Ohio is dangerous!

So apparently I've moved into a more dangerous neighborhood than I left.

So not only did I leave America's third fattest city, Columbus, I now work in America's 9th Most Dangerous City. Top 25 Most Dangerous and Top 25 Safest Cities in America as ranked by the FBI based on crime statistics.

All 371 Cities ranked Safest to Most Dangerous

The Highlights

  • 307 - Pittsburgh (63rd Most Dangerous)
  • 326 - Columbus (46th Most Dangerous)
  • 331 - Toledo (41st Most Dangerous)
  • 346 - Dayton (26th Most Dangerous)
  • 354 - Cincinnati (18th Most Dangerous)
  • 363 - Youngstown (9th Most Dangerous)
  • 365 - Cleveland (7th Most Dangerous)
  • Safest Ohio City - Parma - 32nd on the list. You're more likely there to be accosted by ethnic Eastern Europeans carrying sauerkraut than Sig-Saurs.
FYI - New Orleans wasn't in the list because their police department did not submit stats to the FBI. Probably because they're either dead, drowned, washed out to sea or living in Houston (the 47th most Dangerous City).

According to the FBI, the stats were configured based on per capita crimes, and crimes are weighted by their level of danger.

FYI - St. Louis was ranked number 1.

The current mayor of St. Louis? Francis Slay.

Straight up.

Which proves my point - the funniest stuff is shit you can't make up.

So in honor of that, I give you today's Song of the Day, "Drive-By Shooting" from the mind of Henry Rollins, available on the "Henryetta Collins and the Wife-Beating Child-Haters" album:

Drive-By Shooting
by Henry Rollins

Hit it, fellas.

We'll leave nothing to your imagination this time.
We tried that last time and our opinion, uh, didn't work.
We're going to do a little number for you right now,
it's called Drive By Shooting.
It's pretty wild.
I hope you like it.

We're gonna get in our car
We're gonna go, go, go
We're gonna drive to a neighbourhood
Kill someone we don't know

We're going to go out killing
That's what we're gonna do
It might be your sister
Or it might be you

Sipping on the night train
Crusing down the interstate
Smoking on the angeldust
I think my head's about to bust

Drive by shooting!

We're gonna get in our car
We're gonna go, go, go
We're gonna drive to a neighbourhood
Kill someone we don't know

This is the way
We get our thrills
We get in our car
And kill, kill, kill!

Got myself a heavy date
Don't you know, I can't be late
I got myself a Smith and Wesson
I'm going to teach some folks a lesson

Drive by shooting!


Catching up after the move

Today I’m not hurting as much ... yesterday’s dosage of Vicodin, Flexirill, a heating pad and sleep did some good ... not much, but some. And less pain is always good, right?

So I'm back at work, reading all about Server 2003 and taking copious notes ... gotta get my ducks in a row for my certification plans in 2007 ... if it all works out the way I want it, by this time next year I'll be a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer ... and that's where the big bucks are. Odds are I'll probably continue my certification and training to get the MCT - Microsoft Certified Trainer ... because I do love the teaching end of things ... no desire to be a full-time trainer, but being able to teach an occasional class at night in Adult Education or something like that would be a neat little way to earn some extra bucks, eh?

Tonight will be a repeat of last night ... pain meds, muscle relaxers and heat, but before sleep I have laundry to do. Yep, I'll be spending Friday night doing laundry ... and hurting. Envy me, won’t you?

Saturday is driving to Columbus to get my face rocked off by the force that is Semi-Precious Weapons ... and Swig Tooth ... let's be honest ... three shows in four days last weekend just makes me want more of the rock that is Swig Tooth. And it will be nice to see Dan the Drummer again on the skins for Swig Tooth. No knock against Matt Mees or Mark Stepro (or Eddie Davis or Seth, the original drummer) but Dan brings a different sound to the drums. He's magic.

Sunday is the drive back (early) and some more unpacking while I catch up on football with my kick-ass digital cable.

