Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Nutrition Advice

The following holiday eating tips are provided as a public service from Nerdyredneck Inc.:

For maximum holiday joy please be sure to follow label directions carefully!

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately as you are clearly dealing with an amauter! Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. Besides- the nog crop failed this year so eggnog is in very short supply. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-oholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whipping cream. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hell-lOOoo?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like say, frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean seriously, have some standards!

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: "To enjoy the full flavor of life one must take big bites. Moderation is for monks." - Robert Heinlein

Merry Christmas everyone!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas hi-jinks

This post was inspired by the awesome video on Robin’s page: Abfab Geek

After I was already working on this post I got a related video in the old e-mail...

OK, to the story - two things about me, I am stubborn as can be and I am playful and love practical jokes.

So my two traits combined one Christmas...

One time way back when the cable company TOTALLY pissed me off. I VOWED I would never have cable again. Folks, I take these kinds of VOWS pretty seriously! :) In Dallas it’s not too hard to avoid cable as there are about 15 on air channels available. As long as Star Trek was on I was happy.

So about 10 years ago as my income was coming up and things are getting good for us financially I asked the wife what would she like for Christmas. She got a very serious look on her face- then looked me dead in the eye and she says in a dead pan voice, “I only want one thing and I want it really badly- I want cable TV again.”
Oh no! “But honey you know I swore an oath of vengeance against them! NEVER!, Vendetta baby vendetta!. C’mon, what else would you like?”
“Cable TV”
“Oh darling you are killing me! Surely there is SOMETHING anything you would like more- How about a diamond?”
“End this, this Sicilian thing and get me cable!”

Oh I was so deeply conflicted. My wife wanted cable and she deserved cable so I should get her cable. Yet getting her cable would violate my sacred and inner principles- To ever write a check to cable for TV again would cleave my spirit in twain! Such a choice, it really came down to my wife’s happiness or my happiness. So I was going to get her cable but I was miserable about it.

Then inspiration from, one can only assume, God struck in the form of a television commercial! Mini-dish satellite! Dish Network! Now 10 years ago this was still pretty new technology and pretty pricey but I knew what the wife really wanted was the programming and did not care about the delivery method and if I got Dish Network my sacred vows would remain intact! Oh yes, nerdy redneck problem solving at its best!

In fact the mini-satellite is WAY better than cable for TV- 4 or 5 times as many channels for less money plus I was full digital TV 10 years ago via mini-dish! So I bought a Dish and a couple of receivers.

Here is where the hi-jinks comes in though. I did not want her to know she had gotten it. So I bought a floor waxer and a new iron for her, wrapped them and put them under the tree a week in advance so she could wonder what they were.

I was building a plane out in the garage back then so blending in the satellite equipment with all the plane pieces was a no brainer and my secret was safe. So at like 3:00 AM Christmas morning I went out to the garage and got the satellite dish and hid it behind the Christmas tree!

So next morning we are opening presents. She gets the iron open and I can see the disappointment on her face but she quickly recovers and says, “Ohhh, how did you know I needed a new iron?”
“Oh darling, I am so in touch with your needs I could tell you were unhappy with the old iron.” Oh I was so proud of that line! :)
“Hmmmmm, well that’s sweet.”, she said through only mildly clenched lips- but the BIG box still awaited her so she was not too pouty yet - what could be in such a large box!?
When she saw the floor waxer I saw the flash of anger but I was very proud at what a good job she did pretending she REALLY liked it. Now her lips were only loosely clenched but you had to be WAY more out of touch with people than I am to not feel the vibes she was radiating. She was NOT a happy women.

Man I was working so hard to not smile or let on and just kept playing the oblivious male role until she finally said, “Well, I guess we better clean this mess up.”
“Well, we don’t have all the presents opened yet, we should clean up after all the presents are open.”
“What? There are no more?”
“Are you sure? You better look under the tree better!
She knew me well enough that at that point she know there was something good coming! So she gets on hands and knees and starts really looking- when she spots the dish through the foliage she made a happy squeal!

Have you ever seen a woman dance around the front room with a satellite dish before? I have!

So I think in the end she was glad she did not hit me with the iron or the floor waxer after all!

Note to men, an iron was poor choice as a gag gift because had she hit me with it it could have been serious. I would recommend a feather duster as a better gag gift (We really did need a new iron though)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Save a Tree?

We have recently became aware of a disturbing new chic trend. Like many chic-ish trends it makes no sense and we would like to take a moment to explain why.

We have recently became aware that lazy inconsiderate people who do not care about the others in their life’s are using the lame excuse that they are “saving trees” for not sending cards to the people who love them so deeply.

We think it is very important for all of you to understand that the only tree's used to make Christmas Cards were clinically depressed and committed suicide first! We only tried valiantly to put their sad and lonely cadavers to a happy use by making cards out of them.

Why were they depressed and commit suicide in the first place you may wonder? Well, because they did not receive any cards from selfish eco-chic loved ones so they felt totally unloved and alone in a vast uncaring world at the most lonely time of the year!

So just think about that for a few minutes- Just how many more tress must die of depression in solitude before you start sending cards again and letting your loved ones know you did actually think of them for the 14 measly seconds it took for you to send them a card? How much tree blood and bitter loneliness will your idle hands bring into this world before you stop this selfish hateful insanity!?

As long as cards are on the shelves you will know trees are still depressed and dyeing! So buy some cards now you damned selfish hateful tree killer!


(sorry Michelle, I took my comment made my own post out of it- Yeah I’m lazy- what’s your point?)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More winter fun..

Because with a temp here in balmy Central Illinois of 1 degree F (-17 C) combined with 30 mph winds (48 kph) it is either laugh or scream and since my throat is already so raw from screaming I say let's try laughing for just a bit!

Can you believe that video? She is not wearing any gloves? Freak!

This one takes a little longer to set up (41 seconds) but I like! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ahhhhh Karma!

Yesterday the weather forecast here in Springburg, Illinois was full of the news of the impending ice storm. They were forecasting a ¼ inch of freezing rain.

I was concerned about it. I mean it does not change anything but it can be a HUGE pain in the ass plus the odds of breaking your car skyrocket not to mention power outages and such. So it was big news around the office yesterday

So a couple of co-workers were setting in my brilliantly decorated office yesterday talking about the impending doom but one of them, Jay, was all bravado, “Oh I can see how some freezing rain would worry a Texan but for people who live in Illinois this is old hat.“
I replied, “ You can pull that off when talking about snow but ice? Ice is a nearly frictionless surface, I don’t care how long you have driven on it or how good your technique is or what kind of vehicle you drive ice will get you. Ice is the great equalizer!”
Naw, you Texans are just winter wimps! I can drive on a sheet of ice all day long!”

Welllllllll, guess who slid into another employee’s car in the parking lot right in front of the building in full view of everyone?

Oh man my irony meter pegged out!

I parked my car this morning and came into work. Later when I went outside to help Mr. Illinoisians-can-drive-on-ice I noticed that my car while parked with no one in it had slid down the incline and was resting against another car. Seriously slick stuff here!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


He finally did it! Yay! Run little guy run! Be Free!

Friday, December 12, 2008


Did you see this in the news?

Recently a class of young children were asked to draw Mommy working.

The teacher was quite alarmed at the following art work.

For some reason the teacher was quite concerned about what the daughter was learning from mommy so the teacher called the Mommy in and confronted her!

Turns out Mom had earned her daughters adoration for helping so many people out by selling snow shovels at the Home Depot after the the first big snow storm of the year!

Why? What were YOU thinking? Shame on you for being so dirty minded!

PS- No, it was not really a news story! Tip 'o the hat once again to Major Tom for the post inspiration!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Phoning it in!

