Ectopic Pregnancy

Jenn has been experiencing some constant lower abdominal pain for the past few weeks. It could be from her tendons and ligaments being stretched to accomodate the baby forming. Unfortunately, it might also be a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a very serious condition where the fertilized egg attaches not to the uteran wall, but instead to the tube structure prior to reaching the uterus. There are lots of reasons that it can happen. It occurs in about one in every 2000 pregnancies. If it is caught early, outpatient surgery can remove the implanted egg without much risk. However, if it is not caught, and the tube ruptures, and can cause some pretty serious problems, including death. I'm pretty worried for Jenn, but I don't let her see it. I try to keep a positive attitude around her. I know she is really worried about this. She went for a blood test today to make sure that she is far enough along to pick up anything on an ultra-sound. We're pretty sure she is (7 weeks now), and if so, we're going to the doctor tomorrow for the ultra-sound. This will determine where the egg has attached, and if any further treatment is necessary. Our friends Jenn and Karla have kept her company, which I really appreciate and I know Jenn does too. We have such an awesome group of friends, I hope that they know how much we love them and appreciate everything they do for us. I brought Jenn home some flowers tonight to try and cheer her up a bit. She was keeping a pretty stiff upper lip tonight, but I could tell she was still worried. I'll post more news tomorrow once we get the results.

Breakfast: SlimFast
Lunch: 12" Meatball Sub
Dinner: Grande Carmel Frappucino and a Snickers Bar
Current Weight: 226

We're Having a Baby!!!

Actually, we've known for a couple of weeks, but we were finally able to tell our parents today!!! Yeah!!! Jenn is six weeks along and doing well. She has a little nausea from time to time, but other than that is fine. We had to wait until today to tell our parents because Jenn's father was doing his annual training for the National Guards these past two weeks. So this morning we got both my parents and her parents to meet us at the Purgatory Golf Course. The premise was that I was taking the dads out for a round of golf as a belated father's day gift. The moms came down to, and were going to hang out with Jenn while we golfed. Afterwards we were going to have a cookout. When everyone was at the course, we gave our moms a gift. It was a picture frame etched with a baby angel at the top, and at the bottom it said, "Here Comes Trouble." Inside, we had printed an announcement that a baby was scheduled to arrive in February of 2004. The moms flipped out!! Everyone was so excited! It was great. So after all the hugs and the crying, the ladies went to the Fishers Freedom Festival while the men played our round. I think it really affected Jenn's dad for the first couple of holes. When we got back, we cooked out a lot of hamburgers and hotdogs, and had a great time. I also called my brother to let him know that he was going to be an Uncle and that Nadia would have a cousin soon. It is so nice to finally have the secret out! We wanted to wait for a while anyway, just in case something went wrong and Jenn lost the baby. That can happen a lot within the first trimester. In fact, it is still a possibility, so we are hoping and praying that everything goes well. We are not going to learn the baby's sex until the day of the birth. We're going to paint the nursery a yellow color. We've picked out a girl name, Samantha Ann, but we haven't settled on a boy name yet. We both like Aidan and Corbin, and a few others, but we just haven't been able to settle on one. We have plenty of time to figure it out though. I'm gonna be a DAD!

Breakfast: English Muffin
Lunch: Hotdog
Dinner: Hamburger and chips
Current Weight: 225

Old School

We watched the movie "Old School" with our friends tonight. It was pretty funny, but it got really slow in parts. It was marked as the unrated version, but we really didn't see anything too revolting (other than maybe Will Ferrel's ass). Saturday Night Live and the crew have gone really down hill. I mean really down hill. Eddie Murphy, Jon Belushi, and Steve Martin were kings. Can you even name anyone on SNL anymore? I can't. There's that one bookish chick, that does the news, and the other guy, that does the news with her. Yeah. Oh yeah, and the black one. And the latin chick. Whatever. The last one I watched the humor was aimed squarely at rich, snobby, elitist assholes. Way to identify with your target audience. SNL was meant as the place for the not quite ready for prime time crew to get their first licks. Chris Kattan has been on there forever. Nothing he has ever done has been funny. Mango? Mr. Peepers? How did this guy ever get movies?!? A Night at the Roxburry and Corky Romano were both bombs. It's time for some serious change.

Breakfast: SlimFast
Lunch: Subway 6" Sub
Dinner: Penn Station Medium Phillie Cheesesteak, Baked Chips
Current Weight: 225
[Listening to: Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile (1 of 2) - La Mer]

Lean and Agile

Today at work we had a seminar on Lean and Agile manufacturing. The seminar was held at the Holiday Inn down on 96th street adjoined to the Bennigan's. It was a little screwy, but in total, very informative. I had to wear a stupid Burger King crown and play the role of the plant manager during our production simulation game. It was a little humiliating, but I've come to expect that kind of crap from our company president. The end result was a good, informative session though. So I'll take the lumps and not complain. Well... maybe I'll complain a little.
[Listening to: Jackyl - The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience - Mental *@%#!]

Top o' The Mornin'

It's early! I got up just before 5am this morning so I can travel. It seems that I really didn't need to get up this early, but at least I'm ready to go. I modified my breakfast this morning to in the hopes that I will make it to lunch without chewing my arm off. Our dog, Koby, is hilarious in the morning. Hilarious, that is, if you're in the mood to have a wound up dog jumping all over the place at 6am. Koby is a Salt & Pepper colored Miniature Schnauzer with drop ears rather than cropped. He has a very set routine. He wakes one of us up (usually Jenn) around 6am to be let outside. After he is finished and comes back in he makes a mad dash for his food dish where he fully expects that you have filled it with his breakfast. Woe to the unwary morning person who has neglected to fill his bowl! Koby immediately dispenses a dressing down if he has not been supplied with the proper number and type of morning treat. Usually, he gets three Milk Bones and two of some type of premium treat, like Pup Peroni. Somehow, he knows if he hasn't had enough. If we run out of the premium treats, we can usually sate his appetite by providing more Milk Bones, but not without receiving dirty looks for the rest of the day. Once Koby has had his morning treat, his next duty is to go wake the other person. This usually involves making a flying leap at the bed, and then pouncing on the victim sleeper. Finally, once everyone is awake and getting ready for work, he saunters down to the dining room to find his sunbeam. This is where he'll stay until we are ready to leave. He gives us a goodbye at the window, then finds a nice comfy spot to rest so that he can be ready to greet us when we get home. We love that dog!

