March 31, 2003

Melissa and I have discussed our London Travel plans with our parents, and they think it's a great idea. Melissa's parents have taken a lot of worries off our minds by volunteering to watch Matthew for that week. It would just be too much hassle, and he would get nothing out of the trip at this age. It's the same reason that we didn't visit my parents in Hawaii for Christmas this past year. Justin's father is a travel agent, and he found us some nice tickets on British Airways for $525 apiece, saving us about $400 from the On-line quotes we got. Not too shabby!

March 19, 2003

I just stopped my friend Amos in the hall. He's an army reservist, and he shares my opinion of "I support the troops 100%, but I do not support the president." He made a very good point: Saddam has had ten years to prepare for this war. He's dug the trenches, set up the bunkers and rigged the oil fields. He also knows the few ways that an attack could come into his country, so he's had time enough to prepare not only a defense, but an attack.

One more thought on this: Iraq, as a whole, is in a win-win situation. By defying us, Saddam is supporting his country and it's people. And when he loses, we'll spend billions of dollars to bring the country into the 20th century with housing, food and infrastructure. Then we'll set up a democratic government. Sounds great, but what that actually MEANS is that the people of Iraq can choose their leader freely. So in five years, after we've built them out of the stone age, they can say "Thanks for everything America, now we want this OTHER militant tyrant to be in charge. Don't let the door hit your @ss on the way out..."
Well, the impending war on Iraq is only hours away. The government is planning to unleash over 3000 missiles and prescision-guided bombs on Iraq in the first two days of the fight in order to "establish their intentions" and the level of force to be expected. My first question was "Are there 3000 military targets in Iraq?" I doubt it. So they'll improvise, and even with prescision bombs and missiles, you'll get innocent lives lost.

Now I'm no "Dixie Chick," but I have my doubts about our intentions on this conflict. Sure, Disarm by force, been there & done that. Then we have this whole Imperialism angle: to ENSURE that no more "evil-doers" can perpetuate in Iraq, we'll be setting up a democratic government. SURE. That'll fly. Yes, the people are oppressed and Democracy is a good idea, generally, but did we forget that these people are the same ones who flock in droves to the palaces and military targets, to be human shields? Yeah, they would just be IDEAL candidates for an American-led democracy crammed down their throats. Does "The Infidel in the Holy Land" ring a bell?

The Onion, always good for putting things in perspective, gives their take on the upcoming war in Iraq .

In other news, Joey Googe gave me a call last night. He's living in the midwest, and he is just about to ask his girlfriend of three years to marry him. I am so happy for this guy! And he wants me to be a Groomsman! The wedding is supposed to be in Georgia at the end of the year.

March 13, 2003

Tried meeting for lunch with the ALLTEL gang today, and we missed them. Justin, Melissa and Matthew showed up, but the rest of them were missing. Later on, they called, saying they were at the OTHER Taco Mac. Oh well, had a great lunch anyway. Justin was very interested in our vacationing plans to London. His new job is going well for him, and Mel and I couldn't be happier for him. He's had more than his share of crap dealt to him over the past year.

Justin lost his job last year beacuse his boss, who's had it out for him for some time, demanded a medical history from his visit to the doctor, not just a note. This is highly illegal for good reason, in case an employee has a condition that the employer might exploit as a reason to fire him. Well, Justin has a condition that he deals with, let's say "Lycanthropy" for the sake of argument, which in no way hinders his work performance. He, of course, refused to provide this to his employer, and she told him not to return to work without it. A few days later, he got an e-mail form the company saying that they no longer would be needing his services. Being fired for making a legal stand against a prick is much better than being fired for having some questionable medical condition.

In any case, his excellent work ethic and people skills are well appreciated in his new job. Justin is my blood brother, ever since high school. He is the most decent, unselfish, friendly, hillarious and offbeat person I know. My only hope for him now is that some lucky girl would find this out. Yes, he has quirks, as we all do, but he's the man that I would trust with my life, the person who's been there for me for over ten years, and the guy who should have been my Best Man. Lonliness is the only condition he hasn't been able to overcome in his life.

March 11, 2003

A landmark event: Melissa has agreed to forego the annual trip to DisneyWorld this year in favor of vacationing somewhere else. Given, she already had a long weekend there last month with Heather, but she’s now willing to abandon the annual week-long tour-de-force. (Can’t expect an addict to go cold turkey in one year, can you?) This change of heart is due to a couple of factors: (1) With 5 years of service at my company, I now get 3 weeks of vacation, and (2) Melissa & I want to visit London.

