Today’s fortune cookie: “Patience is your alley at the moment. Don’t worry.”
I guess maybe I should throw out my garbage in it, or possibly use it as a urinal?
For more fun with language, check out Engrish.com.
Today’s fortune cookie: “Patience is your alley at the moment. Don’t worry.”
I guess maybe I should throw out my garbage in it, or possibly use it as a urinal?
For more fun with language, check out Engrish.com.
It looks like I’m not going to win $5 million dollars from Yahoo for my NCAA Tournament picks. Winning the $5 mil requires picking all 63 games in the tournament correctly.
I started off the day 8 for 8. And then USC tanked against Kansas State. They blew my bracket picks out of the water. There’s a bright red streak through my Midwest region where USC flamed out. I had them going all the way to the final 8.
This is what happens when I rely on my psychic powers to choose tourney winners. I mentally weigh each match-up, trying to picture the name of each team in the next round. I alternate the names in that space until one outweighs the other. Then I pick.
I’m 10 and 2 so far. USC hosed me and it’ll cost me in later rounds. BYU also let me down by losing to Texas A&M but I had BYU out in the second round anyway.
I did pick Duke to go to the second round but I would’ve been perfectly happy to have them bust my bracket and lose to Belmont. Belmont did their best but came up a little short, God bless ‘em. Maybe next year. I still have Duke going out to West Virginia in the next round.
I typically call quite a few upsets in the early rounds of the tournament every year. I don’t have the feeling that there will be a great number of upsets this year. The tournament feels a little top-heavy to me. About the biggest upset I have projected is 7th seeded Miami over 2nd seeded Texas in the second round out West. Actually, I have Miami going all the way to the Final Four. If they make it, I may start my own 900 psychic hotline.
If they don’t make it, my later rounds will look increasingly silly. My Western regional picks will be a shambles. Of course, they could be redeemed in the Final Four as I have UCLA finally bouncing Miami and taking on UNC in the final round, UNC having beaten Kansas to get there.
If UCLA makes it, this will be their third Final Four in a row. It seems like they’re due for a win after losing to National Champ Florida twice. I hate to break it to them, but I predict UNC will take the crown this year. I liked the way they celebrated (or didn’t celebrate) their win in the ACC Championship game. They were very business-like and seemed focused on the coming task rather than the task behind. It bodes well for them.
And I’m sure that’s my psychic powers talking.
I’m sure it’s not any kind of bias whatsoever.
Update: Barak Obama also picks UNC over UCLA. I’m taking that as good karma. You can take it however you’d like.
I can’t believe I did this, but somehow I picked George Mason over Notre Dame. If current scores hold up, I’m going 13-3 on the day.
This, quite frankly, is crap.
Whoever compiled the report is probably sitting in some comfy cafe surfing the internet on some free wi-fi signal. They have not, obviously, ever tried to find a similar cafe in Atlanta and had they put in the effort, they would’ve driven in futility through the poorly maintained streets of downtown and mid-town Atlanta looking for any sign of internet life.
They have probably also never had to get high-speed internet access in an older apartment building in midtown Atlanta, only to discover that there are only two vendors that provide access to that address and neither one can apparently figure out how to make it work.
Even though Atlanta is home to Cox, Cox doesn’t service the area. Neither does Verizon, even though Verizon has a presence in Atlanta. AT&T does provide service but probably only because they bought out BellSouth. Hell, I live within spitting distance of the Earthlink building and even they can’t provide service to my address. And there’s no wi-max either. Don’t think I didn’t try to find it. I did.
This only serves to underline what a bunch of horses-asses your average main-stream journalist is these days. They compile a bunch of useless statistics from a comfy desk in some cubicle somewhere in New York and think their writing even sniffs of accuracy.
I’m not alone in my assessment. The article even quotes an analyst who happens to live in Atlanta.
