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birra's Journal


birra's Journal

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PROFILE




13 entries this month
 

Here I sit and wait...

22:48 Jun 29 2009
Times Read: 914


...waiting for my tech to come help me with this router set-up.


Time is a tickin'.


Had a sales meeting this evening with the owner of this company. Old Sicilian guy... it was like talking to my father. We're reviewing project details and cost... all of a sudden her starts breaking out these old pictures of him and his family and telling me stories...


Not sure if it was something he does to negotiate or if he just felt like waxing nostalgic for a few minutes...


It's nice to have a sales meeting that goes that way though... and listen to funny "I was young and did crazy stuff in my life too," stories.


COMMENTS

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Destruction of my profile...

15:05 Jun 21 2009
Times Read: 942


...it's time to move on from a lot of the old stuff I've left in my profile. I'm archiving much of it here. The profile will eventually be redone, but it's not high on the priority list...


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Keep Everything In Balance








Have to describe myself... ummm..er... I'd love to say I'm your average guy online.. you know: filthy rich, 12 inch penis and I date excusively Euorpean Swimsuit models. However I believe honesty is a much better policy. I've never actually met a European Swimsuit model, but if I had I'm sure she would love all my money and 12 inch penis.


Otherwise, I AM just your average guy looking to meet interesting people.


If you want to know more about me, really, just ask. I'm pretty open and open minded.










6/5/06 - Ok, 103 people have rated me and 154 of them have said "update your profile, it sucks." I love my whelp status, damnit! I refuse to give in to conformity and put 1000 pictures and my favorite Tool song on my profile.


Nevertheless, I guess I could tell everyone a bit more about myself and perhaps someone besides me will find me interesting enough to talk to.


My current job (sortof) makes me travel. A lot. I ponder this as I scribe to my profile, eating Subway, 3000 miles from home on the left edge of nowhere. Oh, and if you don't get to travel throughtout the United States much, no matter how dessolate of a location you can find, there will always be a Starbucks and Subway and a WalMart nearby.


And I am in "Left Edge of Nowhere, California" this week. There is nothing... NOTHING here except highway, cows and immigrants picking stuff off of what look to be dead bushes. I think they're strawberries... can't be sure, I didn't slow the car down enough to look.


My friends in NY say, "You get to go to Cali! Kewwwwwl!" and I have to say, "No, you're thinking of the San Fran/Hollywood/Venice Beach/Walk to Tijuanna type California. I get to spend time in California's equivalent to Iowa." Not so cool sounding now, is it?


Anyway, this is my recent life. Travel from here to there to there to some other there... almost every day. Want some insight? Weather on the east coast causes all air traffic controllers to flip out. Just mention there might be dark clouds outside and you can forget about getting flights out of or into JFK, Logan, Newark, Philly or Laguardia. Which I find funny because there could be 6 feet of snow on the runways in Buffalo and planes keep going in and out.


The Las Vegas airport is being renovated. Hopefully they'll build in some restaurants besides Taco Bell and Burger King. Trust me, no one wants to sit next to me on a plane for 4 hours after Taco Bell or Burger King... unfortunately all their renovations will probably just be so they can fit in another 1000 slot machines.


So I travel all over, alone, and am yet too busy to even log into here most days. I guess it's tough to meet people with that kind of schedule, eh?


So all you people who put "Everywhere... nowhere.." as your location in your profile - hey! I'll be there next week. Let's hook up.


See my journal for other dates and entries.. that is, if you're REALLY bored.




3/11/07 – So I thought this day, and this trip was really going to suck. I had planned to meet a friend in Louisville – was eagerly anticipating spending some time in this person’s company and at the last minute they had to cancel.


My flight plans were made in accordance with coordinating our schedules, there was no turning back for me. And just like that, disappointment.


With a bit of a heavy heart I trudged through the process of going to the airport – on a regular day an easy task, but this is the first Sunday of Spring Break for many schools so flights were sold out, completely. Parking was filled – COMPLETELY!


This was not shaping up to be a good trip and it hadn’t really even started.


A connection out of LaGuardia was bound to make things worse, but amazingly the flight delays weren’t horrible. I got into LaGuardia with plenty of time to catch my connecting flight. My connection boarded almost on time, only about 20 minutes late which must be a record of some sorts for this airport. All the passengers on the sold out flight were prepared to go; seatbelts on, reading materials in hand, relaxed for the most part and psyched to go home, or see friends or in my case, get started on a job I don’t really want to go do.


Then the LaGuardia curse set in.


A ground crew representative steps onto the plane and announces, “We have an over-weight situation already and we don’t even have all the baggage on the plane – we need at least 4 passengers to volunteer off of the flight or this plane will not go anywhere.”


Wait a minute… the seats are filled. And only the seats. There are no passengers standing in the isles hanging onto hand straps. If the plane can’t carry as many people as it has seats, what exactly is the point of all the seats? Is someone transporting lead in their luggage? What gives?


It doesn’t matter. In typical human fashion everyone on the plane looks at each other as if to say, “I need to be here, YOU get off.” I ponder from my window seat, do I really need to fly there tonight? Is it going to be catastrophe if I show up tomorrow sometime instead? Probably not.


Before I can even make the decision though, a young man in Army fatigues was the first volunteer , stood up and hit the aisle. I excused myself past my neighbor, grabbed my laptop bag and hurried behind him.


I said, “Hey man, if you’re going home to see family or if you need to go you should. I’ll step off.”


