Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Apartment Living, The Social Contract

About the only time it's peaceful around here. 6:40AM this morning.
How many people have lived in an apartment complex before? How about a condo, dormitory, or any matter of shared, communal space? If you read my blog, it probably means that you try to be a courteous person, because I think only my friends read this, and they’re all courteous, kind, nifty-types of people.

You believe in the unwritten social contract stating that “You know what? We all have to share this place together. None of us wants to live in a noisy, stinky, filth-ridden cesspool, so we’re going to pick up after our dogs, we’re not going to throw lit cigarettes off our balcony, we’re not going to go stomping around at all hours of the night. If our bed creaks when we’re having “relations” then we’re going to tighten it up. We’re not going to smoke pot in our apartment, so the smoke drifts down to yours into your daughter’s room.” You believe in that fine art of treating others as you yourself want to be treated.

However, we’ve all had those neighbors, haven’t we? Normally young, just out of their parent’s house, first taste of freedom, at least that’s been my general experience. Not always, but normally. They’re the ones who have no issue playing LMFAO extremely loud at 2AM, because hell, they don’t have class until noon. They will stomp around above you, or play “Scarface” at top volume right below your bedroom at all hours of the day. They have no issues talking loudly with their friend’s right outside your door at 3AM, and when you politely ask them to hold it down, then YOU’RE the jerk and pervert.

Okay, so I should have had pants on, but it was 3AM and they woke me up.

However, it’s not just the kids. I had a thug that moved in here right after I did that would smoke pot, all hours of the day, right above the Geekling’s room. It would actually drift down her vents and you would get a contact high. He ignored us when we asked him to stop, and after some complaints to not only the apartment complex, but also the IMPD, he got enough strikes against him that he got evicted.

My current upstairs neighbors frustrate the heck outta me, but with only a few months left on the lease, it’s just not a war I’m interested in waging. However, let’s be honest, here. If someone has told you that your music is so loud that you can’t hear your own TV, and you act shocked, apologize, and turn it down, what makes you think a few nights later that it’s okay to play it at that volume again? Yes, you have a big old dumb beagle. I don’t blame it for the occasional barking, or running around the apartment. Heck, I have a 3 year old. I know she’s not quiet either, no matter how hard we try. However, getting your pooch wound up and running rampant around the apartment at midnight isn’t cool. I don’t give the Geekling a Monster and her toy drum at midnight, and isn’t that pretty much the same thing?

Seriously, people. We’re all in this together. Could we at least TRY to make it where we don’t want to strangle each other? Seriously, I know exactly where your feet are falling. Be lucky I’m not a wack job with a shotgun, or else that next solid footstep could be your last.

At least, that’s what went through my head in old apartments. I completely admit to having had some issues at my first apartment, where I didn’t realize how loud a TV was, or I didn’t know how heavy I was stepping. However, our downstairs neighbors were cool, knocked on the door to let us know, and we made sure to both stop, and also make sure we wouldn't do it again.

This is not very hard, it just takes some thinking and come courtesy.

Don’t be a dick, people. Don’t be a dick.

Catch you tomorrow,
Tony

Monday, July 30, 2012

Generic Monday Blog Post

Don’t you hate it when your elbow is sore, and then you crack your funny bone against something? Wow, I did that about an hour and a half ago and my elbow is still throbbing. So with that out of the way…
How was your weekend? Was it good? Was it fun? Did you hit a concert? Did you try to go downtown, and realize that the ridiculous “Event Parking” fees were in effect, so what should have been a free movie at Circle Center Mall with perhaps $3 parking turned into $20 parking IF you were lucky enough to find a spot?
Yeah, I’m kinda glad that I didn’t try to hit that now.
Other than finding out that information, it was a good, uneventful weekend. I was able to get some gas in my car last night, so it should be enough for me to drive around and do some stuff this week. When I say “stuff” I mean grocery shopping for healthy food, dropping off and picking up books at the library, hitting Tour De Thursday in Carmel, and driving to the fitness center at Keystone Crossing. If I can keep that up, I’m going to start doing the Friday Wrap Up posts again, with what I’ve done over the last week.
You know, since posting on Nike Plus, Fitocracy, Runkeeper, Spark People, and MyUHC isn’t enough.
However, I’ve been saying that for months, so let’s see if it actually happens now.
Anyway, during the weekend, I got hit with some ideas for blog posts, so I’ll be putting up some more “General Topic” posts this week about minor quirks and thoughts. I’m doing what I can to build a buffer as well, so when I hit those days where I’m just too slammed at work, I’ll still have some content for people to take a look at.
Meanwhile, today will be full of work, then grocery shopping, then cooking dinner, with some gym time thrown in there. So far, my most favorite thing about the workout center is the fact that I NEVER see anyone in there, except perhaps for the times when I meet people from work there. When you’re meeting people, you aren’t self conscious, since you know each other and you were planning on it. However, trying to get used to lifting weights, or plodding along on a treadmill for the first time in months? Yeah, if you’re like me, you get kinda discouraged when there is someone who is used to this stuff and seriously getting more done. Also, you get those cocky types who will do one set, then strut in front of the mirrors for ten minutes, and then I have to keep my mouth shut because I don’t want to get in a fight and be banned from the center.
Anyway, I’ll see you all tomorrow! Always remember, you can comment at any time if you have any questions for me.
Tony

