Another (Long Day) Four-Day Work Week!

Beware Atlantans, while we’re basking in unseasonably warm weather currently we are supposed to be encountering a cold front later in the week.

If my work project wasn’t such a hot topic currently this would actually be a three-day work week as I would be heading to Asheville Wednesday night for the Trampled by Turtles show and kick around the Blue Ridge Mountains until heading over to Black Mountain for LEAF on Friday. But alas my services are needed (which is a good thing) so I will be heading out of town on Friday morning, thus cementing my inability to see Trampled By Turtles until sometime in the future.

What’s In A Name?
If you have a last name like mine, which is fairly unpronounceable by those who’ve never learned to speak German (or your own mother, but that’s another story), you get used to correcting and guiding people on its pronunciation (or using it to your advantage by immediately dismissing telemarketers when they call and can’t pronounce it). What you don’t get used to is hearing “Hey, that’s my cousin’s last name!”, which was what I heard out of the mouth of the waitress at Eddie’s Attic when I handed her my credit card last Friday night.

That exclamation started a conversation which involved me telling her that I was originally from New York. She then said that her cousin lived in New Orleans, which intrigued me greatly since one of my paternal uncles has lived in New Orleans for at least thirty-five years (ITP-Reader Ronnie might have a better idea of how long our uncle has lived there, for I have no recollection of meeting said uncle.) Even in this day of easy migration the unusual nature of my last name means that I may have met a distant relative on Friday night. Weird. For the record I should say that I have met people living in the United States who share my last name and do not have a direct connection to my family lineage, but the New Orleans connection makes it seem plausible.

It Wasn’t 99º F In The Shade, But It Was 88.5º F Degrees Indoors
On Saturday morning I woke and rolled around bed for awhile. I had a 10:45am haircut appointment and the knowledge that I was going to head in to work in order to complete some tasks. After my haircut I made my way up to the Perimeter Mall area using the surface streets.

But before I continue I need to tell you about something that happened on Friday night. While driving home from Decatur on Friday night I started thinking about the date, the fact that my car insurance would be coming due again soon, and wondering whether or not I had my current car insurance card in my wallet (I normally do, but my life has gone a bit wonky over the last few years). “What would happen if I hit a roadblock and didn’t have it?” I pondered.

While making my way up to the Perimeter Mall area on Saturday I encountered my first* police “random” roadblock! At this roadblock the police were checking to make sure that people’s driver’s license and tags were up to date (I even produced my insurance card, though it was not necessary). I have strong feelings against these random roadblocks, and if you want to know why you’ll have to buy me a beer and hear it in person. πŸ˜‰

* – Technically this was the second random roadblock I’ve encountered. The first time it happened I was commuting on bicycle and the officer allowed me to proceed without stopping.

As I drove nearer work I realized that I had not eaten anything since the order of sweet potato fries I had at Eddie’s Attic and it was nearly lunchtime. What could I do? I could go to Taco Mac, that’s what I could do! It had been two weeks since I’d visited a Taco Mac so the feeling of going back was somewhat fresh again. I was served by an old-time waitress/friend and with two beers I ate the majority of a mound of chicken nachos.

From Taco Mac I finally made it into the office. By now it was about 1:30pm and I was ready to write code. As soon as I opened the door for our office (we occupy multiple floors) the heat wave hit me like a truck. I walked to my desk only to see my desk thermometer read “88.5º F” and the sun had yet to progress to my side of the building. To make matters worse I was wearing jeans. I sat with my desk fan on high blowing directly on me. This lasted for about five minutes when I realized that I was already miserable and that the room was only going to get warmer. So I left.

Because it was too warm in the office I took the opportunity to return home and tackle some projects there. Unfortunately one of the projects, replacing the lamp in my home projector, proved that the projector seems to be dead and that it wasn’t a lamp burn out which caused it to fail a few weeks ago. Dangen! It serves me right for being “prepared” as I’d bought a replacement lamp (they ain’t cheap) a few years ago to attempt to extend the life of the projector, and instead the projector itself has died (or so it seems).

Do I Have The World’s Slowest Metabolism?
I skipped breakfast on Saturday. While I know that I ate a lot of nachos at lunch on Saturday I am perplexed that I was never hungry again that day (yes, I had thirty-two ounces of beer at lunch and one twelve-ounce bottle later that evening, but still!).

I still wasn’t “hungry” yesterday morning when I ate a Clif Bar for “breakfast” (I really need to visit those places called “grocery stores”, my house is devoid of real food and I need to eat better).

I know that I am fat. I know that I need to exercise. However, I’m still bummed that my metabolism can be so slow.

