If you are here:  You are interested in me and my past for some reason.  My current website is here; this site will no longer be updated.

If you just want to browse a little:  Check out my favorite entries, the funny stories about India, or any other of the categorized entries.

If you want the Full Monty:  The website starts in 2002 after I returned from sailing the Mediterranean after business school…then goes up to 2007 where it stopped for 6 months.  The chronology goes like this:

Anyway, if you’re still here….start at the beginning, and keep scrolling to the next entry till you fall asleep, or here is the archive/category summary page.

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Unfortunately I cannot sing like Chris Cornell; however, I do sing, and I can play the guitar a little.

The Plain White Ts have a song out right now called “Hey There Delilah”. Its really pretty and simple and easy to play.

So….I decided to record myself. I haven’t really done that in years. A few months back I looked into getting some equipment (a decent mic) to make it sound better (as I was planning to record this other song I really liked), but it ended up being like 300 bucks to get it all going, so I didn’t do it.

This was still recorded with the $2 mic that comes with any computer. You can get it to sound ok….I think my suckiness is the limiting factor…not necessarily the mic. Actually, its the vocals that always sound flat and tinny….the guitar you can get to sound pretty good. The vocals are also slightly out of tune…but that isn’t the mic…that’s my singing.

Check it out.

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Everyone knows I think Chris Cornell has the best voice ever. He is freak of nature, and the youtube clips of him singing live with Soundgarden are out of this world. Check it out.

The second coming of Chris Cornell….is, or course, Chris Cornell. He is releasing a solo album next month after splitting with Audioslave. It’ll be his second solo record. I think me and about a thousand other people were the only ones to buy his first.

On another note, there is a new band that also has an album out next month, called Operator. They have a song called SoulCrusher. You can already see the video on the internet. The dude sounds like a poor man’s Chris Cornell….which is still pretty damn good.

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I can’t tell you how awesome it is to be able to watch these clips.

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Tonight I cleaned my “apartment”. It looks better, but not too much different really. Hmm…I think I’ll take a picture of it.


So…here is a rundown of the things you see in the picture. Are you excited? I bet.

Item #1: The acoustic guitar is from Austin. It needs one of the frets fixed. I’ve had it since college.

I have been saying that I am going to play at an Open Mic night, so last week I went to one to see how good everyone was. It was out in the middle of nowhere at this seafood restaurant. I sat down and had a beer and saw this guy that looked like a lounge singer. It was Scottie Mitchell who I used to play music with at Clemson. I hadn’t seen him in a decade. Crazy!

He was still playing all the time and had several bands going…told me to come hang out. I think I will, but don’t think I will be playing any guitar with him. I’m not better, and probably worse, than I was in college. If he’s been getting better for the last decade, I don’t deserve to play with him. I can watch and drink beer though. His friends were nice.

Item #2: The blanket I slept with in college and took with me to Taiwan. It is a handmade quilt given to me by my relatives that live in Atlanta. Thanks! (Sorry I don’t call more.)

Item #3: An ugly lamp that used to sit in the living room of the house where I grew up in Easley. Of course it doesn’t really give off light like that….trick of the photo.

Item #4: My computer monitor where I am now writing this post. Next to it is my other computer monitor. Sometimes I have both of them on at the same time. When I got the other I figured it would be cool to be able to surf the internet on one screen while having a file browser up on the other. In the end though my brain doesn’t process like that. I’m too accustomed to one screen so I usually leave the other one off.

Item #5: The chair I am now sitting in. It is a Recaro seat designed for an 18 wheeler. Someone my dad sold fabric to gave it to him, and he, in turn, gave it to me because it was just as comfortable as the other chairs I was looking to buy. I’m still holding out for an Aeron though.

Item #6: A throw rug from India. I got it to give away to Jeffrey Galloway, but I ended up giving him one I liked much better. I bought it from Dilli Haat.

Item #7: A Sam Adams beer. Said beer is now empty and I have replaced it with another one which looks pretty much the same.

Item #8: My electric guitar. I play it sometimes, but not as much as the acoustic since I like to sing while I play.

Item #9: To the left of the #9 is the box of organic granola bars I mentioned buying in my last post. They taste ok. The soy chips were much better (which is why they are now gone).

Item #10: A picture of me in Taiwan about to jump off a rock over rushing water onto another rock. I think Ross Donaldson gave me the picture in a frame he got from a night market.

Peter ran into Ross out of the blue in the Delhi airport not too long ago….that’s nearly a decade since Taiwan. It isn’t as much time as had passed between Scottie Mitch and I….but it sure is a lot further away. What are the chances? Seriously…that’s freakish.

Item 11: There is no item 11. I think I’ll go to bed for the night. I’m tired. (The bed is on the far right of the picture on the other side of the chair.)

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I went to the grocery store the other day just to do something different (most everyone knows I eat out every single meal). I bought some beer, sunflower seeds, organic granola bars, soy chips, pomegranate juice, and some chocolate.