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Love The Library

So if yesterday was Christmas in July, is today Boxing Day in July up in Canada? Is that a thing up there? Anyway.
I know before I talked about this, but I want to write on it again: I love the library. I love the online hold system. I love how they will ship books to my local branch. I love my free downloads from Sony Music. It takes a while, at 3 a week, but I’ve slowly been getting some albums that I haven’t been able to find on Zune, or Amazon, or at local stores for quite some time.
Because of my card, I have been able to read some of the books out there on Social Media, which bored the living snot outta me. I caught the first season of Star Wars: Clone Wars, which also bored the living snot outta me. The latest Sherlock Holmes film put me to sleep. I checked out some financial books, but I’m looking for ways to save money, not preaching and scripture. I found a book called “Extreme Brewing” that is now on my Amazon Wish List, which has some good beginner info on Homebrewing, plus some excellent recipes. I was able to read Patton Oswalt’s book, “Zombie Spaceship Wasteland.” Short, but funny, like the author. I now know that I need “The Nerdist Way” by Chris Hardwick in my library, because it has good advice and things that I want to read over and over.
Plus, they have comic books. Graphic Novels, to be precise. I’ve been reading the Scott Pilgrim books to see if they’re like the movie. I’ve just typed in “Batman” and gone through, adding to the list, since I haven’t read any of the Death and Return books. "Superman: Earth One" is on its way, and I’m on the list for the recent reboot graphic novels. Finally read the Walking Dead compendium, realized I’m just not that interested.  I’m also slowly getting caught up on my Ultimate books from Marvel.
When you’re broke, the library is your best friend. I can’t wait until the girls get back, and I’m able to bring the Geekling over for the kid’s stuff, and Shannon can get stuff for herself as well.
I love you, Indianapolis Marion County Public Library.
Please carry Blu-Ray soon.
Tony

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Don't Know

Merry Christmas in July! I’m celebrating by testing my theory that no one can tell that you’re not wearing any pants at the Front Desk.
I just need to remember not to stand up.
Anyway, we’re halfway through the week, and I have a bow tie on again. I have to wear the bow tie at least once a week around here, or else people start worrying about me. The issue is, only having one self-tie available is making that single tie wear out very quickly.
Speaking of wearing out quickly, this coffee had better kick in fairly quick. Seriously, it’s office coffee. It has ONE job, and it’s obviously not to taste good. I KNOW it’s not decaf, because I’m the one who makes it, so it needs to get its job done.
So I was wondering, why the heck do you need a bachelor’s degree to work Tier 1 Tech Support? Seriously, I was looking at some job listings last night that has simple, entry level positions that require a college degree. I guess that’s too bad for me, since when I attended college, I did everything but my classes. I was on hall council, I was active with volunteer organizations, I worked in the computer labs and at the radio station, and I was pretty much all over the place. I was known by many, but not because I had classes with them. Hey, we’ve all made decisions that we aren’t proud of, but sometimes you have to own them and not brush them under the rug, so you don’t repeat the mistake.
The problem that I have with the mistakes, though, is in trying to remember them so I don’t repeat them, I also dwell on them. I really do have a tough time letting things go. The problem is, this gets in the way of moving forward, but I’m working on that.
Stay positive, do it for my family, I have to keep telling myself these things.
Stay positive, do it for my family. Do it for my girls.
Tony