The young man replied, “Nah, I’m just going back to base to work. They won’t miss me. Besides, I can use the rest.”


Not grateful enough, the airline representatives handed us our carry-on and sought out the soldier’s duffle. But they still needed at least 2 or 3 more people to give up their seats. No matter to me now, I committed. The plane can sit grounded until morning for all I care, it’s not my flight anymore.


So this was turning out… not the way I expected. I wasn’t getting to where I needed to be, and I wasn’t where I wanted to be. And my options to get to either were nil.


What to do?


I worked out my flight for the next morning, took my hotel and free round-trip voucher and headed for the luxuroius accommodations the airline was going to provide me with. I got online and found some solace in my dear friend Deity. She is ALWAYS a beacon of light. We chatted, we texted, we chatted some more. I’m very happy to have her as my friend, for sure.


Then a real surprise. A Faeriemoon who is not far from New York logged into an IM, so I invited her to come kill time with me, and she did!


An exciting turn of events for once – we had quite an enjoyable night just talking, catching up and laughing, a lot. I didn't go to bed at all, so I knew the next day would be a challenge, but I didn't care. I had too much fun to worry about it!


So what could have been a miserable, disastrous experience turned out to be really fun. Now I can enjoy the rest of my trip looking forward to my next VR meet up!


3/16/07 - I hate it when I glance at my profile and catch a typo. It's been sitting there for a week for everyone to see... I'm so embarassed.









I needed a graphic here to break up all this "boring" text. Since I haven't expressed my public appreciation for being in House Eternal without them kicking me out recently... I'm putting up this awesome new house crest!


Enjoy it... Ooooo.. pretty colors...


By the way, this was created by my dear friend Morrigon. She is extremely talented in the ways of graphics and photomanipulation. That and she seems to have magical powers. Why, just the other day, she turned me into a newt!


...I got better...


4/9/07 - Yes, another trip.


But a late flight on a Monday to start on a Tuesday always offers an interesting day.


The challenge becomes, how much work can I pack into the time I have before I have to get to the airport? And ultimately, how close can I cut it getting to my flight?


The answer to those questions today were: 1. Not enough, and 2. Really close. At least, close according to some people.


So I’m driving to the airport for my 6:00PM flight, it’s 5:15PM. I’m pulling into the parking lot, forgetting it’s Easter week and the airport is going to be busy for spring break. The A Lot next to the terminal is closed. Crap. Now I have to drive back through the terminal, get back on the road and go another half-mile down the road to get to the over-flow lot.


I get to the over-flow lot, it’s 5:21PM. I hop on a shuttle to get to the terminal. Earl is the driver – I know Earl. Earl is a friendly person; an elderly black man who drives the shuttle so he’s not just sitting around enjoying his retirement, as he has said it. I’m sure it also has a little to do with making ends meet since pensions and social security don’t really do it these days, but that’s a sociological dissertation for another profile entry.


Earl, seeing I was on my cell phone, as usual, grabs one of my bags from me to help me on the shuttle.


“How are you today?” he asks.


I pause from my conversation for a minute, “Good, Earl. Thanks. And how have you been?”


“Not bad, not bad,” his usual response. “Can’t complain and no one will listen anyway.”


Earl pulls out a pad of blue cards to mark down for me where my truck is parked. As I end my phone conversation I say, “Oh, I won’t need one of those. I’m here enough, I’ll remember where it is.”


“You sure?”


“Definitely. I’ll be griping that I have to shuttle over to B when I get in on Friday.”


Earl chuckled. “Well, I just have to wait to see if anyone else comes in the lot….”


I interrupt his thoughts, looking at my phone I see it’s 5:25. “I know you do, but I’m running behind today. Didn’t realize A was closed, think we can get going right now?”


I extend out a ten – money talks.


“Yes sir, I suppose we can.”


On the way we discuss how silly it was to close the A Lot anyway, because flights have been coming in and cars have been going out. It annoyed Earl too because then he has to leave airport property and he doesn’t like driving the shuttle in traffic.


He drops me off at the terminal at 5:30, with a thank you and our normal salutations I step off the shuttle, snap my bags together and walk briskly to the ticketing counter.


It’s 5:32. I know the kiosk won’t let me ticket, so I step up to the gate agents. There are three of them, and only one customer waiting. I have my ID and flying card out – one looks up at me and says “Just a minute.”


So I wait.


And wait.


And wait.


5:35.


And wait.


And wait.


5:38.


So what are all three of them working on? One customer to help, three of them working on it. Apparently they’re trying to perform a transaction on their computer that requires them to hack into NORAD and play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe to get the final solution.


(For those of you born in the ‘70s, that analogy should be insanely humorous.)


Finally two of the agents walk away and one is left to attend to me.


“How can I help you?”


I hand her my documents. “Need to ticket for the Philly flight at six – going through to Raleigh.”


“You’re late.” She curtly replies.


“Not very,” I retort, “besides, I have been standing here.”


“Have any bags?” she is obviously put out, or is at least acting like it.


“Nope. Nothing to check.”


“Good, because you have to be here 35 minutes before if you did.”


“Right, hence I never check anything.”


She scowls. Apparently I’m “that guy” with all the answers in her mind.


“You know, I should just turn you away. We don’t have to let anyone ticket if they’re late.”


I’m thinking to myself, I should own stock in this fucking company. I’m on your planes more than some of your pilots, and you’re going to lecture me? Get bent.


