bit. But I was about as graceful as a gorilla with two wooden legs and faulty equilibrium. It was fun to be out there with some of the crazies and to have a certain fine young lady dance around me. "I'm just gonna stand here and look sexy while you dance around me, baby." Right on.

* * * * *

It is a well known maxim of the ages...

"One's perception of his own sexiness increases in exponential proportion to one's intake of alcohol."

The same can be said of a man's perception of the women around him nearly invariably in nearly every social setting known to science.

* * * * *

It is another well known maxim of the ages...

"With increased intake of alcohol many ideas suddenly make complete sense."

However, writing and sending an email to a girl after imbibing wine in a profuse and lengthy fashion may not be the best of ideas. Even if your intentions were sincere and free of all creepiness, she may yet be "freaked out" by the event. (And no, it won't be due to your slurred typing alone.)

But I wouldn't know by experience myself...

Posted at 9:00 PM (EST)

I did this "What Muppet Are You?" quiz today. It must be dead on accurate because look who I am:

You are Animal.

You are completely nuts, but fun to be around.

SPECIAL TALENTS: Drums, Women, Food.

HOBBIES: Drums, Women, Food.

FAVORITE EXPRESSIONS: "Louder!", "Food now!" and "Want Woman!"

LAST BOOK EATEN: "The Musicians' Guide to Drums, Women & Food"


It's good to be a Muppet!

Posted at 11:30 AM (EST)

December 16, 2003

"The Land of Snow and Ice"

Other than the roads, most things in our area were still covered with ice this morning. There are still several inches of snow on the ground.

I could not resist the urge to veer off the normal route to work and click of some photos this morning. It is my habit to carry my digital camera with me pretty much at all times. At first I thought I would simply take a few shots on the way as I continued to the office. However, as the sun rose over the mountains ahead, the trees shone as if they were made of glass. Since I had 10 or 15 minutes to spare this morning (amazingly), I turned off the highway and looped back around towards home and off onto some side roads for these pictures.

The photos turned out fairly well considering that I took them all in a short amount of time. I found myself racing against the clock in order to get to work by 9 AM and racing against the sun before it rose too high in the morning sky. As well, I needed to hurry in order to get the photos before the sun began to melt the ice. All in all, I'm pleased with the photos. My only regret is not having a filter in order to minimize the glare from the sun.

As a side note, a very good friend of mine gave me a very nice 35mm camera this past weekend. Once I get it serviced and buy a new flash for it, I intend to start compiling a nice portfolio of prints.

Enjoy the photos in the gallery!

Posted at 3:20 (EST)

December 15, 2003

I was going to write a journal entry about how I'm feeling about the holidays this year. But I just don't have the heart to do it. To tell the truth, I got the holiday blues. (If you read some of the entries below you may have picked up on that already.)

Speaking of the blues... I'm listening to one of the blues CDs that I got on Saturday while I'm writing this. I just heard the following lines in a song called "I'm a Woman" by Koko Taylor:

I'm a woman
I can make love to a crocodile
I'm a woman
I can sing the blues.

Uh... What?

Is that some kind of hardcore blues? Punk blues? Feminism blues? Bestiality blues?

Is that why women don't notice me? I'm not "scaley" enough? Are all the good women taken and the rest out shagging crocs? No wonder I have the blues.

Well, rather than spreading those blues to all of you, I'm going to give you this photo of these snow men. They look happy. Don't they? Who are they? Dr. Evil and Mini Me? Kid Rock and J. C.? Or maybe this is the North Pole episode of "Fantasy Island." "Boss! De sleigh! De sleigh!"

That's enough from me tonight. I need some sleep. I hope I don't have bad dreams. Those Koko Taylor lyrics put a really nasty image in my mind.

Posted at 11:50 PM (EST)

December 14, 2003

Ice, ice, baby...

More snow here in New Jersey today. This evening it changed to rain and froze on everything. Some of the schools have already announced that they will be closed, others that they will have delayed openings.

It was a good day to do nothing again. So here's the nothing I did...

