June 28, 2004

Janet's getting in shape

She decided some exercise was in order. She found some arm exercises to ward off that unsightly arm flab (well, at least tighten things) and decided Pilates was right for her. I started doing it with her, since we could all use a little more Powerhouse. We started with Introductory, but we're going to step it up to Beginner next week. I think it's a good thing for any athlete to do, not just suburban housewives and trend seeking yuppies. It will surely strengthen your core, which is super important in wrestling, but difficult to effectively train. This is a good idea that wouldn't be a bad addition to any wrestler's fitness regimen.

June 26, 2004

Fishin'

The fishing trip went off well. I wouldn't say it went off without a hitch, but more on that later. We left after work and got to the hotel and unpacked. Then we had dinner at a seafood and steak place. I had the filet, and it was super tender. The next day started with our boat leaving the dock around 7 AM. We went out and did some bottom fishing for a few hours. The fish were biting, and we did pretty well. I personally hooked about a dozen fish, and about half of those were keepers. Two guys even caught sharks. The hitch was that about half the people on the trip got sick. Not all of them threw up, but there was some queasiness going around, and a few people barely picked up a rod. The rest of us were fine, though I doubt the next team building event will involve a boat. Later that evening, back in Raleigh, one of my coworkers had us over to eat the fish we had caught. It was all good, including the shark. I also got to know some of the guys I work with, and that was good as well, since I see them every day.

June 23, 2004

Picky

I remember a guy I went to church with in California. He was the pickiest eater I have ever met. Most people got over this sort of thing before preschool, but I have a feeling his has worsened with time. I'm not sure what his problem is. Perhaps he is afraid of catching some sort of illness. I went out to lunch with him and others every weekend for an entire summer, and he not once ate a vegetable. He also hated cheese. None of this was the most curious part, though. The worst part was the fact that he liked his food burnt. Seriously. He would go into a restaurant, order the barbecue chicken pizza with no cheese, and he would ask them to burn it. This never ceased to get a funny look, but if the man says burn it, the restaurant does it. His favorite place must have been the Korean BBQ, where you cooked the food yourself on a tabletop grill. Then he could have as much carbon as his heart desired. I don't know why I was thinking about him today, but I thought it would be of some interest to everyone.

June 22, 2004

Going Fishing

I'm going fishing. Yes, that's right, fishing. It's some sort of team building trip with the Test Definition group at work. We're taking off on Thursday, doing some deep sea fishing off the coast Friday morning, and then coming back to enjoy the weekend. The best part of it all is the company sanctioned day off work on Friday and the fact that the entire weekend is paid for by Infineon. Hopefully, I can catch something and bring it home to cook that night. Maybe that will help Janet get over the fact that she'll be sleeping alone on Thursday night.

Speaking of Janet, I think the heat is starting to get to her. I can understand. It's 10:30 at night, and it's 81 degrees outside. Makes her wish she was back in Vermont where 81 at noon is considered a heat wave.

June 20, 2004

Has it come to this?

We went to the mall yesterday. It was a big mall, 184 stores and restaurants, counting kiosks. Pretty much everything was there. If they don't have it, you don't need it. The point here is how much time I spent looking around at Williams-Sonoma. It's a good store, and if I were a millionaire, I would be able to shop there. Everything is pretty expensive, but if you ever wondered what the latest and greatest in cookware is, this is the place to go. You can see the finest in clad pots and pans, which are truly the thing to have, unless copper lined with Teflon is your thing. Either way, you're looking at heirloom prices there. The cute thing was the couple we overheard getting the scoop on cutlery (that's knives for you small words people). Apparently, they were registering at this place (we had Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond...sometimes life isn't fair) and the salesman told them all about knives. I was overhearing him say something about the dishwasher and that was why some knives had a certain handle. It was all I could to to keep my mouth shut and tell them that you should never, ever, even if St. Peter tells you it's OK this one time, put your sharp knives in the dishwasher under penalty of death. You might as well smack your knives on a rock repeatedly. This is a good note to anyone moving out and getting their own stuff. Do not put cooking knives in the dishwasher. Also, stay away from ceramic blades. Sure they're sharp and keep their edge well, but they cost more than your first car, and they can shatter if you drop them on the floor. Oh, and that funky metal stick that comes with the set is not a sharpener, it's a honing steel. Look up the difference if you care for your cutlery.

