7.31.2012

Sleepy Time Junction

The most ironic part of telling someone that you have to have a 'sleep study' is that they instantly think that you're going to go do nothing but sleep soundly whilst being observed. This is only partly true.

There is a camera and mic in the room. And a control room from which I am monitored throughout the night.

But the 'sleeping soundly' part is bullshit.

 Last night was, without a doubt, one of the worst nights of sleep I have had in quite some time. And I found out last night that the CPAP that I'd been using for the last 14 years was really only doing a slightly better than marginal job. My mouth still opened during the night. I still snored (both of which my wife will attest to). Not to mention the damn thing was really starting to annoy me.

This was the sky at dusk as I was getting wired up for the sleep study.


What's that? Oh...yeah....seriously, I was wired up. I'm pretty sure this is what the aliens did to me, too. It all seemed so oddly familiar.


The sensors are glued...or rather pasted to my head...and various other areas around my body....then they stuck a tube around my face to measure air coming from my nostrils and mouth to see when I had a 'respiratory event' (or stopped breathing, in other words).

This was my view:



The RadioShack 101 Circuit Experiments box wound up hanging up to some thing next to the bed.

Needless to say, it was just not a good night of sleep. But what was cool about it, was that I got a new CPAP machine. It's smaller and WAY quieter than the one I've been using (think going to a Mercedes after driving a Yugo for 14 years). The only downside is that the mask is bigger and that's going to take some getting used to (but it's going to be better for me (and anyone trying to sleep around me).

So, yeah. Today was kind of like trying to swim in peanut butter coated jello after that. I'm still in something of a fog.

Speaking of fog....(so what...maybe I DO like starting every fourth paragraph with 'speaking of...'  hee hee...write your own blog if it bugs you so much. Haha!) Anyway...today was the last day of CS Graphics. 

CS Graphics is/was Dad's latest print shop incarnation. Well, now...it's officially his last. He's retired. The shop is packed up. And an era has ended.


Memories from childhood are few and far between it seems. But one thing I always remember. The smell. The smell of a print shop. And going in on the weekends and seeing Dad getting a rag and getting some magic liquid on it using the above contraption. He would then wipe down the plates before putting them on the press. 

I'm just a bit sad. I know it's technically a chapter in his life, but it feels like the close of a chapter in mine, too. I don't know quite how to explain it. But it's just weird. That's all. 

And with that I leave you of something that amused me at lunch today...Words with Friends is always good for some laughs whilst munching on my brown rice and chicken with jalapeno salsa (and a nice healthy side of Tony Packo's Pickles and Peppers).


It just made me giggle quietly to myself.

And with that, I go. Hopefully I'll get a better night's sleep tonight.

Peace out!

-A.T.

7.30.2012

For a facsimile we must admit

Doug E. Fresh is good and makes a perfect fit...

 

Sorry...went back to my old school roots there for a second. There's probably 3 people reading this. Well, there might be more. But there's probably 3 people of the 5 people that read this blog with any kind of regularity (Todd's Blog, now with more Fiber!!)...anyway, what was I saying? Oh right. There are 3 people of the 4 dentists' patients who chew gum that will know what the title and first line of today's post reference. The rest of you can you tube it. I'm sure it's pretty high near the top of your search results.

 

I got a little chuckle today at lunch (which is to say, about 10 minutes ago, since I'm technically still AT lunch. I'm in the middle of a little Words With Friends action and decided to test the limits of the lexicon by playing a little Danzig. Words was having none of it.

Which, really is kind of a bummer. It won't let you play "jawa" either. And I'm pretty sure that's been a word since 1977. The only bummer is that it doesn't always show everyone's real name (because it no longer has my facebook contacts to match up to). I thought I was actually going to make it entire post without talking about some aspect of Facebook. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I hope I'm not TOO terribly tired. I go in tonight for a sleep study (which I think I've mentioned previously). Basically I'm doing it to get a new CPAP machine and get out from under the shite service of Lincare. But really I just want a smaller quieter CPAP that doesn't sound like Darth Vader after a chili cook-off.

And since we've brought up the Dark Lord of the Sith...seems like a perfect segue to talk about my upcoming work trip to the former home of the Colts. Yeah...I'm not sure what one really has to do with the other either. But in any event, I'll be spending 2 weeks in August in Baltimore helping get things in shape for the new store. I figure its ok to at least mention it since it's been announced in a press release, so I'm not spilling any secrets. And the Unicorn inlay for the counter tops will be in by then too. Oh...mayhaps I wasn't supposed to mention that. Strike that. Just forget I said anything about that. These aren't the droids you're looking for and what not.

Work is going surprisingly well, actually. I'm 4 months in to it and still love my job and get along well with the people I work with. Some better than others, but I'm chalking that up to the fact that I don't know the others well enough yet. And I get to learn how to operate the Scissor Lift in the next week or 2. Which is good, because will need it to run the Hydra tentacles...er...cables in the new store.

Part of me feels kinda bad that you actually read through that post. It wasn't really much more than a bit of inane ramblings. Which is to say...it's pretty much like the rest of the blog.

 

And with that, I finish up my lunch and head out to the rest of my work day. I was in at 7, so it will be an early day out (at about 4 or so). Which is cool.

Have a good one!

 

-A.T.

 

 

*the song is "Santa's Rap" by the Treacherous Three from the Beat Street soundtrack (Vol.1).

7.29.2012

Awwwwww....and the forging of the rings

This post (as most of my blogging posts of late) serves a dual purpose.  The first is to give me something to look back on from some time in the future and get a sense of where my head was at at the time. The second is really just to amuse anyone who might be reading it. In other words...it's a way for me to get that sh*t that's rattling around in my head OUT of my head. To make way, usually, for more things to seep in and rattle around.

