Aches and pains

It’s been a pretty thrilling last 48 hours. The flu finally caught up to me, and I think I lost a couple pounds. Not fun at all. It all started Monday afternoon. I stayed home from the station all day yesterday, taking the day off. It drove me nuts. I hate being sick. There is nothing worse than being stuck inside, in your bed, feeling like crap. Luckily, my parents were in town and stopped by with all sorts of good stuff. People from the station even called to make sure I was alright or if I needed anything. The good news is that I am back on my feet today, but I might leave work early.

You know what’s very interesting about where I work? For starters, I am surrounded by some really great people. They respect the work that I do, and I do the same in return. We all like to give each other a hard time, but when it comes down to it, we know how to get things done and what it takes to get there. The other interesting thing is just the personalities that are around here. There are three people who work here that each speak a second language. And I think one of those three actually can speak a third. It’s kind of crazy. It was just something that struck me this morning as I walked through the building to hear all sorts of different languages surround me. Makes me smile.

I have had people asking about the hair growing process. Yes, I am growing my hair back out. It’s just barely over a half inch long, I think. It’s in that funky stage of growth. I was told some time ago by a friend that if you ever shave your head, it will get really weird on you as it grows back out. This is quite true. I am doing my best to combat it, and thankfully it’s cold enough out still wear stocking hats. I don’t do baseball caps. I forgot to completely dry my hair this morning, as I am used to just a quick pass with the towel and being done. It’s a whole new world!

My aunt Natie went in for surgery today for her tumor. It’s a pretty delicate time right now for the family, but I think everything is going to play out alright. Last I heard, she is out of the operating room and in the ICU. The tumor is believed to be non-cancerous, but lab tests on the removed tissue will give us the final say-so. Grandma is pretty tense, as usual. My mom went down to be with her on a flight this morning. I’ve got my cell phone close to hear of the updates.

I finally watched Pirates of the Caribbean yesterday. I have owned it on DVD for about a month and a half now and saw it on VHS over at my friend Deidre’s a long while ago. I seemed to have the time on my hands yesterday. Anyhow, I just had to own it. It makes me realize that I need to increase my collection of movies that has Mr. Depp in them. First on the list, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Little darling

You see this little girl? She brings so much happiness into my family. When I go home, there is always a little Josie story. Within the time span of a few months, she lost nearly half of her teeth. Some times, it is very hard to understand what she is saying. Yesterday, she was looking for “swin-dwa-wuh-wuh”. I couldn’t make out what she was asking that I must have asked her to repeat herself about ten times. Finally, I got it. “Cinderella.” She’s precious. I love spending time with my nieces and nephews. Trust me, there will be more entries like this in the future. Very funny, little girl.

It’s snowing today, which is, of course, very pretty. It would be better if I didn’t have to work today. And it would be even better if there was a layer of ice underneath all the snow. Jim made mention that today could be very interesting. Turns out, the FM tower is built to withstand a half-inch of ice and 60mph winds. Forecast calls for two inches of ice today. So, there stands a chance that I could experience my first tower failure. And by failure, I mean collapse. Hmmmm…

I got the pictures of the Burn Disco Burn show up in my gallery. Such an awesome night.

A little less technical

Going to see a show at Gabe’s always results in a total breakdown in planning. I didn’t plan on making it a late night, but my wonderful friends were playing last night. I thought I would pop in, say my hellos, find out how the new album is coming along, have a drink or two, and head home early. Oh no… It was Chris’s birthday. Needless to say, today has been a little rough going at the start. The music was really good at the show. A Is Jump is a great band with a really keen sound. I like what they are doing. I’ve got some pictures from the night, and I hope to post them when I get the time. Maybe after I take a nap, too.

Frosty has made his return to the airwaves. The guy just can’t stay away from KRUI. And yes, The Bomb is back. Two hours of funk. And it’s good funk, too! I tuned in the other night to hear him come on the air. I called him up, and a little over a hour later, we were out for drinks. Hunted down Todd Brommelkamp, played some strange dice game(very well, I might add), and closed down the bar. I have a feeling that I’ll be hanging out with Frosty and Todd a lot more in the future.

I got some unfortunate news that put quite the damper on the weekend. Roman Haag passed away. He is the grandfather to my neighborhood friends from the days of being a child. He was a wonderful, kind individual with a pure heart. Many days were spent over at Mark, Chris, and Brian’s house with their grandparents left to watch over us. His health appears to have been failing him for some time, but a stroke last week left him in a battle he couldn’t win. I lost my grandfather about a year and a half ago, so I can understand the pain of loss. I hope to make it to the funeral, weather depending.