Yeah, I have to be in class all day today so no time for original work so yeah, I am phoning it in! :)

There have been a LOT of “motivational posters” going around the last few weeks. It’s quite the fad.

Let me throw a couple of my favorites out here in case you have not seen them!

Did I mention I was phoning this in? :)

This first one may be too esoteric for the masses but as a gamer it REALLY hits home…

No one else may find this one funny either but since these guys are/were the natural enemy of nerds everywhere this one rolls me every time I look at it! :)

Oh and this one is soooooooo wrong on so many levels! You will laugh but you may not like yourself for it! :)

Now I don’t care who you are, THIS one is just plain funny unless of course you are an angry dog!

(Clearly photo shopped but that in no way diminishes it's comedic value!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Brick Lady

This post started as a comment to this post

Does everyone know what doorbell ditching is?

It's when you ring the doorbell and RUN!

When we were from about 10 up to maybe 13 years old this was me and my best friend Mike's favorite form of free entertainment.

Of course we also considered it a form of social justice. We did not do it to anyone nice, just the perpetually angry people who were always yelling at you to get off their lawn or get out of that tree or turn down that damn hippie music or what not. (so Minxy just what have you been doing to those kids? ;) )

So there was one grumpy old one lady we *loved* to ditch. She was right on our normal route so we would get her darned near daily!

Oh boy did she teach us a lesson though! The conniving old bat was pretty sharp too!

She let her grass grow a little long. Not so long as you would risk neighbors complaining but well over ankle tall. Then she scattered clay bricks through out her front yard. In the dark the tallish grass concealed them nicely.

So ring the door bell and start running! About three strides in you stub your toes on a brick and you go down wondering "What the hell did I hit?" You know you need to be gone though and now you are behind the curve so you get up and run even faster with throbbing toes, go about six strides and step half on a brick half off and down you go again! Again you are quite confused, you have ran over this smooth lawn many times- "what am I hitting?" you wonder but you are panicked because you know you should be long gone by now not laying in her yard! So you get up, run a little more then down you go again.

By then she was on her front porch howling with laughter while choking out, "That'll teach you little bastards! AH HA HA HA HA!"

Grudging respect was earned. To this very day we still refer to her as "The Brick Lady" and we never ditched her again!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Have you heard?

Have you seen or heard these commercials for the drug Boniva? (Bone-ee-va) It's a drug for osteoporosis. Sally Field has been pitching on TV and Radio lately.

Those ads crack me up!

So, what did the brainstorming session sound like…
"Uh lets see this is for your bones so…"
"Too simple"
"Sounds like steroids"
"Uhhhh, Bone-r-ific"
"Too sexual"
"Perfect! Print the invoice! 300 hours of market research. Lets go home."

Remember- Bone-iva, its for your Bone-itis!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Waitress Tales.

Two odd restaurant related stories from this last week.

Yesterday I was in a Cracker Barrel. When I get tea or coffee I use Sweet and Low sweetener which comes in the pink packets. So when the waitress dropped off my UNsweetened tea I asked her, "Do you have any pink stuff?" (McDonald's does not!)

Her face clouded up and oh her glare could have burned a hole through a log! She was deeply offended and angry. I could tell something went wrong but being the oblivious geek it took me about a four count to replay the conversation, apply alternate meanings and figure it out.

Usually in a situation like this I would get flustered and apologetic and look even more guilty but for some reason this time I did not- I was just rolling my eyes when I added, "For the tea!" and brutally suppressed the urge to add, "dumbass!"

Latter though I laughed about it.

I mean seriously- how can you work in food service and NOT know what "the pink stuff" means in the context of coffee or tea?

I was in a place called "Westwood's" which is a "sportsman" like place. You know, hunting themed with lots of stuffed animals and such. Yet they have some really creative menu items- it's a very popular place to eat in Springfield.

It's deer season here too (I guess) as I was in there weekend before last and was sitting close to a large group of men who apparently just got back into town from a hunting trip and were getting moderately ripped. There is a cute blond waiting on them and they are flirty with her but in a good natured way until one of them says in a too loud voice (if you know what I mean), "So hey there sweetie, do the curtains match the carpet?"

Now I do like to flirt a little but I cringed when I heard that because in my opinion that one crosses the line. Without missing a beat though the waitress replies, "Nope... hardwood floors." and kept on gathering dishes.

I almost shot beer out my nose! It shut them right up too!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Please excuse the interruption...

There has been a death in the family. Fortunately I have been way to busy getting ready to go to the funeral to dwell much on what a loss it is.

It' my mother in law. (BTW- Is it still an in law when you have been separated for two years and 4 days? )

She was a wonderful woman. Most men have many horrible MIL stories but she was a wonderful supporting loving lady from the second time I ever met her. (the first time we met is a different story and not a bad post idea :) )

When the ex and I were divvying things up I told her I get to keep her family. Her family told her they get to keep me.

I will miss her. Ok enough of that.

On a lighter note - Wow, it's been a while since I bought plane tickets less than 24 hours from departure time- No need for a prostate exam this year! I am sure the airline would have let me know if they bumped into anything on the way in.

Don't forget to tell someone special that you love them. You just never know if it's going to be your last chance or not.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

B&C Pick up lines.

Thank you for Buying Bubba 'n Cooters book of shore far pick up lines.

No Coal Country gal can possibly reisist these lines!

1) Did you fart? 'cuz you just blew me away!
2) Are yer parents retarded? 'cuz ya sure are special.
3) My Love fer you is like diarrhea - I jes kin't hold it in.
4) Do you have a library card? 'cuz I'd like to check you out
5) Is there a mirror in yer pants? 'cuz I can see myself in em.
6) You might not be the best lookin girl here but beauty's only a light switch away.
7) I know I'm not no Fred Flintstone but I bet I can make yer bed-rock.
8) Yer eyes are as blue as window cleaner.
The best for last!
9) Yer face reminds me of a wrench, every time I think of it, my nuts tighten up.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Someone at work excitedly told me that they got a new bible! A new bible??

I suddenly had a mental picture of a guy in a beard on TV almost yelling…"Yes, it's our new and improved bible with over 3 TIMES more soul cleansing power than other bibles! Just look at this dirty old soul we found. Now watch how our new and improved bible takes all these stubborn stains off of your soul. Can you believe how that sin just melts away? AMAZING!

JD Powers and associates ranks our Bible "Best in Class" for the last three years running.

So when It comes time for your salvation don't mess around- be the best you can be! Get your new and improved bible TODAY. Don't be the last one your block to have an ooold bible, get your new and improved bible RIGHT NOW!

But wait! If you order RIGHT NOW we will double your order- That's right TWO bibles for $19.99 plus $246 shipping and handling. And if you order RIGHT NOW, we will include a Jell-O mold shaped like the state of Colorado AND a cake pan shaped like the state of Wyoming!

Don't miss out on such an incredible offer- ACT NOW!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I broke 10,000 reads! Weeeeeeeee! :)

Crabby Old Man

I got one of those many e-mails we all get his morning. I have NO idea if it a true story or not and frankly I don't care. The best stories are often not true and true or not it touched me and things that touch us are a form of truth regardless of whether they actually happened or not.

Here is the e-mail story...

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in North Platte, Nebraska, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem.

Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Missouri. The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health.

A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem. And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses?....What do you see?
What are you thinking.....when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, ....not very wise,
Uncertain of habit ........with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food.......and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice.....'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice ....the things that you do.
And forever is losing ...A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not.......lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding ....The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? ....Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes,'re not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am .....As I sit here so still,
As I do at your I eat at your will
I'm a small child of Ten.......with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .......who love one another

A young boy of Sixteen....with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now....a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows..... .that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now ....I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide ....And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty ....My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other ......With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons....have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, ....Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children .......My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me ....My wife is now dead.
I look at the future .......I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing......young of their own.
And I think of the years....... And the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man.........and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age....look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles......grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone........where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass .....A young guy still dwells,
And now and again battered heart still swells
I remember the joys.....I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and over again.

