September 29, 2003
Guess Where I'm Going!

So I'm in a slight dilema. Granted, the world isn't going to end and it's not the seventh sign of the appocalypse, but it's still a dilema nonetheless.

Currently I'm a Gold member of American Airline's AAdvantage program. It's actually a pretty sweet program - Prefered seat bookings, 25% mileage bonus, possible 1st class upgrades (Example: Curacao), and pre-boarding on flights. If you care, this is the member manual. The only catch is that I'm nearing the end of a 3-month trial in which I had to try and earn enough 'points' to keep the membership through February 2005. After some web surfing and simple math, it looks like I'm going to be a few points short of keeping the membership.

It comes down to two choices: Either drop the membership entirely, or fly at least 1700 miles in the next two weeks.

I'd hate to do the former and let the membership die. It's kind of nice being able to board first and select exit row seats, especially since I use AA for all of my work-related flights. After typing this post, however, I'm kinda wondering if it's really worth the trouble to keep it.

On the other hand, I can make a trip out to Seattle next Saturday and fly back on a Red-Eye Sunday night for only $250!

Posted by Austin at 04:44 PM
Words to Live By

The leaders of the big beer companies meet for a drink. The president of Budweiser orders a Bud, the CEO of Miller gets a Miller, the head of Coors orders a Coors, and so on. Until it's Arthur Guinness's turn. He orders a soda.

"Why didn't you order a Guinness?" everyone asks.

Guinness replies, "If you guys aren't having beer, then neither will I."

Snaps to Neener for finding this

Posted by Austin at 02:23 PM
September 26, 2003
Free Your Mind

The trailer to The Matrix: Revolutions has hit the web. There was a lot of traffic earlier today, but I think that it's backed off considerably. It's definitely worth a look... I just hope that we don't have to see Keanu's 10-story ass again.

Posted by Austin at 04:18 PM
September 25, 2003
Here I Am!

So it's been over a week since my last post, but I have plenty of good excuses.

Last weekend was the trip out to California for the wedding reception for my parent's friends. It was a good party - mainly old people walking around with wine or some other form of alcohol and little plates of finger foods. I met some old faces, some new faces, and some really old faces I didn't know. I got a lot of "I remember you when you were five" type stories from people. All I could do was stare back at them and make polite conversation before I pulled myself away to talk to someone else.

The rest of the weekend out there was a lot of fun. We got to see my step-sister and her husband's new cafe, my sister's new house, my Mom, and a few friends. It wasn't too rushed of a weekend, either. Oh, and I had my crown installed on Saturday morning and am now prepared to eat corn on the cob again.

This week has been hella-busy at work. I haven't checked home email since Monday afternoon, and even though I don't get too much email in that inbox I still had a surprising amount of non-spam. I won't go into details here since I'd probably end up boring myself... and that's an accomplishment!

Looking forward to the weekend. I could use some good sleep for once.

Posted by Austin at 09:41 PM
September 18, 2003

So this post is coming to you live from our brand-spakin'-new Apple G5. The only glitch we've run into so far is a problem with the installation of iChat with streaming video (The USB went all funky, and the computer started freezing, but I think an uninstall/reinstall should fix it), but other than that it's pretty sweet. We didn't get it until late tonight, though, which means we won't get to play with everything and set up all of the software and wireless networking stuff until we get back from California on Monday...

Yup, that's right. Janine and I are heading out to the Bay Area for the weekend. My parents are throwing a wedding reception party for all of their friends who we invited from CA but did want to or weren't able to come out to Michigan for the actual event. We also are going to see my step-sister's new cafe in Sausalito, go to a Richard Lewis stand-up routine, and see my sister's new house. It's a pretty packed weekend, and we probably have too much planned for the two days we're there, but it wouldn't be a visit home without a sense of stress.

I'm gonna go to bed (Mrs. Sleepy-Head crashed over 90 minutes ago) since I still need to pack in the morning. We need to figure out how we're going to take extra suitcases with us for all of the presents we're expecting... at least we're getting something good out of the weekend besides a visit with friends and family. ;-)

Posted by Austin at 11:10 PM
September 15, 2003
The file did feel kinda funny.

Sorry for the long-overdueness of this post, but the root canal went fine. My tooth still hurts a little bit from the procedure, but it's been getting a lot better every day. The whole thing took about 2 hours but was a lot easier than my wisdom teeth removal some twelve years ago.

