July 2006

Week of July 24

I decided to wait and just do another weekly post. Again, not too much going on this week. I worked Monday through Friday. I didn’t work on as many reports as I usually do in a week. During the lat few days I watched The Battle of Algiers and Firewall. The only event of remote circumstance this week was another toy. The Gamepark Holdings GP2X, an open-source, Linux powered hand-held gaming device. After a little bit of research and a lot of forum lurking, I finally decided to get one. The main appeal is that it runs emulators for several older console systems and handhelds like the Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, Game Gear and several more. It also plays MP3s and DivX videos. SD Cards are the main storage medium, which is appealing as they’re rather ubiquitous. During the last few days I’ve spent a lot of time fooling with it, learning how it works and enjoying some old SNES games on it. So, yeah it’s really cool, perhaps my best gadget buy yet.

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Week of July 17th

For another week I just haven’t gotten around to posting, but again, not much has been going on anyway. I worked everyday this week but not that many hours. Jeff worked with us a few days this week. The only unusual occurrence at work I can think of is that the strip mall across the street, which has been vacant since the storm, was demolished this week. I watched a few movies this week including The Constant Gardener, Talk to Her, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (800th movie I've seen), A History of Violence and Blues Brothers 2000, which was so incredibly bad I wasn’t up to finishing it. It’s going on my list though because I think the pain and suffering I endured entitles me. This Saturday, the whole family including myself went to Mississippi for a birthday party of a distant relative, Dolores, my grandmother’s sister’s daughter, on my Dad’s side. We left at about two in the afternoon and it took about two hours to get there. It was raining a good portion of the way there. The party was at some restaurant. The guest of honor was 75 and the nature of the party reflected that. There was good food and an open bar though, so I couldn’t complain. We were there from about four until six-something. That evening, I watched Coach Carter. Not long after church on Sunday, Arien came by. She’s been in town this past week to see a friend. Mom, Dad, Arien and Myself went to Lakeside Mall. I didn’t need anything but I was in the mood to spend some money so I rode along. I ended up buying a Nintendo DS Lite on impulse as the system is only $130. I also got a copy of Brain Age, which I was previously interested in, and New Super Mario Brothers, just because. I wasn’t impressed with the pictures of the DS Lite I saw online but I was thoroughly impressed when I got it in hand. It’s a lovely piece of hardware, reminiscing of the Wii controller probably not a coincidence. Brain Age is surprisingly fun, even though it’s not really a game, and even though it makes me feel stupid. Later this evening, I watched Once Upon a Time in the West.

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Work Week

Once again I’ve neglected the log again. Not much has been going on anyway. I worked every day this week, which doesn’t happen very often. Jeff was with Dad and I most days. I spent most time working on report, both transcribing myself and correcting Jeff’s work, which regrettably is about as time-consuming as doing it myself. It’s not his fault though since he is new to this. This week I watched a couple movies including Capote and The Best Years of Our Lives, the latter of which puts me closer to seeing all of the IMDB’s Top 250.

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Dinner and a Movie

This evening, the whole family including myself went out to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Before seeing the 8:15 showing, we stopped at Chevy’s for dinner. The theater appeared to be sold out, which is hardly surprising this film just made history with the biggest opening day in history, taking in 55.5 million dollars. The movie itself wasn’t too bad, it wasn’t especially good either. The ending was a bit ridiculous as the audience is most likely aware a sequel with the full cast is on the way.

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The Bicycle Thief

Dad and I went to work at the west bank for a couple hours this afternoon. We stopped at the store on the way home to get some things for dinner. This evening I watched The Bicycle Thief.

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I reactivated my Netflix account this morning, after having it suspended since the hurricane. Dad and I worked at the west bank office today because there was a nurse absent and a heavy patient load today. I spend the day working on the current patient billing, just as I did yesterday. I worked from 10:30 to about 5:30 this evening. I think we picked up Taco Bell for dinner this evening.

