11.30.2005

The Switch : Part Dos

Today is the big day. The switch was finally going to take place. I had assured that the old card had been carefully removed and replaced by the bad one. I took care not to make the plastic casing look tampered with. Everything else in the box was not even touched and I felt confident in my work. The entire drive to the store I did not feel one bit nervous nor worried. The moment I got on the customer service line everything changed. I am pretty sure that from the outside I did not appear any different than usual, perhaps I might have turned a shade paler. On the inside my heart was pounding out Morse code. Eventually it was my turn at the counter. I proceeded to hand in my video card and receipt and asked for a refund. The man behind the counter asked me why I wanted to return it. I explained that as a surprise someone ordered the same exact one for me over the internet and was on its way, and I had no use for this one. He did not say a word, just opened up the box and began to analyze its contents. At this point my heart might have just stopped for an instant. To make matters worse, when the bar code was scanned it would not go through. They had to go into the computer and verify the sale from the day before. These few short minutes seemed like hours to me while I stood patiently waiting for everything to work out. Work out they did, and I was issued my refund and was able to leave the store happy. I did not do anything wrong, I paid for a product and I eventually received it. I can still sleep at night.

11.29.2005

The Switch

Let me first give a little background to this whole story. About a month ago I went to a computer show to purchase a new video card for my computer. For two reasons I needed to upgrade, one for work one for fun. The work I need to do is mostly image and video rendering. The more advanced video card would speed up my work and help to process my tasks faster. Now on to the second reason. I had developed an addiction to playing 'Battlefield 1942', a WWII based first person shooter and the sequel was out. I needed to have it. There was one small problem, the video card that came with my computer would not be able to process the newer more advanced game. So for these reasons I headed to the show and picked up an 'ATI Radeon x700 Pro'. I excitedly head home ready to install my new hardware and start enjoying my new toy. Unfortunately I could not get it to work properly. I tried everything imaginable, but my efforts were in vain. Due to some major procrastination I missed the time limit to return the item and exchange it. To find out if there was something wrong with the card or if it was my system acting up I took it to my friend to run some tests. The final results showed that the card was no good and most likely I was sold a bad card or a refurbished one. The solution to my problem was to go to an electronics B&M and purchase the same exact card, install the new one, and return the bad one for a refund.

11.28.2005

Look First

looking back

This site was in need of a visual. Let me know what you think. I was about to start driving, but before doing so I checked my side view mirror for traffic. The road was all clear and safe to pull out. Knowing when it is safe to pull out is very important. Timing is critical as is practice. Bad timing can lead to an unwanted accident. Be safe. Use your mirrors.

11.24.2005

Turkey Day

Just want to wish all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving Day. To me today is a day of contemplation. I feel that the real meaning of today is to think about all the things we have in our lives that we are honestly thankful to have. The day is not about natives and men in funny hats eating wild birds and feasting. Although the reality of the situation hundreds of years ago is far from the candy coated version kids are taught in thier childhood, the principles of community hold true. Today we spend time with our families and loved ones. I have always had fond memories of Thanksgiving. Having the whole family together for a meal is nothing new to us. Almost everyday the family sits down around a table and dines together. I know that for many families that is not the case and members of the family come and go into the kitchen and eat what they want when they want. To me that is hard to envision. But to be 100% honest, the Thanksgiving food is definitely the highlight of the whole day. I'm sure I am not the only one that has a light breakfast and lunch in order to save room for dinner and dessrt. My favorite dessert for this day is pumpkin pie, the homemade kind that my mother bakes. In one word 'Yummy'.

