Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nashville Photos

The photos from Nashville, such as they are, can be found on my Flickr page.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mexican Marvel

While I was in Nashville, TN this past Tuesday, there was a retirement party for one of our departing staff. The party was turned into a chili cook-off and someone evolved the idea further into one in which Mexican sombreros (and moustaches) were included in the festivities. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea to someone.

When I returned on Wednesday afternoon, I discovered a sombrero waiting on my desk. Seized by a rare moment of frivolity and silliness, I donned the habanero headgear to elicit a few chuckles from my co-workers. But the laugh was on me as these photos were shot.

Pancho Villa I'm not, but it was an amusing moment for some.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Excellence Of Performance?

Today a 3-page course description for a class entitled "Excellence of Performance" came across my desk. Offered by the educational arm of my employer, the course description detailed how enrolling in this class would show each student how to be their very best in their professional they would achieve an "Excellence of Performance" attitude that would lead to being and doing their absolute best work.

So you might understand how ludicrous it seemed to me to find FIVE spelling errors in the document.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Holy Twitter!

Lately I haven't been as active as I usually am on Twitter because I've been so busy working on one assignment in Atlanta and another one in Tennessee. But tonight I decided to glance at my Twitter page and found that I have 117 people following my Tweets! In the Twitterverse that is nothing, but since I never even imagined having more than 50 it's pretty incredible to me.

I'd better crank up my Tweet-rate before I lose some, lol.

Follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nashville Whirlwind Tour

I finished my meeting in Camden, TN around 11:30AM yesterday morning, then drove the 90 minutes or so back to Nashville for meetings with staff members of two high-ranking elected officials. By the time I arrived at my hotel it was 3pm and I had been up for 12 hours, driving 7 1/2 of that, so I was tired. Still, I had a small window of opportunity to see some of Nashville and I did not want to pass it up.

I was staying at the Marriott Renaissance Hotel on the recommendation of a friend who had stayed there before. The room was very nice.

Although the view wasn't that great, at least out this window.

But it wasn't horrible out this window.

Anyway, I grabbed my camera, stopped by the concierge desk for a downtown map and was out the front door of the hotel by 3:10. As I opened the map I noticed an advertisement for a trolley tour of downtown Nashville. This was perfect! Cindy and I typically try to take one of these whenever we're in a new city to familiarize ourselves with it before embarking on our own personal tours. But I wasn't going to have time for my own personal tour so this trolley tour would be a fast, easy way to get a history of the city, a sense of it's layout and some photos. I walked the 5 blocks to the ticket kiosk (right next to the Nashville Hard Rock Cafe on Broadway) and purchased my ticket by 3:15PM, but the tour wasn't leaving until 4PM. Another great break! I had not stopped for lunch and was starving so I glanced around and saw this on the other side of Broadway.

The Big River Grille and Brewery Works. Apparently there is one at home in Orlando out at the Disney Boardwalk near EPCOT, but I've never been and didn't even know it was there until I looked up the website. They are a "microbrewery restaurant" brewing their own beer. I stepped inside out of the 84 degree heat and told the hostess I needed something to eat fast so I could catch my trolley tour in 40 minutes. I ordered their Sweet Magnolia Brown Ale and an appetizer Quesadilla. Both were very good and I was back and climbing on the trolley car at 3:50PM with about seven other riders.

I took about 200 photos during the tour. I'll pick the best and get them uploaded to my Flickr account as soon as I can, but I wanted to show you this shot of my hotel with my room location indicated.

The tour was good and educational. I tipped the driver/tour guide generously as I was stepping off because he gave lots of information and provided me with some good photography subjects and moments, but I wanted to tell him that I would have gladly tripled the tip if he would stop trying to be a comedian. Worse yet, a comedian who laughs at his own pathetic jokes with a laugh like Muttley. Believe me, it's worse when it's blasted over a PA system.

