Archive for the ‘Ramblings…’ Category

So…

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Hard to believe it’s been 4 years since I even touched this thing (that’s what she said).  Previously, I blogged from the late 90’s to well… (looks down)… 2013.  I’ve kept much of my rants contained on Facebook which allowed me to overlook this catalog of a good chunk of my life.  Turns out one of the plugins in this WordPress setup was the primary reason every page look so damned long to load.

Anyhow, if this pops up on a random feed out of the blue and you’re wondering where the hell I’ve been – Hello!

More updates to come soon as I try to bring this site back from… wherever the hell it’s been.

It’s the little things in life that put a smile on my face…

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Over the weekend I got to see one of my oldest friends tie the knot, was a great (albeit rainy) time.  Still, my mind works in mysterious ways and the thing that stood out was related to one of my ex’s being there.  Now I rarely talk to them, but we’re on good terms.  They’re married, have a few kids, and I made a point to at least do a happy ‘hi, how are ya’ and leave it at that.

Still, one thing I noticed ages ago, is that the ‘other half of the equation’ couldn’t really take their eyes off me.  I initially noticed it at ‘group events’ mainly any time I actually spoke with my ex but then noticed that just about every time I’d scan the room, or be in the middle of a conversation with other folks… this guy’s just watching me.

Now the wedding marked the first time in… more than a few years since I actually ran into the happy couple in person, said my hello’s, etc… and moved on to the other two dozen people I hadn’t seen in ages.  Made a point for the rest of the night to steer clear for the most part, but seriously… everyone’s on the floor dancing, and where’s he looking (while dancing)?  Me.

My ex?  Still a knockout.  Given the option of looking at me, or looking at her, I’d have to say I can’t blame him – I’m one handsome SOB, but just the same dude… Past is the past, you’ve got a family, I’ve got… something, lol… As Lilly from How I Met Your Mother would say… where’s the poop?

Jealous?  Intimidated?  Over protective?  Am I yet again this mysterious bogeyman?  Honestly, I got a kick out of it. 🙂

Losing to Win

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

So two years ago, yesterday, I made one of the biggest decisions / mistakes of my life and said “I do.”  Although I still live with the woman I’m divorcing, and her kids…  We get along pretty well overall.  Yesterday came and went with no real pomp, why celebrate an anniversary when you’re in the middle of ending the marriage?

When I got married, my wedding party was composed of my brother, my brother in law, and my best friends.  It was a grand time, prior to the wedding, my friends and I celebrated my bachelor party on a fishing boat off the coast of New Jersey.  Much was said about making the trip an annual trip, so we could all get together and have some fun.  However, with minimal exception, the moment I said “I do” 99% of my circle of friends vanished.

Granted, my living situation is unique… and people are allowed to move on with their lives… but people I would see, if not at least talk to on a regular basis – vanished.  My marriage was troubled early on, and when I needed my friends they were nowhere to be found.  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve reached out only to get a ‘sorry, busy this weekend, maybe next week?’ only to have next week come around and get the same answer.  It’s one thing if a single friend seems to blow me off… But with very very very few exceptions… all of them did.

It’s been about 8-10 months since we decided to get a divorce.  In that time, I’ve been able to go out more, to do things that I haven’t been able to because I’ve been locked in at home.  The first thought on my mind any time I had a chance to get out was “Hey, I wonder what (fill in the blank) is up to?”  I’d reach out, and if I managed to get a response, it’d be the aforementioned “maybe next week.”  It stinks to think that the day I gained a family was the same day I lost most of my friends, but looking back – there’s no other way to see it.

It’s lonely, and frustrating.  I’ve always had a small group of friends, a go-to group that I could spend time with, have fun with, vent with, you name it.  I valued that, I never quite understood the value of having that until I didn’t anymore.  Recently I finally hit my breaking point with getting blown off… With trying to get a hold of friends to do something with my free time other than dig an ever deeper rut in my couch playing video games or once again flying solo to the movie theater or local bar.  Yes, I’m lonely and depressed, but I’m in the middle of a divorce here, this is the time when friends should wonder how I’m doing, should be reaching out to me… God knows I’ve been trying to reach out to them.