Thanksgiving

Just want to wish all my readers a Happy Thanksgiving Day. To me today is a day of contemplation. I feel that the real meaning of today is to think about all the things we have in our lives that we are honestly thankful to have. The day is not about natives and men in funny hats eating wild birds and feasting. Although the reality of the situation hundreds of years ago is far from the candy coated version kids are taught in their childhood, the principles of community hold true. Today we spend time with our families and loved ones. I have always had fond memories of Thanksgiving. Having the whole family together for a meal is nothing new to us. Almost everyday the family sits down around a table and dines together. I know that for many families that is not the case and members of the family come and go into the kitchen and eat what they want when they want. To me that is hard to envision. But to be 100% honest, the Thanksgiving food is definitely the highlight of the whole day. I'm sure I am not the only one that has a light breakfast and lunch in order to save room for dinner and dessrt. My favorite dessert for this day is pumpkin pie, the homemade kind that my mother bakes. In one word 'Yummy'.

11.23.2005

Poker and Karma

How can these two words be related you might be wondering. First we must begin to suspend disbelief and embrace the whole concept of reincarnation. Karma basically is the idea that ones actions are carried on to the next life. The good deeds done now will be rewarded later. Also ones bad deeds are to be punished, or to put it better, they must be compensated for in the next life. In short, you reap what you sow. Today was poker night. In total we had seven players and about three Texas Hold 'Em tournaments. I will not delve into the intricacies of the game, but one thing I will mention is that to stay alive and keep playing all you need is a chip and a chair. Simply put, if you have one chip you are still able to play. 'Midnight' was at one point down to a single chip and with amazing luck within minutes was among the top three chip leaders. We were all in shock. No one is that lucky. 'Papa Smurf' suggested that it must be karma. Everyone was in agreement that in a past life he performed a deed so good that getting great cards was his reward. The quote of the night came when I said 'He must have saved a donkey from a dying river'. I was not being humorous but the entire room burst into uncontrollable laughter. It was the kind that makes your stomach hurt and your eyes tear up. Eventually the laughter subsided and we were back to playing poker and having a fun time.

11.21.2005

Recovery Time

It is official. I am sick. My voice is horrible. This morning I woke up. I try to wake up every day. So far so good. I turned on my phone. I had a call to return. I dialed. Voice mail came on. I left a message. I should say I tried to. It took me a few words to realize my voice was garbled up. Afterwards my voice improved. I needed cold medicine. The brain is working slow today. Thoughts are slow. Must over clock my brain. The price I must pay for a fun trip is sickness. It was worth it. Monday night football is canceled for this week. Sleep, I must sleep. Sleep is good. Thinking is bad. Must stay sober. Avoid all alcohol for at least 24 hours. Drink orange juice instead. Vitamin C is good. Stay warm. Get better, I must. Thanks for reading.

11.20.2005

Road Trip : Last Day

At last the last day of this crazy road trip is here. Since I flew in to Buffalo, I am not 100% certain it qualifies as a road trip. Perhaps the term air trip is more fitting. Well I started the morning off by finding the hidden stockpile of chicken nuggets and throwing them on the good 'ol 'Foreman Grill'. Breakfast is never complete without my famous scrambled eggs with cheese. In one word, Yummy. Full tummy means is time to continue with the day. First stop : visit old college friends and their four month old son. Good times were had there catching up and seeing the little one. After leaving their home it was time to meet up with whoever was still around. We all gathered in a recreational area belonging to the University. There we watched football, listened to music, played foosball, shot pool, and ate pizza and wings. Eating is always a good thing. Especially buffalo wings. After the chill session, it was time to pack the bags and meet up with a few people at my 'Verizon' buddy's place. Soon it was time for my flight and had to head out to the airport. There were about five other people I knew on the same flight and being that it was not sold out, I managed to change my seat so that three of us were on the same row. Three days of drinking and eating bad food take a heavy toll on the body. I got home, unpacked and knocked out for the night.

