Saturday, August 30, 2008

Read and Re-read...

For those of you who know me, you know I like to read. I always have. Growing up I was the odd kid who spent all his extra time in the local library. The public library was about two blocks from school. Often, I would get out of school, and walk to the library until my mom would call looking for me and the librarian would come tell me it was time to go home for dinner. I think I was the only kid in the world who would get into trouble for reading. One day my mom got mad and told me to get my nose out of that book and go outside and play. I replied by saying something to the effect of, most parents would be happy that their kid was reading. Not a popular response.

Now it's tough just finding the time to read. It's very cliche to say, "so many books, so little time." But it's so true. I have one bookcase that hold's recently read books and books I want to keep. Most are passed on to friends and co-workers. Then there's the unread bookcase. It's pretty full right now, and so I have to avoid going to bookstores - which is one of my favorite things to do.

Part of my problem when it comes to books is that I have serious closure issues. If I start a book, I MUST finish reading it. Even if it sucks or I find it really boring. I have books that I started reading years ago that still haunt me, begging to be finished.

Recently, I picked up a book when I was in Portland shopping at Powell's (aka the greatest bookstore in the world). I started reading it, and it seemed familiar. I thought maybe I read something else by the author that had recurring characters. But now that I'm 50 pages into it and committed to finishing it, I realize, I have read this book before. Dammit. Of course, I don't remember how it ended, so I'm stuck. I have to read it all the way through again to completion. Fortunately, it's been a good story. But not so good that I remembered buying it before.

So I guess I have to revamp that saying. So many books, so little time to read them a second time around.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fay

The wind done gone.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Here we blow again...










Look out for Fay. She's headin' this way.


Again, the news is going to scare us to death by telling us that have a hurricane coming. Not to ignore it, but they tend to get everyone worked up into a lather long before there's a real threat. I know it's already caused damage for those in her way, but I'm not going to panic until there's a reason to.

Until then, we'll watch and wait.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The strangest dreams...

I had the strangest dream the other night. For those of you who know me, you probably know that my dreams are in vivid color and very detailed.

We were going to have dinner with Jack and Nancy, our neighbors until just couple years ago. The four of us got in their car and we start driving to this restaurant. Within a few minutes we had to turn around and go back to the house because Jack forgot something. So while we wait in the car, he finally comes out and tells us he’s not going to go with us. So the three of us start out again. Nancy is driving, and doesn’t say too much about where we’re going. We enter downtown, which looks a lot like Miami from all the tall buildings. We finally pull in and start walking to not a restaurant, but towards a really tall office building. Then Nancy tells me that it’s in this building “up a ways.” I start getting nervous, because all I see is a glass elevator on the outside of this 100 story building. As we’re waiting at the elevator, Bill has to run back to the car for something. Then Nancy tells me the restaurant is on the top floor, and it’s really nice because it’s open air, and has a beautiful view. Now I’m really kind of nervous, because I don’t like heights. So I tell her I’ll just have to face the door in the elevator. Bill comes walking back quickly from the car, but he doesn’t make it to the elevator, so he shouts that he’ll just meet us there.

Then the three of us are in the restaurant, which is really a rooftop garden. It looks very park-like. The seating area is open, but it’s closed on three sides with a roof – so I can at least pretend we’re not a million miles high. The server comes to take our order, and Nancy says that Jesus is joining us, but he’s already late, so we’ll go ahead and order. Somehow, this doesn’t sound strange in the dream at all, at it seems very normal.

We’re just about to finish our salads, when Nancy looks up and says, “Here he is.” I look up to see this man kind of half jogging towards us. He’s not the Jesus we see in pictures. He’s very tanned, has dark brown hair, kind of long, but above the shoulders. He stops at the table and apologizes for being late – work kept him longer than he expected. Oh yeah – he’s wearing a UPS uniform. That’s right. Shorts, shirt, tennis shoes… the whole “what can brown do for you?” get up. I’m really confused by this. As introductions are happening and he’s shaking hands with Bill and me, I’m thinking to myself, ‘do they know at UPS that Jesus is working there? Maybe he’s using another name and they don’t know who he really is.’ While thinking this, I figure that his name tag will answer that question. So I’m trying to casually read his name tag. But even when I get a good look at it, I the letters are all garbled, so I can’t read it. So he sits down, the server comes back and takes his order. Then I wake up. What the hell?! I really wish that I would have slept a little longer. I wonder where that story would have gone...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Hell Phone Dilema

You just can't win. Remember when cell phones were fun? They were cool. You carried around this thing that was the size of a brick in your bag all day. You waited until you were on your way home from work to call someone because your night-time unlimited minutes started at 6pm. Then you could call anyone, anywhere. It was fantastic!
How things have changed. Now it's such an integrated part of life that it's just a given. And they have (thankfully) gotten smaller with more bells and whistles than ever - actually, whistle is just about the only thing you can't do with it.

I've been with just about all of them - AT&T, Cingular, Sprint... and honestly, none of them have been that great. Cingular had some serious deadspots. Like in the middle of downtown, mid county, my office, and home. Sprint has been pretty good - mostly. I can't seem to make a call from my house - unless I wear the earpiece and leave the phone in the window sill. It was a bumpy start with Sprint. There were a LOT of calls to their billing office, who constantly screwed things up. Two years later and I still dont' think I'm paying the right price, but it's not worth the hassle so I pay the few extra dollars and wait impatiently for the end of the contract. Well, it's finally here. This month. August. I'll be freed of their shackles. And go to... hmm... you'd think there's nowhere to go but up.

I started poking around online to see what I could learn. Mostly I learned that there are no good service providers. Just a bunch who you get to pick from who argue they are the BEST, or maybe not as bad as their competitor at most. I've heard horror stories about Verizon and their billing and (lack of) customer service that would set your blood to boil. They're off the list. And locally, I read that Altell and TMobile are neck and neck as far as service. I've pretty much settled on Altell. But then.... I'm reading more about them, and I see the word "merger." Well crap. Guess who just bought Altell? Verizon! Oh yippee. Shit. So now the company with the worst customer service just bought the company with the best working service. So you can see my dilema. Frankly, they all suck, but how do you get comfortable with something you know you will be unhappy with?

I know (or have read) that some of them will offer a "trial" period. Although, I've yet to find out exactly who has this. I just want to be able to get reception in my house. It's gonna be really ugly if I get a new service and new phone to find out that I can't make a call from home. I'm starting a little research on the iPhone. Not because I need to be one of the cool kids. Honestly, I don't use most of the features I have now. I want to take a call, make a call, and use voicemail. Beyond that, picture mail would be nice once in a while, and I like the alarm feature for those times I'm traveling. But that's pretty much it. Not sure I need email, internet, and a thousand other "apps" to take with me everywhere. I'll admit I'm a geek, but not a Geek. But I may be willing to spend the extra money for basic service that works.

Just the basics is all I really want. A phone that works. Are you listening to me, Jim from Sprint?