Thursday, November 29, 2007

The sea is just a wetter version of the sky.

I am patiently waiting for some precipitation in the frozen form. The mountains have snow. I am pretty excited to go sledding here. people keep telling me that there are awesome places to go sledding here, and I see how that's possible with how big the hills are here and how open the terrain is. All i have is Christmas music and cold weather so far to tell me it's winter. We need snow and ice. There's no smell of fireplaces burning here. The stucco of the buildings here is unfriendly. Somehow I find the wooden faces on building of new england more friendly, even if they are now vinyl siding, it still looks like wood.

Tonight I whipped up some rice casserole which my mom used to make when I was a kid. it's nothing special - just rice, tomato paste, onions, hamburger, and cheese. The taste is pretty good, but what's better is the nostalgia. It brings back some great memories. Geoff and Kim came over to play some settlers. Kim beat us soundly while hitting on Geoff ad nauseam. Ok, not really that much, but it did make me think back to when I lived with Geoff and the girls would come over to eat my food and gawk at Geoff. For as long as I've been dating I can remember being told many times "Greg, you're the kind of guy you marry, not the kind you date." I never knew that that meant, but maybe I do now. If it's true I'm ok with it. Some day someone awesome will switch from dating mode to marriage mode and I might be in the right place at the right time to catch it.

The title: Regina Spektor - Folding Chair

Good times, bad times, you know I've had my share.

Kim stopped by last night while I was making some blueberry pie. The pie tastes great but it's the most liquidy pie I've ever made. I didn't dry the blueberries before putting them in the pie. Bad idea. Kim tried the dough for the pie crust raw and didn't like it. I told her that it was because there was no sugar in it. So, I took the leftover pie crust, rolled it in sugar and rolled it out as I rolled sugar into it. Then I threw it on a pizza stone and baked it up at the same time as the pie. It was fantastic. I will be making that again for sure.

I have a slow leak in my tire and nobody seems to have time to help me fix it. I can't even get it into VW cause they are too busy. I stopped by a tire place yesterday and after standing in the lobby waiting for someone to help me for 10 minutes I left. The VW dealership promised me that if I stop in today they will squeeze me in.

Kim is coming back over tonight and we are going to play games, or cook something, or both - who knows. Miranda has committed me to only thinking positive thoughts, so I attribute this awesomeness in part to her. I haven't seen Miranda and Trevor since... maybe Friday? Going to have to fix that soon. I want to know how Trevor's new job is going that he started this week.

AWE is coming! Yes, the All-New-England Winter Extravaganza is back again. This year it will be in Exeter New Hampshire. Trevor Smith is completely redesigning the website (because he's awesome) so look for that soon at Right now you can see the info from last year.

I got my webcam out of the boxes of doom and have started video chatting on AIM, so if you're up for that some time let me know, even if it's just video from my end. I have all kinds of computer projects going on over here. I am working on setting up a windows server, although I am not sure what flavor of windows it will be running. I am working on setting up a VMware server to run my PBX on a virtual machine. Just all kinds of good stuff. You might notice that points to Nuke now. I don't know if the page will ever be put up again, but I'm working on it. The server got here, but it looks pretty beat up. I am not sure if it boots yet.

I may send out Christmas cards this year. Yeah, that sounds kind of crazy, but why not. That's still just an idea, don't plan on it going into action for sure.

The title: Led Zeppelin - Good Times Bad Times

Monday, November 26, 2007

Everybody Hurts

I don't know if it's just the time of year, but I have seen a lot of down people over the past week. It brings me down a bit to see others unhappy, especially if there's nothing I can do about it. I made chicken soup tonight and I'm hoping to cheer some people up with it. If you need some chicken soup you should come get some... I made a lot.

My stuff showed up in a moving truck today. I used Budget Van Lines. DO NOT even consider using them. Not only did they say there was much more cubic footage of stuff than there was they also beat the snot out of my stuff. I have opened four boxes and every one of them has something broken in it. This stuff was pretty well packed in there. One of my friends was outside watching them unload the truck and said they were really slamming the stuff around. I'm a bit ticked off that it cost me about $2000 to move the stuff here and so much of it didn't even get here in one piece.

Kim Posner stopped by tonight with my favorite hot chocolate from Starbucks. She really rocks. During this past week she was in CT for Thanksgiving with her family. That woulda been pretty awesome! Her brother Dan is fantastic too. He's the one I got my playdough and the restoration lesson from.

