Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Memorial Day

Yesterday was a pretty good memorial day considering the weather really wasn't that cooperative with us. It was nice to see Randy again, he's almost doen with the Mountaineer Challenge Acadamy and will graduate of June 17. He has put on about 30 pounds of pure muscle. I asked him how many push ups he can do now and he said 100 in 2 minutes.

Nothing really eventful about the day other than it was good to see everyone asembled together outside the Country Inn.








Monday, May 30, 2005

First paid day off in 8 years

Woo Hoo, what a day. This is the first time I have been paid and didn't have to be at work since July 4, 1997. WOW, what a stretch.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Star Wars III, Revenge of the Sith

I went and saw the sixth enstallment of the Star Wars series tonight. I was driving home from work and it kept running through my mind, so I drove to the mall and bought a ticket.



I do have to say I think this was my favorite of all six movies, I think I could have sat there and watched it again. 2 Thumbs up!!!

Nice start to a Holiday weekend.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Hump Day Tidbits

* We are getting closer to the weekend. This coming monday will be my first paid holiday since 1997. It's been a long time.

* Randy will be having his third leave this weekend from the Challenge Acadamy, when he goes back it will only be a few weeks to go until he completes the program.

* The morning drive to Frostburg is what I would call Foggy. I drive through some of the densest fog that I can recall.

* Haven't really had a chance to talk to anyone this wee other than George for a couple minutes online. I think he would like to win the Powerball $180 Million jackpot.

* Weather this week has been really bad. Rain, rain and more damn rain.

* At work we have hired an additional eight people, meaning next week my schedule changes. I'll have to be at work at 6:00 AM, which means I'll have to leave by 5:00 AM at the latest to get here ontime.

* When does survivor start again.

* INFOTECH, our parent company has issued a press release about our opening. The Announcement.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Oh, before I forget

A belated happy birthday to my sister Pam. Her birthday was yesterday and her Husband George's birthday is tomorrow (Monday)

Happy Birthday to both of them.



Reformat

About once a year or so, I completely re-do my computer and re-format the hard drive and re-install everything bringing the compuuter back to the "out of the box" version.

For the past couple weeks, my computer has been lagging very bad and something just wasn't right. I had two iexplorer processes running in the background that I could not kill. Adaware didn't pick them up and neither did Nortons.

I guess when a computer gets to a certain point it's good just to clean it out and re-do it. I have a 120 GB slave drive where I save all my files and my C drive is for nothing other than installed programs.

Today, I got tired of seeing the computer lag and just reformatted everything. Now my computer is running like a charm. Something was infesting my computer and I could not track it down to find what it was.

My computer runs a lot faster now.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

A post softball game night out

We played softball last night and managed to lose a one run game to Kingdom Entertainment. It was a hard fought game, but when two unbeaten hit the field, one team has to lose. I'm kind of glad they won the game, that means the monkey is on their back instead of ours. Been the top team a few times but never have managed to walk away with a title. Our current record is now 4-1

After the game, the team when out for the second week in a row to our sponsor Prime Thyme.



Of course Paul is his normal camera shy self here. I'm going over to his house tonight with a few other players to hang out with. These are really a great bunch of guys, but don't tell them I said that.



This is the third week in a row we have went to Prime Thyme of Friday night, I didn't make it on the first week because I was running around gathering car parts.

Our next game is this Friday night at 7:00.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Monday Mornings

Blahhh. I hate Monday Mornings. Could someone tell me when it's Friday.

I did have a pretty decent weekend though. Friday night was a blast, we played softball and won our game. We all went up to Prime Thyme after the game and sat out on the deck. I think I'm really going to like playing with these guys.

Saturday I helped George tear down the back side of his house, then managed to go out Saturday night and do my traditional Sunday Morning Grocery shopping. I didn it so I could have one less thing to do so I could go to WVU's commencment on Sunday.

Went to the commencement Sunday, and listened to President Hardesty and Gov. Manchin speak. I thought they both gave great addresses to the graduates.

On to Sunday night and a softball double header which we managed to sweep. That ran our record to 4-0 on the year.

Sunday night was Survivor final (see previous post) and then the weekend was over with.

