Wednesday, July 9, 2008

R.I.P. Violet

Yesterday we mourned the loss of a dear friend and confidant. Some may call it a cyst; I called it Violet, K’s undeveloped twin. K had it (her) removed from her neck yesterday. Of course I had to go to the appointment with her. I had to see it come off. Unfortunately the doctor said, “I’d invite you to stand over here and watch but it may be messy when I cut it”.

It took all of five minutes and the marble sized cyst was taken out. No more Violet. While K wanted to throw a party for our loss, I was busy asking myself ‘who will I cuddle with once K has drifted off to sleep?’

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cliff Clavin Strikes Again

Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit

Yes, you guessed it. That is the official name of Bangkok.

That was what I was confronted with first thing this morning. The atheist, our resident Cliff Clavin, walked over and promptly set a printout on my desk. No conversation with me; just set the paper down. I could have said, ‘oh yea, ha ha ha’ and played like I knew what it was. But I don’t really give a flip about looking uninformed. So my real reply was, “What the heck is that, your birth name?”

‘No, that’s the official name of Bangkok. I used to know it by memory; I had some friends from Thailand and I could rattle it off on command’

Good for you atheist, good for you.

It’s going to be a long day today.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Never Gonna Give You Up

Last Friday we went to my father-in-laws for dinner. He knows that I want to do woodworking around my house and got me a pair of great tools for Christmas.

He told me that he knew what he was giving me for my birthday. He has a tool at his shop that he has never used and it would be perfect. So I’m thinking this’ll be great. After a couple of glasses of wine and dinner, he asked me if I wanted to go look at his shop. He’s a painter by trade and has an enormous garage shop that, of course, gave me shop envy in the worst way. This is painful, in a guy way (no tears), since we just fixed up an extra bedroom for K. It’s her new sewing/craft/project room; I have a part (read small) of the garage in which to move tools around. I’m beginning to feel like a dog without a doghouse.

Back to the shop; K’s dad spots the tool, a jointer, he’s going to give me and asks if we want to take it home that night. I thought, what the heck, we’re here let’s do it. It only weighs about 500 lbs. Moving that thing in to the back of my 4Runner on a hot and extremely humid night left me drenched in sweat. Of course the door had to be tied down and the tool, attached to a base, sounded as if we had a sneaker-full basketball court in our vehicle. The squeaking was beyond bad and I knew K would pop a vein on the side of her head; I couldn’t wait!

The ride home was damn near unbearable for me as well as K and the kids, surprisingly, zonked out. I waited until Saturday morning to unload the beast and then realized what a jointer does. At least I believe it faces boards to give them a flat edge. I have no idea what I’m going to with it; at least short term. And it’s a good quality, belt driven tool.

I asked K what would possess him to buy a jointer in the first place. I said it would be like me, a huge music lover, buying a Rick Astley cd.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

  • 2 hours of work with a chainsaw can leave your body out of commission for days, especially when the limbs are above your head
  • Social Distortion is underrated
  • A cat starts to smell like its litter box if it’s not emptied on a regular basis
  • I now think of driving around in dollar figures (it takes $18 to drive to my father-in-laws and have steak – but WORTH EVERY DOLLAR!)
  • Brand new mulch can smell like ass
  • BitTorrent is the next best thing to sliced bread
  • A home-made lasagna, out of the freezer, is so much better than store bought
  • If you interested in purchasing a pool want to go to a pool and spa show at the convention center, call to make sure there will actually be pools there(that cost me $3 in gasoline)
  • Pillsbury Crescent rolls, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and garlic are the bomb; thanks to K!

Friday, June 6, 2008

This Sums It Up

Co-workers have been saying it for months, "We need to do it this way in order for us to stay ahead and not create a bottleneck in our department". It's a no-brainer, yet no one would buy it. Now after months of overtime to 'catch up' the powers that be have come up with the idea that to stay ahead we need to do it 'this way'.

This commercial sums it up perfectly

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Have you seen the new styles?

I think I’ve become the fashion contact for one of my co-workers. I should have known that when I wore corduroys last fall and he asked me if it was now the appropriate season for them, that I had a problem on my hands.

Then it happened. “What’s that cologne you’re wearing?”

Picture Jim from The Office and his response to one of Michael’s inappropriate comments. That was me.

“It’s got a nice woodsy scent”. I had nowhere to run, he had blocked my cube. ‘Um, it’s Black Walnut from Banana Republic, K got it for me as a birthday gift.’ I tried to act like I was in the middle of chopping wood, changing spark plugs, cleaning fingernails with a pocketknife (basically anything guy-like).

It was the closest a metro sexual can come to making you feel like you’re getting ready to bend over and pick up the soap in a locker room shower. I fully feared that a reach-around was in my near future from this guy. So I continued my disinterested demeanor until he got bored with me and he walked away.

But it hasn’t let up; “where’d you get that shirt”, “those slacks are nice”, “look at this shirt I got at the outlet mall”, “Dillard’s doesn’t carry Nautica any more, can you believe it? Who carries it now?”

