Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Yea, it's been a while. So what.

Absolutely no one has asked “What’s up with Special K?” Well tough, I’m going to tell you anyway.

Things are good, though they have been better. Those in my families who were sick are healing. Mr. C continues to recover from surgery. He is free of all foreign objects in his body. He has been cleared to drive and took that as an opportunity to go to Charleston, SC for lunch. For those who don’t know Carolina geography, that’s a 6 hour round trip for lunch. I am so glad he feels up to it.

My grandmother is doing better physically, but mentally she just isn’t there like she was just a few months ago. I’m sad for her. I’m sad that she has been sick and in pain. I’m sad that she doesn’t seem to have anything to look forward to. All of her friends and family of her generation is gone already. She did a great job in raising a great daughter (my mom) and son. Hell, she raised her brothers and sisters, so she raised kids through the depression and a world war. She was a fun Grandmother with way more patience than I deserved. I’m in no hurry to see her go. It’s just sad.

I’m traveling again. This time I’m in beautiful Atlanta, GA. It sure isn’t Jamaica. At least the weather was nice in J. Atlanta is probably the lease exciting big city I can think of. That’s because it is so much like Charlotte, just bigger. The tea is sweeter. The accents are thicker. The traffic is worse. Please take me home where my bed is softer and warmer.

My travel schedule is busy for January. I have one more week of potential ‘last minute’ travel on busniss. The second week of Jan is for study at (or near) home. Week 3 is for training for which I will travel to Redmond, WA. Then I return to CLT for the weekend before flying to Vegas with BG and Andres the Colombian. Rounders Mag and Zero Tilt Poker is having another event while I am there. That should make for another great time.

I’m going to miss Gold Preferred status on US Airways this year by 6000 miles. L

Christmas time was marked with catching up with folks I knew in High School. It was fun catching up with Jennifer and Tony (you can catch up with Tony at

I got everything on my Christmas list this year. It pays to keep your list short.

God, thank you for my wife. I just can’t say that enough.

I’ve decided that ‘American Idol’ is a good thing. I’m not about to start watching, but the music that is coming out of the winners (I count Clay as a winner) is not bad. Unlike Rap, it is at least musical. I has been awhile since there has been any good new music on the radio.

Poker is on for next Friday night. Pool is on for Tuesday. Y’all go find your own fun.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Short Week

I love short weeks. Tomorrow is a vacation day for Microsoft so this work week is only four days. It great to start the week with only 4 more days to the weekend. Especially this time of year. It’s not that I dislike work. Mine can be fun, in a very geeky sort of way. It’s just that there is very little day light outside of working hours. It gets very hard to accomplish anything that involves being outdoors this time of year. And if we get a rainy weekend then I’m going to be behind in my chores for the rest of the winter.

So yesterday was the beginning of winter and the shortest day of the year. October was the shortest month of 2005, but won’t be the shortest month of 2006. Do you know why?

All of that snow and generally cold weather that large parts of the country has been seeing is just a preview. I would say it was a “warm-up”, but would mix the metaphors a bit much.

I guess it is a short post, too. More from the road soon.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Back from Jamaica

'Twas the last weekend before Christmas...

I got back from my business trip in Jamaica late on Friday night. I really didn't do anything outside of the hotel except for work. I had one night out for dinner at a local sports bar. That was all of three blocks from the hotel. On the way I saw a flock of americans eating at the local KFC. What a waste that is, going all the way to Jamaica and eating the same crap that you can get in any city in the US.

Since I didn't get out, I also didn't get any good pictures. I tried to take a couple from the cab, but that was pretty weak. So no picture posting from this trip.

Thanks to my wife, I'm pretty much ready for Christmas. All of the gifts that need to be sent have been sent and the rest have been bought and are ready for delivery. Some are wrapped and some are not.

There might be some poker this week. Bullits is trying to host a game on Christmas Eve Eve. We'll see if the joy of the season has spread to the spouses. I'll probably warm up with some pub poker on Wednesday night. 'Tis the season for poker, I guess. I'll post my reports.

Y'all have a good week.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Three days in Jamaica and I haven’t blogged a thing. It’s not that there hasn’t been anything to write about. I’ve just been so damn busy that I’ve had no energy left. This customer has been keeping me hopping from sun up to sun down. We are making great progress, so that keep me going, perhaps a little longer than I should. But I’ve only got a day and a half more, so I can keep burning it. Besides, I know my coworkers burn it just as hard, so I can take it too.

