30 December 2005

Would You Like To Sniff My Dog's Butt, Too?

I definitely don't get some folks here. Granted, the DC Metro is a stew-pot of underdone and well-seasoned personalities...but some people. Let's just say I'd sell them on eBay for human experimentations.

Case in point, you may recall we have a Beagle named Maddy. You may not know that she enjoys the cold and enjoys being outside. Of course, she's so spoiled that if she thinks she missing something better inside, she'd rather whine, bark, and/or howl her displeasure of being left outside.

While in Laurel, before we moved, Maddy was left outside for two hours. This wasn't the first time...but was the first time she barked. You also have to know that Maddy's separation anxiety can kick in and thus anything in a 30 yard radius could be chewed or dowsed in pee and/or poo...thus, she is crated while in Columbia.

A neighbor placed an anonymous note on my mother in-law's windshield. On the outside "About Your Dog..." The letter inside went on about how the person had observed Maddy being left outside while it was cold (she likes cold)...how she lifted her paw out of discomfort (she's a spoiled Beagle, she half-points no matter the temp) and that what we were doing could be considered abuse. No signature. Coward.

Fast forward to before we moved into the Columbia townhouse. Maddy is left in our fenced back yard for a couple hours and voices some displeasure. Never mind the other dogs in the neighborhood...we have Columbia's finest explain that we need to keep her quiet.

Personally, I'm certain it was our next-door Asian neighbors who seem friendly enough. At times seem to have a dozen folks in the place. Maybe they wanted Maddy for stew. ;)

I just want to ask these folks, "Would you like to sniff my dog's butt, too? Perhaps you can tell me how she feels and if you're correct, I won't pimp slap you into next week!"

It's a sad day when folks would rather write anonymous notes and call the cops instead of actually trying to talk to a person. So, your New Year's resolution here: get to know people...ask more questions...or love your animals but don't put them above people. Take one or any combination of those.

Plus, I'm sure that I'll be in mourning on Monday. I leave the old Benz with a mechanic shop for it to be tended to before going to her new owner. He plans to fully restore her, something I never could do. Here's to 2006!

Happy New Year!

21 December 2005

Hallelujah! (And There Was Much Rejoicing)

Last night was our first night in our new townhouse! Woo-who! Yes,we're finally moved in. Hard to believe this journey began with a trip to DC in April 2004 - kinda on a whim - and to actually be in our own digs a hair before Christmas.

When I have a chance, I'll have to post some pics to this news group of the townhouse. Unfortunately, you won't see the "before" of chrome vertical blinds covering the sliding glass door, slate gray walls and royal blue carpet...that was the 1st floor!

It'll still take to the year's end to get everything situated - a few boxes here, plenty of stuff I have no idea where's it's been stored, cable being installed tomorrow, and DSL hopefully soon.

Bones the cat, the computer, and yet a few more boxes still are at the in-laws.

I also have a buyer for the Benz...hope to get that resolved this week...what a nice "Christmas bonus" this week! :)

Hope everyone is well. If I don't speak to you before, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

03 December 2005

So, You Ever Find A House?

I can't begin to name the variations of this question which casually trickles my way due to people's realization that surely Kim, Georgia and I are in our own place.

Hoping for this truth, I said numerous times that we'd been in the house by Thanksgiving. It was a hopeful turkey dream that our first night in the townhouse would be the night prior to Turkey Day. Not so.

Instead, some of the day before Thanksgiving and all of Saturday was spent moving boxes upon boxes and furniture into our abode. Much of this past week was spent unpacking and breaking down those boxes.

Two nights ago, even more boxes were brought in...finally allowing us to close out our large and costly storage unit. Now, we have just as many boxes to unpack! Salvation Army, give-a-ways, eBay, burning in the backyard...just kidding...but we'll have to punt a bit more.

So, our next goal is to have everything unpacked enough to move-in by next weekend.

Otherwise, the job continues to be intense and busy as an entire station website is being maintained by 3 people, including myself. (One staff member is on disability from surgery, one quit, one I released, and I'm awaiting to bring in some freelancers)

Additionally, no serious takers on the Benz, except I did have a response today from the Classic Auto Traders ad. As much as I adore that car, it'll be nice to move on and have something more economical to drive.

I'll have to check with corporate...surely, I hold the record for the longest relocation in history!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are getting ready for a blessed Christmas. I'm thankful for all of you and your friendships over the years.

We didn't come to Mississippi for Thanksgiving and likely won't for Christmas...primarily because we don't have the funds to fly...but we really need to focus on getting "our roots" into the ground...or just get moved into our townhouse.

