Saturday, August 30, 2008

wii golf

so, after recording the latest episode of tvlgfhf, malcom, vince, adam and i were hanging out at my pad. malcom noticed that i had a wii, and challenged me to a little bit of golf. i readily agreed. he then asked if i wanted to make it a little interesting w/a wager. i did. the bet: dinner @ one of the local restaurants to whoever scored better @ 9 holes.

adam and vince joined the match, although the weren't in the bet. which, incidentally, is good because adam shot the best he's ever done on my wii @ golf. i played well, close to my best.

and let's just say i won't be paying for dinner. and i'll be having the steak (probably).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

guns n roses shuts down blogger

i'm not really sure how they do it, but people still seem to care about guns n' roses. hey, i was a fan...when i was 13. really, they were tailing off when i saw them @ shoreline ampitheater at the beginning of the use your illusion tour. the constant hype about the never released records baffles me. when they were on mtv a few years back for the vma's or movie awards or whatever i thought they were pretty crappy.

the other day i heard they were putting out a song that would be on guitar hero or rock band or one of those things. i was surprised, a little amused, but then didn't care. today, i was more surprised to see this headline, "Blogger arrested, accused of posting 9 unreleased Guns N' Roses songs."

wow. i would think axl would be dying to know that people might even care enough to download his new crapfest. sure, sure, it's wrong that someone stole the tracks, and i suppose it's also wrong that someone posted them without permission. but come on, are you going to download them? do you care that guns has an album coming out? doubtful.

really axl, let it go. your career is over. 1990 called and they want their mandanna back.

or, put out something for real this time. stop jerking your three remaining fans around.

(or, this could be a fantastic way to drum up free press with a fake controversy.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

rumble in the park vs hamlet

there's an interesting little dialog going on over @ the beehive regarding mix martial arts in woodward park. for those that don't know, there was a mma event @ the park over the weekend. on the same night, a local theater troupe also had a play going. let's just say it probably wasn't the ideal setting to have both at the same time.

there had been a previous post about the event when it was upcoming and the comments were a little one sided for the mma crowd. after the event, these comments are skewing a bit the other way. i wonder where all these people were before?

what do you think, should the city allow events like mma @ the park? should they allow plays? concerts? what's acceptable in your eyes and why?

and, were the taunts after the fight just the ol' jocks vs drama kids?

cross posted @ wide world of fresno sports.

oh really?

so i usually watch a little of the morning news before i head off to work. fresno's abc 30 had a pretty decent team, and their traffic and weather every 10 minutes provides a reminder of what time it is and how long until i leave for work.

today, they were giving some strategies of how to keep cool from the fresno heat over the upcoming week. that's helpful, i guess. their solution, go to the coast where it's cooler.

oh really? that's your solution? go somewhere else?

brilliant.

Friday, August 22, 2008

quiet show review

so, i was excited to see malcom sosa and david dondero play last night. i knew they would both be enjoyable, and neither disappointed. in fact, dondero played over an hour, joked with the audience, told stories about the songs, and was great on stage.

as good as these gents were, the show was stolen by travis vick. he went on first, hailing from manteca, ca. i was really impressed by the emotion that came through his songs. they were well written, funny at times, sad at others, and were all well crafted art. another thing about vick was that he was a tremendous guitar player. many singer/song writers aren't that great at playing their instrument. they may be good writers, or singers, but many are just functional guitar players. or, maybe they're great guitarists and marginal singers or writers. not travis vick. he brings the whole package. he had some serious chops on the guitar but it wasn't like he played to show off. he just played that well so that the songs would be musically layered as the lyrics were.

i wonder if manteca knows what they've got in travis vick? i also wonder when he'll be playing in fresno again?

if you're interested in another review, check out what famous whitewater had to say about the show.

at&t was wrong

so, we decided that for some old school, we just are still tied to the past reason to keep our land line phone. phone service was supposed to start on monday. it's friday now. still no phone. on wednesday, i called at&t and explained that my phone wasn't working. they said they had it turned on, that someone had come out.

