30 December 2008

88 days

Let the countdown begin.

I am officially registered for the biggest run in my life. I have forked over the $8o to put myself through a grueling, painful race that will undoubtedly leave me unable to walk properly for a few days.

I have signed up for a marathon.
The ING Georgia Marathon

And hopefully 'I'll get by with a little help from my friends' as I have a few that are willing to try this effort alongside me.

So, in 88 days I will hopefully be crossing the finish line of a 26 mile and 385 yard run on March 29. Let the games begin.

21 December 2008

they do exist!

Part 2 of the trip to California included finally meeting two other friends of mine. I've known the folks over at Cumulus, Bodie and Mandy (or their aliases), for nearly 4 years. Four virtual years. But I had never met them. And when they moved to the same town as two of my other friends, I decided they needed to know each other as well. So that worked out well. And I finally got to met them.

And of course all geologists are all linked together in some sort of connection already in life, so it was no surprise that they were as awesome in real life as they were in their blog. It's truly a wonder how occurrences happen in the world. Who knew 4 years ago that this little blog would have garnered some friends that I'd actually meet 3000 miles away.

And as much as they'd like to see me try (and fail), I will not be running two ultra-marathons.

Cheers to good friends..

blue sky

I made a trek to Sacramento for a vacation last week. Of course, I came back to Atlanta with a busy few days at work and not much time to actually relax (i.e. unpacking? what's that? dishes still in the sink from when I left??). But now here I am with a chance to sit and relax.

One thing to note though is that it is finally sunny. When I left Atlanta it was raining, when I got to Sacramento it was off and on cloudy and rainy, when I left it was raining, when I landed in Phoenix for a layover it was raining (in the desert!?), when I arrived back in Atlanta it was raining, I can't remember the weather this week except that it was muggy, but I know it rained last night. And now, winter has finally set back in (after a week in the 70's!) and it's sunny!

While on the other side of the nation, I caught up with Andy and Meghan, and their dogs, and all the breweries I could imagine. As noted:

Good times had by all and a lot of good scenery. I can check Sacramento off the list of places to visit. Though I will never fully understand the concept of ridding yards of leaves. I watched people left and right gather every (and I mean every) leaf from their yard only to see it completely full again in a matter of hours. Even on Sunday morning at 8am, when it was 38 degrees, folks were out ridding their yards of these invasive leaves. Baffled me.

16 December 2008

malts and hops

Somebody has been traveling on a vacation!

And I'll give you one guess on where my feet have taken me on one of my stops.

More later..
Posted by Picasa

06 December 2008

as seen on tv, unfortunately

I have to bring your attention to something I saw on tv recently.

I have to admit that I'm a sucker for infomercials. I could watch them all day long. But I never buy anything from them. With the exception of that one time back in undergrad when I fell victim to one of the TimeLife infomercials for the Classic Country CD set (of 2, mind you) for only $9.99. Only I failed to realize that for the next 2 weeks, I would receive countless other Classic Country sets in the mail and was warned (read: tempted) that if I were to open the package in any way, I would be forced to buy said set. So I returned them promptly, after opening one of them, and spent a few moments of my life trying to get off their mailing list.

So, back to present and I have now seen what I can only describe as the worst idea ever:

The Snuggie Blanket

And just like any infomercial, you find yourself compelled to watch it and even think to yourself "wow, I really do need this!" or in this case "you know, my hands were a little cold when I reached for the remote!" So here you are, thinking you need this item. But seriously? Do you really? IT'S A BLANKET WITH SLEEVES!

And do you see some similarity with looking like you're in a cult?

Have you ever had trouble knitting? Reading a book? Eating popcorn? Using your laptop? Ever wanted to WEAR A ROBE BACKWARDS!? My goodness--it's really just a robe. I cannot believe this was marketed.

30 November 2008

twas 26 days before christmas...

Look! I decorated the house I live in for Christmas with not one, but TWO inflatable lawn ornaments (and one isn't on the lawn!) and other energy-wasting fixtures!
Just look at that masterpiece.

Wait, what's this?

Why is the yard getting smaller and looking like it's in a box!?
Wait for it...

OH--just kidding--that's actually the GLOW of my across-the-street neighbors from MY living room windows. And here I thought I had put up lights and other glowing things in my sleep!

In all seriousness, my living room is aglow.

Oh and here's my ten year old old-man sleepers that I still wear.

24 November 2008


Today is the first day of the rest of my life. That statement is said time after time. But today, I started officially training for something major. And maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to look back on today and say that Nov24 was the first day of the rest of my life. Or maybe this is all going to fall through. Ah. We'll see. Stay tuned.

I also realized that, in looking at a picture from Christmas 2005, I still have, and wear almost every day, the same 2 pair of jeans.

And, I unearthed another box of rocks that I had forgotten about. What's the deal? I think when my friends moved me in during the summer, they secretly hid these boxes of rocks around my apartment so I wouldn't find them. I'm onto them.

23 November 2008


As I was standing in line at the local AutoZone purchasing a battery to replace the one in my truck that decided to absolutely die without any warning tonight, I couldn't help but chuckle a little. The cashier described some insane warranty (though later telling me the actual truth on what a '7-year warranty' on a battery really means), told me the price and then asked if there was anything else I needed. I said no at the same time that I looked down and noticed the array of convenient snacks that lined the counter underneath the cash register. And what is first in line and in the biggest display?

