Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cat Problems?

Certian coworkers have, shall we say, issues with cats. There are actually many different people with cat issues - Some are obsessed with cats and think they make the best pet in the world. Still others are obessed with cats in a much different way, for example - converting dead cats into fuel for a desiel engine.

I cam across this post on another blog, and had to share it.

http://laughingmachine.blogspot.com

Tax Time

Well -

It's tax time again. I've just installed my copy of Turbo Tax on the ole' laptop and am preparing to figure out just how far I can push my dear old Unca' Sam. I wouldn't say I have an terribly complicated tax return. I do own a home, and have mortgage interest, so I do itemize - which lets me wiggle around some numbers a bit. But this year I managed to only have income from one company, and didn't to a bunch of stock trades which would result in more forms to type into the software.

So here it goes...

BIG BUCKS, NO WHAMMY'S!!!!

Brokeback Mountian

I didn't mention it - but i saw the movie a few weeks back.

I didn't make it out to see it at one of the first releases at one of the "Artsy" movie theaters, but instead saw it at a big chain theater, AMC. The movie was very good, but I can't help to wonder if one of the reasons the movie is getting all the attention is because of it's hot male on male sex scenes.

I mean does the fact that the movie stands against everything that the conservitive religious right wants you to think about gays give the media and hollywood the extra incentive needed to keep pushing this movie into the spotlight? Don't get me wrong - I like the movie, and I am very happy to see a gay themed movie getting recognition that seems to be based a lot more on the reality of most gay people's lives than the Will and Grace/Queer as Folk/Six Feet Under shows portrayals of gays. I just wonder if the same caliber of acting with a traditional male/female relationships would have made such a buzz.

I'm tired of the cold...

Ok - So I know, it's still Janruary, I'm in St. Louis. I should expect it to be cold out. I'm usually ok with the cold -- however I want it to snow. If it's going to be cold and winter-like, how about at least a little snow or ice or something to make us all remember it's still winter. Lately it has been getting warm one day, then freezing cold the next. This makes the cold days seem even colder, and frankly I'm tired of it.

Auto Show
This weekend the Auto Show was in St. Louis. We made our annual pilgrimage downtown to the convention center/dome to take a look at the newest offerings the worlds auto makers had to offer. There were quite a few people there, and tons of kids. I hate kids running around like mad. You would have thought it was a freaking Chucky Cheese! (More on my passionate dislike of poorly behaved children some other time)

The auto show was pretty cool. I'm not in the market for a new car, as I just bought my truck this summer, a 2005 Chevrolet Colorado (More about me and my truck later, i suppose) A couple of surprises at the autoshow -- I knew all about the Pontiac Solstice/Saturn SKY - the sporty convertible 2 seater roadster. I was able to get into a Solstice - was a lot more cramped than I expected. I'm not a big guy - at only 5'10", I was unable to stretch my legs out in the passenger seat. The car looks great, but I'm afraid it's a bit to small for a regular driver for me -- now if i was looking for a fun weekend car -- that would be a posssible option..
I was also pleasently surprised by the new Saturn AURA The redesign of Saturn's midsize sedan. It was a pretty sharp looking car - and if I was in the market for a Accord/Camry kind of car, the AURA looks like it may be a contender - I wonder how it drives.

The new Honda Civic Coupe SI was a VERY slick car. The loaded up version at the auto show was stickered at $22,000 or so - and looked VERY nice. Id bet you'll be seeing a lot of these on the road in the coming months.

Well, that's it for now - hit me back later and I'll share a little more about the my truck and my distaste for ill-behaved kids.


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Thursday, January 26, 2006

I have my first hater...

Well, maybe not my first one, but the first one that hated my writing so much that him or her took the time to actually comment about it. The person, whom I'll call Captian Chicken-Shit, since they left it anonymously, didn't even have the guts to let me check out their writing and provide the the same kind of "constructive criticism".

I've decided to not edit or censor The Captian. When I set up my blog, I didn't ever expect that anyone would bother to let me know how much I sucked. Ah well - maybe The Captian isn't alone - do I really suck? Is anyone reading this?

I'd like to say that I don't care, and that I do this for myself, I do enjoy the writing, but let's be real. Anyone who bothers to publish a blog wants somone to be reading it, at least some small part of you hopes there are a few people in the world that happen across your blog - and continues to check in on you.

I may not be able to keep blogging on a daily basis, but I will continue to put posts up - and I do hope you are intrigued enough to stop back by and read me -- and bonus to me if you bother to let me know about it.

And if you don't like it -- especially if you don't like it enough to comment it -- thanks for visiting, but don't let the screen door hit ya where the good lord split ya!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Me

Ok.

Me.

Let's see, as I write this I am still clinging onto my twenties. Barely. But that doesn't bother me that much.

I was born and raised outside of St. Louis, Missouri. I went to High School at Northwest, in House Springs.

I pretty much hated it. I was the eternal procrastinator - and to some degree still am (thanks, mom), I did just what I needed to do to keep pretty decent grades. I was a band geek, had a decent circle of friends - wasn't popular by any means. I didn't like school, probably becasue I was bored through a lot of it. I was able to coast through most of school with minimal studying.

I went to college right out of high school - after a couple of years at Southwest Missouri State University, which has since changed its name, I got a decent summer job working at an ISP - and quickly realized that I was learning more at work that I was at school. I transfered to University of Missouri, St. Louis graduating with my BSBA with an emphasis in MIS.

