Main > Joel's March 2005 News


Thursday, March 31st 2005

Sometimes I forget how darn expensive NYC is. I'm spending about 12 bucks a day on breakfast, lunch, and assorted drinks during the day. That's about 60 bucks a week, and 240 bucks a month. I usually always skipped breakfast, but this whole week I've been starving at 9am. A simple breakfast sandwich and OJ for $5, a slice of pizza and a soda for $5 (or combo meal from wherever for $6), and sodas since there are no watercoolers on my floor, and no wonder my wallet is awfully light. Argh.

I did a laundry load of the baby clothes -- nearly all of them. He's been pooping/peeing/leaking in his clothes a lot. I heard he had 5 clothing changes today alone. It's not like we're putting the diapers on incorrectly. He's just a hungry boy, eating almost all the time, and he's producing a lot of waste. It's all sorts of disgusting. He's a really gassy baby. You can watch him grunting heavily, flailing arms, and his face gets all scrunched up and twisted. Then..... consecutive farts. Big loud ones. The ones that sound messy. How can someone so small have that much gas?

Right now, he's sleeping on the loveseat in the living room with me, so that my wife can get some sort of rest this evening. Every time he stirs or grunts, she wakes up. Each and every time. I need to give her a break, even if just for a little while. I don't know if I can let him sleep on the loveseat tonight. Could he roll off? It's 3am right now, and I really should get some beauty sleep.

Tomorrow, I'm meeting up with some friends from my old job for lunch. I'm not really worried about taking too long either. I've been spending my time in the office taking online courses on audit methodology, and trust me, it ain't that exciting.

Tuesday, March 29th 2005

Looking back at Monday's entry, it's rather confusing. I've tried to simplify it retroactively.

Got my my new temporary digs (and a cubicle with a window view of the East River, a small section of the Harlem River Drive, and a heliport if I crane my neck a bit), a phone number, and my laptop. I spent most of the day reading more policies, signing up for training classes, and getting my IDs/passwords to various systems. Boy, it sure is fun to start a new job. After meeting a couple of more coworkers, we went to Cafe Rio for lunch, which is a pizza/salad/sandwiches place. At least I'm meeting people. I still need to do my benefits enrollment.

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The original BBC version of "The Office"
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The American version on NBC

I'll tell you what I don't particularly like. The company blocks all web mail services like Yahoo!, Hotmail, and even my Comcast internet mail site. I thought they might, as I had heard that banks and investment firms both did that for security purposes. Still, argh.

Walking to the PATH train station over at the World Trade Center site, I took sidestreets up to Broadway, which made me reminisce of before Num and I started dating. I was working down here in 2000, and she met me a couple of times at the World Trade Center for these summer concerts being held right in the WTC plaza, around lunch time. After one concert, we went up to the WTC observation deck, and met the country band Diamond Rio. They had just performed, and wanted to check out the view from the top too.

A long while later, a relationship blossomed, and now we're burping a baby 5 years later. And there's an angry cat brooding behind me.

Went grocery shopping today for the essentials. Among the essentials, plenty of purple grape juice, white grape juice, cranberry-apple juice, Dobie dishwashing scrubbers, Hamburger Helper, Rinaldi pasta sauce, 54 cans of Fancy Feast cat food, and pork rinds for me. Among other things. :) And again, let me stress to you how much I dislike grocery shopping, yet an iPod full of music makes the time almost enjoyable.

By the time I got home from the grocery store, it was nearly 10pm. I swear that there's never enough time in the day. I bottlefed Josh, played with him for a while, and watched this week's installment of The Office. I know, I know -- the original British version is probably loads funnier, and the Coupling remake was horribly unfunny. The American version of The Office is funny though, and worth catching.

Monday, March 28th 2005

Remind me to stop using cheapo, teeny-tiny umbrellas, and actually invest in a big man's umbrella. It was a miserable day today, what with all the heavy rain, wind, and major flooding in the NY-NJ Metro area. What a day to start my new job. I started off on the wrong foot by not being able to find the ("Call this person when you get here") telephone number that I wrote on an itty-bitty Post-It note on Friday. I eventually found it, but I had to take the next train.... which turned out didn't stop at any stations that transfer to Hoboken. We eventually stopped in Secaucus, and I ran across the station to catch a transfer to a train that did. By the time I got off the PATH train, and ran down the length of Wall St, it was already 9:15am -- 15 minutes late for my 9am start at the office.

