Iowa Is Where AT&T Goes To Die

I am alive! However AT&T is not in most of southern Iowa.

Will post a real post when I can. Today I rode 65 miles and now need dinner.

Paulie [centerville, ia]

Area 51

Birthday #51 has arrived. Phone call from mother already received.

Happy Hours
I shot the shit for awhile around the office before waiting out the torrential rain and driving to Taco Mac to have beers with coworkers. Don’t act surprised…

No “going away” lunch for me; hell, in the eyes of the company I really haven’t gone away (yet).

As an added bonus last night I ran into Amy, the former Taco Mac employee who served me regularly years ago; she happened to be there talking to some of her old friends.

We drank and then shot more shit until some time around 9pm.

ITP Flickr Pick
Aggravated Birthday to me!

I have uploaded a photo from my iPad to Flickr, but their GD JavaScript makes it impossible to copy the URL using my iPad. It’s as if Yahoo! has done no work on Flickr’s website since the invention of mobile devices.

I will update this section when I get home.

“612 Months” (Chamblee, Georgia, United States)
612 Months
This is how 51 years of aging can look. Of course, I could have showered and shaved before taking a selfie…

I’m Out!
Not in a gay way, nothtatthereisanythingwrongwiththat…

Today is Day 1 of the rest of my life; yours too, by the way.

I have to admit, it’s a bit surreal and will only get more surreal as I load into a school bus and head to Iowa.

This morning I am combatting the surreal by doing some routine things. Currently I am at the lavanderia washing clothes that I intend to pack. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, eh?

Later this morning I will give the grass a quick buzz so that it looks kempt (apparently not a word, but I think you know what I mean) whilst I am away.

After a quick shower I will do my final packing and get into the traveling mindset again.

To The Post Office?
As much as I don’t want to do so I may go to the East Atlanta post office to see if I can get my tent fan package. My greatest fear is that the mail deliverer will see this as a sign to ignore my hold mail request and deliver my mail all next week. You may think that I am being silly, but I am not.

I’m still kicking myself for not realizing the flaw in my plan to have the fan delivered on the same day as my hold mail began.

Now that I have D-cell batteries I may just go to REI or Dick’s Sporting Goods to see if I can find a suitable replacement.

Enjoy your Friday folks!

I will do the best I can to post while doing RAGBRAI.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Throwback Thursday

Well, the day is here. I speak of my last day as a fifty-year-old of course. ­čÖé ­čÖü

Oh, it’s also the day before I start a leave of absence from work. Of course today my body is toying with me, I am tense and feeling tightness. Perhaps it’s nerves?

Wouldn’t it be ironic if I keeled over before getting to Iowa? Yes, though I certainly hope that doesn’t happen.

If I Had Only Known
I broke the news to everyone for whom I cooked lunch yesterday; it was my twist on a going-away lunch. Most were surprised, and at least one had figured out my plan.

At lunch there was a very special crossword puzzle, constructed by one of my coworkers! Within the puzzle was the answer “glenlivet”. For a long time “glenlivet” was the answer I gave when I had no idea what word solved the clue. And one day I uttered “If ‘glenlivet’ is ever the correct answer I am quitting crosswords.” The crossword constructor was one of the people who figured out my plan and put this in his puzzle so that I could uphold my commitment. ­čÖé Oh and would luck as have it, he is also the other guy pictured in yesterday’s photo.

I was honored.

Last night I hung out with my soon-to-be-former boss Hank. We went to The Bird in Dunwoody for some beers and dinner. Had I known that Hank was going to pick up the tab I would have ordered something more expensive than a pretzel and two corndogs for dinner.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Throwback Thursday” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Throwback Thursday
Today I begin a leave of absence from the job I started nearly twenty years ago. This photo was taken at that startup sometime in the late 1990s when we were part of ATDC on 14th Street.

Look at me. I was so young and so thin!

