Saturday, November 22, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Italy in December

Rome ● Montecatini Terme ● Florence ● Siena ● Perugia Assisi

Day 1: Depart from Home
Experience the genuine "Heart of Italy" on this familiarization tour that features the renowned regions of Tuscany and Umbria. Your journey begins with an overnight flight to the Italian capital of Rome.

Day 2: Rome, Italy - Tour Begins
Arrive in Rome today. Tonight, meet your fellow travelers for a special welcome dinner at a popular local restaurant featuring regional delicacies and fine Italian wines.

Day 3: Rome - Montecatini Terme
A panoramic tour of Classical Rome features such incredible sights as the Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, the Circus Maximus, the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine. Travel north through the stunning region of Tuscany to the elegant spa town of Montecatini Terme, where you will spend the next two nights.

Day 4: Montecatini - Florence - Montecatini
A short journey brings you to magnificent Florence. Begin your day in the "Cradle of the Italian Renaissance" with a guided walking tour of the city sights, including the cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore, located in the religious center of the Piazza Del Duomo; Palazzo Vecchio; and the Ponte Vecchio. The remainder of the day is yours to continue exploring the cultural capital of Italy. This evening enjoy a cooking demonstration followed by dinner at a popular local restaurant before returning to Montecatini.

Day 5: Montecatini - Siena - Perugia
Today you will travel through the spectacular Tuscan countryside to the city of Siena. Here you will enjoy a walking tour and visit the historic piazza famous for the Palio Horse Race. Later, continue to Perugia, a stunning Etruscan town and your base for exploring Umbria.

Day 6: Perugia - Assisi - Perugia
Travel to the walled city of Assisi. Enjoy a guided tour of the historic old city featuring the magnificent Basilica dedicated to St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan order of monks. Afterward, enjoy some time at leisure to experience this spiritual place at your own pace. Experience the sights of historic Perugia during a free afternoon in this fabulous city. See medieval palaces, the ornate cathedral and the magnificent Piazza IV Novembre.

Day 7: Perugia - Rome
Return to Rome and spend some time independently exploring the city and strolling its boutique-lined streets for some last-minute shopping. This evening gather for a farewell dinner to celebrate your adventures in Tuscany and Umbria.

Day 8: Depart for Home
This morning your familiarization tour comes to a close in Rome.
YOUR ITINERARY AT A GLANCE

Day 1 Overnight Flight
Day 2 Crowne Plaza St. Peter's - Rome, Rome
Day 3, 4 Hotel Ercolini e Savi, Montecatini Terme
Day 5, 6 Sangallo Palace Hotel, Perugia
Day 7 Grand Hotel Palazzo Carpegna, Rome

Thursday, October 09, 2008

10 Days

I leave this afternoon for my trip to England, Spain, and maybe Northern Ireland(not sure if that part was ever confirmed or not). I've been looking forward to this for months now and as I'm getting ready to leave and its raining outside and the stock market is crashing and the world as we know it might be crumbling away...I just feel good to be away from it all for a few days. Maybe when I get back in 10 days things will look a bit brighter.

Anyone who reads this...let me know if you want anything from the old countries.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Money

New Windshield - $198
New Address - Save $156 a year on car insurance.
Flight to Belfast, Ireland - £1 (seriously not kidding here)

Oh, and I checked my 401k yesterday. Down 24.9% this year. I just wanted to send a special thank you to congress for that one.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More thoughts on that lady from Alaska

Just a thought really...if she would just cooperate with the damn investigation then is wouldn't be news would it? Whats worse? Being investigated or refusing to cooperate? By refusing to cooperate she is just implicating herself in the public perception...whether or not she truly did anything wrong.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

McCain the Miracle Worker

CNN Story Title - Adviser calls BlackBerry 'miracle' McCain 'helped create'

Sort of reminds me of Al Gore "Inventing the Internet"

"Airline Baggage Fees" or "Lets get Raped by the Airlines"

Yesterday United airlines announced that they are doubling their fees for the 2nd checked bag to $50.

WTF?!? Not that I actually would ever willingly fly United or anything but what the hell?

Hypothetical: I am flying somewhere and need to check 2 bags. I could fly with Airline X and Pay $Y amount....or I could fly with United and pay $Y amount plus and additional $50 for that second bag(plus $15 for 1st). That's adding $65 to the ticket price.

Sorry guys...but United ticket pricing is not $65 less then their competitors. Why the hell would anyone fly with them?

Sadly I think that once one airline makes a move like this it will give a free hand to others to follow suit.

