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)


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My New Favorite Song!

It's good to be a geek!

"A 13th level halfling fighter thief" Oh yeah man, that's the good stuff!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Krispy Kreme Donuts

I was totally snookered!

I am not sure if you guys have Krispy Kreme donuts where you are at but for a while there they were quite the fad just like Starbucks was except that Krispy Kreme was not ridiculously overpriced.

The first time I had a Krispy Kreme donut I was staying in a hotel in Raleigh-Durham that had free ‘continental’ breakfasts. I bit into this donut and the contrasting textures are what got to me! It was crispy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside. I thought, “Ah ha!, Krispy Kreme, I get it! What a great name!” I stayed in that hotel for about three weeks and had some every morning! I even went to sneaking them out so I could have some that night after supper for a dessert! As Tony the Tiger used to say before those German magicians took him to Vegas, “They’re great!”

About 6 months later they opened one just down the road from my house. I was pretty excited and so were lots of people. Everyone including me were going on and on about how great their donuts are.

So the place finally opens and I get some. I did not quite spit it out but I was shocked when I bit into it! It was real soft and gooey. I was like, “Hey where is the “Krispy” part?”

So I come to learn that this is how they make the donuts and THAT is precisely why everyone loved them so much; because they are so soft and gooey! I always loved them because they were crispy and gooey.

I was really confused for a while about why these were so different that what I had in that hotel. I finally figured it out. The hotel where I fell in love with them was getting ‘day olds’ on the cheap I’m sure. So I started experimenting. You have to let a fresh “Krispy Kreme” age about 4 days for them to get to where they were like at the hotel. The outside will get stale and crisp but the inside will stay soft and gooey. That is how I love them!

So, now if I want Krispy Kremes as a treat on a weekend morning I will buy them on Wednesday and age them for at least 4 days first. Then they are pure heaven.

So now that I solved that problem now I am trying to figure out why in the hell they call them "Krispy Kreme" when they are not at all "Krispy" until you age them?

Yes, things like this really annoy my nerdy little mind!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Random Memory...

Once when I younger and more gullible I bought a book from an ad in the back of a magazine about how to get rich. When I got the book I was very excited.

The book basically said to write a book about how to do something then sell it. Which of course was exactly what the author of this particular book had just done.

At first I was pissed. “Just write a book he says!” what a rip off! But since I spent 10 bucks on it I went ahead and kept reading. His book did go into great detail on how to find print shops to print your book, how to buy ads in magazines and newspapers to sell your book including a lot of detail on how to haggle with ad sales people to get good advertising rates. Then there was a whole chapter on how to organize your mail room, tips on sorting incoming mail and how to process your book orders, how to package your books cheaply and still protect them from damage and how to get the best postage rates when mailing your books.

For some reason all these years later I still debate with myself, was I ripped off or not?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Darkest Hours

I see it is traditional to do a “100 things about me” for your 100th post.

This is number 120 so I missed the 100 things post. However, I thought I would show you something else instead. I am sorry it is such a long post but the 100 things post is usually pretty long too. I believe you will find this story entertaining though. (You tell me, I hope you do)

What brought this on is I have been called out a time or two for being a bit of a show off here. You know, talking about airplanes and boats and other expensive toys so I guess it is time for you all to meet Rob from the other side of the tracks.

I had a horrible family growing up. So I joined the US Air Force when I was 16. My parents had to sign papers to get me in so young but they were as glad to have me gone as I was to leave and they signed without a seconds hesitation. (I understand the Air Force will not take you at 16 nowadays signature or no)

I was an airframe mechanic in the Air Force. I worked on planes and I loved it! I made $600 per month. Of course they provided clothing, room and board so it was not so bad. Besides, I would have paid them to let me play with jet airplanes but they did not need to know that!

I was getting near the end of my enlistment and I knew aircraft mechanics at the airlines made like $10 an hour. I could make more in 10 days than I made here in a month! I wanted some of that so I did not re-enlist (besides, I am too much of a free-spirit to be a ”lifer” in the military!)