Great. Now that we got that out of the way, we now paws for a moment of extreme cuteness:


Awwwww.  He's so cute when he's all balled up and sleepytime. Max is generally a good pup....when he's not being all barky at nothing for no reason and dorkified. 

Speaking of Sleepytime....I watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics Friday night, because, well...TV had me convinced it would be mostly un-American to skip out on such programming. 
I have to say...it pretty much kicked ass. I also have to say that they really should have stopped after the forging of the rings and that whole display of pyrotechnical awesomeness. The rest of it just seemed....well...masturbatory. I mean, it was neat..but seemed a bit--meh--to me. Dunno. Could just be me. But it seems like they peaked with the Rings bit. 

And the parade of nations just never made any sense to me. To me it's like Golf or Baseball. I'm sure it's amazing for the athletes, but it's boring as sin to watch. And some of the commentating was just annoying. I left at Greece (I think), and headed to Brew-Stirs. Yes, I realize I missed Sir Paul McCartney. I'm ok with that. I dig him, but I can watch those clips any time thanks to the beauty of the interwebs. 

Saturday was a pretty good day. Although it bordered on surreal. Mom and Dad are closing up shop. This weekend is pretty much the last weekend. They'll be out by Tuesday. My neighbor, Todd, is helping me load up things that we want. It just feels weird, scavenging through bits and pieces of that labor of love....


This is the first round of stuff we brought back. There's gonna be a few more trips today. Yeah. A teensie bit surreal to me. I just can't really imagine Dad not having a print shop.

We went from that yesterday to my grown up baby girl getting her first smart-phone. She got an iPhone. After which we went to MicroCenter to get a case for it (employee discount SO rules!). And, since we were in the area...we had to stop at Lily's for the BEST egg rolls in Columbus. Seriously. I think they must put heroin or something in these things because they are SO good. They don't ever feel greasy or heavy when you eat them. I can easily eat 4 in a sitting (although I stuck to 2 yesterday). I also got my new favorite, the Asian BBQ pork:

So tasty. With some fresh Bok Choy. Seriously, this stuff is amazing. And again, it doesn't feel heavy. I ate half for lunch and the rest last night for dinner. SO yummy.

Today on deck is more scavenging at Dad's. And then some photo editing. Should be a good day overall.

Hope your weekend has been equally as awesome!

Peace out!

-A.T.

(figured I'd leave you with one more 'AWWWWWWWWWWW')




7.27.2012

Days Dan Confused

I may have mentioned about my long work week last week. Please keep in mind, that was not a bitch fest. And while I can honestly say I was tired as sh*t at the end of the week, I can also honestly say that when you are in the midst of a fantastic company, the occasional long day and week doesn't really become that much of an issue. I've bought in to the fact that it's a fantastic company to work for. So, I want to do my part to make it kick ass.

And brothers and sisters, that's a welcome change of pace for me.

Anyway, because of the week last week, I was going to take today off as a sort of comp day. I had big plans of working on some photography related things and also maybe finally get the downstairs area organized.

Then the fun storm rolled through last night.

As soon as I saw it get dark at work, I texted my wife. "If we lose power, we're getting a generator. Period"

With 3 90degree days on the horizon, I wasn't going to go through that isht again.

She texted back that a piece of the tree had fallen.


That "piece" actually turned out to be about 25-30 feet of the top of one of the trees. Luckily my neighbors still had not repaired their fence from the last storm, so that was one thing I had in my favor.  I knew it was going to be hot today. So, I changed in to a t-shirt and work boots and grabbed the chain saw.

An hour later, it looked like this:

I cut up all of it in to what I would consider 'pieces', heaved them over the fence in to my yard and cleaned up as much as I could. There was really about 3 good size trees worth of crap there that had fallen. 

I went out this morning to start working on getting it cut down and hauled out, but damn...it's hot already and the humidity is so high that I figured heat stroke was NOT worth it.

Now I'm back inside....working on the studio...or will be soon as I press 'Publish' on this random meandering of gibberish.

Stay thirsty my friends.

-A.T.


7.24.2012

How Easy Do You Think It Is?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I'm not a huge fan of basketball. But I am a fan of Michael Jordon. The man is inspirational.

Check this out:


That's one of my favorite Jordan commercials. And no...none of what I just typed is the secret.

Here's the secret.

I struggle...EVERY DAY with this weight loss journey I'm on.

Every.
Single.
Day.

Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm very happy that I inspire you (if, in fact, I do) to want to be healthier. 

But you can't use me as your barometer.  You can not look at my total numbers and think that you can do it. "If Todd can do it, so can I" will NOT fly if you are serious about this.

If you're going to do this..and be serious about it succeeding, you're going to have to look to one person and only one person.

You.
If I'm your measuring stick, you're going to fail. I'm going to tell you that right now. If you're comparing yourself to me, you're doing us both a disservice. I'm not you. And you're not me.

You see....here's the thing. Yes...I started this journey seriously back in November. Yes, I have a goal of losing 103 pounds. And yes, I've lost 59 pounds to date.

And that sounds amazing. Maybe you're frustrated because you're following along the same course I took and you're not seeing the numbers.

Do you want to know the reality? Get up on www.myfitnesspal.com and be my pal (look under Filmdude71). And then look at my weigh ins. Sure....I've lost 59 pounds total....

BUT...it has NOT been a straight loss of pounds. The pounds come off....some weight comes back on...some more weight comes off....some comes back on.

