Monthly Archives: February 2005

A Random Memory

This was triggered by Rama’s post, and made me remember some interesting times.

This would have been in the spring of 1990.

I was broadcasting my weekly jazz show on WSBF-FM at Clemson University one dark and stormy weeknight, right around sunset (I was the jazz director* at that time). The station offices, usually bustling during the day, had emptied out with everyone gone for dinner or studying. The EBS tone in the studio suddenly went off, scaring the crap out of me. Tornado warning for our area. How’s this for low-tech: when the tone went off, it was tuned to one of the larger radio stations in the area (WFBC-FM, Greenville, SC). I had to quickly write down what their announcer said (they were reading from the NWS copy). Then I had to fire the EBS tone to go over the air to our listeners (two switches, one up, one down) and break into our programming and read the warning back over the air.

I put on a couple of long tracks and went out into the empty station offices and looked out over Death Valley (Clemson’s football stadium), across Lake Hartwell, and saw a funnel cloud forming. It was miles away, no immediate danger, and it never touched down. It was an eerie moment, though: the darkened studios, quiet jazz playing in the background, the green skies swirling outside.

Interesting times.

* – As the station’s jazz director, I say in hindsight I had godawful taste. For some reason I always veered towards the GRP label (your basic “smooth jazz”). Ick. Anyone got a time machine so I can go back and slap myself?

Meme Morph!

So here’s a twist on the current meme…

Five Things I’ve Done That I Probably Shouldn’t Have

1. Took a curve at 60 mph, with gravel in the road (spinny spinny!)
2. Chose to start college at Tulane University when I could have gotten a free ride at Clemson University…then transferred to Clemson two years later, but losing the financial aid.
3. Broke each arm. Twice.
4. Romanced someone from Australia online for months, then planning to spend a week with them…and realized ten minutes after they stepped off the plane that it wasn’t going to work.
5. Spent four years getting a master’s degree.

Further updates later. Bagel goodness now.

Midweek Amusements

Not a bad day here at work. Puttering my way through an ongoing project that’s tedious and unpleasant, but do-able. To celebrate the birthdays of a couple of my cow-orkers, the whole department went out for lunch at Tacos El Muerte Norte in Waukegan. Pretty tasty, and it satisfies the craving I’ve been having for Mexican food. One of my cow-orkers announced her resignation, which might open up some interesting possibilities for me employment-wise in the department. We’ll see what develops there.

It looks like the plans that we had for the coming weekend are somewhat up in the air, but considering that we have so much to do to get the place back to a livable state, I’m sure we’ll still be plenty busy! Anyway, even if we’re not sociable this weekend, there’s still Congenial next weekend, and I’m really looking forward to that!

Incidentally, consider yourself reminded that LAFF Coffee in Chicago is still going on tonight, with rumored appearances by aureth and chouette tonight, as well as takaza, if he’s finally over the cold/flu/plague that has knocked him down for the last week or so.

Finally, here’s a fun little meme that I enjoyed filling out:
Ten Things I’ve Done That You (Probably) Haven’t

1. Hosted a radio program in France
2. Taken hang gliding lessons at Lookout Mountain, TN
3. Shot bottle rockets at friends at close range, while they shot back (I said it was unique, not smart!)
4. Visited a Kodo drum festival in Sakura, Japan
5. Been given a glass of grappa after a meal in Italy just for being American
6. Had a toy-gun shootout in an empty college auditorium at 2 AM
7. Gotten a standing ovation from 150 people for a meal that I (and my staff) cooked
8. Danced a reel with Fiona Ritchie (host of NPR’s The Thistle and Shamrock)
9. Called home from the top of the Space Needle in Seattle, just because I could (OK, Gene might have done this…)
10. Chatted with the American ambassador to Switzerland

{sniff sniff}

Smell that? It’s sweeps month. You know what that means, right?

Yes, it’s yet another report telling you that hotel rooms are filthy cesspits filled with human waste and bodily fluids! The only thing to do is wear an environment suit and carry one of these wherever you go! And for gods sake, don’t touch the TV remote control!