Breakfast: English Muffin with AppleButter. NutriGrain Bar
Lunch: 12" Meatball Sub, Diet Pepsi
Dinner: Taco Salad
Current Weight: 225


Today was a very hot day. The air conditioners for our office building are seriously underpowered, especially considering the number of servers and PCs we have running. Our office gets hot! Today, one of the summer interns was up in the attic preparing to drop an air conditioning duct into the server closet when he noticed that the ducts for feeding air to our office was knocked out of line. Only about 50% of the air was getting through. Tomorrow he is going to get up there with some duct tape and fix it. Go figure, duct tape being used for its intended purpose. By the end of the day it was nearly 90 degrees in our office with very little air movement. I had a hard time not falling asleep.

Class last night was pretty interesting. The first hour was used to complete paperwork. The second hour we used as a time for introductions. Each person got up and said their name, employer, and a little of their background. We also had to answer a couple of questions:
  • What would you do with a million dollars if you could not give it to family or charity?
  • What is something you have always wanted to do?
  • What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

There were a few interesting answers, but we all lead pretty boring, conservative lives. We live in the middle of the midwest and are going to school to earn an MBA. Not very many wild childs here. Following our introduction our instructor began a discussion of personality types. I had heard a lot of this before in my Organizational Behaviour course at Purdue. I kind of tuned it out. At 9pm, we took a personality exam. It wasn't the Meyer's/Briggs test. Instead it was called DiSC. I scored evenly in three catagories, but very low in the demanding category. I guess that is a good thing. We broke into groups to discuss our personality type a bit more. After a bit more discussion, class was over and we went home. Not bad for the first day of class. We have two homework assignments, but I don't think they will be any trouble to get done by next Monday. I'm more worried about getting my work done for my job.

Tomorrow we head back to fabulous Churubusco. You just can't say that without a little smile inside. Hopefully we can do a run through of all of the operations that need to take place for our first manufacturing step. If we can do that, it will be a very successful trip. What is more likely is that we will have a lot of minor things blow up on us. Hopefully we can make some progress, and know enough about where we need to go from there to be ready for a runoff with the customer in Lafayette next week. That will be the true test of the system. Hopefully Murphy's Law will take a break that day and leave us alone.

I'm pretty exhausted from class. I need to get up around 5 or 5:30 tomorrow morning so that we can pack everything up to leave. I think I'll play a couple hands of euchre and then hit the sack.

Breakfast: SlimFast
Lunch: Three Hot Dogs and some peanuts. Diet Vanilla Coke
Dinner: Two Manicotti tubes, applesauce, and milk
Current Weight: 224
[Listening to: Las Vegas USA - - - Internet Dance Radio]

First Class

Today, well, yesterday now I guess, was the first day of my MBA courses. I'm pretty bushed, so I'm heading to bed. I've been down here playing with the new laptop for far too long. More info on that tomorrow (today) too.

Breakfast: SlimFast
Lunch: Oatmeal
Dinner: Jimmy John's Gargantuan, Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips
Current Weight: 225

Church Membership

Our church membership class was today. It was largely an informational session to get to know the pastors and the programs that the church puts on. Sub sandwiches were served and it was a nice time to get to know everyone. It was very long though. We left for church around 10:45am and got home at 6pm. We snuck a trip to the bank in there, and dinner at El Camino Real, but that is still a long day at church. Next week we will be inducted as new members, and I will be baptized. We'll meet with one of the pastors on Wednesday evening to discuss what type of services we can do to assist in furthering the mission of the church.

I'm pretty wiped out today. I think the week has just caught up with me. I may head to sleep a little bit early tonight. Of course, not before playing a few hands of euchre! I've got a lot of work to do on this new project assignment, and not a lot of time to get it done in. I did a little work on it over the weekend, but I think I'm at a stopping point until I get updated components from another person on the team.

Breakfast: Orange Juice
Lunch: Subs, chips, apple sauce
Dinner: Beef Enchilada, Two Tacos, and a Chalupa
Current Weight: 226
[Listening to: The Crystal Method - Vegas - Trip Like I Do]


I finally got around to priming the Boilercade for painting today. Ever since we were able to play the games on it, work has ceased on improving it. Our company president let me know on Thursday that the company is going to have Hack and I build another for the new building. That should be fun. Plus, someone else will be paying for it, so we can get better stuff. It has been a pretty fun project so far. I'm hoping to get some painting done tomorrow night, but I'm not sure if that is going to be in the cards. We are planning on joining the church we attend, and we have a class for joiners tomorrow after church. After that, I need to mow the lawn, which isn't going to leave a lot of time for painting. Unfortunately, it may be some time before it is completed.

This next week is going to fly by. Sunday we have the class for joining the church. Monday is my first class towards earning my MBA. Tuesday and Thursday I have exercise classes. Wednesday and Friday I'm heading to Churubusco for work. Saturday I'm taking our fathers out for a round of golf as a late Father's day gift, since Jenn's dad had National Guard duty this past two weeks. Every day has something planned. This is gonna wear me out! I better get to bed!

Brunch: Hot Dogs and Coffee
Late Lunch: Pancakes
Dinner: Monterey Chicken Sandwich and Potato Soup at Charleston's
Current Weight: 226

Weight Update

I forgot to update with my meals and such for yesterday, so here's the info. It looks like the 230 pound measurement at the beginning of the week was some kind of fluke. I've been holding pretty steady at 225. I know that losing weight is a very gradual process, but I'd really like to see results fast. Patience will get me there. I also need to make a better effort to eat a larger lunch and a smaller dinner. I'm not really on any kind of diet, but I sort of feel like I cheated by going out to dinner tonight. The Guinness was very tasty though!

BreakFast: SlimFast
Lunch: Hot dogs and corn chips
Dinner: Fish and Chips with a Guinness
Snack: Cashews
Current Weight: 225


Pouters irritate me. Especially grown men that pout. Today, we got some bad news at work. One project had a crisis, so people were being moved around to handle the crisis. One guy was being moved from my current project to handle the crisis project. I was being moved to take over the work he was doing on a different project in addition to the work I was currently doing on my project. I was pretty excited about the opportunity. It was going to mean a lot more work, but it also meant doing something different. The timeline was short, but it seemed that all of the information that I needed to accomplish my goals was at hand. It was going to be hard, but I could get it done.

