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Sunday, October 03, 2010


So I was out last night, at a public telescope viewing put on by an astronomy club. And you know what? It was NOT hot and muggy!!

The air was cool. Not cold, and not cool by your standards (I am assuming readers are north of the 30 degree parallel). But here at 25.45 degrees north, the night air had just a hint of coolness.

And low humidity. Again not low for you if you are in an arid region - but for swampy South Florida it was "dry".

So fall is here. It arrived on time this year! Usually it is late. It can be well into November before I notice anything.

Well for this fall / winter I have a lot of things to plan for! I hope to be able to do a lot of things I usually want to do, but never get around to it. Outdoors types of things. Kayaking. Cycling. Maybe camping - or at least full day trips to Everglades National Park. All that kind of stuff.

Yes, this is going to be a great winter season. Better than the last one, the one before that, and so on.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Back To Normal!

The long night is over. Or so it seems.

I was working at a two bit casino, doing security. And by "security" I mean chilling out in an office, watching over things left in my care by homeless people, bag ladies, and various other ancient people who did not speak any English.

You see, the casino is across the street from a K-Mart. So people would come in with all sorts of shit - blenders, cheap shoes, even groceries. Company policy was for them to leave the stuff with security, so they could go upstairs to gamble away all their savings without trying to sell the shit they bought at K-Mart so they could just get five more dollars to lose.

That would actually happen.

Needless to say the job was mind numbing, depressing, and not really something I needed to keep doing.

But there was nothing else. Really. There was NOTHING else. It is that shitty out there.

But just as I was closing in on one year at the casino, I got delivered unto a new and better job.

Actually an old job. Or at least a job I had sort of done before. The job title is different, but that is OK.

So I am back to the exciting world of diplomatic stuff. I am a front line ambassador of sorts. Sure, it is only for a county (as opposed to being the Ambassador to Norway or something) - but you have to start somewhere.

Things are back on track. And that is a very good thing.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Holy Shit!

It seems I have been neglecting this blog. I have no good excuse, other than having nothing to say and being very busy.

Work is a drag. And also a reason for staying anonymous! The cheap bastards I work for (and they are cheap bastards) have this Orwellian "thou shalt not talk shit on the internet" policy. So if they find out who I am, and that I am actually talking about them - bad shit can happen to me.

And really this makes sense. You hear all the time about people getting in trouble for their blog. This is why I actually AM a giant lizard, and why I work for mumble mumble. Cough. In fact, it is ALWAYS a good idea to remain anonymous. You never know when something you say can get you fired later.

But I have plans to move on anyway. It has become clear to me that the current employer is a dry hole. They are playing the "shit economy" game, and choosing to defer compensation and just risk losing people. That is fine with me - it is not my business. Once I leave I could give a shit less if they close or continue. The owners are rich anyway - so whatever happens they still own a bunch of other shit. In my view - they have a golden opportunity to build and keep a highly loyal and very sharp team - but they are pissing it away. Once the job market is back I estimate 75% (at least) of the people there now will bail out. What they will be left with are the people that do not speak English or that can not obtain any other job. The competition and/or other opportunities will take the rest.

The bike thing is working out well enough. I can easily do 30 miles nonstop. I can hold an average speed of almost 15 mph - and maybe higher if I push myself. I really need to try to ride with a moderate pace group (say a 16 mph group) to see how long I can keep up.

But after a 30 mile ride I feel like going on another 30 after a short rest. Of course I never do - but I feel like I can.

I really need to find a weekend group going on a 50 mile ride, or even a metric century (meaning 100 kilometers). Just to see if I can hang. If I can hang then great. If I can not hang Ill get dropped, and just ride back to the vehicle and try again later. Not a big deal at all.

Anyhow, that is about it. For now anyway :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Still Here!

But you would not know that by the posting here. It is almost like I vanished!

And I did. Sort of. I settled into a routine of working and then days off. The good thing is I get three full days off a week. The bad thing is that a work day is 12 hours. So between working, getting ready for work, driving to work, then getting food and whatnot after work - there is no time for anything else. On work days if I get 5 hours of sleep that is not unusual.

But there are some cool things going!

I might get temporary work with the Census. Apparently in my area there are a number of people who live on boats. These people need to be counted. And since you can not get mail delivered to a boat at anchor, the only way to count people is to go up to the boats and ask how many are on board.

Which is where I come in. You see, the census people are looking at ways to count boat people - using other boats. Already they are hiring temporary workers at $15 per hour to beat the streets, but there is talk of paying people $35 per hour PLUS FUEL (a big plus for boats) to take a census worker out to count people living on boats.

For that scratch, Ill take a leave of absence from my regular job - as the $35 per hour is more than I am getting now by a good deal.

And finally - I got my tax return! And of course, I promptly squandered it. And what did I squander it on??

A bicycle! Yes, a bicycle. A very nice bicycle. I have a nice aluminum frame mountain bike, but it was not really cutting it anymore. I have a friend that is also into bikes now. For years he was a smoker, then he quit and bought a road bike.

Well with the mountain bike, keeping up is really hard. So if I wanted to do longer distance rides, I was going to need a road bike. Something with a more aggressive riding position (yet still comfortable), lighter weight, and more suited for longer distances on pavement than shorter runs off road.

And partly because of the shit economy, I found a 2008 model bike that was still brand new. It has a full carbon frame, SRAM gears, Mavic wheels, and so on. All good shit. In 2008, this bike had an average retail price of $2300.

I picked it up for a whole lot less. $1,000 less actually.

Now I was not really looking for a full carbon bike. I did not think I could afford one. I was looking at bikes that had an aluminum frame with carbon forks, or carbon forks and rear stays - but then I found an all carbon bike for the price of an aluminum / carbon bike. And so I have it.

A nicer bike than I was originally looking at. More than I thought I would get. so I should be good for a long time to come in the bike department.