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Last Visit 2011-01-17 23:04:23 |Start Date 2004-11-03 18:51:40 |Comments 1,935 |Entries 529 |Images 250 |Videos 22 |

Category: travel

08/20/05 02:12 - 75ºF - ID#24536

Ixnay Egasvay

Yeah... so we land in LA last night.... gas is 3 bucks a gallon. Seeing as the Vegas trip was going to cost out of our pockets for fuel, it was smarter to just stay where we are. AKA, within walking distance from the beach. Why spend 40 each on a round trip just to chill when we can chill at the beach here for free?

Here's some images - they are about 250k so I am going to have to link them from their URL.

First image is from the car, on our way to the hotel.


This second picture is me at the Manhattan Beach Pier... about a quarter mile from our pseudo-beachfront hotel room.



Not a bad place to be stuck in!

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Category: travel

08/18/05 09:13 - 77ºF - ID#24535

Houston

Today we left San Antonio and drove 200 miles to Houston. Next stop tomorrow is Los Angeles with a side trip to Las Vegas for some fun and good ol' fashion sinning!

You know, it seems like every week there is another (e:peep) complaining about how poor they are. My suggestion is to move to Houston and run like hell from Buffalo. If you've ever been to Atlanta you know that even the suburbs have skysrapers, but Houston is like Atlanta times five in that regard. There are at least three separate "downtown" areas within the inner loop. Today I saw the Enron building and really really wanted to get a picture next to the square E, but my work buddy wasn't down for it. I also saw Reliant Stadium - if you are a Bills fan like I am you would have been in awe if you were with me.

Fun facts about where I am now -

1. 4th largest city in the USA (fastest growing in the 20th century)
2. More than 90 languages spoken in the area
3. 13 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here
4. 35 different national cuisines available
5. One of only 5 U.S. cities to have resident companies in the 4 major performing arts (symphony, ballet, live theatre and grand opera for the home gamers keeping score)
6. 11 museums
7. 240,000 college students in the area (yeah... um... the city of Buffalo is what, 270-290,000 citizens total? the burbs don't count)

I suppose the entire state of Texas might apply here, but Houston is THE single most bustling and thriving city I've been to thus far. Not NYC, not LA, not Atlanta, not Chicago, not Washington. Everything is brand-spanking new and there is new construction going on everywhere. There has GOT to be a lot of jobs here. You are near the coast, you have a football team with what might be the nicest and most immaculate sporting venue on Planet Earth, you have South Padre Island if you want to get your freak on, you have Johnson Space Center, various cultural things to check out, you have nice weather, this is also a hub for major international travel... truly an amazing city with deep, deep pockets.

Anyhow, by this time tomorrow my feet will be in the Pacific Ocean. <sarcasm>My job is incredibly hard sometimes.</sarcasm> Actually this is the first time that because of work I'll not be able to come home for the weekend... which I completely and utterly hate more than anything. At least if I'm stuck having to be out and about it will be somewhere incredibly pleasant. We stay at a hotel thats within walking distance from the surf and sand.

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Category: travel

08/17/05 08:25 - 76ºF - ID#24534

Texas

I got into Dallas/Ft. Worth last night after 1AM... Atlanta airport is bar none the worst in the United States when it comes to delays. Dallas airport is HUGE... bigger than Atlanta. 7 main terminals plus a separate off-site terminal only for the car rentals. Today in Central Texas it was 100 degrees w/little humidity - it was actually not too bad.

We audited a facility only a couple miles away from Crawford, TX and the infamously silly Cindy Sheehan fiasco. To an extent I think she is being used by the press, which I think is an absolute shame. I feel badly for her. I don't particularly care about peoples opinions for or against the war, but I think we can all agree that this situation is pathetic because it has made her A)family disavow her in writing, including her own grandparents B) husband divorce her, C) an eager and willing pawn for the mainstream media. CNN, ABC, NBC are eating this up yet its utterly meaningless and ratings couldn't be lower... so its also evident that noone is watching. She got to talk to the President once already and even accepted a kiss on the cheeck from him... nobody cares about her politics concerning Israel, and the most interesting part of this whole thing is that she intentionally wanted the media attention and now has the balls to complain about it! None of the locals I asked could have cared less about Cindy Sheehan, and if you believe in ratings that also holds true for the USA.

In general Texas is a beautiful state - people here are very friendly. There are lots of Texas stereotypes and none of them are true, except in rare instances that make people who know nothing about Texas pipe up and talk basically a lot of nonsense. Its a massive state with plenty of prarieland that stretches for miles and miles. Truly beautiful scenery. We ate that this authentic Texas-style BBQ place for lunch.... it was ridiculously good. I am going to learn how to make brisket now! Of course, the ladies here are gorgeous and are actually ladies, unlike plenty of specimen from the north. Its about as affordable to live here as it is to live in Buffalo, there is more opportunity, theres plenty of art-inclined things to check out here, including a great symphony orchestra - I think Texas jumped above Georgia on my list.
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Category: astonished

08/12/05 12:18 - 75ºF - ID#24533

Doubleyew Tee Eff

Southwest Airlines opens their online check-in at 12:01. I print my tickets out at 12:02, and I am NUMBER TEN!!!!

