Nov 14, 2007

Goodbye Moto Q

About a year ago, I wanted to Celebrate getting a new job. I decided to buy myself something I had been thinking about for some time: The motorola Q. After about five minutes I had come to my final thoughts: I love the Q. I can sync my Contacts, keep my calendar up to date, and in general only carry one device. Before, I had my Palm TX for my schedule, and my phone for my contacts (since my phone before the Q did not have BT.) Best Part, I can Sync it with my Mac! Granted, I needed some 3rd Party Software to get it to work, but still...it worked!

Here comes the hard part...Last month, I stopped using it.  Did it break?  Far from it.  Did it not do something I wanted?  It did all I asked of it and more.   So what happened?

Verizon Happened.

Since my Q is considered a Smart Phone, all data traffic is billable.  That means any txt/pix messaging that goes on, is billable.  Having txt/pix plan?  That just saves me from the additional charge of .10 or .25 for the honor of receiving the message.   In order to have unlimited data and reasonable messaging?  100 bucks a month...compared to the 60 I pay now....

40 more a month...would it be worth it?  Perhaps...but for now my cheapness is winning this fight.

So for now, my warrior Q friend, I must bid you goodbye.  Perhaps at a later date we can remeet and relive our happy times....remember getting the tree last year and sending messages to G&S to find them?  Good times.  Good times indeed.

Christmas

So here's a quick list:

two new tires for the truck :(


LEFSE KIT! Seriously! We both want one!

New CD/Radio/Alarm Clock.../Mini Pony
Harry Potter Movies 4 (Goblet of Fire) on up ( I think 5:Order of the Phoenix is out..but not sure)
Shrek the Third
Any Disney Movie Besides Cinderella ( we already have it)
Any Cute Pixar Movies we've missed since the Incredibles...
A Universal remote to replace our Way too many remotes.
A Ronco Dial-a-matic Food slicer (It looks so cool on the Rotisserie oven commerical!)
A better 5.8 GHz phone (the one we have now has HORRIBLE Range...Thanks Panasonic!..Or...Pantech?...P

-Something!)
The Chronic(what!)cles of Narnia

For me:
Heroes (The NBC show) on DVD
Subscription to Linux Journal
Amazon Gift Cards
A Wii...Well It has be on here :)
iPod Touch...because it's cool :) (maybe not a real serious gift...but still...so shiny!)
I also went through and cleaned up my wishlist on amazon...and my lawyers will be contacting them about IP infringement! They totally ripped off my idea!

 


For Robyn


Brita water filter that goes on the tap (or pur or something like that.)


Glass Tupperware style containers.


Amazon Money


2 quart non-teflon sauce pot


Pressure cooker


 


 

Nov 7, 2007

Welcome to the reopening!

Hello Everyone!

I decided to redo my website a bit.  Since I got kind of lazy, I thought I would just use software I've used before.  It seems to work alright...and We'll see how it goes.  Let me know what you thing!

Sep 28, 2007

interesting Play

Two Weeks ago, My wife and I went to a play thanks to the season tickets to the Schwartz Center for the performing arts that I won. The first play on our list: Good. The play started out pretty good; it was set in Germany just before all hell breaks loose. The play chronicles the main characters reluctant joining of the Third Reich and ends with is complete 180 and seeing it as "not so bad" to put it lightly. The play itself wasn't too bad, my only main complaint being I don't see the main character as being all that good to begin with; very early on he starts having an affair.

No, the play itself was "good" up until the last 45 seconds. At the end, he has dawned his Uniform and begins the official salute. During this time, flags bearing a symbol used by the Nazi's is lowered. Since it is the end of the play, I feel as though I should clap because it was worthy of applause. During the applause, banners begin to fall with the swastika on them as well...suddenly I feel like I'm in a rally for nazi; not the place I would ever want to be.

I understand the director's thinking behind it. It helps drive home the point. I guess I am a bit more observant/sensitive than others. I could have done without the final banner droppings, but it did help me realize that people get into habits and sometimes don't even realize what they are doing is something they wouldn't have done before, all because the change was slow enough to not be noticed.

