Observerated & Contemplacated


Funny how Internet monikers have become as personal and important as license plates or nicknames. I realized this when I scrolled through the user list on the site, and took note of how many people chose a username from the Internet: perhaps a Yahoo! or AOL ID, or whatever.

Cuz it’s gotten to where you just don’t think about it: of course, on a site with traffic/membership as low as mine, you could probably have your name for a username. But on the Internet, we just don’t tend to think of ourselves as “ourselves.” We wear our virtual identities like a mask, or a cape, or a badge.

If that makes sense.

Another thing? The well is dry: one of my problems is a lack of fresh material.

I was thinking the other day, as I talked at length with some people who’d never really met me before, that I am (generally) a big hit with new people, because they have never heard any of the jokes.

The issue is that it only takes about a week or two of my aquaintence before I run out of stuff, and then you’re back watching the same show you’ve seen 14 days ago, and the second time around it’s a big yawner.

I rhetorically question myself time to time on whether this forum (a blog) is good for positive growth or if it just breeds stagnation.

This is my second straight work week of a post per day. I’ll be at home for most of this weekend, so things could get scary, blog-wise.

Later I’m going to meet the VanDusers? on their way to the cottage in Mt. Morris so I can finish some devirusifying of their computer, which I worked on in part over the Internet earlier this week.

Quarter Hoarder


Things are always ch-ch-ch-changin’ when you have something new and exciting going in your everyday activities, whether it’s a new job, a new school, or in my case, a new residence.

Gone are the days of the laundry facilities right outside my bedroom door in the House That Dave Leased. I still have the laundry right outside the door, but now it costs a buck to wash, a buck to dry, and instead of sharing with one person, I share with seven. There are two of each, though.

But yeah, so there’s no change machine or anything in the laundry room, so you gots to haves your quarters. I haven’t had any for a while, and I took some clothes up north to wash a couple weeks ago, but earlier in the week, I got cash from the ATM, picked up 20 bucks in quarters at J&J’s Laundromat on Main & Scott, and so now I have a small collection of quarters in a dish at home, exclusively for use in the laundry.

It makes me sad that 20 dollars is only going to finish 10 loads.

I might have a plan, though: Droste has a washer and dryer in his apartment, which is fully subsidized by the University (since he’s a hall director, and all) and I have been invited to wash clothes there at my leisure. Make no mistake, I *will* take advantage.

The other plan, should the Droste machine be unavailable or inadequate, is to do the washing at home (a dollar’s a pretty good deal), and then load up the car to use the industrial-strength dryers up the street. Those suckers dry like mad, and you can buy 12 minutes at a time for a quarter. I can get the same bang for 50 or 75 cents down there that will cost me at least a buck at home. I am thinking all the time.

I didn’t finish my book yesterday and it’s starting to get frustrating. I just want it to be over. I wound up watching ’24’ instead of reading, and that was compelling, sure, but dammitall, why do I so easily give in to the temptation(s) of my innumerable entertainment options?

I got to work this morning at 7:42 (getting better at getting up on time in the AM; the last few days, I’ve woken first at 5:40, sans alarm) and as soon as I sat down, I remembered that I needed to buy more coffee. So I went on a run, I was back by 8, which, if you ask me, isn’t bad. There are days I read the paper in the bathroom longer than that.

Jim said I could have the couch in his apartment, so I want to get that taken care of as soon as I can. Getting some furniture is really going to start tying the room together. After the couch, I think I could use a rug.

Stay tuned for some of the highlights to come later in the week(end):
– the rebirth of polling on Jason’s site!
– the resurgence of the Interesting & the Factual?

Gosh, I'd Do Anyting Fer da Packers


Didn’t go in to work today, instead took the invite of Jim Droste to join him and Craig Peterson at the Packers stockholder meeting up in Green Bay. I still hadn’t seen the New Lambeau, so I took it as a golden opportunity.

It was pretty neat; getting to hear the report from Mike Sherman and all these other dudes you never hear about. Er, to be honest, most of them were boring, but it was still neat. Got to see the inside of the Resch Center (where the meeting was held) too.