“It’s a dynamic area with a lot of young people, but exactly why it’s No. 1 is a mystery to me,” notes telecom analyst Jeff Kagan, who coincidentally is a long-time resident of Atlanta.
Anyone who lives in Atlanta would probably be mystified.
Plus, no one ever seems to have a power outlet around when you need one. How ‘s that for wired. Freaking computer is screaming at me to save my work and shut down. I guess this is why Charlotte didn’t make the list.
Kehaar’s traveling again. I’m sitting in Charlotte Douglass International airport and I’m pleasantly surprised to find that they have free wireless internet access. I thought I’d use the free connection to post an update for those of you wondering where the hell I’ve been for the last few weeks.
The short answer is that I haven’t been anywhere, especially if you define “anywhere” as “anywhere in which I have both the time to blog and access to the internet”. I moved into a new apartment right before the new year and haven’t been able to wrangle an internet connection worth a damn since. I can get a tentative connection to an unsecured wireless network from one inconvenient corner of my home, but only in the later hours of the evening and only if I stand on one leg and hold the laptop at arm’s length. Blogging is not something I particularly desire to do in those circumstances.
Comcast has been out twice to install my internet service but hasn’t been able to get the cable connection working due to “faulty wiring” and “calling the wrong number instead of the number I gave them as my preference and thereby not keeping their damned appointment with me even though I took three hours off of work to wait for the bastards”. Deciding I’d given them enough of my precious time, I told them they could keep their “service” for all I cared. I can get other internet access and I don’t watch TV anyway. The cable was located in the dining room anyway and I would’ve had to run literally hundreds of feet of coaxial cable in order to get it to the den. I’m actually looking forward to not having television again. I am more productive without it.
On to AT&T DSL but they can’t seem to figure out which apartment I’m in and won’t be able to activate my service until Wednesday of next week at the earliest. This didn’t prevent me from going to Best Buy last night and buying a $75.00 DSL modem. I was a hair’s breadth from also buying a $280 dollar wireless router from Linksys but I managed to convince a buddy of mine to talk me out of it. In my move, I discovered that I own enough networking gear to maintain a small to medium sized business. Another router I do not need. But it was black and shiny and had lots of little antennas and looked a little bit like the robot from “Lost in Space” and I coveted it greatly.
I’ve been craving lots of technical gear lately. Routers, laptops, desktops, hard drives, media servers, wi-fi phones, LCD televisions…you name it, I’ve had an urge to buy it of late. I blame it on my mid-life crisis. I figure it’s probably a proxy for having a wife and kids. Kind of like getting a puppy. It’s something with which you can develop a relationship. So far I’ve been able to talk myself out of spending the four or five-thousand dollars it would take to buy everything I want but I know it’s just a matter of time. Since I won’t have cable, I’ll need to set up a sophisticated network in order to stream movies from my laptop to my television on those rare occasions that I get the jones to vegitate in front of the boob tube.
Anyway, I’m off to Boston now to visit Black Sheep and his family. Camp Girl * (formerly known as “Short & Curly” in this space and also known as “There’s No Way In Hell You’re Calling Me Short & Curly, I Don’t Care How F*cking Funny You Think It Is, Mister.”) will be there and we’ll attempt skiing tomorrow, if the weather allows. So far traveling has been better this time around, even though it started at 3:45 a.m. and even though the weather threatens snow. My gates have been closer and I even sat on the second row for once. I figure I’m doomed and I’ll be stuck in Boston on the return trip.
Stay tuned for more. Kehaar out.
Work is abuzz this morning with the news that we’re being shopped around. JP Morgan has been given the task of exploring the sale of Landmark’s weather related properties. Looks like I’ll be working for a publicly traded company within the year, if my position is one that makes the cut.
The Huffington Post mentions NBC, Comcast and News Corp. as potential bidders. My personal speculation, based on no inside knowledge whatsoever, and I’m not joking about that, please don’t take anything I type as any kind of inside information because I don’t have any at all, is that we’re a good fit for Discovery Networks, ABC, Viacom and maybe Turner. I’m hoping one of the big online players like Google or Yahoo or even Microsoft will want to bid but I am not sure how much sense owning a cable channel makes for any of those players. Probably none.
