Saturday, July 30, 2005

Second day of DMB

Second day of the DMB. I woke up really early and decided to go and get some drinks and food for the day in the sun. After yesterday, I did not want to have to starve and be thirsty all damn day. I would have gone crazy. I woke up and had a shower without waking Ralph and Garett, then headed up the street to the grocery store. I picked up a bunch of cliff bars,a 8 pack of gatoraid, a jar of Peanut Butter, and a loaf of bread. I made breakfast for me and the boys, filled my camelback full of ice, and then headed out to the show.

I HATE driving in New York City. We had to go from Fort Lee over the George Washington Bridge, onto the Harlem Expressway then to the Tri-Borough bridge which will drop us on Randall's island. Do you think we made that? Of course not. We took the GWB and then ended up on some random street that dropped us off way up on Broadway. We asked for directions and it put us back on teh right road again. Then we got on the Tri Borough and thought that we were right there. Boy were we wrong! Ralph noticed that we were at a toll plaza that said No Access to Randall's island. We had to loop around and get back to the island. We got to the security meeting early and we wouldn't have missed anything anyway, since we were doing the same thing we did the day before.

We took our post and then just thought shit...we have to do this all damn day and night. We were really well prepared for the day by having a good amount of ice and water and sunblock, and a hat. All essential to the war effort.

they let the fools in and of course we had people asking us questions about the place they could go and not go. Unfortunatly, we had some people from Quebec sit infront of us. They were not all that bad, but they def were not as much fun as the people we had the day before. Really the highlight of the day was a girl paying me $20 to take her to the bathroom, and another guy offering me WWE tickets for letting him up front. I usually dont bend for anyone, but I was just so fried, I let all kinds of shit go down. The day went by really fast, and Black Eyed Peas were way better than the Bare Naked Ladies from the day before.

The day was over, and we wanted to hit the road. We got out of the city pretty quickly and were on the other side of the GWB. It was not too long after that when Ralph had to drop a deuce. He and Garett decided to make as much noise as they coudl in the bathroom and proceeded to freak out everyone in the bathroom at Midnight on the NJ TPK.

We were on the other side of the rest stop and my passangers were ass out. I was so damn tired and falling asleep at the wheel. I finally had to pull over and take a quick nap. After the nap, it was not all that bad, but without it, I would have killed us all. I finally got home at like 2:45 and not to sleep till 3:30am.

Just one thing I was not looking forward to writing. A year ago today, my friend Hans Nothen passed away suddenly at a BANE show from an enlarged heart, which is fitting for a guy who loved everyone. It still hurts quite a bit, and I get tearey eyed everytime I think of him, then I just smile and laugh, because if he were here, that is what I would be doing with him. In the past year, I have tried to live a better that is almost in his likeness. He was such a great friend, and would help anyone he saw ever. click here for proof. He had a huge "family" in the Hardcore Scene as well as the Tuner scene. Here is a link to a one of the many tributes to him.

Today I had to work at Randall's Island, NYC at a Dave Mathews Bandshow. It was as warm as fresh milk, and I was not 100% prepared to deal with the heat and dust.

A bunch of our friends were working this show so it was a good time. We more or less just hung around and looked at/talked to girls while getting paid for it. I had to guard the Warehouse Prefered Seating area. More or less an are where super fans got to sit, because they bought their tickets early on the warehouse website. This area was nothing more than a fenced off pin that they got to come into earlier than everyone else.

They had to have special tickets to get into this area. I had to stand at this spot all day with three other guys (oliver, Richie, and Matt). and make sure only the people with the right wrist bands got into the special area. Kid of annoying, but not all that bad.

We spent a great part of the day talking to a group of people that set up camp directly infront of us. We just bullshitted with them, and asked them to get stuff for us. We had a good time talking to them all day. Would I have talked to them if there was nothing else to do? Probably not.

Tons of people were trying to get into the area that we were watching. As the day got closer and closer to DMB, more and more people would come up to try to get in. One girl walked up who was a dead ringer for my friend/ex of 5 years. I could not believe how much she looked and acted like her. They have to be related. She kept me entertained for a little while for the day.

DMB finally went on and we had three hours of them. They were not too bad. Pretty impressive live show, plus it cooled down so much when it got dark.

There were a lot of dumb kids at this show. I had to throw a bunch out or talk to a bunch. Just for stupid things. I dont understand how you could pay so much money to go to a show, and end up getting kicked out. It blows my mind.

The night ended with us walking out of there exhausted and hungry. It was amazing to see how much trash was on the ground. I know there were 30,000+ people there, but there was a lot of crap left behind. I drove back to our hotel and of course got kind of lost on the way, but I found it, and my two roomates for the night, Ralph and Garrett, trying to get into the room. I tried to find some eats at the gas station down the street, then went to bed to the sweet sound of Ralph snoring.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I had to start my ordeal of dealing with the insurance company, and trying to get my stuff back. I could not sleep, and I had to get something started. Also, I didn't want to miss a day of work, so I wanted to get my stuff together as early as I could.

When I woke up, I sat right down at the computer to figure out how much a new computer was going to cost me. This is the thing that cost the most that was stolen from me, and I knew it would be pretty expensive to replace. The computer that was stolen, and what I did this website with was a Mac G3 iBook. it was good considering I only paid 400 for it! With that said, replacing it for $400 is not going to be all that easy.

