Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just like Ted William's Head


I have decided to put this blog address on hold. I took a new job in DC and I'm no longer technically a civil servant. In addition, you can easily find out who I am if you read through this thing long enough, and that's no good in the private sector. I decided though that I enjoy writing too much, so feel free free to email me for the new blog address. If you don't know my email its in the profile under contact me. I do expect that I shall return to this address and the public sector at some point, so I'm going to hold onto the site.

Be good,


Monday, August 24, 2009

Stress Relief

So this week I predicted being rough and it has lived up to my expectations. So I wasn't exactly persistent in following through. I also have this concept that my stuff would go down the same day. I was wrong. So it looks like my stuff won't be there until 2 weeks from move day, which is going to be 9/1. Big thanks to Elizabeth for watching them move my stuff in as I plan to be down in DC this weekend.

So in this stressful time of looming deadlines and crap all over my house, and my back going out of wack meaning I can't run. So I found this on Fark. God Bless Fark. Here is what you need to do.
  1. Click on this link.
  2. These are the candidates for Livonia City Council. Click on some of the links, but save Glenn Moon until the end.
  3. Click on Glenn Moon's name
  4. Thank me.
He's on YouTube as well, but it's not nearly as good as the above process.

This has sustained me today. That and the fact that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is on.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

3rd post

So I realized this is my 3rd post for the month, which I know is pathetic and is driving people away. This is a tough month. But I have found a residence and will be signing a lease shortly. This is a good thing, as someone else will be living in my home on September 1.

Tonight finds me in Virginia which is in the South. How do I know its the South? Because if you want good food you have to go to a strip mall. This is a unique phenomenon. In NYC or Boston, good food is located in standalone buildings. Here, it's next to an adult bookstore and Curves for Women location. However, that does not detract from the food. The sushi was choice.

I also bought a bag at Ross's. I finally have a roller board that stores in the overhead. Except on the tiny goddamn planes I fly with USAir. I just wanted to check in to say that I'm still here. I was upgraded to first class on the Shuttle coming down. Ah luxury for 49 minutes. Well, free booze at least.

And my new work friend Kimberly suggested this video, which truly is the most honest R&B video I've ever seen, asides from the fact he's a white guy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh yeah

So I'm going to bed....

I was supposed to be going to my own bed tonight, but apparently fog is not good for flying. So I'm at the Dulles Sheraton in Herndon, VA. I ran for the airport shuttle bus, ordered a chicken caesar salad from room service and then worked on PowerPoint slides for 2 hours. I get to wake up in 5 and fly out hopefully on time at 7:05AM in the same clothes and without deodorant. Sweet.

I would like to correct my former post. Now I am actually a road warrior. Well, a real road warrior would have packed some toiletries in his carry-on.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

2 Man Enter, 1 Man Leave

The Road Warrior returneth....

So I won't type long, because I'm exhausted. I will warn my faithful readers of two things:

First, in my search for billable hours and then sleep, I'm not sure what time I will have for this, Facebook, Yelp,, and many other sites. So I don't want you to pine away. I'm now on a hunt. It's like a treasure hunt, except the treasure is the "billable hour." This hunt will lead me to not farting around during the day, which is a good thing, but also puts a damper on this stuff.

Second, I realize that I need to move blogs. This blog has too much stuff about me to clean up and I will leave it dormant until I return to the public sector. I also need a more appropriate title. So you will at some point find a post telling you to contact me for my new blog address. Just click the contact me button on the top right.

This Monday I did have a total Road Warrior moment where my flight was delayed enough to miss my connection in Charlotte, forcing me to either spend the night in Philly or Charlotte before continuing on to Orlando the next day. I ended up noticing a Southwest flight leaving in 45 minutes direct to Orlando across the terminal. So I went out of security, and bought a ticket from the ticket counter. Who knew you could do such a thing? It cost $87, so God bless you SWA.

Then I arrived in Orlando and stayed at the Marriott. The kitchen was closed for the night and the only option I had was the "Market." Imagine a bodega, but in the USSR where everything is marked up 500%. So I bought the last sandwich they had. Turkey and Swiss with really wilted lettuce. I choked it down and thought this should earn some traveller medal. Rough business.

Until next time sports fans.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You're doing it wrong...

Has anybody seen these ads?

Now that Brinks has become Broadview, I see their ads are no less ridiculous. Allow me to expound on how much I hate these things.

The first reason these bother me are that they seem to target white women who live home alone. And who the hells sets the alarm when they come in for lemonade? Does this woman live in Kabul? The guy who calls from Brinks is also some slightly uniformed white guy who seems like he should be a cop. He's not. The people that call are calling from a call center. Which means that they just as easily could be selling Sham-Wows instead of calling you.

The second and most obvious reason is that this isn't how crime works. The most likely character to break into your house is someone looking like this.
This is what came up when I GIS'd "crackhead." They are people who are down on their luck and looking for something easy to steal that will net them 20 bucks so they can get high. These people do not want you to be home when they rob you. This makes it far less likely that they will get your stuff. They also don't have the intelligence or the sobriety to handle a hostage situation. They look for you to be gone, so they do it during the day. The thing I hate about these ads is that the perp always makes eye contact with the victim and then decides to break the glass anyway. Wrong.

Let's say on the other hand that this isn't a crackhead or a professional thief, and they want to do harm to the woman and or child in this clip. This, by the way, is the fear that sells these systems. That some rando is going to come along and rape your wife in the middle of the day. But let's say there is a psychopath who wants to do this. If they see you and break the window, they're not going to stop when they hear the alarm. If they're that determined, they will see their act through because they know that the response is going to be at least 5 minutes or more, because teeth whitened Brinks guy has to call you while you're being strangled and see if you're okay. (Note: This is very, very, very unlikely. Like getting struck be lightning. However this sells the majority of the alarms I would bet.)

