Friday, February 03, 2006

new job

I took a new job last week, changing my career path from engineering to management. I will be working at an audio conferencing company as VP of Operations. So far there has been little to do here as we are in the process of moving locations. I am getting some training on everything in the company. Although I fully enjoyed my time spent not working, it is nice to have an actual job again, what with the steady income and all.

Monday, January 16, 2006

it has no title

Well, I did nothing this weekend and it was nice. I just sat around drinking Ouzo and catching up on Tivo. I've got an interview with Southern Nuclear this week. Even if I don't get the job, I'm still excited about seeing a nuclear power plant.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

backpacking with an 8 year old

Originally uploaded by otwelmr.
I went backpacking before Christmas with my friend Mark (see the links on the side) and his wife and daughter. We went to Mt. Leconte shelter via the Alum Cave trail in the Smoky Mts. Normally in December one sees packed down snow which is easily traversed. However, this time the entire trail had between 6 and 24 inches of snow. Deep snow is nice to look at, but not fun to trudge through, especially with two first timers, one of which is only three feet high. We The normally 5 hour hike, became and 8.5 hours, and the last 2 were in the dark, with only a headlamp to guide us. I should also mention that this portion of the trail is the most dangerous with many narrow ledges and steep cliffs. Anyway, we got to the shelter and had the most helpful sheltermates. As soon as we arrived, one of them volunteered to melt some snow and boiled water for us so that we could prepare dinner and have hot chocolate. I'm sure this helped to brighten the spirits of the girls. The night was calm, and not too cold, and the next day was a beautiful day to go back down. Mark's wife is not planning to go with us again, but his daughter (who surely is one of the youngest to pack up that trail and spend the night in the winter) seemed to want to go again. I've now been rambling for a while, so here are some pictures.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

okCupid! test results

Well this was pretty interesting.

The Boy Next Door
Random Gentle Love Dreamer (RGLDm)

    Kind, yearning, playful, you are The Boy Next Door. You're looking for real Love, a lot like girls do. It might not be manly, but it's sweet.

    We think the next three years will be very exciting and fruitful ones for you. Your spontaneous, creative side makes you a charming date, and we think you have a horny side just waiting to shine. Or glisten, rather. You enter new relationships unusually hopeful, and the first moments are especially glorious. If you've had some things not work out before, so what.

Your exact opposite:
The 5-Night Stand

Deliberate Brutal Sex Master
    On paper, most girls would name the Boy Next Door as their ideal mate. In the real world, however, you're often passed over for more dangerous or masculine men. You're the typical "nice guy:" without just a touch of cockiness, you're doomed with girls. A shoulder to cry on? Okay, sure. But never a penis to hold.

    More than any other type, Boys Next Door evolve as they get older. As we said, many find true love, but some fail miserably in the search. These tarnished few grow up to be The Men Next Door, who are creepy as hell, offering backrubs to kids and what not.


CONSIDER: The Maid of Honor, The Peach

Link: The 32-Type Dating Test by OkCupid - Free Online Dating.
My profile name: hiker7

Friday, March 04, 2005

newsletter from Sen. Shelby

I received a newsletter today from the senator, and sent a reply. I really don't know if anyone at his office reads these things, but they might, and I like to share my opinion sometimes. While I would like to see the number of military actions and bases decrease considerably, and all those in Iraq brought home immediately, I responded only to the actual article from the senator.

Here was my response, followed by the newsletter itself:

While I agree that the hardship on the reservists and guardsmen is great, I think that before just throwing money at them, we should instead change the structure of the military. If more soldiers are needed to support the hundreds of long term military actions across the globe I think that we should increase the size of the regular army, so that we can utilize the reservists for a reserve purpose only. This will ensure that we have a reserve force in the future, as many of them, returning from much longer deployments than they thought possible, will not re-enlist, and the recruiting numbers are down as well for new reservists due to the deployment issues. As for the National Guard, they are never supposed to leave the homeland, and should be used for the defense of our borders instead. They should be brought home immediately, solving that issue completely.

