Live By The Sword, Die By The Sword

I fully expected to be writing this blog post while seated at the Waschsalon. I arrived early, as I am wont to do, and the hoofed it down to Krispy Kreme where I consumed a “New York Cheesecake” doughnut before hoofing it back to the Waschsalon with a cup of coffee. My plan fizzled out when after waiting for fifteen minutes past the advertised opening time there was still no sight of the employee responsible for opening the doors. Harumph!

ITP Flickr Pic
“When Starting Your Day In Midtown” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)

When Starting Your Day In Midtown
And I wonder why I don’t lose weight…

Three Early, And Wise, Men
Tardiness was not the case yesterday when ITP-Readers John and Steve, and myself were at the corner of Crescent and 11th before our agreed upon meetup time.

John drove us to OK Cafe where we were met by ITP-Reader Barb and Allan for a lovely, and rather filling, lunch. In case you are wondering I ate the meatloaf Blue Plate with sides of macaroni & cheese, and a baked sweet potato. And I wonder why I don’t lose weight…

Mehr Deutsch Bitte
(More German Please)

Last night’s German class was okay, though I am still not dedicating enough time to mastering the language.

This term one of my cohorts and I have been grabbing a few beers post class — great just what I need, another outlet for beer drinking. 😉 And I wonder why I don’t lose weight…

Last night we wandered from Colony Square over to Front Page News. On our way two very attractive, but married, ladies asked us if we knew where Crescent Avenue was. Of course we did, we were headed there ourselves. My cohort tried to chat them up as we wandered to the bar. He was dressed nicely in a white shirt and tie while I looked like a 52-year-old schoolboy wearing a backpack and ill-fitting clothes. They were from out of town, one from Seattle, the other from Dallas. They were in Atlanta for work, though I did not here which industry. They were looking for cocktails, not beer, and had already eaten at South City Kitchen. Blah, blah, blah. My cohort, who lives in the neighborhood, gave them the low-down on all of the bars/restaurants along the stree. At Front Page News my cohort asked me “Were you afraid to talk to the women?”. “No, I noticed that they were married and that they had little interest in joining us for a drink, so I didn’t want to waste the effort.” I answered. My answer was heartfelt, but I some times wonder “Perhaps if I would just lose some weight…”. Nah it’d make no difference!

Now that I am in the office of “XYZ Corp” I should get some work done. Make it a great day my friends.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 16 Comments

Poor Time Management

My poor time management skills last night, “damn you sleep”, and this morning, “damn you Paulie for watching YouTube”, have made it impossible for me to put out a real blog post this morning.

Oh, I also don’t have much about which to blog either.

So today I will say “Sorry” and “I am looking forward to lunching with some of you today”.

If you have a conversation starter please put it into a comment and ignite today’s conversation.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 11 Comments

Repeal And Replace

Fear not, today’s post has nothing to do with the nonsense that is happening in Washington DC.

Repeal And Restring
I almost beat the system on Saturday. Saturday July 29th, was the first time that I mowed the lawns at the ITP Estate since leaving for Germany on June 28th! That is unprecedented for my world in Atlanta, Georgia. The front and back lawns were thick, but weren’t as bad as you’d expect for going this long during the summer.

I made it through the front lawn with no difficulty and then decided to let the mower cool a bit before continuing on to do the back. I went back into the house and pulled out the leaf blower and cleaned up the mess I had made.

When I was done blowing debris back into the lawn I picked up the mower, walked it down the three stairs, and set it onto the ground. I bent over and pulled the cord to start the mower. No start. I reared back and pulled again. No start. And on the third attempt the mower started, but I was left holding a pull cord that was no longer attached to the mower. DANGEN! However I have no room to complain, the pull cord lasted nearly seventeen years.

I’ve watched a few YouTube video showing me how I need to go about to replace the pull cord, and I have already purchased replacement pull cord from the Ace Hardware in Toco Hill. Wish me luck, I will probably need it.

Repeal And Retube
I decided that yesterday I was going to get my exercise by riding on my bike trainer. I mean why would anyone want to ride a bike out doors? It’ dangerous out there!

Since the Prudential Ride London-Surrey Classique was being broadcast I fired up the NBC Sports app and AirPlayed its video onto the big screen in the basement.

Right after getting the video streaming I walked past my bicycle, which was already on the trainer, and instinctively reached down to feel the rear tire pressure; it was completely flat. WTF? How does a tire go flat on a trainer? I pumped up the tire and mounted the bike, only to have to stop about twenty minutes later when I realized that the tire was completely flat again.

