Monday, January 30, 2012

April Is Coming!

Yes sir! A full teaser trailer for the 2nd season of HBO's Game of Thrones aired last night before the premiere of their new show, Luck. And here it is below for all your viewing pleasure:

(If the above clip is too choppy or cannot be viewed properly, click on this link for the YouTube version.)

How stoked are you now? If you're like me, then the answer is: FLLBBPT@$!#!!!! Oh, sorry about that. It's hard to talk when you're drooling so much. But BY THE SEVEN! That looked friggin AWESOME! I love how that sneaky fat eunuch, Varys, can't help himself from hinting at what's really going on behind the scenes of this continents-spanning game of power. But if he thinks Tyrion is one to be cowed or awed by such hintings, then the Master of Whispers has seriously underestimated the dwarf. Or has he?

Although this next season will only cover Book 2 (and perhaps even parts of Book 3, I hear), Varys' words in this trailer echo some pretty amazing plot turns that occur much later in the series. If you haven't read as far as Book 5 yet, not knowing what I'm referring to won't be a big deal. Although, I do have to say that inklings of the spy master's true role in all the political machinations afoot in this series has already been revealed in the first season. So it's probably no surprise to anyone that the bald fucker has more of a hand in things than someone of his station should. And if you've read Book 2 already, you know he and Tyrion will make for interesting "bed fellows" during the full-on shit storm to come this season.

Oh, trust me: It's going to be glorious! :)

Season 2 of Game of Thrones will air Sunday, April 1st, only on HBO!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cruise Pics Are Up!

So I had a plan. See, it was a simple one as plans go. But, alas, as with most such endeavors, the simple ones blow up into these huge undertakings . . . and I find that I simply just don't have the energy or enthusiasm anymore. It happens.

I had planned to write this big, expansive trip report about the cruise we just returned from last Saturday. With tons of pics, too. And then I realized: that's what Facebook is for! So I went on there and uploaded all the relevant photos worth sharing (and trust me, the remaining ones -- let's just say the fewer who see those, the better), and VOILA! I was done. Nothing more about our nice little holiday needed to be said. Finito.

So, this is to say if anyone is so inclined to see what a fabulous time Lisa and I had on our fantastic voyage around the Eastern Caribbean, head on over to my Facebook photo album linked here. I've provided enough captions with each photo to tell the full story of our gala excursion, anyway, so no one should be left in the dark.

Just remember: click on the first pic . . . and then click on it again to get to the next one in the sequence. That simple! Oh and needless to say, if you're already friends with me on Facebook you've probably seen these already. Sorry.

Hope everyone's having a good weekend so far. I spent all day battling some ridiculous virus eating away all my hard drive space on this 8 year old machine. See, I came back from our vacation to find that roughly 50 gigabytes of free space had vanished in the interim. Ye gods! Now how the hell did that happen? Well it seems some mysterious malware culprit was self-replicating and using up all my hard earned space. But, anyway, I got it all squared away--and with more room to spare. I regained the 50, and an additional 32 GB to boot after a thorough purging of some years old files I really had no business holding on to. I'm now up to 82 GB of freed-up disk space, out of a 120 GB HDD. Disaster averted!

As for the rest of my night? I think I'll turn in and begin reading a new book I've put off for far too long:

Oooh, I can't wait!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another Great Advantage Of The Season

Or, why I love winter . . . Reason # 12 (or something like that). I should really compile them all into a list one of these days.

But, anyway, as I was getting dressed to head out to work this morning, I was reminded once again about one of the many advantages of the cold, dark months of winter. The primary advantage for me, of course, is being able to work out excessively and not drip buckets full of sweat in the process.

But another convenience is getting dressed in the morning.

Nothing is easier than throwing on a sweater over some slacks or jeans, a big coat over that, and heading right out the door. In the winter time, no one is paying much attention to what you wear. And even if they are, you're wearing a big coat anyway -- so who's to know?

This is why I love it this time of year! Here in New York City, summer time is a pain in the ass in more ways than one. But one of the biggest peeves of mine is that too many people take the warmer months as an opportunity to model their wardrobes. It's kind of perverse how bad it gets here. On the subway, you get sized up from head to toe by pretty much every pair of eyes. Not because people are so nosy (although, insatiable human curiosity is certainly part of the blame), but because sitting on the subway waiting to arrive at your stop is supremely BORING! And, hey, checking out your fellow passengers is better than peering at that Citibank poster board for the umpteenth time, right? At least, that seems to be true of most MTA riders. I personally just read an e-book or close my eyes for the duration of my trip.

