Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Try anything once?

Perhaps he means, try anything 3 times...

Yes...this is a dis on you JC.

That is all...resume your current affairs.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hiking anyone?

So...I have a new idea. I think I want to hike the Appalachian Trail. Understand this - I have never actually backpacked. I go camping, but it is technically Car Camping. As in, we drive to a nice park, set up the sweet 3 room tent and venture into the woods for several miles and come back to home base. I may carry my camelbak and have a sandwich or two in the bag, but this is the extent of supplies carried with me.

Why you might ask do I want to do this? Well, it has always been in the back of my mind. And...the last 2 books that I have read that I can't seem to put down have to do with getting out of the world and into nature. I am currently reading a Walk in the Woods, which is no difficult read by any stretch, but I am nearly finished and have only been reading for a week. 300 pages in a week is unheard of from me unless the title is Harry Potter or....Into the Wild. Which was the other book that I flew through and couldn't seem to put it down...

At any rate, the question is...do you start at the Traditional beginning or in Alabama where the new connector trail begins. This is the actual beginning of the Appalachian Mountains. Next...if you make it all the way as a thru-hiker, do you continue on from Maine into Canada to the end of the Appalachian Mountain chain which you also now can do? The next question is, where do I find 5-6 months to do this? And how to afford such a venture? Donations or sponsorships are welcome!

Anybody with me?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So...I woke up this morning at about 4:45 so that I could vote before my meeting this morning. I was at Oakton High School at 5:40 and in line by 5:45. There were about 200 people in line in front of me. This is a total guess, but since I did not actually cast my vote until 6:45, I'll stick with it. Polls open in Virginia at 6, so such a line prior to opening must be pretty rare.

I voted for the Obama-Biden ticket. I also voted Mark Warner for US Senate. After today, Virginia will have both Senators and our governor as Blue Staters. The continued transformation of Virginia from Red to Blue makes me happy. I used to think that I was Red, but after actually paying attention to what they stand for, realized I was crazy as I don't believe in anything they do. Well, maybe the death penalty, but nothing else.

Here is to hoping history is made today. 4 years ago I watched Barack Obama give the key note speech at the Democratic National Convention. I said that day that Barack Obama would be President some day. I never thought that it would be just 4 short (long) years later, but...thankfully it is. We (the USA) need it.

Here's to HOPE and CHANGE. It can not be worse than what we have suffered through the past 8 years.

Get out and vote.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Sometimes you are the windshield and sometimes you are the bug. Do you ever have a period of time in your life where you feel that nothing can go right? I am in one of those funks right now. I wouldn't really call it a Funk, but I just did...I am generally in a good mood except for the aforementioned not being able to do things correctly.

I will start with the hot water heater. Two weeks ago, I returned home from Blacksburg to find the overflow pipe of my hot water heater leaking from the top between the heater and the fastener. After countless Google searches as to what this would entail...it was determined that a new heater would be necessary. $1400 down the tubes or put another way, another flat screen for the bedroom...or to stay in savings for these lean economic times. The following week I return home only to find that my electric disconnect for my HVAC system is bad. $250 down the drain. I knew this was coming from last winter when the fuse blew a couple times. The heat must use more power than the AC because this only happens in the winter. And the final house item happened at 3:30 AM last Wednesday night. The damn smoke alarm starts beeping. EVERY MINUTE. This of course means that the battery is dieing. I went looking for a 9 volt and found one in the freezer. With hope, this would do the trick. It did not. That battery must be dead too (although licking the end still gave me a jolt). So, with the alarm still beeping, I grabbed the wire cutters. Cut the sucker off from the house's electric system. I will now have to re-connect it and get a new battery, but at least I could sleep.

Now with all of the household nightmares, I don't seem to be doing much better at work. It seems that every decision I make is not in accordance with my bosses thoughts on the topic. I know this will pass, but what can I say...I'm trying to make too many people happy right now. Trying to please clients so that we may get some work sent our way and at the same time not trying to spend too much money doing so. It is a tricky balancing act.

Should I dress as Waldo (From "Where's Waldo? fame) or Bret (From Flight of the Conchords fame)? Waldo may be easier, but Bret seems more obscure. HMMMMM. Decisions.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

LEED AP and UK part 2

I passed my LEED exam today. It feels like a million bucks. I know that it is only a certification, but I have been studying pretty hard for it lately and off and on for 8 months now. It is a monkey off my back. I am now the only LEED AP in my office and most importantly can now get back to reading my book, Agent Zigzag. With some intense studying the past few weeks (2 months really) I haven't wanted to waste any time not studying. Spending two entire nights in the car after work eliminated most free time during the week.