I think of the years, all too few......gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact.....that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people and see..
Not a crabby old man. Look closer....see........ME!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

No Mos!

In a clear violation in all things manly and rednecky I actually went to the mall yesterday.

Mine Gott- where do they hire the carnival hawkers from? You try to walk down the aisle of the mall where all the silly little kiosks are and man you are like fresh meat in the lions den, they all come swarming after you like piranha's sensing a bleeding cow stuck in the mud of the Amazon river! "Are you happy with your cell service?" Are you tired of dry winter skin?" "Is your good furniture scratched up?" "Are you tired of loosing your keys!?" "Do your panties ride up?" Oy vay!

Did I say where did they hire them from? I mean where did they build them at?

They are clearly Terminator hawkers..."Listen, and understand Sarah Connor. That terminator hawker is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are BROKE!"

I mean really, do I look like the kind of person that would spend 70 dollars on a nail care set? So clearly the terminator hawkers programming is off a little and yet she would. Not. Stop! It was incredible!

They prey off of peoples good manners, I mean as long as someone is polite it is hard to tell them to get the hell away from me. But they just wont stop! "Uh, no thank you." "Uh no, I am sure it's a good product but I am not interested." Uh fascinating but I have other things to do." "OK gotta go now!" "DON'T MAKE ME HURT YOU!"

I finally shook off the first one after wasting about 15 minutes of my life that I will never get back learning how 70 freaking dollars worth of nail care products CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE! I finally broke away muttering to myself "Man, can you believe THAT shit!" just as the cell phone hawker was in my face!, "Why yes I am happy with my cell service." "No thank you." "I have a contract!" "I am NOT changing carriers!" "I really don't care!" "GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!"

I am normally a very nice person but by the time the 5th terminator was in my face I said in my best Clint Eastwood sneer and growl, "Step the fuck back!" It worked, so clearly he finished low in terminator class. The irony was he was selling tools and so that was the only product pushed at me all night I might have actually been interested in but by then my all my niceness and interest in ANYTHING anyone came to me with was long gone.

It reminds of that classic scene in the movie "Airplane" where Leslie Nielson has to fight his way through the swarms of begging Hare Krishna's at the airport. I tell ya I was ready to unleash some Kung Fu action myself!

Now I admit I am not a mall person to begin with but that was such a unhappy experience that I will never go into a Mall again. I wonder if Mall management realizes that the little bit of rent they make off those kiosks is hurting their over all business?

Or is it hurting them? How many of you avoid the mall to avoid the terminator hawkers?

It really makes me miss Orange Julius.

Thus ends Rob's bizarre rant of the day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Home makeover EXTREME!

I heard about this on the radio this week...

They launched the space shuttle this week to do a "home makeover" on the space station...

Here is a short excerpt from the longer linked article...

"Equipment headed to the station includes new sleeping quarters, a second toilet, a new exercise machine and equipment for generating oxygen. The 32,000-pound payload also includes a system to recycle water on the station, including urine, to produce purified water for drinking. The $250 million system is designed to recycle 93 percent of the water used on the station. "

Now the part of that news that I have heard everyone talking about is the waste recycling going "icky!" at the thought of drinking recycled urine! For once my nerdy and redneck halves are in complete sync- we both chuckle at the thought that people don't seem to realize we are ALL drinking recycled urine. Yep that glass of water or coffee you just finished had urine in it at some point! It's all just part of the great circle of life people! :)

So that part of the story never caught my attention at all until other people were getting all gooey about it. The part of the article that did make my weird little mind go off on a tangent was the new exercise machine. I could not help but wonder if it would share the same fate as Earth bound exercise machines- Will it soon become a convenient towel rack or clothes hanger? Keeping in the spirit of it's environment they will probably hang space suits on it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Safety First!

Perhaps an ironic title after Sundays little adventure in boat diving but still…

I am still contracting for State agencies. This is my desk chair at a state facility. Notice anything here that might violate some basic safety rules let alone fire codes for any second world country?

Bear in mind that this is not a temporary desk thrown up for a couple of weeks or anything- this desk has been here for a long time and will be for long time after I leave.

Isn't it a good thing that the government is immune from government rules? :)

PS- don't you just LOVE that state office decor? Ahhhhh, grays, browns and blacks- homey, yet clinically suicidal.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Style and Grace

Well Sunday in Springfield was fairly nice (by winter standards) mostly sunny and almost 50 degrees. It had been raining and gloomy all week so I was thrilled to see the sun.

So miracle of miracles I was hardly on my computer at all on Sunday! {gasp!} I did a little preventative maintenance on the truck and I went out to the marina and took care of my last winter storage task on my the boat. I have a big canvas cover for it that that snaps down all around the edges.

Remember this picture?

If you click the picture and make it full sized you can see the cover on it and all the snaps.

If you look close you can also see the little ledge that runs around the edge so you can walk aound the windshield to get up to the front top of the boat. Well I was working my way around the boat on that ledge pulling and snapping the cover down. The deck and ledge was still wet from all the rain this week and oh yeah, I slipped and fell right off the boat.

It's only like a 6 or 7 foot so it's not really a big drop but since I slipped in the first place it was not the most coordinated of falls! Fortunately my face broke my fall so everything was fine.

The funny part, at least to me, is that all summer long every single time I walked down that little ledge I always made sure I emptied my pockets first so I would not get my wallet or cell phone wet if I fell off and went into the water. Not once allllll summer long did I slip off that ledge. Now, NOW when there is hard ground versus soft water, NOW I fall off the fricken ledge!

Remember the movie "Toy Story"? One of my all time favorite movie quotes is, "This is not flying, this is falling- With style!" So, conversely, falling with the absolute lack of style must be flying- Right? If so I sure went flying Sunday! Weeeeeee!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Did they think we would not notice?

Funny, I was at the store last night and I noticed that leftover Halloween candy is cheap, cheap, cheap!

At the same time they have the Christmas candy out and it's pretty pricey.

MMmmmm. Black and orange Hershey Kiss's for $1.97 or red and green kiss's for $5.

What a choice! What will I do?

If you ask me black and orange is quite Christmassy thank you very much! :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We can only hope

Did you ever see something that just made you angry? That made you feel bad? That made you think you need to do SOMETHING to make this a better world? Well I had a moment like this today. I mean it only started as a trip to the copy machine but then I saw it and I could not unsee it! The bile began to rise and I began to fume!

Then I started pointing out the wrongness of it to the people around me. I mean people are just so used to the status quo that when you point blatant injustice out to them they just stare at you like you are weird or something.

That made me even more angry and determined to put a stop to this senseless madness no matter what it takes!

Who knew that a mere trip to the copy machine would lead to a life changing epiphany! Cusp moments! They are everywhere and you just don't know it until it is too late!

When oh when will the hating stop?

When Obama gets into to power these people are going to pay!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Poor Grandma

Are you ready for all digital broadcast TV?

If not here is a short and simple explanation of what to do. So easy even a caveman could do it! Watch and see...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Home Again?

I took Friday off and went home to Dallas for a long weekend.

I realized I am spending way too much time in Illinois. You know you have been gone too much when you start noticing people's Texas accent.

Also, I went to McDonalds for breakfast. You can't order food or get your car fixed or any of a thousands other things in Texas if you can't speak the native tongue. If I ever knew I could not remember how to order "biscuits and gravy" in Spanish and that item is on the dollar menu so no meal to order (i.e.. Numero ocho) or a picture to point to. So I just walked out in frustration.

On a happier note, while I was home I went to a science fiction literary convention.

