Category Archives: Personal

Being sick the entire weekend sucks…

After suffering a cold since Wednesday, I stayed home in bed Saturday, Sunday and am out today on Monday. Bad enough that I’m sick, I have work piling up back at the office. Hopefully, I’ll be OK tomorrow and return.

Now for something different

As many of my friends know,I suffer from sinus problems nearly year round.  Going to Costco, I saw this Sinus rinse (2 pack for $13) and figured I’d try it.

It works surprisingly well. It’s pretty simple and basically a saline rinse of your sinuses. In my case, it means I’m not congested during the day and I get a good night sleep. This is the same company as Neti pot.

Music I’m listening to now:
Nothing at the moment, I’m watching “Returner” on DVD.

Visit to the Empire State Building

Empire State Building
Originally uploaded by S.D.

Lots of fun, with an added bonus: Janny works in the building. That means that we don’t have to stand on line. Instead of taking 30 to 60 minutes to get to the top, we just go right to the head of all lines.

I think that got some people annoyed at us (we heard “Hey! There’s a Line!!!” a few times) but it was worth it.  Unfortunately, it was cloudy and hazy but we could always go back. Since the sun is setting earlier as winter approaches, I think we’ll go after work one night and get some great night shots.

Music I’m listening to now:
Nothing, I’m watching Mythbusters.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Yep, I’m bored. Janny is out shopping, I’m home doing Laundry and working from home.

Overall, I’d say this is a good day. It’s calm, quiet and I’m actually accomplishing work that needs to be done. Before the rain from Hurricane Hannah hit, I was able to get some fresh Jalapeno Peppers from our garden.

Music I’m Listening to now:
Rain, Rain, Go Away!” Obviously.

What a busy week

What a busy week this has been. As Inigo Montoya once said “Let me explain, no, there is no time, let me sum up“:

  • Finished the Oil to Gas conversion. Our OLD oil burner was installed in 1952 and designed in the 1920’s. Needless to say, it was expensive to run, especially in winter. I’ll write up a post on that exclusively later on. We used John Sideris Plumbing to do the work and we’re very happy with the work and the results.
  • Attempted 3 times to have Time Warner Cable come and fix our Cable issues. After blowing off TWO appointments and arriving nearly an hour LATE to the THIRD appointment, they “diagnosed” the issue and left within 10 minutes. My wife called me after they left and I called TWC and got them to go back. The Technician insists there is no problem and that the screen going blank is “normal” and happens “occasionally”. The problem is, the issue is intermittent and unpredictable. Explaining that to the technician was an complete waste of time and he frankly did not care or want to hear it. As soon as humanly possible, we are switching our Cable TV service to Verizon. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had issues with Verizon too, but after all the issues I’ve had the last few months with TWC, I’m willing to give it a chance.
  • Work is fun. We had an outage on Friday night that took quite a while to resolve. I was not able to leave work till 9:00pm. That in itself was bad, but I had to be in Princeton New Jersey by 7:30am the next day. Since I was late last time I had to go to Princeton, I left my house at 5:00am and got to work at 6:30am (Better early than late). That actually worked well, as I was able to get a good breakfast, relax and just jump right into the work that needed to be done. Thanks to my co-workers, everything went great (I mostly had a support role), but I was not able to leave till 7:00pm for a 2 hour drive to get home. Now on Sunday, I’m very tired. I’m glad days like this are few and far between.
  • We recorded the Olympic Opening ceremony on our DVR (Only one Blip in the Recording! “Normal” right???) for viewing later. After seeing it, my wife and I could not help but think: The Next City to host the Olympics can’t possibly top that. You can see some fantastic photos here at and here at the Official web sight,

Other than that, life is pretty good. Mostly, we are taking it easy, watching the Olympics. I was able to record “Shoot ’em up” on the DVR this week. I’m looking forward to seeing it as both Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti are great.

Music I’m listening to now:
Nothing at the moment. I’m watching “Shoot ’em Up“, With Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci. It’s a great Action film and Lots of fun.

It’s all about the timing…

The last few days, I’ve been working at home while my heating system is being converted from an old Oil Burner (from 1952!) to a Natural Gas solution.

Since I’m stuck at home and I’ve also been having spotty performance on our Cable TV for at least 2 weeks, I scheduled an appointment with Time Warner Cable of NYC. They were supposed to come around between 12:00pm and 4:00pm and if they need to call me, call my home or my work number.

After they missed the appointment, I called TWC and asked what was going on. Basically, the Cable Repair technician called and apparently No one picked up at my home number, my work number or My cell.

All of these phone work fine, with voice mail on all of them and yet I didn’t get a call on a single one. No voice mail either. How Odd…

When I call a company for a problem, I try to be polite and professional. Getting mad does not help and the guy on the other end of the phone did NOT miss that appointment. He rescheduled for today (Hope they don’t miss that one too!) between the hours of 12:00pm and 4:00pmand with any luck, my cable will be fine.

