31 October 2008


How uncharacteristic of me to post twice in the same day! Just thought I'd share some of the art that I've recently bought to spruce up my apartment and office. Given my recent struggle with decorating I'd say I'm doing pretty well to come up with anything. First, here's a piece that I purchased for my apartment:

I wish I could post a larger image but it's a piece from Morgaine von Slatt, who has some other really cool stuff. I'll probably be buying more of her work in the future.

I also bought three posters for my office from an artist named Steve Thomas. This is one of them (I hate it when people put watermarks on web images):

I'm pretty sure that I'll be buying a new entertainment center soon so I'll have stuff to decorate besides my walls.

I remember Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Here's hoping your costume kills. Now for a video that used to Officially Freak Me Out when I was a kid. It's the first thing I think of every Halloween and I'll probably watch it 20 more times before lunch.

30 October 2008

Together forever

It seems like home entertainment is taking one more step towards awesome. For those too lazy to click the link it's an article discussing how Netflix and Tivo are teaming up to offer streaming movies to Tivo's set-top boxes. Much like the author of the article I too thought to myself a few years ago that this would be an amazing idea. I used to have Tivo but have since switched to the cable company's version (only because my Tivo box was on the verge of giving up the ghost). This is making me consider going back to my beloved Tivo.

[For those with sensitively cool eyes I'll warn you that things are about to get nerdy]

Streaming movies is a pretty cool idea but if you're really stuck on high quality it might not suit your fancy. In order to make a movie small enough to fit into the tubes that bring the internets to your house it is necessary to use a lot of video compression. For some reason the US seems to have much smaller tubes than a lot of other countries, meaning more compression. If the US were ever able to match the broadband speeds of other countries that kind of compression would be all but obsolete. Think about how cool it would be to stream high-definition video straight to your TV? Last I heard the Netflix streaming video service had about 12,000 movies available (or at least that's the case for the Xbox 360 tie-in). That number is increasing every month. It is not beyond reason to assume that Netflix will one day have almost every movie ever available for you to stream to your home. That. Is. So. COOL.

24 October 2008


I haven’t talked a whole lot about work recently, mostly because it’s been pretty quiet (read: boring) around here. The project that I was working on when I started has wrapped up and in the process netted me my first publication*, so that’s pretty cool. Aside from that nothing much has happened. That project was all but through about 2 weeks ago and since then I’ve been struggling to find ways to fill my time at the office (read: a lot of fucking around on the internet). It has recently come to my attention that one of the reasons for my perpetual boredom is that there has been some issue with funding. Apparently the economy isn’t doing so hot right now. Who knew? According to the chief engineer at my company I’m not at risk to lose my job (whew!) but he thinks that there will be some restructuring in my future. It’s like I just got my palm read by the world’s most boring gypsy. What it means is that before too long I’ll probably be reporting to a new boss and I’ll be working in an entirely different area of my field.

It’s that new ‘area’ that is giving me cause to blog, you see. And not necessarily in a good way. One of the troubles that come with working in aerospace engineering is that without some careful canoodling and kissing of keister** you likely won’t have much control over what kind of projects you end up working on. Another of the problems is that the ever-increasing military/defense budget and a waning public interest in space exploration has caused the aerospace industry in recent years to move even more towards total domination by the dreaded Military Industrial Complex. That means that most of the work that’s being done in Huntsville these days is military work. Without going too deep into detail I’ll say that I’m not a fan of military work because of moral objections that I have with what I feel is the misplaced emphasis on the role of the military in the modern world. Since I don’t want this post to be about my sociopolitical leanings I’ll just leave that there for now.

By now I’m sure you’ve figured out what’s been asked of me because you’re all so damned clever. My company does a lot of military technology development and they want me to help with some of it. Up to this point in my short career I’ve been able to avoid it and I was hoping beyond hope that I could continue to avoid it ad infinitum. I even had delusions that should the option come before me I would refuse it outright. I guess the problem occurs when it isn’t really an option. Sure, they may have asked me if I would like to work on these projects but I got the impression that it would not behoove my career should I object. That’s not to say that I felt intimidated in any way but rather that with the work that is presently available to me if I’m not willing to bite the bullet (so to speak) I might find that their willingness to pay me for time spent updating my blog is diminished. So that’s where I stand right now. The question now is whether I should voice my objection before I take the work on the off chance that they can find some work that’s not so morally taxing for me? Let me make it clear that I fully intend to take the work despite my moral objections to the nature of the task. I’m not happy with it but I need to have a job and with any luck it won’t last for too long. [It took me a really long time to come up with a way to justify that decision and that makes me feel even more like shit.]

