Monday, December 30, 2013

Boy & Their Toys...

Last week I broke down & bought a smartwatch. I've been waiting for Apple to release a smartwatch since 2010, when 3rd party cases started showing up for the Nano - allowing you to wear your iPod on your wrist as a watch. 

But the Smartwatch 2 (Sony) & Galaxy Gear (Samsung) swooped-in to land the 1st major smartwatch punches with early fall releases this year. So I went with a 3rd party company in Pebble to satisfy my immediate new tech craving.

It's a pretty good watch & should do just fine for the time being. There's a wide range of cell phone app notifications & alerts that sync seamlessly with the watch in real-time. I once wondered about the practicability of a smartwatch, clearly many simply aren't ready for this particular piece of tech.

But it's pretty convenient not having to pull my phone out of my pocket to change my music, read an alert, text message, or email so often. If the industry manages to continue successful development of the smartwatch functionality & services that people can actually use, they could be the next big thing.

Again, the Pebble smartwatch I have is just a stop-gap until The Big A gets their shit together in 2014. Color graphics, swipe gestures, a camera & voice assistance are some of the things the Samsung & Sony smart watches are respectively capable of, so I expect similar features, at minimum, for Apple's rendition - especially, since they are so damned late to the party. But I'm pleased with the overall functionality of the Pebble smart watch.

The ball is in your court Apple, we're waiting...

Friday, December 27, 2013

Leveling Off...

Today I bought a new suit for work & also a new belt as a Christmas present to myself. I'd completely run-out of holes in my last belt (yet another reminder of my rapid weight gain, lol). 

But that aside, I think the weight gain has actually flattened out over the past few weeks (fingers crossed), I'm comfortable buying new clothes again, anyway.

After sporting suit sizes of 36, 38 & 40 this year, it looks like I've finally settled in at a size 42 (fingers crossed). I've been hovering at 200lbs for the past month or so, I'd now fight in the cruiserweight class, should I choose to lace-up the boxing gloves (lol).

It still hasn't quite been a year since I quit smoking, but it seems my body has finally made the adjustment. The internal panic alarms have been silenced & my body no longer seems to be experiencing any if the normal withdrawal symptoms - looks like I've kicked it!

One of my challenges in 2014 is to establish a regiment of cleaner eating & really, just healthier living in general. Now that I've taken steps to eliminate some of the unnecessary toxins from my body, it makes a lot more sense to maintain the upkeep of this temple :-)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Making Spirits Bright...

Christmas Day treated me well this year. I got exactly what I wanted, so I should be pretty occupied well into the new year. 

Shootin' the breeze at home earlier today was nice, it's always cool to spend time as a nuclear family, whenever the time allows for such. Ma & Dad both seemed to be in good spirits, so as for Christmas, 2013 - I guess that's a wrap (pun intended).

Now I'm turning my attention toward the rapidly approaching new year. I still have no idea what I want to do for New Year's Eve, so I need to get on top of that ASAP. 

I'm kinda leaning towards an evening at home, or perhaps a small shindig at someone else's humble abode - essentially I'm not all that interested in 'going out,' this year, but I'll just remain non-committal for now.

I've got a positive outlook going into the new year. I guess that's not all that uncommon for folk this time of year, but still I'm looking forward to everything the new year has to bring!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Celebrity Crush...

1st off, I'm not even sure my latest celebrity crush even counts as a celebrity crush... 

Ms Anne-Marie Greene is a news anchor currently working the 2a to 4a & 4a to 4:30a CBS morning news shows. 

Clearly she's still paying her national airtime dues by working such time slots, but I imagine she's one of the next on-air personalities who'll soon find herself getting more & more primetime airplay in the years to come.

Though tv/movie producers & executives are clearly in love with lighter toned & mixed-race women, I've never really been partial to either one, guess I'm a fan of both white & dark chocolate :-) 

But as stated earlier, I get up at 4a to watch this woman during the work week, so I'd say that qualifies as an attraction, lol. I'm often reminded of Soledad O'Brien when I catch Ms. Green working the news desk.

The native Canadian is no spring chicken either, at 42 years of age, she's definitely been around the block a few times (sorry Anne-Marie, lol). But I recently learned that Soledad is 46, so I guess youth isn't so much the name of the game anymore. 

She spent roughly 8 years as a Philadelphia news personality before going national earlier this year. Unfortunately for me, she's married with a child, so I don't anticipate running off with her anytime soon... I guess the 4a time-slot will have to do for now, lol.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Peace, Hope & Joy...

Well I finished-up my annual Christmas shopping earlier today, the 6th day of December - that's a new world record for me! This year's shopping list was basically the same size as it was last year, I was just more proactive about it this go-round! 

I already sent my Christmas cards out last week, so I'm good to go in that department too. The Christmas tree is now up & the decorative exterior lighting has now been installed. 