Got the first of my two unemployment checks today. That was a nice surprise ... not sure if my next one will be a full-size check or just a partial, but every little bit helps ... and is handy since I probably won't get a paycheck from the new job on the 31st ... apparently someone involved in the rehire process dropped the ball ... the folks in Plano weren't even aware I was rehired ... hello left hand ... oh, hello right hand ... so, righty ... what are you doing? But everything will be fixed by 11/15 because a brother's gotta get paid, right?

So other than hurting, feeling like the dumbest guy in the room at work and living in an apartment that's strewn with boxes, half-put-away boxes and stuff all over the place because it needs put away .... my life is good.

And finally, updated my photo page with new shots of Two Cow Garage.


I am ... (Random Thoughts)

I am …

… in pain

… a lot of pain

I’m in pain because in typical Eric style, I’m injured.

I pulled a muscle in my back while moving boxes on Tuesday.

It’s the muscle behind my shoulder blade that runs up into my neck.

No matter how I move – in what ever direction I choose – I hurt.

The kind of pain that momentarily takes away your breath and makes you then recover it with shallow, slow, careful breaths.

Then I move again and it starts over.

The worst part is I can’t even sleep because I’m hurting.

And working? Well, I’m here … but I’m not sure how much help I’m going to be. I have to sit here and hang out on a conference call to discuss th same issues we discussed for 7.5 hours yesterday.

Speaking of the new job …

I am …

… the dumbest guy in the room.

I’ve been that guy before, usually in college-level math classes.

Like Statistics.

This time, however, it’s different. I knew going into this job I’d be that guy.. And I told myself I’d be okay with that, because it is a huge leap over what I’ve been doing … anyone will, tell you that going from managing 750+ desktops to managing 750+ servers is like the difference between riding a bicycle and piloting a jet fighter. A desktop crashes and burns, you pick it up, brush off the gravel, straighten out the front wheel (or other hardware problems) and you’re back on your bicycle.

A server crashes and burns and there’s an accident-investigation board is formed, witnesses are interviewed, solutions and preventative measures are implemented.

I’m an excellent bicyclist. And while I’ve been HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick, or, basically, piloting a jet fighter for you non-Air Force people) … to say I’ve been in control of a jet fighter is a total lie.

Much the same with the desktop/server environment … I’ve done all I can do with the desktop environment … so now I’m learning to fly.

If I crash and burn, I’ll try to avoid any populated areas.

Lord knows I wouldn’t be in much more pain.


I'm 99.8 percent moved

I have about 99.8 percent of my stuff in my new place ... thanks to some super-duper helpers.

I woke up yesterday, told myself happy birthday, then got to work ... got the U-Haul, loaded up my apartment in Columbus by myself (no steps, easy stuff, truck was about 10 feet from my door). Was tired, but feeling okay.

After I got into Niles yesterday, I called my ex-wife to see if I could borrow some kids to help me move (she had three when we got married, we have one together, but they all claim me as Dad, and I'd rather have them choose me than be stuck with being sired by me, so it's all good, and they're great kids. I love them all to death!).

But my ex came ready to work, with all four, and the five of them did a bang-up job helping me carry all my belongings up three flights of stairs to the new place.

I know I would not have been able to do it all alone. In fact, there were two big boxes left after they left last night and I could not lift them. My arms and legs were shot last night.

I don't know how they feel today, but I can tell you I feel about 999 percent beat up.

(Yes, math people, I know you can't be anything more than 100 percent. I know it's un-possible (Sorry, grammar people)).

But at least here I do have cable ... and internet again. And a DVR again (yes, we loves the DVR).

And a busy weekend, so I don't even have a chance to unpack.

I'm heading back to Columbus today to clean the old place, then to Cincinnati for the Swig Tooth show.

Staying through Sunday to get the old place cleaned, do some other work that needs done in the area, and other stuff. Sunday is Swig Tooth and Two Cow Garage at High Five.

Monday I'm back to Niles, for good, the old apartment gone, the new apartment to set up, unbox, unpack, organize, etc.

Tuesday starts the new job.

Hopefully I won't be sore when Tuesday rolls around.