This message has been brought to you by The American Society for the Propagation of Fear and Hysteria

Learning About City Life, Part 241

About a month ago, I was walking to catch the bus to go work and I heard a loud buzzing overhead. I looked up and saw just to the west, a formation of helicopters hovering in perfect formation. Now, coming from North Carolina so recently, and being within reasonable proximity of Cherry Point Naval Air Station and Fort Bragg, I assumed it was some military/governmental thing. It turns out that, no, it was news helicopters covering the Brown Line train derailment that was two blocks away from my bus stop.

So I’m coming in to work this morning and once again I see that formation of helicopters just north of where I work. Turns out there was a bad house fire with fatalities about two miles north of here.

Huh. The moral of the story: see the helicopters, turn on the radio, I guess.

Cue The Beatles…

Thanks to everyone who has wished me a happy birthday! It means a lot to me, and I really apreciate it. In a lot of ways I’ve been sort of deferring any expectation of this year’s festivities until next week, when takaza is here and we can really celebrate. Dan wouldn’t hear of that, though, and presented me with my birthday present last night. You’ll have to click here to see what it is, though.

It All Comes ‘Round Again

As inspired by aureth and genet. I’m cheating a bit because I originally posted a version of this about two years ago, though Mom supplied some corrections. It seems only appropriate to revisit this as we’re on the move again…

1968 Born, St. Louis, MO 1989 Central, SC
1969 Hinsdale, IL 1991 Hearthstone Drive, Blacksburg, VA
1969 Homewood, IL 1992 Merrimac Road, Blacksburg, VA
1970 Park Forest, IL 1993 Washington St. SW, Blacksburg, VA
1971 Trumbull, CT 1994 Washington St. SE, Blacksburg, VA
1977 Shelton, CT 1995 Elmhurst, IL
1978 Southbury, CT 1995 Beaverbrook Rd., Raleigh, NC
1980 Forest Lake, Andover, NJ 1996 Doc Arnold Dr., Raleigh, NC
1980 Cranberry Lake, Andover, NJ 1997 Durham, NC
1981 Briar Patch Road, Andover, NJ 1998 Joliet, IL
1983 Cobbs Glen, Anderson, SC 2000 Apex, NC
1984 Hartwell Villas Apartments, Anderson, SC 2000 Holly Springs, NC
1985 Briar Creek Trail, Anderson, SC 2003 Apex, NC
1986 Sharp Hall, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 2004 Durham, NC
1987 Patterson House, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 2005 Chicago, IL
1988 Springfield, VA

I’ll note that the last five moves have been with takaza. Before we met in 1999, he had moved once in his entire life, and both places were in McHenry, IL. This isn’t quite what I meant when I said we’d be going places, honey, I swear!

Moving so often gives you an interesting perspective, I think. You focus less on specific housing and more on the people and places around you. It certainly has made me appreciate the transience of friendships, and to value the friendships which have endured and mourn those which have fallen by the wayside.

Hey feren, you were almost right. I did get a slight bump in my web page traffic, but nothing like I’ve seen in years past. Maybe I’d get more traffic if I updated my web pages more often than once every three years or so? Still, there seems to be a heck of a lot of people out there wondering if Tom Brady is gay 🙂

The entertainment of moving continues, as I’m in the process of getting rate quotes for car/renters’ insurance right now. State Farm (who I’ve been with for 13 years now) is coming in not too far above what we were paying in NC. I’m hoping that the (gay-owned) independent agent I contacted will have a better quote, though, and will take into account the fact that Dan and I are domestic partners (According to Partners Task Force, Aetna, Hartford, Travelers and others offer DP discounts. We’ll see what they come up with. I’ve got the new bank accounts set up with Bank One, and direct deposit changes have been filed. Hmm, still need to do the change of address with the post office, as well as most of the companies we pay bills to, but I believe pretty much all of that can be done online (yay!).

The Amazing Race finale tonight, then coffee tomorrow. Thursday night, Paul and I will be moving furniture around in preparation for Dan’s arrival. That’ll be fun, or something.

