Monday, July 26, 2010

Here I am, on midnights again

Yes, I'm back on midnights. Not cool. It seems like I was just on them, but I looked at my schedule and it was exactly one month since the last time I worked this shift. It's amazing how the calendar can seem to lie to you when you are tired. It certainly doesn't seem like a month ago. So this week will involve a lot of terrible food choices, little sleep and lots of crankiness. Be happy you don't live with me.

This weekend we had my niece's and nephew's graduation party. We had a good time even if we were exhausted. I didn't start the midnights until the night of the party, but the night before the party we had a lot of storms. It started around 10:30 or 11:00 when the power went off after it sounded like something blew up outside the house. I swear, that was the loudest thunder I heard in a long time. Needless to say, the kids woke up and ended up in our room. Since I was going to be working overnight the next night Jenn told me to go sleep in the kids room so I could get some rest. It didn't work. I have a lot of trouble falling to sleep during storms due to the noise. I need it to be very quiet in order to fall asleep, once I'm asleep I'm fine though. I think I feel asleep around 2am, woke up at 5:30 when Jenn went to the gym (it was still raining), went back to sleep and then got up at 7:30 and it was STILL raining. Now , this isn't the most rain we've had in one day, but 6.5 inches is nothing to sneeze at. We didn't have any problems near us, but there was a lot of flooding around the Chicago area.

Now, you'd think after all that rain that it would be a nice, low humidity day. You'd be wrong. It still sucked outside. So my plan to shower before the party then go right to work after getting home was thwarted. I hate when my plans get thwarted. It was good to see everybody even if it meant my clothes were sticking to me by the end of the night and I smelled like a dead rat.

Oh, this is funny. My brother asked me to do him a favor and pick up the food. No problem, I was glad to help. He gave me his credit card, the coupon and told me where to pick up his food. One slight problem, the place didn't take American Express. I felt like I was stuck in a VISA commercial. Lucky for me I had my VISA check card with me, because while Popeye's makes good chicken they are like many merchants all of the world that don't take American Express. No my brother owes me money, but it's no big deal. It was more funny than anything else.

Now they have a son going to college and daughter in high school which is crazy to me because I can remember coming home from college to see my sister-in-law in the hospital when their son was born. It makes me feel a little old. Of course, my brother is older, so I have that to help me through this difficult time.

That was pretty much my whole weekend. I slept all day on Sunday and now I am back at work. I lead such an exciting life. The only good thing about this shift is the commercials I get to see. Have you seen the new Total Pillow? I'm definitely going to get one to use in the car. How else can I sleep comfortably while driving?

Have a good week!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I have developed a problem.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this here, but for Father's Day the kids got me an iPad. Okay, Jenn got it for me, I mean, how much money do the kids have that isn't ours?

Anyway, I really like it. It's great to take to work so I can keep in touch with e-mail, Twitter and the various blogs I follow. Also, and this is one reason I wanted to get one, was that you can read books on it. Here is where the problem started.

See, Apple came out with it's own book reader called iBooks, but they aren't the only one. There is also the Amazon Kindle app, the Barnes and Noble e-reader, Stanza and Borders app. I don't have the Borders one yet, though I'm sure I'll get it since I have a rewards membership with them and the Barnes and Noble rewards blows. So I have all these reader apps and each one has some books, many samples and none have duplicates. I have developed Book Attention Deficit Disorder (BADD). I am in the middle of several books, which doesn't include a book or two that I have on my phone but not synced to my iPad. It's out of control.

So now when I get to a boring part of a book I switch over to another one, then that one gets boring and I switch again. So right now I'm reading a book about Martians attacking earth in the late 1800s while a kid, with a pet dragon type sentient being, runs around on a very wet planet all the while a secret society of bureaucrats keeps the creatures from other dimensions from slipping into own own. It's quite a confusing book.

So, yes, I have BADD, which I think should be in the next version the DSM.

Spread the word! People need to know of the affliction.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Weekend Assignment 327: It's Too Hot

Okay, this week I'm doing the assignment and I'm going to remember to leave a message on the Weekend Assignment page so they know I did it. Karen wants to know how we stay cool when the temperature gets high.