Oh, yeah, my legendary skills in the kitchen are well known, but last night I was successful in my first attempt to make something ...


No ice maker in the new place :-(

But you can't have everything, can you?


Happy Birthday? Busy Birthday.

So I'm going to celebrate my 38th birthday tomorrow ... moving.

To Niles, Ohio.

Where I used to live.

But no basement this time ... 3rd floor ... open windows again. Yay! (My current apartment is on the ground floor ... so windows are rarely opened.

So 3rd floor and open windows and bigger apartment and being 25 minutes from my daughter = Yay me.

So why not move closer to her and the job? Well, Youngstown isn't all that safe; Austintown wasn't grabbing me ... can't live in Hubbard; won't live in PA again ... and Niles has Time Warner whereas Warren has Embarq ... which used to be Sprint, which used to be United Telephone ... which I hated. And besides, paying Embarq goes against my personal beliefs of supporting a company who intentionally spells a word wrong to be different.

Like Kountry Kampground ... or the Olde Coffee Shoppee ... I can't do it.

Yep, that is the weirdness that is me.


Making my triumphant return

So I start the new job on the 24th, in Youngstown.

Oh, the the salary -- better than I expected, and significantly better than anything I was offered in Columbus. So it's a win-win all the way around.

Now I have the joy of moving to look forward to.

Luckily, I travel rather light.


Worst. TV. Show. Ever.

Chris Carter is a genius.

He got paid for a show like Millennium.

I just watched the first DVD of the first season ... so the first 4 episodes.

This show is so bad it makes Caruso look like a talented cop.

Got the job! Yay me.

Meet the new job.

And to continue the Who lyric,

Same as the old job.

Same company, that is.

Yes, after the Honda debacle, and another two weeks of intense job hunting, I found a new position with Perot Systems.

In Youngstown.

On September 1, 2006, Perot signed a 10-year contract with Catholic Health Partners to run their data centers in Youngstown and Cincinnati.

I saw a position posted for a job at the Youngstown center, applied, interviewed and was offered the position. So I'll keep my 5.5 years with the company ... which means 3 weeks vacation (nice!) and all the usual perks that went with the company's benefits package, which I liked.

As for the job - it's very different that what I've done, which is good ... I'm ready for something new and different. I've done about all I can do on the user support end of the table ... this is all about servers.

750 servers at this location; 1,600 total between the two centers.

Going into the interview I told them I had limited server experience. They said that was not a problem, they'd show me how they did things at this level, and teach me how they want it done.

So I go from managing 6 servers to 750! There are plans to merge the centers in Cincinnati in 2007, but the position in Youngstown will stay there doing remote administration, and could turn into a work-from-home position. The are also other great opportunities for me to learn amazing things I'd not have the ability to learn on my own - stuff that I could never get my hands on, hardware and software wise. All in all, this is all new stuff to me, and you know how I love a technical challenge!

I find out tomorrow the actual salary and start date, but I know the salary range ... it's a little less than I was making in my last position; but it's a different job, different level and different market.

It's well within my acceptable range, and more than I have been offered for any position here in Columbus, so it's all good.

And I'll be closer to my friends and family, which is what's important to me at this stage in my life.

I love Columbus, but the draw it used to have on me has faded.

So for those of you in the Youngstown area, you'll be seeing more of me soon.



Song of the Day

Angry Young Man
Billy Joel

There's a place in the world for the angry young man
With his working class ties and his radical plans
He refuses to bend, he refuses to crawl
and he's always at home with his back to the wall.
He's proud of the scars and the battles he's lost
He struggles and bleeds as he hangs on the cross
And he likes to be known as the angry young man.

Give a moment or two to the angry young man
With his foot in his mouth and his heart in his hand
He's been stabbed in the back, he's been misunderstood
It's a comfort to know his intentions are good
He sits in a room with a lock on the door
with his maps and his medals laid out of the floor
And he likes to be known as the angry young man.

I believe I've passed the age
of consciousness and righteous rage,
I've found that just surviving was a noble fight
I once believed in causes too,
I had my pointless point of view
Life went on no matter who was wrong or right.