After I got out I drove to Austin Texas and went to the HR departments of each airline and left my applications. I will never forget Continental Airlines though because when I asked for an application he actually laughed at me! “We have thousands of people laid off and you want an application? HA HA HA HA!” Then he yelled back at someone, “Hey George, come here, check this out, this kid here wants an APPLICATION! – I know, I know! Funny right?”

This is when I got the first inclination that maybe my timing was off juuuuuust a tad!

I signed up for and then was denied unemployment. They said, you were offered re-enlistment right? And you turned it down right? That means you quit your job so you are not eligible! Ohhhhhhh there was a kick in the butt! Only making 600 a month previously I did not exactly have a huge saving account plus I discovered these painful new concepts known as rent and paying for food because you had too not just because you wanted a break from the free food in the chow hall.

I ended up getting a job at the local, small aircraft FBO. My experience with fighter jets did not mean a whole lot to the owner. He was willing to pay me minimum wage, $3.65 an hour at that time, to pump gas and *learn* how to work on private propeller planes.

I actually did OK with that and married the girl I had been dating for while. She waitressed at Denny’s. Depending on tips she could make more than I did. the apartment we lived in is still there in Del Rio Tx. My current living room is bigger than that entire apartment was.

Still, I was looking for a better life. These were the dark times before the wild internet ruled the Earth. I had to actually snail mail resumes out. After awhile I got a hit! Boeing Military Airplane Division in Wichita Kansas sent me a letter to call a 1-800 number for my interview on a certain day and time which I did. Then they hired me by mail. They sent me an offer letter that outlined what I would be paid and told me to show up on Monday morning of such and such date at this address in Wichita. (Oh how the internet and cheap long distance has changed EVERYTHING)

So the Friday before I was supposed to be there we packed everything we owned into a U-Haul trailer and headed for Wichita! We got there on Saturday, I found a duplex in the paper, we signed the lease, paid first and last month rent plus deposit and moved in. Sunday we went to the grocery store and stocked up. We were now very close to broke but we had food and shelter to last us until the first check rolled in no problem. Those Boeing checks were going to be grand too! ($8 or 9 per hour I seem to recall)

Monday morning I show up at the personnel office offer letter in hand. It was Continental Airlines all over again. The lady behind the counter said “What are you doing here?”

I have this offer letter that said to show up here today at 8:00. It’s 8:00 so here I am!

She looked at the letter, looked at me and said, ”Don’t you watch the news?”
“Congress canceled this contract. We have laid off thousands this week and we sure don’t need you.”
“but I have this letter…”
“that means nothing now.”
“I quit my job to come here! We spent all our savings to get here and set up…”
“Son, the unemployment office is right down the street, you ought to head over there”
I was thinking fat lot of good that will do, I quit my job to come here. I already know they won’t pay.

Wellllll, skipping a lot of detail the Unemployment office in Wichita was really good. I talked to a job counselor who started looking for jobs for me and in no time he found a job for me in Richardson Texas, a suburb of Dallas, made the long distance call from his desk, I interviewed right then and got the job!. Again I was told to show up the next Monday morning. This job paid $10.70 an hour. Nearly three times what I had been making before. I was STOKED!

Then reality set in. I am broke! How the hell am I going to get to Dallas. How am I going to live in Dallas once I get here?

The unemployment guy came through again. He lined up a church that bought me a tank full of gas. By driving nice and slow that would get me most of the way there. Another charity gave me $100 cash. Man I felt low. I give to charity I don’t take! :(

I left the wife in the paid for apartment with the full pantries. She was miffed about being left behind in a strange city but I was willing to trade places with her! :)

I got to Dallas and stayed in a hotel not too far from where I would work. The hotel was too expensive but by staying there I discovered the one thing that would save me in the near future. Across the street was a “Ponchos Mexican Buffet” all you could eat for $4 plus tax!

So between gas, the hotel and Ponchos I had used half of my money on my first day, that $100 was not going to last long! I showed up at my new job the next morning and for a change, there was really a job there! They would hold back a weeks pay and two weeks from today I would get my first check.

