I spent much of yesterday afternoon really looking forward to the Tuesday evening bike ride, but when it came time to eat a PowerBar and get psyched for it, nasty dark clouds rolled in from the southeast and ruined the evening. So instead of riding I drove home, rounded up more details regarding the move and stuff, had some leftovers, finished this weekend's potato salad, and immersed myself in minutia. I also caught up with Dad via telephone and talked to Jenelle, which did account for a fair piece of my evening.
posted at 12:51 PM - comments
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Topic for today: immunization records. I'm just in total shock over here because last night in the post came a notice from University Health Systems at U-M asking if I could please forward my immunization dates. Say what? When does this end? It's like a really bad deja vu, only it's real and it's recurring to the n-th degree. So, the saga has begun and I'm hopeful that with just a few dozen phone calls and (hopefully) a minimum number of jabs I'll be good to go.
Another hot topic is the deft handling of the Iraqi Sovereignty Exchange, or ISE as I'll call it. Nobody knows who thought up the idea to have ISE a few days early, but almost for certain that person is underpaid and doesn't have a nice enough office. We're talking brilliance here - nobody thought it would happen on time, if at all, and then ka-BLAM the Western world wakes up and it is done. In your eye, insurgents! We can be spontaneous, too. And when we do it our video quality is way better than yours. Must be an empty life, that of the insurgent. I mean really this group of neigh-sayers has done little other than set the people of Iraq back a few years. I disagree with the language, but FDR called it "righteous might" and sometimes it does feel right to me.
So the weekend contained threefold firsts. Friday, my first wireless experience with nx9110. I parked it at Starbucks (I'm a tool) and browsed away and downloaded anti-viral software and did some random setup stuff that requires connectivity. It was blazing fast and the battery life isn't so very abysmal as had been suggested during the shopping process. Then Saturday morning was Habitat house building, or: getting really hot and very dirty for fun. Got a fair amount accomplished before the heat of the day brought a halt to activity at 11:30. But, a slab is ready, a lawn is sod-covered, and another house is ready for inspection. Not bad, but many hands make light work. Sunday I kinda putzed around the house, lazily, before heading up for skating in Ellenton. Had a good couple of hours on really fine ice, which was cool. Afterwards I stuck around to watch Chris and Patrizio from work participate in their C-league game...what a contrast between college and professional and once-a-week amateur hockey. But, good times.
posted at 12:58 PM - comments
Friday, June 25, 2004
The last day of the week. Finally. For a number of reasons this has been five days that has stretched into an eternity, but now it's winding down. The project that kept me at work last night instead of venturing out on the Trek for what would have been a very wet and rainy ride is pretty much done, the weekend's activities are lined up, and tonight I'm going to (gasp) Starbuck's to try out the wireless internet. WiFi! The saga of purchasing a computer rolls on - last night it was time to assemble, package, and mail my rebate form, and I have to tell you they could not make more of a chore out of that. Cut this off that box, figure out which 13-digit alphanumeric string is the serial number, copy that down, jump up and down on one leg, carefully peel the shipping label off from over the UPC label on this box, cut off the label, sing the "I'm Sorry" song from Calvin and Hobbes, dutifully fill in this form, tick that checkbox but not this one, and that's what it's all about. But at the end they do send money, so I'll be quiet now.
posted at 12:34 PM - comments
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Lent a helping hand to the Celebration! kitchen crew last night at FUMC and ate some BBQ but found myself wishing I were at home reading a book instead - is that bad? Work kinda dragged along all afternoon and I was just ready to be at home by myself with some Norah Jones and a book. The week is nearly over, too, and I'm glad about that even though I don't imagine the weekend will be much in the way of an improvement in terms of rest and relaxation.
posted at 1:05 PM - comments
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
The cycling pace has been stepped up, with a fairly comfortable 25.08 average last night. Perhaps the speedy trip up and down the island was due to the pokey, pokey, low-on-fun afternoon in the office. I'm not sure if that's the whole reason, but I am quite certain that time has begun to drag. At home I putzed through some dinner (stuffed shells and salad) and wrapped up a few tiny little things before a trip to Cold Stone and a conversation with Jenelle.
posted at 12:37 PM - comments
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Yesterday I was excited about commercial space travel, but today my focus is on the more worldy, and decidedly more useful at the moment, realm of WiFi. Since I now have an 802.11a/b/g device sitting at home on my kitchen table, I am all excited to pack it up in the trusty Dicota bag that I thought was going to be free (via a rebate) but now, due to my "carelessness" and the shoddy placement of the UPC code, I may wind up paying for, and shlep on down to Starbucks, fork over $9.99 and ca-ruuuuuuuuuz the internet wirelessly. Such has been the nature of my day so far.