I did get a little chuckle driving to work this morning, a couple guys I play softball with are morning show personalities on WVAQ. They did a little skit called lower league softball report. Kevin was complaining about getting pulled after we were way up on an team friday night and they came back. Chris, aka hector, didn't want to even talk about it. It's nice that my teams dirty laundry is broadcasted over 50,000 wats statewide. It wqas all in good fun though, this team is a bunch of funloving guys.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Survivor Final!!!!

We swept a double header softball game tonight in time for me to get home and start watching the beginning of Survivor!!!

Let's recap everything, tonight is the final show, they are giving away the Million dollars tonight. We have four survivors left in the game, aka the Final 4.

  1. Tom Westman
  2. Ian Rosenberger
  3. Katie Gallagher
  4. Jennifer Lyon
The show starts off with a challenge, Ian knows that he has to beat Tom in the first challenge to get rid of the games strongest player, Tom. To no avail, Tom won a series of untying knots and won and Ian finished second to advance to the last part of the Challenge. In the final challenge Tom out swam Ian and found his combination first to a box that contained his flag, winning him immunity at the nights first tribal council.

Before tribal council, Ian managed to stick his foot in his mouth by admitting to Tom that had Tom not won immunity he was going to vote him out. At tribal council all the pressure was on Ian before the vote. The vote came down to a 2-2 vote and Katie and Tom voted again because neither of them had a vote against them. After the second vote it was tied at 1-1. Going to a tie-breaker challenge between Jen and Ian. They had to build a fire to burn through a rope and raise their flag. Ian won the fire challenge sending Jennifer to the jury.



This is going to make the final immunity challenge a battle between the games two strongest players. Tom and Ian have pretty much dominated the entire game and I'm glad to see that the final challenge to go to the final two will involve them. If Ian wins, he'll take Katie, if Tom wins he'll probably take Katie and if Katie wins she will probably take Ian. Katie is looking good at making the final two.




When they returned from tribal council, Tom gave Ian the third degree over him possibly attempting to betray him and vote him out.

After the little run in, the three remaining players got a chance to reflect upon all players in the game in their rite of passage through the game. After they returned, they went to the final immunity challenge.

It was a bobbing challenge. Who balanced themselves longest wins immunity. Two hours into the game, the wind picked up pretty heavily and rain started. After four hours, all three were still in the game. After 4 hours and 51 minutes, Katie removed herself from the game, leaving Tom and Ian to battle it out. After 8 hours, Tom tried to make Ian a deal, he said if Ian stuck it out and he beat Ian, he was going to take Katie to the finals. If Ian stepped down then, Tom would take Ian to the finals. Ian did not agree with Tom's terms and it was still game on after eight hours. Both seemed very stubborn and neither appeared to want to give an inch.

I do have to say that throughout the game I had a funny feeling it would come down to these two guys, the games strongest players, battling it out to win the final immunity.

After 11 hours and 45 minutes, both players were still going strong. After 11 hours and 55 minutes, Ian pulled probably the games all-time most honorable move. He agreed to step down if Tom would agree to take Katie to the finals. He did it because he wanted to earn both players respect back. Probably the all-time most honorable move in the history of the game. Tom gave Ian a chance to change his mind after they were back on shore, but Ian wanted Tom to honor the agreement and take Katie to the finals. Ian has to just moved himself to the favorite to win the next survivor all-stars.



This makes the finals between Tom and Katie.



Tom



Katie

At the time when the jury was allowed to address each of the fianlists, I almost felt sorry for Katie, because everyone was just hounding on her more than Tom. They all basically called her lazy and worthless and didn't deserve to be there. She actually refused to even answer janu's question that was addressed to her.

After the jury had their say, I'll still have to go with my first instict when the game first started and say Tom will win. I have never called the winner yet eary in the game, but this could very well be a first for me. Tom played probably one of the strongest rounds of survivor ever. If I were on the jury, my vote would go to Tom.

Of course after the voting, Jeff would not read the votes again, leading us into the live New York City Show.

After the votes were tallied, the winner of $1,000,000 was my favorite and the games strongest player, Tom Westman. It only took 5 votes to get a 4-1 majority.

I do have to say this was one of my favorite rounds of survivor that I have watched. Congrats to Tom for playing hard and playing with integrity.

TIMBER!!!!!

Yesterday I went and helped my brother in law George tear down the back side of his house. I think I still owe him 1,234,561 favors, so I have a long way to go to catch up.

Got a few pictures of the process.








