Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bad Christmas Ideas

How is the Christmas (Holiday of your choice) shopping going, kids? You done yet? I'm not. Big surprise there. I was driving around in the hot rod, when it occured to me there are a lot of bad presents out there for the sweet heart in your life. Here is a list of a few in no particular order

  • Cash. Thats right kids. You may think this is a good idea, but trust me this gift is a no go. It means that you put absolutely no thought into that individuals gift. In fact, giving them nothing or anything else that on this list is probably somehow better than cash. I know what any guy reading this is thinking . . . ."This really doesn't make much sense though, cause with cash you buy anything." Guess again fellow doods.
  • Any entertainment material containing the artist known as Shaquel O'neil. What does this tell your sweetheart? It tells them you walked into your nearest FYE and walked straight over to the bargin bin and pulled out this peice of crap. You want to get your sweet heart something that stars Shaq? You get her tickets to a Miami Heat game.
  • Laser Hair Removal. Why you would get a girlfriend laser hair removal is beyond me. How about you write your sweet heart a letter that says, "You hairy freak! How about you do a little landscaping before you come over tomorrow night?" (No shit, what inspired this post was a Christmas themed ad on the radio for laser hair remover.)
  • Porn. If there is anything that is debatable on this list, it is this one right here. Depending on the kink of your girlfriend maybe a little porn is just what she wants? Just don't put the lastet copy of Psycho Sluts 3 under the tree to be opened in front of Grandma. Well, depending on your Grandma . . . .
  • Gym Membership. Do I need to explain why you shouldn't get this? Just take the Laser hair removal post on this list and replace the necessary words with either "fat ass" or "gym membership."
  • Potpourri. What does this say? Yo, your place stinks, and since you are too lazy to clean it. I think it is best we just cover the funk up. Plus it is potpourri? What are we in our fifties?
I know some of my readers out there could help continute this list. Let me know what you think some great bad Christmas presents are!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Gatorland! (and other rare animal sitings)

In my travels to Orlando earlier this week, I found myself at the best damn theme park in Orlando. Disney World? no. Univeral Studios? hellz no. Sea World? nope. I found my self in Gatorland! Yeah, It rocked!!!

You may have seen pictures of the gift shop with the big gator mouth you walk through to enter. Shockingly, that burnt down a few months ago. Surprise! So I didn't have that experience, but that is only complaint you will hear here.

Imagine a zoo where 90% of the animals you see are gators and crocodiles. After that there are a few snakes, a really old bear that I felt kind of sorry for because it walked with a limp, and a few giant tourtises.

They also have a few shows to watch. The one I visited was called Jumparoo!!! It is exactly what the name implies. The experience Gator handlers of Gatorland attach chickens (chickens you get at the grocery store, not live chickens mind you) to wires hanging a few feet above the pool of gators. With a little coaxing the gators jump for the chicken to earn their meal. It is cool to see these gators going for it. The show is done with a game show theme that involve cheering on the gators and the handlers. It is fun.

There is also the classic gator wrestling show, but I opted to walk around the park and see some of the gators in there "natural" habitat. It really is very close to their natural habitat. The park consits of 110 acres where most of it covered by a large lake and brush for the gators.

Walking around, I was able to see some rather large crocodiles. There was a Salt Water Croc, a Cuban Croc, and a few Nile Crocodiles. I got one picture I am rather proud of . . . .

What I like about this photo is the reflection of the crocodile and the fact that his mouth is open which is always a nice show.

I also took in an impromtu example of nature. While walking, there was a rustling in the bushes next to me, followed by what sounded like a chirping noise. The chirping continued. I stopped and poked my head in the bushes to see what was the matter. It appeared that a very small snake managed to have a firm hold of a frog's leg in its mouth. The frog did not really enjoy the situation and was chirping while trying to wrestle out of the snake's grip. Well, the frog was on the losing side. I decided that I had no right help the frog out of the situation. Besides who am I to deny the snake a well earned meal, and the frog would die without two working legs. Within a few minutes, the snake swallowed the entire frog's leg. I left to allow the snake to enjoy a peaceful meal. Afterall, frog legs are a french delicacy.

After that real nature show, I went on to see a few tourtises and called it a day. Gatorland did not disappoint. This final image is actually 3 images, I blended together. This gator was HUGE!!! He was a "nucisance" gator that was eating people's pets in Tampa. Well, the authorites were going to kill it but Gatorland hoped on the ball to save the poor guy. They are going to release him to rest of the park once they are sure he has no illnesses that could harm the other gators.