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The Rest of the Way Home

After staying the night in an Ocean Springs, MS hotel, we left to drive the rest of the way home at about 9:30. Dad bought a tire to replace the bad one earlier this morning. It took about an hour and a half to make it to New Orleans. Dad and I went to work this afternoon at about one I think. I updated the current patient billing this afternoon. I think we left the office around five. Later this evening I did some laundry, started playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and watched Lord of War.

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Another Trip Home… except this one really sucked

Mom, Dad, my brothers and myself left Uncle Larry’s house around eight to head home. Before leaving Atlanta we stopped at the Coca-Cola museum. The brochure has enough pictures to save me the trouble to describing the museum in detail. Suffice it to say, it’s a nice facility and there was a lot of interesting paraphernalia surrounding Coke’s long history and global reach. The end of the museum allows you to sample Coke products from all over the world. None of the ones I tried were bad. I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t have regular Coca Cola from around the world to taste. There is certainly difference in taste in that one product around the globe. After we left there, an old friend of Dad who moved to Atlanta met us, George. Dad and George worked together at Red Robin in Colorado Springs. George was with one if his sons and one the kid’s friends. We all talked briefly outside the museum and they walked to Johnny Rocket’s, a burger joint in Underground Atlanta. We got something to eat and they continued to talk for an hour or two. I think we left to head home at about one. When we got back to the car, we had a flat tire, the left rear. Dad inflated it with a can of fix-a-flat and the portable air compressor we had on hand. The tire was a recurring ordeal throughout the evening. We had to stop several times to inflate it. Dad paid someone to ‘fix’ it. The man found a nail in the tire and patched it. Later, however, it seems as though the patch didn’t hold. About 90 miles outside of New Orleans, we stopped to check it and found it was nearly flat. Since we couldn’t really continue, we had to stay overnight at a hotel and have the tire fixed/replaced in the morning. Dad patched and re-inflated the tire again after we got to the hotel, but he didn’t want to risk driving far on it after dark.

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The whole family including myself got up early Saturday Morning to leave the house shortly after seven this morning to drive to Atlanta. We were going to visit grandma Laughlin and pick up Andrew, who’s been spending the last three weeks with Uncle Larry and his family. We were late is getting started because of trouble with a tire. I don’t remember exactly when we arrived but it must have been around six or seven o’clock. When we arrived we learned grandma wasn’t doing well and Uncle Larry, Chelsea and mom went over to the hospital. Dad, myself and my brothers remained at the house and had dinner. Later that evening we got a call that grandma Laughlin passed away. She was diagnosed with lung cancer about two years ago and her condition had been worsening since then. Having to leave her home because of the hurricane probably didn’t help matters but she was near family in Atlanta/Lawrenceville, where she’d been staying since. For me personally, seeing the physical and mental deterioration of a kind and otherwise healthy loved one was more depressing that the inevitable end. The next day, Sunday, Dad, myself and my brothers went to the Mall of Georgia to get some dress clothes for Grandma Laughlin’s funeral on Monday. We were at the mall for about five hours but I had everything bought long before then. I should have went to see a movie. Lauren and Arien arrived from Florida at Uncle Larry’s house this evening. Later at around nine, nearly everyone went over to the neighborhood pool for a little while. Everyone was up early to be at the funeral home for the viewing which started at nine. The funeral service was at 11. Since I won’t have any trouble remembering it I’m not compelled to detail it here. After that we went to the cemetery where an internment ceremony or something was done and then we all went home. There were a number of guests at Uncle Larry’s house that evening whom I don’t know.

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I had a lot of time to kill this morning so I played the Hitman: Blood Money demo I downloaded overnight. I had some trouble getting used to the control scheme but I enjoyed the game and I’ll be getting it. I went to the office with Dad for two this afternoon. We had to pick up Jeff uptown on the way. I spent most of my time looking over some the work Jeff did while I was gone and made corrections. We left the office at about 5:30 this afternoon. I made soft tacos for dinner this evening. Later on I packed up a few things for another trip. The family, including myself, is driving to Atlanta tomorrow to visit my grandmother and pick up my brother Andrew, who has been spending about a month or so with my Uncle Larry.

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