Last night I set up the PSC 2410 and am very pleased with results there and tried out some of the functionality on my notebook, too, with similar results. It's amazing how far connectivity has come since the purchase of my Quantex PII-MMX desktop almost exactly 6 years ago...now I just pop in a CD here or a USB device there and pop back and forth. Plus, having nine times the processer speed and eight times the memory makes what was then a blazing machine seem downright tame. That being said, I couldn't be more pleased with how well that technology has held up with the near-constant trickle of gadgetry and software upgrades that I've conducted over the years. Apart from it being a desktop and lacking the multi-tasking capability that I need to do serious work it is still totally relevant as a personal computer. Trophy.
posted at 12:53 PM - comments
Monday, June 21, 2004
This post could be long. It could be 50,000 miles long; as far as the James had been driven as of my trip to TPA on Sunday. But instead I'll try to summarize.
Friday: The events recorded in this forum on Friday dovetailed into consumer electronics unpacking (computer and accessories), dinner with Drew & Kim, and a trip to Kilwin's for ice cream cones all around.
Saturday: A looooong lunch on Siesta at the Daiquiri Deck, a tiny bit of computer-related shopping, a frustrating trip to St. Armand's only to find out that the art fair that had been our destination was shut for the evening. So, we made it a Blockbuster night since we were both feeling tired and over-exposed to the sun and sweltering heat.
Sunday (Happy Father's Day, Dad!): Up for Key Lime breakfast pie, then out the door in time for art fair (take 2) and a stroll around Lido Beach Point Park before burgers and packing at home. The day wound down with that saddest of drives, the trip to the airport. We'd both like it if there weren't more airports in our future, but at least now the number is down to one - and an exciting one at that.
posted at 12:27 PM - comments
Friday, June 18, 2004
Now that is what I call lunch! Returned to Citrus today for a luncheon tour de force in the form of a tenderloin and boirsin baguette for me and a spectular middle eastern platter for her. We sat and revelled in the goodness of humus and pita for quite some time and it was really hard to walk away and head back to the desk.
Yesterday after work we watched the riders ride, including a car-free close-up of the A group whirring by the LBK beach access just before the half-way point. Then a half-hour walk on the beach (watch for crabs on the sand) and back to Lido Key to capture my long-planned image of a rider and the bridge from across the bay to add to my black and white collection. It was fajitas for dinner at home, looking at wedding pictures from Megan and Wyl's big day, a quick flip through graduation photos from Webb C|02, and a slice of home-made, "surprise! look what I did while you were at work" Key lime pie. Tangy, creamy, graham-crackery; it was (and was again this morning and probably still is even as I sit here) totally fantastic. I mean acceptable - superlatives regarding food prove, once again, to be the death of me. Packages also arrived from Ohio (aforementioned multi-function printer) and Michigan (Discman and aforementioned wedding photos), but somehow the excitement of consumer electronics by mail paled against the colors of a great day.
Yeah-huh. Life is fun when Jenelle's in town. Hit 'Citrus: A Cafe' for lunch yesterday, sat outside by the fountain, ate healthy sandwiches, and had quite a time. After work we went to Publix for some grocery shopping, but decided to have our first "pizza and a movie" date at home with Papa John's and "Big Fish." Tonight holds a bit more of a plan, though, with an auto-tour of the Sarasota cycling scene, i.e. photos and fleeting glimpses of le peloton as the Thursday crowd (hopefully unhindered by rain) makes their way north through downtown, over Ringling Causeway, around St. Armand's Circle, past Ken Thompson Park, over the New Pass bridge, and onto Gulf of Mexico Drive for the 20-mile Tour d'LBK.
posted at 1:18 PM - comments
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
What can you say, really, about the events of a day when your favorite person arrives in the evening? Sure, other things happened: I got up, went to work, even went on 1/3 of a bike ride with the A-group, and caught some of the first half of the Pistons game. But even after a successful sprint at 27 mph on the bike, the Pistons KO of the Lake Show, and everything else that took place, it wasn't even close to a complete day until NW488 was wheels down at Tampa International and Jenelle was here.
posted at 3:00 PM - comments
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
It was an off night for the NBA finals, giving the Piston's D a chance to rest and Kobe Bryant a chance to guarantee victory. You know, I don't think that he is in much of a position to make such a claim. So far in this series Detroit has pretty much had first and final say in matters of winning and losing - their only loss was after a mini-breakdown in game 2, and since they've been nothing short of totally dominant.
It wasn't an off night for me at home; plenty of cleaning was on tap in preparation for today's big arrival. To celebrate the day, I ordered school supplies this morning in the form of an HP nx9110 notebook computer, a PSC 2410 multifunction printer, and related peripherals, cables, etc. Those goodies should start trickling in next week to break the strain of not seeing Jenelle for 4 weeks.