Summer is well underway now. If you live in the northern hemisphere, the days are long and the sun is on its way to being about as hot as it gets in your particular climate. How do you stay cool when the weather gets hot?

The best way for me to stay cool is to stay inside with the air conditioning cranked up. It may not be the most fun, but it's better than heatstroke. See, in the Chicago area when it gets hot, it gets humid. Those two combine to make a hot day unbearable very easily. I think just a few days ago the temperature was about 92 and the dew point was at 76. That's like rain forest type weather, without the rain. It wasn't a fun day. There's nothing quite like walking out of work into a wall of humidity, across a baking blacktop parking lot, then getting into a car that could cook and egg on the dash. Well, maybe walking across hot coals over an active volcano, but that would be stupid.

I know a lot of people like to go to a local pool to cool off, but that is not my idea of fun. Think about it, you're basically taking a both with 100 other people who may not have the same hygiene standards you do. I don't even want to think about the little kids in the pool. Having said that, I did put my disgusting thoughts aside for a weekend so we could take the kids to a water park a few weeks ago. Oh, the things we do for our kids.

So, in short, I stay indoors. It doesn't have to be in the house, just inside somewhere with air conditioning. A movie theater works!

Extra Credit: If you've ever relocated hundreds of miles to a new home, did the climate play a role in your decision to move?

I've never relocated for a job, but I've often wondered if it would be better to live in the Pacific Northwest. I know they have hot days, but I don't think they are as common.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010's been six days, huh?

I guess I've been a slacker this week. And, well, last week, too. But, I'm back now. Isn't that all that matters?

To be honest things have been quiet and boring, that's why I haven't posted anything. I did do last week's Weekend Assignment, but I'm an idiot and forgot to leave a comment on the website to let Carly and Karen know that I completed said assignment.

But I do have some fun news. In August I'm going on a photo walk at Fermilab. Last week the Think Geek people tweeted about this, I filled out a form and a few hours later I got an e-mail saying I get to be one of the photographers to go there. Notice the website says amateur and pro photographers. I definitely fall well to the amateur side. I'm really looking forward to it, I hope I don't geek out too much and forget to take pictures. Speaking of which, Think Geek sent me a Timmy plush doll to take a picture of at Fermilab. I hope I can find a good way to get him in there. We aren't allowed to touch anything, so I need to be creative. I also hope we don't come out of there looking like Timmy in this photo.

Here's a few thoughts on some summer TV I've been watching, or waiting for.

Wipeout: Cool, fun show to watch with the kids. I don't understand how one doesn't end up in the hospital after being on the show.

Downfall: Interesting concept, but it doesn't work. The host is way too stiff and can't think on his feet well. Not a good characteristic for a game show host.

Warehouse 13: Look, if you liked the X-Files back in the day, you'll like this show. I'm not saying it's just like the X-Files, but it has the same tone and some similar elements. Well, without any alien stuff. Good show! (Crap, I just used the term, 'back in the day' to talk about a show from the 90s. Ugh, I'm old).

Psych: Coming tomorrow. Yay!

Yes, lame stuff. I know. Any good shows I'm missing?

Last thing, if you have a tub of crumbled blue cheese in the fridge, how can you tell if it is moldy? Just, you know, hypothetically.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weekend Assignment 325: Tech Savvy

This week Karen asks a great question for the Weekend Assignment.

Weekend Assignment #323: Tech Savvy
When you bring home some new piece of technology, do you usually get it up and running with pleasant anticipation and calm confidence, or is there more likely to be much swearing, wailing and gnashing of teeth? What's the most trouble you've had with a new computer, tv, phone or related tech gadget?

I think I'm pretty good at getting tech things up and running. I rarely have problems and when I do I can easily find the answer online. You just need to know where to go.

I think the last thing I had a problem setting up was our router a few years ago. I had never set one up before, and it was giving me problems. Then, I went to the company's website and found the solution to my problem. As is most often the case nowadays, it was a software issue. But, yes, I did swear a little bit while trying to get it to work.

Usually I'm the go-to-guy in my family to set up electronics. I don't know why, but I can usually figure out how to hook up everything pretty easily. I think it helped that I worked at Circuit City for a while. (A short while). Maybe, I picked some things up there.