The OVERALL is downward...but it's not a straight line by any means.

This is NOT easy for me. Make no mistake about it. I'm a food frickin' junkie, OK? 

I have to make a conscious decision every day to have that meal replacement shake for breakfast instead of half a box of cereal
.
I have to make a conscious decision EVERY DAY to get on that bike and ride. Some days I don't. Most I do. 

I have to KEEP WALKING every day past that Vending Machine with the snacks that I could scarf dwon in minutes flat.

None of this is easy. Some days I don't live up to the expectations I've set for me. I'm human. I know that. I'm going to have days where I don't do what I need to. But the very next day (or minute or second), I get back in that mind set of 'NoMoreFatTodd' and go from there.

And now you know where the Michael Jordon commercial comes in. 

I'm sorry if I made it seem like this is a walk in the park for me. True...the products I'm using, and the plan I'm following and the healthy choices I'm making ARE easier than anything I've tried in the past. But that does not mean that it is easy. It just means I struggle less with sticking to this lifestyle change than I ever did before.

I'm going to let you in on the secret....my overall goal was to lose 103 pounds total. I wanted to do it in a year, but I'm not putting an end date on it...because to me it's more important that I REACH the goal (the when really doesn't matter, as long as I continue to make progress). I figured as long as I lost 1-2 pounds a week, I'd be on target.

Now lets look at that big impressive "59" and reveal it for what it is.

Jibberish.

Seriously...there is only one total that concerns me, and that is 103. I'm not looking to get hung up on the numbers along the way. (Although 51 1/2 was good because it was the halfway point).

But..realistically....I'm going one pound at a time. 

I've been at this for nearly 37 weeks. So...59 pounds divided by 37 weeks. That's about 1 1/2 lbs a week.
Right on target.

 I'm much too far along to go back. That's not an option. 

You see....I can't tell that you can do this. I can't tell you that you'll succeed. YOU have to tell you that.

Having someone believe in you is important. But you have to look yourself in the mirror and believe it when you tell yourself "I know I AM going to succeed."

I've already gotten rid of my fat clothes. I get rid of clothes as I out grow them (or rather, they outgrow me). The thrift store is my friend.

But I'm not going back. Again, that's not an option.

I'm going to do whatever it takes.

If it takes eating more brown rice and not as much pasta (if any), I'm doing it. If it takes giving up all soda...I'm doing it.  

If it takes drinking a gallon of water a day, I'm doing it.

There is no going back for me.

That's my contribution to this. Yes...I take vitamins and supplements. Yes...they may or may not work for you. But they are NOT magic pills.

They are tools.

The key ingredient in making them (or any program) work is you.YOU.

I'm not where I want to be. But I'm on my way. And I'm not going back. EVER.

When you get to the point that failure is no longer an option and you will do whatever it takes to avoid failure, then you will succeed.

I'm sorry. I should have told you that earlier.

-A.T.








(P.S......the above little diatribe pretty much applies to life in general....whether it's your journey to get healthier..or a shitty job....or relationship....or your dream job or whatever. When failure is no long an option, you'll do what it takes to make it work. Whatever that something is for you).

7.23.2012

Sleep! Doctor's Orders

So....the sleep study that I thought was last night...

wait, before I get going on that. Did I really just start the post with 'so'?  I hate it when people do that in actual conversation, because it usually means that they are just talking over whomever just said something, or want all attention focused on what they are about to say, as though you should stop and give them your undivided attention. Well, I guess in that case it makes sense that I started the post out that way, but damn. I hate catching myself doing things that bug the crap out of me when other people do them. Seriously. I don't think very many people use the word 'so' correctly in conversation these days.

adverb.  thus - such - too - also - that




Which, if you look, none of those words would make sense where I used 'so' previously. So, I guess I used it incorrectly.

Bad Todd. Heh.

Do you ever have entire conversations with people in your head and then get mad at them when they don't remember the conversation later when you see that person in real life?

Yeah. Me either. Hehe.  "LOL" seems so fitting in some venues, but it seems like such a cop out on ye olde blogging blog. For reals. I mean, it's not like I'm not writing anyway. It's not going to kill me to find some way of letting you know I'm very amused. Besides, most of the time I'm not actually laughing out loud. I'm laughing quietly inside my head with a stupid smile on my face. And LQIMHWASSOMF is just too complicated to remember.  SO.....I won't do that either.


Yup. Saw this last night with some friends. And Yup. It was epic and awesome all wrapped up in to two hours and forty-four minutes of kickassery. I very much want to talk about it, but I don't really think I could do so without inadvertently dropping a few spoilers. Suffice to say--I pegged the trigger person early on in the flick. And no...I don't think I'm smarter than Batman. I just had the benefit of seeing other things going on that he didn't, because, well, he wasn't in that part of the movie I was just watching. 

I love when people do that after seeing a movie or reading a book. They're all like "Jeesh! How come so and so couldn't figure that out? I figured it out in the first 10minutes/chapter." Well...perhaps because (A)they're fictional characters, and (B)they didn't see/read all the backstory you just did because they weren't in those chapters/scenes.

Anywhoo. The movie. It was awesome. I was talking to my friend Mobes about it (because I knew he'd already seen it and this was his second time) after and said 'Dude...that was awesome.' To which he replied "I know! I said that earlier. Didn't you see my Facebook post?"  I said (with some amount of glee, I will admit), "No. I didn't. I don't see ANYBODY'S Facebook posts anymore. 

Ahhhh good times.

Seriously, though. The movie was epic. And the only reason I got to hang with my pals Mobes and Clarke last night was because the sleep study that I thought was last night is actually tonight.