“Yeah, been a rough day. I’d appreciate you doing what you can for me.” I more courteously replied. More flies with honey, even if your thoughts are soaked in vinegar.


“Well, you’re going to have to get moving, the plane is boarding.”


“Really?” I asked with surprise. “A flight to Philly, on time? No way.”


She glared at me and handed me a slip of paper. “I can’t ticket you here because you’re late. You’ll have to ticket at the gate. This will get you through security.” I know she was lying – I’ve ticketed at the ticket counter 10 minutes from departure here. It’s usually no big deal, but apparently, today, to her, it was.


I took the slip and thanked her, then made my way through security. It was quick, as usual, so I got to my gate around 5:50… 10 minutes before my plane was supposed to depart and….


…there’s no plane at the gate.


The gate is full of people… I know they’re waiting for the same flight. But…


…there’s no plane at the gate.


THERE’S NO FUCKING PLANE AT THE GATE.


So ticketing wench gave me attitude and a lecture about being on time and LIED saying the plane was boarding and the plane hasn’t even LANDED YET.


I calmly approached the gate counter and asked the agent, “Would you be able to print me a boarding pass for my itinerary, I’m running a little behind and the ticket counter said they couldn’t do it.”


“What time did you get to the ticket counter?” he asked.


“About 5:32.”


“Ah, so you were about 10 minutes late, that’s why.”


“Riiiiggghhhht,” I said, “but the plane is 20 minutes late so I’m 10 minutes early by my watch.”


He abruptly handed me my boarding passes. “The plane will be here shortly, stay in the boarding area.”


“You got it.” I said as I took the passes and wandered back to the windows across the concourse.


Helluva way to start my week. I really wouldn’t have been so porky about it if their customer services haven’t been so terrible lately. This was just more fuel on the fire of disdain I’ve been experiencing lately and honestly, it is wearing my patience thin.


FEH – I fly enough. They should hold the plane for me. ;)


4/16/07 - Now I have that damn llama song in my head. Grrr.. thanks Art!


*shakes a fist.


I wish I had something interesting to talk about here, but I don’t. The week of travel started out with some incredibly bad weather in the North East, and of course, for the first time in a long time my first trip was within the North East.


Getting to Boston on Sunday night was an adventure. Fly out of Boston through DC tonight was even more fun. If you never flown on a plane going into 45-60mph winds, I do suggest you try it someday. It’s worth the price of a ticket.


Not that I want to make it sound like I’m full of complaints this week – not the case at all. I’ve spent some time reconnecting with people lately and having fun with friends. Business has been as crazy as ever, busy and new opportunities cropping up, so that’s always good.


Last week I ran into two relatively humorous situations at gas stations of all places. For some reason, car rental companies want you to return it with a full tank; like gas is expensive or something. Go figure. Anyway, at a gas station just outside the Raleigh Airport I pulled into a pump right behind another vehicle. When I exited my car, I noticed the vehicle in front of me, a new Prius Hybrid, was unoccupied, the gas port was open, the cap was dangling and there was gas pouring out of it.


Curious scene.


I lit a cigarette and tossed the match…


No! Just kidding. But shortly, a woman came out of the station with an employee following. I couldn’t hear their conversation, but the woman was gesticulating wildly and the man was nodding at her, and then turned and walked away.


The woman, obviously frustrated started grabbing paper towels from the pump and mopping up the gas running down the side of her car. Well, needless to say, curiosity got the better of me so I had to investigate.


I approached the woman and asked what happened.


She said, “The pump clicked off when it hit full, but when I pulled the nozzle out, gas just started pouring out of the car.”


Interesting. Obviously it was over-filled. The pump... screwed her. It happens. Nothing is perfect.


Anyway, the woman was obviously distressed. She explained, “This is my husband’s car. I just don’t know what to do. The gas won’t stop coming out!”


I looked at gas streaming down the side of the car. Quite a sizable puddle had collected on the ground in front of the pump and the gas was flowing on the ground away from the car.


I explained my observation to her, “Well, it over-filled, and judging by where the puddle is collecting the ground isn’t level and the car is tilted, so it’s going to run out until it levels off.”


“But what can I do???” she begged.


I looked her right in the face and said, “Have you considered… putting the cap on? After all, that’s its job. To cap the gas port.”


“But what if it creates too much pressure in there and the car explodes???”


The look on my face at that concern must have told her I now truly believed her to be an idiot.


“The cap is vented. If it wasn’t, you’d vapor lock the gas flow and stall out all the time.”


She looked at me curiously.


“But I’m afraid it will explode,” she said, “and my husband is going to be so angry.”


That was enough for me.


“Put the cap on and drive home. Trust me, it will be fine.”


“But…” she started


“Oh, drive home on electric power then.” (yes, I was being sarcastic.)


I walked away. I had to get to a flight, and really, I think she might still be at the pump debating this.


My next big adventure, (don’t call me Pee-Wee Herman) was at a very, very rural station outside Charlotte. This is a quicker story, but perhaps even funnier.


I pulled into the station, and at the pump in front of me was an unoccupied mini-van. An Olds Silhouette or Pontiac Transport, something along those lines. I had to drive to Charlotte from Atlanta so my car was on fumes when I got there, and despite being in the Home of NASCAR, you can’t dump 20 gallons of fuel in the car in 5 seconds, so I had a good wait in front of me before the tank was topped off.