Chili Beef 'n Cheese Slim Jims.

Who on earth eats these things? Am I the only one that doesn't have a sudden craving for a log of cheese and a log of beef while buying a truck battery??

So I have a little hatred towards these. I'm aware.

19 November 2008


I saw my first round of frost this morning on my daily walk to the train station. I'm sure there has been other frosty mornings, but today I actually saw it with my own eyes covering all of the kudzu in a green space. And all I could think was how glad I was that I don't have to scrape it off my windshield for a while to come.

And then I zipped my jacket up a little more because the cold wind was making the 31 degrees feel a little bit cooler than 31. Just a little bit. tiny. bit. So the whole seeing the first frost moment was long gone with each passing step.

Meanwhile, I'm managing to survive with my thermostat set on 64. And 61 when I'm not here.

Update on the flesh-eating spider bite on my back. After a call with the pharmacist-in-training and fearing for my life, I've realized that it doesn't appear to be so bad after all. Today the bump had subsided enough to subside (some of) my fears (For the time being). So far, so good.

16 November 2008

strawberry swing

What's this? People actually read this and request me to write?! Preposterous! There's pressure now. I guess I have been noticeably absent lately though.

- I saw Coldplay last week and it was just great.
- A year ago I was gearing up to run 13.1 miles.
- The new running plan is being unveiled soon. Stay tuned--though most already know about it.
- I love my job.
- I'm finally being trained in CPR this week.
- Paula is visiting all week--even if she really is here for a conference.
- I ate about 2 inches of a piece of turkey tonight. That's the most I've eaten since July!

I was told the large bump on my back that I discovered yesterday looks like a spider bite. Surprisingly I was fine with this discovery until a few hours later when the gears started turning and I had the extended thought of how and when this bite could have occurred--during the night!

(25 minutes later...) ok, so do not google "spider bites" if you are a hypochondriac like me. you'll think you've been bit by everything including some spider that only lives under rocks in the northern Andes Mountains. my logic on that one? well, maybe it made its way on some bananas that I bought at the grocery store and then it sat behind my clock on the kitchen counter until one night it walked across the floor to my bed and bit my back!

05 November 2008

the life of a geologist

I moved 5(ish) months ago and yet somehow I forgot to unpack a box of rocks. On Sunday I was moving something around and went to pull some cords out of a box and realized it wasn't a box of cords after all. It was a box of rocks. My cool rocks! It's pretty ridiculous now. I have rocks all over my desk, just strewn about. On the kitchen counter. On shelves. Holding up plants. On the bathroom sink. On the floor. On the coffee table. On the windowsill.

Oddly enough, there's another box of rocks that was purposefully unpacked because it was the low-end of the rocks. The ones that, sure I really like, but probably no one would care to look at them.

This is, of course, that people actually like to see the high-end rocks that are currently on display.

Oh to be a rock. I mean, seriously, have you just stopped and picked up a rock and thought how on EARTH did this form like that? There has to be something amazing happening somewhere.

30 October 2008

something i read today

On July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Adams and Jefferson died on the same day, in two different places.

And then, I was looking at the 14,000 things to be happy about blah blah blah and today the first thing I saw when I opened the book was..

corn patties

This is only slightly better than yesterday's..

wren houses

26 October 2008

and so it begins

Every year I fight the first cold snap. And then I fight the second one. I wait to see if I can make it to the next without turning on the heat for the first time. But let me tell you, it's downright cold in my apartment. But so far, I've lasted. Tomorrow night will be the ultimate test as it gets even colder.

I remember one year in Columbia where we waited until the last possible day to turn on our heat and that's when we realized the furnace wasn't working. And it didn't work for about 4 or 5 more days. Enough that the landlord said he'd bring over extra blankets and heaters for us.

I pulled out the giant moving box full of winter clothes today, finally. It was like Christmas all over again.

24 October 2008

GIS and SNL, acronym central

Had to include an excerpt from last night's SNL Thursday sketch. Definitely used some GIS (ish) skills to make the election more fun..

22 October 2008

2 things i noticed

A store in Kentucky selling ice. And a view from a window in my apartment one fall evening.

20 October 2008

anything to be happy

Exhausted today at 346pm, I sat down in a coworker's office with a big sigh and stared out her rather large window to the west side of the city. She was on the phone dealing with a contact we had both been trying to reach all day. I had been so busy that even my boss, who found me later on, said something to the tone of he was surprised that he hadn't seen me at all.

It was finally a moment to stop and catch my breath--and sometimes the best way these days is to just sit and stare out the window at the infrastructure, the asphalt, the abundance of green trees, the pigeons flying around 10 stories up, and off in the distance, the North Georgia mountains are even visible. It's really a great window. She's been there a while. One day I hope to 'be there a while' just not in the same place. I want to see mountains and infrastructure in a different place. But for now I'm content.

As I waited on the phone call to end, I reached for the book on the windowsill that I've grown accustomed to opening at times like these. She has a copy of 14,000 things to be happy about. And, on quite a few occasions I've sat there perusing just one page at a time of the thick book. Today I decided that I was just going to open it up, put my finger on one line and let that be something to be happy about. So I did. And, I should be happy about..

eating crow


Here I was being content and happy just counting crows. Who knew I'd be so much more happier had I been eating them this whole time.