A weekend focused on high temperatures took place here. Saturday it was uber-steaming in Sarasota, so after my bike ride and shop-browsing downtown I headed home and did the only sensible thing: took a nap. My ride was a fast one, LBK with a solo average speed of 21.06, which made me happy. Then scouted around for laptop bags and jeans at the outlet stores in Sarasota, with some luck but no purchases. Then to Selby Public to check out "Tender is the Night" in order to be more well versed in F. Scott Fitzgerald's work. Sunday was all about the cleaning, a spring cleaning I suppose, but also about talking to Robin and Karyn and spending all day just listening to music and having a good time of it. Skating was, uh, interesting as JP Igloo's power had been intermittent all day and the cooling resources of both rinks were being pooled under Rink 1, leaving the public skaters on Rink 2 to wallow around in about 1/4" of water atop some very soft ice. "Like the UP in June" I commented to Tim and Rob. After skating and a rainy drive home, I talked to Jenelle and headed for bed. Now we're down to two days and I couldn't be happier about it.
posted at 12:31 PM - comments
Friday, June 11, 2004
My lack of performance on this spring and summer's rides is actually starting to weigh heavily on my mind. For whatever reason my average average is probably somewhere around 23 - not helped by a 22.59 last night. Last year (and these figures are unburdened by science) I'm thinking that my average average must have been a whole lot closer to 24. I fail to see where I have lost a mile per hour, but ugh is it ever frustrating.
Speaking of frustrating, how much more stifling can a hoops defense be than Detroit's? That is some serious, steady-mobbin', blue collar D, and I have to believe that it is just destroying the Lakers mentally. Personally, I find it a blast to watch and a pleasant mix between the skill of the NBA and the all-around five man hustle that makes the NCAA tourney the best three weeks in sports.
Today I have a beef of a serious, cost-you-money sort. Today you (yes, you!) have contributed, conservatively, USD29 to the Ronald Reagan memorial fund. Now I am all about ceremony, I am all about respecting elders, leaders, and the dead, but closing the federal government for the day is ludicrous. How can this even be legal? How can GWB, from the cozy confines of the Oval, say to all the soldiers living in tents in the sandy, windy, 105-degree desert "neener neener we're getting the day off"? As long as I'm paying them I want government employees on the job, not at home under the pretense of watching the funeral on TV. I'll pay for government and government holidays, but that is all. And that's my two cents.
Regime change is tricky business; Nixon knew it, Reagan knew it, George H.W. Bush apparently knew it, but I wonder if his son knows it? With the ceremony surrounding the passing of PoTUS v.40 we are looking back at the ultimate in regime change, even if only partially inspired by us. The contrasts seem many to me, even if the comparisons run deep on television. A reader of this forum chimed in on remarks from yesterday that perhaps armies aren't the way to accomplish a shift in government - the captors cannot force the captives to agree. Huh. Maybe instead of regime change in Iraq we ought to change regimes here and retool. Just like Kosmo when he finds the Merv Griffin set in the dumpster, only different.
I watched with some sadness and some national pride last night during the ceremonies on Constitution Avenue and in the Capitol Rotunda, but the high point for me was when Richard Cheney (current VPoTUS, potentially corrupt as the day is long but too smart to get caught?) spoke. I hadn't heard him speak before, but he seemed to capture the appropriate demeanor, to take an air of reflection without the aggrandizing bellowing of the figures who preceeded him to the dais. I talked shop with Mom and Dad, too, which means that the dominos which figured so prominently a few short months ago are now in their final pre-toppling sequence.
Even though you'd think Publix would always have fresh basil in pretty good shape, they rarely do. So when I found a rack of near-perfect green leaves I snapped them up; last night I headed home to make pesto in lieu of my ride (rained out) and boy do fresh ingredients ever matter. With bowtie pasta, some garlic, some parmesan, some walnuts, and a splash of sea salt I created a batch of pesto that was the decided focus of the evening. Plus - leftovers for tonight.
Part of my budding new hobby as a WWII/Normandy Invasion buff includes scouring the video section at Sarasota's Selby Public Library for material related to Round Up and Overlord. I found a real duesey of a collection in "The Century of Warfare" on DVD. Last night I watched about 90 minutes on World War II, including a good section on the attack on Fortress Europe. The difference here is that the collected video focuses on both persectives evenly; the director is careful to show D-Day for what it was, not over-emphasize the casualties that, in comparison to the German and Russian losses on the Eastern front, were minimal, and show how quickly Germany actually did move to slow the assault. There was also a lot of commentary devoted to the struggles of armies commanded by politicians who refused to delegate authority (see "Germany" and "Russia") as compared to the nations whose leaders let the generals run the show (see "Great Britain" and "United States of America").
