Monday, July 31, 2006

My First Car and the Concrete Island

My first car was a Datsun 200sx. It was a pretty nifty little car and I had it when I was a senior in High School. So I was fortunate to not have to take the bus all Senior year.

See my car was actually my oldest brother's old car. He just bought a new car and decided instead of trading in his old wheels to give it to his younger brother. What a deal!! It was a 5 speed stick and didn't have many options, but it was all mine!

This leads me to my next story. Before I could drive the car all by myself, I had to pass my driver's test. I'll never forget the day before my driver's test, because that's when the concrete island incident happened. See my Dad came to pick me up at High School. I pulled out of the parking lot and was driving by the tennis courts where my friends were practicing. I thought I'd do a cool drive by and then accelerate out, just to show off. Well, I did my drive by and did my acceleration maneuver perfectly shifting from 2nd to 3rd. I was so cool!!! Unfortunately for me, I didn't realize that there was a concrete island in front of me. BAM!!!!!!! The entire car went over the island front wheels, then back wheels and my Father and I were bounced around in the car like pinballs. Then I drove home and my Dad shook his head and said, "I'm really not sure I should let you take that driving test tomorrow." I am laughing and smiling as I write this post, only because I can just picture how insanely funny, and how stupid I was and how the whole thing looked and sounded. I can remember looking in the rear view mirror and seeing my friends falling down on the tennis courts just laughing and rolling around!!!! Yeah it was definitely not my finest moment.

I'm glad to say my Dad did not kill me. My friends were surprised that I was in school the next day. They thought for sure my Dad would have given me a beating after that. And I'm happy to say he even let me take my driver's exam the next day, even though the concrete island incident had taken place the day before!! Of course I was without a car for 2 weeks afterwards for punishment. I chalk this all up to one of those really stupid things you do when you are a teenager.... =)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

How Much Have You Changed Since High School?

Went to NJ this past week to be with my Mom for a test. She was having some weirdness going on with the colon, so she was scoped to see what was going on. Thankfully, everything turned out OK and the doctor says she'll be fine.

While I was in NJ I went into my old bedroom and picked up my High School yearbook. I paged through it and remembered some things. Damn I was really awkward back then. I totally did not know what the hell I was doing. Sharkey and I have talked before about the "old" days and she always said she'd go back and do it in a heartbeat. Not me man. No way!!! I just never felt like High School was the greatest or best time of my life. Not even close. My time came in right after college when I landed my first real job and was all the way across the country living in Bend, Oregon. That's when I totally felt like I knew who I was and what I was about and that I had "arrived" where I thought I should be. It's a good feeling when you find your place in the world.

But I also found this picture recently and I thought I'd share it since Suzie already outed Sharkey and I to the virtual world!!! =) Here's my NJ driver's license picture, circa 1987. Yes, that was 19 years ago, I'm old now, I get it.... And if you look at Suzie's site, you can compare then to now, which is even more drastic! But also, Suzie wanted to see a JP spikey hair picture and this is about the best I can do, even though my hair was growing out a bit at that point and wasn't gelled up. And thank GOD, I straightened my teeth and gained some freakin' weight (and, muscle... that's it....ppppfffttt)!!! Anyhow, Suzie this one's for you...

Like the 80's pinstripe shirt? Just listen to "Heart and Soul" by T'Pau when you are looking at this picture and you'll be immediately transported back to 1987!!!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mosquito City

Every Thursday is golf league. I talk about golf a lot, I know. And if you are a reader of my blog you know I golf on Thursdays, there are some jerks, I play with a dude named Peters, etc. Anyway, last week I didn't play because Sharkey and I were in Miami meeting Suzie and the Hubs. I love golf, but it was really nice not having to play last week. See, the problem here is that lately Eastern PA has received just the right combination of rain to become the perfect breeding ground for my favorite pest, the mosquito. Did you know it is also the state bird of Minnesota??

It's not so bad around our house, but where I play golf is just BRUTAL!! You want to stay in the sunlight as much as possible and you pray for a wind. Because if you venture off into the shade or near a water hazard you are eaten alive. The week before we left for Miami I had finished a round of golf and I counted 32 bites on me!! For some reason, the good Lord above made me a natural mosquito attractor. Now the other thing you have to understand is that unfortunately I am EXTREMELY allergic to mosquito bites. I swell up, I look like a balloon sculpture, it's not pretty. I tried all the different types of repellent. I tried the all natural stuff with citronella and some new agent. The crap with lemon eucalyptus. That stuff sucked!! I think the mosquitoes liked me more. No my friends, I'm sad to say that the stuff that works the best is still the old standard, 29% DEET Deep Woods OFF!!! So if I grow a third arm or eye in the back of my head, so be it. I hate those bloodsuckers!!!