So in the summer time around here, everyone is in your business. And this means you must constantly be aware of what you're wearing. Mismatched color schemes or wrinkles can be covered up by a jacket during the colder months. But in the dog days of summer . . . you must step correct. Clothes need to be ironed and set -- and things need to MATCH!

I hate putting effort into the way I dress. It's the last thing I want to be doing. I hate clothes shopping, and even more clothes CHOOSING! But when you live in a big city where you are forced to interact daily with the press of humanity, there's a certain pressure to maintain at least a semblance of decorum about your person. For those of you who have the luxury of driving to and from work in the solitude and privacy of your own vehicle, you have my eternal envy. I'm pretty anti-social, so subway commuting in the big city is a major annoyance to me. And I have to do it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! Twice, in fact. Both ways! And summer time only cranks up that exasperation factor by twenty.

But here in January? No one cares. Everyone's too cold to notice what you're wearing. It's too dark in the morning, anyway. And that's right where I belong. I thrive best in environs where people ignore one another and go about their own business, just as it should be. And here in NYC, only during this brief window of December to March can you achieve such a perfect anti-social balance in a city populated by 8 million narcissistic souls.

Also, winter clothes never need to be ironed. Hallelujah! As long as you fold them nicely, or set them on hangers the night before, sweaters stay perfect no matter what! And, of course, there's always the big overcoat to hide it all anyway, as I've already mentioned. This means that I spend all of three minutes in the morning getting dressed for work -- which is HUGE, don't you know? It's literally the least amount of effort you can possibly expend to look passably decent. And that suits me just fine, pardon the pun. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chillin, Kicking Back A Few . . .

And by "chillin" I of course mean that literally!

It seems a few of you were more interested in the part of the cruise where my wife and I hung out at the onboard ice bar, so I figured I'd talk about that unique experience some more.

Aboard the Norwegian "Epic," among the many different distractions like the casino and two (count 'em) 3-lane bowling alleys--not to mention all the other bars and themed cocktail lounges--is a Svedka-sponsored joint called the Ice Bar.

It's basically a huge walk-in freezer setup to resemble the inside of a glacier . . . or maybe Superman's Fortress of Solitude, you take your pick. After paying the cover charge, you're handed a pair of woolen gloves, shown a rack containing parkas lined with fake fur, and then led through the bunker-like door before having it slammed shut behind you and bolted.

Yes, bolted. I shit you not.

You then pass through a second metallic door and some plastic flaps and come upon this scene:

As you can see, it's quite an experience. Amid the ice-block seats and sculptures of Vikings and polar bears, you have a bar tended by one guy wearing a fur cap and surrounded by bottles of Svedka vodka.

The specialty drinks are presented on a menu atop the counter as you first enter the place. Since blue is my favorite color, I naturally went with the Cobalt Blue as my first drink. The image is a bit blurry above, I know, but the ingredients for this drink are: Inniskillin Icewine, Vodka, and Blue Curacao -- in case any of you playing at home would like to make your own.

All drinks were served in specially formed ice chalices, which serves double duty as a holder for your drink as well as chilling the contents. Ahhhh! I have to admit, it was quite delish! Even if I couldn't feel my lips or tongue beyond the third sip.

The poor bartender had to keep ducking in and out of the establishment as I could imagine standing in a 0-degree freezer for minutes on end is not a particular fun job to do. I myself lasted a whole fifteen minutes in the place before I, too, had to bow out. But I was wearing long pants and a button shirt at the time, while others there were in shorts and sandals. And even after we left for the night, I have to admit my fingers were still numb a half hour later from gripping those blasted icicle cups! Brrrrrr!

It was a fun experience, though. I would very much love to go to one again, particularly in the summer time here in New York. I have to research that, because I'm sure there must be one here in this big ole city. Something to keep in mind when those dog days of August arrive, eh?

Hope you all are having a great Sunday. I know I am -- my Giants are going to the SUPER BOWL!!! Fun for me, but most likely dull for the rest of the country not part of the Northeast right now. I mean, talk about a broken record! :)

But yes, life is good. Night, everybody!

