I'm sitting in the middle of a Ziff Davis / Intel sponsored conference on Technology for Business Today.

It's essentially one big sales pitch for IBM thinkpads with Intel processors.

But they're giving us free danishes and lunch, and we have a hotspot so I can connect to the net and post in my journal thing. Also, we get free Starbucks coffee. At $1.45 per cup consumed, I'm making out BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe I'll win the free laptop they're giving away before lunch. That way, I can wreck my technological misfitery on yet another piece of hardware.


Yeah, I didn't win. I didn't figure I would.


Well, today was the Adventure Race for Team In Training.

It was TOUGH.

But we did really well. Much better than we thought we were going to. Actually, we did much better than ANYONE thought we were going to :) But the most amazing thing wasn't the race or finishing it, it was the feeling of unity with the Team In Training folks and the fact that AJ and his family was there to cheer us on the entire time. He even got all the TNT folks gatorade when we crossed the finish line.

How freakin' cool is that kid???

There will DEFINITELY be a story about this later.


Have you ever made a decision in your life at some point - on an album, or a book perhaps - and later, you come back to it and say "You know, NOW I get it!"?

Recently, I came across a copy of The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails. Now, when I was younger, I patently rejected this album. I'd heard "Hurt" on the radio, I'd seen "Closer" on MTV. All that really stuck with me is "Poor guy, maybe he should start taking vitamins and get out in the sun more, then he'll cheer up." I hated Trent's fans and I couldn't stand the implications that being a fan of NIN brought with it.

But here I was with a copy of this CD, and I thought, "Hmm. You know, I think I'll give this a shot."

It's really, really strange. I GET it now.

See, when you hear these tracks like Closer and Hurt on the radio, out of context, you miss SO much of what they're all about. It's like someone handing you two 3" x 3" swatches cut from Madonna on the Rocks and saying "Hey, check these out!" The image on what was handed to you is fine enough. Nice paint. Good color. But eh... not for me.

Because they're out of context.

It's true, some records have no context. Some records are just a collection of individual songs. But this one is NOT. It's definitely something greater than the sum of its parts.

I never, ever thought I'd say this... but I'm a massive Trent Reznor fan now.


I was hit on at the gym yesterday.

Now, this isn't really a big deal to most of you. For a lot of you reading this, you're probably used to being the object of someone's forelorn desire. To you, stares and catcalls and pick-up lines are part of a standard day. You shuck and dodge them like you would a low-hanging doorframe or a wayward duck flying wildly toward your head.

But for me, it's kinda a huge deal, cause I look like Shrek.

Anyway, this girl - pretty, about 5' 7", reddish hair and medium build - took up residence on the Crosstraining machine right next to mine. I was burning through a grueling 75 minute set in preparation for the upcoming Balance Bar Adventure Race that we're running for Team In Training. I notice that this girl is periodically looking over at my readout, mentally marking my progress. During the course of our workout, she pulls out some notecards - presumably for a class in college - and begins going through them (on the machine. During a workout. I don't know how you feel, but personally, i feel that if you are able to actually read while working out, you aren't really working out...). Every so often, one would mysteriously drop right underneath the foothold on my machine. I'd stop, allow her to retrieve it, then continue on with my workout.

Now, I can understand little mishaps like this happening during the course of the duration of these events. But 5 seperate times?

After the fifth time, she managed to make eye contact with me. She smiled brightly and was very sweet when she said "... ... . . ....." I couldn't hear a damn thing. I had Helmet - old helmet - blaring through the headphones. SOOOOOOO I stopped, pulled off my headphones, and asked her to please again repeat what she just said. She replied, "I said, 'Hi, my name is [omitted], what's yours?" And she stuck out her right hand.

I responded by reaching with my left hand - which, incidentally, contained on the third finger (yes, the third, the thumb isn't a finger) my big fat shiny wedding ring. I clasped her hand and said "I'm Joe, nice to meet you."

She looked down and directly at my ring, and I could see her bite her bottom lip. She then began talking to me about something, which I summariliy dismissed with a smile as I waved and trotted over to the cycle to get back to work.

Now, this may NOT have been flirting. I dunno. But it's been so long since I've impressed... well, anyone... SO dammit, I'm counting it.

Incidentally, when I told my wife about this, she stopped for a moment, then begain describing the girl.

"Reddish hair?"


"Sort of long face?"


"College age?"


"Was she wearing a sorority t-shirt or something?"


"Oh, yeah! I know that bitch! She's ALWAYS working out right next to Trish and I, trying to outdo us. We kick her ass, though."

I love my wife :)



I am a patient man.

Stop laughing, I really am.

Now, I just laid down way more than I can reasonably afford on a big fat printer, tons of paper, a hugeonormous paper cutter, a ton of ink, etc and so forth. By far, the purchase I was most excited about was the saddle stapler.

For those who don't know, a saddle stapler is a stapler that enables one to produce staple-bound booklets with properly-fastened pages and a spine. For those in the need of a stapler for making booklets, this is indeed a fine product.

When i set upon the task of buying a saddle stapler, I turned to the people who I reasonably thought to be the experts on such things - Staples. It only made sense - I needed a stapler. They are called Staples. Yeah? Yeah.


I enter staples looking for this device (as well as the printer and cutter i needed) and was told that these items are far too industrial for stocking on the normal shelves - I'd have to order them.

So I did.

I ordered my printer, and I ordered the inks needed for this printer. I also ordered a big wad of paper and a saddle stapler. On the same page as the stapler were the recommended staples - Swingline 1/4" heavy duty staples, item number 353314.

Everything arrived this morning (except the printer - I got ancy, so I went out Friday and just bought it from CompUSA and cancelled the Staples order. I have NO self control). I bust open the boxes of toys I just received and smile with glee - This Is NOT Art! Productions was now officially IN BUSINESS.

I printed a copy of MIM. I folded it over with the handy folding tool. It's BEAUTIFUL.

I folded it over and trimmed the edges, for that smooth professional look.

I loaded the staples into the stapler, placed the magazine on the anvil, and KERCHUNK!

No staple.

I try again. Same result.

I continue on and on, slamming this damn thing as hard as I can over and over hoping that at some point, staples would begin pouring out and fasting things all over the room to one another. Alas, no luck.

SOOOOO I call swingline, the manufacturer of the stapler and staples.

It turns out that the Swingline 615 Saddle Stapler requires the Swingline SF 15 staples, not the #35314's.

Staples has the wrong staples listed on thier site for this machine.


HOW is this possible? It's thier NAME! They're called STAPLES! How the FUCK could they drop the ball on this one? That'd be like a store called Milk selling you orange juice to put on your Wheaties!


So now i have to order staples from Office Depot.



Happy Anniversary, Andrea :) It's been the best two years of my life. I'm completely shocked and suprised that you've managed to put up with me for that long - but one day, I swear, I'll make it all worth it.


So, what the heck am I doing in this Romance.net story?

Hell, even I don't know.

Well, I of course already know where it goes and how it gets there. But what I don't know is how people will receive it, if it will suck or if it will work. So, I guess we're both going to have to just sit back and see what happens!

I've spent the majority of the past 24 hours puking my guts out. I have no idea why. It could have something to do with my current laryngitis... Everyone has been picking on me. Normally, I can't shut the hell up, and everyone wants me to. But go and give a loudmouth laryngitis and make his voice all sqeaky, and the people line up to make him chatty. FUN WITH THE SICK GUY!

Not that I mind, really. My whole goal in life is to make people laugh. However that happens, I'm fine with it.