11.19.2005

Road Trip : Saturday

In the evening there was a lot of drinking. At night there was a huge party along with plenty of drinking, dancing, and having an overall good time with old friends and new ones as well. Of course after the party was over and done with it was time for the after-party. Unfortunately the after-party was not worth the gas the car used up to get there, but there would be salvation. A bunch of us got together in three cars and headed off to eat some much needed food. Nice greasy steak subs are the best tasting food in the world after three in the morning. After this weekend is over, my body is going to be a mess. Not only did I have a terribly greasy steak sub super late at night, for lunch I took full advantage of the all you can eat Chinese buffet. It is a very good thing that I have normal cholesterol levels, 151 to be exact, because the amount of horrible food I have ingested these last few days would cause a heart attack in an unhealthy person. There is still one day left... more time to eat some more bad food.

11.18.2005

Road Trip : Day 1

Wake up time: 11:00 AM.
Time to get over hangover : 1 hour
The rest of the after noon fly by really fast. By the time everyone was showered and dressed snow had began to fall quite profusely. Our growling bellies needed to be sedated, so the only logical solution to our dilemma was to head over to 'Wishbone'. The menu there is mainly Puerto Rican with some of the best rotisserie chicken in the city, or at least the West Side of Buffalo. So much food has never been devoured so fast. After our meal, we head over to visit some people at and drive around taking care of a few errands. Now it is dark and cold, but the snow has ceased to fall. That can only mean one thing, time to head back to the apartment and play some more poker and have a few more drinks. So you might be wondering what happens when you mix a giant bottle of 'Grey Goose', 'Red Bull' and five friends. The result in about an hour or two is an empty bottle and five people bouncing off the walls and completely out of their minds drunk. The highlight of the night was walking to the cars right outside of the apartment building. The street is lined with skinny trees. Every branch on the trees were bare. For some reason someone dares 'D' to go climb a tree. So what does he do? In his drunken state of mind runs towards the poor skinny tree and begins to climb. In a matter of seconds 'D' climbs to the top of what must have been a fifteen foot tree. Instead of climbing right back down, he just stays there holding on as if he were a human size koala bear. His weight was greater than the tree could bare and slowly the tree began to bend. The tree continued to bend, but 'D' would not let go. Eventually when he was about five feet from the ground the tree just snapped in half with a loud crackling sound. Thanks to someone catching him, no injuries occurred. The rest of the night consisted of attending a party and grabbing a bite to eat afterwards.

11.17.2005

Road Trip : Destination Buffalo

Quote of the night:
"You are out of focus, I see two of you..."

Flight time is slightly over an hour. Arrival time in Buffalo is just before midnight. By total coincidence there were two of my friends on the same flight as me. We were not seated near each other, but throughout the course of the weekend we would be together the majority of the time. The three of us were met at the airport by a few of our fraternity brothers who had for the most part been drinking since earlier in the evening. After driving around a bit picking up a few other people, we all headed to Chichi's place. Once there we finished up a few bottles of alcoholic beverages that had been open. It didn't take long after getting there for a game of Texas Hold'Em to start. Halfway into the tournament a few more people showed up. Not wanting to get anyone evicted, who ever was not playing poker left the apartment and headed to a local bar. I was just happy to be drinking with old friends, that I was not playing poker to the best of my abilities. Once the game was over, we bundled up and headed to the bar to meet up with the rest of the calvary. In Buffalo drink prices at a bar or club are only a fraction of what they cost here in New York City. With that in mind we started to drink without a worry in the world. Shots were coming at me left and right. Ice cold beers were handed to me, and I not wanting to be rude accepted gladly. "Lets do shots!!!" I shouted. The place was regular, but we were having so much fun that in our minds, it was the New Year's Eve Party in 1999. Blinding flashes from digital cameras became our strobe lights. No one remembers what music was played, but from the way some people were dancing... it had to be good. At one point a circle formed as a boy and a girl were practically mating to the beat of the music on the dirty bar floor.

After getting back to the apartment I made a phone call and also had a sandwich, neither of which I remember. What I do remember is sitting on the couch and looking at my two friends standing near the window. The interesting part is that as I was observing them, they became out of focus. I actually saw two of each of them. Maybe I drank just a little more than I should have. Maybe. I did not get sick or anything like that, so I know I did not cross that fine line.

End of day one.