As I filled up, I saw an older and quite obese woman come walking… sort of… out to the van. I’m not the thinnest person in the world, but when you see someone this large, like passing a train-wreck, you’re almost compelled to watch…


She walked up to her van and started poking at the gas-port door, trying to solve the mystery of “how do you open this thing.” It obviously wasn’t her vehicle. After not being able to figure it out from the outside, she smartly went inside to look for a release latch. She found it and the door popped open. She “walked” back to the gas port and worked on taking off the cap.


She seemed to be struggling a bit with it, as if it were somehow too tight. Then she turned the cap and…


CCCCCCCCCRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNKKKKKKKKKK.


Ok, she’s turning it in the wrong direction.


CCCCCCCCCRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNKKKKKKKKKK.


I can see her physically pressing harder on the cap, putting effort into it… grimacing and grunting.


CCCCCCCCCRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNKKKKKKKKKK.


Common’ lady, how long have you been on this planet?


She muttered something under her breath.


CCCCCCCCCRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNKKKKKKKKKK.


Seriously? Ok, mechanical aptitudes aside… what the hell?


I hung up the nozzle and waited for my receipt.


CCCCCCCCCRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNKKKKKKKKKK.


Ugh.


She looked up at me as I was already walking toward her.


“Can you help me with this? The cap won’t come off.” She called to me.


I stepped along side her van, EASILY spun the cap to the left and hung it on the port door.


“OH GOOD JESUS!!! I was turning it the wrong way????” she exclaimed.


“It’s been lefty-loosy my whole life….” I said as I walked away.


You know the old saying, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people”?


Yeah... people kill me. They really do.


4/20/06 - First class isn’t what it used to be. Just give me a can and a handful of bottles and leave me be.


And why is a “double” at an airport bar is now 24 oz of soda with a minimal amount of the good stuff, instead of a double-shot of the good stuff in a regular rock glass with a splash of soda? These people need to go to bartender school. If I wanted to drink soda until my bladder burst, I would just order soda.


Is it any wonder why people just drink from the bottle in a paper bag?


No stupid people tricks this week; a damn, crying shame. I look forward to the constant challenge to my own intellect people pose. That, and the laughs. People at their stupidest – inadvertent humor – can’t be beat. Hence the success of shows like, “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” How many times can you see the “dad” getting whacked in the genitals by the piñata bat, and yet people still make the same mistakes.


And I still laugh every time.


Partially because I hope someone that dumb is made sterile by the mistake and Darwin will once again reign triumphant… *sigh… we have defeated Darwin, haven’t we?


This week had many good points. Getting together with a gaggle of mates from House Eternal on Tuesday night was one of them. But I was tired, and a little out of sorts. I’m sure some of them probably thought.. “gawd, what a bore this guy is in person…” but it was a long week, even by Tuesday. Although I did enjoy myself, and it’s always great to meet and make new friends, share a meal, share some good times. Next time, I’ll do it right.


I’m finding that traveling to do work this routine more than 3 days a week is becoming a complete drag. Flying out on Sunday, getting home after midnight on Saturday with little in-between other than 14 hour days of dealing with… this stuff. Burnout is around the corner.


Got together with an old friend in Memphis this week. We were supposed to go horse-back riding today, but our schedules didn’t pan out. Next time. We did get to enjoy a good Memphis Barbeque and had a good time Thursday night.


My colleague Jorge and I enjoyed ourselves on Beale Street in Memphis too.


Well, we could have enjoyed it more if not for the... people… we decided to meet out.


Clients of sorts – out celebrating one of their birthdays. Let’s just say, in my view the night left much to be desired from that aspect.


But Beale was a cool place. Next time I return to Memphis – it’s PUB CRAWL TIME!


5/6/07 - Been a good weekend.


Sabres won today - which is awesome in its own right, but it also means I won't have to hunt through the rural south to try and find someplace to watch a hockey game this week.


I feel like I almost accomplished some things this weekend - I've at least gotten a few people off my back which is a relief.


One of my bestest friends surprised me by buying a premium membership for me this week - what a special surprise!


And I am really, really, really, REALLY looking forward to my travels this week.


Been a while since I've felt this high! Well, without chemical assistance. This week should be a lot of fun! Can't wait to see what new and exciting ways in which dealing with the general public will kill this mood...


5/11/07 - *loud sigh


This week was so much fun. It really makes a difference to just know there is something to look forward to at the end of the day.


Problem with everything fun though... eventually the fun ends and you can only look back and long for what you had to leave behind.


*sigh....


Oh, but as a side note: I've always been a firm believer that no event is ever as good as the anticipation leading up to it. Most of the time, you anticipate something great and when the time actually arrives.. eh.. it's no big deal.


However, that theory must now stand corrected.


5/12/07 - Why is everything and everyone pushing my buttons today? I'm usually more patient than this.


Grrrr.


5/14/07 - The odds are astronomical.


Seriously. If there was a cash award for having the worst luck – a lottery where the goal was to get the numbers as wrong as possible, I should play it.


Three flights today, all three I’ve sat next to a man, over 70 years old, fat and smelly.


Planes full of attractive women, I get Santa Claus with halitosis.


How does this happen? More to the point how does this happen on every flight? Do they plan it that way? Do the stars align against me every time I have to get on a plane?


Now I’m waiting for my fourth flight of the day. Across the aisle from me is an attractive woman. I’m in 8D. She’s probably sitting in 462B. The guy next to her, stuffing his face with Twix and washing it down with Pepsi… he’s probably in 8E.