Dude, I don’t know; but I don’t like this job, its 40 hours of my week that I’ll never get back. And now I’m the fashion guru of this place and you want to converse about it. I don’t give a sh*t what I wear as long as it makes K want to treat me like her man-toy. So, yes, she dresses me and I’m cool with that.

And for the record, my shirt today is Mossimo from Target, fitting my form and, hopefully, turning me in to a man-toy for K tonight.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lars and the Real Girl

We got word from our friends that this was a really good movie. And I've wanted to watch it but never felt like I was in the right mood to rent it. K and I rented it finally and we were not disappointed.

Ryan Gosling really spreads his wings in the off center roles that he takes. This one and Half Nelson come to mind first. I think he may be the next great actor of his generation.

The premise of this movie is that his character purchases an anatomically correct female doll, Bianca, as a companion. Now you may be thinking, 'whoa, I don't want to have to go to the adult video store to pick this up'. No, it is nothing like that, so let all those preconceived notions go.

Without giving too much away, Lars is coping with an inability to interact that stems from issues in his childhood. The doll is his outlet to interact. But this movie is really about the role his family and town play in helping Lars to reassimilate into society on some level.

You should not miss this one, but you may require a Kleenex or two. K was a little weepy and I think I may have had dust get in my eye one time.

Friday, May 30, 2008

LOST - Season Finale

Quite the teaser going in to next season(waiting a whole 7 months):

Locke, or Jeremey Bentham, is in the coffin. I thought for sure it was Ben until he came in the door behind Jack. So how did he get there, off the island, and how is Jack going to get him back('you ALL have to go back to get back')?

Sawyer's selfish exterior is all but gone, jumping out of the chopper to save everyone else. Did he ask Kate to do something for his daughter in his whisper? And we got another classic when he called Lepedus Kenny Rogers. It had me rolling.

Sun watched from the helicopter as her husband was made into shark meat when the ship blew up. Yes, I think he's really dead. Michael, on the other hand, as we've seen has been unable to die. So I think he's still around...

Sayid takes Hurley out of the institution. Is it to help get them ALL back to the island?

We got to see Ben 'move' the island and now have seen him before he ends up in Tunisia with the winter parka and cut on his arm. I still have a feeling he's one of the good guys.

There's a whole lot more but that's all I can remember right now.

OH! How about that commercial towards the end of the episode for Octagon Recruiting? Could that be our off-season teaser.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Where Are We Headed?

The never ending increase in fuel prices has got me playing out all types of doomsday scenarios in my head. The local Sunday paper even had an article about people that have “headed for the hills”; that is they’re living off the land, stockpiling firewood & drinking water, growing their own food, the whole nine yards.

And you know what? I don’t think there’s anything remotely crazy about it. Or maybe I’m crazy for thinking they’re not crazy? I can’t decide.

The main point of this is that there is a peak of global oil production, and after that peak is hit (some think it has already happened) the world’s oil supply will begin to decline with demand continuing to go up. U.S. dependence on foreign oil could set us up for this quicker than others. Too bad the tree hugging liberals won’t give up the Alaskan outback for drilling. Did you know that by drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, Brazil will become the world’s 3rd largest crude oil producer? No country is faced with the regulations that the U.S. is and it is putting us in a terrible bind. One day the liberals will regret this but it will more than likely be way too late.

Here’s what my gut tells me:

• We have hit that peak
• A liberal Congress will never pass legislation to open up areas, rich in oil, to drill, which would decrease our dependence on foreign supplies
• It will be economically impossible to drive to work. My guess is that we are headed to $7/gallon for gasoline. Ethanol is not our savior; in a way it may limit our farming areas for produce
• Due to extremely high fuel prices our food prices will jump through the roof (hell, milk is already almost $4/gallon)
• Home heating will have to be limited due to high fuel costs
• Suburbia will no longer be the golden chalice that so many think it is
• Rail systems and other forms of mass transit will be imperative to a city’s survival as people will not be able to afford to drive to work
• Our country could be in total chaos for those who were caught with there pants down
• Solar and wind power will be gold(I wish I could afford to retrofit my house with solar)

That’s what makes these ‘survivalist’ seem, not so ‘on the fringe’ to me. They’ve taken steps to prepare for the worst without joining the ranks of a Hale Bopp cult.

Of course I have no educated basis for this. I’m not an elitist ‘better than you’ lefty. I’m a Biological Science major for heaven’s sake. But I believe we are in for some very hard times as a society; and there may be no way to avoid them. But I will do what I can to best prepare my house of five for the worst.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Lisey's Story

I finally finished Lisey’s Story, by Stephen King. So I’m going to attempt to give you a review without spilling too many beans.

My reading of Stephen King novels goes all the way back to high school. Of course at that time it was more for the gore factor than anything else; and his books seemed to keep me captivated more than others. It wasn’t until I started reading others, like Dean Koontz, that I realized ‘hey now there’s some story telling’.