Which leads me to the “Timing” part. My Door bell rings and it’s NOT TWC, but rather Verizon. They want to go to the backyard and wire FIOS to the telephone cable. Apparently, my neighborhood is the next one to get Fiber Optic FIOS.

In other words: If Time Warner Cable screws this up, I now have more options.

UPDATE 1: It’s 4:20pm do you know where your Time Warner Technician is?
Called Time Warner, they said the appointment is still open and to wait another half hour.

UPDATE 2: Now 5:10pm and no call. I called TWC again, got a fast Busy and redialed until I got thru. After listening to classical piano (Chopin?) music for a few minutes, my call was picked up by Yolanda and she offered to call the Technician and see what the delay was. Put on hold for over 5 minute with very good piano music.

UPDATE 3: Yolanda called the dispatcher who will be calling me back. Not thrilled at the occasional video issues, but everyone I’ve spoken to at TWC has been very friendly and professional. I await the dispatcher’s call.

Update 4: 6:30pm, No Call from the TWC dispatcher. Calling the number got a busy signal, but after 6 redials I got in and heard the nice piano music again. End Result: Dispatcher will call back.

Update 5: 7:00pm (sigh) Dispatcher called back: Today is canceled. TWC gets to try again on Wednesday.

Verizon is looking GREAT and I have NO idea what they offer.

Music I’m listening to now:
Pocketful Of Sunshine“, by Natasha Bedingfield from the Pocketful of Sunshine album. You can see the video here.

Update on the PG Mk II

Gundam MkII

Originally uploaded by S.D.

Always meant to update this post where I started to build a PG Mk II. I finished it and posted some images to Flickr, but neglected to update my Blog.  Not many photos, but You can see them here on Flickr. It was fun to build and I need to put the decals on to finish.

Music I’m listening to now:
Pocketful Of Sunshine“, by Natasha Bedingfield from the Pocketful of Sunshine album. You can see the video here.

House painting

This week, my wife and I took time off to paint our dining room and bedroom. After painting our living room last year, we learned a few things when painting our house:

  1. Pick your paint carefully. We’re using Behr paint from home depot.
  2. Seriously, use primer. I bought our house in the end of 2002 and near as I can tell, the previous owner never did any painting since he purchased it in 1997. As a result, when we painted our living room without any primer, the paint bubbled up and I spent a lot of time fixing it. This time around, we are putting primer on every surface including the ceiling. Since we did that no crazy paint bubbles.
  3. Get canvas tarp for the floor. It absorbs spilled paint and prevents you from tracking it into the rest of the house. For the furniture, buy cheap plastic tarp and cover it all up from top to bottom.
  4. Use the basement sink for cleaning the brushes.

So far, after a day and a half or painting, we’ve painted most of our dining room.

BTW: Normally, I’d take pictures of what I’m doing for Flickr, but as paint and Nikon D80 does not mix, no WIP photos.

Music I’m listening to now:
If I Never See Your Face Again“, by Maroon 5 with Rhianna from the It Won’t Be Soon Before Long album. You can see the video here.

September 11th, 2006 – Five years later

WTC Fountain

I will never forget where I was on September 11th, 2001 when the 1st plane hit. That Tuesday was such a nice, beautiful day and I drove in planning to go out that night. On the way in across the Midtown tunnel, I was listening to my car’s tape player so I was completely oblivious to what just happened.

By the time I got to my regular coffee stand the owner, Andrew, told me what he heard on his radio. Even after hearing it on the radio, I just couldn’t believe it. I thought “They must be wrong, it couldn’t be a jet!“. Of course, it was and by the time I reached my desk, the 2nd plane struck. Like so many people in NYC, I wondered if my friends and Family were ok.

That day and following week has been documented  over and over again so I’ll just summarize: Afterwards, I was one hell of a mess. I was sad, angry and scared for the future. In my anger, I abused my friends and co-workers, in my sadness and fear I was incredibly moody and not at all good company. I wasn’t depressed, but for a couple of weeks I was pretty close. After a while, one of the things I took from this tragedy is to appreciate my life and try not to take who I have in it for granted.

To that end, I take September 11th off to simply remember the people we lost and to think about what I have and where I want to be in my life. At this point in my life, I’m married to a wonderful lady, I have a great family and friends. It may be corny, but I’m happy and I hope I properly appreciate that.

Above is a photo from (Here is the link to the image). I went to college in Downtown Manhattan and later worked at The World Trade Center. I’ve had lunch, drank coffee, hung out, or crossed by that fountain more times than I can count.. This is how I want to remember the World Trade Center and the people I knew there, not the smoldering ruin or empty pit that it later became.

Courtesy of (c) Lawrence A. Martin

Music I’m listening to right Now:

Nothing. I’m listening to the ceremony at Ground Zero on NBC.