Another BetsyFest Is In The Books

BetsyFest was smaller than in years past and the high winds caused the burning of Christmas trees to be omitted (seriously, a smart decision on our behalf), but all in all I had a great time. I made a four-bean vegetarian chili and some white rice as my contribution, that along with the Tasty China brought by Gary (aka “Rat’s Ass”) and the Pigs-In-Blankets (official “food” of BetsyFest) made by the maid of honor, provided a decent enough base for a night of beer drinking. I think I hit my bed about 2:00am Sunday morning.

Today’s Daily Challenge
After eating half of today’s largest meal, put your fork down and pause for a moment.

Many times we mindlessly eat whatever is on a plate in front of us, never stopping to think about whether or not we’re even still hungry. By deliberately taking a break, you can put your attention on assessing your hunger (or feelings of fullness).

Ha! I’ll trick them. I’ll eat my largest meal today with a spoon.

Oh, It’s You Again
No, I’ve not heard any squirrels or rats since Thursday, but I did receive another erroneous bill from LabCorp regarding the physical I had performed in January — even though I was assured that the matter had been satisfied a month ago.

I went for that physical to get piece of mind that I was healthy and what I received instead was a warning about my liver and ten months of frustration-inducing telephone negotiations on my part to try and get the lab and the insurance companies to settle the bill without involving me, the one party who should have no part in this matter.

I used to think that physicals were a good thing, but I think my well-being has been significantly damaged by the monthly bills (not to mention the threats of being sent to collections) I’ve been receiving since getting my last one. Even worse, the bills from LabCorp normally arrive on Fridays or Saturdays, and since they are only available Monday-Friday essentially ruin my entire weekend.

Guess who’ll be on the phone again this morning. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can close this matter without having to pay any money?

Increasing My Use Of The BeltLine To Reduce My Belt Line
After sleeping in late yesterday morning in an attempt to recover from a long night at BetsyFest my boss sent me a text asking me what my plans were for the day. Originally the “plan” was to relax, study software development for part of the day, and do some indoor housework. Instead, I agreed to meet him to go for a walk at 2pm.

On my drive up to our meeting point I was certain I was going to have to give someone directions as I heard a honk next to me while waiting for the light at Moreland and Memorial. Wasn’t I pleasantly surprised to see that the honker was ITP-Reader Martha and her boyfriend Jerry. I always enjoy randomly seeing people I know, and like.

Once we finally decided that we’d walk part of the Atlanta BeltLine we planned a parking meetup and so it was planned.

After wandering about like OTP tourists we finally made our way from North Highland onto the BeltLine heading north (keep in mind that the only other time I’ve been on the BeltLine the condos where we wandered about had yet to be built so there were many opportunities to jump on. The two of us wandered all the way up and around Piedmont Park before migrating back to our starting point. I even managed to take us down a street I’ve never been on, seeing businesses that I never knew about — that’s pretty major for someone who though he’d hashed ever part of the inner city.

After covering about five miles I ruined everything by suggesting we go to Manuel’s Tavern since all I had eaten by that point was a large bowl of couscous with peas and corn (don’t ask, it’s a “kitchen cupboard cleanup thing).

I arrived back at the house around 6:30pm with the gumption to do those things that I had planned to do earlier, and promptly fell asleep on the couch for most of the rest of the evening. Oh well, at least I recovered from BetsyFest.

ITP Flickr Pic
Nothing. You’d think that walking the BeltLine might inspire me to shoot. You’d thing wrong.

Sad Neighborhood News
Twitter is certainly an interesting way to get one’s news. When I started seeing “farewell” and “RIP”, tweets mentioning beloved Grant Park chef Ria Pell I was saddened.

Ria Pell, a visionary of the intown community who opened Ria’s Bluebird more than a decade ago when the near-Cabbagetown portion of Memorial Drive was a wasteland, has died of an apparent heart attack.

Ria also attempted to open a pizzeria, to be named “Pizza Ria” (loved that!) in Cabbagetown, but that never materialized, and was questioned heavily when she gave up the space for her second restaurant “Sauced” a year or so ago.

Ria was a force to be reconked with, winning an episode of the Food Network’s show “Chopped,” and from what I understand was a welcoming an friendly part of the chef community.

Sadly I ate at Ria’s Bluebird just once (with Jeannie perhaps?). My lack of return was more about the size of the space (for those who don’t know me, unlike most of Atlanta I can’t stand waiting outside a place to eat) rather than a statement about the food.

Today’s Personal Project
Figure out how to get some exercise.

