Archive for category: Uncategorized

First Evaluation

21 Mar
March 21, 2019

Last night at Toastmasters, I did my first evaluation. I must have done a semi-decent job because I came home with a ribbon. My biggest challenge with evaluation is separating the speech from the content. Or to be blunt, not telling the speaker where his logic is faulty and why his position is wrong. It’s one of the reasons I joined the club. I needed to meet people who were not like me and thought differently from me. I think it will make me a better person.

Wedding AAR

20 Mar
March 20, 2019

In case you didn’t hear, I got myself hitched over the weekend. We did it here, and were one of the last who could do the ceremony and the reception at the park. For a pair that love old Florida, this was a wonderful place to celebrate our marriage.

The Wedding Ceremony & Reception – Or Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance

The venue had a bunch of restrictions about decorations and time available. We had to do a lot of pre-planning, pre-work, and contingency planning. I will admit, The Wife did some amazing work and coordination. We were able to set up everything fast, and had time/planning for when the rain started.

Fortunately, the rain was just for a little bit before the ceremony, and the rest of the day was gorgeous. As I told folks, it was just enough rain to knock the pollen down.

The ceremony went off without a hitch. The Wife suggested we write our own vows since we were doing a secular service. After hearing me speak at Toastmasters for the first time, the suggestion became a requirement. Since we didn’t have a videographer, I decided to include our vows for posterity. It’s my blog after all.

The Wife

Derek- It’s amazing how one day someone walks into your life, and suddenly, you can’t remember how you ever lived without them

*I wish I could stand up here and promise you the world, but the world isn’t mine to give. What I do promise is my world, and all it entails. My love, support, passion, compassion, and enthusiasm. *

I wish I could promise you smooth sailing, but just like hurricanes, & as much as I’d like to be able to, the winds aren’t mine to control. What I do promise is a ship built to carry you to safety, and sails to weather any storm.

I wish I could promise you forever, but unfortunately, no one has figured out immortality yet. What I do promise is every second of this sliver of eternity I’ve been blessed with.

I wish I could promise you riches, but every vault has its end. What I do promise you is a life of abundance—An abundance of love and support, of strength and vulnerability, of sharing and drive, of passion, and of adventure– oh, and cats. I promise you an abundance of cats

I can’t even promise I’ll never hurt you, because even the best of intentions sometimes fall short. What I do promise is to always reach for you over my pride; to hold you, to heal you, and to seek forgiveness.

Derek, You are the Han to my Leia . . . the Wash to my Zoë . . . the Rick Hunter to my Lisa Hayes It’s said that marriage is like getting to have a sleepover with your best friend, every single night of the week. So let’s get this over with and start our forever sleepover.

Me

*Vow. A sacred promise. Inviolable. Immutable. Lasting until the end of time and space. Not to be undertaken lightly or without deep consideration for what is being asked and offered. These are my vows to you. *

*First, a Vow to love you. Unconditionally. Eternally. Without hesitation. Further, to demonstrate my love to you in both big and small ways. *

Second, a Vow to walk the path of our lives with you. Sometimes in front, to be your shield. Sometimes behind, to be your cheerleader and to catch you if you stumble. Sometimes right at your side, to be your comforter and confidant.

*Third to be your partner in all things. To make your goals my goals. To make your dreams my dreams. To take your counsel when you give it and give you my best counsel when we are facing a decision. *

*Vows are sworn on what is most precious. So, to borrow the famous phrase, I swear this on my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor. *

I’ll admit she surprised me with the sci-fi geekery bit. Especially the Robotech part. The Brother helped her with that. (And was also responsible for a veritech included in the decorations around the cupcakes). We decided on cupcakes instead of a traditional cake for both ease of production and transport. The Wife and her mother made almost a hundred gorgeous cupcakes for the reception.

One little thing that was a big hit was a picture frame The Wife picked up at Goodwill and painted. People used it as a prop for all sorts of photos. I can’t wait to see them all.

We ran ahead of schedule, and the reception broke up organically without us having to kick anyone out. Which was a relief to me. Also a bonus, the venue’s organizer loved our table decorations, so we donated most of them to the park so they can use them for future events. We got home a bit earlier than planned, which allowed us to head up to St. Augustine earlier than planned.

Honeymoon

We both love history and St. Augustine is just a four hour drive north. Waze ended up taking us through a lot of back roads due to I-4 being a mess around the Orlando Megaplex. We stayed in an AirBnB that was within walking distance of pretty much all of the historic district. The location was perfect for our needs. The room, while lovely, cured any temptation for trying the “tiny house” lifestyle. Also, accessing the room meant going through a gate with a low trellis covered in greenery. And by low, I mean walking through the gate to our room, I had to crouch like I was running up to the choppers at the beginning of MASH.