My first flight of the day, I got the window seat. The man in the center seat was boarded first because he needed a wheelchair. He spent the entire flight leaning on me. Literally. He was leaning as far to his left as he could. I was going to try and get work done, or write a letter I wanted to write, but I couldn’t even move. So I slept. Being unconscious was the only thing that kept me from screaming and running to an emergency exit.


Of course my connections took me through Charlotte – the B Concourse. I thought about how the last time I was in this concourse I wasn’t looking to make a connecting flight, I was anticipating a much different connection.


I think I sighed every 20 feet as I made my way through the crowds to my next gate.


Last week I had something to look forward to. This week I just want to do my work and move on to better days. Difficult to do when I’m spending so much energy looking back on what were better days.


I wrapped up my first job in record time, grabbed an earlier flight back to Charlotte but there was no earlier flight to Orlando. So here I wait. Gate B10. Wasn’t this the gate? The hockey game is on, but I can’t even watch it right now. It’s been too depressing and my mind is already going to too many depressing thoughts. So now all I can do is sit here and people watch.


Am I hungry? No... not really. Had a light lunch, but just... no appetite today.


These people sitting behind me have a package made up of broken up, taped together wine boxes. Odd.


The guy to my right looks like Captain Jack Sparrow… but aged about 30 years.

A flight to Orlando... will probably be more kids on the plane than seats. Kids will be hanging from the over-head bins, wandering the aisles, almost like those third-world busses you see with all the chickens and goats are on the bus and the people hanging onto the roof.


She’s going to O’Hare, not Orlando. Just as I figured, not even the same plane. Odds are at this point, Twix guy actually has the same seat as me and will have to sit on my lap.


The plane is going to start boarding now. Ooo. The excitement of it all has me all… *yawn.. sleepy.


5/21/07 – I have to make an entry today because… well, it feels like a special day.


Last week wasn’t fun. I felt like I let something go that I will never get back. Last week left me feeling like I was being sucked into quicksand and the rope to save me was always just out of reach.


This week I have something to look forward to again. But not until next week… so this week is destined to just be a pain in my ass. My emotions are going to range from complete jubilation to utter despair and deep depression. I hate wishing time away, but that is exactly what I’m going to be doing. Eight days and counting .. only eight days.


But I have to make the best of it. Only three days on the road this week and today is a pretty relaxing half-day. No early morning flight, no late night arrival, no hours long drive to get to where I finally need to be. A nice relaxing late morning slash afternoon flight and a short day of work. I get to work with Etch this week, so that will make the time go by faster. Well, once we leave work and enter into an alcohol induced stupor time will fly by. It always does.


I spent too much time in my office this morning, got out late for my flight. Fortunately late mornings at the airport are pretty slow, so getting through to the gate wasn’t an issue. As I passed through the first security check and entered the queue for screening, the line was short, yet people still walked up and down the queue ropes, winding around and around to get to where the line ended.


Screw that.


I ducked under the ropes and made a straight path to the end of the line.


But as I ducked under the last set, a young man carrying military garment and duffels was just stepping to that area of the queue.


“Excuse me,” I said and gestured to let him go past.


“Oh, no worries,” he replied, “after you.”


“Nah, that’s ok. I was being a rebel and cutting through the queue.”


He laughed.


“I would have too if I didn’t have all this stuff to carry,” he quickly shot back.


“I just hate feeling like a rat in a maze. I would make a terrible lab-rat. I’d probably keep climbing the maze walls and going straight for the cheese.”


“I know the feeling.” He said.


“So, you being deployed?”


“No, starting school. I just graduated from basic and was home for a few weeks.”


“Congratulations. Where to for schooling?”


“Jacksonville, North Carolina.” He responded.


“Ok, so you’re probably on the 11:40 to Charlotte then, eh?” I asked.


“Yeah, I think so. You too?”


“Yes sir.” I replied, “so how was basic?”


“It was fun. I actually enjoyed it. All the yelling started to wear thin by the end, but it was fun.”


I’ve never heard a Marine say it was fun.


“That’s cool. So are you going into any special service classes?”


“I’m going into construction and engineering. My plan is to get the education, it’s always a growing field so there will be a job when I get out, and eventually I want to start my own contracting business.”


“Wow, quite ambitious.” I replied, “and trust me, I own my own business so I know just how ambitious that is.”


“Yeah?” He looked at my shirt logo, “is that your company?”


“Yes it is. So what made you decide on the Marines?”


“I always wanted to. And I lost my job, so I figured, now is the time I can go. After all, it’s still a job.”


“A tough job, for sure.”


“Yeah, we have some high standards to live up to. We’re always expected to be very polite and courteous in public.”


“Well you’re doing a helluva job so far.” I said with a smile.


“Thanks!” he replied though a laugh.


We made it to the front of the line and the TSA agent didn’t seem to be pointing us to any specific screening station, so I motioned that I was going to go to the first one and take the Marine with me. He had a lot of stuff to go through and that way the line would be a bit longer with me behind him, and no one else would get stuck there and have to wait. I didn’t mind the wait, we still had at least 15 minutes to catch our flight. The TSA agent pointed to the first station, as if that was his plan all along.


We made it through security and the plane was just starting to board. I invited my new friend into the US Airways Club to grab a coffee and some snacks for the road. Some of the benefits of traveling so much – I can meet up with, or travel with just about anyone and take them into the club on my membership, which is nice to be able to do.