I wasn't a cop for that long. But I know bullshit when I see it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


So while this move is exciting, it does involve travel. A bunch of travel to the Hampton Roads area in fact. For those that know me, I don't mind travel. And yes, I know that travel gets old. I know that airports and connections are not fun. But they are for me, at least in the beginning. I am a self-avowed aviation geek, loving flying and all the aspects that come with travel. I mean, I am the guy who flew to Hawaii for 18 hours, just to gain status on American.

Here is where the problem starts. American doesn't fly to Newport News, and only flies two flights to Norfolk a day which isn't going to work. There are other choices of course. There happens to be a direct flight from US Air and United, but they are stupid expensive due to the huge military population down in Hampton Roads. Southwest also flies direct from BWI, so that's an option.
However the one logical choice is the hardest one to make.

These guys are terrible. I know this. They came in dead last in survey after survey. There are YouTube videos about how bad they are. It kills me that I'm going to be using these guys. But I already have 10 segments booked on them in my first 7 days on the job. So I suppose I'll see how bad they are. But I don't like this. Not one bit. I find it funny, and not ha ha funny, that I'm close to platinum status with American and yet so far. So I'll let people know how this all turns out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Big Changes Inbound

Greetings Loyal Readers,

A number of big changes incoming for me and probably this blog. I accepted a job with a consulting company doing project management in the same general area that I work in currently. It will probably involve me traveling between DC and other parts of VA and possibly NYC. I'm nervous, but in a good way. I am reminded of the great quote from Ghostbusters, "You don't know what its like out there! I've worked in the private sector. They expect results!" Going to the dark side was something I thought of in the past, mostly for the chance to mix things up and add more travel into the mix, and the money doesn't hurt either.

Big change #2 is that the job is in Washington D.C. So that's a big change as well. I do have some really good friends down there, but I am leaving some good friends up here too. I can't help but think of this movie during this whole process. Anyway, I am coming to terms with my decision and I think it really is the right one. I need to challenge myself and get out of my box, as it were.

I should be in the new job the first week of August and down in DC around Labor Day. This brings us to possible change #3, the blog. I'm contemplating putting the blog on hold until I return to a job that more accurately fits the title of civil servant. I'm also concerned that writing about places I'm visiting for work could get tricky working for a private company. So I'm thinking of going anonymous, which is not like what it is now, more a diary blog. I'm open to thoughts or suggestions.

I'm going to bed. Loong day.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Late Night Delivery Award

Has this happened to you?

Come home after last call with a friend and even though you've eaten all day, you are ravenously hungry? A quick check of Foodler shows that there are only a few places delivering. You order up a feast of Chinese food, over ordering like a boob. And then you promptly in your addled state, fall asleep. The delivery guy arrives with your Chinese feast and promptly unleashes hurls of Mandarin curses as you have your phone on vibrate in your pants, which is on the floor and there's no way you can hear it. Said delivery envoy returns back to the restaurant with the food. You wake up confused with 5 angry voicemails on your phone.

Of course it has. Well my friends, I am awarding the Late Night Delivery Award to Lucky Star Chinese Food in Medford, MA.

View Larger Map
I realized this morning that I had wasted money, because with Foodler you pay ahead of time. This means the restaurant wasn't on the hook for the cash. However imagine my surprise when the guy calls me today while doing laundry and asks if I want to reschedule the delivery! Ah yes, yes, a thousand times yes. No idea why they would do this. They have no obligation. But from now on, whenever drunken cravings call for, I will be using Lucky Star on GP.

Spies Like Us Part 2

So this past week has been pretty significant for a few reasons. One of them I posted about, which is completion of grad school classes. That frees up time during the week for me as well as allows me to start paying off debt. A lot of debt.

Second thing that was pretty remarkable was that I moved through to the next round of the Foreign Service Officer application process. People are amazed, as they know that the test is incredibly hard. I would like to claim to be that good, however Wikipedia can add some corrections:

"For fifty years, Foreign Service Officer applicants who passed an all-day written exam were invited to an oral assessment. In mid-2007, the all-day written exam was shortened and information on a structured resume also began to be considered. The structured resume along with the Qualifications Evaluation Panel, or QEP, which is made up of three Foreign Service Officers, was one of the greatest changes to the Foreign Service Exam in decade"

So now I complete 5 short answers and then submit those to the QEP and hear from them around October if I'm eligible to move onto the Oral Assessment. There's other things going on, and I'll let you all know how what's happening as that unfolds.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Free at last. Free at last.

So I have taken classes at several institutions of higher learning. Vassar College. The New York City Police Academy. Suffolk University. Yesterday was my final class in my final semester at Suffolk. This means that I will be receiving my Masters in Public Administration. The diploma I assume comes at the end of the summer. I will use it to stuff my shoes with to stay warm as I will be reduced to homeless levels of poverty to pay off a degree. A degree which might I add increases my earning potential by around $.45, unlike my doctor and lawyer friends.

And then today my brother Broxton had to show me up by completing his Doctorate defense which means he is a PhD in Geology. God bless us. And God help all those defenseless lake bottoms.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Guess what crap I don't own

So my roommate of 4 years moved out and I found out I was missing some stuff. So tonight I went to target and bought some replacement gear. It includes:
  • Iron
  • Ironing board cover (He oddly left the old board but took the iron)
  • Microwave
  • Frying pan
  • 2 plates
  • 1 bowl
  • Bucket to put the ice cubes in after you take them out of the trays but want to keep them in the freezer (This is a new addition)
I figured that I would never have more than 1 plate and bowl in action at any given time. I also have paper plates galore, which will suffice if others decide to grace my house with their presence. I also relearned how terrible I am at ironing tonight.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Entries on Gotham

So I was down in New York for a short visit last night and today. For those who are unaware, today is Bunker Hill Day which is a state holiday in MA. Trivia question: Where was the Battle of Bunker Hill fought?