Anyway, the main source of concern for most everyone I’ve talked to this morning is in regards to the pension plan. We’re one of the few companies that still offers a pension. Any publicly traded company is likely to drop that like a hot potato.
Personally, I have mixed emotions. For the business, this makes a lot of sense. We’re worth a whole bunch and growth prospects are probably higher in a larger company. My own personal prospects are probably improved as well as there will hopefully be more growth opportunities. If not, there’s always a nice severance package and other opportunities ahead. I have lots of experience in the internet advertising and publishing business and feel sure I’ll land on my feet.
Also, the weather side of the business is being shopped by JP Morgan. The newspaper side is being shopped by Lehman Brothers. This suggests that the businesses will be sold separately. For The Weather Channel, that’s a good thing. The buyers for the newspaper side, a much weaker business, will be totally different as far as corporate culture and profit strategies are concerned. If I were still back at the newspaper, I’d be much more worried about my job and my future, I think. Layoffs are assured and more will be expected of fewer people. My heart goes out to those people that are still at the newspaper, especially the Romanian.
For those of you that care, I’m fine and have a positive mindset about the possibilities. This is a good thing for the company and probably a good thing for me. It may not be the best for some of the employees of the company but I hope it will turn out well for all of them in the future.
1.) Pick up the phone.
2.) Discover the phone has no signal because you’re in the middle of nowhere.
3.) Leave the phone to automatically search for a network.
4.) Come back hours later to find that the phone has been searching for a network the entire time, draining the battery to lifelessness.
5.) Search through your luggage to find your phone charger. Realize your phone charger is on the counter by the door, seven hours away, where you set it in order that you wouldn’t forget it. Again.
6.) Grab the phone and your keys and head to the car because at least you have your travel charger and can drive around town to charge your phone.
7.) Start the car, plug in the phone and drive anywhere. You’re only out to charge the phone anyway. Why don’t you take in some Christmas lights?
8a.) Drive into an area with network coverage. Slow down (don’t stop) to read and reply to all the text messages that flood in to your previously dead phone.
8b.) Remember that you coasted into town on fumes the day before because you were too stubborn to stop and fill up.
9.) Drive around until you can find a gas station that’s open on Christmas day, praying you don’t run out of gas.
10.) You’re in luck. There’s a gas station open. Stop and fill up. Listen to the four voice mails that came in while your phone was dead.
11.) Retrieve the international phone number you wish to dial from the back of the Cracker Barrel receipt upon which you wrote it down.
14.) Hmm. This doesn’t seem to be working. Maybe you’re supposed to dial something else? There just don’t seem to be enough numbers here.
15.) Hang up and decide to return home to look up instructions for making an international call on the internet.
16. ) Drive around a little more just to make sure the battery is charged.
17.) Arrive home, pick up laptop and begin to search.
18.) Deal with emails, check the blog and read the news article that catches your eye.
19.) Have the battery on the laptop die before you can accomplish your mission. What’s up with all the damned dying batteries? When is someone going to fix the whole battery problem already?
20.) Retrieve the other laptop from the car. Discover it’s battery is also dying.
21.) Go back to the car for the power cables for both laptops. Wonder why you decided to bring two laptops with you in the first place.
22.) Choose between the lamp and the Christmas tree.
23.) Unplug the lamp because, well, it’s Christmas.
24.) Plug in the laptop. Resume progress.
25.) Lose wireless internet connection intermittently. This happened last night too. Hmmm.
26.) Move to another location, one closer to the wireless router. Continue to lose internet connection with regularity.
27.) Grumble about the damned wireless router. Stupid piece of crap. Why don’t these things work the way they are supposed to do?
