Friday, April 16, 2010

Fort Walton Beach 2010

Posting from Fort Walton Beach, FL on the beach. So far, the weather has been nice but a bit colder than I prefer. The water is freezing, but I have a low cold water tolerance. Anything below near boiling is too cold for me. The temperature has been highs in the low to mid 70s and low 60s in the evenings.

Aside from the cooler-than-expected weather, it's not crowded at all here. Most of the Spring Breakers are back at school, so nothing is that congested. We drove to Panama City and rode scenic 30A to Destin. Panama City still had a strong spring break crowd. We ended up stopping at Seaside to eat lunch. There was a snack stand called Pickle's Beachside Grill that had the best fried dill pickles and the worst overpriced hotdogs. Seaside was nice, but the atmosphere felt a little too rich for my blood. Later that night, we upheld a White tradition and ate at McGuire's Irish Pub. Instead of my usual steak, I decided to try an Irish dish - Irish steak and wild mushrooms cooked in an Irish stout demi-glaze with a side of 18-cent Senate bean soup. I would definitely order this again.

Saturday was overcast and much cooler, so we defered the beach. We spent the day shopping the outlets. I know Raylan enjoyed it, so I didn't mind. Later that evening we ate at Sushi and Hibatchi All-You-Can-Eat. I know what you're thinking, but it was good. For $19 per person you could order as much sushi or grilled hibatchi as you could stand. I had the steak and scallops.

Sunday, we spent most of the day on the beach. The weather was still cool but tolerable. The ocean was freezing, so we didn't get in. We watched a group of kids catch a giant jellyfish and a guy fishing from the beach. He spent more time yelling at kids to stop crossing his lines than he did fishing. We brought beach umbrellas, so I stayed in the shade the entire time. I've been sunburned many many times, and because of that, I don't like to give the sun any more chances to burn me. But somehow, that clever sun finds a way. I made sure my body was completely in the umbrella's shade, yet I'm red as a beat.

After the beach, we cooled our sunburn off in the indoor pool. Seacrest has a joined indoor/outdoor pool, and they had removable dividers separating the two. The indoor water was much more tolerable than outside. The water felt good, like it was pulling all the heat out of my sunburn.

That evening we ate at The Back Porch. Finally, real seafood. We ordered seafood nachos as an appetizer. I had a blackened grouper sandwich, and Raylan ordered a crab cake sandwich. The nachos were the best part. Raylan said her sandwich was excellent, but mine was nothing better than plain. It really didn't have a flavor.

Checkout was at 11am on Monday. Why is the weather always perfect on the day you have to leave the beach. We upheld another tradition and ate at Hogsbreathe Salon on our way out. Raylan and I both ordered the Hog Dust burger. That's one of the best burgers I've ever had. The sauteed onions were delicious. We made a few more stops on the way out, but for the most part, that concluded our trip. The drive home seemed to take so much longer than it took to get there. Usually, it seems the opposite. Definitely ready for the next vacation. The big question is, "Where?"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tibby In a Box

We decided to put Tibby in a box. Seemed like a good idea. Tibby didn't think so.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Blog blog blog

Every blog I visit has an overall theme. Some are about cars, while others are about interior decorating. Some are even artsy-fartsy about photography, poems, and lyrics. They all contribute something, or provide insight about the blog owner. If that's the case, then what does my blog say about me -- especially after you watch this video? This is by far the creepiest music video I have ever seen. I love a good scary movie, but most of the time, they're not really scary. It's a collection of suddenly loud, "BYAH," scenes then it's over. This video is s-c-a-r-y. It has it all: creepy mansion, waning moon, demonic possession, scary hallways, ninjas, sword fighting (read: fencing), dancing Fonzies, goblets full of probably poison, a husky-voiced singer, and a whole lot of beefcake. And just when you think it couldn't get any scarier, you reach 3:34 and WTF??? A demonic choir boy flys at the camera. I almost peed myself.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow Day 2009

After all the skepticism, it actually snowed enough to matter. Here's proof.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yellow Ledbetter, The Way I Hear It

Raylan always makes fun of me because I get song lyrics wrong. This video is but a small glimpse into how I perceive songs. Potato wave.