So....the glue...the wires...the sleep annnnnnnnnd NOW!...  yeah. That's all happening tonight. Good times.

And now, time to go get ready for work.

Hoping you have an awesome-sauce day full of Jelly. And hey, if Monday treats you poorly, don't take it out on Tuesday. Save up that annoyance for another 6 days and kick its ass next week. Always worked for me.

Peace out!

-A.T.

7.22.2012

Hey You! Who said that? Baby how you been?

One of these days I'll do a post where the title isn't a song lyric. Today is not that day.
Tomorrow's not looking good either.

So...this week has been a LONNNNNNNNNNG week at work. I think I worked about 60 hours. With the longest day being yesterday. Pulled a 13 hour shift. Solo. It's actually not as bad as it sounds.

I guess that's the difference. Sure...it felt like a long week. And by 9 O'Clock last night, I was ready to go. But I still love my job. nearly 4 months in and I still think it's the best career move I've made.

Which is freakin' awesome!!

Speaking of awesome...the day started off with the scale telling me I was down to 268.4!! Which, if you're keeping score at home, is 60lbs lost since November! Must be a week of 60's.  Now, I'm realistic...I know it's going to fluctuate a bit before it steadies in the 60's...but it was still a great way to start the day.

And then, there was the drive in to work. I love love LOVE it when the perfect playlist just unfolds. It's even better when it happens on the radio (which isn't too often). But yesterday morning it did. And it Rocked!!

Here's a breakdown:

"Jump"--Van Halen...in my mind, one of their best (even though it's pretty much saying 'ok...if you think your life sucks, you're an idiot and you might as well jump, otherwise love life. No...really, that's pretty much what the lyrics are saying. Go listen to it if you don't believe me).

"Runaway"--BonJovi...a perfect synth run starts the track then makes way for some blistering vocals and guitar work. No need to turn the volume down the 'ROCKYOURNARDSOFF' setting on the dial still applies.

"Smoke On The Water"--Deep Purple...again, volume can stay cranked on this one. This is pretty much the first song you have to learn when you get a guitar. I'm pretty sure it's a law somewhere.

"The Happiest Days of Our Lives/Another Brick In the Wall (pt. 2)"--Pink Floyd..again...no need to turn the volume down. Well...maybe just a bit when that screaming guitar comes in between the two songs.

So, yeah. It was a great drive in. Way to go QFM96.  I can recall something happening when driving that made me think 'oh man...I'm gonna bitch about that on my blog'....but, as it's more than 24hours later and I can no longer remember said 'something', clearly it wasn't worth mentioning.

Ended out the week with a little trip to Brew-Stirs. Seemed fitting. I didn't go Friday night (because of said working a long ass Saturday), so it was nice to cut loose a bit. Ran in to some old friends...met some new ones. Danced my arse off. It always amuses me when I dance. I know I'm still 'heavy'....sure, I've lost 60lbs, but I'm not where I want to be yet. And that's cool. But what's funny is the look on peoples faces when I start dancing. Like "Dude...I didn't know a big man could move like that!" and it cracks me up every time. Here's the secret....I learned the dances 20 years ago...when I wasn't fat. And my body still remembers them. Secret number two....I don't care who's watching. I'm not dancing for you...I'm dancing because the groove has hit that funk-muscle in such a way that it needs to be exercised. Hence the dancing. As I continue to get in to better shape, it's only going to get more awesomer. So hang on. And brush up on your Kid-N-Play kick step because we're gonna be rockin' that sh*t out!

Today's kind of a bit on the crazy tip. I'm heading over to CS Graphics to do some final walk throughs. Dad's retiring (I know...I can't quite believe it either). But it's true. It's really hard to imagine him not doing Printing.  One of his colleagues in the industry said it best "It's hard to imagine the Printing business in Columbus without you in it"

When I hear things like that, it makes me realize that he's kind of a local legend. A guru of a craft that has largely gone the way of computers and technology. But Dad really is an artisan. I'm not sure how retirement is going to treat him. But I'm guessing it's going to be a rough day when he closes the doors on that shop for the last time. It's kind of weird for me, too. There's a certain smell in a print shop....the ink...the platewash...the fixative...it just all smells 'right' to me. It's a comforting smell. My earliest memories of me and my dad are from a print shop.  I've grown up around it my whole life. I guess it's going to be a bit rough for me too, not being able to just pop in to visit....smell that smell...hear the clackity clack of the presses running.

My brother still works for a printing company, a bit bigger than Dad's. So...maybe I'll just have to visit him more.

So....after the trip to CS, I'm heading over to set up some PC's at Mom and Dad's house and then off to a Sleep Study. Which, if you've never heard anyone talk about one is basically this--They glue a bunch of wires and sensors all over your head and chest--yes, GLUE-- and then they say, "Ok...sleep...NOW!"  I had one nearly 14 years ago...so I know I'm due for another one. It just makes for a long day after, because you don't really get to sleep sleep, despite what they named it. I'll probably take the iPad, hoping they at least have some wi-fi.

Alright....time to roll in to this day and see what it brings.

Peace out!!

-A.T.

7.20.2012

Eww

Note to self....

Dear Future Todd,
I know at one point you used to think that ANY pickle was a good pickle. And for the most part, your 40 years of existence in this lifetime has born that out.

Until now.

Please, when this jar is finished (because it's a shame to waste even a bad pickle), but PLEASE do not ever buy 'Sugar Free Bread and Butter Pickle Chips' again.

Splenda doesn't work in pickles. Period.