On a side note, I saw a very rare bread of animal known as a Kyle T. while in Orlando. He is alive!!! No shit. I sat down and saw him drink a beer with these very eyes!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Honey, Do I look fat?

Well, Hibernation is over. I must have turned 80 years old temporarily because I went to Florida twice in two weeks during my hibernation. I can see why people go down there for the winter. It is 70 degrees all the freaking time. There will probably be a post coming up about Gatorland which is the coolest theme park in all of Florida.

I am definitely a blank fitness canvas. I think I may have gotten a bit of a gut. JEEZ!!! There is absolutely no fitness left in my body. In fact coming out of this hibernation maybe more of a struggle than I had originally expected. I'm not really looking forward to swimming tomorrow, but its gotta get done. DO WORK!!! ( I am shamelessly stealling this phrase from "Rob and Big")

So what is the plan? I need a plan yo!!! I can't just go barging into the this get competively fit without some sort of plan. Hmmm. I sense a whole new blog post coming up. . . .

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Cyclocross Nationals

Yo yo!!! Thats right kids, Cyclocross Nationals is this weekend. I really wanted to go watch but alas I am actually flying in the opposite direction of Providence, RI this weekend. Oh well, keep your eye on cyclingnews. In fact, check out all the cycling sites. The fields are rediculously huge. One of the Master's B races has 217 racers!!! Are kidding me??? I would say the first 50 riders are racing and the rest are just riding the course.

Who says cross ain't huge? Cross it up!!!

My money is on the obvious. I think that Trebon is gonna win unless he suffers a monster mechanical although I do think it will be close. Jonathon Page has been injured (right?) , and I can only imagine the anger at which he will pedal with when he finally gets ride a bike.

As for the women, you are a fool not to put money on Katie Compton. There is reason she won race last year. Did she lose a race this year? Damned if I know, but I doubt it.

Grr, as I write this I really wish I could be there now. Oh well, I'm going to World Championships in a month and half. That will do.

Next post will probably be Tuesday night. In the meantime, finish those Christmas cards.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

big time!

big time baby!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Computer Science Wear

This post is for "Mr. Mellow", he informed me my blog needed updating this morning.

This post comes out of an uncomfortable exchange I had with a co-worker during the Spring Conference. I was running to breakfast to grab a cup of coffee (which was excellent by the way) when a coworker stopped me to tell that I need to see the host of the conference to pick up a sweat shirt that they were giving to conference alums. After informing him that I wasn't an alum, he looked like he wanted more explanation, so I told him "Besides I don't rock 'computer science wear'."

OOPS!!!! I forgot the guy I was talking to wears "computer science wear" in fact he was a wearing it at that moment. I immediately try to cover my tracks but it was too late. The statement was uttered.

Are you familiar with "computer science wear"? Think of it like a race t-shirt for the computer geek crowd except there is a whole lot less to be proud of here. They are often made of flamboyent colors with the loudest color going to the technology for the conference you covered. For example this conference had a black t-shirt with the "The Spring Experience" in bright neon green. It would be acceptable if this where most "computer science wear" stopped. The back has a list of the presenters on the back in the same bright neon green, as if these guys were rock stars out on tour. Rod Johnson may very well be a rock star, but I'm not so sure of all those other names. Couldn't we just stick to the name of the technology, a place, and a date?

The selection of clothes are fairly interesting. The t-shirt is very ubiquitous, but from there the second most popular item is a toss up between the polo t-shirt and the golf pullover sweatshirt. From there we go on to the baseball caps, hand bags, and computer bags which file more under the accesories section of one's closet. There is really is no end to what ends up being "computer science wear." Notice these aren't clothes meant for the active lifestyle. I can't say that they don't know their target demographic. I should also mention that none of these clothes ever seem to correctly fit. Being oversized is my single greatest complaint against most "computer science wear". I can get a medium sized shirt and it won't fit me (too small), but in computer science wear, it would fit almost two of me. It looks like I am wearing a smock.

And why can't they make something that would go well with something other than pleated cotton dockers? The "computer science wear" tends to look rather rediculous when part of an ensemble that reflects real world fashions. For instance try wearing a brightly colored, oversized sweat shirt with a decent pair of slim fit jeans. Just don't come over when you do.