One Outing, Three ITP-Reader Interactions
Yesterday I decided it was high-time for me to get out and do a little bit of grocery shopping. I’d seen a recipe for sweet potato soup (see today’s Website Of The Day) and wanted to attempt to make it [update: I actually made the soup last night and took photos of the results. If I weren’t so lazy yesterday I would have processed the photos and have included one here]. When I arrived at Edgewood Retail District I received an iMessage from ITP-Reader Terri — which was good since she reminded me that last night was a The Amazing Race night. While inside of Kroger I saw ITP-Reader “Martha” and her boyfriend Jerry. And when I was driving home I pulled up behind ITP-Reader Tony, who gave me a one-finger wave as I tend to give people. One outing, three ITP-Reader interactions. How fantastic!

Back To Square One
Over the past week I upgraded my iPhone 4 (no S) and iPad (1, not 2) to iOS 5. In addition, I upgraded one of my laptops to Mac OS X 10.7 (aka Lion). These upgrades have so many changes from their predecessors that it’s left me feeling like an Apple n00b all over again.

RealiTV Update : The Amazing Race – PHUKET ALL!!!!
If you don’t want spoilers then stop reading immediately.

You have to be fucking kidding me!!! For the second time this year I picked the correct team to finish a leg last, but it was another damn non-elimination leg! Phuck You, You Phucking Phuk! I think next season I am going to propose that we pick the team which finishes last, whether or not they get eliminated (at which point I’ll probably never pick correctly again).

In last night’s bullshit non-elimination leg all teams departed Indonesia heading for Phucket, Thailand which must have flummoxed the CBS sensors to no end. By my observation Team Dude! and Team Around The World With 80s Dad had about an hour lead on all other teams. They made it to the airport to find out that there is no direct flight from Indonesia to Phucket — who knew? — so they went to Jakarta and tried to get a connecting flight from there. Meanwhile all other teams answered their later wake-up call and hopped on a later flight to Jakarta which had a connection to Phucket. Little did anyone know at the time, but Teams Dude! and AWW80D had screwed themselves by not being able to get on the first flight from Jakarta to Phuket and lost their hour lead and another hour to boot.

Of course the race reached one of those annoying “Sorry, we don’t open until a time which guarantees that all teams will be here when we finally do” signs. All teams then raced out to a barrel by running on a wonky floating bridge to find out that they had to get onto super-nice speedboats (Thailand has a lot more money than I imagined!) in order to reach their Detour.

“Make A Shitty Reef”, Or “Set Up Useless Chairs And Umbrellas For Non-Existent Tourists” were the Detour options. Team Dude, who seemingly have had the same sort of advantages that Team Noun had in their seasons, quickly assembled their bong, I mean coral frame, and got the task done lickity split. Meanwhile all other teams, except for Team Sibling Rivalry, couldn’t seem to complete this seemingly simple task. And then Team Blond On Blond answered the riddle “How many blonds does it take to go from last to first at a Detour?” with the answer being two. The poor blonds could neither pull chairs and umbrellas from the shack, nor get the umbrellas to stay in the sand with the high Thai winds. CBS editors had a field day cutting back to a bar where Thai men berated pretty blond American women via the universal language of laughter.

From the Detour all teams were given a compass and a medal from Thailand’s 2008 Special Olympics. I’m not sure why they needed either because they seemingly all knew to head toward the two rocks which stood out of the water like a pair of Las Vegas showgirl breasts. However, Team Slant Eye/Round Eyed proved even the simplest of The Amazing Race tasks could be screwed up by searching the Seven Seas for The Amazing Race flags. I’m guessing Round Eye is not allowed to look at anyone else’s breasts, never mind navigating toward them.

From the breast rocks the teams headed for a Roadblock (unlike that I described earlier) for which one team member had to “scale” a “high” “rock face” in order to pull a clue from a fake bird’s nest. I’m calling shenanigans claiming that there was some fancy camerawork going on here because all teams accomplished this task in no time, hence the nest wasn’t very far up, and/or the climbing was no harder than climbing an indoor rock wall at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

By the time most teams arrived a this harrowing rock face Team Dude! had already finished the leg and were getting Thai massages with the $5000 they each won on this round.

Once the teams completed the rock climbing (ROCK CLIMBING! — MST3K reference for you) they had to “navigate” to the Pit Stop using a map. This map was not a complicated nautical map, no, this was the same sort of map that you’d pull from an almanac and since the clue included the name of the island to which the teams were supposed to find, the “navigation” consisted of telling the ship’s captain “GO HERE!” But the World Sailors of Team AWW80D wanted to show off and use the compass on the boat; The managed to navigate completely go the wrong direction, blamed the boat’s equipment, but managed to finish in the middle of the pack.