After the trolley tour I took a walk over the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge that spans the Cumberland River, taking lots of photos of the river and the stadium across the river where the Tennessee Titans play. Then, on my way back to the hotel I stopped and bought some souvenirs and postcards for family.

I can see why they call Nashville "Music City." If it's not blasting out of store speakers (and I mean EVERY store), they're piping it out into the street. And if it's not piping out into the street, street musicians fill the quiet with their "cover" versions of every country song you ever heard and a few you wish you hadn't (well, that's ALL of them for me since I'm not a CW fan), while their guitar cases stand open for donations. I was at an intersection where there was someone playing the guitar and singing on each of the four corners.

By the time I got back to the room I was soaking in sweat, so I took a shower and thought about accepting a co-worker's invitation to join her and another friend of hers who was visiting from out of town that evening for some live music. But it was now a little after 6PM and I was whipped from the long day. I thought I would do some work on the Internet and hit the sack early since I had more meetings to drive to today. However, because of my friend's recommendation I didn't really look at the hotel's webpage in depth, and that was a mistake. My friend does not travel with her laptop so she would not have noticed this, but it turns out the hotel wants an extra $13.95 (why not just say $14?) for Internet access. For real! And that even applies to high level reward program participants like yours truly.

Not going to happen.

Usually when I'm looking at a hotel trying to decide if I'll stay there, one of the first things I look at is whether they offer free Internet access, either wired or wireless. This was a fairly upscale hotel and I guess I just expected it, especially since it was a Marriott and every Marriott brand I've stayed at had free access. I learned my lesson, and will always check in the future no matter what anyone says about how great the place may be. Anyway, I grabbed my laptop and walked 2 blocks down from the hotel to Panera, ate a sandwich and accessed the Internet for free, thank you.

Still, I enjoyed my short time in Nashville and hope to come back with Cindy someday for a longer visit.

Did my meetings today in Murfreesboro and drove back to Atlanta. Tomorrow it's a short 3 hour drive to Knoxville, TN and then an hour drive to Rockwood, TN for various meetings and then back here to Atlanta for the night. That should be the end of my Tennessee trips for a while.

Wow, that was longer than I intended it to be. I hope you're still here. G'night.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Going To Music City

Leaving the hotel in Atlanta this morning at 4AM with a full day planned in and around Nashville. My only free time will be tonight. I'm staying in a hotel downtown so I can try to experience at least a little bit of Nashville before I leave tomorrow. One of my co-workers who is not currently deployed lives in Nashville and offered to let me tag along tonight while she and another out-of-town friend enjoy some live music. Not sure if I'll join them or not as I'd hate to mess up their visit with each other, but I think I'll definitely find someplace in downtown Nashville to enjoy at least a small taste of Music City.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Observed in some form or fashion since its original proclamation in 1868, Memorial Day is observed to allow patriotic Americans the opportunity to show our thanks to those who gave their all in defending our country. Memorial Day gives those of us who enjoy our freedoms the opportunity to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might retain those freedoms.

In memory of those who have fallen in defense of the liberties many of us take for granted, Americans, wherever they are, will observe a National Moment of Remembrance today at 3pm local time. This is an act of national unity that has been established to honor America’s fallen and the families they left behind. I urge you to pause in reflection and remembrance of those who gave their lives in service to our nation.

I was reminded last Friday that the late Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Homes referred to Memorial Day as, "Our Most Sacred Holiday" and proposed that "we not ponder with sad thoughts the passing of our heroes, but rather ponder their legacy - the life they made possible for us by their commitment and pain."

To those who gave their all; to their families, loved ones and friends who lost a part of their lives; I say simply, and sincerely, with a heart full of gratitude, "Thank you."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

This Suits Me

I mentioned in my last post that I have a big week coming up as far as work goes. Here's a peek at how it breaks out.

