Josh’s Crib

I was lucky enough this past week to have MTV come over to my place and film an exclusive episode of Cribs. They wanted the public to be able to see what a man of my caliber lives like. It was stressful having all of those camera people in my place, but I got over it.

If you’re on a slow connection, I suggest you start downloading the clip and go to sleep!

Josh’s Cribs episode

Tax day, Roadrunner, Fear Factor, Robin Cook

Hope everyone got their taxes done!

Today I had roadrunner installed – I’m happy now. El and I will no longer be using our austin.rr email accounts any longer.

You know what bugs the hell out of me? Fear Factor. It’s the only reality TV show that I’ll watch only because I like the stunts that are involved. I have to admit though, I might walk if spiders were introduced. Anyway – why don’t they have regular people the show? I swear, you have to be a Calvin Klein model to be on this show. Another reason I watch it is because Joe Rogan, the host, is funny as hell. He’s not really funny on the show, but his old stand-up acts are hilarious. He used to be on the TV show, News Radio. I kind of followed Mr. Rogan before he started hosting Fear Factor, truly a funny guy. And his website used to be crap before he got the money to have someone build the existing one. I guess he deserves the money.

I’ve been reading one of those three-novels-in-one by Robin Cook that my mom loaned me. I’ve read Contagion and am almost done with Chromosome 6. Both of them are really good. They’re ‘medical thrillers’. After reading, I’m kind of nervous when I walk through the hospital at work.

No more credit card, Elise starts a fire

I’m back in Temple after having a relaxing weekend in Austin. I got in around 7 on Friday evening. Victor came over around 8. El got home from work around 9. We hung out on the porch for an hour or so, then decided we were hungry. We went to Texas Land and Cattle Co. Good food.

Saturday, El had to work, I had errands and honey-do jobs to tend to. First, and most importantly, El and I have been saving like we’re mad — so, I went to the bank, transferred all of our savings into checking and paid off our credit card. Woooohoooo!!! Talk about a weight being lifted. We really didn’t owe a whole lot, but it’s just good to be done with it. We’ve vowed to never use credit cards again. I can’t begin to explain how good we feel now!

Late last week, Elise kind of left a candle burning and caught our coffee table on fire. No biggy (yeah right). Luckily, Riley went into the office and told Elise that the apartment was about to go up in flames. Seriously, from what El told me, our little cat ran into the office, caught his breath and said: “Hey! You left the candle burning on the coffee table, and now you’re about to burn my house down!” So, Elise ran into the living room and tossed the candle outside. Luckily nothing really started blazing.

Anyway, I decided that I was going to ‘fix’ the coffee table. I went to Home Depot and bought some sandpaper, brush, wood conditioner and stain. I started to sand the burned part. Um, I did more damage than the fire did. So now we have a pretty ugly coffee table. We took everything, minus the used sandpaper, back to Home Depot.

Elise told me not to post anything about her incident without exploiting myself as well. It was approximately 6 months ago, we had 10 or so friends over. I decided that I was going to cook chicken fried steaks for everyone. I set up my breading station on the counter as well as part of the stove. I turned on one of the burners so I could begin boiling water for the mashed potatoes. Needless to say, I turned on the wrong burner. I went out onto the patio to talk to some of our guests when we all hit the floor when we heard a huge ‘boom’ then a ‘crash’. Victor, Felix and I ran into the kitchen to see the last of the flaming glass fly through the kitchen.

I had set a Pyrex baking dish, full of flour, on top of the hot burner. Flour was on fire on top of the stove, glass was on fire, burning its way through the linoleum floor. It was pretty bad – and pretty embarrassing. I ordered 3 pizzas…

Today (Sunday), El and I ran errands and had lunch at Rudy’s BBQ. We went to the mall so I could buy a new toy. I got an 18″ Leatherface action figure. He’s cool.

Well, now I have to go make a harassing phone call to a lady who owes me money.

Ex-girlfriend, leave me alone, dewberries, budget, cooking

Today I received an unwarranted, unwanted, unsolicited, unnecessary, un-everything email. If you are reading this, thanks, but no thanks. Do us both a favor and just disappear again!