really? someone came out? because i was home monday, and no one stopped by from at&t. the customer service rep said that they could have just turned it on from the box or whatever. i asked if there was any way to know for sure that there is service coming from them to my house? i knew that potentially there might just be a problem in the wiring inside the house, and that would be my responsibility. but how can i be sure it's getting to my house?

so, they can send out a service tech, but if it turns out that there isn't a problem between the junction box and my house, i've got to pay over $100. man, that's a lot. but, it needs to get done, so let's schedule an appointment. the plan, friday between 1 and 5.

that brings us to today. i've got some things to do in the morning, but i'll be home by 1. it's about noon, and i figure i'll grab some lunch real quick and then go home and meet the service tech. at 12:20 my cell rings. it's the tech. he's in the neighborhood, and will be @ my place in like 5 minutes. huh? you were supposed to come after 1. i mistakenly say, the appointment was scheduled from 1-4. i'm not there. i won't be there for at least 15 minutes. the tech seems a bit argumentative, and says he's never heard of an appointment from 1-4, they schedule it for 1-5. whatever, guy. look, you can get in through the side gate, i'll be home shortly. do what you need.

i get home, the tech is working on the issue. he's checked the box on the house, and sure enough, i'm not getting a signal. good. that means i won't be paying for this ish today. he heads off to the junction box, turns out some wires were in the wrong place or something like that. he also suspects that the wire directly to my house is a bit old and shoddy. so, he's going to replace that as well.

i was a bit aggravated by the tech from the phone call, but that's all slipped away. here's something else from the day that i wanted to mention:



carl's jr's has skin on their fries right now. they're supposed to be natural cut. frankly, i liked the old fries there better.

i think i might have seen a chik-fil-a being built in north fresno as well.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

david dondero & malcom sosa thursday

i received a phone call yesterday (monday) evening. it was malcom sosa of rademacher. he and some friends were going to be hanging out later and he wanted to know if i wanted to come. i thought, 'why not? i like malcom, i like his friends, i like my friends, and i like hanging out.'

as i thought a little more, it crossed my mind that maybe, just maybe malcom might hook me up with a pre-release copy of the upcoming rademacher ep. i could blog it up, get some early internets hype going. this seemed plausible because malcom is playing this thursday night with david dondero. what better way to stir up some interest on the blogs?

sadly, i did not receive a pre-release copy. but, malcom, if you're reading this, you can still feel free to hook me up. and this is how good a guy (and rademacher fan) i am, i'm still promo-ing the show.

thursday night you need to be @ tokyo garden to see david dondero and malcom sosa kick it quietly.

Monday, August 18, 2008

welcome back internet

oh sweet, sweet, high speed internet. i'm so happy to have you on my computer. thanks comcast cable guy for hooking it all up so quickly. i can't wait to surf endlessly with you high speed comcast cable internet.

rest of life, look forward to everything taking a hit in productivity for a bit.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

moving day results

for those that want to know, the move went well. we had plenty of help loading, unloading and unpacking. mike couldn't get enough so he came back and helped me all day. adam popped in and we put him to work again. honestly, we're very appreciative of all the friends that helped out. now we just have to get everything out of boxes.

there is still a little bit of stuff @ the apartment, some cleaning, and a yard sale to do. if you have stuff you'd like to sell you are welcome to join us on Saturday. or, you can come by and by some stuff.

it's an adjustment to the new place. since it's not on a major street there is so much less noise. and, we get to make all the decisions about paint, repairs, etc on our own. it's getting very grown up around here. as i mentioned in a previous post we bought a couch and a chair. today we bought a nice dresser to share instead of the two janky old ones we had before.

tomorrow the locksmith comes for some work, and the internets is supposed to get hooked up. i'll be able to post some photos and more substantial posts once i'm not just using my phone for teh internets.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

moving day saturday

fresno people, if you're interested in helping us move, we'll be beginning @ 10 a.m. on saturday.