This is not the attitude that one of my office mates took. He was tasked with coming onboard my current project and performing the tasks that the guy leaving to handle the crisis had not finished. He threw an absolute fit. He started slamming things around on his desk. When I offered to help him to get up to speed, he just told me he didn't want to talk about it. Then he gave all of us the silent treatment for the rest of the day. You know what, grow up. Shit happens. The only thing you can do is try to make the best of it. I have no pity for this guy. He's not the only one being put in a tough position. The guys handling the crisis project must be at the plant 24-hours to monitor in case a problem occurs. I'm going into a project totally blind that has a due date of Monday. And this guy is told that he has to finish what someone else started by the middle of next week, and he throws the biggest fit. I have not pity for this guy. If he wants to mope around and feel sorry for himself, fine, but don't expect me to try to make his job any easier.
[Listening to: Enigma - Sadeness part I (Various Mixes) - Sadeness Part I (Violent U.S. Mix)]


My career has stagnated. I work for a small company that is quite successful right now. The company is growing, but we aren't promoting from within. With so many qualified people out of jobs right now, we are having no problem hiring people into senior positions. I've been here for three years, and my control over my work and career has steadily diminished. When I was hired on, I was project management. Now I'm just a grunt. I'm not sure what that says about the company's perception of me. I've made it clear that I don't want to be a grunt. I'd rather be managing projects, and know that there is a career path from there that will keep me going. Right now I feel like I'm stuck. The job has dead ended. I've hit the glass ceiling. So I'm starting coursework to earn my MBA at Indiana Wesleyan next week. It will take about two years to earn the degree. Once I have my degree, if I'm still stuck, I'm moving on. Hopefully the economy will have corrected by then and there will be opportunities for a software project manager. I really like the people that I work with. But that isn't enough for me to sacrifice my career for. So the countdown has started. We'll see what happens in two years.

Breakfast: SlimFast
Lunch: Sausage, Mashed Potatoes, Corn
Dinner: Chicken Tacos
Snack: Cashews and Corn Chips
Current Weight: 225
[Listening to: Faith No More - Easy - Das Schutzenfest]

E-Mail Viruses

I'm constantly amazed at how normally intelligent people can turn into complete fools when they sit down at a computer. It is as if people expect the PC to do all of the thinking for them. For instance, if you are using the computer, and a dialog box appears with a message that something didn't work, and it only has the option to click OK, DON'T CALL ME! Just click the OK button. It's not like I'm going to tell you to do something different. And if you are using a program, and it comes up with a message that says you need to register it, DON'T CALL ME! The answer is, YOU NEED TO REGISTER YOUR SOFTWARE. Just like the message says. A lot of times, the things that I get calls for are problems that, if the user just thought about it for a second, the answer would be obvious. But people tend to get all panicky with computers. They are new, and smart, and powerful, and dangerous. People tend to think, "If I click the wrong thing, I could wipe out the entire machine! I don't want to break it!" So I get a call. Hmph. I got touched off on this rant by an e-mail I received today. It was the jdbgmgr.exe hoax virus. One of my relatives received this message saying that if this legitimate windows file is on your computer, you have a virus. It also said to send an e-mail to some random person at Dell, and to tell everyone in your contact list that they may have it too. The message is the real virus. All it takes is for someone to do a google search on the filename to find out it is a hoax. Also, today, I received an e-mail that DID contain a virus. It looked like a message from Microsoft with a patch, but it was from some garbled up e-mail address. So here are my quick tips for everyone to determine if you should really open that file.
  • Who is the e-mail from? Look in the address bar. Do you know the sender? If not, don't open the attachment.
  • Does the e-mail have an attachment? If not, then there probably is no virus. If it is asking you to do something to your PC, don't do it. Lookup the subject of the message on Google. Chances are it is a hoax.
  • No company can track who you forward a chain letter to!!! I don't know how many times I've seen the hoax that says that such-and-such company will donate $$$ to charity for each time a message gets forwarded. These are ALWAYS hoaxes.
  • Did you get an attachment from someone you know? Does the text in the message sound like that person? Do you normally get stuff from this person? You may want to reply to the message before opening that attachment.
  • Finally, if your only option is to click OK, go ahead and click OK.

Bad Mood

I've been in an awful mood today. I'm not really sure what brought it on. It could be that our office is 80 degrees. It could be that nothing seems to work on the project I'm developing on. It could be that I'm always butting heads with my project manager (who's out of town this week). It could be that I only got four hours of sleep last night. It could be the guy that cut me off earlier today. Or maybe I'm just having one of those bad mood days. I felt bad that I was so short with Jenn this evening. I'm not mad at her. I just didn't want to get too long winded because then I might end up saying something hurtful, or just start blowing up. No need to make her upset too. We took a quick ride to the bookstore, but I didn't see anything that I really needed. Watched some SouthPark. Got a couple of laughs. Actually, that sort of cheered me up. And now that I'm down in the cold basement, I think I'm really not in such a bad mood anymore. Too bad it took me this long to cheer up.

Jenn is such a great woman. She puts up with me when I'm in moods like this. She knows that I'm not upset with her and I just need some quiet time to be left alone. Yesterday she even volunteered to play some Tiger Woods Golf. Jenn hates video games, so that was really impressive. Hopefully she knows that I appreciate it and love her for it. I try to be the best husband I can for her. I love you babe!

Breakfast: SlimFast
Lunch: QDoba Chicken Burrito (black beans, hot sauce, cheese, sour cream, and lettuce)
Dinner: Sausage, Mashed Potatoes, and corn (Vodka Tonic to drink)
Snack: Handful of cashews after lunch. Chocolate Milk after dinner
Current Weight: 225
[Listening to: Richard D. James - Richard D. James Album - Yellow Tax]

Left Lane Ends

It really irritates me when people go flying up a lane on a road that is about to end, and then try to cut over. It's very dangerous, and it is rude to the other drivers who are already queued up in the open lane. Today, I got my revenge on one of those rude drivers. Near here, where US-37 south merges onto I-69 south, the left lane of US-37 ends and everyone needs to merge right. The merge is well marked way before the lane ends, so people have plenty of time to get over. Unfortunately, lots of people take this opportunity to try and jump ahead. Today, some jerk in a new green Ford Expedition thought he would take his chances. He goes flying up the road well over 70 mph. But the right lane is completely jammed. I'm at the end of the line in the right lane, and the lane starts to move. Everyone is staying bumper to bumper and no one is letting this creep in. As I'm going by, the left lane has ended and the green meanie is trying to force me off the road so he can merge. I hold my ground, and he falls behind. So this jerk starts laying on the horn, like he was entitled to move over in front of me. Yeah right. So I give him the appropriate salute. This really incenses the guy. He breaks out into the onramp to I-69 south and is nearly leaping out his window to yell at me and give me the finger. I just blew him a kiss. What a jerk. First he tries to force me off the road, then he honks like I should have let him in, and now he is yelling and screaming and paying no attention to the road so he can lodge is greivance with me. Here's a quarter buddy. I bet he is a real fun guy to be around. It gave me a little personal satisfaction to finally stick it to one of the road hogs. Sure, it was probably dangerous and stupid, but if no one sticks up for themselves, then these maniacs will just continue to be a menace.
[Listening to: Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral - Mr. Self Destruct]

Weight Tracking Update

Today I had my exercise classes, and I didn't eat as much. I drank plenty of water so that I wouldn't dehydrate during class. I never feel like eating much after working out. I had a really big lunch too, so dinner was light. Still, that doesn't account for the 5 pound difference in my weight in just one day. Maybe I'm just breaking in the scale.