Thank you
Present Todd

7.19.2012

Earth Was Moving Time Stood Still

It's been a crazy week. That's not really as much of an overstatement as it might seem. We've got a couple of people on vacation at work...so I've been having to work some longer hours and shifts that I don't normally work. 

The funny thing about it is, I don't mind at all. 

Have I covered this already? I kind of think that I might have. I am feeling a bit too lazy right now, though to actually pull up previous blog posts and see.

And like any pseudo-intellectual positing thoughts of cerebral anarchy on the interwebs, I start every awesome-sauce post out by titling it with a semi-obscure song lyric from a classically 'alternative' track.

Oh, and pictures of clouds. We can't forget them.


Ahhhh. Much better. Speaking of work, I'm a bit of a goofball sometimes. I'm pretty sure they are at once both pleased and slightly frightened that they hired me. We had a fan in the server room (in case one of the AC units died)...unfortunately, it's dead. 

So, as I do with things that are dead, I had some fun with it...(wait...that totally didn't come out right). Anyway....here you have it...

It's you're number one fan!!! Get it?? Hehe....yeah...I went there. And yes... I really DO just crack myself up sometimes. And you know what? I'm ok with that.

Speaking of photography (no. I wasn't, but so what?). I was picking some things up from CS Graphics...and saw this from when Dad ran my last batch of business cards. I thought it was cool. I'm gonna probably wind up framing it because I just think it's that cool. 

And, if you did happen to need a photographer, look me up (the number's on the card, and the web site is due to be updated).

So...back to the weird hours this week. I was leaving for work at 12 (I was working 1230-9) and decided to go through Arby's drive thru and get a couple of sammiches to munch on during the commute. I pulled up and the faceless voice at the menu board said 'Welcome to Arby's, our drive through register isn't working, can you come inside to complete your order?'

To which I said "No. I can't. I came to the drive through for a reason. To NOT get out of my car" and I drove off. 

Yeah....drove out of the drive through without getting my food. Went over to Timmy Ho's and got a couple of chicken snack wraps instead. Oh, sure. The time I spent driving from Arby's to Tim Horton's was probably more than the time it would have taken to pull around and walk in to Arbys for my order.

Point was...I WANTED to go through a DRIVE THRU...I was comfy in my car...and didn't have to stand next to anyone else in the sweaty lunchtime crowd. That's kind of the whole point.  That's the second time I've driven out of Arby's Drive Thru without ordering. The first was last week. I drove up and asked if they still had the 2 Arby Q's for $4. She said 'no, they're the regular price, would you like to order them?' I said 'no thank you.' and drove off.

I have to say, I've been fortunate in that both times, there hasn't been anyone in front of me. Nothing kills a good drive off like having to wait for the car in front of you. 

It's all good though, on the way to work I got behind this truck. I have to say, it's quite possibly one of the most unfortunate website URI's I've had the pleasure of seeing in person. I don't know what a sex press is...or why Mario has one...and why it takes such a big truck. But it made me giggle. Or rather, it made the 12 yr old boy inside me that still laughs at dick and fart jokes giggle.



And with that we roll on in to Friday. I've been feeling the familiar philosophical tuggings lately. That whole 'splinter in your mind' analogy that Morpheus capped so well in the first (and still best) movie of the Matrix franchise (it's not fair to call it a trilogy since there was the Animatrix and the games that were supposed to also fill in the story).

Anywhoo....not sure where that's all going to wind up. I feel like there's some big things on the horizon. I can't say what they are or what they even mean. It's just like....you know sometimes how you can smell rain coming? Or maybe it's just me...I can honestly smell rain  on the way before it hits. Not always, but enough to know I'm not crazy (at least not about that). But it's like that. Rain's coming. Only not like rain rain...but some kind of ethereal rain.  I can smell it on the air.

With that, I take my leave for the evening. Stories of good-times karaoke and physics defying pool shots will have to wait until the morrow.

My wooby's looking tired.

Peace out.

-A.T.


7.17.2012

Cutting to the Core of this Apple Shite

So...one really cool thing about getting a Mac from a business that had it all tricked out for pre-press imaging is that I have Adobe CS4 already loaded and shit's dialed in for that.

The not so really cool thing is that there's all this other stuff on there which, for a printing company-is pretty much a requisite. For a up and coming photographer, not so much. So I have a feeling that the next couple weeks are going to be spent tweaking and dialing in the machine to make sure that it's running at its optimum for what I'm going to be using it for.

I'm still completely pumped. :-)

In other news...I saw the sleep doc yesterday. Well, technically I saw the sleep nurse practitioner yesterday. But she assessed me and determined that yes, after 14 years since the last sleep study, it was probably time that I do another. And it looks like I'll be getting a new CPAP machine. A smaller, quieter one hopefully. No more sleeping in Darth Vader's bathroom for me. I'm sure Nancy will like that.  Not sure when the 'hook a ton of wires to your head then make you sleep' study is going to be, but it should be interesting. Hope they have free wi-fi.

The weight loss journey is going well. I'm bouncing around a bit, but still at a solid 55 lbs lost. I'm hitting that plateau point. I'm getting ready to repeat the full Advocare 24 Day Challenge (including the herbal cleanse) again just to see if I can kick start it back on track. And I've got some of those fancy dancy push-up bars. I figure I need to add something else in to the routine besides just the bike every morning (although, to be honest--I am getting to the point where I need the bike....the days I don't ride just blow chunks).