Still, no matter. In the end, there was no orientation, computer, office, or anything. I just sat through most of the day reading materials and documentation, eating Cheetos and drinking Diet Coke. Hope no one asks why the security policy is a neon orange.

At 11:30am, a number of us went uptown to attend this presentation on where the company is headed. Very nice documentary, though I started nodding off in the darkened theater. After I got back to my office, I got a pastrami sandwich (and more Diet Coke) for lunch at a nearby deli.

I haven't worked in this area in 5 years, so I really need to reacquaint myself with the surroundings. I'm sure lots has changed since 2000.

In the afternoon, I got fingerprinted and also received my new ID badge. Now if I can just get a laptop, and get staffed on an audit, I'll be all set.

I miss my friends at my old job. Yes, I said it. Where's my daily dose of smiles when I need them? Where's my daily Star Wars update from Mike? Most people said hello to me, then kept to themselves. I've heard this about banks, but I'm not disappointed. This isn't my first or 2nd job. I've already done this culture before. My career right now is Numero Uno on the priority list.

I need to hit the hay. It's only 10:15pm, but I need to figure out my start/end time at work. So far, if I want to get home by a decent hour, I need to be in the office by 7:30am. I bet I can do it.

Why do I hear laughter?

Sunday, March 27th 2005

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Num survived bathtime

Happy Easter! For another 24 hours, I'm unemployed, yet free! Free, I tell ya -- FREE!

Not that it's particulary funny, but I like it for the nostalgia factor -- Super Mario Bros. Outtakes. Here's a bonus video: The difference between Real Life & The Internet, as presented by Rooster Teeth Productions. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't they simulating Halo characters/vehicles, etc?

Going back to the whole right-to-life politics -- Jonathan Alter wrote in Newsweek about the hypocrisy of 'life' politics. It's a short 3-page read, and it really explains my feelings on the matter. If you really believe in something, apply it always and consistently. Not when you stand to benefit from it.

My last day was fairly uneventul. A lot of people weren't in the office, so I said goodbyes on Thursday too. My friends took me out to lunch Friday to a local diner favorite on Park Ave. I raced to tie up all the loose ends, I sent out my farewell email, returned my laptop, and we got an early dismissal at 3pm. Here are some pictures. I was too busy to take pictures all around the office, but Olivia and Rick had a field day with my camera.

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Returning my laptop. I knew thee well.
Some captured moments with friends at the last dept holiday party
With Wayne -- we travelled internationally twice
Cyn -- I was her mentor when she started last year
My buddy Rick, hard at work
My friend Olivia

I slept pretty well Friday night. On Saturday, I got an oil change, car wash, then went shopping for a new wardrobe. I have a closet full of suits and ties, and barely anything appropriate for a business casual environment. So with a budget of $300, I hit the mall, and got an assortment of pants and shirts for $308. Not a bad start, I say. I'll have to supplement it with future purchases. Saturday evening, my mother-in-law came over to help out a bit, see her grandson, and help bathing Junior.

Both sets of parents came over for dinner Sunday night, with my Mom bringing all the food.

I've put more pictures in the Family gallery earlier than usual this evening. It's mucho importante to get a good night's sleep tonight, so I won't be late on my first day.

Friday, March 25th 2005

It's 6:19am, and I've been up the entire night. I brought the laptop home so I could make sure I've finished everything. Today is my last day, and I've spent the last 3 days cleaning up my office, sorting, shredding, and taking my books/manuals home. Let's not forget tying up loose ends, and so on. I can't wait to relax for the next two days, and then go to work on Monday. I really wish I had some time off.

Okay, time to get ready for work.

Wednesday, March 23rd 2005

And the countdown has begun. I have just two days left, then the weekend, and then my new job. People keep asking if I'm excited, and really, I just can't wait for the first payday. Any job you take should fit into your overall career goals, job satisfaction is important, work/life balance is important too.... but I really just care about the paycheck.