I also captures a little Quicktime Movie of the final wall coming down. They have done an amazing amount of work on rebuilding this house.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Survivor Night

We are starting to get down to the nitty gritty. We are now down to our last five survivors.
  1. Tom Westman is probably everyone's favorite.
  2. Ian Rosenberger his toughest competition.
  3. Caryn Groedel who deserved the Oscar for last weeks performance.
  4. Katie Gallagher who could be one of the next two to go.
  5. Jennifer Lyon who had her game wrecked last week when Gregg was voted off.



These are my five rankings in what I feel will be their order of finish and importance.

As a reminder, this is the last Thursday night Survivor for this season. There will be a two hour finale this Sunday at 8:00 and an aftershow party at 10:00 Sunday night.

OK, On to this weeks show.

With the gender numbers down to three women and two strong men, gender just may be an alliance. Tom and Ian know that they have to play the women's alliance off if they have any chance of winning this game.

At the Rewards Challenge, they are playing for a brand new Chevrolet Corvette. The winner gets to drive their new Vet up the road to a luxury hotel for some pampering. Ian won the Corvette and was able to invite someone on his luxury visit and he chose Tom of all people. I don't know if this was the smartest thing to do because now it left the three women behind to talk strategy.

After Tom and Ian returned to the island, it was kind of evident that Ian screwed up by taking Tom rather than Katie. Ian and Katie got into an argument when they got back, plus Caryn called Ian out in front of Tom. Ian made the fatal mistake and it may cost either him or Tom the game.

The immunity challenge was a obstacle course and a memory game. It was a close battle, but Tom won immunity and thus creating what could be a very interesting tribal council. Could Ian's brainfart come back to haunt him?

Nope, Caryn and her big mouth at tribal council sent her packing. I will say Jennifer will go next.



Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A quick tidbits.

* Congratulations to my niece Amy, she got a job at Lowe's. JD, her next door neighbor helped her get the job, good luck to her with her new job.

* Val and Erica have been a little bit under the weather the past couple days, I'm hoping they are now both feeling a little bit better.

* Finally got my car fixed, or at least the problem I was having with it. Traveling 136 Miles a day and going from 30 MPG to 15 MPG can get rather costly. Turns out it was the coil pack from the spark plug cylinder that blew out a couple weeks ago.

* For anyone I haven't talked to about it yet, you need to get Jean's recipe for Tomato Pie, it's well worth it and it's quite awesome.

* I didn't get a chance to talk to Randy this past weekend, but my mom says he's looking good. Like he has put on 30 pounds since he has went to the academy. I received an MSN message from him, but I was away when he sent it out.

* George and Mokie are making some serious progress on the addition to the house, I think everyone will be very impressed when they finish it.

* A special Thank you to George, Moke, Gary, Jean, Gerald and the guys down at CJ's for helping out with my car.

* My niece Brittany had her interview at Linsly last Friday. Kim said she feels pretty confident she will be admitted and will find out for sure this week.

* I do have to say that the drive to Frostburg can be very relaxing and enjoyable, when the car runs right. It is a picturesque and relaxing drive.

* Have a good hump day.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Mappers move makes economic sense

This is a repost from the Cumberland Times-News


Mappers move makes economic sense
Vargis celebrates first month at Frostburg State incubator

By Michael A. Sawyers, Times-News Staff Writer
Monday, May 9, 2005 10:24 AM EDT
FROSTBURG - Vargis, LLC, a Sterling, Va., digital mapping company, celebrated its first month of operation in the Frostburg State University Technology-based Incubator with a luncheon and ribbon cutting Friday.

The company, pronounced var-jus, uses aerial photographs to provide digital maps that are sold to government agencies and utility companies.

"We have had five employees working during the first month," said Alan Sneyd, chief operating officer. "We will have eight additional employees here by May 23 and will likely peak at 24 employees."

Sneyd said the company realized it would make economic sense to move some work away from its Sterling setting.

"We contacted a number of rural locations in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland and Allegany County was the most consistent responder," he said.
Following visits to the PACE reception in Annapolis and then to a technology showcase on campus in October, Vargis chose FSU.

Greg Tilley, president, said government clients most often use the digital systems created by Vargis to plan infrastructure management for things such as water, sewer and roads. The systems also are used for 911 emergency addressing.

Utility companies find that the systems help to track and pinpoint power distribution and outages.