Tuesday morning at 4AM I'll be checking out of my hotel here in Atlanta and driving to Camden, TN, which is about 90 minutes west of Nashville, for a 10AM meeting followed by visits to the offices of a couple of high-ranking elected officials in Nashville that afternoon. Wednesday I have another meeting at 10AM in Murfreesboro, TN, about 30 miles southeast of Nashville and then I'll return to Atlanta where I have a scheduled appointment at 3:30PM in our office. Thursday morning I'll drive from Atlanta to Knoxville, TN for another meeting at 11AM, followed by visits to the offices of 2 other elected officials and then a drive back to Atlanta.

Here's what the dashboard area of my rental car will look like.

You DO have to have a GPS for each destination, right?

Yesterday I started thinking I needed to get a new suit. I've needed one for a while, but just kept putting it off. Men's Wearhouse has been running a "Buy One Get One" free promotion, but their least expensive suit that I would want was $400. Then I heard a radio commercial Friday for Jos. A. Banks' "Buy One Suit - Get Another Suit, 2 Shirts And 2 Ties Free" sale, but their least expensive suit that I would want was $600! I guess I'm just too much of a cheapskate to feel comfortable spending that much money for a suit (or two), especially with all the cabin-building expenses mounting up like rabbits breeding for Easter. I mean, they're good prices for what you're getting, I just don't want to spend THAT MUCH right now. Cindy and I are both trying to be as frugal as we can, but I REALLY needed a new suit.

So this morning I went to the mall across the street from the hotel and bought a suit, shirt and 2 silk ties for a decent price. About half of those mentioned above. I think it looks good on me, but I sent a cellphone pic to Cindy to verify (other customers probably wondered why a flash kept going off in the fitting room, lol) and she said it was good. Really though, how well can you tell from a cellphone pic that's displayed on another cellphone's tiny screen?

I hate going clothes shopping. I'm partially colorblind and don't have a lick of fashion sense, so unless I'm buying something in colors I recognize and can identify, I get a bit cranky. Cindy usually accompanies me when I need more than a pair of jeans to help me with color and fabric combinations, but obviously that wasn't possible on this adventure. If I had thought about this enough in advance, I would have asked one of my female co-workers if I could trade lunch for their fashion assistance, lol.

But I should mention here that one of the coolest things about the retailer I purchased these from is that all of their shirts, ties, pants, jackets, etc. have the color printed on the price tag! That helped me avoid begging the salespeople for help when Cindy said, "Get a charcoal gray shirt" and kept me from heading to the Outdoor department to look for a grill to color-match.

Anyway, I stayed with basic black (with a nice fabric-kind of pinstripe, hard to describe but not just a flat black) suit, charcoal gray shirt and a couple of black and gray ties, all viewed by Cindy in cellphone pics and ok'd. And it will go with other shirts and ties I already have with me. I did ask the saleswoman too when I was purchasing them and she agreed, but of course I'm not sure they really're just a sale and I doubt they're concerned if you look like a clown when you put on their merchandise, as long as you paid for it.

But now I have a new set of duds and that suits me just fine.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ah, The Weekend

Things have been busy, both at work and in the old personal life, this past week. We're off this Monday for Memorial Day so it will be a VERY welcome 2 1/2 day weekend for me. I can use the rest and relaxation.

Busy week coming up, I'll tell you all about it later. But for now, back to a little pleasure reading, while sort of half-watching one of my favorite movies. Can you identify it from this quote?

"Make a move and the bunny gets it!"

Leave your answer in the comments.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Quotable Quote

"When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am grown up, they call me a writer."

Isaac Bashevis Singer
Nobel Prize-winning author

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Granting Sentience To Inanimate Objects

By way of explanation as to my absence here for the past two days; I lost my Internet connection at the hotel Monday night/Tuesday morning. It would seem to be a problem with my laptop, though checks of all the applicable devices and diagnostics of the system have yet to reveal WHAT that problem might be. This morning, just before leaving the room to go to work, the connection was back. I hope I find that remains the same when I return to the room this evening...or you won't be reading this. (Success! I have a connection!!)