In the midst of all these interesting times, I have rediscovered my passion for hunting down music. And actually, I have made a rediscovery of my enjoyment of emo. I don’t know why, but it’s good stuff. I also find myself falling in love with Beth Orten. I listen to her voice, and it makes me swoon. I might have to start posting my top five favorite songs of the moment somewhere on here. I know, that’s totally High Fidelity, but maybe that’s why my mom said she can see me when she watched that movie. Who knows…

Put the lime in the coconut

I don’t know how to express the saddness that has come into my heart. It happens time and time again, and this time is no different. My favorite, commercial, independent radio station in the world has been sold. WOXY has given into the pressure. Forever will it be gone from the greater Cinncinati air waves. The station, equipment, and frequency is being dismantled by a corporation in Texas. They vow to stay alive on the internet via webcast, which is how I have always listened to them, but seeing the last of a truly dying breed of radio to fall victim to this “way the world works” is absolute heartbreak. Have you ever seen “Rain Man”? Yeah, this is that radio station. In a dream, this is the station that I would work for in a flash.

I haven’t been feeling too well in the past few days. I know of a few folks who have come down with colds and flu-like illnesses, so perhaps my time has come. I took half the day off yesterday, got some much needed sleep, and then ran back into the flames at work. We have so much to do. For every step forward we take, in terms of the technical side of this place, other problems creep up that cause us to take a couples steps back. Frustrating? Yeah, but we’ll get it done.

It’s so cold, and I know I am whining. The kicker is that the head meteorologist of the National Weather Service stopped by today. She said six to ten inches of snow on Monday. Wonderful!… I can’t wait. Although, I do need to get my inner tube back from Grant. I can’t let that much snow go to waste.

Can’t stop these things

I got my official letter of promotion yesterday. I signed it and handed my life over. Professional and Scientific: misc. I’m not too sure how I feel about that title. Technically, I’m still the assistant engineer around here, but the other is my official title as labeled through the system. This basically means that they are able to get me, legally, to do whatever they think that I am qualified to handle. I have a lot of experience in a lot of different areas. However, I have to make sure that I keep my wits and not allow myself to get spread out into a bunch of different areas. I like playing with the buttons, wires, and computers in the tech room… for now…

It is horribly cold outside. It’s the type of cold that takes seconds to chill you to the bone, give you frost bite in a matter of minutes, and make the snot in your nose ice over in a flash. Of course, it’s the exact opposite in my apartment, where I wear no more than a t-shirt and shorts when home. It’s like coming back home from Japan all over again, every single morning. Just try going from a blazing hot, Asian summer to an Iowa fall. That is what it seriously feels like every single morning for me. A really hot apartment to the frigid, harsh winter cold. Oddly enough, I haven’t had a cold this entire winter, knock on wood.

Alright… It’s time to confess to an addiction that I realized that I have as of last night. Law and Order: SVU… I love that show! I noticed last night that when I got home, I quickly turn on the TV to see the second episode this week that I have already seen. I think that it is at that point when you know you are an avid, addicted fan of a television show. I know that I am this way with other shows like The Simpsons, Futurama, and other programs that other people find too “immature” for their tastes, as if I really care what you think of my TV habits. Anyhow, it was just one of those moments of clarity. I’m a Law and Order: SVU freak.

I hate it too

Cold, snowy, and windy. That sums up the day today. I’m half tempted to go grab my inner tube and hit the hills, but there is a large part of me that would just rather grab a cup of hot, green tea and curl up in some blankets, maybe pop in a DVD or two. Oh wait, I have to work today. That’s right, I have a job… Well, crap. And today hasn’t been a cake walk by any means. Computer viruses, a new server, remotes with WBGH in Boston, and so on. If you want a really good secret to losing weight, it would be days like today.

I’m ready for warmth. Deep down, I do love the winter time, but hot, sunny days are what I crave. Every season has it’s smell, and I’ve grown tired of the cold, frozen fumes that fill the air when I get up to go running or start my car in the morning. I’ve been craving the smell of the air after the rain. Or maybe the sound of water hitting the roof. Even the sound of thunder that is enough to make you jump.

To be completely honest, I think a large part of stems from the picture that my niece, Josie, drew for me a couple of weeks ago. It was a present. “Clouds, butterflies, the sun, and you.” I have the picture hanging in my office at the station. I have to admit, to see butterflies would a wonderful thing right now.

Nocturnal overdrive

I was thinking last night about all the places that I have seen in the world. It’s safe to say that I have barely scratched the surface, but I’ve done and seen things that some people never have a lifetime to experience. I started to trace a list of things in my head and started to take a trip, in no particular order… Climbing the path to Castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. Attempting to hike Mt. Fuji, only to have altitude sickness over take me, sleeping in a hut on the side of the sleeping volcano, and watching the sun rise over the Kanto Plain. Dying for breath while climbing the steps of The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, sitting on the top, and being mind blown by the fact that my blood line could have passed through these parts. Walking through the catacombs of Cholula, the largest pyramid structure in the world. Running around Yokohama with Jennie, Doug, and Aki, eating at the Hard Rock, taking a boat ride around Yokohama Bay, Chinatown, yaki-soba, yaki-udon, and beer machines… Can’t forget about the beer machines. “Drinking beer on the train, let John do his thing…”