Small SNAFU – we watched the weather for the wedding relentlessly for the week leading up to the ceremony. Forgot to do so for St. Augustine, and apparently a cold front was coming through when we came up.

We saw a lot, shopped a lot, and walked a lot. Which was good, because we ate a lot. This was a bye week for me where I still record my calories, but I don’t worry if I’m over. Even way over. I’m really glad I went below my goal weight before the wedding. We’re both on strict diets to get back down to goals.

Nothing For Today

28 Feb
February 28, 2019

Wedding and work have eaten up my time and spare posts.

Need A Quick Smile?

27 Feb
February 27, 2019

Here’s a dad joke generator.

Six Hundred and Fifty-Nine Days

20 Feb
February 20, 2019

In May of 2017, I decided I would give the weight loss thing another try. There were two main reasons. I was tired of taking pills and buying new clothes. In May of 2018, I put up a post detailing my plan and weight loss up to that point.It was one of my more popular posts and even inspired a Facebook group.

Six hundred and fifty-nine days after starting down this path, I have officially hit my goal of 200 lbs. People ask me if I feel better now. Honestly, it was such a gradual process, I’ve noticed the new aches and pains of getting older than improved health from weight loss. Until I think about the fact that I don’t have to take my high blood pressure pill or statin pill. I have to take my heartburn med every other day instead of daily. That I can go up the three flights of stairs to my office with my backpack and laptop bag without being as winded as I was just climbing three flights of stairs.

I’ve done it. I’ve made my goal. It was hard work to get here, and it will be hard work to stay here. I’ll be counting calories for the rest of my life. It’s worth it though.

I don’t have to take the pillsc, but I’ve got to buy new clothes.

Starting with a kilt.

Scientology in Florida Prisons

28 Jan
January 28, 2019

Reason reports.

From the article: An organization connected to the Church of Scientology has run seminars in more than a dozen Florida correctional facilities over the past several years, public records obtained by Reason show.

For anyone not clear on the insidious nature of Scientology, I would recommend watching Going Clear. Here’s the trailer:

Sabaton History Channel

15 Jan
January 15, 2019

This looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

2018 Top Albums

01 Jan
January 1, 2019

Editor’s Comments:

For this week’s Metal Tuesday, The Brother asked if he could write up his favorite albums of 2018. Although his tastes run a bit differently than mine, he knows his music.


I have so much music for y’all. This year I decided to do two versions of my Top Albums list; one without any death metal and one with the heavy stuff. I’m considerate like that. For each album, I list the general genre and links to Apple Music, Spotify, or YouTube (some sources more official than others on YouTube).

I also call out a couple of EPs that I really liked and at the end are a list of honorable mentions (in no particular order).

The Heavy Stuff

  1. Rivers of Nihil – Where Owls Know My NameTechnical Death Metal: or or
  2. Omnium Gatherum – The Burning ColdMelodic Death Metal: or or
  3. Psycroptic – As the Kingdom DrownsTechnical Death Metal: or or
  4. Amorphis – Queen of TimeMetal: or or
  5. Slugdge – Esoteric MalacologyDeath Metal: or or

No Death!

Now, I also understand that a lot of people are not, shall we say, fans of death metal. This is for y’all.

  1. Clutch – Book of Bad DecisionsRock: or or
  2. Good Tiger – We Will All Be GoneRock: or or
  3. Andy James – ArrivalInstrumental Rock: or or
  4. Paul Wardingham – ElectromancerInstrumental Rock: or or
  5. Set and Setting – Tabula RasaPost Rock: or or

The EPs

I also want to call out a couple of EPs that came out this year that I though were really good.

  • Hespera – In AbsenceMelodic Death Metal: or or
  • Plini – SunheadInstrumental Rock: or or

Honorable Mentions

These are the albums that were in the running for the other lists but did not make it. These are still really good albums, but the lists have to be capped somewhere.

  • Alkaloid – Liquid AnatomyDeath Metal: or or
  • Beyond Creation – AlgorythmTechnical Death Metal: or or
  • Harakiri for the Sky – ArsonMetal: or or
  • Moonshade – Sun DethronedMelodic Death Metal: or or
  • Nita Strauss – Controlled ChaosInstrumental Rock: or or
  • The Ocean – Phanerozoic I: PalaeozoicPost Rock: or or
  • The Ocean – Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic (Instrumental Version)Post Rock: or or
  • Parasite, Inc. – Dead and AliveMetal: or or
  • Zeal & Ardor – Stranger FruitMetal/Soul/Experimental: or or