Main > Joel's December 2005 News


Saturday, December 31st 2005


If are friends weren't getting engaged or married, they were popping out babies.

  • Not only did Doug & Kathy buy a home together, but they got married too. Good job, Doug.
  • Kenar & Mital got married in May.
  • Ranjith & Priya left the country -- big :(
  • My buddy Vib & his girl Deepa got engaged.
  • Ajo & Lenu got engaged.
  • Sanjay & Kiran announced that they're having a baby next year.
  • Pradeesh & Sona had a bouncing baby Ryan in October.


I think we can agree that it was a huge year.

  • We had our first child, Joshua.
  • We bought our first home in October, after many years of talking about it incessantly.
  • My cousin Shiku & wife Renju had twins (Philip & Hannah).
  • Benoy & Rochelle, who got married in August, are now expecting a baby girl next year.
  • My sister Julie moved out into her own place.
  • It's truly been an up-and-down year in the relationship with my parents. We've recently reconcilled, so I'm hoping that life will be good again.

Life & Career

Some trips, some job upheaval, some love, some laughter.

  • I travelled to Hong Kong on business in January.
  • I flew to Michigan for a wedding (you're sexy, Anil.) and to see friends.
  • Went to Virginia in August for Benoy & Rochelle's wedding.
  • I got a new computer, and it's wonderful. This is important to me, and that's why I bring it up.
  • As best man, I organized Doug's bachelor party in Montreal in October.
  • I quit my job working for a life insurance company, and started a new job 2 days later at a bank.

Movies That I Enjoyed:

  • Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
  • The Exorcist
  • Collateral
  • The Incredibles
  • Batman Begins

Worst Movies I Sat Through:

  • Bridget Jones 2
  • Troy
  • Ocean's Twelve
  • Spanglish
  • I Heart Huckabees
  • Shall We Dance?
  • AvP: Aliens vs. Predator

Looking Ahead to 2006

Consider this past year was so hectic, hopefully, next year will be nice and quiet.

  • If life on the homefront stays quiet, I'm going to focus more time and energy at work. I own an entity now, so I'll be leading the audit of it sometime next year.
  • I also plan to co-lead an audit or two.
  • More decorating, as we get our new home in tip-top shape.
  • A 50" plasma tv -- I can dream, can't I?

Friday, December 30th 2005

How did my vacation go so fast? It was Christmas, a bunch of stuff happened, and now it's Friday. I think I'm actually depressed. I have to go back to work after this weekend. Sniff sniff.

../PG/Family/12242005_010.jpg (70834 bytes)
Unwrapping gifts. Some are larger than others.

The week went fast. Christmas Eve at our place Saturday went surprisingly well, including lunch. Christmas Day itself was quiet, as we just spent it resting at home. Monday, we went to Prasad & Mercy's home for a get-together they were having there. Afterwards, we drove up to visit my parents for an hour or so. Christmas Eve pictures are now up.

Tuesday was spent at my in-laws' place, chilling out with the relatives, playing various board games. Wednesday, Anju and I took Milind & Preethy to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Actually, none of us had gone there before, so it was a first for all. The day was rather exhausting, as we spent a lot of time waiting in security lines at both the Liberty State Park (before getting on the ferry), and before entering the Statue of Liberty. All the photos will be posted later this weekend.

I didn't eat anything all day Wednesday, except for a banana and some nuts. By the time I got Preethy and Milind to our place, it was nearly 5pm, and the four of us were supposed to go to Red Lobster for dinner. A little hesitant to bring Joshy to dinner (and deal with all that keeping-baby-happy-in-a-public-place), we elected to order take-out from Red Lobster, and I'd just pick it up. We'd eat, and then watch The 40 Year-Old Virgin that I rented Tuesday.

It turns out, a quiet Wednesday night at Red Lobster was packed like it was a Friday night. And they were understaffed that night. We had ordered dinner over the phone at 6pm, drove over there by 6:40pm, but Milind and I were still waiting at 7:30pm for our meal. Can you imagine that? 90 minutes for takeout? I kept checking with the bartenders, but they were frazzled.

