Sunday, December 31, 2006

Unhappy new year

The day that the Broncos season ends always sucks. I suppose there have only been two days where the Broncos season ended that didn't suck. I can still remember those days like they were yesterday, and that does tend to give me some comfort....nah, it still sucks. If your team is close to making the playoffs - but doesn't - all you can think about is the missed opportunities. Obviously today's game was one big opportunity to make it, but since I didn't see the game (and here's a memo to myself - spend the money on the stupid NFL.com radio thingy next year so that when there is a crucial game being played that isn't on TV you can at least listen to it and not rely on the nigh-worthless ESPN.com game tracker) all I can remember is leaving Peyton Manning too much time on the clock after we'd tied it at 31-all in week 8, blowing the 24-7 lead against the Chargers in week 11, or letting the Seahawks convert that 3rd and long that put them in position to kick the game-winning field goal in week 13. Oh, and of course, Adam Sheffter's report just before the Chiefs game that Jake was going to be benched whether they won or not on Thanksgiving night. That really helped our cause - thanks a lot you dis-loyal bastard. So now they finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs - even worse, by losing they let the Chiefs in. As you can imagine, that just sizzles my bacon.

So the season is over - no playoffs, no Super Bowl - but I guess I should try to focus on some positives. First and foremost, we got ourselves a Quarterback. The kid has an absolute cannon for an arm, and that 99-yard drive he led against the Bengals (and the 80-yarder he led tonight to tie the game) was a thing of beauty. He got 5 games worth of invaluable experience as he takes over the reigns for good next season. We have plenty of play-makers on offense, the defensive player of the year (and if it goes to anybody else someone should be shot) and thanks to the events of the evening, we'll have a 3rd-place schedule next year!! W00t!! We do have some needs, and hopefully they can be addressed in the off-season.

Ultimately, while it didn't end the way I had hoped, I'll always remember the 2006 season because I finally made it to Denver to see them play at home - and beat the Chiefs :0)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Behold....the Bronco room!

When the idea of buying a home was brought up, the first thing I said was that if I owned a home, it would have to have a Batcave. Some place that was really cool where I could keep all my really cool stuff. Of course it would have to be underground (bats optional), have a hidden entrance and space for the Bat-mobile. It became quickly apparent that since we wouldn't be moving into Wayne manor (and since basements were frowned upon in this area) if I wanted my own space it would have to be a spare room. Then when we finally bought our house, we could only afford the 2BR model, so we only had one spare room. I figured the batcave would have to wait - I did however request that the color scheme for the 2nd bedroom/office have some degree of Bronco orange and Bronco blue in it. This led to more than one argument on the subject between Allison and I - she's just not as big a fan of the color orange as I am. Anyway, since we moved in a month ago, the office has been used primarily as a dumping ground while we got the rest of the house situated. We had planned to get to the office at some point....however, last night I came home and saw that Allison had spent her entire day off creating the Bronco room! She painted, re-arranged and set up the entire room - she even managed to hook up all the computers correctly! How awesome is that??! I thought I'd share what a great job she did....yes, she is available to paint your house too, for a modest fee...



Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Top 20 Geek quotes....

1. There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

2. If at first you don't succeed; call it version 1.0.

3. Microsoft: "You've got questions. We've got dancing paperclips."

4. My pokemon bring all the nerds to the yard, and they're like you wanna trade cards? Darn right, I wanna trade cards, I'll trade this but not my charizard.

5. 1f u c4n r34d th1s u r34lly n33d t0 g37 l41d.

6. I'm not anti-social; I'm just not user friendly.

7. I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code.

8. Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.

9. Roses are #FF0000, Violets are #0000FF; All my base are belong to you.

10. My software never has bugs. It just develops random features.

11. Once upon a midnight dreary, while i porn surfed, weak and weary, over many a strange and spurious site of 'hot xxx galore'. While i clicked my fav'rite bookmark, suddenly there came a warning, and my heart was filled with mourning, mourning for my dear amour, " 'Tis not possible!", i muttered, "give me back my free hardcore!" quoth the server, 404.

12. Girls are like internet domain names - the ones I like are already taken.

13. Well It looks like an ID10T Error...

14. That's a PEBKAC problem. (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair)

15. Who wants to be cool when you can be a nerd?

16. Software is like sex: It's better when it's free.

17. Ethernet (n): something used to catch the etherbunny.

18. You know it's love when you memorize her IP number to skip DNS overhead.

19. UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.

20. Geeks are HOT!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

2 years and counting...

Today at the Packet's Christmas luncheon I was awarded with a perfect attendance certificate for 2006. It was my 2nd such certificate in a row, and 3rd in my 4 years since returning from my hiatus in Idaho. I mention this because even though most people ridicule me for assigning such importance to earning one extra vacation day instead of using the provided 80 hours of paid time off from work, I still remain proud of myself for achieving this milestone. The first few times I got the perfect attendance recognition, I was happy because I had been such a sickly child that I never got it in school. However, this year was different - because of all the issues with my neck, there were more than a few days where I seriously did not want to get out of bed in the morning. It could of course be argued that maybe instead of working I should have been at home resting said neck, and perhaps it would be healing faster....but then I would have missed out on some very exciting helpdesk tickets, such as the one asking us to fix the Internet.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Answer is Denver

From: CNN Breaking News
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 17:13:03 -0500
Subject: CNN Breaking News

-- Allen Iverson traded by Philadelphia 76ers to Denver Nuggets, NBA source tells The Associated Press.

Sweet! NBA Finals here we come! Oh, and David Stern can shove that new ball right up his butt for suspending 'Melo for 15 games but only giving 6 games to the guy who started it and doing nothing to the coach who ordered the hit. The NBA has an image problem alright....not because of its players, but because it's run by a bunch of n00bs.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The GOAT

So I just spent the last hour of my Saturday and the first hour of my Sunday on the phone with the Packet. They couldn't get page 7A to print, and my services were called upon. I have literally been called to fix problems with pages at night hundreds of times over the nearly 8 total years I've been at the Packet. In all that time, I've never not been able to print the page in question. I've seen it all - or so I thought. Tonight's problem was unlike anything I've ever encountered. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING I tried got the page to print. I won't bore you with the details - suffice-it-to-say, I thought tonight would be the first time ever that I wouldn't be able to fix the problem, and a page just wouldn't print. As a last resort, I called Chris to see if he could rescue me. I'm sure that I woke him up but he was ready to go instantly (this compares to yours truly, who when woken up by the Packet normally takes 2-to-3 minutes to remember what I do for a living, let alone ready to problem solve). He calmly listened to me recite the steps I had taken to try to print the page and then said "Ok - why don't you try to send the page with the publication info set to a page that has already printed". Sure enough, that did the trick. I let the man get back to bed, called the Packet back and told them the page was on its way.

Even though Rule of Acquisition number 33 clearly states that it never hurts to suck up to the boss, that is not the objective of this post. Instead, it is merely a tribute to a fellow IT professional who has once again saved the day. Here's to ya boss - you truly are the GOAT (greatest of all time).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

This explains season 6....

The Star Trek: Voyager plot generator

My personal favorite:

'Differences'


WRITTEN BY : Jeri Taylor.

STORY BY : Jeri Taylor.

DIRECTED BY : Robert Duncan MacNeill.

When a Type 'L' Phase indifference strands Voyager in a Nebulae, Tuvok and Tom Paris must travel through time and overcome a fear of the dark.

Friday, December 08, 2006

If I wasn't a Packeteer, I'd be a Genius

My job is almost the same, expect to my knowledge I've never had an iPod thrown at me....

Confessions of a Mac Genius

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

No freakin' kidding...

On 12/6/06 11:08 AM, "CNN Breaking News" wrote:

-- President Bush's policy in Iraq "is not working," the Iraq Study Group said in releasing its long-awaited report.

Watch LIVE video coverage now on CNN Pipeline. Access at http://CNN.com. CNN - The most trusted name in news.

Friday, December 01, 2006

As requested....House pics

Seen here - front and side of the house, as well as our current view from the front door to the left and straight ahead. Oh look - another house is being delivered! W00t!





Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Overheard at the beach

Teen: What's Hezbollah?
Dad: Well, it's hard to explain. They're a terrorist paramilitary organization, but they're also a humanitarian social services organization. They're sort of like the Super Wal-Mart of the Middle East.
--Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Homeless man, frolicking in large waves: Do it again, Poseidon!!
--Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

Tourist: What do they do with the beach in the winter?
--Ocean City, Maryland

Monday, November 27, 2006

Harry Homeowner

Well it's official - we've moved into our new house. Saturday was the big move - we will be forever indebted to Matt and Drew (and Mom!) for their help in moving our crap. Things went smoothly for the most part, with nothing damaged or lost. I think we missed our calling - we should get out of this IT gig and provide affordable and quality moving services, since there seems to be a severe lack of those around Bluffton. Sunday we spent a lot of time at the apartment cleaning and packing some little things. We brought the cats over last night - they were predictably freaked out, but I'm sure they'll adjust soon enough. The first few days have seen their share of problems - there are several little things wrong in the house (HVAC, plumbing, dishwasher all have issues) but for the most part it's in pretty good shape, and the front yard should be delivered today (yes, I said delivered). We had an adventure with the sub-conctractor from Dish Network, who really didn't want to be there, didn't want to install a dish, and was basically a complete tool. Oh, and Hargray failed to show up on Friday, so I was without TV and the Intarweb for the last 3 days. I haven't passed out yet, but it's touch and go. Hopefully all those things get resolved in the next day or so. The one thing that does freak me out is being one of only three houses occupied in the neighborhood. There are lots of houses being worked on, so I'm sure we'll have neighbors soon, but it really feels like we're all alone - currently, in the middle of nowhere. I have all my various weapons handy to fend off the coyotes we've been told prowl the area at night. Anywho, I'm sure once we're all unpacked and set up we'll be ready to receive visitors. Of course, we can really only fit two at a time, so give us a little while on that one....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

So clearly Mom is enjoying Greenville....

On 11/16/06 6:02 PM, "Pat Bonner" wrote:

"I finally got to Dunkin Donuts this afternoon only to find at 2:30 the only chocolate covered anything was a bismark. It looked like an elcair w/chocolate on top, whipped cream pom poms down the middle and custard cream inside, about the length of a 6" sub. UMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM tasty! They were almost sold out of everything. The trays in 3 display cabinets were bare. I asked how early should I plan to come next time and she said early, very early. They are still the best donuts in the world. Tiny tiny place though."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Overheard at work III

Morgan: "Well Allison reports that November 17th is a possible closing date on the house."

Randy: "Awesome!"

Morgan: "Yeah, but I'm assuming that I'd have to go sign the papers on my lunch hour which is troubling because I was planning on going to buy a Wii on my lunch hour of the 17th..."

Randy: "Dude, you need a place to put your Wii, so I'd go to the closing."

Morgan: "I know excatly where to put my Wii thank you very much!"


- Randy and I making the first of what will undoubtedly be many jokes at the expense of the unfortunately-named new Nintendo video game console....

Overheard at work II

"I'd make an awesome governor of South Carolina. First thing I'd do is declare war on North Carolina. There can be only one...."

- Randy's take on Bill's idea to cast a write-in ballot for him in next week's election.

Monday, October 23, 2006

You know you're an addict when...


Actual e-mail received on my BlackBerry today:

On 10/23/06 3:05 PM, "Allison Bonner" wrote:

I'm calling you...pick up

Allison Bonner
Dawson Wissmach Architects
12 East Bay Street
Savannah, GA 31401
P 912.201.0111
F 912.201.0143
abonner@dwarch.com

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Darth Vader being a jerk



Comscan has detected an energy field!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

A (work) week in the life....

The boss has been off this week. Anytime that happens I always say to myself "self, you should totally goof off this week!" and then never do. Something about being a professional or some other such happy horse poo (ok, there was one lightsaber fight in the pod, but even that didn't happen until 6:45PM). No, we are usually too busy holding down the fort until the bossman returns. Still, as with every other week, the job continues to present it's own unique set of challenges - I decided to keep a log this week of some of the more memorable moments so that my loyal readers (as well as my wife who to this day doesn't know what I do for a living) can get a glimpse of what my job is like...

Monday 9:03 AM: I walk in the door with Weird Al's "White and Nerdy" playing on the iPod. Naturally. Ever since the construction of the new press has forced us to use the front door, I discovered early on that I will get flagged down by all manner of Customer Service folk when I arrive, and I really hate that - christ people, at least let me get to my desk and take off my coat before having a nervous breakdown while describing how you can't print. Usually having headphones on keeps them away, and forces them to file a ticket with the helpdesk. Not today though....arms waving in panic....someone can't log into ClassSpeed. And so it begins....

Monday 9:24 AM:
The first of what would become a recurring theme this week - the Sports Editor comes over looking for instructions on how to upload a photo of Bob Bender (yes, the same Bob Bender who was a freelancer for the Packet, is 80-some years old and whom I last saw hitting on Allison while I was trying to fix his computer at his home....) to his blog on the website. With a certain someone being gainfully employed elsewhere and the boss out on vacation, I have to break his heart by telling him he'll have to find someone else to help him - the only thing I know about the website is how to look at it. He walks away confused....don't all computer people know how to make websites he wonders....

Monday 12:38 PM:
Two newsroom personnel infiltrate the IT pod. "Which one of you is doing the website stuff?" I am beginning to get annoyed - especially since the newsroom itself is supposed to be "doing the website stuff"....

Monday-Friday 12:45 PM:
Preliminary discussions are held about possible lunch destinations.

Monday 12:53 PM: Jody can't print a page. Bill and I head off into the unknown. First problem - instead of using the double-truck template, news builds two separate full pages, and Jody pastes the editorial content onto the double truck template on top of the ad layer. Second problem - one of the EPS's Jody has made won't print. Like, at all. Can't make a PDF cuz I get an out of memory message. Can't cut and paste the text on the page because for some reason the text wrap won't work either. In the middle of this, Jody explains she's late for a lunch appointment. I apply the standard IT death glare as she leaves me and Bill hanging. Finally I come up with a total hack-job on the editorial content to get it onto the page. It involved making a text frame with the pen tool. That's all I'll say. Page prints. Off to lunch.

Monday 3:36 PM:
Carol files a helpdesk ticket saying she can't find an article that ran a few weeks ago in NewsEdit and wonders if we can get the text off of the page in the PDF archive. If you ever feel the need to stab each one of your eyeballs repeatedly with a red-hot poker, just try to grab text off of a PDF using Acrobat 5. It feels exactly the same.

Monday 5:20 PM:
In Chris' absence, I need to upload the print ads to the website (yes I know I just said I didn't have anything to do with the website, but this involves making the ads into PDF's then uploading them to an FTP site. How they get onto the site afterwards is a mystery to me). Anyway, I do my thing and all seems well....until John calls from home and says he needs to re-send a page that was done earlier but the SpeedDrivers aren't taking the page. Sure enough, I end up having to re-download all the files for the SpeedDrivers in order for them to start working again. Jerks.

Tuesday 5:35 PM:
An ad rep comes running into the pod and has an "emergency". He has to upload some ad to some FTP site. He doesn't know the FTP server address, he doesn't know the username, and he doesn't know the password. "I thought you'd have all that" he says to me. Nope. His "emergency" quickly becomes an "oh well - guess we'll just have to drop it off to them". Way to freak me out ace.

Wednesday 10:23 AM:
Matt, Bill and I spend the morning in the new building, running cables. The building is dirty and hot - the tie comes off pretty quick. My neck is killing me from the pressure of the hard hat I have to wear. Sigh. Eventually I just give up and take if off. I hereby accept that if something falls, hits me in the head, and kills me, it's my own fault.

Wednesday 1:04 PM:
There has been talk of getting a mini-refridgeator for the pod to keep our Mt. Dew's, Diet Coke's, and Coke Zero's cold. The final straw comes as HR throws out Randy's world-famous curry chicken from the community fridge. We hit Lowes and Home Depot to look for one, but neither has one that is more than 1.5 cubic feet but less than 27 inches tall. Since it simply must fit under the desk, we take our quest online. Praise be to Bill, who found one that was just right with free shipping on CircuitCity.com. Should be here next week.

Wednesday 5:50 PM: Oh, I hate the ones that come in a few minutes before quittin' time....News has a page that won't go through Newsway. An hour-and-a-half later, after spending most of that time on the phone with John, we finally get it out. F'ing weather map....