Jul 23, 2007

Best. Argument. Ever

This link right here is the best argument against movie piracy ever! It's hurting the corn farmers....the CORN FIELDS ARE DYING! Doesn't anyone care? Maybe that's why the government is pushing corn-based everything; fuel, food, puppies.

May 15, 2007

Mar 30, 2007

Dragon Day 2007

Since starting my Job with Cornell, I've been told there are many traditions that go on. One that just recently happened was Dragon Day.

I had been told my many friends/colleagues that Dragon Day was a special day; it is an old tradition, and would be a day filled with Dragons, fighting, and burning. I started doing some searching of my own and found some really nice pictures of Dragons of yore. I was starting to get exicted. I would be able to see a well crafted Dragon, possibly fight a Phoenix, and then burn; how cool is that?

I think they forgot to tell the students that.

This is what I was greeted with on that cold, wintry day.


A creepy, skeletal dragon? Where's the skin? The scales? All missing. Not quite what I was expecting.
Granted, I later found out it was made of bamboo poles and the Freshmen didn't have a lot of money...but my hopes were dashed.

On the bright side, I did meet some interesting people.

Mar 23, 2007

The 24 ban

I've banned myself from watching 24 this season. Not because I find the stories silly or anything, but after Season 5, I realized that watching week after week is the only way to go. I have Season 1 on DVD, and watched 2 on air, and then watched 3 and 4 in a frenzy to make sure I got them all in before 5. Granted, if I watched 3/4 back to back, it would have only taken two days, but these shows pack a lot in. It's not like Friends, or Seinfeld where you can watch a bunch in a row. 24 needs my undivided attention. I need to make sure I watch for all the little details that may come back into play later on.

Last year: President Logan? I mean, come on! That was well written, albeit a bit predictable. Season 5 led me to want to watch 24: Day 6 even more. They had the president as the head of an organized attack!

So you might be asking yourself "Why isn't he watching Season 6?" The answer is simple: I'm old . I go to the gym before I go to work and usually get home around 5:15. Since going before work involves me leaving the house at 5:30-6:00, I generally go to bed around 9PM. This is to make sure I'm getting enough beauty sleep to face the day.

Now, I hear another question beginning to crop up: "Why not just tape it and watch it before the next episode is aired?" This also is a simple answer: I'm a spazz. Robyn is usually still at work when I get home, which means I need to prepare dinner. After making said dinner, we usually like to eat it, then have to clean the dishes. Once that is all said and done, it's usually around 8:00pm. That leaves us an hour or so to catch up on emails, tell funny stories from the day or just hang out with our..."two kids."

Not to mention I tried taping another show last year in Colorado...and it wasn't pretty.

Mar 19, 2007

Little Poosa


This is my our cat Phoenix. He's had quite a few names since we got him last March. Poosa, Coos, QUAAAZe, just to name a few.

For the past couple of weeks he's not been himself. Hasn't been himself. Normally, he would jump on you, or crawl in your lap and purr until...well..he never stops purring. Robyn and I finally decided to take him to the vet on Saturday. We brought him in, thinking we would be out of there rather quickly. We were pretty sure he just ate something he shouldn't have, like hair or a spider.
Unfortunately, it wasn't that simple. When we brought him in, they told us he was pretty dehydrated. They tested his urine and it wasn't concentrated. Basically, he isn't retaining the limited amount of water he is getting. During the physical, they found his right kidney to be a big larger (or twice the size) than his left. They were concerned by this, and wanted to run some of his blood for additional testing and get an ultrasound of his kidney. They also wanted to keep him in the hospital for the weekend until the ultrasound on Monday. They ALSO wanted $1,500 - $3,000 either per day or for the whole shot; either way more than we can afford. We elected to bring him home and just keep an eye on him with the understanding that if he got worse, we would bring him in to emergency.

He did fine the entire weekend. If anything he seemed a bit perkier than usual. We brought him back for the ultrasound. Seeing as though he was feeling a bit better, I was optimistic he was going to be fine. I had convinced myself that he had a UTI that spread to his kidneys, we'd need to give him antibiotics and he would be back to his old self again.

Robyn called me with the results: Phoenix has Feline Chronic Renal Fauilre. To say I was shocked would be an understatement.

He's only two years old....

He's my little buddy...


...That was all two weeks ago...

