Friday, July 28, 2006

The Joys of Podcasting

Ever since I got my new wonderful Ipod I have been hooked on downloading Podcasts off iTunes.

This is how I entertain myself these days since I have no tv and it helps the day at work go by quick. So what do I listen to...

Pardon the Interruption (PTI) - No tv? No problem. I can still listen to my favorite sports talk show. I wish it was a video podcast to help with the visual jokes that go on during the show.

ESPN Baseball Today - I nice 20 minute recap of the previous day games with previews of upcoming series around the league.

MLB Radio Daily -a 30 minute program where they talk with different people around the league.

Red Sox: Without a Curse - Hosted by Alex Reimer AKA "The Phenom" ..this kid is like 14 or 15 and he does a good job except I think he needs to sit back from the mike because he shouts the whole time.

Original Red Sox Podcast: two guys talk about the Bo Sox...not a bad one to listen too. Fantasy 411 - thought that I could get some tips to help my struggling fantasy teams plus the hosts are fun to listen to and keep the show moving along.

New England Patriots Podcast: got to keep tabs on my team, it is a 2 hr show which can get boring at times but I listen to it in short segments

NFL Rants and Raves: Just started this one so we will see once the season starts about this one.

In Touch w. Charles Stanly and Insights for Daily Living with Chuck Swindoll: Like both but I find that Charles Stanley has the more interesting topics in my opinion.

Ebert and Roeper: the two critics who should go sit on their thumbs

From the Balcony w. Statler and Waldorf: My two favorite muppets give their crotchity and sarcastic review of new movies and have the greatest rating scales...well they started off that way and it was funny. Now they just do skits based on the the newest movie that is coming out.

Misc. Topics
Quirks and Quarks : Canadian science show that intriges me and makes me feel really stupid at the same time.

NPR's Wait, Wait,...Don't Tell Me: Think of a game show with comedians who sit on the panel and answer current events questions. Once you get past the fact that it is NPR and they just love to bash conservatives then its a funny show most of the time. My favorites are when Mo Rocca is on the panel, loved him on the Daily Show and he just cracks me up.

Dropped Podcasts:
Steven A. Smith: Ugh...this guy thinks the Yankees are the greast team in the world and I could say other things about the show but they are not fit for a blog.

So can anyone suggest any other podcasts?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Office Computer Background

This is the background for my computer at complements the map of WV held to my wall with blue and gold pushpins


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It's Been One Week....

since I moved to NY and what an interesting (and boring) week it's been. I wrote about my first day of work, Thursday and Friday were pretty much the same without the massive amount of paperwork that I had to fill out for Personnel. Work is going fine, just difficult coming into a new job where everyone is using acronyms left and right and I am just trying not to do or say something stupid. Luckily I got a nice thick booklet of some of the more commonly used acronyms used in the division, of course the department head was quick to point out that many can stand for different things. After looking through the booklet I noticed one that I will be lobbying for inclusion and that is FUBAR (I am sure I will be needing that one from time to time).

The picture below is my office and the red square are MY windows (click for bigger view) which are nice to look out during the work day. I have a coworker on either side of me and ironically the one to my left is a staunch democrat and the guy on my right is conservative with me being a DMZ. I guess if a rubberband battle breaks out I can offer my rubberband missle shield services to the highest bidder. But the two guys are good friends so I doubt anything will happen, although I did hear about the Limburger cheese incident this afternoon.

In the evenings after I get home I do the usual check email and fraternity boards while I eat a turkey sandwich or have a bowl of cereal. Once the sun starts to set and it cools off I usually go out for a walk around the area, taking a different way each time. One thing I have noticed is that many people have pools which look so nice and cool, although the lady next door who I am renting from has a pool which I got to use one evening. On my walks I just try to clear the old head and try to take everything in between swatting the gnats and mosquito's who love my sweet WV blood. I wish I had a bike because there are some good riding around here, hopefully be able to get one eventually. For the most part evenings are pretty boring and dull.