19 October 2008

4 candles on the imaginary cake

Huh. Life is moving so fast that I failed to realize until today that WTOMTL just turned another year on the old blog calendar.

So, Happy Blog Birthday to me. I'm now 4. I'll be starting blog kindergarten in no time.

Amazing how after 4 years I still have a captive audience that still tries to catch up on what's going on in the life of a twentysomething who is just enjoying life.

You've come a long way, blog. We've had some good times..

Like the teddy graham incident

Or finding out there were eggs in pumpkin pie

And who could forget the day my frogs grew legs

Or the paper towel dispenser saga at my old job

And then I ran my first 5k (and due to inclement weather, my second 5k was the following day)

Which springboarded into my first of three half marathons in eight months last year

And then there was the great west with lots of hiking, and awesome weather, and Ansel Adams landscapes and glissading down glaciers

During it all, apparently 3/4 of my friends decided to get hitched with most of them in one year

It was great to crash a few times while skiing and having friends take pics of it

Most importantly, I found out Winnie the Pooh was part of the manger at Christmas.

Thanks to all. Ready for another year..

17 October 2008

more wedding pics

DSC02299, originally uploaded by greyguitar.

Finally got some time to upload a few of the 425 pics I took of my sister and new brother-in-law's wedding at the farm. So, peruse my flickr account for some of them.


new top25

Boredom has set in and I am reminded of how much I like to see stats. Here's the latest of my itunes top 25 most played. Somewhat similar to 4 months ago.

13 October 2008


This is what riding a giant roller coaster looks like at night in South Carolina. Granted there's not much to see, I thought the sky looked cool in the video. Too bad I accidentally stopped the vid midway through the ride.

That was the ride formerly known as Top Gun.

But the best part had to be standing in line to ride the Nighthawk (formerly the Borg) coaster for over an hour around 1am. Hands down, the best roller coaster I've ever been on. And scariest.

Hmm, with a little youtube searching, I found someone that actually recorded the coaster in the daylight. And in retrospect, I think I am happy that I rode it at night and didn't have to see all of this. For reference, you lay on your back going up the hill and immediately after, you are laying on your stomach for the rest of the ride. So, this is what you'd see:

10 October 2008

on the road

This is what traveling will do to me. I don't think it's boredom as much as it's I want everyone to pretend they are driving with me. And my music. I've logged a lot of miles lately.

08 October 2008

tugging at nature

In an impromtu decision to catch up on sleep yesterday afternoon, I somehow managed to sleep for 14 hours. I'm not sure I've slept that long since undergrad Saturday mornings or something. But let me tell you, after weeks and weeks of working on weekends and volunteering and late night revelry, it caught up with me and I greeted it with open arms. It being life.

Now I'm ready for the next few months of being busy.

It's raining in Kentucky this morning. Maybe the rain will make the grass blue for the long ride home. We'll see.

I heard a great quote yesterday from the First Lady of Kentucky (who is an awesome environmentalist, by the way) at the conference here..

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." (John Muir)

06 October 2008

looking for the blue

I'm in the great state of Kentucky. I can count on 2 hands the time I've been here. And on all those occasions, I have yet to find bluegrass. Wait, blue grass. Blue grass. All I've found this time has been brown grass. I'm told it's because it's fall. I think it's a cover-up.

I was all dressed up in my business suit earlier talking about my job and fielding questions at the start of a conference that I'm attending--and there's nothing quite like getting over that fear of standing in front of 75ish people with their eyes all on you. In typical Rob style, I stumbled over a few words and repeated "bascially" and "essentially" until even I was tired of hearing them. But something atypical happened also. I was standing there, with 4 others on the panel, and while listening to an answer from someone else, my mind started wandering. I was no longer even thinking about the subject. I thought to myself "what would happen if I just started singing?"


Why did I think that? So then I went through scenarios about me just singing and everyone joining along. And then I pictured some really bad movie where everyone was singing and it was all slow motion but the song keeps going. Really, I don't know what this is about.

05 October 2008

SNL debate

Hilarious excerpt from last night's SNL.

02 October 2008

memphis jug band

2 videos I shot last night at the Counting Crows concert. 1st is 10 minutes.. and my camera battery died before the song (Rain King) ended. But it's got a good intro. Second is a cover of "Cecilia".

'i can't go outside cause i'm scared that i might not make it home'

i wore a coat this morning while walking from my apartment to the train station. and it was great.

54 deg at 7am is perfect.

i saw a truly great counting crows show last night. and i only paid $12. and then magically we got our lawn seats upgraded to real seats. and even then, we moved up a dozen rows to better ones. though i'm equally excited about the band augustana that opened--never listened to them before. who knew they were a little bluegrass-ish?

and i saw an electric banjo, i'm pretty sure.

video(s) to follow.

29 September 2008

so there was this wedding, part 277

My sister got married on the farm. And here it is. I'm so exhausted.

26 September 2008

it's easy being green, when it's fall

Reiterating the fact that I don't have screens on my 100-yr old apartment, I will also reiterate that my only fear of intruders were going to be the impromptu scurrying of a palmetto bag every now and then. And since my AC has been off for a few weeks now, the windows have been wide open.

