Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Busy Saturday

I did my taxes today, I've been somewhat stressing out the past week as I knew I was doing my Taxes today but still haven't received my W2 from my one and only job last year. I knew with the move that there might be an issue, so I tried to stop the problem before it happen by contacting my former employer a month or so ago to see about changing my address. Well they didn't get back to me until a few days ago with the name of the payroll company that I would have to contact myself.

So I contacted them and sent them all the appropriate information 2 days ago. I knew that there was a possibility that my reissued W2 wouldn't get to me in time so a few days ago I started digging through boxes looking for my last paystub. At least with that it would have my total gross and what was deducted and my tax guy should be able to "do" my taxes and let me know if I would be getting a refund or owning money.

This was a big concern of mine as I only worked 9 weeks last year and the rest has been unemployment and since I needed the money I didn't have them take any taxes out. I knew with my property tax right off that it would be close but after Mike (my tax guy) finished crunching the numbers I could breath again as he told me that I will be getting a bit of money back from both my Federal and State taxes. Enough to pay my tax guy ($200) and have a little left over. It a far cry from what I have gotten back in the past but I'm just happy that I don't have to pay.

After taxes I went to the laundromat to wash a month and a half worth of clothes. I do have one washer and dryer in my apartment complex but since I had four loads of laundry I didn't want to take all day to do it, and that's even if the washer and dryer were available. So I went to a local laundromat and did all my loads at once.

While at the laundromat my friends Dallas and Jes were walking to the 99 cent store a few blocks away and stopped by to say hi. I loving living in an area where this happens more often then not. Being surrounded by friends is the best.

I came home after doing laundry and installed a new version of AVID. My old version got corrupted a few weeks ago so I wound up using my older computer with an even older version of AVID that had tons of bugs and glitches so editing podcasts took three times as long and was very frustrating. But I'm happy to say a few hours later this new AVID program was working like a charm. 

I immediately started working on My Gimpy Life CompanionCast #13. Season two started last Monday and I normally get a companioncast out a few days later on Wednesday but because I didn't have interviews with the creator and star Teal or the director Sean it was postponed a bit. But now I have all that stuff and after a few hours of editing Episode 13 was done, uploaded and released. You can check it out HERE.

And the last thing I want to mention.. word started to spread that the TV series Heroes, which was cancelled a few years back is being resurrected for a 13 part mini series called Heroes Reborn. NBC released a trailer, which really is just a title card but still I'm excited to see what they do with this.

I was a huge fan of Heroes. I remember seeing the pilot at SDCC and then loving the first season. During season two there was a TV writers strike and season two took a huge hit. I started to watch season three but lost interest quickly and I never watch season four. I have always wanted to go back and finish the series, though I have friends who hated it. Now that they are resurrecting it I think it's time to do a rewatch/watch of the entire series.

Friday, February 21, 2014

More Trip Planning & Gay-Mer Tees

Today I did some research on phones in the UK. I haven't decided if I am going to use my old iPhone 3GS and get a SIM card and minutes or purchase a phone (disposable) over there with minutes. Both have good and bad things. I really do need to investigate a bit more to find out which option is best for me.

I'm still working on coming up with a game plan for my trip to Ireland/the UK. I think the hardest part is finding places to stay. Part of me wants to plan everything out. Book hostels, hotels and places I'm staying with friends but then that locks me into a certain time I need to be in certain parts of the UK. If I "wing it" more then if I want to stay longer in a certain part of the country I can without worry about losing deposits and such. But booking ahead does save you money and time and I'm trying to spend as little money as I can. This is the debate that has been going back and forth in my head for a week now...

I still have just over three weeks to figure this all out.. but I'd like to solidify the dates I'll be down in England just so I can let me friends know whom I'll be staying with and when.

I'm super excited for this trip but also a bit overwhelmed and stressed out. But I know in the end it will all work out.. just got to get through the planning stages.

On a different note.. I came across this Gay-mer T-shirt website and saw this very funny t-shirt that made me laugh. I'm not a fan of the that blue color, and it looks to be cut for thinner guys, which I am defiantly not one of those, but if they had different colors I might consider buying one..  It says "Sorry Girls I Like Joysticks" They also have one for ladies that says "Sorry Boys I Mash Buttons".. cute stuff.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Supporting the Gays & Celebrating a Milestone

Today I came across these really cool Firefly/Serenity ice trays. They are from Thinkgeek which has to be one of the coolest and geekiest webstore around. They also had some cool Han in Carbinite ice trays as well.. I think I'll get one of each :)

I came across this video that went viral last week but since I was busy hanging with my buddy Erik it totally slipped by me so I just saw it today. It's a Texas sports newsman giving his thoughts on the first openly gay player in the NFL. Of course from the title I assumed the worse, he's an older white gentleman from Texas so I figured it was going to be a rant but instead it was the eloquently put piece on how the NFL has no issue with murderers, drug abusers and men who beat women but for some reason has an issue with one of the most talented up an comers in football being gay. If you haven't seen the video it's a must see.