So while in New York, I had some thoughts...

  • The cabs have TV now. My cab from the airport seemed to have Channel 7, while the one to the Airport had Channel 4. The TVs have different features, but the end result is the same. If you're from out of town, you're all "Hey lookee here, there's a lady talking to me from the seatback in front of me." If you're a New Yorker, you're thinking that as you can't actually access the internet from the TV, that it's 80% useless. It also has a map that tells you where you are, which I suppose is so that cabbies don't take tourists for an extended ride. But the tourists would have to be geographers I fear. How the hell would I know whether I was taking the long route, unless I could see that I was in Jersey and I wanted to go to Queens. Dumb.
  • LaGuardia is a poor airport. I know it was the first major airport we had in the city, but the central terminal is a poor design. It's almost as bad as Kansas City, but nothing could really be that bad. It needs an overhaul, but the airport is built on a postage stamp, so they really have nowhere to go. There are great views of Rikers though from the runway.
  • I got to order a coffee this morning from one of these. If you don't know what this is, it's a coffee cart and they spring up all around midtown and in other areas predominately near subway stations. They are a unique New York fixture and of the ones I frequented I always had great times talking to the guys inside. Large coffee is still $1, which is a great deal. And my favorite is they know how to make a regular coffee. Regular for those not in the know is not black. That's called a black coffee. A regular in NYC is milk and 2 sugars. Regular in Boston is cream and 2 sugars. I hate cream in my coffee. It makes it way too viscous. I wish there were coffee carts everywhere.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tough Day?

I had a long day that had me wanting to scream into my trashcan. But then I found this photo taken by Mike Clarke/Agence France-Presse. It made me instantly happy.

I hope my nephew is okay over there...

Monday, June 08, 2009

Stop right now and I'll make the sun come back

So this weekend was my 10th college reunion. However I was not in attendance, as I had a test to take. I also was unsure how I was going to be surrounded by so many babies. I took the Foreign Service Officer Test, which is basically the test that is administered to enter the Foreign Service of the State Department. Some have said it's the hardest test ever.

While it was difficult, the test has changed in the last 2 years. It now has 4 different sections. There is a general knowledge section, which is like a written Jeopardy game. Then there is a personal section that asks if you have certain traits and examples of those traits. Then followed by an English grammar and style section, and finally 30 minutes to write an essay.

What I was able to gleam from this 2.5 hour ordeal is that they really want to know how you work under pressure and that the State Department hates the comma second only to Osama Bin Laden. Oh, and thanks to my friend Chuck for telling me to bring #2 pencils which I tore my apartment apart looking for. The test is now given on computer.

I'll find out how I did in 3-4 weeks. Most people have to take it multiple times.According to the bastion of truth Wikipedia of 20,000 annual written test takers, only about 400 make it into the service. Stay tuned. In contrast, it was nothing like the test pictured here, though this is one of my favorite movie scenes.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Born Free.....

So my roommate of 4 years moved out to live with his fiancee, and soon wife. My next roommate is coming next week, but the arrangement I have worked out only has him here once every two weeks or so. He's actually going to be living on the West Coast, but his office is here so he needs to come back every so often. He's a good guy who I met in college.

But when the roommate moves out, I needed to do a couple things. The first is the use the bathroom without closing the door. And then there's the walk around naked, just cause. However there are down sides to the roommate leaving. It seems I didn't own any bowls or plates in the domestic partnership, but I did apparently have the monopoly on pint glasses. Not sure what this says about me.


Sunday, May 31, 2009

How much do you weigh?

The above question is never a good question to ask. But it sends a special message when asked by the girl at the Cape Air check-in desk at Logan. If they want to know how much you weigh, rest assured you're getting on a small plane.

I flew up to Plattsburgh and back from Beantown this weekend to visit the folks and used Cape Air. They are currently the largest independent regional airline in the country and they have the largest fleet of Cessna 402s in world. The Cessna 402, pictured above, is a small plane. So small that you get to sit next to the pilot if you want, as there's only one. And you need to hold it on the 1 hour and 20 minute flight as there's no bathroom.

The whole thing is a little funny. It started on Friday as we're lining up to board and the pilot, Chaz, ran by and asked if we could wait as she had to use the bathroom. So you of course wait. It was obvious that many of the people on the flight are regulars as they knew her and were asking about her nights and weekend. She came back from the bathrom and then led us like a 4th grade class down to the plane.

The bags on the plane go in two places. Big bags go in the nose and the smaller bags go in the wing, behind the engine. Chaz actually opened the hatch which is like her window as she was taxiing around Logan to get more air into the plane. We took off in about 1/4 the space a jet would need and we were on our way.

One thing about small planes and getting to see out the front windows is you are a lot more attuned to the space around you. Going through clouds generally produces noticeable bumps, unlike larger planes. Another amazing discovery was the axes on the plane. Most people who fly commercially are used to two basic axes, pitch and roll. Pitch is what happens when your plane takes off and the nose points up. Roll is when you make those big banking turns and one wing dips low as you circle. However yaw was new for me. It was like the plane was climbing straight, but we were pointed at 10 o'clock. Here's a better explanation.

Overall it was a decent flight. A lot of turbulence on the way back. I hit my head several times on the top of the cabin, and I have a bump where I struck the reading light. And the French kid sitting across from the pilot got sick on the final approach. Always something going on when I travel.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tragedy Squared

So I woke up this morning, feeling good. Not only is it Friday, but it is also payday, so you can't really beat that. And then I read this on the Times site.

