Archive for the ‘rants’ Category

That would be the overtime wheel at work.

Let me just say that I’m not opposed to overtime, on the contrary, I like the paycheck, at least until Uncle Sam decides to do his personal version of armed robbery. I hear the politicos talking about how it’s tough for everyone, and as Ann Richards once said, “There must be equity in suffering!”

Still, it doesn’t seem quite fair when you put in the hours and get hosed on taxes just so some low-life congresscritter can get a couple point bump in the polls just so he/she/it can stay elected. But, it seems to be the reality these days, so there’s not much use complaining about it.

My new Beasts

My new Beasts

In the good news department, I did get fitted for new running shoes. I am able to get the Beasts, and this time, I opted for the snazzy red and black trim. I’m really hoping they come in soon… I’m wanting to get back to the gym ASAP, feet or not.

See, I’ve gained seven pounds during my layoff. I’m not happy about this. I’m primarily frustrated in that I discovered how much I like exercise, and now I can’t do it. Sigh.

So, the Super Bowl was kind of a laugher, unless you’re a die-hard Broncos fan. It was tough to watch, because Peyton Manning is an amazing competitor and his team just was not prepared. I was always a big fan of the commercials, but they seemed to be lacking this year. One of the standouts in my mind was the entry from Radio Shack. I’m not a big fan of the Shack, but this was hysterical, to a child of the 1980s. I’ve decided to include it… bonus points if you a) can spot Qbert and b) know who/what Qbert is.

I think it’s well done and it might inspire me to visit the Shack, even if it will mean I’ll get talked down to by a bunch of dweebs who still live in mom’s basement.

Not to be outdone, the Brits unleashed some über-cute ads, so in the interest of trying to make heads explode, I give you puppies and kittens, in that order.

I do this as a public service, people.

So, I also see that the Beebs has been classing it up. Apparently, he and his entourage hot-boxed the private jet they were taking to the Super Bowl to the extent that the pilots had to go on oxygen masks. The entourage included his father. Parent of the year, folks.

That about does it for now. Hope you all survived the northeast ice storm!

So, I had to go get a haircut today.

Now, it may seem weird, but I travel 35 miles for a haircut.

Why, you may ask.

I go there because I’ve been going to the same person for over twenty years. She does a good job, knows how I like my hair and charges a fair price.

Winneba-Gogh, perhaps?

Winneba-Gogh, perhaps?

However, the parking lot has a very interesting vehicle. It’s a 1977 Winnebago painted to resemble VanGogh’s Starry Night. The colors are rather faded, but you have to love it. Apparently, it’s for sale… only $2,495.

After my haircut, I headed back home. On the way, I passed a Kreider Farms truck that was advertising their status as a “micro-mooery” The back of the truck also offered some interesting graphics. Gotta love Lancaster County.

Also got news at the office last night that I had not gotten a position I had applied for. I won’t deny that I’m actually pretty bitter about it. Kind of sucks when all the hard work you’ve put in learning your job for the last 13 years is basically swept under the rug in favor of some other folks who aren’t nearly as experienced, regardless of how much training they have. It isn’t the first time this has happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I’ll still continue to do whatever is asked of me, but the next time I’m asked to train people or the powers-that-be drop a shitty job on my desk, well, it will take every ounce of self control to not tell them to get one of the new all-stars to do it. I know I’m not fooling anyone… I will do what I’m told. It’s how I was raised. This is, however, a shining example of why some people who deserve a better skill classification don’t even apply for it in the first place.

My first instinct was to run for the food. I did have a Klondike Bar, but that’s as far as it went. I’ve come too far to let them beat me.

OK, rant over. Now back to your regularly scheduled bitterness.

I also got 3.25 miles in this morning around the neighborhood. It was cool, but very humid. I also did it in just under an hour. Yay me.

At any rate, that’s all I have to offer today.

Song of the Day: Metal Health (Bang Your Head) – Quiet Riot

Currently Reading: The Millionaires – Brad Meltzer

I'm sure this is what it's like when they aren't trying to sell you something else you don't want or need.

I’m sure this is what it’s like when they aren’t trying to sell you something else you don’t want or need.

Ahh, yes. It’s now time for the yearly Xfinity rant.

Today’s cause was when I called to drop our voice service. Basically put, we don’t use the home phone. At all. I figured, “Why pay for it?” So I called to drop the service.

The “helpful” person on the end informed us that the price would increase if we dropped the service.