A Study In Extremes

So, I'm back. Miss me?

We just got in a few hours ago, and I'm pretty beat. But just wanted to say that this last week spent traipsing across the western portions of the Caribbean was a blast! Lisa and I had tons of fun, tons of sun . . . and tons of FOOD! Oink, oink!

As per usual upon returning from a cruise (and we've been on THREE now!), it's kinda hard getting used to not being waited on hand and foot, and to not having copious amounts of food and drink being shoved in your direction at all hours of the day and night. You'd be surprised how fast you can get accustomed to such kingly treatment.

But alas, all good things must come to an end. We're back in the mean ol' boogie-down Bronx tonight, and boy the differences could not be any more extreme! See, we left behind daily temps in the upper 70s and low 80s, with vistas such as these:

(That's the island of St. Martin, btw) . . . Only to have the airplane descend through the clouds over New York City today and reveal the following landscape spread out below us:

Wow! Talk about a slap in the face back to reality, eh? We went from perfect beach weather every day of the week, to 25 degrees and 5 inches of freshly fallen snow on the ground. Brrrr!

I took the pic above right through the airplane's window as we flew over Far Rockaway on approach to JFK airport. And once landed and through the terminal, was met with the most intense, meat-freezer like temperatures I've ever felt. And this from the guy who has an unnaturally high tolerance for the cold. Wow! Guess all that beach and Mai Tai drinks went to my head.

Although, it wasn't all warmth and sunshine while we were away. Our cruise ship had an onboard ice lounge, whereby patrons donned wool gloves and [faux] fur-lined parkas before stepping through a freezer door into a bar and lounge comprised almost entirely of ice! The thermometer hovered on or just above 0 degree Fahrenheit. How's that for COLD??? Lisa couldn't stand three minutes of it before having to bail. I myself loved it! I had three arctic-inspired beverages in specially designed ice-cube chalices. Yes, these were glasses made from frozen water! You could feel the bone-numbing coldness seep through the wool gloves, people! It was so cold that my lips became numb after just a few sips, and as a result some of my drink dribbled down my chin and onto the parka. What a clutz!

Still, I'll leave you with this blurry iPhone pic of me toasting the Icelandic gods of ice and . . . er, more ice. Skål, everybody!

Some of you on Facebook have already seen these pics, but I should be posting up a host of others shortly. In the meantime, I hope you all behaved in my absence, and that your week was a great one too! I'll try to update more deets about our trip in the days to come.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rejection . . . And An Unexpected Surprise


I've been so flustered lately (for reasons I won't go into here) that I've forgotten all about blogging. And then, I woke up this morning to find a rejection letter waiting in my inbox for one of my more recent short stories I submitted over a month ago. But that's the breaks, I guess. I'm in the middle of putting the finishing touches on yet another short story, so I'll find another place to submit the rejected one before finishing up that one.

And then I get back to work on the ongoing novel. Phew! The life of a part-time writer who still has to work a 9-5 every day, eh? Now you know why finding the right amount of time to blog can be so crucial. At least to me.

Anyway . . . I have some unexpected news. Remember back when I said I was contemplating my very first sci-fi  convention in Boston next month? Sure you do, I mentioned it right here! Well, turns out that I won't be making it to that after all. Boooo! I know, right?

But the reason why, is . . .

We're going on a cruise! And I mean, as in right now!!! Well, okay, not RIGHT NOW, right now. But in less than two days! Holy crap, why such short notice? Well, I only just found out yesterday and needless to say I've been in a whirlwind trying to get things ready--including  having to let my boss know I would need to take an immediate leave for all of next week. Whoa! Thank god I have an awesome boss, and that I am an awesome employee who usually never ever does things like this. So everything worked out fine and my leave request was quickly and painlessly granted.

But yes, we're going on a cruise. I won't go into the details of how this fortune came upon me, but suffice to say that my wife did all the planning and neglected to tell me until the last minute. Surprise, surprise! But as far as they go, this is a good one. If you recall, I was just mentioning how I thought I might plan a beach vacation sometime for later this month. Well, looks like I was beaten to the punch!

And where will we be going? Well, let me not get ahead of myself. First, this is the cruise ship we will be sailing on:

It's Norwegian Cruise Line's "Epic," one of their largest--if not THE largest--vessels in their fleet. In fact, it's so large that it belongs to a new class of cruise ship called "megaliners," and can carry as many as 4,100 passengers. *gulp* That's a helluva whole lot of people!