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Zombies and Podcasting

Good morning, peoples!
Yesterday, it seems that it wasn’t just the library and the black bean quesadillas that had to wait. By the time I was done at my friend’s place, playing zombie board games, having a beer, and eating birthday cake, it was time to haul my arse to IHOP for The Pony Hour podcast. By the time THAT was finished, it was almost 10:30, and I was hungry and tired, so I went home, devoured a burrito, and crashed.
That’s not to say I didn’t have fun, or that I regret anything. When I went over to Wayne’s, we played a 3-Player version of “Last Night on Earth.” I have written on this game before, but this time we had a scenario we were playing, and I was the zombies. I lost this time, on the final turn. If I had understood what was going on better, I probably would have been more aggressive and moved some of my zombie horde differently, but I really can’t complain, because it was fun, and that’s what really counts. However, the game took us until 7PM, and I had to be at the IHOP on 96th and I-69 at 8PM, so I really didn’t have a chance to go, work out, get showered, and be able to go be in public.
So I pulled in at 7:45 at Ye Old Purveyor of Pancakes, parked beside Kahuna One, and headed in to see Josh and the Kahuna. I love meeting with these guys, even when they’re not recording. When they are recording? I am glad that they’re willing to let me play with them. They’re funny, they’re easy going, and I can make a geek joke or reference, and one of them will get it. They are goofy, they are weird, they have good life tales, and occasionally they let me speak. I hope to one day have a podcast where I can have them as guests.
Oh, and yes, one day, I will have podcasting happening. Audio, video, I’m going to have my own channel and everything. It will happen, this I vow.
Someday.
Tony

Monday, July 23, 2012

Manic Monday

Wow, what a crazy morning up here! Who knew that the switchboard would have so much to do this morning?
So it was a decent weekend, after the elbow throbbing went down. Relaxed a lot at home, didn’t do much online except trying out the Guild Wars 2 Beta, which just showed me that I just don’t “get” MMORPG’s.  I did catch The Dark Knight Rises, a midnight showing at the AMC in Castleton on Saturday night/Sunday morning thanks to friends who aren’t really into public social media, so I shall refer to them as C&D. I put my thoughts up on the Geeking site if you really care to look.
Due to me being VERY busy this morning, I have not had a chance to write much of anything. I actually had brainstormed some topics that, at least I thought were decent, but I haven’t had the time to put the thoughts to paper. I will probably be doing that this evening, after I’m done grabbing a beer and playing games with a friend, and then hitting the fitness center. I’ve gotta do something other than play Fallout 3. That dang game is an addiction. So, I need to see if I can get addicted to the treadmill again or something.
I hate how I’ve been stuck on using the apartment complex fitness center for so long. That place is falling apart, and a lot of people use it as a babysitter while they stand on the elliptical machine and talk. The fitness center at work, on the other hand, is very clean, has multiple treadmills with more options, bikes, recumbent bikes, elliptical machines, and weights both of the free weight variety and the machine variety. Plus, the machines are very specific, working on specific muscle groups with clear instructions. Very much a “For Dummies” approach that I, honestly, really need. The issue is the gas being used to get there. I don’t hit right after work, but later in the evening, so it’s like I’m driving to work twice as much.
So anyway, after I have the gaming, and then the workout, then it looks like I have another podcast to crash. Yes, this just came up recently on The Book of Face and The Twitter. Then, after THAT, it will be dinner time.
It looks like the library and the Black Bean Quesadillas will have to wait until tomorrow.
Tony

Friday, July 20, 2012

Elbow Down!