The title: R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Just a few days ago was Thanksgiving and I spent mine in Richfield Utah. I was at the home of my friend Miranda's family along with her husband Trevor. I spend a whole lot of time with them and they are like family to me here. In fact, they're the closest thing I have here to family. I would not be as happy as I am now, and maybe not even be in Utah right now if it weren't for them. They took me in from the day I got here, which was pretty incredible. Before I came to Utah I knew them, and I had hung out in groups of people with them, but we weren't close or anything. This Thanksgiving I just want to say i am thankful for Miranda and Trevor Williams.

Thanksgiving in Richfield was different from my usual Thanksgiving, and I thinkt hat was a good thing. If it had been anything like Thanksgiving in MA I would have thought about what I was missing a lot. I enjoyed every minute of it though, from helping to take china out of the cabinet, to cutting down Christmas trees.

I really don't agree too much with the title of this post. This time of the year is pretty depressing. I can never get my mind off of all the people who are less fortunate than me. When I was a kid my parent's brought me to NYC during Christmas time. It was beautiful, and exciting. There was the giant tree, giant Christmas decorations, Christmas music, toy stores, and so much more. Unfortunately that was not what I remember about it. The thing I remember most was all of the homeless people. They were sleeping on vents, on corners, begging for money. New York City's last mayor did a lot to remove them from view. I don't know where they all went, but somehow I doubt he got them all jobs and places to live. So many people every year do not have a giant dinner for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. They don't have a Christmas tree, they don't sit around the fire with hot cocoa, the don't have money for presents, they don't have family to spend the holidays with, and many don't even have a place to call home. How lucky am I? How lucky are you?! If you're reading this then it is probably on a computer, which they don't have either.

I know that Christmas in name at least should be all about Christ. I don't like the commercialization of the holiday at all, BUT I know that not everyone is Christian. I think that no matter what your religion is you should be able to think of Christmas as a holiday about love. Everyone can celebrate that. Love for your family, neighbors, friends, and even people you don't know. Although charity is the pure love of Christ, you do not have to believe in him to help out those in need. Yes, there are always those who work the system, or those who are where they are by choice, but there are a lot of people who cannot help where they are. I encourage everyone this year to let everyone celebrate the holiday how they want, whether it be Christian, Jewish, or any other religion, or none at all. Love someone, because the world needs it.

The title: Andy Williams - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This freeze-frame moment can't be wrong

There's a lot of things that I enjoy doing that I wish I was better at. One of those things is taking pictures. Since I got a digital camera several years ago I have taken a lot of pictures. Prior to owning a digital camera I had a film camera, and there's a box somewhere with a boatload of pictures in it. I never looked at them again after they were put in that box. My digital pictures on the other hand DO get looked at. I have the 10,000+ attempts to better myself at photography in a web photo gallery. I'm about 2 weeks behind right now at getting pictures up there, but if you're interested in taking a look, it will probably take you that long to sift through the 10,267 pictures. There might be a few less since I have had a handful of requests to pull pictures that I actually agreed to.

I would really like a new camera. Not one to replace my canon SD800, but to use for different circumstances. I carry my camera with me almost all the time. It comes in really handy to be able to just snap pictures whenever I need to, but the SD800 has a few shortcomings that a digital SLR does not. For example, a canon 40D. Little point and shoot cameras have shutter lag, they can only record images in jpg format, and you are limited to the lens that is built into the camera. A digital SLR doesn't have the shutter lag, they can record in several formats, including RAW, and you can buy many difference lenses for them. There's a lot more differences, but for now those are what I want. If a little point and shoot had those qualities I'd definitely be interested. Probably asking a bit much though.

I'm looking for either an online photo gallery site, or some server-side software that does some specific things. Tagging - I love how you can tag pictures on facebook. I would love if you could tag people in all of your photos on a gallery site and link them all to one thing. Labelling - it would also be excellent if you could have hidden labels for every picture that named the contents of the picture. Along with that the ability to put where the photo was taken, time of day, and even camera settings (if they could be pulled right from the jpg info that'd be even better). Captioning - as long as you are logged in there should be some very easy way to type in and save captions for photos. It'd also have to be fast, easy to upload photos, easy to customize, have the ability to turn on and off saving of photos (and right click), and I'd love if it automatically made the thumbnails. Yet again, too much to ask? Probably. If you know of anything, let me know.

The title: J Geils Band - Freeze Frame

Monday, November 19, 2007

What it's like

People ask me how I like Utah a lot. In fact, it's the first thing out of their mouth usually. So here it is. I like Utah, nah, I love Utah. I miss the trees of Massachusetts. I miss the smells, the mass pike, Costco, the diversity of restaurants, the diversity of people, my family, and the handful of friends that are still there. Things I love about Utah (in no particular order): Lots of friends here, my job, mountains, low cost rent, everything is close, the grid system, and all the Mormons. There's more, but I can't think of them right now, and it gives you a good idea anyways. The sun here is like laserbeams.

