The Georgian Fog Post

A massive wild fire in Georgia this past weekend has been giving the authorities a hell of a task. Apparently the fire is a big as Orlando’s city limits and is currently only 70% under control. Pretty crazy. What’s more bizarre is that the resulting smoke has made its way down to central Florida. The current cold front-to-hot front situation (I dunno I’m not a meteorologist) is causing the smoke to linger over Orlando and has been hovering over the city since Saturday. The air smells like burnt wood and the visibility is about a mile or two at best. According to the news its not going anywhere until mid-week. I’m not sure how its effecting incoming flights, but hopefully Craig, Lel and Nana & Papa’s flight wont encounter any issues coming down on Wednesday.


The NASCAR Grill Post

Went to the Nascar Cafe at Citywalk for lunch with Bruce and Victor today. Nice location, pretty classy inside that I’m sure is great when it’s humming with people come nightfall and the parks let out. Parked on the back lot to avoid the mile walk to the car deck and all the lost tourists. Getting backstage was pretty cool, Victor had passes and could have gotten us in if we were stopped. But we weren’t so I feel bad ass.

P.S- According to Microsoft Word, 'Nascar' is not a word but 'NASCAR' is. So when you are next referring to motor-sports in writing (as we all do) be sure that you have a heavy hand on the shift key. You’re welcome.


The Simpsons Ride Post

So it is official now, after long being rumored and pretty much expected at this point the new ride that will replace Universal Studios recently retired Back To The Future Ride is… The Simpsons. The ride will utilized the previously existing screens and cars for BTTF but with a total Simpsons makeover and up to date technology to create a whole new experience. Set in the Krusty Land theme park the ride will most likely poke fun at theme parks from within a theme park. Promising for the Simpson’s fans out there (and everyone who got leg bruises from Back to the Future’s spastic jolting). The new article that announced the ride also hinted at the possible addition of a Harry Potter themed ride.

Harry Potter has been tied to Disney, Universal, and a few other parks in the ongoing battle to procure the rights and build an attraction. Rumors have been flying back and forth for over a year now as to which park will eventually book the license. You can read up on in at the industry insider blog Screamscape if you so care. Imagine though.. that would be pretty freaking sweet. Re-brand ‘Dragons as a broomstick themed ride, maybe a Quiddich match. Turn Mythos restaurant into Lumos or the Leaky Cauldron…. Sorry I realize that not everyone is a fan, but yeah, I’m stoked to see where this goes.

The I'm Melting Post

So I come home from work ready to relax and BAM! Its 89 freaking degrees in my apartment… what the hell. Florida you are an evil place. Had the AC blasting for over an hour now and its down to 84. Warm weather is nice don’t get me wrong... OUTSIDE. Apparently this is nothing and I am in for a hurricane filled human BBQ this summer. I cant wait!


The Poker Post

Last night Buck, Laura, Dave, Jess and I headed over to a friend of theirs house up in Altamont called Rodney. We had a bbq and hung out there eating some of ‘Rodney’s Famous Burgers- The Best In All Of Orlando’- which to his credit, were pretty damn good (if not messy). The focus of the night was the amateur Texas Hold’em tourney that broke out around the pool table. I promptly lost my 10 dollar buy-in, but could have won a fair few hands if I’d been more confident in my cards. Oh well. My entire poker experience at this point is based on James Bond movies anyway, so I wasn’t anticipating taking home any big winnings.


The Bodog PPV Post

Bodog Fight league out of Russia had their first US televised Pay-per-View last weekend, and Craig, his buddy Neil and I, headed over to a guys house who was hosting a PPV party. Had a great time. The show was pretty awesome, brutal, yet much more technically solid and calculated than UFC. Juan (the guy who hosted) had a terrific spread set up with some really fancy finger foods, and a keg of Heineken. One guy who was their brought his wife along, which was a little odd because it was all dudes there. Except for the fact that she was a knockout herself (I’m talking perfect 10 by Jevan standards here), so nobody really complained to much about the breach of man-ness.