I think the real lesson here is this: Andy gets way too excited about knives and cookware.

Additionally: Andy's wish list now includes
1. Cast Iron Skillet - How have I made it this far without one
2. Grill Pan - I don't have a grill, but this is nearly as good
3. Food Processor - If you know a good one for less than 100 bucks, tell me now
4. Kitchenaid with Flames on it - I'm pretty sure they don't make these, but if you've seen Alton Brown on Good Eats, it's darn cool

Oh, and congratulations to Vikki on doing all sorts of big girl things in Maryland. It's touching when another of my friends moves out on their own.

June 19, 2004

I bought two

I bought two shirts at the Gap today. They were their stretch t-shirts that were on sale. I decided that I needed better fitting clothes, since most clothing just plain isn't designed to fit someone with my shoulder to waist ratio, so a lot of my shirts look kind of big. These shirts are a bit tighter and they stretch to fit me best. It's a good deal. We also went to the California Pizza Kitchen. I'd been to the first one ever in Beverly Hills, and this one in Durham did not disappoint. If you can get to one, I highly recommend it. It's like no pizza you've ever had.

June 17, 2004

Andy's Book Idea

I probably shouldn't be telling you this, since you'll steal my idea, but I came up with a killer book idea that someone else who isn't married and employed should do. A person who recently graduated from college should go back as a freshman. Get a fake ID that says you're 19 and enroll in classes. Now, you would have to get at least one or two college administrators involved, but that's it. Live in the dorm, but don't tell your roommate or your professors and live a year as a college freshman. Just think back to all the things you did and all the new stuff that happened your freshman year. It would be a great book to have someone write about going through it all with a little more perspective. You could do your homework at a reasonable hour and talk to people about the way college is. I think this could be a great story to contrast the relative immaturity of a 19 year old with the perspective of someone who has been there and done it all before. I think a small private school would be ideal for this, so there would be more familiarity between students and professors and the like. Also, more people would live on campus then, which would make writing the book and getting material that much easier. The trick is to pitch this idea to a publisher to get them to pay your tuition, room, and board. There are so many places to go with this idea. Talk about higher education in America. Talk about relationships of young adults. Compare high school, college, and the real world. The real trick is experiencing it all over again. Anyone can write about going to college, but the memories have faded. Just go back and make new ones. Then one of the last chapters could be the day that you reveal yourself to everyone....or maybe you wouldn't and you would just write the book. If I was single and unemployed right now, I'd be seriously considering applying to some small school in the Pennsylvania hills. Obviously, my smalltime celebrity status at Messiah would keep me away from there, but I'm sure I could find a place for me to go and take the classes a freshman liberal arts major takes.

Oh, and another completely unrelated thing: Visa increased my credit limit again. I have way more credit than I could ever use. I have no idea how they decide to issue the stuff. Heck, I'm only partly sure what this ephemeral "credit" is. It's like, well, a few people that know you seem to think you'd pay us back if you borrowed money, so go ahead. Oh, and we charge high interest.

June 14, 2004

I have never seen

This is the most affectionate cat ever. She likes nothing more than to follow us around and try to get Janet to pick her up. This is also the first cat I've ever seen that comes when you call her. If I say her name and make a clicking noise with my mouth, she comes running.

She wasn't eating too much, but we caught her eating tonight, so that's a good thing.

On the non-cat front, the job is going well, and I got paid for the first time on Friday, so I've proved that I work there. Also, I might try to take a class about IC technology and fabrication, since it has some relevance to my new field. Wish me luck.

June 12, 2004

Correction

Well, the people at Best Friend Pet Adoptions are on the ball, as the pictures they had of PJ are gone already, and we just picked her up today. It's ok, they were bad pictures anyhow.