The fabric is also very mysterious. Cotton is for the t-shirts, but any other article of clothing will almost likely try to venture into a new technology of synthetic fabrics. As if to represent that we not only push computer technology but fashion tech as well. The Rayhon-Cotton-Polly-Mesh is always a popular option for sweat shirts. Feels like a burlap sack when you put it on.

So that is why I don't rock the computer science garb. I'm not saying it ain't for you, in fact you are more than welcome to have my shirt too.

Not dead yet . . .

Sorry for the delay in getting out some posts loyal Leave The Fan On readers! (I've been a busy bear. How busy? I hadn't talked to Matteis until last night since going to Miami.)

This really isn't a post so much as a promise that a better post will be written by this evening. So stay pretty.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Am I "That" Guy?

Last night and over the last few days I have learned that sometimes I become "that" guy. "That" guy can mean very different things, but in this case it means the loud obnoxious guy who is the center of attention and makes fun of everybody including himself.

Co-workers have told me this week that I am "that" guy at work. Which I was pretty much aware of. I have my moments at work. I really don't think I'm all that loud at work, but I do occasionally contrast with the incredible amounts of quiet. But it is usually just some random thing I'm excited about. I'm not in a permanent state of loud.

But what took the cake for me was last night. There was a social gathering for the conference I am at and we were all mingling around talking to one another. Well, I'm talking to a co-worker of mine and some random guy from Canada. After about 20 minutes, the canadian turns to me and says, "You are everything I think of when I think of an American stereotype!" (Lets just say, I had 'warmed up' a little before the social gathering and I was two drinks a head of the curve in crowd where I should probably be two drinks behind.) Well, I didn't harass the guy too much for that statement, but does make me wonder. Am I "that" guy?

Well, loyal Leave The Fan On reader . . . am I?

Friday, December 08, 2006

I saw a girl (once)

After having been accused of writting one of those "what I had for breakfast blogs", I'm trying to step it up again despite my travels.

My current conference is The Spring Experience. It has to do with the open source java framework Spring, and all the great things you can do with it when developing your enterprise applications. Too Sexy, Too Sexy!!!

This conference is reminding me of college and not always in a good way. Which gets me to the title of this post. Being a computer science major in college, the first thing you realize is that you are not going to be meeting any women in your major. The sex ratio in my computer science classes college was probably 20 men to 1 woman. Every class was a sausage festival. I remember looking forward to my electives, because I knew there would actually be girls in the classes.

Just like college this conference is not any better. In fact I think the ratio here is alot worse. I am guessing it is 50:1. The few girls I knew in my major, I can't recall any going on to be software engineers. They usually went into sales or a more general tech field. (No where here did I say girls don't make good software engineers. I knew plenty of great female software engineers in grad school. So, no hate mail please, N.O.W. members. If there is a N.O.W. member that reads my blog I would be amazed!!! but i digress)

I have no problem hanging out with a bunch of dudes. Can I take that statement back ? I have a small problem hanging out with doods for long periods of time. Things digress socially. I'm not talking about seeing how many pushups we can do, Alpha Male football team style. Among computer science guys, the term Alpha Male usually doesn't apply. (I'm a computer science guy writting this, so if some computer geek wants to write me hate mail. Just back off son. I'm sure you are a L33T H4X0R.) There is just a definite lack of extraverted people. It is hard to get energy going among a large group of software engineers. We sip coffee and stare at computer monitors all day. We speak in terms of Abstraction, Objects, and Algorithm. We use acronyms like POJO, DAO, and EJB. It can be barely called English at times.

I think adding a few women to the scene would really change this thing around. There definitely would be little more incentive for the doods here to get some energy going if a woman was at the other side of the interaction. Maybe hotels that see conferences such as this are coming to town, they could advertise it to female software engineers in the local newspapers? Get them to show up for the conference and brighten the place up a little. Or maybe we need to have a some kind of ratio enforced much like a single mixer. (I'm not saying anyone should be looking for dates here. Hellz no. But I'm sure there are probably some doods here that wouldn't mind finding that a singles mixer is taking place during the conference.)

So whats my point? I have no idea. Girls are nice to look at and for other things too (not I would know what those other things are). And in the computer science field I would say they are like putting potpourri in the bathroom. They make something that stinks at times, smell just a little better.