The FSU office, officially called the Vargis Geospatial Production Facility, is a milestone in the continual transformation of the Mountain Maryland economy, according to Aris Melissaratos, secretary of Maryland's Department of Business and Economic Development who attended Friday.

Melissaratos, called Vargis a part of the knowledge-based economy that is to replace the lost smokestack-industry jobs of Western Maryland.
"This is a good example of domestic outsourcing, where jobs leave high-labor areas of the country or state and are taken to areas such as Western Maryland," he said.

FSU President Catherine Gira said that Vargis representatives simply showed up at the technology showcase last fall.

"Little did we think that we would go from that meeting to them being a tenant in the incubator in those few months," she said.

Vargis is housed in 156 Tawes Hall. Sneyd may be contacted at (703) 397-9503. The company's Web page is at http://www.vargis.com.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mothers Day

History

The first Mother's Day proclamation on a state level was issued by the governor of West Virginia in 1910. And by 1911, other states followed. But it took a couple of years still to obtain the Presidential proclamation.

The House of Representatives in May 1913 unanimously adopted a resolution requesting the President, his cabinet, the members of both Houses and all officials of the federal government to wear a white carnation on Mother's Day. On May 7,1914, a resolution providing that the second Sunday in May be designated Mother's Day was introduced by Representative James T. Heflin of Alabama and Senator Morris Sheppard of Texas. It passed both Houses and on May 9 President Woodrow Wilson issued his Mother's Day Proclamation:

"...Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country."


Living in West Virginia and driving to Grafton, the home of Anna Jarvis, every Sunday morning brings a special meaning to this day. In my life I have been fortunate to consider three women worthy of this honor.

First, there is my Grandma Hall. A very special person in my life who passed away nearly 25 years ago. Many of my morals and values were bestowed upon me by her. She is missed and I would like to extend a mothers day greeting to her memory.

I have two women alive today that I also bestow that honor upon. My Biological Mother and my step-mother. I have been fortunate to have both of these ladies in my life and they are very much responsible for the molding of who I am and who I will become.

I love them both and thank my lucky stars for each of them.

Happy Mothers Day

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Our Official Opening

Yesterday was our official opening at VARGIS. I managed to take a few pics and edited a few of them for the net. It was a very successful day and the future of the Frostburg facility looks very bright with some of the job bids we are winning and the worked that is target for the facility.

I think this is the ground floor of something that is going to be very big.




Here's a picture of my computer, talk about a pretty powerful piece of equipment.



The Frostburg crew.



From left to right, the founder and CEO of our Parent company INFOTECH, BVR Mohan Reddy. Our COO and the man who hired me Alan Sneyd and our company President and founder of VARGIS Greg Tilley.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Survivor Night

Once again it's Thursday night and my favorite night of the week for television. I think I have given one or two subtle hints that I love survivor.

We're down to the final six contestants, I figure after this week there will be one more regular show and then the finale in two weeks.

At the shows start, I think it would be a smart strategic move if they voted off Tom the first chance they get, he could very well win every immunity challenge from here on out. Ian is the only other player that I think is a strong player and could be in danger of going out of the game soon also. I think the other four are nothing short of ungrateful followers who road these two strong players coattails throughout the game.

Since Steph is now gone, I will have to continue to root for my early favorite to win the game (Tom) if they don't gang up against him. On the viewer opinion polls, Tom is winning all three categories: Most popular, Sole Survivor and who's next.

Before the reward challenge starts, I think it's time they are going to be playing for the car. Usually one time during the game they play for a car. Oh well, I was wrong, they are playing for a luxury cruise for the night around the island. Maybe next week they will play for the car. Gregg won the challenge and was allowed to at first take one additional survivor with him so he chose Jennifer, and then Jeff allowed him to pick one additonal player so he chose Katie to tag along and join them.



I should have put a picture of Gregg up, but I think he's a snake in the grass plus Jennifer is much better looking.

During the pampering reward, all three survivors got a chance to surprisingly meet someone from home. All three of them were snuck up upon and didn't know it was going to happen.

Meanwhile, Tom and Ian were strategizing back at the island. I think they are going to hook up with Caryn and the three of them will vote for Gregg. Gregg and the two girls will probably vote off Tom, then Ian depending on how immunity falls. The plan is to force a tie and force the survivors to leave their fate to who draws the right rock out of a bag.

