January 30, 2003
300th Episode!

Dude! CNN.com did a story on The Simpsons. They're guaranteed to be on for the next two years, making their run last 16 years.

When CNN does a story on The Simpsons, you know they've hit main stream!

I hope that's not the last of them, though. I need more good trivia stuff!

Posted by Austin at 09:28 AM
January 29, 2003

So we just had a fire alarm. No big deal - first we heard this whimpy little siren noise, then a recorded voice instructing us to exit the building.

Noone has any idea why the alarms went off, and it definitely wasn't a scheduled fire drill - I mean, who the hell has a fire drill in 20-degree weather?!

Posted by Austin at 12:51 PM
What the f...?

A very interesting drive to work this morning... besides the accident that shut down the freeway for 20 minutes.

- My morning radio show brought up a story about a guy who took a cab from Texas to Lansing, Michigan. Total fare - $1000. The radio show then flagged down a cab and asked him how much it would cost to go from Chicago to Orlando, Florida. Quoted Price = $2000.

- I ended up seeing a "rice-burner" car on the highway this morning. You know the type - huge-ass fin stapled to the trunk, some ground highlights, maybe some new paint, and a ton of stickers and signage on the car. It even had the name of the car written on the doors with an oriental-brush-stroke-type font that was a foot tall. The reason "rice-burner" is in quotes is because the car is a NEON! Gotta love the irony.

I'm feeling high on life today. Gonna leave work early to go home and work out (that's what 11 hour work days when traffic is bad are good for). Hopefully my day will stay upbeat like this. :-)

Posted by Austin at 07:56 AM
January 26, 2003
Are you ready for some ____?

I've been pretty active this weekend. It's not the usual sit-on-my-ass-and-watch-TiVo agenda. Nope. No way.

Yesterday I finally got off my bum and joined the gym downstairs. I haven't worked out for 2 months, ever since we changed buildings at work. The new building doesn't have a gym yet, but it will at the end of February, so I've been meaning to join the one downstairs to stay active. 2 months later I finally drag my sorry excuse for a body down there, checkbook in hand. I've already worked out twice, and it feels good.

I can now say that I've seen Bowling for Columbine... finally! I went with Kelly last night, and we both enjoyed it. I think it touched on a lot of topics (probably too many for one movie), but left its overall question not completely answered. If you want to know the question, go see the movie. ;-)

Today I'm throwing a Super Bowl party. It'll probably be 5-6 people, so it won't be huge or anything, but it will still be kinda cool to have people over, watching football, drinking, eating and having a good time.

That reminds me... I need to go food shopping. I'm down to Ramen and canned corn. *eek*

Posted by Austin at 01:18 PM
January 23, 2003
|| This Close

Last night while driving home I witnessed and almost became part of an accident. I managed to react in time to not be a part of the crunching, but two other people got to make acquaintances on the shoulder of the Kennedy in 10 degree temps.

The story goes like this... after the toll both there are about 15 lanes that squish into 3. Sometimes there's not a while lot of traffic in the 15 lanes, but everything comes to a quick stop at the squeeze. This is where the trouble starts.

So I'm driving (duh) and about 2-3 cars ahead of me I see a dark Land Rover pull a quick lane change - the kind you see in TV shows where they test how quickly an SUV can make a lane change without tipping over. I swear that the SUV was on 2 wheels for a moment, if just barely. THAT fast.

First thought through my head: "What the... Oh, crap."

Next thing I know I see the white mini-van do a nose-dive as the driver slams down on the brakes. The stunt driver in the Land Rover revealed a completely stopped Explorer directly in front of him. Unfortunately, the 30-50 feet the mini-van had wasn't enough to stop in time, so his front end mashed into the back end of the Explorer at about 20-25MPH. I managed to have enough buffer space in front of me and had already been on my breaks when the Land Rover pulled his maneuver that I was able to hit my brakes and pull to the side to avoid making the ordeal a threesome.

I pulled off with them to the side of the highway to make sure everyone was okay who was involved and to give them my contact info in case insurance or the state police needed a witness (I witnessed an accident before and did the same thing, and it came in handy for one guy so I don't mind doing it). The Explorer had a solo driver, but the mini-van had about 6-7 occupants in it. Everyone was fine.

The funny part - when everyone had pulled off to the side, the passengers of the van decided to walk to the exit and go to a Bennigans on the corner.

The funnier part - the driver, after getting out to inspect the damage, decided to follow them. He stopped, though, once the Explorer driver caught up with him on the exit ramp about 200 yards away.

The whole ordeal kinda wigged me out, though. Last night put a whole new perspective on driving in Chicago traffic for me... but at least my premiums aren't going up. :-)

Posted by Austin at 08:14 AM
January 22, 2003
Like a Phoenix

So an interesting story has been unfolding for the past 3 or so weeks at work. The main customer we were working for decided to kill put our project on hold. It took them a few weeks to finally come out and say it, but they pretty much did kill it.

So, here we are, a bunch of engineers not really knowing what's going on or what's happening. The high brass are having meetings and talks and all of that other hoitie-toitie stuff that goes on in meetings like that, and we're basically sitting and waiting. My manager isn't too worried, though - we wouldn't loose our jobs over something this silly. Right?