There was really no edited suspense this time around. For the longest of time we realized that the blonds were going to finish last. Having been burned once before already this season I figured that I’d wait to the end of the show before picking out the song that ITP-Readers Stacy and Terri were going to have to buy from iTunes. And then it happened. AGAIN! Phil raised an eyebrow, but didn’t tell the girls that they’d been eliminated, oh no, he waited a few seconds pass and told them pretty young blond girls are hot commodities in the television world and that this was a non-elimination round.

Phuk. Et. All.

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – angry at The Amazing Race
Current Music – silence to start my day
Website Of The Day – Via a tweet I found out about The Shiksa In The Kitchen. While I am mesmerized by the blog’s creator (Wait a minute, she has long hair? INCONCEIVABLE! Oh wait, she’s married. That makes sense.), I’m going to go back repeatedly to try her recipes.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – nothing
Morning Weigh-In – November

Foot Mileage – ~5.5 miles
Wheel Mileage – ~16.0 miles
Pushups – 0
Situps – 0
Stairs – 0 flights

Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 0 (0)

Vegetarian Meals – lost count (significantly fewer than carnivorous)
Carnivorous Meals – lost count (significantly more than vegetarian)
Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0

October Goals
– “Completely” recover from the bike crash (though I’m beginning to this this will never happen)
– Ride my bike no fewer than 100 miles
– Not to get sick for the entire month
– Not get fired from my job
– Run at least twice
– Eat vegetarian no fewer than fifteen vegetarian meals
– Lose three pounds

2011 Goals [will be a little more fluid than in past years]
– Reduce my weight by 25 pounds based on the my weight as measured on February 1st
Completely read the book Daily Negations which I received as a Christmas gift.
– Run Sharpened Stone as a real business — one which does not get penalized.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Enter no fewer than three photographic competitions / gallery showings
Ride in no fewer than five 50 mile or 50K bike rides
Run in no fewer than two one half-marathon
– Submit at least one application under the name “Sharpened Stone” to Apple’s iOS store

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem
– Eat smaller portions

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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10 Responses to Another (Long Day) Four-Day Work Week!

  1. Terri (SW) says:

    I’m not going to lie…this went through my head when I saw TAR last night:


  2. Barb says:

    I call the owner of the Falcons Arthur Blank my uncle, but if he is a relative, it is very, very distant.

    Perimeter Mall area, is that Dunwoody or Sandy Springs cops? I’m guessing just getting revenue for their new town. And – you don’t need your insurance card anymore for the police, it is all in the computer when they run your tag. If you don’t have insurance in the system, they will just give you another ticket & you can go to court & prove you have it later.

    TAR – I didn’t get that diving part, the Dudes made it look so easy – are they just that much smarter? Of course secure it with a rock or something……..

  3. Terri, I believe you have just ruined my day. πŸ˜›

    These were City of Atlanta cops because the roadblock was down near Buckhead. They didn’t run things through computers, they were just doing visual inspections of licenses and tags.

    As I said last week I have growing respect for Team Dude! as they seem to be the only ones using common sense.

  4. Martha says:

    I don’t mind the roadblocks, I’ve seen enough unregistered car towed and folks in the back of police cars to think they might be worth the effort. Of course, I don’t seem to be the ‘person’ they are looking for, they rarely give my documents more than a glance and the few times I’ve been caught without what I needed, they let me pass anyway.

    Jerry has a very unique last name, if you ever meet another Abiog, he’s probably related to Jerry (the fact his dad was one of 12 or so really helps the odds). My name? Is probably one the most common out there…

    Pine Mountain was fun, both boys finished in under 8 hours and they got to meet Dean K. I was more impressed with Nikki Kimball but to each his own. I managed about 8 miles on Sunday. I got lost then had to run against the half marathon race so not the best end but it was still really nice. I’m pretty worried about PM 40 but I’m going to give it a shot. I mean, what’s the worst thing that can happen?? (Don’t answer that!!)

  5. Randy says:

    Still searching the mental databanks for the MST3K reference – you may have to remind me on Friday….

  6. Will do Randy. Oh wait, someone on the internets has helped out ->

    And don’t forget to pack long johns, the forecast for Black Mountain this weekend looks cold and clear.

  7. Barb says:

    I had forgotten all about Mystery Science Theatre – is that still on TV anywhere?

    yes- it is supposed to be chilly starting Wednesday – looks like we go from summer temps to winter in just a couple days. It is gorgeous out there today.

  8. MST3K has been off the airwaves for awhile. It may be rerun somewhere, and I think it’s available at Netflix. I have VHS tapes with MST3K somewhere, not that that would help anyone in any way. πŸ™‚

  9. Barb says:

    I have a combo VHS & DVD player from Sony – spent a decent amount of money on it many years ago – I bet it still works, not that I would know how to operate it anymore.

  10. Randy says:

    Paulie, thanks for the link. Somehow, I missed that episode. Might have to find it on Netflix next time Lisa is out of town – unless she likes MST3K, of course. I think I’ll have to ask.

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