Saturday, September 24, 2005

Autumn Arrives

Since my last entry the season has changed and today the weather is definitely reflecting the change. It is now about 60 degrees outside and sunny. I was actually cold this morning with only a t-shirt on and had to grab a long sleeve shirt. I have been concerned recently with the goings on in our country, from the two hurricanes that have slammed into the Gulf Coast over the last two weeks to the emergency plane landing in California. Things are going crazy around here, I wonder what is in store for us in the near future. The news programs can't even keep up with all of the news. I am glad I don't live down where the hurricanes have been hitting, I can't imagine having to evacuate and leave all of my belongings behind to be destroyed by the wind, rain and storm surge.

Aside from it being autumn already, today is also Jennifer's birthday. We have a busy day ahead of us, we are currently at the cafe down the street from our house, afterwards we are going up to Amesbury for an afternoon of apple picking and cider donuts. This evening we will be heading in to the city for a little wine and appetizers at a swanky restaurant/wine bar. Tomorrow we are going to Sturbridge for lunch with the Riebe's at Picadilly Pub. At some point I will be removing part of my desk, so I can realign one set of legs, because I didn't put them on straight. I must have been rushing towards the end and just measured wrong. I also need to add some cross pieces to help keep it from swaying. I will put pictures up once it is all back together.

Monday, September 19, 2005

New Desktop Picture For Fall

I spent most of Saturday trying to get my iPod to work and after about six hours it began to work with normality. So I am bag on track now and can listen to all of my music. I was worried at one point that I would have to buy a brand new one. My technical prowess came through in the end though. On Saturday night Jennifer and I met up with some friends at Ned Devine's in Boston. I wasn't sure about the place at first, but the food was great and the band was great too. From the outside it looks like the type of scene I wouldn't belong in, but once in there it was fantastic.

On Sunday we picked Andy up at 7 and drove up to Crawford notch for a day of hiking. The weather on the way up fluctuated all the way up to the trail head. For the entire hike it rained and misted all over us. Of course this prevented us from seeing anything besides whiteness. It was a fantastic hike and I was happy to bag to 4000 footers. After getting back to the car the sky cleared right up. How annoying?

Since it was a NASCAR Sunday in NH we stopped by Andy's dad's house on the way home and enjoyed a super dinner. A few hours later we drove the rest of the way home and another busy weekend came to an end.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Bye Bye Butterfly

Another long work week has come to an end. We once again managed to do the impossible and finished our project on time. Hopefully things will slow down for at least a little while so I can catch my breath. Maybe I will even find some time to go to the gym, get a haircut and get my car fixed. I haven't taken my car to the shop in such a long time. I know it is going to cost me, but I want to bring it in and have a bunch of things done to it including: an oil change, replacing my seat warmers due to a recall, replace the center console inside that was ruined by a scented pine tree thing, get some new brake pads and new shocks. I figure while I am dumping money into I should have them fix my car alarm so it will actually beep when I lock the car. It needs a lot of work and I want to get it down before winter sets in.

Yesterday when I woke up the chrysalis we have had since returning from Vermont was clear and you could see the newly formed butterfly inside. I had decided to spend my morning at home and a couple hours later I looked inside the tupperware container to find a butterfly dangling upside down drying its wings. It was amazing how quickly the change occurred. Unfortunately I had to go to work and wasn't able to let him out. When I came home Jennifer was out on the back porch and had just put the butterfly onto a vase of flowers. He wouldn't fly away though and stayed on the same flower overnight through the rainstorm. We woke up this morning and checked on him to find him still clinging to the same flower. Jennifer went online and looked up some information about butterflies and learned they can go over a day without finding a food, so we weren't too concerned. In the afternoon we went out to look at him again and he was still sitting on the same flower, so Jennifer had him climb on her finger. He was shaking and started flapping his wings a little bit. About 30 seconds later he took off and flew up into a tree next to the house. It was amazing seeing him fly for the first time. It was also sad to him go. As of about an hour ago he was still sitting in the same tree, he must be getting pysched up for his long trip to Mexico.

One other thing I spent a majority of my down time doing over the last couple days was getting my iPod to load correctly. Ever since we got Jennifer's iPod Shuffle working I have only been able to update my songs once. It has been extremely frustrating and after spending two hours trying to figure it out last night, I drove to my mom's and picked up her iPod to test my set up. So this morning I spent another six hours erasing, charging, restarting, plugging, unplugging and testing all sorts of combinations. Finally after about twenty restarts I was able to update my iPod's software. However I was still getting a big fat error when I tried to copy songs. I was about to give up when I switched firewire cards and was finally able to upload my music. I recently bought a USB2.0/Firewire PCMCIA card so the iPod Shuffle would load in a reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately it only had one Firewire port so when I hooked my iPod up I used the port on the back of my external hard drive instead. I guess by using that port I ended up overloading the firewire port on the card and confused the external drive. Once I switched back to my old Firewire PCMCIA card everything worked. In the end it seems that the problem started because I had bad software on my iPod and then was compounded by the new PCMCIA card. I still need to test my iPod cable, because I think it played a role in this whole mess. Thankfully I didn't lose my music and I don't have to buy a new iPod.