So...I think we left it with our trip up to the British country side for Kate and Joe's wedding...we had a blast. I don't feel like getting in to it too much, but suffice it to say it was very nice and the setting was great. The day after the exam we caught a train in Evesham on our way to Edinburgh. We changed trains twice, once in...well, I don't really remember, and once again in Birmingham? It is getting fuzzy now. The second change we actually had to walk to a totally different station. Once in Edinburgh you come out of the train station right in the middle of the city, between New City and Old City. We were staying in New and headed to find our room. We rented a room during Fringe Festival at a ladies flat in a very nice old building. Her spot was quite nice. Fringe fest was fun as we saw 2 comedy plays. We also visited the Edinburgh Castle and wandered around most of the center area of Edinburgh. After a night, a full day, and another half day we headed on the train to St. Andrews. St. Andrews is home to the Old Course, the oldest golf course in the world. I wanted to hit this up and the British Golf Museum for sure. It is situated on the Ocean or Sea and quite pretty. We toured an old castle that was in ruins as well as the old cathedral which also was in ruins. Only it was now a cemetery...very cool. Having a couple friends that studied at St. Andrews, we were adept at the watering holes to pass the evening along until our night train back to London Euston. The night train was nice, picked us up in Leuchars, the train station about 15 minutes from St. Andrews and rode straight through the night to London. Our berth had 2 beds, a sink, and a desk. We got into London around 7 and then caught the tube back to Holland Park where while walking to our friends townhouse we ran into Petra...our friend with whom we were staying. I of course saw her right away and my wife with her ever lasting tunnel vision nearly blew right by her. Petra is Michelle's best friend so this was quite funny. Petra was on her way to work...saw our visit was short. Our last day in London was spent mostly wandering around with Gemma. We rode the double decker bus and went to the Arsenal stadium where I picked up my rad Arsenal Polo. That evening we met up with Sorrel, who with Gemma, visited us in the US a few years ago and Petra for dinner. We then parted ways and went home to visit with Petra and finish up the laundry so that we were prepared to head out the next morning. A whirlwind of a trip and a good time as well.

Oh...get out and vote. Unless you are voting for McCain. While it is your right to do so, I would prefer you don't. His beliefs are that of an idiot in my opinion and can't see how any one with half a brain would think that is the way we need to head. For instance, while discussing abortion and selecting someone for the US Supreme Court stated (paraphrasing here) "I don't have specific things that I look for in a justice as long as they are qualified. But if they believe in abortion, I don't think they are qualified." Uh...John...That means exactly that you do have specific things that you require. Just saying. Now, I am not so naive that I blindly think Mr. Obama can accomplish what he hopes to. Very rarely does a President actually get to do such do to dealing with congress. Well, if the President follows the Constitution anyway.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hello non followers....Innit.

Have I lost all that read? Not that there really were any readers. So how has everybody been? Is the stock market low enough for you? What else will the government buy? Will the Rays beat the sawx?

So...I've been pretty busy here at work and at life in general. I've been studying every Tuesday and Wednesday with Jacob for our LEED AP exam which we are going to take on Thursday. Tuesdays are spent at the Starbucks in Oakton where I have had a girl somehow figure out that my wife is in Vet School (Shout out to Michelle...love you babe!) and ask if she knows any horse researchers that can work on her friends horse and I have had a girl try to flirt with me (I think) by discussing my rad USSR jacket and how she also has one. On Wednesday we study at St. Elmos Coffee in Alexandria, Del Ray to be exact. Sometimes there is a performance and sometimes it is quiet, but it is always different. Occassionally, my dad is in there, and as King of Del Ray, he introduces me to everyone that works there. What does this get me? Free coffee...well, nope. It gets me nothing but short term conversation. 3 of the last 4 weekends I have studied LEED in Newman Library at Virginia Tech while my wife studies something having to do with animals. I spend generally 3 hours there on Sunday and up to 6 on Saturday. Did I mention that I had better pass this damn exam?