We'll be leaving from Miami this Saturday afternoon for a 7-day tour of the Eastern Caribbean:

As you can see by the map, our first stop will be in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten -- which is the Dutch sister country to the French colonized St. Martin, situated on the same island and to the north.

After spending a day there, we'll sail west nor'west to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

And then our last port of call after that will be the Bahamas. I hear Norwegian has their own private island there, but if time allows I will endeavor to hit up Atlantis Resort and give it a quick look-see. Or maybe not. When in the Bahamas, I prefer more out of the way and laid back locales. Atlantis is a huge tourist trap, but as such it might be worth seeing what all the fuss is about.

In-between it all, we'll be spending approximately 3 days completely at sea. If you've ever been on a cruise before, you know that sea days can be brutally boring if your ship is lacking on the entertainment side and is too crowded. Luckily, I get the feeling we won't have to deal with too many large families and kids. I'm not aware of January being a terribly popular vacation period for families, especially given the fact that kids are still in school. I've never been on vacation during the winter months, though, only the summer. So needless to say I'm going to be thrilled if I don't have to deal with the usual HORDES of annoying, screaming kids and bratty, sulky teenagers. Oh, I so hope that is the case!

But, anyway, it's not like we won't have our distractions. Epic seems to be fully prepared for long sea days, as evidenced by their many on-board venues and amenities. I've only done a casual perusal of what's on offer, but here's what I found thus far:

Can you believe that? A huge outdoor theater, a water park, and--GASP!--is that a freaking bowling alley? Double-you Tee Eff? How big is this ship, anyway? Of course, we've been on huge cruise liners before, so none of this should really be all that surprising to me. Still, I seriously doubt we'll be left wanting for things to do. On top of this, I'll be bringing along my laptop to get some writing done.

As you can see our cabin has a balcony, so I plan on sitting out there in the morning hours and getting a few hundred words in before the sun is directly overhead and I head up to the weather deck for some lounging and reading!

Ah, what a life! I anticipate my most difficult decision will be whether or not to wear shorts or trousers to dinner . . . and, do I really need that second dessert?

Because, oh, it is SO ON! :)

Fear not, though. I'll be sure to take plenty of pics while we're gone, and perhaps even a vid or two. We'll be back a week from this Saturday, but I can't rule out a possible quick blog update or two in the interim. Personally, I wouldn't hold my breath on that if I were you. But stranger things have happened on our excursions . . .

In the meantime, you can peruse the Facebook photo albums from our previous two cruises here and here if it suits you. No pressure, though.

I hope you all have a pleasant weekend and following week. I'll try not to come back with too deep of a tan! :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Take Away My Sun, Give Me The Snow!

Over at the Economic Disconnect, my good friend GYSC relates the tale of why he dislikes winter. It's a great story, and you should head on over there to read it. I have to admit, he gives a pretty good reason for hating the season.

But me? I absolutely *love* the winter. If I had my way, I would live somewhere up in Maine or the frozen wilds of Canada, even. As far away from people as possible. I'm a recluse like that. Also, I find that the cold weather has this habit of civilizing people to the point where they behave like normal human beings. I suppose this comes from living in New York City all my life. Especially in the congested urban blight that is the Bronx where I grew up, where people practically live on top of each other and crime, as a result, is rampant. The only time this place gets decent is when the temps dip below freezing. Then everyone stays the hell indoors and learn to mind their business. Trust me, no one starts trouble around here in the months of January through March. It's glorious!

I was reminded of this very fact tonight as I was walking home. I took a shortcut through the city park across the street from my building, and not a single soul was out. I had the entire park to myself! The trees were bare and ghostly all around me--the air so crisp--and I could hear my own footfalls echo across the expanse. It was surreal, and even beautiful if you can believe it. And the biting cold just made me feel so ALIVE! This is why I love winter, I thought. This right here. When else do you get to be so alone and feel so great smack dab in the middle of the South Bronx?

The park, devoid of less hearty souls than I! (Yankee Stadium in the background)

Summer time is horrendous here. In the months of July and August, that same park has literally 80 - 120 people at all times just loitering about, talking late into the morning hours, playing craps and dominoes, shooting off firearms at random moments (yes, this DOES happen), and just generally making the park an unpleasant place to walk through.

