Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sox Win AL Central

In an irregular bit of semi-conventional news, I happily report that the Chicago White Sox have officially clinched the American League Central Division Title, their first since 2000, by defeating the Detroit Tigers 4-2 this afternoon.

Here is a nice photo gallery of their celebration.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Give Peas a Chance

There are few things I hate more in this world than canned peas. In fact, I can only think of three things that I hate more than canned peas: Hitler, roaches and Ray Romano. I started ruminating about canned peas when I was eating fresh stir-fry from my work cafeteria. In my stir-fry was a handful of fresh peas. With wonderful flavor and texture, fresh peas are one of my favorite vegetables. Canned peas on the other hand taste like rotten garbage. This leads me to an important point - I believe that there is no greater difference between any fresh and canned product than there is between that of peas. For example, I enjoy the crispiness of fresh green beans, but also enjoy the somewhat mushy texture of canned green beans. Canned corn is ok with me. Same with canned spinach, mushrooms and carrots. Peas are a whole different story. For some reason, the process of canning the peas has stripped these once vibrant balls of flavor into lifeless, wrinkly, pungent funk. Someone needs to get on those Del Monte execs and tell them that the status quo is unacceptable. We cannot allow one more can to infect the palate of our youth. We must put a stop to this immediately. I need your help.

And to the Chesapeake You Shall Journey

I apoligize for the staleness of the previous title as alluded to by PositiveMode. I have no doubt he speaks for you all. Unfortunately, it's difficult for me to find time to post while adjusting my schedule back to that of the so-called "real world". Please do not take that as some sort of excuse, but rather as an acknowledgement of my own blogospheric shortcomings. I will make time for more postings. I pledge this to you.

While I'm here, I am happy to tell you all that the River is again flowing (or appears to be from my vantage point at least) in its proper North to South orientation. Perhaps the recent rain has raised river volume and spurred the River to take corrective action. Perhaps higher-ups as NOAA realized that I was on to Operation River Reversal. Maybe I'm just punch-drunk from years and years of playing face-cup (PositiveMode or DJ Skuggs could enlighten you on face-cup. It's not my place.). Whatever the cause, I don't care. As long as the River is once again back to PositiveMode (I guess I should have liked the fact that it was flowing in the opposite direction, as that would have been NegativeMode. However, with my new job and subsequent responsibilities in life, a backwards flowing river was just too much to take. In the future, I promise to be more attuned to my NegativeModeness.).

I'm Getting Sick of The Previous Title

So I'm going to change it, with this non-substantive post. "GULC's Very Own Apprentice" was getting stale.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

GULC's Very Own Apprentice

Let me start off by apoligizing for missing the annual "Talk Like a Pirate Day." There's really no excuse for that. Hat's off to PositiveMode for catching it and posting it up here. Now, on to the important news.

Tonight, I will be watching the season premier of a show I have never watched in the past: The Apprentice. I've heard every season that it's a good show, etc., but it just didn't appeal to me. Well, that's all changed with the addition of our very own apprentice, Marshawn. Those of you who recently graduated Georgetown Law with me all know Marshawn. What you probably didn't know (I didn't, but that's not really saying much, as I don't have my finger on the pulse of either reality-show world or law school world) is that she is one of the apprenti this season. Here's a link to her official bio from NBC (looking very serious I might add). The Apprentice is on every Thursday at 9pm eastern (for those of you in other, more silly, timezones) and I encourage you to root Marshawn on (although I don't know what help that will really be). Anyway, best of luck to you Marshawn, I'll be watching!

Other News: The river outside my window (which I now realize, after talking to some of my other working-stiff friends, is quite a commodity) still appears to be flowing in the wrong direction, albeit slower than before. Perhaps I'll take a walk down there one day at lunch to figure this mystey out.

I like Cirque de Soliel, but I feel quite effeminate discussing it.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Avast, Me Hearties!

I was waiting for NegativeMode himself to post this, but it's gotten too far along in the day.

Today is Interational Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Does anyone know what actual evidence we have that pirates really talked like this?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Questions Posed to You (Yes You).

Is it wrong for a man to use a bronzing moisturizing lotion? Is it wrong to even ask that question outside of the privacy of one's own home? I think the answers are "no" and "yes", in that order.

Have you ever walked down the street (or been on a train, bus, etc.) and thought, "I wonder if that guy is crazy, truly mentally insane. I mean, look at him, he must be. There is at least a 75% chance that guy is crazy," or something to that effect? I do all the time. Or at least I did all the time when I rode the metro daily. Point being, how many times do you think someone has looked at you and thought the same thing (or maybe, "I wonder if that guy is homeless?")? I'm sure people have thought I was crazy, although I don't know about homeless.

At what point in a relationship is it appropriate to tell someone that they have something in their teeth, on their face, etc.? The day you meet someone? Do you have to be good friends? Carnal knowledge?