While I’ve read my share of good books by Stephen King (think of The Shining, The Stand, It), I’ve also forced myself through some clunkers (Tommyknockers was terrible, Insomnia took me forever to finish).

Lisey’s Story fits somewhere in between; at times it feels like his best work (Lisey thinking back to when she realizes that her husband is ‘different’). There’s a lot of history to this husband and the coping mechanisms he has ‘created’ to deal with an abusive father. King does a great job of weaving this story throughout time and conveying the love between the deceased husband and his grieving wife. However some things were just so hard to overcome; for example the words that Lisey and her husband use are just plain ridiculous. If this is the way they talked they would be hard pressed to find any friends (and maybe that’s Kings point? These two had no one but themselves); ‘smucking’ is used liberally as their substitute for the ever present ‘F’ bomb. But why use that as a replacement when ‘f’ is used in the same sentence by the same character? And ‘Boo Ya Moon’? Nice. Now I feel like I’m stuck in a WWF title match, “Can you smell what the Rock is cooking? BOO YA MOON!”

Some of his books reach there climax a little too early and leave you left to wander through the last few chapters but Lisey’s Story does a good job of keeping you engaged until the very end.

I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I thought Saturdays were part of the 'weekend'

It is; unless you work where I do.

You see, Memorial Day weekend is like Christmas Eve & Day for me. I love racing, particularly open wheel racing. The kind where there are no fenders on the cars. The kind that when a mistake is made, it is exaggerated beyond that of a stock car. It is INDY 500 weekend. And to add a little more sugar to that cake, it is also the weekend for the Grand Prix of Monaco(it contains even MORE uppity folks than Indy cars).

BUT I just painted a mural, so to speak, and someone came and pissed all over it. That someone is work. And if you didn't know, work sucks. It sucks better than our high falootin' Dyson vacuum cleaner that sucks up more dirt than K and I knew we had. That's some serious sucking.

On Wednesday we were asked if we could come in 8-12 on Saturday. We're viewed as the 'bottleneck' in my department. Truth is the bottleneck is upstream from us but I think it's become, 'if they're coming in, we have to come in' type of thinking. And I know it's not my manager's fault. He's constantly being kicked in the nuts by the ceo(I purposely kept that in lower case letters). And my rebellion in this? To say 'yes I can come in but I've got my kids-ALL 3 OF THEM. Yep, K went to Waco to get her hair done; it's imperative that you have to take a flight to get a good dye job. Don't ask. Turns out they asked who agreed to come in because they're name went on a list going to the ceo. Great.

So I've got kids 1, 2, and 3 today. And I keep reminding them I'm bringing them all in. I almost think they don't believe me. They'll be surprised when I show up with a 4 year old in tow scribbling 'fart' on the white boards(I should teach him that today). More as a statement I want them to see what they do to someone when they rule with the iron fist. You're not only getting me but you're getting all of us, because that's the position you put me in. Fuck it. I'll let the kids go wild and they'll end up telling me to take them home. Good.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Radiohead Photos - Dallas, TX 5-18-08

I've finally recovered from the shock of going back to work after returning from Dallas. I still work with the same knuckleheads. On a positive note, my pictures from the concert turned out fairly well; considering we were in the second section of seats. The stage lighting came out well in these photos(it was absolutely incredible in person). You can see the rest of my photos here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Open Wheel Wednesday

It's official. The starting lineup is in and we're ready for Sunday.

No real surprises on the front row with Dixon, Wheldon and Briscoe. I still think Dixon is the driver to beat. But of course, the Indy is ALL about the long haul; anything can happen.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Radiohead - Dallas May 19, 2008

This post has taken a while. Got back yesterday from Dallas, tired & barely able to keep my eyes open. Here is the set list for the show. Probably one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Radiohead did not disappoint. Amazing light show. Pictures to follow.

Radiohead :: Dallas TX :: May 19, 2008

01. All I Need
02. There There
03. 15 Step
04. Bangers and Mash
05. Nude
06. Pyramid Song
07. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
08. The National Anthem
09. Dollars and Cents
10. Faust Arp
11. Videotape
12. A Wolf At The Door
13. Optimistic
14. Reckoner
15. Everything In Its Right Place
16. Idioteque
17. Bodysnatchers

encore 1:
18. Fake Plastic Trees
19. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
20. House of Cards
21. Exit Music (For A Film)
22. The Bends

encore 2:
23. You and Whose Army?
24. Paranoid Android

Saturday, May 17, 2008

And So It Begins...

The trek to Dallas to see Radiohead.

Stay tuned...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Quote of the Day

First thing I said at work today, "Well, here goes another 8 hours of my life I'll never get back".

To which I received a round of laughs.

Thank you and good night.

LOST - There's No Place Like Home Pt. 1

Man oh man. These episodes just keep getting better and better. Last night we got to see the Oceanic 6 return to humanity as we know it.

Ben contacted someone by mirror at the Orchid Station. I think it was the Others; telling them to get Kate & Sawyer. You see, I STILL think Ben & the Others are good. I'm not convinced that their methods are that 'good' but we'll see...