I checked out tomorrow's mosquito report and here it is:

Thankfully, it's not too bad. Two weeks ago the bar chart was at "Very High" from 4-8pm. Right smack in the middle of JP's golf league.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

US Airways BLOWS!!!

So we just got home about 20 minutes ago. My watch reads 3:07am now. It is GOOD to finally be home!! We were supposed to have arrived in Philadelphia at 10:05pm. Well, that didn't happen. At Ft. Lauderdale, we were told the inbound aircraft from Philly was delayed and was not taking off until 6:45pm. Considering our flight was supposed to leave Ft. Lauderdale at 7:05pm, that meant we'd be leaving somewhere around 9:30pm now. Well the gate agent came on again and said 30 minutes later that the airplane had just left Philly. The big "UGH!!" was heard all over that terminal. So the plane arrived at Ft. Lauderdale around 9:45. We boarded and took off around 10:30pm. The flight was pretty uneventful and we landed at 12:35am. I can accept that there are weather issues that cause this kind of stuff to happen, so I just shrugged it off. No problem right? WRONG!!!

Sharkey and I waited an hour and a 1/2 for our luggage. We were with about 50 other passengers in baggage claim just standing around waiting. There really were no other passengers from other flights around us. So 40 min. into the wait one of the guys on our flight went to the baggage counter and asked what was up. They told him they were really "BUSY" tonight and there were several other planes they had to unload before ours. And they couldn't give us an estimate of when the bags would come up the conveyor. They said it could be 30min. or 2 - 3 more hours!!! Now see, stuff like that really pisses me off!! It's not like US Airways has other flights coming in after 1am and to say the timeframe was anywhere from minutes to several hours is complete BS!!! And when you looked around baggage claim, it was a complete friggin' GHOST TOWN!!!! Mind you this is not the first time they've done this. On average if you fly US Airways into Philly, you will wait at least 45min. for your bags. We locals have come to accept this as a given for flying them. The stupid thing is, it is totally PHILADELPHIA where this crap happens. If you fly US Airways to any other location in the USA, your bags will usually appear within 15 - 25min after your flight lands.


I told Sharkey tonight they are BANNED!!! If we can help it we will not fly them again.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lost My Shirt in Miami

So I just realized why I never unpack when I hit a hotel. It's because my 36 going on 37 year old memory sucks!!! I cannot remember to repack what I put in the freakin' hotel room drawer!!! I left one of my nice Dry Sport (I call them "Dry Weave" but Sharkey has been getting on me about that saying that term is used exclusively for female hygiene products!!) golf shirts behind at the Westin in Miami and when I called to ask if I could get someone to look for it or if anyone had turned it in, they were as interested in helping me as if I had the plague. Nice!!! I'm figuring one of the housekeeping people's spouses is sporting my shirt around town now.

Our little vacation has just been a blast. Met Suzie and the Hubs the other night. She did not turn out to be a psychotic axe murderer or internet predator. They were very nice. It was like talking to people you've known for a while. Also, they saw the JP problem solving skills in action, because I had (eeeerrrrrr...DUH!!!!!) left the digital camera card back at the hotel in my tablet PC and let's just say Sharkey was not very happy with me. But a quick trip to Office Max which fortunately was only 5 min. away turned the entire situation around. Oh, and Suzie, I know you are reading this post and you've mentioned how you need to reciprocate the dinner we paid for, but truth be told, it was $50 total. $50 measly bucks!! No worries, K'? =) But you can still come to PA if your heart desires! You do have friends in Pennsylvania.

So our flight is leaving tonight and we should be back home in our own bed and with the Mags. So we checked out of the hotel and I'm writing this post from Panera Bread Co. in Ft. Lauderdale. Soup and sandwich anyone!! Hey that cherry/cheese danish is calling my name... Yep, heard it again...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Don't You Just Feel Like This Some Days?