A friend and I walked to the diner with my kids. We had a feast. Buffalo wings, mozzarella sticks, steack sandwiches, fried shrimp, burgers, cheesecake, coffee, Pepsi. And of course, we harrassed the waitresses with our usual Snyder humor and antics. "Marlana? Her name is Marlana? Spell Marlana backwards. A-N-A-L-R-A-M. Anal ram. He he he."

The afternoon was spent watching "I Love the 80s" on VH1. Funny! Snausages. Chicken McNuggets. Billy Idol. Gremlins. You get the idea.

This was followed by the second Charlie's Angels movie. Dang! I'd let anyone of those girls beat me up like they did to plenty of guys in that movie! I'll give you one try to guess which one of the three Angels I like the most.

Despite the ice, we ordered pizza for dinner. There is a place in our town that makes the best pizza in the world! It's worth risking your life to drive to pick it up.

So that's it. More nothing.

Posted at (EST)

December 13, 2003

Did you ever have one of those days that feel like nothing? There is nothing very significant that happens. There is nothing very important to take care of. Nothing. That's how my day was today.

But you know that you don't actually do NOTHING on days like this. Unless you are in a coma or something. You have to do SOMETHING.

So let me think about this. What did I actually do today?

First, I took my daughter to see the doctor. No big deal. But it gave me an opportunity to read.

So, I read numerous pages in "Hammer of the Gods." It is interesting to see how American blues in the 1960s influenced many British rock artists. It is also interesting to see how many well known rock artists knew each other when they were young and starting out in various bands, sometimes playing together in the same bands, sometimes playing as session musicians on other groups' recordings.

Next, my daughter and I went to the Spinning Wheel diner, had awesome sausage/potato/onion omelettes. Of course, we find plenty to laugh about when we are out like that. And they really should not seat us next to mirrors. We got a few looks from the "patrons" for being a little silly. Patrons. Bah.

Okay. Then I drove her to work. That's it. Nothing funny or anything about that.

On my way back to the house, I friend of mine called and said she was nearby. So I went to meet her.

Since there are no Shop Rite stores where she lives, and she is addicted to diet Shop Rite cream soda (???), we went to Shop Rite. The place was packed. When did all of these stupid people move into my area? I mean heck! And people, let me just say, when you are making your way through a crowded aisle with only a small clear path to manuever through, DO NOT stop dead in your tracks to search through your purse for your coupons! I swear, the next time someone does that in front of me, I am dropping my cart into gear and running them right the heck over. Stupid people.

After the Shop Rite torture, we went to Circuit City for CDs and more torture. I picked up two blues CDs with various artists on them for less than $10. Deal! I saw a few artists on there that were mentioned in the book I'm reading. So I thought I would check them out. Little did I know that it would take forever and then some to check out at the cash register. My friend jumped into a different line. We each had about 4 people or so in front of us. She was all the way through with her things paid for and I was still standing in the same exact spot. They opened two other registers. So I jumped into one of them behind someone else. I had no idea that cashier was going to suddenly turn into Mr. I-Am-The-Slowest-Being-On-The-Planet! I saw that the other newly opened register had a clear line again. But when I started walking over, the girl there said, "Sorry. I'm closed again. They need me to help in the back." I gave her that look that said, "If there were not quite so many witnesses here, you know I would rip your friggin voice box right out of your useless throat!" Since my day was nothing anyway, I just went back to where I started and waited.

Well, then I went home. I played my drums for a while. Ate a bagel. Ate a piece of peach pie. Read some more. Just nothing. Then I fell asleep for about three hours and woke up just in time to write about nothing and post it on the website before the end of the day so that I feel like I did SOMETHING.

Posted at 11:40 PM (EST)

December 12, 2003

1 son plus 4 impacted wisdom teeth multiplied by insurance carrier hassles squared = $400 out of my pocket up front.