There's currently Christmas music playing throughout the house - only thing missing right about now is the smell of sugar cookies baking & I've actually got a candle for that, lol. So, there's nothing left for me to do now except sit-around & enjoy this beautiful season of giving.

Let's see... what kind of Christmas movie shall I watch today? A cartoon, a romantic comedy, or maybe 1 of those made for tv holiday dramas, hmmm.... so many decisions, lol. Anyway, you can see I'm ready for the big day & poised to receive my blessing, hopefully you & yours are all set to receive your blessings too! 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Closed For The Season...

A friend reminded me that I haven't run in quite some time now. The last time I jogged was in late September. I slightly injured my heel in August so I didn't run for a while. 

But I hit the pavement again Thanksgiving morning, it had been 65 days since my last run. 

Conventional wisdom told me to just run 5k or so, but I pushed it & managed a 5-mile run in sub-freezing weather - I think it was 26 degrees when I headed out. When I returned an hour later it had only warmed up to a balmy 28 degrees. 

My injured heel didn't bother me during my run, unfortunately that probably means the occasional discomfort I get in that area (when I'm not running) is more a result of just being old, lol. 

But not a bad run to close-out my running season, I won't be back out there until March so it was cool, going out with a bang. I've got one hell of an appetite right about now though, I'm going to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner SO much this evening. Bring-on the gravy!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Journal 2.0

I've been using a new app on my iPad & iPhone to record & track my individual journal entries (it's called - Day One). 

I've been using it for about a week now, but I've also been transferring my previously written entries into the new app at the same time. 

It's been absolutely amazing to look back at the various thoughts I once had of people & the direction my life was heading.

As I've been transferring the old entries, I've also been applying the various tagging features to sort the entries into categories like people, events, places & etc. So far I've found the feature to be pretty helpful, especially when trying to pin-point a particular journal entry or experience.

My old journals date back to September of 2004, so that's almost 10 years of fuckery I'll get to chuckle at as I bring my new journal to date. It should be a pretty entertaining experience since I very rarely re-read my entries after writing them. Already I've come across experiences that I have no recollection of, lol.

The app allows for the import of previously typed entries & also the export of app data to another medium should I so desire in the future. Based upon individual settings, the app records GPS data, weather conditions - even the song currently playing on the device you're posting from.

It's a pretty cool app, if nothing else, it's already rejuvenated my interest in keeping a regular journal - so it's totally worth the $5 I paid for it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Check Please...

Last night I went to a singles event at a Bethesda bar & it really made me realize just how much I DON'T identify with other singles. There wasn't a woman in the place who made me want to know more, lol.

Just a bunch of chix & dix who seemed to enjoy being out on the town. To be honest, I didn't go with the intention of finding my perfect mate, just wanted to support a friend who sponsored the event. It's not like all the women there were ugly or anything like that, it's just that none seemed interesting in the least bit. 

Perhaps much of it has to do with the fact that the venue was a noisy bar - not ideal for conversation, but still... I get the impression most of these women had no personality, loud music, or not - lol. Truth be told, I'm really not a big fan of bars in general nowadays.

There's not a whole lot about standing for hours, fighting other patrons for service or $8 beers that excites the kid. A night at the bar is just a headache for me now, It's official - my youth is gone & I'm an old-fogey, lls. Suffice it to say I don't see myself attending any such events in the future, I'm good...

Personally I've generally been more successful interacting with women in cozier, more intimate environments, either that, or knowing I'll get to see a woman on a regular basis works best for me. 

There's bound to be a fair amount of misrepresentation when you've got a limited window of time to work with, so I prefer knowing that a particular moment in time won't be my only opportunity to woo a woman. I enjoy spontaneity just as much as the next man, but some things are better-off, not being left to chance.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Writer's Block...

I took a moment to write in 1 of my journals today. Though I've kept them since 2004, I very rarely write in them nowadays. 

When starting this blog back in 2010, I began writing even less in those journals. I spoke to someone a few weeks back, who mentioned writing in theirs... it got me to thinking of just how dusty my own set had become.

I certainly didn't intend for this blog to replace my journal entries, after all... I could never be quite as honest here as I am in my private memoirs, but I do try my best to present truthful depictions of the inner-thoughts that guide my day-to-day comings & goings. I only wish I'd begun to chronicle my feelings earlier in life, like in high school, or middle school even.

How cool would it be to have a comprehensive log of various people & experiences encountered in life, while not having to rely solely upon this ol' brain of mine? Dates, places, names... at 32 years of age, a great many of these sorted details have been forever lost to time. But although certain specifics no longer reside within, the lessons learned remain.

When making my very 1st journal entry years back, I can recall doing so with the mindset that someday I might be able to share this with my son or daughter. I figured it might prove helpful for those times when he or she might be doubting themselves in life. Turns-out that re-reading many of those old entries has been a huge help for ME instead, go figure...

I'm definitely going to make a more conscious effort to scribe more frequently. Hell, I may end up needing to read this stuff again at some point & for that, newer content is a must :-D

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


So I've got these 4 buddies that I've been chatting with (via group messaging app). If only I could disclose the sheer fuckery that takes place within, lol. 