Finally, realizing that we were at 90 mins now, I went and told them it's been that long, and that's rather ridiculous..... especially when we didn't even require a table! They finally started getting everything together, and I asked to speak to the manager to express my ire. The manager was pretty frazzled also (she was cooking in the kitchen at this point), and took 45% off the final bill for us. So, after ordering at 6pm, we finally started eating at around 8:30pm, after we got home with the food, reheated some of it, and Joshy finally went to sleep.

Food was still pretty good though, so I guess that's okay.

Anju & Sunny came way after dinner, and went to sleep. The four of us (Milind, Preethy, myself, Num) watched movie really quietly, and slept around 2am. Num and I got up early and made scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and everything for them Thursday morning, and they all left finally. We spent the rest of the day cleaning up, and finished around 4am this morning. We're exhausted. We did a lot of the bills, and I found out that my wife is doing a very good job managing the cash flow.

We got up around 8am, of course, because Mr. Joshua doesn't like to sleep too late. We've been finishing up all the cleaning and tidying up, and my parents are coming over around 2pm. I don't know if I should try to get an oil change after they leave, or a haircut, or what.


Monday, December 25th 2005

../PG/Friends/12172005_037.jpg (34335 bytes)
Doug & Kathy in wedded bliss... until they get back from their honeymoon. Then the gloves come off.

Merry Christmas! I'm on vacation!

First off, I finally completed selecting, editing, and publishing the photos from Doug & Kathy's wedding. Remember, my buddy Sean took these photos, as I was pretty busy being Mr. Best Man.

On a completely unrelated note, tonight I experienced what we call "New Can Glory".

New Can Glory [noo kan gloree]

Our cat Missy enjoys being fed, as all cats (and dogs and gerbils and people and those cute little llamas) do. It's also established that a freshly opened can of cat food tastes much better than the 2nd & 3rd helpings from a can that was opened earlier in the day, and been in the fridge since then. So while she'll turn her nose up at the 2nd and 3rd helpings, the one who gets to open a new can for her is able to briefly bask in her short-lived affection and adoration.

../PG/Misc/06272003_003.jpg (34476 bytes)
This is not "New Can Glory"

The annual A Christmas Story maration was on today. Being the type of person who enjoys that movie immensely, of course I watched it again. It would have been nice (and different) if I had watched it from beginning to end. Instead, as usual, I watched the end, some of the middle, some more of the middle, a bit of material quite close to the beginning, and some more of the middle. Never did catch the actual beginning, but I certainly saw that "Chinese turkey" scene numerous times. Ever wonder whatever happened to child actor Peter Billingsley? Turns out, he's doing alright for himself.

This secret domestic spying directive by POTUS to NSA really irks me. What bugs me even more is that there really is no weight to the Administration's argument that they need to act quickly, and can't wait for the bureacracy to approve spying activities. From what I've read, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 established a special FISA court designed for this purpose. The executive branch can tap anybody's phone and not even get a warrant until 72 hours after the fact. Furthermore, the FISA court has only turned down five requests, out of 19,000, since inception. I don't buy their argument.

Insurance companies piss me off. Ever heard of CLUE? It's the Coverage Loss Underwriting Exchange. Basically, a big ol' database system for the insurance carriers to share the insurance claim history of you and me. If I have a bad driving history, that history comes along with me to whoever I try to get insurance coverage from. It includes everything from auto collision claims, when you were towed, and in some cases, when you called your insurance company for questions about your coverage.

The part that will surprise you. The Tampa Tribune recently wrote about a woman who was denied insurance because, she claimed, she had called for roadside assistance too many times -- two flat tires and locked her keys in the car -- within the past three years. The insurance carrier? It was well known State Farm Insurance. She called for roadside assistance too many times, and now she was denied insurance. Don't people usually opt to pay for roadside assistance? Ain't that a kick in the nuts? State Farm is not the only insurance company which uses CLUE information this way. You have been warned.

../PG/Friends/12252005_001.jpg (42392 bytes)
My buddy David with his new son Jack

Congrats to David & Lauren with their new bundle of joy. Enjoy the sleepless nights and the hours of frustration. Hahahaha, suckers! Seriously, as much as I love the kid, where did all my free time go?