But now there's a new intruder to watch for:

So yesterday when I walked over to get something from the fridge, a sudden movement on my window ledge caught my eye and lo and behold my new pet squirrel emerged. Luckily, he had moved away by the time I stealthily grabbed my camera and returned.

I'm no soothsayer, but I forsee a problem in the future. Or a really funny blog about me trying to capture a squirrel and send it back outside.

23 September 2008

the end

Apparently this is a big day..

22 September 2008

rats of the sky

Today I stopped in the middle of the road to let a pigeon cross the street.

In a crosswalk.

And that made my day so much better.

21 September 2008

shoe shine, don't bother me

To be a person who doesn't need their shoes shined, it is very odd to see so many people in need of this action. In the airport this week, I briskly walked past the shoe shining kiosk to see this important businessman sitting atop a pedestal (read: throne) right in the middle of the terminal. Everyone that walks by and looks in that direction will see him. The shiner hurriedly buffs the black Doc Martin's all the while, the important businessman is on his phone. Yelling. No respect whatsoever.

I get to my hotel room and read a sign that says I can have my shoes shined and returned to my room by sunrise if I so choose.

I return to yet another airport on a completely different side of the States and see another important one having his shoes shined at 930pm.

Maybe one day I'll be important enough to need my shoes shined at the airport.

Can you even shine Chacos?

14 September 2008

2 things

Pic of the new apartment. Well, of the living room at least.

And a cool shot I took over the weekend while camping in the 100 acre woods.

11 September 2008

round 4

Did you really come back early Friday morning just to check on the status of the elephant? Be honest..

The elephant succeeded from being eaten on the final day!

Training - 3, Elephant - 1.

And another test down, and another ace.


Such a good song, live:

10 September 2008

round 3

Training Day 4:

Aced another test. Ok, ok, it was open book and we were given all the questions in a lightning speed Jeopardy game beforehand. Whatever. Meanwhile, I've discovered that I have no time whatsoever. My breaks are filled writing reports that are due and fielding email questions. My definition of f-u-n.

Again today, eating elephants was a priority for the day.

Training - 3, Elephant - 0

It's not looking good for the elephants.

09 September 2008

round 2

Today we were told to actually eat the elephant.

Well, Stallone told me to at least.

Training - 2, Elephant - 0.

08 September 2008

pumpkin flavored flax

Some days are just unlike others.

I started a week long training session at work this week. There are 3 instructors, and they each have their own unique style.

One was asleep in the back of the classroom after lunch. He also reminded me of Wilfred Brimley telling me about diabetes while simultaneously convincing me to eat Quaker Oats. That's the same guy, right?

The second instructor was so southern he said "dag-gum" a few times. Definitely a winner.

And the third instructor was from Boston and decided that every other line had to be a Sylvestor Stallone quote. At least it sounded like Stallone. The fact that I'm not a Stallone fan probably doesn't bode well though. Oh and the only movie I can remember seeing of his off the top of my head was Daylight, I'm sure the quotes weren't from that one.

At one point the third instructor tried to relate a principle that we were learning to a common question in life.

It really goes hand-in-hand with the classic question, he exclaimed.

How do you eat an elephant?

I just sat there with a dumb look on my face. Since when is that an ageless, classic question in life? Am I the only one that has never heard this?

Apparently the answer is one bite at a time.

Glad we got that out of the way.

Back in real life, where I don't eat elephants, I determined that I'm finally able to afford buying groceries at Sam's Club once again. I ventured up there after work and I swear I felt like I had won the lottery. 8 bananas for $1.32?? Surely that was wrong. 15 cups of yogurt for $6? But seriously, can you beat 3 pounds of honey nut cheerios for $8?

They don't sell elephants by the bite though.

02 September 2008

when work is actually FUN

Tomorrow, I get to go here!

Road Atlanta

And that's really exciting. I get to take a behind-the-scenes tour! And it's all in the name recycling and of a national project that I'm working on coordinating! AHHHH!

And in a month, I actually get to see a race there! A Green Race.

This is that part of the job when work is fun. Ok, it's actually all fun. More fun. Funner. Yes, funner.

28 August 2008

it takes two

I mean seriously.. two tropical systems at the same time?

24 August 2008

it's a war on war

It's been rather cool here in the city the past few days. To mark the occasion, I turned off the AC and opened up the windows on Friday afternoon. Don't let this fool you as I secretly just wanted to save money on my outrageous power bill as well.

So, as the sun set on Friday and the night grew dark, I turned on a lamp and sat on the couch to watch some television. This is also the part where I should say I live in an 100-yr old house that's converted into apartments and therefore there are no screens on the windows because who knew about screens 100 years ago, really?

At some point I walked into the kitchen to grab some water and noticed what would appear to be the biggest palmetto bug ever on my kitchen wall. But every cockroach I see these days is the biggest one ever so it's kind of pointless to declare its size anymore.

So I killed it in a dramatic death which included me hitting it so hard with one of my Chacos that it fell onto the counter, started scurrying behind a picture and led me to say out loud, "seriously, you didn't die from THAT?!"

But I moved the picture really fast and killed it. Again.

20 minutes later, back on the couch, I see the biggest palmetto bug ever literally RUN in my open window in my living room and scurry around on the window sill like it owns the place. With Chaco sandal already within grasp, I killed it rather violently to make sure it died.

