Thursday, April 30, 2009

Aftermath of the bin....

Between the building that houses my office at the college I work for, and the building immediately behind it, is an area referred to as "the breezeway" - basically a driveway. There is a walkway that connects the upper floors of the two buildings, but the first floor is seperate. The breezeway serves as parking for service vehicles as well dry haven for smokers. Up until yesterday, it also housed a large donation bin for used clothing. While a great idea in theory - give college students and staff an easy way to donate their old clothes - the charity that operated it was less than regular in coming to empty it, and people would pile clothing on top and around it after it would fill up.

Evidently, it was removed in the last day or two - but where it used to be is marked with trash, debris, and several shoes. It reminded me of those pictures that you see after some place is flooded, so I took a pic. Because I'm artistic like that.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A tale of two televisions...

The first TV is installed in the lobby of the business school at the college I work for. I think the school paid ~$7000 for it back in 2001 or so. It's a 40" Sony, and it's picture looks awful compared to pretty much any cheap, low-end tv on the market now.

Like TV number two, which is installed in the living room of my house. It's a 32" TruTech (Target's store brand) and cost me $399.98 on clearance at Target a little less than 2 years ago. The picture is actually pretty good - good enough that I can plug a laptop into it and use it as a monitor.

The lesson is that Moore's Law is alive and well when it comes to consumer electronics. Prices go down, and quality goes up, and we're all better off for it.

(And if you are wondering why there is an Amazon box shoved in my home entertainment center, my surround sound receiver shit the bed a few months ago. It's currently with a friend who I'm hoping can fix it, but I'm probably a few days away from giving up and buying a new one. Anyway, I shoved the box in there because with the reciever gone, my cat kept crawling in there and chewing on the wires in back.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Party in my tummy....

I was working with coworker bsom today in his office on figuring out how we could remotely deploy software to macs. He had this toy from Yo Gabba Gabba on his desk - it sings "party in my tummy" and bounces around, so naturally I had to play with it. Jason has a nearly 8 month old son, so he has an excuse for playing with children's toys. Me, not so much.

Second pic shows it in motion.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Welcome to Casa De Mad...

This is my house. There are lots of other houses, but this one is mine. It's a sprawling 1200 square foot circa 1978 townhouse in the rolling plains of suburban Baltimore. I bought it in 2006 after looking at a grand total of 3 houses, based primarily on the fact that it had an extra half bath, decent sized bedrooms, and a fireplace that I have never used.

Note the less-than-attractive landscaping, a mixture of white marble chips that I believe were last considered in good taste in the 1970's, and a variety of plants generally associated with vacant lots. I really don't like it - partly because of it's looks, and partly because the plants always seem to collect massive amounts of blowing leaves - I spent a bunch of time this weekend removing dead leaves, and there are still a bunch more. But alas, my desire to have an attractively landscaped front yard is less than my desire not spend a weekend and a bunch of money tearing apart my front yard, so the marble and weedlike landscaping remain.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The well-oiled machine...

Got the oil in the "Danger Ranger" changed today. I usually take it to Jiffy Lube, and when I tell people that, they usually look at me as if I just told them that I like to poke myself with sharp objects. (For the record, I don't like to poke myself with sharp objects). But I haven't had a problem with them so far, and they are fast, don't require an appointment, and are open at odd times, like, well, on a Sunday morning. Since I don't have another vehicle, and live alone, taking it somewhere where I have to leave it isn't really an option.

I don't have anything more serious than an oil change done by them, but I think they are fine for an oil change.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Phun with PhotoBooth..

So I wanted to post these pics, but I didn't want to post them as a pic of the day, since they violate the spirit of the blog - they weren't taken with my iPhone, but rather with PhotoBooth on the MacBook Pro that my employer generously lets me use.

Sometimes when I'm online, Nibbler the Cat will crawl on my lap, and I'll have to try to figure out how to balance a 13 pound cat and a 17" laptop on my lap. But it does make for some interesting photos, although it's hard to get good ones, since by the time the pic gets taken Nibbler has usually looked away.

Dude, you are in my space....

So this is a picture of my parking space - second from the curb. Every townhouse in my development has it's own, numbered space. You will notice that the vehicle parked in my space isn't mine - it's evidently a handyman who was doing some work for one of my neighbors.

This is what I came home to this morning after going out and hitting some yard sales. Which sucked, because I bought a bunch of stuff that I had to lug in, which was a pain since I had to park way away from my house.

Now someone who is more, umm, confrontational than me would have asked him to move, but I'm kind of a pussy, so I just parked elsewhere and moved when he finally left.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I prefer my food beige, thank you...

I'm a big fan of Trader Joe's - I find most of their food to be way better than comparable grocery store stuff, and the price is usually pretty close to what you would pay for at a normal grocery store. They also have a lot of cool, unique items that aren't really available at any other normal grocery store - their line of frozen Chinese food is really good, and I love their schoolhouse cookies. And much of what they have is actually pretty healthy.