Mmph. Man, I hate this after-lunch motivational slump. I think I’ll run some errands and do some walking to get the ol’ blood flowing.

Moving: The Prequel

So, as a few of you might know, we’re in the process of moving…

On Friday I flew down to Raleigh, NC to help Takaza with moving preparations. On the flight down, I was reminded of why I despise flying United on this route: they also stuff people into teeny-tiny Canadian Regional Jets (CRJ’s) that are built for people that are no taller than 5’10” and weigh no more than 175 pounds. I was freakishly lucky, though, and I think the only empty seat on the flight was the one next to me. Yay! The flight got in on time and Dan and I turned in relatively early.

Saturday, we had big plans about all the work we were going to get done. Well, I slept in until 9 AM (a rarity for me), then we were slow getting going. We had to swing by the bank to change our address, and Dan wanted to run some errands in Chapel Hill. We wound up getting home at around 3 PM, feeling kinda blah and tired. We went to lay down for a short bit and were attacked by a vicious nap monster! When next I looked up, it was 5:30. Um, whoops. That gave us just enough time to get ready for dinner. We met up with wildmouse, me_not_you, ovrclokd, thebroomecloset, scarlett_fire, Thomas, and Rich at The Angus Barn, one of the most famous (and pricey) restaurants in the Raleigh-Durham area. The company and wines were excellent, the food and service not so much, but we had a good time and it was really nice to see everyone one last time before moving out.

On Sunday we slept in again, though we tried to motivate a bit earlier. We did get some boxes moved around, and spent a good bit of time planning and making lists. We had lunch with Mike and Lisa at their fabulous new house (I’m so jealous! 🙂 and picked up boxes and packing materials that they very graciously donated to the cause. Then it was back to the house to relax and plan a bit more. All too soon, Dan was taking me to the airport, and I was on my way back to Chicago. The rest of the evening was spent skimming the net, chatting on Furrymuck, and fast-forwarding through the Super Bowl (I didn’t much care who won, really). Once The Simpsons started, I set the Tivo to be sure to get American Dad and headed off to bed.

All in all, we didn’t accomplish as much as I’d hoped. There’s still a lot of boxes to move and stuff to be repacked. However, Dan will have lots of help this week (and thank you all so much!) so that will help. And in less than five days, he’ll be on the road to Chicago, to stay here for good. I can’t wait!

Lots of stuff to do this week. On the way home I need to stop at BB&B to pick up a comfy air mattress for Dan to sleep on while our bed is in transit from NC (plus, the air mattress will be useful for guests in the future). Paul’s going to get copies made of keys to the apartment, and I need to work out what we’re going to do with our car insurance and renter’s insurance. And tomorrow night is the finale of The Amazing Race 6, so we’ll be watching that, hopefully with the company of datahawk and posicat.

In the meantime, though, back to work I go!

Reposting, for a good cause

By way of Perro, who got the original message from soappuppy.

CALL FOR HELP: A nifty person who used to work at Wolf Park has since founded the 501(c)3 non-profit Indiana Coyote Rescue Center. Since most states regard coyotes as vermin, this is a unique center with a rare and noble mission — to be nice to coyotes. Not many places are.

darkwolph and I visited the Center a while ago and hung out with its many critters. It’s tiny (very tiny) and it’s run by one shoestrung but well-meaning lady (CeAnn) who pretty much has devoted her entire life to these poor critters.

Well, some complete ass snuck onto her property on the night of January 27th and shot one of her coyotes point-blank in the face (graphic images). Wolphy and I met this particular coyote, Amber, during our visit; she was sweet and trusting and loved everyone. She rolled over for complete strangers, wiggled, and demanded bellyrubs. Imagining the kind of person who could shoot an animal like that in the face….*gnnnh*. I get quite angry.

The ICRC is on a shoestring budget and poor CeAnn is now stuck with almost $1,000 in bills for Amber’s medical care and reinforcing her fencing so this does not happen again. Please, if you have a dime (or more than a dime)…could you send it to her?

If you don’t have a dime, can you pass this along?