Since then Poosa has been doing better. We switched him off of his pellet diet and put him on a natural homemade diet. He's responding very well. He's eating more and is actually starting to fight back when feasl attacks. (note: She's really gotten HUGE in the past couple weeks...but that's another story for another day.) The only thing that still worries me is we have to give him an IV twice a day. When we originally said we couldn't afford to put him in the hospital for the weekend, they told us they would send us home with fluids to give him to get him re hydrated. We were under the impression this was in place of the emergency fluid restoration project. But that's not what our new Vet says.

Since we are going to the Cornell Companion Animal Hospital, we get a new Vet every 2-3 weeks when their rotation is done. Our last vet was very receptive to the idea of a home derived meal and not prescription. The Vet, not so much. The Vet keeps telling us to put him on the prescription since he's "not getting adequate nutrition from the home-based meals" and giving us the overall feeling like we're horrible fur kid parents. When we tried the prescription food, he didn't like it. After eating it, he sat on the couch hunched over, and looking like he did before we took him to the vet. We tried that for a couple days and it wasn't helping. We switched him back to the diet we prepared, and he ate heartily. He enjoys it, and is looking a lot better. Since he has been home on this diet his weight is up 1.5 pounds; almost back to where he was pre-sickness. The Vet's response: Try another prescription food since "he's not getting a nutrient that is in the prescription food." I don't think so.

Then I remember what my mother-in-law told me: Cats live for the day. I want Poosa to enjoy the time he has, which I hope is still quite lengthy. I don't want to keep trying to get him to eat food he doesn't want to eat. I want him to enjoy what he eats, and if we have to give him vitamins along with it, then so be it.

I want my Poosa to feel better. If I knew for a fact what they want to do would work, I would.

Unfortunately, I don't think they have a grasp on what needs to be done. He has Kidney stones, not bladder struvite stones. They told us off the bat they were not in any way related to an UTI. Now they want to bring him back in, and run the same blood work they did last week and also run a UTI test.

Sorry, but no.

I know they want to help, but running the same tests every week will not help. Come back with some ideas and not just more tests you can charge me for and I'll consider it.


Until then, I'll enjoy my time with my buddy who's feeling better and climbing trees again....

Another story that must wait for another day.

Mar 16, 2007

Thrice

I enjoy Love movies. I love being entertained for a couple of hours by gripping realistic tales, amazing fantasy or uber techie sci-fi. I use movies to be thrilled, to laugh, and sometimes to cry or sometimes all three.

I began to notice a trend in movies the more I watched them: Sequels are a dime a dozen. If you make one good a movie, it means you need to make a sequel...or two. I would want to watch the sequels to know what happened to my favorite..or least favorite character. I began to realize if I watched every sequel to every movie I saw, I would do nothing but watch movies all day. If I were one Mr. Greg Belavia, well that's who I would be. Greg loves movies more than anyone I know. In fact, I think he IS a movie. That's another Tale for another day.

As I was saying, I needed to come up with some guidelines as far as what sequels I would watch. I'll explain my process and then post the rules. That way, you can come along on the journey to discover the rules of Trilogies! ...or Just kill some time.

My thought process goes like this:

I see the first part either in the theaters, at a party or through Netflix. I enjoy the first part and say to myself "that wasn't bad, I wonder if they'll continue this and make a series of films." I flesh out my ideas of where the story could go, day dreaming about it for some time.

A second part comes out. I say to myself "I would like to see that. I wonder if it will be better than the original. (note to self: most of the time, it's not.) I might or might not see it at this point in the theaters. This is largely due to interest or lack thereof in anyone else I know wanting to pay 10 bucks to see it. If I can't find one other person to go, I'll just wait for it to come out on DVD. Usually, as I'm waiting for the DVD to come out, I begin to hear rumors of a possible third movie. I say to myself "if I see the second, I'll see the third."

When the second movie finally arrives on DVD, I give myself until the third one is out in theaters before I've broken the trilogy cycle. I usually have at least six months to watch it. After watching the second, I'm usually left feeling like my dreams for the movie project have been dashed; thrown upon the rocks of horrible scripting and poorly trained actors. I feel dejected, and downtrodden. At this point, I feel like the director/writer have made this movie deliberately to make me feel some sort of connection to the movie, as if they want me to write them and say "hey dumbelina! what did you do to my movie? you destroyed it by killing off Bob! 'What about Bob' isn't 'What about Bob' without Bob! I can't believe you did that!"