Let’s see… drop service, price goes up. Must be that new math, because that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Apparently it does in Xfinity world. Not sure I’d want to live there. I figure down is up, left is right, etc. In Xfinity World, Richard Nixon was probably a Democrat.

“So, Brian,” you’re probably saying, “Why on earth do you stick with them? Why don’t you get a dish?”

The answer there is Wanda, evil queen bitch of our HOA. Erecting a dish would require Wanda approval and I never wanted to deal with the hassle. Now, I’d take some hassle if it meant I could tell Xfinity to get bent. See, that’s how they get you. They have a monopoly. Granted, that’s the only way they get any business. It sure as hell isn’t their stellar customer experience. The other reason I stay with them is that when everything works, the Interwebz is blazing fast and the reliability is above average. I have a lot of devices connected to the Web at home (three computers, two tablets, two smartphones, three other digital streaming units and an Xbox. Oh, and a printer. It handles the traffic admirably.

But is that enough?

See, I’m OK with paying for a lot of the stuff I don’t use. Basically, I watch Formula One racing and Doctor Who. One is in the “sports tier” and the other is in an extended digital tier. I don’t watch BET, Univision, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, QVC, HSN, and Root Sports. I don’t watch much network TV. I don’t use the music channels much, nor MTV, VH1, or CSPAN. I seriously don’t watch CSPAN II. And I don’t need three (???) CBS feeds. I can only watch CSI on one channel at a time. I don’t even use ESPN or Comcast Sports Net anymore. It would be easier to list the channels I do watch than those I don’t.

And apparently, if you’re a long-term customer, they won’t give you one of those $79 Double Play options. They will give you a whopping $20 off your bill. Thanks, guys. And if you just want the Interwebz, be prepared to cough up $75 a month. To look at pictures of cats.

Where does it end?

When will they have enough money?

544790_10200671889614808_1645566182_nLike many folks, I found myself flabbergasted by the events around the Boston Marathon yesterday.

My first reaction was one of disbelief… I figured it was a gas explosion or something like that… a horrible, tragic accident.

I was wrong and I wish I wasn’t.

My second thought was that I hoped my teammates from Team All Ears, three of whom were in the race, were all unharmed.

My third thought was quite honestly, “What kind of sick fuck does this?” I know that’s kind of blunt, but it’s obviously not the work of someone with even a tiny piece of humanity.

See, it bothered me more than I think it would have if I wouldn’t have gotten involved with TAE. While I’m not a real runner and probably never will be (let’s face it… the closest I’ll ever get to doing a marathon is driving 26.2 miles in a car), I have felt so welcomed by the team and the community that it feels like some of my family have been attacked. Just reading the posts has been eye-opening… the sheer amount of love and support poring from folks connected by one thread has really warmed my heart and put things in perspective.

I also want to give a shout out to the Mickey Miles podcast who organized a live call in show last evening with the able assistance of Mike Newell and MouseWorldRadio. Co-hosts Mike and Michelle did the right thing by giving folks a forum to discuss yesterday’s horrific events amongst similar-minded people.

I ask that you support Boston in the coming days. If you’ve done some running, wear a race shirt today (I only wish I had one to wear). Most importantly, KEEP RUNNING! We are strong and the actions of a coward or cowards (Yes, I said cowards) should not stop us from living. I refuse to live in fear, because a life lived in fear is a wasted life. You can get killed crossing the street… does that mean you should never cross the street? Does the thought of a crash cross my mind every time I step on board an airliner or board a train or even drive my car? It does, but my alternative is to never go anywhere or see or do anything. That’s not living.

So, stand up and be proud to be who you are. It’s when we change our way of life that the bad guys win. I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to give up while there’s still time on the clock.

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

There is an international disease which feeds on the notion that if you have a cause to defend, you can use any means to further your cause, since the end justifies the means. As an international community, we must oppose this notion, whether it be in Canada, in the United States, or anywhere else. No cause justifies violence as long as the system provides for change by peaceful means. – Richard M. Nixon, 1970

So, we’re back at Day 2. I took Wednesday off from the gym due to a creaky back and a creakier ankle. I was in a session yesterday and dragged my ass out of bed and got there this morning.

What a morning it was. Because it’s still freakin’ cold, I opted to take Supportive Partner Woman (Going to see Rick Springfield!)’s ride. XM First Wave was on the stereo and they were playing Frankie Goes to Hollywood. And no, not the one hit that everyone actually knows. No, of course not.

First Wave was playing Two Tribes, yo.

And not the harmless, generally sucky, 3 minute radio edit.

Of course not.

They opted for the 9 minute remix.

Yikes.