I love conventions, you get to hang out with authors, editors and TV executives not to mention all the great fans!

It's great to be among fandom- no matter how big a geek you are you are welcome and loved. In fact, you get bonus points for being geeky! (I get lots of points too!) You walk into a building with 500 strangers who are already your best friends. You can throw off the shackles of mundane society and have a blast!

It's the one place you can go, and bring up the script discrepancy you noticed in episode 27 of Star Gate (or Battlestar Gallactica or Firefly or Babylon 5 or any of the myriad incarnations of Star Trek) and NO ONE will roll their eyes! Heck, it's even the kind of place you can use "myriad incarnations" in a sentence and no one will think twice about it! :)

Then on Saturday night they have a Cabaret with singing and costume contests and amateur comedians and audience participation. Oh it's a blast!

Then after the cabaret the drinking begins! Yeah! The hotel blocked off the whole second floor just for convention goers so you can just roam around and if the room door is open go on in have a beer, discuss the subtext in your favorite novel while tossing back a few Jell-O shooters.

Rinse and repeat!

Going there is like charging a battery or draining a sump, you just feel clean and refreshed after a weekend with sci-fi geeks.

Ahhhhhh- I feel very sane today!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What a weekend!

I hope all of you had as good a long weekend as I did!

I hung out with old friends, made a new friend, got in plenty of boating and a minor road trip to boot plus I had my first pizza in a while (been dieting), I am lightly burned, mildly sore and quite exhausted this morning!

So, it was a great weekend!

On a minor side note, never run low on gasoline in central Illinois. It is shocking how far you can go without seeing a gas station. Not seeing a gas station for 30 miles or so would not surprise me in the least in say west Texas but on the interstate between St. Louis and Chicago it was a bit shocking, at least to my little mind. For a little while there I had a bit of sweat forming at the thought of a long walk in lonely country in 90 degree temps. :)

Anyway, it's a good thing I am back at work now so I can get some rest! My powerfully rippling keyboard muscles were getting a little soft after the long break so we can whip them back into shape now!

Prepare to swoon at my rekindled keyboard muscles ladies, prepare to swoon!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


For some reason, this morning I am gettting a lot of spam about penis enlargement.

Just what in the hell have they heard!?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

NIH Logo- Why?

I read an article today and followed a link to the National Institutes of Health- "America's Health Research institution".

Here is their logo. For some reason it caught my eye. Why does the NIH have a broken coat hanger as their logo? Is this some kind of bizarre statement on abortion or something?

Did that logo come out around the time of the movie "Mommy Dearest"? Did the designer have the tag line "NO MORE WIRE HANGERS" floating around in his head?

Seriously, how did they come up with this? It bugs me.

Just in case you think I am BSing you about this being the official logo check it out for yourself...

Weird huh?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Olympics Broadcast Oops

Here are the top nine comments made on TV so far during the Summer Olympics that the speaker would like to take back:

1. Weightlifting commentator: 'This is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning during her warm up and it was amazing.

2. Dressage commentator: 'This is really a lovely horse and I speak from personal experience since I once mounted her mother.

3. Paul Hamm, Gymnast: 'I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father.

4. Boxing Analyst: 'Sure there have been injuries, and even some deaths in boxing, but none of them really that serious.

5. Softball announcer: 'If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again.

6. Basketball analyst: 'He dribbles a lot and the opposition doesn't like it. In fact you can see it all over their faces.

7. At the rowing medal ceremony: 'Ah, isn't that nice, the wife of the IOC president is hugging the cox of the British crew.

8. Soccer commentator: 'Julian Dicks is everywhere. It's like they've got eleven Dicks on the field.

9. Tennis commentator: 'One of the reasons Andy is playing so well is that, before the final round, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them... Oh my, what have I just said?'

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Is "short extension cord" an oxymoron? You know, like "good morning"?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bumper sticker

There is no such thing as an original bumper sticker so I am guessing many of you have seen this already but it really got to me when I saw it.

I was pulling up behind a car at a red light and from a distance I can see the bumper sticker in bold black type on a yellow back ground says:


I admit it, I fell into stereotypical thinking and was thinking, "Yep, I *know* this person." Then as I got closer though I could see the fine print under the main message:

but everyone else thinks your an asshole!

and I realised just how wrong my stereotypical thoughts were! I almost missed the green light for laughing so hard.

Lesson reinforced! Don't judge too quickly!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Don't Tase me Bro!

Today I saw someone get tazed.

Here in the sprawling metropolis that is Springfield I witnessed a little "law and order" today.

I was coming around a curve that has a convenience store on it. I saw a cop car in the parking lot from a distance so I checked my speed. As I looked up two people ran out in the road in front of me so I got on the brakes pretty hard.

As I was coming to stop more details emerged. A cop was chasing someone and the cop caught up to the perp (dig that street lingo huh?) right in front of me and grabbed her arm. The perp turned and swung a grocery bag at the cops head. The cop deftly ducked the swing but she let go to do it, the perp turned to run again but the cop grabbed her again and she swung at the cop's head again. Again the cop ducked the swing.

This time the cop did not grab for her again. It happened so fast I did not see it even though I was less than 10 feet away. The cop shot her with the tazer. I did not even notice until I saw the wires dangling.

Ever see anyone do an impersonation of a Tyrannosaurus Rex? Maybe a praying mantis? That is what the perp looked like when the juice hit. Those arms curled up and came up to her chin then someone must have shouted "tiiiiiiiimber" because ever so slowly at first but gaining the inevitable speed she just fell right over on the pavement and her body remained arrow straight until the impact.

It was really weird to see because anytime you see someone fall down they are trying to catch themselves or break their fall. She really did look just like a tree falling over rod straight and stiff. I mean you don't really think about how people fall until you see this and then you just know its all wrong, that is NOT how people fall down.

After a few seconds the perp tried to get up and she gave her another jolt. I guess she decided laying on that hot asphalt was actually pretty comfy after all because she did not try to get up anymore.

Since the cop and the perp were both women I had this powerful reflex left over from high school to scream "CHIC FIIIIIGHT!"- somehow I resisted it though.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I found it!

After reading Ohmommy's comment to yesterday's post (if you have not read that post read it now or this one won't make sense.) I decided to go look and see if I could find the video store girl's blog. I think this is it...


So I was working at the video store Sunday morning. Sunday morning is my favorite shift because no one ever comes in. So I can just basically stare off into space or listen to the radio or even watch movie trailers all morning and get paid for it. Sweet!

However, for the first time this last Sunday I was really regretting how empty the store is on Sunday mornings! You see, right then Nick Nolte walked in.

Ladies, I do not mean hot, young "The Deep" Nick Nolte. Nope, not even scruffier but still reasonably hot "48 hours" Nick Nolte. Nope, I mean 4 AM mugshot after shooting Yeager bombs and riding in what he calls his time machine but the rest of us call a clothes dryer all night long Nike Nolte!

He was scruffy and dirty and he just looked wild and he was walking right towards me! Then horror of horrors I realized it was NOT Nick Nolte after shooting Yeager bombs and riding in his clothes dryer! It must be some crazy homeless dude wondering in! I was totaly freaked out as he came walking straight towards me! Oh my god! What do I do? Where can I hide?

He walks right up to the counter and sets down a DVD, The Other Boleyn Girl. I am thinking "What the hell is a crazy homeless dude doing with the The Other Boleyn Girl?" Did he find it and want a reward? Then he said he owes late charges on it. What? Why in the hell would a crazy homeless dude rent The Other Boleyn Girl.? He must really be out there so now I am really scared!