These are the real lyrics, but don't read these until after watching the video first.

On a porch a letter sat
Then you said i wanna leave it again
Once I saw her on a beach of weathered sand
And on the sand I wanna leave it again... yeah
On a weekend I wanna wish it all away yeah...
And they called and I said that I want what I said
And then I call out again
And the reason oughta leave her calm I know
I said i dont know whether
I'm the boxer or the bag
Ah yeah ehh....
Can you see them
Out on the porch
But they dont wave
I see them round the front way yeah
And I know I dont want to stay...

Make me cry

Ooooh I see
I dont know theres something else
I wanna drum it all away
Oh I said I dont, I dont know whether Im a boxer or the bag
Ah yeah ehh....
Can you see them
Out on the porch
But they dont wave
I see them round the front way yeah
And I know I dont want to stay
I dont wanna stay (2x)
Dont wanna
Oh... yeah... oooh...

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Keene Act And You

Remember, being vigilant is not a crime. Being a Only 28 days to go.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Concept to Completion: Building a Pinewood Derby Car

This past weekend, my nephew Luke participated in the Boy Scouts' Pinewood Derby Race. He asked me to help build the car. Now, I was never a Boy Scout, and I had never built a pinewood derby car. But, I did take shop in the 7th and 8th grade and participated in the Technology Student Association (TSA). I had to build many CO2 powered cars that are very similar to pinewood cars. Pinewood Derby RacerNeedless to say, this was something I wanted to help with.

Prior to our first construction session, Luke had drawn out the concept on a sheet of notebook paper. We modeled the car as closely to the design as possible. After transferring both the side view and top view design patters to the block of wood, we used a band saw to cut out the pattern. Once we had the rough shape of the car, we used sandpaper blocks and a Dremel tool to smooth and polish the shape.

During our next construction session, we added weight to the car and applied the paint job. Hobby Lobby actually has a section for building these cars, and they sell custom weights. Regulations say the car cannot weigh more than 5.0 ounces, so our goal was to get as close to that weight as possible. Ideally we wanted 4.95 ounces to account for a margin of error between our scales and the official weigh-in scales. The stock version of the car including wheels, but no additional weight, registered 4.35 ounces. After adding recessed weight to the bottom and accommodating for wood lost in doing this, we got the car to weigh in at exactly 4.95 ounces. Overall, we probably invested 7 hours in the car's construction.

TrackThe day of the race, I saw so many creative concepts. The best had to be one shaped like a Nintendo Wii-mote. The track had three lanes with an electronic finish line. Race information was fed back to a computer which would indicate the winner and the scaled MPH of each car. Luke's first race was heat 2. Unfortunately, we got smoked by the other two cars. We ran 192.5 MPH and they both ran over 199. However, in the end, the two cars that beat us from that heat were two of the fastest in the competition. We won first place in every other heat. In the end, we had a race car that was in the top 10%. On average, our car ran around 195 MPH consistently.

Wii CarOverall, I think it was a good experience for Luke. He learned how to shape a piece of wood into any design by using patterns. He even learned how friction and momentum impact the success of the race. This was our learning year. Next year, we'll be back with a much faster 200+ MPH car.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Red Bull Gives You Wings...Or At Least Taurine

Everyday this week, I've had to work late (heavy emphasis on the word "late"). I've been designing a stock quote application for a major financial institution. This is my first project that I've been assigned to work on from start to finish. Red BullNeedless to say, it's been a learning experience. Two nights ago, I felt like I was in college again because I worked until 3 a.m. Now, in all fairness, I didn't start my evening workday until about 10 p.m., but still, it was 5 hours in addition to the 10.5 I had already invested that day. Anyway, I downed 2 Red Bulls during my "late nighter," and it worked! It didn't give me energy per se, but it made me more focused and not sleepy at all. In fact, I only got 4 hours of sleep that night, and I didn't feel the least bit groggy the next day.