Dang! That's the deal. My son needs his wisdom teeth removed. He has some pain in his lower jaw. The oral surgeon has had problems dealing with my insurance carrier in the past. So, he wants 20% of the fee paid before he will operate. That is the amount I will probably be obligated to pay anyway. I was hoping I wouldn't have to pay it all at once.

I was going to rag about my financial annoyances at this point. But I will spare you. We all have them. Don't we?

* * * * *

Hey! Speaking of financial annoyances... Look who's coming to town soon! Santa Spud!

I don't know... I'm a little suspicious that the beard isn't real.

Doesn't he look like he's being robbed?

"No! Please! Don't shoot! Take the bag of gifts! Take the reindeer!"

* * * * *

I think Christmas should be a totally spontaneous thing. When I feel like doing and when I have the money, then it will be Christmas. It may happen in December. It may happen in April or August. When I'm in the mood to be generous and festive, we will have Christmas.

It's not that I'm a humbug either. I like to be generous. I like to give gifts to people and make them happy. I just can't stand the commercialism and hype at this time of the year. "The Holiday Season." No. It's a corporate greed driven stressful time of the year. It's shitty. And I wish that there would be a law to take away any mention of Jesus at this time of the year because this is not the type of social environment that He would promote. Let it all be about Santa and elves and toys and trees and lights and all the rest. Let it all be as thin and worthless as tinsel. We already know it is.

Am I being a cynic or a realist? Is there a difference all the time?

Posted at 9:30 PM (EST)

December 11, 2003

Sometimes, when I write an article like this or like this, people want to know who it is about. For people who know me a little more personally, there may be enough clues in the article to cause them to think that they know who it is about. I admit that I do it on purpose to make people wonder. Very rarely do I tell very many people who these articles are about. Once I had an ex-girlfriend email me and ask who an article was about. (One day I'll have to write an article about ex-girlfriends getting all weird when reading my stuff. Maybe I will even write about one who used a different email address and had me fooled for a short time.)

Well, today someone called me and asked about my recent entry "Sometimes, When It Snows."

Before I go on, let me say that if you have not read that entry, go read it now before you read the rest of this passage. If you read the rest of this, it might spoil the entry for you. So go on! Scoot on over there and read. I'll be right here waiting...

So, this friend calls me on the phone at work this afternoon and says, "Hey! That article you wrote about missing someone when it snows... Was that about God?"

Oh man! I nearly choked from laughing so hard! Check out some of the lines from the article and just imagine me saying these things to or about GOD...

"You held my arm so that you would not fall on the steps, then waited for me to open the door for you." - What? Is God a shriveled up little old lady now?

"Not knowing where to begin or which important thing would mean the most to you, I asked if you were warm enough and comfortable. Maybe that meant the most to you after all." - Yup! That is exactly what God is waiting to hear from all of us. Forgot about, "Praise You, Lord, for you are so awesome and holy!" Nevermind, "Father, I thank You for all of Your many blessings." Don't even bother praying, "Lord, lead us not into temptation." Just ask Him if He is warm and comfortable.

"I remember periods of time when it was difficult for you to smile and days when you didn't smile at all. For a time, it was my mission to make you smile." - Poor God! So sad! If it wasn't for me, He wouldn't have smiled at all.

"I guess it was that foolish assumption that you would always be there that left me wide open to the harsh certainty of reality... Even you, you who made it feel like the world had stopped and I could rest for ever when you were near, have gone. Is life designed for love or for sorrow primarily?" - You know... sadly... I think some people really do say such things about God. Or maybe they don't actually say them, but they feel them. They feel abandoned and alone. Facing the stark, cold realities of life... just like being stranded out there in the snow. Well, I understand that too. I know what that feels like.

But none of these lines were written to God. They were simply written to another person who I was close to for some time. I am disappointed that this person didn't stay in touch like I thought they would. I feel somewhat hurt. I still miss her.

Posted at 11:45 PM (EST)

December 10, 2003

Now doesn't that look comfortable? All comfy inside a sleeping bag with a nice soft pillow, sipping on Kool-Aid and not even needing to hold it.