I have had some down days this week. I have no idea why. I really do love it here, and things are just going terrific, but there were many times this week that I was feeling super down. As of right now I feel terrific. I hope it stays that way!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

When you're young at heart.

I have debated with myself over whether I should mention my dating here. I'm going to go ahead and do it since there are people at the town hall in Agawam reading this and they always ask me about it.

I'm going to preface the beginning of mentioning dates by giving you a little insight into how dating works here in Utah. This isn't a solid rule or anything, but it's definitely different than dating was in Massachusetts, or at least before I joined the church. This is in part because this is how the prophets have told us it should be. Anyways, here it is... Dating here has no commitment. You can go out with a different girl (or guy) every night of the week and it's accepted. Not that people don't get jealous, but we are counselled to go on dates and not to have the idea that any more are required with that person. Previous to joining the church, in Massachusetts, it was harder. If you went on a date with someone you were then locked down to that person, until you broke up. it made it pretty hard to ask someone out on a date because then you were then committed to that one person! Not that I have commitment issues, that's not what my point is. The point is that you can see it this way... Until you kiss someone, you are free to date others. I think that's a great rule.

This week I went on a date with a girl who was 18 years old. I had a fantastic time, in fact, it was one of the most fun dates I have been on in a while. I seem to have developed a reputation for dating girls that are quite a bit younger than me, and I'm not going to deny it. The fun girls either turn to unfun girls as they get older, or they get married. Of course, that isn't ALWAYS the case, but I can tell you that girls that are closer to 18 than 30 that I have dated (in general) have a few more positive points. First of all, they aren't judging on a first date whether you are the person they are going to marry. They just have fun! Second, they're usually up for something a little more exciting. Dinner and a movie are great and all, but I'm a pretty big fan of doing something a bit more active, combined with something that gives you time to talk. Third, dating is more of a priority than other things. Yes, school is important, as is your callings, and work, and whatever else you do. You've got to make time to go on a date though! If I ask you to go on a date and you say you are busy all this week and not sure if next week will be very open, BUT you assure me that you really do want to go on a date with me, then you have a problem. I could list a few other things, but those are my main points.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lost for words.

This week, it seems, I will be going out to buy some deadbolts. One for my room, and one for my food closet in the kitchen. Cooking for people and sharing is one thing, having my stuff dissappear from my room and from my food closet is entirely another. This is war. I just don't have the money to support a whole house of people! They take my toilet paper, bread, eggs, heck - anything that isn't nailed down! If they asked I'd probably give them what they want, but what the heck! Why, oh WHY must they steal it and have me find it isn't there when I need it?!?! My next purchase after deadbolts will be a fridge, with a padlock on it. I cannot fathom just stealing from someone you live with DAILY.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Brown paper, white paper, stick it together with the tape.

In case you haven't heard of Flight of the Conchords I'd like to suggest that you check them out. There are many videos of them on youtube, but honestly I like the music that goes with the video better than the video. For those of you in the Massachusetts/Connecticut area who still listen to the radio I have great news! Radio 104 is back! It figures that my favorite radio station would return after I moved out of the area. For those of you not in the area though, don't despair! If you hit their site you can stream it over the web. Rebecca Bezzant turned me on to Andrew Bird and his song Fiery Crash has been added to my daily playlist. It seems it is too much to ask to put some lyrics for his songs on that lovely page. Don't bother googleing them, no two sites have the same lyrics, but trust me, it's worth a listen, even if the only word you can decipher is apropos.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Every year my parent's ask me for a Christmas list. It's a lot harder to come up with a list of things to ask of other people to give you than it should be. I've started an amazon wishlist, which I am not going to link to because it's too expensive. I'm going to have to come up with some way to make a list and link sites with the stuff I'd like for cheaper. Thanksgiving is next week. Just cannot believe that. It seems only yesterday that I was freaking out over the holiday season, and now, it's back again already. One great thing about Thanksgiving - Black Friday! I love going to the store in slippers and pajamas to watch the people dashing about. The emotions of stress and dissatisfaction clearly displayed on their faces as they miss out on deals and scurry from store to store trying to get in on the deals. if you want good deals you just have to watch the deal sites. Here's a few: , , , , . There's lots of others out there, but those are my favorites. If you know of any others that are a must-see please let me know! One of the things I love about Black Friday is that it's the first day of the year it is acceptable to play nothing but Christmas music. Thanksgiving and Christmas depress the heck out of me, but I looove Christmas music. I usually stream my own off my server, but this year I might have to just go with pandora.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid

Men might be dumb and blind when it comes to knowing if a girl likes them (and when finding things in the refrigerator) but I think there are some unmistakable signs that a girl is not interested in you. If the lady of interest makes suggestions of girls you should date, I'd say she's not interested. Maybe it's just me, but if I liked a girl I would not suggest guys for her to date (other than me) at least I can't think of a reason why I would. If the female in question is cuddled up to some guy she has only just met, and not you, there's a good chance she's not interested in you. Even if she's already agreed to go on a date with you, if she would prefer to cuddle with a complete stranger wouldn't you think that she just agreed to a date out of pity for you or something? If the cutie you are desiring cannot fit you into her schedule over a two week period she's probably not interested. Unless she's going out of town or is being locked away in a room somewhere for two weeks I can't see why someone couldn't at least find one hour to spend some time with you if they WANT to get to know you. If the lass in question verbally abuses the heck out of you no matter how nice you are you might want to look elsewhere. Obvious? Maybe not as much as you'd think.

Now guys aren't good at picking up hints, AT ALL. In case you ladies didn't notice, a whole lot of guys would rather you just clubbed them over the head and told them what you are thinking than hint at stuff. Even then, sometimes guys don't get it...

BTW, the thesaurus entries for female and girl are good for a chuckle.

Money (That's What I Want)

Yesterday a moving company picked up my stuff from my parent's house. The original estimate was $900, but now it's looking like $1635. I have no idea where I am going to come up with an extra $700 in a week. I am definitely going to measure it when it gets here though cause there's no way that my dad could have measured the stuff at half the size they say it is. Monetarily things were going well till this point. I am still waiting for a re-evaluation of my pay at work because I was hired at the bottom of the pay scale (when they told me I was being hired at the TOP). It seems Convergys is known among their employees for shady money dealings when it comes to pay.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Where in the world is Greg Weld?

Maybe someone I haven't talked to in a long time will stumble upon this and wonder what I have been up to. Maybe someone I haven't talked to in 3 months will find me on here. Either way, there's a good chance it's different from the last time we were in contact.

So, what AM I up to?
I am currently living in Orem, UT. I moved here in August. You're probably wondering how I got here, and sometimes I do too. The first part of that explanation is that I am a Mormon, I am LDS, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know that you are wondering what that has to do with anything. Just under 5 years ago I joined the church and since then it has influenced the direction that my life has taken. As a member of the church, one of the things we can take advantage of is getting a Patriarchal Blessing. This is given by someone that you very often don't know, or don't know very well. There is one designated person for a certain geographical area that gives these. When i got my blessing I was pretty blown away how dead on it was in describing the person that I am. Almost everyone I have asked about theirs says the same thing. In part of this blessing, which to members of the church is often thought of as person scripture, it is said that I will live in an area where the church is very strong and that is centrally located among educational facilities ...or something close to that. Orem Utah really descibes that well, and there was a pretty huge series of events that lines up perfectly to get me here. In fact, as far back as I think about that chain, I think of things that caused those things, and so on, to the point where I cannot think of where the chain of events began. Looking at the whole picture, it just seems like this is where I was destined to be.

Now that you know where I am, and how I got here, or at least sort of how I got here, let me tell you what I am up to. I have aquired a job working at Convergys for NetApp. Convergys runs callcenters, lots of them. I'm not in your average callcenter. I do mostly outbound calls. Not telemarketing (thank goodness!!), but calls to people who email me first. I'm working 3rd shift, which to those of you who do not know, is overnight (graveyard shift). I really like my job! I help lots of customers, and more than that, I help lots of other techs. We're actually called TSEs which stands for Technical Support Engineers. I don't consider us engineers, at least not in the way that some of my friends are engineers. I got this job because I saw it posted at UVSC, which I was attending when I got here. I ended up dropping my classes to take the job. Just another link in the chain of what got me where I am at.

Here comes little naked me

The title of this entry has a lot of meaning to it. First of all, I'm a helper, a saver, go-to guy, that person you call when you're in trouble. That's one way I interpret the lyrics in the song it is from. I don't listen to Ani Difranco, but sometimes her lyrics say things pretty well, even if i don't like the sound of her voice/music. Second this is a blog, secondary to my actual written journal. The difference? People *might* actually read this, whereas I doubt that, and partially hope that, nobody will ever read anything I thought to write down on paper. It's possible that things written here might show more than I show of myself normally - the naked me - uncovered, and blindingly ugly at times.