With shaking hands I scan the movie, it is legit and it is one day late. Trying to hide the fear in my voice I say "That will be $2.60 sir" while brutally suppressing the urge to say "tree-fiddy" (only South Park fans will get that one)

Have you ever tried to count out change with one hand? I did because I had the other hand on the silent alarm the whole time! Through the fog of terror I realize he is speaking while I am trying to count with one hand. Is that a joke? Oh my God is this insane man-monster actually flirting with me!? OOOoooooo, don't make eye contact- don't make eye contact- what ever you do NOT make eye contact! Should I smile at this flirty joke? I don't know, that might encourage him, but if I ignore him he might become enraged and kill me right here! Oh dear god what ever you do DO NOT give this psycho the eye roll he so richly deserves! I am so petrified I can't do anything!

Oh thank the Lord he is leaving without killing me. Doing nothing seemed to have worked. Oh man, that was a close one! For the first time in a minute I remember to breath. BUT right as he was at the door he stopped, turned towards me again and it was at that point I KNEW he was a total pyshco! He asked me, "Oh, I am doing a survey for a federal grant, are you by any chance coo coo for Cocoa Puffs?"

OMG! What kind of trick question is this? Is he going to flip a coin and kill me depending on my answer? I really tried to say, "No." but I was too terrified to speak. I just stared at him while trying to make my mouth say the word "No". After a few seconds he smiled, shrugged and walked out.

For the second time in as many minutes I remembered to breath

For the first time I am totally jealous of my friend Brittany who works at Wal-Mart. They have security guards there!


I get serious bed head. I never leave the house without taking a shower and getting my hair under control. Sunday Morning I knew I was going to do yard work first thing so I did not bother to take a shower. I went out and pulled some weeds for a while, moved some stuff around then went to mow. The lawn mower was low on oil and I did not have any so I went to get some. The video store is right across the street from the auto parts store so I figured 'kill two birds' and grabbed an overdue movie on the way out the door.

While I was paying the extra charge on the movie I humorously flirted with the counter girl just a *little*. Usually I get a grin or if nothing else I get a condescending smile or even a "come hither" eye roll. ;) This lady would not even make eye contact though. Odd.

As I climbed back in the truck I caught a look at myself in the mirror, wild hair, unshaven, dirty clothes suitable for yard work and I had already worked up a good sweat that morning. Well Efffing DUH! No wonder she was terrified of what surely appeared to be a Nick Nolte or Gary Busey flirting with her!

I'd be scared too!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hanging my head in shame here

Normally I am pretty proud of living in Dallas. It's a very high tech town and it has been for a long time. Many of the greatest technological advances of the last century occurred in the Dallas laboratories of Bell Labs and Texas Instruments. It is very fair to say that without the Nobel Prize winning research and development done in Dallas that you would not be reading this right now.

Plus Dallas area aviation firms have set the standard many times over.

Yet the following proves once again (as if it needed proving) that smart people simply can not get elected to government office. {sigh} Click the link- it is a short but sad story...

Dallas Morning News Blog - "Black Hole" racially offensive!

I have a manager whose office I always refer to as a black hole. Man I sure am glad she is white!

In the future I think I will use the term "African-American Quantum Singularity" just to make sure I stay on the PC side of things!

I wonder if the one moron knows that a "white hole" is a Quasar? I wonder if he knows that a Quasar is not just a defunct television brand?

So which is worse to have in a city office? A black hole sucking in all matter that goes beyond the event horizon OR a white hole spewing intense radiation out? Hmmmm, either way you are gonna be real dead. Compressed or irradiated- some choice eh?

No seriously, sorry, I really should be more racially sensitive. I really should. In fact, I am turning over a new leaf right now!

I demand to know RIGHT NOW why- WHY MUST we go coo coo for Cocoa Puffs? Hmmmmm? Have you ever thought about this?

WHY is it that the white cereal has a huge and powerful, barrel chested, deep voiced tiger proclaiming “It’s GRRRRRRRREAT!!!” but the black cereal has a screwed up, scrawny, neurotic little bird that goes clinically insane when it eats the black cereal?

Hmmm, what about that huh? HUH? WHY?! You just KNOW that is no accident!

Michelle, feel free to borrow this for your cereal based philosophy of doom!

(Hmmmm, I'll bet I can get a federal grant to study this entrenched societal racism expressed via children’s cereal!)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Slow Learner.

So last night my buddy calls me and says, "Hey, are you taking the boat out tonight."
"Dude, I am too zonked, I am stiff and sore and tired. I just want to take it easy tonight but don't let me stop you, keys are in it, have fun"
Hesitantly he says, "Oh, ok I'll be over in a few."

When he gets there he says, "Sorry your tired man, I bought a tube and I was hoping we could ride it; can't do that with one person though."
"A tube? Well, why didn't you say so, let’s go!"
"I thought you were too sore"
"I said lets go!"

So what does dumb ass Rob do? I can barely walk and I refuse to bend over but I went tubing last night. I caught some air too. When you go over another boats wake it is just like a take off ramp and up you go! Catching air is FUN!

The landing is a bitch though. You would think a nice soft inner tube would be fine to land on but it’s not. It gets real hard when you drop a couple of feet onto it. Weird. Oh, yeah and note to self, when catching air and you unleash a rebel yell, make sure your tongue is back in your mouth before you land. Less blood that way. I have a firm policy about keeping blood on the inside.

For some reason I don’t feel any better today than I did yesterday but I’m still smiling.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Thank God it's Monday!

I am not sure how much more rest and recreation I can take!

This weekend I installed a new stereo on the boat then I got some heavier than normal yard work done. Then I partied it up at fireworks shows two nights in a row. Finally I got much closer to someone I have been seeing for a few weeks. So it was one hell of a long weekend! Weeeeee!

Right now I am so stiff and sore I can hardly walk and if I drop any money its gone, it's not worth the pain to pick it up again! :) I am so totally exhausted that it feels good to be back at "work" in the air conditioned great indoors sitting on my hienie with nothing harder to do than type and hit send on e-mails!

Man what a weekend! I slept 2 hours Sunday afternoon then slept 10 hours Sunday night into Monday and I am still tired.

How can I be so happy when I hurt so bad? :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008


I tell ya, there are a lot of things I really like about spending so much time in Springfield Illinois but now to top off that list I have to tell you these guys know how to do the 4th of July!

They have a thing every year called "Rock the Dock" here. This is the first time I have been able to go.

Holy tamoly- they had the best fireworks show I have ever seen! Here is part of the press release;

"The biggest… (baddest, most unbelievable) Fireworks & Light Show display you'll find anywhere in Central Illinois! ….Over thirty minutes of choreographed fireworks set to a soundtrack at concert sound over Lake Springfield"

So I am reading that before hand with a little bit "Yeah, whatever, marketing hoopla" attitude but man did the show ever live up to the marketing! The choreography was excellent with lots of classic and more contemporary rock and it just kept going and going and getting bigger and better as it went!

I mean 15 minutes in you are thinking you have seen some really cool stuff so far. Then they slow it down and do some low level stuff and let your pupuils dialate again and then a crescendo will hit in the music and BOOOOM they will set off a honker so big you can feel the vibrations deep down in your insides. Then at the very end they had a crescendo with dozens of those huge honkers going off rapidly. It was unreal!

Plus the sound track was simulcast on a local radio station so me and about a thousand other people had the their boats parked out all over the cove drinking it all in.

Quite a night!

Afterwards though I encountered my first traffic jam involving boats! Its ironic, one of the things I like best about Springfield is there is no traffic to speak of. So it was interesting to get snarled up in a huge BOAT traffic jam. :)

Still worth it though!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


It’s pouring down rain here in Utopia this morning.

It’s July third and I am already feeling the holiday spirit of the coming long weekend and frankly, my usual breakfast of Slim Fast is just not getting my motor revved up this morning. I had the distinct urge to actually chew something this morning!

Now I am NOT a morning person so no way in hell am I breaking out a skillet and COOKING something before work so I decide to hit a fast food joint on the way to work.