He loaded up, thanked me for the goods – I thanked him for his service – and made sure the flight attendants hung his garment bags up in the front closet so he didn’t have to carry them through the plane and mash them into an over-head.


And the flight was off to Charlotte.


I won’t even go into the 75 year old woman sitting next to me on the plane. Heading back to Florida, and she couldn’t wait because it was too cold in New York. And naturally she had to bitch about the weather where she doesn’t live for the entire flight…


I refuse to retire and move to Florida. I feel it would be the equivalent of saying, yep, I’m going to die soon.


Of course I spent the rest of the flight thinking about next week… only 7 and a half days to go....


6/1/07 – What a way to start a month.


I had perhaps the best week of my life.


I found out my direct report on this contract is quitting.


They asked me to replace him – but they can’t replace me. So that will mean double duty on jobs that currently each occupy about 60 hours a week.


I had it out with my contract holder and will be breaking ties with them shortly.


I still need to hire a new technician.


I’m now going to need an administrator.


My life is now moving head-long into complete and utter chaos.


And I had the BEST week of my life!


It had absolutely nothing to do with any of this. Chaos as it may be – work is work, and I can completely put it aside and simply revel in what this week meant to me.


Wow.


That is the only word I can use to describe it.


Wow.


And don’t ask, because you won’t get the answer you’re looking for. Just smile with me, because right now I can’t stop smiling!


Next week is Miami; a job that most certainly will test my patience and skills. I will be spending all of my time working and training to learn what I need to in order to cover my new responsibilities. That means I will be home for about 24 hours and then fly down to Florida to work four straight 16 to 18 hour days.


But… you know… wow.


My plane home is now descending. The 350 pound guy sitting next to me finally stopped snoring and my ears just plugged almost to the point of rupture.


But I can barely write because my mind keeps drifting back to yesterday. I think of dinner at P.F. Chang’s, sake, and all the laughter we shared (like the waiter looking at our empty plates and still asking if we needed a to-go box). I think about drinking tea with cookies and watching Airplane 2. I think about a long walk in a quiet park and a restaurant that was darker than the inside of a cave… and our conversations… and I think… wow.


Isn’t life funny that way?


Things we though we would never find seem to come to us when we least expect it and are the most unprepared for it.


Wow.


6/3/07 – If I’m going to Brussels I have to re-ticket. Montreal too.


I’m only going to Ft. Lauderdale, so no re-booking. Yet.


The remains of a tropical depression are coming up the coast. They haven’t exactly arrived in the Northeast yet, but the Philly airport closed just incase it suddenly speeds up and arrives.


Typical.


So I sit here on an airplane at the gate in New York, on infinite ground-hold going to Philly. I really wish they would just close that airport and just burn it to the ground. Philadelphia’s airport serves no purpose except to delay flights all over the East coast. If the plane is going to Philly or coming from Philly, count on it not being on time. At all. Ever.


They just announced my flight should take off at 8:00PM. My connection is supposed to take off at 8:25PM.


This plane is fast, I doubt it’s that fast. Fortunately my connection, obviously, is also out of Philly and it should also be just as delayed. Question is, do I arrive at my hotel in Miami at 3AM at this point?


That would make for a pretty suck-ass Monday.


They really need to just serve drinks on the house when shit like this happens. We got offered some water a half an hour ago. I said unless there’s some scotch in there someplace, no thanks.


Well, now they just said no one is going to make a connection. Apparently they’re letting some planes into the Philadelphia party, but my plane isn’t on the guest list.


Back to ticketing. We’ll try this again in the morning….


6/5/07 - "I haven't felt this awful since we saw that Ronald Reagan film..."


8/11/07 - I've really been ignoring my profile as of late. I wish I had something good to put in here but everything in my life is either boring, personal or in my journal.


If it's boring, you don't want to read about it.


If it's personal, you're NOT going to read about it.


If it's in my journal, you may have already read about it and found it to be too boring or personal.


One of these days something weird and funny enough will happen to me and I'll get back to writing in here...


9/6/07 - Ok, I had to put this in my profile so it's seen all the time. This is THE BEST rate comment, on my profile ever!


It's late at night

Work tomorrow gives me a fright

for getting up early is gay

especially on Labor Day

But I simply could not resist

Blowing you an e-kiss

for it is you who loves the random

and got me to try salmon.


YOU ROCK! *hugs*


9/15/07 - Spending a bunch of time on the road lately... more than a week in one spot actually - and this is pretty darn cool.


Tacoma, Washington. Neat little city. I'm enjoying the time here... definitely enjoying the company!


Just thought I'd mention that....


9/20/07 - Cleared out a bunch of entries from my profile and put them in my journal. If your so inclined, and that bored, feel free to read them there.


12/24/07 - Been a fiscal quarter (yes, talking in business terms tonight) since I last updated my profile here... since that last update I've been to... Minneapolis, Elizabethtown, Atlanta, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Syracuse, Watertown, Montgomery and probably a few other places I'm forgetting since I wasn't there very long and it wasn't very meaningful.


There are pictures of many of these places in my portfolio... I have stories of some of my travels in my journal...


...if you haven't visited either of those places, you're missing out...


Well.. missing out on some pictures and boring stories, but missing out none-the-less....


I'm going to bed now... today is Christmas eve... it's going to be a busy, busy day and I need some sleep.


