Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Home on the road

It's getting easier to pass through the TSA checkpoints and aside from the occasional knucklehead ahead of me - "Take off the belt, dude... The belt... Beeeeeeeep." - the travel schedule has been pretty easy to handle.

I'm in New Jersey tonight and even I'm amazed at the amount of toys that I pack for each trip. Between the gear for the jobs - GPS, laptop, etc. - and the iPod and PSP for airport amusement, I have enough here to keep me busy for days on end if some freak snowstorm were to attack the east coast in the first week of November.

While I've spent hours trying to imagine working with install crews prior to the Internet and online mapping programs like Mapquest, I can only begin to process how boring business trips used to be without all of this extra junk.

It's enough to make a Buddhist vomit over the dearth of simplicity.

They're really no picnic with them, either - business travel in the 1980s must have really sucked a lot.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Believe it or not, a fond farewell

Given the rocky start that Minnesota and I got off to, it was a bit shocking that I didn't leave a roadrunner dust cloud on my way out of state.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, but no one should be allowed to move into Minnesota without full time employment between the months of November and March. Being stuck inside for several months without outside interaction from other people is a degree of torture that would turn even the Bush administration's stomachs.

Had I known, I would have taken this test. For the record I scored: Somewhat Minnesotan. Maybe you have a Minnesotan relative or friend, or maybe you moved here in your adult life.

Still, once the initial shock wore off and I met more people things got better. We have standing plans to head north for the Back to the 50s Weekend next year, as well as a few other spontaneous trips throughout to keep in touch with friends.

If I take anything from the whole experience - aside from a desire to continue volunteering, which is another full post by itself - it's that a bit of Minnesota nice has rubbed off which actually makes getting by in Chicago a bit easier.

Granted, I was home for a grand total of 17 hours before someone called me an asshole as I drove home from the store, but I've cheated back towards "human" on that sliding scale of polite society. After a Chicago to DC to Chicago jump, I'd lost a bit of that after dealing with crowds and all of the assorted unpleasant behavior that comes from cramming a few million people into the same area code.

So, while I probably won't be going door-to-door handing out fruit baskets and hugs, I did introduce myself to any neighbor visible the first time I saw them, which is something I didn't do before.

Judging by the looks I got, that was something that doesn't happen often, but it is worth repeating in the future. I have East Dakota Minnesota to thank for that.

(Image from OKCupid.com)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It was a special day

Giant white dress? Check.

Rings? Check.

Punky QB? Check.

While I've realized that your wedding day won't mean the same thing to others as it does to the two folks directly involved, I've come to grips with one simple fact: My wedding will be forever known as the "Jim McMahon Wedding."

Thanks for sending down the champagne, Jimbo. It was a classy move.

(Photo from Danny M)

Friday, October 12, 2007

One week left

In honor of my last seven days of "single" life, here's this.

(Is it sad that this is more shocking than anything that went down at my bachelor party?)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Arrrrr... you ready for a new video game?

I'm watching the press from Flying Lab Software regarding the January 22 release of Pirates of the Burning Seas which looks like it should be a pretty rad online game.

Imagine World of Warcraft but with totally kickass pirates instead of sissypants elves and such. Tactical ship battles and swordplay? I'm so in.

I'm hoping for the following:

* The ability to make people walk the plank. Preferably scurvy dogs.

* Some sort of pirate monkey like in the Disney movies.

* Rum. Lots of rum.

* Parrot-related costume pieces.

* Parrot shit down the backs of really rough pirates.

(Image from: wickedstageact2.typepad.com)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The economics of moving

One of the joys of living with someone else - and moreso than when you just have typical roommates - is the God-given right to criticize what they do, when they do it and how they go about achieving the same goals as you.

Case in point - our weekend spent packing for the move home.

When I shook out a garbage bag, the dog ran for cover - I asked him if that meant that between a pack rat and a piglet, he didn't hear many garbage bags around the house.

It brought up an interesting train of thought - you have to do something to keep occupied when throwing out two years of phone books, right? - that is illustrated in our house whenever spring cleaning time rolls around.

As a pack rat, I will keep all kinds of garbage for years and years on end, while the Girl is more prone to throwing things out and buying new if she needs them again. My instinct is to save that second trip to the store and additional investment, while I realize that this comes at a cost as well.

Exactly when would I need half of the crap I've collected? In the case of my high school ID card, I'd guess never. I'd really like to see a solid dollar figure placed on all of those worthless knickknacks.

Still, it's been nice to see some cash roll in for things we would have just pitched before the advent of Craig's List. Not nice enough to convince me to part with my Justin Timberlake bobblehead, but nice enough.

(Image from: JaniceWise.com)