Saturday, December 31, 2005
Friday, December 30, 2005
But now that he's moved on, I figure I can too (and copy Brad even more).
And while I was at it, I decided to create my very own Flickr account so I can share more photos with all of you (my friends, family, and complete random strangers).
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
My connection flight to Memphis became a stay-over once NWA realized they oversold the plane by a whopping 7 people. They were looking for volunteers to give up their seats, and no one was budging. One woman was crying at the front desk, saying she had to get home tonight because her father had just passed. You could tell that she was genuinely upset and not just making up some story. I told the agent working the counter that I would give up my seat only if it went to her. It will probably be the best Christmas present I give this year.
But the story doesn't stop there...
The world is a small place. Iowa is even smaller. So naturally, when the 7 of us were taking the shuttle from the airport to the hotel, I found out that a couple was from Livermore, IA -- just down the road from Thor. We even talked about the ever-popular (and only place to dine) Unkies Restaurant in Thor. Small world.
But the story still doesn't stop there...
I went to the hotel restaurant and sat at the bar next to one of the seven that was bumped. We got to talking and figured out that his daughter not only went to ISU and lives in Minneapolis, but she is good friends with my friend Sara T from work. Really small world.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
Schools were canceled. Accidents everywhere. Diana and I got to within one mile of our exit on I-20 and hit a dead stand-still. Both sides of the interstate were completely stopped. Lots of people had got out of their cars to walk around and see what the big hold-up was. This was 7:30 in the morning, and we spotted a guy from our plant standing on the other side of the interstate that had gotten off the night shift at 5AM.
About 30 minutes later we finally make it that last mile only to find our exit completely backed up. We were shocked to find a car on the right-hand shoulder on fire. Flames were coming from underneath the hood, and a billowing cloud of smoke was getting bigger and bigger as the fire grew. We couldn't believe it. We fortunately maneuvered around it and got out of there before any explosions happened. Where was my camera when I needed it?
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
- Mono is short for mononucleosis.
- My mom always warned me that if I didn't get my rest I'd come down with mono.
- I got mono in high school.
- One of our senior party slogans was, "Come to our senior party and get mono."
- Sedges calls me "Mo P"
- Devo took that and changed it to "Mono P"
- Now people in Georgia simply call me "Mono".
- I've even camped in Mono Meadow.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
We were chauffeured to Atlanta in the bachelor-party-like Fur Bus to eat at a chic restaurant, Two Urban Licks. Now, I don't know about you, but if I were playing a word association game and came across "Fur Bus" and "Two Urban Licks", I'm fairly confident "Corporate America" would never pop into my head. But hey, that's ATL style for ya.
Make sure to check out the inside of the Fur Bus...
Monday, December 12, 2005
This photo makes me want to start a Flickr account, which I think I will do once I find a free moment. If it were posted to Flickr, I could highlight the picture on the wall hanging to the left of my head, and point out that it is the same bread and milk picture that used to hang in Grandma's house. It's definitely my favorite piece of home away from home, and if there were a fire I think I would grab it on my way out the door.
And I almost forgot...being the genius that I am, I should probably explain the title for the laymen out there. Fortunately, it can be proven using basic algebra:
The photograph above is a sample of what a person living alone does to entertain him/herself.
I live alone.
The majority of Americans do NOT live alone.
The majority of Americans are NOT geniuses.
Live alone = The minority
Me = Live alone
Genius = The minority
Me = Genius
Need I say anymore?
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Tonight we went to Raging Burrito in Decatur to play trivia, eat burritos, and drink some Tecate. The only question I answered correctly the entire night was, "Chocolate, graham crackers, and what other ingredient make up 'smores'?"
Apparently my brain doesn't have the capacity to retain any facts, dates, or cartoon vehicle names.
And a a side note, now playing: The Southland, "Influence of Geography"...so far so good.
I was about to graduate from college and I had a mop of shaggy hair covering my head. I was planning on cutting it short, and knowing this, one of my roommates (WCB) convinced me to let him sculpt it into a mullet first. I acquiesced, and let him work his magic.
I had never been more self-conscience in all my life.
I went to a movie with a friend, and during the previews some guy from a few rows in front of us literally got up out of his chair and came over to me and said, "Dude, I just had to come over here and shake your hand. That's one killer mullet."