I then decided that I had to get my window fixed and check out how long that was going to be and how much it was going to cost me. My dad's friend, who owns Pittston Auto Glass gave me an estimae of 150, and said it would be done tomorrow. Since it was early in the day, but a little too late to go to work, since it is a two hour drive. My dad and I decided to go up to the tubs to have a look around in hopes that they dumped my stuff in the woods on the way back to their quads.

I really wanted to recover some of my clothes from the woods, and maybe even my courier bag. I kissed the computer gone a long time ago. I walked through some of the great trails that are out there looking for my stuff. After a good look around, I did not find anything at all, but I did see a giant black snake and one New Balance was not mine, since they didn't steal that from me. Dejectedly, I walked back to the car.

At home I decided that it would be smart to take a shower since I still have not after mountain biking, and then hiking around the woods this morning. I spent a good portion of the day just relaxing at home and trying not to think about all of my lost stuff.

I went to the mall later in the day, since I needed some new clothes to actually change into something. Champs had a great deal on tee-shirts and I ended up picking up 5 for $20! Got some drawers, and off I went to have dinner with my parents.

My sister said that she had a vision that my stuff was still in the woods, and she had an idea of where it could be. Mind you, she is a bit nuts sometimes, but she usually has a pretty good feeling about this stuff. The place she described was exactly where I thought it was, and wanted to check out, but did not feel like walking to. If you read yesterdays blog entry, you will see a description of what I am talking about.

I decided to take my sisters vision, and head up there to take a trip back in the woods in hopes of finding my bag and clothes. My sister and her husband, Rob, decided to take me up there so I could trek back there to find this stuff.

I decided to go on foot, instead of by bike, since I did not want to have to watch the trail, and look for my stuff as I rode. I just figured that would be more of a pain than it was worth. I made the journey out to the spot, while constantly checking my back wondering if there was anyone or anything watching me. I finally got to the spot and I looked around. Once again, I felt a strange feeling all over the place. Like someone was watching me. Maybe there was. I climbed on the outcropping of rocks, thinking that maybe they had the stuff hidden back there. It wsa kind of strange in there, and I didn't know if I was going to get attached by something, so I did not hang out too long.

I started walking down the tracks again, and decided to cut through the woods so nobody could follow me. I picked up the blue trail and took it back towards the tubs. When I finally got back to the bottom, my sister and rob were not I had to walk all the way back up to the top of this place. Which is a good hike on a nice cool fall day, but killer in the summer.

As I got to the top of the trail, I saw my brother in law's car, and was excited to just sit down after my super rushed 4 mile hike. Well I saw a really crappy, early 90s Subaru Legacy pull into the parking area on top, and just sit there for a minute and scope out their car, then they saw me, and took off like a bat out of hell.

I got in the car, and told my brother in law and my sistr that it had to have been the people that stole my stuff, and we should go after them.

Rob tore out of there and started after them, but we could not find them at all. We ended up giving up the chase and heading home, but I had an idea of where they could be based on some info that my friend Carrie gave me.

The rest of the night I hung out with the Litzi's crowd, and went to bed late as hell again.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"Fuck! How could I be shit on again this summer?"

I think was the only thought that came to my mind when I got back to my car to see that my clothes, and computer were stolen out of my car while I was out mountain biking.

My side window was smashed, and they stole my messenger bag and the contents (my clothes and shaving kit) as well as my laptop and some hardware that went along with that. Including my iPod.

This all went down as I was having a great ride in Wilkes Barre, Pa at the tubs. "The Tubs" are in a county park. These natural rock water slides and pools of water have attracted swimmers for centuries probably. They are seven pools of freezing cold water that have "slides" into them. There are only a few times a year that you could go there without it being too cold to swim, since the water comes from a cold spring.

I used to go swimming there when I was in High School, but I have not been back there for years. I knew that there were some great trails up there that I really wanted to ride. I saw some reviews on and I decided to go for a ride there since I knew where some of the trails went to and where I could add some of my own stuff in there.

After work, I pumped up my tires, changed to some riding clothes, threw my laptop, my courier bag full of clothes, and the other normal stuff I travel with each week, and off I went towards the tubs. I got there around 6:30 or so, and I wanted to get on the trails quickly since there is a ton to explore, and I usually end up doing a bit too much exploring while riding, or maybe I am just slow! Whatever, I decided to park on the outside of the gate, since they were going to close it before the sun went down, and I did not want to get locked in there, while I was exploring these trails. I pulled back down off the road and parked my car at the gate, got my bike ready, and took off on a ride. I took some nice trails that vary from ATV trails to hiking paths to rock outcroppings. I then crossed the train tracks to the other side of the woods and rode around there. I had my heart rate up pretty good since the trails were wide, and I heard some unleashed dogs that didn't seem to happy that I was skirting their land. I liked this part of the woods, since I could tell nobody rode back here. I could tell because all of the branches of the trees small trees were low. If you ever get to a section of trail, and the little "wispy" branches are hitting your face or helmet, you know nobody had been back there this season, since the branches have not been broken off.

I rode up to a really neat clearing in the woods. There were a few fire pits, some trash, and some stomped ground that looked like some folks used this area to camp in. At the back of the campsite there was a huge outcropping of rocks. They looked like they could be bear caves, or snake dens of some sort. The area seemed like it has been a hang out for a long time. It was probably used as a camp by the original railroaders that laid train track coming out of Pittston and Wilkes Barre. It was kind of creepy, since I could feel eyes on me, and thought it would be in my best interest to get out of there.

