Trip to Daytona pt. 1

December 16th, 2004

Things got off to a bad start Friday afternoon as I began my excursion. I had a 7pm flight so I did the smart thing and left work at 4 in hopes of making decent time by hopefully beating the traffic. This plan was met with construction and bumper to bumper traffic.

I was thrilled.

Good thing I left early, however. I eventually made my way into the airport and found out that the gate from which I was set to depart was the furthest away from where I came in. I can use the exercise so I hoofed it to the gate and see "NY, La Guardia" on the monitor. Now last time I had checked New York was not on the way from Detroit to Orlando, but maybe they moved it. My gate was moved to right next to where I entered the airport. I make the trek back and wait in line to ask for my exit row seat.

Upon my asking, the woman behind the counter tells me that there are no empty seats available period, including exit row. She says she will write down my seat number and let me know if anything comes up...how kind of her. Much to my surprise I was soon paged back to the counter. She hands me a new boarding pass marked "01 B". My only guess here is that there were openings in first class and they were trying to fit standby passengers on the flight. Why not bump and existing passenger to first class and let someone standby take his seat in economy? I like it.

This was only my second experience in first class and my first on this particular airline. As it turns out, this airline likes to flood your body with booze. Who knew?

Full story »

First Snow.

December 15th, 2004

Now, I know I am late with this post. I have been relatively busy recently. There is my excuse.

That aside, I managed to grab my camera on the morning of December the first before I headed off to work and took a few shots of my "first snow".

Ok, having lived in Michigan for the better part of my short life and in Pennsylvania for the rest, I've been through a snow fall or two. It even snowed the night before Thanksgiving, just three weeks ago. The snow flakes on the morning of December 1 were the first while I was living at my condo*.

The pictures are of the gazebo located right next to my building. When I opened my garage I thought it looked nice in the morning snow and decided to capture the moment. Sure it's lost on you all, but it was nice for me, so BACK OFF! I am still adjusting to this whole "owning my own home" thing. Please, be patient with me.

(*Due to my ankle injury I could not drive and had moved back in with my parents for about three weeks time which included the day of the earlier snow fall.)

December 12th, 2004

Your emotional nature is strong and sensitive.

Penn Station

December 10th, 2004

There is a restaurant in Downtown Rochester called Penn Station. This is a chain with locations in roughly 11 states. I called today to have some food delivered so I could work through lunch and was told they would not bring me my sandwich. They said it was "too far" for one sandwich. Here is my complaint that I am sent to the company through their website:

How busy is "too busy" when you will not drive 2.5 miles to deliver one large sandwich? I was told today by a young woman who's name I believe was ***** that the store was too busy and it was too far to drive for just one sandwich. Instead of one large sandwich would you have delivered two small sandwiches? Where is the cutoff?

Courtesy of mapquest.com:
Total Est. Time: 6 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 2.52 miles

6 minutes? My meal would have cost what? $10? I do not know a single pizza place that would not deliver 1 small pizza. Sure, it might take a little longer. If you are THAT busy, tack my delivery at the end of a trip. This is a joke.

I had never tried Penn Station before and now why should I?

1: Start out going NORTH 0.4 miles

2: Turn RIGHT 1.9 miles

3: Turn RIGHT 0.1 miles*

*Yes I know that only adds up to 2.4 miles, the 2.52 is the estimation that accompanied the directions on the internet.

Now here I sit. I'm hungry and grumpy. Not a good combination.

Sideways

December 10th, 2004

Sideways is the story of a man, Jack (Thomas Hayden Church), who embarks on a trip with his to be Best-man Miles (Paul Giamatti). For the week prior to the wedding, Miles takes Jack to California's Wine Country for some last minute reflection and a lot of good wine. Both men are getting older and appear not to have too much of a future, which would explain the situations in which we find both men. The conflict arises when Miles finds out that Jack's motivation for their wonderful week away is to sew his last wild oat or two.

Based upon the way I have written that first part, I guess it is slightly disheartening to tell you how well I identified with the character played by Giamatti. A man who takes his own interests very seriously and maybe once or twice shuns other people as a result.

The movie was very real. That, however led to things I both liked and disliked about the movie. I laughed practically throughout when I had not expected to laugh much at all. I really did not to know what to expect to be honest. The scripting seemed much more casual as if dialogue was live and not written.

What surprised me was some adult material. It really caught me off guard. It seemed out of place and may have detracted from my overall feeling of the movie. That feeling was a very positive one regardless.

I do not think Thomas Hayden Church could act his way out of a hole in the ground...whatever that means. I will not expect him to win any prestigious awards for his role. He was, however ironic this may seem, perfect to play Jack. He was just the right mix of annoying and chauvinist for the part.

Paul Giamatti is one of the actors that I will go out of my to see perform (with the exception of "that" movie about an obnoxious radio personality who's name I will not mention). In some of my aimless digging around I have seen one or two opinions that list Giamatti as a potential nominee for Best Actor for this film. I do hate to do this, but I will disagree. He was fantastic, my only concern is that "Miles" may have been too flat.

I have taken a few moments of reflection on the movie as I tried to piece together my review. Each time a different part of the movie flashes through my mind and I cannot help but smile. There were a couple of dead spots in the plot when it dragged some, but it was not enough to ultimately bother me.