I went to the VT vs. Nebraska game a few weeks ago. That was a lot of fun. I also got to see my Grandparents that are not getting any younger and I don't get the chance to see that often. The Nebraska game experience is a great one. They support their team loudly during the game, but shake your hand and congratulate you after. Never seen anything like it. I've seen people nice to each other before the game, but to seek out any opposing fan and congratulate them after losing is amazing. And strange. This must have happened 5 or more times to me alone.

Back in August, Michelle and I went to the UK. It seems like a different life ago, but in reality is only about 2 months ago. First we flew into London and rode the Green Tomato (Highly recommended by this writer) Car service to our place of residence in Holland Park. Green Tomato uses only Toyota Priuses as my way to save a bit of petrol. We were staying at our friends place in London for the first leg of our trip. Petra and Adrian live in London now. They were not there while we were here, but were very gracious to lend us their town house. It was about 3 blocks to the Holland Park tube stop and in a very nice neighborhood. Hello Ferraris parked on the street. We arrived in London around 6 am and were at the house by 7. Michelle and I napped until about 11. We then got up and walked up the road for a quick sandwhich. After our sandwhich we headed up to Hyde Park for some walking around and free art gallery viewing. We went to Harrods, Princess Di's memorial and then the grocery for some food. After dinner at home the first night we went to the local pub around the corner. A good first day in London. The next day we went to St. Pauls Cathedral (did not go inside b/c of the 12 pound fee), across the Millenium bridge to the Tate Modern, down the Thames to the Tower Bridge and then to the Tower of London. Had some Indian a couple stops away on the Tube and met up with Michelle's study abroad friends for some drinks a bit later...Day three in London (Friday for those scoring at home) we wanted to see the changing of the guard...which we did. Ehh. Did it. Don't need to again. Immediately got in line for Buckingham Palace tickets (word up 2 hour line!). Walked to Parliament and Big Ben for a bit of a bite to eat and then back to BP for the tour. Afterwards we walked to Trafalgar Square...what up NO PIGEONS! They had olympic boxing on the big TV. My camera died at that point, so there were no more pictures for the day. Met up w/ Gemma that night for some drinks somewhere...Angel? Yep. That's it. Angel. Saturday we went to the country for Borat and Kate's wedding. Well, Joe and Kate...we learned at the reception that Joe is fond of wearing a MANKINI...so I will now call him Borat. Very Nice. Can I say that Gemma is a crazy driver? She indicated that we would be in a bus, but by bus, she meant the smallest mini-van i've seen since those little Toyota's in the 80's. No curb went unchallenged and somehow, immediately after telling us that if you go over 100 you get your license revoked, you guessed it....we were going 105. You may think km, but no, Brits are a bit confused as they have MPH in speed limit and long distance but measure rooms by square meters. You figure it out.....

Part 2 of the UK Vacation will have to wait, we will pick up with the wedding and follow through to Edinburgh and the fringe festival, up to St. Andrews, the night train back to London and one final day in London...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Paris Hilton? Seriously?

I was unaware that Paris Hilton and B-Spears were accomplished lawyers that graduated from Harvard and had worked their way up the political ladder. Did you know this? Wait...you mean they are just celebrities? So that means that Barack Obama is like them because he is popular? Give me a break McCain. Is this the best you've got? Lets stick to the subjects at hand...and you point one of those out...offshore drilling. Again, don't let facts get in the way McCain...if drilling started today, and I'm willing to forget the environmental aspects of this for this note, not one drop of oil would be around for 7-10 years according to the oil companies. So, please explain to me how this is supposed to help gas prices? Don't worry America...we will keep doing the status quo and in 7-10 years your gas will go down in price 5 cents a gallon! Wow...you are right McCain lets drill today!
We can make a lot of progress on alt. fuels in 7-10 years, lets focus on that thank you very much.
And to your second point McCain (you aren't worthy of having both names used right now...) about raising taxes, it seems that according to analysis done by the Brookings Institute, while you and Obama have differing ideas on taxes, both of your plans actually lower taxes. So again, stop trying to scare the dimwits you covet and stick to the facts. Douche.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bears? We will never know.