Today I started forcing myself to learn Fireworks. I’m actually going through and reading the manual and doing the tutorials. That old adage about teaching an old dog new tricks kind of applies here. I’m beginning to see some good points in learning said program – but I’m comfortable in the way I do my own web development. Anyhow, I’m sure this new knowledge will come in handy down the road.

My mom emailed me today and mentioned dewberries. If you’ve never had a dewberry, well, uh, you’re missing out. In the 20 lb. information bag the the Temple Chamber of Commerce gave me, I remember reading that Temple has a lot of dewberries. I’m going to see if I can find me a patch around here and grab a bunch of them. It’s about time for my famous seared tuna with a dewberry and wasabi glaze. I taught myself how to make California rolls this past year – maybe I’ll try to incorporate those too.

I created a budget for El and myself yesterday – a spreadsheet complete with formulas and everything. It’s looking like [cross fingers here] we’ll finally be able to start saving some serious cash. We have small debts we have to repay, but we should be able to knock those out quickly. Then we’ll be debt free and can start saving for our house. The goal I’ve established: huge down payment by the end of 2004. Now, if I could just get over this damn crack habit.

Speaking of crack, that reminds me of my old roommate. What a character that dude was. I wonder what the hell he’s doing now. I think I saw him when I was volunteering at South by Southwest a couple years ago – if it was him, he still looked the same. Anyway, one day I came home and he and his friends were engaged in some extracurricular activities that didn’t seem conducive of the brain activity needed for the university… if you steal a base in baseball, is that considered a free base?

I learned from that whole roommate experience. I really missed out on the dorm life. Mainly because my damn girlfriend followed me up to Austin – so that whole situation kept me from having an extended social life. I probably would have graduated on time and with better grades had I not had a crack head roommate and a hooch of a girlfriend.

Geez, what’s my deal?… I guess that email I got today really pushed the wrong button. Anyway, I guess had I not endured those times, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. Looks like I have to say it again – “Takes your bad days to know what your good ones are” – Mom Janicek

Welp – I have to go try and rig the VCR so I can tape Friends for El, my wife, the love of my life, the reason I wake up the mornings, the woman in my dreams, my lifeline, my soul mate, my best friend, my audience, my drop dead gorgeous, skinny, head turning, heart melting, make your eyes do googly things wife.

Why are people smiling at me?

Work has been going by really quickly. I guess it’s because I’ve been getting myself wrapped up in projects. Right now I’m trying to determine how to embed video in a pop window environment that will work the way I want it to in both IE and Netscape. Anyone who knows anything about web/multimedia development knows how frustrating it can be to get anything to work the way you want in Netscape 4.x.

Everyone kept smiling at me while I was on the trusty Shadow today. I kept thinking that I had a dead bird stuck in my helmet or something. I would drive by buildings with those mirrored windows to check myself out – didn’t see anything. Oh well, maybe everyone was just in a good mood today.

I really think I could open up my own restaurant in Temple. I can make a mean chicken fried steak. I think people around here would swing on that. Of course I would still want to incorporate fine dining. I like cooking game and I think people would really like that too. I could just have meat and potatoes on the everyday menu, then the fancy stuff could be offered too. I’d have to feel out the crowd. A lot of people drive in from Austin every day, so I could probably gain some business that way. I don’t know, I’m just thinking while I type. I would just love to retire early and run my own restaurant.

Oh yeah – in case I forgot to tell anyone – I finally put a streaming video on the Scott & White website.

Cable installation, McCarthy’s Tae Kwon Do, El’s 15 lbs.

I got cable TV today – woooohoooo! I met Bobby, the friendly, local Time Warner guy at the apartment during my lunch break. We turned the TV on to make sure it worked. He handed me the channel guide and the first thing I found was Speedvision. I immediately turned to that channel and lo and behold: 600cc series sport bike racing [insert male grunt here]. So, now I have 2 channels that I have to remember: 72 is Speedvision, 75 is the Food Network.

And I happened to call to order cable/Road Runner at an opportune time. This week, Time Warner is having a Road Runner special – 3 months for $19.95. After the 3 months, Road Runner goes up to the standard rate, which is still $5 cheaper than Austin’s rate. I have to wait until Monday to get RR installed. We don’t have a cable outlet in the office, so that will be fun watching the install guy figure that one out!