After the “meeting” proper, everyone in attendance took a walk across the street to to the field, and we got to walk down the tunnel, see the stadium from the field, and meet Bob Harlan if we felt like it. It was a lot of waiting in the Sun, but the free ice cream afterwards made it worth it. I think it was about 2 when we left.

But yeah, things observed in Green Bay today:
The Brown County Arena has *GOT* to go. Next to the new Lambeau and the new Resch Center, that place is just an eyesore. Time to bulldoze and do something different.

The ‘Packer Zealots,’ as Jim calls them are certifiable. It’s cool and fun to be a football fan, but for God’s sake: it is JUST FOOTBALL. The assistant GM’s in line waiting to get into the stadium, still debating Tony Mandrich? Get a life, it happened 15 damn years ago.

I am going to finish my book yet this week. Oh, I will finish it.

Synopsis of the Past 69 Hours


7:20 PM, FRIDAY: Go to dinner w/ Mom @ Charcoal Pit. Decent, as usual, but need to find more places to go out for fish.

10:30 PM, FRIDAY: Arrive @ Ambassador to meet Joe, Raul, Steve, and Jared. Find out there are three different bachelor parties that the five of us will be attending on Saturday. Talk a bit about comic books, which surprises me. But, I don’t feel like an ass chiming in on comics, as I’m sure I would on Jeffry’s board.

2:20 AM, SATURDAY: Spill half a bottle of beer on myself as I fall asleep on the couch. Joe rightfully laughs at me.

7:45 AM, SATURDAY: Wake and immediately panic, having not set an alarm, concerned that I might already be late picking up the guys for the bachelor party.

8:30 AM, SATURDAY: Pick up the hella-expensive van.

9:35 AM, SATURDAY: Arrive @ Hampton Inn to pick up the gang for Dev’s party. Slotten forgot to bring his directions, so I guide him in by phone.

10:30 AM, SATURDAY: Begin the Miller tour.

12:42 PM, SATURDAY: Arrive right on time to the Sprecher tour.

2:30 PM, SATURDAY: Still enjoying watching the men enjoy the free Sprecher samples. Devin is pretty much trashed.

4:30 PM, SATURDAY: Arrive to dinner early, we’re seated immediately and eating before 5, much to the agreement of the party attendees, who have the buzzin’ muchies by this time.

6:10 PM, SATURDAY: Arrive at Premier, smoke an Indian Tabac cigar that makes me sweat/queasy/hot. Also play a round of Golden Tee with Joe Bryan, Jake Simon, and D-Slo?. Petters caddies. Most people sober up to some extent, excepting Devin.

7:55 PM, SATURDAY: Go into the Premier bathroom, certain I am about to puke from cigar. I don’t.

8:30 PM, SATURDAY: Arrive @ Brew City, party proceeding.

10:30 PM, SATURDAY: Arrive upstairs @ O’Danny’s?. Bar vacant, we fill it up. Play 8-10 rounds of 7-14-21. Some very attractive women make me very glad to be there.

12:50 AM, SUNDAY: Devin pays the bagpipe guy 20 dollars to play three songs, poorly.

1:10 AM, SUNDAY: I run into Steve, Raul, and their bachelor, Waldo, having a shot @ The Harp. Their party is going well.

1:20 AM, SUNDAY: Devin falls off the chair, doesn’t notice, keeps talking to D-Slo?.

1:25 AM, SUNDAY: Heise is about to take a nap on the bench @ The Harp.

1:30 AM, SUNDAY: D-Slo? walks Devin to the bathroom. Later, Devin will say he doesn’t remember that happening.

1:45 AM, SUNDAY: I guide Devin’s movement back to the van. As we pass the Wyndam, he wants to have a little contest guessing the make of the cars parked on the street. He is right a couple times.

2:02 AM, SUNDAY: I need to pull over on the freeway at the Zoo interchange because Devin needs to throw up.

2:05 AM, SUNDAY: Devin needs to take a walk in the grass because he stepped in the vomit.

2:16 AM, SUNDAY: Devin’s weight is supported by his belt/jeans as his future father-in-law leans him out the open van door to puke again. Woman in a minivan in the next lane is grossed out.