What does that mean?

It means that there are nine people that are apparently more obsessive/compulsive about being in the "A" group than I am.

I'm number one with my connecting flight from Baltimore from Buffalo though! What a coup. I hate open seating on airplanes.
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08/11/05 08:00 - 78ºF - ID#24532

Technical Problems

(e:paul) - I'm using an iBook G4, and I keep getting this object error... and the Freedom Chat will not work properly - i.e. when I type something in it will not appear. Odd - This is the first time I've had a problem. I'm using some version of IE. I wonder if Java is not installed on this machine or something. These are the problems I usually have (e:jason) solve for me.

(e:jason) no I have not downloaded the David Banner track yet - but I will!

I freely admit that my job has a lot of interesting benefits but there are weeks where the glamour is non-existant. In particular, this little town I'm in now makes me want to slit my throat. 11,000 people, and my choices for dinner tonight were chinese buffet (in the middle of nowhere in NC, fuck that), Wendy's or Bojangle's. We chose Bojangle's. If you want fried chicken I think that Popeye's is infinitely better.

Anyhow Wal-Mart is an omnipresent monolith - there is no escape. Seriously... there is nothing here but there is a Wal-Mart supercenter. To my surprise, you can buy beer at Wal-Mart, so I bought a six-pack of Tecate for $5.14! Bling bling. I'm going to drink myself to sleep, get up early, and I'll be back in Buffalo by 6PM.

I'm looking forward to Las Vegas next weekend. See thats what I signed up for when I joined my company! Free vacations in cool spots because you have to be there for work anyhow.
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08/10/05 01:57 - 83ºF - ID#24531

Wireless

The place I'm at actually has a wireless network!

I'm in Mayberry... as in Andy Griffith Mayberry. No lie.
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08/09/05 08:37 - 83ºF - ID#24530

NC

(e:paul) you read what you wanted to in my post, not what I actually said. I authored the post, I am the one who knew what I was getting at. The post was about how nukes are BAD... end of story. You can take it to the bank as again, I am the one who actually wrote it and as such I'm the final arbiter of the actual meaning of what I wrote. It could be argued that I wrote a poorly worded post... and I actually agree with that. :) And to think I got all "A" grades at UB in English, and actually tested out of the undergraduate writing requirement! Instead of acting in a knee-jerk way you should have asked me what I meant... I think a lot of unnecessary drama could have been avoided. Anyhow I'm glad that you understand that we actually agree on the subject.

Moral of the story - if you aren't sure about what somebody meant just ask them instead of freaking out and flaming them. And before you get your feathers ruffled, thats not a flame! I've done the same thing before as have most people that communicate with others via the internet.

Wireless networks at hotels are, in general, piss poor. elmwoodstrip barely, barely, barely loaded here. Its like trying to load a media-filled page using a 1200 baud modem. It makes me want to cry.

In general, the South is superior to the North. Naturally there are people that could never live here, as it would force them to break out of the boundaries of their comfort zone. However, the cities here are cleaner and just as big, there is an abundance of cultural things to check out, the girls are finer and not as unjustifiably bitchy as they are in Buffalo, and most importantly - people here are 1000% more civilized and polite then they are up north. NYC is the capital of obnoxious people. I would hardly call the place civilized and it would take at minimum a $150k a year position to even get me to consider living there. Seriously, people there act like animals. I'd take Atlanta over any major northeastern hub 99 times out of 100.

There is not much happening in NC though. Lots of woods, a big lake where many millioniaires live, Duke/UNC basketball, John Edwards (if you forgot about his absurd "Two Americas" theme fret not, you are about to get an earful until 2008), NASCAR fanaticism, and a lot of highways cutting through said woods. For the first time I can't wait to get home.

Coming up its going to be nice though - we go to San Antonio, spend the weekend in Los Angeles, take a detour to Las Vegas, go back to L.A. to work, then back home! Allegedly the virtually brand new white dress shirt that a cleaning lady generously "liberated" from my shit is at the same hotel we are going back to.

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Category: nukes

08/07/05 12:27 - 80ºF - ID#24529

Final Answer

(e:paul) -

First of all, I'm tired of being mean so I'm not going to do it anymore.

You are 100% wrong about my opinion on this subject, and I'm tired of repeating myself. You are reading into what I wrote and interpreted it through your filter instead of actually listening to the guy who wrote the damn thing. I did NOT justify the use of the bomb - the point of my now infamous "list" was to weigh the end benefits vs. the death AND SUGGEST THAT IT WASN'T WORTH IT. The thrust of my original post was that nukes are BAD - any free thinking person who doesn't approach the subject with a knee-jerk reaction can see that. Like I've said about three times now, I don't think that what happened in Hiroshima was justified, even though as a result of the death and destruction Japan blossomed. Perhaps Japan would have blossomed anyway if we didn't drop the nuke - we'll never know. If somebody told me today, "Hey, if we nuke Pyongyang we'll save hundreds of thousands of lives overall plus North Korea will become a democracy" I would say ABSOLUTELY NOT - we should not drop a nuclear bomb anywhere.