Be well...

23 October 2005

Light At Tunnel's End

In Northwest DC, the shopping cart still rests underneath a tree on the yuppy street called Wisconsin Avenue. Clearly, it belonged to a homeless someone three weeks ago. Yet, for whatever reason it was parked beneath the tree...it's never been retrieved. Overflowing with clothes, umbrellas, and various other items...one could assume this collection of someone's life is no longer important to them...either by the ending of their life...or the beginning of a new one.

Just something I was thinking on a Metro stroll last week when my car was in the shop.

Yup, I can finally see...there's light...and it's not an oncoming train! I've found it humorous how many people have thought we were moved into our home. After all, anyone on this list knows that we sold our Jackson home...and bought one in Maryland. However, the previous owner needed two months free rent back to whomever bought the house. Sadly, that's the kinda stuff one has to do up here to get a home.

So, many peeps thought we were already in our Columbia, Maryland, townhome. That day comes this Sunday, Oct. 30, which is our first official day of having Craig (previous owner) out of the house!

Finally, we can start making a routine and some sort of normal family living. Any of you who have lived with your parents, in-laws, or other family members after being married (or even independent for a while) can feel the appreciation and fatigue that I've had since June 4, 2004.
Throw in there a 14-month old daughter who has been sleeping in the same room as Kim and I...and you have some rather sleepless nights.

Two weekends ago, we all went to Ocean City, MD, to stay at a beach condo for the Columbus Day Weekend. Very nice...relaxing. It rained all weekend (except Friday) but a Cruisers (old cars) were in town for that weekend...and they always bring rain. Some awesome cars to be seen all weekend.

Kim and I also spent some time together yesterday...errands, coffee, movie (Flight-plan - pretty good)...good day to hang.

Hope this note finds all of you well.

09 September 2005

Katrina - Followup

Thankfully, I've either heard from folks or have confirmation that they are well - although everyone has been touched with some form of property damage or loss.

It's been a long week of playing catchup and continuing to monitor all the information coming in about the recovery efforts.

I've heard compliments about how my old station JTV (as well as LBT and APT) did an exceptional job with coverage. Watching the live stream of Newschannel 12 when it was available showed an exceptional effort from my TV family of 7 years. I'm sure the entire media community spent many exhausting hours working the past week and half. Great job everyone!

Everyone on this list continues to be in my thoughts and prayers...

05 September 2005

Katrina

I feel sorry for any woman who has that for a name...likely, it won't be one to speak without thinking about the tragedy that is unfolding daily on the Gulf Coast.

Frustrations about the delay of getting into our townhome seem foolish compared to people who have lost their homes, businesses, and cities. While I've watched the drama daily for material to be posted to WUSATV9.com...I've been angered at the accusations to the President and the lack of attention to Mississippi. New Orleans is a city...and all of it isn't underwater. Half of MS was damaged...the coast was nearly wiped clean...towns are gone. 


Waveland, MS - Total devastation following Hurricane Katrina.
Yet, the media has ignored the fact of the city, county/regional, and state governments bare the load and are the first to respond to a natural disaster - not the Federal. Funny how this hurricane is different. It's different because it covers LA to FL in damage...which means everyone needs to chip in...hold the finger-pointing to improving systems in the future. Stop making a hurricane a political and racial issue. And somebody please pimp-slap the "Rev." Jesse Jackson. Idiot.

My family fared well in the storm...and our friends seem to be fine. They've had to deal with gas shortages...power outages...loss of work...things that everyone else in Central and South Mississippi have been doing. I'm concerned for my aunts and uncles in Magee, MS. I heard severe damage was there and no word from anyone.

We've closed on our townhouse. Will move the first of November. Otherwise, all is well. Georgia is growing up so fast. I'll attach more pics and vid when I have the chance. Be well...

07 August 2005

Fourth Time The Charm - Leprechaun Sold Separately

Our trip to Mississippi last weekend was very bitter-sweet. For the first time, we were visitors to the state I've called home for over three decades. Never rented a car from Jackson International (oops, Jackson-Evers International) before - but that was a pleasant experience. Great way to test drive a car, too. The new Chevy Malibu is nice...but I'm just not a modern American vehicle kinda guy.

We returned to Maryland Tuesday night, looked at yet another house Wednesday morn, had a "sickening peace" about it being the one, put in the contract, and learned Thursday night that we had it. A two-floor townhouse in Columbia. It'll need a paint (not sure what the guy was thinking - mint green bathroom) and some carpet but the place has been well-kept. Commute may be a bit more interesting...but it'll all come out in the wash

However, due to the gent who's in there now having his next house built...we are closing the 29th of this month...but not moving in until near November. The end is near...but that's a ways away.

