Friday, February 29, 2008

Hey Zeus!

Back at Christmas someone attached this picture to a Christmas e-mail. As is often the case I had several bizarre thoughts about the photo and so saved it off on to the hard drive where I just re-discovered it and the bizarre thoughts returned.

1) I have no idea who the artist was but I can't help but wonder why he felt his savior should look like a 70's coke head? Did Jesus just walk out of studio 54? Look at that hair Cotton! Feathered and lethal!

So was Jesus amongst us again as the lead singer in the Bee Gee's or what? Which of course may be kind of appropriate. I mean, really I can see Jesus singing "I - I - I - I Staying alive, Staying alive" Right?

On the other hand I can't help but think it was very wrong of Jesus to wear such tight pants in that video?

2) The other thought that occurs to me as Jesus gazes longingly at the wee baby sheep is that it looks to me like he is thinking, "Awwww, hey there little fella, don't you just look nummy-nummy! Mmmmmm, so tender! Actually I was in the mood for a nice veal but the "disciple's" can't seem to scrounge any up so I guess you'll have to do. Hey disciples? Is a little mint sauce for your savior too much to ask? I mean I am going to be brutally killed for your souls and all so really is a little mint sauce too much to ask?

I'm sorry, I can't help it. These thoughts just pop into me wee brain. More than once I have thanked the great lamb devourer above that I was not born a few hundred years ago. There is no doubt in my mind I would have died a horrible death at the hands of an angry mob for some of my bizarre thoughts.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


It seems American culture is spreading to the most unexpected of places!

Now being a guy I LOVE Mardi Gras! Nudity in exchange for the cheapest of beads? Man, what's not to like?

I have a buddy over in the Middle East and he sent me some pictures of Saudi Mardi Gras! Saudi Mardi Gras? Mardi Gras in a country where a woman can be imprisoned for exposing her ankles? Wow, American culture must really be spreading! Check out the picture he sent me!

Yeah! Look at those two on the far left! You can even see some wrist! Man I love a woman who will flaunt what she has! "C'MON BABY, I got beads for some forearm! Let me see a little forearm! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Oh you just KNOW she is a bad girl!

(This post was no less lame than the last one but at least it is original)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Embarrassing Quickies...

Crazy Momma asked last week what embarrassing things have your kids said.

One time when Brian was like four we were on the 12-hour drive back to where my family lives for a big Christmas to do. While we thought he was asleep in the car seat the wife and I were up front gossiping and probably giggling.

When we got home everyone was there and since Brian was the baby all the family was going ga ga over him and really pumping up his ego. You know how kids love to show boat right? So he is hamming it up knowing he is the center of all attention. He walks up to my sister and in a nice loud voice says, "Aunt Celeste, what is a slut and why does Daddy call you that?"

All the laughter instantly stopped replaced by an awkward deafening silence.

Now, everyone in the room knew she was a slut (at the time) but I got so many lectures from aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents about how I should never talk that way in front of the child! For five years after that my standard refrain was "I know, I know! I thought he was asleep!"


There was one other time he really embarrassed me but this one was not my fault. You have to set the WABAC machine for this one...Little Rock Arkansas, end of the 80's.

My first computer was a Commodore 64. Yes, an ENTIRE 64 kilobytes of storage! Can you imagine? It was awesome! It had a cassette tape drive that you would load programs from or save things too. It was very cheap; I mean blank cassettes cost nothing back in the day! :) Besides the whole system cost me $199 brand new from Sears.

The down side to tape was that it was no faster at data than at music so it would take a half hour to start loading a game then you had to turn the tape over and load from the other side.

So, I saved up and bought a 5 1/4 inch floppy drive. If memory serves me it held a 112 k. (128k minus overhead) This was a HUGE deal at my house. That disk drive cost $199 the same as the whole original system had cost. However, it would load a game in 5 minutes instead of 45! Now that is POWER! Bwuh ha ha! I believe I literally danced in the front room at the pure glee of such awesome processing power!

Like I said it was a huge deal I was like a kid at Christmas. So I announced I was going to Sears to buy a game on FLOPPY DISK instead of tape! "Fine, take Brian with you." "Ok, c'mon little buddy, lets get a floppy disk game! Yeah!"

Brian was a toddler then. Still in diapers and still had a cute little baby lisp. He really could not say "S's" yet.

So we are at Sears in the computer department looking at games. There is another lady there in the aisle too. Brian was always a friendly kid so he wanted to share the big news too. He wanted to tell the nice lady about our amazing new floppy disk drive. However, he had that problem with making the S sound.

So he walks up to the lady, tugged on her skirt, she turned a smile down at him and was all ears. Then he  said, "Hey lady, my daddy has a floppy dik." (diSk without the S)

This lady did not say a word but her smile at the cute toddler was slowly replaced by the glare she turned on me. That glare seemed to say, 'What the hell are you doing with this child!?'. Oh dear lord I instantly felt my face flush, I mean I could feel the heat radiating from my face! The adrenaline hit and I started to stutter on about how he means DISK - DISK! He can't say S's yet I swear! I was so flustered I know I was looking guilty!

