So my friend Sung told me about this site with a rather unsavory name. I added it to my links, but I thought it was good enough to make the front page. Some guy apparently was tired of seeing beautiful girls night after night with these Jersey-looking guys. (No offense Jersey, but you know what I mean.) So he started this site. In it he tried to capture photos of said awful couples, like this one here...
These types of guys deserve an ass kicking. And verbally, that's what they get. Enjoy. Though possibly not safe for work. Especially if you work for the Christian right.
So when we last left our hero, he had consumed a hotdog of pig lips and sheep assholes and was feeling pretty smug about his find. My pit stop won Top 3 places we went all weekend long. Numbers 1 and 2 were Cleopatra's Barge, which was this awesome 70's era nightclub in Caesar's Palace and I believe the hotel bar behind the Wynn, which was really beautiful. I have a really great photo of me in front of this place, but Blogger isn't cooperating, so check out the Flickr Stream.
We went out and did all the casino's. One of my other faves was the Frontier, with it's 99-cent shrimp cocktail and other incredibly cheap eats. However the owners of the Plaza bought this place up and will be demolishing it at the end of July. Very sad. We saw David Copperfield. I actually realize no one knows what my friend looks like, so here is a photo. I was doing a 4 thing with my hand, and I look awesome. The back story here is that we've known each other for 13 years now, having met when we both thought we might be actors. And now we just act like we're adults. She currently resides in Crescent City. That's New Orleans for those not in the know.
So we saw David Copperfield, and he did some cool stuff, like shrink himself and make a Lincoln appear on stage. But the guy totally phoned it in. I guess when you're David Copperfield, you can do that. But it just looked bad. Not to mention, we had to sit through 15 minutes of clip compilations of all the times he'd been mentioned on TV or been on talk shows. Conspicuously absent was any mention of his fauxmance with Claudia Schiffer.
A real highlight of the trip was getting to spend time with my friend, Sung. We went to college together, and I hadn't seen him in a loong time. He was a really nice guy in college, and he remains top notch. We went out to a club, which is not my scene. But he bought me a drink that had dry ice in it and was in a fishbowl, which was awesome. He felt bad about the $40 cover. But the view from the place, Voodoo Lounge, plus the scantily clad bridesmaids and bachelorettes who were shaking their ass, was worth it. In case you wondered, Graham did not shake his ass, or meet Mrs. Campbell on this trip.
I did later that night, eat a $2.99 breakfast that was huge from this place at 5AM. That was something. I haven't been out that late in a very long time. Vegas is the place for naps I've realized.
And then after much drinking, laughing, and eating, I piled my ass back on a full American flight, connected in DFW, and made it home. Nice to sleep in my own bed. I am now eating PB&J to save for the payments I have to make for this trip, but it was well worth it. Emily's parents consider me a fourth son, and I am very happy to carry that title.
Welcome back sports fans. I apologize. I was out of town for the last 10 days. Last week I was down in Maryland learning how to better fight terror and all about the "New FEMA." Boring.
Let's cut to the chase....
Sin City baby. I was there this past weekend for my dear friend's 30th birthday. It's now time for a TRIP REPORT!!!!
I left Boston on Friday on American Airlines and needed to connect in Dallas. The flights were both full, as is the norm nowadays. My flight from DFW to Vegas was shared with my friend and members of her family, though I was blocked by a large older woman in the aisle who kept her hands folded on her prodigious belly.
We arrived and went to our hotel, New York New York, which made me laugh. I mean the place has a roller coaster going through it. See below for an example...
That's the Empire State Building on the left and the Chrysler Building on the right
This was my first time in Vegas, and it was something. Expensive and a little off. It's like Orlando, but with a dirty soul. It is a lot of glitz, but sort of reminds me of the really loud guy with the poor self-esteem. I rode the Monorail to the end of the strip, which always makes me think of the Simpsons Episode. Anyway, the Monorail isn't that popular as it runs behind the Strip and thus you miss the glitz and glamour. But there right after the Bally's stop, I found it. The Stage Door Casino. There's only one review on Yelp, because I found it. What made me smile and know I'd love it was this sign, which I read from the air.
I mean seriously? They have 23 years left on their lease? I knew this meant that in 23 short years, this place would be history and replaced by Steve Wynn condos. And that would be a crime, because you can't get this at any condo. The Monorail tracks are above this place.Now I know you're thinking big deal. Hot dog, beer and some video poker. That 1/4 hot dog and Miller Lite set yours truly back $2.50 cents. Dollar dogs and $1.5o beers. It's like the owner went nuts and gives this stuff away, while 400 feet away at the Bally hotel bar that same beer would be $6. And the place was full of workers for their lunch break, which made Vegas seem real finally, which is when I turned the corner on this place.
I gotta go to another post, as dragging these photos down is killing me.
I recently finished a book called The Last Run by Todd Lewan. It is about the rescue of an Alaskan fishing vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard out of Sitka, Alaska. The book is fast-paced and well written. If you combined The Perfect Storm and what The Guardian could have been, you'd get this book. So I recommend buying this book, or getting it from your local library.
I so enjoy reading for pleasure. Not much opportunity what with grad school.
So I'm taking an exam in about two hours that like most exams will be graded on a scantron machine. It uses those little bubbles. Anyway, they require a number 2 pencil, which if you didn't know just explains the thickness of the graphite.
I looked all over my apartment. Even snooped into the roommate's room. No dice. I have to go to CVS and buy a pencil. How sad is that? A writing tool that I used to use all the time, granted it was over 15 years ago.