So the “maybe next weekend” finally arrived and I reached out… There was already a plan which included a handful of people whom I haven’t hung out with in months if not years… but I’m told “it may change since its supposed to rain” but that they wanted to go out and get something to eat later on, minus a few people – and would let me know.   I decide to go out and see a movie, tell them this, and ask them “please let me know so I can meet up.”

An hour and a half later, I get out of the movie, check my phone – no texts.  I send one out letting them know I’m out of the movie, and wondering when/where we plan to meet up, while suggesting going to my favorite local bar for dinner.  An hour or two later, I get a reply that they’re looking for somewhere to eat, Warwick is packed, and they’ll get back to me after dinner.  I lost it.  Warwick is 5 minutes from my  house.  They went to Warwick, saw that it was packed, and moved on… No mention of where next, no suggestion of where to meet up, just a “we’ll get back to you.”   I’ve been struggling to find someone, ANYONE, in my “circle of friends” to hang out with for 2+ years now, and have been constantly, consistently blown off.  My first thought when I had any free time was to reach out to them… but I can only take so many un-returned messages and calls, and can only be told “maybe next weekend” so many times.

I just replied “don’t bother.”

I haven’t heard anything since.  At that moment I shrugged off all of the doubt and concern… I discarded all my questions “do they not like my family? do they not like me? do they not give a shit about me anymore?”  I’d rather have no friends than the illusion of friends.  I’ve still got other friends, but this was my “group.”  This was my go-to group of friends for over ten years…  I’ve spent the past 2+ years hemming and hawing, lying to my wife saying “I’m going to meet up with some friends” when in actuality I would go out, by myself, and try to find something to do on my own.  I spent so much time and effort trying to reach out to people who for all intents and purposes couldn’t give two shits about me anymore.  I blew countless hours, days, weeks of my life over the past 2 years pretending that I still had that group of friends when many of them, at least the group that I knew best and considered my closest friends tucked tail and ran the second I was married.

I subsequently shut down my Facebook profile.  “Wow, look what (fill in the blank) is doing” – watching people doing their own thing every single day, people who at this point don’t include me in their actual life let alone their online life.  Hell, maybe it is me, maybe they’re just tired of me…  Maybe I just don’t care anymore.  Throughout the rollercoaster that has been my life over the past several years, I’ve been trying to make friends, keep friends, and there are still a handful that I can talk with – but beyond family, there’s one out of them all who I’ve known since I was 14, and who – to this day, I can reach out to and hang out with just about any time I want…  There’s no judgment, no bullshit, no convenience aspect, no feeling that I’m being tolerated instead of accepted.

This friend is a guy who actually referred to me once as his ‘nemesis’ in an official legal statement, we’ve been at odds over the years, but throughout it all – throughout our various phases, my sometimes questionable romances, he’s been an absolute rock – a best friend.  I just had to “lose” all of the people who I considered my closest friends to re-discover the one friend who has been my best friend all along.  Thank God for him.

I’m going to re-activate my Facebook again today, but instead of being glued to it, trying to find something interesting outside the chaos that is my life… I’ll keep it there so those who want to reach out to me will have an easy and direct way to do it, and to stay in touch with some friends who I can’t really stay in touch with any other way… but I’m done wasting my time, effort, and emotion on people who won’t do the same to me.  I’ve got a best friend, and a group of other friends that I can be myself around and not have pretend to be anyone but myself.  It’s a cliche, that you’ve got to lose to know how to win… but it’s true.  I lost, and because of that, I’ve realized that I won.

</rambling>

Why one shouldn’t fall asleep while watching Back to The Future…

Monday, September 24th, 2012

So I’ve already had my question regarding the timeline in BTTF2 answered regarding how Biff was able to return to the same timeline in 2016 after the act of giving a younger version of himself the Sports Almanac.  A deleted scene actually shows Biff being ‘erased from existence’ shortly after hiding behind the car across the street, and we also never see another inside view of Marty’s home – only Doc and Marty returning to the Delorean.  The explanation being that the timeline changed around Doc and Marty without their knowledge, and that Biff had either been shot to death in the new timeline by Lorraine, or that he simply no longer existed because his past was changed so significantly.