Breakfast: SlimFast
Lunch: Beef Stroganoff
Dinner: Totino's Pizza
Current Weight: 225
[Listening to: Orbital - The Altogether [2-CD] (1 of 2) - Waving Not Drowning]

Call Waiting

Jenn and I disagree on the issue of call waiting. I think it is rude. Jenn thinks it is a useful feature to have on the phone. I'm of the opinion that when you put a caller on hold, it is sort of like saying, "Hold on while I check to see if someone I'd rather talk to is calling." Pretty rude. Jenn has a couple of good points though. It would be nice to have call waiting if there were some emergency and someone needed to get through. Or if we had teenagers who used the phone all of the time. But we both have cell phones, and we don't have any kids, so they both seem like non-issues to me. Ameritech is currently charging and arm and a leg for any features on our local phone too. I think it is $15 to get call waiting and voice mail. I'd rather have the $20 answering machine from Sears. If they ever offer those services for free, maybe I'd use them. Until then, or until we have teenagers, forget it.
[Listening to: Orbital - The Altogether [2-CD] (1 of 2) - Shadows]

Weight Maintenance

I've started a couple of exercise classes in the hopes of losing some weight. This weekend we got a scale so that I can take my weight each day. I'll keep track of my progress here. I'd really like to lose 30 pounds to get down around 200. That's a lot of weight loss, and it will mean a big change in my habits. I really don't exercise much. It's going to take more than just exercising a couple of times a week to change that too. I'll need to change my eating habits as well. Crunchy stuff seems to be my downfall. If there is an open bag of chips, or a can of nuts, or some other crunchy snack food, I'm all over it. My usual routine is to have a SlimFast shake for breakfast, and then a cup of coffee when I get to work. Sometimes two cups, depending on how tired I'm feeling. I load up my coffee with sugar and cream (either 2% milk or CoffeMate). For lunch, if there were leftovers from the previous night's dinner I'll have those. Sometimes I'll have a bowl of oatmeal. The rest of the time it's off to a fast food joint. Usually Wendy's or Taco Bell, and lately QDoba. For lent this year, I gave up drinking carbonated beverages at lunch. The first Mountain Dew I had afterwards tasted way too sweet. Since then, I still usually have a glass of water with lunch, although sometims I'll have a Diet Vanilla Coke. I'll drink a couple of glasses of water throughout the afternoon, and eat a couple of mints to fight off the horrid coffee breathe that I've developed throughout the day. When I get home is when I really start to eat poorly. I immediately look for the first snack food(s) in the pantry and scarf them down. If a bag is any less than half empty I'll finish it. At dinner, I eat everything on my plate. If I've overloaded my plate, I'll eat too much. It's a habit I've been in for the longest time. I don't usually go for seconds, but I won't leave anything on the plate either. Throughout the night I'm pretty good about snacking. If I have anything, it will be popcorn or a little bit of ice cream.

Jenn tells me that I should have a bigger breakfast and a smaller dinner. It makes sense. I get most of my activity during the day, so having a small meal at night when I am most inactive seems like a good plan. I get up really late as it is, though, and to make myself wake up early enough to have a larger breakfast would be hard. In addition, we take our lunch at work at 11:30. So I would have eaten only 4 hours earlier. Then there is a 6 hour span from lunch to dinner. So I'm pretty hungry at that point. I think this is why I raid the pantry. Another thing I could try would be to snack more throughout the day. I like peanuts and crackers and lots of other fairly healthy snacks. I am terrible at eating fruits and vegetables though. That could be another reason why I'm in the shape I'm in. I'll have veggies at dinner, but I absolutely will not touch fruit. I'll have all the (pulpless) orange juice in the world. In fact, I'll drink just about any fruit juice. But forget about the fruit. I don't care for grapes, never liked strawberries, don't fancy apples, nor do am I fond of pears. I've tried them all, to be sure, but I've not found one that I crave.

So I'll keep track of my weight here, and may be monitor my meals as well. Hopefully I'll start seeing some results after a month or so.

Breakfast: SlimFast
Lunch: Two slices of Papa John's Pizza w/ Pepperoni and Mushroom. Three cheese sticks. A diet vanilla Coke.
Snack: Snack Bag of Fritos. Handful of peanuts
Dinner: Lasagna, Garlic Toast, Salad with cheese, parmesan, and Caesar dressing.
Current Weight: 230
[Listening to: Fatboy Slim - Live on Brighton Beach - Jack It Up]

Jeremiah was a Bullfrog

Last night, around 2am, I was playing some Yahoo Euchre when I heard a fairly loud thud on our basement window. I went over to the window, and staring back at me was a very large, confused bullfrog. Evidently while in search of a mate or food, he had managed to hop down into the basement window well. The well is about three feet deep. I wasn't sure if the frog would be able to make it back out or not, but I decided to leave it for the morning to figure out. That side of the house gets plenty of shade, and is usually pretty damp, and there were plenty of bugs for him to snack on.