Saturday it rained most of the day as I worked on getting stuff squared away which was nice because it meant the house was relatively cool. Saturday evening I drove into Albany which was interesting because the hard rain had caused the two main roads that I am familiar with to be flooded so I had to whip out my handy dandy city map to navigate around to where I wanted to go. After stopping at Target and some other places I went and saw CLERKS 2 , which was fairly good, not sure about it being worth the $9.25 ticket cost, but it was a chance to get out of the house a bit longer.

Sunday I started the Church hunt. I attended a relatively small community church in the city the only draw back is the 25 minute drive to get there. Having never really had to search for a church before (when I was in Mo-town I had a good friend who recommended an awesome church and went there ever since). I have found a few other churchs which are closer to where I am so I will make a decision after visiting a few places and find the best place for me. Since I was in town I went back to Target and got a stool (my only piece of real furniture at this time until I get another one(wanted to make sure it was a good height before getting another)) so I could sit at the counter in the kitchen. The rest of the day I spent working on stuff around the house and took a short walk before turning in for the night.

Monday it was back to the grindstone at work and a trip to the store in the evening (exciting I know). Today I sat in a OPTS meeting with one of the bigwigs of OMRDD, and even though the office manger tried to explain stuff to me on Monday I am just glad I did not have to say anything...I am sure eventually I will ::shudder:: The last todays I have been in 3 meetings...the job of a state employee is never done.

So far things have been really positive here. The only thing is evenings are a drag and with no furnature it is either sit in the kitchen or in the floor of what eventually will be the TV room. Another thing that has made the experience difficult is learning that my grandmother(mom's mother) in the moderate stage of Alzheimers and has had a series of mini strokes and I know mom is really stressed out and I can't be around to help out like I used to be able to. I still talk to her on the phone but I can tell that she is a lot more forgetful these days.

I know that I have only been here a week but I feel like I am on the inside looking out at people who are established. Just trying to figure out how to go about meeting people, finding things to do and doing stuff outside of work and around the house(which will have to be put on hold until I start getting paid).

Things will get better


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

First Day on the Job

I survived my first day at work!

Woke up this morning about an hour before my alarm went off at 7:30, so I just lay in bed and let the cool breeze blow over me. Got up around 7:15 and took another shower sans shower curtain and got dressed and hopped in the car and headed for work. Got to work and the office manager introduced me to everyone again and the few that I did not meet the first time and then I headed down to fill out the obligatory paper work and get my ID card made (with my sunburned face and the white patches where my sunglasses were on my face). After doing all the fun paperwork, I went back up stairs and got right into the mix of things. Spent the rest of the day working on evaluation surveys they are processing. I think I am going to enjoy working in the office, the other staff were jealous that me and the other PMI girl have flat screen monitors for our computers and they don't. Got my lunch from the cafateria only because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of leaving the building and trying to get back in while I am waiting for my ID badge to be given to me.

After work I stopped at Wally World to get a shower curtain...I was really torn between the tropical fish and the map of the world but purchased the typical colored horizontal lines with a clear stripe because ...well... not sure guess going for a more mature decoration scheme. I doubt the Fab Five would approve of any of them...speaking of which since I now live in NY if someone wants to put my name in to be on the show I wouldn't mind and could use the free furnature at least. After my adventure at Wally World I stopped at Price Chopper's the local grocery chain and picked up some sandwich stuff, cereal and milk. Apparently only people with NY drivers license can get the Value card which makes no sense to me.

After returning home I had a sandwich, caught up on my email, and worked on a few things around the place like got the window in the kitchen unstuck and tried to figure out what was wrong with the deadbolt on the inner kithcen door. Afterwards I decided to take a walk and explore the area. I walked down Main Street to the edge of town, saw some places I might want to check out eventually. Got back the place sat on the steps and cooled down and talked a friend in Morgantown then showered and got ready for bed and called and talked to mom.

All in all a good day but I need to hit the sack going in to the office early. I get to go to my first staff meeting tomorrow at 9am..I am so syked ;-)


Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Got to my place in Ravena (about 15 minutes outside of Albany) around 7pm this evening. It was an 8+ trip from Cleveland but I went a dfferent route to avoid the NY thruway. I think it was worth the extra hour because I had more options for stopping rather than the service areas and I didn't have to pay the $15 toll.