A Beer, Then Packing
I’m putting off one last load of laundry until tomorrow morning. The caravan to Iowa leaves from Ackworth at 6pm so I will have time to do my laundry, complete my packing, and perhaps mow the lawn, before driving to our meeting point.

Tonight a couple of coworkers would like to have a beer with me as a going-away happy hour. Who am I to deny them?

Found Some D-Cells
At Sage Hill Kroger. On sale, for $2 off the normal price. Score!

Paulie [eatl/ga]

My “Going Away” Lunch

T-1 Day.

Instead of riding this morning I chose to (thankfully) wake up at 11:30pm last night to start cooking a 7-pound pork butt. I will be serving this for lunch today along with some fixins and tortilla shells. I started the “make lunch for a group monthly lunch” a few years ago and sadly have been the only one who routinely supplies. Whatevs. I hope that my last one is a good one.

The Swelling Is Down, But I’m Still Attentive
The swelling in my right eye has gone down considerably but I’m still concerned about the apparent bump that remains on my eyelid. First, I should restate how strange my genetics are — the appearance/disappearance of lumps is common. So, I’ve decided not to condemn myself to mortal fear at least until I return from Iowa. For all I know everything will return to normal by then. Hopefully.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Top Cornhole Form” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)

Top Cornhole Form
Pictured you see yours truly trying anything possible to land a beanbag on a cornhole board. In my defense the side from which I was throwing slightly above the side to which I was throwing, and the board was slightly tilted to the left on the other end. I know, excuses, excuses.

What Happened To D-Cell Batteries?
In addition to picking up things at Target for today’s lunch I was there to get some D-cell batteries for the tent fan that is on its way to me. Damn, why didn’t I just order some from Amazon? To my surprise Target was “completely” out (in the two areas of the store in which I looked) of D-cell batteries! I guess that I can try another Target tonight, or head to a hardware store and see what they have in stock. Heck, I need to go to Batteries Plus anyway, perhaps I should try and kill two birds with one stone.

Birthday Beer Tonight
My soon-to-be-former boss Hank is taking me out for a birthday beer tonight. I am trying to decide where I’d like to go.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Another Rest Day

Just like those skinny guys riding around France this not-so-skinny guy is taking a rest day from riding. After three days of riding I deserve one, not that I will get one next week whilst I tool across Iowa.

Too Many Rest Days From German Studies
I’ve quickly fallen back into the bad habit of not getting my German homework done and will be scrambling to get it done before class today. There is something odd about how quickly the week passes, especially when Saturday rolls around and I realize that I’ve not looked at German since Tuesday. I will be taking my German book with me to Iowa, though I’m not sure how much time I’ll be dedicating to learning… I’d love to take the eBook version with me but it’s installed on my large iPad and I don’t think that I can also install it on my iPad Mini. I tried doing this before leaving for Germany and failed. Argh. The iPad Mini is such a convenient device when traveling, but perhaps I will relent on this trip and take the bigger one.

ITP Flickr Pic
Dipping back into the photos snapped in Deutschland…

“Me Taking A Picture Of A Statue Taking A Picture Of The D├╝sseldorf Main Train Station” (D├╝sseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)
Me Taking A Picture Of A Statue Taking A Picture Of The D├╝sseldorf Main Train Station
I found a couple of odd statues in D├╝sseldorf, each of which depicted people who are dressed as if they were living in the 1950s. This one stands outside D├╝sseldorf’s main train station and shows a man using a camera to take a photo the train station.

Fun Evening With Friends
I drove over to ITP-Reader Barb’s and Allan’s last night to find Allan putting some finishing touches on the Shed Mahal’s interior ceiling; that project is shaping up nicely.

When Allan was done with all that business he took to cleaning the heck out of my bicycle, and when it was dry giving it a thorough once-over, including replacing some of the cables as well as my handlebar tape. I’ll try to give it a good test ride tomorrow morning.