It was a very good movie. I saw it. I enjoyed it very much, though I did not love it. I think a second time through my opinion of the film would only improve. I will buy this DVD. You should see it. I hope you like it, too.

| Forum |

December 8th, 2004
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
- Ronald E. Osborn

NFL Week 13.

December 8th, 2004

I'm going to get to the good stuff early this week so you can skip the rest if you so feel the need. You're welcome in advance.

The team to beat this year is the Philadelphia Eagles. What happened against the Steelers a few weeks ago to give the 'Birds their only loss of the season is certainly an anomaly. Say all you want about record numbers for Peyton Manning folks, I'll take Andy Reid's corps. What is the x-factor? Defense. Indianapolis may have the "Edge" on offense, but in a head to head match up I like Philadelphia. The only question becomes: Will the Eagles simply beat themselves in the NFC Championship? Give McNabb two out of the three Stokley/Wayne/Harrison to accompany TO and we'll again say goodbye to current record holders.

Are the Atlanta Falcons officially the most overrated 9-3 team? Blanked by the Bucs? They have serious Jekyll and Hyde issues in Atlanta that might need some attention from the front office. Is it chemistry? Do they not like each other? Would moving a few players around make a team that's rough around the edges play more cohesively? More consistently? I think it is safe to expect an early exit by the Falcons from the playoffs this year.

I continue to support the program in San Diego as they keep rolling, but I just cannot see them being too successful this post season. To me the Chargers are just a good mediocre team beating mediocre good teams right now. As much as I would rather see them play in February in the place of Colts/Pats, I won't hold my breath.

I look at the success some rookie quarterbacks have had in this league recently (Ben Roethlisberger/Chocolate Krenzel this year, David Carr a few years ago) and I like to think I can look forward to some rookie success by a new Lions quarterback next season. I'm sorry Joey, it is time I went public. Yes, you won in Arizona this week. Yes sometimes they simply drop the passes (Roy Williams), but you just seem preoccupied up there, buddy. Love life got you down? 90% of the women in Detroit would have your children. AND, if you start winning 90% of the men would too! What can we do? I am afraid it is entirely out of our control and we're forced to wait out your contract.

Sorry, I need a moment....

Ok, I'm better now.

So other than that no two teams combined for over 100 points, does that make week 13 a disappointment?

And wouldn't you know it: We finally had an exciting Monday Night game. What is a shame, however, is that the game sucked until 85% of the viewing audience gave up on it and went to bed. Go figure.

Wendy's Wild Mountain Chicken Sandwich

December 7th, 2004

Link: http://www.wendys.com

Following up on a recommendation, I pulled into the Drive-Thru at Wendy's today for lunch. A little birdie (Doug) told me to check out the Wild Mountain Chicken Sandwich. I figured I would try it. What did I have to lose? (Don't answer that.)

Take Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich and top it with Colby Cheese, Bacon and the Wild Mountain Sauce. I opted against the Lettuce, Tomato and Onion; I am what some refer to as a "picky eater". Regardless of my idiosyncrasies, this sandwich was fantastic.

Wendy's also offers a Wild Mountain Bacon Cheeseburger, though I have not tried it. To be honest, if I went back to Wendy's with the Cheeseburger in mind, I would just end up with another Chicken Sandwich.

Yes, it was that good. Thanks Doug.

December 7th, 2004
Books are the quietest and most constant friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
- Charles W. Eliot

Roses Are Red - James Patterson

December 7th, 2004

Roses Are Red - James PattersonIn this heart-pounding but touchingly romantic new thriller, Detective Alex Cross pursues the most complex and brilliant killer he's ever confronted--a mysterious criminal who calls himself the Mastermind.

In a series of crimes that has stunned Washington D.C., bank robbers have been laying out precise demands when they enter the building--and then killing the bank employees and their families if those instructions are not followed to the letter.

Detective Alex Cross takes on the case, certain that this is no ordinary bank robber at work--the pathological need for control and perfection is too great. Cross is in the midst of a personal crisis at home, but the case becomes all-consuming as he learns that the Mastermind is plotting one huge, last, perfect, crime.

With twists and reversals that only the mind of James Patterson could create, Roses are Red is by far the most explosive, surprising, and fast-paced novel of his extraordinary career.

I am slowly but surely getting through the Alex Cross series. It is difficult for me to not have finished it so far, but I am sticking to my guns. I said at the beginning I would not try to rush through it. I very much enjoy James Patterson's writing and was afraid that if I tried to read too many of his books in a row I may become tired of the same writing style. This, mind you, would be no fault of the author's.

I actually feel that approaching this series in this fashion makes it more fun for me. I find myself saying, "When is it time for another Alex Cross?" Roses Are Red is the sixth of a ten book series that is definitely picking up steam. The books are getting more and more exciting. If you have read Patterson you know his books are hard to put down.

Roses Are Red was not the best book of this series, though still a very good book in its own right. It was enjoyable from beginning to end and difficult to put down. I will admit that it has been awhile since I have been so excited by the ending of a book as I was when I finished Roses Are Red. I cannot wait to start Violets Are Blue.

You start reading these yet? You should.

| Forum | The Alex Cross series:
Along Came a Spider $7.19
Kiss the Girls $7.19
Jack & Jill $7.19
Cat & Mouse $7.19
Pop Goes the Weasel $7.19
Roses are Red $7.19
Violets are Blue $7.19
Four Blind Mice $7.19
Big Bad Wolf $6.39
London Bridges $18.45