We make holes in teeth!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Rutgers Football

I'm sitting in front of my computer at a little after 6:30, Saturday evening. The title of this post might suggest I spent the day watching a Rutgers football game. This is not the case. Rutgers played last night, getting trounced by Louisville, 56-5. I watched part of the first quarter before setting out for the airport to drop off my brother-in-law, who was in town for 2 days from Taiwan to renew his visa. Observers might ask, what makes less sense, having watched last night's game or having flown around the world for a 2 day stay? Luckily I did neither.

When I left it was 7-3, when I came back it was 28-5. The 3rd quarter had just begun and the game was clearly over. I watched for a little bit more but then threw in the towel, knowing that today was going to be a long day. There seemed little reason to watch a game that was already over. Sure, anything is possible. But not on my time dime.

I got up at 6:30 and made a coffee. We were out the door by 7:45, on our way to a breakfast place in Harding on 202 just south of Morristown. If you've ever been there, I could care less. But they do make good hash browns. After that we stopped at the in-laws, an American food store, Costco, the Chinese market, Trader Joe's, and finally Whole Foods before rolling into the driveway minutes before noon.

After a sporadic unpacking, kitchen cleaning, and putting food away, I ate a cursory lunch and went for a bike ride in the swamp - roads only, not actually *in* the swamp. I had a great ride but the temperatures are dropping fast. The season will be over before I know it. Hopefully I can get in another 100 miles this year to reach the magical 2000 mile mark for the year - roads only, not in the mud or anything. I've ridden about 50 miles off road this year. Yes, that's rather unbalanced.

After the ride I came home and worked on the yard, which is a combination of mowing leaves, raking sticks, digging out roots along the neighbor's fence in an attempt to clean up the mess there and make grass grow, and burning various wooden things in the chiminea. This brought me up to 5:00, when I went inside and showered up. My wife started cutting the duck and vegetables for dinner.

Dinner was a Thai green curry duck recipe that was out of this world. I'm sure the fact I was tired & hungry had something to do with my liking it so much, but then my wife really liked it as well. It's a simple recipe from this month's Eating Well. I highly recommend the magazine. The recipes are solid, easy to make, yet not mainstream. There are only something like 6-8 issues a year, so you don't get blown away by the next issue before you get through the last one. It also has decent articles, so it's not just a mini cookbook every time you get one in the mail.

After I post this I'm going downstairs to have a cup of decaf with my wife. I don't love her decaf but I can't really get away with drinking a regular cup of coffee this time of day, which I'm really hankering for right now, as opposed to hankering for a hunk of cheese. Following that, I'm sure I'll eat more and then I'll have a beer, or maybe a glass of wine. Maybe we'll watch a movie, or maybe we'll watch TV, or maybe I'll just put on the PJ Harvey CD I got again and we'll relax in the living room.

If this had been a Rutgers football Saturday, my day would have been no different. I don't go to the games anymore because I can't justify to myself the time spent there. I like hanging out with the guys, eating good food, and drinking good beer. But in the overall scheme of things, I just can't find time for that anymore. If this was a Rutgers football Saturday and I had gone to the game, I would be slightly hungover, drained, and reading & posting to the message board for no good reason.

Instead, I squeezed a hell of a lot out of today. I'll do the same thing tomorrow, even though I'm in a fantasy football league and facing the division leader this week, who holds a 1 game lead on me. The previous me probably would have watched games on and off all day. The now me will be out in the back yard at 9:00, raking, mowing, and burning more brush and roots, and junk that isn't any good to burn when you actually want to sit down in front of a fire. You need to save all the good stuff for when it matters. These moist roots do nothing for your viewing pleasure. Of course, I'll have myself a cup of coffee or 2 before I head outside. And I'll take a break around noon for a 25 mile ride, if I can spare the time. You never know how many more nice weather days you'll get this year, and tomorrow is supposed to hit 60-65.