Awww yeah! It's almost air show time. Labor Day weekend....the Cleveland National Air Show. I can't wait!! This will be my 3rd year.  And one thing I'm super jacked about is that each year, I wind up going with a better camera and better lenses. Not only that, but I'm getting better as a photographer (and getting comfortable with my gear--which is key). So...add all that to the 6-8 frames/second that I can shoot with the D300, and I am  hoping for some kick-ass photos this  year!! If you like planes and all the kickassery that goes along with them, you should definitely check it out.

And on that note, I'm gonna get ready to head in to work. There's a bit of a lot to do this week and I'm excited to get to it.

Have a fantastic day full of blessings! (If you're not sure whether you're blessed or not...look around, I'm willing to bet that there's at least one blessing. Start with waking up--when you realize that the day you've been given is a gift, then everything starts to be a little bit cooler).

Peace Out!
-A.T.

7.16.2012

Ain't Nothin' But A G Thang, Baby

You can't really see it too well from this pic (thank you Instagram), but that's a G5 MacPro under my desk and 2 Mac Cinema Displays (of differing vintages, but same size) atop the desk.

This is another step in the dream. Courtesy of my parents. No, Mommy and Daddy didn't run out to the Apple store and buy Toddy a new Mac for his photography. They put years and years in to building their business. This was a production machine for their graphic arts and print company. And this summer, they are closing up shop.

Rather than mess with eBay or Craig's List (and all the ensuing hassle that comes with selling a used computer), they knew that it would greatly help my photography business along (what aspiring photographer can't use a G5 pre-loaded with Adobe CS4 Design Suite? Yeah. I can't think of one either).

Needless to say, I'm stoked. This machine represents a significant chunk of what was once their dream and is going to help me grow and foster mine. Both from a business side..and a gaining experience side. Oh, there's still some cleaning up to do...some tweaking here and there to dial it in to my work flow. I'm completely pumped about it, though.

I know it means I owe Dad tech support for life...and he gets a free pro-photographer for any event of his choosing. But I'd say it's quite a fair trade. And at 5  years old, it's still new enough that it's going to do what I need it to do for quite some time yet.

And now for something completely...oh...yeah...forgot, the Brits kind of have a corner on that one.

Anywhoo. I haven't been here for a while. And that's because I've been working. Working like a mo-fo.  One cool thing about being the Team Lead is that people on the team are starting to now come to me for guidance. I'm starting to feel like I can actually fulfill the role they hired me for. The downside to that is that when it comes to things like coverage (we're a 24/7 shop), if people on the team can't cover vacations, it comes on to the Team Lead's shoulders. And that guy is me.

Now...don't get me wrong...that's not a complaint. I'm not bitching about my job. The difference in working for a place you love and a place you have grown to hate when it comes to things like making sure schedules are covered is night and day. These days I actually take pride in our team and WANT things to be done the right way..and to make sure there is coverage, even if it means I get to play a few less rounds of Words With Friends. It's all part of it. Part of sowing the seeds. Part of investing my time in a company that I know is going to appreciate me.

In short, it's cool. I don't mind. It's a good place to be...this place I'm at.

Now, ask me again next week if I'm still cool with it (I'm sure I will be, but next week we'll be through the brunt of the summer vacations).

Looking up at the clock, hard to believe it's not even 9PM yet. This might be an early night for the Toddster.

OK friends and fam, I'm out.

Have a great rest of your evening.

-A.T.

7.12.2012

Fallout

So...apparently FB was a little more integrated with certain functions of my phone than I had previously realized. There are certain things that nearly a month after killing the account I'm noticing.

The main oddity is when I get text messages. These are from people that clearly know me...aspects of my life...my favorite brand of mid-80's sneaker.That kind of thing.

And I have no clue who they are because all that comes across in the text message is a phone number. So...if I ask 'who is this', please don't get offended. I probably never knew your number to begin with and when I deleted my facebook account, I lost the link to that kind of information (see, if you are fb friends with someone who has their phone number listed in their profile, it will show up in the contacts of your smart phone almost as if by magic). So...break that connection, lose the contact (in more ways than one at times).

Speaking of re-connecting. I went back to my old Karaoke stomping grounds last night. I'm not sure how I feel about it. It was different. Cat wasn't doing it now. I sang my staples ("Turn the Page", "The Weight", "Love Shack", and "Bust A Move"), so that was cool. It was funny, before I would have stayed and closed it down...gone in to work hungover and just dealt with it. I left (relatively) early last night. I said 'I love my new job and don't want to mess it up.' That statement was understood by all :-)

Speaking of awesomeness...I'm on a NASCAR. I mean..not one that's actively racing, but still. It's the one in front of Quaker Steak and Lube on Polaris Parkway. It was donated to the Make it Fit Foundation (to raise money to help put an end to Autism). And I made it on the car as one of the sponsor decals.

I'm pretty stoked about it. I think I'm the only photographer listed on the car (which means I'll have to step up and fix my web site...but I'm overdue for that anyway). It's another example of how fantastic things can happen in your life when you do the right thing for the right reasons and as my friend put it 'get out of your own way'.

 

My logo is to the lower left of the "11" on the door. Pretty stoked indeed!! If you're a follower of NASCAR, the car IS an actual car that raced. In it's active life, it was the Viagra-sponsored car. I never followed the 'sport,' so I couldn't tell the number the driver, any of that mess. But it's hard to forget it was the Viagra card.

The thing that makes it the coolest is just how much QSL has jumped in and is really helping the Make It Fit Foundation. They host events there for the foundation. And with what they've donated, it's just amazing to see people come together to fight the scourge of Autism. I have no doubt with that people they have involved in this group, they'll wipe Autism off the planet. It's just very cool to be a part of such a group.

Alright, lunch is over. Time to get back to work.