28.) Turn on the desktop and check the router settings. Realize you could just look up the information you need while seated at the desktop but now it’s a matter of principle, dammit.
29.) Visit the router manufacturer’s website. Download the latest firmware.
30.) Upgrade the router’s firmware.
31.) Return to laptop #2 and type “how to make an international call” into your search engine of choice.
32.) Pick up the phone. Read and respond to the four text messages your find waiting. At least there appears to be some kind of network coverage.
33.) Dial 011 followed by the international number from the back of the Cracker Barrel receipt.
34.) Curse loudly and vociferously as the screen goes dark. The battery is dead. Again.
35.) Return to step 6 and repeat.
Just wanted to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas. I’m sharing my Christmas day with my family at my parent’s home. I’m enjoying the gift of wireless internet access I gave them last time I came home. They don’t have much use for it but Bigwig and I find it incredibly useful.
Christmas has been good thus far. We arose comparatively late this year due to the fact that Ollie Grace chose to celebrate her first Christmas early and often. She awoke at 2:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. for feeding and other baby-related chores. Because of this, we didn’t start opening gifts until 9:30 or so.
The big gift of the day was from Ollie’s father to Ollie’s mother, my sister. After all gifts were unwrapped, he got down on one knee and proposed. It was very…late. The baby is three weeks old now. Better late than never, I guess.
Anyway, I got more than I wanted or needed and I am content. I hope Christmas has been good to you all and I hope you all find yourselves blessed on this day and throughout the new year. Merry Christmas!
I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I’m blogging from a train. I’ve never blogged from the train before because I’ve never really had a story to tell while riding on the train. Now I’m on the train and I have a story and so I’m blogging while riding the train.
To be honest, I’m not really blogging. I’ve got my luggage and my jacket and my laptop case and I just don’t feel like juggling all for the half-an-hour it takes to get to the airport. But I have a story to tell so I grabbed a pen and pad and I’m doing what men have done since time out of mind. I’m logging. I figure I’ll just transcribe it all later.
My story starts with a time and a place. The time is now, 6:45 p.m. on Friday, December 14th. The place is here, the Metro Atlanta Rail, North Avenue Station. (Technically, the story starts before now in a wholly different place but I don’t want to start then and there so I’m starting here and now.)
6:45 p.m. on a train probably doesn’t sound too bad to many of you. Many of you probably don’t have a flight to New York scheduled to leave at 7:07 p.m. I do.
Did I mention that it takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the airport by train? I’m pretty sure I did. It’s a critical piece of information for anyone traveling from, say, the Lenox Station MARTA stop to Hartfield-Jackson airport. It can be used to determine when one should leave work in order to catch the train in order to catch the plane to New York that leaves at 7:07 p.m.
I, having traveled from the Lenox Station MARTA stop to Hartsfield-Jackson airport on numerous occasions, know that it takes about 30 minutes to make the trip. Even with my limited math skills, I knew I had to leave work around 4:30 p.m. in order to give myself plenty of time to make the train to make the plane to New York that leaves at 7:07 p.m.
Many of you are probably wondering how I arrived at a 4:30 p.m. departure from work given that my flight doesn’t leave until 7:07 p.m. and the train only takes half-an-hour to traverse the distance between Lenox Station and Hartsfield-Jackson. My logic goes something like this: I like to arrive at the airport at least an hour before departure. This gives me time to check bags, get a boarding pass, get through security, buy a cup of coffee or a cookie or some ice cream, go to the bathroom and get to my gate before boarding. In my mind, I should’ve been at the airport at 6:07 p.m. So I should’ve been on the train by 5:37 p.m.
Of course, the train isn’t always waiting at the platform whenever I arrive. As a matter of fact, it almost never is. The Metro Atlanta Rail Transport Authority offers, by the way, what I consider to be the most useless commuter rail service of all time. Not only does it go nowhere you want to go, it goes there with maddening infrequency. On the positive side, there are always seats to be had.