Thursday 8:14 AM:
I'm just rolling out of bed when the BlackBerry goes off with an e-mail from the Newsroom: "Morgan - there is an Amber Alert that needs to come down from the website. With Chris and Amanda off, can you please take care of this for us? Thanks...." ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH.

Thursday 11:41 AM: Ad Designer can't figure out how to load fonts. I've only shown him how to do it 3 times prior to today. It's ok - as a former Ad Designer, I can tell you that we need to be shown things at least 5 times before we retain any part of what we were just told.

Thursday 1:20 PM:
Most of the problems I encounter on a daily basis aren't exactly brain-twisters. Which is good, cuz I'm not that smart. This one though, was just wacky. This reporter had an e-mail from a particular address. Entourage identified this e-mail as junk. He would tell Entourage that the e-mail wasn't junk, and it would be moved to the inbox. Exactly 10 seconds later, Entourage would move the e-mail back into the junk mail folder!! Every time!!! Little bastard....anyway, a rebuild of the Entourage database seemed to fix it, but man that was really pissing me off.

Friday 10:17 AM:
A bunch of dudes (contractors, I guess) I've never met are all over Matt and I asking question after question about the new building. Where does this go, what do we do here, etc. Construction workers always intimidate me somewhat. You know, they can use like, power tools and stuff. I am a bit less manly - still, I'd love to see those boys try to explain the difference between an EPS and a TIFF to a bunch of menopausal women on a daily basis. I guess we all have our thing.

Friday 11:01 AM: I help John figure out some measurement problem he was having with the grids for the 48-inch web in DT. Along the way, he discovers that the process of converting the ads to the new size is a simple click of a button. He can be heard walking down the hallway, talking to no one in particular "hey I finally have something good to say about DT!!".....

Friday 12:21 PM:
Carol asks if we know of someone here who has a music CD player. They need it for the music they are playing at Mandy's going-away luncheon in the break room. Sorry the boss wasn't here for that!

Friday 5:02 PM: Am setting up a user account for Mandy's replacement on the ad assistant computer. Contemplate a trip to the break room to forage through whatever leftovers might remain from Mandy's party. Decide against it and instead finish the box of pop-tarts I had been eating for breakfast this week. I do go to the break room to put them in the toaster though....the Germans give me the stink-eye as I walk past....

Friday 6:42 PM: Finish with the user account for the new ad assistant. Am now staying to offer moral support to Randy in the final hours of the pet calendar. Guess it's time to post this and get the hell out of here. Yet another work week in the books. Wonder what will happen next week....

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Adventures at snack time

Picture this: I go into the break room looking for a snack. I navigate my way through ze 10 Germans (dudes from KBA, the company we bought the new press from that are installing said new press) who for some reason like to sit right in front of the vending machines, and start the grueling process of trying to decide what I want. After a minute or so, I finally settle on some white cheddar popcorn. I put my money in, hit the buttons, watch the bag of popcorn fall and then.....crap. The bag gets stuck. This is somewhat a common occurrence with this vending machine, so I do what I normally do - grab both ends of the damn thing, and shake it vigorously. The thing must weigh 300 pounds, so obviously I make quite a bit of noise. Despite my best efforts, I can't seem to shake the bag of popcorn loose. I then become aware of the dead silence in the room - I slowly turn around and discover that every one of them is looking at me. Like, staring at me. And not looking away. I assume that I have violated some heretofore unknown eastern European custom, and bail. Of course, I'm a stubborn bastard when I'm hungry (and, you know, every other time) so I go back to the pod, bum 65 cents off of Matt, and head back to finish what I started. I walk back in the room, and I swear to god they all stopped talking to each other and looked at me again. Presumably to see what this crazy American would do next. My plan: execute the little-known-but-highly-successful Jumbo Deluxe Honey Bun maneuver. The popcorn bag was wedged directly underneath the honey bun - I put in the money, pressed the buttons, and patted myself on the back as the honey bun dislodged the popcorn bag, and both fell into my waiting hands. I took my prizes out of the machine, turned around, and showed the Germans how we Liberals deal with our problems - throw money at them. They were visibly impressed, and I think one of them even clapped. The universal sign of approval - sadly, it was the highlight of my day. Anyway, if anyone wants a Jumbo Deluxe Honey Bun I've got one at my desk. If you don't appreciate it for its honey bun goodness, it also makes an excellent paperweight.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I actually do like cauliflower




You Are 16% Healthy



Your diet is freakishly unhealthy. It's amazing you're still alive!

Stop subsisting on white bread and candy - and consider eating a vegetable once and a while.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I've been shot (again)

In the words of my lovely wife "blah blah blah, my neck hurts, blah blah blah - no one gives a crap honey. Don't put that on the blog!" (she was kidding.....I think) I tend to agree - I'm as sick of talking about it as I am of dealing with it. But I'm sure all my loyal readers are worried (yeah right) so here's the latest: went back to the Doctor today for the results of my bone scan. As expected, it revealed no problems, so he wants to proceed with the theory that the problem is ultimately muscular. To wit, he gave me another trigger point injection, this time with twice the dosage as before. I have officially been pumped with enough steroids that I should be batting .338 with 64 home runs by this time next season. After the shot I get the oh-so-wonderful headaches and bruised/sore neck where I was injected - today was a pretty difficult day at work, but I managed to stick it out and preserve my perfect attendance streak to 32 months and 12 days. Yes, I'm aware my employer generously provides me with 80 hours of paid sick time that I could use, and instead I'm trading that for 1 extra vacation day and a nice little certificate. Yes, I'm also aware that's pretty stupid. My rational is that I was a very sickly child growing up, and never had perfect attendance at school, so getting it now as an adult is something that I am proud of. Anyway, I have made a deal with myself that if this shot fixes my problem then I'll go and buy a nice shiny new iPod. Hopefully that provides my body some incentive to fix itself.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Meanwhile, back at the Doctor's office....

Today I underwent a bone scan to attempt to diagnose my neck pain - first I was injected with radioactive isotopes (still waiting for my super powers to emerge), then had to wait for 3 hours while they circulated throughout my bloodstream. Afterwards, I was placed on a gurney and inserted into the machine. Basically I had to lay perfectly still for about 20 minutes while some device scanned my skeleton. I was curious as to how it worked, so if you care, click here.....anyway, although the doctor still needs to look at it, the guy said it didn't detect any problems in my neck - it did however show a "hot spot" on the right side of my lower jaw. The guy asked me if I had any pain there and I said no. He then said "well, have you been to the dentist lately? If not you might want to schedule an appointment....". Great - so I walk in there for one problem, and walk out with two problems AND (because the folks who performed the bone scan "do not participate" with our wonderful new insurance provider Aetna) walked out $220 lighter in the pocket. I go back to the Doctor next week - I don't know what he's gonna tell me, but I'm damn near ready to cut my head off to get rid of this pain. Sigh.

Ahh....home sweet home

Well we're home. If I don't sound overly thrilled about that fact, it's probably because I'm not overly thrilled. I really, really loved Denver, and miss it already. It doesn't help that we were welcomed back home yesterday by total and complete stupidity - par for the course around here. We flew out of Atlanta just ahead of a massive thunderstorm, and thought we were actually going to have 4 good flights in a row. Sadly, it wasn't to be - when we arrived on the ground in Savannah, the pilot informed us that because of that storm, the Atlanta airport had been closed. No problem right? Big problem, because the three Delta planes in Savannah bound for Atlanta couldn't leave, so our plane couldn't get to the gate. The only Delta flight not bound for Atlanta left, but our plane couldn't fit into that gate. Then they tried to get permission from the other carriers to use their gates, but couldn't. So we had to sit on the tarmac, 300 feet from the gate, for 45 minutes - BECAUSE WE COULDN'T FIND A PLACE TO PARK!!!! It was such a perfect metaphor for returning to Bluffton.....now, I can't say for sure that something like that wouldn't happen in Denver - but I think it's a safe bet.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Steamboat Springs, CO

Home to ski resorts, t-shirt shops, candy stores, and of course the magnificent Allison Bonner. A warning to all those who might venture this way - don't bother unless there is snow on the mountain, and you like to ski. Seriously - this place is dead right now. I'm sure it's a happening place in the winter, but some parts of this town are completely empty, just waiting for the first snow to fall. Which actually is supposed to happen this weekend - too bad we'll miss it. Anyway, after a little searching we did find the house that Allison spent the first 4 years of her life living in. We also walked downtown (4 times) and ate ourselves silly at the local watering holes. Other than that, there wasn't much to do - so we took the opprotunity to hit the local Quick Mart and Laundromat. Shown here: Allison bored. All in all, there is something to be said for a slower pace of life, but I still found myself constantly hoping we'd turn the corner and see a Best Buy. I guess you can take the boy out of the city....today we head back east to Boulder to meet up with the family. I personally am hoping that we can sneak back to Denver - the Rox are still in town, taking on the Braves....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rox win!