Jack is told that Claire is his sister through her mom, at his dad's memorial service.

Sawyer had a great line in the jungle, "Wait up Genghis!" He gets me every time.

We're starting to see some interesting theories cropping up in the past couple of weeks. Here's a goodie about the very first episode, Pilot.

I think Keamy is wearing a detonator on his arm and it will detonate all the explosives on the freighter, killing Jin, Desmond and other deckhands. Not a good feeling about their fate.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Manatee Returns

Mr Manatee is so big that he has TWO Skoal rings in ONE back pocket of his Wranglers.

All the hillbillies know what I’m talking about.

Open Wheel Wednesday

One of my all time favorite Indy 500 moments

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Welcome to Suckville, USA

A week of vacation by a co-worker can do wonders for you. It’s practically your own vacation without using your PTO(paid time off).

Senior Droopy, as I call him, is a curmudgeon that has become the biggest pain in my arse. For one he likes to be the keeper of information; the employee that knows a way to do something in Excel or has a formula put together to make your job easier but doesn’t divulge that information for the betterment of the team. That, in itself, would not send me over the edge but add to it the contrarian attitude that Droopy puts out on a daily basis and you get a feel for my frustration. He also feels he has to ‘check up on me’, see how I’m ‘coming along’. Never mind that I’ve been in the group now for 6 months and unofficially a ‘senior’ based on the projects that I am given each week.

Or maybe it’s the fact that, when I was talking to the Hobbit, Droopy came up and interjected a completely unrelated issue for five minutes; and as he walked off, ripped a big fart. Hey, I can rip it with the best of them, but coming from Droopy it was damn near an HR incident. The stranger thing is, I don’t think he knew that he beefed.

Yesterday, unfortunately for us (me) his week of vacation ended and he was back to work. After half the day, he walks up to my desk, “You haven’t said one word to me all day. You must not like me”. To which I replied, “I said good morning”. Maybe it was the tobacco drool he had in the corner of his mouth that kept me from socking him one with my Jack Johnsons.

Then he had a maniacal laugh and walked back to his desk to hoard his useless information.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

  1. Children #1, 2 & 3 can make some pretty good home-made Mother’s Day cards.
  2. Children #1, 2, & 3 can drive me absolutely bonkers as I drive them to Petsmart and Target.
  3. As a result of #2, TGIFridays’ Margarita Lite mix does NOT taste like normal margarita mix. It tastes like a diet margarita. Talk about a buzz-kill (literally & figuratively). I inadvertently picked it up. K, at least, got a normal Bloody Mary.
  4. K can make a mean Mother’s Day dinner. No I did not make her dinner; she made dinner for her Mom and I was a guest. Don’t bother helping her when she’s in the kitchen; it’s better for everybody that way.
  5. My pick to win the INDY 500 this year, Scott Dixon, won the pole on Saturday.
  6. Clematis in Oklahoma grows like a weed. Ours have grown up to 7 foot tall already.
  7. It’s amazing the difference getting rid of a 5 pound Chihuahua can make on your floor plan. No more gates or closed doors. It feels like an open floor plan. The defiant indoor peeing dog is gone.
  8. Work still sucks.
  9. We’ve watched too many shows about renovating(outdoors and indoors); one of these days we’ll have to make good on our plans.
  10. Six days until Radiohead…

Friday, May 9, 2008

LOST - Cabin Fever

Last nights episode went uninterrupted by weather, FINALLY! And what a great episode it was:

  • Richard Alpert shows up after Locke is born; and again when he is 6 years old. But leaves in disgust after he presents John with a test of sorts.
  • Abbadon inspires Locke, by suggestion(again showing Locke can be duped), to go on the walkabout in Australia thus sealing his fate aboard the Oceanic flight.
  • John, Ben & Hurley find the cabin and only John will enter meeting, not Jacob, but Christian and Claire.
There's more but these were the highlights of a fantastic episode.

  • I think now more than last year that time travel is the main theme of the show and experiment the Dharma Initiative.
  • Did Claire die in the house explosion and now shows up with Christian? She seemed very content; possibly aware of her fate and that of Aarons?
  • More evidence of the time travel is Richard's appearance throughout. He never changes.
  • Is Abbadon collecting souls like the demon(worst of the worst) in Revelations? My K last night said, 'all the Christians, like us, that are watching this will end up finding out this is all about Satan.' To which I replied, 'I don't think so, but God would prevail if that's the case' She thinks it's a 'Bermuda Triangle' by the way. I do think that you can draw a ton of Biblical references throughout the show and I don't think they should be overlooked...
  • Widmore's mercenaries tried to kill Michael and of course he cannot be killed. Is it all because of where he is in time?
  • What's the device that was strapped to his arm?
  • Is Richard Locke's true father? Disgusted that he picked the wrong items and that he was not "ready"?
  • To save the island Locke is told to........MOVE IT. Is this through a mechanical mechanism or through time?
I cannot wait for more episodes like last nights.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

"Are you gonna open your door again??"

My afternoon/early evening took a quick downward spiral; only to be saved by mowing the lawn.