I saw this picture on Yahoo. If you have your MyYahoo page setup to display the most e-mailed photos you've probably seen it too (or the gay female body builders rubbing tanner on each other....ahem.....things that make you say, "Huuuuuummmm") "Anywho," I really loved it. It makes me think of how you picture yourself looking when either someone pisses you off or you are just in one of those "moods."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Things That I Like...

In Hollywood, FL this week. Trying to teach clients new things and "learn them good." Convention ended today, so now it is time for some DOWN TIME!!! Sharkey and I rented a car. We got a Pontiac G6. It is pretty tight. It corners and accelerates pretty nicely. I've been wanting to try out that car for a while. I drive a Toyota Matrix, and I really like how it handles and that was a joint auto venture b/w Toyota and Pontiac, so there are some similarities to Pontiac in my Japanese car. We also checked into the Marriott and guess what's in the room!!!!

This lead me to think about things I really like:

1. Tight cornering, decent accelerating automobiles. I drive a Toyota now, but next time I think an Infiniti G35x is in order.... SSSSSHHHHHH do not tell Sharkey about this plan.... (ahem...)

2. Flat screen TV's. Hey, did you know the prices are dropping??? True story, check it out on Yahoo!!

3. High tech Gadgets. Yep love them. GPS handhelds w/ maps, multifunctional mobile phones, iPods, flash drives, mini optical mice, and PC's/Macs.

4. Room Service. It's vacation, you want to sleep in, but still want breakfast. What can be better???

5. Full service hotels. Let me just tell you, if you do not ever want to get jaded like I am, NEVER....EVER stay at a Disney Resort Hotel. And never stay at a Marriott Vacation Club Resort. Cause once you stay at one of those, it's really hard to stay at any other place.

6. Rainy days. Not sure why, but I've always liked the nice, soaking steady rainy days. I always have. I'm not talking the storming, 60 MPH wind, lightning/thunder type of day. I'm talking about the proverbial April shower type of day w/ the steady falling rain where you just sit back w/ a nice hot beverage, good book, and just veg...

7. Watches. I love tracking time. I do not know why? I just love different watches. I probably own about 10 different ones. Seiko, Citizen, Oakley, Fossil, are some of the timepieces I have.

8. Pens. I think this goes hand in hand w/ the watch fixation. I have several types of pens too. Cross, Watermark, Sensa, and a Belkin laser pointer/PDA stylus/pen (hence satisfying the gadget affinity too)

9. Sunglasses. Never skimp on the eyes or the feet. I love the wraparound Oakley's, I have a pair of Ray Ban's and of course Callaway specs.

10. Golf. It is my passion. I could hit balls every day 365 days a year. I love it. I think doing it serves a few things for me. It puts me in the "zone." It helps me to totally relax, feel "centered," and it makes me feel closer to my departed Dad. He taught me how to golf initially, and some of the best memories I have of him of are he and I playing. I never did beat him when he was alive. Pity, because I'm pretty sure I could give him a run for his money now!!

So that's my ten... If you have a little time, I'd like to hear a few of yours...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

To Be or Not to Be THE MAN...

Crossroad time. You know, life changing decision time. Trying to figure out if it's the right time to move up , move onward, further the career or not. I have an opportunity to sit in the big chair. My current Manager is moving on. So I'm trying to figure out if it's time for me to be "The Man." Now mind you I'm happy with the current job. I'm sort of a free spirit. I can come and go as I please for the most part. See I'm a virtual employee. My normal office attire are shorts and a t-shirt. I am in IT, but my company allows me to do the work at home, on the road, where ever I want. I just have to get the job done.

Now if I went for this new gig, I'd be the manager of 19 employees. My problems would not be limited to my own, but 19 other people's needs and issues. My responsibilities would change drastically. I'm starting to make my pro and con list. The difficult thing was hearing from 1/2 of my team directly asking, OK hoping, that I apply to be "The Man." It also does not make it easy that my current manager thinks I would make a good new boss. On top of that, Sharkey has been encouraging me saying it would be a good move for me.

I'm just not sure this is all for me. I'm really on the fence right now. Doing a lot of soul searching. I suppose it depends what my ultimate goal is. If it were to move up in the company or to just gain the experience to move on fine. But I view all this in a way that I'm thinking how can I avoid it all. I suppose that's bad, right? The thing is I'm going for my Master's degree to further the career, but does it mean I need to manage?