On the June 28th we went for a hike on the AT to McAffee Knob which is about 30 minutes or so from Blacksburg. The hike is nearly 4 miles from the parking lot in Catawba, VA to one of the most famous photo opportunities on the AT. It appeared as if it T-storms would cut the hike short, but they faded away after about 20 minutes of hiking. The hike isn't too difficult itself. 8 miles round trip isn't too bad as it takes us about 2 and a half hours to do such a hike. But my blood sugar got low and it was warm if not hot. I was sweating pretty good. As we got near the knob we were walking through some sort of berry bushes when we heard some rather load rustling in the woods. In case you didn't know, bears love berries. Also, the 2 times I've seen bears in the wild it was at about 5/6 in the evening. Well, wouldn't you know that it was about 5:15? So, we started blowing on the whistle and talking more to make sure that the bears? knew we were around. You don't want to suprise them comign around a corner. We heard more rustling at different points of the hike to the knob...it could have been something else like a racoon but I don't think so. We also saw two snakes on the trail. The first a garder snake and the second a black snake on the side of the trail. Michelle came upon them first...so she scared them off.
Last weekend for the 4th we stuck around Blacksburg to watch the fireworks and did a bit of fishing. Michelle caught her first fish! A small 7 inch or so Largemouth...picture to follow at some point. The firework show was nice. On Saturday we went to Charlotte to visit w/ the Hollands for Quinn's first birthday party. While there we checked out a couple edgy neighborhoods, NoDa and Central. Cool, but small. Charlotte is very generic so it was nice to find a place like these. Unfortunately, you can do everything the neighborhood has to offer in just under 2 hours and that includes eating. On Sunday we went with Charlie and Lisa to the Wine Festival on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd. The festival was ruined by rain. This did not stop us from tasting many different area wines. I believe the central VA wineries to be better, as the climate produces better grapes for the wine. Like I know what I'm talking about.

Oh...Ed...as an upcoming teacher...your blog is on the public domain...you may want to dial back the cussing!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fishing? Technically...

Six of us went to Gatewood Park this weekend and rented up a couple john boats for about $5 each and went fishing. It should be called drowning worms and getting a sun burn. Our boat lost 6-0 in terms of fish caught. Of course it was me and 2 girls against 2 guys and 1 girl. I had to keep the boat in position (no anchor) and wasn't able to fish as much as was necessary. But, it was fun and that is all that really matters.

The night before we went to a fish fry put on by the local Ruritan club. $7 for all-u-can eat fried whitefish, fries, slaw, tea or lemonade, and dessert. Damn good stuff. We then proceeded with Charlie and Lisa to Floyd for Contra dancing...no, not "up, down, up, down, b, a, start, start" Contra, but a version of country line dancing. People of all types were there, beginners, experts, hippies, young, old, hot, ugly...I also say that it was fun. Michelle loved it which means that we will be going again.

I think I've settled on a new TV for the Condo in the Burg, but I have to make sure it will fit in the bedroom at home when Vet School ends. Note to self, measure the dresser. Nothing too exciting occurring here right now. Very busy at work and a very busy weekend coming up. A 5K Saturday morning...followed by a trip to Philly for a party, followed by a trip back home and then on to the Nats game on Sunday afternoon.

I watched the show "greensburg" on the planet green channel...observations: the greensburg town council has no clue, the greensburg football team sucks (homecoming called at half time? losing 70-12? fugh.) and they need to get the show moving to the new building of the decimated town. The background crap got old quick...it is time to see some plans coming to fruition.

OK, until the mood strikes again...cheers.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Is it time for lunch yet?

The simple answer is no. 30 minutes to go.

I went to the Obama rally last week at the Nissan Pavilion. It was interesting as I have never been all that into politics or to an event like that. Some people yell at everything that is said, some, like me, clap along when something you agree with is said, and some just observe. Nothing wrong with any of the above I guess. Tim Kaine, the VA governor spoke first about 15 minutes before 6. Promptly at 6, Obama and Jim Webb, a senator from VA, came on stage. I was expecting the event to start late, but it did not, which was a pleasant surprise. Webb spoke for 10 minutes or so prior to turning it over to Obama who spoke for I would say nearly 40 minutes. Overall, a good night, and what I believe a step in the process of changing the course of the country. This was after all, a black man, coming to VA, to kick off his general election campaign. VA is a state that hasn't voted for a blue president since 1964...most presidential nominees don't even bother to visit, and here was Obama starting off here.

I played softball last night, drank too much beer after, and now feel a little slow today. But, we won the game and I had a good time.

I should be meeting up with Jacob tonight to study LEED. We need to crank this up. It is high time to take this exam and pass. I learned this week that I probably have tickets to the VT vs. Nebraska game, so I now need to find some airfare. I should be doing work right now, but am terribly unmotivated to do so. This week I will telecommute again for the first time since late April as I will be driving to BBurg to visit Michelle. Got to love gas prices these days right?

