Whiplash…

I have a lot of catching up to do on this blog. Without getting too lengthy, I’ll begin by stating that I’ve had some changes in my life since my last post. Two of the most important ones happened most recently.

Long story short, within the last year, I have bought a home, got married and of 3 days ago our first child was born.

My beautiful wife Amy and our newborn son, Daniel.

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Growing up…

Life comes at you fast. You’re getting older. Obtaining more responsibilities. You never know who’s watching you.

Over the last few years, I’ve experienced some lifestyle changes. First and more importantly is being an uncle. I would guess, typically being an uncle is all about having fun and enjoying your   time with your nephew or nieces. My case is a little different. Well, I still get to have fun, but being an uncle for me is loaded full of responsibilities and being watched constantly by my little nephew. I share the house with my sister and her husband. While my sister and brother-in-law are doing a fantastic job raising their child, I also do the best I can to reinforce the discipline and love this house shares. Also, I know he’s watching me, so I must be a good example for him. Knowing that alone teaches me that he is a reflection of all of us, including myself. Therefore, I must continue to grow in every aspect possible while he’s growing up.

Ethan's 4th Birthday
Ethan’s 4th Birthday

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Muddy Sweetness…

Recently, I’ve taken on a hobby of finding non-chain establishments of coffee shops and book stores. Yes, I still love going to Starbucks and Barnes and Noble. However, I find the atmosphere of non-chain establishments more relaxing and socially appealing. I guess, it’s like an adventure actually holding a conversion with a random stranger and then suddenly that person I’m speaking to doesn’t feel like a stranger anymore.

Now, you’re probably wondering of which non-chain establishment I discovered. I guess I’ll tell you. The name of the store is Muddy’s Bake Shop. At first when I drove by it I read the name of it as Muddy’s Brake Shop. The young lady behind the register laughed when I told her this. She followed up with, “…we do brakes in the back.” It’s an instant laugh with a touch of sweetness.

I first learned about the bake shop from a fellow twitter user, @GEEKvGIRL. She mentioned it awhile back and since then I’ve forgotten the name of the place. Fortunately, I was to Google “Memphis” and “cupcakes” and the top result was, “Muddy’s Bake Shop.” You can visit their site for more information and/or follow @muddysbakeshop on Twitter.

cupcake selection
cupcake selection

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Looking Back…

Typically, New Years is a time of looking forward, making goals, and planning for what is to come. Well, it doesn’t hurt to have a moment of reflection and revisiting the past year. I’m not going to reflect on every detail but I will go over some of the events that probably had the biggest impact on my life. I’d like to note that it is really amazing how when you sit down to write and after all you’ve thought about what your’e going to write and then your mind is blank.

In 2009 I thought I’ve give dating a try. Yes, I actually went on a few dates. Most of them were, well all of them were first dates; however, the experience it self was enough to provide me with some comfort of knowing that I can still go on a date. I really can’t remember how long it’s been since my ex-girlfriend and I were together, but it seems like a few years at least. I bring that up because she and I didn’t really go through the whole dating ritual. Yes, I did take her out for dinner on the first date, but what I’m getting at is that we just kinda went with it. So the phrase, “I can still go on a date,” is referring to the first time I’ve had to wonder if there was going to be a second date.

Another event that stands out is when I passed College Algebra. Yes, it’s a big milestone after taking the class 3 or 4 times already. I’ve always had trouble with math. The homework is never similar to the notes in class and as much as I would love to learn hieroglyphs, some equations look exactly like that. Why I passed this time and not the previous attempts is a good question. Maybe I took the class so many times that I finally started to understand it. I will say this. Some people, like myself, could “understand” much less grasp College Algebra if was taught a bit differently. For example, provide a real application with each area of problems. I’m not saying prove to me how I can use College Algebra, but provide an application of how it is used so I understand how to understand it and apply it. Like some people say, if you don’t use it then you lose it and if you can’t apply it then you never had it.

Finally I’ll leave you with this. In 2009 I became an uncle for the first time. My sister and brother in law brought into this world a little boy named Ethan. Since I roommate with my sister and her husband I get to spend a lot of time with Ethan. He’s about 4 months old right now and nothing puts a smile on my face as quick as seeing a smile on his. He’s not my child but I think he’s already changed the way I look at life.

Well, this is my reflection over the events of 2009. Now, I look foward to 2010.

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Coffee Trek…

java cabana

Hello, my name is Gary Woodard and I’m a coffee connoisseur. I’ve made a point to try any type, blend and flavor of coffee I can brew. Aside from drinking the coffee that I normally fix in the morning at the office, I like to explore strange new coffee shops and seek out new blends of coffee and to boldly go where no coffee taster has gone before.

Well, on this episode of Coffee Trek I discovered a strange new coffee shop called, Java Cabana. Java Cabana is located in the Cooper-Young district in Memphis, TN. Like Java Cabana, the Cooper-Young area itself is new to me as well.

At first I was concerned of where I was going to park. Luckily for me there was a place a to park right across the street from the coffee shop. Once inside I felt like I was entering a world that I’ve already been to once before. The furniture, music and the decor reminded me of walking into someone’s home. There were different types of couches, love seats, chairs with coffee tables and dining tables spread throughout the shop. On the back wall was a book shelf filled with different board games.

I was greeted by a friendly fellow named Wesley. I am by no means an expert on tasting coffee; however, I am a bit picky as to how my coffee should taste. I decided to order a Mocha. The Mocha is a drink I normally order from Starbucks.

The taste was unbelievably smooth and pleasant. The amount of expresso, milk and syrup seemed to perfectly proportioned.

Needless to say, if you’re in Memphis and you’re looking for a an alternative to Starbucks then just go over to Java Cabana and explore a taste of coffee that is out of this world.

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Sold out…

image1901165069.jpg

Mobile Blogging from here.

I’m sitting at Ben & Jerry’s with a strawberry orange banana smoothie. Micheal and I showed up to the theater a little to late. The 9:45 showing of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was sold out. I hadn’t planned on staying out really late tonight; however, after driving this far and waiting this long to see it I might as well wait a little bit longer. We decided on the 10:20 showing instead.

Sadly, this will be my second time watching this movie and probably won’t be the last time before it leaves theaters.

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ATT Live Day 3…

Day 3 was a lot of fun. My geek hat never left my head the entire day. The morning session consisted Troubleshooting Techniques for Linux. Two words, “Very Powerful.” After lunch I attended a class on failover for Groupwise Webaccess. Grant it, it wasn’t the type of class I was expecting, yet still a lot of good information I can take back with me.

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