All that said, I awoke this morning after falling asleep while watching BTTF1, and had the thought that makes the already complex idea of time travel even more complex (for me, a layman).  Say you build a time machine capable of going backwards and forwards in time – don’t you also need to factor in as part of your ‘destination coordinates’ the estimated position of the planet in that time?  Consider that the Earth is traveling through space in its orbit at 66,000mph, while rotating at speeds of up to 1000mph at the equator…  If you actually manage to remove yourself from the timeline in order to travel, without a precise calculation of exactly where your destination is in the 3rd dimension (X,Y,Z), you could end up floating in space, embedded beneath the earth, floating (and falling) from several thousand feet in the air, or at a completely alternate location on the surface.

I don’t claim to be an expert in the concept of time travel beyond Hollywood or novels, and this topic may have been discussed before… but I just got a kick out of this being the first thought that entered my head when I woke up this morning. 🙂

Break out the tin-foil hats folks…

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Drivers Befuddled By Area Of Bermuda Triangle Parking That Renders Car Remotes Useless

Mysterious force blocks car remotes in Yonkers

I heard about this on the radio yesterday – basically there’s an area in Yonkers where the signals from keyless entry systems are being jammed.  Other reports claim that cars in the area won’t start unless they’re pushed or towed from the area.  Apparently a local hardware store is upset because the disruption is costing them business… I say they should start selling keys at half-price and encourage folks to stop polluting the air with filthy radio waves.

First and foremost, if your keyless entry doesn’t work USE A KEY.  That said, i’m very curious as to what could possibly be jamming the signals, and what else is affected… cellphones? Cordless phones? Wireless internet?  Generally in a situation like this you’d call in the FCC (if they’re not too busy invalidating the first amendment) who could find the source and stop it and/or fine the crap out of whoever is causing it.

If its strong enough to actually keep a car from starting, short of a natural anomaly – what could actually be pumping out a signal that strong?  It may be the side-effects of my tin-foil hat here but maybe there’s some super secret government facility there which has malfunctioned (or is actually operating correctly).  In any event – if some mystery device hidden a in a building in a populated area can do this – imagine what’d happen if a few dozen of them were hidden around a real populated area…  sounds like something Homeland Security should get on top of.

Either way, I may just take my Subaru out for a drive this weekend and see if I can experience it first hand, sounds like fun. 🙂

