Leaving a note

A couple months ago I stopped at HEB on the way home from work to get groceries for dinner. I made my purchases and loaded the truck. I stuck my key in the ignition and pushed the clutch down with my left foot. At that point I plugged my iPod into the tape adapter and started scrolling through my playlists to find some good driving tunes for the last leg of my commute home.

Still scrolling through playslist I was jarred forward and was startled by a loud boom that reverberated through the truck’s frame. I had no idea what had just happened as the truck wasn’t running and I hadn’t moved. I glanced up and looked in the rear view mirror, thinking that someone hit me from behind. Nothing behind me. Then I looked through the windshield to find that I had rolled four feet forward and hit the parked truck in front of me. I guess my subconcious convinced my appendages that it was necessary to hold in the truck’s clutch in order to operate an iPod.

“Uh… oops!”

I laughed at myself, started the truck and backed up so the two vehicles were no longer kissing and so I could assess any damages. I didn’t get out of my truck. Instead I leaned forward and took a good gaze at the old truck in front of me. The truck I tapped had obviously been around the block a few times and it didn’t look like my little mistake added any damage.

It was then that I saw a lady sitting in her car parked to the right of the truck I hit. She had to have seen what had just happened because our eyes briefly met. So I decided to do the right thing. I made it obvious that I was pulling out a pen and piece of paper. With exaggerated motions I began to write my note and keep a spying eye on my witness. I think she wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. Once she saw that I was in the process of writing a note to leave on the window, she backed out and started driving away. I watched as my witness turned onto the highway and drove off.

I looked down at my note.

  Note to self:
Next time put your other foot on the brake.

Employment termination causes heartburn for management

I’ve read and heard that you’re not supposed to write e.g. blog about work. I don’t like being censored, I’m not afraid, I’m still in my-job-doesn’t-define-me training and if you’re my future employer, hello. Not that I’m looking. Awe crap, look what I’ve up and done now.

That being said, I fired my “assistant” on Friday. Her title wasn’t My Assistant, it was actually Marketing Coordinator, or Developer, or Something Or Other. But when “it” need to roll downhill, 98.43% of the time, “it” rolled straight to her. She was my point-person. My #2. I had a year-and-a-half professional investment in her. I trained her one-on-one and she eventually took the majority of the production work off of my plate.

Against advisement I gave her chance after chance after chance. I wholeheartedly wanted her to succeed. She had other plans.

I had a hard time sleeping on Thursday night. It was a hard reality that I had to face. So hard in fact that it was sympathy card worthy by Elise. I came home on Friday night to a reaffirming card in my drawer.

My heart was in my throat all day Friday. I fired her that morning and had heartburn for the rest of the day. I don’t get heartburn often and when I do, it’s self inflicted by either 1) habanero hot wings or 2) firing someone that means something to me.

I think back of the time spent and all of the opportunities there and it just eats at me.

I’m going to go make hot wings.

Drill bits

We decided to spruce up the office a little bit because, well, it needed it. I told the girls that I wanted to put 2″ faux wood blinds in the front end of the office. The girls went out and bought the blinds which left me to install them. Our office is essentially a warehouse and is sturdily constructed. I had to drill through metal to install the blinds. In doing so I broke three drill bits. So I shopped titanium drill bits on Amazon.com this evening to replace my broken bits. How can you not entertain the notion of purchasing drill bits with a “parabolic flute design that improves chip ejection”.

Dinner at Mesa Ranch

Victor called me earlier this week and we decided to go out for dinner since we hadn’t seen each other in 6 months.

Notorious VIC came over to our house on Friday evening and the three of us loaded up and went to Mesa Ranch. Talk about a fantastic dinner! Every thing on the Texas fare menu sounded fantastic. I bought a $25 coupon on Amazon.com for $10 earlier that afternoon so I figured we’d load up on appetizers.

  • Cactus fried in Shiner Bock beer batter with Tequila Ranch & white queso
  • Grilled poblano rellenos filled with Mexican cheeses & grilled shrimp, served with avocado corn salsa
  • Fresh jalapeños stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in bacon & fried in Shiner Bock beer batter, served with Tequila Ranch sauce

Those awesome & filling apps didn’t stop us from ordering full dinners complete with fresh green salads and avocado & cilantro dressing.

Elise had the grilled spice rubbed pork tenderloin and apple chipotle chile chutney with cinnamon whipped sweet potatoes & grilled vegetables. If you closed your eyes and try to imagine what Christmas would taste like in Texas, that plate would sum it up. All of the ingredients were very well balanced and you could taste each one. The tenderloin was cooked perfectly and melted in your mouth.

Victor and I both opted for the 8oz. filet mignon with potato au gratin & grilled asparagus. It’s been almost a full day since that meal and I’m still wondering if I have ever eaten a better steak than the one I had last night. I ordered mine medium rare and it was absolutely to die for. I’ve been fantasizing about that steak all day… it’s excellent marbling, the flavor, the texture.

Chef Rob came out of the kitchen when the dinner rush died down and sat with us to chat for a while. I asked him about the steaks – where he gets them, how they’re seasoned and cooked. He told me it was all in the seasoning. A unique 14 herbs and spices seasoning that Mesa Ranch is talking about branding and selling as their own.