Going to Amsterdam and seeing where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis during the occupation and lived the last days of her free life, if you can call it that. Dachau… That’s all I should have to say about that experience. And the Berlin Wall, all of its graffiti, the history, Checkpoint Charlie, and just the awe of keeping people prisoners like they did. Hanging out with my friends in the Zocalo in Mexico City, checking out the vendors, the smell of raw sewage, the Aztec ruins, and all the VW Beetles that were everywhere. Seeing the sacred site of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the image of the virgin on Juan Diego’s cape, the people walking only on their knees as they enter the front gate, and never standing up until they get back out. Taking a boat ride down the Rhine River in Germany, looking at all of the castles lining the shores, and just in complete astonishment of the history all around me…

This is just what I can think about off the top of my head, and I know that there is some details, places, and events that I am forgetting. However, I amaze myself when I really put my mind to it. I have done a lot with the short life that I have led to this point. If there is one passion in my life, it’s to see more of the world before I die. When you think about how large the world is, but how small the planet you live on actually is, problems in your life seem a lot more insignificant.

Come home

It’s been a pretty great weekend in terms of just feeling good and happy. I have had the chance to talk to a few friends that I haven’t seen or heard from in ages. My old neighbor, Amber, popped up on my computer and we chatted for quite a while. Life sounds to be treating her incredibly well. There were many nights spent with her and I talking about life and love in nearly every single way that there is for people to communicate, just shy of sending messages in bottles. I’m looking forward to hearing more about where life has taken her.

I can’t forget that I talked with Doug for a while, too. It was pretty hilarious to think about some of the times that we shared in Japan. It was a good trip down memory lane, especially our adventures during typhoon lock downs. One of those things where you had to be there, but it always make me laugh. I have to mention that the guy is thinking about building a wooden kayak. I kid you not, this is a perfect example of the type of guy Doug is. Always has something interesting like that up his sleeve. But seriously, who builds a kayak?

I spent a portion of this weekend watching TV, most of it consisting of history channel shows. I’m a sucker for anything that involves history of World War II. I think a large part of that stems from the stories that my great uncle Richard has told me through the years during his stint in Europe shortly after the invasion. I’ve seen some of the ovens that were used first hand in the final solution. I have also walked through a gas chamber that was never used, but the intention is enough to make you pee your pants as you pass through it. I don’t know what it is, but historical topics like that just suck me in.

I said that I would get my picture gallery updated, and I have proven my word. It’s a start, and I’ll add more when I get the time.

Following through

Always remember that no matter how much you love your job, there is a point where you have to say, “Enough. It’s time to go home.” That was me last night. However, I swear, whatever it is that you worship, God, Allah, Vishnu, the sun, or corn nuts, he/she/it has it out for me this month. From the crashing and burning of my love life to the smoldering of equipment at work, January has sucked. Well, not all of it, but it’s been a stressful one. Never the less, the fan that keeps me cool in my overheated apartment decided to die around four this morning. Woke up in a pool of sweat, swapped out fans, and collapsed back into bed. Is it a curse with electronics this month or is it just me?

I think there is a family of squirrels living in the attic space above my apartment. I woke up late this morning to the sound of thumps and thunks. Being so sunny out today, I opened the shades wide open to see three of them on my fire escape. I might try to get something to feed them and set it outside my window. I have always been a bit of a nature freak. Heck, I have always wanted one for a pet, but I think that would be cruel.

It’s looking like the Troubled Hubble weekend that Don will be in town will be a pretty rocking one. Muffin is looking to make the trip up as well. I’m not sure how much of a gathering that will be, but it’s still going to be a good time. Hopefully get Sushi and the others rounded up, too. Time to get my butt in motion for the day. I’m burning precious daylight.

I am an elastic firecracker

Had some FTP issues with my ISP. Turns out, the guy over there doesn’t like me logging in underneath the master account. Completely understandable and no worries on my part. I actually went to high school with Jerry. He graduated two years before I did, tried the college thing, and fell away from it to start his own ISP. Very smart individual. Got the proper information to update my site, which is a good thing.

I’ve been pretty burnt out on National Public Radio this week. We’ve been working really hard on problems that have either come up or we have sort of caused at the station. So while I’m sitting in my office, I like to tune into WOXY out of Cinncinati. Truly what radio should be. Isn’t it horrible though?… Not listening to the very station that you work for? Everyone needs a change from time to time.

I’ve been getting into a pretty good workout routine, trading strength training off with cardio every other day, taking a day or two off a week. When I went running this morning, I was somewhere over on the east side of town when church bells started ringing in about three different directions. It was quite something. I’m not sure if they do that every morning, but it was a pretty spectacular noise. Even in the middle of my three mile run, it was almost soothing.

No lack of projects coming up for this recently promoted individual. New domain server to come online, switching to a new traffic and billing system, and the migration of all office computers to Windows XP. Oh, Spain… How I look forward to seeing thee…