Then I hit it again for good measure.

And again.

Then I left it on the floor so as a calling card to other giant palmetto bugs that wish to cross the line into the apartment.

So this got me laughing, to myself and the dead palmetto bugs, because I started thinking back to the last place I lived that didn't have screens. And I had to go all the way back to 2003 in Columbia. And I drug up this picture below. Back in the day, when I was an exterminator in the apartment while wearing my Just Say No shirt.

Though upon further inspection, I've only now realized how dilapidated that apartment really was. I mean, the paint (probably encased in lead and poisoning us every day) was literally falling off the ceilings and walls.

There was something special about those Columbia palmetto bugs though. They flew. At you.

22 August 2008

firmly rooted

I just saw a Weather Channel public service announcement (video) showing a family packing up to leave town because a hurricane is coming. They are taking the proper emergency materials along with them.

gas lanterns
crank-operated weather radio

and a fishing rod

18 August 2008

banshees in the night

So, there was a little Braves game on a Friday night with my parents. Though they lost, the fireworks show at the end that was synced with classic rock music made up for it.

But seriously, can you beat these seats for a last minute Friday night game in August? Somehow I scored 4th row seats on stubhub.com

Here's a video towards the end when the giant, screaming torpedo fireworks went shooting across the field toward us like a banshee.

16 August 2008

oh my dear

Saw these guys, The Dappled Grays, on Thursday. Good bluegrass.

14 August 2008

cue the ominous music

i was going to upload just a screenshot of the satellite imagery, but as i was cropping the image, i realized just how big of a nerd i am. i had 4 internet tabs open of various government, non-profit and underground weather web pages/blogs reading about the tropics. it's fun.

so here's a menace. it appears that there's a little storm brewing north of the lesser antilles. yesterday it looked pathetic. today it looks ominous. could this be hurricane fay soon? the models have quite a few tracks with landfall(s) in the US. get excited!

12 August 2008


Just revisiting an old photo I took at the Oakland Cemetery a while back.

Life's been a bit busy lately.

If there's one thing at work that drives me crazy, it's the fact that my telephone cord somehow will undoubtedly curl itself up into an annoying little mess that I have to unwind once a week. I don't understand. It's not like I sit there while on the phone and turn the cradle 20-30 times while I'm on the phone. Sometimes I think it actually finds a way to twirl into a tangle within a few hours--even after not having used the phone all day.

Today when I exited the train and about to walk through the gates, I heard a loud traffic collision outside. From where I was positioned, I was able to stand above the wreck since I was near the pedestrian bridge directly above it. Nothing major, just some fender benders in the rain (oh and some smoke!). But what surprised me so much was the reaction time for the police to arrive.

In under 3 minutes, 4 policemen showed up on motorcycles and began directing traffic and assisting with the collision. I was definitely amazed.

11 August 2008

just the grass

Just plain, old, good stuff..

08 August 2008

social elite

I've turned into the social networker over on the west coast with some blog friends. See here.

How exciting!

05 August 2008

august and everything after

I was suddenly reminded that I moved to Atlanta 3 years ago this week. And subsequently, I've postponed having this picture as my backyard for a few more years.

But I think I'm ok with that for a little while longer.

Last night while making dinner with dim light, something caught my eye on the floor. In a quick turn, I noticed a giant (yes, giant) wiry spider bolting towards me.

And let me just say that it was really coming towards my foot at a pretty good clip. My foot. Me. Why me of all things. I have a giant apartment and it was aimed at me. Did I look like food? I just don't know.

In my haste, I killed it with a cd case. Granted I'm usually one to provide bugs with a second chance but I have to limit my sincerity somewhere.

Again, just to reiterate, he was booking it across the kitchen floor. I didn't know they could do that!

03 August 2008

every picture tells a story

Never a dull moment around Atlanta. Likewise, what's a little weekend fun without some drama? And by drama I mean uprooted century year old oak trees right down the street and loss of power.

So, this rapid thunderstorm blew through the neighborhood in about 30 minutes complete with really gusty winds and those thunder claps that startle you as much as the lightning that happened immediately before. As I was flipping through the channels looking for some sort of weather update, the power went off. At some point we looked off the porch and saw the above tree in the middle of the road.

Natural disaster!

So, with a major artery road to Piedmont Ave. completely blocked, it became a neighborhood block party of sorts (at least I thought it was). Kind of amazing it only took out the power lines (and the road) considering its proximity to the fire hydrant. And all those vehicles that were parked along the street. Including some of ours (which are the ones to the left of the headlights above).

Always trying to find something artsy.

And nothing like an amazing sunset immediately afterward.

And these cool kids giving a thumbs up for surviving the thunderstorm. Always finding a good time no matter what the situation.

28 July 2008

step out the front door like a ghost into the night

I'm headed to see Counting Crows tonight!

And I have no idea how many of their concerts I've seen. Must be a good sign.

23 July 2008

say what?

Today I had a 'pre-physical' at work. Tomorrow is a chest x-ray. Then after that I have a real physical. Who knew there was so much background health clearance needed with a federal job about recycling.