I got out of the office at 8:15pm this evening, took the 8:37pm train, and was home by 9:20pm. In that time, I was drenched by the stupid snow and sleet. Seriously, wasn't it comfortable yesterday? Snow? Sleet? Argh. It was an altogether unpleasant walk to Penn Station this evening. Cold, messy, and the sleet really hurt my delicate face.

BTW, Schiavo's parents are now appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. I got very irritated by congressmen and other legislators (sorry, politicians) chiming in on the case. Hey, where are the checks and balances if the legislative branch is going to overrule the judicial? Maybe some of the politicians believe in the right to life, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's just to look good in front of the evangelicals and the rest.

My take on the whole situation is to let her die. I mean, she's been in this vegetative state since 1990 -- 15 years. She is not going to recover. Her husband can't even get closure on the whole thing. He's living with his girlfriend and their two children. Can he get remarried? No. I'm not being callous.... just realistic.

From what I've read, most doctors say that while the videos of her "awake" look like she has consciousness, it's all reflexes and such. Experts say the videos are downright misleading. I'm sure her parents and family are hoping for this miraculous recovery, but her higher brain functions are dead. It's just a body now. Num and I agree that if we ever get into this situation, we'd rather have the plug pulled if there's no chance of recovery.

If you're virtually brain dead, then what's the point? Still, if you see her parents and family in the pictures, you can see the anguish, the inability to let go. That's gotta be impossible to imagine.

Tuesday, March 22nd 2005

My team surprised me by taking me out for lunch today. We hit this Minado all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet. A very nice surprise, and I will definitely miss them.

I got all sorts of treats from United Arlines today. First, I received my 2005 United Mileage Plus Premier card. I'm Premier now, and we have no place to go. Furthermore, they emailed me a promotion/reward. Because I'm so handsome, I got a free 10-song download coupon for Sony's crappy Connect service. Without spending a penny, we picked out 10 songs (Country & Christian for her; Electronica, Classic Rock, & Pop for me), downloaded them, burned them to CD, and ripped them via RealPlayer. Thanks United and Sony for the freebies!

I wonder if I've been denied promotions because I'm too sexy? This Harvard University librarian says that's what happened to her. Right.

My in-laws called and asked if they could come over last night. They desperately missed their grandson. Wow, talk about love. How could we say no?

I now consider U2's Achtung Baby and The Unforgettable Fire officially my two favorite U2 albums.

Monday, March 21st 2005

Why does everyone keep asking me for stories about Joshua? Isn't this my website? I'm out doing things all day. Josh eats, burps, sleeps, and makes poopy all day. This is what you want to hear about? I just told you everything. :)

Want to save some money on a holiday trip? Are ya bored? Paul sent me to the Nevashut. To me, it's obviously a Pringles ad, but you gotta entertain Sanjeev. If you do, he'll give you a Pringles can. If you do it five times, you win.

Sunday, March 20th 2005

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Father & son

Eventful weekend. I'm officially using Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 to do my websites (thankfully, I'm down to only two websites to administer), and I'm starting to get the hang of it. Mostly, it's just figuring out where everything is, and if I can do stuff easier with it or not. I even started trying out new page designs, but Num doesn't like my recent attempt. I didn't do any graphics or titles or anything, but just for the general layout. Call it a big sandbox.

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Crib mobile & nightlight
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John DeLorean

My mother-in-law left, so now we're on our own. Pretty scary, if you ask me. Let's see if we make it through tomorrow. Not too many people visited us this weekend. Friends Sunil & Ligy came by Sunday, as did my parents. Julie came over twice, as did my father-in-law. Pictures in the Family section. I actually started a Page 5, just for Josh.

I installed a mobile and a nighlight for the crib. What handiwork!

Vib & Deepa, thanks for the cookies & brownies. They're awesome.

Before I get ahead of myself, I've got some obit news to share -- John DeLorean (the automaker who designed the famous DeLorean sportscar) died here in NJ at the age of 80. He'll be buried later this week in Troy, Michigan.

A number of purchases this weekend. Picked up The Incredibles on DVD.... twice. (Bought it, found it cheaper somewhere else, returned the first one, picked up a cheaper copy, etc.) I also purchases a few new music downloads -- Christina Milian, The Chemical Brothers, and Israel Kamakawiwo`ole. He's Hawaiian, and sang this awesome version of "Over the Rainbow" that I heard on a recent Cold Case episode.