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
My Dad gave me a few tips, which I followed:
- Cut the last inch off of the tree
- Put the tree in warm water first, in order to open up the tree's pores so it will more readily drink up water
Then, to continue my MacGyverness, I washed out an old shampoo bottle and cut off one end of it. Then, I cut some more holes in it so I could weave a twist-tie through it and around one of the tree branches. The result? A handy little tree-watering funnel.
And for some reason, I now have an urge to break out of a jail cell using a battery, a couple paper clips, a rubber band, and a belt buckle...and I have an overwhelming desire to cut my hair into a mullet...(again)....
Monday, December 05, 2005
The men's room was decked out with a leather couch and big screen tv, steam room, sauna, and some sweet showers. The massage was excellent, and I couldn't believe it when my 30 minutes was already up. At this point, all I wanted was a nap, but dinner called.
Lauren's company is small, and the dynamic is definitely strange to say the least. I feel like NBC's "The Office" (which I love by the way) could film her company next season if they wanted to do a reality-tv version. I've never seen so many adults drink and yell so much while playing a basic dice game, Left Center Right. The one bonus from the party was that I walked away with an extra $40 in my pocket after a Texas-holdem game. God bless those marketing researchers.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Could you ask for a better Friday "at work": sleeping in, Whirlyball, barbecue, an open bar, and ramming your fellow coworker with a bumper car? Our Quality organization had their team offsite yesterday, and invited me to join them. Who was I to say no?
The highlight of the day, in my humble opinion, was the very first game. With the score tied, the clock was ticking down. I started yelling out the seconds to alert my team, "seven, six, five..." David saw me in the lane, and passed me the ball with one second on the clock. Just as the buzzer was sounding, in one continuous motion, I caught the ball and threw it at the goal. Score!!! Literally, a last second shot. I was so fired up as I left the court. Then I remembered we were playing Whirlyball. Then I went to the bar and got myself a beer.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
And while searching for these above pictures, I happened to stumble across quite a lucky find. This truly is unbelievable: a cross stitch kit of Axel Rose. A perfect Christmas present just waiting for Grandma...
It'll work itself out fineAnd that's exactly what I needed...The gas company returned to my door this evening at 7:30 and hooked me up. Who knew Axel Rose was such a scholar?
All we need is just a little patience
I was told that someone else would be out later with everything needed to get me all setup. That was 11AM. It's now past 6PM, and I think I'm out of luck. Oh joy.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Monday, November 28, 2005
Thanksgiving -- one of my favorite holidays. A day to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for, spend time with loved ones, and reconnect with distant friends. Wait a minute...or is it a day to eat your weight in turkey and pie, watch football, and fight the Christmas season shopping crowds?
This year, I showed my thanks by helping Lauren with her church's Thanksgiving luncheon for seniors. Afterwards, we headed up to Greenville, SC, where I continued to show my thanks by stuffing myself past capacity and then falling asleep on her parent's living room couch while watching Moonstruck, an Irving-Family Thanksgiving tradition.
The rest of the weekend was full of eating, sleeping, bowling (and dancing), hiking, checking out Furman University (pictured above), getting in the Christmas spirit, and, in good Thanksgiving fashion, more eating.
I helped decorate the Irving's Christmas tree, and I was happy to see that the Olson clan is not the only family that puts up decorations and ornaments that the kids made before they could even tie their own shoes. Even though I missed home, all in all, it was Thanksgiving to be thankful for. Now, everyone in unison, "awhhhhhhh".
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
If you could travel in a spaceship as fast as you wanted, could you ever reach the edge of the universe? The (theoretical) answer is "no". Apparently, according to Bryson, "space curves, in a way that allows it to be boundless but finite."
He then continues to explain using an analogy: Assume there is a man in this world that has never seen a round object in his life, and therefore also doesn't know that the world is round. If you had him walk in one direction forever, we all know that he would eventually return to the exact spot he started. Chances are he would be absolutely astonished -- he wouldn't get it at all.
I guess that is what it is like when it comes to space. If you traveled forever in the same direction, you would eventually end up back where you started -- and not because space is round, but instead because the universe bends-- in conformance with Einstein's theory of relativity. And the reason it's so hard to fathom and seems like it can't be true is for the same reason the guy that's never seen a round object can't comprehend how the earth is a giant ball. We've never seen any physical thing like it, and the average person surely doesn't study such theories, so we just simply don't understand.
I just find this amazing...