One of my co-workers at the hotel, who allowed me to bring my laptop to her room last night to check whether it would connect on her working Ethernet connection, submitted the theory that my laptop (a PC) has picked up the energy of my desire for a MacBook Pro and is reacting accordingly. While not a believer in granting sentience to inanimate objects, I will nonetheless attempt to explain to my laptop that, perversely, such a reaction on its part will simply make me inclined to replace it with that desired MacBook Pro even sooner than I planned.

Monday, May 18, 2009

In The Year 52011

I am just getting around to reading the May/June issue of Poets & Writers and among all the usual good stuff is a small piece about the KEO Project. Have you heard of it?

The KEO Project is a proposal that a time capsule filled with messages from everyday people around the world would be launched into space to orbit the earth for 50,000 years, then reenter earth's atmosphere to (hopefully) be discovered by a future civilization, should mankind still exist.

Submissions are sought from everyone who can write a text message. There is a limit of 6,000 characters (or about 1100 words) so that the largest number of messages possible can be archived in the capsule. This is your chance to write something that may long outlive even the memory of you. The deadline for submissions is the end of 2009, so that there will be time to archive the messages and prepare to launch the satellite that will blast off in 2011. Click on this link to learn more about the KEO Project, including WHY it's called the KEO. If you intend to make a submission, leave a comment letting me know.

Thinking about what kind of future the KEO Project might find in 50,000 years reminded me of the song "In The Year 2525" by Zager and Evans that was a hit in 1969. The lyrics (in case you've forgotten them or never heard them), are below the embedded video.

In the year 2525
If man is still alive
If woman can survive
They may find

In the year 3535
Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
Everything you think, do, and say
Is in the pill you took today

In the year 4545
Ain't gonna need your teeth, won't need your eyes
You won't find a thing to chew
Nobody's gonna look at you

In the year 5555
Your arms are hanging limp at your sides
Your legs got nothing to do
Some machine is doing that for you

In the year 6565
Ain't gonna need no husband, won't need no wife
You'll pick your son, pick your daughter too
From the bottom of a long black tube

In the year 7510
If God's a-comin' he ought to make it by then
Maybe he'll look around himself and say
Guess it's time for the Judgement Day

In the year 8510
God's gonna shake his mighty head
He'll either say I'm pleased where man has been
Or tear it down and start again

In the year 9595
I'm kinda wondering if man's gonna be alive
He's taken everything this old earth can give
And he ain't put back nothing

Now it's been 10,000 years
Man has cried a billion tears
For what he never knew
Now man's reign is through
But through eternal night
The twinkling of starlight
So very far away
Maybe it's only yesterday

In the year 2525
If man is still alive
If woman can survive
They may find

In the year 3535
Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
Everything you think, do or say
Is in the pill you took today ....(fading)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

100 Things About Me

We're all multi-faceted, multi-talented creatures. Some things are obvious and others are not quite so. Here are 100 things about me that will only be of interest to new readers, since those who have known me for any length of time probably know them already.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Napoleon And Josephine

What a wonderful ending to an otherwise hectic Saturday.

My mother-in-law and father-in-law belong to the Central Florida Rose Society. At their last meeting they portrayed Napoleon (although "portrayed" is probably a generous description of what my father-in-law did, since he simply stood with his right hand resting inside his shirt over his stomach) and Josephine, as my mother-in-law gave a talk about the famous couple and roses. This link does a fairly good job, I think, of explaining that connection for those of us who may not be familiar with it.

They left Orlando this morning on the first leg of a road trip to Minnesota to visit family, pulling their pop-up trailer and accompanied by their two "Westies", Annie and Fannie. Around 4:30 this afternoon my father-in-law called me to let me know they were staying at a campground in McDonough, GA, about 30 miles south of where I'm at in Atlanta, and asking if I could join them for dinner at the Cracker Barrel off exit 218 in McDonough.

Of course I could!

I drove down after getting off work at 5:30 and it was SO good to see them. I think I've expressed my love and admiration for my in-laws in previous posts. I always tell Cindy that if we ever get divorced...I get her parents!!

