Mark Richards


Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Last Day

This is my last day here at work before I leave to go back up to New Jersey for Thanksgiving. Let me tell you, I cannot wait to get the heck out of here. Not because I do not like Atlanta. Not because I do not like work. Not because Sarah is annoying me. I need to get out of here because I have not had a vacation since last Christmas and New Year's.

Since I live down here in the south and do not get to see my family very often, I like to take a good chunk of time off around the holidays and visit New Jersey. The only problem with this is that I have to save up my vacation days so that I can use almost all of them at once. Therefore, I am left with very little time that I can actually use to take a "real" vacation. Why is going to New Jersey not a "real" vacation? Well, when I am home, I get very little time to relax. I am always doing something whether it is spending time with family, visiting friends, going out to dinner, taking a trip to the city, or one of a host of other things. Relaxing is not an option. I usually get home and need a vacation from my "vacation". Over the last eleven months, I have taken off only four non-holiday days: two for playing sick and two to move in to my new apartment. Not to mention that when I switched jobs two months ago, I stopped working at BioLab on a Monday and began working at UPS on Tuesday. No time off.

I hope to change that this year though. It is my goal to not take time off from work for New Year's anymore thus giving me two to three more days of vacation time, which in turn can be used to do something that allows me to truly get away. There is nothing that I would like more than to actually travel somewhere for a decent amount of time in the middle of the year. I am getting extremely run down having to go through such long spurts without time off.

Bah! But who cares?! I am leaving work right now and could not be happier.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

The Heat Is On

I would like to take a minute to rub it in the faces of all my northern friends and family. This weekend, four days before Thanksgiving, the temperature is going to reach almost 80 degrees! What is it going to be like up there? 40? Snow? Not here. I plan on washing my car this weekend. Maybe I will wear shorts while doing so. I hope everyone has a good weekend...I know I will.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Long Weekend

What a long weekend. I had the chance to drive up to Clemson on Saturday and watch my Tigers whip up on the Duke Blue Devils. The whole experience was fun and all, but extremely tiring. I had to get up at about 6:30 in the morning and I did not get home until almost 10PM, which included four hours of standing at the game and four hours of driving to and from Clemson. Saturday night I slept for about eleven hours. When I woke up on Sunday morning, I had pancakes made by my wonderful girlfriend and then went back to sleep for four of the next five hours. Needless to say, Sarah was not very happy with me for ignoring her all day.

So, to make it up to her, I had to come through on my promise to take her to see the movie "Love Actually" (Shhh!!! I wanted to see it as well). "Love Actually" is a romantic British comedy starring...well....almost every famous British actor and actress you can imagine. I could say what the movie is about, but that would be no fun. All I would like to say is that I think it is the best chick flick since "My Best Friend's Wedding." Got a date? This is a must see. In the mood to re-evaluate your life and relationships? This is a must see. Looking for a good laugh or shed a small tear? This is a must see.

Hey...get off my back...just because I am in touch with my feelings does not make me a least not entirely.

Friday, November 14, 2003

It Is Cold

It is very cold the thirties! I actually saw my breath for the first time this season. Two days ago it was 82 degrees. I am cold and I do not like it.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Last Game

Our final softball game of the season did not end as Team Bad Guy would have wished. We got absolutely slammed, 18-6, by the worst team in the league...and we were "mercy ruled"! I played horribly in the field making poor throws, not charging the ball, and not fielding the ball cleanly. This was not exactly the way that I wanted to end our first entire year as a team. Team-wise and personally, this was a major letdown. I hope to play in a winter league so that I can keep my skills sharp for next spring.

  • Through our first two seasons, our record was 1-19, but in our third season, we were able to go .500 with a 5-5 record.
  • Our team scoring is up from 7.1 runs per game to 11.5. You have to score runs if you want to win.
  • My batting average has increased almost 125 points over the three seasons from .424 to .548.

    Room For improvement
  • Currently when we lose, we tend to get killed. In our first season, we were "mercy ruled" five times and in seasons two and three this happened only twice each season. I would like to have this not happen at all next year. I hope that we can play well enough to at least be in every game. Limiting our fielding errors should help our cause.
  • My fielding percentage was excellent through seasons one and two, but in the second half of season three I had trouble fielding the ball cleanly and making good, solid throws. I think a few practices where I have to field sharply hit ground balls right at me and to the left and right will remedy this issue.
  • Most importantly, Team Bad Guy needs to find a new pitcher. Now that Cameron has left for San Diego (do not worry, we sent him off quite well) after pitching 27 games for us, we have nobody that has any game experience. Cam was quite valuable with his ability to get the ball over the plate and not walk very many batters. This will be very difficult to replace.

    I feel very good about the spring (the only season that holds a playoff). Our third season personnel additions made our team much stronger and with a few more tweaks, we should become a contender next year. Good season for Team Bad Guy. Thanks for the hard work team!

  • Tuesday, November 11, 2003

    I Hate Funerals

    I hate funerals.

    Friday, November 07, 2003

    Lunar Power

    I found this very interesting article on the proposed Lunar Power System. The premise does not sound too crazy, so I wonder if it is possible. I guess the question is not whether or not it is possible, but whether or not it will happen.

    Wednesday, November 05, 2003

    The Matrix Revolutions

    A bunch of co-workers and I took an extended lunch today in order to go see the movie The Matrix Revolutions. The movie only came out today and being the techie nerds that we are, we had to see it as soon as possible. There has been a whole lot of hype on this movie being that it is the conclusion of The Matrix Trilogy. Did The Matrix Revolutions live up to the hype? Without a doubt! I really do not want to spoil the movie for anyone who may not have seen it yet, but pay close attention to the religious parallels made throughout the movie. I find them to be rather fascinating. This movie rocked and is a must see especially if you are a fan of The Matrix series.

    BIG WIN!

    Last night, Team Bad Guy had one of its biggest victories with a 19-14 win over the Big Uglies. Not only did we beat a team that we have lost to three straight times, hit the cover off the ball, play solid defense, and overcome a late inning surge spurred by our opponent's excellent hitting, but Team Bad Guy seemed to finally come out and work as one cohesive unit. We played with a confidence that I have not seen from this team before. I am very proud of our guys for the improvements made since the team's inception.

    I really wanted this win last night. We have been beaten badly by these guys every time we played them. What was so frustrating about the losses was not that we lost, but how we lost. We just never showed up to play when these guys were standing across the field from us. We have always been plagued by our own poor hitting and/or fielding. I wanted a win so badly that I went as far as to promise victory in an email sent to the team stating that "The Big Uglies will NOT win this game!" I just had a gut feeling that this game was not going to follow the same pattern as its predecessors.

    For the season, this win brings our record to 5-4...a winning record with one game remaining! Our final opponent is against a team that we have already beaten once this season and one that we should beat again. But that is what makes this game dangerous. It is very unwise to take any team for granted. Either way, Team Bad Guy will not have a losing season!

    Tuesday, November 04, 2003

    Halloween Weekend

    Halloween weekend had its ups and downs. Friday night, a bunch of us went to the Q100 Halloween party, Jack-Q-Lantern, at the Biltmore Hotel. I had a good time dressing up as a Roman God and dancing the night away with the couple thousand people that showed up. I hope to have some more pics at a later time.

    The rest of the weekend kinda sucked. I was stuck indoors most of the time due to the fact that I had the flu. I am feeling better now with the exception of the lingering cold symptoms.

    Today is one of those days that I can barely form a sentence, so I am going to stop writing now.