2:17 AM, SUNDAY: Kids in Trans Am implore Devin not to “puke on their car!”

2:23 AM, SUNDAY: Devin loses consciousness safely in his hotel room.

2:35 AM, SUNDAY: Stop for something to eat at Perkin’s (next door to the hotel) with Kevin P, Kevin W, Brandon H, David Sl, Brian F, Nick P. Meghan is our waitress. We agree that she is quite attractive in a wholesome, midwestern way.

3:20 AM, SUNDAY: I drop off the hella-expensive van.

11:00 AM, SUNDAY: I pick up the guys who stayed at the hotel for check-out.

12:50 PM, SUNDAY: Joe, Slotten and I order food at the drive-thru @ Vic’s on Silvernail.

1:05 PM, SUNDAY: Joe, Slotten and I receive the food we ordered at the drive-thru @ Vic’s on Silvernail.

1:13 PM, SUNDAY: Joe, Slotten and I arrive @ West Point Cinema to see The Bourne Supremacy.

3:10 PM, SUNDAY: We leave the theater and agree that it was an enjoyable show.

4:10 PM, SUNDAY: I leave Jen & Joe’s to head back to Oshkosh.

5:55 PM, SUNDAY: Arrive at Wells Fargo Bank in Neenah to make a deposit to cover my kilt rental for Devin & Marj’s wedding.

6:12 PM, SUNDAY: Arrive back at my house.

8:30 PM, SUNDAY: Meet Katie Mac and D Schrubbe @ Oblio’s for a few beers. Run into Dave Ruby there, too.

9:40 PM, SUNDAY: Nutbar that Katie attended high school with begs her to buy him a drink, since he just got out of prison, but would she please hurry up and decide, because he has to be back to the group home by 10.

10:10 PM, SUNDAY: Katie, Dave and I have a discussion about hypochondria that stems from poverty (i.e., no insurance).

10:50 PM, SUNDAY: We agree to leave the bar, and I say, “great—I can still be in bed by 11.”

6:38 AM, MONDAY: I wake up, having overslept slightly.

7:42 AM, MONDAY: Arrive at work.

12:38 PM, MONDAY: Go to lunch.

1:41 PM, MONDAY: Get back from lunch.

3:10 PM, MONDAY: Start working on this entry.

Highlight of the Week


Not so much Friday, being the highlight, but I was telling Kevin earlier how I wondered during my work day if I could jam a highlighter far enough into my ear to make the ideas on my outer brain stand out. It was that sort of day.

I was extraordinarily proud of myself last night for resisting the temptation of going to B&N with Katie Mac and BryGuy?; instead I stuck around the house and filed. The good news is that I got it all done.

I was proud of myself today for writing Ben a 2300-word email with just one sentence. I guess I am really an English geekboy. And let me tell you, that’s a serious sort of geekitude, to get excited about sentences and grammar and shit.

I didn’t have much going on at work today, so I went through my file drawer at work and threw some stuff out. I believe I spoke of the boredom? Yeah, quite.

You have noticed you can get a sneak preview of Part Two of the apartment tour in advance of its world premiere scheduled for this evening.

Right now, I’m waiting for Mom to get here so we can put some furniture in the house and then head off to the greater Milwaukee area. I have to stay in Waukesha tonight so I can pick up the van for Dev’s party early, and Mom is going to Sarah’s baby shower. Good times for all.

Time to pack!

Keeping the Streak Alive


I’ve not had a good run on the blogging for quite a while now, so I feel compelled to keep it up (I knocked on my desk as well; I think at least *part* of it is wood).

Had an unexpected and unfortunately short visit with Katie Mac and The Schrubbinator yesterday after work. I was turning on to Main Street when they were sauntering around the front of my building. Katie liked the apartment and I let them drink lemonade. I realized once again how desperately I need some furniture, as I had Dave sitting in the desk chair, Katie on the US Army folder, and me on my two-boxes-of-books chair. A couch would be awesome. And yes, I know I could’ve had my old bed/couch from Grandma’s house, but it just didn’t seem to fit in this place. I’ll come up with a viable solution to that problem soon enough.