We had a great time visiting. I was truly touched that they would plan to make their first stop near me so we could get together. That's something even Cindy didn't do when she and Rebecca drove up to our mountain property last weekend (though admittedly with good reason), so you can see how special my in-laws made me feel.

After eating, talking, laughing and visiting for almost 2 hours, it was time to say goodbye. We hugged each other, talked some more and then hugged again, finally saying our final farewells. My in-laws are two of my most favorite people in the world, and it really made my day, hell my week, to get to spend some time with them while I am away from home.

So a big "thank you" to the Emperor and the power behind the throne; Napoleon and Josephine.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Impossible Instruction

Everyone pair up in groups of three and line up in a circle.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Goin' To The Dogs

Coming out to my car after lunch yesterday my boss and I found a truck parked in the space opposite my car...with a dog at the wheel.

I think this was the truck that cut me off in traffic earlier!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Can We Upgrade?

My daughter IM'd me today while she was in the waiting room at the doctor's office with both my grandchildren to tell me that my 7-year old grandson, who is a computer whiz, asked if they could "upgrade to a Premium account so we can see the doctor sooner?"

That little guy just cracks me up.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

To Boldly Go...

I slept in until 8:30 Sunday morning, my only day off again this week. That felt good. I'm a night owl by nature, so when I'm deployed on these assignments with extended hours it's a struggle for me to get to sleep at an early enough hour to be able to wake up at 5 or 5:30am. After a quick shower I drove over to Panera Bread for an equally quick breakfast, then over the theater to get in for the first showing of the day of the new "Star Trek" movie.

People who know me personally know that I am a "Star Trek" nerd. I've watched all of the TV incarnations and all of the motion pictures, most of them multiple times. I've read all the hardback novels and almost all of the paperback novels. I own various incarnations of "Star Trek" memorabilia. I've attended "Star Trek" conventions. I have gathered with friends for "Star Trek" viewing marathons, and spent hours with those same friends discussing various minutiae of the "Star Trek" universe.

I say that simply to establish that I would watch paint dry if it had some kind of "Star Trek" connection.

So, JJ Abrams was charged by paramount Studios with the unenviable task of rebooting the mythology of "Star Trek" (one of their most financially lucrative properties, though its shine has dulled in recent years) in such a way as to attract new viewers without pissing off the mass of us who have watched Gene Roddenberry's vision unfold on the screen since 1966. On top of that, Abrams has made it clear he was never really a fan of Trek, causing some to feel that he might bring a breath of fresh air and others to run screaming "heresy!" across the Internet.

If you are a fan of "Star Trek" and it's mythology, you WILL be confused at the beginning of the movie as you watch a slightly different history unfold. It is not until later in the movie that you discover WHY that history is not exactly right. Actions by the story's villain have created a different timeline - a timeline that will be inhabited by our rebooted characters and...someone else.

Abrams is obviously a fan of time travel. He used it in his TV series "Alias" and "Lost" and he has used it to effect his reboot in "Star Trek". I have no problem with that at all, I am a big fan of time travel stories.

If they are well-constructed.

And this one is. We get the characters we have loved with their same personality quirks and courageous spirit. We get to see the same relationships...and a new one or two. And best of all, to me, we get to see Captain Christopher Pike play a large part in James Tiberius Kirk becoming Captain James T. Kirk.

It will be interesting to see what happens in future "Star Trek" movies (and there WILL be future "Star Trek" movies), especially considering that the slate has been wiped clean and a major, major storyline change has been inserted that will mean everything can take a different direction. What that direction will be remains to be seen.

But it seems that one thing will NOT change;

"I have been, and always shall be, your friend."

Monday, May 11, 2009

All The News That's Fit to Print

One of the things I did yesterday on my day off was something I haven't done in over a decade, literally.

I bought the Sunday Edition of The New York Times while I was out running errands, and when I got back to the hotel I laid in the bed and read the Sunday Times.