Good day, everybody. It’s Friday, I’m in a world of pain, let’s begin.
See, a few days ago, I decided to lay down on the couch and play Fallout 3 to unwind. Well, I guess I had to unwind a LOT, because the next thing I knew, I’d been laying there for about 3 hours, with my right elbow bent and up in the air as I was holding the controller. That elbow has been extremely sore since that evening, but I’ve been stretching it out and it seemed to be doing better.
Yesterday, after the Tweet Up Events, I was doing work on the PC, downloading the Guild Wars 2 beta and just putzing around. Since things were taking a while, I decided to do some pushups in between tweets, and on the third one my right elbow made a POP sound, and down I went.
So, I am now in a boatload of pain. It hurts to type, which is why this is so short, and I will be avoiding much of social media for the foreseeable future, as it involves, well, typing. Sleeping last night wasn’t in the cards, as every time I rolled over it felt like someone was slicing into my elbow with a dull knife.
Oh, and doctor? What’s that? Yeah, I have insurance, but because of insurance costs, I can’t afford the co-pay to go see anyone.
So I’ll just be over here in the corner if you need me, finding some way to hold my arm that doesn’t hurt, and then not moving.
Have a good weekend,
Tony

Thursday, July 19, 2012

You Mean I Have to be SOCIAL?

Aw, yeah.
Busy, busy, BUSY day today!
Popped into the office at 7AM this morning to pick up an hour and do some extra work before ditching out at 10:30AM. I’m leaving early so I can go hit a Tweetup at Hubbard & Cravens at the Carmel City Town Center thingy that I’m not very familiar with at 11. What can I say? I never really go to Carmel. I barely have the money or the gas to drive around Castleton and Keystone, where I live.
So, I’ll be hanging around Carmel for about an hour, hoping they don’t smell the poverty on me and ride me out on a rail, and then I’m heading back to my comfort zone at 96th and Masters to hit a hot dog joint with some more Twitter folks. Processed meat by-products in tube form shall be consumed, and good times will be had, and then it’s time to head to the library.
At the library, I have a LOT of CD’s that I need to pick up, because I’ve been in the mood to listen to some Patton Oswalt, Gaelic Storm, and Flogging Molly. Yeah, I know, I’ve got some weird musical cravings. Plus, I have the next book in the Scott Pilgrim series to pick up, since I’m curious as to how it runs when compared to the movie, which I really enjoy. Once I’m done bombing around the library, it’s homeward bound.
At home, I’ll be doing some writing and some mturking, perhaps some surveys, actually doing some work until 6PM, when I’m packing up the bicycle and heading BACK into Carmel to the SoHo CafĂ© for a ride with Carmel Pedals. Then, it’s back home to continue moving photos from Photobucket to Picassa, and then off to blissful slumber until I’m back at work tomorrow.
And then tomorrow, I write about it.
Unless I think of something better.
Oh, and a little FYI: Tonight at midnight is the premier of The Dark Knight Rises. I am not going to be seeing this film until next weekend at the EARLIEST. Spoilers for a film are a real dick move, I try to limit my friendship and following of dicks, so if you do ANYTHING to spoil this film for me, you will be gone. Unfollowed, unfriended, blocked, nuked from orbit, because it’s the only way to be sure.
Until tomorrow,
Tony

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Photobucket Fail

So, today I’ve typed up and have ready to post more blogs for both The Troxell Pack and Geeking In Indiana, yet I haven’t been able to post them up.
Why?
Because I have pictures that I want to attach. Since I really can’t send the photos to my work machine, I uploaded them using my Photobucket app to Photobucket’s website last night.
This morning, around 9AM eastern time, I went to log in and grab the photos to insert into the blog posts, and I was told it was under a period of “short maintenance.”
It is now almost 3PM, and I still do not have access to my photos.
This website has one job. ONE. JOB. And the time I need it to do that job, it fails.
So, this is short today, as I’m looking to set up a different online photo host, and add integrating a gallery onto my website plans.
Have a good one,
Tony


EDIT: At 3:48PM eastern, I was finally able to access my photos. I am starting the process this evening of finding a different host for them, and then either deactivating my account, or just setting the password to gibberish, putting in a different email addy, and leaving it to rot, whichever option I'm given.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More Switchboard Tales