I played a bit of Warcraft 3 and Battlefield Vietnam on the computer Friday and Saturday. BFV wasn't too bad, and I beat one mission. I got my butt handed to me in Warcraft on an easy map. How sad.

Speaking of my computer, I picked up some DVD-R blank DVDs, so that we could make copies of our wedding DVD. I burned copies for both sets of parents, so I think that's cool. I'm a DVD-burnin' machine!

Thursday, March 17th 2005

I must say this every week, but is tomorrow Friday? Already? Woohoo!

We have no plans this weekend, but that sounds great to me. We have so much to watch, to play on the PC, and to do around here.

I published additional pictures of Josh. He's so cute, I could just eat him, and tell my wife later that I was sorry.

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Josh in his Baby Einstein
Argh, a beetle is going to eat me!
His "alert stage"?
This certainly isn't

Yesterday, I installed Cyberlink PowerDVD, Adobe Acrobat 7, and Macromedia MX 2004 on our computers. I haven't figured out how install Photoshop CS yet. I'm having trouble, because these are all bootleg copies. Yeah, yeah, software piracy, boohoo. You're breaking my heart.

Tuesday, March 15th 2005

I'm sitting here, trying to recap today. Nothing really interesting happened today. I had a pastrami sandwich for lunch. My father-in-law came over to join us for dinner. My mother-in-law and I went in the evening to the grocery store to pick up a few items. A bunch of us at work tried to figure out who was getting promoted tomorrow (we figured it out too.) I ordered my contacts. Spoke to Doug on the phone.

However, nothing really all that interesting. Guess it was just one of those blah days. I can't expect every day to be the usual circus that is my life.

Monday, March 14th 2005

Before I go into the big news of the day, let's look at the goals for 2005 that I mentioned back in Dec 2004.

  • Travelling to Hong Kong for business in January. Neato.
  • I'm not going to reveal the gender of the baby online, but I'm either going to be a Dad.... or a Mom.
  • I'll be focusing more on my career development this year. I feel that one should always be prepared for change.
  • With the return of good weather, I've got to get back on the fitness wagon. These belts may not be able to stand the strain for much longer.
  • We're going to try to attend church regularly.
  • Unless crying babies keep me up all night, I plan to take 1 or 2 parts of the CIA exam in May.
  • Num & I are going to seriously work on growing our savings this year.
  • Dare I say it? A new computer?

If you check it out, I've been to Hong Kong, we had the baby, we've been attending church regularly, we're working on building our savings, and I got the new computer. What's left? The CIA exam (postponed again), it's still too cold out there for cycling, and focusing on my career.

Today, I handed in my two weeks notice to my manager. I know there's way too much going on this month for us, but like I said, one should always be prepared for change. On March 28th, I'll be joining one of the largest banking and investment firms in the world, and it feels great. I'll be down on Wall St., still doing IT audits, and learning the world of capital markets, investment banking, etc. I'm looking forward to the experience.

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Joel "Portrait View" Ipe

I finally found out how to rotate my monitor to portrait view for websurfing, word processing. Mostly websurfing.

When I got back from work on Friday, with a little help from my buddy Plexy, I finished reformatting and setting up my old Dell computer for Julie. A fresh copy of WinXP Professional, Office 2003, etc. With a fresh install of Windows, it's working just as fast as ever. Now I'm just waiting for Julie to come pick it up, and get it out of here.

Just because I'm on a roll, I started redoing Num's "This laptop is so slow!" laptop. Too much junk, spyware, etc, and it was super-clunky when performing tasks. Using my Dell WinXP cd, the whole process worked like a charm on her IBM Thinkpad. From 10pm - 3am, I transferred all of her files, reformatted the PC, installed WinXP Pro, got it all set up, and then transferred everything back.

The verdict on her laptop? She loves it. I also installed TivoToGo on her laptop, and we're currently transferring all of her saved The Practice episodes saved on Tivo for her. This way, she can watch her shows from the bedroom!

Sunday, March 13th 2005

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He's cute, and he's home
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A scary balloon

Is it day 4 now? Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sunday. Day 5. Wow. I went to work on Thursday, and I brought Josh & his mommy home Thursday night. My parents came over too. After they left, I think we slept around 17 minutes that whole night. He wasn't quite getting enough to eat, so he needed to feed, then rest for 5 minutes, then feed again. It went on like this the entire night, and I seriously considered calling in a vacation or sick day.