Posted by Austin at 02:40 PM
20/20 Vision Gets a Little Blurry

I have the hardest time picking out sunglasses. It's not because I can't decide between one pair and another, though. It's because I can't find a pair that fit and look good on me. I'm the same way with buying shoes, but that's a whole different post subject.

I've been looking into replacing my current pair of sunglasses with a pair of brown, polarized glasses. That way I can see when I'm driving or doing something outdoors and won't be blinded by the glare coming off the water or a rear window. I've been hesitant, though, since I know how hard it is to find a pair that fit well and don't make me look like a geek, dork, or 1980's rock fan... you know what I mean.

Alas, my current shades of 5+ years finally broke. That's enough motivation for me to find a new pair. So far I've been to 3 stores, 3 ex-friends, and all I have to show for it is a lot of time looking at my face and a repetitive stress injury. I've been able to find these two. I'm leaning toward the first because of the lense style, but I'm not a big fan of the nose bridge. The second look okay but are a bit pricey and not made of actual glass.

I know it's hard to match a person with a set of glasses without seeing the two together, but hopefully after tonight I might be able to show you what the best combination turned out to be. Stay Tuned...

Posted by Austin at 02:36 PM
September 09, 2003
Gridiron News

In NCAA Football news, it looks like OSU is dropping their star running back for the rest of the season.

In other NCAA news, someone's alma mater is moving up the ranking ladder to the number 5 spot on the AP poll.

Today's Lesson: It's legal to stretch your lead in a football game, but illegal to stretch the truth into lies.

Posted by Austin at 01:52 PM
September 08, 2003
Sweet Tooth

So today I get to have a root canal.

The short story is that I've had pain in this particular tooth for about ten years, but it's never been horrible unless I use the tooth to chew. It turns out that a small crack (too small for any dentist to see) formed on the tooth a long time ago that allowed an infection to brew inside my tooth and attack the pulp. A trip to an Endodontist confirmed the cracked tooth (which is painful in-and-of itself) and the infection (called Pulpitis... no kidding), and now I get to sit in a dentist's chair for an hour and a half while all sorts of dental torture devices are shoved in my mouth. Oh, and I get to have a crown placed on it in two weeks.

Sounds fun, huh?

I'll let you guys know how it goes. I'm pretty sure that my endodontist will be using a local anesthetic, which means I shouldn't be completely zonked out when I leave the office and drive home. It does means that there's a good chance I may drool on myself and not even notice... if that happens, I'm sure Janine will have her camera at the ready for some blackmail memorable photos.

Posted by Austin at 12:14 PM
September 03, 2003
So This Is How a Deer In Headlights Feels

When your first email of the day has the subject line Workforce Reductions, you know it's not going to be a good day.

This was the worst day I've had at this job. Who was the only question people were asking; some knew, others didn't know yet. Conference rooms had been scheduled for the entire day, and professional 'Career Transition Specialists' were in the rooms along side internal HR reps. The hunt was about to begin, and all we could do was stick closely in a pack and stand still - maybe they won't find us.

They started early. The only signs we saw were cardboard boxes and conversations behind closed conference room doors. You didn't know who until the doors were open and the victims were able to confirm what everyone was thinking. Many groups formed in front of cubicle entrances, a tell-tale sign that person had been let go. Most groups were very quiet and somber, not wanting to draw attention to the fact that their friend and colleague would not be around come tomorrow or next week.

They continued throughout the day. The names kept coming as the day passed by. One person from that group soon turned to two or three. The lucky ones hadn't heard their names called from behind, only to turn around and see someone with a package of papers and a blank look on their face asking them to follow. Some were happy that it was over and that they were receiving a firm handshake and a severence check. Others didn't have the same smirk on their face. One person I knew was actually laughing - He'd conducted a phone interview on his cell phone during his exit meeting.

They stopped. Some people were pulled into their respective work groups and told that the layoffs were done and they'd been spared. I received my notice via instant message around 4pm - You're okay... Come to work tomorrow. I'm not sure if the message has sunk in yet. My brain is telling me that I still have a job and a paycheck, but my gut is still churning like I ate bad sushi. Neither can explain to me how so many people have been able to deal with this kind of tension and fear time and time again. It's not the first time the layoff fairy has passed by.

I need to relax. I need a beer. I need dinner. I need a hug. I need to get the fuck out of here...

... but I can come to work tomorrow.

Posted by Austin at 05:10 PM