This has been one heck of a weekend, which leaked into Monday, but that’s behind us now, and we shall move on.
Saturday was a good day, but that’ll be a blog post for tomorrow. Sunday and Monday we are just not going to talk about. So that brings us to today. For today, is a new day. A bright, shining new day full of wonder, excitement, and people calling the switchboard with a fake sense of urgency trying to get our IT Department on the phone so they can sell them stuff.
I guess this kind of throws me into another Tales from the Switchboard sort of post. Most of the calls I get here are salespeople, and they will do whatever they can to get through to someone. Many times, that’s acting like it’s an emergency. I actually had one person say to me that someone told him “… and I quote, find her no matter what.” to which I responded that I was told by her “And I quote: I’ve never told anyone that.”
Another thing they like to do is ask for a first or last name only. “Hey, is NAME around?” They act real familiar, like our CEO or CIO or CFO is their drinking or golfing buddy. The problem is, they all have pretty common first or last names, and in a company with as many people as we have in the directory, that could be any number of people. I really love it when they act offended and frustrated when I ask for the person’s full name, and then have to remind them that we have a LOT of people in the company, and at least 8 of the name they are looking for in the system.
Seriously, if you’re going to be an impatient jerk, I could just say “He’s no longer with us” and hang up. No one would blame me at all.
Now, this is the exception, not the rule. Most of the people are really cool, telling me exactly who they’re looking for, letting me transfer them, and then not continually calling back every 20 minutes asking for the same person.
Make sure you’re the rule here, not the exception.
Tony

Thursday, July 12, 2012

So The Hunt Continues...

Going in for job interviews at malls make me feel old. The employees are kids, the other applicants are kids, and none of them remember how the mall was when I started working there two mall renovations ago.
Yes, not only did I work in Castleton Square before there was an AMC, but I worked in Castleton Square before there was a food court.
I would go through everything I’ve done, but I’ve done that before, so I’ll just move on.
With the exception of the age thing, the job interview went well. I honestly think that some of my work experience, like being a Disneyland Cast Member, might work in my favor. However, the realist in me also knows that I’m 35 years old, and have management experience, so there’s the preconceived notion that I am set in my own ways as far as sales are concerned, I am not receptive to new methods of sales, and I will argue and undermine the manager at every step because I think my style is better.
However, I don’t want to manage. I just want a fun, part-time job where my responsibility is customer service and having fun. I want to earn some extra money so my family can start digging out of this financial hole we’re in and have one less stress. I want to build things out of small plastic bricks. I want to work someplace like the Lego Store.
If I can, this will be awesome. If I can’t, then I just pick up, move on, and keep looking. In fact, that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m assuming that I’ll never hear from them again, and I’m still looking for something.
And the hunt continues…
Tony

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Working Out and Job Hunting

Yes, I know I skipped a day yesterday. However, the day went on, birds kept singing, the sun kept shining, and all continued as it would had I written something, so let’s move on.
The good news is, I got back to the gym last night, doing both the bike and the treadmill, but also experimenting with some weights. I used the gym at the office complex where I work, and met up with some co-workers there. One thing that I put a little thought into, but not enough: my co-workers get off work at 11PM, and don’t have to be in until between Noon and 2PM, where as I get in around 7AM. Between the workout, the lateness of the hour, and lack of sleep, I’m worn out. However, will I go back? Damn straight. Once I get better shorts.
Oh, and one down side to the fitness center at the complex: all the windows show your reflection, whether you’re on a treadmill, or an elliptical, or a bike, reminding you that you’re a fatty and you know it.
Yesterday, I actually found three legit job leads on Craigslist. Yeah, I know, right? I guess that since I’m looking for Part-Time work in a very specific region, I can mentally filter out the spam and look for what I need. I look for someplace from a legit storefront that I’m familiar with, leading to a legit website.  Through there, I put in applications at The Lego Store, The Container Store, and at the new Teavana that is opening in Castleton Square. Well, yesterday evening I got a call back from The Lego Store, and I’m headed in this evening for my first group interview with the brick people. I know I’m going to own this interview, however, owning it might not be what they’re looking for, so we’re going to play it by ear, and if it doesn’t work, I just keep looking. However, finally getting a call back on an application is encouraging and is helping to keep me going.
Last thing on my docket is I started watching the Star Wars: Clone Wars series last night. Haven’t had cable to watch it, and I found out that the library has the box sets, so I’m giving it a shot. Do they ever get out of the habit of trying to throw lines from the original trilogy in there to make people think of better times? Either way, it’s been enjoyable and I’m looking forward to watching a few more before the interview tonight.
I’ll talk to you all tomorrow, hopefully with good feelings about the interview!
Tony