Monday, November 21, 2005
We had our annual Thanksgiving "Covered Dish" potluck lunch today at work. I filled myself with (fried) turkey, stuffing, potatoes, corn, green beans, pie, fudge...and banjo music. It was another classic southern moment when nearing the end of lunch, Tammy sat down in front of everybody, pulled out her banjo, and began a-pickin'. Yeee haw!
Sunday, November 20, 2005
As far as all-time favorite concerts go, it's definitely in the top 5. I'm still excited about it 24hrs later, and I pretty much sang U2 songs in my head all day today. My favorites were a tie between: Sunday Bloody Sunday, Elevation, and Love And Peace Or Else (where Bono and Larry played together at the front of the stage).
I went with Diana and Li, and during the show Li text-messaged a number to support the One Campaign. The reply was something like, "Hi, this is Bono. Thanks for supporting the One Campaign..." So for the train ride home Li kept on telling us that Bono text-messaged him personally and that we missed out.
The only odd part of the show was when Bono led the crowd in a rendition of Happy Birthday, sung to none other than Ted Turner. Apparently he helped out U2 back in the day before they were ultra-popular.
Also, I called my brother during "One" and left a 4 minute message. The quality of course wasn't the best, but Mike did correctly recognize the song.
The set list:
City Of Blinding Lights
I Will Follow
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Original Of The Species
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own / Torna A Surriento (snippet)
Love And Peace Or Else
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet The Blue Sky / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet)
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
Where The Streets Have No Name
Until The End Of The World
With Or Without You
The First Time
Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
*assuming anyone actually reads this.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Tonight was a special wine tasting night, where they celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau 2005. Diana, Li, and I went for a tasting and to enjoy the live jazz. Since it was a special event, you received a raffle ticket with each glass of wine. We were hardly paying attention when they happened to read off the number of one of the raffle tickets I was holding in my hand.
I won the "package" prize -- two Georges Duboeuf t-shirts, a scarf, a tie, and a $10 gift certificate to the Brickstore Pub-- which truly is my favorite place in Decatur. We couldn't have been happier. Who knew buying a glass of wine would pay off so well? Oh yeah, and the wine wasn't bad either.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Why, may you ask, am I blogging about eating an apple? Because it tastes good, and because you should know about Your DeKalb Farmer's Market. Even NPR produced a story about it last November.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Headline: Groom, 15, and pregnant bride, 37, add up to trouble .
Apparently a 37 year-old mother slept with one of her 15 year-old son's best friends and got pregnant. In the state of Georgia, it is legal to get married, regardless of age, when the bride-to-be is pregnant with the groom's child. After the marriage, the 37 year-old bride was then arrested and brought to prison for child molestation charges.
Thank you, Georgia.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Possibly one of my favorite pictures of all time. Asheville (Ash Vegas as Addie likes to call it) was an excellent trip. Good friends, good food, good tunes, good wine, good scenery, and good mansions pretty much sums up the trip.
We spent the majority of our time at The Biltmore Estate. Saturday we showed up too late, finding the house had almost a two hour wait to get in. We decided to make the most of it and meandered around the gardens, took in the breathtaking view, and headed over to the winery for a tour and some wine tasting. I ended up bringing home a seasonal Christmas Wine, which tasted like a spicy and sweet Chardonnay, and, my personal favorite, the Century Red, which I believe was a mix of Syrah and Zinfandel.
That night we hit up the Digable Planets concert at the The Orange Peel. It was a cool show, and I had a weird moment finally seeing live the band which was my first CD purchase over 13 years ago (thanks to Bjork, and I'm assuming one of his older brothers). Who knew a bunch of early teenage boys in the middle of Iowa would be listening to grass roots hip-hop? Even Sunny had a moment -- when he randomly met a girl named Sunshine. How cute.
Back to the Biltmore on Sunday for the tour of the house. My favorite room was the library, but the pool room was a close second. Not too shabby of a shack for a 27 year old bachelor.
And last but not least, who could forget the French Broad?
Friday, November 11, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Today he brought the goods in to work. The diamond in the rough? AC/DC's Back in Black. I never knew Jim was so hip.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Over two hundred wines available for tasting
+ a selection of food from local restaurants
+ good friends
= a great way to spend a Saturday.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a number of the wines came from Lodi, California. And I discovered some new gems that I hope to pick up soon. The top of my (and Lauren's) list:
- Clay Station Petit Sirah (smooth the whole way through)
- Kingfish White Shiraz (light and fruity)
- Hahn Estates Chardonnay - an inexpensive yet solid Chardonnay
- Round Hill Cabernet Sauvignon (for a smooth Cab)
- Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon (for a more spicy Cab)
- Clay Station Old Vine Zinfandel (nice finish)
And one wine that actually ran out before we could sample a taste, but was supposed to be a crowd favorite: Muscat Ice Wine.