Hardees has a Low Carb Breakfast Bowl so I decide on that so I don’t feel *too* guilty for blowing off the Slim Fast! :)

Now, seriously, I don’t mind at all how fast food joints always do the ‘upsell’ on the drive through. I mean hell, sometimes it even works on me, “Would you like fries with that?”
“Why yes I would! Super size ‘em too!”, nom nom nom nom nom!

However, really, can we skip that and the all the marketing material when it’s pouring down rain? I mean you drive up, put the window down and the nomination acceptance speech begins;
“Good morning welcome to Hardee’s where we make our country biscuits fresh from scratch every morning. Fresh never fozen! Would you like to try our new Strawberry Country Biscuit this morning?”
By now my shirt sleeve is soaked, rivulets of water are running down the inside of my door and water is puddling in the carpet.
“Low Carb Breakfast Bowl and a medium tea please.”
“Would you like hash browns with that?”
“No thanks” and since I feel the water starting to rise up between my toes I repress my sarcastic urge to point out that hash browns would defeat the entire point of ordering a Low Carb Beakfast bowl!
“Would you like to upsize that?”
“No thanks”, again suppressing an urge to be rude- Basic logic says never be rude to people who handle what you are about to put in your mouth! Still, now the rising flood waters are up to my ankles, can we get on with this?
“Ok, we at Hardee’s want to make sure we get your order right so that was a Low Carb Breakfast Bowl and a medium iced tea, right?”
“Yes” with just a little tinge of desperation in my voice as the flood waters are now flushing crap out from under my seats that I have not seen in years! OH! So that is where that disappeared to huh?
“That will be $4.93 please pull around to the second window.”
AS I am going around the corner to the second window the flood waters are sloshing around my interiour banging all the floating crap into the console. The ice scrapper gets tangled up between my knees and I almost did not hit the brakes in time.

Since the drive through window is under a covering I go ahead and open my door and let most of the flood waters wash out. The hardee’s people can pick up all the trash, gum wrappers etc., that the waters flushed out of their hiding places in that bizarre 6th dimension that seems to exist under the seats of every car and are now pouring out my door with the water. I snag my ice scrapper as it floats by though since I might need it again someday.

Hey there corporate mega-food people. How about putting an awning or something over the ordering area so we get a little protection from the elements when we come spend money with you? Yeah, your right, that would cost a little money so here is an other idea…

How about just shutting the hell up and taking my order with minimal bullshit when the weather sucks?

So, how many MBA’s does it take to figure that one out?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Poor MS Thing!

At lunch today I pulled up behind a Mustang at a traffic light. It had a vanity plate- MSTHNG. At first glance I thought ah MSTHNG on a Mustang. Not too bad as far as vanity plates go.

Then I realized there is no "H" in "Mustang" so that can't be it!

Then I became really sad. I mean it is bad enough to be sick but to think of your self as a thing just becasue you are sick? That poor driver!

Just because you have Multiple Sclerosis does not make you a "THING"!

Jerry Lewis must be beside himself. I know I am.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekend Travel

Well, end of month and end of quarter so I had to go home to Dallas this weekend and do my quarterly filings and all my normal bills.

So here are some travel rants…

First off Southwest Airlines…
(sorry Tammy) I used to fly American and I used to book my travel. Orbitz has this really cool program where you key in your cell number and they will send you updates about your flight. About 2 hours before departure time they call you and tell you the flight status and the gate number. Then if anything changes they keep calling you to keep you posted. It’s an awesome program! I have been sitting at a gate before waiting for my flight to show up and I get a phone call telling me the gate change 5 minutes before the gate agent came on the intercom and announced it. Super cool!

When American quit flying my route I switched to Southwest. They do not allow booking through Orbitz. You can only use the Southwest site. So I no longer get notifications of issues.

I was little late getting out of work Friday so I was stressing to get to the airport on time and only after I stress my way through security do I find out my flight is going to be an hour late. All that stress just wasted! I could have put that stress to good use on something else and now it's just gone!

Later on the board changed and showed the flight two hours late. Then later the board changed and showed it 2 ½ hours late. During this time the bored looking gate agent did not make a single announcement. I only found out the new status when the plane did not show up and I walked over to the boards again. Grrrrrr.

Once we were seated on the plane the pilot announced that they had gotten behind earlier in the day due to the storms in the Midwest Friday and they had been trying to catch up for hours. Fair enough, I was watching that system on radar Friday and that flight crew did the right thing not trying to land in that mess. Good job. Also another high five to the flight crew for letting us know why we were all so late.

It sure would have been nice if the gate agent had done that about 2 hours ago.

Here is my question though. Since they had gotten behind schedule earlier in the day why didn’t the boards reflect the arrival time more accurately? Why keep putting us through the exercise of "it will be here shortly" only to delay it again? Very frustrating. If you are hungry and someone tells you dinner is in 3 hours then you deal with it. But if they tell you dinner is going to be ready in an hour then an hour later you go, "KIDDING! It's still an hour away!" Then again in an hour you go KIDDING! Only to do it again people start getting ticked off! Just tell me its going to be two or three hours out in the first place and quit teasing me!

For those of you with no knowledge of airline operations, rest assured Dispatch knows exactly where every plane is at all times. The company knew that plane was 2.5 hours behind; they simply chose not to notify us customers.

Hulk want smash! :)

Now a small rant for airport management…
What is the deal with airport TV’s? OK, airport management, here is a real brain flash for you… if you are going to invest the money in hanging TV’s from the ceiling and then buying cable or satellite for them then you know, what the hell, turn the volume up so we can actually HEAR the TV. I mean what a concept, moving pictures AND sound! Whoa, way too high tech I guess?

And hey, when did they pass that law that every single TV in the airport MUST be tuned to CNN?

Oh, while I am on that topic how about a quick rant about CNN?

For two hours Friday while I waited for my plane all CNN talked about was the big Hillary and Obama unity festival. They talked about how they were dressed, how his tie matched her pant suit, how they were seated in relation to each other and what it all meant. I do not mean commented in passing, I mean IN DEPTH analyses of what it meant that his tie matched her pant suit!

This is *news*? This was just "Entertainment Tonight" only with politicians instead of celebrities. (a fine line there I know)

Then the Larry King show started so I thought cool, maybe something interesting will come on now. Nope, just more of the same; Still it did get interesting though, Larry King brought in two body language experts who deconstructed Obama and Hillary’s body language during their respective speeches. It was like John Madden football with the clicker, they would freeze frame and analyze hand gestures, facial expressions and body postures and compare them to the words spoken. After maybe 20 minutes of this both experts concluded that they were both being deceptive. They probably did not really like each other at all in spite of the verbal love fest.

What? WHAT? Politicians telling bold faced lies? On TV? In front of their supporters?

I. Am. Shocked!

Thank you Larry King for bringing this ground breaking never before known news to the airwaves! I never even suspected career politicians could be dishonest before. I am still just a little shell shocked at this glowing insight but I think I will be a better person for it in the long run so thank you Larry King!

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Want a New Drug!?

The headline says, "Scientists find childbirth wonder drug that can 'cure' shyness"

I was like huh? Other than the childbirth part I think that drug is alcohol and it was discovered thousands of years ago - so I was quite confused.

Still, it is a interesting article so you might give it a read.

A hormone released during both orgasm and childbirth. Yeah, I can see how that could work! :)

Friday, June 20, 2008


Why do hotels put your key card in a little sleeve?

You check in, you grab your luggage, walk down the hall to your room then you have to juggle your luggage, remember which pocket you put the key card in then with one hand try to get the key card out of the sleeve. Grrrrrr.