The immunity challenge consisted of a number of previous immunity challenges. All you had to do was not finish last to move on to the next round. Ian and Tom were the last two who were left standing, but it was Oan who was able to knock out his three targets before Tom and win Immunity.



Once again I should have put a picture of Ian up but I didn't. You want to see half naked guys go find them yourself, I'll put up thre pictures of the girls.

OK, now if all holds true from earlier alliance discussions, tribal council shoudl come down to a three to three vote between Tom and Gregg, thus forcing a tie-breaker. The events leading up to tribal councila re good, because Caryn is putting on one heck of an act pretending to be the next one to go. I don't think Gregg is going to know whats about to hit him.

Tribal Council came down to a 4-2 vote, the snake in the grass Gregg was played for a sucker after he realized they just victomized him and voted him out. He even said "you guys are good" when the vote was read. I would say his girlfriend Jennifer will be the next to pack her bags next week. Gregg was the only survivor I didn't want to win the game, especially when was was rather arrogant thinking Caryn was going home.

Hey Gregg, I think your buddies just gave you a final

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

What's up with this weather?

I was driving to work Monday and actually drove through a snow storm. OK, I'm ready for 80 degree days and girls running around in short shorts. Brrrrrr


Dear Mother Nature,

Please warm everything up. I'm sorry about every negative thing I ever said about you (fingers crossed). Please let it warm up.


Signed,

Me


That should do it. Have a good hump day.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Tidbits

I guess since I haven't posted that much lately that we are in need of a little tidbits section.

* Me and my brother Gary joined our niece Amy's "Walk for Life" team that will be held on June 17th. I think I'll go and walk a few laps. If anyone else would like to join us, contact Amy, she's the one handling everything.

* I went to the Country Inn last night and got a chance to talk with Terri. She said Randy received an award for the most improved Cadet at the Mountaineer Challenge academy. Congrats Randy, we're all proud of you.

* I'm sure he loves hearing from everyone, so once again here's his address:

wvchallenge@wvchallenge.org
Subject: Cadet Hamrick

Send him and e-mail and congratulate him for what he's done. I know I'm real proud of him.

* Had a little car trouble this week, Blew a spark plug out and had to have the hole re-tapped. Yesterday My brother in Law George Changed my fuel filter, all spark plugs and wires. I went to Jiffy Lube and had the oil changed and changed the serpentine belt. Hopefully the fuel injection cleaner I put in will also help. It was very sluggish after the plug blew out, but is slowly returning to normal. Thanks George, now I owe you a billion and two favors.

* I finally got to see the addition George and Moke are working their butts off building. This is going to be a 5,000 Sq. Ft house by the time he finishes. I'm really impressed, they are building it better than a contractor would build it.



This is a view looking out the front of his bedroom window. You definitely have some elevation and a wonderful view from their front window of what will be their bedroom.




This is a view from their back bedroom window. He no longer has his goats, they have cleared out all the brush nicely. The view was breathtaking.

The entire addition, all three floors, is going to add so much room to their house.

* I switched Cell Phone companies yesterday. My phone number is the same but I now have a much better plan and phone. You can send my phone an e-mail by e-mailing 3043227017@mobile.celloneusa.com if you want to send a text message. I would still roam in Morgantown with Ntelos, much less when I'm in Frostburg. With Cell One I don't roam anywhere plus Jean even told me I sound crystal clear with the new phone I now have.

* I'm trying to set my phone up on my MSN messenger, don't know if it's working right though. It sends the messages fine, but it's not giving me the ability to go to change my status to mobile.

* This Friday will be the official opening of VARGIS's Frostburg facility. There are supposed to be a few VIP's show up. I'll try to give an update this weekend after it happens.

* I need to make a CD for Terri of all the pictures that I have taken from the Country Inn to date. I think she's wanting to do a wall of pictures to hang at the bar.

* Speaking of the bar, I need to go down and get a few more pictures. Terri and Nick remodeled the game room. They completely knocked out the wall where the State Gambling Machines used to be and redid the entire room in WV Blue and Gold with WVU trim all around. They added a couple dart boards and a ping pong table and the room is now always busy.

* I will recommed to everyone as I already have, get Jean's recipe fot Tomato Pie. If you have never tried it, you're missing out.

* Have a good weekend.