Anyway, during the 'pre-physical' (which really was just 2 hours of torturous finding my veins to fill an absorbent amount of vials) I was asked "now what race do you consider yourself?" This caught me off guard for one main reason, well maybe 2. The first reason being I spent the good part of 30 minutes filling out countless form after form where I answered 'caucasian' 137 times. I figured that was good enough. Apparently not.

I said, sort of dumbfoundly, "I'm pretty sure 'caucasian' is right." At this point, the doctor looked up at me and said "oh, I thought you had Asian in you."

Which brings me to the second reason this caught me off guard. What part of blonde hair and blue eyes did she not understand? So, I felt really confident in the rest of the examination after that.

22 July 2008

is it a birthday? or a blogday?

It appears that, according to Blogger, this is my 700th post.

700 posts in almost 4 years.

And after 699 posts I really can't think of anything witty or smart or fun to talk about for my dramatic 700th post.

I mean, I could talk about watching the Weather Channel, but I share my affinity enough. My belt broke today. That was significant I suppose.

But for now, I think I'm just going to hope for the best and perhaps I'll have 700 more posts to enlighten you with in the future. Thanks for enduring me for this long.

20 July 2008

it was a hot, sunny, humid Georgia day

...and I spent it at Six Flags Over Georgia.

Nothing like getting to the park right as it opens and avoiding some of the long lines. And nothing like riding the Goliath (above). It's a hypercoaster and as I just found out, experiences 4.1 Gs. Hmm. Imagine going 70-mph after a 200-foot fall. And then being tossed and turned for a few more minutes along 8.3 acres of track. Awesome! I think I was 12 again for a while.

Found this video on YouTube that someone posted of the ride. I think it does it justice.

18 July 2008


Just testing to see if this actually works to post from my iPod.
Because if it does then work suddenly got that much more fun.

Sent from my iPod

16 July 2008

on the road

Something's got to give. All I do is walk these days. It's great. I walk to the train station. I walk around for lunch. I walk home from work/train station. I walk outside my front door and go running around the neighborhood. I walk to dinner when I want. I can even walk to the grocery store (though that's where I'll stop and say I drive because lugging my unlimited supply of Simply Orange juice is not worth the pain in my fingers from holding the bags).

And I just saved a bunch of money by switching to Geico. Ok, I was already with Geico, but I did save $140 per year for diminishing my commute to nearly nothing.

Now if I could just figure out some way to pay off my debt in a feasible way.

14 July 2008


In perusing craigslist at the free stuff in Atlanta, I discovered bamboo for free. The description:

There is enough bamboo in my backyard for everyone in Georgia. It's not the type that the pandas will eat. I have already contacted the zoo.

That made my day.

Wait there's even another listing for more bamboo:

I have about 75 pieces of bamboo that has been drying...you could build all kinds of things with this?

Someone is even getting rid of a "Christmas wreath and other Christmas things."

This is too fun.

13 July 2008

it has what on it?

Apparently I decided eating the above hamburger was a good idea on Saturday night. This is the Elvis burger at the Vortex.

well-done hamburger
fried bananas
hot peanut butter (no, that's not melted cheese as it may appear to be)

But hey, it became a bet to see if I'd actually eat it. And, I got a free meal out of it.

10 July 2008

the good old days, may not return

Tom Petty is still rockin' at the concerts. I think I just went to my 5th Tom Petty show. This one was eventful because it sold out and I was there by myself. And in rained. Luckily, the rain subsided right before he went on stage (which was about the time I finally got there).

2 solid hours of good classic rock music from a legend cannot be beat. Especially an acoustic "Learnin' to Fly."

08 July 2008

the cow says moo

For some reason along with the move to the new apartment, I've had a week of sleepless, restless nights accompanied by bouts of coughing and sneezing. I'm convinced my bed no longer is a bed and more or less feels like I'm sleeping on a pile of crumpled paper. It may be time to spring (pun!) for a new one.

Unsure of what might be the culprit, I have had some weird dream/waking up sequences with my alarm clock(s) (only 3 of them now) in the mornings. Monday, the phone goes off at the normal 6am. I had the 2nd set for send-off at 6:29. Somewhere in between those 29 minutes, my mind goes off in this surreal world of convincing myself that I HAVE to get to work on time because I'm using a government vehicle and I HAVE to get it filled up with gas before I can take it back. But each time I snooze my alarm, I tell myself that the "hallelujah" chorus that I hear as my alarm tone is some warning beacon that is going off to alert me about the car. Yet somehow I never actually get up out of bed?? After waking up every 5 minutes and realizing the car dilemma, I never once realize that this is 100% false and there's no car, no fueling needed, not even a deadline.

The next thing I know, I wake up wide-eyed and roll over to see that it's 7:30. Where did an hour and a half go? What does my mind tell itself? No, not that it should get up because it's late--that would be ridiculous! Oh no, I actually pick up my phone and make a new alarm setting for it to start going off in 5-minute increments again, thus my actual getting-out-of-bed isn't until 8am. 2 hours. TWO HOURS of snoozing.

Maybe I need one of those ambient alarm clocks with the sound of rushing water that becomes louder and louder.

06 July 2008

a gorge

It only took 1,099 stairs in the Georgia humidity to get to, but the suspension bridge that swayed 80 feet over the Tallulah Gorge was definitely worth it. And I think it cleared my sinuses after a week of not being able to breathe well.

