Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Is it New Year's Yet?



Wow, this Christmas sure flew right by didn't it? Edward, Antonella, Mila, Rita, Hamish, Antonella's brothers, mother and girlfriends' were all there to celebrate. We had a serious game of Monopoly ate a great dinner of Cabbage Rolls, Mashed Potatoes and salad with Egg Nog pie for dessert. When it came time for the presents, we all gathered around as Ed distributed the gifts in a very Diplomatic and Democratic way. Everyone got some nice things to take home.Today, the weather is sunny and cold. The wind has picked up a little and it is supposed to rain on Friday. No one is here today at the CIA except for staff and a trickle of tourists.The maintenance department are upstairs in the Teaching Kitchen, polishing all the brass fittings on the French Bonnett Cooking Islands and blasting Mexican Ballads from Banda de Fiesta Radio.Some tunes are alright, but when the men start singing along, I want to lose it. The restaurant manager is walking around making sure that her customers are acknowledged. She is new, and I've noticed that most new employees ( managers or not ) are hyper-vigilant about their roles.One positive thing can be said about adhering to a facist regime... Trains run on time and stuff gets done.Now my question is, How much web surfing can one do in a day?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

it is Christmas


...and I just got off the phone to my brother, John. He has been playing Santa Claus for many years now and I suppose he is looking forward to tomorrow when he can hang the hat and red pajamas up in the closet for another year. His beard is the real deal however, and it seems to get longer and bushier all the time. He tells me he has given up trying to weed out any new crop of stray hairs that have appeared on his face. Next year,with a full white beard, moustache and eyebrows you won't be able to tell if he is pissed off ...even as he goes, " Ho, Ho, Ho... Merry Christmas! We had a nice chat reminiscing about adventures from another era.

This past birthday marked my fifth year at the Culinary Institute of America where I am the Concierge ( a French word for slave ). I stay on the job for two basic reasons... the insurance benefits are good, and it keeps a roof over my head. Most days I have only a minimum of crap to put up with; and as always, the food is great. When the weather is nice, I still ride my scooter to work and when it is cold, I drive my little Ford Potato . Hey, can it get any better than this?

I still like to draw, take pictures and make little movies. Usually on the days that are not that busy, I will end up doodling at my desk using a ballpoint or pencil. I have scanned a bunch of these doodles and have colorized some of them. When I get home, I upload them onto this here blog, and it makes me feel like I am at least using some of my creative abilities.

When I purchased my first Mac back in 97' I thought that I was going to be a lot more prolific, and have a lot more to show in terms of my Art work than what I've actually produced. Mostly, I have ended up buying more Mac stuff... l like Ipods, printers, scanners, external hard drives, ink cartridges, digital cameras and the like. It is fun, but I have spent a lot more digital "Stuff" than I thought needed since the time when I first ordered the old Power Computing Power Center 132 Mac Clone. Thankfully I have given away much of the old SCSSI based equipment to my friend Nick Towne, who is just getting into the game. My apartment is still so filled with computers and peripherals that my neighbors have taken to calling this place "Mac World".

My tenure as president of the Men’s Club at Our Lady of Perpetual Help ended in September and now I am secretary. It was a challenging position trying to organize and execute Parish Festivals, St. Patty’s Day Dinners, Crab Feeds, Monthly pot - lucks, but I am proud of myself for rising to the challenge. I only hope that we get some new blood there at the meetings because it looks like the same 15 guys do everything !!

Speaking of volunteering, I still assist with the Napa Valley Food Bank during the monthly pickup and distribution process. They let me have a couple of bags of groceries and I get to supervise the breakdown of the boxes each month before the locals come to get a few extra groceries to tide them over the tough times. I am truly glad that this was here for me when I was unemployed and finding few resources to keep me in the chips.

Now as 2008 approaches, I am looking at ways to improve my lot in life and make a contribution at the same time. Granted, sometimes "failing to plan" is "planning to fail," but little has served me better than just being still and affirming the values that have kept me happy from year to year. I still consider myself to be a work in progress, with plenty of room for improvement. So, here's to you my friends... praying that each and every one of you come to enjoy Peace and Happiness... everyday in every way.

Love and hugs

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday Party


Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle bell... Rock ! Yes, it was a happy festive affair that took place in our barrel room here at the CIA. We had a variety of food stations to choose from ( Mexican, Japanese, American, Italian etc.) and there was a Martini bar and a wine bar for those that cared to imbibe. I stuck with my virgin fruit drink and seven up and watched as others sipped and swirled.We had a raffle for an assortment of prizes that included wine, some weekend resort packages,gift certificates and a grand prize of an IPhone and Ipod Nano! I wanted to win that, but my luck was not with me. I did go dancing, however. When I first got there I took a boat-load of pictures that will be turned into a slide show for the employees later on this month. Then I ate all the yummy food I could stomach.After that, I boogied till the cows cames came home, which was around 10PM. I danced with a lot women who really knew how to shake a tail feather ( whatever the heck that is supposed to mean ). Then I mosied (?) on down to my car in the freezing cold weather and drove home to my freezing cold apartment, and hopped into my freezing cold bed that did not get warm until my body heated up the freezing cold down comforters.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Fourteen!


I've told this story before, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people haven't heard it. So brace yourself. My good buddy Banteron from Boca Raton is about to tell it in his own unique way. Granted this guy is a little obnoxious, but try not to judge a book by it's cover. Certainly the good lord will hold a nice seat for you in the hereafter,if you don't mess up too much in the present. Ya hear?

video

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ipod and Iphone Pranks


Okay, So you are stuck in traffic and the guy in the car next to you is yammering away on his new Iphone. You only have an Itouch, so how do you show him who is in control of the situation? There is a little application at http://www.rjen.com/marq.html that can take a sentence that you type in and make the text big enough for him to read... right off of your Ipod ! Maybe a sweet reminder to "Shut up and drive!" would be what you have in mind for this unconcious oaf. It may also be nice to have a few stored messages for flirtation purposes, if you happen to notice a nice young hostess who quickly assesses how cool you look... plunking out sweet nothings to flash at her from across the room.Of course now that you know about this gem,you have stolen my only pick-up manuever I had honed for the holidays.Oh well,you will thank me as you steer her away from that dweeb with the Iphone (even though he can use the same tatic ! )

video

Ain't Technology Grand?

Watch the video
I have learned to Jott, Twitter and Blog and make QT movies and all that stuff, but it's usefulness still eludes me.Today I am trying to get my friend Dave to sign up for Jott so that he can use his new Iphone to blog. He probably has little interest in it, but at least I put it out there as an option for him. Information about us is floating around everywhere on the web and it will probably be with us long after we die. I said it before and I will say it again, " This is the most documented time there ever was in History". Who knows how long it will last? It scares me to think of the volumes of Drek that has been passed off as information. If you have a computer, cell phone or digital camera... You are a citizen journalist whether you want to admit it or not. This is the information age, and we keep pushing ahead at the speed of light.

Hey Dave, this is Chris....

Hey Dave, this is Chris. I am calling from my cell phone and I am calling to Jott. Jott will transcribe the message after it receives my voice mail, they will put it on website or rather my blog. It's a cool thing I think you should use it on your new iPhone, your cell phone. So, I hope you like it and pay attention to the video. Bye. listen

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