It works out, though. I have family members come over to help me build or fix things in the house, and I set up their TVs and stereos. I think that is a fair trade, don't you?

Extra Credit: Who do you call in to help, if you get stuck?

I kind of answered the question above, but I do have a few tech savvy(ier) friends that can help me out if needed.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

We went to see Night Ranger at Frontier Days

A few weeks ago a friend of mine sent me a text message saying she was at a concert with Kansas, Foreigner and Styx, which sounded like a great time, and she mentioned that Dennis DeYoung was going to be in town on the July 4th weekend. I had that in the back of my mind for a while, then Jenn noticed that Night Ranger was playing the same festival the night before Dennis DeYoung was going to play. Well, there really wasn't a whole lot to think about.

As I said in my last post, they were my favorite band there for a while in high school. I still listen to them now, mostly to feel young again. I'm kidding, I listen because they rock, man!

Anyway, we met some friends at the festival, sat on some beach towels and listened to come classic 80s rock and roll. Woo! I think all the women at the concert kept their shits on. It was a family event after all.

So, yeah, I took some pictures, because I'm a big dork, and I could.

This one was from somewhat far away, and it was still light.

For the next two I ditched the family and went closer to get some shots. What?

The complete set is over on Flickr.

It's was a fun show! We got home way too late and I had to work today, so I'm a bit tired.

Have a great 4th of July. Go out and find someone from Great Britain and give them a hug. They need it on this day.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thoughts on a Thursday

Today, is Thursday, I finished up my week of midnight shifts on Wednesday so my brain is still mushy. You know what that means? Random Topic Day!

3D TVs: I don't get it. Maybe it's just me, but I don't want to sit in front of the TV with special glasses on to see it in 3D. Not to mention the fact I already wear regular glasses, how do I do both? If it is anything like the movie theater experience, it's going to blow. I can never get those 3D glasses over my regular glasses properly so things get all fuzzy and I get a headache.

Also, raise your hand if you lose the TV remote a lot. Yes, I image these glasses to be misplaced, or eaten by the dogs. But, they only cost about 100 bucks to replace. No biggie. Oh, and if you have friends over to watch The Big Game, they need to bring their own glasses which may, or may not, work with your TV.

Wake me when holographic TV is out.

The Fushigi Ball: Have you seen this commercial for the magic gravity ball? Why are these people so excited about a glass ball? A glass ball that costs 20 dollars. Watch the video. Isn't it great! It's sweeping the nation! One thing, why isn't the announcer guy wearing a headset? He should know that all the cool guys wear headsets on these commercials. I mean, who's going to buy a Fushigi ball from a guy who doesn't wear a headset?

The Classics: Okay, calling Night Ranger a classic might be a stretch, but they are coming to a July fest close by, so we are going to go. It should be fun. I'm wondering if it will make me feel old, or young? Or both at the same time. Do you think they will play Sister Christian?

Man, I was a huge fan of these guys in high school. I even bought a guitar that closely resembled the guitar Brad Gillis used. I sucked at it, but hey, I never played guitar before that. Or since, but that doesn't matter.

Oh, and the next day Dennis DeYoung is playing at the same fest. I want to go to that as well. We'll see. I have to work this weekend and I don't want to be all tired and cranky. Again.

The World Cup: Is it over? I kid! I actually played soccer as a kid. I think I started around 8 years-old and played into high school. I haven't played in a while. Though I did play one year in a soccer tournament at work about 9 years ago and I almost died. Okay, I only tore a muscle in my ribcage, but it felt like I was going to die when it happened. You never notice how much you use that part of your body until you hurt it. I've also never been so afraid to sneeze or cough.

All I want to know is where those vuvuzela horns came from and where can I get one? I have some people I want to annoy at work.

Speaking of work: CNN came by a couple of weeks ago and filmed our office. Why? Because we are cool. (Stop laughing!) Right at the one minute mark the cameraman was right behind me. It was a little hard to keep a straight face. I think you'll understand why when you listen to the host.

That's all I have for today. I have things to do, you know.