The next morning, after church and lunch, we got back home and started doing some yard work. I decided to check on our bullfrog friend, and sure enough, there he was. I gave him a little nudge with a plank of wood, and he squirmed a bit. I left the plank at an angle out of the well, so that if he wanted, he could wander out. After finishing the mowing, I went back to check. Bullfrog was still in the same corner of the well. He didn't look like he was having much fun, so I tried to figure out how to get him out. I first tried scooping him up with a shovel. Everytime I got him about half way out, he'd hop off the shovel and end up back in the hole. So then I tried the grass rake, thinking I could pin him to the side and pull him up. I just couldn't get the leverage, and it looked like it might hurt him, so I gave up on that. Jenn then had the great idea to try using a bucket. That was the trick that worked. After a quick scoop, Bullfrog was safely delivered to the retention pond. I splashed a little water on him, and he immediately took off into the pond. I'm sure I'll be hearing him tonight, singing with the rest of them.
[Listening to: Counting Crows Feat. Venessa Carlton - Now Music! 4 - Big Yellow Taxi]

New Credit Card

I've decided to switch credit cards. I was using the GM Card because of the 5% rebate on GM vehicles, but now that we bought the new one, we don't need the card. We would not be able to use the card in conjunction with my father's employee discount, so it really isn't of value to us now. I searched around for the different deals that cards ran. I wanted something that would give us either money back, or something else useful. We don't fly often, so frequent flyer miles were pretty worthless. A gas card would be good, or something with cash back even better. I looked at Discover, American Express Blue Cash, and the MasterCard BP Oil card. The BP Oil card looked like a good deal, but only if I bought gas from BP. We usually get gas at the Village Pantry, so that was out. MasterCard also had a card that would deposit 10% of your spending into a mutual fund. That sounded pretty good too. In the end, I went with the AmEx Blue Cash. They say you can earn up to 5% back, but that's only if you carry a balance. We'll probably average about 3% back. That's pretty good, considering we usually have over $1K on our bill each month. If we start billing all of our utilities on the card, that will add up even faster. I got the card today. It's sort of cool looking with the blue translucent backing and the smartchip. I'm going to see if I can get AmEx to send me a free smartcard reader so I can do the one time credit card number feature.

Father's Day

We celebrated Father's Day with my pop today. Jenn's dad is at Annual Training (AT) for the National Guards, so we are going to wait until the 28th to celebrate with him. Had lunch at El Arriero in Kokomo. My pop loves that place. Afterwards, we played a little Mexican Train. It was a pretty easy going afternoon. When we got back, the neighbors invited us over to grill out. We got really lucky with our neighbors. We get along with them exceedingly well, and Jenn just adores their little boy, Evan. They have a new daughter, Ellie, as well. Evidently I'm her boyfriend :)

Long Day

Today was a very long day. I woke up at the butt crack of dawn to pile a bunch of our equipment into Hack's van and go up to Churubusco.. Don't let the website fool you, there is nothing in Churubusco. Almost every business is run out of the owner's home. We were traveling to QSI Automation to do some testing on a project we are doing for Caterpillar. Two hours on the road there, two hours on the way back. Hack has a DVD player in his Pilot, and he brought the Matrix DVD with him, but for some reason we weren't all that interested in it. It's not that I-69 is all that exciting (I know, the name is quite deceiving), it just seemed rude to let him chauffer Andy and I like that. He promised that next time he would have the XBOX hooked up so that we could play SSX Tricky or Project Gotham Racing. Hack's been gloating about his 800,000 point plus score on Garibalda. As soon as I can tear myself away from Tiger Woods, I'll have to smash him.

Anyway, after the return from "fabulous" Churubusco, I had exercise class again tonight. Jenn had taken a Yoga class earlier in the day, and was feeling a little sick, so she decided to cut out of the aerobics class and just take the weight training. I arrived a couple of minutes late, but she had everything setup for me <3. I love that woman. I managed to survive this set of classes a lot better than the first, but I'm still having a bit of trouble following the rhythm of the instructor. Just as I think I know what she's doing, she throws some wacky jazz hands in, or starts throwing out the kicks and the thumbs. I dunno, I just start shuffling side to side until she gets to something I can figure out. Still, I'm getting good exercise. I hope to get a scale this weekend so I can start tracking my weight. I'll make sure to note my progress (or lack thereof) here.

I think it's time to head upstairs and get a couple of rounds in with my buddy Tiger. See you tomorrow.
[Listening to: Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works - Vol. 2 (Disc 2) - Grey Stripe]

Mortgage Refinance

Interest rates are insanely low right now! I just started the ball rolling at Union Planters to get our mortgage refinanced. They are offering 5.375% on a 30 year mortgage. We've only been paying on ours for a little over a year, and we originally financed at 7.125%. This will save us over $200 a month! We're thinking of putting that savings against the principle so we can knock off our PMI. PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) is such a ripoff! It will do me absolutely no good, yet I have to pay for the bank's ass to be covered if I default on my loan. I thought that was the reason I was paying interest! To cover the bank's risk, provide profit, and allow for inflation. We've got quite a ways to go before we'll have the PMI payed down if we just pay the regular payment. I think we are paying $60 for it a month right now. :-(
[Listening to: Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works - Vol. 2 (Disc 1) - Radiator]

Exercise Night

Tonight was our first set of exercises classes together. I'm completely exhausted. We had a 45 minute weight training class, followed by a one hour cardio / aerobics class. Both of them kicked my butt! They are held at the Carmel/Clay Parks Department. Each class is $36 and meets twice a week for four weeks. I think after this session I'll limit myself to just one class. We took our pulses towards the end of the cardio class and I was around 120 bpm. That's a fairly good rate for exercise I guess. My resting rate is around 60 bpm, so I guess I'm normal. I'm seriously overweight though. I'm currently 6'1" tall and 225 pounds. I left high school at the same height, but underweight at a mere 165. I managed to stay trim through college, starting my senior year at 180, which was a pretty healthy weight for me. But since then, I've just been packing on the weight. I hardly get any exercise. I sit at a desk at work for 8 to 10 hours, then come home where I eat dinner, watch TV, play on the PC, play a video game, then go to bed. I've run a few 5 mile and 5K races each fall for the past couple of years, and the training has helped to keep my weight from getting completely out of control. But recently, the best I do is to mow the lawn and do regular housework. Fortunately, I carry the weight pretty well to this point. Even though my BMI puts me in the obese category, I don't think anyone would believe it by looking at me. Ahh the power of the right clothes :-)

So hopefully these classes will do me some good. I got nearly two hours of good exercise in. I'll do it again on Thursday, and keep it up for the next three weeks. Classes start the very last week, which means that my weeknights will be pretty booked. Oh well, nothing better to do I suppose.
[Listening to: Balanescu Quartet - Luminitza - East]

Latest Addiction: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003 has been my addiction lately. This was preceded by SSX Tricky, and Zelda: Wind Waker before that. I've been playing video games for quite a while, and I've found the Nintendo usually gives me the most satisfaction for the money. I was rooting for Sega for a while, but I just couldn't do it after the Saturn. I had the Genesis, the Sega CD, the 32X.... and when I heard about the Saturn, I thought: Gotta Have It! Wrong! The machine played fine, but it just wasn't the same caliber as the PlayStation or N64 which came out not too long after. And there were very few games that were worth playing. Thanks to eBay, I managed to collect most of the games that I thought were worth a play or two: The Sonic Collection, Super Bust-A-Move 2, all of the Virtua Fighters, Panzer Dragoon, Nights, etc. Unfortunately, Super Bust-A-Move was the only one with any real replay value, and I've long given that up in favor of my current library.