So what are the things to blog about. First of all, Kingston is firmly ensconsed in the third world. I really don’t mean to be unkind in saying that. It is just so obvious when riding around town and from the airport to “New Kingston” in particular. There are many housed without roofs, garbage that looks like its been on the road side for years, and people that look like they no worked since they put out the garbage.

The Hilton hotel is very nice. I think this is one of the places that the Kingston middle class comes to live it up. I’ve seen tons of new grads and wedded couples roaming the lobby and restaurants. They all look so happy to be here. I like seeing that and I’m happy for them.

The currency is a hoot. I’m drinking my Red Stripe beer (HOORAY BEER!) right now. I’m betting it cost around $250. No, I didn’t miss the decimal, it is really $250 jamaican. Dinner was just over $3000. The exchange rate to USD is about 60:1. I feel like I’m spending like Johnny F. Chan.

It was at the end of the paragraph above that my appetizer came followed closely by my entre. None of this is too surprising since I am sitting in the sushi bar/restaurant of the hotel. Now for some odd reason, I’m feeling a scoshe more buzzed than before. It could be that the soy sauce or the Red Strip has more alcohol than I anticipated. Must be the soy sauce.

You haven’t lived until you have heard a reagge band play Christmas songs like “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.” I think this is the most English forgein country that I have ever seen. Jamaica was an English colony for hundreds of years. It makes the place very familiar in odd ways.

I love to hear the natives speak. They are so friendly to everyone. I can’t tell half the time when the native that I am with knows the person they are speaking to or not. They are so polite. It get embarssing having the door held open for me as much as it is. I won’t get used to it, but I could.

The weather is wonderful. The lows are in the high 60s and the highs are in the low 80s. The mountains are beautiful. The food is really good too. The Jamaicans are very picky about their food and they tend to eat really well. Chicken and seafood are the staples with beef very available, but expensive. Everything I have tried has be very tasty. The waiter at dinner last night took great pride as he explained that Red Stripe was “very good and world renouned.” How could I not have one or two after that.

This is a nice place, but I’ll still be happy to return home. This place in too much work. J I’ll have to see about coming back on a vacation . At this point, I would recommend it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Odd Ends

It has been a while since my last update. The flurry of activity over the Vegas weeks was a lot of fun and hard at the same time. That gave me a lot to write about. Since then it has been back to the grind. There's not much to write about the daily grind. I'm absolutely sure there will be no sympathy coming my way for that.

Here are some updates. Mr. C (my father-in-law and friend) is doing better. He is now off all tubes and needles and continues his recovery on track. There is still a lot of pain where his kidney used to be. If anyone reading this has had a kidney removed and remembers the length of the recovery process, please pass that along. You know how it can be nice to know what to expect. We continue to hope and pray for Mr. C’s complete recovery in the very near future. If you run into EasyEd on the tables at TiltZeroPoker, say Hi.

My next Vegas trip is already booked. Brian G. (who I think I will refer to as "Bullet" for the "Hold'em Bullets" tattoo he sports on his forearm) and Andres N. (who I would get a kick out of calling the Argentinean Asians, since he is from Colombia so it would irritate him greatly, though he would probably just think I was just another stupid American) and I (Special K) are jetting out to Vegas on January 24 for a few days of fun and poker. With a little luck they will happen at the same time. Tilt Zero Poker will be having another tourney at Binion’s and maybe some surprises again (see picture of me, Doyle, and Johnny below).

Business trips have been minimal. I had a trip to Durham last week and a local customer visit here in Charlotte. I have upcoming trips to Jamaica and Redmond, WA (the Borg Mother Ship as my younger brother likes to call it).

I did have an idea for this post, so here goes. I have heard several things recently that hit me as being very funny so I think I will share.

The first happened at Thanksgiving with my wife, Mother and Uncle in attendance. Our conversation worked around to the floods in New Orleans and the help those folks have been getting in various cities around the country. Then it was brought up that some folks receiving aid were not from New Orleans at all. That is when my mother exclaimed that "they are giving disasters a bad name." I about wet myself laughing. Sorry N.O., but that was funny as hell.

I don't really remember the context that well, but someone within earshot actually said "that is just the tip of the ice bucket."

The last item was from a coworker who was talking about an email he received from another coworker, this one for whom English is not the primary language. He explained out loud what was written and then added "I'm sure there is some language where that is hilarious." I can already tell I will take years refining the use of that particular line.

If the trip happens, I'll be sure to tote my camera to Jamaica, so come back for the pictures.