2/3/08 - Only 20 people have added my journal to their favorites list. It seems like no one comments on my entries... why does that make me feel like such a... a... loser?


Crap... next thing you'll know, I'll be cutting myself and asking anyone who hasn't rated my profile with a 10 to re-rate me...

COMMENTS

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More Gallery Goodness

20:09 Jun 18 2009
Times Read: 967


Still putting together the elements of my gallery without having really uploaded many pictures. That I will do another time. Right now I'm trying to get the look and feel right. I am also using it as a sample gallery to show customers what we can do with this.


I think it looks great so far. With every element change it just seems to come together. Started with a basic "theme" package and just modified elements, links, background, etc...


Easy.


Easy enough for me to do... it has to be easy!


COMMENTS

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Joli
Joli
21:31 Jun 19 2009

WANT! Must see!





 

Shameless Self Promotion time...

19:34 Jun 16 2009
Times Read: 996


...just finished getting a photogallery up and running on one of my websites that I use to play around... neat little PHP gallery application that comes included with our Pro-Hosting account...


...easy administration if you're the web owner. Users can register to the gallery, create their own galleries and upload pictures... rate images, comment on images...


...it's like having your own little photobucket. :)


And it's slick... I think it took me about 20 minutes to get it set up and get pictures uploaded to it.


Yes... it's included. No extra cost to fire it up and make it work with a Pro-Hosting account.


I can see the uses already. Next step is to work it in combination with a storefront to sell images.

Aspire Technology Solutions - Your Source for Technology!

COMMENTS

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NocturnalMistress
NocturnalMistress
03:51 Jun 19 2009

nice work!





 

These people really need to be slapped...

23:34 Jun 10 2009
Times Read: 1,036


...outsourced "support" departments. Terrible. I've spent over 90 minutes on fruitless calls over the past few days just trying to get a domain registrar transfer to go through...


...company closed, their customer is coming to us to take care of their website... but the previous company hosted through Earthlink...


...folks, this has been some of the WORST... and I mean WORST customer service I have ever experienced. Not only do we get the endless hold and multiple transfers from person to person trying to find someone that can manage this simple task, I have yet to get a single "customer service" representative that has even a moderate grasp of English.


Getting service shouldn't be this much work... I've never liked Earthlink... this isn't helping.

Aspire Technology Solutions - Your Source for Technology!



Support here is not off-shore. We don't speak to you in a thick, Indian accent and then say our name is "Mike."

COMMENTS

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KCRC
KCRC
02:49 Jun 11 2009

English test for Customer service rep in Bangalore:



Q: Use the words Green, Pink and Yellow in a complete sentance:



A: OK....The phone go "Green Green", I Pink it up and says "Yellow, this is Mike, can I help you?"





birra
birra
02:52 Jun 11 2009

Uh huh. They're not even that organized...





Isis101
Isis101
03:57 Jun 11 2009

Support here is not off-shore. We don't speak to you in a thick, Indian accent and then say our name is "Mike."





I know that this was an ordeal for you, but this last comment just made me laugh...I recently had to speak with a tech guy in India, and he was named 'Kevin'...hope everything works out!





voodoochile
voodoochile
00:25 Jun 17 2009

If I believed in a devil I would say they were it. Earthlink is that little spot that elephants cannot itch and likely smells really bad.





 

21:39 Jun 09 2009
Times Read: 1,063


Aspire Technology Solutions - Your Source for Technology!




150GB of storage for only $25! That's less than a 150GB hard drive for your PC.


And our drives won't break. ;)


To answer some common questions:


Yes, our servers are secure and you can do SSL pages.


Yes, you can set up multiple, secured FTP accounts for file sharing with friends. Someone here on VR has an account with us and uses it like that.


Yes, we can help design elements of your website for you if you want to do the rest of it yourself.


Yes, we can get a new hosting account, including a new domain up and running in less than 24 hours.

COMMENTS

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imagesinwords
imagesinwords
21:43 Jun 09 2009

Great place to store tons of music you download from elsewhere.





Morrigon
Morrigon
22:08 Jun 09 2009

That's exactly what I use a chunk of my space for. Music!



Plus I set up something separate where I can share music with my friends. The awesome thing is, I can upload and so can they. We put it in a folder and check in with it to find awesome new music.



YAY





 

One more time...

15:37 Jun 07 2009
Times Read: 1,097


Think about this.


$25 per year for 150GB of online storage space. Your own email on your own domain!


I mean, gmail is nice but how sweet would your OWN domain be?


You can get your own website up and running and store your pictures in a gallery...


No, porn isn't allowed, but it's not nearly as restrictive as Photobucket... :)


Give it some thought.

Aspire Technology Solutions - Your Source for Technology!



You can just do a keyword search in the store for "web hosting" and your options will come right up. Easier than pie... because honestly, making a pie is not THIS easy.

COMMENTS

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sahahria
sahahria
15:40 Jun 07 2009

yer a PIMP!



:D





birra
birra
15:48 Jun 07 2009

We take international orders too. MasterCard and Visa know no boudaries!





VampireYui
VampireYui
16:23 Jun 07 2009

this really looks interesting, and a good deal. Price affordable .





 

Coolness!

18:08 Jun 05 2009
Times Read: 1,143


I'm going to be running ads here that look like this:

Aspire Technology Solutions - Your Source for Technology!



Keep an eye out for them on the lower right menu!