food provided for helping types.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

3 na massa

sometimes i like to chill out with something a little different, a little strange, a bit funky. as i was combing teh internets today i came across the band 3 na massa. they're a brazilian group with a large variety of influences and sounds. i watched the video, and then checked emusic to see if they had it. yep. so, as soon as my monthly downloads reload, i'll be sitting on my back porch, chilling out with some 3 na massa.

in the meantime, why don't you enjoy some yourself

at&t or comcast internet

so, i'm pretty happy with comcast customer service right now. as i mentioned yesterday, we're going to get diret tv, so that means that i'll be cancelling comcast. today, i went about that task as well as transferring my phone service and dsl.

i called the phone company first (at&t) and waded through their stupid computer phone system. the lame thing about the computer system is that you can't actually transfer service using it. you have to answer all these questions, and when the system figures out you want to move your service, time to kick you over to a real person. that's good, i prefer talking to real people. so, i go about transferring phone & dsl service. well, as they work on my account, they discover that our new house is in some area that qualifies for u-service or something like that. basically, it's fiber optic tv, voice, and cable all in one. well, i don't really want such a service because i'm already getting direct tv, which in my opinion is better. but, i've already been transferred to the u-service guy. we chat, he runs me through my options which are basically to switch to the new service for the phone & internet (something you can't set up this way by yourself online) or stick w/basic phone service and...a slower, high speed connection. huh? i'm moving literally 3 streets over, maybe a half mile, and i'm not eligible for dsl any more? that's stupid. so, i tell the guy i'm going to have to think about it all and call them back.

so, i start looking @ comcast's internet options. every one i know w/this likes it, and talk about how it actually is faster uploading & downloading content from the internet. but, can i get it w/o having cable? because no matter what, i'm cancelling that for direct tv. i can't tell on the internet, and i figure i'll just call and ask questions & cancel all at once. good thing i did. a very nice lady set me up good. basically, i can have the internet w/o cable, and they're running a special for 6 months @ $29 a month. after 6 months, it goes up to $55, unless i add basic cable, for like $12. or, she gives me the option of getting a year @ $33. i opt for the year, but she hooks it up so i actually will get the 6 months @ $29, then it will switch me to the year @ $33. and, i can do all this w/o cable. banging. so, of course she asks why i want to cancel my cable service, and i explain i'm getting direct tv (nfl package). she says she completely understands and that her husband is trying to convince her to get that, alongside of their cable service. she's really nice, and sets it up so my cable ends saturday.

the only drawback is that my cable internet won't be hooked up until monday. no worries, i'll phone blog saturday & sunday should i choose to do so.

i'm also pretty happy because i know that at&t has better dsl rates for new customers (if you can get it @ your place) than i was currently getting. but, you can't get them newfangled discounted rates as an existing customer.

the only question i have left is do i keep my home phone line? we don't use it for anything, and i really mean anything. only random relatives call on it. i would suspect that most of my friends don't even have it. would you keep it for $10?

Monday, August 11, 2008

moving on

we're a bit closer to being homeowners. we signed the majority of our papers today, and hopefully will have our keys by the end of the week. so, we're getting all other sort of stuff lined up.

-we went and bought a couch & chair. maybe monticore will post details on that.
-we ordered direct tv. i'm really excited about this. i had wanted to get it before we got cable, but our property company wouldn't allow us to install the dish on the building. as homeowners, we make the call. so, we're getting the super cool package that has way more channels, and will have the nfl sunday ticket. not only are we getting all this, but it's cheaper than what we're paying for cable.
-we've got most of our place in boxes. there is still more packing to do, but we've got a lot accomplished
-we're planning a yard sale for probably the 23rd of august. we'll be selling our two chair thingy's, our entertainment center (not the tv, just the wood dealy around it all), a bunch of easels, some clothes, and some other random stuff. oh yeah, and we'll be giving away our two old couches, that didn't sell @ the last yard sale

obviously, there is still more to do. i need to switch our power, phone, internet, etc to the new place. reserve the truck. oh yeah, and move.

if you're in fresno on saturday, and interested in lending a hand/strong legs & back, stop on by and help out.

if you're interested in our place, it's listed on rentpms.com. they've actually got it listed @ the same price we're paying which surprised me. it's a great place and a nice price.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

more timmy t news

strange. timmy t found my blog and linked to it on his myspace. so, if you want to read some interesting comments coming my way right now, click here.