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cheap Eats

So, as you know, the girls are gone, which means that I have to fend for myself in terms of all the stuff that Shannon normally does, like laundry and cooking.
Sadly, we’re not talking any sitcom hijinks, here. I do know how to cook, I do know how to clean, I do know how to run the washer, dryer, and dishwasher, although I prefer hand washing dishes. Less spots, and hey, if you have to rinse them to put them in the dishwasher, why not go the rest of the way?
So, in an effort to save money, I started experimenting with some of the recipes at Budget Bytes. This is a nifty blog that had recipes that are inexpensive and supposedly healthy. Either way, it’s gotta be better than frozen burritos and box meals, which with the amount of time I have, is what I normally eat.
The first thing I experimented with was taking black beans from bag to cooked without soaking. This went well, I put them in the crock pot overnight, and they were mostly okay. However, since I overslept (they were supposed to cook for 6 hours, I slept 8), I cooked out all of the liquid which dried some of them back out, but for a learning experience, it wasn’t too bad and I was able to get most of a pound of black beans packed and put in the freezer for cooking later this week.
Later that evening, I went to try out the Black Bean Quesadilla recipe that should give you enough to freeze for later meals. At this part, I realized that I should NOT have put all the black beans in the freezer, so my dinner was a bit late. Once the beans I needed had thawed enough, however, to assemble the quesadillas, I had enough for a week’s worth of lunches, and a couple for dinner. Delicious!
Tonight, I’m going to cook and pack up to freeze some burritos using these instructions, once again going with one for dinner, then freezing the rest. Since I honestly have no issues with eating the same thing for lunch and dinner, as long as I’m being fed, I’m okay with this.
I have food for later, as well. They have a recipe for lentil tacos, so guess who is learning to cook lentils? Breakfast is a half a cup of oats, some brown sugar, and mixing in some dried berries or raisins. I’m going through cupboards, figuring out what we’ve got, and trying to use it before it goes bad.
Waste not, want not, especially when you’re living with a $200 deficit every month.
Do you have any frugal tips for me? Any sites you visit? Any favorite cheap recipes? Let me know in the comments!
Have a good one,
Tony

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Playlist: Workout

I love music. Whenever I can, I like to have music playing. Heck, when I'm at work, I'm trying to get them to let me turn off the TV and turn on music. Classical, whatever, I don't care. I just like music. There are different types of music for different types of situations, as well. One doesn't want to listen to Dave Matthews Band when trying to put a toddler to sleep, and one doesn't want to listen to Mozart while trying to get moving and exercising.

I have a Zune music player, and I use the Zune Marketplace for my music, which gives you a big catalog of music that you are able to have unlimited downloads for for $15 a month. This lets me download a lot of stuff I like while spending little, legally. Yeah, I know I could do it for FREE illegally, but I'm not as big a fan of that as you might want to believe. I like to take a lot of that stuff and turn it into playlists. Car music, workout music, working music, all my Doctor Who music, Comedy, Movie Soundtracks, things like that.

I have a decent sized playlist on my Zune of music I listen to when I'm working out, and trying to stay active. It's music that makes me want to move, that makes me pick up the pace on the treadmill, or keep a steady pace on the bike. Now, I don't use it when I'm actually ON the bike, as I need to be aware of my surroundings, but for the exercise bike in the gym, it works.

It's about an hour and a half worth of music, and it is as follows:

  • "Welcome to the Jungle" - Guns N' Roses
  • "Somebody Told Me" - The Killers
  • "All Because of You" - U2
  • "Party Rock Anthem" - LMFAO
  • "Sexy And I Know It" - LMFAO
  • "Bleed It Out" - Linkin Park
  • "Numb/Encore" - Linkin Park/Jay-Z
  • "Hideaway" - Rock Kills Kid
  • "Testify" - Rage Against The Machine
  • "Naked" - The Goo Goo Dolls
  • "Should I Stay or Should I Go" - The Clash
  • "Immigrant Song" - Led Zeppelin
  • "Flathead" - The Fratellis
  • "Feel Good Ince" - Gorillaz
  • "Bulls on Parade" - Rage Against The Machine
  • "The Distance" - Cake
  • "Sabotage" - Beastie Boys
  • "Bleed American" - Jimmy Eat World
  • "Here It Goes Again" - OK Go
  • "Keep The Car Running" - Arcade Fire
  • "Galvanize" - The Chemical Brothers
  • "Say This Sooner" - The Almost
  • "Paint It, Black" - The Rolling Stones
  • "Derezzed" - Daft Punk
  • "Take Me Out" - Franz Ferdinand
  • "A Little Less Conversation (Jxl Radio Edit Remix)" - Elvis 
Now, this rotates around. I'll find a recommendation of a song, and add it on, then find out that when it comes up, I'll pull out the player and skip it, or it just slows me down or doesn't feel right. I love Rock Sugar's mash up, "Don't Stop The Sandman" but it didn't feel good to work out to.