On a related note, I was very remiss in my birth announcement duties. In my haste, I totally forgot to mention/announce that friends Pradeesh and Sona had a bouncing baby boy back in late October. I saved the picture, but never remembered to publish the big news, so here you go.

../PG/Friends/12252005_002.jpg (45558 bytes)
Pradeesh & Sona welcome little Ryan

I signed up for membership in my company's onsite fitness center. It's actually in my building, which makes it very accessible. There's a bit of a waiting list, but I hope to join in next month. I'm psyched.

This evening, we watched The Butterfly Effect starring Ashton Kutcher. Not a very good movie, to put it mildly. Num thought it had an interesting concept, but even that I couldn't agree with. Multiple timelines, one small change transforming the future along alternate timelines? I think every Sci-Fi tv series has done that to death already. She doesn't watch Sci-Fi movies, so I'll forgive her. At least I know we both agree it wasn't a very good movie. Otherwise, divorce!

BTW, I just saw a trailer for Alyson Hannigan in Date Movie. Lame with a capital L.



Thursday, December 22nd 2005

I got so lost today. Well, not that badly, but I was driving around looking for this shopping plaza "near" my office after work. All I had was a printout of directions from Google Maps, and my wits. Sometimes I hate NJ and its confusing roads. I'm driving around dark, windy, confusing roads, trying to read from my directions, looking for roads with obscure names. Argh.

../PG/Family/12222005_002.jpg (60767 bytes)
Anju at the dinner table in her high chair

Everyone is over today for dinner. Anju, Sunny, my sister Julie, and us. Num made Thai food for dinner, and it was so good, we basically scrapped every little bit from the serving bowls. We took some pictures, and I got to use my camcorder. Maybe I'll get to install my new Adobe video editing software this weekend, and get to play around with it. More pictures here.

You know, I wait until I get home to check my email, and I rarely have anything good. Random email newsletters from CVS about some specials on mascara and other beauty products. WTF?

Everybody knows I like the "clean look".

One more day before my long vacation. I'm looking forward to the free time. Oh, so, one of management execs was visiting our office today. He offered to cover lunch, and it turned into a pizza party. Well, not quite a party. What was originally a nice little freebie turned into a 90-minute meeting, with everyone sitting around uncomfortably around a huge conference table, eating quietly with the boss. It was great. Nothing worse than 95% of your colleagues eating quietly, trying to avoid being called on, and the rest jumping up to speak in order to look insightful. If I didn't have to participate, I would have been better off buying my own lunch and eating at my desk in peace.

I was having a slight problem with the formatting for my comment links, but I think I fixed it. Yea, me.

I heard we get out early tomorrow afternoon. However, my wife, and all her family members, are going into the city. What will I do? Nothing. :(


../PG/Misc/12202005_002.jpg (29082 bytes)
V for Vendetta
../PG/Misc/12202005_001.jpg (36572 bytes)

Wednesday, December 21st 2005

Hey, check it out. A new feature for this old site: Comments! Please feel free to use them.

Only two more days to my vacation. Looking forward to it? Yes. Do I have a lot of work to finish before that? Almost certainly. Will I succeed? Who knows.

I'm really glad I'm not working in NYC on a regular basis, especially with the current MTA transit strike that's got a choke-hold on the city. 7 million people use the MTA buses and subways on a daily basis. People must now resort to walking, or trying to bum a ride with other people, or finding a cab.

So Hugo Weaving is starring in his own comic superhero movie: V for Vendetta. I know nothing about it, but this doesn't look very interesting.

So there's a new Bloodrayne movie trailer out. As much as we all know Meatloaf is a superb actor (?), and Kristanna Loken is rather hot, this movie looks like a piece of crap dipped in cheese.

You don't have to be a fan of The White Stripes, and I'm kinda on the fence with them, but I think this music video is cool.


Monday, December 19th 2005

What did I learn today? Don't steal from an impoverished, badly-managed government agency. Instead, steal from Mariah Carey.