Happy Birthday Sara!

Sara is the name of my sister.
A few months ago she was a mister.
Her name used to be Chip,
then the doctor gave her a snip.
and now her weiner does miss her.

Happy B-day Sara!!! (wah wah you're old)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Viva Miami!!!

This post can be filled under complete stupidity. In "playing" with my digital camera, I managed to erase all my cool South Beach pics. Doh!!!! Ahwell, just an excuse for me and the big wheel biker gang to get down there! You do know of the big wheel biker gang don't you?

Miami was awesome. It seemed like another world to me at times. I think I defintely was suffering from a little bit of culture shock when I first got there.

Last night, I met with a friend of mine and we went to a great Cuban restaurant on the Lincoln Mall, called Yuca. The food was fantastic. I had the "Frided Whole Red Snapper". It was a whole red snapper stuffed with rice, avacado, and tomatoes. After dinner, I walked around the mall, found a spot to sit and drank a few beers and people watched. It was a very chill.

Today was the classic South Beach day for which I was searching. Just laying on the beach, under the brilliant sun. No wind. Just me a towel and a beach. I even went for a swim a couple times. Booyah!!!

Much to my confusion, no one offered me a job as model for all the walking I did around South Beach. Clearly there must be something wrong!!!

I'll put some more thoughts together on Miami when I find the time.

Right now, I am at a conference for work in Hollywood FL. We are staying at the Westin Diplomat. This hotel is incredible. I could definitely enjoy myself here for more than a little while. I am off to try and convince my co-workers to get drunk with me.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

what did you do today?

I laid on the beach for 4 hours!

South Beach is really nice. It is quite literally a city right next to the beach, which is very different from the beaches I have ever been to.

Cars Seen:
  • Classic Black Rolls Royce (R and R)
  • Yellow Lamburgini with matching rims
  • Bently Convertable

It is supposed to go down to 70 degrees tonight. I'm not sure what I'm going to do?

Chilling on South Beach

Walked around Ocean Drive, Washington Ave, and Collins Ave for a few hours yesterday. It was good time. At night, I hoped in one of those tourist trap bars on Ocean drive. It was o.k., but I hoping to find something a little more chill this evening. Apparently South Beach takes Tuesdays off. Which I can understand.

Unfotunately, it is overcast today. It is not that classic sunny Miami day everyone gets in there mind. I'm gonna go grab some breakfast and check out the beach.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Book Report

On the plane I finished reading the book, On the Ridge between Life and Death by David Roberts. The book is the author's memoir of mountaineering, and in it he asks the question, "was all the risks he took worth what he gained from mountaineering?"

The book starts out really fast with him describing the first of 3 deaths that occured while he was rock climbing. He then proceeds to describe his life including events that shaped him beyond climbing. In describing all his climbs, which include many epic trips to Alaska and completing some monsterous first ascents there, he looks over his life and how his climbing affects himself and the people around him. He goes into detailed description of climbs. He also is was a very good friend of Jon Krachauer, auther of Into Thin Air.

The greatness of this book really takes shape in the last chapter when he attempts to answer the question climbing raises. He gives other climber's answers to the question and then answers the question himself. I won't give you his conclusion, but it is a great book and I suggest you read it.

btw. Yes, I'm in miami!!!!

It was a great book.

Blogging from the Philly Airport

Thats right kids!!!! I love you guys so much I risked looking like a tool bag at the airport typing away something important to get this blog post to you. Never say I don't love my readers.

What follows are some random musings . . . .

  • Why did I get to airport and through security by 8:05am for a flight that takes off at 9:55am? I guess being able to relax at the airport is nice. There certainly are plenty of ways to waste time here. I was considering grabbing a beer. I am on vacation. I got coffee and bagel instead.
  • How come all the crazy people work at the airport? Ok, this one isn't true. There are crazy people working everywhere.
  • Is this the first time I will be flying by myself? Oddly enough, it is!!! Realizing this fact last night wigged me out. I usually rely heavily on the people I travel with for things like where to go and how much time we have. This is especially true at an airport.
  • Oh crap. I just realized I forgot suncreen!!! I will need to pick some up before I go to the beach.
  • Why didn't I bring my running shoes? I nice run on the beach would do me good.
  • Not that I would go to one of those places, but I heard there is famous "adult" entertainment establishment 4 miles away from my hotel in Hollywood.
  • I also just realized I forgot to take EmergenC this morning. GRRRRR. Maybe if I travelled more I wouldn't forget such things! I see someone mixing some. I wonder if she has an extra packet that she wouldn't mind giving up for a handsome young man such as myself. If I get sick on the plane it is my own damn fault. ( I once caught a cold on a plane travelling to race an Ironman Triathlon. It made me angry. )
  • Only one more hour till my flight is supposed to take off.
  • I could take a job that involved sipping coffee, typing and reading. Add in the occasional conversation and I am there.
  • Well, I think I'm done here. Hopefully the wireless in my hotel works just as well as the Philly airport wireless. Way to go Philly on have some decent wireless in the airport. I hope your feeling my brotherly love.