But not now. Now, when the temps are in the low 20s F, and the windchill is in the single digits, the neighborhood is calm and at peace. And I find my mood reflecting that.

Like my friend GYSC, I have my own winter tale of caution to tell as well. When you read it, you'll wonder how I could ever love the season as much as I do.

See, I was in the Boy Scouts once. Rose all the way to the rank of Scout First Class before finally quitting around the age of 15. But this one time when I was 13, my troop decided to go camping in the woods in the middle of January. Yes, that's right: JANUARY! It was to attend some Scouts version of the winter Olympics, by which a bunch of local troops gather in the woods and compete at various skill-based competitions. First Aid and Rescue, Knot Tying, Shelter Building, Snow-Shoe Assembly (oh yes), Map & Compass use, and even Tracking. We sign up and participate in all these events in the attempt to earn our relevant merit badges.

Sounds great, right? Except, we were all kids from the inner-city ghetto. We didn't know shit about tracking through the woods. WTF? Still, our little Bronx troop of misfits tried our best. We didn't win anything, but at least we tried.

Here's where things get interesting, though. See, we had to set up our own lodging of course. Which meant constructing lean-tos and unrolling our sleeping bags inside them. Plain and simple. Problem is, I came woefully ill-equipped for that last part. Whereas everyone else somehow had these specially insulated winter sleeping bags--or "mummy bags" as we called them--I could only afford the thin, warm weather variety. My friends nicknamed it a "desert bag," since the desert is probably the only place such a pathetic excuse of a sleeping bag might work.

I've never been so cold in all my life! And to make matters worse, on that first night it started to snow. And continued snowing. By the time morning came around, we were all buried under 8 inches of snow! Yes, here we were in the middle of the woods in New Jersey while a damn blizzard was raging around us. We accumulate around 4 more inches before noon when the storm finally stopped. I don't think I ever once stepped out of my full winter gear, even to use the latrine. Hell, I even slept in my coat and mountain boots!

We managed to still have fun, though. That's what I remember the most. The bunch of us collecting firewood, running through drifts of snow, playing capture the flag and king of the mountain. I busted my knee slipping on a covered boulder while running through the woods once, but for some reason I got right back up and continued to chase after the rest of the troop. It really was like we were the Lost Boys out there.

But by the time the weekend came to a close, I was feeling the pain. Not even my glove warmers were doing the trick anymore. And I was wearing two pairs! I remember the troop packing up and hiking the long trail back down to the Ranger's station and parking lot. We stumbled along like zombies, none us able to feel our toes. And carrying all that gear on our backs sucked!

But then we made it, and I remember having a hot chocolate at the trading post while waiting for my aunt to come pick me up. Yes, we were too poor of a troop to afford organized transportation even. But somehow that only made the experience more endearing. When I came home, I took the longest, most decadent hot bubble bath of my life! I soaked in the tub for HOURS, submerged up to my nose, and still the warmth didn't seem to reach my bones. After continuing to run the hot water from the faucet for a while, it finally happened. But damn if I'll never forget that feeling of everlasting cold. BRRRRRR!

Yet despite all that, I loved it! I tell you right now I would do it all over again. I think something happened that weekend out there in the barren woods. For, from that moment on, I was always impervious to the cold. When I went away to Vermont for college, I would develop an even higher tolerance for the cold. Nowadays, no matter how cold it gets here in the city, it can never ever be THAT cold. This is nothing. I can do temps in the teens and twenties in my sleep. Ho-hum!

That all being said, I find myself thinking the impossible lately. I find myself contemplating taking a vacation to the Bahamas later this month. I know it won't really happen, but I can hope. My wife and I have this one perfect little island we like to go to there, and right about now it sounds just about DIVINE. Not because I need to escape the cold, but because I've never taken a beach holiday in the winter. Every time we go to the Caribbean, or some other near tropical locale, it always seems to be in the summer time. For once I would like to experience the novelty of getting on the plane where it's below freezing, and getting off where the people are wearing shorts and t-shirts and sipping mai-tais. :)

Sounds nice, doesn't it? Maybe we might do just that!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Channeling Crazy Dreams Into Creative Projects

About a month ago I posted this update here about one of my short stories that had been based on a strange, Vicodin-fueled dream of mine. And although I never did sell the damn thing, I still consider it one of my better tales.