This past weekend we nailed down where we will be spending portions of our trip to the UK in August. After the wedding ends, we will head to Edinburgh for 2 nights. From Edinburgh we will catch an early train to St. Andrews and spend the day there. After our day in St. Andrews we will catch the sleeper train back to London for one final day around town before heading home. The first 3 days of the trip will also be set in London. Overall, I think a good first trip to Europe.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Happenings...or lack thereof

What a quick Memorial Day weekend! Where is 2008 going? It has moved along so rapidly.

We went camping in the Grayson Highlands State Park which is near the North Carolina and Tennessee border in SW Va. We arrived around 6 on Friday evening after waiting for probably 20 minutes at the park entrance to check in. Upon arriving at our campsite we quickly got the tent in place, our picnic tent up and the dinner fired up. After dinner we struggled for an hour or more to keep our fire going. The logs refused to light. We used kindling, lighter fluid, kindling and lighter fluid...nothing would keep these logs burning. On Saturday we drove about 15 minutes to the Whitetop Station of the VA Creeper trail. Unknown to us, this trail goes about 18 miles from Whitetop to Damascus straight downhill, the entire way. Hoards of people ride a shuttle, get dropped of at Whitetop and ride their bikes downhill to Damascus where they are picked up and taken back to their cars. Michelle and I did not utilize the shuttle. We drove to Whitetop. Prior to lunch we rode the opposite way into North Carolina for about 2 miles until the old railroad trestles were too dilapidated to walk our bikes across. So, we rode back to the car had lunch and departed downhill towards Damascus. We road about 7 or 8 miles downhill until the trail crossed the Appalachian Trail. This bike trail is really beautiful, but when you then have to turn around and ride consistently uphill back to the car...well, it was tough on us for sure. We had to stop a few times including a stop at the trail side shop for gatorade. We did finally make it. Sunday we did a hike for a couple miles through a wild pony reserve and up to the AT and into the wilderness off the main trail until the trail started to disappear. This was also about the time that we saw what is believed to be bear fur and poop. It being spring, it was now time to turn around.
Review time...and spoiler alert...

WTH is up with the flying saucer at the end of Indiana Jones IV? I understand the aliens and the history stuff that they created these things, but for a long dormant "space ship" to up and take off? Come on. It made a decent movie...terrible.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A tiring weekend...

It was Michelle's birthday yesterday and we had hoped to go for a bike ride before she had to head out to her first night of "orientation" for her summer research position...but of course the weather did not want to cooperate so we went to see "The History Boys" at the Studio Theater in DC. Scored half price tickets by showing up 30 minutes before show time. The play was not the best I have seen at the Studio, not because of the acting, but more due to the story line. It deals with a boys boarding school in England somewhere and the fact that none of its students get in to Cambridge or Oxford. A young teacher with the explicit goal of getting these students to stand out from other students and to ultimately get into these universities is hired. His teachings begin to take the place of the older English teacher, whose teaching ways are more of an overall liberal arts way. Ultimately the students all get into Oxford/Cambridge and along the way is a bit of homosexuality and other inferred sex acts.
Saturday we had a barbecue at our house. I don't really know how many peoples showed, but I do know that we went through most of the food and beer. I also drank more than my share of beer. Kevork brought over some PG cigars and held a class for all attending. Luckily I missed watching the Yankees game because they are terrible and it would just make me mad.

All in all, a good weekend. Fast and furious, but fun.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Long time...no post.

Not much has been going on lately. Same old shit. I was playing around on facebook and found a couple old friends from college, which is nice. Although, I would doubt that it results in spending any time really catching up other than a note or 2 online. I have been pretty busy at work the past few weeks, hopefully that will come back down to a normal level here shortly.
At lunch today I watched last nights episode of Lost...still got me hook, line and sinker. I have a couple story line theories that sound great when I spit them out, however I always forget to write them down and then they fly right out the window.
Here is one that I can remember...2 weeks ago, we learned that Ben or the others have been trying to get Locke on the island since he was a child. This got me to thinking about some other things that we seem to know. This centers around getting Jack on the island. Facts that we know...Jack was lured to Australia because his father had passed away and it was his duty to bring back his body to L.A. Lately, in "Jacob's" cabin, Jack's dad has been seen. I do not believe him to be dead, but alive and well and involved in the goings on of the island. If you haven't seen the "Missing Pieces" on ABC.com, watch them. There is one that is very interesting and key to my theory. The one I speak of shows Jack's dad on the island with Walt's dog. In a nutshell, he is in the middle of the jungle and tells the dog to go get my boy...it then fades to the opening of the shows pilot with Jack laying unconscious on the ground and awaking...which means to me, that as I mentioned, Jack's dad is involved in the island, staged his own death to lure Jack to Australia and to return on O815. Now why would the island need Jack...well we already know that. The island (Ben) needed a spinal surgeon to try and save Ben and Jack's dad knew that no one other than his boy fit the bill....