Heading into this trip to Denver, if you'd told me one of the games I was going to would end in a score of 20-8, I would have assumed that was the final from the Bronco game. On the contrary, tonight we saw more scoring by the top of the 4th inning than we had seen in the entire Bronco-Chief game, as the Rockies kicked the crap out of the Giants. I was thrilled to see not only the Rockies tie the franchise record for most runs scored in a game, but I also got a chance to boo Barry Bonds - sweet! Even though the Rox have been out of contention for about a month now, it was still fun to see Coors Field for the first time (a beautiful stadium) and deal a blow to the Giants wild card hopes. Tomorrow we're off to Steamboat Springs.....I'm not sure when or if I'll get back to Denver, but one thing I am certain of is that I should have come here a long, long time ago.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

It was ugly....but I'll take it.

Just returned from my first ever Broncos home game - although we were witness the lowest-scoring game in the history of Invesco Field, thankfully Denver came out on top 9-6 in Overtime. Allison and I found the players entrance and watched them come in, spent $23 for two hot dogs, popcorn, a coke and a water, walked seemingly every inch of the stadium, and in general had an awesome time. Although they were pretty hard on our offense and our quarterback, it was really cool to be surrounded by Bronco fans. That might have been the thing I liked the most :) anyway, we must have walked at least 2 miles today, up and down some pretty steep hills (at altitude!) so I'm once again ready for bed and it's only 7PM. Guess we'll get some dinner then call it a night - got a lot to do tomorrow, including taking in a Rockies game!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Holy Crap! I'm In Denver!

Greetings from the Mile High city! After a painless couple of flights from Savannah, we arrived in Denver right around noon (MST). Since then we have made our way to Invesco Field to go to the Broncos team store (was weird to have only a few people around, knowing that 24 hours later the place would be filled with 75,000 screaming Broncomainiacs screaming for Kansas City Chief blood), drove past Coors Field (where we'll be taking in a Rockies game Monday night), hit one of the local malls to go to the local Apple Store (sadly, what with all the money for Bronco tix, I did not buy myself a nice new iPod), went to the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Aquarium, and finally, Dennys. I love Dennys :) It has only been a few hours but I really like it here. Maybe it's just being surrounded by Bronco fans - maybe it's just a big city, where there are actually things to do and places to go. Whatever it is, I am going to seriously enjoy myself here for the next few days. I'm also loving the FREEZING COLD WEATHER!!! The highs are in the 60's, but the lows are in the 30's!! Considering the high tomorrow in Bluffton will be 90 degrees with 120% humidity, I'm going to enjoy myself that much more :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Medical log - Stardate 09061.2

Well after another visit to the Doc-in-a-box on Hilton Head, he gave up and referred me to a spinal specialist. I made my first visit to this new guy today - I liked him a great deal. He actually listened to me prattle on for 10 minutes as I explained what I'd been dealing with for the last two years, what helps and what doesn't. At the end he suggested several possibilities, and - unlike the first dude I went to - actually tried something to fix me! He gave me a cortizone shot directly into my neck, a neck brace to wear when I need it, and he also scheduled me for a bone scan to check for a specific issue. I'm not sure if any of these things will help me, but I am certain that it feels good to at least be trying something. I've been dealing with this too long, and like the Doctor said it's not normal for a 28 year old to be living with constant pain. I guess that comes later in life! In any case, if I can just make it to Sunday I'll be happy - well, if I can make it to Sunday and they win of course....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

PAIN!!!!

Spent the last few days in Greenville getting Mom all set up in her new place. I have to say that the more time I spend in that town the more I like it. I just can't help but think "wow there's not one of those in Bluffton" or "wow this doesn't suck like it does in Bluffton". It was more than a little depressing to come home after getting a glimpse of how things should be done. Sigh....anyway, the move itself went fairly well, with only a few snags. Although the moving company sent four dudes to pack the truck with Mom's stuff, they only sent two dudes to unload it. We didn't get there until 5:30, so realizing that it was going to take all night otherwise, I jumped in and starting helping them. Now, obviously as these boys were professional movers, they were just a wee-bit stronger than me - not wanting to embarrass myself, I lifted/carried/hoisted way more than I should have. There was one piece of furniture in particular, a desk if I remember correctly, that I had no business even touching let alone lifting, but did so anyway. My reward for my stupid, macho behavior? I appear to have aggravated my neck injury that has been plaguing me for the last 18 months. I further screwed myself by then driving the whole way home without stopping, thus putting even more pressure on my poor, decrepit neck muscles. Ouch. I am going back to the Doctor on Friday, and don't plan to leave until the dude fixes me. Or refers me to someone who can fix me. If it can't be fixed then I don't think I'll be long for this world. I'll post my will on the blog - I'm sure that will be legally binding....right?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Fantasy land

I have never really had any interest in Fantasy football - reason being that I find the whole concept of having to root for any other team or players besides the Broncos to be quite distasteful. Then came last Tuesday night - I watched the ESPN fantasy draft, and had to sit through "expert" after "expert" take seemingly every player in the league that doesn't play in Denver. I grew more irritated by the minute - these people were acting as though my team was 3-13 last year, not 13-3. So, in order to exact my revenge, I wormed my way into a fantasy league at work. The draft was held today, and I got just about everyone that I wanted (somebody beat me to Javon Walker - if his computer at work breaks I guess he's just poo-outta-luck). Naturally, the other, more experienced players mocked me and my homer tendencies - indeed, I could have easily drafted better fantasy players. But my entire purpose here was to show that the Bronco players are every bit as capable of delivering for fantasy owners as anyone else. I shall be vindicated!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mountain Don't

So, ever since I went on a diet just about 2 and a half years ago and lost 20 lbs., I've tried to eat somewhat healthy. Well, more healthy than what I was eating previously anyway. My usual pattern has been to eat kinda crappy at lunch, then eat a Slim Fast and/or a bowl of cereal for dinner. It has helped me keep the weight off, but recently I've noticed that I've been creeping towards 165 lbs. I had somehow hoped that my normal workout/tennis routine was adding massive amounts of muscle, but more likely it's due to the fact that I've been drinking Mt. Dew like a man possessed lately. So much so, that it's now to the point that I get irritated when I eat somewhere that only offers Mellow Yellow - essentially, the same thing (but not quite). In an effort to stem the tide of my oncoming obesity, I tried a Diet Mt. Dew tonight. It actually wasn't that bad - it had that same nasty aftertaste that all diet soda's have, but I diluted with with a crap load of ice so it was manageable. I don't generally see it offered at many restaurants, so I'll stick to water there. However, I should prolly start drinking it instead of the real thing at work. Shoot....still gotta get that mini-fridge in the pod at work....

Saturday, August 19, 2006

If it's popular, chances are I'll hate it

So I just got done watching "The Big Lebowski" for the first time. I have been told by numerous people over the years that this movie was pure genius, and that I would love it. In exchange for a true comic masterpiece, Airplane! 2, Brian lent us the DVD.

Can someone please tell me what the fuss was all about? I hated this movie. It sucked. It was worse than Batman and Robin (now that's saying something). It had no point. No point whatsoever. I didn't laugh. Not once. In fact, I cried at the thought that I was never getting those two hours back in my life. I went online to try to determine what was so special about this movie - I came across quotes like this:

"One of the best comedies of the nineties, and the best film thus far from the Coen Brothers."

"The comedy here is sometimes so sharp that you could roll in the aisle with laughter and not seem any odder than the characters you see onscreen."

"After seeing and enjoying Lebowksi at least four times over the years, I can plainly see why the movie freaks have embraced this off-kilter comedy so enthusiastically."

Apparently, I'm not cool enough to "get" the humor in the film, nor am I a movie freak.Or, it could just be that I tend to be at the forefront of the backlash against anything that is cool or popular. I am a little late in the case of this movie, but better late than never. In the meantime, if you haven't seen this movie yet, do yourself a favor and watch this instead. It will save 1 hour and 35 minutes of your life....

