Monday, April 28, 2008


This post is not meant to be critical. An old Sergeant of mine used to say, "Son, ain't nobody born knowing this stuff" which if nothing else should tell you that good grammar is not required to espouse wisdom. :)

Any way, I got on the Southwest Jet this morning and this couple sat next to me. Upper 40's lower 50's perhaps.

So they settled in next to me and the conversation started something like, "Ok honey, we have to turn our cell phones off now."
"I don’t know, I just saw on TV that you have to turn them off on planes."
"Well I can't imagine why"
After maybe 30 seconds of this I just offered to them, "Yes, you have to turn them off but they will tell you when you have to."

They were typical white knucklers, every whine creak or bang would elicit a startle. So I quickly got to where I had a running commentary going without even looking up from my magazine, "Baggage bay door closing- Flaps coming down to take off position - Ok here we go, I LOVE take off! Aint that fun!" (Seriously, 100,000 pounds of machinery accelerating to 140 mph in less than a mile is awe-inspiring even if it never left the ground!)

After we leveled off I dozed off till we were close to the ground again. So far this couple has not really been out of touch just a little a white knuckley and unsure of them selves but here is where it got fun...

Once on the ground at St. Louis they announced that if you were going on to Omaha then please remain seated until they get a count of through passengers then you can change seats or go to the rest room if you want.
The man asked me what that meant. So I explained with a few more words.
So he asked, "Are we in Cleveland?"
"Nope, Saint Louis."
"But this plane is going to Omaha next?"
"That is what he said."
"So how do we get to Cleveland?"
Wow. Moment of stunned silence while I grasped the depths of his ignorance! (Which should never be confused with stupidity!) "Uh, well I imagine you get off here and catch another plane to Cleveland but we should check with the FA to make sure this one is not going to Cleveland after Omaha."
Now just a bit panicky, the man said, "Oh my! How do we get on another plane; they already took our tickets!" Before I could answer the woman chimed in, "How in the world do we find this other plane?"

Now I do remember the wise old sergeant's words but sometimes it just amazes me how much we absolutely take for granted in life. How much knowledge we carry about in our heads that is a complete mystery to otherwise normal reasonably intelligent people.

Instead of lecturing I told them to stick with me and I would show them what to do.

So instead of giving them a fish I took 5 whole minutes and showed them the monitors with arrivals and departs showed them how to find their gate by city name. Then I pointed out to them all the signage along the roof. I explained how the designers know most people will be stangers in this building and wont know where anything is so there are lots of signs that will almost always tell you anything you want to know if look long enough.

So after looking up their flight (thank god there was only ONE flight to Cleveland this morning!) I walked them to gate 10 and explained how to get a boarding pass (ticket) for the next leg.

Man you would have thought I had just given their dying son a kidney! I got a huge hug and a kiss and a good stiff handshake. Thankfully, the hug and kiss was from her and not the big lug.

So the whole thing kind of leaves me with a sense of wonder. Such a small and minuscule thing, to explain signage and walk them to their gate- Five minutes out of the span of my life is an absolute nothingness in my overall existence yet it meant so very much to two scared and confused people.

It really does amaze me. So small, so meaningless, yet so much.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Big D.

Welp, I am back in my home back at my desk sitting in my big easy chair typing on a full sized keyboard again. On the other hand I don't have a lake in the back yard here.

Always a trade off huh?

The weather is perfect in Dallas tonight with a nice breeze blowing through the window over my shoulder as I type this. By the time I come home next month it may be getting hot so I will enjoy this weekend!

This past month while I was in Springfield Dallas had some bad storms and two sections of my privacy fence blew over so I have that on "the list" this weekend too.

Have a good weekend y'all.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bad Day!

Ok, work really had me stressed out Wednesday morning. I never used to be stressed out. It’s just not my nature; I am just a pretty laid back guy. These state contracts can be lucrative but they seem to be getting to me.

I would tell you all about it but I would hate to see you all start nodding off at all the gory detail on the political infighting of entrenched bureaucracy. I’ll just sum it up by saying that by lunchtime on Wednesday I had a tic in my left eye. Now I always joke about getting a tic but this time I actually had a physically uncontrollable tic in my left eye! Creepy!

Upon seeing my eye, the lady I work with said, “C’mon, time to get outta here, let’s get lunch.” So we went to Pizza Hut. I was sitting there ranting about the day so far with her while eating some pizza and then I bit my cheek.