So, I figure I’ll switch stations… it’s gotta be better, right?

Let’s just say that all depends. Because, playing on other channels at the same time were Shalamar’s Dancing in the Sheets and the Village People’s In the Navy. At that point, I arrived at the gym and thankfully was no longer suffering from ear bleed.

Anyway… I did treadmill for a half-hour on a random hill setting. It felt pretty good. The ankle and back seemed to be behaving themselves and it kind of woke me up. Either that or the fact that it was cold enough to freeze my sweaty hair did the job for me.

So, today’s rant… WTF is up with people wearing pajamas all over the place? OK… I get if you’re walking out to the curb for the newspaper or maybe even going to the local convenience store for coffee. I expect it at Walmart. What I don’t get is going to the mall or a restaurant while wearing PJs. I don’t get wearing PJs to take a one hour train trip. The thing is, I’m usually someone who makes my fashion choices based on whatever doesn’t itch. Maybe someone can explain this phenomenon to me.

Hope you all have a good weekend!

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Greetings!

Today’s post includes things that don’t normally go together. Now Congress and graft? Yes. Congress and bullshit? Yes. Congress and Ebola? Not so much. But first, let’s get the daily stuff out of the way.

Managed day 9 today. 53:20 on the treadmill, 2.47 miles traveled, 2.78 mph. A little slower, but another 6 minutes and just shy of ¼ mile more traveled. I’m very pleased, considering it took a lot to wake up and get moving this morning. I also did it with a doozy of a headache. Tomorrow should be a little easier… it’s with the trainers, but it’s at 7 AM. I’ll get some weight training in as well.

I’m really noticing an improvement in general cardiovascular health. My stair climbing has gotten easier, and while my ankles continue to hurt, my feet seem to be holding up under the onslaught. Touch wood. I’m crediting the moisture-wicking socks. Maybe I need to consider some kind of moisture-wicking shirt, because I always come off the treadmill looking like I came in out of a tropical deluge. Things to ponder.

The Academy Award nominees have been released as well. Leading the way is Lincoln (big surprise). As much as I want to see it, I’m really intrigued by Zero Dark Thirty. This might be the first time in years that I actually want to see some nominees. Interesting stuff.

Now, on to some political news.

As many readers know, I like to spend time excoriating our political leadership here in the USA. Therefore, I was greatly amused when Public Policy Polling did a survey of just how unpopular Congress is, it was found to be less popular than cockroaches, traffic jams, lice and Nickelback, and slightly more popular than two of the biggest scourges facing humanity today: Ebola and the Kardashians. Way to go, Congress… people like you more than Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever that kills some 70% of its victims and causes bleeding from every known orifice. Your parents must be SO proud of you.

I might add that Congress polls slightly ahead of Lindsay Lohan and telemarketers. They also pulled better numbers than gonorrhea. Talk about a gold standard for excellence. Woot!

For complete poll results, visit the Public Policy Polling website.

So, there you have it for today. More to come!

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I got nothing

Posted: December 15, 2012 in Exercise, Physical activity, rants

The events that took place yesterday in Connecticut were a terrible tragedy. The lives of so many children, cut short by the actions of a single gunman, is a terrible thing. When innocence is lost on such a grand scale, well, we all die a little on the inside. I hope this brings meaningful change to a society that is increasingly polarized and marginalized, but knowing our track record as a country, we probably won’t. Instead of doing the right thing, our “leaders” will do something, anything, because not reacting in a situation like this will just fan the flames of outrage. It is time for a frank and open discussion on gun violence, mental health issues, security, and some of our societal values.

That’s all I will say on the topic for now… other than to keep those families in your prayers.

Until the events of yesterday, I was having a pretty good day. I got my rotund posterior up at 4:45 and was at the gym at 5:15. Made it a cardio day and somehow wound up on the treadmill that was surrounded on both sides by two Jersey Shore wannabes reeking of Drakkar Noir. One of these guys, who I’ll call The Predicament, was chomping on a wad of gum so loudly it was audible over the Queensryche I had cranked up to “ear bleed”. Sigh. I figured the way things were going, maybe Snooki would show up, you know, just to add some class. I managed to get about 45 minutes in, then headed home for a shower and off to the office. You might ask why I didn’t just shower at the gym… I mean, I was there. True. But I was afraid that while I’d be shampooing, the shower curtain would be ripped open, and Gratuitously Naked Guy would be standing there, beaming.

This is the kind of stuff that goes through my head. Curse my fertile imagination!

Short entry, I know, but there’s a busy day ahead.