Seriously, the economic dim-wittedness of the service is astounding. It’s a commuter rail service that isn’t targeted to commuters. It’s targeted to people who have no other form of transportation – i.e.- people who cannot afford other transportation and cannot afford to support a train service that actually goes places people want to go at times they want to go there. You don’t know how many times I’ve spent 15 to 20 minutes waiting on a train, stewing over the sheer stupidity of it. Seriously!
Given those experiences, I built in 20 minutes of time to wait for the train and planned on being there at 5:17 p.m. I didn’t make it. It’s now 6:59 p.m. and I’m at the Oakland City station. The plane should’ve begun boarding about 15 minutes ago. I don’t think I’m going to make it.
Thankfully, the plane is delayed! There’s bad weather somewhere according to…give me a second. I’m going to New York to visit a new girl, one never before mentioned on this blog. I must come up with some pseudonym by which I can refer to her. Must protect the names of the innocent, you know. I could call her NYC as she is from New York City. By the same token, I could call her Manhattan. But lots of people live in those places and it just doesn’t seem right.
I could call her Shorty. That would be appropriate. But she’s actually taller than Little Irish Stout. (Most people are, honestly.) I could call her Curly. She used to wear her hair in these supra-curly locks. But she wears it straight now. We’ll call her…damn. I’m drawing a blank. I used to be so good at doling out nicknames. I guess we’ll just call her Blank until I can come up with something better. I’m sure she won’t like it and I’m sure I’ll get in trouble for it but them’s the breaks. You don’t choose the nickname. The nickname chooses you.
Anyway, Where was I? Oh, yeah. My flight is delayed until 8:24 p.m. because of bad weather or something. This strikes me as odd because I work for The Weather Channel and I checked the weather in New York and Atlanta before leaving work and it’s supposed to be clear at both the departure and arrival points. I even checked Chicago’s weather because that can sometimes affect Atlanta air traffic but didn’t see anything worth a delay. I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, however. The flight’s delayed and I think I’m gonna’ make it.
I might even have time to pee and grab a cup of coffee. It’s a good thing,too. I gots to go.
More soon. We’re at the airport and, for those keeping track of these things, it’s 7:10 p.m.
Short & Curly. That’s her nickname. It came to me as I ascended the escalator into the terminal. Not only is it descriptive, it is, in my humble opinion, really f*cking funny. It’s brilliant! She’ll hate it, of course, She’ll want some name that drips with romance and sentiment. I’ve given her a nickname that just drips. Surely it’s an inspiration from God.
I am now writing to you from seat 20F of Airtran flight 343 from Atlanta to LaGuardia. I made it, but only just. The plane was not delayed until 8:24 p.m. It was delayed until 8:03 p.m. Something must’ve been miscommunicated because the couple sprinting down the terminal with me mentioned 8:24 as well. Tricksy airline. We ran up just as the last few people were boarding. If I hadn’t gotten my boarding pass online earlier today, I would not be here. Any delay would’ve meant missing the plane.
Well, any further delay. I breezed comparatively quickly through security only to get off the shuttle at the wrong terminal. I read 11A on my boarding pass. What I should’ve read is D11A. Imagine my shock at arriving at the gate to find a Delta flight to Philadelphia waiting for me. Quick about face. Back to the shuttle. Why are these kinds of things always happening to me?
And why is it that the gate you need is always the one farthest away from where you are? Seriously, does anyone fly from the gates closest to the terminal entry point? I see people occupying seats in those areas but I think they are there for display purposes only. My gate is always far away. 11A was just over half way down the terminal, which means I had to cover the length of the terminal just to get there and back.
D11A occupied the same position in the terminal. I cover another half a terminal thinking that I’ve got just about 15 minutes to spare. Oddly enough, when I get there, there is another flight to Philadelphia waiting for me. What the hell is up with that? Do that many people want to fly from Atlanta to Philadelphia? Who knew?