11.16.2005

Flickr

UPDATE:

There are three new pics posted on my flickr.com website. Two are of flowers from the backyard and the third is a head shot of my dog Susi. Take a moment to take a look and feel free to post a comment on the site or even here.

11.15.2005

L.E.S.

Today was mostly regular. Some time in the afternoon I get a call from my friend who is going to a little birthday celebration in the Lower East Side (L.E.S.). The celebration was for one of his graduate school friends from NYU. I have nothing else planned that evening so I decided to go along. There was a possibility of a third friend of ours joining us, but due to the fact that he had just arrived from an out of town job he was unable to attend. The name of the place was Bob's, it is a bar/lounge in LES. I had been there once before, but on a weekend late night, not a Tuesday evening. We had plenty of time to take full advantage of the Happy Hour drink specials, so plenty of beers were ordered and drank. The place is not very big, but it has a very comfortable feel to it. I need to add this locale to my inventory of places to revisit in this city they call New York. I knew no one there but I managed to keep myself entertained. The DJ was playing great music, the hip-hop vibes had everyone bobbing their heads. Compared to most of the music put out through frequency modulation on a daily basis, the beats were a much needed ear and soul massage. After some mingling, small talk and dancing, it was time to head out to another destination. Next stop, Alibaba's. We were hungry and needed to fill our bellies with our favorite falafel. Drank a little, ate a little... now time to head home.

11.14.2005

Book

This past weekend I just finished reading 'Angels and Demons' by Dan Brown. He is the same author who wrote the well known 'The Da Vinci Code' in 2003. I chose not to read the very talked about book and decided upon his earlier work for the fact that they have the same protagonist. I highly recommend reading 'Angels and Demons'. The plot is very interesting and the story keeps an overall fast pace. This book can be easily read in a few sittings. Time flies, and before you notice the time half the book has been read. I am not even exaggerating. The books make a lot of references to real life places and organizations. Most details seem accurate and believable. Of course this is only a book, so if a few things are made up or changed, it is not really that important, as long as it helps the story progress forward. I do not really want to reveal any information that might ruin the fun of reading the book on your own. If you want to borrow it, you are out of luck. It was been lent out already. Actually the day I finished reading it, someone had asked to borrow it. If you have read it, let me know if you wish to discuss any aspect of the book. 'The Da Vinci Code' is next on my list. I want to read the book before the movie comes out in May, 2006 by director Ron Howard.

11.12.2005

Crazy Night

As if waking up at 6 in the morning on Friday to go to work was not enough... once work was over, my day was just starting.

Since my office was close to a few of my old friends, we decided to meet up after work for some drinks at Rogue. I was done with work a little early so I decided to walk around the city randomly to kill some time. As I was about to cross a busy intersection, I felt eyes looking at me. Slowly I turned my head, only to find an old college friend ready to walk into the subway station. After the state of shock wore off, we walked over to an overpriced well known coffee chain. She was also good friends with the people I was about to meet, so our small little get together for drinks was slowly growing. By the time we all arrived to Rogue our merry band went from four to eight. We had a good time drinking and talking of old times, and catching up on new developments. After spending a good amount of time there it was time to leave. Upon exiting we noticed the place had now changed names and was called Encore. The reason why? I do not know.

The night is still very young. Mr.Met and I part ways with everyone else and head over to a birthday celebration at the Crobar. I was walking around with a giant lock and also a box cutter, so I had to be a little creative. A block or two from the club I locked the lock to a fence, I had the keys so I knew it would be safe there. Hiding the box cutter was a little more difficult, but I did manage to hid it out of sight to be picked up at the end of the night. Being that it was not too late, the line was reasonably short. The fact that we were able to be on the guest list allowed us to enter the club without having to pay a cover charge. That was my first time ever being there. The place was huge and over packed. I ran into a few familiar faces which I had not seen in a long time. It was a good time, the place had a nice look to it.