Next fee they will come up with. $50 fee if you are alive. $75 if you are dead.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Kooks

Last night Simon and I went to see the Kooks. Tickets for $10 at Lupos so how could I turn this show down? While both opening bands were pretty terrible, the first being slightly better than the second but really not by much the Kooks themselves were pretty good. I've known about this band for several years now while nobody else in the states knew who they were...so I found it a little weird to see a room full of college kids singing along to all their songs. I think they played every song on their album, plus a few others that I hadn't heard yet. Overall a good show. If you are into brit bands at all then check them out if they happen to be in the area.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dice

I'm off to go roll some dice over in Medway for the first time in over a month. 4E is a good game, but its been frustrating trying to get 4 people to all be able to show up.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Simon's Creature


Palin's Answer

Charlie Gibson asks Sarah Palin if she has ever met another head of state...

Her reply:
PALIN: I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you. But, Charlie, again, we've got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual and somebody's big, fat resume maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment, where, yes, they've had opportunities to meet heads of state ... these last couple of weeks ... it has been overwhelming to me that confirmation of the message that Americans are getting sick and tired of that self-dealing and kind of that closed door, good old boy network that has been the Washington elite.

So is she talking about McCain here? I really hope someone catches this as a sound bite.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Spore Creature of the Day


Palin

I don't give a damn if Palin is a good mother. Her family doesn't matter. What matters is, can she be trusted to manage the biggest economy in the world if McCain were to keel over? Can she hit the "big red button" if she had too? Can she face down other world leaders? So far I've heard little about her abilities on these fronts...the media seems to be focusing only her skills as a mother...which some can argue is the most important job there is...but not the one she is running for.

I'm looking forward to when the surprise has worn off and we can get some actual information about her...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Super Collider

I'm hoping we don't all die today when they turn on the Super Collider.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

God I'm addicted to Spore.....


I didn't realize it but I've been playing Spore for about 5 hours now...
Below are some of the vehicles my creatures are using...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Rain

Raining out today. Kinda sucks as I was hoping to get out somewhere ocean-ish today. Not the end of the world though as I have a ton of stuff I need to do about the new room. Right now I've discovered I have nowhere to actually put my clothing. Also nowhere to put my food. At least this isn't long term so I just feels like I'm living in someone else's house for a little while. A couple months maybe?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Moved

All moved.....next time though I'm going to hire people to do it. Seriously killed me for the week.

Monday, September 01, 2008

What I'm Reading

I've been re-reading Cryptonomicon the last few days. I'm about halfway done with it and probably will finish by the end of the week. I don't know what it is about this book that draws me in so much. This is maybe the 4th time I've read it(maybe 5th) and every time its like its the first time. For a 1000 page book it just seems to fly by. I'm looking forward to Stephenson's new book "Anathem" which comes out at the end of the month.

Random Thought

Nice day out. Wish I was going to the beach.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Moving

Moving is one of my least favorite activities I've come to discover. I like setting up a new place, but getting all my stuff from one place to another is just more of a hassle then its worth really. I think its time to start to look for something more permanent.

3 car loads of stuff today. At least 1 more tomorrow. Truck on tuesday to move the 'heavy' stuff.

Not going to be a fun week I don't think.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Cake Monster
























I drew this on a post-it note while at work today while experiencing a sudden strong desire for cake. I think he'd be great on a tee-shirt or poster...or wherever. Anyway - its about time Cake had its revenge...don't you think?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Running to Death

Just got back from a short run. I hate running. I really think that humans should have been born with Segway scooters instead of legs. But alas, we were not and the only way for me to really get in shape without joining a gym is a daily run around park. Hopefully by the end of the summer I'll be able run more than a mile without dying...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stan McKurt - Tee shirt

I want one of THESE!!!

Excel to Excel

Very tired tonight. It was one of those days that just seemed to drag on for a while. Not that this was a bad thing, because the last week or so since moving up to marketing has just flown by. Today I started the 2007 review on all the Territory Marketing projects that had been done. I've been given a massive Excel grid of various numbers and my job is to basically crunch them in as many ways as I can to leach out as much data as I am able. While for most people this would seem an odious task, its a project I've actually been looking forward to for a couple weeks now. Tomorrow I spend the morning re-learning Excel. It's been a while since I've had to use it so I signed up for a refresher course at work.

My other goal tomorrow is to release to the Outside Sales team the new web based project form that we've been working on. I think that will thin out much of the confusion due to Sales reps not filling out the old MS Word form properly.

Oh the joy

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stan McKurt

This weeks Sluggy Freelance filler was in my opinion absolutely brilliant. I hope that Torg's comic returns again someday. To read it....click HERE

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's 8:44 on a Sunday Morning...