I think it's a plot between the government and the pencil manufacturers. Bastiches
So this weekend found me in Greensboro, NC. My friend Sam from high school is celebrating his 30th birthday tomorrow and his wife Lizzie decided to arrange a surprise for him. Well, it turns out that our other friend Waka was going to be down in Greensboro watching the final performance of his girlfriend's show at the regional theater. So we moved the rumpus down there.
But let's begin at the beginning.
I hate Comair. If you don't know what airline this is, they run the smaller planes for Delta, mostly out of the Northeast. One of the reasons I hate them is that they only fly this plane. This is the CRJ-200. It seats 50 people. I can't stand up in it, and I had to play some perverse game of Twister to take a leak in the back. This plane is the reason I hate regional jets. The other reason I hate Comair is their on-time departure issue. The issue is they are never on time. My flight from BOS to GSO was on-time 50% the last two months, and it didn't disappoint on Friday. We were an hour and a half late taking off.
I was bummed my friends would have to wait for me at the airport. Not to worry. Their flight was also delayed. And the gigantic Triad Piedmont International Airport (Not sure where they fly that needs a passport) closes down at 8PM (Click here for a documentary of my boredom). Graham got there at around 8PM. Soon, though they arrived and we went to dinner. Fun was had by all.
So Sam arrived, carefully deposited by his wife to find us playing whiffle ball and some of us not wearing pants. One couple had their flight cancelled on Friday afternoon and decided to drive down, arriving Saturday around 4PM after stopping, They later admitted they weren't really sure how far Greensboro was from Baltimore, which might have affected their timing. Now all assembled, we went to see Miriam's show at the local theater. She was magnificent. I'm sure you probably think I'm biased, so I've included a review. And we ate a lot. I had some KrispyKremes when the Hot Light came on. Miriam didn't know anything about the hot light. God Bless you Hot Light.
We also ate at this feast of geriatric delights called K&W Cafeterias, where for 10 bucks you can stuff yourself. I had a lot of food, but my faves were the turkey ranch casserole and the toasted coconut pie. God I can hear my heart pumping harder as I type it.
We gave Sam some awesome gifts: Denture cream, reading glasses, Depends, Geritol, and enema kit, Just for Men. All of them were gag gifts, which was the funniest part. At least for us. And then I crammed my big ass back on that small plane and flew home.
I told a bunch of people about going down to NC and then I told them it was for a friend's birthday and they looked at me like I had three heads. "You're going to North Carolina for a birthday?" Of course I was. I love those guys, and now I've come to love the women they found. They represent the best parts of me. There is nowhere I wouldn't travel for them and nothing I wouldn't do for them. In a lot of ways, the love I feel for them is as deep as the love I have for my brother. It just feels right when I'm with them.
Yesterday, I took the day off and allow me to list the wondrous things I accomplished on Tuesday.
1) I woke up at a reasonable hour. 2) Went shopping and bought a power strip and A Few Good Men for a steal at Best Buy. 3) Got my motorcycle learners permit. 4) Got a pork taco and a pupusa from Tacos Lupita. 5) Read a book on my porch while drinking a nice glass of orchata 6) Had a nice dinner outside and then saw The Prestige.
With the exception of the fact that I didn't like the movie in step 6, it was almost a perfect day. I really love days that I got a lot of different stuff done. As for the people who want to know about the learner's permit, my plan was just to get the manual. However, the lady gave me the manual and the ticket for the line which was probably about an hour. So I figured I could study while I waited. I did and I passed. Now I'm just waiting for Chuck to join me and we can go here to become real men.
No seriously. Go to your city clerk's office and hug someone, or buy a cup of coffee for your health inspector. Without these people, what would get done? I stand everyday on the vanguard of public safety, and for that I got a nice e-mail from the chief elected official of the Commonwealth and the ability to sleep soundly at night.
Spent the weekend doing some work. I was in the Ocean State on Saturday for a little bit and then did some laundry on Sunday. Oh, and I changed my brake light. I am in no way a mechanic, however I do enjoy getting my hands dirty. However, oil changes, bulb changes and wiper blade changes are about as far as I'll go. I know how most mechanics and tradespeople make their money by fixing the mistakes of a man who is too dumb to know when to call them.
Well sort of. Sorry for the lack of posting. I've been busy with a small little drill happening in New England. You can read about it here, which is the only time you'll read the Insurance Journal. You might start subscribing because of me.
So yesterday morning, I got to attend the kick-off for this week long exercise in Rhode Island. Smallest state with the longest name. Anybody know what the full name is? Anyway, to coincide with the kickoff of the Hurricane Awareness Tour, they had the Hurricane Hunter fly in. If you don't know about these guys, lemme give you the gist.
When a hurricane forms in the Southern Atlantic, the only way we know about it is the satellite images.
So here we can see that Mother Nature is bringing a can of whoop ass, however we don't know if it's just a can or a case, or she's rolling in a keg and plans to marry our sister. This is just a picture, we can't tell speed accurately. Radar can do that, but it's range isn't total.
So we call upon the Hurricane Hunters. These guys fly out into the hurricane far off shore. While in the hurricane, they drop these things called dropsondes, which have a GPS chip in them that allows them to be tracked as they fly through the air. So we can get a good picture on wind speed, forward speed of the hurricane, and dimension of the eye wall. These guys all work for the Department of Commerce, which oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which in turn oversees the National Weather Service.
The wildest part? They fly into the hurricane in this thing....
This is the WP-3D Orion, a variant of the P-3 which is used mostly by the Navy to hunt submarines, and no longer made. This plane above is over 35 years old. We owe these pilots a debt of thanks. And 15 bucks for a copay for a shrink.