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Okay, I have talked about the greatness that is Dr. Pepper with real sugar. It tastes better, I drink less of it in one sitting. Sadly, it is in limited edition. But, and this is the hard part, it doesn't mean it is expensive. In fact, one store is making it really hard not to hoard the stuff, and I am failing at it. Badly.

Basically, a store is advertising five twelve packs of Coca-Coca products for 14.00 with coupon. Well, this coupon doesn't exclude the limited edition (it probably should). Today, I stocked up (it's hard to find). The coupon didn't ring up, the cashier looked at, did some math (badly), and it rang up at ten bucks. I pointed it out, and he said "Eh, it's fine".

That's sixteen cents a can. So, basically, I'm setting myself for huge withdrawal issues down the road, but for now, caffienated bubbly awesomeness!

Current Mood: chipper chipper

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I have to admit, I'm really not a folk music fan. There are artists who I would really dig whose folk approach doesn't work for me (my apologies to Ani Difranco fans, but yea).

So, if you told me there was a eight minute acoustic song by a folk-influenced singer I would like, I wouldn't be believe you.

But, I was wrong:



In fact, I really like this song. A lot.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

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So, today was a rough day, but it was not as bad as it could have been. You never know with car repair.

On Sunday, I went up to Park City for an event. On the way, I got trapped in stop and go traffic. Going up a canyon. In a manual. Stressful, and not just for me. Almost to the destination, and my clutch is having a hard time disengaging the clutch.

Uh. Oh.

So, I pull to the parking, stop the car. Let it cool down for a good while. I ginger it home (downhill). Did I mention I am driving to Vegas in two weeks? Oh, good times. So, I made an appointment. Expecting a big bill. (A clutch can cost about 800 to fix if you are lucky).

And it seems to be have a bit of shift shock. So, I know this is really going to hurt.

Anyway, in for a penny, in for a pound. Decided to have the timing belt replaced as recommended and the radiator If they are mucking around, may as well get it done (labor is the issue on both jobs, and the labor can be combined).

Thankfully, my parents were there to help out as my credit is toast (that's another stressful story). So, I take it in today, and wait for the bad news. And wait. Finally, I call five hours after I drop it off. What's the bad news.

There isn't any. The test drive went fine and they noticed no real issue. So, I took their word for it. Told them to add in a manual transmission service. The total bill hurt (700), but with any luck, I should be able to get to 100,000 miles without any major issues. The brakes were in really good shape (got a couple of years in them), the tires are good.

Also, I had a coupon for a coolant service, but they gave me the premium service. But, they discounted the service so it worked out nice. I will need to get a basic AC service soon, but that can wait for next month.

While this was going on, I decided to fix a little annoyance for me. One of the air filter clips was missing. It let a bit of air in past the filter. A zip tie worked, but I decided to get the part ordered. Well, I get the part and I find that the plastic that it attached to was missing. So, I could order a new box, just forget it, or:

Pull off the air filter and intake box, drill a small hole in the plastic, take a hanger wire, fill in the hole, glue in the end to prevent it slipping out, attach the clip and reinstall the air filter and intake box. And, for now, it works.

Go me.

P.S. Dr Pepper has release a special cane sugar version for their 125th. I fear I will hoard this now. It is good. @#$@% HCFS.

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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Okay, I have to admit, I really am not up on the latest music. However, as I do visit the skating rink, I do hear quite a bit of it. It does tend to blend together for me.


Of course, I hear Lady Gaga songs there. I was talking to somebody about who is a bit of a music head and sound guys and he told me to listen to Bad Romance with my headphones and there was some stuff to learn. He gave me a high bit-rate rip of the song.

Well, color me surprised. Somebody produced and engineered the hell out of that song. It's compressed (like most songs these days), but still surprisingly dynamic. There are really cool synth riffs and there is a ton of layering going on. And, I'll be damned, the vocals are really quite well done. I even give a bow to the beat, which is pushed and surprisingly heavy at times.

The video is hella weird, however.

Current Mood: silly silly

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IFC is showing this, no commericals. Been a while since I've seen it, and it is funny to see all the people in the cast you have seen in other shows and movies.

Watching the pilot, it struck me about how the show is really about a bunch of people that are struggling with what they want to do, but they are making the decisions that can lead to future success.

Two of the girls in derby have started a small company (www.scarredderbydesigns.com). They had a contest for derby gals to have a then and now contest with high school prom pictures. To be sure, it was interesting. It led to a discussion, as I never went to prom. Many people told me that I would regret not going for the rest of life.

Looking back on it, it amuses me to no end. Yes, I still cry to the heavens "Why, oh why did I not attend prom. Why." Seriously, if high school was the peak of your life, I am so sorry.

