Monday, February 22, 2010

Once again I have tested the patience of my readership and at this point I'm sure we're just down to those who have this blog pop up in their google reader, which is fine, the savvy will inherit the earth and all that.

So my last post was shortly after the fourth of July last year. We're back by popular (1 person, love you cuz) demand so here goes everything.

My patriotic resolutions from the prior post have been fulfilled with mixed results. The John Adams miniseries was quite good and educational but the resolution to cheat less on my taxes was ill-timed as I seem to owe the IRS a bit more than expected this year, and my resolve to not cheat has served as a sort of moral anchor to the straight and narrow. Its a shame that my one New Year's resolution was to be more resolute or else I would feel better about breaking my prior commitment. Still, owing the IRS is one of those good problems (assuming one can pay) that one shouldn't really complain about.

One recent (as of last night) development is that I now have my very own internet connection at home now. Its nice being up to date in all the most recent technological wonders. I'm sure my beloved readership will appreciate the lowering of barriers to blogging that I'll now enjoy.

Went to Lake Tahoe with the Tea & Strumpets crowd a few weeks back. Was fun, I think I like snowboarding but will never love it, maybe I just have to get better. I also learned that I have an almost pathological inability to gamble. I did manage to lose $80 in craps in about 5 minutes though, so progress is being made. This was also the first time I'd ever stepped into a casino. Was more or less like I expected, except the bathrooms were exceedingly below par. I tried to practice counting cards while watching BK, AY and Tall play Let it Ride, but wasn't very successful. One morning I did manage to walk down to the lake itself and it was very beautiful. Rest in peace Fredo (Godfather II). (Note, I didn't really try to count cards but wanted AY to shake his head when he read that)

For the summer I'm thinking more seriously than I have in recent years about playing club ultimate again. That or work on long distance running. I'm leaning towards ultimate though, more social + more beer.

Well, I'm about to tuck into my nightly dose of Mencken or Twain. I'll soon develop a very healthy disdain for the American public I'm sure, which is fine.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Fourth of July

So I began this morning in Cumberland, MD the Queen City (or Queen's City?, I apologize for the uncharacteristic lack of research on this). Given that Mars was canceled (Is Xmas next?) I ventured out there to visit with an aunt of mine and take in the local scenery. Turns out that its not a bad place. I walked up to a cliff overlook named lover's leap (sadly [but luckily?] alone) which one can find behind the local plastics plant, naturally. From the signage about town I gathered that Cumberland was quite important back in olden times. After a hearty breakfast and enjoyable conversation I left my aunt's 6 books richer than when I arrived and with the knowledge that one can find fossils at the top of the mountain behind her house. I plan to return and look for some of these ocean fossils in the sky at a later date.

On my way to the DC metro area I stopped at the rather happening Rocky Gap State park and walked about 4-5 miles round trip to see the first homestead in Allegheny county (I saw an old well) and see a marker for the Mason-Dixon line. Along the way I saw a sign that alluded to some supposed scenic overlook. The only thing I saw that might qualify is a metal tower that has an aviation beacon at the top and a rather rusted ladder leading up to it, I assume the park's insurance agent has neglected to hike this particular trail for some time. On the way down I came within a few feet of what I believe was a rattlesnake. I was almost upon him before I came out of my day dreaming. After I scooted around him I threw a few sticks lightly at him to suggest he clear the trail (don't ask me why I didn't do this before I scooted around him). He obliged me by moving halfway off the trail, I decided to not press the point and resumed my descent. During the rest of the walk your intrepid reporter jumped at two rather snake like sticks.

This evening I headed down to the National Mall to see the fireworks at DC's Washington Monument, which is somehow more famous than the one in Baltimore, which you have to see to believe. (link not provided) I was pleased to walk around the House side of the Capitol and hear Aretha Franklin belting out Respect, it seemed to lend credibility to the whole affair. It was quite touching to see a POW-MIA flag flying below the Star Spangled Banner on the Capitol building. Anyway, after Aretha left the stage Barry Manilow came on and did something (I was walking down to the mall at this point to get a better view and couldn't hear the performance as well due to the doppler effect [Manilow's only weakness]) and at the crescendo (I apologize if that is not the mot juste) the fireworks started, which pleased me deeply. The show was short, all of 15 minutes, which is how I like my fireworks. Any longer and I feel the maestro is overreaching. At the conclusion of the show I felt a minor starburst (sorry) of patriotism in my spirit and resolved to cheat less on my taxes and move the John Adams miniseries up in my netflix queue.

A few side notes:

I've recently been reading a bit of David Foster Wallace, mostly essays on tennis, but George also lent me his copy of Consider the Lobster. The first essay in which recounts his experience at the pornography convention in Las Vegas in the late nineties. A must read, do not skip the foot notes. Its called Big Red Son.

I believe the winner today at Coney Island engulfed 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes, the record in 2000 was 20. Progress!

I learned that Maryland has no natural lakes. If you find a lake in Maryland, it has a dam.

I have now read two of the Jeeves and Wooster books by P.G. Wodehouse, if you enjoy english humor, and you can read, these are also a must.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hiking in the dark

Went up to VT this past weekend for Get Ho Get Leid. On Friday Jason and I hiked up Mt. Mansfield, had a picnic at the top, and then used his headlamp and the full moon (It's better to be lucky than savvy) to hike down in the dark.

Unfortunately the weather on Sat. and Sun. was intended more to encourage the continued lushness of the green mountain state than to facilitate good ultimate. Due to lightning on Sat. and cold, windy rain on Sunday and a Rochester team that demurred in playing out a consolation game we got a total of 3.5 games of ultimate out of the weekend. A bit disappointing, but these things happen.