My boarding pass clearly states D11A. Where the hell is my flight? (Okay, maybe it didn’t clearly state D11A. That’s how I ended up at 11A in the first place. But it did, upon further perusal, state D11A.) The attendant informs me that my flight has been moved to gate D2 “if it hasn’t left already”. This is when I began to think it best to run. Gate D2 is literally the last gate in the terminal. It’s even further away than D1. What the hell is up with that? I swear, I think they just like to see me run.
And why the hell is it that the people in front of me never seem to be in the same kind of hurry? They’re all strolling casually along like they have all the time in the world to get coffee or cookies or ice cream. They even seem to have time to go to the bathroom. Do I have time to go to the bathroom? Hell no. I’m racing through the terminal like OJ Simpson before he killed his wife, trailing streams of wetness. Bathrooms and near gates are for other people, apparently.
But I digress.
The whole point of the story is that traffic in Atlanta was worse than I’ve ever seen it. A commute that takes an average of 30 minutes and, on a bad day, takes me an hour and fifteen minutes, took me two hours. I couldn’t believe it. The one day I have a flight to catch and it takes me 45 minutes longer than it’s ever taken me to get home from work. Can you believe it?
But I did catch my plane, so I guess the charm hasn’t worn off completely.
It’s now 8:20 p.m. I’m on the plane. We’re in the air, headed for New York.
The “fasten your seatbelt” light is on.
I have to pee.
Just got back from watching “3:10 to Yuma”. Actually, I just got back from Kroger. I had to pick up an Ommegang Abbey Ale and a pair of 9 volt batteries. The Ommegang went into the fridge and one 9 volt went into the squirrely smoke detector in my bedroom.
As you might guess, the fresh battery has not stopped the smoke detector from chirping every 30 seconds. It’s starting to piss me off. After ignoring one cheep every 30 seconds for something close to 4 hours last night, I am not sure I can pull another night of it. It’s got me on edge. That’s where the Ommegang comes in.
Speaking of wanting to shoot something, “3:10 to Yuma” had a lot of shooting.
I saw one review that compared it to Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven”. Don’t you believe it. It was good, especially as far as modern Western’s go but something about it left me cold. I never really came to care about the characters. I’m not sure if it was because the character development was lacking or because the good guy wasn’t that likable and the bad guy was a little too likable. You never knew who to pull for. You knew who to pull against, but not who to pull for. I feel that there was some back-story that you never got.
That’s not to say it wasn’t utterly enjoyable. It has everything you look for in a Western. The gunslinger that is almost preternaturally fast who also happens to be the sympathetic anti-hero, the rough and hard cattle rancher, the bad guy’s lieutenant that’s even meaner, dirtier and murderous than the captain (think “Johnny Ringo”), stagecoach robbing, murder-minded Apaches and plenty of gun-slinging.
It just didn’t get to me the way “Unforgiven” did. Maybe I’m just older. Cause it was pretty good. On the scale of modern Westerns, it was better than “Wyatt Earp” and “Open Range”. It was at least as good as “Silverado” but doesn’t quite reach “Tombstone” or “Unforgiven”. I might even have liked “Young Guns” more. Something must be wrong with me.
I did love the ending, which I won’t give away. It had just the right twist. Nothing too predictable. I like that.
In the end, I think the movie will earn a ton of cash and spark more Westerns. I like Westerns so that’s a good thing. Of course, most of them will be formulaic crap like “The Quick and the Dead” but hopefully there will be the occasional gem.
I gotta’ go fix that g@dd@mned smoke alarm somehow. I guess I’ll go try the other battery. If that doesn’t work, it’s going to take more than one Ommegang to get me through the night.
I’ve been meaning to watch and post the latest 48 Hour Film Project effort from Charmed Life Productions but haven’t had the time or energy. And I didn’t even think about it until tonight.
The 48 Hour Film Project in Greensboro was in the beginning of August.
Better late than never, right? Check it out.