So how about you? What do you exercise to?

Tony

Friday, July 6, 2012

Zombie Board Games - Last Night on Earth

Good day, everyone. It’s Friday, I’ve got my Hawaiian Shirt on, and I’ve been given a donut and coffee. Let’s make this day happen.
While I like bagging on things that the internet loves, like bacon, hating Nickelback, and cat photos, I honestly have no beef with these things. In fact, while the internet LOVES zombies and the threat of the zombie apocalypse, I’ve grown rather burnt out on it, with the exception of a few books and movies. However, I have a buddy at work named Wayne that LOVES zombies in ways that I do not fully understand. He collects the toys, he has the shirts, he reads the books, he has the knowledge. I’ve helped him with a couple items he had heard of but hadn’t read, like “The Night Of The Living Trekkies” and the Newsflesh Trilogy, which I’ve written about here before. And yesterday after work, he helped introduce me to one of the zombie things he enjoys.
“Last Night on Earth” by Flying Frog Productions is a zombie board game that follows the formula of Humans Vs. Zombies and is part strategy, part luck of the draw. The manufacturer describes it thusly:
“Last Night on Earth The Zombie Game is a fast-paced game of brain-eating zombies, small town heroes and horror movie action. Players take on the role of either the heroes, working together to make it through the night or the zombies, unending waves of undead spreading over the town like a plague. Featuring a modular board, eight heroes to choose from and several different scenarios to play that drastically change the game. Last Night on Earth is designed to create a cinematic feel as the story and game unfolds. For 2-6 players. Takes 60-90 minutes. Modular game boards. Heroes versus Zombies.”
Wayne did a good job of explaining the game to me, and by the luck of the toss, I played the 4 human Heroes on the board, while Wayne played the up to 13 Zombies on the board. My Heroes were the “winning” combo of The Sheriff, the Sheriff’s kid, The High School Sweetheart, and The Preacher, which I got through a random draw. We played the simple version of the game, without all the advanced rules, and it still took about an hour and a half. It was a fun game, though, and I think the game was close, and I know that, even being a newb at it, I still threw a couple surprises at Wayne that hopefully kept the game interesting for him, since you know how slow a game can go when you have a new guy who has to keep reading every card and its effects.
I really enjoyed the game, and it also has expansions to help keep it fresh and new. It is a game that I know Shannon would love to have in the game library when we have a chance to get it built back up. If you enjoy zombies, customizable board games, and fun, you’ll enjoy this.
This weekend, keep an eye on the Twitter Feed, since I’m going to be spending a lot of time on the computer working on the self-hosted sites. Due to the amount of time that I’ll be spending, I’ll probably have a tendency to put some stuff up to help break the monotony of getting Wordpress figured out. If not, then I’ll see you all on Monday!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lazy Independence Day

First things first: Whoever put a holiday in the middle of the week, especially a holiday that doesn’t take off until the sun goes down, should be shot. Two days of work, a late night holiday, then two more days really throw off your internal clock, but I will survive.
Yesterday was the Independence Day holiday, which was a paid day off work. I had a few things that I wanted to get done, but the biggest one, bottling beer, has to wait until this weekend when I have all the supplies I need. However, spending time with my parents, grabbing dinner at Scotty’s Brewhouse on 96th Street, and FINALLY seeing Marvel’s The Avengers were a success, even if the showing of Avengers was at 9:40PM. Did you know the run time is close to 2.5 hours? So, between the film’s run time, and the fact that I had the LARGE theater Coke, I didn’t pass out until 1:30AM, and 6AM comes way too soon when that happens. However, I regret nothing.
Unfortunately, this level of bottom-dragging tired means I’m probably not hitting Carmel Pedals tonight, which makes me feel lousy, but I am going to make an honest effort to put some time on a treadmill or a walk around the neighborhood this evening after I stare at Wordpress for a few hours, trying to make sense of it all. I have a slew of pages I need to get up, and they won’t be put up by themselves.  I need to start clocking in and out like it’s a job, ignoring the social media sites and just working on that.
So for now, I’m sitting here at the front desk, attempting to stay awake, drinking large amounts of coffee, and running scenes from The Avengers through my head and laughing to myself.
Short post today, I’ll talk with everyone on Friday.
Tony