UPDATE - Since this original post I have been told that I was supposed to watch this movie while stoned. That explains everything.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Memo to Bronconation: calm the hell down

Ok, not that you loyal readers care much about my beloved Denver Broncos, but I've just got to get this off my chest. Jay Cutler had a really nice game in his pre-season debut Friday night. In fact, in going 16 of 22 for 192 yards and a touchdown, he had the best debut of any rookie quarterback. Ever. The previous record holder was Carson Palmer, who threw for 140 yards in his debut a few years ago. This has the entire city of Denver in a tizzy. Mark Kizla of the Denver Post wrote "John Elway got Mike Shannhan his Super Bowl rings; Jay Cutler will get him to the Hall of Fame". Local sports talk radio are already calling for an open competition for the starting QB job this year. This afternoon on ESPN I heard some talking head say that unless (and possibly even if!!!) the Broncos win the super bowl this year, expect to see Jay Cutler as the starter opening day 2007.

WTF? Has Bronconation forgotten about that lights-out preseason that Brian Greise had in 1999? Oh yeah, he played great - won the starting job. Of course....the Broncos went 6-10 that year and Terrell Davis blew out his knee making a tackle on a Greise interception. Yes, Cutler played great. Yes, number 6 could very well be the second coming of number 7. But can we please all remember that our team came within 4 quarters of the Super Bowl last year, and our quarterback had a pro-bowl year? Can we please all remember that the pre-season and regular season are compleately different? Please? I know we all want another Super Bowl ring so badly it hurts, but if we're going to get it this year or next, it will be Jake Plummer taking us there.

END OF RANT

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Umm....

You Are Wonder Woman

A true goddess, you have the strength and skills to rule the world.
You're one sexy amazon... all of the superhero guys are fighting over you!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

None of them are a match for the Wind Bug....

I have often decried the current reality TV craze - these shows that serve no purpose other than to make people zone out for an hour at a time and allow for a certain President of the United States to start wars and run the Bill of Rights through a paper shredder with little or no opposition. I have avoided them for the most part, although every once in a while Allison wears me down about how I never let her watch what she wants to watch - so I relent and hand over the remote, only to be immediately subjected to freakin' "Instant Beauty Pageant" or some other such nonsense. However, in a shining example of the 98th Rule of Acquisition, every man truly does have his price. I discovered "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" quite by accident, but after only two shows am now hooked. While Lemuria is my favorite so far, I think Major Victory is going to win it all. After all, his super powers are: levitation, super-strength, jumps 375 feet straight up, can go 25 minutes without air, and can manipulate sound waves to throw his voice. His only weekness? Lactose intolerant. Don't count out Fat Mama though....she's fighting for "the children".

Sunday, July 30, 2006

This is South Carolina??!!

Just got back from Greenville where we went with Mom to help her explore the place and look for a place to live. It was my second trip up there - this time we ventured a little farther downtown and went to Falls Park. I have to say it was prolly the most scenic location I've ever been to in South Carolina (barely edging out the parking lot of the Squat & Gobble). I didn't go swimming like some of the people, nor did I slide down the rocks like this dude (who judging from the way he bounced when he went down must have had one seriously sore butt when he got home), but I did venture out in the middle of the rocks and water. I got a little far out, then realized I'd have to traverse some fairly slippery rocks to get back. Came to one rock in particular and had to work up the nerve to jump on it. There is something about taking your life in your own hands and living dangerously that is.....COMPLETELY STUPID!!! I was an idiot for going out that far, and if I were that kids Father there's no way he would ever have been anywhere near those rocks to slide down them. Ugh...playing games with life....I don't understand it. Anyway, it was a good trip - I ate way too much (they have a bakery there called Strossners that make a "Peanut Butter Volcano" - dark chocolate cake with a layer of PB inside....holy crap!), drank too much (just kidding) and got to know what will undoubtedly become my home-away-from home for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ewww

You Are 16% Gross

You're not gross, but you tend to think everyone else is. And you're right... they are!
Some people may think you're a neat freak, but at least you'll never die of flesh eating bacteria.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I don't know my own strength

So I was hitting the heavy bag at the gym tonight, something I love doing as much for its great cardio workout as for its ability to absorb all my frustrations that I collect during the day. I was going at it particularly hard this time, and had a good rhythm going. I landed a really hard left jab, and watched in amazement as the bag flew right off the chain, hit against the back wall and fell at my feet. There is a mirror in front of the bag, and sure enough a quick glance confirmed that the entire gym was looking at me. I felt an odd sense of embarrassment mixed with complete and utter satisfaction. Anyway, I tried in vain to fix the chain that had broken loose from the stand but gave up after a few seconds because I realized that even if I had fixed the chain, I never would have been able to lift the 200-pound bag back to where it was hanging from. I guess I could have tried, but most likely I would have erased whatever reputation I had just earned. So I took my gloves off and walked over to tell the staff that I broke their heavy bag. The one guy looked pretty irritated with me, but what was he going to do? Surely he must have known that looking at me with anything other than total fear and respect would have cost him his life. My only regret is that the jackass that always flirts with Allison wasn't there to see it. I'm sure he'll hear about it though, and will be suitably scared shitless the next time he sees me.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Unlucky weekend

Ever have one of those weekends where nothing goes your way? This was one such weekend for yours truly. Saturday, after helping Mom out around the house (I helped chop down a tree that had died....felt very Lumberjackish) I met up with Allison, Brian and Deborah at Kenny B’s on Hilton Head for some jambalaya and hush puppies. While waiting I was contacted by the city editor at the Packet, who reported severe network problems. I figured I was going to have to skip the movie we were going to see and head back, but thankfully the problem turned out to be with Hargray in Beaufort. We then ventured to the Coldstone Creamery - they were out of Chocolate ice cream. Then at the movie, I ordered the combo where you get free refills of the popcorn and drinks. At least, I thought you got free refills on the drinks - I downed my first Mt. Dew in about 2 minutes, knowing I could go back for more. Sadly, when I did so I discovered that the refills were only on the large drinks, and that I owed $2.50. Sigh. Then on the way home I got the call from the Packet copy desk that Newsway (one of our main production systems) had gone down. I fixed that and went home, looking forward to getting a few breaks on Sunday.

I quickly found out that it wasn’t gonna happen. First I played like crap on the tennis court, allowing my arch-nemesisesses Brian and Allison to defeat me for the first time in a set and letting down my partner Deborah. Then, as I never did see the first “Clerks” we continued our quest to find the DVD, what with “Clerks 2" coming out next week. We had unsuccessfully tried to rent it from Blockbuster and buy it from Target. I decided that we should drive to Beaufort and go to the new Best Buy, figuring it would be there. It wasn’t. Nor was it at the Wal-Mart next door. So, not wanting to totally blow a trip to Beaufort and still smarting from not getting any chocolate ice cream the day before, we headed for the TCBY. On the way I got the call from the Packet that the OPI Server had crashed. While I called them back Allison ordered me a hot fudge brownie sundae. After letting the Packet know that I’d be back to the office in 30 minutes or so, I went back into TCBY to find out why Allison hasn’t gotten my ice cream yet. It turns out they couldn’t find the brownies.

I ended the night by being coerced by Allison to watch a movie called Frida because it stared Salma Hayek,, who I may or may not have a wee-bit of a crush on. However, for whatever reason the character she was playing had a unibrow, so Salma did also. Just completely freaked me out for the whole movie. About an hour into it I couldn’t take it anymore and Allison kindly turned off the movie (she had already seen the end).

All in all, it wasn’t a completely useless weekend - we got a really good deal on closeout kitty litter at Kroger.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

380 Ways to Freak Out Your Roommate

My personal favorites....

10. Move your roommate's personal effects around. Start subtly. Gradually work up to big things, and eventually glue everything s/he owns to the ceiling.

13. Spend all your money on Transformers. Play with them at night. If your roommate says anything, tell him/her with a straight face, "They're more than meets the eye."

27. Hide a bunch of potato chips and Ho Hos in the bottom of a trash can. When you get hungry, root around in the trash. Find the food, and eat it. If your roommate empties the trash before you get hungry, demand that s/he reimburse you.

44. Shelve all your books with the spines facing the wall. Complain loudly that you can never find the book that you want.