At this point I had two options:
1. Quit
2. Replace the tire and try again

Surprisingly I opted for the latter, but only made it another twenty minutes before giving up. In total I think I put in about forty-one minutes of riding.

Repeal And Reeat
Introduction “Jumblaya”, or in this case “Gumbolaya”. I decided yesterday that I should stay at home and eat food in the house. As I am wont to do I set out to make jambalaya, but I didn’t have all of the proper ingredients to do so. What I did have was a bag of frozen vegetables meant for gumbo — okra, corn, onion — in addition to some chicken, andouille sausage, bierwurst, and basmati rice. My concoction, which tasted better than even I would have imagined, is like a United Nations of food.

Because the bulk of my entertainment on Friday and Saturday involved sitting around and drinking beer I also decided that yesterday was going to be a day with no alcohol consumption. Yeah, this didn’t work out as well as “Gumbolaya” as I had one beer with dinner.

Repeal And Reduce
I have finally started spending time going through all of the things in my basement and getting rid of as many as I can. I still have a lot of work to do in order to get down to owning a manageable amount of shit.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 15 Comments

I’m Too Early

Currently sitting in the M6, awaiting this morning’s Creative Mornings Atlanta, about thirty minutes before I should be here. The reason I am so early is two-fold. The last time the event was held here I left because so didn’t find parking; turns out there are two parking lots but no one ever notified me of this. The other part of the reason is that I cut my morning workout down to thirty minutes on the elliptical because I just wasn’t “feeling it” today; something is better than nothing, right?

Good Times At Happy Hour
ITP-Reader Steve and I had a decent time at RiRa last night. We each had a couple of beers and shared an order of “lamb poutine”.

After happy hour I would my way toward East Atlanta and decided along the way that I needed more food. My food of choice was a slice of sicilian pizza at Fellini’s Pizza.

Another Step Complete
After returning home I returned to getting my new Mac Mini up to speed. I’m still not to the point to where I can automatically kick off app builds of my theoretical app, but I am getting there.

Have a great weekend.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 24 Comments

Let’s Try This Again

As you will read in the bits that follow these, yesterday was a disaster in my effort to improve my health and morale. There was one positive moment at least.

Sweet Jesus
I ate a decent lunch in the office, but then needed to get out. I had a hankering for something sweet and surely I could find a place locally that pretends to be an amazing sidewalk cafe like those that are abundant in Europe.

As you might expect my first stop was Cafe Intermezzo. I stopped outside, perused the posted menu, and was not satisfied. I moved on.

My next thought was to walk toward Piedmont Park. On my way I thought about The Nook. Before being seated I asked if they served desserts, they do, and like that I was seated in an air conditioned restaurant ordering this:

Looking To See If 'Chocolate Brownie With Ice Cream' Is Listed After 'Celery' In My Diet Plan
“Looking To See If ‘Chocolate Brownie With Ice Cream’ Is Listed After ‘Celery’ In My Diet Plan” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)

Yeah, not exactly what I should be eating if I am trying to lose weight. “Fear not!” I thought to myself (or perhaps even aloud) “You will be going to the gym this afternoon!”

Cramping My Style
It was a little before 4:00PM EDT (1600 EDT) when I finally escaped to the workout room in the office building. At that time it was me and three women sacrificing our bodies to the exercise gods.

I hopped onto one of the two Spin bikes, selected a program (different from the one I chose last time), and started to spin. The program I selected was a forty-minute cadence ride; no problem. However, after about twenty-five minutes of spinning my calves, the only part of my body for which I have pride, cramped hard. Other than having setting up the bike differently that I had last week, there are about six things that can be adjusted, I have no idea why this occurred. And yes, I had been drinking water all day and continued while riding. I made an effort to “walk it out” on a treadmill, to no avail. Even as of now I am experiencing some tightness/discomfort.

I’ve packed a gym bag for today, I’ll have to see how things go.

It’s Good To Remind Myself Where I Don’t Belong
My “new” Mac Mini was delivered to Lenox Square yesterday. It’s “new-to-me” but is a refurbished computer sold by Apple, who has not updated the Mac Mini line since late 2014. For my needs it was the right computer in the right price range.

Perhaps the last time I set foot inside Lenox Square was more than three years ago when I went to a book signing at Williams Sonoma.

I don’t belong in malls. I am not trying to “look cool”, “hang out”, or am I influenced by advertisements to be a consumer who buys the latest fashion trends. I was there to go to the Apple Store, and given the time I finally got to the mall, to eat something for dinner at the food court.