Why does the river outside of my window look like it is flowing North when I know for a fact that it is flowing South (I don't think anyone can answer this without actually coming to my office and looking, but I'm perplexed nonetheless)?

I absolutely despise the phrase "to wit".

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Happiest Hour of All

I think happy hour is an interesting phenomenon. When I was in school, happy hour made sense: drinks were cheaper, which in turn, makes you happier (and drunker (which makes you happier)). With work though, happy hour oftentimes does not even include drink or food specials. It's just a time when you can get the hell out of work and get alcohol into your body as soon as possible. A more appropriate title would be "Thank the Lord I Don't Have to go Back to that Desk for Another 10 Hours Hour."

I realize that for most people, happy hour is truly a happy time, but again, that happiness usually stems from not having to be at work coupled with the alcohol. By that account, lunch could also qualify as a mini happy hour (or half-hour). You get to leave work, get some food, relax. That's happy hour right there minus the alcohol.

And if it's the alcohol that makes your hour so happy, why not just sneak some vodka into work and drink from 2-3. Guaranteed that could be one hell of an hour, and quite possibly much more fun than sitting with coworkers who you've just spent the last 10 hours with, trying to make small talk, while not trying to seem like a raging alcoholic (I admit, getting caught drinking vodka at your desk would make you seem more like a raging alcoholic, so you should try and avoid getting caught).

I hope I don't seem to bitter about happy hour, because I'm not at all. I just think it's an intersting cultural phenomenon. In fact, I'm going to go to happy hour today, although I doubt it will last just an hour. See you at 5. . . .

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I would like to echo the sentiments of NegativeMode (see immediately below) that this Blog will not slow down with the advent of this new, permanent "job" life-concept. I, for one, will redouble (and possibly retriple) my efforts on NegativeMode.

Also, I have resurrected PositiveMode, at least for this week. This is primarily a side project, as I do consider NegativeMode the more significant Mode (although it should not be forgotten that PositiveMode was the original, if only by one to two days, and if I recall correctly the name was Matt's idea), but I think that I can actually increase my quality and productivity on this, the Main Mode, by allowing something of an outlet over there. For those of you interested in a bit of a diversion, I suggest you occasionally read PositiveMode.

For other newly-graduated readers of all sorts who are starting jobs in and around this month or week, what you feel are asteroids smashing into the hull of the ship.

We're also out of coffee.


I am now in America and working at a real job. This makes posting much more difficult, although not impossible. I will do my best to keep NegativeMode alive and well, but do bear in mind that it is difficult to entertain the masses, even for me.

That is all for now. I just wanted to alleviate any fears that you may harbor deep down inside that perhaps NegativeMode is slowing down. It isn't. In many ways, it is only just getting started (I have no idea what that means, but it seems like the correct thing to say). Now if you'll excuse me, I must reinsert myself into the so-called "Real World."

Friday, September 02, 2005

Rough Riders ... The Full Report

Tuesday, September 29th at 9:30 am PositiveMode and myself went to the motorcycle rental shop, where we had, the night before, reserved our respective motorcycles. I had an '03 Honda 800 VFR waiting for me and P-Mode had a '04 BMW 1150R waiting for him (years are approximate). We geared up (full helmets, jackets, gloves) and headed out down the Autobahn (route 95), taking it easy as we got used to the new bikes to Starnberg. We had the entire route planned out on maps, one of which I had taped to my tank. I was therefore in the lead.

When we got to Starnberg (about 10 miles away from Munich), we were looking for Route 2 south, but couldn't find it right away. No problem. We stopped at a gas station, where I turned off my bike, and checked the map. We found our way in less than 2 minutes. Unfortunately (of fortunately for you, in terms of interesting stories), I got back on my Honda, hit the starter ... nothing. P-Mode and I have had pretty good experience with dead motorcycle batteries, and we knew right away ... dead battery. Inauspicious start to say the least. This was at about 10 am.

We asked at the gas station for a pay phone. None. Maybe some at the train station a few miles away, but no idea. Jumper cables? Only for sale. The attendent suggested we try a mechanic down the road. Okay, maybe he can jump the bike. As we had only one working bike, P-Mode headed over to the mechanic while I waited at the gas station. About an hour later, P-Mode finally shows back up. "Where the hell were you?" Apparently, he missed the turn for the mechanic, which put him back on the Autobahn. There were no exits between Starnberg and Munich, so he had to ride back to Munich, turn around, and then go to the mechanic. Once at the mechanic, P-Mode learned that the mechanic's grasp of English was about equal to P-Mode's grasp of German, which is to say rudimentary. Turns out, the trip to the mechanic wasn't much help (PositiveMode can expound on his "conversation" with the mechanic later).