I know there are a lot of stereotypes regarding wine connoisseurs, but I must admit I do enjoy the romantic aspect of enjoying a fine bottle of wine. I was told some great advice once:
"The best wine is the wine that you like best."
Friday, November 04, 2005
We started off standing in between #1's green and 2's teebox, so we could watch both sets of action. I was excited to get to see Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods for the first time in person. Vijay was a lot taller than I expected, and you could definitely tell Tiger was the most athletic of all the golfers.
Woodrow and I made our way over to Hole 5, a monster 520 yard Par 4, where we saw both Ben Crane and Davis Love III make stellar approach shots and land their balls just feet from the pin. From the same vantage point we could also see intimidating Hole 6 -- a 168 yard Par 3 with (for the most part) an island green.
We then worked our way over to the back nine, and plunked ourselves down in the cool shade along #15 -- a beautiful uphill hole that affords views of East Lake with the Midtown skyline in the background. We decided to wait it out until Tiger showed up, and it couldn't have been a better decision.
The pin was near the front-left portion of the green, with a threatening bunker bordering the left-hand side. We were standing right in front of the start of the bunker -- if golfing, a spot that you definitely wouldn't want to be in.
It just so happened that Tiger's approach shot landed right there -- 10 feet in front of us. The majority of the gallery follows Tiger, and there was a mad rush by everyone to get there...Woodrow simply turned to me, smiled, adjusted his hat and said, "We need to look good; we're about to be on camera".
Shortly after, Woodrow said good-bye and took off back to #18, while I continued on to #16. I found out that it was tiring keeping up with the crowd around Tiger. There's no stalling. You're either craning your neck to see a shot, or speed-walking to get to the next best viewpoint. I watched him tee off (WOW), and then decided the crowd was too much for me and thought about waiting behind 16's green for him.
A couple and their little girl ended up standing next to me. The girl couldn't have been older than 5. Tiger and Howell finished the hole and started coming our way. There weren't that many people around, and when Tiger approached, the little girl in the most innocent voice squeaked out a "Hi Tiger." You could tell Tiger was in the zone, and not expecting anyone (especially a pre-K child) to be talking to him, because it took a second for the sentence to register and for him to react. He paused for just a moment, looked down at her, said "Hey there", and walked away smiling. It was a great moment.
And yes, you can tell that I was (and still am) excited about being at The Tour. Now if I can only get my hands on some Masters tickets...
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Then our conversation took a turn towards technology in general, and how we feel the number of inventions per year must resemble an exponential curve, considering all of the breakthroughs we hear about daily regarding genes, computers, hybrid fuels, and such. He brought up Charles H. Duell, who was the U.S. Patent Office Commissioner around 1900.
I had never heard of Duell before, but I learned that he left his mark on the world via a famous quote: "Everything that can be invented has been invented." This was 1899. Apparently he even petitioned the U.S. Government to shut down the Patent Office, as he honestly believed there would no longer be a need for it.
Guess he never thought anyone would ever be on the dot com...
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
My personal favorite was an ultra serious fight scene consisting of two guys shooting each other with rubber bands (but acting as if they were powerful guns--including flying across the room in an over-dramatic manner).
What could make such a night even better? PBR and corndogs.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
This year's Halloween loot. Sad.
Sunny and I were late getting back to Decatur from work, and when we stepped onto my floor two of the elderly neighbor ladies stopped us and told us we had to take some of their candy.
Apparently, living in a locked-down condominum complex is good for security, but bad for trick-or-treaters.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
"DES MOINES - Governor Tom Vilsack and Lt. Governor Sally Pederson announced today key appointments to the Administration's staff...
Joseph Mowers has been promoted to a Policy Liaison position and will handle issues related to the Department of Administrative Services and the Department of Transportation. Mowers previously served as Outreach Coordinator for the Administration. He is a graduate of Grinnell College."
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
However, today we settled on the classic standby: Stevie B's Pizza. What makes me love Stevie B's even more is the fact that my Dad's company provides the toppings. Mmmmmm, good!