We three ordered Tasty China for dinner, Barb being the gracious host picked it up and brought it back to her house, and then I proceeded to gorge myself on Dan Dan Noodles, Bamboo Fish, and Twice-Cooked Pork. Damn how I love that Szechwan food. While we ate and drank I got to hear about their trip to Virginia and pick up some sage advice about what to expect next week while I do RAGBRAI.

Speaking of my upcoming journey, I think that I am all set. Well, once I get all of my clothes washed and packed. The head honcho of BRAG, Franklin, has sent out an email with the trip’s details so I finally feel a sense of confidence about this adventure.

I’m Going To Be The Busiest Unemployed Ever
In addition to a week spent in Iowa, Vermont, and Colorado, I will be attending a two-day conference called Plywood Presents here in Atlanta in August. I also have plans to drive to Florida to visit my mother, and to Raleigh to visit the Raleigh Royalty. On top of that, I have three programming books to read, and eighteen Stanford lectures on Swift programming to watch, as well as numerous pleasure books that I’d like to get to read. Oh yeah, throw in German studying, bike riding, and house projects, and there goes my six months in a blink.

I might need another six months of unemployment to recover from the upcoming six months of unemployment.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Beginning Of The End

Wow, my “final” week after 19.5 years of continuous employment, and, it’s all my doing.

Ride, Ride, Ride
Even though I tried to talk myself out of doing so, I managed to get rides in on Saturday, Sunday, and this morning. On Saturday and Sunday I rode 34 miles, from East Atlanta to Stone Mountain and back. I intended to ride fifty miles yesterday but my inferior genetics, which will no doubt prove to be challenging next week at RAGBRAI, convinced me to cut my ride short. This morning I pedaled around the Chastain area, putting in 25 miles.

Today’s ride also marked the debut of the new tires I put on the bike last night. Performance Bike was having a sale, including taking an additional 20% off the final price, so I picked up a pair of new Continental GatorSkin tires, in addition to a bunch of other small things. Last night I managed to put on the new tires, only destroying one tube in the process. I thought I had sufficiently massaged the tire/tube before inflating it to the final pressure, but as soon as I hit 110 psi I heard a pop; apparently there was still a bit of tube between the tire and the rim.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Still Thinking About Germany” (Decatur, Georgia)

Still Thinking About Germany
On Saturday night I wound up at Thinking Man Tavern. I had no idea that they had authentic K├Âlsch on tap, but when I saw this I just had to order some to relive my time in Germany.

My Eye Is Slowly Returning To Normal
It’s been a long, annoying process getting the swelling of my eye to go down. Each day I apply the ointment as prescribed, impatiently expecting my right eye to look like my left eye again.

Going To The Dentist Today
Today is my scheduled six-month check-up. Unfortunately I think that I have a cavity in one of my rear molars and think that I will be visiting the dentist again before my next six-month check-up.

Going To See Yesterday’s Birthday Girl Tonight
Tonight I’ll be headed to Marietta to visit with ITP-Reader Barb and Allan. I’ll be bringing the bike over for Allan to give it a once-over to ensure that it’s ship-shape for my journey to Iowa at the end of the week. I probably should have let Allan put the new tires on the bike, but I wanted to appear that I a not entirely inept, and it only cost me one tube to do so. ­čÖé

Paulie [eatl/ga]

At The Doctor Again

The swelling around my eye went down slightly yesterday, but has returned in earnest this morning. This malady has completely interrupted my RAGBRAI training schedule. So, in an attempt to save my trip to RAGBRAI this year I am back at my doctor for the third time in six weeks.

Apparently waiting room courtesy has ended as a Millenial here is talking on her cell phone. I’m getting to learn about her trip to South America, as well as a meat-eating grasshopper in Africa.

Not Quite As Cheap As I Had Hoped
I stopped into Costco to pick up some essentials, in addition to splurging for a new paper shredder. Since I will no longer be going into the office after next week I will lose my paper shredding privileges.