After a few hours of cooling down, I begin to scour the Internets again to see if there's any word on when the third part will be done. I usually find myself only a few short months away from release. It's here I begin to plot. If I read pre-reviews, and it looks like the movie won't be half bad, I'll begin the PR push of a lifetime. My wife is usually the lead test subject in my attempt to rally the troops for a full on theater viewing, but considering the last trilogies I watched were outside her rules of movie-watching, I usually lose.

I then try to spin the campaign from "let's go see this amazing ending to a great story" to "Let's go watch this trainwreck and laugh at it the entire time!" Suffice to say, I usually don't see the third in the theaters, but I think there may be an exception to this rule on the horizon. If all of my campaigning fails, I'll usually just end up renting it on netflix. Sadly, as with the last one linked, I felt as though the series let me down again...but with the Trilogy rule completed, I can sever ties with the movie series knowing I did my best. I did all that I could for it, but sometimes, it's just never enough...



So without further ado, here are "Mark's Rules for watching Sequels: Trilogy Edition"
  1. I must see the first part before seeing any other part.
  2. I must "want" to see the second part in the theaters.
  3. I must see the second part before the third part hits theaters.
  4. I must see the third part if the above rules are met.
There you have it; my rules on how I see Trilogies. The rules could be a movie dynasty or two, but generally if I see three I'm going to see all of them. I mean come on, who didn't watch all the Rocky movies?

Mar 12, 2007

1000 words

They say "a picture is worth a thousand words."

How true it is.

I got to the gym this morning around 6:15, about 5 minutes earlier than I usually do. The walk in was pleasant. The weather was cold, but hovering around 25 degrees: 20 degrees warmer than last week. I grabbed by bag of gym clothes they provide for me (yeah I like that) and headed into the locker room.

Quick note: The men's locker room is one of the worst locker rooms I've ever been in. Not for cleanliness or possible grossness that is around, but just because the space is laid out so horribly. Helen Newman used to be a women's building. As such, the women have a sauna and in general more room. Some would call this payback since most of the time, in my experience, the women's locker room is the first to be lacking in amenities if there is to be a locker room without something. The small spaces make for intimate changing accommodations.

I go work out and then head back to the cubicle locker room to shower and get ready for the day. As I'm getting ready, a guy who works in the same building as me walks in. He looks at me and begins to greet me, but then he pauses. He nods and walks past, staring a hole through my head. I was a bit stunned. Why did he stop? He just walked right past without completing his greeting...what happened?

Then I looked in the mirror: I was shirtless. Now for most people that wouldn't be a big deal, but you see there's something about me that's different: I have rings through my nips. My rings were right there, all shiny and clean after showering and he saw them. I couldn't help but laugh. The thought of my Piercings causing someone to skip and go off course during a general greeting tickled me. He probably didn't know what to think. Did I just see that? Were those actually there???

Shortly after as I was putting on my coat he came by again. This time, for a quick second, he looked around trying to find a focus point obviously trying to avoid looking to see if the rings were visible through the shirt. He shuffle-stepped and just said two words before walking past:

"See...Bye."

Jan 23, 2007

Cluttered Confusion Consciousness

The face says it all. I'm looking at myself bewildered. I'm not sure if I'm looking at myself or a alternate reality version. I think I have everything undercontrol: My weight, My emotions, My temper, My Dreams. All of a sudden, the winds of chance change and I begin to wonder what happened to me.

My Latest doctor appointment left me feeling scared, angy and inadequate. Why had no one mentioned anything before about That? I've been taking this shit for over 8...EIGHT YEARS and they never bothered to tell me that THAT was a possibility. Sure, they told me it could destory my liver/immune system but I expected that. I didn't expect THAT. I almost didn't tell Robyn. I didn't want to worry her about something that, quite possibly, seemed rediculous. I would THINK that most doctors would be up front with their patients about the possible long term side effects of any medication they put you on...granted I was 17 at the time and probably wouldn't have listened...but they should have TOLD me.