June 14, 2007: My Childhood Musical Tastes

Dominica and I spent the evening cleaning last night. I think that we made some good progress. It was a short night. I lost about an hour dealing with the OfficeMax mess and had to run some errands out of the building which cost another hour. Our nights are very short as it is so that just about took care of the entire evening. I normally get home pretty close to seven and we always “try” to go to the gym just a little after nine (but normally don’t make it until ten) – then that pretty much accounts for the whole night. That is what bothers me the most about the whole OfficeMax thing – it stole a whole evening just dealing with it. And it isn’t even barely dealt with yet! (That and we were REALLY hoping to have the desk delivered, assembled and put in place before the Ralstons got here so that the apartment would look a little bit like it should as they will probably never get to see the place again. Argh.)

We hit the gym almost exactly at ten o’clock and I put in a good hour on the elliptical machine. The evening was so busy that I didn’t even get to eat dinner. No breakfast (I tried but had planned on getting oatmeal at work but then the moment I arrived someone called me and just kept me on the phone dealing with an issue until well after the cafeteria had closed), just an egg salad wrap for lunch and then nothing else the rest of the day except for my six fiber tablets! My calories are pretty low today and I can feel it. I am supposed to be getting breakfast with Abdul at Food for Life tomorrow though which I haven’t eaten in quite some time so I am really looking forward to that.

I totally forgot that my Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate Edition arrived over the weekend. I haven’t had a chance to touch it yet. Maybe I will get it installed today. At least it came. I was starting to get worried.

Before going to bed last night I weighed in after having gone to the gym and am extremely excited that I have finally broken the twenty pounds lost mark! That is a major milestone for me. I have a spreadsheet that I maintain that tracks my starting weight, my daily weigh in, my percentage weight lost, my target weight and more and filling in the -22lbs was pretty exciting this morning. This was my single biggest weight loss day after thirty-three days of the competition! I am sure that I will go up slightly for tomorrow – that is how it normally works – but once I hit the weight it is easy to get below it even if it takes a day or two.

This morning Oreo and I slept in until around twenty after eight. He had gotten up about an hour before that but as soon as he figured out that Dominica was not making him his breakfast he came galloping back to get another hour of snuggles in. Thursdays are important because they give me that extra hour for my muscles to heal before returning to the gym for more punishment.

My project for the day is cleaning. There is a lot to be done yet and tomorrow morning I have to take a load of thing out to the Mazda and load it up with stuff that will eventually be going to dad’s house – the little glass and metal “Metro desk”, the laptop desk, etc. It isn’t a ton but with the complete lack of spare space we need every inch that we can find.

While cleaning the apartment today I came across two cassette tapes that I made back in 1988-1989. The tapes were labeled “Best of Music” volumes II & III and were tapes that I made myself. I bought my first CD player (a Sony 5-CD carousel) in 1987 so I was only using cassette for mix-tapes like these either of CDs that I already owned or for songs from the radio. It is interesting to see what my favourite music was at the time and even just in these two tapes you can see the style of music that I preferred changing. Up until around 1987-1988 I primarily listened to “rock and roll” from the 1950s and the 1960s. Mostly, I assume, because this is what my parents had listened to and was the only music that they were really knowledgable about.

[One of the strangest things ever to me is to think that the music that I was listening to from the 1960s was exactly as old then as the music on these tapes from the 1980s is now!]

On the first tape which is labeled as having been made in 1988 the music includes artists like The Fat Boys, Chubby Checker (whom my parents saw live in concert at Kodak’s Theater on the Ridge around this time), Chuck Berry, Bruce Springsteen, The Coasters, The Chordettes, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Bobbettes, Huey Lewis and the News, Ben E. King, The Beach Boys, Etta James, Bobby McFerrin, The Georgia Satellites, Billy Ocean and Kylie Minogue. On the second tape made six to twelve months later the songs had clearly shifted more towards the current pop trends of the day and had artists like Starship, UB40, Boy Meets Girl, Bananarama and Eric Carmen.