The food court in Lenox Square has changed drastically since the last time I consumed food there. I’ve been to the mall since the movie theater closed, which still boggles my mind, but was not prepared to see the array of “places that have real restaurants” — Five Guys?, Chipotle?, Checkers? — represented. As I do when I eat at a mall food court I found the Asian place and ordered a styrofoam box of fried chicken in a sweet sauce, all scooped over rice. Was it good? I suppose. Was it healthy? Not in the least. About the only good thing I can say about my meal is that I drank water instead of soda.

Home Is Where The Server Is
The rest of my evening was spent replacing a 2009 Mac Mini with the 2014 Mac Mini. Inevitably I had to set up a user account, download software updates, and perform a backup all of which took longer to complete than I wished. By Monday I may have the computer configured to be my new build/media server.

What will I do with the 2009 model? I’m not sure. With its mere 4GB RAM, and no ability to upgrade to Apple’s newer operating systems, it’s about as performant as a 52-year-old fat guy who writes a blog. That is to say it has a purpose, but what that purpose is is currently unknown.

Beer Me Thursday
I will be at RiRa this afternoon, say sometime around 5:00PM EDT (1700 EDT). I believe that ITP-Reader Steve will be in attendance as well. If you have interest and your schedule permits, please join me/us.

I will be at RiRa around the same time next Thursday too, if that suits you better.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

PS – ITP-Reader Stacy, I hope that you’ve noticed that website linking is back. 😉

Posted in My Daily Life | 15 Comments

Boring Night, Busy Day

I really have nothing about which to blog today. I need to shake things up, and hopefully will have fun things to discuss tomorrow.

At least today I brought my workout bag in with me, so I will steal an hour of my day to get some exercise.

Here’s a photo I took yesterday sitting outside the Starbucks at Colony Square.

Colony Square
If you’d didn’t know that on the other side of that wall is Peachtree Street near the intersection of 14th Street you’d mistakenly believe that I was in a tranquil environment when I took this photo. Not pictured are the twelve people assembled near me to place Pokémon Go.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 17 Comments

Get It? Got It? Good.

Well, yesterday didn’t go as planned but that’s okay. As I mentioned in a comment, my dental checkup went fine but I think that I’m on the precipice of needing work; time will tell. Laundry didn’t happen, I had dinner and beers at Steamhouse Lounge With my friend Hank. If you are reading this post between the hours 0700-0900 I am sitting in the Waschsalon doing German homework.

They Just Didn’t Get It
After months of having it clutter my kitchen floor I finally got around to putting out the Ryobi lawn management set that I bought when I moved into the ITP Estate. Consisting of interchangeable string trimmer, edger, and hedge trimmer components it was the gas-powered equivalent of a Swiss Army knife, just far less useful. Sure, my ambivalence toward yard maintenance didn’t help matters either.

Over the years I used the string trimmer attachment the most, getting frustrated with trying to re-spool line and going with a different string setup completely. Early last year the fuel line gave way and I was sprayed with gas. I considered fixing the fuel line, but opted for buying an electric string trimmer instead.

Since its demise I have been meaning to either offer up the system in this space, or more easily put it at the curb knowing that passersby have taken nearly everything that I have offered up for free. Upon returning home on Saturday I found that the base unit and its connected string trimmer attachment were claimed, but the claimer left me the edger and hedge trimmer; obviously without the base these are now completely useless and will find their way to the City of Atlanta dump, unless I get soft-hearted and give them to Goodwill so that they have a slim chance at a future life.

I Just Don’t Get It
Rain in the morning, rain in the evening, ain’t we got fun?

This will come as news to no one, but I am mentally retarded when it comes to interacting with women. Yesterday I turned down an offer to share an umbrella because I had mine in my hand. What? You read that right. A woman offered to share her umbrella with me and I said no thank you. Why? Because I am mentally retarded when it comes to interacting with women, that’s why.


Somewhere my guardian angel is saying “Jesus Fucking Christ! What do I have to do to help this guy out and finally get into heaven?!?!?!” Sorry Bud, no one said that it was going to be easy.

Got It! Robbing Peter To Pay Paulie
Yesterday I made an investment in my future by buying a refurbished 2014 Mac Mini from Apple to replace the Mac Mini I purchased in 2009. Why? Well, the “old” Mac Mini can no longer be upgraded, and I want a build server on which I will install and teach myself some of the tools of my trade that I’d never used before. If I can master things like Jenkins and Fastlane then I will have two more feathers in my proverbial cap.