Newsletter from the office of Senator Richard Shelby:


By: Senator Richard Shelby

In support of the war on terror, the State of Alabama and
its citizens, like many other states throughout the country, have made
significant sacrifices for our nation. Many of our armed forces have
been called upon to participate in major deployments in support of
military operations overseas. In fact, Alabama has mobilized more
National Guardsmen per capita then any other state, with 4,140 Alabama
Reservists and Guardsmen mobilized as of last week in support of our
global military commitments. Since September 11, 2001, 89% of the
Alabama Air Guard and 49% of the Alabama Army Guard have been called up.

Today, our National Guard and Reserve units are being called upon more
than ever and are being asked to serve their country in very different
circumstances than in the past. The Global War on Terror and Operation
Iraqi Freedom have heightened our military's operational tempo which now
requires that our Reserve component play a more active role in the total

In the past, our Reservists were exactly what their name implied - a
backup force called upon one weekend a month and two weeks a year.
However, as the Cold War melted away, so did much of our military.
Active duty numbers were reduced as our major threat, the Soviet Union,
fell apart. Since this reduction in our active duty armed forces, the
burden has fallen to the Reservists to fill the void.

Unlike any other time in our nation's history, we now depend heavily on
our Reserve component. As of February 23rd, 184,481 soldiers, sailors,
airmen, coast guardsmen, and Marines were mobilized to participate in
major deployments, including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation
Iraqi Freedom. These deployments frequently necessitate extended tours
of duty, many of them exceeding twelve months, for these

These long tours and frequent activations have a profound and disruptive
effect on the lives of these men and women and on the lives of their
families and loved ones. Many of our Reservists suffer a significant
loss of income when they are mobilized - forcing them to leave often
higher paying civilian jobs to serve their country. Such losses can be
compounded by additional family expenses associated with military
activation, including the cost of long distance phone calls and the need
for additional child care. These circumstances create a serious
financial burden that is extremely difficult for Reservists' families to
manage. We can and should do more to alleviate this financial burden.

In an effort to address this critically important issue, I, along with
Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, recently introduced the Military
Reserve Mobilization Income Security Act. This legislation would
provide a completely refundable income tax credit of up to $20,000
annually to a military Reservist called to active duty. The amount of
the tax credit would be based upon the difference between wages paid by
the Reservist's civilian job and the military wages paid upon
mobilization. The tax credit would be available to members of the
National Guard or Ready Reserve who are serving for more than 90 days
and would vary according to their length of service.

We recognize that some businesses continue to pay Reservists full
salaries while they are activated and that other businesses and local
governments support Guard and Reserve families by picking up the
difference between their civilian and military pay. These employers
should be praised for their patriotism and for looking after their
employees. Too many Reservists, however, do not have this kind of
support and that is precisely the reason we have introduced this
important piece of legislation.

The sacrifices of our Reservists and the burden they bear to protect our
freedoms are significant. It is imperative that Congress realize the
vital role these soldiers play within our military and how the success
of our military depends on these troops. While we can never fully repay
the debt we owe to those that wear the uniform, I believe the Military
Reserve Mobilization Income Security Act is a small step towards showing
our gratitude. This is not too much to ask of our nation, and it is the
right thing to do.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

mac mini

I purchased a mac mini and finally received it today. I will be switching to mac for the first time, and hope that they are intuitive as they're said to be. In the interest of not letting this blog become Matt's ranting ground. I won't divulge the entire story behind why it took DHL four days to get it to me, when I paid for overnight delivery. My task for the next few days or more will be to move all my photos into my mac and organize them with iphoto.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

1-18-05 and still waiting on Amazon

I have finally convinced Amazon that a router that I ordered from them and was shipped on 1-5 has still not arrived and they've shipped a replacement. One would think that after being missing in the mail for two weeks, they would ship my replacement via UPS or Fedex or some reliable method. NOPE, the new one is back in the mail. AARRRGGG! Maybe I'll see it this week.
Nothing much has happened since the last post. I finished reading" The Silver Chair", and started "The Horse and His Boy." Contrary to the last post I have reduced my reading to one chapter every other night or so, which has greatly increased the time required to finish these, and make me feel like a literary weakling.
I have been sitting on a giant ball at work, which people laugh at, but it's really comfortable and supposedly improves posture and tones abs.
We have planned another backpacking trip for March. Same place, different trails.