Next time I post I'm in Miami.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rolling out!

I'm rolling out Miami in the morning. Hoping to hit some clubs on South Beach, and have some drinks on the beach. I should be able to blog. My hotel claims to have an internet connection. I probably won't be able to post pics until the weekend.

Lost the Challenge

As Bubba was very quick to point out, I missed the twice a day blogging challenge yesterday. I didn't even get one post up. Well, I would say I'm surprised, but I'm not. Some of these posts left a lot to be desired. I'll try to stick to it for the next few days until the 30 day challenge truely ends.

The reason I didn't post any blogs last night was I was stressing out!!! See since I'm travelling the next few days, I have to make sure everything is sexy. By sexy, I mean that all hotel rooms are still there and everything is still lined up. The act of travelling doesn't stress me so much as actually getting ready for it.

Oddly enough, I usually always clean my place before travelling since I don't like coming home to a messy condo. This makes absolutely no sense. My place is really messy when I'm living here day to day, but when I get home from travelling, it must be clean.

Then I have to laundry out the whazoo since I'm out of town for 5 days. I try to layout outfits of what I'm going to wear. I go a little overboard.

One of my challenges for the week is trying to get from South Beach Miami to Hollywood, FL in a day without renting a car. I don't really know how I'm going to do it on the cheap. But I'm destined to find a cheap way of getting there. It is only a 40 minute drive at best, but I don't really want to pay a taxi either. Do any concerned citizens have any ideas?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Into the city

Rolling into the city tonight, I'm running late as it is.

Having some Happy Birthday drinks with Gay K. Who isn't actually gay. So smoke em if you got em.

The Horseshoe Trail

The Horshoe Trail, a I explained earlier, is a trail that connects the Applichian Trail to Valley Forge Park. This afternoon I walked some more of the trail. It really isn't much of a trail. It is basically a path that at times follows roads, telephone lines or runs parallel to roads. You can usually always see someone's house or a road. It is very clearly marked by yellow dots painted on trees or telephone posts. You can read more about it here.

So why am I blogging about the trail? Because as I was walking I figured that I could probably do at least 60 miles of it during my winter vacation. I think I could hike 20 miles a day and finish at least half of it in 3 days. The average temperature would be around 30 degrees, or so I figure. So what are my obstacles?

How do I carry 3 days of water with me? I figure I would need 4 gallons of water. Some for cooking and drinking half a gallon a day. Does that seem right? I probably need to do some more research on water consumption.

How much food would I need to carry? 2 square meals and snacks. That wouldn't be that big a deal.

Cold tolerance? What if it gets really cold which is the way it should be. It was 70 degrees yesterday! what was up with that. Remember when December was cold? I figure I could sleep on my balcony for a few nights to get used to the cold weather. I might have to purchase a better sleeping bag.

Those are my 3 main concerns. The weather ain't that much of a concern. If it snows that would just make it more epic in my min. Rain would suck. I don't really like being wet and cold. Not really much fun.

Acutally my final concern is people. I don't really trust people I don't know. So camping out solo in a tent in the middle of nowhere might not be the best thing ever. The boogie man could be watching me, or more likely some local that doesn't like people using the trail. Eh, I can't really worry about that too much. If it happens, it happens. I would never carry a gun with me cause that just ain't me.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A Cycling Team

I plan on joining the Human Zoom Cycling team. Hopefully I don't embarress them too much.

If you wonder why this post is soo short you should study the previous post. Sorry kids, that is how Friday is.

A New Haiku

Friday Afternoon

May I please go home?
All my friends are at the bar.
A beer would taste great.