Remember the SETI@Home project? That's where you download a screensaver that used your PC's CPU to analyze data collected from massive radio telescopes, like the VLA and Arecibo. I wanted to participate, but never got around. It actually ended Dec 15th. Fear not, those of you who procrastinated. UC Berkeley will now let you donate (Does that sound right? Letting me donate?) computing power a number of scientific projects. The university project has about 300,000 people participating.

Our Christmas cards arrived today, and they look great. They go out tomorrow. We spent most of the night writing in them, addressing them, stamping them, and sealing them. Call it a labor of love. Or Christmas tradition. Or a burden. In any case, enjoy them before you toss it in the trash.

I personally didn't take photos at Doug's wedding, as our digital camera was acting all sorts of weird. My buddy Sean used Doug's camera to document the entire affair, and I have a copy of all the photos. When I get some free time, I'll publish. Probably this weekend.

My favorite story from the wedding? Some of Doug's cousins from upstate NY are hicks. The reception was at a very nice Italian restaurant, with excellent food. There were four entrees to choose from, and one of the cousins requests a particular entree, and specifically wants cheese on it. The waiter takes the order, but the entree later arrives at the appointed time sans cheese.

She complains to the waiter, and asks him to take it back to the kitchen, but the head chef actually refuses, and sends the plate back to the table. The waiter explains that the chef has a policy of not putting (or lathering) cheese on his entrees. I suppose he has a certain sense of pride in his dishes.

The cousin exclaims, "What? I like cheese on everything!"

Meanwhile, as I'm hearing this, I'm wondering what kind of entree did she order that she wants cheese on? There were only four entrees: salmon, grouper, rack of lamb, and a filet mignon. You're curious too, right?

She ordered a filet mignon. With cheese.


Sunday, December 18th 2005

A very apt name. Cute Overload. More than likely, most women (and some men, and you know who you are) will find this website chock full of cute pictures of pets, animals, etc.. You have been warned. The Klingons out there should avoid at alll cost.

Doug's wedding went well. More updates tomorrow.


Wednesday, December 14th 2005

../PG/Family/12132005_004.jpg (65879 bytes)
Is that an icy glare or what?

After all my so-so pictures of Joshua last night (for our custom Christmas cards), Num put him in another outfit this morning, and snapped a winner. In only a few hours, we received the proofs. A few hours later, the cards are ready, and will ship tomorrow. Wow, times are a changin'. I hope they look good. Since the cards are of the kid in a totally different outfit, I think it's okay if I post some of the pictures we didn't use. You know, the ones that weren't up to Ipe standards.

We haven't figured out the deal with the cat and the baby. This cat, after minimal irritating behavior from us, will scamper off to avoid us. All these months, the baby hasn't had any unnecessary dealings with the cat, because he wasn't mobile. Now he's mobile, and forever chasing Missy with a zeal and a glimmer in his eye. What's the weird part? No matter how many times the baby rushes up and yanks on her fur, she allows it.... kinda. She meows, walks a few feet away, and let's it happen all over again. We can't figure out if she's letting the injustice slide in her old age, or she's just an idiot.

After I got off from work, we went to pick up accessories for the camcorder (such as a camera bag, tapes, etc.), and some additional Christmas decorations. I bought a Firewire cable, but I realized after reading the camcorder manual that it connects to my PC via USB. So, looks like I'll have to go back and return the Firewire cable. That's okay -- it's an excuse to browse the aisles later without interruption.

We did some laundry tonight, but there's a bit more in the way of tidying up before Paul & Sean arrive Fri night. In a slight rearranging of the schedule, Num's cousins will be staying with us on Tuesday night after they fly in, a bit ahead of schedule.

Homeownership. I think there will always be something that needs to be done around here. I will say that, with all the laundry we do nowadays, having your own personal washer and dryer is a huge plus in my book. Just go downstairs, throw the clothes in, maybe use detergent, and hit Start. I don't want to put money into a washer/dryer again for a long time, if ever.

As I'm off on Friday, I'll be running around with Doug as he gets the last few tasks completed before the wedding on Saturday. A stroke of bad luck just occurred Monday. Doug's mother slipped and broke her leg in three places. She got out of the hospital today, but nobody knows if she'll be able to make it to the wedding this weekend. Talk about awful!