Yesterday I went and talked to Master McCarthy at McCarthy’s Tae Kwon Do. I think I’m going to join. I’m a little nervous though… It’s been 8 years since I last practiced (regularly). Master McCarthy was really cool though – he laughed at me when I suggested that I just start from scratch. He said: “No, you’ll keep your black belt – you’ll just have to get in shape!” I can’t even touch my toes right now! I want to train and win at the Junior Olympics. We’ll see, money is still tight.

Oh yeah, and congrats to El! She lost 15 lbs. as of today. I don’t know what that means – lifetime goal, maintenance goal, don’t-have-to-pay-to-go-to-meetings goal… she’s told me a hundred times, but I get confused. Anyway, I’m very proud of her. I’m also extremely nervous about her being in Austin alone now. After she lost 10 lbs., she started wearing these really tight butt-hugging cut-off jean shorts and halter tops. She started wearing this really dark blue eye shadow too and is teasing her hair now.

Liking my job, Toys, CDs

Nothing really new going on recently. I’m getting a little more settled in at work, liking what I’m doing.

I took some of my toys to work with me this morning. I like to have my workspace setup in a stress free, toy filled environment. It helps me laugh at the little things.

As I was collecting said toys and placing them in a bag, I decided to charge up the old Hummer. I came home from work and went to the closet to change clothes. I turned and saw the battery pack plugged into the wall and I grinned from ear to ear. I didn’t even change clothes. I popped the battery into my RC truck and went outside. I drove around the parking lot for probably an hour. That was fun. I was outside just laughing like a little kid driving and jumping my little truck around. Yeah, I’m a dork – but at least I can do stuff like that and not have a care in the world at that moment in time.

A few months back, El and I consolidated all of our CD’s. We bought 4 or 5 of those leather CD cases. They take up a lot less room than all of those annoying jewel cases. And you don’t have to buy shelves to put them on. Anyway, I have 3 of those CD cases here with me. I’ve decided to listen to every single CD that I own. Whether I hate the CD or not. It’s pretty interesting. So far, I’m through Alice in Chains’ Jar of Flies; Dahebegebees, self titled, and now I’ve gotten myself into my Metallica section (all arranged by release date, of course) – it’s probably going to take a month for me to get through all of those disks!

Philip always makes fun of me and my Seinfeldian ways. My CD’s used to be in alphabetical order, then chronologically indexed as needed. They’ve managed to work themselves out of order… maybe I’ll get to that task one day.

Dad forced into retirement

Today had to have been one of the most shocking, humbling, surprising and depressing days of my life. I’m not at liberty to discuss the matter, but all I can say is, I’m glad Tuesday’s Gone. That’s an old song by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I prefer the Metallica version. Download it – that’ll let you know how I feel. I’d post it here, but it’s a long song and would be a huge file.

This past weekend was fun. We hung out with Victor a lot – had a good time. My friend Cody came over on Saturday night. We shot the bull, hung out on the porch, that sort of thing…

El came back up to Temple with me on Sunday. It really is nice having her with me up here. I can’t wait until she’s here for good.

I don’t feel like writing anymore… If you’re on a modem, download that mp3 anyway, it’s a good song (even if it’s not the original).

All I can say is, sometimes life kicks you in the teeth – you just have to keep your head up, stick your chest out and deal with it. Those are some of the words I live by.

No firewood, I have nothing, recordings

Once again – no real reason for not having written in the past 4 days. I guess I’ve been kind of busy straightening miscellaneous stuff out.

Sunday was fun. El was here – we went to Wal Mart to return a phone. We meant to buy some firewood because we had a mean cold front blow through. We left Wal Mart, got home and realized we forgot the firewood. We drove back to Wal Mart to find out they didn’t sell firewood.

We drove up the street to a convenience store. No firewood. Drove to another convenience store. No firewood. Then we decided we would buy some starter logs. We bought 3 of them. I just think that’s hilarious. I think it epitomizes our current life together – trying desperately to survive. All we have is each other… and 2 lawn chairs, a small TV that gets 3 snowy local stations and some starter logs for a fire.

After buying the starter logs, we did actually find one store that had a little bit of firewood left, so we bought it and used it.

And to top that off, I cooked a chili rabbit stew for dinner that night – talk about bohemian!