I hadn’t actually bought a bar of chocolate for me to eat in years. I don’t really eat candy, and I don’t like sweets. I like bitter and salty foods mostly.

So I got the darkest, bitter chocolate they had, 70% pure cocoa….and its awesome. I had no idea how good chocolate could be. I actually read an article yesterday that said chocolate is better than kissing. I wouldn’t say that; however, it is really good.

What else is going on? I lost in tennis for the first time in probably 4 or 5 seasons. I am going to a wedding this weekend, and to Mississippi the weekend after that. A buddy of mine just bought a house boat. Sounds like fun. I love the water.

I got really tempted the other day to go buy an XBox 360 so I got a friend of mine who reviews video games as a part time job to give me some computer games to check out since he gets them for free. I’m playing Max Payne II. I think its pretty cool. I like the name Max Payne. Very clever.

Next week I plan (thought I’ve been planning for quite a while), to go check out some open mic bars. I want to go play somewhere I think.

I haven’t been sleeping very well lately and my eyes look so tired all the time. I can’t really figure out what to do about that. I’m not that sleepy during the day; I just look like the walking dead. I guess it doesn’t matter.

Also, I am so thirsty these days; which is weird. I don’t drink (I don’t think) any less than I used to. I checked into the whole “you should drink 8 glass of water a day” common wisdom. It turns out that its a fair rule of thumb (on the high side) to replace what an average person loses in a day, and there is little downside to drinking more.

However, the real measure (most doctors say) is the color of your urine, and whether or not you feel thirsty all the time. I would say I drink around the 8 cups and my urine is fine, but I’m still thirsty a lot….at least more than I used to be.

Anyway, there is no resolution to that. If I’m thirsty then shut up and go get some water. Its not like its unavailable. I just think its strange.

I’m going to go eat some more chocolate and go to bed.

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Two years ago at this time I was in Peru, on the Inca Trial. Not that I am particularly longing to be there….I have 30 some-odd days of vacation this year if I want to take them. I can go back to S. America if I take a notion. I think I will only take 15 of them (which is still three weeks…the rest roll over to the next year). That’s enough. Work doesn’t suck that much.

I just happened to look at those entries from Peru since I was cleaning out all the “penis enlargement” and “buy viagra non-prescription” spam I get in the comments section (yes…not only do you get spam email…but they spam the comments on blogs too).

So two years ago I wrote an entry called “Permission to Feel”.

Here are some quotes:

“I have been in Cuzco a few days now, waiting for the trek….relaxing and seeing nothing in particular. It is morning and I am at a small cafe with Inca walls taking a breakfast of pancake and coffee…”

“Last night I had very strange dreams and this morning I have a low mood and feel almost invisible; just my pen, coffee, and the low yellow light of the cafe. It is very bright and clear ouside…a beautiful day…”

“I am not saddened or frustrated by my sadness. I do not wish away this mood. I am happy to be sad and lonely.

It is only now, far away from my life, that I am allowed to be sad. Traveling gives me permission to feel however I like and thus allows me to feel at all…I also have the liberty to allow the mood to run its course…to let it wash away whatever it is here to do.

At home I cannot afford ill moods. I cannot allow the moods that make up my emotional dialogue to run their course…and so they don’t. Whatever they are trying to tell me is lost…”

Hmm….very true. Worthless, but true. Since I am now at home….as I stated in Peru, it is hard to allow yourself time to really consider what you’re doing. Perhaps that is what your death bed is for???….such good that it does there.

Anyway, I dug up a picture of Cafe Vayaroc, where I was sitting when I wrote that. You can see the coffee, and my journal in the background:

I’ll leave you with this absolute ridiculousness:

So….to completely ruin the mystique: the building on the left is the town church, even though the lot on behind me looks like its been bombed. The guy on my right is actually counting coins in his hand that people have paid to let you take a picture with his bird….which I’m sure is his solely for the purpose of photos with tourists.

I was just waiting on the bathroom. Its was like 7:30 in the morning and the road we were riding on disappeared off the edge of a cliff 30 minutes later. They’d recently had a landslide.

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I was in a bowling league when I first moved to Atlanta. I averaged in the 170s at my best. I have my own ball, but I have bowled probably 3 times in the last year.

I went home to Easley this weekend and bowled with Josh. After about two pitchers of beer, and maybe 4 or 5 strikes combined in the previous 4 games……I bowled a perfect game: 12 strikes in a row. A big 300.

That’s freakish. I can’t even properly explain the likelihood (or unliklelihood in this case) of that happening. Its like a glitch in the matrix.

The chances are infinitesimally small that a bowler of my skill would bowl a 300 (under any conditions…much less after two pitchers of beer, not having bowled in months, with people watching). I’d never even really gotten close before, even remotely close.

Let’s say every day you go to the gym and jump to touch the highest spot on the backboard you can. You can get about 9.5 feet up, give or take a few inches. This is just above the bottom of the backboard.