Flashback to yesterday. I see my manager go into meeting with the HR guy. After the meeting as he walks by and I ask him to come over and approve a bid I had finished. He comes over and says, "Remind me, we need to talk". Great. "Uh oh", I reply. Nothing; no response.

So for almost 24 hours I'm trying to figure out what it is about. 'must be internet', I tell K. I'm a top producer and STILL have time on my hands. Got to fill it with something; and I can't have beer at my desk.

I decide to take the pro-active approach and find out this afternoon. It's WORSE than getting busted. I have to train an intern in June. SONOFA...

Yes, for two weeks I have to show an intern what we do, how we do it before they move to a different department for similar training. And I have to have a schedule put together by next Friday. It can't get any worse than this.

Yes it can.

I stop off at the gas station on the way home to fill up with liquid gold. There's a woman at the pump next to mine(imagine are cars are parked side by side and you get the idea). Then this sketchy guy comes up to me with amber contacts. 'great, now satan is going to bust my chops about work'. No, he's asking for change for the bus(carjack my car), and I honestly have no money on me. I'm paying by debit card. So he moves to the next guy in front of me. I open my door to get my lawnmower gas can to fill it. The lady is finishing her fill up and goes inside. I catch her and the employee looking out into the lot. I'm thinking they are watching the drifter walking around. Meanwhile, I'm observing my shoes wondering if beer really can make you smarter or if its just me.

Then I hear it, "Are you gonna open your door again?" WTF? It's that lady, who sounds like she's lived in a pack of Camel's and Boone's Farm for the past 45 years. "What?" I ask. "Yea are you gonna open that door again? Can't you read that sign?". I put my hands on my hips and give her a smirk, all the while thinking, I have no idea what the fk she's talking about. The smirk must have got her because the next thing she said was "You sonofabitch if you're gonna blow yourself up you're not taking us with you! It says to keep your door closed!" Then she mumbles something incoherently and drives off. All the while I'm thinking, that drunk is making me thirsty.

I look at the sign and she was referring to the static electricity warning while pumping gas, which stated not to re-enter your car. I felt vindicated by my ability to comprehend the English language and be a rule follower all at the same time.

I pull in to the driveway go directly to the fridge, do not pass without a frosty cold barley pop and....

No beer.

I had to settle for cutting the grass.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Open Wheel Wednesday

At IMS yesterday, the field was let loose for the first full practice. Topping the charts at 226.599 mph was Marco Andretti sporting the Indiana Jones livery (pretty sharp I must say). His speed was somewhat exaggerated as he had a draft from Castroneves. Rounding out the top five were Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Dan Wheldon. My early pick for a 500 winner has to be Scott Dixon.

Crowd favorite, and sexpot, Danica Patrick was 9th at 224.095.

How about the newbies? Will Power made the biggest splash by breaking the top 11 with a 223.550. Other notable first timers were Justin Wilson (12th), EJ Viso (15th), and Graham Rahal (19th).

Davey Hamilton, who has been out of the car for a while came in at 22nd. He’s part of a new team called Kingdom Racing, which is a Christian focused team hoping to spread the word through trackside events.

Formula 1 will be preparing to invade the streets of the principality of Monaco on the 25th. It is THE place to be see and be seen in F1. It’s quite a rinky-dink course for today’s F1 cars but the setting is unbelievable.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I think it is STILL Monday

The alarm starts ringing about 5:45am each work (ugh) day and each work (ugh) day I roll out of bed at about 6:10am. K sleeps in and meets me downstairs for coffee before the kids get up.

I follow the same routine each day like a beat down dog; really, that’s the only way you can get me to work – beat me down.

I make the coffee; eat a piece of toast and wait for my conditioned response, the footsteps on the stairs. Nothing. This is the point where we reach the decision box on my Visio flow chart. Did K come down? Yes or No. If ‘No’ proceed to taking coffee to bedroom. Yes I am that good of a hubbie, and don’t you forget it. May I remind you, I threw the surprise party of a lifetime for K two weeks ago? That reminds me, I need to remind her.

But before I could even get to the coffee, children #1, #2, & #3 come trotting down for breakfast; every one of them in good moods ready to take on the day without a care in the world. Lucky turds. Time is now 7:00am. Child #2 asks if we have glasses that look like her teachers as it is ‘dress like your favorite teacher’ day at her school. I remember ‘sit in your seat, do your work and if you do anything remotely mischievous I will pull you by your hair to the chalkboard’ day. Whatever happened to that one? It went away with conservative values, morals, and ‘my kid is a winner ALL the time and should not be punished by YOU’ and now we will all pay for it. So I replied, “I don’t think we have any glasses like that”. She went to ask her mom and came down shortly thereafter. I asked what her mom said; to which child #2 replied, “She’s still in bed”. It’s now 7:05am.

I plod upstairs with the coffee in tow, “what are you doing? You need to get up”. K replies, “My head is killing me”. We’re all suffering through Spring allergies and our house sounds like a nose sniff on an audio loop.