I realized that I haven't written here for a few days so here's a quick update as to what's been going on. This past week market the end of my tenure as a Group Operations Coordinator at Work. I start at my new job tomorrow as the company’s sole Territory Marketing Coordinator. I think I posted a description of this a few weeks back. Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the new position.

Today we are heading down to Norton to throw down some dice for a few hours, and hopefully get some dinner out somewhere afterwards. Not sure when the next time we will be able to meet for this will be as the next couple of weeks are pretty busy. It’s amazing how difficult it can me to get 5 people on the same schedule. But no matter, its always fun while we are there.

Simon introduced me to a new Online tower defense game. This time there are wizards and skill trees. Kind of fun actually. I think my favorite part is that all of the names guys you hire in the game are taken from other things. A few I can mention off the top of my head, Harry Potter, David Blaine, Belgarion. There are tons of others as well. So far its been a total time suck for me. They even are so nice as to tell you exactly how much time you have wasted. At the moment I am at 3h 53m 19s. I can only imagine what Simon's time wasted is.

Protector

Infact, I think I’m going to go play that right now…

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's still cold out today but it promises to be a bit warmer...by 1 degree or so. I have an early morning dentist appointment to prepare for. Nothing like getting your teeth cleaned at 7:30am.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cold

40 Degrees F yesterday...9 degees F today. It looks as if Winter is trying to get us at least one more time.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Rain

It's been raining all week. Sort of a downer really, but since I've been locked up inside at work all week I guess it hasn't been the worst thing. I just hope that its clears up for this weekend. Not that I plan on doing all that much outdoors, but a little sun won't hurt and maybe if its a bit warmer out I'll get motivated enough to go for a run or something...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Moose

I realized this morning that whenever I see an article or video or whatever involving moose in some way I feel compelled to read/watch it. I started to think about this and find that this must be just one of my very strange personallity quirks that I have.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Prelim - Taxes

Last night I ran a couple tax programs to compare results. It actually only took about 10 minutes for each one. they both came out to the exact same figures I guess I did something right. I think i want to do a bit more research before submitting to the IRS to make sure I'm not missing anything, but i think that this is going to be an easy tax season overall.

Monday, February 04, 2008

My transition is fast approaching. Only 9 more work days left until I move to the marketing department. I already have a couple preliminary meetings scheduled for this week but I've still swamped with work as it is. I do feel a bit bad for my supervisor as she finally just filled the space left on our team only to find out that I was leaving.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Games

Didn't do much today. I meant to go for a run, but for some reason I never got around to doing it. Simon downloaded a copy of Dune II and has been playing it almost constantly for the last 2 days. Watching him play makes me to dig up a copy of Civilization. I haven't been in the mood to play PC games in forever so this hankering to play is rather refreshing. It's too bad that I know that if I were to go out and buy a game I'd only play it for a few days, thus making me wish I never bought it. Such is life I guess as you get older. Still, Spore & Starcraft II will be must buys when they are released.

Friday, February 01, 2008

I had signed up to take a Russian Language class at Brown this spring, but I was just notified that the class was cancelled. I'm actually fairly disappointed in this turn of event. Now I'm scrambling to find another class I can take that would maybe fit into my schedule.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Under the Weather.

I've been feeling rather under the weather the last couple of days. I think part of it is my immune system is on attack due to the finger injury & tetanus shot. My arms hurts from the shot still, but my finger seems to be healing nicely. Overall though this whole experience has put me in a terrible mood the last couple of days. Hopefully will get better by this weekend.

In other news, they announced my move up to Marketing at work. The official transition date is February 18th, but I'm sure I'll be going up there before then to sit in with the team and begin training for the position.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Oil

The oil bill came today. 119 gallons used up. I hope this is the last time this winter..but we probably will need another refill or partial one...

Attacked by an Onion

Yesterday while cutting onions for a soup I was making, my knife slipped. 20 minutes later I was sitting in the emergency room waiting for a doctor to look at the massive laceration on my left pointer finger. More painful than the actual cut was when the doctor was injecting my finger with a pain killer. Now THAT hurt. I finally left the hospital with 2 stitches and an afternoon wasted. I have this large bandage on my finger that I have to leave on for another day or so, which is making typing this a challenge.