Then you take a few months off and sit on the sofa without exercise. You go back to the gym; your first 4 jumps are about the same, touching the bottom of the backboard. On your fifth leap, you jump over the entire backboard and into the bleachers.

Its freakish.

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I knew if I were just patient enough that eventually something good would happen! Its like a miracle….with poor grammar. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth though.

I will respond promptly with the following message:

Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 14:12:14 +0200
From: “vider Amachina”
To: ME
Subject: urgent feedback

From: Vierder Machine

Good thing to write you.

[Me] Yes…good thing. Thank you.

I have a proposal for you- this is however not mandatory nor will in any manner compel you to honour against your will. I also thanks you so much for your mail and your willingness to know what I want to discuses with you which is very important.

[Me] I don’t remember mailing you but it is important so I won’t keep you from explaining to me this important matter.

Mean while I want you to go through this my proposal and get back to me with your urgent response through my private email contact. I must not hesitate to confide in you for this simple and sincere help. I am Vierder Machine

[Me] Great name!

the only daughter of late Mr and Mrs Joseph Machine. who was a very dealers and wealth coco merchant in Abidjan , the capital of Ivory coast.

[Me] I’ve never been. I wonder what it is like to deal in Veries though. Ivory Coast must be a strange and wonderful place.

he was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outings on a business trip.

[Me] Maybe not as wonderful as I thought =(

before his death of one private hospital here in Abidjan he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of US1.500.000(one million five hundred thousand united states dollars) left in a suspense account here in Abidjan cote Devoir. He place my name as next of kin, and also gave the documents pertaining the consignment to me.

[Me] Did he have a fax machine by his death bed as well?

He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth that he was poisoned by his business associates, that I should seek for a partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this money and use it to invest in a profitable ventures.

[Me] Vierder (or however you spell it)…..I’ll go ahead and tell you I’m not one of those gullible types. I’ve heard of those schemes from Africa where they try to sell some poor sap a sob story to get their money. Those schemes are usually from Nigeria though, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for now.

I am just 25 years old and a university undergraduate.

[Me] Let me guess…..not an English major? Oh well, I won’t hold that against you in light of the fact that you’re about to send me 1.5 million bucks.

I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of members of my late father’s family who has not stop disturbing me about the where about of this fund after they have succeeded in claiming almost all the valuable properties that he left behind for me, coupled with incessant political crisis here in Ivory coast. The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life I will like every thing to be conclude soon so that I will join you for me further my study and also prefer to go pastoral school in your country.

[Me] A man of the cloth huh? Your proposal must be sincere then!! And you’re not even from Nigeria…how could I have doubted!

[Me] Also, you’d do better to call it “seminary”, “theology” or something of the like. If you try to enroll in pastoral school you might end up being a shepherd….not really a lot of demand for that in the US.

I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways. 1) to help me transfer the found into the destination account in your country

[Me] Absolutely, immediately. I accept checks, money order, and I have a pay pal account too. (Cash is preferable.)

(2)To serve as the guardian of this fund during and after the transaction. since I am just 25 years (3)To make arrangement for me to come over to your country after the money has been transferred and invest.

[Me] Hey man….you send me a million and a half dollars and I’ll make whatever arrangements you want to come to my country. In fact, I just checked. Delta flies round trip to Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire for about $2500. It takes 22 hours, changing planes in Paris. Stop for a few days if you want. I’ll pick up the tab.

[Me] I can’t believe you chose me man!!!!! Just think, I didn’t even write you that email….its just pure, dumb luck!!!! Completely awesome!!!

Moreover, I am willing to offer you any thing as compensation for your effort / input after the successful transfer of this fund to your nominated account. Furthermore, you can indicate your option towards assisting me as I believe that this transaction would be concluded within some days you signify your interest to assist me.

[Me] Super interested. Transfer away. I can’t quite figure out the tax implications yet….but after I quit my job I’m sure I can look that up on the Internet.

I will appreciate your early. I will be more appreciated if you contact me through my private email for security reason. Vidar_23@yahoo.com
responds. Anticipating to hear from you soon.
Thanks God Bless. ks and
Best regards,
Vierder Machine.

Who’d have thunk it? And they say it is hard work and education that pay off? I’ll tell you what pays off: bank transfers.

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I am solar powered. I feel so much better when it is hot and the sun is shining.

I find lots of ways to waste time at work when I don’t want to do something. When I find it interesting, I almost jump out of bed in the morning and don’t mind staying late.

I think McDonald’s has pretty decent food these days. I used to never eat there. Now I eat there about as much as any other fast food restaurant.

I need new clothes. I wear the same thing all the time, and some of my t-shirts and shorts have been around for the better part of a decade.

I may need to replace one or two of the frets on my acoustic guitar. I’ve worn grooves in them. That’s OK I suppose. It has lasted over 10 years. I could just buy another one, but this one has sentimental value.

I need to stop picking at my fingernails. Its a bad useless habit.

Alright….I notice that I’m tired. I think I’ll go to bed.

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