Well, that will be me in a few minutes. Only I'll be snuggled in bed with my favorite comforter and my own pillow. I've been feeling "migrainy" all day. I haven't gotten the big bad headache yet. But I've felt "out of it" all day. I've been pretty spacey all day. More than usual. I'm weak and dizzy. Lots of tension in my neck and shoulders. Nauseous. Normally my migraines start with the blind spots for about 20 minutes. Then I get the bad headache and all the rest of the symptoms. Today it all feels backwards.

So I'm throwing a few words up here on the ol' website before I finally poop out.

* * * * *

Speaking of throwing up...

While consulting the dictionary to find out how to spell nauseous, a few words caught my eye.

Do you know what "nautch" is?

Nautch - "an entertainment in India consisting chiefly of dancing by professional dancing girls."

Also on this page...

Naugahyde - "a trademark name used for vinyl-coated fabrics."

Nauganautch - "an Indian entertainment featuring professional dancers in low budget costumes."

* * * * *

On the music scene...

While writing this I am listening to the Grateful Dead's "Workingman's Dead." Believe it or not, this is the very first Grateful Dead album I have EVER listened to! My good friend, Pete Martin, let me borrow it along with some Lyle Lovett CDs. I am definitely not a Dead Head. Nope. Sorry. But then again... with this impending migraine...

Lately, in the car, I've been listening through all of my Led Zeppelin CDs. I don't know. I get in the mood once in a while and end up listening through all the albums for certain bands.

I've also been reading a book about Zeppelin called "Hammer of the Gods" by Stephen Davis. I haven't gotten very far into it yet. It begins with what amounts to a disclaimer of all the wild rumors about the band. "Oh, no, no! They never did this! They never really did that! And they certainly didn't do that thing with the dead shark and the under age girl! Stairways to heaven, NO!" I don't know. It just kind of makes me believe it all the more.

Reading books like these is just mindless entertainment at this point. My brain can't handle anything heavy duty right now.

* * * * *

Let's see... What else?

Should I tell you about how I got a tip from a friend about a cute girl at a certain business near our office? And about how my nervousness turned me into a bumbling idiot when I went there and actually spoke to her? About the way I asked stupid questions about their services and prices just to try to engage her in conversation? No, I don't think I will tell you that. That would be embarrassing.

Her name is April. At least I managed to ask what her name was without stuttering too much. She didn't ask for my name. It's probably best if she doesn't know at this point. She would only make really bad mental associations right now. "Sam... starts with S... like... STUPID... STUTTER... STALKER..."

* * * * *

Obviously... my last brain cell is fading quickly...

Pillow time...

Posted at 8:30 PM (EST)

December 9, 2003

Welcome to the show! Are you old enough to remember when Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom was on television on Sunday nights? I believe it was on right before the Wonderful World of Disney.

And now... your hosts for this evening's show...

Marlin Perkins and... some strange guy...

And now ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, let's explore our planet's wildlife... Go ahead and click on the pictures to see almost but not quite life size versions of these ferocious critters. Don't be scared! They aren't real. They are just digital images taken by the nut job who runs this website.

* * * * *

Oh look! It's the New Jersey Single-eyed Dove! Don't get too close! She'll pluck your eye out 'cause she has eye envy. You have two good eyes and she only has one. This particular species of carnivorous dove lives right in Mom's back yard!

* * * * *

"Oh, it's just a harmless little bunny, isn't it?"

* * * * *

Shhh! It doesn't take much to scare off this majestic looking fellow. It's amazing that he even posed for as long as he did when our car came to a screeching halt on this country road and we jumped out and clicked his picture!

* * * * *

Moving along down another country road, what do we have here?

"Set!    22!   59!   Hike!"

Nah! I'm just kidding! They aren't really playing football! But it does make one wonder why they are standing in such a formation. And it reminds me of my cow tipping days when I was just a little lad growing up here in Omaha. Just push the one on the top of the hill over and they will all tumble like dominoes! What fun! Cowminoes! (Is a "cowmino" really the same thing as a "calf"? Hmm... Something is a little fishy here...)