And there's always a place for the angry young man
With his fist in the air and his head in the sand
He's never been able to learn from mistakes
He can't understand why his heart always breaks
His honor is pure, and his courage as well
he's fair and he's true, and he's boring as hell
And he'll go to his grave as an angry old man.


I got answers.

anything and everything survey

What did you want to be when you were a kid?:News Reporter
What do you want to be now?:Employed
What advice would you give a person in your life who needs it the most?:Fuck Maybe.
Favorite place in the world?:With my daughter.
What is your favorite breakfast meal?:Lunch
Do you like coffee?:wrong verb
If you could interview one person, who would it be?:Anwar Sadat
Why this person?:Had he lived, he could have produced peace in the middle east
Reasons for living?:My daughter.
Where do you HONESTLY see yourself in ten years?:Fabulously wealthy and surrounded by hot women my own age
What do you wish people would ask you about more often?:Why they listen to such bad music
Give somebody a compliment that you can't tell them in real life:Mark Nye looks like Marco from the 4400
What is your message to the world at large?:Celebrity worship sucks
do you smoke?:No
do you drink alcohol?:Yes
do you do drugs?:No
do you have a bf/gf or are you single?:Single
do u have a crush on anyone?:A few
If yes, who is it?:That's my business
do they know you have a crush on them?:Perhaps, perhaps not
Do you wear glasses or contacts?:No
Do you ever want to get married?:Been there, done that, have the divorce paperwork. But not against trying again.
What do you want to do for a career?:Porn Star
What's your Dream Job?:See above
What kind of books and/or magazines do you read?:I just look at the pretty pictures
What are your hobbies?:Photography
What is a topic you wish you knew more about?:Life in general.
What do you daydream about?:Sleep
What are your religious/spiritual beliefs?:They're growing. Things just don't happen because they happen.
What is your shoe size?:15EEE ... big & wide (Okay, 9-1/2)
Ford or Chevy?:Ford
What is your heritage?:I'm an American
Are you vegetarian?:No.
What is your worst fear?:Drowning
Do you know more than one language?:I speak ebonics and drunkenese and am learning Somalian because I live in Columbus
What's your favorite scent?:The Scent of a Woman. Good smell, bad movie
What sport do you like to watch the most?:Hockey
How are you feeling right now?:Pretty damn good. Wanna feel me & find out?
How was your day?:Good. Scheduled two job interviews.
Anything out of the ordinary happen?:Having dinner with a friend tomorrow.
are you a rebel?:without a cause
Thoughts on Jesus?:I like him very much but he no help me hit curve ball.
Obsessions?:= restraining orders
Take this survey | Find more surveys
Bzoink - The Original Survey Site


Reaching out to an old friend

A couple of days ago I decided I was going to reach out to someone.

Someone that, for good reason, I probably should have left alone.

A few months ago, there was a big deal about a small misunderstanding that cost me a relationship and three friendships when it was all said and done.

He was one of those friendships.

He's about to have some major surgery - gastric bypass surgery - next week. His life is about to be drastically changed.

I know.

I had the same thing almost three years ago.

And I wanted to offer him my help, in spite of what happened.

Because what he's going to have done is life-changing, and can be overwhelming at times, especially right before and right after the surgery.

I was lucky. I was married to an RN when I had mine. You can't put a price tag on that.

He's not that lucky.

And it was a very, very hard thing to do for me to reach out to him. That's a big step to take ... and his response was better than I hoped for.

There's no point in discussing what happened. It was a misunderstanding. Things happen. I've moved on. I told him that. He agreed.

And I believe him. And I believe me.

I told him I was thinking about him, knowing the surgery was coming up; and wanted to help if he needed help, someone to talk to if he needed to talk.

Because I've been there.

And it's not easy.

You see these people who have the stomach-stapling surgery. They lose weight, they look great (older, but healthier). And if you've never been there, never been that big where your body won't allow you to lose weight, you don't understand.

On the surface, it seems like a cowards way out of being overweight - cut out my stomach so I can't eat.