This isn't over yet. I retrieve my box cutter from the secret hiding location. Now I am walking towards the gate with my lock and I see a person standing right next to it eating a slice of pizza. So what do I do? I take the keys and walk right up to the lock, open it, and just walk away. I can only imagine the look on the face of the guy standing there, and have some stranger walk up to him, open a lock and keep walking without missing a step.

Hunger has set in by this time so we head over to an open pizza spot. I place my order and pay with what I was sure was a ten dollar bill. When the worker returns with only a few cents I became upset. I wanted the rest of my change. We argued for a little while, I said I paid with a ten, and he said I paid with a five. No one around me had seen what bill I gave, so this was not going to go anywhere. I just congratulated them on becoming five dollars richer. Walking away a moment of clarity settled in and after some quick math, I had in fact paid with a five dollar bill. I admitted it to my self, so I did not feel guilty. I can sleep at night.

11.07.2005

No Beer

It is Monday. That can only mean one thing. The official end of the weekend. To some it is the start of the week. But not I, to me the weekend is over when the last second on the game clock has ticked down to zero at the end of Monday Night Football. This week is different. The tradition of watching the game and sampling a new and interesting beer has been suspended for this week. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Lets start off with the bad. I will not be tasting a new beer. The prior week, I chose to go with an import from China called 'Tsingtao', which was an excellent choice. In case you are wondering, it is properly pronounced (ching-dow).It tasted to me what a beer is supposed to taste like, good color and a balanced flavor, slightly bitter without being overbearing on the taste buds. 'Tsingtao' is a beer I look forward to drinking again. That was the bad news. Now on to the good news. For the next four days I will be working on another project. Along with working on a new project comes waking up early. When I mean early, I mean super early, to be more specific about five in the morning early. That means waking up about six hours earlier than I am accustomed to. As long as I get at least six hours of sleep a night, I can function at about 98% for 80% of the day. Time to go.

11.05.2005

Week in Review

Since I have not made time to post recently, I will give you a brief summary of the rest of my week. Going back to Tuesday night, after work my frat brother and I went to a wrap party. This was my first one ever. Most of the crew was, so it served as a good networking event to attend. The place was a nice little bar in the lower parts of the city. There was also an outdoor area which was perfect to sit out in and enjoy the free drinks and food that were provided. Needless to say, I took advantage of the free drinks and was taking shots and drinking beers for a good part of the evening. Once home I went straight to sleep.

Wednesday was just a regular day. I had no major plans that day besides driving around and taking care of a few errands. The rest of the day I just stayed home relaxing, the night before tired me out a bit, and I also had to work the following day and would need to wake up extremely early.

Thursday and Friday were work days so I was up at the crack of dawn and by the time I would get home, I was too beat to do anything else. The only thing I would have the energy for was to relax and watch a DVD.

Today my mother leaves for a two week vacation to spend some quality time with my brother out in Arizona. It will be good for her to get away from the cool NY weather and enjoy some southwestern sunshine and heat. I was out in that part of the country in April and I had a good time, maybe I will go back again in the spring.

11.01.2005

Green Goblin

Well the highlight of my day was actually working and seeing someone famous. Thanks to a good friend of mine I was able to be a Production Assistant on the last day of a three day shoot of a commercial. The commercial is set to air right before King Kong. The actor that I was able to meet was Willem Dafoe, who among many different characters, portrayed Norman Osborn in the 2002 hit 'Spider-Man'. Norman Osborn would eventually metamorphose into Spider-Man's earliest arch nemesis, the Green Goblin. In my high school years I was an avid reader of comic books. Amongst my favorite titles to read, several were about everyone's favorite web swinger, Spider-Man. His many battles with Venom and later Carnage were always fun to read. It was around the time of the clone story line that I stopped reading comics in general. When I entered the University I had less time for leisurely reading and funds were also an issue. I have never picked up the habit of reading comic books again as an adult. To this day I have a several large boxes up in the attic containing my comic book collection. Each issue is sealed in protective plastic and cardboard backing, to preserve their mint or near mint condition.