* * * * *

Since we are on the farm now, let's take a look at this proud fellow. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Is he thinking what we are thinking? Can roosters hike their legs?

* * * * *

Oh man! Uh... Ah... We better move along folks. I kinda put a picture of his dead brother on the internet. Oh boy! I think he recognizes me! Ya never know about these guys! They can be kinda squirrely! Come on... Move along now...

* * * * *

Oh look! No, up there! It's a Northeastern Hop Pigeon! See how he looks just like an ordinary pigeon yet only has one leg! These fellows are not very common. But now and then you might spot one in cities such as Manhattan.

* * * * *

What? Oh, splendid! You found a mantis! A big one too! Thank you for your participation!

* * * * *

Well... Our time is up now everyone. But wait! Look who just arrived! (No, that is not another salad picture.) It's Mr. Slug! Slow and slimy wins the race! Right?

Thank you for tuning in, my friends!

* * * * *

(This show has been brought to you by Just-Needed-Something-To-Write-About Productions in association with Utterly Ridiculous Web Writers Omynous.)

Posted at 11:15 PM (EST)

December 8, 2003


Maybe what we need around here is another photo of a few cute girls. What do you think? Isn't that better than some of yesterday's photos? Unless you really dig salad, Spanish booze and my stinky old sneakers! To each his own. But I'd rather see cute girls any day.

No, I'm not going to tell you who they are or give any phone numbers out. They're my girls! Well, at least one of them is.

* * * * *

In other news...

I managed to run at lunchtime today. Curse the Spanish booze! Ironman and Spanish-brandy-man cannot inhabit the same body. Somebody has to go.

The girl who sits next to me at work ran today! Our goal is to run each day this week. It would be nice to run the whole course we set out without stopping.

* * * * *

"Hey pig..." Today's backgound music is Nine Inch Nails. No, I didn't just call you pig. Don't take it personally. Pigs have feelings too, you know.

Posted at 4:00 PM (EST)

December 7, 2003


But I only need to write 50 words to meet my Holidailies commitment! For lack of a good solid topic to write a full journal entry, allow me to give you a little overview of my weekend. I'm sure I will exceed 50 words and everyone will get their money's worth!

The photo above is the view from the window right next to my bed. Since I occupy the room formerly known as the attic, the ceilings are slanted and the windows are low to the floor. Plus, since I have the single-guy-mattress-on-the-floor bedding arrangement, all you have to do is roll over and peak out from behind the shade to see what kind of a day it is out there. But if "you" were to do so, I suppose there would be some question as to what "you" are doing in my bed in the first place! I know some of "you" personally. And... uh... well I don't want to think about it! (Talk about an interesting journal entry!) But if "you" happen to be Meg Ryan, or maybe Gwen Stefani, give me a call and I'll set up a time to give you a view from my window "again."

All seriousness aside, folks...

This was the view on Saturday around noon. It was snowing hard at that time. We ended up with at least 10 inches here.

There are two things that caught my eye in this picture. The one is a chimney in the foreground which is covered with several inches of snow. Obviously, there is no heat coming through it. It struck me as an odd sight. The other thing that got my attention is that you can see a portion of the diner that my grandparents used to own. It is on the left side of the picture, above the middle, in front of the large dark building, which is the old theater building. The diner has a red border around the top. One day I will have to write of some of the times there. My grandparents build the original diner there long before I was born. They retired and sold the diner right after I graduated from high school. So, the diner and my grandparents were a huge part of my life growing up. Some day I'll fill you in.

* * * * *

Incidentally... I just made myself a killer salad before starting to write this. Lettuce, carrots, green peppers, grape tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, broccoli, tuna, croutons, and Ken's balsamic vinegarette. Mmmm....

* * * * *

Oh yeah... you can click on any of these pictures to enlarge them. If you want to...