Oh, flipping through channels. There's a VH1 show with a bunch of "society gals" at a Buddhist monastery. Interesting exercise for some of the monks I guess. As for the gals, I don't know. Probably one of the best books on Buddhism I read was Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. One of the point is that while the lessons of the Buddha are very useful, they can be misused to expand one's ego, not to examine it.

Oh, great quote: "I'm not fighting, I'm supposed to be fucking Zen."

Sorry, lost the trail there. Anyway, I don't have regrets from high school. I do regret not having more balance in college. I studied like hell to get through a brutal degree program, and I should have taken some time to socalize more, date more and have a bit more fun.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

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The heat is sapping my will to live. I have a hard time wanting to do anything. It will hopefully cool off this weekend, but right now, it's too warm.

I feel, no fear, I am just treading water, waiting for something, not trying to something different. Just meh. Waiting for a catalyst, but for now, I sit and wait.

Current Mood: indifferent indifferent

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I never would have guessed it, but AMC has managed to make not one, but two really great shows. I have to say, Breaking Bad is giving Mad Men a run for its money. I just hope that both the writers and producers know that it is best to not let things go on past their course. Make a solid statement and get out.

It is great to watch a show in which characters really evolve.

Current Mood: surprised surprised

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A good hobby can keep you sane, or drive you nuts. The trick is to keep your eye on the ball and stay focused on what matters.

I have to say, skating has been an up and down experience. But, it's great exercise. I am looking forward to skating outside for the first time. The weather hasn't cooperated for that, but I wish it was like this all the time. I will take 65 and overcast with showers anyday.

Today was a crazy day. Roller Derby bout in the morning, lunch and get together after, then skating. And now... Dinner!

Current Mood: tired tired

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I am not one for fine dining. Really, there are very few places I want to go that have that limited menu and refined plates that are the mark of fine dining. For one, wine and beer are wasted on me. The bitter aspects of each completely overwhelm the other flavors that most people can pick up on. No coffee for me. Nothing mocha. Those sweet coffee drinks aren't for me.

But, I was on a date and she suggested the place. And, frankly, the food was fine. If it hadn't taken forever to get to me. They got my dish wrong, and so my date waited for my dish even though I told her to go ahead. It wasn't packed, but the service was slow and the kitchen was not working well and neither were the staff. What should have been at hour at most turned into two hours. Drink orders were missed, the whole thing was annoying.

I noticed that I have been watching a lot of Kitchen Nightmares lately, and it makes me understand why you shouldn't tolerate bad service anywhere. A properly communicating kitchen, management and staff can reduce errors so that the right food gets to the right people in a reasonable time regardless of how busy the place is. Period. There is no "oh, so and so is having a bad day". If everybody is working as a team, things work out.

And I am a nightmare customer. You can't ply me with booze. I'm not interested. I came to your place for one purpose. To eat. And if I don't get that, I am not happy. I don't yell or anything, but I get visibly annoyed and don't come back. Period. New place? You get one shot. That's it.

Now, I don't need food right away. I go to a lovely Lebanese place on occasion. It is not quick. But, it is consistently paced and the food has been amazing every time. And they pace the appetizer, soup, etc. I happy spend 30+ dollars (no wine, remember) there and I like it.

Next time, it's Red Iguana. The place has been open 20+ years and they just opened their second location. I went there, and the different was night and day. The food was timely, fresh, tasty and cheaper. The staff was great, the kitchen on target. Now, if I had a bad experience there, I'd go back, because they have earned a second chance. But, not surprisingly, it has never come up. Ever.

So, I don't know. The date didn't go as well as I'd like. The person that suggested it has only been for the lunch service and didn't look at the menu online to see if dinner service was different. Sigh.

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

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Ah, insomnia. So, I am watching a PBS special. It's Tosca at the Met (2009). High definition really brings out the sets (amazing work, really). But, (and this is a big one), I really do not enjoy most opera. Operatic coloratura just drives me nuts. It's not just the classic soprano version, all ranges bother me. Of course Puccini has some of it. Rossini is just murderous. Also, the approach to tone is also at times a bit rough. I actually don't like a lot of vibrato in voice as well.

The thing about it is I understand the insane skill required to perform at that level and the texts and orchestration is often really great, but when they go for the higher notes, a large part of my brain just goes "Ahhhhhh, shut up, shut up, shut up, ouch." It is funny when the simplest text sounds all amazing. "I am walking to store to get some bread" sounds pretty good in Italian.

So, in certain ways, I am not cultured. Sad really. I know some think it is an acquired taste, but like brussel sprouts, I just can't handle it.

Current Mood: awake awake

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Nathan Dykman
User: ndykman
Name: Nathan Dykman
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