Ater dinner we all came back to the house and chatted for a while. Victor went home and we went to bed shortly after where I dreamt about that steak!

Vintage video

I’m spending most of my Saturday “cleaning house”. I’m finding stuff that I don’t need and putting it on eBay. One item of which is my desktop Windows PC. I was cleaning the drives and found a video from almost ten years ago. It was a time shortly after I met a girl named Elise.

Click to play

Philip hooks \’em

Yellow fin tuna

My friend Philip works offshore on an oil rig. This year they let the crew do some fishing during their off time.

Philip wrote and said he’s bringing back 40 lbs. of yellow fin tuna. I offered to cook so we’re going to have a full on tuna feast party extravaganza!

I’m thinking about wild berry and wasabi; mango habanero; cilantro, poblano & corn salsa. Maybe some roasted coconut rice… Can’t wait till next weekend!

Shopping a computer for work

Ever since buying my first iPod over two years ago I’ve been a big fan of Apple Computers (I have some old photos circa ’86 that my Mom scanned and e-mailed and I’m still looking for the one of me sitting in front of our first computer, an Apple IIGS Woz).

Shortly after buying that iPod I purchased stock in Apple. Since then I’ve made a nice chunk of change ($21/share back then). I like to keep up-to-date on new products from Apple because 1) I’m a consumer and 2) because I’m an investor.

I was excited when Apple invited the press for the recent “One more thing…” Special Event. All speculations were on a video iPod, which they announced. Cool, but I don’t really want or need a video iPod. Also announced was the new iMac. I read about it and wasn’t really impressed until I watched Steve Jobs’ keynote speech. I don’t care who you are, that’s a fun computer right there.

A few weeks ago I told my office manager that I was thinking about getting a new computer. I currently use a three-year-old Dell that is crapping out on me. Outlook does not work anymore no matter what I try (I’ve since switched to Thunderbird for work e-mail). Word opens when it wants to. I can no longer print PDFs for whatever reasons. Those crucial work-related applications that don’t work aside, my computer is now painfully slow. Keep in mind that I am anal about keeping my work PC in tip-top shape. I defrag and clean my drive regularly. I meticulously run antispyware scans and keep everything organized and “clean” overall. But to no avail. I don’t have time to troubleshoot anymore. I run a business. I’m busy and need a reliable computer for work.

So my office manager told me to buy a new computer. She understands listens to my nerdiness. I told her I was going to wait until October 12 to see what Apple was coming out with. I read about the new iMac and even though not thoroughly impressed, I showed my OM the iMac webpage. Prior to that I shopped the Mac mini as I’m seriously considering getting a Mac for my work computer (I’m really iffy about the hefty investment in an iMac [and what my boss would say]). After showing my OM the price for the iMac she responded, “Oh, wow! That’s not that bad!”

Wow! I’m on the fence. Maybe I should fall off the fence and land on the side that I know will still work in three years (and get a photo on the way to that other side!)…

Friday morning update: I got to work this morning and tried to print a shipping label.

Can't print

Hmmm… So I tried printing a test sheet from Notepad.

Can't print

Ahhh… yes, the RPC server. What the hell is the RPC server?

If my fist manages to make it through the day without going through my monitor it will be a good one.

Elise talks tech

Elise called me at the office this afternoon.

Elise: … so I think we should spend some more quality time with each other.
Josh: …
Elise: Did you hear what I just said? You weren’t even listening to me.
Josh: I’m waiting for this damn DNS record change to propagate
Elise: ?
Josh: *sigh*
Elise: Is that like waiting on a B.M.?

Pamphlet priestesses

I’ve always heard stories about Jehovah’s Witnesses and how they knock on your door and talk to you for extended periods of time trying to recruit new members.

There was a knock at the door last weekend. I was at home alone while Elise was working. I snuck up to the front door while trying not to step on a part of the hardwood that would make a noise and give away the fact that someone was at home. I eased my face to the peep hole and saw two girls standing outside the front door.

“All right, chicks!”, I thought.

I opened the door and was greeted by my two visitors. After polite introductions, one of the girls immediately started talking about the damage caused by hurricane Katrina and then something about Korea. She asked if she could leave some literature with me. I agreed to the leaving of the literature. I was gaining insight that this was a religious calling. I tried to muster some witty comment about needing to be excused because the goat’s blood on the stove was probably boiling over. I decided against being witty and instead gave them both a pair of these.

She said they would be back at a later time. We said our goodbyes, she handed me some pamphlets and I closed to the door. I looked down at my newly acquired literature to find imformation from The Watchtower Society. I’m not religious by conventional standards so I just threw the papers away.

The girls came back on Wednesday while Elise was home. She didn’t answer the door because she was actually boiling goats blood. Pregnant women have weird cravings. The girls came by two other times that day as well. Elise never answered the door.

So now I can say I’ve had Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door. Stay tuned for the inevitable Elvis sighting.


I’ve been thinking a lot recently about having headshots done. It would come in handy for my AIM account and one day I will change the world and it will be required that I have a headshot on the corporate website.

I was going through my digital photos tonight and all I could come up with was this:

Josh's headshot