In order to fund the purchase of the Mac Mini I made the (correct) decision that I really don’t need a new fancy-pants camera. In an effort to shoot more I will be using my (old) Nikon D300 and (old, but not as old as the D300) Nikon 1 V1 for my photography needs. Since I am not shooting for magazines (or even money) both of these cameras are sufficient for my current photography needs. Besides, the funds leftover from this decision can go into helping repair the ITP Estate, a further “investment” in my financial future.

BTW, if you happen to have a spare $4000 stuffed into your mattress that you’d love to give away in the form of a camera body and two really sweet lenses, let me know and I’ll tell you what I was going to purchase.

Have a great day.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 20 Comments

Brave New World

Another weekend of unfulfilled desires.

Today I begin my tenure are the lone iOS developer at “XYZ Corp”. I’m not sure how happy I am aboit this, but the only other choice is to resign.

Happy Birthday To Me
Thanks to all of you who wished me “Happy Birthday” over the past three days. I’m sure that there are a few on Facebook that I will never see as well. It really means a lot to me to have you all as friends and ITP Readers.

Nappy Birthday To Me
On Thursday and Friday I was never able to figure out where I wanted to go, or what I wanted to do on my birthday. The one thing I finally thought to do, but too late to enact, was to drive up to Tennessee and photograph people doing whitewater rafting. It’s been too long since I have done this, in fact when I look on Flickr I see it’s been nine years since I last did this (HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?!?!). However, my camera gear needed to be prepared for battle and I didn’t get around to doing this on Friday.

After watching the day’s individual time trial Saturday I wound up meeting some friends at the newly-opened Hob Nob in Brookhaven. We lasted one drink there because it was crowded for Saturday brunch, and the place had a guitar player who also sang songs which made it difficult to talk. From Hob Nob we sauntered down to There where a few more beverages were consumed. My friend Bill ate a Reuben sandwich that looked amazing, but at the time I wasn’t hungry enough to order food.

It was still early by the time we wrapped up at There, so Bill and I decided to try the craft beer brewery/restaurant Hopstix in Chamblee about which I had heard. I had one beer and some fried chicken nuggets, both of which were very good.

I suppose that the thought of heading home directly after Hopstix was too much for me, so I stopped at El Myriachi in Kirkwood for an early dinner.

In what has become a far-too-often occurrence I fell asleep early Saturday night, around 8:00pm, and woke again around 11:30pm. After all of the food and alcohol I ingested I shouldn’t be too surprised why this is happening to me.

I Almost Hashed Again
While I wanted to go out to the Black Sheep Hash on Sunday the combination of distance to the start (Acworth), predicted sweltering temperatures, and the lack of productivity on my birthday kept me home. Instead of going hashing, I stayed in and watched the final stage of the Tour de France, put in a pathetic thirty minutes on the trainer, did some German homework, and wrote the majority of this blog post.

The New 52
Today I must make time for a workout at LA Fitness or in the office workout room. The time has arrived for me to lose some fat around the middle so that my pants fit comfortably again. Along with exercise I will go kicking and screaming into the world of reduced calorie consumption. It’s a good thing that I am always irritable so that you won’t notice how irritated I have become by limiting the only vice that Life has allowed me to abuse.

Today is semi-annual dental checkup day. For the last few years I have had little angst with my trips to the dentist, but this time I fear getting some bad (and expensive) news. I hope that I am wrong about this.

The M6 is full of dirty laundry that also will get some attention today.

Happy post-Tour-Monday. This is always a little melancholy day for me, even if it would be a rest day if the tour were still occurring.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 19 Comments

Last Day At 51

The Germans believe that it’s bad luck to wish someone a happy birthday before the stroke of midnight on their birthday. Tomorrow is my 52nd, my luck is already bad, so you don’t have to hold back. Oh, and since I am not German it shouldn’t matter anyway…

This will be the first birthday that I celebrate since my Uncle John, with whom I shared a birthday, has died. It’ll feel weird.

I’m deeming today “Friday Miscellanea Day”
No real news in my life so today will be another round up of bits and bobs.

Around 6:30am Wednesday morning I saw a group ride going down Flat Shoals Av. I think that I mentioned seeing this ride once before, and given my apparent avoidance of riding this year I’d forgotten about it. I’ve searched all over the internet looking for a potential starting place and time for this ride, but nothing has been revealed. There must have been twenty riders in the group, so it’s definitely an organized affair.