So now when I slide back in my chair at night, Tiger Woods is the game of choice. I've managed to beef up my player pretty well, and I'm somewhere near the middle of the Tiger Challenge matches. My buddies drop by sometimes and play, but it is a little unfair since their characters haven't had a chance to beef up their stats. I highly recommend this game no matter if you have a cube, box, or station.

What is Pentecost? Today is Pentecost Sunday, and the sermon this morning did not help to educate me on the importance of the event. From what I understand, the believers were filled with the holy spirit, and began to speak in tongues and dance about. And although they spoke in tongues, all who had been filled with the spirit heard the words in their native language. The non-believers thought that they were simply drunk, but Peter said, "Hey, it's 9am, we can't be drunk yet!". Sounds like a pretty kickin' holiday to me.

New Car!
We got a car!! This morning we drove to Anderson to take a look at another Vibe GT that was in dealer inventory. It had all of the features we wanted except for the side impact airbags, and it was silver instead of blue. It was nice, and we took it for a drive, but the instrument panel was impossible to read in the bright sun. The dash is completely illuminated in a deep red color. None of the display is painted on, so in the glare, you can't read the red. There was no way we were going to get a car that we couldn't read the display, so we asked the dealer if he had any of the 2004 model year Vibes in stock. Sure enough he had one. There is a HUGE different on the 2004 instrument panel. All of the numbers and indicators are now white. The display was much more readable.

We were pretty sold on the 2004. We could get exactly what we wanted, and we would be able to read the instrument panel. Unfortunately, this also meant losing the $2000 factory rebate. The salesman did mention that there was a $1000 rebate on the 2004 Vibe GT. Another problem was that, in order to get what we wanted, we may have to order from the factory. That could take 4-6 weeks, or longer, and since the sale is closed on delivery, it might push the sale into August. After July, we wouldn't be able to use the GM Employee discount along with the GM Card discount we had saved up. So now we were back in the same pickle of trying to find a '04 Vibe GT with all of the options we wanted, in the right color. Dang!

Earlier in the day, Jenn had mentioned that she wanted to check out an Oldsmobile Bravada. I currently drive an Olds Alero, and I love it. I've had great luck with the car*, and I really like the local Olds dealership for their service department. I've always like the Bravadas, as well. We hadn't looked at any true SUVs to this point. We didn't like the low gas mileage they typically got, or the high price, or the poor safety ratings. We wanted a well built car that we could get a child seat into easily, and that would get decent gas mileage. Well, we figured we were out looking, why not stop in at the dealer. Couldn't hurt.

We get to the Hare Chevrolet/Oldsmobile dealer in Noblesville and talk to David. We let him know we are interested in checking out a Bravada and he takes us back to a fully loaded one in green. He gives us the keys and lets us go. Wow! Nice car. Leather interior, sun roof, heated seats, electronic seat controls with 2 driver memory, six disc CD changer, Bose audio system,..... It had the works. And the sticker price showed it: $40K!!! This was way way way out of our price range. Jenn had already said we weren't spending more on a car than she made in a year. We both took turns driving around in a bit, and waxed on how cool it was, but didn't seriously consider getting one. When we got back to the dealer, we let him know that we were very impressed with it, but that it had more options than we really needed, and that it was out of our price range. I asked if he had any deals going on, and if he wouldn't mind writing us up a quote on something with only a couple of options. So we head back to his desk.

We told him that the only options we were really looking for were the side impact airbags, heated seats, and a sunroof. He asked what color. The green was nice. We liked the green. Blue wasn't an option. The salesman says that he has one just like that in inventory, and goes to get the invoice for it. When he gets back, the invoice reads $37,800. Still way more than we were willing to pay, but at least a little less than the fully loaded one. We let him know that we get the GMS discount, so he checks that price: $32,800. Wow again! That's $5,000 off the sticker for the car. Next, he starts telling us about the deals. They currently have a $3,000 factory rebate, a $250 GM trade-in rebate, a $1000 rebate or a 5 year, 60,000 mile warrante (the standard is 3 years, 36,000 miles). So we start to do the math: $4,000 trade in + $5,000 GMS + $3,000 + $250 trade-in bonus + $2400 GM Card discount = $14,650 off the price of the car. That's the cost of some other new cars! This leaves us with a $23,150 that we need to cover with a loan. We told the salesman that we would sleep on it.

So Jenn and I head over to QDoba for some lunch and start talking. We both LOVE the Bravada. It has so much more to offer over the Vibe. It would have more cargo room. It would have better equipment (leather standard, heated seats, side airbags), and everything we wanted was in the one sitting at the dealership. Then we started talking pricing. The Vibe started at $22,500, and with GMS Discount of $2,000, Rebate of $1,000, $4,000 trade-in, and $2,400 on the card, we were still going to be paying $13,000 or more for the car, if we found one that had what we wanted before the end of July. In either case, we were going to need to get financing for the vehicle. We knew that we could afford to put down $10,000, and if that were enough to buy it out-right, we were going to do it. But if we had to finance, price didn't really matter. We just wanted to get the right car that we liked. It was becoming more and more clear that the Bravada was the car for us. It didn't feel like we had to fight it as much. The car was right there on the lot, it had everything we wanted, and we both loved it.

But would it fit in the garage? We went back to the dealership after lunch and asked if we could take the one with the options we wanted for a drive and park it in our garage. The salesman said it wouldn't be a problem and rounded up the car for us. It was low on gas, so we took a short ride around back of the dealership to fill up. He took the time to show us a little of what the car could do. He demonstrated that, when put in reverse, the side mirrors would change position to give a better view of the curb and rear of the vehicle automatically. He demonstrated that, when the key is removed, the drivers seat will lower and slide back to allow for easier exit. He showed us how to set the memory for each key such that, when the key was inserted, the seat and mirrors adjusted to the saved settings. Cool! The Vibe couldn't do any of those things! He also spoke to us a bit about the other features, such as the On Star system, the compass, the different locking, lighting, and alarming modes, and so on and so on. This was the Inspector Gadget of cars. With some gas in the tank, the salesman hopped out and we headed for home. Both of us were getting huge smiles on our faces. We loved this car! We got home and found that we had plenty of room in the garage for it. We could even lift the tail gate without any clearance problems. Our neighbors popped in and we enjoyed being envied for a while. I grabbed my Consumer Reports : Car Edition to check the rating on the Bravada: not outstanding, but then again not bad for an SUV.