You know, I almost forgot -- I've got to work on my Best Man toast.


Tuesday, December 13th 2005

Here comes the rant.

1. Let me first start off by commenting on the Jose Padilla case, which had a new development a few weeks ago -- namely, he's finally been charged with various crimes against the U.S. in a U.S. court. Of note, he was not charged with anything to do with a "dirty bomb". You know, it's very well possible that he's not a nice person, and planned to do very bad things, in order to hurt people.

However, I just want to note that he was an American citizen, arrested on American soil, and was kept locked up in a military brig for 3 years, with no speedy trial, or any immediate hope of having his charges discussed in a trial by his peers. And after 3 years, the U.S. gov't apparently could not prove that he was involved in a dirty bomb plot that we all heard about. Yes, I know, he was probably involved with fundamentalists possibly scheming against us. Again, an American citizen was arrested on American soil. Shouldn't he or she be treated the same way as you or I if we broke a law? The evidence against a person presented in a U.S. court? Lots of questions.

Could you or I be arrested (but not charged) on specious evidence, and held indefinitely in a prison? Maybe I could turn a blind eye on this, if the gov't finally produced the evidence, but after 3 years, they couldn't.

2. Is the Pentagon spying on us? Much like back during the Vietnam war, the U.S. Defense Department is monitoring U.S. citizens who are involved in peaceful anti-war and counter-military groups. This is not right. People have a freedom of speech in this country. The military deciding to perform surveilance on Americans, within our own borders, because they don't agree with the U.S. military actions, or activities, etc? Not cool.

Enough about that.

Our camcorder arrived today. It's small, smaller than I was expecting. Seems good, but we can't use it yet. We need MiniDV tapes, a FireWire cable to transfer video to my PC, and a camcorder bag. We were hoping to do all that shopping tonight, but taking pictures of Joshua for our plan to make custom Christmas cards (yes, now we're those people) took longer than expected. Actors and actresses are right: working with children and animals ain't easy. The winner will be on the Ipe Christmas card, if we can get it done. The rejects will be posted here, on the website of this reject.

I hope the camcorder works out for us. I've always been more comfortable with still photography, not video. Based on good reviews, I've ordered Adobe Premiere Elements v2 to for our home movie editing needs. Let's find out if I'm any good.

../PG/Misc/12132005_001.jpg (24973 bytes)
The new JVC Everio camcorders

Of course, as soon as we're ready to purchase a camcorder, newer products are already on the horizon. JVC recently rolled out their Everio line of camcorders. Instead of tape, it records video to.... [drum roll, please] an internal hard drive! Early reviews state that while recording to hard drive is great, the video recording aspect of the camcorder (you know, the important part) ain't so good. Hopefully that means version 2 in a couple of years will be much better, and make my still-new-and-still-in-the-box-but-gonna-be-obsolete camcorder not so new and shiny. If that wasn't enough to peeve me, startup Ambarella has developed a line of multicore processors, which could be put into camcorders, will compress and process HD video efficiently and cheaply. Yup, we could have Joshua drooling in high definition, displayed on our future HD plasma TV.

I'd feel worse if this stuff was just about to come out, but all of it is on the horizon, and I can't wait for specific technology to be perfect. If I do that, I'd never have anything.

Any fans of the UPN show America's Next Top Model? I'm not. Did you ever wonder why you don't see the winners all over the place? Turns out, the modelling world doesn't really care for American models. Yeah, I didn't feel sympathetic either. Still, something interesting to mention during those awkward pauses at your next cocktail party.


Monday, December 12th 2005

First off, a very happy (and early) birthday wish to my pal Leena, who turns a young-lookin' 22 tomorrow. Give or take a year. ;-)

BTW, I gotta ask, because it surprises my wife and I when we look back at early pictures of Joshua -- how is this the same baby? They don't even look the same. He looked so.... bloated. If I didn't know any better, I wouldn't have even thought it was the same kid. Look at him now, only 8 months later.

