Thursday, April 30, 2009

Goodbye Old Friend I Knew Ye Well

This weekend The Wife was craving bacon cheddar cheeseburgers and instead of paying the 4.99 a pound at the store I unfroze a pack of bacon and bought a pound of beef (2.90 a pound) and fired my little grill. We bought the grill the first spring down here in North Carolina. We were living on Fried Chicken Drive and couldn't go all out on a grill. To be honest it was big enough for the two of us and that was fine.

Add a couple of years and the fact it was not the greatest of grills, I started to notice some signs of aging. The legs were less stable and rust in strange places. As I was finishing up the bacon cheddar cheeseburgers the legs were getting a little more wobbling and as I pulled the last burger of the grill that bad leg gave out and the grill tumbled over, the grill is dead.

Oh all the memories we have, the steaks, burgers, hot dogs, corn and pork chops you have cooked up. I will miss you little grill. How soon can you be replaced? Well, if I can ever get some work I'd say that day, but I digress. As I picked up up after you cooled and tossed you into the garbage can I felt a little bit of me go with you. That might be because you were still a little hot and a small part of flesh went with you, but that's not the point. What is a man without a grill... nothing... little grill, you completed me. You complete me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nights in Rodanthe

With my weekly text message for a free movie from Red Box I was forced I mean asked to pick up Nights in Rodanthe. If your a guy you are going to hate it and if you are a woman you will probably like it, but that is not why I write. The movie is based in the outer banks area of North Carolina. We have visited and it is very nice, but also has a connection to Raleigh.

Richard Gere's character is a rich doctor from Raleigh and Daine Lane's character is from Nags Head, but is helping a friend with a beach house in Rodanthe. The people in Rodanthe and the outer banks are portrayed as salt of the Earth people which is so much different that the city folk of Raleigh... WHAT?

In the movie they mention that it is 200 miles distance from each other, but to be honest the two are not that much different. First the fact that it was trying to make Raleigh into a big time city is a little off. Yes it is progressive, but the Triangle is basically 10 mini metropolitan areas that have grown over the last 30 years. When you think of "big city" Raleigh ain't it. Don't get me wrong, that's why we love it here. It has a big city feel without well, the big city.

I understand what they were trying to do, but man, most of the outer banks is very commercialised and portions of it are not rustic. The further south you go (past Nags Head) it is more quaint, but the same kind of people are there as in Raleigh. Go ten miles out of Raleigh and you get more of "country pumpkin" than you will get in the OBX.

Maybe I'm being too cynical and I need to heed my own advice I give to The Wife while she complains about a scene. "It's just a movie." It's only because I live in this area that I notice these kinds of things.
One last thing, I know the only skyline shot of Raleigh is off of Saunders (I've shot it many a times), but why would you go that way to the OBX? US 70 through Garner hella suck and if you go around on the inner belt to US 264 you don't have to take the ferry, with the new bypass it's a whole lot faster... just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Open Letter to Spring

Dear Spring

Where did you go? Did you pull a hammy and told summer to go on in? It's freaking hot already! Do you realize that I have warm blooded pregnant wife that was complaining when it was the 70 for three days. Tell me what it will take for you to come back and have summer go away for a few weeks longer. I'll hire a physical therapist to work out what ever injury you have.

Or is it worse? Did mother nature lay you off? I know the economy is bad, but how can she not have spring? You are so much better than winter. Without you it's be, well like it is now. Cold one day and way too warm the next. Give me her number and I'll give her a call and try to help you out. Or at least try and get hired, I'd be a good season; Winter, Jeremy, Summer and Fall. Who am I kidding you are the best at it.

Whatever it is, please come back and hang out till June. Just give us a little break before the hot head comes in and makes it miserable for me and my pregnant wife.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Not the Pork!

As I am starting not hate the news, I've started to watch CNN a little bit more and I started to hear about this swine flu. Of course it's CNN so I zone in and out and only catch bits and pieces. I keep thinking nothing about it because it's in New York. As I get on here to write a new cover letter (not telling you why... can't jinks it... crap I may have said too much) I see on my WRAL and News and Observer RSS feeds a story... The swine flu in North Carolina.

What? How did that happen, then I started to remember, it's freaking North Carolina... Smithfield pork is here and that we have 900 business that deal with pork. We even have a pork council! First I had to deal with West Nile while in Toledo and now the swine flu. Why are we getting the flu from pigs? I read the story and mostly people are getting the flu because they were in Mexico. Then I read this douse of a line;

Although the the flu has been deadly in Mexico, it appears to be mild in
the United States, where 40 people have had confirmed cases.