Zen and The Art of Home Ownership

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

We’ve been in the new house for a little over 2 months now and I’ve really taken to my new role as handyman.  In the past I’ve always fixed things in my various apartments if I could, but now it is all on me to keep the place running well.  Big or small, I’ve been having a blast fixing things.  When we first moved in, for some oddball reason the kitchen faucet was on BACKWARDS… the handle was facing the back of the sink.  Then we’ve got these pull out shelves in our under-counter cabinets where we store our dishes, cookware, etc…  They had a habit of falling off the tracks at the rear.  The braces are supposed to snap in tight so the rails stay attached, but they were moving around freely.  That’s where the cable ties came in, I used them to keep the rails from sliding away from each other and has worked well so far.  I’m going to get stronger brackets at some point.  Next up was the icemaker in the fridge.  We had one, but it wasn’t hooked up… another easy fix.  I just picked up the kit at Michaels in Middletown and hooked it up.  It took a bit of tweaking to get the duration that water flows into the ice maker correct, but it works perfect now.  Our kitchen pantry is a small closet under the stairs that lead to the second floor.  It had some massively deep shelves on it that could hold a lot, but made retrieving what we needed a real pain in the ass.  I knocked the shelves out altogether and relocated some utility shelving from the attic into the pantry.  Eventually I’m going to install sliding shelves in there.  The real kicker was that the last owner used telephone wire to connect the furnace to the thermostat in the living room, and routed it loosely through the pantry.  I’ve replaced the manual thermostat with a programmable unit, but still need to run a new line that I can neatly route out of the way.  Some of the outlets in the house are still 2 prongs, I’ve had to swap them out with 3 prongs, not a big deal.  After the hurricane tore through the area, I picked up a 6800 watt generator… coincidentally, as I drove home with the generator in tow the power (which had been out for 2 days) had come back on, so the thing sat in my garage for several weeks before the October storm hit.  Saturday afternoon, the power to my house went out in the middle of the storm, so I ran out to Lowes to get what I thought I needed.  There was already a 60 amp run from the house to the garage, but the problem was that the outlet was a 50 amp 3-prong, and the generator had a 30 amp 4 prong.  I accidentally picked up a 3 prong plug for the generator, as well as a heavy duty cord for the massive 3 prong outlet on the wall.  I wired a connection and managed to get everything on phase A in the house running.  Come Sunday when I finally had a chance to get out again to pick up the correct parts, Lowes was closed at 7pm, and Home Depot was completely sold out of the plugs and recepticals I needed.  Seriously – you’d think these places might consider staying open LATE when the surrounding area gets pimp smacked by mother nature.  First thing Monday I went to Werners in Florida and picked up the plugs, the 10 gauge wire, everything I needed – end result, the entire house had power.  The generator ran for a good 34 hours straight without a single problem, its 6 gallon tank would get me a good 10+ hours depending on the load.  When the power came back on Monday evening, I relocated the plug for our stove’s electronic ignition to its original outlet and immediately smelled gas.  Looking at the stove, the previous owner ran 3/8″ copper pipe directly from the tank in the back, around the side of the house, through the wall, and up to the stove.  The problem is that copper pipe doesn’t like to bend too much and it finally snapped.  I shut off the gas at the tank outside, and then crimped the pipe flat with a pair of channel lock pliers to seal the leak.  See – the building code says that you run the supply line to a shut off valve and then run flex pipe to the stove.  Again I headed out to my home away from home, lowes – picked up a flaring tool, a complete gas stove hookup kit, shutoff valve, flaring adapter, flaring nut, gas line pipe thread tape, and fixed it all up again.

At least now if the power goes out (like it did the other night for about an hour) I can have the house back online in under 5 minutes…  I still have a fairly long list of things to address – but so far I’m having fun with it. 🙂  One thing is certain, if I ever look to buy another house, I’ll have a list of things to check even before I bring in the home inspector, etc…

The Honeymoon is OVER!

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Unfortunately I had to test a website in IE this morning and when I loaded it I saw the following on the MSN home page…

Could it be a mistake?  I then decided to follow the link to the actual story, here: The Root 100 2011: Influencers and Iconoclasts.  Again I look and see that the only constant between the two images is the lovely Beyonce, as evidenced by this screen shot:

In fact, there is no mention whatsoever on the front page of the article of the noble, the anointed, the one and only – President Barack Hussein Obama.  In fact, he isn’t even on the list!  There are plenty of entries of people who have worked with Obama, but not the Man Himself.  Now maybe I’m missing something here, but theroot.com claims “The Root is the leading online source of news and commentary from an African-American perspective. Founded in 2008 under the leadership of Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University.”  Not even an organization founded by the guy that Obama stood up and jammed a size-11 in his mouth for is stumping for the One.

In my humble opinion, I’m not surprised he’s not on the list.  While he may have elevated the African American community by achieving the highest office in the land, it’s no secret that he has completely squandered the opportunity and continues to embarrass his party by repeatedly making decisions that are analogous to George W Bush’s public speaking ability.  Who’d have thought that Joe Biden would be the brains of the operation?

The Left is in trouble, Obama is in trouble, and if they want to stand a chance in 2012 – Barack should bow out gracefully and hopefully allow someone into office that can actually move this country forward instead of continuing the failed policies of George W Bush and attempting to act on the failed ideology of Socialism.

Ok, what the hell is that smell?