My first thought, which rolls right off my tongue, as usual, is “Call in sick, I’ll take the kids to school and call in myself”

She says she can’t that she HAS to go to work.

I guess I’m going too.

Now it’s 8:20am and I can hear the CEO pissn’ and moanin’ in the morning meeting next door. I'm in Hell.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

There was absolutely no open wheel racing to catch this weekend. However, NASCAR nation rolled into Richmond, VA for their annual Spring Saturday night shootout.

I had no interest in watching this, but ran across it as K and I were looking for something to watch late Saturday night. K made her disdain known as soon as we heard Darrell Waltrip's voice in the booth. I don't blame her; I don't watch NASCAR racing any more. Mainly because it's oval racing 98% of the time and I find the majority of those races as fun as going to the dentist.

But there were only about 10 laps left and Kyle Busch was inside Dayyyuhl Jr battling for first place. I said, "They are going to wreck" and sure enough Kyle gets a little loose being pinch down low in the turn and Dayyyuhl Jr looks to chop down a him slightly and a spinnin' they go. My next comment was "Sonofa.... now watch these fans go nuts". And like clockwork the Jr fans were on the catch fence five deep like flies on fly paper. You know, the gooey amber colored ribbons you pull out of the little canisters and hang up for all the summer bugs?

You see Jr hasn't won a race in 71 tries, I think. BUT he is THE most marketable driver in NASCAR since the death of his dad at Daytona. That along with his Budweiser sponsorship, up until this year, was a promoters' wet dream. And NASCAR, no dummies, to pimping out their drivers(not bad in my mind), capitalized on this to no end; sometimes with suspicious calls near the ends of races or a particular driver getting 'the call'. No proof of this just a hunch.

And you know what? Jr is a genuinely good guy. He's not a phony, he's not a whiner, but he's just not that great of a racer. I don't think he's got the talent that his dad had. That's not a bad thing but sometimes the yahoos in the booth act as if he's the second coming of Christ; and the borderline homo erotic fanaticism by the fans freaks me out to no end.

I'm sure Kyle Busch had to have a police escort to get out of Richmond in one piece after that accident. But that's all it was, a racing incident; no more no less. But it did provide a little bit of entertainment on a Saturday night.

Friday, May 2, 2008

LOST - Something Nice Back Home

Once again, Oklahoma spring weather has denied me of my favorite 1 ½ hours of television. The Office and LOST were shown (or not shown) with complete interrupted service. That is, if you chose, you spent that time watching every single local affiliate tracking storms as they passed through Green Country. So we resorted to cable channels, mainly Ace of Cakes on the Food Network.

Ok. On to LOST(which I watched online this morning before taking Child #1 to school).

What we know:

  • Jack has an on-island appendectomy and is none the worse for wear; He’s sweeping wike a babeh
  • Claire has gone of into the jungle, sans Aaron, with ‘her Dad’(is it Jack’s dad as well???)
  • Sawyer has another zinger of a one-liner, “I hate Chinese first thing in the morning”. I darn near spit out my morning coffee on that one
  • Juliette is just plain spacey at times
  • Jin figures out that Charlotte can speak fluent Korean and threatens to break all of her colleague’s fingers if she doesn’t come clean. Jin is a bad A
  • Hurley tells Jack that the Oceanic 6 are all…….DEAD! Could he be right??? In his words everything is too perfect

My thoughts:

  • The Oceanic 6 may very well be dead
  • Kate is fulfilling some wishes of Sawyer which pushes Jack over the edge. This must begin his downward spiral in the flash forwards
  • How come the militia are still alive? Smokey didn’t off them like we thought
  • Jack had no scar from the appendectomy in his flash forward; hmmmmm
  • And why does Jack get sick, on the island, right before they are to be ‘rescued’?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mr. Manatee

There’s this co-worker, not from our area, that is giving us part-time assistance on a daily basis.

This guy is huge. He is probably 6’4” and shaped like a pear. His head looks like a nugget compared to the rest of him.

His belly is so big that, it alone, could keep his jeans pinned up to his body without a belt. Every time I see him I think he has a manatee under his shirt.

Oklahoma in the Spring

Our season of flux has begun. Oklahoma in April can see an 85 degree day one day and 45 degrees the next. No joke; it is like a roller coaster of environmental proportions. Don’t let the tree huggers tell you its man-made global warming. It is Oklahoma, pure and simple.

Along with this consistent change come two (and probably a lot more) constants: seasonal allergies and poison ivy.

You name the tree and there is bound to be at least a 1 out of 5 chance that someone in our house is allergic to it pollinating. If it’s not a tree, it’s a weed. If it’s not a weed, as in my case, it’s my allergic reaction to work. I digress.

Along with these allergens there is another one that strikes only me. I can be in near proximity to it and it attacks me like a 5 lb Chihuahua attacks an area rug. I have succumbed to my first case of poison ivy. For a couple of days I have been itching; itching on my forearm, on my chin, near my lip and on my chest. I'm afraid they may have even hit my nether regions. I hit it with a concoction from a local compound pharmacy called George’s biker juice. It’s a wonderful blend of isopropyl alcohol, camphor, menthol and other things that I’m not sure of their origin. Whatever they are they help, and they help a lot.