Why is the US strain less deadly? So I go to where all people get "reliable information... Wikipedia. The entry for swine flu is well medical at best and does not tell me if I am going to die. I then type into google "Will I die from swine flu" and I find a story on that tells me:
Tamiflu, that have been shown to be effective, but they need to be taken within
days of the first symptoms

What are the freaking symptoms! The article is also telling me to not freak out. Too late for that, because you are making it sound like I'm in a bad episode of 24 and I have to go on a rampage to find this miracle drug or I might die because I don't knowwhat the symptoms are.

The same CBS article tells me not to travel to Mexico (Check), wash my hands and cover my mouth when I sneeze and cough. So is sneezing and coughing a symptom? Crap I'm going through allergies right now. Maybe it's the swine flu, I've had that for a month now. Am I allowed to play the game Pass the Pigs? I mean it has little pigs in it, how am I to know if they have the flu or not... I'm so going to turn into a swine zombie I know it.

Loaner 2: The Electric-Boogalo

With the Mazada getting it's third transmittion this year, I again get the loaner seen here. You can read the previous exploits here, but I have a new problem... this thing over heats. I was driving to a business meeting/ golf outing when I kept hearing a "bing" and looked down to see the temperature needle was pegging the hot. The one thing I learned in drivers ed was when your car over heats, but the heat on to suck the air out of the engine. If this was February, not a problem. The fact it's April and already in the 90s makes it a problem. Not only do I have the windows open on a hot day, I've got the heater blasting warm air all around.

It takes the mini-crap about five minutes to get back down to normal, but 45 seconds to get back to the red line. So far the worst has been driving around during rush hour traffic on Capitol. When it takes 10 minutes to get through a light, it gets very hot a muggy. By the time I get home I need a shower. The Mazda better get fixed soon and won't have to go to the shop for a long time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Here We Go Again

Sunday I was driving the Mazda and I noticed that the tachometer was around 6000 RPMs. That's not normal, I turn of the radio and roll up the windows so I can hear what is going on. Well, ever time the car would shift into fifth gear the car would shutter a little and the RPMs would jump. As I kept driving I started to lose fourth gear, luckily I was near our church and nothing less happened. Church is over and I have The Wife follow me home to make sure nothing else happens. Of course, I now can't get the car to stay in third gear.

Monday morning comes around and we are going to take it to the shop and you won't believe what happened? I completely lost third gear and second was starting to act up. You may or may not remember, but I had the transmission on this car replaced in March. My level of frustration on a scale of one to ten (1 being calm 10 being an insane crazy person that has to have the cops called) I'm a 41. I walk in as calm as I can, I tell them the problem and the guy remembers my car and makes the comment "I hope for you that it is the transmission because that's going to be cheaper for you." I'm thinking two things here.
  1. Something else is wrong and it's going to cost me.
  2. I am going to get a free transmission.

Later on Monday I get a call and come to find out... it's the transmission. He doesn't tell me exactly what is wrong, but I'm guessing they got a bad transmission and the gear box went bad.

This is kind of a good thing, I'm getting all the work done for free, but I'm without a car for a week. I might get another lovely loaner, but that won't be until sometime on Wednesday. I'm just amazed that I am going to have my third transmission on a car that has 84,000 miles. When will all this end? I need some really good news soon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Travel Music

The Wife is getting stir crazy and is clamoring to go to the beach, even though she is going in two weeks she wants to go on a trip with me. We are taking a day trip to Wrightsville Beach which is just over two hours away. One of the biggest problems we have while driving is music. The Wife is very main stream, while everything I listen too is slightly different from the norm. This has caused problems while driving long distances and the normal rule is who ever drives gets to pick the music. The problem The Wife has is she doesn't drive that much and midway into a trip will start complaining or makes suggestions that she would rather listen to the radio.

With the downfall of our MP3 radio transmitter death this causes even more problems. I will not listen to radio stations and now we have to pack CDs for the trip. Then I get an idea, I'll make a mixed tape collection for the entire drive. The problem is I have to cut out things that we don't agree on, so no Nirvana, Tragically Hip, Gorillaz or Silversun Pickups and for The Wife no Conway Twitty, New Kids on the Block or Poison. Pretty much that leaves us with a small selections but here is the list and order I came up with.