So I had to last two weeks on about $50. With my new bosses knowledge I parked my car there on the lot but far away from the building close to the street and I started sleeping in my car. (Close to the street turned out to be my undoing)

Every morning I would wake up and walk about a half mile to a Texaco station, go in the bathroom, lock the door, strip naked and take a sponge bath, stick my head in the sink to wash my hair, shave and brush my teeth and put on clean clothes.

After the end of the work day I would walk about a mile the other direction back to that Ponchos Mexican Buffet and pay my 4 bucks and eat my only food of the day. After I ate I would sit in there enjoying the air conditioning and read news papers other people left behind and snack on the buffet until closing time. Then I would walk back to my car and sleep.

I discovered that the back seat is actually more comfortable for sleeping than a reclined front seat.

That first weekend I did my laundry at a secluded section of creek in a park not too far from work.

After 10 days of living in my car pay day is getting close. It is Thursday. Just three more days to go! But even my meager spending has drained me. I have one more good (multi hour) meal at Ponchos and I am nearly tapped out. Hey, I can go three days with out food right? I am rough and tough; it is only hunger I tell myself repeatedly! I have to repeat it a lot because I am not really believing it! :)

I spend my last dollar bill and the change from the ash tray at the drug store. They have a bin full of Jolly Ranchers. I think this is the perfect survival food! They taste really good, they are too hard to eat fast no matter how much you want too, the sugar will help me cope and if I remember right they were a penny each so I could buy a bunch of them with my last gasp of resources.

It was a good plan but I discovered that no matter the caloric intake you may get from hard candy the stomach is still empty and it gets PISSED when it’s that way. Especially if you are working or alternately very board sitting in a car with no gas looking over the same small pile of books you have already read several times recently.

By Sunday I was seriously hungry and the Jolly Ranchers were long gone. I had even already gone cushion diving and scrounged up like 17 cents and to get more Jolly Ranchers. When you find a penny and go “YEAH!! FOOD!” out loud you know you are getting pretty close to rock bottom. :)

One more day dude, just one more day, then I am going to go on a fast food binge! I am going to eat until I pop! I spend hours imagining how grand life will be with Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in the picture!

Sunday afternoon it was warm and I dozed off in the driver’s seat. Sleep was good, your stomach does not bother you nearly as much when you are asleep! I woke up to a cop knocking on my door frame (window was open) I was groggy but he told me he has seen me out here all day and he has seen me sleeping for two hours now. He is looking the messy car and asks me if I was living in this car. I told him the whole story.

I was actually kind of proud of my self. I was not a burden to society. It was tough but I was making it and payday was just one day away and I was making a better life for myself. I showed him my badge proving my employment and that I worked in this building and explained that my boss knew I was sleeping here and since this was a military project there was a lot of security and he could confirm with security I was there with permission.

He asked me how much money I had in had in my pocket. I was thinking, are you not listening? None. Taped out. Nada!

He arrested me for vagrancy. He explained that Richardson Texas had an ordinance that said if you were sleeping in public with less than 15 dollars on your person you were a vagrant. He did hand cuff me and put me in the squad car and took me to jail. They impounded and towed my car away.

I was devastated. While he was driving me to jail I tried to look on the bright side. I would have a bed tonight and it would be air conditioned! And then the thought hit me and I said it out loud as I started to salivate, “Hey! At least I will get something to eat! Right?”

The cop looked at his wrist, and said, “Nope, supper has already been served. No breakfast until 6 am.”

Son… of…… a…… BITCH. Man I just can’t win!

If you have never been in jail let me tell you something you may never have suspected. By tearing very small holes in the ketchup packets included in jail meals imprisoned would be artists in their boredom use the ketchup packets as ink pens to create murals on the cell walls.

Ok, so if anything could make being in jail after not eating for a couple of days worse it would be that the whole place smelled like ketchup. Man it made me hungry!

At 6 am the next morning I had the finest meal any king could imagine. Cold powdered eggs, cold stale dry toast and a cold greasy hash brown patty. To hell with art, I put my ketchup on the crappy food! It was divine!

When I was arraigned the judge upon hearing my story fined me, graciously gave me 30 days to pay the fine and let me go. I jogged back to work, apologized profusely for being late without calling in (they saw my car was gone and knowing I had been out of gas for a week they suspected what happened)

I got paid that day, got my car out of impound, put gas in it and after a total pig fest at McDonald's I drove out of town to a highway rest stop to spend the night with a bag of chips on my chest. I found a place to stay the next day.