For now, I have to ride the waves of itching until I’m no longer feeling like Ashley Judd in Bug.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Crock Pot Queso

A while back I did a post on queso. I was going to get around to adding pictures but never did; mainly because I never got to make the dip until this past weekend.

You need:
1 block of Velveeta
2 cans of Ro*tel
1 lb of hot sausage(Jimmy Dean, JC Potter, etc)
Spices shown below

Cut the Velveeta into 1 inch cubes and place in a crock pot. Turn crock pot on warm. Strain both cans of Ro*Tel then pour into crock pot. Add 2 TB of Chili powder, 1 tsp each of cayenne pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. I use about 1 TB of cumin but you can use less.

While that is warming, brown the sausage in a skillet over medium to medium high heat. Once thoroughly browned, drain off liquid and add to crock pot.

Mix thoroughly and mix periodically while the mixture melts down. Once all cubes of Velveeta have melted it is ready to enjoy.

Serve over tortilla chips or in a bowl for dipping.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday Morning Musings

- I didn’t know a Chihuahua could make a 8 x 10 carpet smell so bad

- A power washer can be used to clean said carpet

- I can pull off a surprise party like nobody can

- A full box of Arm & Hammer laundry detergent falling off a washing machine sounds like a clumsy cat

- Baked fried chicken can taste just as good as pan fried chicken

- Ferrari is king again in Formula 1(after losing 41% percent of the field to attrition)

- An Indy Car race at Kansas Speedway is still just as boring with a unified series

- A pond can be green and cloudy with neglect and the fish( 47 cent goldfish) can still be alive through winter

- Work still sucks

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

LOST - The Shape of Things to Come

Another good LOST episode last night. Of course we were presented with just enough information to develop more questions.

- I think we're close to finding out how Kate ends up with Aaron off the island. Claire's demise seems imminent; or her reluctance to keep her child on the island with her.

- Smokey is back and in rare form. Controlled in some way by Ben. He knows how to release it; and odd that it didn't attack the Losties.

- Locke, as good as his character is, is being duped through this whole thing. He plays into Ben's game, hook line and sinker.

- And speaking of game, what "game" is Ben referring to with Widmore's crew. "They changed the rules"

- We now know how Sayid became Ben's assassin. Based solely on revenge for the death of his wife.

- Also I think we've seen straight up time travel now with Ben showing up in Tunisia in a winter Dharma coat. So we have now seen a conscious(I assume) time travel with Desmond and a physical time travel with Ben.

- As much as a Bad dude(thanks Hurley) Ben is I still think Ben is inherently good, trying to protect the island. His daughter ended up dead because 'they changed the rules', not because he didn't care. I could be completely wrong but I'm sticking to him being a 'good guy'.

Until next week...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Elusive Night of Sleep

For two nights in a row I’ve had a pattern. And not one I care to repeat; I do not need THIS much order in my life.

The magic hours seem to be 12:00am and 3:00am. Before I even begin to describe it, you have to strike up the circus music because this is a 3 ring circus. Make it one ring for every child.

Flash back to Tuesday night:

Child #3, 4 years of age, must sleep with his door shut for crawling in to bed with Child #1 the night before. Not that big of a deal, BUT it destroys the night of sleep for two kiddos and then everybody pays the price the next day. This is NOT something he enjoys but it works like a charm. I put his night stand light on, said our nightly prayer, gave him a kiss and reminded him that tonight “we have to shut your door, for going into Child #1’s room last night”. The bottom lip begins to quiver and he struggles to keep it together, “But I’ll stay in my room”. “I know you will but this is for last night”. He never did cry but he was right on that edge. I chuckled later on at how much he hard he was trying to keep his composure.

Child #1, meanwhile, has a terrible coughing fit. We do an asthma treatment before bed and it never lets up. K and I go to bed around 10:30 and it’s STILL cough central. I get up take the cougher downstairs and give her a dose of Delsum. By 11:30, no change. So I tell the cougher that she can sleep downstairs in the guest room, trying to save sleep for the rest of the family. “Ok”. By midnight there’s a knock on our door. “I’m not comfortable downstairs; I want to be in my room”. “Thank you for the statement Child #1, now go to bed”

3:00am – Another knock on our door; Child #3, who is darn near sleep walking, is babbling about a light. I guide him back to his bed, give him a kiss and shut the door. The only thing K & I can figure is that he woke up to his light being on instead of off.

This will surely drive me insane.

Flash back to last night:

Children #1 & #3 are at their mom’s, under our joint custody arrangement.

It’s a dark and stormy night (no really it is). We keep a few windows open to get a draft through the house. We try to convince Child#2 to open her window so she is not sleeping in a sauna. It’s been humid and the house feels stagnant. No dice, she’s going down in flames before that window opens. Ok.