For those missing the old Todd, this one's for you:

 

May your day be full of awesome-sauce, the likes of which you have never seen!

 

-A.T.

7.10.2012

Bite Size Morsels of Who Gives A Rat's Ass

Heh. Bitter much Cocheese?

Meh. Not much.

I was putting laundry...well...from one thing to the other (either washer to dryer or dryer to basket, can't quite remember quite which now) and I walked by the boy playing Mine Craft. And I got one of those 'magnet's stuck in my head. You know the ones I mean...where they take and old timey looking pic and put something snarky on it. Mine would say: 
"Yes, I'm familiar with MineCraft. Building shit with blocks. When I was a kid, we called them 'LEGOs'."

And I laughed and cursed, very nearly simultaneously because it's bite-sized bits of wit (wit-bits) if you will, that would have blown up oldTodd's Facebook wall. So...to feel somewhat vindicated, I put it on Google+, to die in relative obscurity.

Speaking of vindication...had a great time tonight with C.J. and Shayne, both of whom are fellow ex-Pats from the place I used to work. It was great to see them...laugh..share the worlds best egg rolls...and rest secure in the knowledge that in the morning, none of the three of us would be going to work in a place I have affectionately come to think of as the 3rd circle of Hell*.

It was truly fantastic to see what has transpired in our lives since we all worked together. As usual, Shayne had some fantastically awesome stories. Dude can weave a yarn...and his laugh is as infectious as ever. It was a good evening.

Chilling with laundry on the spin cycle.

I can't help but look around and feel blessed at the things in my life. 

A trip down to KY is on the horizon...due to some things going on in Dad's corner of the world, it's looking like a solo trip...and maybe that's needed right now. I need a few days completely disconnected...just me and my journals and thoughts. And see what shakes out.

I know it's not much tonight...but it's all I got. I've got to go check on the laundry and look through some photos.

Tomorrow they're unveiling the NASCAR that was donated to the Make It Fit Foundation, so I'll be there getting pix.

Speaking of pix, time to do some editing.

Talk to you soon!

-A.T.















*To be fair...the third circle of Hell (according to Dante) was Gluttony. And in a lot of ways this fits, but that is a story for another time..because quite honestly, to spend any more time on that place other than a cursory "I'm so very glad I'm out, and blessed to have come so far" would be to give that place more power and credence than it deserves.

7.09.2012

They Just Keep Staring

Last week was definitely an off week. Not having power for 7 days blew chunks. And it got me off my routine. Which up to that point was, wake up, hit the bike and watch a bad B-movie of the action genre whilst riding. Kinda hard to do that when there's no power for the Internet Router...makes streaming Netflix a bit tough.

I didn't do so great on meals last week either. Called the pizza delivery guy quite a bit. Needless to say I've got a few extra pounds I need to shed. Damn power outage. I wonder if I can sue AEP for my obesity (I'm sure stranger things have happened in our litigious society).

So...I've tried a couple of times to fight the urge for King Dons (or Ding Dongs depending on which part of the country you're in) and the past two times I've got them from the vending machine, they have been mangled to the point where I don't even want to eat them...so I wind up throwing them away. Today I reasoned that the Ho-Ho's that were in there were just like King Dons, only smaller, so they'd be fine. So I got a pack.

They, too, were somewhat mangled on the ends, but with 3 to a pack, they were still edible. So I ate one. A single Ho-Ho. And I have to say...I was not liking it. Yeah, I know...it's probably throwing you for a loop right now. But I ate one of those and was instantly not liking the tasted in my mouth. The taste I was tasting, the texture, hell-even the smell, did NOT match how my brain remembered a Hostess Ho-Ho. I wound up throwing the other two away.

I think my body is finally getting to the point where it just doesn't like the same stuff I used to like (the stuff that got me fat because that's ALL I ate).

And that's a good place for me to be right now.

Here's a shot of the Ding Dongs I couldn't finish:

 

See what I mean? It looks like they were pre-chewed. Ugh. And when I did actually get a bit of the Ho-Ho, it TASTED pre-chewed. Just not good at all.

Alright, lunch is about over. I have to leave you with this image from the Fourth of July that makes me smile every time I look at it:

 
It was the dude bringing in carts and he was just neat. Like I said...just makes me giggle.

 

Hope your Monday is going well. Hoping you all have a day full of awesomeness!! If it's a day full of suck--sorry (and could you just keep the suck away from my awesome-sauce. Cool? 'kay. Thanks!

 

-A.T.

 

7.05.2012

Seasons Don't Fear The Reaper

I can say, pretty much without a doubt, that I'm not the same person I was 3 weeks ago. I don't really know what I expected when I quit Facebook.

Actually. Fuck that. Thousands of people quit Facebook every day. Who cares. I'm not going to be known all over the world as the 'guy who quit Facebook'. Heh.

I start posts with that because it's easy. And on some level, I want it to be a bigger deal than it seems to be. But it's not. Seriously. It's not. I miss a handful of the people, and none of the bullshit.

Going on Day....er...6 without power (sorry--had to stop typing to count). The rumor is that it will be restored by Sunday. If so, that would make 10 days without power. Only 3 of those were truly without. We rented a generator 3 days ago and have been running our fridge and a few fans off of it (and charging the occasional mobile device). So, we have not truly been without power...but it's been pretty sucky.

It's also the 4th of July (but this wont' get posted until I connect to wi-fi somewhere tomorrow), and I'm home writing...not out with the fam watching fireworks.