My five disc Sony CD carousel was a really big deal at the time. It took me over a year to save up for and was the biggest thing that I ever purchased until I bought by Schwinn aluminum racing bike in 1991 (Joe Howlett still uses that awesome Schwinn for racing today!) The CD player was $300 which was an astounding figure for an eleven year old to achieve in 1987. I didn’t, in fact, come up with that much. My parents put in half of the money because I had worked so hard to come up with the first half and because, I believe, that they understood that I wanted to make an investment in audio media that would not deteriorate every time that I played it. Every single CD that I bought back then I still have today in perfect condition. My first album on CD was Amy Grant’s first Christmas album which gives away what time of year it was. I can still remember dad coming home with the CD player and the CD after I had saved up enough money. What a huge day that was for me. For my birthday, I believe, of that year (so almost a full year before) I had received an integrated Fisher stereo system that I used in my room for playing tapes and LP records. The CD player hooked into that. Getting that CD player was a defining moment of my childhood. My CD collection was not to be touched – I had hundreds of CDs before entering high school.

I didn’t get a chance to go to the gym this morning. I did a heavy workout last night like I seem to often do on Wednesday nights and I was very exhausted this morning. That and Oreo was super snuggly and it was just impossible to pull myself out of bed until it was time to actually do some work. My morning ended up being pretty busy. I had to work a bit and then take Oreo for a walk at nine thirty. Abdul and Tonya came by at a quarter after ten and we all went over to Food for Life for breakfast. I haven’t had breakfast over there in over a month so it was really good.

It was actually quite cold today. The air conditioning is off and we have the windows open and it is actually cold in the apartment. I like cold days with the windows open, though, because it is the perfect time to do laundry since you don’t have to run the air conditioning to keep the apartment cool while running the laundry making it hot! We have tons of laundry these days with both of us going to the gym most days so we need to do it several times a week.

I looked at Verizon FIOS today which has just recently been announced here in Newark. I am very unlikely to consider switching as Cablevision provides a pretty exceptional service. In fact my only complaint about Cablevision is that they constantly harass me by calling my mobile and offering me ridiculously priced add-ons to my Internet access and every conversation is exactly the same (oh, $30 for worse phone service than my current $11 phone service and I have to pay and extra $30 for television that I don’t want so I am really paying $60 for a phone I don’t want? Oh yes sir, that is a bad deal. Sorry.) But the service itself is good. I checked with FIOS and their residential service looks to be okay but nothing amazing at all. Basically the same prices and speeds that I get now but new and untested and with a bad reputation for customer service. So why take the chance when Cablevision does such a good job? But then I looked at Verizon’s FIOS business class services! What a joke. Verizon charges more just for Internet access than I pay for my redundant Internet access, power, space, cooling, generators, battery systems, 24×7 staff and security combined in Scranton. And in Scranton my base Internet access speeds are double what Verizon tops out at and I can scale many times beyond when necessary and I get 32 static IP addresses instead of 1. Ouch. Talk about bad pricing. And all of this and Verizon is the one in the cheaper market!

It looks like I am very likely going to have to travel up to Ithaca on Sunday to do some work up there. The Ralstons are planning on leaving Newark at eleven in the morning and Dominica has to spend the afternoon and evening working on her homework that is due on Sunday night so the timing actually works out pretty well. So if all goes according to plan I will arrive in Ithaca a little after two in the afternoon and will work for several hours before driving back down to Newark.

I find it very funny that Oreo absolutely loves horseradish cheese. It is one of his favourite foods. He completely freaks out when I am eating some and jumps all over trying to get me to give him some. It works out for him that horseradish is my favourite cheese flavour. LeRaysville Cheese Factory makes an amazing horseradish cheddar that we love to share.

In the midst of my hectic day of work, dog sitting and cleaning I did manage to get Pinnacle Studio 11 installed on our one Windows computer. That actually took several hours. That is one huge package!

I actually got a lot of cleaning done today and am very proud of the work that I did. My super big accomplishment for the day was to get all of the loose paper sorted and taken care of. I threw out an entire garbage bag full of paperwork and have a huge box to go to dad’s for filing. I also, finally, got around to testing out my new DL360 G2 rack rails and they look like they are perfect so I am going to be able to deliver that machine to Scranton maybe as early as Sunday if I can figure out when to squeeze in time to work on it. Sunday is likely far too ambitious although it would be perfect. More likely I will be able to do a delivery two weeks later when I go to Pavilion.

Weight Lost So Far: 22.5lbs

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