Friday, August 08, 2008

can i lose some weight?

so, i've been thinking about fitness lately. i know, everyone wants to loose some weight or be in better shape. novel idea.

here's my problem: my body has really settled in at a weight. this happened in college, i had put on some weight through a combination of eating, drinking, and lifting weights. i was involved in athletics and was working out fairly regularly. it wasn't really aerobic exercise, but it was still hard workouts. i was decently fit, but couldn't ever ditch that weight.

since college, i've embraced a less active lifestyle. occasionally i put on a few more lbs, but it comes right off. but i can't seem to shake that other weight. even when i was riding my bike back and forth to seminary every day, still not much change.

i think if i want to do it i'll have to really crank up the effort a notch. check out this little beauty that came in monticore's cereal:



okay, a pedometer probably isn't going to do it. but i thought it was pretty cool that it was snap, crackle and pop kicking it for adidas. the funny thing is, it wasn't even in a box of rice krispies.

what's your fav way to lose weight? what's your fav exercise?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

muslim holiday for tyson chicken

i'm going to directly reprint an article from the ny times. i'll post my comments, thoughts, etc in the comment section.

"August 6, 2008
Muslim Holiday at Tyson Plant Creates Furor
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

The union that represents workers at a Tyson Foods poultry plant in Tennessee has negotiated a contract that substitutes a Muslim holiday for Labor Day as one of the eight paid holidays at the plant.

The provision, which was proposed by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, has delighted the plant’s Somali workers, who account for hundreds of its 1,200 employees. But it has infuriated many outsiders, leading some to denounce Tyson and the union alike.

“You are a union that is proud of achieving a Muslim holiday and prayer room?” one person wrote the union. “A union in the U.S.A., a country based on Christianity. You call yourselves Americans? Have you forgotten 9/11?”

Another wrote: “You had no right to drop Labor Day. Muslim employees must integrate Labor Day into THEIR lives if they are going to live in America.”

Stung by the criticism, Stuart Appelbaum, the union’s president, said the decision was fully consistent with the spirit of Labor Day.

“We in the labor movement have always understood that unions are only strong when we work to protect the dignity of all faiths, and that includes Muslims,” said Mr. Appelbaum, who also serves as president of the Jewish Labor Committee.

“What we negotiated was the will of the workers,” said Mr. Appelbaum, who added that his was the first union to negotiate a paid day off for a Muslim holiday and that he was sure Tyson would not be the last employer to agree.

The plant affected is in the town of Shelbyville, some 40 miles south of Nashville. Under a five-year contract there, Id al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, is now one of the plant’s eight paid holidays.

Union officials said the two Somali immigrants on the union’s eight-member bargaining committee had been eager to make Id al-Fitr (pronounced eed-al-FIT-tr) a paid holiday. The union agreed to do so at the expense of Labor Day in part because it did not want to trade Christmas, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day or other existing paid holidays, and in part because Tyson has usually required the plant’s employees to work on Labor Day anyway. (Employees received a holiday premium for working that day.)

“We had worked 23 Labor Days in a row; it wasn’t like it was a day to spend with our family,” said Randy Hadley, a union representative who helped negotiate the contract.

Mr. Hadley said both management and union were surprised when nearly all the Somali workers — Tyson puts their number at 250, the union at nearly 400 — did not work on Id al-Fitr last year. They were not paid, but the plant almost had to close that day, said Mr. Hadley, adding that management was “elated” by the proposal to make Id al-Fitr a holiday.