After arriving I unloaded the crap from my car and then had dinner with the owner and her boyfriend who live next door. After dinner I just inflated my bed and started to square things away. I then decided to take a shower and remembered I didn't have a shower curtain or something to cover the drain so I could take a bath(going to have to get these things after work tomorrow along with groceries).

Speaking of work I start tomorrow at 9am , I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous, but I am sure everything will be okay, if not I can use the Homer Simpson excuse..."Sorry, its my first day!"


Monday, July 17, 2006


I am in pain... my arms, face, and neck are freaking sunburned.

Having delayed my move to NY by a day and deciding to stay in Cleveland and head over to Albany tomorrow I got to have a mini vacation today.

So today my uncle was taking two kids to Geauga Lakes Amusement park for the day so I got to tag along.

Now in the past I have not been a real fan of roller coasters, I mean the last time I rode one was over 10 years ago when we went to Cedar Point. When we were there I rode The Raptor under the condition that if I rode it dad would buy me a t-shirt after going on it and I paniced and shut my eyes the whole time (my brothers can confirm said story). Anyway I decided to suck it up and ride the roller coasters no matter how afraid I was.

The first one we rode was X FLIGHT (the green one in the picture). You start out going up the hill on your back and then at the top you flip over before and for the entire ride you are looking right down at the ground or being flipped this way and that way. Pretty smooth ride overall and really exciting.

Next was the Head Spin (the blue one) which was alright a tad shakey. After taking a few rides and getting drenched on the big flume ride we moved onto the Dominator(purple/gold) and Thunderhawk (red/green). The Dominator rocked and was very smooth , however the Thunderhawk was a completely different story but still not as bad as the wooden coasters. The wooden coasters sucked and were as shakey as a surgeon who has drunk a whole bottle of vodka. I am sure my back is going to be sore for the rest of the week because of them. I can understand why those 21 people were hurt on the Son of the Beast a week so ago.

Anyway I am tired, sunburned, and I think a little nervous about the next few days with finally moving in to the new apartment and starting the new job.

Well I need to head to bed so I can get up and drive to Ny in the morning.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

On The Road

Thursday I headed over to Cinncy for the weekend to attend a meeting for my fraternity. Since the meeting didn't start til Friday I decided to visit some friends from college who live in the area. We decided to go the Red's game versus the Colorado Rockies.

All in all in was a good game, we left beginning of the 9th inning becasue we thought there was no way that even the Red's could screw up a 9-4 lead. So after leaving Great American Ballpark we headed to grab a small bite to eat and found out when got there that the Rockies scored 3 runs in the top of the 9th and came close to winning. So far this is the only ballgame I have been to but it was a good one, I mean Ken Griffey Jr. hit homerun 555 of his career.

Friday I woke up after a very restless night, not sure why it was but I just didn't get a lot of sleep. Around noon I headed over to the Aldridge's house where the meeting was taking place and where I was staying for the weekend to meet one of the other guys who was in early. We decided to go grab some lunch and run some errands so as not to distrub the young ones who were down for the afternoon nappy time. Once we got back the fun started when the reenergized young-uns awoke and the other national officers started to show. While dinner was being fixed we passed football, frisbee, and tried to keep up with the (h)Ethan. After dinner we got down to business, not fraternity business but...
---> <---Unfortunately I didn't do very well in either game because I kept getting dealt crap and since I can't bluff very well every other play for me was "FOLD" and the times I did get a decent hand someone always had a better one. Finally went to bed around 2:30 am and was up and ready to get down to the business at hand at 8 am.

Saturday was spent discussing fraternity business with a lunch break at one of my favorite resturants in the Cinncy area...
That evening we went to Quaker Steak and Lube for dinner where I once did the Atomic Wing challenge, which I have now done in 3 states. After dinner we headed back to the house where we had another exciting round of Texas Hold'em Poker, I did a bit better but not much.

Today went to church then came up to Cleveland. I was going to go over to Albany tomorrow but something has come up and I will be heading over early Tuesday.