Just a couple days left until Dev’s bachelor party, which will serve as the ultimate example to date of my social planning mettle. I was trying to think of the last time I coordinated a large group of people and met with success. I guess that first year that Miller Park was open and the Bocks all went to a game together would count. That went pretty well. The only concern that remains with this weekend’s event is lodging. I was only able to get the one room at the hotel, and if there are 7 or 8 people trying to sleep there, it could get dicey. When I reserved the room, I only knew about 5 people staying over, so…

Last night Siebers and I went out for dinner and then saw ‘I, Robot’ for a buck. The 2-for-1 happy hour beers at Friar Tuck’s were nice. Bryan is “just getting into beer,” so I was forced to drink both of mine and one of his. It was a good warm up for the movie. And speaking of the movie, oh… what can I say? It was somewhat entertaining, although not very ‘smart.’ I probably could’ve written this screenplay. And this is not to say that a movie has to be mind-blowingly complex or really intelligent in order to get a good review from me (see my reviews for the likes of American Pie, Old School, Starsky & Hutch), I just felt like this genre and Isaac Asimov’s concepts deserved better treatment than your meat-and-potatoes, lowest-common-denominator action flick. As those movies go, this one was decent. Probably worth a view on the big screen (cuz it is BIG), but you could certainly feel OK about waiting for budget time. God knows I did. I give it 2.5 out of 5.

I got home from the movie around 9:45 and got ready for bed immediately. I read HWOSG until about 25 after 10 and then fell asleep. I woke up first at around 5:35, I think it was, then I snoozed until the alarm went off at 6, snoozed again til 6:30, and finally got up at 6:50. Maybe it’s just a question of will power. I could use some of that. At least I made it to work on time this morning, thanks to a Carlin-style shower and complete not-careitude w/ regard to wardrobe. I needed clothes for the summer this year and I never could afford to really get any. Maybe I should swing through Goodwill later on just to see if there are any gems. You never know.

I haven’t gotten out my list yet today. I don’t know what I should be doing for sure. I don’t recall having written down anything pressing, though. Some of the things on the list are required purchases, etc, and that makes it tough when you’re short on cash but really want to feel like things are getting accomplished. I should probably be reading and writing with all that down time, but it seems like I end up here or someplace else in cyberspace pretty often.

When I first bought my PDA in MT, I remember shopping for some little accessories and whatnot at Staples. I couldn’t fathom why (provided you don’t abuse it, store it in the conveniently located little slot when not in use, and always only use it the way it’s intended) a person should ever need a replacement stylus. Then today, I was playing with it and broke it, so I’ll have to get another one. I don’t think you can buy them just one at a time, though, so there ya go: boned again.

I gave up the dream (for the foreseeable future) of buying a new phone. The phone I was all ramped up about in the spring turns out is only offered by US Cellular, so I’ll have to contend with having The Phone Everyone Has. I’m learning to deal.

Mom’s coming to see my apartment and hopefully drop off a bit of furniture on Friday while she’s en route to Milwaukee. I’m going to head down after that as well, since I have to pick up the van for the party on Saturday pretty early in the morning.

I can see Jim’s homepage just fine with Firefox here at work, but for some reason, on my laptop it’s a no-go. And I have exactly the same version of the browser on both. I should check plugins. I should check to see if I can see it on my desktop. That would be weird, I suppose.

I lament the thought of getting into the car at lunch today. I guess the humidity’s down to under 50%, though, so that’s something. I wonder if I should go to Staples and look at those plastic file drawers again. Filing is one of the principle tasks I could be completing at home tonight. It sure would be nice to get that crap out of the way.

Are you bored yet?

Daily Distractions


The big “project” that I’m working on in the office right now is to go over the Student Employment Guidelines with a fine-toothed comb, seeing as they have not been revised in quite a while, and the whole business model is changing for this fall – which I personally think is insane and will be a certifiable disaster, but that’s neither here nor there.

When you have a large proofing/revising project, I find that you need a good solid break every 20 minutes or so. The project simply isn’t enjoyable, interesting, or involved enough to really hunker down for longer than that.