I hadn't realized how much I missed doing that one simple thing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my mom and my mother-in-law. I can't be with either of you on this special day, but I hope you both know how treasured you are to me and how much I love you both.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Going To See "Jersey Boys"

When I first arrived here 2 weeks ago, my immediate boss said something about going to see "Jersey Boys" while it was being performed here in Atlanta at The Fox Theater. Before I left Orlando there were ads on TV for their current performance run at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre and I had thought that if I was home I'd like to take Cindy and go see the show. Then when I got called up here I put it out of my mind. That was, until I found out they would be performing shows here in Atlanta while I was in town. I mentioned to my boss that I'd love to see them as well.

My boss capitalized on my interest in going by having me do all the "leg work" of finding the best seats on nights that a group of us could go, which eventually turned out to be Saturday, June 13th, the 8pm show with four of us going. We bought the tickets today, putting them all on my boss' credit card so she could get the points. That's why she's the boss.

By the way, Ticketmaster has a REAL racket going and they certainly don't make it easy to buy tickets. Between the high "convenience" charge, the facility charge and the "delivery charge" ($2.50 so you can print your own ticket using your ink and your printer!) it feels like a mob shakedown. In addition to that you have to jump through hoops to actually purchase a ticket, by filling in verification forms and being forced to fill in order information under the gun of a timer clock that will release your ticket choice back to the system if you don't complete the order in the amount of time they give you. Talk about performance anxiety! But, since we all work 10-12 hours a day 6 days a week, no one has the time to go in person to make the purchase so we had no choice. Still, paying an extra $16.50 above the price of each ticket seems somewhat exorbitant and, given ANY other choice, I will always bypass Ticketmaster.

Anyway, our entourage consists of my immediate boss here in the office, her immediate boss here in the office, our boss from the regional office and me, the only male in the group. You can be sure that I'll be angling for the seat at the end of our group.I tried to get my friend and co-worker Valerie to go, but she would have none of it. So I'm on my own with management.

But, as a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons fan, I'm definitely looking forward to the show.

Friday, May 8, 2009

You Never Know

As a sort of "break" today our department head arranged for some food at lunch time and a bit of learning entertainment.

Yesterday, she asked everyone to put something about themselves that no one else would know on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. Today, she passed out the envelopes and asked the holder to read its contents and then we would all try to guess who had written what was in the envelope.

I had to go through this once before when I was working in Florida. As a lark, I lied and wrote that I had 6 toes on my right foot, counting on the belief that no one would ask me to remove my shoe and sock to prove it. No one did, lol.

But this time I decided to go ahead and participate, mostly because I like my immediate boss and did not want to embarrass her. So I wrote something that was true about me, but not known to my co-workers.

Anyway, there were about 30 of us who were in the office during the festivities and it was kind of amazing to learn how very talented, accomplished and possessed of interesting experiences so many of our staff are. And as is usually the case, it's the most unassuming who have done some of the most astounding things.

One of our members was a survivor of September 11, working in one of the Twin Towers for an investment firm at the time. One had been to the deserts of Algiers on a humanitarian mission in the heat of summer. One is an accomplished jazz keyboardist, one a published authoress, one a former hockey team mascot who performed in full costume, and many many others.

I felt sort of embarrassed about what I had written, when held up in comparison to all these amazing folks.

Because honestly, if you looked at these people as you passed them on the street or in the hallways of our offices and you did not know them, you would never guess that such unassuming looking people would or could have accomplished such things.

You never know.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Yeah, It's The Cheese Grater Slide

You know what that means.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Day Off

Had Sunday off this week. I slept in until about 9, which felt very good after 6 days of the alarm clock going off at 5am.

After a shower I drove over to a nearby IHOP for breakfast. I went because it is the only breakfast restaurant near the hotel. No Perkins Restaurants in the entire state of Georgia with the exception of one in Savannah and that's a bit too far to drive, even for their fantastic pancakes.