We immediately left without buying a game and for weeks I waited for the knock on the door from family services.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Management Think II (OR AOL/Time Warner sucks)

Ok, long, long ago when angry and massive 286’s ruled the Earth I was on AOL. Prior to the internet AOL was actually pretty cool stuff and I had a young boy and AOL had gobs of age relevant content. As he aged AOL had very nice tunable parental controls I could inflict on him.

Anyway, I gave up on AOL long ago with the exception of Instant Messaging (IM) which was free so even though I was “off” AOL my account was still active since I used IM a lot. Then they tied a free e-mail account to IM and then I had a spam account! So anytime I would have to give an e-mail account to sign up for something I would use the AOL account.

Case in point, when I signed up with blogger I used my AOL account because I had no idea how much spam they were going to send me. (it turns out none)

I have Time Warner Cable internet at home so my “real” e-mail account is a Time Warner account. Now, Time Warner web-mail SUCKS nards! It is very basic, has a lousy editor and no spam filtering. Then it is SLOW. It is acceptably fast when I am at my house but from outside their “network” it is terribly slow. Since I live on the road it’s mostly real slow.

So, as I started actually reading my blogger mail on AOL I started to realize the free AOL web mail is actually a very good product. So a few months ago I started auto-forwarding my Time Warner mail to my AOL account. Hell AOL runs my Time Warner e-mail through a spam filter to boot! So I got to where I almost exclusively use my AOL account again.

So in short, the Time Warner e-mail that I pay for is terrible and the AOL e-mail that is free is pretty good stuff!

Until yesterday.

Most of you know that comments on your blog posts are e-mailed to you. Yesterday I thought I was getting no comments because I was getting no e-mails. Then I checked last night and I had a slew of comments! Then I got an e-mail from Google saying that AOL was blocking my emails from

So perhaps this e-mail I sent to the AOL post master this morning will sum up nicely:

You are blocking my e-mails from Please stop that.

I just finished a very long and frustrating call with someone who barely speaks English who repeatedly explained to me that *I* can not ask you not to block my e-mail; only the sender of the e-mail that was blocked can ask you not to block my e-mail.

I have to tell you that ranks pretty high on the “stupidest thing I have ever heard” scale. It's my mail and I have NO control over what mail I get? Who came up with that idea?

For example, if I get a newsletter from say Toyota every week and you decide to start blocking it does Toyota care enough to expend the effort to jump through all your hoops including dealing with call reps who can not speak the customer’s language so that I start getting my newsletter again. I don’t think so.

What ever made you decide to start blocking e-mails from large reputable firms anyway? What ever led you to the decision that the account owner should have ZERO input on what e-mails get blocked and what e-mails don't.

No wonder you continue to loose market share.

Then it occurred to me. Who Owns AOL? Time Warner does! DUH!

I recently got a G-mail account. I guess it’s time to start using it now. {Sigh}

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Be Afraid!

Here is a sure sign you had better be careful! Clearly there is a scooter gang close by and you DO NOT want to be around when they come back for their scooters!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Management Think

Remember when that creep Timothy McVey blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City? For a while there everyone assumed it was foreign terrorists that had done it

At that time I worked at an oil company in a large building in downtown Dallas. It was a cool building in that it had lots of underground parking. The building was 25 stories tall and the parking went 6 stories underground. To get into the parking garage you had a badge that you slid into the reader that was just inside and the little wooden arm would lift up out of your way.

If you forgot your badge there was a call button and a speaker. You push the button and the old guard up in the lobby would ask your name and department, look you up to make sure you were legit then raise the arm and let you in.

Being a large building, at 8:00 am there was always a solid stream of cars heading into the parking structure. Conversely at 5:00 PM there was always a solid stream of cars heading out so they had built concrete medians to channel the traffic and keep it separated.

So, a few days after the Oklahoma City tragedy I had forgotten my badge. I pushed the call button and the guard told me over the speaker that if you did not have your badge you could not get into parking anymore. I would have to either go home to get my badge or park somewhere else.


There are about 50 cars behind me bumper to bumper lined up all the way back to the main road. There are concrete medians on both sides of me- Just where in the hell am I supposed go? So I put my truck in reverse, waited until the guy behind me saw my backup lights, figured it out and put his car in reverse, wait for the guy behind him to notice his lights, etc. This is NOT going to work. Now people are starting to honk at me since I am the moron holding things up!

I drive a pick up and I grew up on a farm. Why do I suddenly care about a little concrete median? I backed up just a little to get an angle then I went up and over the curb beside the little padded arm and went down to my normal parking spot right around the little arm.

When I got to the lobby I asked the old guard what the hell that was all about!?

He says that since we are an oil company and in light of the OK City bombing the decision was made to tighten security and not let anyone without a badge into the parking area under the building.

My mouth fell open in shock at the DEPTHS of stupidity that little decision required. So I asked to see his boss.