We went to NYC last week for mother's day...spent half the day in Central Park on Saturday and then went to the Nintendo store to test out the Wii Fit. Fun stuff. On the list of things to buy. We then had dinner in mid-town and went out in Hell's Kitchen. Sunday we went to brunch with Michelle's mom and headed back to DC shortly thereafter.

So, like I said, not much happening around here...I can't wait to watch the Office from last night sometime tonight.

That's what she said.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I played my first round of golf for the year on Tuesday. Got my first sunburn too! Last year I found out that Jacob is about as bad at golf as I am so we decided that we'd hit a few every couple weeks. For our first round this year we attended a pervious concrete seminar at South Riding Golf Club in South Riding. The seminar was about an hour...then we got lunch, hamburger, hot dogs, noodle salad and potato salad. And then...the golf. I will start off by saying that this was the first golf I had played of any sort this year. When I teed off at 1, I hadn't so much as been to the driving range. The course was soaked due to the rains we had the 2 days prior, but all in all in pretty good shape. We got carts w/ GPS info which was nice, but the course still could not have been more vague. The scorecards had no yardage or picture of the hole (yes, it was on the GPS, but what if we were walking?) nor were any of the holes marked. Perhaps this is common at country clubs, I don't know as I'm usually on a public course, but I found it strange. I think I lost 4 of my own balls, including that first tee shot. I began snagging balls that I found to use because I didn't care and I didn't want to use up ALL of my golf balls that I had brought. Needless to say Jacob and I didn't play all that well and our partners were not all that good either. It was a best ball tournament and we finished 2nd to last (only b/c 1 group didn't check in) with a 77, or +5. We were 12 strokes off the pace. I had one good shot on the day and that was on the longest drive hole where I hit my whopper of the day at 225. I don't usually use a driver and don't have a decent one of my own, so I will consider this shot a great success. All in all, a pretty good day and way to spend a day of work.

Hopefully next time I play a bit better. I'm not good in general, but I'm not as bad as displayed on Tuesday, I couldn't stay down on the ball and kept topping it. I think that I was forgetting to keep my knees bent. Afterwards, we grabbed some z-pizza at which they insisted that they had given us the thai pizza, when upon inspection was obviously pepperoni, then they made one of the pizza's without cheese, which we got to keep, and then they finally got it right...free food, even without cheese, is worth the sitting around.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A bit sleepy...

My friend Jacob came by last night and while we were supposed to be studying for our LEED accreditation, we instead drank beer and listened at the Democratic Presidential nominee debate. We are looking at hitting the books tonight, but the weather is soooooo nice, I'm sure it will be difficult. We must overcome this lethargy. On Tuesday of next week, we have a golf tournament/training seminar. This would be great except we haven't hit the course or range yet and it may get ugly. And by ugly, I mean ugly. The course looks pretty nice, and when they look nice, they tend to be a bit difficult. The contouring is nice and there is a bit of water around the course.

The NHL playoffs have started already and I am going to root for the Flyers. I don't really care about hockey all that much, I used to be into it quite a bit, but my teams are the Caps, Flyers and Blackhawks. Since the Caps are playing the Flyers, I have to pick one...and I'm going Philly this time. The NBA playoffs are firing up this weekend, I don't care at all. The Bulls are my team...and the Bulls stink...so I will watch at the playoffs as due to the TV writers strike, my TV shows will push on throughout the playoff season.

The Yanks picked up another win yesterday and they seem to picking up the play a bit. Perhaps they could share a bit of that with the Nationals...

We've got the wedding this weekend in B-more and the reception at the Visionary Art Museum, one of the cooler museums I've been to. Maybe photos will accompany the blog shortly from the wedding.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We will always remember...