At least I get one day off the road

oh yeah and check out the latest post on The Life of Gweedo


Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Journey Begins

Tonight is my last night in WV

In the morning I am leaving for Cincinnati, OH for the weekend. Sunday I will leave Cincinnati and head North to Cleveland where I will spend the night and head over to Albany on Monday.

The car is packed full with all the stuff that I can possibly get in there. Well I better get some sleep so I can hit the road early in the morning.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006



I have too much crap!

In the process of packing things for the move to Albany. My original plan was to move everything at once...I guess the saying of the best laid plans of mice and men do oft go true. The back up plan now is to load what necessities I can in the car and comeback for the big stuff.

The good thing is most of the things I own are still packed from when I moved from Morgantown back home in 2004. I think I am just going to wait until I get that stuff up to Albany then sort through it and pitch stuff as needed.

Its the stuff that I have acquired over the past 2 years that I have to pack up (mainly books and such) and get ready.

I wish I could just beam the crap up to Albany and not have to worry about packing it up, loading and unloading it off a truck and then figuring out where to put it once its out of the box.

I need to become a minimalist

Friday, July 07, 2006


As promised...

So as you know I was in Albany last week searching for somewhere to live. Well after looking at many dumps and few nice places I was a able to find the perfect place to live.

My place is a duplex in Ravena (approx. 15 minutes from work). My side of the house
is about 1600 square feet and it has a full basement. The first floor has a kitchen with laundry room, dining room, den with bay window, living room and sun room. Upstairs features one large bedroom with a huge closet, one medium size bedroom with 2 huge closets and one small bedroom with 2 normal sized closets and a bathroom. The kicker is that the landlord put a clause in the lease that would let me have a greyhound (hopefully this will happen eventually...).

On to the pictures....
The Front of the House
The Back Porch and Driveway

The Living Room, Dining Room and the "Sun Room"
(WARNING: Previous tenant was in the process of moving out)

The Kitchen

The Bedrooms (2 of 3)
**this one will be my study**

Overall a very nice apartment and in a quiet neighborhood.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Adios Facial Hair

Well I start work in less than 2 weeks...

I guess it is time to start looking "professional"

For the first time since February I am clean shaven.

Went from this ...
Yeah so not a major improvement, still need a haircut.
Will probably let it grow back in eventually but I want to look decent for my new drivers license and work ID badge.
Anyway tomorrow I will post pictures of my apartment.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July!

All I can say is what an extended weekend.

Thursday after leaving Albany I headed over to visit my brother and his wife in Conn. and then hit the road early Friday morning back to WV. I spent from 7:30 am to 10:45 on (and off) the road.

7:30 am: Leave Conn.
4:30 pm: Arrive in Morgantown
5:30 pm: Leave Morgantown and head to Buckhannon
7:00 pm: Leave Buckhannon heading towards home
9:00 pm: Stop in Clendenin and visit grandparents
10:00 pm: Leave grandparents head towards home
10:15 pm: Arrive at the house
10:35 pm: Leave house head to granddad's
10:45pm: Arrive at granddad's

While I was home I found out that the trip to the Island was still happening and that my younger brother had already taken the boat up and was at the Island. By the time I got to my granddad's I was beat. I was so tired I had trouble falling asleep and ended up sleeping until 11:30 am Saturday morning. After getting up I headed to the Island where my brother and his friends where roasting a pig (mmm....pig!) for everyone to eat. After eating I went sking...Man can I tell I am out of shape not only with the extra poundage I have put on let alone the fact that my upper body strength is almost nonexistant , throw in all the trash in the river from the rain and it was pretty rough going on river. The rest if the day was spent swimming, eating and teaching people how to ski.Spent the night at the Island and layed around, swam, ate more pig, and took one more run on the skis. We decided to take the boat out Sunday becasue we were all beat and tired from all the fun we had. Sunday night I crashed and slept very well and long.

Monday I did somethings around the house and then came back up to Morgantown to get the rest of my stuff and to attend my Homegroup Pig Roast this evening and say goodbyes to my friends here in Morgantown before I leave for Albany.

So to recap the weekend:
Drove all day Friday
Boating and Sking Saturday and Sunday
2 Pig Roasts = eating pig 4 days in a row
Leaving Morgantown

Hope everyones weekend was as exciting!