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – okay I guess, hoping things keep working out in my favor
Current Music – silence at the moment but I sense some classic hardcore and punk in my future
Website Of The Day – I no longer read INtown nor Creative Loafing as much as I should. I wish that I did.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – Sunday = walking, ~5 miles
Morning Weigh-In – 216 pounds (November 25)

Foot Mileage – ~18.0 miles
Wheel Mileage – 0.0 miles
Gym Visits – 0 (0 cardio)

Days Of Bed-Making – 0

Vegetarian Meals – on hold until December
Carnivorous Meals – on hold until December

Marta Rides To Work – 5
Bike Rides To Work – 0

November Goals
– clean my basement to the point where I could have people over
– hire a plumber, an animal ridder, and a tree person to work on the ITP Estate
– dissolve Sharpened Stone, LLC
– follow up on some critical life details
– walk no fewer than 75 miles

2013 Goals: Measurable
– Get my weight down to 190 pounds so that I can wear a 36″ waist pants comfortably
– Completely read ten books, audio books permissible
– Dissolve Sharpened Stone
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Completely run at least one 10k
– Fix all (or at least most) of the things which are wrong with the ITP Estate

2013 Goals: Unmeasurable
– Simplify, simplify, simplify
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem
– Eat smaller portions
– Start, and continue, to make my own bread using my bread machine as well as using the technique outlined in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
– Read and discard magazines during the month in which they arrive (even digitally)
– Take two real vacations, perhaps one abroad
– Take a more proactive approach to meeting women (read “stop being such a pussy”)

Books I’ve Read/Heard In 2013

  1. Pages 1.7 for iPad (Timestompers Guide) — by Sean Wells
  2. 60 Mountain Lion Tips — by David Sparks and Brett Terpstra
  3. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business — by Charles Duhigg
  4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy — by Douglas Adams
  5. Amazing Things Will Happen: A Real-World Guide on Achieving Success and Happiness — by CC Chapman
  6. So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love — by Cal Newport
  7. Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life — by Steve Martin
  8. Who Am I: A Memoir — by Pete Townshend
  9. Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? — by Billy Crystal
  10. Unstuff Your Life!: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good — Andrew J. Mellen

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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4 Responses to Another BetsyFest Is In The Books

  1. Martha says:

    That was actually the second time I saw you this weekend. I also saw you on Moreland around 8:30 on Saturday. (ps, thanks for adding ‘and like’ 🙂 ) Too bad you didn’t have my coffee mug with you…

    We were productive this weekend. We finished clearing out the storage unit and the condo (sans the loveseat which I think we are just going to keep there until we move back to Knott St). Now 99.9% of my ‘stuff’ is all in one place. It makes me feel better.

    We also ran by Knott Street to move the mini fridge out of the house and drop a few odds and ends into the shed. We met our newest neighbor and his folks. Yes, someone finally bought the brick mid-century modern next door and is in the process of fixing it up. He seems like a nice kid, it will be nice to have some young blood next door.

    I saw hash marks as we walked through Cabbagetown yesterday, they looked fresh but I didn’t see any recent hash announcements for the area. I saw some much closer to the house last week but again, no idea what they were from.

    The highlight of the weekend was meeting up with the lovely Jenka for a few beers at 6FU and then dinner with Jerry at Caramba’s, which was pretty good for your typical Mexican restaurant.

  2. Nice! I’d have your coffee mug in my trunk if I weren’t carrying around the rest of my kitchen in it at the moment.

    Related: I was disappointed by the critter folk who said that they would return on Saturday to check their traps — they never called. You saw me on Moreland Saturday because I was trying to do my Target/Kroger run early enough to be home for their arrival.

    Unrelated: Steve, did you go to the Botanical Garden on Friday night? How was it?

    Further Unrelated: Already spent thirty more minutes of my life on the phone with my insurance company. Not loving this.

  3. Steve says:

    The Botanical Gardens were really pretty. Very well done, but be warned, if you don’t have a kid in tow, you’ll be able to check one out.

    We left there and were in a sushi mood and thought about Ru San’s around the corner. Sadly it was closed and going through a management change. Is the RS in Edgewood still thriving?

    Saturday also saw a little fence work (finally). Prior to the fence party, we need to make an investment in quite a number of boards and even some posts in places. It looks like the holidays will preclude any fence parties before the new year, so we’ll see what we can work up.

    Sunday I managed to get in about 25 on the road. The bad thing about a north wind is there is no good way to start off riding into it for many miles. I managed to tack a bit, so it wasn’t too bad. Hard to dress in those conditions, though.

    We then headed to Tucker for some good BBQ and to meet Debbie’s friend Meg and “borrow” her kids for a couple of days. Child labor? You bet! There’s chores to do.


  4. John G. says:

    How to solve your “bill” problem (guaranteed):
    1) call the Lab folks
    2) state pleasantly/diplomatically you are “having a problem getting a January 2013 billing issue resolved…this is the 10th time I’ve called.”
    3) Then get the name/title to whom you are speaking and their…supervisor’s name and number. Insist. Be diplomatic, yet firm.
    4) call that person’s supervisor…and repeat the process.
    5) continue…until you hear a long awkward pause….the person you’re speaking to will say something to the effect of “I’m so sorry, give me a number I can reach you at, and call you back n 5 minutes!”

    You have now reached somebody with the responsibility, authority and motivation to resolve the issue. Sometimes it’s the call center associates direct supervisor. Sometimes it’s the…president of the company.

    I once used this exact process to resolve an issue with a “database” company for a critical issue that kept us from closing the books and reporting quarterly earnings. It was Larry Ellison that resolved the issue. And yes, he called me back in…5 minutes.

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