This AM I chatted with Jen for a spell and told her about this new show on Bravo that I watched for a while last night. It was pretty funny. The woman was proven to be the most annoying in this relationship, and I anticipate that trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

I went over my pre-weekend list again, just in case I might’ve forgotten something, but alas: the party is “all systems go” at this point, and I have nothing left to do to prepare. Well maybe I could see if there are any more rooms available at the hotel…

But anyway, my phone got me up at 6 and 6:30 this morning, and then I finally got out of bed @ 6:45, and I made it to work by 7:47. I went to bed, though, at 10:15. I was actually planning on being awake a little longer to read, but I clunked out right away. When then, WHY couldn’t I just wake up after a solid 8? I just did NOT want to get out of bed. I’ve gotta figure something out with that, too.

While I was talking to Jen, I started thinking a little bit about buying a car again. I went on ebay and I found a dude from the UK who lives outside Atlanta and imports old Minis from England/Australia/New Zealand. Oh man, I wanna buy one. I don’t even know if you can get these things financed, like from a bank. I’m sure you could. It’s a car, for chrissakes. Yeah, still need to squeeze a few good months out of ol’ Willy for sure, though.

Later on, I’m gonna go with Siebers to see I, Robot. I gave him some Asimov to read a couple months back, he told me he was close to giving up on it. It *is* slow. As I recall, the payoff is at the end, though, so I hope he makes it through. I was close to going out by myself last night to see ‘Anchorman’ but then I realized I don’t have much in terms of disposable income, so…

I wonder if a 25-30 year old car would be easier (mechanically) to maintain? Like, maybe there would be things even I could figure out.

Best get back to the workin. After all, I’m gonna go to lunch in 20 minutes.

Frustration Persists


I am still reeling a little bit in terms of the atmosphere in my apartment.

I took a ride to the Poquettes’ last night for dinner and a bit o’ ‘Pop Culture’ Trivial Pursuit, and when I left my house @ 5:30, the temp was nice, the air was movin, it was cooler than the outdoors, and I said to myself, “Perfect! I think I’ve got this place figured out!”

Well, then I got home later and it was actually HOTTER in there than when I left. So I’ve still got some figuring to do. I ran the A/C again while I slept, and then I turned it off this morning. By the time I left, 50 minutes later, the temp was up 4 degrees. I dunno what the story is.

Sunday night I got home from E.R. and I pulled my car around to the street for unloading a dresser. I figured it would be easier in the front than the back, since my apartment door is closer to the street. Well, then I forgot all about moving the car back behind the building, and in the morning I had me a citation from the City of Oshkosh for being parked out there between the hours of 2 and 5 AM. I’ve never seen a sign for that myself, so on my way home from Fond du Lac on Monday, I looked hard for one.

There was one damn sign on Main Street between 6th and my building, which, if you live in Oshkosh or are familiar, you know means the only sign was literally ON THE BRIDGE, then not one for blocks upon blocks. Does this fact give me the ability to dispute the ticket, you think? Ten bucks. I could kind of use ten bucks.

Reminds me I should pay the 5-dollar ticket I still have laying around for being parked more than 90 minutes in the lot behind the building.