We were sold on the car. We drove back to the dealership and agreed that this was the car for us. We were thinking that we would have the salesman hold the car for us until we could get some type of financing in order. We let the salesman know our plans, and he invited us in to sit down. We started talking and getting the paper-work in order. He asked us why we didn't want to finance through them. We had heard earlier in the day the GMAC was only offering 7% on loans. We knew we could do better with the bank. He said that they could definitely beat the 7% number, and that they had a couple of different banks they could try. Great we thought! So we start doing the numbers on the car. The salesman asks in passing what I drive. Oldsmobile Alero I reply. The salesman's eyes light up, "Did you buy it new?" "I sure did." "When did you get it? Before December of 2000?" "Yes, " I reply, "January of 1999". He slapped his forehead. "There's another $1500 rebate for Oldsmobile customer loyalty! Didn't you get that in the mail?" Well, I guess I must have ripped that up, but I'm sure glad he asked. He then got on the phone with the GM Card and found out that we had another $200 in credit than we thought we did! This is great! it's like fate saying we were meant to have a Bravada. So we go through about an hour's worth of signing and reading and waiting. Our total discounts and trade-in amounted to a whopping $16,350! After tax, title, and license, we financed $23,000 at 4.64% for five years. We can either use our savings to pay it down, or just pay out over time. We'll probably pay out over time. The next thing you know, someone's pulling up the Bravada, freshly washed and full of gas. He hands us two keys. We couldn't believe it. We had absolutely no intention of buying a Bravada when we left that morning, and we drove home that night in a brand new one! Only 20 miles on the odometer.

So here we are with a brand new car in the garage. What's the next big thing for us? Well, we might try to refinance that house. Our current rate is 7.125%, and we've heard that some banks are offering 5.25%. Hopefully we didn't just invoke Murphy's Law with the Bravada. We got the car because we want to prepare for a baby. Hopefully this won't jinx that. So yeah, I'm going to bed tonight very giddy with the excitement of having a new car. I think we got an outstanding deal, getting a $38,000 car for $23,000. Since when do car dealerships have 1/3 off sale?!?! Woohoo!

Game Night
Tonight was our usual night out with the gang. We headed over to The Olive Garden for dinner. I've never been a big fan of The Olive Garden. I don't care for their salad or breadsticks. The food is okay, but nothing that I ever really crave. I had the seafood portofino tonight. Jenn loves it though, especially their salads. She was craving it tonight. We hadn't been in a long, long time, and Jenn has gone to restaurants with me that I like and she doesn't. So off we went. The rest of the gang likes it pretty well too.
After dinner it was back to our place where we played a couple of games that the Strawhackers had gotten us for Christmas. The first was Brain Strain. We were kind of worried at first. It seemed like it was going to be some really dorky game. All the players put a headband on, and each player rights a person, a place, and a thing on individual cards. One player rolls a dice, and picks someone else's card. The place the card facing out in their headband, and have 60 seconds to ask yes or no questions to find out what it is. If they guess right, they get to move the dice roll number of spaces. Otherwise, they can buy clues from the players for points. It turned out to be a lot of fun. To be fair, we had to pick things that we would all know.
The second game, I don't care for us much. It's called true colors. The game revolves around asking a questions, such as "who is the most frugal". Everyone is wearing a pin of a different color. Each player casts two votes for the people or person they believe most fit the question. Then each player guesses if they received the most, some, or no votes. If you guess right, you get points. I think this game is just a fight in a box. The questions can be mean, or completely obvious. You aren't allowed to vote for yourself, so when it is totally obvious that one person fits the question, you don't know who that person is going to vote for. And if it is a mean questions, such as "Who is the worst driver" expect an argument to break out. In theory, the voting can be anonymous if, after each question, everyone throws in the rest of their voting cards and they are all re-dealt. Doing this takes a really long time though, so we ended up just grabbing our votes back out of the pile. Which means that everyone knows who you voted for. Here's a tip: never vote for your wife, unless it is for something good. Also, make sure that, prior to voting, you announce that you are unable to vote for your spouse because of the way the question is worded (when that happens).
We didn't get into any fights, but it just wasn't very much fun either. We know each other so well, and we all know what we think of each other, so there aren't any real shockers. We are a very close group of friends, so we know each other pretty intimately. The game has a weird target audience: friends who are close enough to bash each other and not be offended, but not so close that they don't know everything about each other. After that, we were all pretty bushed, so we called it a night.

Cup Stacking
I saw a video the other day of the worlds fastest cup stacker. A 15 year old girl is able to do all three formations in 7.43 seconds. Check out the video of her record setting run. It's amazing how fast these kids are able to do this.

I've removed the commenting scripts from the page until SquawkBox gets their server back on line. If they don't get this fixed soon, I'll just switch to another comment host. Not that anyone has commented yet. :-D

I hate MTV. Their programming makes me want to vomit. All of the shows are so base, so shallow, and the audience is expected to eat it up. I know that I'm no longer in MTV's target audience, but even when I was, they showed nothing that interests me. How many times can I watch a bunch of shallow, pretentious, snobbish, teens booze it up, party, bicker, and argue. I can't stand seeing the musicians idolize their own wealth. I think what irks me the most is that MTV portrays itself as the voice of the youth, but I know that is the farthest thing from the truth. If today's youth had the MTV mentality, we would be doomed. Unfortunately, my wife loves MTV. She can't get enough Road Rules, Real World, Sorority Life, Fraternity Life, etc... So I've got even odds that when I wander into the living room, I'm gonna hear about some phat crib, some dope write, or how that bitch stole my brush, so I'm not gonna talk to her anymore. Grow up. It's all mind control. MTV wants to get America's youth so brainwashed that they'll follow whatever they suggest as the next fad. "Oh, you know what you just MUST see... Spiderman!" To hell with that, spider-man sucked! I can't think of a single MTV movie that would be worth 1/4th of the price of admission. But if enough zombies sit through enough hours of that hype, they'll start thinking, hey, it wasn't that bad. I hope the youth are smart enough to see it for what it is, a marketing machine hell bent on controlling the dollars that our jailed youth have.