The contract was negotiated last year and approved by workers in November. But the holiday provision largely escaped public notice until a local newspaper published an article about it last week. Many anti-immigrant bloggers and conservative commentators have since berated Tyson, urging a boycott.

Thrown on the defensive, the company issued a statement Monday saying: “Contrary to recent reports, Labor Day is still a holiday at Tyson Foods. The issue concerns only the plant at Shelbyville.”

“This is not a religious accommodation,” the statement added. “Rather, it is a union-initiated contract demand.”

Libby Lawson, a Tyson spokeswoman, noted that the plant had three Christian chaplains, and prayer rooms for Muslims and Christians alike."

grizzlie dance

in case you don't read it, there's a funny video up over @ wide world of fresno sports.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

18 photos from pennsylvania

so, i thought i'd post up a few photos from my recent trip

i was in lancaster, pa which is a fairly large amish area. hence, amish ale. not bad stuff.


this pale ale was also local, and was better.


and, they had pbr on tap.


this is chuck norris' niece. she's in the wedding.


once we left lancaster for the bachelor weekend, i saw lots of pretty green...and barns and such.


i took a photo next to joe paterno


which apparently a lot of people do.


gas was cheap


but shouldn't be pumped by youngsters.


we went to snow shoe, which was very rural.


this guy left his keys in his truck at the store, along with a beer can in the cup holder (next to the red coffee cup).


we stayed at this hunting cabin. seriously, old school cabin.


no lie, this is the out house.


tim (the groom to be) and i fished a bit before the other guys showed up, and we all fished again the next day.


i'm skipping a bunch of photos, and here are the guys after breakfast at a truck stop on sunday morning. we were all fixin to leave snow show.


on the way home, we saw the statue of liberty in the middle of a river (susquehanna river).


i flew out of hbg airport (i pronounced it h bag)


which is next to three mile island

broke vegas

so i was driving to my night class this evening on my motorcycle. i was about two blocks from my house and had just made a right turn onto a rather major street. my bike starts wigging out a little. it's sputtering. it's coughing. it's wheezing. it made some strange, loud noise.

i'm frantically trying to figure out what's going on.

at this point, as i'm almost stopped or stalled, i notice that my clutch grip is just loose. as in, i squeezed it to disengage the transmission when i stopped at the corner, and for some reason it hasn't stopped squeezing. even though i have.

fortunately, there's a side street right there i can coast/sputter onto. from there i see that the cable normally attached to this handle, is no longer there. where has it gone? i have no idea. i guess it went down the cover sleeve.

none the less, i can't really shift gears. i mean, i sort of can, but it's not really driveable. or i'm not cool enough to drive it this way. so, i got it into neutral and push it home.

by the time i get there, i'm a beet red, sweaty mess. and i still need to drive to class. even with the air in the car cranked, i don't think i wasn't sweaty and red for the first twenty minutes of class.

and now i've got to get my bike fixed. drat.

Monday, August 04, 2008

back in fresno

i just touched down at fresno's airport. when I was checking in for
My flight this morning the lady at the counter because the faa name is f.a.t.. I guess it's the little things in life.

in the next few days i'll post pics from my pennsylvania adventure.

one final plane thought: i love how everyone jumps up asap, only to have to stand in the aisle.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

the office wasn't foolin

so, i always laughed at how many times sandals, jamaica comes up on the office. maybe it's east coasters, of just people from pennsylvania, but at least two of the guys i was hanging out with this weekend go their occassionally.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Friday, August 01, 2008

my first amish

just saw my first amish guy of the trip. he was working on a rooftop.

oh really?

so, it turns out i'm rolling with some stars. the maid of honor is chuck norris' niece. she had a roll in one of the walker, texas ranger tv movies. and, tim's fiancé also had a part.

funny line from that night, said by tim, "i know you're chuck norris' niece, but i'm pretty sure i can take you."