Now to see how fast I can burn through 1,000,000 ad credits!


COMMENTS

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Bones
Bones
23:05 Jun 05 2009

It looks pretty good, Birra! ;)





KMD
KMD
17:03 Jun 07 2009

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I haven't seen even one of these yet. Except here, in your journal. =/





 

Is this what you had in mind?

02:58 Jun 05 2009
Times Read: 1,181


Did someone say... thong?!?





I think we could probably make this happen. :)


I mean... you know... maybe with a different model.... *ahem*

COMMENTS

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Nightgame
Nightgame
03:10 Jun 05 2009

If this is "your" underwear you're selling then well umm wow! lol





ThothLestat
ThothLestat
03:21 Jun 05 2009

ha ha ha...

niiiiiice





BleedingMassacre
BleedingMassacre
08:11 Jun 05 2009

what about a thong for men? lol





MysticalChild
MysticalChild
18:24 Jun 05 2009

that's exactly what i want!

the bra is a nice addition ;]





Trikki
Trikki
19:45 Jun 05 2009

How's about offering a nice banana hammock? *snort* I couldn't type it with a straight face :P



 

WOOOHOO TOO!

02:26 Jun 05 2009
Times Read: 1,187


Just bought some advertizing credits here on VR.


Watch out for the crazy banners! ;)


*calls out*


OHHHHH Morrrrriiiiiii...


COMMENTS

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sahahria
sahahria
02:58 Jun 05 2009

YAY!!! :D





 

One last tout... I promise!

21:17 Jun 04 2009
Times Read: 1,210


So considering the webhosting I'm talking about, but not sure about.. support, working with a small company, etc...


I guess the best thing I can say is, we're small enough to work with you. In other words, if you need help you'll be talking to one or two people. We don't nickle & dime our customers and if there is something "outside of the box" that you need, we're not going to hide behind some corporate policy and say absolutely not. We'll definitely do everything we can to make sure you're happy with the services.


That is what I based my company on... and we have been in business since 2002.


That's even longer than VR. :p


COMMENTS

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Morrigon
Morrigon
21:18 Jun 04 2009

Yeah but YOU guys never sold underwear with your logo on them....



.....Yet....





Nightgame
Nightgame
21:21 Jun 04 2009

Hey wait was that you're selling your underwear or underwear with your logo on it???? lol





birra
birra
21:45 Jun 04 2009

Wait..hmmm... we can do that. :)





MysticalChild
MysticalChild
23:17 Jun 04 2009

i want a thong with a huge @ on it





 

No...

19:18 Jun 04 2009
Times Read: 1,224


...no monthly fees. The $25 annual charge auto-renews so we would need a cancellation in writing a minimum of 60-days prior to your renewal.


That is to keep the domain hijackers from trying to take domains.


There are also security measures in place to make sure your web space and files are not touched by the bad guys out there. We do support SFTP.


There are additional fees for marketing and such, but the basic $25 package isn't designed to be an e-commerce level hosting solution. More for organizations, businesses and individuals who just need basic websites (online brochures if you want to consider them that), basic photo galleries, some file storage (not meant to be a off-site data back-up), perhaps a blog section (additional cost for the software) or just an option for hosting email with a specialized domain.


We do also have a Pro-Hosting plan for $60/year that gives you a lot more including E-Commerce, MySQL databases, a lot more storage, bandwidth, control panel, applications, marketing options (many heavily discounted or even included), custom web stats and 2500 email boxes for people who need those things.


Really... either way, at most $5/month makes it very VERY cost effective as a web hosting solution.


COMMENTS

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imagesinwords
imagesinwords
19:20 Jun 04 2009

You're definitely going to have my business.





Morrigon
Morrigon
19:22 Jun 04 2009

I have the $60/year. It's incredible the amount of tools and gadgets you have at your fingertips.



And don't even get me started on storage space... AWESOME!





 

Business as usual...

17:13 Jun 04 2009
Times Read: 1,248


A few people on VR inquired and my company has helped them out with REALLY inexpensive web hosting.


Yes... this journal entry is going to be tooting my own horn.


There was a demand, so we rolled out this option about 8 months ago:


$25 per year gives you a custom domain (yourname.com), 150GB of web storage space, 250 POP3 email accounts with an advanced webmail client option and 1.5TB of bandwidth.


Perfect option if you just need webspace without a control panel and all the options (but we can still give you some of the options too). If you have a good FTP client (there are good free ones out there) you can even use it to store all of your web graphics and avoid photobucket's policies and bandwidth restrictions.


If you don't need a domain we can provide storage space only for a little less but why not have your own domain and email?


You can message me here if you have questions or are interested. Odds are I'm going to start running some ads here in the near future as well.


BTW, I opened my company in 2002. We've done work for government, military and enterprise/fortune 500 sized businesses. Our hosting is on redundant server clusters that are monitored 24x7... just to ease those concerns right off the bat.


COMMENTS

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imagesinwords
imagesinwords
17:44 Jun 04 2009

All this, and no monthly fees?





Sinora
Sinora
17:45 Jun 04 2009

Toot on !





Nightgame
Nightgame
17:52 Jun 04 2009

a well deserved toot too! It's also wonderful to see someone/company willing to meet the needs of the small folks out there too. Congrats & Thanks





voodoochile
voodoochile
18:03 Jun 04 2009

BUT, do you give out cookies? Heh, kidding. Sounds like a good deal to me my man.








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