A few stray thoughts out of this story:

All these years later, the concept of being fined for being broke still makes my head hurt.

I still get a little short of breath if I don’t have 15 dollars cash on me.

Monday, May 5, 2008

You shore got a purty mouth

One time a friend of mine and I flew my plane from Dallas to Vero Beach Florida. I told the computer to find me the cheapest fuel half way between them. It popped up with Quitman Mississippi. Customer reviews for Quitman airport were good on the inter-net so that is how I flight planned it. I just now looked it up and in the last census the population of Quitman was 2,400 people.

The trip from Dallas to Quitman was great and I met the airport manager, his wife and their three kids while I was stopped on the way out to Florida.

A few days later on the way back there was some bad weather to the west of Quitman, between Quitman and Dallas, so I stopped at Quitman for the night to let the front pass. When I asked the airport manager to get us a cab he said no way, his wife would be glad to give us a ride into town. I asked her which hotel was the best and with a look that said “silly city people” she replied that there was only one hotel so it was sure to be the best! :)

I offered to pay her for the ride but she said not to bother, she took travelers to the hotel all the time and it was a nice excuse to get out.

That night in the hotel I remember watching one of the worst movies ever while waiting for weather to pass- “Speed 2”. That has to got to be one of the sharpest drop offs in quality between the first movie and the sequel EVER. I swear I could hear my brain cells screaming in agony before they commited ritual suicide while I was watching that abomonation.

Anyway, the “best” hotel in town did not have breakfast so Bill and I walked a few blocks down to the Burger King for breakfast the next morning.

At first it was subtle. As we walked down the street we noticed people seemed to be staring at us but we were not sure. Well, Bill noticed it. He kept asking me if I noticed and being the oblivious nerd I am most times I really did not notice. In fact, I thought Bill was being a touch paranoid.

When we got to the Burger King though there was no doubt. As we stood in line people were checking us out- no two ways about it- some people were even squinting their eyes as they stared at us- I am normally a very outgoing guy but this was freaking me out a little and I clammed up! Instead of my normal boisterous self I was as quiet as an alter boy in “special” training.

We sat down and started eating and this fairly elderly man sat down two tables over, turned so he could face us and just started staring at us. After a few minutes of solid staring Bill finally whispered to me, “This guy is freaking me out; I am going to ask him why he is staring at us.”
“Dude, don’t do that! He looks nuts and this place is like a f’ing Twilight Zone episode! Just eat and let’s get the hell out of here before puppets start stabbing us in the ankles!”
“No man, I can’t eat with him staring at me like that- I am going to talk to him!”

Before I could say anything more Bill stood up and said “Can I help you sir?” to the old man.

The old man furrows his brow and says to Bill in a suspicious tone, “Where are you two from?”
My internal alarms are really ringing now! Bill tells him we live in Dallas and we are heading there from Florida and just stopped here for the night.
“Did y’all you ever live ‘round here?”
“Nope, just traveling through.”
The old man starts nodding his head and says, “I knew it! I knew you boys were not from around here! I know every one around here but I thought you might be related to the McDorman’s - you bear a striking resemblance to old Roy – and I was trying to figure out which of his kids you might be."

At which point he started talking about the time he went to Florida and now that the ice was broken a few other people joined us and we all had a real nice morning conversation.

THIS was more like the small town America that I know and love. Hell I thought we were fixing to get lynched or that they were children of the corn or something but it just turns out they are off the beaten track and are just not used to seeing strangers so we were freaking them out a bit. We had a mutual freak fest going there!

Good old Bill broke the silence though!

So, the airport manager’s wife comes to pick us up and I told her about it and how odd that whole thing was. She laughed and told us how she and her husband were from upstate and how it took years before people did not stare at them anymore.

Then she kept on laughing and then she said, “As far as living in a small town goes that is NOTHING! I am always the subject of gossip around this town!”
“Why”, I asked, “because you are an outsider?”
“No, because I am a married woman and I am always seen coming and going to the only hotel in town with strange men in the car. Depending on who you ask I am either a big league prostitute or a nymphomaniac who just can’t get enough.