I don't know. I think this power outage just has me in a bit of a funk. I didn't feel like dragging the photography gear out to try to get pictures (Because, let's be honest...I don't want to try to dial in the D300 on the fly)...and for some reason, I don't just want to go 'watch' them this year either. Again...I blame the fact that I've been a big sweatball since about 6pm last night and just don't feel like going somewhere else and being a big sweatball. Besides. I want to sit at home and drink my Samuel Smith's Organic Cider....good stuff yum!

I'm in the middle of reading a book for work (From Good to Great...which is fantastic by the way)....and work is going swimmingly, thank you for asking. Anyway. I'm reading about these companies that made the leap from being a good company to being a great company. Now, that's cool to me on a few different levels. The first is the fact that the company I'm working for now buys in to that. They've adopted it as their corporate blueprint and they want to be a great company. And that has me totally jazzed. The second thing that's cool about it is, books like that always pump me up and get me thinking about how I can be a better person and how I can impact and make a difference in the lives of people I come in to contact with. Stuff like that really gets me revved up.

My ass is firmly planted in our new Martha Stewart Living (Dead) patio furniture. I can see this being a place for me to come and write. As soon as wi-fi is back up (or power, for that matter), or until I bite the bullet and add the personal wi-fi service to my plan, I'll be all up on this shiznit. All Todd, all the time.

I had something clever today with my name...some line in a song that I'd changed to have Toddly in it instead of whatever was there originally. It's gone now.

Shit happens.

So...I'm about 58 pounds down now...give or take the Beer 2LB that keeps jumping on and off. Which is cool. That's over halfway to my goal. I have to figure out something to kick start it though, because it's starting to feel a bit stagnant. Might be time for another cleanse. Just to kind of kickstart this thing and make it fresh again.

I feel a bit like I'm rambling. The larger questions of the universe won't really fit within the confines of this blog. It might be time for me to launch Pages and start back in on 'the book' and see where that takes me tonight.

A couple of you out there have read my first 'the book'...an autobiography of sorts up until the time I was about 28/29. The book I'm working on now is really nothing like that. Except that it is. And by that I mean, my same writing style...which is probably best described as 'stream of consciousness meets Point Break outtakes'...oh, well, hell. It's pretty much the way this blog flows. Which is to say...I have a lot of thoughts inside my head rattling around...I sit down to type, and the thoughts that are ready to come out, do. The ones that aren't quite ready sit and percolate for a bit until such a time as they are ready. And if they happen to flow naturally from the thoughts that were ready first and shit makes sense when you read it, then, lucky you.

If you and I were having a deep philosophical discussion some night in the wee hours of the morning, it'd pretty much be the same thing. Without the alcohol (unless you're drinking when I'm writing it, and then it's EXACTLY the same).

Whoa. This Samuel Smith's Organic Cider goes down amazingly smooth. That could be costly. That stuff's $6 a pint (Imperial Pint, that is). Next up to try is the Magner's Irish Cider. We'll see how that stacks up. It's a bit less expensive. And now to switch over to a Berry Weiss (Hey baby...).

Sounds like the finale just finished for the Westerville Fireworks. My dog is downstairs cowering in fear, and I'm finding that I still am not excited about them, or particularly upset that I missed them. Stupid Power Outage.

Yum. Berry Weiss. My boss has a great Berry Weiss story...but I'll let him tell it to you sometime. I hate stealin' other people's stories.

Alright. I think I am either going to (A)switch over and see if I can get any writing done in 'The Book' or (B)sign off and fire up another round of Bejeweled. (Hey...at least it's not Facebook...LOL).

Have a fantastic evening and hoping your 4th is amazing!

-A.T.

 

 

 

(Or rather, WAS amazing, since this won't actually get published until tomorrow the 5th. Which reminds me...I need to update the cronjob tomorrow, AND start training the new guy).

 

Air is cooling down....storm must be moving in. Yup. Just saw the lightning. Hmm...it might miss us. We'll see. If it does hit, I hope it doesn't knock out the...oh. Damn.

 

Alright. Now I'm seriously out.

-A.T.

 

Everything's Venn

I'd like to start off this post (which really, isn't too far after the last post) with a Venn Diagram. But I don't have one.

I popped over a did a few paragraphs in the other book for a bit, but I found that what was rattling around in my head was not so much shit that was ripe for that book, but rather shit that just needed to be out of my head.

I have to say that it's amusing to me the number of people lighting off their shitty roman candles while there's thunder and lightning...um. Hello? Mother Nature will trump you every time, Dude. Seriously.

And there goes the NewsChannel 4 Alert. Thunderstorm blah blah blah for Franklin County until 2AM. Yes. We know.

Ok...seriously...the mo'fo's in my neighborhood need to stop with this bullshit at 11. I still have to get up and go to work.

I'm going to try to just chill out here until I feel the first drops.

Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I typed that, the first drops hit.

It's now about 30 minutes later and I'm back. Had to make sure the tarp was secure over the generator.

I'm so sick of this.

See....this. THIS is why I'm happy I left F**ebook. Because if I expressed angst in anyway, people would try to cheer me up. And cool. That's fine. I appreciate that. Except when I don't. There are times when I just need to feel THIS for a while. This shit. This discontent. If only to know that I don't want to feel it long term. There is a natural process for me. I try not to wallow in it (anymore). But I am sick of it.

Sick of this power outage. Sick of certain elements in my...well...that's probably a story for another time. But suffice to say, I am working through some things and planning some changes.

Now if we could get this fucking power back on pleasekaithanksbye.

 

-A.T.

 

The 10th Annual Typewriter Meetup

I'm tired. I'm not going to lie. My body is doing that thing where, after a short period (48-72hours) of intense emotions and pe...