While at Wal Mart, I bought a little Labtec computer microphone. After the rabbit dinner, El had some wine, I had a couple beers and we setup the microphone and recording software. We made asses of ourselves as we recorded my guitar playing and El’s singing.

I’m using my old answering machine from my old (pre-Elise) apartment. It still has some messages on it from almost 2 years ago.

I’m off to Austin tomorrow night! Sure wish I had that mp3 player to keep me occupied during the 70 mile haul.

Streaming video for S&W, cold ride to Austin, Shadow inspection, Hard Rock

Friday was a slow day at work. Most everyone in the office took the day off. I worked on a branded streaming video interface. I did a lot of clock watching – waiting for 5pm to roll around so I could head to Austin.

5 o’clock came and I was off. I rushed home and packed some socks and underwear, strapped on the leathers, filled the Shadow with gas and headed south.

The temperature was in the mid 40’s. I was tired and cold. My forearm muscles kept getting sore. I actually had to stop in Round Rock to stretch.

El got home from work right as I was arriving. We talked and hung out for about an hour. We got hungry so we decided to go to Taco Bell and Blockbuster to rent a movie. We rented Training Day. Pretty good movie.

Elise had to work at 6am on Saturday. I got up around 8. I went to Wood’s Fun Center to get my bike inspected. That was a riot. I forgot that my proof of insurance card had expired. I had to sit on hold with Progressive for about 30 minutes to finally talk to someone. I asked them to fax my proof of insurance to the mechanic. First try failed. I had to call again and wait on hold. Finally it went through.

I came back to the apartment, played with Riley and watched a little TV. El came home around 2 – we took a nap. Then we went to the new Hard Rock Cafe on 6th. Nothing special about it – if you’ve been to one HRC, you’ve been to them all.

We decided to go out for an after dinner drink. We went to Pete’s Piano Bar. We wound up staying too long. The piano men laughed at me because I wanted them to play some Alice Cooper. Oh well, that’s why they’re downtown piano men – playing their Billy Joel and Elton John.

We came home and went straight to bed. It was late.

El is off today (Sunday), Monday and Tuesday. She’s coming up to Temple with me. She just got back from church. Now we have to load up her truck. I figured out how to take apart my desk – so we’ll be taking that with us. Now I don’t have to sit on the floor to play on the computer anymore!

80’s toys, Contagion, Chromosome 6 and Invasion

Ahem – I haven’t written in a few days. I don’t really have an excuse – not like I’ve been busy.

Sunday, El and I went and got lost in some local neighborhoods. There are some really nice houses in the surrounding areas. It looks like El and I might be able to get ourselves into something relatively large and cozy for a good price. And by large – that just means anything larger than your standard 2 bedroom apartment.

We went to the mall. Nothing special about that. They did have a cool collectibles store complete with 80’s GI Joe action figures, He-Man, Star Wars and Transformers. Each toy averaging $50. I came home and emailed my mom to tell her that I was mad at her for getting rid of all of my old toys. (I’m not really mad Mom!)

El stayed Sunday night as she didn’t have to be at work until noon on Monday. It was depressing coming home and her not being there. She left me a nice note though. She said she missed me the minute I got out of bed. I talked to her and kissed her before I left for work, but it was still cute that she said she was missing me before I even left.

Monday was a typical Monday. Nothing really happened at work. Actually, I can’t really remember what the hell I did at work. I remember working on a streaming video interface.

I started reading a book last night. It’s actually a compilation of three novels by Robin Cook. Contagion, Chromosome 6 and Invasion. It’s pretty good thusfar. I didn’t get very far into it. I’m going to try to read a lot more tonight – it’s better than the crap on TV.

Today I woke up and went for a walk. This time last year, I was running 3-4 miles in the morning – every morning. After the wedding, I started slacking. So, I decided to start running again. I’m going to walk this week and possibly next week, just to build up to running again.

I had a bunch of meetings at work. Met with the CSO this afternoon to find out that we’re behind on our website development. I can’t say I don’t have anything to do at work!

Temple is growing on me. For some reason, I REALLY wish I had my dream bike. The team green Kawasaki ZX7R Ninja. Ahhhh… I’ve wanted that bike since 1994. One day, it will be mine. I’m going to get that bike and a brand new solid white helmet – then I’m going to put Mr. Yuk stickers all over it.