Off-Duty Officer Fatally Shot by Police

This is a true nightmare. The cop who was killed had only 2 years on and was chasing a guy who he caught breaking into his car. He was stopped by the 25th Precinct Anti-Crime team, and was shot and killed by a guy with 4 years on the job. Normally, when I read of cops who are killed my heart goes out to only side, but in this case I guess it affects me more because I can imagine being on both sides of this. I spent a little under a year on the Anti-Crime team in my precinct.

The guys were tearing off the wounded cop's clothes to try and stop the bleeding when they saw he was wearing a Police Academy shirt. From the article, then then searched for and found his badge. I can't imagine what that must have been like after they saw the shirt.

Either way, I hope Officer Omar Edwards rests in peace and I hope the job will take care of his daughters. And I wish the officer who fired the shots can find some peace at some point. But this is less than 24 hours old and it's still a really sad day for New York City and the NYPD.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Made on Honor, Sold on Merit

There is a local beer that I've found that's new sort of. It's called Narragansett and it's currently being brewed in Rochester, NY under contract with High Falls Brewing. It was at one time the largest brewery in New England. The brand got bought by Falstaff Brewers and they eventually collapsed, probably on account of their piss poor beer.

Since 2006, Narragansett has been available in New England once more and only in the past few months have I made this discovery. They are actually trying to build a new brewery in their original state of Rhode Island and they would like your help. I bought two six-packs this weekend and I got a free tie. I gave it to my friend Steve, because I'm a giver like that.

But my favorite past time while drinking 'Gansetts are to come up with a marketing pitch. It revolves around the concept of Gansett Time. This is pretty much when something horrific happens in your life, and you decide to escape to that mythical place that cheap local beer can take you.

  • Your girlfriend 1 month late and you were thinking of breaking up with her before? It's Gansett Time!
  • Your computer just shit the bed on the flight to make the big pitch in London and lost all your crap? Its Gansett Time!
  • Crapped yourself when you thought you were going to fart? Its Gansett Time!
I could go on, but I think this is better with audience participation. I should mention that I like Narragansett a lot and it's a far better beer than Busch or many of the American lagers. I would actually buy it if they didn't give out ties and inspire awesome slogans.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Paradise Is

So I finally have gotten the time to write about my 18 hours in Hawaii or at least post some photos. The first two photos I took on the beach they took me to before my flight on Monday. Here is what I term the Allen Album cover, with Aloha holding Makena and Noa with Nanea.

Then I had to take a photo of my feet in the Pacific Ocean. It was one of the few touristy things I did.

I hope everyone has a great three-day weekend. For those of you working over the weekend, I thank you. I'll drink to you.

Monday, May 18, 2009

3 down, 1 to go

As I sit in my 3rd Admirals Club in 2 days, I am almost done. I have about 2 hours until my flight back to Beantown and I'm a little tired. Originally, I was hesitant to tell my hosts I was even coming to Hawaii as I thought they might think me mad and I didn't want them to be party to my madness. But I relented after Mikie told me I was nuts. And I'm glad I did.

I know it sounds nuts seeing as how I was on the Island for under 18 hours, but it felt like a vacation. We grilled and drank wine. I got to play with the girls and watch Makena produce incredible amounts of snot. I got to put my feet in the Pacific Ocean. Aloha and Noa even stopped on my way to the airport to allow me to buy a plate lunch, which I'm still eating even though they frown on people eating their own food in the lounge. Oh, and I bought 2 manapua. So good. I saved one. Maybe for breakfast tomorrow.

It was like staying with family and that's always nice. So thank you from the bottom of my heart, Allen clan. I know you said I don't have to get you anything, but that is insanity. I will find a way to make my evening up to you.

There's a flight leaving here at 1:30AM for Hong Kong. I wonder how many miles I'd get for that? Kidding. Mostly.


So I'm in Hawaii at Aloha's house. It's great. I get to meet Makena tomorrow morning, which will be awesome. For allowing me to stay with them for the night, I am eternally grateful. This gratitude requires a gift. My thoughts are: Junior's Cheesecake or gift certificate to fancy romantic restaurant in this tropical paradise.


Sunday, May 17, 2009


So the Dallas Airport, while charming, isn't all that. I'm hoping to get out of this place at 3:30, which is two hours and 10 minutes after I was supposed to. Not sure what the problem was, but I won't breathe easy until I'm in the air.

I will say my theory of vacation destination fashion is again correct. People are dressed in lots of awful clothes. Lots of couples apparently looking forward to their tropical vacation. I just want my water and that's it. I think I'll nap on the flight. Here's hoping the girls aren't asleep by the time I get to the Aloha State.

Yee Haw

So I'm now sitting at the Dallas Admiral's Club and the flight has been delayed to Honolulu, by about 90 minutes. Not a big deal. It just means I'm actually going to be spending even less time in Paradise. I did watch Quantum of Solace on the way over, which was really cool. I also saw Star Trek last night which I heartily recommend to all who like cool effects and a good plot. It will no doubt be the start of a new series, but unlike Transformers, there are actual characters you will want to follow.

It is odd being surrounded by people who are travelling to meet people or attend work functions, as I have always been before. To know that you're basically getting on a plane, just so you can get off the plane for another plane is a little strange. I am very excited about meeting the girls at Aloha's though.

It begins

Here I sit, at the Admirals Club in Boston. My flight to Dallas boards in 20 minutes. I'm still very tired. That bologna sandwich at 1AM while watching the SciFi Channel was a bad idea last night. Maybe I can get some sleep on the plane. I'll check back in again in Dallas.

