5/30/08

Scooting

Is that what it's called? Biking sounds much better.

So I've been riding my scooter back and forth from work now since I got my license. I seem to be averaging 70-80 miles to the gallon depending on which roads I take. (above 45 mpg eats a bit more fuel.) It's 14 miles to work so, at around 30 miles a day I'm filling up my tank two to three times a week. It holds a gallon. The Dodge was taking a gallon each way. By Grobthar's Hammer, what a savings.

It's also interesting to see that I've instantly been inducted into the overall biking community. Any time that I pass another person on a bike, they wave. I've noticed that some of them lose interest once they see I'm on a scooter and not a full-fledged motorcycle, but whatever. Ive also noticed that some cars pass me, even when I'm going over the speed limit, presumably because they don't feel masculine enough to follow a scooter.

It's such a blast to drive. The same roads feel completely different. There's always a breeze. It's a feeling of freedom that I cannot accurately explain. You just gotta feel it.

5/22/08

Indy 4

It was a fun movie. It had some moments where I thought it went a little too far, but overall I had a great time. Shia did well.

Also, for 200 points of GEEK CRED, be on the lookout for the 'original' time machine from Back to the Future. Did you know it was not a DeLorean in the first draft? I was gleeful in the theater when I realized it's purpose. Brilliante~

5/20/08

of politics

I am a registered Republican. However, in recent years, I've started to lean a bit differently although I don't have a huge problem with my affiliation. Let me run down a few major issues and my stance on them to expound on this:

1. Taxation - I would rather have lower taxes than a balanced budget. Yes, a balanced budget would be great, but there's nothing there that means anything to me. Granted, we shouldn't be in the hole like we are now but I don't really trust the government with my money per se.

2. Gun Control - Although at it's base I think outlawing guns would be great, the country is far too gone now to abolish them. It would never work.

3. Capital Punishment - I do not believe in the death penalty. Regardless of crime, it is not man's duty to make that decision.

4. Conservatism - As a Christian, many of the Republican viewpoints on life and moral codes match. Not all, but most. For example, although I personally do not agree with abortion, I do not think it is the government's right to take that choice away.

5. Social Medicine - Capitalism is great but once it gets too big it's much more damning than a social system for certain things like health care.

I grew up in a Republican household, but not a very politically active one. I remember Reagan fondly (he reminded me of my grandfather, and as a child I could understand him.) and thought ambivalently about George H.W. Bush. I remember the first Gulf War vaguely and my Uncle Keith (not really an uncle, but a good friend of Dad's...you know how it goes) served. However, the Clinton Years were when I really started to come into my own as a person.

My folks were fairly anti-Clinton the whole way. All I remember is Whitewater, Lewinsky, Yugoslovia, Impeachement, Marc Rich, et al. My first Presidential election to vote was in 2000 and I was pretty heatedly against Gore, as I felt he was boring and did not fit my profile of a 'leader'. Which is ironic, in hindsight, isn't it? I felt that Bush was more of a 'Man of the People' and I enjoyed his debate style more. Plus, I disliked Clinton/Gore so much, why not? I was so relieved when Gore relinquished Florida and Bush started his term.

Then the next eight years happened.

I voted for Kerry because he wasn't Bush. Not because I really believed in him, but because I felt anything could be better.

Now I'm a fervent Obama supporter. He represents a real change from the status quo. I respected Hillary in the beginning for her historic value, but have still not gotten over her term as First Lady. As time goes on, I watch her speeches and her oddly familiar rhetoric as she digs herself deeper and deeper into this grave that I placed her in over a decade ago. She consistently refuses to give up and is driving the Democratic wedge farther into the voting block. Every day I see her on TV damaging the Obama campaign in some futile attempt to win when that is no longer an option. She is a cut-throat politician and an example of why I have never aligned myself with the Democratic side of the aisle.

If Obama loses the general election, it is going to be all her fault.

John McCain is not a President. He's an anti-Clinton.

Indi made an interesting analogy. Ted Kennedy having a stroke, now being diagnosed with a brain tumor, is the last member of Camelot. Sure, he is the Black Sheep of the clan but he represents the last of the true Old Guard. Something like Obi-Wan must pass beyond the veil so that Luke can realize his destiny. I was never too fond of ol' Kennedy but geez, a brain tumor is not something I'd wish on anyone.

5/16/08

Ding!

You have gained 1 point in Motorcycle Riding!

WOOT!

5/3/08

Last Day at the Call Center

Friday was my final day as a call center employee for AT&T. Thursday I will foray into the world of retail sales. I'm excited, a little scared, but eagerly awaiting this new chapter in my work life. But before I did that, I had to get through my last day.

I don't say that like it was a chore; I'm an emotional guy. I spent all day trying not to break down as I said my goodbyes. It started out just fine. I went in early to help facilitate some training (as a technical support SME [subject matter expert]) and that lasted from 9:30 to 12:00. When I went into training, the bulk of our Tech Support staff wasn't in yet, so it was quiet. When I exited the training, though, different story. Everyone was there and we had a really nice potluck. Lots of folks contributed and a lot of monies went into it.

I sent out my farewell emails to the reps, and the managers. I received so many kind replies...it was very touching. It seems like just about everyone came up and offered a handshake or a hug along with best wishes. I got several cards of "thanks" and "we'll miss you" as well as a DVD of goodbyes tapes by one of my reps. Everyone pitched in for a Cheddar's gift card, as my fondness for steak is well known. I was wished well by both our Director and Regional Vice President. And my team is working on a shirt for me that'll be ready next week.

I learned all this, and was okay. Gave hugs and farewells, and was okay. I turned in my Blackberry, my badge, cleared out my email folders, and was okay. At 5:45, when I started walking around to those left working, shaking their hands and telling them it had been a pleasure working with them, knowing I held in my hands all that I was taking and that this was my 'final run' was the rough part. I could feel my throat wanting to betray my stoic demeanor and had to fight it all around the center 'till I said goodbye to the security guard, went to my car, and started to drive away. Yeah, I'm a softie. Can't help it now, it's hard wired.

I'll visit from time to time. I'm off work till Thursday to prepare and relax. Plus I'll get in some scooter riding time! Gotta learn somehow.