../PG/Family/04232005_001.jpg (38284 bytes)
../PG/Family/12032005_004.jpg (47038 bytes)
Joshua (with Aunt Leena) in April 2005
Joshua in December 2005

I made dinner tonight -- it's been a few weeks since I made anything of consequence. My wife has been keeping the family well fed. Anyway, I made Lemongrass chicken (with some chopped onions), stir-fry snow peas/carrots/mushrooms/onions, on a bed (or a heap) of rice. It was damn good. Seriously, it was good. The secret? Not burning anything this time. This time.

../PG/Misc/12122005_001.jpg (30786 bytes)
Panasonic PV-GS250

I mentioned that we completed all of our Christmas shopping this weekend? Well, almost -- the last one was purchased today. [Hee hee.] We also pulled the trigger, and ordered our first camcorder -- the Panasonic PV-GS250. I've been hunting since July 12th 2005, and not all camcorders are created equal. They all seem to have some weird quirks, and not one was "perfect". This one seemed like the right blend of usefulness, quality, and irritation. Should be here this week.

Purchasing it was an entirely different matter. Even though you might find something offered at a particular store, that does not necessarily mean that you'll even get it. Or avoid being a victim of a scam. Case in point: a fellow named Thomas Hawk was shopping for a digital camera, found it for a decent price, and bought it. However, because he wouldn't agree to expensive extras, they screwed with him, and wouldn't sell it to him. Read the story.

Now, checking out potential sellers on Yahoo! Shopping, I started to look at the reviews for the sellers selling my particular camcorder at a good price. Amid the good reviews were the typical "Don't want to buy an additional battery? I don't know, we might be out of stock." Or, "Just bought a projection TV? Get these bulbs, or your order might end up on the bottom of the delivery list." Worst of all, these sellers somehow have 4 and 5-star ratings!

Lesson to you: check the store reviews. We ended up going with a slightly higher price, but with a store that I've heard good reviews about.

../PG/Misc/Movie_HaroldKumar_001.jpg (60858 bytes)
Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle

Then again, they called up on Sunday, trying to sell us an additional camcorder battery, lens filters, and an extended warranty. We politely told them "No thank you." :)

I went with one of my coworkers to White Castle for lunch today. We were like Harold and Kumar, except it was noon, and nobody was stoned. Well, some of us weren't. It was sheer decadence.

BTW, I was talking to one of my coworkers today, and I realized that by my taking the last week of December off, and if you count weekends, I'm off for 10 days straight. 10 whole days of vacation.



Sunday, December 11th 2005

I was having issues with our network router since Friday night, and no Internet access at all yesterday and today. After doing research, and chatting with "Ryan" from Technical Support, we're back online. Yea.

Anyone watching The Office on NBC? It's the American version of the now-ended British comedy. I've heard the British version was excellent. Well, we've been watching the NBC version, and it's really good too. Probably for a limited time, here's the entire season 2 premiere show, which I guess hasn't aired yet. Weird that's online before the broadcast version. Watch it before they replace it with episodes of hamsters sharing intimate moments with each other.

After much searching Friday and Saturday, we finally found and bought a Christmas tree. I put it up today, but we still have to finish decorating it. Once we get it completely ready, I'll put a nice picture of it up.


Friday, December 9th 2005

Snow! I'm working from home! More later.


Wednesday, December 7th 2005

So we were supposed to get this heavy snowfall Monday night / Tuesday, but that didn't happen. Now we're supposed to get all this snow starting Thurs night into Friday. Yes? No? Not sure? All of the above?

Our living room was painted today by the handyman we hired. I suppose we could have done it ourself, and we considered that frequently during the decision-making process. However, we'd have to rent a ladder, and a truck to transport it. To tape up all the edges. We'd have to make the time to actually paint the wall. And paint it again to cover up the original purple/pink. In the end, we outsourced the job to someone else, and nobody had to take time off or anything. Outsourcing. It's the way to go.

Now I gotta call the handyman company about the guestroom. That's an even bigger job, but we would like to get it done before all our guests come this month.

Today, I was debating what to get for lunch, so I decided to get Chinese food with these guys from work. However, they changed their mind on the stairwell, and wanted something else. Giving up, I went to the other building where the cafeteria was, with no cash, but with the hope of debiting my lunch. I pick up a hamburger and fries of questionable quality, plus a soda, and head to the cashier.