It's actually harder to pack for only 18 hours than it is for 2 days.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some will think me clinically insane....

So I'm going to Oahu, Hawaii for 20 hours on Sunday. All for the purpose of preserving the right to get exit row seats on American Airlines. Allow me to explain....

Sunday morning I will be doing what's known in the biz as a Mileage Run. Basically, the gist is you find a flight that gives you the maximum amount of miles for the least amount of money. It works even better if you can transfer to and from airports that are out of the way to boost the miles while keeping the price the same. Here's what my Sunday/Monday will look like:

So now you know what I'm doing, a good question is why? Why would you subject yourself to airports and airplanes for that long? Why would you spend more time in a metal tube than you would on a tropical island. Two reasons:
  1. I got a bunch of miles on American from my trips to Paraguay and through a mileage challenge, got Gold Status. This is the lowest level of status and you can get it flying 25,000 miles in a calendar year. The most important thing about this, asides from the fact that I am shallow enough to like status, is the ability to reserve exit row seats. They are blocked out to all but elites until right before the flight. Exit row makes any flight bearable. American also has a double bonus for all miles flown until June 15, so this doubles my trip earnings.
  2. I like traveling. I love airplanes and airports. I have a quasi-autistic knowledge about the industry and fleets that can amaze my friends and scare away females. So as awful as this trip sounds, I'm actually pretty excited about it. I'm on 757s my whole trip except the 767 from DFW to Honolulu, so it will be nice to be on a widebody.
Who does this? Actually there are a lot of people that do this apparently, if these boards are any indication. What makes me a little strange is that I never fly for work, and most of these guys (rare to find women doing this) are road warriors for their companies. I'm weird. I know this.

My schedule will look like this:


Booking Code
Flight Status
Date & Time
Date & Time

BOS Boston
May 17, 2009
07:45 AM
DFW Dallas/ Fort Worth
May 17, 2009
10:55 AM

DFW Dallas/ Fort Worth
May 17, 2009
01:20 PM
HNL Honolulu/ Oahu
May 17, 2009
04:35 PM


HNL Honolulu/ Oahu
May 18, 2009
12:40 PM
SFO San Francisco
May 18, 2009
08:45 PM

SFO San Francisco
May 18, 2009
11:15 PM
BOS Boston
May 19, 2009
07:55 AM


While I'm in HI, I'll be staying with my friend Mikie's sister, Aloha. She has these two super cute daughters that I'm excited to finally meet. They of course have their own blogs, being sophisticated young ladies. I'm hoping to post from the trip. I will be going in to work on Tuesday morning, after a shower at the Boston Admiral's Club.

All told for a little over $450, I will have accumulated 26,306 miles on this trip, bringing me up to a YTD total of 37,994. Not bad for May. I know. I'm insane.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

And I will be selling my CD after the show

Having spent the weekend in Philadelphia, I was reminded of this clip I had heard first and later seen of Bill Burr, a Boston area comic. He was in Philly with Opie and Anthony and a bunch of other comedians on tour. Dom Irrerra, a Philly native and stand-up comedian, was before him on the show. The no-neck crowd booed Irrerra until he left the stage without doing his act.

Burr came out on stage angry that they had booed him and then the crowd turned on him.

What happened next was awesome. Burr essentially stopped doing material and just turned on the hostile crowd and their awful city for 10 minutes. Thank you internets for this. Oh, and super NSFW.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fancy Soap

So the apartment ran out of hand soap and we were using a bar of Dial soap which does not impress guests, so I went out to buy new soap. I decided to treat myself with some Shea Butter soap. I realized today that I had no idea what the hell shea butter was, so I looked it up.

From wikipedia

Shea butter or Shea nut butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory-colored natural fat extracted from fruit of the shea tree by crushing and boiling. Shea butter is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer and an emollient. Shea butter is also edible. It is used as a cooking oil in West Africa, as well as sometimes being used in the chocolate industry as a substitute for cocoa butter.

The shea or karite tree, formerly Butyrospermum paradoxum, is now called Vitellaria paradoxa. It produces its first fruit (which resemble large plums) when it is about 20 years old and reaches its full production when the tree is about 45 years old. It produces nuts for up to 200 years after reaching maturity.

I wouldn't recommend eating it however. I always thought Shea butter was this guy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wedding Weekend recap

So I'm back home and even had time to finish John Adams and do laundry.

On Saturday I married my two friends Alex and Heather. I should clarify that I officiated, as someone always gets the wrong idea, Utah-style. It was a nice outdoor affair, and the weather held up, as you can see from this photo. Funny story. My tuxedo cost $99 from K&G. My shirt and braces cost double that from Nordstroms. However, when I went to put my jacket on, I noticed both the buttons were missing, so I just removed the excess string and called it a "European cut." No one seemed to notice.

After the wedding, people went into Philly for an evening of drinking, talking and laughing. The hotel I was staying at was having a huge Jewish wedding on Saturday night. On the way back to change out of my European tux into more casual clothes, I stopped in on their cocktail hour. I was there long enough the grab a rum and coke and a few pigs in a blanket. Who knew the chosen people and I shared a favorite appetizer. This was the first time I've ever crashed a wedding, but I had this whole back story. I was dating this girl named Sarah Green who went to college with the bride, but I didn't know where that was because this was only our second date. Etc...

This morning saw me up for brunch with my friend Nicole and her friend. And then a 6 hour drive. But the 6 hours were clearly worth it because I had two chili dogs from this heavenly establishment. I paid for it, but it was totally worth it.