We each, at the very strong urging of a mutual friend (& sister), accepted invitations to join the private chat group at some point earlier this fall. 

The on-going chatter typically begins between 6-7am (Monday thru Friday) & continues well into the evening. Group members chime-in (at their own discretion) at various points of the day to talk about absolutely anything under the sun. One never knows what the next chat topic will be, but it's sure to be funny!

Early morning commute & lunch times provide ample opportunity for each member to talk sh!t, but it's the chat sessions that take place following the close of business on weekdays that crack me up the most! Each chat group member is different & in so many ways too - it provides quite an entertaining dynamic.

The group is pretty active during the weekend as well... so we're usually up, chatting away by 10am or so. It's pretty interesting, more closely following the lives of 4 friends in such a manner. It seems the chat group reveals interesting & unknown information about a member each day. There's never a dull moment I tell ya. 

Soon we'll be selecting our secret Santa gift recipients... I'm pretty excited about that. As you can see from the photos attached to this post, we share daily (& sometimes hourly) selfie shots, sometimes there are themes for the selfies - we like to have fun with it, we can get really competitive about it too. 

The group even has bylaws governing the amount of time we can spend away from the chat, as well as the frequency of those breaks - lmao! But in all seriousness, the chat group is a pretty cool way for us all to pass the time. It's nice to keep up with several good friends whom I wouldn't otherwise be able to hang with as much.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tis The Season, Already...

I usually try and wait until turkey day has passed before I start rolling-out the yuletide adornments, but fuck-it - the balsam fir scented candle is now lit, Christmas-themed movies have been pushed to the top of my Netflix DVD queue, holiday cards have been purchased & addressed.

I'd say that I'm all-in when it comes to having the Christmas spirit, lol. I just returned from shopping for Christmas decorations & supplies in Waldorf... it's my favorite time of the year! 

Though Thanksgiving is still 2 (full) weeks away & already I'm playing Christmas music, lol. I'm not the only one with the 'early' spirit though, each of the stores I visited was crowded with holiday shoppers, I felt much better among my people, lol. It's nice to be ahead of the curve, especially in an area as gridlocked as the DMV, now I've got less running around to do as we get closer to Christmas. 

So I guess I can focus solely on the gifts I need to purchase now that I've gotten all of those miscellaneous little purchases out of the way. Perhaps I'll do a little Black Friday shopping this year & knock-out all of my gifts in one day too!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Still Saddled-Up...

To the left you should see pictured, a screenshot of my LiveStrong quit smoking app...

So today marks 200 days since I quit smoking tobacco products & I'm confident in saying that it feels like I've kicked the habit for good! I no longer have cravings to light-up when I awake in the morning & 1 of my biggest triggers, riding in the car, no longer makes me think of smoking.

Not even stressed-filled moments, or late night battles with restlessness are any match for my new-found desire to stay-quit. It's funny... now that I'm a non-smoker, people on the street who are smoking bother me & I'm usually quite anxious to get further away from them. I guess I'm an elitist now, lmao! 

So far since quitting, I've notice an increased lung capacity, healthier skin & an insatiable appetite (lol) - I'm always hungry now! It's very easy to see how my father (who also quit smoking cold-turkey) picked up his weight so quickly years back. I too have a new clothing size now that I've replaced cigarettes with snacks!

But the new clothes I've had to purchase don't smell at all of smoke, so that's a positive at least :-D Also, my mother is happiest of all - she's got a really sensitive nose, so it always bothered her. According to my quit smoking app, I've managed to save roughly $540 since quitting - who doesn't enjoy the idea of lil' extra change in their pocket?

So that's about it, just wanted to update u guys on my progress & let you know I haven't fallen off the horse...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Out Of Office Reply...

I'll have use or lose leave (& a lot of it) for the very first time in my professional working career. 

It's about 100 or so hours (roughly 2 & a half weeks) of annual leave to burn, so I've been racking my brain trying to strategically pick the best days to stay home over the next 2 months. 

Now I know to plan/spread-out my annual leave, as best I can anyway, over the course of a year - that way I won't end up taking chunks of leave at the end of the year to avoid losing it. We're allowed to carry-over 240 hours of annual leave (pretty standard, I think), but clearly a staycation, at minimum, is now mandatory for me - noted.

In the past I've always made very good use (some supervisors might say too good use) of my accrued annual leave. Aside from taking a summer vacation, I took leave quite often during the other parts of the year & often times, for no reason at all. This year I used more 'slick' leave than usual, didn't take a vacation & now I earn more leave each pay period than I used to.

Granted, it's a good problem to have, especially for folks with kids & such, but not a super-huge benefit for me at the moment. I've taken additional leave for the obvious Thanksgiving & Christmas holidays, but the majority of days were selected arbitrarily. Looks like I'll have some extra me time, watching wonderful daytime television this fall, lol.