Thinking about all of this this morning got me ranting to myself about parking. Try to follow the logic here…
-OK, so the city wants 30 bucks a month basically just to be able to park in that lot behind the building all day, every day if you want, without fear of citation.
-One can *already* park there without getting cited for 15 of the 24 hours in a day, as well as all 24 of them on Sundays and holidays.
-Additionally, we’re talking about 90-minute parking here, without payment. That means if your car is in the space at 9AM, that’s when the clock starts running, and you’ve got until 10:30 to move it. On the flip side, 90-min parking ends at 6PM, so if you’re there at or after 4:30, your 90 minutes don’t expire until after enforcement ends. Hence, you’ve got an extra three hours, bringing the grand total to 18, and now if you think about it, you really only need to find someplace else for your car to be for 6 hours a day, excluding Sundays and holidays.
-Let’s break this down mathematically:
30 dollars a month, 12 months in a year. That means 360 dollars (about a whole month’s rent) to park the car.
365 days in a year, less 52 Sundays, when parking is essentially free, and we’ll forget about ‘holidays’ for now, since I’m not quite certain which ones they even mean. This leaves 313 days that you pay 360 dollars for, and it’s roughly $1.16 a day.
BUT: as we’ve already seen, the 1.16 is *not* even for a full day, it’s for 6 hours, since the other 18 each and every day are also free.
How much parking do we actually need to pay for? Well, 6 hours a day for 313 days a year means 1878 hours, and that breaks down to 78.25 days. We didn’t consider the holidays in our count of 313, so let’s round this number down to 78. SEVENTY-EIGHT DAYS out of the whole year that you actually need to pay to park the car.
We revise the equation a little, and suddenly that 1.16 per day for 313 days has turned into 4.62 per day for 78 days.
I could buy a very unhealthy lunch for two-and-a-half months for that. I could get a Quarter Pounder w/ cheese value meal @ McDonald’s? for 4.62. That’s 530 calories for the sandwich, another 540 for the fries, and 3 more in my Diet Coke, for a total of 1073 calories. Figure you do that 78 times, that’s 83,694 calories from McDonald’s?. And I’m not even going to talk about the fat! I don’t need that…
Conversely, if I’m home all day (i.e., not in class or at work or out of town) for 150 days a year, that would be a lot. Walking down the stairs, getting in the car, moving it, and walking back up the stairs takes me 3 minutes. Tops. Three minutes of walking leisurely for a person 190 lbs. is going to burn like 13 calories. I have to move the car at 10:30, noon, 1:30, and 4:30, so 4 trips x 3 minutes = 12 minutes x 13 calories, and I’ve burned 156 calories a day just moving the car! Multiply that 156 by 78 quarter pounders, suddenly the difference between moving the car and eating fast food is a whopping 95,862 calories!
BOTTOM LINE: The City of Oshkosh is conspiring to make me fat, and as long as I can get a commuter parking sticker from the University for less than 360 dollars a year, the City can eat me, I’ll move the damn car.



I was saying to Kevin during the course of one of our three phone conversations this morning, “I’m puttin’ out fires all over the place.” Such has been this Monday.

I got in this morning knowing full well that if a number of issues regarding Devin’s bachelor party (it can be discussed under ‘forums’) weren’t settled within 24-30 hours, the whole damn thing would come crashing down on itself, and my ill-scheduled planning would be exposed for all to see.

That being the case, I felt very good about myself considering that before 2 PM, the hotel, the restaurant, and both brewery tours were reserved and ready to go. Right now, I’m waiting on a call back from the auto rental joint, but I anticipate minimal problems there. I may have had to rush, but it’s just about all in order, and that’ll be one less thing on my mind.

Things that were burning at work today: really nothing. I guess that’s all I have on that topic.

I posed a question at Jeffry Willis’s board earlier today, feel free to weigh in on this one if you like: what’s with humanity not having evolved to where everyone’s got six senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, and telekinesis? Is telekinesis *really* asking that much? I don’t even really need it for big/dumb stuff, like lifting cars or flying or something (although the flying would be nice), just little things: that pen is out of reach? There, I’ve got it. I lost the remote? No big deal, I’ll push the buttons with my mind. I need to stir constantly while I’m also chopping on the other side of the kitchen? Taken care of. That’s all I’m asking for. What do you have to do to hook that up, y’know?

It’s been an hour and forty-five minutes since I sent a reservation request to Mayfair Rent-a-Car? in Waukesha. They are getting a call at 3 PM on the nose.

The weekend was fine and dandy; I went up north and helped Dad put in new windows in all the bedrooms. They look nice; that big one in the front is gonna be pretty neat, too. I figure that if those all get done and the Dad manages to finish the deck in the back of the house by the end of summer, you have to call it a successful one. Mom hooked me up with a dresser, too, and next weekend I guess I get a table and some chairs.

It sounds like something just hit the floor pretty hard in another part of the office.

Mayfair has eight minutes left.

If I’ve got anything else during the evening hours, you’ll be the first to know…