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Incredible Hulk

So far, so good. I haven’t heard any fireworks around my apartment this year, which means I haven’t wasted any gas lighting someone on fire. I’m just glad that, if I have to, I filled up the gas can at $3.11 before they decided to jack up to $3.45.
I was so motivated last night. Saw Shannon and the Geekling off at the airport, went to Walmart and got a sandwich, then went home, watched “The Incredible Hulk” and played some Fallout 3. Yeah, I get so motivated when I drop the girls off at the airport. I consider it my slack evening, plus I needed to watch “The Incredible Hulk” because I really need to return it to my little brother. I’ve only had it sitting on my DVD shelf for three months.
So I’ve come up with a new scale to judge Comic Book Movies. I’m rating them from “Green Lantern” to “Avengers.” “Green Lantern” is the poor end of the scale. It showed such promise, but the story was a mess, the casting was completely off, and the CG was atrocious. “Avengers” is, well, “Avengers.” Huge box office, excellent fx, and tight writing. When I hear geeks and non-geeks agreeing that a movie is awesome, then I listen. I decided to randomly use this scale to ask someone on Twitter their opinion of "The Amazing Spider-Man," and it was approved.
“The Incredible Hulk” was solidly in the middle. Unlike “Green Lantern” or the original “Hulk” film, I was able to make it through the entire film without losing interest. I’m not a big Edward Norton or Tim Roth fan, but I was able to enjoy the film pretty much. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t boring, it just kind of was. If I wasn’t so set on seeing all the films and how they tie together, I probably could have missed this one. However, I don’t regret watching it. I never felt that it was 2 hours of my life I will never get back.
Just like this blog post is a couple minutes of your life that you’ll never get back.
I’ll see you tomorrow,
Tony

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy July!

Happy July, everybody!
It’s Monday and a split week this week, with this guy working Monday and Tuesday, off Wednesday for the 4th, then back Thursday and Friday. Tonight is the night that I also bring my girls to the airport to see them off on a few week trip to Southern California, where it’s actually cooler than Indiana right now. I’m hoping they have a good time, and while I will miss them, I know it will only be a couple of weeks, and I’ll just keep myself busy while they’re gone.
Keeping myself busy shouldn’t be too difficult. I have some schemes and plans that I need to really get into motion, and this is going to give me the extra time to do so. Another thing I’ve noticed is that, while they are gone, my social calendar starts to get full. I think a major part of that is, I don’t feel bad about going anywhere or missing my family. The Geekling gets upset when one of us leaves, and while I know it’s good for her to get used to, it still kinda heart breaking to hear her “Daddy be right back? Daddy go to office?” as I walk out the door, since I don’t spend enough time with her as it is. As for Shannon, I know she’s glad to get me out of her hair, so I’m not bothered there.
Tomorrow evening, I’m trying to head over to CarmelFest to catch their talent show since one of the Good Guys from The Twitter is performing, and even though I’ve never met the dude face to face, I want to be there to show my support. What else are online friends for?
Wednesday is the 4th, and since I’m off work, I’ll be spending part of the day working online trying to get some websites up, and then when my little brother gets off work, we’ll be heading out to my folks house for some grilling and perhaps to catch a movie. Either way, it’ll hopefully be a good time, and if not, I’m making sure I’m driving so I can escape.
Thursday is Tour De Thursday, and it’ll hopefully be a lot cooler this week than it was last week! Before I go, though, I’m getting a water bottle holder for my bike, along with a small bag so I don’t have to wear my vest while riding any more. It’s too bloody hot for that, plus I don’t want to cover over the nifty shirt that they were kind enough to provide for everybody!
Friday and the weekend are open right now, since I know I don’t have the money to hit InConJunction or the Days of the Dead conventions this weekend. However, who knows what will happen?
Needless to say, it’ll be a full week with a lot to do, and hopefully a bit to write about.
As always, thanks for visiting and reading my ramblings. I really appreciate it.
Take care, folks.
Tony