So, back at the gas station over an hour later, the only solution we could come up with was to go back to Munich where we rented the bikes, and see what they would do about the problem, i.e., give me a new bike, fix the other, money back, etc. Of course, the only way back to Munich for the two of us was me on the back of P-Mode's BMW bike. Needless to say, to grown men on a small motorcycle is not the most heterosexual mode of transportation, especially here in the states. Luckily, it is slightly more accepted in Europe, and P-Mode has long hair coming from under his helmet (thus allowing me to pretend he was a pretty lady, albeit a large pretty lady), so that's what we did. I hopped on back and off to Munich we went.

Now, I was willing to get on the back of his bike, as it was our only mode of transportation back to Munich to try and resolve the problem, but that's where I drew the line. No way was I wrapping my arms around P-Mode to hold on. Sorry, but that's where I draw the line. Instead, I had to hold on to the grab bar behind me. This method of support is much more terrifying than simply holding on to the rider (FianceeMode has confirmed this), but that's what I was left with. Needless to say, the ride back to Munich was terrifying, gay, and something I did not want to have to repeat. When we got back to Munich, the guys running the shop (very nice guys by the way) said one of them would go back down to Starnberg with us to jump the bike, and told us it would be fine like that. Okay. I trust them. Of course, in my mind, when they said they would go down with us and jump the bike, I assumed they ment in a car, in which I would ride with the guy from the shop. Nope. He meant on a bike, meaning I would have to get back on the bike with P-Mode and repeat the ride in reverse.

The second time, it was less terrifying, but still pretty gay. Oh well, we got my bike started, took the charger with us in case we ran into any other problems, and started on our trip. At the time, it really sucked, and delayed our start by about an hour and a half, but I guess it provides a good story to tell you, and a great mental picture (sorry, but we were unable to get a picture of the two of us on the bike together). Now that we got that little story out of the way, on to the actual ride, including some spectacular pictures:

From Starnberg we headed south along the shore of Starnberger See (see = lake).
From there, we continued south into the Bavarian countryside, which is mostly flat, farm land with some rolling hills.
As we wound our way further south, the hills became higher, and one in particular rose above all the farmland, so we rode to the top to get a view of the countryside. Pretty good view, and you could see for miles in every direction. Not a clound in the sky.
After coming back down the large hill we continued southward, where we stopped at the base of what appeared to be a ski resort for lunch. Up to this point, we were travelling on mostly two lane country roads, which were all in perfect shape. The roads all have a broken white center line, meaning you can pass anywhere you want, which is nice when you're on a motorcycle. The drivers are also very curtious and aware of motorcycles (moreso than here at least), so if you're going to pass, they'll pull over as far to the right as they can to make it easier. Anyway, this is where we ate lunch.
After lunch we continued southward for about 10 minutes until we reached the fairytale castle of King Ludwig II. It is simply beautiful situated on a mountain in the foothills of the German Alps. That's it over P-Mode's shoulder.
From there we continued south, through some beautiful fairytale towns and into Austria. This picture is from a town just by the Austrian border, on the German side.
Once a few miles into Austria, we stopped at a gas station just to make sure we were on the right track, and still on course. This is the view from the gas station. Not bad, but those mountains were nothing compared to the ones we were getting closer to.
This is the biggest mountain I have ever seen in my life. That is, until we rode about 20 mintues further. As you can see, you can't see the top of it, as it is surrounded by clouds. Beautiful, amazing area to ride through on a motorcycle.Shot of a stop between the Alps at a mountain stream. It was cold. We did a lot of stopping for me to take pictures and to just relax.P-Mode riding through the Austrian Alps.
Back in Germany, now in the German Alps. We were going to go down a mountain road, but it was closed due to severe flooding in Germany and Austria in the past few weeks.
This is now on the northern edge of the German Alps. There were several amazing lakes and these picturesque towns surrounding them.Just after taking the last picture, we headed up a mountain on what I thought was the best road of the whole trip, from a motorcycling standpoint. It was up the mountain and then back down the mountain on the other side, with a 90 to 180 turn every 40 feet or so. Nothing but S curve after S curve for a few miles with amazing views all around. There were hundreds of sportbikes all over the mountain running up and down, some at some pretty fast speeds. It was amazing. Not only that, but as we rounded one bend, we passed a lookout over the lake. There must have been 75-100 motorcycles parked there, the riders taking in the views or getting ready for their next run up or down the mountain.

From there we headed back up the country roads towards Munich. It was getting dark, and the mountains faded away and back into German farmland (like in the second picture). About 20-30 miles south of Munich we got on the Autobahn back to the city. Let's just say that it was the fastest I have every traveled 20-30 miles in my life. The Autobahn is amazing. I was getting blown by by soccer (football more correctly)moms in BMW station wagons who must have been going 140 mph. It all feels perfectly safe though, because the roads are in such good condition, and the drivers stay in the right lane and know what they are doing.

All in all, besides the morning mishap, it was one of the best days I had in Europe, and definately the best day I've ever had on a motorcycle. I can't imagine a better place to spend 10 hours riding around.