Oh not just any old nip of the cheek- I got a solid bite on it. In fact, I could tell by the way my teeth pressed through the flesh that it was not pizza I just cut through before I even felt the pain. It felt like a piece of tender steak. I had a chance to think - Oooooo, that's gonna hurt before it even hurt!

I poked a nice hole into my check and a big flap of meat was hanging loose. Yeah, I was done eating and I spent the rest of the afternoon with my tongue holding the flap of meat down so it would heal. Ever try to bandaage the inside of your cheek? They don't stick very well.

Not too long after that as I had the bleeding under control :) I went to blow my nose. I picked a napkin up off the table and blew normally. I saw it a millisecond before it went in.

You know the pepper sprinkles (seeds) pizza joints always have? I love them! I always use them. I even have a shaker at home! Well, I guess a flake or two of red pepper seed got onto my napkin, then when I blew my nose a seed shot right up the crack between the napkin and my nose and went right into my right eye!

I blinked and the seed got under my lower eyelid. I start tearing up trying to blink it out from under the eye lid. I can feel it kinda scratchy under there and it’s starting to burn. I jumped up and headed to the bathroom with just one eye to use the mirror and sink to fish it out but someone is in there and it’s locked.

Now the tears are coming hard and heavy and it’s really burning- bad.

So here I am standing in a dimly lit and dirty bathroom alcove in the sprawling metropolis of Springfield with a bleeding hole in my cheek and my eyes watering like crazy with no where to go.

Then, in the midst of pain, blood and tears, I had a flash back and an epiphany- when I was small and in Catholic School the nuns use to tell us boys that when we touched our selves it made the baby Jesus cry. They also taught us that Jesus would always forgive us if we asked.

So right there in that dingy Pizza Hut alcove I took the chance to say to Jesus, I am really sorry for making you cry so often. I now realize that my middle teen years must have been pretty rough on you having to cry so much. So now I am asking forgiveness, so please, I hope you will not continue to make me cry in return.

Just in case though, today I shook my napkin out quite thoroughly before blowing my nose.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Song About My Life...

(click an arrow to convert electrons into noise)

Well other than the last line. That's my story and I am sticking to it!

This one is dedicated to all you cube farmers out there!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Is This Name Lame or Lamer?

I see these buses around Springfield all the time.

And yes, they really exist, here is their website, if you don't believe me.

I don't see a motto there. I can't help but try to help them out with one? Here are a few off the top of my head...

Why just be Lame when you can be Lamer?

Did you ever want to ride a Lamer?

Once you go Lamer you won't go back.

Official tour bus of Britney Spears and Michael Jackson.

First we were dorks, then losers- now we are Lamers!

If you can't walk just call Lamers!

Proud Sponsor of the Lamers Olympics!

(You know, their url "golamers" is kinda cruel when you think about it.)

Since my creative readers comments are usually funnier than my posts I can not wait to see what you come up with!

Friday, April 18, 2008

My Very First Earthquake. (or "Daddy make it stop")

Early this morning (4:36 AM CDT) I woke up to my head board banging on the wall. At first that lovely sound made me happy then I realized I was the only one in the bed.

The bed was moving several inches, the house was creaking and popping and I thought I must be dreaming. About the time I convinced myself I was really awake it was over.

Read a news story here if you are interested.

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake lasting 20 seconds in Springfield Illinois. Who'd a thunk it?!

Well I do remember a story of a HUGE earth quake in Saint Louis Missouri in the early 1800's. It was so wicked the Mississippi river ran backwards for several days. If memory serves that was from the same fault line that shifted this morning.

Pretty trippy.

EDIT: Five hours and forty minutes later we just had an aftershock. (10:17 AM CDT)

Thursday, April 17, 2008


To paraphrase the great Dr. Martin Luther King... "Spring at last, spring at last, spring at last, thank God almighty, its spring at last"

Blogging as it should be done...

(Click picture to embiggen)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Now I get it!

I have been having a sweet tooth lately but I do not like to keep anything in the house so that no matter how tempted I get I would have to get up and go out to get a treat so then my inherent laziness overrides my inherent gluttony and the universe remains in balance grasshopper. It's a great system!

I was at the grocery store though and something catches my eye. Have you seen these "100 calorie packs"? I was intrigued at the idea of yummies for only 100 calories so I looked. I see cinnamon streusel coffee cakes; oh my I love cinnamon most anything but in and on spongy coffee cake, even better!

I read the label, serving size three muffins? Three muffins for 100 calories? Awesome! Don’t they look scrumptious on the box? Only 100 calories? So I bought them.