On a completely different note, I found this video of these two little freaks both entertaining and somewhat disturbing. Does anyone else think they look like robots? Brace yourself at 0:39. You've been warned!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekend Update

I've never thought of jigsaw puzzles as a leisure activity, but that's exactly how the weekend started. "Pfee" came over, so while we waited for him to arrive, Raylan and I decided to put a puzzle together. By the time he arrived, we had most of the edges finished, so he helped us with the rest. We didn't finish the puzzle until Saturday, but the more I worked on it, the more I felt obsessed with finishing it. With every piece that I solved, I felt like that helpless nicotine addict swearing that "this is the last one." I could not stop working on the puzzle until it was complete, but at the same time, it felt therapeutic. Overall, I think it took us about four hours to finish it. I got to place the last piece. Wow, what a feeling of accomplishment! We all signed and dated the bottom, marking its completion. It now sits in a frame waiting to be proudly displayed somewhere in my office. From 1 to 10, how dorky is that? Let me know with a comment.

ScattergoriesLater, we went to Chinese buffet with some friends. I personally prefer non-buffet Chinese food, but it's usually a better deal if you get all-you-can-eat. Scattergories was on the agenda following dinner. Somehow, I came in last place, but I did learn that "robots" can be used as an "R" word for things in the sky...the apocalypse is near (robots will take over the world like in Terminator).

Even later, we went to Starbucks at 10:30 PM. Apparently, the one here is now open 24 hours, because we didn't leave until almost 3:00 AM. I've never been a fan of thier coffee (or any coffee for that matter), but I did get to try a sample of heaven in a cup. I think it was called caramel apple cider(?). Try it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dr. Manhattan Viral Video

Awesome, simply awesome! This is a viral video showcasing the powers of Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. It's perhaps one of the most thought-out viral videos I have seen. Enjoy!

4 8 15 16 23 42

Tonight, the addiction starts again. Lost season 5 begins tonight on ABC at 8/7c with an hour long recap of seasons 1-4. The new episode actually starts at 9/8c. I can't wait to hear those opening words, "Previously, on Lost." I didn't actually know about the series until halfway through season 2. I bought season 1 and caught up during season 2 and haven't missed an episode since. Raylan is just as hooked, so it's something fun we do together. If you haven't been following the show, I wouldn't recommend starting now, unless you watch all seasons leading up to this. The title Lost is not just descriptive of the state of the characters of Oceanic Flight 815, but an accurate description of its followers. Only two seasons left and there are still so many unanswered questions.

I just realized something. I've watched every season of Lost in a different home. Raylan and I first started watching lost at the Annex (the shoebox-sized apartment). Well, technically, we watched season 1 on dvd at the Annex and season 2 every Wednesday at David and Aaron's apartment. We watched season 3 at the Arbors and season 4 at the duplex. Season 5 will be watched in the new house. Without moving again, where am I going to watch season 6?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So, what do you do?

So far, I've found that one of the hardest questions for me to answer is, "What do you do at work?" I design interactive voice response (IVR) systems. Like clockwork, the next question is always, "Well what is that?" The only way I can explain it is, "You know those automated phone systems that people hate to talk to because they'd rather talk to a person? Well, I design those." I usually then get this look that someone might get when they reveal to people that they're a telemarketer. Whatever, I enjoy it, and it pays the bills.

Red Ring of DeathSince this is my first post, welcome to my blog. Now, I've got to call Microsoft because my Xbox has the red ring of death...again. I'll probably have to talk to one of those "damned machines."

*UPDATE: My Xbox has decided to work again. The green ring of life is back.