*It hasn’t been published yet so there’s still time for something to go wrong but I’m holding on to hope

** Kalliteration! [Skirting decency for the sake of wordplay? Count me in!]

21 October 2008

Runnin' with the devil

Over the last 6 months or so I’ve been terrible about exercising and watching what I eat. It’s an odd thing for me, too, because just a year ago I was fresh off of a healthy-living kick that lost me 40 lbs. While I haven’t gained all of that weight back I have managed to find a lot of that weight that I lost. Apparently it was hiding in the lethargy-closet with the red meat and ice cream. Obviously I’m not happy about the fact that I’ve gained weight and I’ve been telling myself now for several months that I need to get off my ever-expanding ass and do something about it. When I was still in Auburn the healthy living thing honestly wasn’t that hard. It was really easy to walk to work every day because it was only a mile or two away. I took it as a point of pride that I never drove my car. Of course now that I’m in Huntsville things are different because work is about 6 miles from home and I’m just not going to make that trek every day. It’s no longer practical to walk to work or anywhere for that matter. Just like I’m not a fan of decorating for the sake of decorating (see: my distaste for non-functional items) it’s hard for me to justify walking for the sake of walking. It was a completely different story when I had a destination, but now I don’t.

So I’ve had to look for motivation elsewhere and up until recently I just couldn’t find enough of it to actually exercise. It wasn’t quite enough motivation that my clothes weren’t fitting me well anymore. It wasn’t quite enough motivation that my self-esteem was taking a hit. It wasn’t even enough motivation knowing that my apartment complex has a goddamn gym not 500 yards from my front door. HOWEVER, I have now found enough motivation to start running! There were a few things that finally pushed me over the edge so to speak. Three things to be exact: one was a friend, one was a doctor, and the final straw was (I’m not sure what this says about me) boredom. I get off work every day and go home and do nothing. NOTHING, PEOPLE. There isn’t even anything good on TV until at least 6 PM and I’m normally home before 5. So I get home and literally struggle to find something to do for an hour before the quality programming comes on the telly… AND I HAVE TIVO. So the burden of knowing that I was such a ridiculous person for not exercising finally broke me and I went running last night.

Now that I’ve said all that I feel kind of like I’m putting the cart before the horse. One night of running does not a runner make, as they say. Especially when what I call running I’m sure most seasoned runners would point to as a perfect example of What’s Wrong with Today’s Society (WELL GUESS WHAT YOU THIN BASTARDS NO ONE IS EVER IN THAT GYM TO PASS JUDGEMENT ANYWAY BECAUSE WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY OF LAZY FAT FUCKS LIKE ME HAHAHAHHAHA) But that’s not the point. I plan to stick to my guns here and go running at least 4 times a week when I get off work and hopefully before too long I’ll be dropping pounds and feeling better about myself. I also plan on eating healthier by sticking mostly to salads and rice for dinner for a while. Now if I could just find something to do with all that delicious cookie dough I bought.

14 October 2008

Gotta keep 'em decorated

I moved to Huntsville at the beginning of August. Against all logic I ended up renting a 3 bedroom 2 bath apartment even though I live by myself (short notice, only place available). The last place I lived (aside from my 6 month stint in Birmingham with my Dad) was a 1 bedroom 1 bath apartment in Auburn. So, for those of you keeping track that’s 2 extra bedrooms, 1 extra bathroom, and enough money to afford to replace my shitty college furniture. Now that we’re all on the same boat everyone grab a paddle cause it’s about to get choppy. I haven’t purchased one piece of furniture since I moved to Huntsville. What’s more than that I haven’t even unpacked my Swanky DVD Collection or my Extensive Library of Intelligent Books because I told myself that as soon as I got here I was going to replace my shitty college DVD rack and my shitty college bookshelves with nicer ones because I could finally afford to. [and what’s the point of having an Extensive Library of Intelligent Books if they’re being stored in a glorified kindergarten cubby?]