I left the woods, and crossed the tracks. I was going to take the tracks back to the initial trail that I came in on, as to not have to go back through the woods, and have to deal with the branches hitting me and the mad dogs barking. I started to walk my bike along the tracks, since there was really no good way to ride there, and I looked down the side of the tracks where the electrical wires were, and I noticed a big burnt stump. It looked like it had been struck by lightning sometime pretty recently, since it was still very dark. After walking a few more feet and looking at this stump, I realized that this stump had a big brown nose, and it was moving its head around! It was a black bear just chillen by the side of the tracks. He must have been looking for dinner (there are great blueberries and black berries back there), and I startled him. We stood and looked at each other for a good little bit. It is not often that I get to see a bear, and I just wanted to observe him for a little bit. We checked each other out, and since I realized he was not moving till I walked away, I turned around with my bike and started to walk the other way. When I looked back to see if he was coming after me, or still there, I happened to catch the back of him running away back into the woods. After he was gone, I started back on my path towards my car, and some more trails. I walked my bike so I could make sure that I didn't disturb any other bears, or this one didn't decide that he wanted me for dinner more than twigs and berries.

Back on the bike, I rode down the tracks, since the gaps between the ties were well filled in with rocks. I did find some neat railroad spikes and collected them. Walking/Riding the tracks and picking up spikes just reminds me of being a little kid and going for long walks with my dad. I used to pick up all sorts of railroad artifacts as we went on our walks, and bring them home with the thought that I would sand them and paint them.

After my collecting and riding, I found some single track that seemed to go back towards my car or at least towards the tubs. I jumped on and rode this tight twisty downhill that was filled with rocks and roots. My front tire was a little low on air, so I had to be a bit more cautious than normal, since I did not have the ability to cut or turn too quickly. This tire situation mixed with the fact that I had almost no idea of where the trail was going to take me, and random bears in the woods, this is compounded by the impending darkness, and threat of bad weather.

With minimal hike a bike over some scethy areas, I made it to the bottom of all seven tubs. I rode over the bridge that transverses the lowest pool of water. I stopped to watch some teenagers swimming. Just sort of reliving some of my past through them

I really wanted to jump in since it was so nice, but I had nobody to watch my bike, and no towel in the car.

I took off down the hill a little further onto one of the old mining bridges that we used to dive off of into the creak below. I found out that the bridge was destroyed by county engineers to stop people from riding ATV's and driving cars further down the road, after I asked the couple that was sitting on the other side of the bridge having a few after work beers. I took a quick ride on a trail down there, and I started my assent back to the car.

The only road in this place is a very steep 11/2 lane road that goes straight up to Route 115. I decided to really pump up this hill in a pretty high gear, and use a zigzag approach to getting to the top. I always found that zig zagging a really steep climb gets me there with less effort, and I am not cooked for the final crest of the hill. I made it up this incline pretty quickly considering the gear I was pushing, the method I chose, and the grade of the hill.

When I got to the top, I saw a few cars parked there with bike racks on them. I figured I would look to see if they left me a note on the car, hoping that I would have someone new to ride with up there. That is when I saw what was done to me car!

First I called jess, since I was so shocked, then I called 911 to see if they could get someone to me. Then I called and left a frantic message on my sister's answering machine. While I was waiting, some other Mountain Bikers came out of the woods. I told them what went down, and I asked if they saw anything. They didn't seem to know anything about it, so we just talked for a while till the ranger got there.

The ranger told me that they have a ton of break ins there and that they have caught a few of the people that did this stuff in the past few weeks. The cop arrived and he took my information down, and we talked for a while. He seemed like a good guy.

As we were talking, a really ratty car went up the hill and beeped at us. It seemed strange, but we kept doing the report and just talking about the incident.

I could not get in touch with my mom, so I went to her cousins house since I knew she would be there. As I arrived, my sister was calling her in a panic, since my message was so rushed, she thought I was hurt or something. I ended up talking to my mom, her cousin Anita, my sister and bro-in-law most of the rest of the night.

Before I went home, I had to go and talk to Kyle, so I went to Litsi's, where I met his new girlfriend and talked to him for a while. Around 1 or so, I finally got to bed.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Blam! What sound do you really hear when a bullet rips though your skull? Are you dead before you hear it? It is hard to tell, unless you lived through that kind experience. I guess I will just have to ask 50 cent. A person who went through this experience this morning will not be telling anyone about it any time soon.

From what I understand, the London police or M16 or whatever were staking this guy out, and when he went to the the tube the police wanted to ask him a few questions. He was looking like he fit the bill for what they were looking for, and he was wearing a heavy coat in the London Summer. He decided no to comply with the police, who have a shoot to kill directive aimed at any terrorist activity, and ran from them, so he ended up with a few holes in him.

In times as these, it is sad, but that is what it is going to come down to. If this guy was a terrorist, they did the right thing, if this was a random dude on his way to work, and he decided to run from plain clothes officres, which is what they were, and he got shot up, it is sad. The police will get the rap for shooting the wrong guy, but the people that perpetrate these crimes will be protected due to their civil liberties.