But I won't be watching football. Sure, I'll check the scores. But otherwise, the day is all mine.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


There are some people I know who need to be different, who strive to be different, as if their sole purpose in life is to prove to other people they're different. While I'm sure we all need to feel we're not the same as everyone around us, most of us go through life not making it their mission statement to pronounce just how different they are every time you see them. Yeah, we've all got our quirks. But they're our quirks, and I make the general assumption that people mostly don't care.

I can speak for myself when I say that, basically, I don't care. Hey listen, it's great that you feel the need to drink your soda by boring a hole into the side of the can and sucking like a circus seal. But do you think I give a shit? Do you think I need to be clued in to your overriding identity problems constantly? The answer is no. I don't care if you cross the street sideways. I don't care if you put on a sock and a shoe on your right foot first before getting to the left foot. I just don't care that you balance a dinner plate on your head while watching 24 on Tuesday nights.

This rant is really for those people who need to prove they're different, not people who are different. There's a big distinction. I'm fine with your decision to not put milk & sugar in your coffee, just so long as you don't scream to me how special you are because you do so. Listen, I drink my coffee black too. And I roast my own coffee. And I use a French Press. But the only people I tell this too are people who like to drink black coffee or who are really interested in coffee roasting (and the select few dopes who actually read this, a number which is sure to go down after I call them all dopes). I know fully well that most people could give 2 shits that I buy green coffee beans. Big stinking deal.

So if you're one of those people who needs to announce to all your friends just how different you are, just how special your life is in your own eyes, do us all a favor and give us a break. You don't need to prove anything to us. Look, the reason we hang out with you in the first place is because we enjoy your company. Or maybe it's because we're forced to because we work with you. Failing that, suffice it to say that you don't need to prove anything to anyone. Just be yourself, and let the world take care of itself. There's really no other way to be.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

This Whole Internet

Sometimes I wonder where this whole Internet is going. I say "this whole Internet" in a loaded way, to be sure. By "this whole Internet" I mean the potential inherent in the medium. Communication has changed by a wide margin - yet it seems we just use it to find like people and disagree with them as much as we disagree with the people we live near and don't particularly care for. Message boards are a vehicle there.

I find some of the best resources on the Internet, so much so that I'm at a point where I'm willing to start paying for some of them. Of course, Amazon is a spot where I already do pay, occasionally. Their book reviews and cross-references to other books & CDs are a valuable asset to anyone who reads and listens to music. More than that, is worth every bit of the $0 a year I spend on it.

Podcasting is yet another invaluable element I've recently gotten into. As crazy as it sounds, Adam Curry's Daily Source Code is the only show I listen to every day. It's a mish mash of various items in the world of podcasting, and the guy is entertaining to boot. Today's show is why I sat down tonight to write again. My writing has taken a trunk space lately, as opposed to the back seat it used to occupy.

The show today was about music, and the fact that the music industry is going to start taking on the podcasters segment. I'm tempted to write that this is because they're greedy or cite some other nefarious expression, but that's merely my anger at Big Brother trying to kill what isn't his. They're well within their rights to do that, and they're likely going to succeed in wiping out all podcasts that have any licensed music in them at all.

Which is fine, because it's going to force the hand of the non-commercial music industry to be much stronger than it is. Recently I've started looking into the Podsafe Music Network, which is pretty much various artists telling the record companies to eat shit. Or more precisely, these are the bands that can't get labels and they're putting their music out to the public at large for free, in the hopes that they will be recognized there.

I imagine some artists will use this medium to jump into the record industry and out of the free music world. That's fine, but it may also help the power craving music industry to collapse under its own weight, an eventuality that I'm excited to see happen. I'm not sure it will happen, but I'd like to see it, regardless.

So "this whole Internet" thing means a lot of things to me right now. Suddenly, for the first time ever, I'm excited to be a part of it. I guess that's what this is. This blog is my getting into/onto "this whole Internet" thing as opposed to just sucking from it. Hopefully my contribution will be of some value to someone out there. Or maybe I'll just fade into the woodwork again for another 8 months.

Accommodation in aviemore