See, in 1945 we unleashed a Pandora's Box. To be honest, when we dropped the first atom-splitting bomb there was NO research done on what might happen to the human body (in particular the effects of radiation) as a result of dropping the bomb - we only did studies on how it might destroy military targets. The most important lesson that we learned that year was that we as a human race should not repeat the episode ever again.

1. I think nukes are bad and that they were bad in 1945 and that they still are now
2. I think the "bunker buster" nuke is a horrible idea and I think that most of the country agrees
3. I don't think that we need to create any more nukes of any type - there are too many in the arsenal already
4. I think that the world should eliminate the nuke, although in reality I know that as soon as we and the others do another country is simply going to develop them
5. You and I are actually in agreement on this subject and I'm not going to repeat myself again

Ok?

I have to catch a plane.
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Category: liberal blinders

08/07/05 07:54 - 64ºF - ID#24528

Paul... Paul... Paul...

Basically you ignored my entire post and read what you wanted to read, seeing as your anti-war goggles were on (which I do not blame you for). I WAS NOT justifying what the United States did. Read what I wrote again... and if you need to read it again. And try not to gloss over the parts where I said I wish we don't ever have to do it again and that I wish we didn't have to do it the first time, albeit the results of such a disaster afterwards couldn't have been better than they were. Its evident that you did gloss over what I wrote.

The ends DIDN'T justify the means. I think its unfortunate that such extreme measures had to be taken. I don't think that Osama bin Laden's ends justify the means, and I also don't think that he is going to get what he wants either. I also don't fault America for doing what they did - it IN FACT ended the war, and saved countless hundreds of thousands of lives - that is A FACT. Think critically for just one moment please Paul - if we did not drop the bombs and instead invaded Tokyo, how many millions of civilians would have died as a result? Nobody is justifying ANYTHING. Civilians die in war - I hope I don't have to remind you that several thousands of Americans died on 9/11/01 - where is your compassion for them? A universal fact of war that both you and I despise is that civilians ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS end up dying during armed conflict and I think its shameful for the human race. My position (try not to gloss over this part like you did last time... so I'll be explicit) is that I wish that none of it had to be done. I WISH THAT NONE OF IT HAD TO BE DONE. I WISH THAT NONE OF IT HAD TO BE DONE.

OK? OK? OK? OK? OK? That was the moral of the story.. I thought that you would have understood the first time.

As far as my "lack of compassion" you completely lost the point and glossed over the fact that my heart sinks at the thought of so many people dying (read it again). THANKS FOR READING MY FUCKING POST COMPLETELY PAUL! I don't filter what I write, and I expect people to be able to interpret what I write in an intelligent manner. Do not flame me with false pretense because it upsets me when I have to backtrack and point out the parts that people "filtered out" because their political bias overtakes their rational thought. That shit is irritating.

I'm actually on your side on this subject. Jesus fucking christ. In my best Foghorn Leghorn - "I say I say I say I say, Paul... there is no reason for you to be stultified!"

And your mentioning of what I wrote as an "attention getter" - please don't take offense but that is the single most fucking stupidest thing I've read on this site thus far. I don't write shit to get attention Paul. I don't want or need attention from anybody that is reading this right now. I blog for myself and nobody else. I don't care if people like OR hate what I say. If nobody reads it I'm just as happy as if somebody was paying attention. I'm not interested in my "search count" - I have a life and a job and I'm too busy to be concerned with that trivial crap. Trust me - I am aware of the extremist political bias of this particular URL. Extremist hard left is nothing new to me - I used to be that way. I'm unconcerned with it. 90% of my friends are liberal and we get along fine because we are mature adults. It works great once you try it.

Stop being a jerk. I like you, you like me (admit it!). You dislike all aspects of war and I respect and admire that. Lets carry on.

My next post will be from NC, where I can update people on how the rednecks are doing.







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Category: reflection

08/06/05 09:41 - 73ºF - ID#24527

Splitting Atoms

Seeing as its the 60th anniversary of us dropping nukes on Japan I have been thinking a bit about it. At the time the Japanese were hellbent on winning and would have died to the last man if they had to in order to achieve their objective. Thinking about the sheer number of civilians and military that died that day anybody with a heart would feel their heart sink to their feet. On the other hand -

1. We ended WWII doing this
2. Had we invaded Japan even more Japanese and Americans would have died, so therefore the least amount of people died doing it this way
3. People saw the horror of the atom bomb - as a result its never been used since
4. We rebuilt Japan and it became a democracy

The "Mutially Assured Destruction" principle protects us so far, and although I would like to see the eradication of the nuclear bomb... reality dictates that this will never, ever happen. Wars are going to happen - its our nature as human beings. I just hope that nobody ever has to suffer like that again - both the people who die and the people who execute their mission and have to live with the burden for the rest of their lives.
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