* * * * *

I thought about running on Saturday even though it was snowing. I ran in the snow on Friday. It's very cool. But it just didn't happen on Saturday. First, I slept until noon just to catch up on some much needed rest. Then I had that I-think-I-slept-too-much feeling in my head all day. I took S to work and T to a friend's house. I went to Wal-Mart and bought a low priced (sounds better than "cheap," huh?) pair of boots. The old pair of dress shoes from Payless just did not meet the challenge of the blizzard. Then I did a little food shopping. All the while I was hoping to get the motivation to actually run. Around 7 PM I got sucked in by the boob tube and watched, of all the worthless things, some dumb show about Michael Jackson.

However, after that a show about the Iron Man competition came on. "Watching" people swim 2.4 miles, then bike 121 miles, then run a marathon is almost as good as running myself, right? I was exhausted by the end of the show at 9 PM. Besides, that bag of M&Ms just wouldn't leave me alone! And the Ponche Caballero...

I did run on Sunday afternoon. But I regretted sleeping late again. And I cursed every M&M that ever entered my mouth. And the Ruffles potato chips! And the Ponche Caballero...

* * * * *

Ah!!! The Ponche Cabarello! Delicious!

A super friend of mine from Virginia introduced me to Ponche Cabarello a while back. Nectar of the gods! Her brother brought it home from Spain. Neither she nor he could find more of it here in the States. She even went to Mexico recently and didn't find it there either.

Yesterday, I stopped at a liquor store in my town to pick up a bottle of Yellow Tail Chardonney. I was also looking around for a certain Polish vodka that the guitarist in my band was talking about. I can't remember its name. I turned to look at the shelf on the opposite side of the aisle from the vodka. There... at eye level... there it was... silver bottle... yellow label... Ponche Cabarello! "No F-ing way!" I called my friend in Virginia and told her. Then I bought the three bottles on the shelf.

Good, good stuff! It's an orange liqueur, sort of like a brandy. Smooth. Excellent on the rocks. Excellent while writing. Excellent while listening to...

* * * * *

Tonight's weblog soundtrack brought to you courtesy of Aerosmith. Usually, I write with some kind of rock music blasting. Come to think of it... I do most things with some kind of rock music blasting! Lately while writing I've been listening through my Aerosmith collection. At this very moment, 9:07 PM, "Toys in the Attic" is on.

* * * * *

Speaking of toys in the attic... I did manage to squeeze in a little bit of practicing tonight. It was nearly as much as I should practice. Even if it's only for a short time, it always feels good to play. Listening to Aerosmith right now sure brings back many memories of first learning to play and days of practicing after school for hours and hours. I used to put a stack of records on (especially Aerosmith) and play my brains out. Sometimes I played until my fingers bled. Sometimes I hated myself for not being able to play everything on the records to perfection. That's the point of practicing though, keep at it until you love yourself again. Then you know you will do a good job at a show and not hate yourself for being a breathing embarrassment.

* * * * *

The only thing I love more than music is reading. This weekend I finished reading "Bloodclots in the Mainstream" by Rob Santello. He toured with the Bouncing Souls and was their merchandising representative. It was an interesting book, despite the fact that the author's viewpoint was a little too negative for my liking. So, to balance things out, I started reading "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster. My kids had to read this book when they were in fifth or sixth grade. I always wanted to read it. Now I have good motivation to do so as it is this month's book for the TUS book club.

* * * * *

The weekend culminated with a great dinner of swiss steaks with onions, peppers and crushed tomatoes (nicely seasoned by Mom), along with fresh green beans and mashed potatoes (peeled and cut by T). Mmmm! Mmmm!

* * * * *

Lastly, I picked up a few movies this weekend. "The Usual Suspects" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." The totally cool and the totally geeky! I watched "The Usual Suspects" with Mom last night. I started "Close Encounters" but didn't have time to finish it. Now, I hear the T has just started watching "The Suspects." I can't resist watching. I wrote at least 50 words today, right? Right. Okay, later!

Posted at 10:15 PM (EST)

December 5, 2003

It is said that when you see a ring around the moon at night, it is going to snow the next day. What if you see a rainbow around the sun? Does it mean the same thing? Because it is supposed to snow big time here today and tomorrow, possibly 10 to 14 inches in our area by the end of the day tomorrow.