It took me nearly 7 years to finish college, working full time and taking classes, but I was able to muddle through and finish. I have made plenty of sacrafices to get to where I am, but make no mistake - I've also been blessed with a bit of luck. I'm lucky my parents were positive role models and made education a priority. That's not all that I've been lucky about, but I don't even know you that's all the free info you get today.

So that's a little about my past. Not the most interesting - no abuse or crime. My upbringing has been VERY white bread. Stay tuned, maybe I'll fill you in on my post-college activities...

I admit it - I'm an impatient bitch...

So I've been surfing lots of blogs lately....

Lots of crappy writers out there -- and perhaps I am to -- for all I know I am to writing what most American Idol Auditioners are to singing -- (yeah -I'm watching it -- or at least it's on the TV - I enjoy watching the early auditions -- people who mistakenly think that singing drunken Karaoke makes them the next Clay Aiken....

I've been hoping to find some blogs that interest me. People who are interested in the same shit I am. Then it dawned on me -- I haven't bothered to tell anyone about what it is I am interested in. What I do - What makes Darren tick....

hmmmm

I guess I better think about that -- what really makes me tick?

I guess I'll update my bio - so check that out -- and if something there sparks me to do more writing - then I'll head back here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Oh My God, Pilates hurts....

So I took this pilates class tonight after class at my gym. Umm, ouch... The Nazi instructor kicked my ass.

I've never taken a class at the gym before, but I was feeling exceptionally lazy at lunch and skipped my normal run (for the record I usually try to hit the gym at lunch time at least 3-4 days a week -- some weeks I do better than others) So I was feeling lazy today and hungry at lunch, so instead of a running, I went out and had a meatball sub -- balls of meat, cheese, sauce, white bread -- how can you go wrong?!?

Afterward I was feeling guilty about being lazy, so I decided to hit the gym after the after work. This was my first pilates class. I was one of 4 guys in the class - which wouldn't be bad if the class didn't have like 50 people in it. -- By the way, if the girl in front of me in class happens across this - I can't imagine wearing white stretch pants and a black thong to do pilates is comfortable -- and I'm sure I didn't really need to see it.

Anyway - I'm feeling pretty good about making myself go to that class. It really was tough. I am going to be hurting tomorrow I'm betting.

Monday, January 23, 2006

BlogExplosion doesn't like me?

hmm..

BlogExplosion has denied me the priviledge of joining. It seems that they didn't like the fact that I thought some of their members were shitty writers. I guess I understand why they may take some offense to that -- but in my own defense, I'm fully expecting someone to decided that I'm a shitty writer as well.

I make no apologies for my previous post - I have not and will not edit it. My goal wasn't to stir up crap, honestly... ah well - I may try again to get access -- but if that fails no big deal - there are other places to join to get traffic here....

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Generating Traffic

So I'm learning about generating traffic to the BLOG.

There are tons of sites out there that will help you -- I'm playing on blogexplosion now which just dumps you to various blogs and lets you post comments and such - which will get my name and address out there.

It also lets me view some pretty shitty writers, and some people with some pretty narrow minds.

Maybe I'll start a list of shitty blogs -- that ought to win me some friends...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Learning about blogs

So I'm trying to figure out all the ins and outs of blogs, what I need to do to get some traffic. Ways to make my blogs more interesting to somone besides me...

Came across this - the self proclaimed authority of weblogs

Technorati: Home

And you thought your dog was smart

Bumper stickers declaring the intelligence of your children are obnoxious, period. The End

I don't put a bumper sticker on my truck letting the world know I'm special -- and believe me - I AM SPECIAL!

Saw this and had to take a picture with my cell - thought it was quite entertaining. Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 16, 2006

CHI-Town!

Took a little road trip to Chicago this weekend. Michigan Avenue sure is a site to see in the evenings, trees all lit up, city streets filled with people. St. Louis at night is basically dead.

I wonder what the secret was that Chicago figured out and St. Louis couldn't. Chicago's downtown area is largely clean and well kept. I didn't see a single building that was boarded up or run down looking. The only time I've seen people downtown St. Louis after dark, unless it's the bars on the landing, is when there is a sporting event in town.

Stopped by Ikea on the way home. Ok, that makes it sound like I stopped by, as if i just ran into 7-11 and grabbed a big gulp. If you haven't been to an Ikea, you are missing out. They have just about anything and everything you can imagine as far as home decorating/design stuff.

You should have seen my last trip to Ikea. I bought a King Size Bed and Mattress - which isn't a huge deal - except at the time the closest Ikea was in Schaumburg, IL, and I live in outside St. Louis, MO. That means I strapped the mattress to the bed of my pickup, and drove nearly 300 miles home. I've got pictures of it - I'll try to get them posted up here at some point.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

STLtoday - News - Columnists

STLtoday - News - Columnists

This is a funny column from the local paper....

Still configuring this place

Since I'm serious now (no really!) I'm spending a little time configuring this place.

I was all excited when I saw I actually had 4 comments to my first posting -- however 3 of them were just advertisements. After I dealt with the crushing realization that I'm only 25% as populare as I thought I was, I've spent some effort cleaning that up, so we won't have to deal with those in the future.

Ok, this time I'm for real

Last entry, July 2005 - today, Januraury 2006. Ok I admit it I'm a slacker.

I've thought about doing this all the time, but I have yet to get off my ass and do it.

So now, I'm renewing my efforts. Gotta figure out how to make this at least as interesting as paint drying, so maybe someone will wander by and look into it. Any suggestions?