Ice Ice Baby- Vanilla Ice (She loves it and I'll make her happy and get this one out of the way)
Take on Me- A-HA (Classic)
Pour Some Sugar on Me- Def Leopard (Guilty pleasure and happiness for The Wife)
Inside Out- Eve 6
Brian Wilson- BNL
Walking Barefoot- Ash (Since it has a beach reference I slid this one in)
Karma Chameleon- Culture Club (ugh)
Look Away-Chicago (Don't judge me! I like Chicago)
Iris- Goo Goo Dolls
Desperately Wanting- Better Than Ezra
Rock Me All Night Long- AC/DC (I'm not a fan, but The Wife is)
Love Shack- B52s
Business Time- Flight of the Conchords (Greatest two songs back to back EVER on a mixed tape. Go to youtube and find both songs and see why)
Feralicious-Fergie (This song will never leave my head.... get it out!)
Notorious- Duran Duran
Everlasting God-Lincoln Brewster (Happy Wife equals happy trip)
Pocket Full of Sunshine- Natasha Bedingfield
Island in the Sun- Weezer (Somewhere King Tom is Smiling
Dizzy- Jimmy Eat World
Ladies of the World- Flight of the Conchords
1 2 3 4- Collio (Shut Up)
I've Got the Power- Snap (Fav!)
Fellin So Fly- Toby Mac
Unbelievable- EMF
Dancing Queen- ABBA (Stupid Mama Mia)
Summertime- The Sundays
Be My Yoko Ono- BNL
It's the End of the World-REM
Save Tonight- Eagle Eye Cherry
Vacation- Go Gos (Come on, you know you like it)
Let the Praises Ring- Lincoln Brewster (Happy Wife again)
You Can't Have It All- Ash (I will get a look when this comes on)
Right Behind You- Our Lady Peace
Barely Breathing- Duncan Shiek
Slide- Goo Goo Dolls
Leggy Blonde- Flight of the Conchords- (Greatest ending to a song)
Since U Been Gone- Kelly Clarkson
Love Like This- Natasha Bedingfield
Don't Funk Wit My Heart- Black Eyed Peas
Hungry Like a Wolf- Duran Duran (I think of Old School every time I hear this song)
Pump Up the Jams- Technotronic
Mickey- Toni Basil (Obvious)
Just a Girl- No Doubt
I Want to Fly Away- Lenny Kravitz
Sweetness- Jimmy Eat World
Meant to Live- Switchfoot
Good- Better Than Ezra
Here It Go Again- OK Go
Mysterious Ways- U2
Bring Me to Life- Evanescence
Somethin Somethin- Seven Nations (Celtic rock!)
The Most Beautiful Girl (in the room)- Flight of the Conchords
Girl From Mars- Ash (I'm hoping she's asleep on the return trip by now)
Lucky Denver Mint- Jimmy Eat World
Hurricane- Athlete
Clocks- Coldplay (You know how I know you're gay?)
Chasing Cars- Snow Patrol
All I Want- Toad the Wet Sprocket
Don't Speak- No Doubt
The Middle- Jimmy Eat World
Hiphopopotamus vs Phymenoceros- Flight of the Conchords (I have converted The Wife, she loves them.

The Hardest part of a mixed tape is the flow. The movie High Fidelity explains this process the best, you have to start out strong, mellow out and then hit it harder than the start. Everything has to go in and out seamlessly. If not then it's jarring and if you have too many slow songs in a row then you get bored. To much tempo and you get bored. I think I did a pretty good job for building a list that long in under an hour.

Friday, April 17, 2009

What a Rip Off

With the NHL starting the playoffs and both of my teams (Carolina and Columbus) in the playoffs I want to start watching the games, yet we have one small problem. We cut out about 100 channels on our Dish to save money and of course Verses and FSN Ohio and Carolina are not in the top 125 package.

I heard that the NHL decided to put the games online, all I thought was that's awesome. It's going to be like CBS putting all the NCAA tournament games online! There is one catch, the NHL wants me to pay $79.00 for the entire playoffs. WHAT? After what CBS did you expect me to pay? How about no, I'd rather go to a bar and spend $10 for a beer and nachos. My option tonight is listening to the game on the radio to a guy I can't stand to listen too. Also, he's one man team so I don't get a single second away from his voice. I don't care if he's a hall of famer... I don't like his voice.

The NHL is struggling enough, why not make it free so that you can at least get some decent numbers and tell people, "See, people were watching us!" Put a few commercials in there to recoup some of your money. Stupid NHL, no wonder ESPN would rather have the PBA and College Softball.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Wife Is Now Insane

This baby thing is starting to get out of control. The Wife comes home all excited about a gift she received from one of her clients. It's a book called Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. She starts reading it and gets a look of pure happiness. The plot is pretty elaborate, the letter A starts to climb a tree and before anyone realizes it the rest of the letters climb up behind A. Spoiler Alert here, all the letters get into the tree and then fall.

Here is a direct quote as she finishes the book "This book is the most awesome book ever!" I guess we have to read this to Logan every night. Why, I have no idea, but I'm just along for the ride. Oh what a crazy ride it is.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Chain Letter and a Pyramid Scam

The other day I got a rather stuffed letter in the mail. It was from someone in Tennessee that I have never heard of. I do have relatives there and thought they might be sending me something. Much to my shock it was not from a relative, but a total stranger, he sent me a chain letter.