Well, looks like I've been inspired by Mr. Sandman all over again. Just, this time, minus the drugs.

Last night I had a pretty wicked dream, one that unfolded like a Stephen King story. It wasn't as wild and deranged as you might expect though, but I thought it to be quite interesting nonetheless. I woke up from it in the early morning hours before the sun had even risen. It was such a great idea for a story that I jumped out of bed and rushed into our den to dictate the dream into my iPhone.

But something told me to sit down and power up the PC, which I did. And instead of reciting the bare bones of a cool sci-fi/horror blend short story, I ended up cranking out a full-fledged outline in quick hand without pause. When I was done, I sat back and blinked, surprised that the sun had risen in the meantime. Whoa, that was intense! Somehow I had managed to perfectly capture the main essence of the dream, while at the same time roughing out the skeleton of a compelling 3-part narrative in the process.

I felt shocked. I felt proud. I felt . . . AMAZING! I went back to my pillow with a smile, but was too excited thinking about plot points to resume sleep.

Has this ever happened to you writers out there? Isn't it the most incredible feeling, like, EVAR?

When eventually I did get up for the day and finished eating breakfast, I immediately locked myself away in the den and proceeded to pound out 1,000 words of the initial draft. I get the feeling this will be one of my shorter tales, so it's possible I'm already 1/4th of the way through. It certainly feels like I'm moving along nicely. After I finish the first draft and maybe a second, I'll return to that ever progressing novel of mine. Don't worry, that's still moving along nicely. I'm not neglecting it.

I love writing!

Anyway, switching to different gears . . . if you notice my "Now Playing" sidebar on the right of the page, I've started up that game I mentioned a few months back:

I've been heavily invested in this title pretty much since the very moment I slid the disc into my Playstation 3 last week. I didn't think I would get drawn in so completely by it, but I did. The story just sucked me in LIKE THAT! This is why I love the end of the year. I get to choose from among all the great titles I didn't have time to try out during the year, and pick the one that looks like it will be the most fun. This Christmas season, as it was back in 2009, that game turned out to be an Uncharted title. And in this adventure, Nathan Drake and his compatriots travel from the London underground (literally), to a run-down medieval estate in France, to a Crusades-era castle in Syria, and now to the Arabian desert. All in search of a forgotten city of treasure lost beneath the sands.

This, for me, is the type of stuff that fuels my dreams. Which in turn fuels my writing. It's a neat "circle of life" approach to creativity, don't you agree? And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Now if I can only discipline myself to write when I need to write, and play when I need a break. But that's every writer's dilemma, I know. :)

Tomorrow I return to work since being gone for two weeks. I'm actually looking forward to a return to my normal schedule. Funny how that happens, huh?

Have a great week, guys!

How Bout Them G-Men, Eh?

Well, this was an awesome night for my NY Giants. Way to go, Big Blue!!! Sucks to be a fan of any Texas-based team this Sunday, but sometimes that's just the way the cards are dealt. But at least one of your teams is still going to the playoffs, Texas. Us New York football fans--with (count 'em) THREE pro teams to root behind--are certainly no stranger to drawing all blanks come the post-season.

But not this year. Oh no, 2012 is already starting off to a promising start. What a happy New Year, indeed! :)

It's funny, because at the start of the season I had that OTHER New York team heading to the post--those Jets. I am and always will be a Giants fan, though, so in my heart of hearts I secretly wished that they would be the ones to pull it off. And boy did I get my wish!

And you can't write them off as a fluke, either. I mean, their offense is really starting to look dangerous out there, folks! I mean *really* dangerous. It's too early yet, and I don't want to jinx things . . . but, yeah. I'll just leave it at that. But you know that saying about waking the sleeping giant, right? 'Nuff said.

They face Atlanta next week. Will be a tough game, but one that will be on our home turf. The Giants are pretty confident at home, so this could end up being one for the ages. If somehow they make it through and have to face the Packers next, though, I think I might have to take the week off sick as I'm going to possibly pass out from nerves.

But in the meantime, hey -- FIRST BLOG ENTRY OF THE NEW YEAR! w00t!

Have a good night, everybody.

Panama Trip - Day 1: Here There Be Balboas!

In late May, 2017 I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. A trip to Panama's steamy tropical province, Bocas del Toro. Now, before 2017 ...