Finally, we'll be able to pull our two cats out of the in-law's townhouse...our Beagle out of the home of their friends...and some stuff out of storage. Fairly sure it's not gonna all fit.

I've been running since getting back, catching up on stuff, doing errands, Kim's sister is in town this weekend, and the couple keeping Maddy is out of town. So, I'm checking in on her and their dog. Someone wake me up next year.

As always, more to come...

27 July 2005

Melting Like A Witch

Remember the Wicked Witch of West from Wizard of Oz? It's hot enough here in DC to feel like the ole gal - 110 degrees for a feels like is a bit too cozy. (Hmmmm, if she hadn't said, "I'll get you my pretty and your little dog, too"...and hadn't laughed the way she did, I don't recall much else about that ole gal...typecasting, poor witch)

Speaking of heat...you know it's bad when a pair of Birkenstock sandals are placed outside to dry for a morning from being cleaned of cat whiz (hopefully all three are over their bitterness and getting along) and the soles curl out from the shoe. Oh, well.

Still haven't found a house. Another bid fell through since I last wrote. This time, probably due to our having a home inspection in the contract for informational purposes only (barring major repairs). If one had nothing to hide...shouldn't be an issue, ya know? This market is simply nuts.

Kim might be seeing some houses today but otherwise, we'll be coming to Jackson this weekend for Georgia's first birthday with family and some friends. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to see some of you one way or another.
Otherwise, looking forward to experience another form of heat and humidity. Woo-who! :)

14 July 2005

Without a Clue and Homeless


Now, doesn't that sound like a NY Times Best Seller?! Greetings, friends and countrymen!

Finally, I have a moment to scribe a summary of the events since my last post.

After a 12 hour drive, an Accord-full of stuff, Kim, Georgia, Maddy the Beagle, and I arrived in Lexington, Kentucky, the evening of June 30. Amazingly, Georgia and Maddy did very well with only about four stops along the way. We visited with Kim's aunts, uncles and cousins until Sunday morning when we began the 8 hour drive through the West Virginia mountains. Being one who isn't used to a car with cruise, it's not a feature to use in that state. We arrived in Maryland the evening of July 3.

Flashing forward to today...the contents of our home have been in two air-conditioned storage units since Friday the 8th...Maddy the Beagle has been staying with friends of Kim's parents since the 4th...being a townhouse with three cats (two belonging to you) is interesting when one doesn't get along with the other two...sleeping is interesting since Miss G's pack-n-play (I'm sure she misses her crib) is in the bedroom Kim and I sleep - and until lately, she's been teething....and finding property up here is insanity. One house we put a bid on (forget contract, these are best bid wins) had 17 other bids put on it.

So, I've made reservations at the looney bin and will let you know that address should it become needed. :) Otherwise, we'll be in Mississippi for Georgia's 1st birthday on the 31st.

14 June 2005

End Game

We closed on our house two Fridays ago! It's hard to believe that it happened so quickly after what seemed such a long time. The blessing is that our next-door neighbor bought it and plans to remodel our first home into something new and spectacular - what we would never have had the time or money to accomplish.

First day back to work after being in Mississippi for a few days and in Maryland with Kim, Georgia and the in-laws. Took the Metro. Giving the Benz a rest until I can find a more specialized mechanic for her. Coming above ground into the DC air from the subway, the stench of total death. Did someone dump a dog or cat in a trashcan? It's everywhere. There's a bum across the street under a "tarp"...typical sleeping attire but this morning is warming quickly...has he expired?

A loaf of bread sealed tight in plastic wrap sits on a bus bench. Don't want to imagine what's growing on there. Can't be much worse than the smell of a water stained work phone that's been sitting a week - a ceiling tile collapsed above my workstation while I was gone. Got a new flat screen monitor and keyboard out of it. Had a reason to not use the phone today. Hopefully, that'll be replaced tomorrow.

Sorry for the digression...I've got mixed feelings about coming to Jackson the last week of this month. It's the last time to "be at home" in Mississippi. It's not ours anymore. Come the end of the month, we'll be on the road...the dog, the wife, the baby, and some stuff, in a Honda Accord.

We need to really reconsider that. :)

16 May 2005

Prayers Answered!

Today, word came that our Jackson home has sold! What a blessing! It's been a long haul...but the process has begun - woo who!