Strangely enough, while you would think that a place named International House of PANCAKES would have some good pancakes, you would think wrong. When I was here in Atlanta two years ago I went to this same IHOP for breakfast and was sorely disappointed in what they offered as pancakes. This visit was no different and they won't get a third chance with me. The spinach and mushroom omelette was very tasty, though I was puzzled by the fact that it was almost room temperature rather than hot. The pancakes though, which were also cool enough that the butter wouldn't melt, had me fighting a gag reflex when I took my first bite. I choked down one more bite and that was all I could take. When the waitress asked me if I'd like a box to take them with me I politely replied, "Not on your life!"

Then I went to catch the first day's showing of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was in a huge theater and there were only about 30 inside people when I entered, just as the previews were starting to roll. I even got to sit in the middle of the very last row; my absolute favorite spot to watch a movie from in a theater. When I build my Home Theater there will be one seat in the last row for yours truly.

I enjoyed the movie. As is usually the case with a comic book-inspired film, it didn't have every single detail that a fanboy would want. I stopped reading the X-men titles many, many years ago when they started multiplying faster than rabbits and you had to be backed up by Fort Knox, financially, to be able to buy every title Marvel was flooding the shelves with on a weekly basis. A few years ago I did pick up the first 3 issues of Wolverine's Origin, but lost interest in it and stopped. So while I had some basic knowledge of the character's history and storylines, I wasn't what you would call a defender of it's "canon" so to speak. Not like I will be when "Star Trek" opens next Friday, lol.

So I thought they did a good job of condensing a 150 year history and tying together various pieces into a 2 hour movie. Lots of action, lots of cool special effects and they moved the story along so that the next one looks like it will deal with Logan's time in Japan. By the way, probably the BIGGEST disappointment to me was that I had hoped they would at least have a Captain America cameo with Logan during the World War II flashes. There WAS a nice cameo at the end of someone else and I know, I KNOW it messed with what comic book readers and fans of Stan Lee remember about the origin of the X-men back in the '60's, but it was still a pretty cool moment.

On the way back to the hotel room I picked up a veggie pizza from Mellow Mushroom, eating one third for lunch and saving the other two thirds for dinner and breakfast on Monday morning. Then I spent the remainder of the day watching severe thunderstorms come rolling into the Atlanta area and relaxing and recharging, mostly reading and doing a little writing.

And as busy as this week has been at work, I'll need to do the same this coming Sunday.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Lucky Day: "Wherever there is injustice, you will find us."
Ned Nederlander: "Wherever there is suffering, we'll be there."
Dusty Bottoms: "Wherever liberty is threatened, you will find..."
Lucky Day, Ned Nederlander, Dusty Bottoms: "The Three Amigos!"

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Cheese Grater Slide

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Every Writer's Goal

"The greatest possible merit of style is, of course, to make the words absolutely disappear into the thought."

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Land-Locked Bay

Driving through the back roads of south central Georgia I spied a sign for a town named Dark Bay.

Yes, in the middle of land-locked Georgia with no discernable body of water for miles and miles, a town named Dark Bay.


On the other hand, I made note of it as a really cool name for a town in a mystery story I might write, lol.

Friday, May 1, 2009


We were informed at work the other day that we could no longer refer to it as "Swine Flu", but rather as the new official designation of "H1N1."

Pigs have feelings too, you know.

Or at least those who sell dead pigs do. The pork industry lobbied to remove the "swine flu" name because they were afraid it would negatively impact the sale of pork chops, sausage and bacon. Despite the fact that you cannot get it from eating pork.

Walking by our media monitoring center today I stopped and listened as reports came in of some 400 school closings around the nation. The precautions are everywhere, just like the little bottles of Purell on desks in my office. Or this cartoon showing new handshakes for the swine flu.

And at the same time, reports are coming in that this strain may not be as deadly as originally thought. It's hard to know what to think. But one thing is sure; normal precautions to keep from spreading ANY type of sickness or flu are good actions to take.
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