After Costco I met my boss Hank at Lucky’s. Normally my nights at Lucky’s are cheap but my bill last night was higher than anticipated. Making matters stranger I didn’t get an itemized bill, making me believe that I must have had items on there that didn’t belong to me. I was tired, and the bill wasn’t that high, so I let it drop. I know, I probably should have challenged it, but I just wasn’t in the mood. I consist his to be my last frivolous outing for awhile…

ITP Flickr Pic
“Things Could Always Be Worse” (somewhere along the Rhine, Germany)
Things Could Always Be Worse
There was much talk about how high the archive was this year. Clearly there have been worse years on record.

I apologize if I have posted this photo before; I probably have. However it sums up my feelings today perfectly.

No Weekend Plans?

If my eye permits I should get in a ride or two, though I might not go for seventy again.

I suppose that I will spend the rest of my weekend starting to get my life in order and Gatling things for my anticipated trip to Iowa next Friday. And now that I am back in German classes I should do a fair bit of studying as well.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Paulie [eatl/ga]


Sorry, today’s title is a bad pun on the word “Sidelined” since my eye did just that to me last night. While my puffy/swollen right eyelid did not get significantly worse yesterday, it also did not get any better. Because of this I decided to pull the plug on my much-needed afternoon bike ride, fearing that a couple of hours of sweating and wiping with sweaty gloves would be worse for the eyelid than not doing this. My body’s maladies frustrate me constantly.

I was hoping that I’d be able to get home at a decent time and start to take care of the many outstanding issues that are present inside the house, but alas, traffic sucked again and I was forced to wait some of it out in the Perimeter Mall area.

This morning my eye is actually worse, redder and more swollen than it was yesterday. If it’s still bad either tonight or tomorrow morning I will make my third visit to my doctor in the past six weeks. Yeesh!

ITP Flickr Pic
“Only The Schadow Knows” – (D├╝sseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)

Only The Schadow Knows
Monument to Wilhelm von Schadow for whom Schadowstra├če, where this photo was taken, was certainly named.

No Riding Again Tonight
Stupid eye…

Paulie [eatl/ga]

My Body Is A Comedian

Another day, another malady. This morning I’ve awoken to a slightly irritated right eyelid. Of course I have no explanation for this… I’m going to ignore it as best I can for the next day or two and only go to the doctor if it persists.

I Have The Bike Again
Eye willing, weather willing, I will be doing a much-needed bike ride after work.

Interrupted By Work
Duty calls…

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Decisions, Decisions

Our lives are filled with so many decisions.

Good Decision
Last night I chose to skip going out for a bike ride after work due to threatening skies. As you should recall I had also packed dirty laundry into the M6, so I chose to do that instead. As I did my laundry in Chamblee the skies opened wide, dumping a lot of rain onto the ground. I can’t be sure that the bike route got rained upon, but I don’t see any updates on Strava; I think that I made the right decision.

Bad Decision
I had every opportunity to go out for a bike ride this morning, but chose not to do so. I’m disappointed in myself for making that decision.

ITP Flickr Pic
“D├╝sseldorf Architecture” (D├╝sseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)

D├╝sseldorf Architecture
I’d like to have seen the decision process that went into approving the building that has all of the colorful creatures climbing up it.

Unknown Decision
A “leave of absence” is being dangled in front of me and I must admit that I am considering it. I need to talk to Human Resources today and decide what path I take. Either way my last day in the office, at least for a while, will be next Thursday the 21st.

Unpopular Decision
I’m taking a break from coffee. My throat started bothering me again yesterday, the first day I’ve had more than one cup since returning from Germany. Remember that my throat started hurting while in Germany, where I was drinking at least two cups of coffee every morning. So, despite my love of the beverage, I have decided to take a break from coffee and switching back to tea.

Have a great day, friends.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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