Today is the one year anniversary of the horrific massacre at my alma mater Virginia Tech. My thoughts are still with the families and friends of those who lost loved ones. We all lost a part of ourselves that day and will forever be scarred. One of the professors gunned down was my Hydraulics professor during my days at Tech, and while I did not know him personally, was still hit pretty hard. The building, Norris Hall, that most of the shootings occurred was a building I had many classes in. The dorm, West AJ, is not the exact dorm I lived in, but connected to it, as I lived in East AJ...but spent many days and nights next door with my friends. My wife is a first year Vet Student at Tech this year and she will be going to a couple of the events taking place today. I have a heavy heart today especially, but have felt different ever since that day, one year ago. We Hokies will continue to show the world how special a place Virginia Tech is, was, and will continue to be. While not religious, prayers to all. WE ARE THE HOKIES...WE WILL PREVAIL.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nationals Stadium....First Visit

I was fortunate to attend my first game at the new Nationals Stadium last night, and I must say that they did a pretty good job! For having only 2 years to both construct and design the stadium, the result is marvelous. The concourses are very wide, food choices are abundant, if not pricey...

Now if we could get a team to match. Some stooge named Bergmann pitched last night and for some reason we were compelled to leave him in for an entire inning in witch he gave up 7 runs. I partially blame Acta as he should have had him out at 4 or 5 at the most...those sitting around me in the upper right field seats heard the boos.

We were there for a friends birthday and I therefore wasn't as interested in the game as I was to wander the park and see what they had around. I liked the centerfield bar as well as the PS3 station across the concourse in the outfield. The choice of food was good as mentioned above, but it would be nice if you could get a couple of the specialty foods in locations other than 1 (such as Red Hot and Blue, Boardwalk Fries, Ben's Chili Bowl (I know, you can get the half smokes at any regular stand), etc.).

The stadium is also LEED certified, which I am of course studying for my certification in. When I go back in June for my birthday, I will take some more photos. It is another stadium that Michelle and I can cross of the list, but we will need to get our pic in front of that GIANT HD screen.

Monday, April 7, 2008

It's been awhile....

I was reading earlier this month where the US government obtained waivers to continue building the border fence with out having to go through the normal review process. It states that they will still have to have the environmental impact reports prepared, but construction can begin before they are submitted and reviewed...excuse me? So what is the point of doing the report if they are going to just go ahead and do it anyway? And I love where Bushernity member Chertoff states that building the wall will actually help the environment because the number of people crossing leave large amounts of litter and they no longer will do so due to the wall. Yeah, whatever that means...as if the cutting off of Wildlife migration patterns and other concerns of the wall compare to the litter. Heres an idea idiots...beef up patrol, don't build a wall, and with that beefed up patrol, give them a trash bag and a pole and pick up the trash left behind. That way you can keep up the watch and clean up at the same time to stay busy.

March sadness...no money this year for the NCAA tourney...the Final 4 has not gone as planned with both selections for the championship losing...and badly. UNC vs. UCLA was not to be.

I also think I am going to the Nats new ballpark this Wednesday. I will report back after the visit.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thank you Yankees!

To: The New York Yankees

As a lifelong Yankees fan and proud Virginia Tech alum, I wanted to say thank you for your gesture yesterday in visiting Blacksburg. The Yankees have no connection to Virginia Tech and yet you reached out anyway. For this I say thank you. I had the hint of tears the entire time as it caused me to reflect on the events of last year and at the same time it made me smile as I was watching my Hokies play my Yankees.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Quick n' Dirty...

Yeah...VT...way to take out the 'canes...now we gotta keep it respectable like against UNC manana and I think we are dancing.

JC's ole girl cori hits the big three-oh today...welcome to the club. Dinner on U-street and 80's (?) dancin' after at the black cat. Drinking rum n' cokes right now to calm the nerves.

M comes home tomorrow, she'll probably arrive right in the middle of the hoops game. My buddy C (UNC fan) is at the game, 9 rows up, behind the team benches on the left.

Ramble much? Yes. Thank you.

Gonna watch this weeks Lost tomorrow, in HD as I'll be in front of the plasma for once!

If anything exciting happens, maybe I'll write about it.