She tells me that they're cash-only. I inquire about an ATM, and she tells me it's in Building C. My building. 10 mins away in the freezing cold. I told her to hold my stuff at the register, while I check with the front desk security guard. She confirms it's Building C.

I said screw it, walked out the door, into the cold, to my building's parking garage, picked up my car, and drove to Quizno's. I wonder how long my burger and fries sat at the cash register? There was no way I was going back to my building to find the lone ATM, come back to get my lunch, then walk back again to my building.

Holiday party tomorrow night in Long Island -- a bunch of us are taking a company van there and back. I also heard a number of people are dressing up, which means I better dress up too. Sigh. Those suit pants didn't fit well in March, they didn't fit any better in August, and I'm dreading the attempt tomorrow morning.

The X-Men 3 teaser trailer is officially out. Looks interesting. Dark Phoenix, anyone?


Tuesday, December 6th 2005


Ssssssssh. The baby is sleeping.

I'm home today -- used a vacation day. Num is running around with errands, and I'm Mr. Mom for most of today. He's sleeping, I'm typing as quietly/gently as possible, and just finished eating some leftover Thai food from Sunday night. However, my whore of a stomach has already moved on -- it's telling me that a chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk would really hit the spot right now.

Hmmmm, cookie. Damn you. You win again, "El Estomago." BRB


Yesterday was my first day in my new office. I was planning to leave at 6:30am, but as usual, it turned into 7:30am. I am very glad my wife recommended that I clean the car the night before. Otherwise, I would have been late. I do admit to getting lost, but I called a colleague who gave me excellent directions. Got to the office at 9am. The commute itself isn't bad at all -- the worst has to be the traffic on I-287, but even the local roads weren't bad. Still, I withhold judgement until there's been a traffic accident, or other reason for why part of the road is closed off.

I really have been spoiled by taking the train (and recently the bus) to work the past six years. I could sleep, read, play solitaire. Somebody else was responsible for taking me there. Now, I'm that guy who's sitting in traffic, beating his head against the steering wheel.

At least this cookie is tasty. I love you, Mrs. Fields.

../PG/Misc/12062005_001.jpg (56972 bytes)
../PG/Misc/12062005_002.jpg (57160 bytes)
../PG/Misc/12062005_003.jpg (47588 bytes)
My new office
Note the monitor, my phone, etc.
There's even a mini closet for my coat
../PG/Misc/Movie_X3_002.jpg (54002 bytes)


../PG/Misc/Movie_X3_003.jpg (63579 bytes)


Anyway, back to the new office. Everything is nice and new. I have a 17" LCD monitor, and new office furniture, but the cube itself is tiny. I feel like I'm in Europe. Comment dites-vous minuscule? Also, the cubicle walls are much lower, so you can hear everyone talking on their phones, and everyone can hear me whisper sweet-nothings to my wife on the phone.

Honeybuns, we're low on milk. Oh, and cookies.

Sweetie pie, can you Tivo that episode of Nova, about sunken ruins in Alexandria, Egypt?

Nums, I'm low on underwear. Can you wash a load for me? Thanks.

We still need supplies, and the cafeteria is okay, but it's in a different building. What really ticks me off is that there are no soda vending machines in my building. None. Just one snack machine, and one other vending machine that has water, Gatorate, and other flavored water energy drink crap. If I want a soda, I gotta walk 10 minutes in the cold to the cafeteria in the other building, just for a drink.

They better fix that.

Some new pictures of the new X-Men 3 movie are out in USA Today earlier this week.

Lastly, the Victoria's Secret fashion show is playing tonight at 10pm. Be sure to catch it.


Sunday, December 4th 2005


Ah, finally, peace and quiet. I think the only time that I can get anything done at home is after midnight, when everyone else goes to sleep. Just me, the computer, and iTunes.

../PG/Family/12032005_001.jpg (58724 bytes)
Now nothing is safe

I have numerous pictures to add for November and December to add to the photo galleries, such as Thanksgiving, and just hanging around. Slowly adding them to the November 2005 and December 2005 collections, so check back often. Oh, I almost forgot the big news from Thursday night: Joshua pulled himself up for the first time. We would have taken a picture, if we hadn't been in utter shock. Also, fear, because we haven't finished baby-proofing our home for crawling babies. When he starts walking, nothing will be safe.