I am not for the government taking away a persons rights, but some may have to be sacrificed to preserve our way of life. Do I want my bag searched when I go to the airport? Nope, but I will comply. I do expect others to be searched as well, and those that fit the 'script of the bombers should be checked as well. It sounds unfair, but you have to deal with what members of your community have chosen to do. It is as simple as dress. It is not all about race. If you fit into a certain category, you should be searched, since there are catagories that are considered a higher risk than others. As an Irish Catholic Male during the troubles, I would have been searched and hasseled, but I fit the 'script of who was blowing up mailboxes, and buring down houses. If you fit the 'script, you have to deal with what comes along with it. If you do not like it, work to stop these attacks and the attackers.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

On the day that one of the World's largest cities has another terrorist attack, Hillary Rodham Clinton is more concerned with Grand Theft Auto San Andres a damn video game. She and other politicians are bowing dow to the knee jerk reaction of legions of soccer moms, who bought a game that is labeled "Mature" for their children. To buy this game you have to be at least 17. When these ratings are made, they are made so people do not buy them that will be affected by them. They are not saying that you can not buy it and give it to your kid without ever viewing what it is. This game is violent and sexual, and kids that are not prepared for this game should not be playing it, that is why the industry will not sell it to them! But, Hillary and others had to present the fact that you could download a modification to unlock some code to show nudity. By making them change the rating, they made the game unavailable to those under 18. They changed the age you could buy it by one full year! But by doing that, it effectivly took it off the market in many different stores like Best Buy, Blockbuster, Sprall-Mart, ec. These places choose not to sell "adult" material (but choose to sell guns!), which is going to kill Rock Star games until they could get a non-"adult" game out on the market.

Well another day that London is attacked by "suicide" bombers. Luckily this time they failed, or their materials expired or whatever, but regardless, most people were safe and uninjured. I just feer for how vulnerable we are all at when the country and city that should be the most alert gets hit twice in the same number of weeks. Is there something that needs to be done? Yes! Will the US, UK, or UN have the balls to do it? Nope! We need to investigate these people deeeper, and cut off all of their suppliers of goods, training, and money. Till we stop that or find out who is funding them, we could get used to living a life of disaster reports every week or two.

I feel that some of the reasons behind the fact that we do not go after these people harder is for the fear of what we will actually find. It is almost like when you see a termite coming out of the closet, you know the wall behind there is totally eaten away. I think that is what we would find if we started to pull away some of the layers of these organizations. We would find that they are being funded by wesstern politicians, corporations, and religious institutions. It may not be a direct route, but I feel that in these days we have to look at who we are giving our money to and what they are going to use it for or give it to. Even people in well meaing Mosques ended up funding terrorists in one way or another.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"Does that have to hurt so damn bad", I say to Scottie my good friend and tattoo artist. A tattoo "colector" has a relationship with their artist like a drunk has with their bartender. A good one knows what you like, and will listen to more or less andything you want to talk about. He has only been tattooing me for a few minutes now, and I am totally pussing out. I hate the first few minutes of tattooing. When your body is saying "Fuck no you are not doing this shit to me again". It is such an annoying pain. Once I am in the grove after probably the first 10-15 minutes, I can sit there all damn night. The only thing that usually stops me is the artist getting tired or we finish up what we wanted to work on. Very rarely will I puss out first.

The new piece I am working on is a japanese arm piece. I will post some pics later. As of tonight, I am done with my second sit of it. I think I still have 2-3 more sits before it is finished. I really want to finish it soon, but I want to be able to swim and have fun for the rest of the summer without having this silly pain.

Scott owns and works at Mercury Tattoo Check out his portfolio and Brian Donovan's who also works there.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Work was slow. I had to help in trying to figure out why some filters were working much slower than they should have been. Sounds fun, right?

Went for a really good ride after work. I did a few road miles before I thought it was going to pour. I am also a little freaked out since I do not have a pump on my rides since I bent the last one and threw it in the cannal. I am an idiot sometimes, but I get to buy a new pump! I want to get out for a good montain bike ride, but it rained really hard for like two days, and I try to do my best to stay eco friendly and not destroy the trails.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

After a long day the day before, it was nice to get some relaxing time in, I woke up late, and patched some tubes and cleaned up a little bit. I wanted a slow start to the day. I was trying to figure out the weather. I wanted to go for a ride, but they kept talking about a ton of rain coming, so I was not too sure about going. I got my bike ready to go just in case I decided to go.

Jess had some stuff she wanted to get for our house and wanted me to go along to get it with her. I also wanted to scope out the start to the trial I was heding to yesterday before I got my flat. I found out how to get where I wasa going without having to hit the dirt path. I will give this same ride another attempt next weekend I think. After I found the trail, we ended up going to Best Buy, Monster Pets, Shop Rite, and Ikea. I am not the biggest fan of shopping, esp right now considering I don't have any money. So going shopping is boarderline depressing for me. I know that anything I buy has to be budgeted down the the penny. it kind of sucks, but that should change once I am back at school in September.

After shopping I was going to go out for a ride, but we got the rain that was coming all day. I took a nap instead and just lounged in the house and watched the storms come over.