I am not well "treaded" for this storm. The tires on my car are wearing pretty thin. I have no boots since I destroyed them on THIS ADVENTURE back in August. But all I have to do is make it home from work and I will be fine. It can snow all weekend then.

The photo above was taken while driving to work yesterday morning. I set the camera exposure extra low to make more of a contrast between the rainbow and the tree line, as well as to minimize the glare from the sun. The church in the picture is located in Fairmont, which is near Califon and Oldwick.

* * * * *

I was going to run again yesterday, even though I was debating if that would be a good thing right at the beginning of getting started again, especially given the fact that I've been averaging about four hours sleep per night lately. It's at times like these, when I push myself a little too much, that I fear the Brain-Sucking-Monster-Migraine will get me. Still, I wanted to run.

However, even though the girl who sits next to me at work remembered to bring her running gear, even though we talked all morning about running at lunchtime, even though it was warmer than the day before, we didn't go running. This time she changed her mind at the last minute when someone asked her to go out for Thai food for lunch. She didn't stop there though! She, along with the Thai lunch instigator, stood at my cube and harangued (cool word, huh?) me about being too hard on myself for wanting to run again. What? I only ran once after loafing for how many months? How hard on myself was that? (Pretty damn hard, actually!) Well, they convinced me to go to lunch. Honestly, they didn't have to harangue too long and I rationalized it all away and soon found myself behind an abundant plateful of mildly hot Thai food.

I am beginning to wonder about the girl who sits next to me at work though. Not only has she not gone running with me, now she has even resorted to haranguement (cool, but is it really a word?) to persuade ME to NOT run!

I will run today though, come hell or high water! Or snow.

* * * * *

Man, did I crash last night! I think I actually managed to get about seven hours of sleep for a change. I was extremely proud of myself for resisting the temptation to turn the computer on and going to bed instead.

* * * * *

Speaking of crashing...

On the way to work this morning, the driver in front of me stopped suddenly. I jammed on my breaks so hard that I gave myself a wedgie! I suppose it is better to give yourself a wedgie than to BE a wedgie by slamming into somebody else's rear end.

* * * * *

So goes the world. Or at least my little portion of it.

Posted at 9:45 AM (EST)

December 4, 2003

New entry in the journal section! "No Matter What... Come in Running"

Posted at 12:30 AM (EST)

December 3, 2003

On November 8, 2003 there was a total lunar eclipse which was visible from most of North America (so I'm told by my NASA sources). I wanted to write about it at the time, but, well...

Yesterday, I received an email from my mom's friend, Pete. (Hi, Pete!) She must know what astronomy geeks my mom and I are. She happened to mention that she couldn't see the eclipse from her home in California as we could in New Jersey because it was too cloudy there. So, for Pete's sake (Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.), here is a series of photos taken by none other than my mommy. It's neat to see them all together and see the moon's progression. Click the pictures to enlarge them.


For further info and pictures of this lunar eclipse, here are a few sites:

November's Lunar Eclipse - this is the Astronomy Picture of the Day website from NASA (which happens to be what I have my home page on my browser set to. I told you I was an astronomy geek!)

Eclipsed Moon in Infrared - funky.

Photos by David Cortner - taken in North Carolina.

Posted at 2:30 PM (EST)

December 2, 2003

Thanks to the incentive/pressure of Holidailies, there is a new journal entry titled "Of Making Words."

Posted at 6:00 AM (EST)

December 1, 2003

26 Things is a photo scavenger hunt project. Participants are given a list of 26 words. Their mission is to photograph subjects to represent these words.

In the photography section there is a 26 Things gallery.

In the journal section there is a 26 Things article that contains smaller versions of the photos along with a brief description for each one.

So go check out one or the other before this "intimidating" young fella comes and beats yer arse!

Posted at 4:10 PM (EST)





CLICK HERE TO JOINthe mailing list to be notified when new entries are posted.