68. Whenever the phone rings, get up and answer the door.

69. Whenever someone knocks, answer the phone.

78. Take all of your roommate's furniture and build a fort. Guard the fort for an entire weekend.

92. If you know that s/he is in the room, come barging in out of breath. Ask if they saw a fat bald naked Tibetan man run through carrying a hundred dollar bill. Run back out swearing.

98. Hang stuffed animals with nooses from your ceiling. Whenever you walk by them mutter, "You shouldn't have done that to me."

110. Become your own twin brother and tell your roommate that you and your brother never appear in the same place at once. Tell your roommate the same thing again after leaving and coming back into the room.

157. Eat lots of "Lucky Charms." Pick out all the yellow moons and stockpile them in the closet. If your roommate inquires, explain that visitors are coming, but you can't say anything more, or you'll have to face the consequences.

183. Wear a cape. Stand in front of an open window for about an hour every day. Then, one day, when your roommate is gone, go outside and lie down underneath the window, pretending to be hurt, and wait for your roommate to return. The next day, start standing in front of the window again.

184. Collect potatoes. Paint faces on them and give them names. Name one after your roommate. Separate your roommate's potato from the others. Wait a few days, and then bake your roommate's potato and eat it. Explain to your roommate, "He [/She] just didn't belong."

201. Scatter stuffed animals around the room. Put party hats on them. Play loud music. When your roommate walks in, turn off the music, take off the party hats, put away the stuffed animals, and say, "Well, it was fun while it lasted.

248. Create an army of animal crackers. Put them through basic training. Set up little checkpoints around the room. Tell your roommate that the camel spotted him/her in a restricted area and said not to do it again. Ask your roommate to apologize to the camel.

317. Arrange your pillows and blankets every night to make it look like you are asleep. Do this for three weeks. Buy a cantaloupe and a knife. Stick the knife in the cantaloupe. Lay it on the pillow where your head should be.

355. Make your bed 15 times a day. Sleep on the floor.

Complete list here...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Geometry Wars update


Scored my personal best 2.27 million last night, making me the 3090th best player in the world! I'm moving up baby! Anyway, here's a video of some other dude scoring over 2 million. As you can see, this game is freakin' hard. It's also freakin' addictive - this is by far the longest I've ever played one video game. I just can't seem to stop trying to beat my own high score. Plus, playing it also provides a decent justifcation for buying a $400 game console that really doesn't have any must-have games on it yet. I'm sure at some point some other game will take my attention away from Geometry Wars, but for the moment I'm going to keep shooting for 3 million - wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 230th America!

Well, it was quite an eventful July 4th - Allison and I ventured to Fort Pulaski, where we toured the grounds, had a picnic lunch, witnessed a live demonstration of a Civil War-era rifle being fired (loud!) and got a wee-bit of a tan. On the way home we had the strange experience of seeing car after car in front of us pull off to the side of the road and its occupants turn and look to the sky behind us. We finally figured out that everyone was watching the Space Shuttle streak through the sky. I was able to get a quick peek while stopped at a red light. Later on in the evening we walked over to Woodbridge as we have done each the last 3 years and watched as our neighbors had their own private fireworks show. We also got a first-hand reminder of why fireworks are illegal - one group of people who were setting off fireworks managed to shoot several of them directly into their own house. Thankfully, no one was hurt and no houses were burned down. Throw in the North Korean's launching missiles all over the place, and it was not a typical day in the life of Morgan. Tomorrow it's back to work - I'm sure it will be one exciting challenge after another, full of adventure!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Beat that boys....

You Are 88% Gentleman

No doubt about it, you are a total gentleman.
You please the pickiest ladies, and you make everyone in a room feel comfortable.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Losing my touch

I am a Mac Evangelist. I spread the gospel, put Apple stickers on people's Dell and Gateway boxes in the middle of the night, and in general try to turn people from the dark side that is Micro$oft and Windoze. Of course, what comes with converting people over to OS X is the responsibility to be there for them when something goes wrong. I've spent more than a few weekends over the years helping people with their computer problems on my off time, something that a few of my co-workers and many people in my profession find utterly stupid. My position has always been however that I don't have all that many skills to make the world a better place, so I should use my knowledge of these particular computers to at least make some people's lives easier - especially when it comes to my co-workers. I have been doing it for a long time, and have never had a problem that I couldn't solve for someone....until today.

My fellow Packeteer B.J. (I advised him to go the Mac route a few years ago) came to me the other day with a problem he was having with iMovie and iDVD. He was trying to burn a DVD that he had been working on for over a year of his baby, Owen, and was having no luck. I gave him a few things to try, and he did so, but they didn't help. So I told him to bring his computer to work and I'd take a look at it (after hours of course, in case my boss is reading this :). I messed with it for a while, and still had no success. I took it home for the weekend, figuring that I'd fix his problem one way or the other. Well, after working on it all day long and completely re-creating his entire project from scratch on my own iMac....IT STILL WON'T WORK!!! My only guess is that one of the video clips that is being used is corrupted in some way.

I'm fairly sure that it isn't a problem with his computer, so I know that I shouldn't feel bad. Nonetheless, I still feel that I've let B.J. down :( he worked so hard on this project and wanted to be able to present it to his family so they could all share in the expereince of his child's first year. Heck, after working on this thing all day I kinda feel like part of the family myself! In that regard, I will do whatever is necessary to help him get this DVD made. Anything less and I might as well trade in all my Macs, go get my MCSE certification, and apply Windows security patches for the rest of my life. Ugh.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Typical

Well we've decided to go ahead and buy a house. Construction on a new development called Okatie Park has begun - it's located on Hwy. 170 in Ridgeland, about 8 miles (or 10 minutes) away from our current home. This picture is of the lot we picked out - where I'm standing ought to be our living room come September. The lot actually has trees! Amazing! Anyway, today we went to pick up the contract and hoped to meet with their design people to pick out finishes for the house. We walked in the door of the office and I came face to face with...none other than the woman from Paramount Companies whose head I bit off last Wednesday. Seems she moonlights for the Okatie Park folks during the weekends. To her credit, she didn't say anything to me, and I didn't talk to her for the benefit of Allison and the sales droid from Okatie Park who were not privy to the fact that I had verbally assaulted this poor woman 96 hours prior. Best case senerio: she's gotten yelled at by so many Summer Isle residents who are pissed off at her employer that she didn't remember me. Worst case senerio: she somehow sabotages our efforts to buy a home in this new community in a desperate act of revenge. I guess I'll find out soon enough!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Anger management

"An angry man is again angry with himself when he returns to reason."
- Publilius Syrus


I thought I'd share my major angst for the week - as is usually the case these days, it involves my good friends at Paramount Companies. We received a notice in our door on Monday night saying that someone had put a contract in on the apartment (we officially declined their generous offer to purchase our tiny little apartment for $105,900 a few weeks ago) and that they wanted to bring this person in to inspect the unit. The letter said that the inspection would occur on Wednesday sometime between 9AM and 4PM. I had no intention of allowing complete strangers into the apartment unsupervised, so I went to the Paramount sales office Tuesday afternoon and asked them (well, ok - told them) in a not-all-that-friendly manner that I wanted to be there, that I didn't know them and I didn't trust them to not let the cats run out the door. A nice woman named Angela (who is the "walk-through coordinator") seemed to understand, wrote down 12:45 in her book as the time to show my unit, and said that it wouldn't be a problem. I left the office feeling good - I was happy that I'd stood my ground and didn't let them just have their way, like they have had every time since this whole thing started.

So on Wednesday I arrive at home on my lunch break at 12:40. i walk in the door and discover that the bedroom door was closed. Knowing that I didn't leave it like that, I instantly knew they'd already been there. Not only that, but they locked the cats in the bedroom with no food or water. I was furious - I didn't even take another step into the apartment, instead walking right back out the door and straight to the sales office. I was so mad that I was actually shaking when I got there. I was literally out for blood. I went in and demanded to see Angela. The receptionist said she wasn't there, so I asked for whoever was in charge, and was told they were at lunch. So, with no one else to yell at, I simply unloaded on the poor receptionist. I told her in no uncertain terms what I thought of Angela and Paramount Companies. She gave me the standard lines that customer service people are trained to give an irate customer, but I wouldn't even let her finish a sentence. After about 2 minutes of non-stop screaming, I left, slamming the door behind me. At first, I felt good - I had been wanting to say those things to someone from that place since the very first day they came into my life. But since then, the more I've thought about it....I really got way, way to angry. I mean, I would never, ever hit a woman - but if Angela was a man, I would have had no problem attacking him. That's how mad I was.