The sixty-five miles at “Bo Bikes Bama” are the only road miles that I’ve put on my road bike this year. I road the trainer and mountain bike in the winter, and then my riding season was altered greatly with my fall in April.

I found out at lunch on Wednesday with ITP-Readers Barb and Steve that the annual “Cheesy Yellow Tour de France” party has been cancelled. This cancellation frees up my weekend. I may be running away and celebrating my birthday elsewhere, but probably won’t.

It took me nearly the entire week, but I finally finished all of the vegetarian jambalaya that I made last Saturday for the party I attended.

I’m contemplating all of the things that I would take with me if I moved from Atlanta. The list is longer than I’d like it to be.

I’ve been listening to the (former) band “Hüsker Dü” for almost thirty-five years. I still love the music they made.

In addition to eating too much food and drinking too much beer, I also drink too much coffee.

Last night I nearly bought a refurbished Mac Mini as a birthday present to myself. I didn’t pull the trigger because I want to wait for my credit card billing cycle to end before I buy this. My self-imposed cooling off period may also mean that I miss another opportunity to buy one, but I am willing to take that risk.

It was one year ago today that I quit my last job. Tomorrow will mark the anniversary of getting into the school bus and going to RAGBRAI.

I’m sure there was more I wanted to include, but can’t think of them now. Oh well.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 20 Comments

Only Fools Rush In

Now that my sleeping habits have gotten adjusted back to the Eastern Time Zone I am sleeping later into the morning. I made it to 4:45am today! I’m not in a mood to rush anywhere this morning, so I’ve decided to bum around the house (and write this blog post) and will drag my ass into the office in a little while.

Amer, Amara, A Mano
Not Latin verb conjugation, these are names of bars/restaurants in Atlanta all within a mile of one another. If you ever want to confuse the public go ahead and name your bar/restaurant similarly to two others that are close by. I saw all three of these establishments last night, two of which I actually entered.

Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad
The night started out at the “Surfer’s Den” at Beetlecat. The decor is what the ITP Estate’s basement could have been had I turned it into a bar. For those of you who can’t remember or have never seen the decor of my basement, it’s been over ten years since I’ve had a party, it’s “1960s modern” — wood paneling, shag carpeting, a bar covered in orange Naugahyde. Surfer’s Den takes it to another level, with period furniture, artwork, and touches such as stashes of 8mm film reels and 45rpm records.

Our large group of people, twenty-four I believe, gathered at Surfer’s Den for pre-meal drinks and appetizers. I liked the whole vibe of Surfer’s Den, and if I were tweny-five years younger would claim it as my hangout.

Due to the large size of our group we drew pieces of paper to see which of the two entree restaurants at which we would eat. The two unknown-to-us options were Barcelona and Char. Since I have already eaten at Barcelona (twice even) I felt fortunate when I chose Char. Those that chose Barcelona didn’t actually get to eat there as the restaurant “lost” their reservation, and apparently also had an issue with their kitchen. This group wound up hoofing it to Amara, a restaurant that has opened since I used to take Highland Av as part of my morning commute to Dunwoody.

At Char, a Korean BBQ-grill-style restaurant, I ordered two appetizers — fried tofu, Korean device eggs — and an entree of oxtail stew. All of the food I ate was amazingly tasty.

“Dem Bones” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Dem Bones
These were the remains of my delicious oxtail entree at Char.

My friend Darren’s oxtail is better, but this stew was worth going back to eat again.

While at Char we received updates from the other group because were scheduled to meet them again for dessert. They had eaten dinner at Amara because of this we thought that we were going to meet them at Amer, which is a few doors down from Char, for dessert. We were wrong. We were obviously not the first to be confused by the similar names because the bartender at Amer gave us detailed directions to Amara.

Unfortunately Amara’s dessert game was weak. We should have gone to Inman Perk instead so I could have had coffee instead of another beer for my dessert course.

My evening ended at 10pm when I left the group, who seemed as if they had no desire to end the night. After walking back to the M6 which I parked on Austin Ave, I drove home and nearly immediately fell asleep upon hitting my bed.

Now With No Alcohol, For Now
Along with packing on the pounds I have decided that I have been drinking too much alcohol recently. I’m no longer “on vacation” so it’s time for me to be a more responsible drinker again. Of course with my birthday being Saturday I will imbibe then, but tonight and tomorrow I am going to try and remain alcohol free. Shocking!

Have a great Thursday.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

Posted in My Daily Life | 13 Comments