However, I somehow managed to stumble into work by 10:30am Fri morning. All of my coworkers who did not have kids yet were sympathetic. All of the current parents just smiled smugly and said,

Welcome to the club.

Not one ounce of sympathy. It's like they've all become sadists, hoping others will suffer like they have.

Thankfully, my mother-in-law came over Friday around noon, and has been helping out around here ever since. She only went back Saturday night. Josh is doing much better now that his "food supply" is 100%. I can not tell you how nice it was to have him sleep soundly. My dept. also sent a nice bouquet of flowers and a balloon. Here's a little fact: Num tied the balloon to the front door, and I keep forgetting about it. Every time I open the door, the balloon is at the exact height to knock me in the face and surprise me. Every. Single. Time. How stupid am I?

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Battlefield Vietnam

Saturday was busy. Anju & Sunny came over to visit during their layover on the way from Dallas TX to Turkey (vacation). Plexy dropped them off, ate lunch, and then everyone just focused on the baby. Meanwhile, today was also our March LAN party day. I didn't get play a lot, but I played enough in the afternoon, between talking to our guests, and helping with diaper changes. I picked up Battlefield Vietnam (the latest in the Battlefield series) from Best Buy for $19.99. I'm not a fan of the Vietnam war, but the game is great. Even Sunny played for a while, and he loved it. In the evening, I took Anju & Sunny to JFK for their flight, and picked up 160 more diapers from Target. That should last us about 4 hours.

Hopefully, I'll get more playtime on the PC at next month's LAN party. Speaking of which, Battlefield 2 (modern warfare) looks to be releasing June 30th. I can't wait!

Missy is doing alright, but she's been hiding in the closet a lot while people come over to visit. This morning, she enjoyed the quiet, and came out to play and sun herself.

Junior is doing well today. Very well rested. Must be nice to be an infant. You know, I generally don't like kids, but I do like my own. Go figure.

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Who's disturbing me?
Don't you know the cat and I need our 22 hours of beauty sleep?

So my Dad is mad at me. Apparently, he's very embarrassed that people (i.e. their friends) go to this website, see Josh's pictures, scroll down further, and see Anna Nicole in all her stupid glory. I was going to post his email, but Num thinks that it'll get my Dad more annoyed. I had realized the difference in content between Saturday and Wednesday, but you know, I'm an Ipe. My sister and I are sarcastic, and like to make fun of people. This is what we do. Ah well. Parents. I took out the pictures, but there are links to the originals.

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Fisher-Price Bouncer

Speaking of making fun of people, gotta love the nitpicking viewpoint of the Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington. They're complaining about American politicians who "who slam porn as a scourge to society got big bucks from corporations that profit from adult videos and phone sex." Which corporations? Why, Marriott, Comcast, AT&T. I was expecting some good smutty company, but geez. Why don't you blame the USPS for allowing pornographic material to be mailed then? Or furniture makers that people could have "illicit intimate relations" on?

After much nagging, this evening I finally got around to putting together this Fisher-Price Bouncer thing that our friends Leena & Sanjay gave us back in Dec. Took me 5 minutes!

Wednesday, March 9th 2005

Where do I begin? Simply, Num went into labor on Tuesday, and Joshua David Ipe was born on Tuesday, March 8th 2005 @ 9pm. He weighs 7 lbs, and is 19.5 inches long. We've changed his diaper twice now. It's disgusting, but we adore him anyway. If you haven't heard the news from us directly, sorry, but we've been busy. Please don't take it as an insult!

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The crib
My friend Olivia's gift that she bought us in Hong Kong
It's Josh!
Nice hat
See the yawning?
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He does it alot
Is he thinking about cycling with me?
Is he thinking about his furry big sister?
One set of adoring grandparents
My Dad and his grandson
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So sleepy!
Look at that smile!
Aunt Julie and her little nephew
Is he thinking about science museums?
Our new addition to the family
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Wondering if he looks like me
Or my wife (on the right)

I've slept at home both Tuesday and Wednesday nights, as the nurses won't let me stay overnight without charging us $300 a night. As that would get us a really sweet room at the Hyatt, Num said to go home. I took off Tues and Wed, but I'll be back in the office Thurs and Fri. Thursday evening after work, I'm going to pick them up, and bring them home.