This comes at an exceptional time, too. After having only two weeks to redesign the entire WUSATV9.com website and relaunch it, spending two all-nighters and other countless hours getting it ready, and taking the last couple of weeks for a shakedown - this is a great way to "settle back down to earth."

Thursday at 12:30pm is home inspection, so pray for a great report, as this is the last "hurdle" for the sell. We'll then begin officially looking for something up here AND be able to put in a contract on it.

It's refreshing to know that the change is approaching...whether we moved or not, the sell of the home was going to proceed. I had a peace that everything would work out...but that it would be a tough year...along year...I just didn't know it'd be a year before we'd be able to relocate.

Kim and Georgia were already coming up here for Memorial Day weekend...but that may be sooner now...and a longer stay.

Also, I've also uploaded some new pics of our pookey. I have to get her an agent...Gerber, here we come!

The Adventure Continues...

22 April 2005

Friday Morning Flashbacks

4:30am...not the time to be conscious...nor the time to feeding a cat that doesn't understand it's too early to be meowing for food. Worse yet, he's my in-law's cat who has been allowed to speak freely. If he were mine, I would have "shoed" him multiple times before he ever thought free speech was allowed. Oh, don't even suggest a shoe or other non-lethal device to throw at him now. Living in a townhouse offers a strategic advantage to the animal - all he has to do is sit on the stairs and propel his annoying meow-venom until someone responds.

It's easier for me to awake these days with a web relaunch project, news HD conversion project, and way too many other projects. It's "The Great Push" that I anticipated when I got here.

Rainy morning drive...even at that hour, there's still plenty of obstacles - errr, people - on the road. Radio offered a strange journey down memory lane...first, Guns 'N Roses "Welcome to the Jungle" - a late '80s flashback that seemed appropriate enough a song for DC and that it was playing on DC101, the local rock station that sometimes stops my radio dial...
Then, a familiar tune - Blink 182 "I Miss You" - I first heard the tune here (http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/rebeccaglahntribute/rebeccamix.mp3).

Wow, it's been just over a year since Rebecca Glahn was murdered. I realized this last week and was pleased to know that Q107.5 in Memphis was doing a tribute. Having a friend murdered is a first for me.

Finally, for those in Jackson who went to a Jackson Bandit's hockey game...you likely heard the opening to "Intergalactic" from the Beastie Boys. Whoa, talk about a where-are-they-not-now moment. Of course, I never have heard the song after the "roboto"opening...yeah, there's no need to suffer that pain again.

I've loaded some more pics of "G" in the Photos/Georgia On My Mind folder. More to come. As always, let me know if you have trouble opening anything.

It was wonderful returning to Jackson briefly last week to see Kim and "G" - my baby girl keeps growing! Also, it was nice to visit JTV with my two girls and see, if only briefly, some great friends. It was Georgia's first visit and she was quite the attention-grabber.

No new news on the house...as with all things, there is a reason.

05 April 2005

Is It Spring, Yet?

It's still rather cool in DC-land these days, although it's officially Spring, Spring Break has come and gone, and the Cherry Blossom Festival is ongoing. However, they aren't in bloom, which is good considering the windy days we've had.

After two and half months without seeing Kim and Georgia, I was able to spend time with them here for about 3 weeks. Well, the bulk of that time was a visit to NYC. A couple of good friends from MS came up and Kim and I were tour guides for several days. It was a nice visit and good to get away. Miss G stayed with her Grammie and Poppie and, as always, was just happy to be there.

She's jibber-jabbering more, rolling over, sitting up, just about ready to start crawlin' - and 8 months old!

Things have continued to be so wild and crazy here...but just as expected for the first year. So many things had to be built, rebuilt, torn down and organized. Figuratively and literally. But I'm on the down slope down. A side goal of mine is for 9 Online to be the smoothest and most fun department in the building. :)

No progress on the house, either. It's kinda funny how some people already think we've moved and are shocked when they learn otherwise...other folks keep asking, sometimes on a weekly basis...It's certainly frustrating but there's a reason for it all.

Still a bit strange to realize...how quickly time passes...but it's coming up rapidly on me being here a year.

06 March 2005

The Cherry Blossoms Cometh

Two more "firsts" have been achieved since I last tapped on a keyboard to you. For the first time since I've known her, I've been away from Kim for 2 1/2 months AND that's the longest I've been away from Miss G since she was born.

Also, I missed our first Valentine's Day...well, I sent some happies to Kim and Georgia...but it was the fist Feb. 14 to not be around them.