Sometimes a little too healthy. I can't think of too many things that look less appetizing than this endcap of "green plant juice" that I ran into on my grocery store trip tonight - or have a less appetizing (or less descriptive) name. I'll stick with brown meat solids, thank you. I'm also vaguely disturbed by the fact that some of the bottles are a completely different shade of green than the rest.

I popped in tonight on my way back from work to "pick up a few things" and ended up dropping $65. Then again, I tend to buy mostly more expensive stuff at TJ's - lunch meat, frozen convenience food, ect - and more generic staple stuff at the normal grocery store.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dude, your lights are on....

I was leaving the gym today and noticed an older Lincoln Town Car in the parking lot with it's lights on and nobody inside. After weighing input from the little angel and devil on my shoulders, I trudged back into the gym and let the front desk girl know someone had left their lights on. Rather than try to remember the plate number, I took a picture of the car - see, iPhones are useful for more than just cat pictures!

I figure since I did a good deed for the day, I should be allowed to do something bad without punishment. Maybe I'll go kick a bum or something.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We appriciate our staff. Customers, not so much...

This sign is up on the front door of the FAC (Fitness and Aquatic Center) at the college I work at.

I don't know, but something about being closed for a customer appreciation day just seems funny to me - after all, if people didn't use the gym, they wouldn't need a staff to appreciate.

I go to the gym pretty much every day after work, so I'm annoyed that I have to break my routine. I will admit Fridays are usually less busy than other days - which I like - but there are still usually a decent number of people there. I'm not enough of a morning person to go before work, and I can't really go at lunchtime - especially since I usually work through lunch - so I'm disappointed that I have to skip a day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I really should call that plumber...

This is the toilet in my master bath. You will notice that, unlike most toilets, it's in several pieces. You may also notice that it was evidently installed before the bathroom was painted.

Several months ago, the chain that allowed for proper flushing broke, and I realized that evidently whatever it attached to went, well, down the toilet. So I attempted to install a new flush valve. After several hours and multiple trips to Home Depot to buy a Dremel, I was able to get the tank off - only to discover that the previous owners had evidently glued the old flush valve in, and I can't get it out.

At this point, I'm thinking the best thing is just to replace the damn toilet - it's original to the house, and thus 30 years old. I even got the number of a good plumber from a coworker. But I'm cheap, plus I don't want to take a day off from work to have a plumber come over. I'll do it eventually, but I do have two other toilets (number of toilets was one of the deciding factors in buying my house, which tells you everything you need to know about the housing bubble). Although I do miss being able to get out of bed and pee without having to take more than 3 steps (the other bathroom is in the hallway outside my bedroom).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Be vewy vewy quiet...

Growing up in suburban NJ, I remember rabbits being pretty skittish - you would look at them and they would run off. But Maryland bunnies seem to have some balls - they don't really seem to care if you are around. This one was chilling on the front lawn of my neighbor's townhouse, and (s)he didn't seem to have a problem with me taking some pics.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Oh Hai! I is Nibbler!

This is Nibbler, my cat, staring up at me from the coffee table in my living room.

She's about 20 months old. I never really thought much about getting a pet, and never had any growing up besides fish, because my older brother was allergic to fur.

There was a feral cat living behind one of the dorms at the college I work for, and one of the student workers had been keeping an eye on her. She had kittens, and after 3 of them vanished he decided to take in the other two. He mentioned that one day, and I said, thinking out loud, "maybe I should get a pet someday". He said he had already found homes for them, and I didn't think much of it... until a few days later when he came into work, frantic, because their RA had found about the kittens, the home for one of them had fallen through, and he needed to find her a home. Would I take her?

I was pretty reluctant - I hadn't seriously thought about getting a pet, and wasn't sure about being responsible for for one. But I agreed to come over and meet her - and this little black kitten fell asleep on my lap. I picked her up and set her down to get up, and she crawled back on and fell asleep again before I could get up. This happened several times, and I figured it was a sign.

So I have a cat. She's completely insane - one minute she'll be curled up on my lap asleep, the next minute she'll be chewing on my arm. She's clawed a bunch of my furniture, can't seem to take a poop without spraying my basement with litter, and tries to steal my food.

And yet she's probably one of the best things that's ever happened to me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

And people think I have bad taste...

I went out this morning to go to some yard sales - first of the season. I did OK - lots of stops where I didn't buy anything, and the annoying feeling that I probably missed some stuff because I got there too late, but I did buy two police scanners for a total of $15 that should fetch $50 each on eBay.

At one stop in Towson, the house that was having the sale was across the street from this lovely example of the sort of architecture that occurs when people with no taste have access to large quantities of bricks, and a gazebo.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday night at the Tar-jay....