Not just any chain letter, this was also a pyramid scam. Yet they tried to tell me it was not a scam. I mean the top of the letter clearly states "AS SEEN ON OPRAH & 20/20." Well I guess I'm wrong this can't be a bad thing, yet I still think this is a scam. Then I read on "THIS IS NOT A PYRAMID SCAM." Well if the letter says so then it must be legit.

The whole basis of this scam is you send six dollars (one dollar each) to six people. Then you mail out this letter to six people, put your name in the 6th spot and bam! You're making money. Yet there is another rub in this ruse to make even more money you send away for a set of labels so you don't have to bother your friends. It only cost forty-five dollars. Hey, they have a story in here about how some fifteen year old made a quarter of a million I mean I must be able to.

This letter is full of testimonial with names, but not one name from the person who created it. That should have been this guys first clue that this was a scam. If someone won't give you their name, then it's not legit.

The most interesting part of this letters is a diagram in the letter. With the 200 names you will make fifteen dollars then in turn those 15 send out more letters and from the new people you will get $225 and so forth and so forth. Here is the money breakdown in the letter:


In no way at all that could be a pyramid. I mean the top is flat so it's more like a rumbas and those aren't illegal. How has this not been stopped yet? Then on top of it who is falling for this scam? With the Internet all you have to do is type in datalineone into Google and the second and third listing are about how this is a scam.

I know times are tough, cheap get money quick schemes are not the answer. You just have to be smart about money. Then a few friends and I were discussing pyramid scams. The best place to be in one of this is right below the guy who started it. You are not fully at fault and he gets all the blame. Of course non of us wanted to be that guy so I guess our get rich quick plan won't work. I guess it's back to trying to make a living.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Pollen Pollen Everywhere

I've written this before, but Still two years down here and I am still amazed at the pollen that comes with early spring. I have pretty bad allergies and right now I am doped up on Sudefed and Claritin Yet that's not the biggest problem right now. It's the yellow dusting coating everything inside and out. You can no longer describe your car without adding yellowish to the color.

This is the first spring in our house and it's annoying to see this yellow haze all over the kitchen floor. With The Wife still in a nesting phase this is driving her crazy. I think we went through a pack of Swiffer cloths in a week. Then you have the porch and deck are covered, you can't do anything, it's like trying to shovel the show in the middle of a blizzard.

We have had a few good rain showers and you would think that would clear up this mess. What it actually does pools it low lying areas and then when it dries, blows back onto everything. I love the warmth of the season, but this is the worst thing about living here... stupid pine trees!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Winning and Rioting

Since I no longer work in the news world and UNC was in the national title game, guess what I decided to do, go to Chapel Hill and be involved in the idiocy. Six months ago I would have paid to get out of going to Chapel Hill, any time I went near that city, something would happen. I'd be forced to move the live truck 6 times after I had everything set up. Being kicked off a roof because the snipers "don't like TV people." Yet I wanted to see what it was like without being forced to confront the idiots.

First the Dean Dome had probably over 4,000 people there watching the game. I thought it was interesting how the entire crowd reacted like the game was happening in front of us. Anytime they cut to a Michigan State player they booed and of course a UNC player was cheered. This made it interesting during the fast edited pregame show. Many chants filled the arena and made it a very lively scene.

I like UNC, but do not love them as many of these people did. Unless BG makes it to a title, I'll probably stay at home and watch the game, the food is a little cheaper.

Once the Tarheels routed Sparty the "fun" began. 80% of the crowd at the Dean Dome started the mile trek up hill to Franklin St where 30,000 people were already starting chaos. To compare it to something people have seen or experienced, it's like Bourbon Street except on fire. For some reason a local paper thought it would be a good idea to hand out championship papers... WRONG! They were used to start the fires and I swear I saw Nero and a fiddle at Top of the Hill.

Smoke filled the air and pockets of small fires littered the streets. Most of these fires were very small and for some reason people thought it would be a great idea to jump over them. I, now part of the mob, jumped over a couple. Some where just to do it and others were the only way to cross the mob.

Then you just randomly saw people in places that were strange like trees, on top of crosswalk lights, poles and my favorite ripped off street signs. Of course what did people do, jump on top and surf through the crowd. The video below is one of the times I was a little too close to the group of sign surfers. The video below is that time, each time someone fell off it was like an ocean wave crashing into you. People were thrown back into you and you into those behind. Luckily I kept my balance, but some had to be helped up from the fall and their new injuries from people stepping on them.

It was around 1:45 by the time I finally made it back to my car over at the Dean Dome. Am I glad I finally got to be apart of the mob... yes. Will I ever do that again... no. I have experienced the crowds from both sides of the lens. Next time this happens I can watch WRAL and know what is going on and relive this experience, that's enough for me.