Oh...the yanks come to VT on Tuesday. M didn't get a ticket so I'm gonna check that out online I guess...my two favorite teams in the world, on the same field. Damn. I hate the reason they are coming, but cool regardless.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Studying for LEED and March Madness

I started studying for my LEED certification in earnest this week. I had reviewed a few items prior to this week and had started taking some notes on the different points a few weeks ago...but my study session w/ Jacob was on Thursday and I didn't want to be totally unprepared. Oh...LEED is a standard used for Green Building in the US and around the world. It brings together all aspects of a building in generating each buildings rating. In my area, all of the local school districts and public buildings must be built to obtain some level of LEED certification.

Anyway, back to the studying...Jacob and I met at Stacy's Coffee Parlor in Falls Church around 6:30 and stuck around until about 9:45 which was only about 45 minutes passed closing time. I enjoyed 3 or so bottomless cups of coffee in that time and had a pretty tasty chicken salad wrap for dinner. Getting the LEED AP (accredited professional) certification is important for my career and I get to add more letters after my name. Jacob and another co-worker of his have a bet on who will pass the exam first. I need serious motivation for studying and decided to join in on that bet. The first to pass between Jacob and I gets a free happy hour on the other. He had better hope it doesn't go like our games of golf or pool because he will definitely be buying the drinks!!! Is it a sucker bet? I sure hope so...

Who would have thought that one year after losing 3 very productive senior ballers the VT hoops team would be in serious position to make the dance again this year? Not me, that is for sure...I was hoping for a .500 record so that the youngsters could possibly get some NIT experience...to heck with the NIT, I want the dance and hopefully they can pull another one out tomorrow afternoon against Clemson. No matter what happens now, VT is guaranteed a first round bye in the ACC tourney next week as they can not finish worse than 4th...win tomorrow and they get the 3 seed. Four years ago when VT joined the ACC nobody, and I mean nobody, would have thought that in 3 of the 4 years VT would finish in the top four. Especially based on the previous 10 years (or so) of terrible basketball (Thanks a lot Hussey and Stokes!). When I started at VT my freshman year the football team wins the Sugar Bowl and the basketball team was in the top 25 and found their way into the 2nd round of the NCAA tourney to lose to the eventual champion Kentucky...I thought it would be more of the same during the rest of my time in Blacksburg...well, as the football team continued to roll along, the hoops team...not so much. Until SG arrived, the team had 1 winning season after the 95-96 season and that was a whopping 16-15 or something (I don't feel like looking it up) and against the AWESOME BABY A-10 competition...OK...I've rambled long enough...

Jacob, you'd better get off the phone and do your landscape plan, or better yet, copy more notes, cause I'm gonna be on top of the WE section next Wednesday/Thursday!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

When it rains, it pours.

Why is it that when something decides to go wrong with something, everything else wants to go wrong at the same time? If you could just take the time to worry about the first problem and get it resolved prior to the next problem rearing its ugly head, things would be much more efficient. I guess it is what makes life fun.

I have a project at work that a previous engineer screwed up royally. We thought the project was finished however, only to have it pop up again this week with some critical path stuff that we have to take care of ASAP...OK, fine. Now, another project, same engineer, different problem, also critical path with a million dollar change order. Add all of this to the projects I should be working on and this will be a fun ending to the month.

Just as an update, obviously I did not win the lottery last weekend. I wouldn't be writing about work if I had.

Here's to hoping the Hokies can make it 3 in a row tonite. I'll be flipping between the basketball game and the debate. I'm not sure why I am so interested in the debates, but I am. I know who I'm voting for...and I know who is going to win the nomination. I should focus the election energy on the real debates between the final candidates. Oh...and another thing - Damn you Nader, why stick your nose in? I'm not against a third candidate per se, but you won't win, and you will only take votes from a side that desperately needs them.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Will I win the Lotto tonite?

Seriously...probably not. But what if...

Ok enough of that dreaming. Why do I like Mountain Dew so much?

and WHY would Cleveland trade for Ben Wallace? Thank you Cleveland! Not that Drew Gooden or Larry Hughes are great, but it will work out better for the Bulls in the long run.

To continue my basketball thoughts...will VT beat GT on Saturday? I sure hope so...it will make the last 3 games all the more interesting.

And finally...for today...what should I do with my "Tax" rebate? The answer is...use it for our trip to London this summer. I've got to get the money from somewhere. Thanks Uncle Sam for continuing to think that an economy can be based entirely on consumerism and to continue forcing or asking people to keep spending to keep the economy afloat...if we americans actually produced anything anymore (and yes i know we still produce some stuff) instead of buying it all from India and China...perhaps the economy would stay afloat. And yes, I know it isn't that simple.