Congrads to George Hincapie on his stage win. He is one of my favorite riders who gives all he can for the team and Lance Armstrong, and never gets a chance to win a stage of the TDF

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Why would someone who has been riding for a long ass time and has worked in bike shops, not bring a spare tube or a patch kit when he goes out on a ride? He is in a rush and not well prepared is why. When you war not ready for it, you are bound to catch a flat. Kind of annoying. I went on a ride that was planned to go to Norristown and then return to the city. I wanted to check out how far it was to my school and back. I have to time it for my commute in the fall. I am really looking forward to riding to work everyday, but I need to know how much time it is going to take me each moring. I want to keep it below one and 1/2 hours. If that is the case, it will take me about the same amount of time to get there as it would if I drove. and I also would not have to pay for gas, or up keep of my car, also I will not have to spend as much time in the gym. That is at least the goal for now.

The ride I was on was from 4th and South to the Art Museum and Out MLK drive to the Schykill River Trail to Norristown. I knew there was a way to take that trail that was on the road 100% but I was not sure how to get there. I ended up jummping on the tow path, which is cinders and rocks. I started to travel just a bit too fast, since I was timing myself for the commute, and was thinking more or less the whole way that I was going to end up with a pinch flat, and sure enough I did. I came to this revelation after I crashed in the mud. I was trying to stop before hitting the "curb" of a bridge, and my back wheel slid out and I crashed. Not hard, but I still went down. I pumpped up the tire and tried to make it back. The tire was loosing too much air to really keep going. In a fit, I smashed the pump on the bar and ended up bending it. I tried to make it work, but ended up just throwing it away. It was old and I got it for free, but I really wish I could keep my anger under control. 90% of the time I do, but sometimes I just frustrate myself and then do something dumb and compound it for myself. It kind of sucks, but I try to work on it.

In Order to get home, I either had to walk to the bike shop, and fix it, or call my girlfriend and have her pick me up. Since we were under time constraints, I decided it was easier for her to pick me up. I walked a long distance to a point that is eaiser for her to pick me up at. It was a nice walk, and it afforded me the chance to check out some turtles that were hanging out in the cannal. There were some big guys in there just sunning themselves and looking for food. They are just such neat animals. I kind of want to get one, but I need to be around more to take care of it.

I did get to go to the bike shop, since I got there before she did. I like going into ohter bikeshops when I can. Sometimes they really frustrate me, since they are so dumb, but I like to see what they have in the shop and what they are charging for what they have. They had a bike that I really liked, but don't quite need right now. I would work in this shop, but I don't know if they are hiring these days. Next week I may head to my old shop in Maryland. I would like to see the last day of the Tour De France with some of my old cronies. We will see if I feel like driving down there or not.

The second part of the day we went to Jess's cousin's graduation party. They live in South Jersey, which has to be the worst place to drive in the world. We must have been lost for about 30 minutes till we got to their house, then Jess wanted to go to the bookstore to find a book for her cousin. This took another 30 minutes in the car almost totally lost. I hate driving in places where I have no clue where I am. We found something to eat at Chillis and then got the book at the bookstore. There were alot of people picking up the new Harry Potter book.

In the time we were lost, we were going around a traffic circle, and I noticed something fall off the roof of my car. It was my keys. My car key was on Jess's ring, but this other ring had my apartment keys and all of my bike lock keys. They ended up in the middle of this traffic cicrle. I must have left them on there when I took my bike off of the roof when I got back to my apartment. I am happy they stayed on for all that time. I seem to get really lucky sometimes.

We spent a good amount of time visiting with her family and what not before we went back to the city. We made good time getting back and didnt get too lost, but we did go a little bit out of the way to get there, but that is not a big deal. We went home and chilled for a little while then I called my old roomate Pete to see what he was up to.

Pete and I decided to try and go see Willy Wonka with our ladies. We wanted to see it in IMAX and were trying to get tickets. I went to the IMAX website to pick up tickets, and when I clicked it brought me to Fandango to get the tickets. It showed two show times, and I ordered tickets. We rushed up there and got to the theater really early. We were ready to see this movie in IMAX! Pete and I got seats while Colleen and Jess went to the ladies room, as soon as we sat down, I realized that this was not IMAX at all. This was a regular theater. I kind of felt like a cchump, but we got to see the movie anyway.

The movie was pretty good. I have to say that I am normally not one for remakes of movies, but any movie that gets closer to the book, is always great. I thought Johnny Depp did a great job. I loved the Umpalupas (sp). They were really funny. I am not too into spoilers so I wont tell you about the end, but I would say to go and check it out.

The end of another long day.

Friday, July 15, 2005

We finished all of our work for the week. It was a great relief to finish this batch and know that we did it on time.

Tonight there was a benifit for a friend of mine that was shot three times as he was working security at a club. This guy is one tough and lucky sucker. He is more or less fine after his ordeal, but like everything in life, going to the ER is very expensive, as is emergency surgury.

This benifit had a bunch of good bands, and a good number of people showed up. For me it was like a reunion, since the people who showed up were a lot of my friends from one of my old jobs. Mike worked with all of us as bouncers at The Trocadero in Philadelphia. A good friend of ours that moved away to Texas also came out to the show. It was a great time seeing everyone, and it was great that so many people showed up to help Mike out.

The night ended with some good egg white omlets at South Street Diner.

On a totally differnet note, today I read in the paper that Home Land Security is not going to be responsible for mass transit around the country. The reasoning acording to the director, "When a plane crashes 3,000 people die, when a subway car is attacked 30 people die". WTF? How could someone who is supposed to protect us, not care about our transit systems. If there were coordinated attacks on 10 subway cars or busses in 10 cities on anyday, are we not at 3,000 people according to his math? That is not impossiable to happen whatsoever. I feel that if they are going to protect one, they should protect all with the proper amount of funding/protection according to the threat against that area. Should South Dakota get Home Land Security funds? Yes. Should they get the same protection as Philly? HELL NO! The preceived threat is just totally different, but they still do get the same $$.