This week the news comes in - We've got a new job: To take the product we've been working on, make a few minor changes to it, and change our group name. Not huge stuff, really. We will have to do a lot of redesigning, but it's nice to know that we won't have to start from the drawing board.

Posted by Austin at 05:58 PM
January 20, 2003
Poking Fight!!

This weekend was a hoot! Here's a general breakdown;

- "Us time";
- Played chauffer/doorman/body guard to 7 lovely ladies;
- Lots of drinking and dancing on Saturday night;
- Spent 4.5 hours straight in the same store;
- Installed my new surround speakers;
- Had very yummy pizza with an old friend and a new one;
- Walked around downtown in single-digit temps;
- Combined margaritas with cheesecake;
- Met possibly the bitchiest person on the planet!!

This was one of those fun fun weekend you don't get to have too often. When they come around, though, you feel like nothing can bring you down and that it will never end...

Then you realize that is already Monday and that you have to go to work. At least I've got my memories... except for Saturday night. ;-)

Posted by Austin at 03:40 PM
January 15, 2003

Need any more be said?!

Posted by Austin at 09:08 AM
January 14, 2003
Surround Sound

So I bought my surround speakers yesterday and stayed up 'til midnight installing them. The end result - pure audio bliss! I never thought having a center channel would be so good, and the rear speakers made Gladiator scenes sound uber-fantastic. The problem now is how to put the rear speakers on the wall. I'm thinking that I'll ask Janine's dad to help me build a couple of corner shelves for them to sit on behind the couch. That way I'll be able to use the gift I got from him for X-mas. :-)

My apartment is going to be Motel Austin over the next week. I've got a friend from work staying over tomorrow night after the Blackhawks/Red Wings game (I finally get to see the Red Wings play LIVE!), Thurs thru Sun is Janine (engagement picture purchasing and wedding hoo-hah with a bunch of people from an online chat board), and Sun thru Mon or Tues is Abby-riffic before she heads off to Floridahhhh

In other news, Janine found this link. It looks like REI does their own sort of outdoor travel excursions all around the world! It may be a bit too much $$$ for a honeymoon, but damned if it isn't cool as all get-out! I'm all about the 15-day Australia trip!

Posted by Austin at 10:41 PM
January 12, 2003
My Weekend, by A. Moore

I'm on a new mission - to buy audio equipment. Specifically, I'm looking to upgrade the radio in my car with a CD/MP3 player. I went looking around yesterday, but the one I like is about $400, not including installation. I'm tempted to do the install myself. How hard can it be? Note the famous last words

I'm also looking to buy surround speakers for my TV/DVD viewing enjoyment. All I need is the center speaker and two rear satellites, and I can get a really good deal on a set that matches the two I have now. I'll probably get those sometime this week and then test 'em out with Gladiator or something. ;-)

I'm also trying to figure out where to go for the blasted honeymoon. Sandals keeps coming up as an idea, but Janine doesn't seem too keen on it. Cruises are almost right out (stuck in a little box for 7 days on the water... what excitement). I did find one interesting idea - A Disney Honeymoon. They've got some really cool packages, and people keep talking about a lot of freebies and tricks you can play to get good good stuff. It's only as far as Florida, but it's an idea...

Oh... Abby, you should be getting your letter soon. It made two trips back to my place before heading off to Michigan. Sorry if it's a little chewed up. stupidlousydumbassmail

Posted by Austin at 10:00 PM
January 09, 2003
Last Night's Buzz

I went to PJ Clarke's for dinner and a drink or two last night. I was hoping to catch the Blackhawks game on TV there, but it wasn't being televised so I was SOL. Anyway, I ended up striking up a conversation with two gentlemen at the bar who were in town for a training seminar for their company. They were drinking, talking it up with me and the waitstaff, and generally having a good time.

Next thing I know one of 'em buys 3 shots of tequila - Quervo 1800 (good stuff). I partook in the drink and we kept talking. I went to the bathroom a little later, and when I came back there were 3 more shots of tequila. A while after that he buys another beer for all of us...

Needless to say I was FUBAR after that - I think the grand total was 6 beers (Bells Amber Ale... at least it was a Michigan brew) and 2 tequila shots over 5 hours! I even called my friend Orshi 'cause I needed to talk to someone in my drunken stupor. I'm sure she got a kick out of that. :-)

It took me a while to wake up this morning - I only had a slight headache, budamned if I didn't still feel drunk.

Now THAT'S one hell of an evening! Anyone else wanna join me again later? ;-)

Posted by Austin at 10:42 AM
January 06, 2003
This is Who?!

So it's back to work for me.

*Booo* *Hisss*

I really enjoyed the two weeks off, but damned if I couldn't use a vacation from this vacation. Lots of Traveling + Very Busy + Little Sleep = Tired Me.

I drove back to Chicago from Michigan yesterday (stayed at Janine's parent's house for the evening), and along the way I called Abby-riffic. I'm just blabbering away on the phone, and the next thing I know I hear "This is Deonna."

Now I know that they're supposed to sound different, but when you're expecting to talk to one person and another one comes in to the conversation - unanounced - it can throw the ability to recognize speech patterns right out the frickin' window!

We laughed for 10 minutes straight. No lie. ;-)

Posted by Austin at 07:26 AM