CeAnn Lambert
7975E 300S, Bringhurst, IN 46913 USA
Tel: 765-566-3800


I sent some money CeAnn’s way, and if you can spare a few bucks it would be a generous thing to do.

Random Rants

Just some scattered thoughts from today.

Hmm. While reading this review on Slashdot, I was vaguely tempted to finally get off my butt and learn PHP. Then I remembered that I hate programming, and the whole thing would probably give me a headache. I think I’ll leave that to those who actually enjoy such things.

I’ll be honest. I hated Star Wars Ep. I and Ep. II. I might consider going to see Episode III if George Lucas showed up on my doorstep and offered to drive me to the theater and give me $50 to watch his crappy movie. I have to say, though, that this is the hands-down funniest take on Ep. III that I’ve seen yet: Episode III: A Lost Hope.

(And speaking of the Hayden Christensen/Keanu Reeves School of Wooden Acting, what the fsck is Keanu Reeves doing in Constantine? This is a role that was made for Gary Oldman, or any of a number of fine British actors. John Constantine was a Brit, fer chrissake! Mark my words, this is gonna be a suckfest.)

So, Virginia is proposing license plates for those espousing “traditional marriage”. Charming, but about what I’d expect. I really was amused by this (slightly-NSFW) license plate that Waldo Jaquith proposes. Me, I like the idea of a “Separation of Church and State” license plate…

The State of the Union speech is tonight. Sounds like a good night to be a coffee shop, away from any of the Stupid Rays that will be emanating from the television set. So that’s what I’m gonna do.

I came across this while searching around for media coverage of furry fandom and was amused – isn’t it amazing at how many papers will print a story once it hits the AP wire? But hey, the next time your Aunt Sue from Columbus, GA (or Wilkes-Barre, PA, or Grand Forks, ND) asks you about furries, well, at least you’ll know where they probably read about it.

And hey, feren – I’m still worried, and hope to hear some good news from you soon.

Sushi And Beer

When last we left our intrepid hero last week, he was off to deal with a flat tire. Lotsa fun, that. The total cost was $118, including the discount for working at Abbott. Hey, at least it gets me something. A lot more than I was expecting to spend, though. Apparently, my car as an “unusual” tire size. Shyeah right. Bah.

So the weekend was pretty cool. Friday got off to a roaring start when linnaeus and I had dinner with Addison (aka the late, lamented addison2427) and Devious. They took us to a fabulous little sushi joint on Halstead. The sushi was excellent, and the sake was, um, copious. Afterwards we retired back to Linnaeus’ place for more conversation and beverages. A really fun night, and we need to see these guys more often.

On Saturday, I took a tour of Chicagoland, starting with a trip to Mount Prospect to line up a P.O. Box for takaza and I. From there met up with Roho and Genet at Perfect Brewing to check out their selection of brewing supplies. They’re still putting their store together, but it looks like a fun place, and the owner is a very nice guy. I picked up a very cool little plastic gadget that holds a racking tube in the carboy at whatever height you set it for. Way cool, and very ingenious! We adjourned to lunch afterwards at The Fox and the Hound (which is sadly, not nearly as cool at The Fox and the Hound in Cary, NC, was, but oh well). From there, it was down to the South Side, all the way into Indiana where I met aureth and mirkowuff at Three Floyds Brewery. We sampled some of their brews, and while Aureth and Mirko were big fans of the Dreadnaught “Imperial IPA” (read: hops with a little bit of beer added), I enjoyed the Pride and Joy mild ale. Man, they do like their hops at Three Floyds, though! Afterwards, we went back to Aureth and jenwolf‘s place and hung out for a bit. Several other folks showed up, but I had to head out early due to the long drive and the fact that I was still tired from the night before.

And on Sunday? Sunday I did nothin’ 🙂 Well, I went to the grocery store, but that’s about it.

This week has been a bit busy, with planning for moving continuing apace. New bank accounts, storage units, coordinating schedules – all part of the fun. We’ve got LAFF Coffee in the City tonight, and I need to do laundry tomorrow in preparation for flying down to NC on Friday. That’s about where things stand right now. I had a couple of things to comment on, but I’ll post again in a bit…