I’ve always been keenly interested in London, been curious about life there, and wanted to visit sometime. When my Best Man and former friend Todd returned to Georgia after a couple of years’ schooling in Detford, (which is somewhere between Dublin and Paris, I’m told), there was a brief return to the English fascination that engulfed my group in High School. Every Monty Python-quoting geek and/or Drama student would spend hours talking to one another in their horrid, fake cockney English accents. These accents were to us, like a high school garage band: Even if you were horrible at it, there was a sense of cool achieved just for engaging in it. Amazing how skewed the “Cool System” was back then.

In any case, we’re currently looking into travel packages for a 5-day stay in London proper. Matthew will probably not get much out of the trip, but he’s not yet at the age where each trip must include a daily visit to a McDonalds PlayPlace. As long as they serve Macaroni & Cheese at some point on the trip, Matthew will be satisfied. Failing that, we can bring it with us.

March 05, 2003

I was dressed up in the standard-issue blue blazer & khakis for my court appearance last night. I waited in the courtroom with Ron, going over the judge's pamphlets listing the various pleas and the implications of each. I stated that I'd like to do a Defensive Driving course, since it would only cost me about $80, and the accident would be expunged from my record. After two hours of sitting with equally uncomfortable traffic violators, the Solicitor called us over.

The woman who hit me did not show up. I was there, that contractor who witnessed the accident was there, but no Ms. Simmons. "Well, that's good for YOU," Said the solicitor,"we've no choice but to dismiss, unless you WANT me to do something?" I replied that it wasn't necessary, I didn't want to put her out. I thanked her and the witness, and left the building to call Melissa. Much relief was shared by all. I drove home a la "Jerry Maguire", searching the radio for a good song to sing along with. I left a voice mail for Rob (my Lawyer-to-be Brother). Later that night, he called the house, a bit weird. Apparently, Rob had forgotten about my court case, so was very confused upon hearing me say "I'm a free man! The B*tch didn't show up!" He wondered what horrible thing had happened that I would leave Melissa for standing me up for something, until he remembered the court case. Juuuust a bit on the outside.

Anyway, that dark cloud is gone, and life is good.

March 04, 2003

Had lunch with Margaret and Jemson (my Project Manager and Programmer from my Cingular Contract last year, respectively). I'm on that weird Birmingham Diet, so I was supposed to eat my "1 Cup of Cottage Cheese, 5 Saltine Crackers and Tea" but I decided that seeing them was more important. Margaret's been great this past year, giving me lots of kudos and support, and finally a nice, bright Project Review for my Resource Manager to read. Heck, with such a glowing review, I might just get a pay increase that outpaces the inflation rate this year!!! Jemson was the best programmer to work with last year. He an I worked so well together, and our families even met up at DisneyWorld over Christmas Break!

I thought it was so nice to Blog, I introduced it to Melissa (the Wife). She loves to write, but only has fragments of time during the day to do it, taking care of Matthew (the 1-Year old), so I thought it would be a perfect fit. Eventually, we want to write a children's book together. She'd do the writing, I'd draw the pictures. Although, seriously, I've got a long way to go. It took me four months worth of lunch breaks to get a decent cartoon of a giraffe and an inchworm, and I still can't draw them DOING much of anything.

Still a little worried about the traffic court thing tonight. Not like it'll send me to The Big House or anything, I just want it over without a lot of fuss.

March 03, 2003

Tomorrow is my date in Traffic Court. It's just an arraignment (sp?), so no real trial as yet, I just have to go there & pray the cop, the plaintiff, or the witness don't show up. Perhaps karma will be with me. If not, it's off to trial, I've got to hire a lawyer, and I'll have to get ugly with this lady.
Well Miss So-and-so, did you actually have insurance at the time of the accident? NO? Did you give the officer a name of a fake insurance company in order to disguise this fact? Yes!
Did you get a Georgia Driver's License, since you were residing in the state over 30 days at the time of the accident? NO?
Mr. Officer, did this accident happen at shift change? Yes. Were you the relief for the original officer at the scene? Yes. Did you get a summary from the original officer, and only then, ask the persons involved what happened? Yes. So you could have a skewed perspective of the scene, could you not? Yes. Did you document the accident scene AT ALL, even a sketch on the back of a napkin? No.

Anyway, I don't like to get ugly, I hope this lady just doesn't show up and I can get on with my life. The accident happened about 5 months ago, and it's been a dark cloud hanging over me ever since. Ron, My father-in-law in good standing, will be accompanying me. Wish me luck.
Welcome to the new Blog! I figure that this is worth a try, seeing as I only update my home page every year or so, now that I have a kid. Let's see if this one works.