04 July 2008

atlanta fireworks

Took some video atop a parking garage at a Marta station in Atlanta looking towards the skyscrapers of Midtown. We were trying to see the Downtown fireworks, but we had to settle for these which we did not know were even going to be there.

you can call me al

This morning I volunteered in the "world's largest 10k" (Peachtree Road Race). For some reason I decided that going to sleep at 2am and waking up at 530am was a good idea. Throw in not drinking coffee beforehand, only eating a banana, having to stand for a long duration and currently feeling under the weather, my morning was not the greatest. But as I stood there monitoring recycling stations, I found myself not being able to help but watch as thousands of runners crossed over the 6.2 mile mark with such adrenaline and passion about running (for the most part, at least). My station just so happened to be AT the finish line at the first aid station. Since there's not that many people recycling in first aid, I found myself standing at the gate just watching people drop like flies. It wasn't too hot, but very, very humid (80% range).

Suddenly my horrible morning didn't seem so bad after seeing people collapse and wait for stretchers to carry them off behind me. I wanted to help, but I didn't have a medic badge on, so I was merely and observer standing beside security in the "vip area". I admire those folks. The ones that perservere to get to the finish line no matter how much it hurts and no matter how much it's going to take to overcome the stress afterwards. Just makes you feel good..

02 July 2008

over 40 channels to choose from

Over the weekend, I (or I should say 9 people) moved myself into a giant apartment in Candler Park. I cannot stop talking about the fact that I can walk 9 minutes to the Marta stop and hop on the train to work in downtown Atlanta. There's just some redeeming quality of that.

Today was the cable/internet hook-up day for me. After being told they would be here between 2-5, I proceeded to take a nap until they arrived the technician arrived at 445. I'm not going to go out on a limb here, but incompetency is the word that comes to mind. After watching him try multiple ways to hook up the digital converter box to my 15-yr old television, I finally got up and changed one direction of wires when he was off "to check the attic." And everything started working.

And you better darn well believe that I'm going to get the $25 cable installation and the $30 internet installation fees waived when they appear on my bill. Monopoloies..

So here I sit with an absurd amount of channels and what am I watching? One of those music channels in the 900 range. Bluegrass. It's good. So I'm paying to have digital bluegrass blared through my 15-yr old TV. What a life.

24 June 2008

3 years in the making

Whenever I'm pressed for something to blog about but still feel the need to elaborate on something, I will resort back to the archive of my blog. So, where was ol' Rob back in late-June, 2005? Just getting back from a trip to Atlanta to do some apartment hunting. I was planning the big move to the big ATL 3 years ago. THREE years ago. Who would have known. Known what? That I'm still here. And enjoying it more than ever. And not wanting to leave for the time being at least. That was not the plan.

And 2 years ago? I was at a wedding in the Poconos. I mean, come on, who gets to say "I was in the Poconos for the weekend"?

And a year ago? I was at a Wilco concert in the pouring rain. Drenching rain.

And here I am. Preparing to move back into the big city from my year in the suburbs outside-the-perimeter. OTP, as we call it. Candler Park has my name on it.

Year 4, here we come.

20 June 2008

play counts, coldplay, runnin

I'm a big fan of looking at numbers. And since I've had itunes keeps track of how many times I've listened to a particular track, it always fascinates me to look at my Top75 whenever I sync my ipod(s) up after a week or two of playing. Below is my Top25 as of tonight.

No big surprises, I don't think.

Picked up the new Coldplay album this past Tuesday. The more and more I listen to it, the better and better it becomes. Turning into a great album. And should be getting to see them in November.

Tomorrow I'm running in another 5k to add to the list. Should be a fun run with a music festival afterwards with Blues Traveler. Apparently this summer is all about 90's bands making a comeback in small venues. It's becoming a trend here at least.

16 June 2008

big brother

The Atlanta region (yes, even suburbs outside the perimeter) have been spied on lately. It appears that Google has updated the ATL on GoogleMaps to include the highly contested 'street view.' So, if you know anyone in the area, type in their addy and find the button that says 'street view' and you'll see, hopefully, a better image than the one above. Most of the ones I've looked at are rather crisp. I zoomed in and cropped this one for anonymity purposes.

But it would appear that I was home! And the dogwoods were blooming.

07 June 2008

for the restlessly abandonded

Update: On Friday I slept through all 4 alarms. I knew it would happen eventually. At least it was a Friday and it was only 8am when I awoke.

I've been up in DC this past week for a federal conference. It was a good week listening to a lot of important people talk about important environmental concerns. Other than that and some annoying airport delays, cancellations, loss of luggage, and taking absurdly long taxi rides due to my arrival back in Atlanta (3am), the trip was a success.

And apparently summer in Atlanta set in this week with highs in the upper-90's and humidity approaching over 100% (in my opinion). Sweltering might be the appropriate term. But alas, it's something you start getting used to after a while and though we might complain, we know it'll eventually wane into the crisp fall days that are waiting around the corner. So, long live summer.

Even I just rolled my eyes after reading that.

Hopefully everyone saw the finale of Lost last week.

27 May 2008

5-minute snooze

If I didn't have 4 alarms going off from 6-6:31 every weekday morning, I don't think I would ever get up. So far, I've definitely used up 3 alarms and was fortunately saved by the 4th alarm. Mostly I can manage to not turn off 2 of them before awaking.