Tomorrow will be a day of hiking up in NH. If anybody is interested let me know.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

I Built Something

The desk you see in the photo above was designed and created by me!!! Yep its true I put my carpentry skills to the test and things turned out really well. It all started a couple months ago when Jennifer decided to bring her computer upstairs. We went back and forth discussing ways to rearrange the room and I had the idea to build my own desk for the corner. Before makinga anything I went and checked out the floor models in a couple of stores to see if they had what I wanted and also to get design ideas. One night I began measuring and doing a whole bunch of geometry on a piece of paper and voila I had plans for the top of the desk. I still had no idea how to do the legs, but I figured that would be the easy part.

Fast forward to this weekend. Since I had a bunch of free time I figured now was the perfect time to put my plans to the test. I narrowed it down to four different lower parts and went to Home Depot with Jennifer. We were there for a while and thankfully she was extremely patient with me and at one point convinced me not to give up. So I bought all of the wood, a saw, and some screws, grand total for the supplies was under 80 dollars. We loaded up the Jetta and came home to begin construction. Since I don't have a skill saw I used a hand saw for the entire job, which turned out to be a rather tedious task. Three hours after starting and I was finished with the sawing.

We picked up Jennifer's drill from her sister and plugged it in to charge. Unfortunately something seems to be wrong with it, because it just doesn't go at full speed. So once again I had to go manual and just use a screwdrive to piece the whole desk together. It slowly came together and after another six hours I had finished it. It is certainly not perfect, because of a couple scratches here and there and it is also a bit wobbly, but I don't think thats too bad for all of the inaccurate manual sawing I did. I am excited to have it finished so I will be able to be more comfortable when working at home.

On Saturday night we met Vanessa, Britt and Ryan at Charlie's Kitchen. We had a hell of a time and I managed to tag three hooes (drink three large Hooegartens) in just a few hours. Needless to say I was quite drunk and don't know how I managed to walk all the way home from Harvard Square.

Well I have to go, its been a busy weekend and I have a very busy week ahead of me.

Looks like a scorcher tomorrow, summer just won't quit.


Friday, September 9, 2005


Another weekend is here after only a few long days and I am excited to be staying in Somerville. I don't think I have spent the entire weekend in town since the middle of August. I have been considering a hike tomorrow, but I am a bit weary of paying 3.50 for a gallon of gas. In my car it comes out to about 10 cents a mile and this is a bit pricy for me. I love hiking and all, but at a cost of $30 it doesn't really seem worth it to me.

I guess that is all for now. I have been working a lot lately so my brain is kind of tired. Hopefully I will find time this weekend to work on my new desk, or at least a temporary test desk. I have the plans all drawn out, but now need to put it together.

Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, September 5, 2005

Next Time I'll Skip The Free Trainer

First of you can see the nice picture I took of another insect. We were up at the Riebe's cabin in Vermont and there were several Monarch caterpillars around, so of course I took a bunch of pictures. To learn more about the Monarch, click here. Jennifer put one into a milk carton and it soon moved into the pupa stage. It was a bit dangly so she decided to take a caterpillar version instead. As soon as we got home it began to curl its body into a J shape and by morning it had completely become moved to the pupa stage. Its amazing how much it changed just in ten short hours. I have tried to convince her that we need to keep it here and the third graders probably wouldn't be interested in something as boring as metamorphosis.

Now for the title. I recently signed up for the gym at Bally's right around the corner in Porter Square. Upon signing up they give you a free trainer session, so I went early in the morning on Thursday to meet my trainer. I haven't exercised much since I was running daily at the beginning of the summer, so I was a bit nervous. The guy proceeded to put me through a bunch of exercises including pull ups, dips, push ups, ab crunches, squats and some weird jumping exercise. Apparently my body couldn't handle so much activity all at once and I nearly passed out. I told him I had to take a little break and then I had to lie down. It was embarrasing and a bit scary. He then told me I should probably leave early and get something to eat. I proceeded to struggle out of the gym and somehow made it back home after only stopping a couple times along the way. Once home I put my feet up and regained my composure a half hour later. The worst was yet to come though. On Friday the pain started in my arms and by Saturday I could barely stretch my arms out. Thankfully I feel much better today and hope to go back tomorrow, but my question is why in the world would the trainer do that to somebody they know hasn't worked out in so long. Ouch!!!