We stuck with the first name

We got our cat today and brought her home. Thanks to our lack of a better one, we're sticking with the name PJ, as given to her by the foster house that has had her for a while. Janet said the name started to grow on her after awhile, so we'll stick with PJ. I said in a previous post that the pictures on the adoption website didn't quite do her justice, and I think the picture below proves it.

June 10, 2004

Almost time

It's almost time for us to get a cat. We went and met one that we thought we might like this evening, and we did, so we're picking it up on Saturday morning. That way, we'll have all weekend with it, and hopefully, it can get acclimated to us. The cat's about a year old, and had kittens once, but no more. Janet just wanted a cat that would like to be around people, and this one fits the bill. It came right up to us when we got there, so that helped make the decision easier. She's not the cat I would have figured Janet to like, but she definitely grows on you, especially when she likes to be around people this much. Let me tell you, she loved the attention. There are a few pictures here, but they don't really do her justice. She has giant eyes. Now all we need is a good name...

June 8, 2004

Stole my lunch

Not my lunch money, my actual lunch. You see, we had new employee orientation yesterday, and we had forms to fill out with what we wanted for lunch. A few people neglected to grasp the concept that in order to get a lunch, you have to give the paper back to the people in charge. This didn't stop them from taking lunches, however. As such, I watched in horror as my lunch was taken by one of these poor souls. I didn't know it until I went to get mine, and I looked around, wondering could have happened, until I saw one of my fellow new employees happily munching away, oblivious to the fact that his lunch order sheet sat next to him on the table. I ended up eating something I hadn't ordered, and it was fine, but it still made me a little bit cranky. This same person asked a jillion dumb questions of the people doing the presentations. Many of the questions were highly detailed and applied only to him, or to noone. For example, he probably asked 10 questions (no joke) concerning the company's policy for disability and extended leave. He looked pretty healthy to me, and he wasn't married, so I'm not sure what the problem was. Was he planning to quit the job if the answers he got weren't satisfactory? My feeling on that is, if you need it, you're not going to be quibbling with the specifics, since you're not in much position to care about it. Also, you theoretically have the time to read all the available information without asking 46 highly specific questions about how many sick days in a row you can take before you need a doctor to say it's ok. The silver lining on this cloud is that he works in Vermont in an area of the company I should never have to deal with, so we shan't cross paths again.

June 6, 2004

Disc Drive

I am now the proud owner of a new 175g regulation frisbee. We picked it up today at Target. Now I can hone my skills with Janet in the park. I swear I'll learn to throw that thing some day. I'm much better than I was before last spring, but that truly is not saying much.

Secondly, I went and lowered the flags at our apartment complex to half-mast today, since flags are supposed to be flown at half staff for 30 days following the death of a former President. It isn't my flag, but no one was here to do it over the weekend, so I had Janet help me take care of it. We'll see what happens tomorrow, if anyone notices. On a related note, Muammar Gaddafi is an idiot.

June 5, 2004

Not So Smarty

So Smarty Jones ruined my weekend. Not that I had any money on it, but I watched the whole dang show after hearing so much about how much of a lock he was to win the race, and then he failed to live up to expectations. I was hoping to see the 12th Triple Crown (oh, sorry, the Visa Triple Crown) winner, but instead I got the ninth almost since Affirmed. Just for that, I'm going to bed.

June 1, 2004

See how I didn't put a title on this post. That's how little I have to say right now. Work has been good. I'm starting to climb the mountain of knowledge I will need to be a useful employee. Until then, though, I doubt I'll have a whole lot to say about work, unless you want to hear about how comfortable my chair is or which health plan I picked. I went with the least expensive one since it seems to have pretty good coverage, but I do have to stay in network, which is pretty easy it seems around here and elsewhere. Cigna is a pretty big company.

I also started up the good old 401(k) so I can retire in style (or something). My company does a pretty good matching deal, so I should be able to save adequately. Compound interest is your friend in this case. That's all for now. I got a package from my mom and we got a nice letter from Janet's grandparents, but that's about it here. It's a low stress life right now, and that's a good thing.