Now he can stand and reach for stuff. Now we're screwed.

Do you want to hear some irony? Today, my tasks were to hit the dry cleaner (no, not literally), go to the bank, and go to the nearby BJ's Wholesale Club to replace the two rear tires. There's snow in the weather forecast, I start driving to work on Monday, cars need tires, etc. Cleaners and bank go as expected, but on the way to BJ's in Hamilton, I hear a metallic roar as I take the curve on a ramp. Rather unusual for a Saturday afternoon, don't you think? I make it about a mile, and find a safe a spot to take a look. Of course, my worst suspicion is that it could be a flat tire.

I get out, and it's a flat tire. The front left one. Not one I was planning to replace today. Argh. Well, I can change a tire pretty fast, but I always end up greasy, and here I am with my new parka, and my recently-found gloves. Sighing heavily, I leave my gloves and parka to be kept safe and warm in the car, crank up my iPod, and start changing the tire. To shorten the story, I'll summarize with highlights.

  • Time it took: 30 minutes.
  • Temperature: It was cold today.
  • Number of times I inadvertently displayed my butt crack, while kneeling there on the shoulder of the road, turning the jack: About a 100 cars.
  • The number of attempts with the jack, after which I found the reinforced part of the car to jack up: 3.
  • Number of times the car fell off the jack: 1.
../PG/Misc/12042005_004.jpg (65231 bytes)
First snowfall

After changing the tire, the car was still making a roaring noise. Fearing I did something when the car fell off the jack, I took it to the local Meineke that I took it last time. They repaired my f'd up brake shield, and I ended up replacing all 4 tires. Cost? More than I was planning to spend today on tires.

../PG/Misc/12042005_001.jpg (37208 bytes)
How did she bring him home to meet her parents? Who am I kidding? She's a stripper.

Wow, I just went downstairs to play with Missy, and I looked out the window, and it's snowing. Tomorrow should be fun. We're supposed to go Christmas tree shopping in the morning.

Marilyn Manson got married to stripper. And she's good-looking. There is indeed something wrong with the world. Does she really like seeing his "O" face?

Both our set of bar stools, and our extra phone, arrived on Friday. I put the stools together, and the phone charged overnight. It's all very cool.



I was cleaning the car tonight (snow, remember?), putting the trash out to the curb, taking out the recyling, and inspecting the car, when I slipped on some ice and fell. I'm a little bruised, but I'll surivive. Really not my best weekend, eh?

Joshy went to bed slightly early tonight, which is always a nice bonus to your day. In the free time, we adults ate dinner like normal people -- Num made this awesome chicken Massamon curry with jasmine rice. I tasted one bite, and my first words were, "This is awesome."

../PG/Family/11242005_002.jpg (61602 bytes)

He's so cute

I also published the rest of the pictures for November and December. Please peruse.

Oh, speaking of the baby, big news with the kid. After months (since May) of experiencing the joys of living with a baby who is teething, Joshua's first tooth is beginning to come in. I know, because when he grabbed my finger to bite me, I felt a tooth. It's his front lower incisor, and just one of them, but whoa, finally. Teeth.


Thursday, December 1st 2005

Damn, it's December 1st already.

So, we're having a big (company-paid) lunch tomorrow. Free lunch? I can dig it.

So, I just heard that the old bank titles are coming back. Get this -- under the old titles, I'm an Assistant Vice President. I'm like, "Are you kidding?" Assistant Vice President? Oh yeah. Well, me and everyone else at my level.

I had lunch with friends Rick & Olivia today, for the last time, for a long while. I'm all packed up (took all of 12 minutes, and one box), and I'm ready for the move tomorrow. Starting Monday, I'm in NJ.

On the way to the bus today, I took the long route, just to soak up Wall St, and the atmosphere of being in the city, one last time. Oh, I'll be working in the city from time to time, but it's not quite the same. I've worked in the city, more or less, since graduating college 6 years ago. Working in the suburbs?

What has the world come to?