In the last two days, I've had a chance to reflect on why I got that angry. Yes, they screwed me yet again - but the cats were fine, they didn't steal my stuff - was it really worth me hitting someone over? I have a feeling that I've been taking out my issues with other things in my life on this company and my living situation. After all, they are an easy target: I never even knew they existed, then one day out of the blue I learn that I've either got to buy my home or leave it. They instantly became my enemy, and gave me something to be mad at. I honestly think I need to take a step back from this situation and try to let it go. I don't think that I'm doing myself any favors by constantly being upset and irritated at people/things. If I stop thinking about how my hand is being forced for a moment, I have to admit that there's a good chance we would have left Summer Isle when the lease is up in December anyway. Four years is a pretty good run in a 1BR/1BA with two people and three cats. Perhaps if I look at this whole sitch as a kick in the pants instead of a screw job, I'll be a much happier unit. I'm gonna try it and see how it goes. I can always make some heads roll later if necessary :)

Friday, June 09, 2006

I do a great impression of him too....

You Are Dr. Bunsen Honeydew

You take the title "mad scientist" to the extreme -with very scary things coming out of your lab. And you've invented some pretty cool things, from a banana sharpener to a robot politician.But while you're busy turning gold into cottage cheese, you need to watch out for poor little Beaker! "Oh, that's very naughty, Beaker! Now you eat these paper clips this minute."

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Yes!!!

After a solid day of trying, I have not only achieved my goal of getting to one million points at Geometry Wars, I shattered it - scoring 1,250,635. I actually could have scored more, but I think I got a little pleased with myself right around 1.1 million, and got sloppy at the end. Anyway, according to the XBOX Live leader-board, I'm now the 6,249th best Geometry Wars player in the world. Sweet! In a testament to how addictive this game is, after taking this picture (cuz I knew none of you people would believe me) I immediately went back for another round, figuring that I was on a roll. In yet another testament, this time to how hard this game is, I was soundly defeated after only scoring 142,800. I think I'm going to take a little break - the current leader has scored 101 million, which I'm reasonably certain I'm not going to match. However, it might be nice to try to get into the top 1,000. I'm going to go get something to eat then take another shot. I'll keep you all posted on my progress, because I know that it's SOOOOO interesting....

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Vacation!

Yes that's right - my first time off from work all year. I was sorely in need of a break I must say. I had planned to use this time to go home to Maryland but the ongoing saga of my neck/back pain makes driving 12 hours by myself unrealistic. So, instead I will just hang out at home. I've set modest goals for myself this vacation: play tennis and softball, hit the gym, download some new music, score 1 million points at Geometry Wars and most importantly - RELAX!!!! Allison gets back from Costa Rica on Saturday, so I've got plenty of time to chill out. Of course, some things don't change just cuz I'm not at work - I have already helped a few people at work out with some minor issues. What can I say? You can take the boy out of the Packet...

Monday, May 29, 2006

The bald and the beautiful

So, my lovely bride skipped town without giving me a haircut that I desperately needed. For those of you who don't know, I have two problems with my hair that make me always keep it short: first, I have about 28 calics on my head. Believe it or not, my hair grows in every direction possible. Unless it's really short, or really long, it just looks stupid. Second, my hair is very, very thick. It's not as bad in the winter, but when it's hot out I just DIE. Anyhow, because my normal barber is gone I felt that I needed to try to cut my own hair (before you ask, there's no way in hell I'm paying someone $15 to take 2 minutes to shave my head). I figured "how hard can it be?". I quickly found out. My first problem was that I had to take my glasses off in order to cut my hair - thereby blinding myself. Not a situation conducive to a successful haircut. The next problem I discovered is that I have one lumpy head. I mean, I don't know how many times I was dropped as a baby, but clearly something happened cuz I just don't think that's a normal amount of lumpiness. So, as I thought might happen, I ended up shaving my head as you can see. So far, I have only one problem - when I pull a t-shirt over my head, I'm used to nothing happening. Now it gets stuck and pulls my scalp - it actually kinda hurts. I guess that's what I get for being a cheap bastard eh? I haven't decided if I'll keep it shaved or not. It was quite a lengthy process, not to mention that my wife will prolly have something to say about it. All I know is that my head is literally, if not figuratively, cool.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Hello from Greenvul!

Mom and I are in sunny, hot (but not all that humid) and beautiful Greenville (or vul, if you are a local) this weekend as she checks out the area. She is looking to possibly relocate later this year, and wanted to see this place for herself. It's an interesting place - we've remarked that it's kind of a mix between Boise, Cincinnati, and Salisbury, MD. There's a thriving downtown area, minor league hockey and baseball, and seems to be a very progressive place (well, progressive for South Carolina anyway). In many ways, it's the anti-Hilton Head. Everything, from gas to rent is much less expensive here. I guess you don't realize how much more you pay for the privilege of living on the coast until you leave said coast. We looked at an apartment complex yesterday and their two-bedroom units are $100 less than my one bedroom. Grrrr. Oh, and the first question out of my mouth was whether or not there had been any condo conversions in the area. The person who was showing us around had no idea what I was talking about, but my guess is they'll have to deal with it sooner or later.

So far Mom and I have shopped, ate, ice skated, driven around the whole city, and ate some more. Tomorrow morning she has a pseudo-job interview (more of a getting-to-know-you session) and then we'll head home. It would be nice if I could pick up the Packet and move it to a place like this - but they already have a paper here. Oh well :(

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Overheard at work

Morgan: I heard there's some weird guy walking around the parking lot and talking to my car.

Randy: Yeah, he was having quite a long conversation with it.

Morgan: Did my car talk back? My car never talks back to me.

Randy: May 23rd, 2006 - 14:07 hours: Morgan's car achieves sentience. Eight minutes later, the world ends....

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Now what?

Well we finally had the other shoe drop this weekend - despite my efforts to get my neighbors to rise up and fight the man, we were informed that Paramount Companies will generously allow us to buy our apartment for $105,000 dollars. We have 60 days to decide whether or not we will do so. I did not require 60 seconds to make said decision - they can take their "offer" and shove it directly up their ass. So now that we finally had that information, we set out on our quest to find a new home. We started with the next neighborhood down from us, The Townes at Buckwalter - a group of townhomes that were "meh" from the outside but inside were quite nice. There was one that we especially liked that had two bedrooms and a loft - I was struck by how much more space there was than what I am used to. We looked at a few others then sat down with the sales droid who was quite nice, but I couldn't quite shake the feeling that he saw us as fresh meat. Anyway, the asking price of the home was $180,000 - on the positive side, you get a hell-of-a-lot more for your extra $75,000 than you do at Summer Isle. On the negative side, the monthly payment, with tax and regime (a really good regime fee, which included water, sewer and homeowners insurance), came to a whopping $1408 per month. That's TWICE what we pay now in rent. We crunched the numbers and decided there was no way. Even if we could swing it, even if we never had any kind of emergency that required us to spend money - we'd literally be working just to pay for the car to take us to work and the house to live in because we can't live at work. I refuse to live my life like that. If I want to buy a $100 lightsaber once in a while, I should be able to do it.

Here's the problem people - $160,000 - $180,000 is as cheap as it gets in Bluffton. A quick check of the Sunday real estate section in the Packet confirms this. The cost of housing in this town has simply become too expensive to afford for families making $75,000 a year or less. How the hell did this happen? Bluffton is not Hilton Head - there's no ocean here. Are people willing to pay these insane prices for housing just so they can have a horrible 20-minute drive on one of the worst roads in the country to get to the beach??? I guess they are. Allison said that maybe we should just bend over and buy the apartment - after all, there doesn't seem to be anywhere else to go. But even if I decided it was worth compromising my principals and reward this company for it's disgusting behavior, we would still pay at least $150 more a month - FOR THE SAME PLACE!!!

So, that's where we are. I'm frustrated, angry, and I have no idea where my wife and I are supposed to go. Bluffton is my home, and I don't want to leave, but I'm not gonna sign my life away just to continue living here.