I've survived driving an old Benz in snowy-slush...and two significant snow falls...there's been a few others but those were nothing. Yeesh, I sound like a winter-pro or something! :)

My Benz also has a new "doctor." Well, I doubt to find a Tony Murphy of Tony's Tire & Auto in Jackson...but Pat at Custom Auto might be close. The ole gal has new belts and front brakes. I'm still driving instead of taking Metro - it works out far better...just would rather let the Benz have a break.

Kim and Georgia are coming here this Thursday - FINALLY! February sweeps kept me from going to see them and we had planned a jaunt to NYC to show a couple the town and stay in Katie's apartment in Manhattan. Except for a corporate meeting requiring me to head that way mid-way through, it should be a wonderful getaway. Kim and Georgia will be here until the Monday after Easter.

Wow, how time has flown! I've been here 9 months but don't feel "birthed" into this area. Still feel as a man without a country, of a sort...and will continue to feel that way, I'm sure until things get organized and arranged at the station (rebuilding and building a department takes time) and get relocated.

Otherwise, I've seen a bald black man speed walking backwards today...realized that the mention of snow around here sends people to the store for "bread and milk" (Channel 9 has a Bread-O-Meter to rank the severity of storms)...much of Maryland looks like Mississippi in some ways with lots-o-trees and foliage but far better roads...being a manager is tough but helping people succeed is rewarding...it is "all about the meetings" as my former boss once said, which is why I make every effort to either avoid them or make them shorter...and if this doesn't work out, I can always make a decent living opening my own coffee shop!

More to come...

27 January 2005

Rickcicle and 45/25

Last weekend was our first big snow here. Five inches in Laurel, MD...other areas had more or less. Look in my Photos section for a pic of the Benz snowed in...it's in the "1970 280SE" folder.

Although the snow came in on Saturday mid-morning, that kinda snow gets a lot of news coverage. So, I was working from the townhouse with a laptop and coordinating some things. Didn't leave the townhouse until mid-Sunday afternoon. Since then, schools have had delayed starts and closings...but it's mostly been cccooollld. Except yesterday nearly reached 40...we're back to high of 28 today and low of 15 tonight. See, just like Mississippi weather! :)

I've also learned the true comparison between driving to work...and taking Metro. You see, driving requires being on the road shortly before 6am or traffic will be slow at best. The drive is 45-minute (25 miles) barring any major traffic congestion or wrecks. Metro is a 25-minute (12 miles) drive to the station and an hour train ride = about 90 minutes. So, there are perks to both. Driving is quicker and allows better control of my schedule. Metro allows me to take naps and not put extra miles on the Benz. Having free underground parking kinda makes driving a no-brainer, but I need to get some brake shoes on the ole gal soon...so, we'll just take it one day at a time. :)

Still no word on the house. I haven't seen Kim & "G" since December 29! My daughter is 6-months old on Monday. I'm not sure what's more amazing, that I have a child that's half a year old...or that I've been in DC for 8 months in a couple of weeks!

As always...more to come...

08 January 2005

The Grench Who Stole The Holidays

Is it just me, or did the holidays just evaporate? Well, yeah, it's nearly mid-January and clearly we're into 2005...but where did December go?!

Perhaps some of my bliss was spending two weeks around Kim & Georgia. The first week was in Mississippi. Besides my parents, visiting a couple of longtime friends, and my brother and sister dropping by...the chance to harass other folks didn't present itself. It was nice being home.

The next week - Christmas week - was spent in DC. Georgia's first Christmas...and first cold. Seems thanks goes to the sister-in-law on that one, who managed to wipe out in the entire townhouse. I was the last to have the pleasure and hacked my way through New Year's. Again, a nice week - but due to everyone being sick...and perhaps my family not being "settled" - it just didn't "feel" like Christmas. But, not every holiday has to "feel" like it should...so long as friends and family are around.

Spending New Year's Eve away from Kim...and resting in my jammies New Year's Day was such a departure from normal. Ringing in the New Year with my father-in-law...a bit different...but as he joked the following Sunday with a few select members of his church, "But I told Rick that I wasn't kissing him." Yeesh.

So, I'm fortunate to not have been snowed in here, yet. However, it's delayed...so, who knows when the fun might strike! And nothing new on the house in Jackson. Clearly, there's a reason for this delay. In the meantime, if anyone knows of someone wanting a cozy house in Jackson, let me know.

Otherwise, the notion of me coming back isn't a bad one...there's just not an open window that would allow me to support our family and Kim stay home. I await the next chapter to be revealed...