See I've been the "go to" guy. The one who comes up with the impossible solutions to everyone's problems. I learn all the rules of the job I do so I can twist, bend, and break them all to get the job done. It has served me very well the past 10 years. Could I step back and not be so hands on and be happy watching other guys do the job and help guide them?

I'm not one to search for a sign or anything, but man I wish that bolt of lightning with the voice would strike now!!!!

Monday, July 10, 2006

JP - Official Callaway Golf Product Tester!

So if you've read some of the previous posts on JP Jargon you know that JP is a golfer. You also know that JP's equipment of choice is Callaway. So in addition to equipment, JP has Callaway shirts, shorts, sunglasses, and a watch. JP is very passionate about branding and is often mistaken for a tour sponsored player, well not because of his game, but because of his loyalty to the Callaway brand. (on a side note, it's fun writing like this in the 3rd's like that Seinfeld episode w/ Jimmy, "Jimmy thinks you're swell...Jimmy likes you a lot...Jimmy fall down...Jimmy's gonna get you Kramer!!!")

Anyhow, JP is part of Callaway Golf's reader panel and filled out a questionnaire on lessons and instruction. To make a long story short, JP was chosen to review the new David Leadbetter DVD set "Leadbetter Interactive" for Callaway Golf.

So now JP is an official Callaway Golf product tester!!! Maybe this is JP's chance to get an in to test other things for Callaway too!! Time will tell...

There's Something Under the Bed

So the other day I walked into the bedroom and saw this:

What's that under the bed with the tail wagging at 1000rpm?

Apparently some creature had found its way under Sharkey and JP's bed. The unique quality about this lifeform from another planet was the tail. It seemed to be moving back and forth at approximately 1000 wags/min. It was like watching a tiny outboard motor.

Upon further investigation, I found out that it was none other than Maggie Malarkey:

Oh, it's Mags new den...

Lately Maggie has decided that the underneath of our bed makes quite the den for her to hang out. It cracked me up the other day to walk into the room and just see her little tushy sticking out w/ the tail wagging at light speed.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mornings with Mags...

Getting ready rituals. We all have them. You know what I'm talking about. They are the things we do to get ready for the day. You know, things like getting up, brushing the teeth, making the coffee, taking a shower and getting dressed. My ritual is a bit different than most I think. See JP takes showers at night, before bedtime. Why you ask?? Well, it's pretty much how I was raised. Maybe it's a Japanese thing, but I always have showered before bedtime. My entire family does in fact too. Sharkey does not do the JP ritual if you were wondering. She does the morning shower like I'm sure 80-90% of you do. So in the morning, my getting ready ritual is to brush the teeth, put the contacts in, shave, and then dunk the head under the shower head to put conditioner in so I can get the hair in decent shape for the day.

Well, my Maggie has managed to wiggle her way into my morning ritual, namely the head dunking part. Every morning, as soon as I turn the faucet on in the tub, she comes prancing over and wants JP to give her a drink. I'm a sucker for this, I think it's pretty sweet in fact, and she's my little girl after all, so I always give in and give her a drink.

Morning drink for Mags

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Mac or PC?

Well, it is that time again. JP's tablet seems to be dying. Hard disk errors are not a good sign wouldn't you say? So I'm starting to look for a worthy replacement. I am considering another tablet,

a notebook,

or a MacBook. Now JP is an MCSE, indoctrinated into the Bill Gates brainwashed school of Windows. So if I were to go with the MacBook, I might have to turn in my super secret Microsoft decoder ring!!

But the nice thing about the MacBook is that they are offering an iPod for free if you buy the MacBook? That's almost a win/win for JP!!! So the hunt begins!!!!!! Any and all suggestions are welcome!!

Superman Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

Superman Returns did not disappoint. Here's my take:

1. Great opening sequence, very reminiscent of the original Superman Movie
2. The movie is true to the mythology of the Last Son of Krypton
3. The plane scene alone is enough to make the movie worthwhile
4. There are many places they can go with Superman after this movie
5. Kevin Spacey was AWESOME as Lex Luthor
6. Brandon Routh proved he can fill the shoes of the Man of Steel and pull it off as well as Christopher Reeve
7. Special effects, DAMN!!! Excellent!!!
8. They kept the original John Williams music score.
8. Sharkey liked the movie too, need I say more?

So Superman Returns gets the thumbs up!!!