Speaking of man-ness. Craig is a former body builder and used to run a GNC style fitness store with Neil, an old buddy of his from South Africa. Craig is my gym partner, and has been terrific at motivating me to be less of a weenie and actually go to the gym. When we were heading to pick Neil up I was expecting another Craig pretty much (6’3”-280 lbs). I was very surprised when the guy was a Brock Lesner clone. Seriously, I have never been in the presence of a larger man (WWE wresters not included). Nicest guy in the world…but damn. Massive. As in-Couldn’t fit on the back seat of a very roomy Mercedes-big. It was fun showing up at a fight PPV party. I felt like the baby bear from Goldylocks. Only downside is my view of hot-wife was blocked by the bulging biceps of my ride.

The Costco Post

Costoc rules. Lots of stuff of little money. Love it. As a permanent employee of Colorvision I am eligible for a business membership to Costco on the company. I flexed my new membership card this week and used their tire center to get some nice (and long overdue) wheels on the Celica. Went with some BFGoodrich Sport tires which looks pretty baddass, and ride smooth. Best part is it cost less than half of what the Toyota dealership was going to charge. Those guys really rip you off. I was quoted $1300 to have my catalytic converter and exhaust train replaced by them.. which is a lot to be spending on something I don’t really understand. So I took it down to a muffler shop on the Trail and had a guy cut out the converter and left the old train on there….cost me $400 even. Its crazy what one place will charge compared to another. Pays to shop around I’m learning.

The Deadline Post

Taxes Are Due. Get yours in on time? This was the first year I had to file as an adult, and was a learning process as a result. Picked up a tax program and collected my W2s from here and VA. Pretty easy process overall, if not a bit time consuming. Ended up e-filing my Federal return and mailing my VA one (cant file electronically as an out of state resident according to Virginia law). Stand to make a fair bit back, so I am anxiously awaiting my checks.

The Tech Shooting Post

Sometimes I just don’t know what’s wrong with some people. The horrible murders that took place this week at Virginia Tech have shaken up everyone I spoken to about it. It’s really crazy to think that something like can just ‘happen’. I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said, and we all know how we feel, but holy crap. What is wrong with some people?

I have made sure that the people I care for in Blacksburg are safe, and knowing that makes this a little easier on me, but who am I in the big picture? 32 families have to deal with the fact that their loved ones, their sons and daughters, have been snatched away in the prime of their promising lives by this degenerate narcissist who thought his life was a freaking Tarentino movie. Disgusting.

One of the slain; Maxine Turner was someone I had met before, and while I can’t claim to have even been close to her, I know her parents and brother through Jake’s Vienna Youth Soccer team. I can’t begin to imagine what they must be going through and the extreme mix of sheer loss and maddening anger they must be swallowing. My condolences to the Turners and everyone involved in this pathetic display of how crap humans can really become.


The Time-To-Post Post

Last few days have been relatively low key. Not that I’m complaining, just offering an excuse for the lack of posts. Easter was cool. Buck, Laura and I headed over to Sue and Arnolds for an Easter brunch and egg hunt for all the neighbor hood kids. Sue and Arnold are the parents of Hayden (the unofficial cutest kid ever). Afterwards we met up with Jess and Dave and went to Buck’s mother’s new house for Easter Dinner. She had just moved so the house was barren for the most part. We ate loads of good food off of disposable plates sitting on folding chairs, which was a nice change from the standard Easter fair.

I won the tile contest at Tijuana Flats, and this week I went by to see my work up on the ceiling and get my prizes (free food and a t-shirt). They gave my tile a pretty primo spot, right when you come in, which is nice. They only ended up getting 10 or so entries so my victory isn’t all that grand, but whatever when I tell people I’ll make it sound way more impressive. Hit the ale house with Bruce once or twice, and had dinner over at Craig’s house another night. All in all nothing crazy really going on.