I’ve seen a lot of really good motorcycle roads around here – my throttle fist gets itchy every once in a while. (this is one of those instances when I hope that my loving, understanding, best friend, sweetheart of a wife doesn’t read this)

Took the trusty Shadow to get a fixin’

Today my parents came in. I feel kind of bad for them. They had to wake up and leave their house at 7am to get here in time to help me take the bike in to the shop.

They got here around 9:45. Dad and I went out and had a hard time loading the bike into his truck. It’s really hard to back up a 600 lb machine with a flat tire.

Anyway – we drove the 20 miles to A1 Cycles in Killeen. Come to find out, they didn’t have the tires I ordered, nor the correct length chain. I did get the tires, just not the ones that I was quoted a price for.

We came back to Temple, had lunch, went to Marshall’s (the store) and I showed them Scott & White. Dad bought me two really nice pairs of shoes.

We drove back to Killeen to pick up my bike. Another guy was there when we arrived and come to find out, they did have the chain. I raised hell and made them put it on for me. Then this ‘other guy’ tried to charge me too much. He heard it from me. So I got the price I was quoted.

Now my mom is giving my dad a hard time about the proper way to air up an air mattress. I think they just blew up my mom’s hair drier.

El will be here later tonight. Tomorrow I think we’re just going to take it easy – maybe take up the local fare for lunch.

Walking to work, My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me

That’s why she’s called my better half.

I was dead set on making the trek to Killeen and getting the trusty Shadow repaired. Then El called last night. She said: “Why don’t you just walk to work and wait until your parents come down this weekend and take the bike in then?”

So, your humble narrator walked to work this morning. And home from work this afternoon.

The walk to work was really nice. The weather was great. It was a little humid, but the wind was blowing hard enough to make it comfortable. It took around 40 minutes to walk. I don’t know how far S&W is mile-wise from my apartment – but none-the-less, the walk was nice.

Work was okay. I implemented a javascript that will probably be used on the new S&W home page whenever we decide to launch it. That and researching the utilization of streaming video took up the majority of my day – along with another meeting.

After lunch, I was actually looking forward to my walk home….

There aren’t many sidewalks in Temple like you would find in larger cities. I had to walk along the sides of access roads and in medians. Along the way, I could see the new sprouts of Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes. I can tell that Temple will yield a very pretty Texas Spring.

Today I decided to buy myself a six pack of beer, walk home, let the belt buckle flap open, sit in front of the tube and watch ER.

I walked to the local convenience store. I grabbed a sixer of cheap beer and took my place in line. In front of me stood a kid – barely pushing 18 years of age. I could tell this because I watched as he fumbled for his ID when the cashier asked for it. He had at least 3 ID’s in his wallet. This guy was buying a pack of Swisher Sweets. The big ones. It didn’t dawn on me until after I bought my own poison that I had just thought, last night, about going to this same convenience store and buying myself a cigar.

As I approached the counter, a song began to play in my head: “My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me”, by the Ghetto Boys. I don’t know why the hell this song came into the ol’ thinker – but it did.

Anyway, I made my purchase and I was on my way. I was only a block or two from the apartment. I took the shortcut. The straightest distance between two points is a straight line. It just so happened, that one of the points in-between was one of the town’s Catholic church grounds.

I’m strutting along, with gangsta rap ringing in my head, a six pack of cheap beer swinging from my grip in a plastic bag, through a nice, manicured church parking lot. It took me a second, then I interrupted my own brain muzak to think to myself: “F#*K, I’m walking through church grounds, looking like a bum. Then I thought: “Sh*t, I just said ‘F#*k’ on church property”.

I figured I should stop while I was ahead, so I walked faster and started humming that tune again. As I approached the edge of the church property, I saw something on the ground. I knew what it was, but I knew I had to get closer just to verify it. It was kind of like anyone’s desire to walk up to a dead body, even though they know it will be disturbing – but just to do it anyway.

It was a dead blackbird. He was a big fellow too, almost crow big. I don’t know how he could have died. He couldn’t have been hit by a car, he was too far from the street. He was lying, face up, wings spread, right below three nice, medium sized trees that were planted closely together. He was in the process of decomposing – maybe a couple days deceased.

I’ve seen symbols in my day – I wonder if this is another.