When he came out of his office and we reviewed my little adventure in the bowels of the building and I said to him with sarcasm mode fully engaged, "So, let me see if I have this straight, Akmed and Mohammad had to go back to their Ayatollah and report that even though they were in a huge U-Haul truck filled to the gills with eight freaking TONS of explosives and even though they had a couple of AK-47 machine guns on the seat between them that they failed in their holy mission to bring down the great Satan oil company because Ernie, the retired Wal-Mart greeter who now passed as “Security” would not raise the flimsy little wooden arm and let them into the parking lot. Is that about right?"
"Uh… yeah."
"What, you think they are worried about getting the deposit back if they scratch the truck going through that flimsy little wooden arm?"
"Well, it does sound stupid when you say it."

Saturday, February 9, 2008

What a Difference a Week Makes!

A mere eight days ago Springfield looked like this:

Today it was sunny and a balmy 43 df (degrees Fahrenheit). It is unbelievable how good 43 freaking degrees feels. Man it was so nice I was driving around with the windows down! It was that good! I went to my favorite park and had a nice walk, then I found an awesome picnic table right on the edge of the lake where the water was lapping up against the rocks.

I had brought a book to read but instead I just sat there face turned up into the sun absorbing it's magical rays and listening to the water lap against the rocks. I felt so good that when I got back my truck I had an incredible urge to play Frisbee! I tried to get a hold of Erika to she if she was up for it but no luck. So I went and found another lakeside park and had another walk in the sun!

It was A Truly Glorious Day!

It fascinates me to no end how much perspective alters your perceptions. Back home in Dallas 43 is pretty miserable. I would not even THINK of basking in the sun on a 43-degree day there. I would have a fire roaring and wishing for a better day. At this time and this place though, sunny and 43 was a magical, invigorating day!

Alas, it's now late afternoon and a brutal cold front is approaching. The sky is clouding up portending the misery to come. Somehow, right now, I do not mind. :)

On another weather note, Springfield has been in a fairly severe drought for months now. Just a few days ago our boat dock looked like this:

Here is what it looks like today:

A week ago we received that foot of snow you can see above. Just a few days later the storm system that spawned all of those tornados that killed over 50 people down in Tennessee dumped two inches of rain here in two days. That rain combined with the melting foot of snow FILLED the lake up in 3 days. It was unreal! On Sunday you could drive over the bridge and see over 100 yards of dry lakebed. On Monday morning the entire lake bottom was covered again. On Monday afternoon the lake was only about 4 inches shy of being full. By Tuesday it was overfull.

It boggles my mind that a lake can get several feet deeper in a matter of a couple of days!

Friday, February 8, 2008

End Times?

OH my! People in Springfield are really freaking out today! Churches are packed, offerings are being burned to various Gods, and spontaneous orgies are breaking out in hallways and cubicles through out the building! Now normally that last one would be AWESOME but I am working at a state agency full of aging hippies; so here, not so much!

So what has everyone convinced that the world is coming to an end? This morning a HUGE bright yellow crescent appeared on the horizon, then it just kept getting bigger and bigger and now there is a huge yellow ball just hanging in the sky defying gravity and all common sense! Plus the sky is this totally weird non-gray color. Some people think it is an alien mother ship beginning the invasion and others think it is the beginning of the apocalypse, yet a third group is convinced that the Mother Earth Spirit is about to burn us for our trangressions against her!

I keep trying to explain to people that just two long weeks ago I was in the southwest and I got to see the sun and enjoy it’s warmth and that is all that is going on but it’s been so long since it appeared around here people have forgotten about old Sol and are totally losing it and won't listen to me!

I gotta go people... Oh god Jim, put that back on!

Friday, February 1, 2008

More Lessons Learned.

Base Camp Charlie - Week Two.

We continue to learn how to live here at the very edge of the human habitable zone. (click photo to enlarge)

Here are some important lessons learned today after a foot (yes a freaking FOOT) of snow fell here in Springfield.

1) Establish base camp somewhere with a short drive way!

2) DO NOT take a shower and get dressed for work before establishing that you can actually get out of the drive way.

3) In the same vein, even if it is Friday and you are doing laundry tomorrow DO NOT wear your last clean shirt to shovel the drive way in! It won't be clean when you are done!

4) Just break down and shovel the driveway before you try to get out. Unpacked snow is MUCH easier to shovel than car packed snow!

5) Do not throw shoveled snow upwind. It tends to come back to you in unpleasant ways!

6) When you think, "Hey, I'm not cold any more! I must finally be getting used to this weather" You are WRONG! You are simply getting numb. It starts to hurt again when you get inside and warm up.

7) After shoveling the driveway so you could go somewhere, strangely you don't want to go anywhere any more.

Good lessons huh?

You know, while I was shoveling that long ass driveway I was getting bored so I started playing a mind game. I love old steam locomotives. So to help pass the time I pretended that I was a fireman shoveling coal into the boiler of an old locomotive. You know, instead of the sucky reality of throwing shovel loads of frozen water on what was once a flowerbed, I could pretend that I was standing in front of a roaring fire and shoveling coal! That little mind game helped me feel warmer as well as passing the time. After about an hour or so of shoveling and maybe three quarters done with the driveway I remembered that fireman unionized around the turn the of the 19th century so like any good union man I said, "Screw this! That's good enough!" and quit working!

I just know that somewhere Jimmy Hoffa is smiling down on me!