I'm glad that this guy is getting some national notoriety for his comments. Ellen had him on her show a few days later and he's just as humble as can be. You can find that video on youtube as well.

I also came across a Dear Abby article that was gay related "Couple New To Florida Aren't Happy With Gay Neighbors" Abby rocked it with her response... I copied and pasted the article below.. but you can check out he original post HERE.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I relocated to Florida a little over a year ago and were quickly welcomed into our new neighbors' social whirl. Two couples in the neighborhood are gay -- one male, one female. While they are nice enough, my husband and I did not include them when it was our turn to host because we do not approve of their lifestyle choices. Since then, we have been excluded from neighborhood gatherings, and someone even suggested that we are bigots!

Abby, we moved here from a conservative community where people were pretty much the same. If people were "different," they apparently kept it to themselves. While I understand the phrase "when in Rome," I don't feel we should have to compromise our values just to win the approval of our neighbors. But really, who is the true bigot here? Would you like to weigh in? -- UNHAPPY IN TAMPA

DEAR UNHAPPY: I sure would. The first thing I'd like to say is that regardless of what you were told in your previous community, a person's sexual orientation isn't a "lifestyle choice." Gay people don't choose to be gay; they are born that way. They can't change being gay any more than you can change being heterosexual.

I find it interesting that you are unwilling to reciprocate the hospitality of people who welcomed you and opened their homes to you, and yet you complain because you are receiving similar treatment.
From where I sit, you may have chosen the wrong place to live because it appears you would be happier in a less integrated neighborhood surrounded by people who think the way you do. But if you interact only with people like yourselves, you will have missed a chance for growth, which is what you have been offered here. Please don't blow it.

I spent the evening hanging out with buddy Erik via Skype.  As we were celebrating his five years of being cancer free. We enjoyed a beer together and watched some Geek and Sundry's "Table Top". 

Of course I would have liked to have celebrated with him in person but since that wasn't possible this was the next best thing. 

Congrats my friend on reaching that wonderful milestone. Here's to your good health and a long and very happy life.. you deserve it.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Babylon 5 First Time Viewing Continues

Tonight I went over to my buddy Robert's place for TV night. We are continuing our Babylon 5 "first time viewing". Tonight we start season four. We got through Episodes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

First up was S4 Ep1 "The Hour of the Wolf" After the destruction of Z'Ha'Dum, Sheridan: presumed dead, Garibaldi: missing and the fragile alliance against the Shadows is crumbling. Ivanova, Delenn and Lyta travel to Z'ha'dum to search for Sheridan, while G'Kar ventures out to search for Garibaldi. Mollari faces the new Emperor, and B5 is in a holding pattern, waiting for the next shoe to drop.

I enjoyed this episode, I really liked G'Kar in this episode determined to find his friend Garibaldi. The Centauri Emperor is crazy... and Londo can see this. It will be interesting to see where this storyline goes. I like that Lyta is now part of the regular cast. Not a fan of Kosh 2.0. And we get no clue as to where Garibaldi is but we do see Sheridan in the final shot of this episode.

Next we watched S4 Ep2 "Whatever Happen to Mr. Garibaldi" G'Kar and Marcus continue searching for Garibaldi, pursued by agents of the Centauri. Sheridan tries to return to "life" with the help of the mysterious being Lorien.

This episode was mainly about Sheridan and him trying to figure out where he is. I liked the new mysterious character Lorien, he's a cool looking. I'm glad Ivanova got out of her funk and to the mission at hand. I feel so bad for G'Kar as the Centauri Emperor is going to just beat him down until he breaks him.

Third for the night was S4 Ep3 "The Summoning" A mysterious spacecraft heads towards Babylon 5 as Ivanova and Marcus search for more First Ones to aid in the war. Zack gets a lead on rescuing Garibaldi from his unknown captors. Delenn faces opposition from the League of Non-Aligned Worlds when she tries to reorganize the Army of Light.

Another good episode. I'm glad they didn't drag out the "Is Sheridan alive or dead" storyline to much. We get Garibaldi back but something is wrong. I knew Kosh 2.0 was up to no good and it looks like his entire race have gone bad. I loved the reuniting of Delenn and Sheridan.. and Sheridan and Ivanova.

And our final episode of the night was S4 Ep4 "Falling Towards Apotheosis" As the first step toward ending the war, Sheridan decides to act against the new Vorlon ambassador. G'Kar faces torture at the hands of Cartagia.