The soup did in fact turn out pretty good in the end.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Game Day

Yesterday's came went fairly well. Starting at 11am, we spent about an hour doing pre-game organization. Turns out that Ben accidentally leveled up Sam & Katia. Then after a few hours of surprise "plot" we finally reached the cave full of demons. Now THAT was exciting. I think every character made full use of their abilities. Grimwald creating a Magic Circle against evil was able to create a safety zone to for everyone else to shoot at the classed Vrock(mid level demon) who was a left over bad guy from the last campaign. It took a while in real time, but the characters made short work of him and his goons. Now we are off to visit Nightfang Spire...
(insert scary sounds here).


"Vrock" from the Monster Manual

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Carlos the Dwarf

In just over an hour, Simon, Katia, and I will be heading over to Norton to play some D&D. Ben's campaign has just started into the 4th book and Grimwald Browbeater the Dwarven Cleric who was never meant to go farther than 4th lev is now at 8th lev with level adjust for being reincarnated into the body of a Duergar(dark dwarf). What makes him more complicated is that on the last adventure Grimwald acquired a suit of full plate armor that is cursed with the soul of a long dead Eldritch Knight. Ever day that Grimwald uses the armor there is a chance that he will become this new character...

wacky eh?

We just finished up watching the series "Freaks & Geeks" which we got from Netflix. Overall a good series with lots of unrealized potenial. My favorite moment of the last episode was when "Daniel" the Freak leader ended up haning out with the geeks for the night playing D&D. His character..."Carlos the Dwarf".



Today is going to be a short game day most likely and I'm not sure what else I'm up to. Maybe play some more Mass Effect on the 360. I played that for several hours last night(and didn't seem to get very far it). Overall no major plans beyond gaming this weekend. I should really do something about that...

Friday, January 25, 2008

I'm starving...

Morning in the Amazon

This morning I ordered 3 books from Sword of Truth series and some new Antivirus software...

For some reason I always feel ripped off when I spend money on antivirus.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Territory Marketing Coordinator

Responsible for the successful execution and implementation of all field sales marketing initiatives. Working closely with the Director of Trade Marketing, this position will be the day to day liaison with the sales team. Specific responsibilities include:

-Annual planning with each DSM to identify opportunities
-Leveraging ad-hoc opportunities by going on road with sales, communication with RSMs and Top Accounts team.
-Track all activities and report on project effectivenessCoordinate annual budget
-Partnership development Key Account Marketing Coordination

The successful candidate will possess the following attributes:
-Strong project management skills
-Organization
-Detail-oriented
-Creative - ability to think creatively and develop innovative approaches and new campaigns
-Ability to multi-task
-Sales Oriented

Qualifications - Education and Work Experience: B.S. degree in marketing or related field and previous work experience

Update

This is my first post of the year. I keep saying how I want to keep writing entries to this but so far I haven't really done much about it. So here is yet another attempt at regular writing.

Things have been pretty crazy in general of late. Crazy in a good way of course.

On the work front, I've just been promoted to a new position. My new title will be Territory Marketing Coordinator. Its a good step up I think as I will be moving to the Marketing department. I'll see if I can add post a job description at some point. While I haven't actually moved to the new position yet, I'm pretty sure that it will happen within the next 2-3 weeks, once they've done the paper work, and scheduled trainings etc. I need to learn a whole new part of the company which is great! I also will still work with the outside sales team as part of the new job which is also good because I already have good relations with 1/3 of them from my old job.

I just bought a new lens for my camera. 50mm 1.8 prime lens. The more that I've been using the 18-135mm (which is a great general purpose lens) the more I missed using something more simple. Greg and I went into Boston a couple of weekends back and I was using his 35mm prime which for part of it. That helped decide for me. The larger aperture makes such a huge difference. While I probably could have forked over another $200 for the 50mm 1.4, since I'm still not shooting nearly as much as I'd like I figured I should just buy the cheaper one and not worry about the extra cost. One of my goals this year is to shoot much more than I have been. For a hobby that I really enjoy I just don't do it enough. Another side project to work on is portrait shooting. I was offered an easy job a few days ago buy someone at work who was looking for somebody to shoot a school dance(middle school). They were expecting about 250-300 kids maybe and were offering $4-$5 a shot. Quick easy money. But I turned it down as I'm not sure I'm up to something like that. I've never done a formal job for money before and I didn't want to screw it up if I'm getting paid. So I told my co-worker that to ask me again next time. So if anyone wants to volunteer to stand in a badly lit room while I take pictures that would be awesome.

I've read 3 books so far this month and about to read a 4th. I need to make an order from Amazon ASAP as I'm running out of new things to read again.

And I'm still trying to find a flight to England for less than $600. Its insane how much the cost has gone up over just the last year alone. I blame the republicans!! Between insane fuel costs, the US dollar tanking, and the airlines cutting back their flights the rates have more than doubled since 2003. What the hell?