Technically, I’ve been here the whole time.  Problem is that I’ve been a complete slacker on my blog entries.  Actually, slacker might be a little generous, I’ll go with complete failure on my blog entries.

As you can tell by the header, I’m gainfully employed again and somewhere along the way, 40-50 hours of my weeks are now devoted to that work thing.  I’d like to say it hasn’t impacted my writing/tweeting/etc., but that’s life.

The work is good, I’m back in Consulting and the clients have definitely been experiencing a turnaround of some degree.  Many more projects out there and a lot of roles to be filled.  Consulting is an interesting job because of the need to be such a utility player.  You’re that baseball player that can switch from 2nd, to right field, back to shortstop.  In consulting you’ve got to be able to put yourself in a number of roles, so I’m getting good experience and really enjoy the company I’m working for.

I’m going to put forth a concerted effort to make more entries on here and look forward to hearing any comments you’ve got for me.  Be on the lookout for my running entries, tracking my New Years Resolution of running 1,000 miles in 2010 (currently about 280 down!).

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Ben & Jerry’s FroYo – Half Baked

What is it? Frozen Yogurt!  With brownies and cookie dough pieces in it!

Why is it so awesome? Because it’s delicious, and it’s not as calorie intensive as ice cream.  Even if it’s not great for you, it’s at least a little better than ice cream…

Will it make me fat? Possibly.  I bought this at Super Target in the pint size container, and the serving size is a half-cup.  There are four servings in the container, each one coming out to 180 calories and 3g of fat.  Not so bad, right?  It does have 4g of protein for each serving, so that’s good…Consider this though, the normal Half Baked flavor comes out to 270 calories a serving and a whopping 13g of fat.  With the froyo, if you eat the whole container in one sitting because you had a bad day, it’s only 720 calories!

Where can I get it? I bought it tonight at Super Target, but I believe it’s sold at pretty much any grocery store out there.  I mean, it’s Ben & Jerry’s, it’s not going to be hard to come by.  If you feel like being social with your froyo, check out the store locator and find your closest Ben & Jerry’s.

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Ok – starting a new job and I just can’t show up looking like a schmuck.

I got a laptop from my company, but the laptop bag just isn’t cutting it.  After the laptop and folio are in the bag, there’s barely enough room for me to fit in a mouse and power cord.  After that, I still need to fit in some extra-curriculars like snacks (please see my “Nom” posts for more information there), reading material (National Geographic, Smithsonian and Runners World), an umbrella and back up tie.  Plus I hate carrying things in my pockets, so most likely everything in my pockets will end up in the bag (duckbill money clip, yes please).

So that’s my problem and this is where you come in.  Please help me find the perfect bag that isn’t your normal run of the mill laptop bag.  I also don’t want to spend a small fortune on it, which is why I can’t convince myself to purchase a bag from Saddleback Leather Company (starting at…$495, although they do have a 100 year warranty).

If you pull up that link, you’ll get an idea of the style I like.  I expect big things from you internet people.

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For those of you unaware, I really like to eat.  That’s probably why I used to weigh 270lbs, and even though I’ve learned to be a lot healthier, I still like to eat.

“Nom nom nom” is a form of onomatopoeia, the sound made when devouring something so delicious that you can’t take a break to make normal sounds.  If you’re trying to visualize this, just think of Cookie Monster when he gets his hands on a batch of fresh, monster cookies.  Still nothing?  Check out the 2-minute mark of this video and you should be good to go.

So I’ve decided that each week on Friday, I’m going to discuss what I enjoyed “noming” on during the previous week.  And now for my debut entry…

Jack Link’s – Teriyaki Beef Steak Nuggets

What is it? Beef jerky!  With teriyaki flavoring!  But not just beef jerky, these are beef steak nuggets.

Why is it so awesome? Because in the nugget form, you don’t encounter any of the hard, dried out pieces of jerky that you find in a normal bag.

Will it make me fat? No!  A normal bag of these delightful treats is 3.4oz.  According to the package, they’re 96% fat free, with 1g of fat per serving (3 servings in a bag).  They also have about 70 calories per serving, so you can eat the whole bag and only account for 210 calories.  Lastly, the protein is pretty good at 10g per serving, 30g in a bag.  That should be enough to tide you over until your next meal.  It does appear that there’s 20% of your daily sodium in-take per serving, but I think that’s the only area you can take points off.