Poor G'Kar.. they are trying to soften Londo but honestly he has done to much damage for me to like him again. I just hope he keeps his word with G'Kar if and when they kill the Emperor. The Vorlon are taring apart worlds.. I knew they were bad. I loved the battle between Kosh and Kosh 2.0.. that was pretty epic.. and Sheridan and Delenn's love story is one of the best in Scifi History. We find out that Sheridan is "dead" or "dying" and Lorien is sacrificing his energy to keep him alive for only another 20 years. I'm hoping Garibaldi's attitude changes soon as I'm not liking this season four version of him... I know it's only been 2 episode but still.. he use to be one of my favorites.

Overall a solid four episodes... can't wait to see where this all end. How are Army of Light going to defeat not only the Shadow but also the Vorlon... can't wait!!

Planning My Trip

I have less then a month before my big 32 day vacation to Ireland and the UK and I'm starting to freak out a bit. Today I started planning out where I'm going to be and who I will be staying with while I'm there. Ireland is pretty much set as I'll be staying with my buddy Thomas. Also my bff Robert will be joining me for this leg of the journey. We plan to travel around Ireland for a week checking out the sites.

Robert will then head to England for a week while I stay in Ireland a few more days and hang with Thomas. I then will travel to Scotland and do a day in Glasgow before heading over to Edinburgh for a few days of site seeing. I don't have anyone to stay with up there so it looks like I'll be staying in hostels.

Now this is where the trip gets a bit crazy and I haven't quite worked out all the details yet. I have several friends offering up a place to stay (which I was relying on). I started with six friends offering me to stay with them but due to various reasons I'm down to three, possible two friends only. It puts a kink in my plans as I was hoping to save some money by crashing at friends places but I can't let it damper my excitement for this trip.

If there is anyone who followers my blog and you happen to live in Ireland or the UK and what to hang out let me know. I'll be doing the UK pretty much solo and can always use the company.

In other news my buddy Sean Becker came over so I could interview him for My Gimpy Life Season Two which premiered on Monday. With his interviews done I can now edit together some CompanionCasts for this season.. look for those soon.

During the evening I went over to my buddy Robert's place for TV night. We are continuing our Babylon 5 "first time viewing". Tonight we start season four. We got through Episodes 1, 2, 3 and 4 tonight. My review of the episodes will follow in my next blog post.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer

Today Marvel released a trailer for a movie that a lot of folks are extremely excited for "Guardians of the Galaxy". Now I know very little about this comic book series but from what I saw in the trailer it looks pretty amazing. I think I might try and pick up some of the comics before the movie comes out.

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Gimpy Life S2 Premiere & Sour Beers

I interviewed the lovely Teal Sherer today for the upcoming My Gimpy Life Season Two Companion Podcast. Season Two started today and a new episode will be released every Monday for the next four weeks. I normally release my Companion Podcast for each episode a few days later but with our schedules Teal and I haven't been able to connect to record. I'm also still waiting to interview director Sean Becker so the CompanionCast for this episode will be delayed a few days. I hope to interview Sean in the next few days and then get the podcast edited up and published by Friday.

Until then please watch the first episode of Season Two of My Gimpy Life. It's pretty awesome!!

During the evening Erik and I had a skype chat. If you remember on his last day here Erik got me a sour beer to try and I was going to wait and drink it later.. well it's later. 

Erik was able to find the same sour beer up in Portland so he got himself a bottle and we were going to try it together. It's called Duchesse De Bourgogne. The guy at BevMo said this was his favorite sour and my buddy Robert saw this in my fridge yesterday and said how much he enjoys it. 

So we tried it and I have to say It's no half bad. If you know me you know I don't enjoy the taste of beer as it's very bitter. But the sour beers kind of mask that flavor with... sourness. I actually enjoyed this beer and look forward to trying more sour beers. I think Erik enjoyed it as well.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Morning Blues and D&D

Had a rough morning this morning. Woke up and realized that I wouldn't see Erik's smiling face when I poked my head into the guest room like I have the past six mornings. I wouldn't be making breakfast for us and we wouldn't be spending the morning planning out our activities for the day.

It's rough being alone, for a solid week I had a companion, someone to talk with, do things with and just hang with... I really miss that. Don't get me wrong.. I have awesome friends and I do get to see some of them from time to time but it's different when you get to spend a solid 5 days 24 hours with one person... you grow accustom to their presence, it's like having a partner again.

The same would happen when I threw those big movie marathon weekends.. come Monday everyone was gone and I was depressed and mopy for a few days. That's how I am today. Spending the entire week with Erik made me realize how much I miss living with someone/partner.

I spent most of the morning uploading pictures and gathering notes for my blog as I had fallen about 14 days behind.

Today was D&D day.. my buddy Robert came over to my place to use my shower before the game as his water heater was broken. Afterwards the two of use walked over to Will and Jen's place, we got there a bit early so we helped set up the couches and such.

Soon the room was packed and the continuing adventure began. This round of Pathfinder was jammed packed with lots of fighting, traveling, and a shocking death. Great job Dallas (DM), another fantastic session. The next session is in early March and will be the final one for the campaign. Can't wait to see how this all ends.