I had a good time at the wedding and it proved my hypothesis that weddings can be incredible or mediocre. At their best, like this one was, it brought together great friends who in turn met other people's great friends and new friendships were formed. This one guy and I hit it off incredibly well and I am going to look him up when I'm down in NYC. His brother is a cop and he's insanely funny, so it was a match from the start. But I really enjoyed meeting all of their friends and sincerely do hope that I get to see many of them again.

There's that saying that you can never have enough friends. I think that is true until you get to the point where so many friendships are hard to maintain which becomes the limiting factor. Facebook can act as a force multiplier, but it's not real. I will say you can never have enough great evenings of conversation, laughter and fellowship. Regardless of what happens going forward with these folks, I will always have that.

Furlough Days Taken: 1/3

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Wedding Day

It's a beautiful morning in Washington Crossing, PA. It was supposed to thunderstorm this morning, but so far the rain is holding off. I'm marrying a couple, Alex and Heather, at 11:30 this morning. It will be a great day no matter the weather really.

The mother of the groom did hug me extra tight when I left her house last night and said: "You aren't going to do anything crazy are you?" I smiled and then explained I planned to do balloon animals for the first 15 minutes, after the dance spectacular.

I'll write more later.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Monday, May 04, 2009

That guy

So I went to a wedding this past weekend in lovely Meredith, NH. It was a work wedding so I didn't know that many people. It was a great wedding, lots of good people and awesome appetizers at the cocktail hour. The music was a little loud. The DJ enjoyed yelling a lot.

So at the end of the reception, there was an after party at the Bride and Groom's hotel room. So I went over and there was a bunch of people there and music and good times. Flash forward to 3AM. I had my hand in a bag of Funnyuns when I took a quick head count in the room. Those present were:
  • Bride
  • Groom
  • Me (with hand in bag of Funnyuns)
Holy Crap. I'm that guy. So I remove my hand from the Funnyuns bag and I'm all, "Hey....I just realized that I'm the only one here and this is your room and your wedding night. So I'm going to go now. You two do whatever it is you want to do, and congratulations again."

I grabbed a Bud Light for the walk home and left. In fairness, the guests before me left probably 2 minutes before I did. It wasn't like I was telling cop stories drunk at people who kept checking their watch. Let's hope this doesn't happen next weekend as I'm actually going to be marrying that couple.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shame on you...

So one of my favorite website is Consumerist. Even more now that they were bought by Consumer Union, the owner of Consumer Reports. This ensures ad-free content, which helps keep out the bias.

My outgoing roommate had some issues with changing names on accounts and I thought it was crap. So I emailed the kids at Consumerist and they decided to share it with the Interwebs.

Enjoy my story.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I have decided to eat bacon on everything until this whole swine flu thing blows over. I think I will gain immunity from the bacon, which will keep me in good stead.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

We hold these truths to be self evident

So I have taken hundreds of people's advice and Netflixed the John Adams series. I watched the first disc tonight and it kind of gave me chills. Call me a sap, but I think our history deserves another look. I learned the American Revolution in 6th grade I think, but this was a nice refresher. I also read 1776, which was a great book. If you get the chance, I highly recommend either or both.

I was sad to see the New York delegate to the Continental Congress so clearly in the loyalist camp. I took pride though in the stand my current state (MA) had. There were apparently Massholes even back then.

5 of those calls was from me

Thanks to Sam for the find....

I somehow can't stop watching this.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Movies on TV (NSFW sort of)

I was watching Snakes on A Plane on TV a few nights ago and the best line in the movie comes up and I was wondering how they were going to handle it. This is how it went down. In case you've never seen it, the line which was originally written by someone on the Web who was excited about the title is: "I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane."

Then I was on Fark and someone reminded me of this gem, which really is the best. I'm not going to give you the original line, you'll have to see The Big Lebowski on your own.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

One and a half papers done

So I spent the weekend working on grad school work, which was mostly productive. I closed one paper out and got a good chunk through another one. It's like it never stops. Thankfully, it will soon all be over at some point in the early summer. For those following along with the home edition, I found a class that will meet my missing requirement.

Friday night had an impromptu barbecue with a decent turnout. I won a free case of Sam Adams a month in a charity auction in the fall, and it seems like frequent charred meat festivals are good ways to get rid of beer. Having grown up in New York City, we never had a grill and thus I never learned how to cook meats over a flame. I must say its my favorite form of cooking currently. Mostly because it seems you have to have a beer when you do it, and it's hard to screw up.

A note. I need to get a headlamp like my brother Broxton. That's him on the left with my other brother Ross. I say this because when working the grill in the dark, it can be hard to tell which burgers are done and which ones aren't. I also have to give Broxton credit for my grill chimney, which makes me look like I know what I'm doing when I start my grill. Grilling with friends makes me happy, so I plan to do more of these throughout the summer.

There is a pay it forward aspect to grilling out I think. I shelled out probably $45 bucks for the food and provided some of the beers. In general when you have a party, you always wind up with beers left over because people bring a case and they usually don't drink a case. I think I might assign more pertinent things like meats or buns next time.

Tomorrow is the Boston Marathon, and it's Patriots' Day in MA, another awesome state holiday. I however will be at work coordinating the marathon. And yes, I do feel slightly bad eating my sandwich looking at all of those people running. Good Luck runners!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The F Bomb

So I was talking to a co-worker on the phone today while I was on the road and he mentioned we all just got an e-mail from the Governor. I asked, "How does it start?" He replied, "Dear Colleague."


Allow me to explain. Whenever we've gotten an e-mail from the Governor recently that has started with Dear Colleague, it's generally bad news. Health care premiums going up, financial armageddon, and this time was no different. The Governor is calling for furloughs for all state government managers prior to July 1st. If you make above $50K, but less than $75K, then you take 3 furlough days. Anybody above $75K gets 5 furlough days. I've never been so excited to make less than $75,000.