I feel that the money is being cut off to the transit systems because the fed wants to support the lagging airline industry and also the major Metro areas of the US just did not support GW in the last election. A way to teach constituents a lesson is to take funding away. I just think he is sneaky, and needs to be out office.

HELLO CIA, FBI, HOME LAND SECURITY, SS! and who ever else is snooping, it is only an opinion

Thursday, July 14, 2005

This whole week has been mad busy with work stuff. Today I worked on two different batches. I was going almost non stop. We have to get this stuff done by this Friday in order to meet our deadline. I am not complaning about work, but when you are in a white room n white clothes with a constant sound going all day, it is enough to make your head spin.

I am a vegetarian. I do not eat anything with a mother. I have been this way for a really long time, and I have took tons of shit about it. The last time I remember intentionally harming an animal has to be at least 15 or so years ago, and even then I was just fishing. I have never been a big fan of hunting, even though I grew up in an area where there were tons of hunters. I just never wanted to take part in that "sport". I think the fact that I do not harm animals or choose to stems from being about 4 or 5 when my father took me to see the deer that some of our neighbors shot and guttend, then hung out on thir porch to dry out. My mother said that I ran home crying something about Bambie. I sort of remember it, but maybe that is what changed me. I never think that an animal has to suffer for "sport" I can see why (but don't always agree with)people eat them, but I think that if they had to kill the animal on their own and gut it, they would never even think of eating it. Well that little rant leads up to what I had to do tonight after dinner. A dinner that consisted of veggie burgers and corn!

Barrett, the Vadino's dog wanted to go and play frisbe with me after dinner. He was begging the whole time, so as soon as I finished my vegetarian dinner, I went out to play with him. As I was getting onto the deck, Anne, Jess's Mom yelled to me that Barett had a ground hog and I should go and grab him. Well by the time I got to the end of the yard, Barett had the ground hog up against the fence, and both were ready to attack. Barett was defending his turf and the ground hog was trying to get out of the yard with it's life. The dog bit the ground hog on the head and starting running around with it, and tossing it side to side to break it's neck. he let it down a few times and then they would just resume going at it. The whole time I was trying to find a time where I could reach in and get the dogs collar so I could stop the battle. He just seemed possessed, and I was not too interested in getting bit by him or the ground hog. I kept yelling his name while he was tossing this animal all over the yard. Finally the little sucker gave up or was paralized and the dog lost interest. Why would you fight something that was not moving. We checked the dog to see if any of the blood on him was his own, and then Mrs. Vadino asked me to get rid of the animal.

I had a shovel, so the plan was to slide the shovel under him, and then place his carcas in the woods for nature to take over. WELL...when I put the shovel under him, he moved a little bit. He was not quite gone yet. I moved him into the woods, and I could see his chest rising and falling. He was still alive, but could not be doing too well. All of his extremities were stiff and not moving at all. After some contemplating, I decided I had to do the humane thing and put him out. I swung the shovel and knocked him in the head with it. I probably just annoyed him, since I did not swing very hard. I saw that he was still breathing, so I took another swipe at him. At this point it was just too much to coninue to smack this thing in the head, so I pushed him further into the woods, and hoped that he died quickly, or another animal finished him off soon.

After a little while, I went in the house and decided to just chill out for a minute, since it was pretty gross what I just had to do. I wanted to go for a bike ride, but I decided to swim a few laps instead.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A good day for a country drive. I had to drive back to Pharm Ops, Inc. this morning. It is usually a good ride. I would like to do at least part of it on my bike someday. There are some killer hills, but maybe I will be in better shape someday to attempt that! On the drive in, I switched between listining to XM and the new iPod. XM is great, but it is nice to have an iPod to pick exactly what I want to listen to. The XM is great for listening to Opie and Anthony

At Pharm Ops, we had to work on a batch again today. I enjoy days that we actually have to work, but some days it can be taxing. I really didn't do too much besides go to work, go for a quick ride and take a swim.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Today was a long day of driving. I am more or less used to those. In the morning I had to load a bunch of books into my car to take to my school. I have been storing all of my old books from my old school, Manassas Park

in my apartment. When two people already have an ocean of crap in the house, a few copy boxes full of school books does not help.
Well i had to get those in my car, and get them to school. I only took four boxes, but it made a difference in the house. I got to school and noticed that the place was a mess. They have taken all of the desks out of the rooms. I do not know if they are painting or what, but there were desks everwhere in my hall. After i dropped my books off, I had to go and sign my contract for next year. I will be teaching 8th grade science at the Eisenhower Middle School in the Norristown Area SD. I was a Long term substitute there at the end of last year, but I got a full time job there for this upcoming year. I signed my contract, after someone explained to to me, and I made sure I understood it, so I didnt get effed over. After I did all of that, I still had to go to work!

I took the PA Turn Pike for the first time in a while, and it is no better than it used to be even though you have to pay more. If we used our state prisoners to take care of the roads, We would not be in such a deficit. When you have to pay a guy double time for coming out to work on the roads, that can not be doing a service to the tax payer, but if we were to use "volunteer" help, it would sure help the financial situation in our state.