The rundown:
6:00 cell phone alarm blaring "hallelujah! hallelujah!" chorus
6:05 hallelujah snooze
6:10 hallelujah snooze
at this point I pretty much turn off that alarm because I know another one is imminent.
6:14 cell phone alarm blaring some "fanfare!" chorus
6:19 fanfare snooze
6:20 tv turns on with CNN blaring
6:24 "AHHH! I hate alarms!" which usually equates to me turning it off
6:26-6:29 in and out of sleep and awakeness, I hear various chats about politics and severe weather but nothing enough to keep me awake.
6:30 my Ironman watch, which never leaves my left wrist, starts beeping annoyingly. it's annoying because I know that this alarm is the final straw. it's all over now. 30 minutes of snoozing has come to an end. and thus begins the 30 minutes of rushed ironing, showering, shaving, pouring coffee (at least I pre-set that!) and running out the door by 7.

4 alarms. There has to be a better way.

26 May 2008

phoenix has landed

Nerd as I am, I spent my Sunday evening glued to CNN anxiously awaiting the landing of the latest Mars lander. And it landed. Successfully. And within 2 hours, I was again glued to the tube and live feed from NASA where everyone anxiously awaited the first images to be beamed to Pasadena, California. And they were. Successfully.

There's just something remarkable about the fact that we're looking at our closest planet neighbor a mere 10 months after sending a surveyor its way.

Source: space.com JPL/NASA/Lockheed

23 May 2008

dipping jet stream

I'm stressed from watching the Weather Channel. It's just a continuous barrage of supercells, tornadoes, funnel clouds spotted, warnings, etc.

But I'm hooked.

I must know about the twin supercells that are going through southern Kansas. I must continue to watch. It's like a never-ending season of your favorite tv show.

Ok, so my favorite tv show.

Meanwhile, week 2 of new job complete. I was a little excited about signing up for vision and dental benefits today, by the way.

18 May 2008

molly (the cow) is rolling over in her grave right now

Hay rides (sans hay) and wagon races (mariokart style). All on my parent's farm--Molly's Farm. Not sure it gets much better than that.

13 May 2008

big wheel keep on turnin

Well. I started a career yesterday. And I'm happy to report that I love it.

I went camping this weekend at the 100-acre woods (at least that's what we call it) to celebrate some graduation of people and personally, for me, the last weekend of freedom.

And then a giant thunderstorm nearly wrapped us up and threw us in the woods in the middle of the night, but not before campfire songs turned into camparaoke (camping karaoke?).

08 May 2008

and the winner is..

It was decided that watching the Kentucky Derby last Saturday would best be viewed while sitting on a porch swatting at killer mosquitoes and eating tortilla chips and pizza. But dressed nicely, of course.

We're cool, we know.

02 May 2008

round here

My roommate is currently cutting the grass on the John Deere while holding a cup of coffee.

At noon.

29 April 2008

and the beat goes on

This week has been about the good news and the bad news for me. But so far, I think everything is going well and will work out. The short story is my truck is sick. But it's at the dealership holding it's warranty and standing strong.

And I switched tracks on the career front. This equates to me starting a new job on May12. Saving the environment.

Or something like that.

In other news, the temperatures are dipping down to lower 30's tonight. And back to the upper 70's by the afternoon. Has anyone ever heard of that being called a 'blackberry spring/winter' ?

22 April 2008

and, i'm back

Excursion #17 of 'my job doesn't start until _ days (which is still undetermined)': complete.

Hiking on the Appalachian Trail is just something to write home about.

Day 1 commenced a bit atypically. My buddy Carl and I set out from Amicalola Falls in northern Georgia on a nice spring morning. Mother Nature changed those plans. Here, the weather looks somewhat tolerable. Note the thicker jackets and lack of foliage though. The temperature was hovering around 40. 3 minutes onto the trail, it began to snow. And not the light, wispy snow either. Throw in some bone-chilling wind and hard sleet.

Not to be outdone, we arrive at our shelter about 7 miles later and realize the snow we'd been hiking in was not letting up anytime soon. But we did meet up with this other hiker, Cary, who had just started a few hours after us. And was headed to Maine. So we ended up hiking with him a good part of the week. Cool guy. Keep in mind that 2 days prior, the highs were definitely topping 80 degrees. Just a fluke of a cold winter blast. Blackberry winter? Is that what it's called?

I've never heard winds howl so hard in the night. I think I slept an hour total Monday night. And there was a light dusting on the ground when we awoke.

After Monday, the skies cleared and the sun began to warm everything. It warmed up so much that it was actually just plain hot. Funny how I complained because I was cold and then because I was hot. I like to whine.

Somewhere along the trail we hiked through some old growth pine forests that were just plain cool. And old. And huge. Note me for scale.

By the end of the week and 35+ miles later, we were done, exhausted, in pain, bloody, filthy, content, proud, and just hungry for a good meal. A meal that was found with a 20-minute drive to a Zaxby's. When I took this pic it was definitely in the mid-70's with a nice breeze. But we were so drained and dehydrated that we were so cold waiting on our pick-up. And leftover trail mix that had tasted so good hours before was not so appetizing for me anymore now that I knew a Zaxby's was only minutes away. Carl, on the other hand, thought otherwise.