>>:0<<

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Relay For Life 2

We went to our second American Cancer Society Relay For Life on Friday night - partly because I’m lazy, but mostly because she’s a much better writer than I, I’ll let Robyn give you all the details. The Packet didn’t have a team again this year (I think, with Robyn’s permission, I might call in some favors for next year to make sure that doesn’t happen again) so we didn’t stay as long as I would have liked. I did however get the chance to honor my Grandmother who passed away from a short battle with cancer in 2001. I miss you Grandma :(

Friday, May 12, 2006

I think I hab a hed code....

So I spent the majority of the last week sick with a head cold. On Saturday I felt a sore throat coming on, so I started hitting the Zicam like a man possessed. By Sunday the sore throat was gone, but the pressure in my head could have powered a small nuclear device. Anyway, I am feeling fine now (that stuff really works - go get some right now and take it the instant you start feeling bad) so thanks for all the cards and letters. Ha!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Gutter ball

The SC Seamless Gutters picked up their first win of the season tonight, defeating the Soggy Bottom Boys 12-6 in front of a sellout crowd that included Allison and some chick that I think dates one of my teammates. Official team photographer Allison Bonner took this picture of number 29 "Jersey" waiting on deck. Sadly, my slump at the plate continues, as I went 1-for-4, but the important thing was that we got the win. I have to admit, it's only a softball game but the whole reason I wanted to do this was to be competitive at something again - and I forgot how good it feels to win! Hopefully this victory will get us going in the right direction, and we can try to crawl our way back to the .500 mark.

Trapped miners given iPods to relieve boredom

Two miners trapped a kilometre underground have been given iPods to relieve the boredom while they wait to be rescued. What would you put on their playlist?

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I'd have to go with....

1. Down In A Hole - Alice In Chains
2. Freaking Out - Adema
3. Ain't That A Bitch - Aerosmith
4. When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going - Billy Ocean
5. It's Oh So Quiet - Bjork
6. Dead, Dead, Dead - The Cast of South Park
7. Relax - Chingy
8. The Eulogy - CPO & Slip
9. When The World Ends - Dave Mathews Band
10. Underground - David Bowie
11. Ain't That A Kick In The Head - Dean Martin
12. One Thing Left To Do - Del Amitri
13. Enjoy The Slience - Depeche Mode
14. Chaged In A Rage - Dimebad Darrell
15. Break On Through - The Doors
16. Stranded On Death Row - Dr. Dre
17. Going Under - Evanescence
18. Bad Day - Fuel
19. Doomed - Galactic
20. Lift Me Up - Geri Halliwel
21. The Heat Is On - Glen Frey
22. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
23. Right Next Door To Hell - Guns N' Roses
24. Here's To The Losers - James Darren
25. The Consequences Of Falling - K.D. Lang
26. The Breaks - Kurtis Blow (if the IRS says they want to chat...that's the breaks, that's the breaks....and you can't explain why you claimed your cat...that's the breaks, that's the breaks...)
27. Harder to Breathe - Maroon 5
28. Hellbound - Pantera
29. Sour Times - Portishead
30. Born To Lose - Ray Charles
31. No Way Out - Stone Temple Pilots

Monday, May 01, 2006

Now for your Morgan sports update...

The SC Seamless Gutters, after a two-week layoff due to rain-outs and bye nights dropped to 0-4 tonight after a 20-10 loss to Bo Dawgs. I continue to play like crap, going 0-for-3 with a walk. The Broncos had a great draft this past weekend, picking up QB of the future Jay Cutler and more importantly for the here-and-now, trading for ex-Packer pro-bowler WR Javon Walker. The Avalanche disposed of the Dallas Stars in 5 games with a 3-2 win yesterday in OT (there is nothing better than a winning goal to close out a series in playoff hockey) and move on into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Nuggets are down 3-1 to the LA Clippers and will try to stave off elimination tonight. The Rockies continue to hold onto first place in the NL West at 15-11, and the Colorado Crush improved to 10-4 on the year, and moved one game closer to home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a 75-54 victory over the Orlando Predators. Oh, and yesterday Allison and I played tennis, and I think I’ve finally found my forehand, which I lost sometime after high school and hadn’t seen in 10 years so I am trying to convince Dearth to play doubles with me in the Bluffton Tennis Open that will be held May 19th through the 21st.

Monday, April 24, 2006

I'm getting sleepy....


As I write this, it's 10PM on the east coast and I still have another half-hour to go before the Nuggets game even tips off. Yes, it's playoff time again, and for a fan of the teams from Denver this can mean a lot of late nights. I thought I'd caught a break when the Avalanche drew Dallas in the first round - normally they play Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver in the first round. Nothing like staying up for an Avs game that doesn't start until 11PM, having said game go into 2 overtimes, watching them LOSE and then finally get to bed around 3AM....grrr.....anyway, my luck didn't hold as the Nuggets drew the L.A. Clippers in the first round. Hopefully after tonight when the series shifts back to Denver the games will start at 9PM and I can get to bed at decent hour.

Yes, I realize what a old man I am for complaining about having to stay up late. When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not. Emm???

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Waiting for the other shoe to drop....

So we got our first notice that Summer Isle had been sold to Paramount Companies of Florida yesterday - the letter spoke of plans to plant trees and power-wash the sideboards, but no mention was made of the real reason behind the beautification project: Summer Isle is going condo. The bastards don't seem to see fit to tell the residents of their plans just yet - I'm sure they'll announce it when it's convenient for them. Meanwhile, the residents of Summer Isle just get screwed that much more.

I know there is very little chance anything can be done to stop this, because they are within their rights to sell their property. However, I refuse to roll over and give up my home because some faceless company in Florida tells me I have to buy it or leave. I will fight it, and I will encourage my neighbors to fight it. To that end, I'm creating a blog that the residents can go to for information, any updates on the situation, and let them know how they can contact this company to voice their displeasure, writing letters to the editor at the Packet, and contacting Packet business reporter Peter Hull, who has been covering rash of apartment complexes going condo in Bluffton and Hilton Head. He has told me that if he can get residents to go on the record (obviously I can't as a employee of the Packet....even though I have nothing to do with the Editorial side of things, I guess everyone still has to cover their butts), he will write about this....this display of Capitalism at it's absolute worst.

For my first (but certainly not last) act of resistance, I have mailed this letter to the big shot who gave us that notice yesterday. I will take the "get more bees with honey" approach at first, just in case I happen to be speaking to an actual human being that gives a crap about people she's never met. I doubt very much that it will work, but it's worth a shot before taking the next step.....


Stephanie Smith
Regional Vice President
Paramount Companies of Florida
6351 Sunset Drive
Miami, FL 33143


April 20th, 2006



Dear Ms. Smith,

My name is Morgan Bonner - I live in the Summer Isle apartment complex in Bluffton, SC. We received your letter yesterday informing residents that you have taken ownership of Summer Isle and will be re-modeling the complex. As this is obviously the first step towards the conversion of Summer Isle from apartments to condos, I would like to take this opportunity to voice my opinion to you about your company's plan that will displace dozens of low-income families who can't afford or will not want to purchase their apartment.

For the past year, we have watched first as your company took over Ashley Plantation and then as the Westbury Park apartments were sold to the Jacksonville, Florida based Montecito Property Co. I welcomed many new neighbors as people from those communities flocked to Summer Isle because it was one of the last places for low-income families to be able to rent an apartment in Bluffton. We stood by and wondered exactly why your company and others like it found it acceptable (albeit legal) to essentially kick people out of their homes and sell their apartments to people with more money. We wondered when it would be our turn....and so the day has come.

I understand that it is your business to do this - that this is how you make your money. Therefore, I will not bore you with the unpleasant details of how the cost of living in this city has risen astronomically while wages have remained stagnant. How because of your actions and companies like yours, finding a place to rent is becoming next to impossible now that owners charge several hundred dollars more for rent every month. Or how by forcing Summer Isle residents to buy or get out, you are robbing Bluffton of many hard working, decent people who will have to leave the area (myself included) because they can't afford to live here anymore.

What I will ask however, is that you reconsider your decision to convert Summer Isle into condos. Raise the rents (slightly) if you must, but please, I implore you: do not displace so many men, women and children. Do not add stress and hardship to people who barely make it through the day as it is. We do not want to buy property - that's why we rent. Our reasons for doing so are no more or less valid than those who have more money than us and would want to purchase our home - but no matter whose name is on the deed, it is OUR home. Please do not take it away from us.

Sincerely,



Morgan Bonner
50 Pebble Beach Cove
Bluffton, SC 29910