For those who are curious, a furlough is defined by Webster's as:
"a leave of absence from duty granted especially to a soldier ; also : a document authorizing such a leave of absence"

In English this means that the 5,000 managers will stay at home and see their pay reduced by a day. I have no idea how this will actually work out, but I'm assuming I'll find out shortly. I can tell you what I'm already thinking about though.

Furlough Fridays.

Stay tuned sports fans.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

First Class

Greetings from Chicago,

I flew here on an American flight last night to stay with my college roommate who is out here. I upgraded to first class and was confirmed Thursday night.

American Airlines Flight 1081
Seat 4F

So I've flown first class maybe 5 times in my life, which means it's still special to me. Add in the stop at the Admiral's Club beforehand to get some reading done and I feel like a seasoned air traveler. Odd considering that I don't fly for business really.

So the flight began with a drink and some warm nuts. This is apparently an American thing, where they warm mixed nuts and serve them. That was followed by the flight attendant asking what snack I wanted. That night they had a grilled chicken salad and a philly cheesesteak calzone. I could really feel her eyes boring down on me as she asked "Healthy option or greasy fattening one? I'm judging."

I went with the calzone. It was fine. Hot at least and awesomely greasy. It was not in any way shape or form related to an actual cheesesteak from Phliladelphia, but it was fine. Followed by two more mixed drinks, and a chocolate chip cookie. See, that's the problem. Everything in first is still a wonder, the free booze, the food and the dirty looks from coach passengers as they pass you on the way to their seats.

I'm not sure I will need it on the way back. But it was indeed a nice flight. Now I'm in Chicago about to grab a hot dog with my buddy.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Happy April!

I was asked by my brother to update my blog more frequently and so I will. I also have some cool ideas for some new segments. Not that any of you really want new segments. I highly recommend that you fine readers use Google Reader with this blog, so you don't have to keep checking all the time. The reader will just post when I post. It's nifty like that.

I'm sitting in the President's Club in Newark Airport waiting for my the second half of my leg back to Boston. I spent the weekend, though truncated, in Pittsburgh visiting my brother and sister-in-law. She's about 2 weeks from having my niece or nephew and so we got this idea to do a baby bachelor party, where the father can get drunk for one of the last times in a little while. I love visiting them. They are so chill and all of their friends are chill. It's like recentering every time I go there. I do love them a lot.

And it came at a good time as last week was no good. There was some personal stuff, which was not good. Then I found out that I'm one class shy of graduating grad school. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I was all done crawling to the finish and then you tell me the 5K is really a 6K? I think I have an interim solution as I am going to take a class on the business side in the beginning of the summer that should put me in the clear.

Oh, and my breakneck race to spend every minute of my free time continues next weekend when I'll be in Chicago. Stay tuned. I might be the only person to get DVT traveling only for pleasure.

Total Miles Flown for 2009: 15,965.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I was chastised by my brother Willett in Hong Kong for not writing enough. Granted this criticism came when he was a little drunk and called me on my cell phone at noon on Friday at work. It's not his fault. It was late in the evening when he called me. It's just rare to have those drunken phone conversations at your desk stone sober, because they go something like this from my end.


"I can't understand you."

"No, I do care what you think."

"I'm not avoiding the question."

"I miss you too."

Etcetera etcetera. But all is good. I'm going to try and get out to see him in the fall perhaps.

I recently rented Oldboy from Netflix. It's a Korean thriller, that will no doubt be redone in America in 5 year much worse. I highly recommend the movie, as the director is a Hitchcock devotee and the end is incredible. It makes me sad that so much great film is from overseas, while we content ourselves with crappy comedies and remakes of asian horror movies. In my opinion, we make worse movies than cars.

Case in point, ConAir was on TNT tonight. It's a good movie from a popcorn action thriller genre, but Nicholas Cage's accent is awful. It's this sort of sometimes cajun, sometimes not accent. It makes me weep. He has been in far worse movies, but I just thought the contrast of what my TV showed me tonight was somewhat glaring. That's all.

Enjoy your week.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Graham rides a Virgin

So I'm flying out to my friend Tory's wedding in LA this weekend. Tory is awesome and we stayed in touch since college. She is a super wonderful person and while a wedding in Cali two weeks after I've been there isn't the most convenient thing, she's a pretty special person and so I wanted to make an appearance.

So I decided to take Virgin America out there and then use my free flight on JetBlue on the redeye back. So let me give you my thoughts on Virgin.

* So I'm blogging from the airplane. This is cool. This makes an airplane and a bus I've blogged from. I need to find a boat and a train with wifi and I'll be all set. I was actually able to pull up the picture of the actual plane I'm flying on, so that's pretty sweet. Here it is:

* This flight is full of kids. I suppose I should say 20-somethings. I normally fly American as I have status and the average age on those flights is far older. It makes me feel old.
* Not having the exit row sucks. But I wasn't willing to pay $100 beans for it either.
* There's not a lot of room in this seat. The girl in front of me moves alot. So I'm terrified of the seatback coming back and cracking my screen, which I know is a common complaint for laptop users on airplanes.
* Virgin has this cool interactive touchscreen entertainment system called Red. Sweet right. Well, actually not so much. The touchscreen thing is annoying. The girl behind me keeps changing the channel or texting, or playing tetris and it's like she's poking me in the back. It's not very hard. Just hard enough to be mildly annoying.
* Maybe it's all the young people, but this is a sleepy flight. For leaving Logan at 4, there were a lot of people sleeping and window shades closed. This worries me. When I fly, I like to be able to see out the window, especially at take off. When the shades are drawn, it feels like I'm in some bizarre motion machine and I keep waiting for the takeoff. Call me crazy, but if the wing is on fire, I want to see it before the captain makes a calm announcement about it.

