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9/12/2003

Too Much Food


Along with going to trainings and conferences comes the obligatory over indulgence of food. Wednesday night we ate at The Cheesecake Factory. I had a Portabella Mushroom sandwich. It was delicious. They had this weird iced tea that had a strange, but delightful, tropical flavor. For desert I had a Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. It was good, but there wasn't enough cheese flavor. Call me strange, but I like my Cheesecake to have that tangy cheese flavor.

Last night we ate at the ESPN SportsZone in DC, after seeing the WhiteHouse of course. It was good, a little overpriced though. I had fun catching up with a old friend from High school, Sam. He owns some Chinese restaurants located in Giant/Martin food stores in the Winchester area. If you are hungry, I highly recommend you try their Emperor's Chicken.

9/11/2003

America Remembers


Two years ago today, America was brutally and savagely attacked by forces of terrorism. America remembers today the lives lost on that day, where they were when the world stopped for those moments, and where we are going now. May God bless all those who lost their lives at the hands of terrorists. May God bless he USA.

9/10/2003

Washington D.C.


Well, I have arrived in unny rockville. Training is going well. It is very interesting to see where all the drug and alcohol bruchures and comercials like "The Anti-drug" are made. Tonight my co-worekr and I will go to dinner someplace local. I would like to try some Indian cuisine, but I am afraid that they won't be abel to take it.

9/09/2003

A.W.O.A. or A Word On Acronyms


As I noted earlier, I am attending a three-day conference in Washington D.C. this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The conference is sponsored by SAMHSA or Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Not that you care what SAMHSA stands for. I am sure you saw SAMHSA and assumed it was government related because only big government could find a way to waste time by coming up with confusing acronyms for every single thing.

Just in my job, I work with several agencies: OJJDP, PCCD, PADOH, JCCTR, BDAP, OVR, AAA, and the list goes on and on. I am not even going to go into what all those acronyms mean. If you want though, you can e-mail me and ask, or give me the answers. Whoever gets the most right will get a big cookie.

This makes me wonder a couple of things. First off, why does government need all these acronyms? Does it really save time? It actually does not!

I know that often when talking to people outside the inner loop of government they seemed confused and awed at how we can use these acronyms in a sentence. To help these poor souls confused by our odd civil service ways we spend time making a nice list that breaks down all our "governspeak" for them. These lists are called "Alphabet Soup". This handy guide is essential for the non civil servant to understand the complex abbreviations that are used for simple things. Why say "senior center" when we can say Area Office on Aging, or AAA. For we are the Rube Goldberg of speech.

Another problem one runs into when using these acronyms is the spell check. Just type a few of these acronyms into a sentence, and then spell check it. Even commonly used acronyms like NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) or NASA (National Air and Space Administration) can confuse the heck out of even the most robust spell checks.

I think overall most acronyms are used to make you feel important. Even many small town and civilian groups try to name themselves around something that would sound good as an acronym. The name might not even make sense, but the acronym does, and that makes us feel better.

Going to Washington, DC.


I am attending a conference for work this Wednesday through Friday. Living in rural Pennsylvania it will be nice to get to the big city of DC for a few days. I can get a good cup of coffee, a paper and extra smoke in my lungs.

Actually I have contradicting thoughts. I will be down there during the second anniversary of 9/11. This is both exciting and terrifying. First off, to be in the capital during this somber anniversary will be great to experience this anniversary in a place where one plane went down. It also scared me because some wacko might use this as an excuse to try something again. I doubt that will happen, but since 9/11 its hard to not think that way.

Eagles Suck


So the Eagles sucked last night. They were totally blanked by the Tampa Bay Yucks 17-0. To add insult to injury, it was on opening night of the Eagles new stadium, Lincoln Financial Field or "The Linc".

They didn't look too bad considering that the Yucks have the absolute best defense in football today, and possibly in all time. This defense is one that would make the great 70s Iron Curtain defense of the Steelers look like a bunch of division I-AA wussies.

The eagles looked pretty good on defense, but on offense they stunk like...well, they stunk. I don't understand why they don't let Donovan McNabb run around a bit more. I know they don't want him to be known as a scrambler, but that is what made the Eagles want to draft him. That is part of his package. I just don't get it.

9/08/2003

A Candy Bar Sandwich


I just got back from Weis Markets in Everett, and much to my surprise they now carry my most favorite of chocolate snacks, the Costas York Club Sandwich. This yummy confection comes to me from my birth-town of Pottsville, PA. Usually whenever I visit my dad up there in Schuylkill County I take the opportunity to stop by the local Costas store to buy a box or two. But now I can get my fix whenever I want!!

I like shopping at Weis. The Store in Bedford is very nice, and has a wide assortment of the kinds of foods that I, being originally from Eastern Pennsylvania will eat. They have scrapple, pork roll, Middleswarth Potato chips, Keller's Butter, and now my beloved Club Sandwiches.

What is your favorite local food? E-mail me and let me know.

Laying Pergo


I just spent the entire weekend laying pergo at our house. Pergo in case you are wondering is the lovely laminate flooring that looks like real wood. It is pretty easy to install, and with a little know how and a good table saw you can install pergo too!


Our house is actually my dad's house. Its a lovely house, but the trouble with it is that it is the only 28 year old house that is still not finished. It is almost finished, the second floor is done, but the first floor still needs repainted and flooring as well as the baseboard heating radiators.

The kitchen is circa 1974 complete with burnt sienna countertops and double oven with the char-o-matic and rotato-magic options. It was just installed last winter. Completely new, out of the box, and 28 years old.

Living in this house, or actually staying there was a true experience BEFORE the kitchen was installed. Eating meant eating out, or cooking something on the wood stove which really was not advised in the summer. Now we cook quite frequently, and with the 7 acres attched to the house, it makes for an enjoyalbe afternoon lounging around in the back yard.





This brings us again to laying pergo.
We finally got motivation and decided to
finish the house. After an exhaustive
search at Lowes World and The Home
Depot Experience we decided on the
Red Oak pergo from Lowes World.



This was chosen because it matched the existing
real hardwood stairs and because it was no-glue pergo
with the padding already on it. That alone will save a lot of time.
And since I would rather make little balls out of my glue than
use it on the floor, this was the best option.

Laying pergo is actually kind of fun, and it proved that you actually need some basic math skills to do things. Since I am a Penn State gradute, it was no problem for my great mind, but we still messed up some pieces. I think we were distraced by the sound of Boston College scoring numerous unanswered touchdowns against Penn State on the radio broadcast. But that's another story and another post.

The hardest part of doing any job is getting started, and this is no exception. Actually the hardest part of laying pergo is small areas like foyers, hallways, and closets. After ruining quite a few planks, we got into wide open area, and finished about half of the 750 square feet we are going to do total. I can't wait to post picturs for you all to see.






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