I mean I guess the sleeve is handy for writing your room number on but really? How many people forget their room number from the front desk to the room? How many people have to fumble one handed with the stupid sleeve? I bet the fumblers outweigh the forgetters by 10 to one.

I think they should stop favoring the forgetters and give us fumblers the break! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Motivational" Posters

Someone sent me a whole bunch of these Motivational Poster parodies. According to my warped sense of humor here is the cream of the crop...
(Click any picture to embiggen)

(The misspelling of "butt" defeated the joke for me for a bit)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ok, Blatant Show Off Post! :)

I thought I would go ahead and just call me on it before Beth did! :)

I bought a boat.

I had been internally debating this for nearly two months but last week I went ahead and pulled the trigger. So after two months of changing my mind almost daily Crazymomma actually talked me into it, she said "Life is short, eat desert first!"

That did it.

The good news is that while I was trying to make up my mind the seller dropped the price by 30%. Woot!

For those of you who know the lingo it's a Regal Valanti 225S. A 22 foot cuddy with a MerCruiser 350 inboard-outboard engine (270 HP).

Here is a picture of it while it was still "for sale" with my SUV parked in front of it just to give you a sense of scale...

Between the front seats is a door with two steps down into the Cabin. I KEEP hitting my head on that piece of wood across the top of the door though! :( There is a double bed up in the bow. In this shot you can see a tow-able inner tube people can ride sitting on the bed.

Once you are in the cabin to the right is a bathroom with it's own sink. The sink is just out of view to the left in this shot...

Then to the right is the "kitchen sink" and cabinets although there is no cook top in this one. (it was a factory option the original buyer obviously passed on)

Standing on the back seats looking out over the bow you can see the nice tanning pad on the cabin roof between the top cabin windows...

This shot is the boat going flat out at 45 mph and looking back over the wake. A two and a half ton boat moving at 45 cuts quite a wake huh? Oh yeah! That gets the old testosterone flowing! :)

Sure you are all are invited! The placard in it from the coast guard says max capacity is 10 people. That is more readers than I have so everyone is invited! :)

...and hey, if it rains we will just put the convertible top up! I don't know much about boats but I thought having a convertible was super cool. Erika says almost all boats do that- still, I think it's pretty damned cool! WooHoo!!

This is the view off the end of Erika's dock.

So, how does that rank as a show off post? :) ;)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

No Sarcasma for YOU!

Sometimes it’s fun to be an over analytical geek. It can be really fun if you enjoy annoying the pretentious. Yes, that is one of my favorite sins, I know it is wrong but I still enjoy it anyway.

The last time I worked for someone else I had to go to a day of orientation. One of the items of orientation was security. Now I have worked department of defense many times and have held a few security clearances over the years so I grok security.

This place was one of those “10-10” dial around long distance providers you may remember from the ancient days when telephones had copper wires. Does anyone remember "Al Bundy" doing those commercials? That was us.

So, this is not exactly your bastion of security needed kind of place. You know the kind of place I mean? It’s the kind of place that Wal-Mart greeters dream of getting a security guard job at, so they can sit down and sleep instead of having to stand there in the lobby greeting people. That kind of place.

So in struts this cocky little rooster of a man who must have been 23 tops. He introduces himself as “Chief” Someguy (can not remember his name) Already my geeky nerves are all a quiver. This guy just radiates “Totally Self Absorbed Loser” from every poor of his being. He really thinks he is the shit! So already we are natural enemies.

So he starts droning on about the importance of security and how you should never let good manners get in the way of good security. For example never hold the door open for anyone, yes it’s good manners but they need to use their badge to open the door. I am with him so far, I am thinking that thieves sometime sneak in and steal from purses at unattended desks or snag laptops and such so this is a good thing.

However rooster boy said the most profoundly stupid thing I have heard in a long time, he continued, “The person you let in could be a disgruntled employee about to go on a shooting spree. You would not want that on your conscious would you? So it is far better to be rude and not let someone in than to be responsible for the deaths of your co-workers!”


You have got to be kidding right? The “Chief” has clearly been watching too many Steven Segal movies! I am already rolling my eyes but then “Chief” Someguy makes a mistake I bet he never made again, he asked us if there were any questions. Yeah I had just couple so I raised my hand.
“Yes, you have a question?”
“Yeah, uh, if this guy is armed and determined to take out a bunch of people do I want to be the guy who slams a door in his face? Don't you think he would shoot me?"
“Well, yes but then security (the Wal-Mart greeters) would hear the shots and come running.
“Yeah but I am already dead!”
“Uh, well, yes, but you might well have saved others!“
"Won't he just shoot our unarmed guards when they run in?"
"Welll, uhhhh..."
"So is our security philosophy to just run this guy out of ammo before he can get to the managers he was originally after?"
“Besides,” I continue” the guy has a gun and no will to live, so why wouldn’t he just shoot me and take my badge and use it to enter anyway?"
"Well yeah but security will hear and..."
"Will get shot too- Yeah, I think we covered that."
Awkward silence
Then I blurted out another thought, "You know, we have glass doors here (like grocery stores) I mean the guy would just shoot the door and walk in anyway. I mean unless he is management material I really don’t think a guy with a gun is going to be slowed down much by a glass door, right?"

Clearly exasperated with having his fantasies of being Bruce Willis crawling through the ducts to flank the bad guys coming face to face with the basic logic of the real world "The Chief" just barks, "Just don't let anyone in OK?"
"Sure, no problem, I don’t like thieves."

I'll bet that genius is a CEO by now or perhaps high up in the Department of Homeland "Security".

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cashiers, Clerks and Customers (part II)

First a side note- Sorry this is so late (early?) You regulars may remember that I had a particularly troublesome client last February? Well, in spite of my better judgement I allowed my self to be sweet talked into going back. I guess it is a lot like relationships you have ended. After some time the sharp memories fade and the promises of "never again" seem believable so you decide to give it another chance. Then you wonder what the hell ever made you think it could change!?

I went out there today and just finished a 16 hour day that I KNOW I wont get paid for (they always have excuses). They do not know it yet but I will never again darken their door. NEVER!

So now to finish up my shopping day stories...

I left Wal-Mart and made it to water Aerobics just in the nick of time. After my workout I had one more errand to run. I needed some spare house keys made so I zipped up to our local Ace Hardware.

They had the little key-making center at the service desk. I handed the clerk the 4 keys I wanted duplicated. I was leaning up against the desk while he made my keys. My eye caught on this “ink blotter” type of ad they had on the desktop.

The ad said, “Starting in 1999 many cars started coming with transponder (security chip) keys. Until now these keys could only be made at the dealership and they cost from $80 to $150 there! Now Ace can make your transponder keys for $20 to $50. Why pay more at your dealership?”

Now that is a GREAT ad! My 2005 Escape has one of those keys and when I bought it the salesman gave me two keys and warned me not to loose them as they cost $125 to replace! I have been meaning to get a spare to stash in the car but the dealership is just out of the way and somehow I never manage to get there and isn’t this just providence that I am already here and they can make me that spare.

So I said to the clerk that was already making my house keys! “Ooooo, I want to get a truck key made while I am here!”
“What year is it?”
“Oh, that’s a transponder key, we can’t make those.“
“Huh?” Taping the ad with my finger I ask, “What about this sign right here on YOUR desk saying you can make them?”
He leans over and looks at the same ad I am looking at and says, “Oh wow, I did not know that." Let me call the manager”

It’s Deja Vue all over again. :)

So the manager comes over and explains that I will have to come back during the day as the only guy who knows how to make transponder keys works on day shift. However, he continues, let’s look it up and make sure we have a blank here for your vehicle. …

So after a few minutes of digging around he finally announces that they don’t have a blank for my vehicle they will have to order it. I need to pay in advance and it’s $85.
“Huh?” Taping the ad with my finger yet again I ask, “What about this sign right here on YOUR desk saying they are $20 to $50?”
“Uh, well yours costs more.”
Oh, well *that* explains it! I mean as long as you can justify it and everything! So I did not buy a new key after all.