The men's professional ice hockey league ended its season last night; the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup on an evening when the ambient temperature outside St. Petersburg Times Forum was near 90. Inside the play was fast and furious, befitting what has been an excellent playoff year and a tremendous final series between two well-matched teams. That was pretty much it for Monday, though. Sure - laundry got done and I watched a documentary about the Panama Canal while dinner was cooking, but the game was certainly the focal point.
posted at 12:51 PM - comments
Monday, June 07, 2004
Well, it was a weekend. There really isn't a ton more to say about it than that; I shopped for laptops and printers, read quite a bit, watched a horse race and a hockey game, talked with Jenelle really a lot, wished Robin a happy 21st from afar, went to the Igloo, checked out laptop bag possibilities, and you can see that I'm already well into what must be considered the minutia of my life.
posted at 12:45 PM - comments
Friday, June 04, 2004
"Four day weeks are superior to five day weeks" is my thesis for today. Nothing wickedly exciting has come forward on the docket, but the week is ending and that's enough for me. Had a good ride last night, although 95 degrees with 14 miles per hour northwesterly wind makes for tough sledding. My average was 23.39 and that felt comfortable, but shortly after recording that average the group wound to a halt atop the New Pass Bridge to let a sportfish and its overly tall weaponry pass under. Sitting out there, in the calm of the lee of the island, sun blazing down and heat rising up, I was very much ready for autumn afternoons in the Midwest.
posted at 2:35 PM - comments
Thursday, June 03, 2004
I would have to say that one of the highlights of yesterday evening was a program on PBS about the 507th Paratrooper Infantry Regiment and their exploits on D-Day. One of the main points of discussion was the ability of a small portion of the regiment to gather after a terribly imprecise airdrop scattered their numbers, regroup and take the causeway at La Fiere. In thinking of the massive amount of materiel piling up behind them, especially on the beaches other than Omaha, it was vital that the bridges out of Normandy be taken intact and in a hurry lest the Germans advance to create a stalemate and push the Allies back into the sea.
Today is yet another return to the bike after yet another 10-day hiatus. At some point I'm going to get into the swing of riding like I did last summer, but it's a trade-off I am more than happy to make. This morning I got cool proof of my impending return to school: the arrival of my invitation to U-M Wolverine Access. So (drums please!) you can now hit me with the electronic mail at email@example.com.
One of the real niceties of having a camera and going places to use it is that when you get back there are pictures to see. Below is an actual unretouched photo of the 4+2 Bruno family members, smiling together in unison with nobody blinking - if only for 1/48th of a second.
Last night flew by in a sort of home-from-travel-not-a-ton-to-do-but-rest fashion. I baked the enchiladas I made last week and am very pleased with how well that little project worked out. They are quite the hot tamales, though, so maybe next time around I'll tone it down a scoche to see how they really actually taste. Outside of that I did some PhotoShopping of pictures to prepare for the web and for distribution to people hither and yon (but mostly yon) in the days ahead. After nightfall I talked with Jenelle; it is funny to think that 36 hours previous we'd been spending the day together in Lansing, but it's nice that it'll happen again in less than two weeks. Hooray America for having such relatively low airfares along the north-south routes.
posted at 1:01 PM - comments
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Well I have to tell you my search for football ticket sponsors was a total disaster - not a single nibble. So much for the power of the internet.
In real, non-virtual news: that was an awesome Memorial Day weekend. Despite a minor little weather-induced travel delay that put me wheels down at LAN sometime around 2:35 in the AM, it was a great weekend. Friday's rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and associated joking, laughing, and bridal party familiarization was a really fun time...somewhat unexpected for people who did not, until Friday, actually know each other. Saturday was the ceremony, the reception, and the celebration of a wedding and of a gathering. The jury is still out for me as to which is more important, but both rock and it was good to see Meg & Wyl enjoying their day. It was also good to see Mom & Dad & Robin & Ryan, even if only for a few hours - somehow this might just stand the test of time as the shortest family reunion ever. Sunday morning Mom & Dad and Jenelle & I extended the gathering a little bit with breakfast at Cosi before they headed slowly north, Jenelle crossed Grand River to work, and I headed to Byron to spend the afternoon with Mr. & Mrs. McCully. Then back to East Lansing, to Clara's for dinner, then off to Shrek 2. Monday was a blur of sleeping in and packing and travel; hard to say goodbye, hard to leave the Midwest, hard to come home to a warm and stale apartment. Hmmmm Florida.