Where can I get it? Don’t buy it at a grocery store!  It’s expensive, at least in my opinion.  $4.99 for a bag that’s pretty easy to go through at most grocery stores.  I’d recommend picking it up at Target or Wal-Mart where you can usually find it for a more manageable $3.99.

Hope you enjoy them and let me know if you try other flavors!  I’m partial to the teriyaki, but according to their site they have a lot of other flavors such as Original, A-1, Peppered, Flamin’ Buffalo (chicken), Fajita Tender (chicken), and I think there’s more but their site isn’t cooperating with me right now…

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Pending a background and drug test.  I accepted an offer with a Management Consulting Firm here in Charlotte last week.  It’s a full-time job and not contract work, which is comforting to have during the current economy.  Orientation starts on 8/24 and I’m looking forward to it, although I have to admit that the free time over the summer has been enjoyed.

I already have let some money burn a hole in my pocket, after taking a trip to the mall to celebrate and then treating some friends to Hawthorne’s Pizza on Saturday night.  I am starting to look over my to-do list and wish list and see what I need to start working on now that I’ll have a money flow.

I have enjoyed the blogging and will continue to do so even as I’m employed (although per the suggestion of my graphic designer, we’re going to put a slash through the “un” part of my blog title).  I’ll just be doing the blogging on personal time and not company time.

Thanks for reading so far and I’m looking forward to bringing you more info in the future.

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Review – TuneUp

So we all know the story.  Your iTunes music library is a trainwreck and thousands of songs means it’s way too daunting for you to attempt to fix it.

There are all sorts of reasons why, maybe you copied them over from a burned cd and were too lazy to put the artist and song title, maybe you stumbled upon the songs through some combination of Limewire and Napster, completely hypothetical by the way.  Whatever your reason for having a birds nest for a music collection doesn’t matter, as long as you do something about it.

This is where TuneUp comes in.  TuneUp is the equivalent of Merlin for your iTunes.  I don’t know how it’s done, but TuneUp can analyze your music files, even the ones that are missing all their information, and not only find the song title, artist and album, but if you’re lucky they’ll even find the album art.  It’s magic from what I can tell, and I’m a little concerned as to what else they can do on my computer.

I’ve got screenshots of the process at the bottom of this post.  You select up to 500 songs at a time for TuneUp to analyze, drag and drop and let it work its magic.  TuneUp contacts its servers and sorts through the bits and pieces you have and analyzes the file to produce the full entry.  The process can take a little while, and when complete you have the option to accept the new file names.  The process can be paused if you want to change anything.

TuneUp did a beautiful job of filling in the blanks where I was missing information, and I was especially impressed with it finding information on burned cds that were uploaded to my computer.

With all good things, there are some drawbacks.  Some of these may be attributed to user error, and I haven’t gotten a chance to chat with TuneUp since trying their product, so please take these just as notes.  A couple small things that I didn’t like while using TuneUp:

I don’t like that TuneUp autostarts with iTunes.  I couldn’t figure out a way to make this stop from happening.  When I have tried to quit TuneUp prior to it finishing loading, it seems to freeze up and my computer needs a restart before it goes away.  Update:  Spoke with the Marketing Director for TuneUp and found the Preferences area where you can change auto-startup.  See screenshot below!

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I don’t like that it appears to be locked in place on the right side of the screen and unable to move.  I sit my system tray on the right side and had to move it around before I could functionally use the application.

Like I said, these are minor in comparison to how well the application works.  Overall I would give TuneUp a solid 8.5/10 on the Kirkometer (just made that up, for reference Diet Coke is the only thing that gets 10/10) for its music identifying functionality (say that three times fast).  Enjoy!

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Although most of my articles have been featured on Men sites such as Gear Patrol and The Bachelor Guy, it appears that the ladies have taken notice as well.

Outblush was kind enough to let me do a guest post and I don’t think I disappointed with my take on Ciao Bella Gelato and Sorbetto.  Let me know what you think…

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