Which turned out to be a smart thing because when I got home not a single one of the 4 house keys they made worked. Not a one of them.

And people wonder why men hate to shop!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cashiers, Clerks and Customers (part I)

I had a very bad streak today with store people. Luckily I was in a good mood and not all stressed out so I was able to avoid my most favorite of coping skills, wonderful sarcasm! That allowed me to save up my sarcasm and dump it all right here!

So my first trip today was to Wal-Mart. Usually I am not a fan of Wal-Mart (Sorry Anne!) but there are a few things I will make a special trip to the hundred acre store for.

I was in a hurry today, I got off at five and had water aerobics at six so this was an in and out job. Fortunately since testosterone dominates my system I am capable of walking straight into a store, getting the things I want and leaving immediately. :)

I do realize this is not a skill all people posses. :)

However, the long check out lines were foiling my plans for efficient shopping. I get up to the cashier and stereotype of stereotypes she is a pretty, very young blond named Brittany. I am watching my stuff go by on the little screen and I can see her scan one item but I see that item hit the screen 4 times real fast! It was a $20 item. It was also the last item so she instantly hit ENTER or what ever they do to tell the computer they are done and total it up.

I am paying with a credit card and I had already swiped it and now the little screen is flashing for me to sign it and hit OK. Bear in mind I have like five items total.

Now the adventure begins.
"That last item scanned 4 times."
"No you had 4 of those items", instantly leading me to believe another aspect of the Brittany stereotype might be correct in this case too. :(
"I was watching, you just ran that item over the scanner once but it hit the screen 4 times"
Shit! When it went to the signature screen it cleared the items purchased for the signature screen and this Wal-Mart apparently does not have another display anywhere so now I can not point to it. So, Brittany goes through the seemingly agonizing process to make a receipt print before I have signed the credit card screen.

So now we have the receipt in hand and you can clearly see four of the same thing in a row. I point and go, "See, right there, it hit four times."
"No, you have four of them", we have now come full circle Obi-Wan.
So at this point I really have the urge to get snarky but I manfully resist and just gently say, "Really, point them out for me..." waving to my cart…
You can actually hear two or three neurons firing while she looks over my cart, I never realized until today that neurons make an odd sound as they fire. They sound just like the silent drive on the Red October- Joosssh... Joosssh.... Joosssh! It's very creepy! Then in a sudden shower of firing neurons brilliant Brittany states, "Oh, you do just have one; I wonder why it scanned four times?"

Yes! Oh YES! Brittany finally grasps it! My sarcasm gland is just pumping mass quantities of sarcasm hormone into my blood stream and all my little sarcasm nerve endings are just aquiver yet I just mildly say, "Good, I am glad we agree now, so take the extra three off."

Now it really gets fun! Brittany says, "Oh, I can't take those off, I already hit ENTER, you will just have to go to customer service and get a refund."
These words really just did not make any sense to me so sounding really bright and living up to my nerdy redneck stereotype I said, "Huh?"
"Yes, just go ahead and sign the credit card thingy so we can finish then you can go over to customer service and get a refund."
"Then I said something that clearly they do not cover in Wal-Mart corporate drone training because I could see I just clearly blew her mind with this unimaginable answer. I said, "Ummm, no."

Judging by the wide eyed slack jawed look young Brittany was giving me clearly she was stunned and had no idea what to say next so I elaborated for her benefit,
"I have not paid you yet so I don't need a 'refund'. Additionally, I have no intention to pay you for things I did not buy so I still won’t need a refund.”

Now Brittany starts to impersonate a carp, her mouth is opening and closing slowly in what I can only guess was a futile attempt at pumping oxygen rich water over her life giving gills?

Clearly somewhere Brittany-fish was taught the value of repeating herself. Repetition is the key, the way to get things done is to be repetitive because what did Brittany-fish say next? "Sir, just go ahead and sign that then you can get your money back from customer service." I almost did my fish impersonation at that point.

Then the plot thickened; the young pretty woman in line behind me is starting to get antsy, she is tapping her credit card on the counter, shifting her weight back and forth and making that incredible noise that only women know how to make that can just send men into orbit, you know, that smack your lips and sigh real loud sound? Yeah you know the one doncha? Here is the funny part though, she is not fed up with Brittany-fish she is mad at ME. She barks out to me, "Oh just sign it already so we can all get out of here!”

Now someone should call the pope because it was clearly a bona fide miracle that I kept my cool and held my sarcasmey juices in check after her blatant lip smacking! I just said calmly but in a clear, loud voice so the people behind her could hear me too, "Sure, no problem- I will sign right now if you just pay me the extra $60 bucks she rang up and I’ll give YOU the receipt to go stand in another line to get it back. How does that sound?" then I held my hand out for the money.

After a few seconds of eye locked silence I said "That's what I thought, you might find another line because I have a bad feeling about this one." and turned my back on little Miss Smackey Lips.

Meanwhile Brittany-fish called upon all of her Jedi training and decided to get her manager.

So we got to play the same game with the manager again, "Ok sir, she has already rang it up so you will just have to get your refund at the customer service desk."
"To quote Cool Hand Luke, what we here a failure to communicate; Ma’am, I have not paid you yet so there is no refund needed. Furthermore I have no intention to pay for what I did not buy so I can stand in yet another line to get 'back' the money I have not given you yet. Are you following me?"

I swear to GAWD at this point her eyes started to glow red and she said in this creepy voice "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated!"

Actually she was quite apologetic and just explained that as much as she wants to she just can’t modify the order after a certain point in the process- so I HAVE to pay for it.

That concept still hurts my head. I MUST pay for something I don't have. That is the only way the system works. I MUST! Owwwwwwww!

I am looking at the signature screen and under the signature line it says OK and CANCEL. So I ask what happens if I hit cancel?

Brittany-fish and the Borg group leader look at each other and 1-of-9 says with some honesty. “Uh, I don’t know?”
“Well, since this is going no where lets give that a shot.”
Too late! I tapped the cancel button and to make an already too-long story short after just a little maneuvering there were able to just ring me up again and all was well this time.

Oh so much debate for what turned out to be a very simple thing! So class, how do we defeat the evil computer empire? Why just hit the Cancel button. Duh!

Still the best part of this story is how clearly Brittany-fish has never had anyone tell her “no” before. I am willing to bet that later on she was in the break room going, Oh. Mahhh. Gawwd- I had like this customer who would just like totally NOT do what I told him to do! I mean someone should totally explain to this nerdy redneck dude just who is in charge around here! Customers follow orders damn it! When I tell him to pay me then stand in another line he should like totally do it- Right?”

After aerobics I went on another blog worthy shopping trip but since this post is already too long I will save that story for a part II tomorrow.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My business.

In the early 2000's I was almost put out of business by cheap foreign labor doing technical work. They were undercutting my rate by 50-70% and it was very tough to compete. Many of my friends were put out of business.

Fortunately most employers/customers figured out in pretty short order that you do indeed get what you pay for. I was able to weather the storm and stay in business but sadly many were not. So I put all of this forward just to say up front, why yes, I am bitter! I am so glad you asked. :)

Anyway I ask you to ponder the thoughts that follow as you gaze upon the following miracles of efficient and thoughtful design:

So, the same culture that builds infrastructure like this is who most of you entrust your hi-tech computer support too.

Remember that as you are installing that printer driver for the 5th time and are asking "Say again" for the 27th time.

(A tip o' the hat to Major Tom for the photo's)

Thursday, May 22, 2008


It's about time I got some help! And working on these State Government contracts this new product is not a moment too soon for me!

(click to embiggen)