Then on the drive home my nerdy little mind starts grinding on it, how is it possible to get three yummy muffins for a mere 100 calories? How do they do that I wonder? That is 33.33 calories per muffin? What kind of new processing technique have they created to make a muffin for a measly 33 calories? They must taste like crap, still, I am intrigued, I am excited! I must get home and discover how in the hell they pulled off this miracle of food processing!

So with trembling fingers I rip open the box and the great mystery is revealed...


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Welcome back

I went back to my water aerobics class for the first time this year. Since even anti-freeze freezes here, every time I even thought of swimming I would start to shudder uncontrollably so it's been a few months since I had been.

Man, when I showed up everyone gathered around me and made a really big deal about how glad they were I was back and how much they missed me and then I got the same treatment after class too.

Water aerobics must be considered a "girl thing" because last year when I went 3 times a week every week I was the only guy in the class. It's a great workout though so I don't know why it seems to be a "girl thing"

Anyway, I could tell you that it was in no way cool to have a group of well toned women in bathing suits repeatedly telling me how much they missed me. I could tell you it did NOTHING for my ego but man I would be totally lying my ass off!

It's a good thing I got an ego boost though because I am too pooped to pucker! It's amazing how out of shape you can get in just a few months of laziness huh? Hell, my arms are cramping up just from typing this now! Oooowwwwww!

How Computers Really Work

Since I happen to be very good at explaining complex data processing to my customers I thought perhaps my dear readers could benefit from this simple drawing.

Click this link to see a simple rendering. Maximize your browser for best results.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


File this one under the "What were they thinking?" category.

I can see at least two things fundamentally wrong with this ride and I do not mean in an engineering sense!

The question asked, "Who designed this?" I don't know his name but I am willing to bet that by law he is required to notify all of his neighbors he has moved into the neighborhood.

Of course, this is what happens when we let our children be entertained by characters that never wear pants! This perverted duck and that damn Porky Pig are corrupting our children! Then there is that square pants character. Yes he wears pants but not much is left to the imagination! Won't somebody please think of the children!

You know you are getting old when the band in the club starts playing and you are immensely relieved because finally you can let that fart go you have been holding in for the last 20 minutes and no one will be able to hear it. Oh the relief!


If you have not seen it yet you must go to House of Jules and check out the parenting advice and how the moonwalk can be such an instrumental part of child rearing! That is the funniest thing I have seen in quite a while.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Feeling stressed?

Do you enjoy bubble wrap?

Then enjoy this Bubble Wrap Be sure to try Manic Mode!

Ahhhhhh. I feel better already.

Go ahead, you know you want to...

Now I am going to go relieve my stress the old fashioned way!

Be sure to buy some Anheuser Busch stock today, I have a feeling Michelob inventories are going to drop this weekend! ;)

On a related note I had to impersonate my hero Milt at work today. I was mumbling about burning the place down. :)

Where ever your life may take you and what ever you do DO NOT be an efficiency expert and then do work for a state government. This is how assault rifle rampages are born.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Politically Correct? Not even close!

And yet it makes me laugh and laugh. Hopefully you too can overcome your righteous indignation and laugh too...

Then again PC was never my strong suit.

How you can tell if a cat is Persian...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Voice Mail on Speaker Phone

You ever have anyone who uses their speakerphone for everything? There is someone about two cubes over that must be hard of hearing because he cranks up the volume and uses that speaker phone for everything. It's annoying as hell to everyone around me. After so many years around airplanes I tend to tune things out, noise does not bother me but man I am in the middle of a regular drama shop since everyone else is so upset about it. Someone clearly complained because his manager come over today and told him to knock it off. (She was much nicer I am just keeping it short)

So then he spent the next hour complaining loudly about how she could not tell him to turn his phone down! She did not have the right.

The hour-long rant was reminiscent of my hero Milt from Office space!

So now just to be spiteful he has really cranked up the volume.

Now while it is not bothering me it is a problem and I do like being a problem solver and clearly the direct approach is not working well so I had another approach that better suits my personality and that should solve the problem.

The next time he leaves his desk I am going to go down to one of the empty conference rooms, deepen my voice as much as I can and leave him a voice mail that goes something like, "Hey there my big sweet guy! Wow, you were a real wildcat last night! All these months we been together how come you never told me you like it so rough? Well from now this cowboy is going bronc busting so I hope you are ready for the hard ride big fella!"

What do you want to bet he will never listen to voice mail on his speakerphone again?

I am all about the creative solution!