I can't believe little Josh showed up two weeks early. If you're wondering how I'm putting these pictures up, and asking if I'm tired.... I'm absolutely exhausted, but my son was born. I gotta publish his pictures!

Saturday, March 5th 2005

I love relaxing on a Saturday, with nothing really important to do. We did more cleaning/sorting/filing around here, grocery shopping, and TV watching. Not bad, I say. I really appreciated sleeping in until 11am.

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Penelope Cruz & Salma Hayek

I love foreign accents, but after listening to both Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek presenting at last weekend's Academy Awards show, I got tired of it after only 60 seconds. Go figure.

So my PC is doing better. After doing checking out all the connections inside, my PC is behaving very well. I even left it on all day today, and it's still performing awesomely. Folks, I think we're out of the woods. This month's LAN party will be here next Saturday, and I aim to have some fun.

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Ebirah, from Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster

I heard that large lobster, affectionately named "Bubba" died on the way to the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Awww, 50+ years and now he dies. The good news is that I found that picture of Ebirah, the giant lobster that battled Godzilla in the 1966 movie Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (or "Gojira-Ebira-Mosura: Nankai no daiketto", whichever you prefer.) My point is, should Bubba really surprise us? There have been giant lobsters for decades, and there are probably more. What we need to do is find Godzilla to protect us from them. "You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Okay, I mentioned yesterday that I had a good Anna Nicole Smith story. She's crazy, she's abusing drugs and alcohol, she married some really old billionaire, inherited his money, lost the money, gained, lost, got fat, lost weight, all very sad, I'm crying inside.

Of course, we all remember hearing that at last year's American Music Awards, Anna Nicole Smith was escorted off stage after acting loopy, rubbing her chest with her hand, and asking the audience if they liked her body. I saw the video, it was really, really weird. Think she can top that?

That's a silly question. At this week's MTV Australian Video Music Awards in Sydney, while presenting an award, Anna Nicole dropped her top, showed off the goods, and then jumped on the award winners, while still on stage. Is she crazy? Attention-starved? Trim Spa gone to her head? These are the questions that, well.... aw, it's Anna Nicole. How could you not love her?

I added a few links. Comedian Paul Varghese's website,, and Popdoh!. Of course, all are of questionable worth to society.

Howard Stern recently declared a woman named "Keyra" [real name is Julieta, a 19-year old student from Argentina] had (let me clean this up) the nicest 'butt' ever. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Well, see for yourself. WARNING: I wouldn't try the link from the office, but for all self-proclaimed "butt men", you will undoubtedly be pleased.

Did you ever wake up in the morning, and just wish you had some bacon? Sure you have. Ever wish you could have "an expert" come in, and have them cook the bacon for you? A woman in a tight white top? Sure you have. Didn't know who to call? Well, through the marvels of modern capitalism, you can schedule an appointment with a bacon expert from BaconWhores, who will gladly show up at your front door, and prepare bacon for you. I wasn't sure if it was legit, but how come all those Hollywood stars are wearing the T-shirts?

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Brad Pitt
Angelina Jolie

Weird. Also, I could use some bacon. Damn those powers of suggestion. I'm weak, I tell ya. Weak!!!

Re-reading today's blog entry, it involves two hot latina actresses, flashing breasts, a butt shot, two giant lobsters, and a company called "BaconWhores." Thank goodness I have church tomorrow.

Friday, March 4th 2005

Hello Friday. And hello, money in my bank account. No joke -- this was a rough week.

The 'home improvement' of sorts continues. I was up until 3:30am last night working on my computer. It's been acting flaky, hanging during reboots, and I've had one "fan failure" error message too. You can imagine that all of this had me worried something fierce. After reading most of the Dell online forums, cracking open my PC, and chatting with Dell Tech Support, I'm still not sure what's going on. The power connector for my CPU's fan was loose, or there was some conflicts with the USB devices, or overheating, etc.

I opened her up, and double-checked everything to make sure it was all plugged in tight, and so far, everything has been working fine. It's very disconcerting to not know what's wrong with your computer when it's only 3 days out of the box.