It's anything but.

It's not easy to decide to have the surgery.

It's not easy to qualify, medically, for a doctor to consider you a candidate for the surgery.

It's harder to get medical approval for it.

And it's harder, yet, to go through with once you get the approval.

It's not easy physically.

It's not easy mentally.

It's fucking brutal emotionally.

There's a one-in-200 death rate. Doesn't sound like a lot, unless you're that one.

There can be serious, fatal complications.

And there are significant mental, physical and lifestyle changes you have to make before and after the surgery, some of which are life-long. Things I'm still learning, nearly three years later.

And yes, there are support groups. But lets be honest. Would you believe a bunch of random yahoos or someone you know that has been there, done that, and has the t-shirt, several sizes smaller than he used to wear?


Which is why I wanted to offer him my assistance. My experience. My ear. My help.

It's hard, sometimes, when bad things happen in friendships, to be nice first.

I'm glad I did.

I should do it more often.

We all should.

Life's too short to be bitter, pissed off and hateful.


Being popular is hard

Well, I think it's over.

480 friend requests.

332 email messages.

8014 profile views.

In 48 hours on my Photo Page on MySpace.

So apparently, my 15 minutes of MySpace fame is over.

Thank the gods. Nothing like looking at your email ... where I get about 10 messages a week ...and seeing nearly 500 messages. I thought it was a virus. Nope, it was friend requests and message notifications from MySpace. I was picked as a featured profile.

Oh well ... could have been worse. The way I look at it ... my photos were seen by a bunch of people, and hopefully, some of the bands listed got some new fans.

So here's the rest of my life:

Hot hot hot job interview tomorrow (yay me!) in Richfield, Ohio.

Dinner back in Columbus with a friend after that.

Watershed show Friday.

Taking the weekend to relax.

Interview on Monday.

Interview on Wednesday.

It's good to be me, most of the time.


Yet another peril of MySpace

So I ditched my personal myspace page about a week ago.

Then some friends of mine who love my photos prefer to work only on MySpace, so I set up a photography page to show off my work, and allow me to communicate with the bands I shoot.

And it became a feature profile on MySpace.

I knew nothing about this, until I ran my Thunderbird email client and had 180 messages and/or friend requests.

And they're still coming in.



Always have a Plan B, Dave

Like most of my gut instincts, right on the money.

Yep, the job that I was supposed to start today didn't happen.

Long story. Lots of communication issues. Lots of confusion.

But, as they say, when one door closes, you're usually out in the rain.

No, wait.

Another one opens.

Yeah. That's what I meant.

As always, there are other opportunities.

And as always, I'll just plugging away looking.

So excuse me while I head back to the phones, eh?



Bad feelings abound

Well ...

I don't wanna go all Star Wars on this entry, but thinking about this job
tomorrow ... I'll just sum it up with a phrase said by all of the following characters:

"I have a very bad feeling about this."

Star Wars IV - A New Hope

In the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, when approaching the Death

"I've got a bad feeling about this."

Star Wars IV - A New Hope

In the garbage.

Quote #2:
"I've have a really bad feeling about this."

Star Wars VI - Return of the Jedi

Tied up in the Ewok village.

"I have a bad feeling about this."

Star Wars V - The Empire Strikes Back

Inside of the "cave".

"I have a bad feeling about this."

Star Wars VI - Return of the Jedi

Following Bib Fortuna to deliver Luke's message to Jabba. (Speaking to

Obi-Wan Kenobi

"I have a bad feeling about this."

Star Wars I - The Phantom Menace

Because for a variety of reasons, when I think about it, it's true:

I have a bad feeling about it.

Updates tomorrow.


In the words of Bill Hicks

People suck.

I can prove it with a bar napkin and a crayon.

Yes, that's the phraseology of Bill Hicks.

But really, that's the love I'm feeling lately.

Work, 'friends' and others in my life, and the lives of the handful of people I'm not related to but honestly care about have proven, many times over in the past couple of days, just how much people suck.

I need three things:

  • Beer
  • Music
  • Solitude

'nuf said.