Middlebury does seem to have a few things going for it: Noonies sandwich shop where I had the Vermonter and the Purple Passion, Flatbread where our team cleaned them out of the venison braised in tomato and redwine, wild leek and fiddlehead special, and Otter Creek, who were selling the remainder of their winter lager for nickels on the bottle. Also I would not be surprised if someone told me Middlebury has the best athletic facilities of any Div III school.

Good trip, glad to be sleeping in a bed again.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Just finished off The White Tiger and then watched the movie Once. I guess the theme is follow your dreams? Kind of mixed means though in achieving that.

Highlights were posted from Acapulco and can be found here I've got some decent ones in there, although most of them are of the "Oh, so close!" variety. Leo has some nice ones too.

Oh and I celebrated Cinco de Mayo by putting red cabbage in some homemade tacos. Rather festive I thought.

Up to VT this weekend for hiking, drinking and ultimate. Maybe that will push me to trying out for a team in a couple weeks, we'll see.

Adieu and good night my patient readership of 1 or 2.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hey Rube!

So the title of this post is my new favorite word. Its also the name of the next ultimate team I form. From
hey rube
1.(used as a call to rally circus or carnival personnel in a fight, esp. in a fight with townspeople).
2.a fight between townspeople and the members of a circus or carnival.
So after a lapse of almost 3 years in the hey, what's joe saying now series, we have our newest installment. I have an impish desire to yell "hey rube" at a carnival and see what happens. I imagine it would be tantamount to yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater, but somehow I feel the sentence would be less. Good thing probably that summer and carnival season has passed us by.

Good trip back to Chicago last weekend, people seem to be doing well, what with their buying of distressed real estate, creating boom machines, brick-on-a-rope betting and first rate baby-making. Good food too. Just to be mean I printed up Hot Doug's specials for a co-worker last Friday, he's the type who will go to 3 grocery stores to get the perfect ingredients for a dinner; sadly though, showing him the specials proved to be a double-edged sword, as I saw them too, and despite my recent meal at Hot Doug's, I began to feel a bit of a longing for the world's foremost purveyor of encased meats.

I had my first fall league games this past weekend. Despite some notable plays I realized that my twice a week tennis game will not keep me up to speed on the ultimate field. I'm hurting now as a result sadly. I just noticed that Machine made Nationals, and so allow me to extend my congratulations in this semi-public forum. Dane, I would extend my sympathies for you having to cart around a brick at nationals, except I can't help but think it will be to your benefit, so I will extend no sympathy. Also Nemesis made nationals and Haymaker apparently made regionals, well done gentlemen, well done all-around.

that's all i have for now, fare thee well my good readers (no doubt only those savy enough to use google reader) and best of luck in all your misadventures.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

The evolution of the german board game

So for the last 20 days or so I have off and on been immersed in a world called Travian. Its a free online game where you have a village and you compete with other players on a world map to turn your wee municipality into a dynamic empire in route to establishing your Pax Joe Little across the known world. Its pretty interesting, like settlers but one game can last 3 months to 300 days or something, I must admit, on the server I am playing on I don't know when the "end" is. I think I'm on the 3 month track but we'll see. I've made a number of rookie mistakes but recently have been using my market to conduct arbitrage in the commodities market, that's been pretty exciting. Since I know the nerd:non-nerd ratio here is pretty high if people are interested we could all form little villages when the next server goes on, form an alliance and impose our will on lesser beings. Or not. But from the amount of enthusiasm that people had for settlers, I imagine this might prove of some interest.

In other news I went for a run/walk from my place through the maze of SW SE to the Jefferson memorial, FDR memorial, Lincoln memorial, and back. Pretty cool, nice to catch my breath while reading inspiring words.

I was out Thursday night with a friend and a young woman (nicely dressed but she'd had a few) started walking around asking if anyone had lost their cell phone in the woman's restroom. She then proceeded to call the contact listed under Dad, briefly commenting on the picture that appeared when she did so(this was around 11:00pm). It was amusing to listen to the one side of the question, especially when she commented that, "You look pretty hot too, Daddy-O." It was pretty awesome.

Well I'm off to Eastern Market to get the best peaches I've ever had. Ta ta.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The state of things

So busy weekend lined up, lets hope that it proves fun in addition to busy.

In not so surprising news it is looking slightly more likely with each day that I will not play club ultimate this year, hopefully some sort of pickup team can be formed for the AY super important friendly spectacular in Naperville event (I assume he's running it) and after that we can cap things off up in Bowdoin, Maine. Plan-wise nothing firm yet, but I have a feeling something could come together.

Anything else, oh! I remember. For those who don't know I bought a car about 2 months ago. A sweet '04 bright blue hyundai elantra. Its a pretty sweet ride. Buying a car was scary, for those who know how cheap I am, try to imagine sitting with me through that whole experience, Trudy was very brave and patient. But so far the car is running fine. I'm learning small things about car ownership, like how to parallel park and changing while driving: which I'm very good at, the driving that is. So yeah, while I used to smirk when others complained about gas prices, now I sit at home (when I'm not commuting to or from there), stare at maps of Saudi Arabia, draw large red arrows from the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea to where I imagine there are oil fields and drop them off at the White House as I run by. I like instigating things.

Well sayonara, until an as of yet to be determined time I bid my faithful readership of 2? 3? a solemn adieu.

Also, I need to make an amendment to prior post. In the great penis line of DC there is a second statue of Lincoln directly on that same line, so add one more I guess. Its in Lincoln Park just across the street from me.