I have more I wanted to write about Penelope Cruz & Salma Hayek presenting @ the Oscar's, Anna Nicole Smith exposing herself, and a little entrepeneurial company called BaconWhores. However, I'm tired. Let's postpone it until tomorrow.

Thursday, March 3rd 2005

What? Tomorrow is Friday already? When I was younger, the weeks used to take forever. Now I blink, and the week is over. Is that a facet of getting older?

It's official -- we cancelled HBO yesterday. My family has had HBO since we ordered it in 1984 with our new TV (at the time). Nowadays, Num and I really don't watch it anymore. There's really nothing on it to watch that we like, and Tivo serves up enough for us from regular cable TV programming. I have a heavy heart over not having the option of watching HBO, but really, it saves us $19.95 a month, and we can rent movies from Netflix for $17.99/month. At least rented DVDs will have surround sound, etc.

After only selling 6,000 Segways since the initial launch in 2001, four new models are rolling out: the i80, the XT, the GT, and the p133. They're also showing off a new concept Segway model called the Centaur. I like the Segways, but Dean Kamen has to lower the price on those bad boys.

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Segway i80 (comes in three colors)
Segway® Cross-Terrain Transporter (XT)
Segway Golf Transporter (GT)

Segway p133, agile & compact

Centaur concept prototype

In computer land, I got the speakers all hooked up for 5.1 surround sound and optimized for THX quality, the scanner is installed, and I threw out more related trash. I've moved the PC off the floor, and into my desk cubby, so now we're all set. I have a few more apps to install, like Turbotax, but we're basically movin' and a groovin', shakin' and bakin' now.

I've narrowed down our future video editing software to Ulead VideoStudio 8 and Pinnacle Studio Plus 9. Of course, I'm not buying either until Junior starts crawling around or earlier, like July/August. Now we just need to select a camcorder.

Tomorrow is payday. You want to know what's so great about payday? Everything.

Wednesday, March 2nd 2005

It's so pretty.
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My new Dell Dimension 8400
My Dell 19" 1905FP Ultrasharp LCD
The new setup
Playing with Tivo2Go

The new PC arrived one day early, on Tuesday. Contrary to what you may believe, I did not dive into the box, whip out the computer, and just fire it up. I spent a few hours prepping the place -- vacuuming, dusting, reorganizing/untangling wires, shuffling furniture, and setting up network shares on my old PC so that I could copy files to the new PC. Once I did all that, then I set up the new stuff. Don't forget deleting all the crap Dell installs on the PC for you.

So far, the PC is very nice. It's fast, which I appreciate. I like that. I will say that, in no uncertain terms, I absolutely love the new LCD monitor. I have regained plenty of real estate in the living room, and on the desk. I should have done it months or years ago. It's friggin' great. I even moved the desk closer to the wall, since my old big monitor isn't here anymore.

I've started playing around with the free Tivo2Go from Tivo. Now, I can transfer shows/movies off our Tivo onto our home computers, watch them on the PC or laptop, or burn them to DVD using Sonic's MyDVD software (purchased separately). Neat! Right now, I'm transferring the Monday marathon of Farscape episodes to my PC. I'm still looking for hands-down excellent the best CD/DVD-burning software, and also video editing. So far, everyone has an opinion on why some are great, and why they suck.

I still haven't gotten my Logitech Z-5300 5.1 surround speakers to work yet. Argh. Maybe tomorrow.

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The lobster that ate Nantucket

Did you hear about this lobster they caught off of Nantucket, Mass. 22 lbs, and between 50-100 years old. Talk about large.

I hope all the snowstorms are over. I'm dying to hit the track and go running. We were cleaning today, and I had 3 trashbags and all the Dell boxes to take to the dumpster. Let me tell you that it is freezing out there. It's already March -- bring on the good weather.

I don't believe it. To jumpstart her career, Debbie Gibson (sorry, Deborah) did a 8-page pictoral in the current issue of Playboy. Debbie Gibson! In Playboy! I also found out that 80's singer Tiffany also did a pictoral in 2002. What is this world coming to? Hey Debbie, "Shake Your Love. Shake, shake shake."

As of yesterday, we're at T-minus 3 weeks until Baby Ipe arrives, give or take a couple of days. Whoa.