At work, we had a bunch of stuff to do. I had to make the CAP 8 work. This is the machine that we will use all week to do the work we need to finish. The machine could have a mind of its own sometimes. It is hard to operate, but when it works well, it is a dream.

After work I decided to go to Pittston. I have not been there since hte 4th of July, and last night i thought that my mom was mad at me. I thought I knew why, and knowing her, she would appreciate a visit from me, so we could talk about this stuff.

The ride up to Pittston went perfect and I made great time. If it were not for the big mountains that eat up my gas, I would totally go there more often after work. I love being there in the summer it sort of reminds me of when I was a little kid. Many of my friends have left, or don't do fun stuff anymore, but just the weather and the way the grass smells reminds me of living there. I got to talk to my mom and we hashed out what was wrong. I think it was a misunderstanding. I am glad we figured it out, because life is too damn short to have grudges. I know I jsut have to communicate better, and change some other things. After hanging out with them for a while, I went and picked up my friend Carries's old iPodfor Jess. It is a good 10gig one that Carrie sold her for cheap! I got to hang out with Carrie and her Husband Ed for a little bit and play with the two dogs at their house.

After their house, I went to drop off the Organ I won at the Auction on the 4th to Kyle. I got to the bar that he sort of lives above, and he had already gone home, but Megan was there, so we hung out for a little while. We watched the Home Run Derby for the MLB All Star Game, the news, and then I went home.

Damn I really cram a lot of shit into 24 hours!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I hear a rap at my door that wakes me up. "Pat can I talk to you?" sec. I say. I open the door and Mrs. Vadino is standing there and says "Diane is ok" I say "OK" not having a clue as to what is actually going on. I know Diane had a sore throat earlier in the week, but this was more than that. There was an urgancy in Mts. Vadinos voice. She then informed me about the London bombing that took place in teh Tube on on a bus. She told me that Dianes boyfriend usually rides that line, be he was home for the day. I had no idea of the extent of the bombing till I turned on the news channels. That more or less overshadowed the rest of the morning. More on that in a few.

Could we say fucking HOT! Work was over 83 inside with no air at all. I have no clue why we even went in. The drug we were waiting for finally came in. We have been more or less sitting on our hands waiting for this stuff to come in for like two weeks at this point. Well, it came in, and it was wrong. They didnt send us the right lot numbers,which in our business means we can not do any work. We ended up sitting in a 85 degree office all day and not really getting anything done.

I ended up just chulling at home, and going swimming for a bit. I watched the Tour de France for a while.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Went into work this morning to find that it was over 80 degrees in there at 9am! I was asked to go into a room and do a bunch of work. it was 84 degrees with 65% Relative Humidity inthe room. There was NO air at all. I got my work done, but I was just soaked with sweat by like 10am.

I ended up going to Foot Locker and was able to pick up 5 tee-shirts for 20 bucks. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

I got changed out of my gross clothes, and was very happy to feel dry. I spent the rest of the day trying to fend off the heat. We tried everything and realized that the AC was just NOT working. Everything we tried just did not make us cooler. We had the door open to let at least SOME air in. There are no windows in our office what so ever. We ended up leaving work around 2:30.

Went back to jess's parents house and called lynksis to try and fix the router. Talked to some dude in India or Cashmier or whatever. He tried his hardest, but I still had to fix it on my own. The IP address was messed up somehow.

After dealing with him for about an hour, I went for a mountain bike ride about 5 miles from her parents house. I found the place on MTBR. Some people gave it bad reviews, but I thought it was pretty nice, but could be a bit bigger. The place was good, but it was a little wet, and I did not want to do too much damage. I got my heart rate up for a little while, annd got some nice miles in the woods.

Came back here and took a swim, then cleaned my bike. Not a bad day after all!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

So I have been looking for some great trails to ride for a while. Since I am in Central Jersey or the Lehigh Valley everyday, I have the chance to look for new stuff everywhere I go. Luckily, I have found a good guide in my new found riding buddy Brian. I found him on a board that we both post on and seem to agree on most things related to bikes. He offered to take me on a ride at some trails that the LV has to offer. He took me to Jacobsburg State Park.

The trails were nice, but I bet I would have liked them if the rocks were not "sweating" It was sort of drizzling when we got there, but def not enough to get through the canopy. I try to never ride on wet trails, esp ones that I don't work on or contribute to. The trails flow in some spots, and some they are tight technical rock and root gardens. On the path we took, there were three road crossings and at least two creek crossings. I had a great time and it was a great workout. I def reccommend it to anyone to go and ride there. Make sure you have some mud tires on, and you go slow around the blind corners.

That night I went to Best Buy and picked up a wireless router for Jess's parents house. I finally got them to pick up cable internet, which is SO much better than their old AOL dialup they were using. That shit is the WORST! Well they got cable a little while ago, and since I want to have wirelss at my work, apartment, and parents house, I had to convince them to get it for the house. That became much easier when Best Buy offered a rebate on a Linksys802.11B router that made it only $5. I don't care what kind of geek you are, $5 is good for a router, as long as I send the rebates in, and the thing works.

I do have to say that it did not set up as easy as other Linkyss router. For some reason it was giving me a bunch of problems. So I went to bed.