Friday, July 1st, 2011

The other day I’m riding my motorcycle to work when I notice this smell… kinda like rotting cat food mixed with decomposing flesh.  It would come and go, at first I thought it was my helmet… then my jacket… then I went as far as checking under every cowl on my bike as well as inside the air box for some sort of dying critter, no luck.  Today I’m driving in to work (shaved, showered, and smelling rather awesome) and the smell hits again as I hit Goshen.  I roll down my window and it gets worse…  Turns out that all the rain we had last week has backed up the sewage system and well, yeah.  Goshen smells like death right now.  My only saving grace is the clean, filtered air in my office.  BLECH

An Inconvenient Brew

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

After much tooth gnashing, my office finally picked up a Keurig brewer.  I’ve had a Platinum 90 for several years now, it’s loud but reliable (newer models have near silent water pumps).  I love it because after the initial warmup, it will consistently crank out cups of coffee in about 15-20 seconds until the water reservoir runs low.  Refill it, and the steady flow of caffeinated awesomeness continues.

You could imagine my surprise when we started using the new B150 at my office that is directly fed water through a special adapter connected to our water supply – it was slower.  Much slower.  Most cups take over a minute to brew.  It’s frustrating because instead of walking in, getting a cup, and going back to work, you walk in, put in a k-cup, hit brew, and have time to add sweetener and creamer to the coffee – as well as catch up on last night’s box scores – before the coffee starts pouring out.

Being a geek, I was determined to see what was going on, why it was so slow…  From what I discovered, the boiler only holds about 4oz of water at a time.  That’s fine if you want a 4oz cup of coffee, but since most people want at least 10-12 ounces the B150 will pull in the water it needs, then heat it, then brew it.  It’s a horrible design.  Now the B150 on its own has a tank like any other Keurig pot but when you’re getting water straight from the supply – it gets bypassed for the most part.  Some water is pulled into it each time, but its only 4 ounces or so – not much.

It even has a mechanism within the tank so that it can be completely filled – and shut off – by a float switch similar to the ballcock in a toilet tank.  Here comes to most ridiculous part of this system… When the direct supply module is installed, the tank is sealed shut.  You need to remove some screws to actually access it.  I’ve manually filled the reservoir from the same supply – and the result?

Any size, 4oz to 12oz, brews within 10-15 seconds like my nearly 5 year old P90 at home.  Once the tank is empty again, it reverts back to the ridiculously slow method of feeding the boiler directly from the water supply.

I get the point of a direct-plumb kit for these, as if it worked correctly it would be a great convenience.  However, if we add up all the lost time wasted waiting for a cup of coffee to brew per user in a company and multiply that by the number of these direct-plumb kits in circulation – the amount of wasted time is unconscionable.  I went as far as contacting Keurig – they recommended I contact the vendor.  Even on the website advertising the B150, they plug it as being able to brew a new cup every 60 seconds with the direct plumb kit…

That’s not something I’d brag about considering the $50 one I can pick up at Walmart does it in 15 seconds flat.

Looking for my bear…

Friday, April 29th, 2011

This morning the oddest sensation washed over me, a longing I hadn’t felt in years.  My stepson has a blankie, it’s his security blanket, his friend, he follows him just about wherever he goes.  I don’t quite ‘get’ the blankie thing since I did have one – but I don’t remember being as attached to it.  Something else had my affection – it was a Winnie The Pooh bear.  Now it wasn’t one of those new ones which is made to look JUST LIKE the one from the Disney cartoons, nor is it one of the very old style that looks like a more traditional teddy bear.  This guy was purchased in the early 1980s, was covered in a mustard-yellow type felt, had a red shirt, and a metal spine (probably just a stiff wire so its head would stay up straight).

Anyhow, this bear followed me for YEARS.  I slept with it every night, and by the time I hit my double digit its neck had been narrowed greatly by my hugging it tight every day and night. Then one day – for some reason or another, it vanished.  Still today, at 31 years, I miss my bear and wonder where it went.  In the age of Ebay I started looking this morning to see if I could possibly find another, hoping that someone, somewhere has one stashed away and possibly is putting it up for sale somewhere.  It’d be an antique collectible at this point but I can tell you right now if I got one I’d hug the crap out of it.

I’ve got about 400 pages of listings to go through, maybe I’ll find it – maybe not – but who knows.  That bear is a part of my childhood that if I can get it back – I don’t think I’d sleep with it like I did as a kid but having it around would afford me a sense of comfort and ease which I can’t say I’ve felt for a very, very long time.