The Ellen Showdown Post

So I’ll admit right off the bat that I am not a big Ellen fan. TO be honest I find her quite annoying. She’s fun and all that I suppose, but its just that she always seems to be in that crazy-Tom Cruise-mode and never chills out. With that said I do have to give her props for being really cool in person and a smooth diplomat.

Last night after the Steve Miller Band show I hit up City Walk with the pass I got from Dawn. Everyone else had to head back for whatever reason so I decided to walk off my beers and check out the clubs. I went to The Groove to see what was going on there and found that the Ellen show’s after party was going on. The place was swarming with chicks, most of them on the butch side (but quite a few lookers too). Anyway, Ellen’s crew was there with her and they were hanging out t-shirts that said “I Danced With Ellen” across them. Mrs. Degeneras was pretty much in the center of the mass of people doing her goofy trademark dances and posing for pictures. So I went up to get a shot with her and try to snag a shirt. One of the stage guys reached to give me a shirt and this massive chick snatched it right out of my hands. I turned to her looking pretty pissed and she cursed at me like a cocky sailor. I told her to f- off and she decided it was a good idea to shove me into the crowd behind Ellen.

While I am not a big fighter, I have been shoved about before. But never by a chick. A fat gross chick at that. I was pretty pissed. Fortunately before anything else happened Ellen came over and spoke to ‘lardo’, who gushed with smiles and looked pretty embarrassed. Ellen stood by me while I was helped up and gave me a little hug and said something I couldn’t really hear about dance moves or whatever and posed for a picture while pretending to dust me off. After the incident I made my way to the outside of the mass of people and headed home. If you look at the picture you can see the gross chick in the background (towards the right in the shadows). Crazy night.

The Mardi Gras Post

Yesterday Dawn scored tickets to Universal Studio’s Mardi Gras celebration. The Steve Miller band was playing a show there, plus they have an awesome parade. Not to mention the passes she got us were signed on the back by the operations manager at Universal that allowed us to skip all the lines on all rides and got us into both parks and all the clubs for free. Ate dinner and had a few drinks at Margaritaville. Dawn and crew sent a large cake my way and the restaurant sang happy birthday, which was really nice. Show was cool, though there were thousands in front of us by the time we made it down to the stage end. The parade kicked ass and was a lot of fun. I got more beads than its fashionable for a 23 year old man to wear, and did some tequila shots with Bruce that came in these awesome glasses that light up when they have liquid in them. (had my orange juice out of mine for breakfast this morning because I think it’s cool).

They were filming an episode of the Ellen Degeneres show while we were there also, so it was pretty crazy with cameras, trailers and whatnot running about. And by ‘whatnot’ I mean bulldykes. Not that I have a problem with anyone’s choice of lifestyle in that regard. It just made it hard to grab beads when there were so many women that looked like they’d punch me out if I prevented them from snagging some flying jewelry.

The 23rd Year Post

23 years old as of Friday last week… While definitely don’t feel very old, it is kind crazy when I think about it. Nothing new this year though, already can drink, drive (but never at the same time), go to war, father a child legally… all that’s left is car rentals at 25 and lower insurance rates. There needs to be some cool new thing that you can only do at 24. Like push old people down the stairs and they are cool with it. Or maybe once you turn 24 you get something awesome, like a sit-down dinner and judo lesson with Chuck Norris. I dunno. You’ve got a year. Make it a good one powers that be!

Friday was pretty sweet. Dawn, Bruce and Susan set me up pretty good at the office with a themed birthday cake and decorations (complete with embarrassing costume). Boss treated me to Red Lobster for lunch (first time going for me) which was terrific. Plus loads of well wishes via AIM, phone calls and birthday cards. Oh and a devil rubber ducky. Thanks to everyone who dropped a line, it’s very much appreciated.

Laid low Friday night in favor of celebrating on Saturday. Dawn scored us tickets to Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration which I will detail in my next post. Stay tuned.