Monday, July 04, 2005

This morning we decided to go to an auction in Kingston, Pa. This is right near my house, and we wanted to check out what they may have. They had all sorts of stuff there, and stuff ended up going VERY cheap. It was sick what some of the stuff went for, but jess and I do not have enough room in our apartment or anyway to transport some of the stuff that was up for auction. I bid on some of the instruments and ended up winning an Organ for a total of $7! I plan on just giving it to Kyle so he can use it to make some cool music.

We went back to my parent's house to grab our stuff and head up to my uncles cabin. Most of my family was there. I love to see my family, and catch up. I live the furthest away of our immediate family, so everyone always wants to know what I am up to. Jess and went for a paddle boat ride and played with my "neice and nephew". They are not really my neice and nephew, but my cousin is an only child, and he sort fo asked me to be an Uncle to his kids. They are great, and I can't wait till my sister and brother in law give me a "real" neice or nephew.

We could't stay at the party too long, since the 4th was on a Monday and we both had to get back to work Tuesday morning. We drove back to Philly and met at friends Pete and Colleen's house to join a party with a few other friends. We took a walk over to the Art Museum to see the concert and fireworks there.

On the parkway we got to see Patti LaBelle and Elton John perform and then some fireworks over the art museum. Those two artists are probably two I will never see again, let alone together, so it was cool to see.

We finally got to go to bed at like 2am after a LONG weekend!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

This day we went to Lambertville, NJ in the morning. There are tons of antiques here, and jess's family loves to look for antiques. We went there very early, but we had to get to my parents house for later in the day. We did see much at lambertville, but I did pick up an ET 12" Picture Disk of the sound track for $5! I think I am going to EBAY. We went back to jess's parents house and got our stuff together and took off for Pittston, Pa.

On our way to Pittston we saw a flea market and decided to stop. This place was a bit strange. It had a lot of junk, and then some really nice stuff thrown in. We randomly ran into a good friend of Jess and ended up walking around talking to him and his girlfriend. I picked up some fireworks, and off we were to Pittston.

On our way back to Pittston, we had to go up and over some mountains and threw some woods. My parents live a valley surrounded by the Pocono Mountains, and to get there, you have to go over them. On our way up we realised that I was running low on gas. Jess suggested that we stop, but I thought that we would have no problem getting home on what we had. You probably know where this goes. I drove fora while, and was starting to get nervous about it. This was of course after I scoffed at getting gas. We got a point where I was starting to freak, so i decided to turn around and go get gas. It must have been twenty minutes out of our way back to get it. At this point we are already running a few hours late to get to my parents house. My mom kind of freaks when we dont get there on time, so I was kind of stressed.

We finally got to Pittston and my mom was thrilled to see us. We hung out there for a while and then my mom had some work to do and was going out, so we went and played some Mini Golf, Drove some balls, went for a drive in the woods, and got some ice cream. We went back to my parents house and hung out with my dad and tried to figure out where to see some fireworks. After I set off some of the ones that I got that morning, we tried to get to the fireworks at the Lakawanna County Stadium. We were really late to that and ended up turning around and going back to Pittston to my friend Carrie and Eds party. We got there in time for carrie's fireworks display. We hung out with some friends there, and finally got home so I could set up the arrowbed that my mom got for my room. That shit rules!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Today was the qualifing heats for the Cycle Messenger World Championships in Jersey City, NJ. The Courier championships were labeled as being in NYC, but they were held across the river in Jersey City due to permit issues and what not with the city of New York. It was a perfect sunny summer day. The temp was in the low 80s with low humidity.

We arrived at the race for the second heat of the day. Seemed like they were running late, but running well. The organizers and volunters were doing a great job. I was impressed by the fact that they were able to shut down so many blocks in such a big city. We got to the race and looked through some of the vendors. We got to see some of our friends, check out some bikes, and the general freak show a world wide courier race ends up as. I loved looking at all of the stuff that Roland and Elle and the rest of the gang of R E Load Bags had for sale. Saw Manhatten Portage, The NYCBMA and some other courier bag and gear companies there. The second heat started with a La Mans style start with a mad dash of couriers trying to get to their bike first.

After checking out the start, we decided to go and check out a few check points. We saw some people get their bikes "stolen" by less than honest volunteers at check points. My favorite check point was the tire change check point. Seemed like that one tool the most still, and made the race fair for the all around courier. Those who can not fix their flats, can not make any money.

Around the corner from the flat fix checkpoint were the skids and sprint races. The skids were more informal and the sprint races were to qualify for the main sprint later in the day. I got to see a lot of my DC friends and another Boston friend at this point. Those who visited this part of the course stayed for a long time, since there was something to watch, and more importantly there was a good amount of shade from the building.

We hung out and walked around the area that the race was in. If you could take your eys off of all the bikes, and the action, there was some neat stuff to see, and some great old buildings. We saw "ground zero" and a war memorial. The war memorial is one of the most intense ones I have ever seen. It is very Euro. Viewing ground zero is stil strange. I have been to NYC a few times, and the way I take in goes right past Jersey city, but it still pretty powerfull to think about. I never saw the girders from the WTC before. That is pretty nuts, to think of how they were twisted like that.
WHhen I go to these events, I try not to make it to obvious that I am checking out all the bikes I see. Sometimes, I just cant help myself, but when I sw three TI Indy Fabs locked together, I have to stop and check it out. It is great to see more and more IFs crop up. There were some amazing bikes there like the TI Eddy Merckx that I was drooling over so much that I didnt even think of taking a picture.

If you want to see pics of this event go to