It's a nice place to live though.”

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Vertigo - Not just a movie!

Ok, I could embed the following video here on blogger but when you do it will not let you "maximize" it. This should be watched maximized! So instead of an embed I am just going to give you the link. When you get there be sure to maximize it!

The maximize icon was a little tough to find (at least for me) but it is right next to the speaker icon in the lower right corner of the box.

This will blow your mind! If you guys remember the wing suit video I am not the "chicken" type but I cannot see myself doing this one.

Click this link go to site

I think it is interesting to note that if this was in America it would be chained off and you would be arrested for going in there instead of being a tourist attraction like it seems to be in Spain.

That is life here the Nanny States of America eh? :)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Service me? No! Service YOU! :)

At one time in my life, I thought I had a handle on the meaning of the word "service."

Webster’s says it’s- "an act of helpful activity; help; aid: to do someone a service. "

Then when you think about these common terms which reference the word SERVICE:

Internal Revenue Service
Postal Service
Telephone Service
Civil Service
City & County Public Service
Customer Service
Service Stations

you can understand how a guy might be feeling confused about the meaning of the word “Service”. When you compare the dictionary definition to those things listed above you got to wonder where the disconnect is!

Then at a diner today I overheard two farmers talking, one of them said he had hired a bull to "service" a few of his cows. BAM! It all came into perspective. Now I understand!

I hope you all are now are as enlightened as I am.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

blogger lock

Lights were flashing, sirens were sounding and people were climbing into their equipment as they ran out the door! Jack Bauer was downloading terabytes of data in mere seconds on the cell phone he has been using continuously for the last 22 hours without ever plugging it into a charger. (or taking a whiz)

In other words, blogger threw a lock on my blog for three days. I was "suspected of being a spam site" and they had to review it before they would unlock it.

I just regained control tonight.

My nerdy little mind looks over my site trying to imagine how the algorithm could be written that nerdyredneck got tagged as spam and I cannot picture it.

Now if it got flagged as adult THAT I could understand, I do tend to cuss a lot and mention sex a lot but spam? I don' get eet mon!

Cluelessness II

This story is almost the opposite of my last story.

For the last couple of weeks I have been thinking about maybe buying a boat. There is one boat in particular here in Springfield I have been looking at. I don’t know a lot about boats.

Now there is this guy at the gym and we don’t work out together but in the past the timing has worked out that we are in the (huge) Jacuzzi together after working out a couple times a week. So we have talked about things we have in common, divorce, old muscle cars and other manly men topics- because people, two men sitting in a Jacuzzi together are NOT going to talk ballet or poetry.

Anyway on several occasions he has talked about his boat and the hardware needed to pull it.

So I have been keeping an eye out for him to bend his ear about boat buying. We crossed paths in the locker room; he was walking out to leave as I came in. So I told him I have been looking for him since I wanted to ask questions about boats, he was like sure, next time ‘cause I gotta go right now. No problem.

So a third guy in the locker room I don't even recognize overhears all this and as my friend walks away he says to me, “Hey, I know all about boats, what did you need to know?” So I asked him my first question. It does not take but seconds to realize he has no clue whatsoever about boats. I mean I don’t know much about boats but I know a lot about engines and he is spouting some stuff about engines that were not just wrong but clearly demonstrated a lack of even a basic understanding.

So now I am in polite nodding my head mode, saying “hmm mmmm, uh huh” a lot but this guy just keeps going on and on and maybe 5% of it was correct.

This guy went on like he was Captain Nautica, born with a propeller spinning on his penis. Any second I expected to hear him say “Well hell, I knew Cap’n Crunch when he first joined the navy. Poor guy, he got razzed a lot, no one likes to be called Seaman Crunch- those are just two words that are not used together very often.”

Now, why would someone out of the blue tell another person they knew alllllll about topic X when they really don’t? I mean I can understand it when you are drinking and you can solve all the worlds’ problems after having a few but this guy was sober.

I just don’t get it.