Now we get to my current dilemma. For the first time ever I have the means to decorate my apartment as I wish. The problem is that I have NO IDEA what to do. I’ve been pontificating over this pretty much ever since I moved and haven’t come up with much. I did purchase some art from a local artist and hang it, so at least that’s a start. I’ve looked through decorating books, browsed websites, asked friends, asked family, asked hobos, and think I’ve finally figured out why I’m so hesitant to decorate…

I have a natural aversion to purchasing items that don’t serve some purpose! While that doesn’t necessarily apply to furniture (I haven’t purchased furniture because I’m lazy, honestly), it does apply to everything from sconces to vases to decorative plates. Apparently that’s what people decorate their house/apartments with. Who knew? I think it’s absurd. Now like I said I’ve got some art. Decorating with art doesn’t bother me and I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s an ego thing? I really don’t know. I just can’t bring myself to hang a candle holder on my damn wall because I know good and damn well I won’t ever light the damn candle. Damnit! Who cares if it ‘looks nice’- it’s superfluous. So sorry, Mom, I don't want that nice candelabra that you got from some lady at work that matches my coffee table and brings a pleasant focal point into the room. I just can't.

I guess the bottom line is that I can’t bring myself to decorate even though I want to. What’s a boy to do? Should I just bite the bullet and start besconcing my apartment? I guess for now I’ll just start with buying some furniture and maybe move on from there. Gotta crawl before you can walk, right?

11 October 2008

In vino veritas

How cliche is that title? Really? I can do better than that. Well, not right now I can't (probably because of the 'vino' or in this case 'cervisia'). So despite the fact that I haven't been writing much recently I feel like I have a lot of things that I want to write. Not a day goes by that I don't think about writing something on this blog, but most of the time I don't (obviously) because I don't know why. Maybe I don't think it's actually worth writing about? But what the hell is that? This is my blog, right? Not yours, mine! So if I feel like penciling up a rant about the minutia that I experience why the hell shouldn't I? To be completely and totally (REDUNDANT PHRASING HOW LAME IS THAT?) honest I only write to satisfy my ego. I honestly believe that I have a certain pinache for writing and that maybe if I write in some sort of public forum I might receive validation. There, I said it. How does that make you feel, huh? Kind of makes me feel dirty, to be truthful. This is awkard... let's move on to something else!

I decided to stay in Huntsville this weekend. So I'm here... ... ... honestly trying to figure out what this city has to offer. This is maybe the third or fourth weekend that I've stayed in town since I moved here in August. It's not that I am trying to avoid spending weekends here- quite the contrary- it's just that it's really easy for me to find reasons to escape back to my comfort zones (Bham and Auburn). It seriously feels like ages since I was in Hville on a Friday night. I really had no idea what to expect. Would this be a crazy stay-out-til-5-in-the-morning-waffle house kind of evening or not? Well it's now about 2:30 and I'm home writing in my blog. That's not to say that I didn't have some fun tonight. I did. It's just that I'm not used to having to try so fucking hard to have some fun. I certainly didn't have a lot of fun. It was ok. I guess. Even then though I didn't leave my apartment until just about midnight. If I had been in Bham I would've been at the bar by 8 and drunk by 12. Not here.

I really want to like this city because (this is honestly just now sinking in I think) it looks like I'll be here a while. I need a place that I can go to and feel comfortable. Okay I'm going to bed now kind of in the middle of a tirade because I'm falling alseep at my laptop. TO BE CONTINUED dot dot dot

08 October 2008

It's been a while

Yeah. I've been busy with work lately, baby. I know you miss me and I miss you, too. I wish I got to see you more often but that's just not how things have been working and I apologize for that. I hope that things can change for the better here. I think we have a great thing going between us and I'd hate to see it get thrown away. What was it we used to love talking about so much? Oh yeah that's right- music. Remember how we used to go on and on about music? You'd just sit there and listen to me ramble and that's why I love you. Well I've been listening to a lot of new music recently, hon, and let me tell you I could go on for days about it. Days and days. Hopefully I can make some time to spend with you so you don't forget why you loved me to begin with. For now though I'll leave you with a little bit of a rock-teasing and tell you to check out DeVotchka. That dude that sings for them sounds a lot like The Big O and there ain't nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.