Some people spend their Friday nights out drinking or doing other fun things with members of the opposite sex. I, on the other hand, go shopping. It's kind of relaxing, it's usually pretty quiet, and I was running out of many of the things critical to my life, like kitty litter and shampoo.

I decided to go to the Target in Towson instead of the one near my house in Nottingham Square- it's recently renovated (Nottingham Square is currently under renovation) and has a much bigger food section. It's also halfway between work and home, so I stopped on my way home. And it has a Starbucks, so I could sip a Frappacinno while shopping.

On a side note, there were several cute woman about my age shopping by themselves. If only I could figure out a way to start conversations with random women that wouldn't result in them calling security...

Thursday, April 16, 2009


usually, I try to keep semi-healthy snacks in my cube - saves money and keeps me from ballooning to a waist size where I have to special-order my pants. Alas, I ate my last granola bar yesterday and forgot to bring in another box. So I gave into temptation and hit the snack machine for some cupcakes for a midafternoon snack.

At least the Mountain Dew was diet...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The sweetest words in the english language at 7am...

"there's coffee back there if you want some".

Had to get up at 5am this morning to be at work by 6- it's our annual open enrollments benefits fair that our HR department does every year. I got the job of doing the tech for it a couple years ago, and do it every year. It's painful getting up that early, but I get a couple hours of overtime, and win some points with the HR people, so it's worth it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

cubical, sweet cubical...

So this is where I spend my days, when I'm not at someone's desk trying to fix their computer or in meetings trying to figure out why I got invited to said meeting.

The machine is a Mac Pro 8-core with 4 gigs of RAM, hooked up to 2 22" Samsung monitors. I run VMWare Fusion with XP for when I need to do stuff in Windows.

The iMac on the left is an old G5 - the education-only model that doesn't have a CDROM drive - that I'm using to test some Apple Remote Desktop software deployment stuff.

On the right out of the picture is a newer P4 and a 15" monitor. I usually just remote into the P4 to run our SCCM console for remote software deployment for Windows. The 15" monitor is for hooking up desktops I'm working on.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A sign you rarely see anymore...

This was taken at the PA State Department of Surplus Property Sales in Harrisburg, PA. I stopped on my way back to Baltimore today - it's about 3 miles off 83. I don't usually make the NJ/MD run on a weekday, so I usually can't stop, so I decided that since I actually could today, I might as well.

Didn't buy anything. Most of the stuff wasn't useful to me. They offer surplus to other agencies, non-profits, ect, so the stuff that's sold to the general public is the bottom of the barrel. They did have a bunch of early p4 dells for $25 without RAM or hard drives, or $40 with - not a horrible price if you need an old PC. They also had a ton of desks and chairs, mostly rather old and beat up - if you need to furnish an office and don't care what it looks like you could probably do OK.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Dinner

Dinner at the parents @ Easter. Lamb, sweet potatoes, yellow beans with breadcrumbs, kielbasa and sauerkraut (my mom is half polish). We had ham, but I waited until round 2 to have some. And a glass of wine - NJ Niagara from a place near the shore.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

NJ, on a rainy Holy Saturday

This is my parent's house, a circa 1972 3-bedroom ranch that they've lived in since they bought it new in, well, 1972. It's the house I grew up in, and the house I come back to at holidays.

Please excuse my crappy editing - I didn't want to post their plate number or address, and the laptop I brought with me doesn't have my usual photo editing software, so I used an online photo editor.

Friday, April 10, 2009

mmm, Maple Donuts

So this is supposed to be a one picture a day site, and I'm cheating - the first post is actually a pic taken yesterday. This is of the Maple Donuts in Etters, PA - right off of exit 37 on I-83 near Harrisburg.

Maple Donuts is a regional PA chain, and I've gotten in the habit of stopping there when I go to/from my house in Baltimore to visit my parents in Central NJ. They are the most awesomest donut place ever. The decor is 70's wood paneling and orange formica, the coffee is mediore, but the donuts are amazing - huge, overstuffed, and in a variety of crazy flavors like cookies and creme and peanut butter and jelly.

Oh, and the bright yellow truck in front is mine.

what is iAnthony?

So last year, coworker and fellow crap enthusiast bsom set up a blog where he would post one picture a day. I kind of forgot about it, and so did he, I think. So I noticed today that another coworker of mine, Xarius, set up a similar blog.

As it happens, last week I finally convinced my employer to let me trade in my clunky Windows smartphone for a beautiful 3g iPhone. So I now have a cell phone with a good camera, which I can use to take pictures of the random stuff I encounter each day. So that is exactly what I plan on doing, and uploading it to this blog. Since pics will be taken with an iPhone, and since my name is Anthony, hence iAnthony.

This is not my only web project. I also have a more in-depth, writing-oriented blog called mad anthony, which covers politics, technology, and my daily life, and run a 24-hour live cat-cam out of my basement at nibblercam.com.