I think that's all I got so far. I'll write more when I maybe order food. You do that through the touch screen also. They have some commie roast beef on wheatberry bread or whatever the hell that is. I might also just snack and save myself for In N Out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Evacuation Day

Today is Evacuation Day. This is the day that the Brits left the City of Boston after the Colonists took to the high ground outside. However, it is also St. Patrick's Day. This is no coincidence. The heavily Irish legislature back in the day was looking for a way to celebrate today and they found the British evacuation occurred on the same day.

Which means that I was off today. I'm not sure how long I'll be working for the Commonwealth of MA, so I will take this opportunity any chance I get. It's almost as awesome as Confederate Memorial Day in Texas which also falls on the same day as MLK day. Not kidding.

So I was home and was watching daytime TV, and was pleased to see that Maury was on. I think all he does is paternity tests now. But they are awesome. Brothers with the same girl who want to know whose baby it is. I'm always amazed when the girl brings the guy on who she thinks was the father and it turns out not to be him. Then she goes running backstage inconsolable. I mean if you count back roughly nine months, how many guys could there be. I certainly wasn't a prude back in the day, but these people apparently get around.

If you're looking for more in-depth information on Maury, you can go to his link. You'll find awesome stories like this one:

Sholonda first came to the show because she suspected Billy, her boyfriend of 20 years, was living a secret double life and cheating on her. On the night of her birthday, when Billy was supposed to take her out for dinner at Red Lobster, she believed he was with another woman. Sholonda's suspicions were true. Billy failed the lie detector test. After the show, Sholonda and Billy stayed together, but they soon returned because Sholonda needed to reveal a secret to Billy. Out of revenge, Sholonda cheated on Billy with his own brother, Freddie. What happened?

You'll have to click on the link to find out.

Monday, March 09, 2009

That's what friends are for

So this is my last night in San Diego. I saw my friend Waka's show last night and it was awesome. I'm not just saying that. I would tell you if I just liked him. I really hope the show makes it past this workshop and doesn't allow itself to get dumbed down for kids. There was a lot of adult jokes in there and yet also enough pratfalls to work for the kids. It was a really physical show, and my friend has a topless scene, which the ladies no doubt enjoy.

The weather has been great. I hooked up today with another friend of mine who works for the California Emergency Management Agency, CALEMA. I always think of the bad guy in the 2nd Indiana Jones when he says that. He's a trip and we got to catch up. Its nice when you have work relationships bloom into friendships. I get a kick out of the Guinness signs to make St. Patrick's Day an official holiday. I guess those marketing geniuses never lived in Massachusetts before. I will miss this, one day, when I am no longer employed by the great Commonwealth.

Off to bed, so I can wake up stupid early and stand-by for flights all day to get home. Sweet.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Go F Yourself San Diego

Good Morning,

Greetings from the exciting city of San Diego. I find myself out here to see my good friend's show at the La Jolla Playhouse. My other friend Sam came out to hang this weekend as well. So while my hard working actor friend was in his show last night, Sam and I took on Downtown La Jolla. It sort of reminded me of a Greenwich with a more laid back style and a view of the Pacific. I was amazed at the amount of galleries. Sam and I actually stumbled into one gallery that was giving out free wine, and we learned all about Warhol and some other dude who uses word puns.

But we are staying in some part of La Jolla that looks like an office park. Huge complexes of rentals anchored by the I-5 and Rockbottom Brewery and TGI Friday's. Not quite what I was expecting.

We're off to brunch. I'm sure this will contain egg whites and avocados. Sweet.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sickness and Comcast

I think my title may make for a great book title someday. It was meant to highlight the disappearance of your favorite blog author. No, me. I'm currently fighting a cold. Well, not so much fighting, as watching it move from my head and settle quite happily in my chest. Awesome. Then the internet and cable went out in my house for a week. I called right away, but much like UPS, they fail to deliver or arrive when working human beings are home. They offered me a 11-1 appointment the next day. Riiight, because we all work next door to our house.

Anyway, I loathe Comcast. Perhaps not so much as the guy that set up this website, but I really don't like them.

So let me explain what has probably happened to you if your cable and internet go out at the same time. This has happened to me twice with these boobs, so I am a quasi-expert on this.

You probably think that your cable comes in from the street to that box under your TV and that's where the problems lie. False. In fact your cable starts on a pole on in a junction box in your apartment. Each apartment has it's own wire going to the mother cable source. These wires are labeled with your apartment on it. Over time the labels can fall off or a person who knows the system and wants to get free cable can just rip off the tags to confuse the Comcast tech.

The tech is not confused. Well, no more than Frankenstein was by fire in Young Frankenstein. They simply pull all the wires out. But you're asking, "Doesn't that mean everyone's cable goes out?" Yes. Yes it does.

Then I call Comcast to report a loss of all services and they see that I'm a paying customer and send out a tech to reattach the wires and label mine. The guy who was stealing obviously isn't going to call, so that's how they weed out the problem. Comcast calls it "Disconnect in Error." I call it "Disconnect on Purpose." The tech who came to fix it is like, "You should have told them this was a Disconnect in Error. I'm on call until 10PM, and I would have come out that night."

Then I saw red. See Comcast is smart. They have insane policies and moronic customer service, but it's never the person who you're talking to's fault. The poor tech bears most of the anger, but it's not his fault he works for a souless awful company.

I do have an idea Comcast on a revenue generator. What if you charged people $25 extra to come when normal people were home? I'd pay $25 for them to come from 7-10PM easy. I bet others would too. This is a slam dunk and if you're listening Comcast, I want a piece of this action.