That's right, jailed. There aren't any bars, or chains, or hand-cuffs, but america's youth is jailed. If it's not mind control on TV, it's thought police at school. You can't wear certain colors in school, might indicate your in a gang. And no shirts that make a statement, we wouldn't want to offend anyone. They're expected to line up in a nice neat little row and get stamped out like product on an assembly line. They're told what to wear and what not to wear, what they are allowed to say, and what not to say, when they can sit, when they can stand, where, when, and how. It's no small surprise to me that some kind flips out every once in a while. It's too much pressure. Lighten up! And for crying out loud, don't try and pawn the blame off on some video game, or violent music, or some other half-assed excuse. If the kid messes up, then they messed up. Sure, there may have been signs, or contributing factors, but it comes down to one person making a decision. Bad or good. Parents, you are responsible for setting a good model. Don't expect the CD labels, the video game labels, the ratings industry, or anyone else to do your job for you. You are responsible for raising your children, setting a good example, and making sure they turn out all right. Don't ask the video game industry to stop selling violent games to your kids because you don't have time to check out what they are interested in. Don't ask the record industry to restrict certain CD's from minors because you don't have time to get to know what your kid likes. You aren't helping anything by putting all of these road blocks in place. You are just alienating the youth more. Making them feel powerless. Making them feel like second class citizens just at a time when the importance of individuality and self are at their peak.

Man, where did all that come from? :-) I guess I had a rant in me tonight that just wanted out.

New Car Shopping
Jenn and I went out car shopping tonight. What a headache. We pretty much had our minds made up about what we wanted before we arrived. We wanted a 2003 Pontiac Vibe in Neptune Blue with Slate interior, sunroof, power package, air bags.... pretty much everything except the 17" wheels and the fancy radio. We went in a couple of months ago to Ed Martin to look, and they said it wouldn't be any problem to get what we wanted. They said that with our GMS discount, GM Card discount, $2000 factory rebate, and trade in of Jenn's Sunfire, we could probably get it for under $10K. We were thrillled with this news, but we weren't ready to buy yet. We wanted to save up enough so that we could just pay the whole thing off. So now we are at the point where we can do that.
We took our test drive, and our previous concerns about the instrument panel were relieved. It was very easy to read. The trunk is big enough (one of Jenn's MAJOR concerns). So we get back to the dealership... uh oh. There's a problem. I guess GM is no longer making the 2003 model. So they may not have exactly what we are looking for. That's fine we think, surely something close is near by. WRONG! We absolutely did not want a white car, and that is the only one within 300 miles that has most of the options we wanted. So we said, ok, show us everything that's a Vibe GT and is blue. There are only two within 100 miles, and neither had a sun roof. Oh, and by the way, we're only going to offer you half of what we offered before for your trade in!!!!! Needless to say, we were a little upset. We can get exactly what we want if we order a 2004 model, but we won't get the $2000 factory rebate if we do. So now it looks like we can't get what we want without spending less than $14,000! $14K is still a really low price to pay for a new car that is fully loaded and exactly what we want, but our hopes were set so high after our first meeting with the dealer. Now we feel like we're taking it from behind. We know we want to get a GM car, because we want to be able to use all of the credit we have saved on our GM Card and also use the GMS discount. That is knocking down the price of the car by almost $5K from the MSRP. If we can talk the dealer up to around $4500 for our trade in (which is Kelly Blue Book value), that means we will be paying $13,000 for the 2004 model new. It would be very hard to beat that price on a similar non-GM vehicle. The dealer is supposed to call me back in a couple of days after running a more involved search. I'll see what he has to say after that before we make a decision. Unfortunately, we only have until August to use both the GMS and the GM Card together. After that, you have to choose one or the other.

The Star Wars Kid
For anyone who hasn't seen it, here are some links to the mirrors of the star wars kid videos. The Star Wars Kid is some poor canadian high school student named Ghyslain who runs the media lab for his school. The story (as I've heard it) is that he was just having some fun with the media lab equipment, video taping himself doing some jedi light saber moves with a golf ball retriever. Unfortunately, he forgot to rewind the tape prior to recording the next basketball game. When the coaches and players sat down to review the tape, they were greeted by nearly 3 minutes of Ghyslain making a fool of himself. Some converted the tape digital format and posted it on the web. Next thing you know, poor Ghyslain is the internet's latest meme. Evidently raised a bunch of donations to help ease some of the kids embarassment. I read on Fark, though, that the kid got a lawyer and is going after the people who posted the tape. In any case, below are links to the three videos. The first one is the original. Some talented video editor added some light saber effects and preamble to the remix version. Lastly, someone with entirely too much time created a "Matrix" version of the video.

The Star Wars Kid
The Star Wars Kid (Remix)
The Star Wars Kid: Reloaded

Jade Mason?
For anyone curious, Jade Mason and One Sad Jam are both anagrams for my name (Adam Jones). Just using my name for the title of this site seemed boring. One Sad Jam set too down of a mood, but Jade Mason was already taken on blog spot. Hopefully this isn't too confusing. Who knows, I can always change the site title later.

Listening To: David Bowie - I'm Afraid of Americans[US] - V1
So today was pretty interesting. I pretty well had it out with my project supervisor. We've been bashing heads for a while on the current project. I'll just say that we have different philosophies on how a project should be managed. I'm getting pretty tired of going to him every ten minutes for clarification on the design and getting an answer of "I don't know" or "I didn't think of that". Hopefully our discussion was constructive, but I have a feeling that nothing will really change. He made a really good point in that he is getting frustrated that the project team members aren't working with him. It's true enough. I flipped the bozo bit on him quite a while back. I feel like both projects that he has lead are currently on a death march. It could just be that this is a normal adjustment to a new management style. Who knows. All I know is that I end up frustrated at the end of each day, and I'm losing my passion for my job because of it.

Fortunately, I really like my project manager as a person. He's fun to be around, has an interesting perspective on life, and is never lacking for stories. He's highly entertaining. I think we both have an understanding that our disagreement is with our work, and not personal. So far, we've done a pretty good job of keeping that line defined. Hopefully we keep it that way.

Listening To: Nirvana - Bleach - School

So I'm having a little luck here playing around with the colors and such. I think I have everything just about how I'd like it. I'd sure like to know how to get a title for each post, but I suppose I can just fudge that for now. I need some more orange on this page...

Listening To: Moby - Play - Machete

Just playing around with blogger. I wonder what kind of interesting things can be done with this template? Hmm...

Jade Mason