10:30pm – Child #2 is up and hot. You can sleep downstairs in guest room or open your window. Those two choices turn out to be no dice; she’s sweatin’ this one out.

12:00am – I think Child #2 knocked on the door (I’m not sure I was somewhere between Care Bears and Charlie’s Angels in my dreams). K got up to take care of it. Upon return K says that Child #2 was informing her, “it’s raining and you need the shut the windows”. We are SO lucky to have found out we have window patrol living under our roof. I think K told her to go back to bed and not to worry about it. I’m not sure because I was trying to find the Angels again.

3:00am – YES, again. I wake up to K going, “ssssst. Sssssst”, which is the universal sign to the cat that she better get the heck out of the way becomes hell is coming down on her. Then I heard it; our clawless cat is scratching on our wicker hamper. I grab her by the scruff and toss her out the door. We do not let the cat in our room; she’s too excited to be around us and will drive us insane.

Two nights with exactly the same pattern; if I don’t find my way back to slumberland tonight I may never find my Care Bears or Angels.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Open Wheel Wednesday

In just under two weeks the Indy Car Series will roll into the Kansas Speedway full of momentum. So far this year we’ve seen Graham Rahal become the youngest driver to win in the Series and last week saw Danica Patrick become the first woman to win at Motegi.

All eyes will be upon Kansas instead of Talledega?? That’s right, the bigger story right now is open wheel racing and I’m all for it. The only problem is that there couldn’t be a more boring place to have a follow up race than the Kansas track. I’ve seen one IRL event there in the past and I have to say it was a snooze-fest. These 1.5 mile tracks just don’t cut it for me; I’d rather see them turning right as well as left. But all eyes will be on Danica now that she has captured her elusive first win.

The rumor mill is starting to heat up. Reported on is a story out of a German publication that F1 driver Rubens Barichello has been approached about a possible swap from the F1 Honda team to the AGR ride while Marco Andretti, who has tested in F1, would take the Honda seat. We’ll have to see if this rumor gains any legs.

And I guess Hans-Joachim Stuck is quoted as saying that Danica Patrick would be a good fit in F1 in order for the sometimes elitist series to gain market share in the United States. I definitely see this as a marketing possibility but don’t see her ever making it into an F1 ride based on talent.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

BMW Oil Change Light Reset

Just because I got the oil changed in K's car, doesn't mean I'm off the hook yet. Look below, "Tony I've only got one bar!?". Which in some weird way reminds me of Raising Arizona, "Have you got him his DipTet yet?", "H.I., have we got him his DipTet yet, hon we've got to do that."

So, I've got to figure out how to reset the oil change indicator light. It's not like any others I've done before. Nope, you can't do it from the odometer button while turning the ignition. Not with Herr Von Frankenschnitzel models.
You've got to go into the engine compartment and locate the above device, full of pins and receptacles. Once that is located take a paper clip and make a U shape out of it. Then turn the key to ignition stage II. "Roger that mission control." Now get out of said VonSchnitzel's car and take the paper clip into receptacles 7 and 19.

Is my hair really that thin? Oh man I need help.

Hold it there for exactly 4 seconds. Yes, 4 seconds or the world may end; or Hillary may become President. Joking aside, if you hold it for 11 seconds you'll be resetting a different indicator. Maybe the one that tells us the end is near and HRC is our president.

If done correctly you get the full bar graph as below and I hold my super-husband status for approximately 2 more hours.

Tony Sticks has some good schematic pictures on his site.

Free Chihuahua

I think we either have the most stubborn or the laziest dog for her age.

She absolutely hates anything other than warm weather(well she is Mexican and would rather have the summer heat coming down on her ya know). Under inclement conditions you have to keep a set of eyes on her; all the way out the doggie door. But don’t let you guard down, because she’ll do a quick U-turn just to check for a clear path back inside. Then once she’s in it’s nothing for her to ‘drop trou’ wherever she pleases. She’s got her special places for that though. It can’t be on bare floor, which would be easier for us to clean. It MUST be carpeted and warm if possible. Remember, she hails from closer to the equator than most of us.

But that’s not the best part. When you’re calling for her to go into her crate she tries to ‘not make eye contact’ as if she’s in a line for potential volunteers to peel potatoes or clean grease traps. It’s downright comical the way I can look under a blanket for her, see her, say her name and she’ll keep turning her head away thinking, “he won’t see me if I don’t make eye contact”. Maybe not that intelligent, maybe more along the lines of “this soft, crate not, don’t look”.

We enjoy the doe headed rat, but K and I continually say, “we had her sign a DNR form” in which we are not to take heroic measures to save her in the event of a disaster(man made or otherwise).

So she better keep Mrs. Peepers pointed to the ground. The outside ground.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

How long should this really take

It was just supposed to be an oil change; that is until I unscrewed the oil plug and thought, "man that oil sure is red"

Sonofamotherscratcher this is the transmission pan. Assuming everything on K's BMW 318i would be similar in layout to the rice burners, I made a fatal mistake. I uncorked the transmission fluid in error. Of course it would not be that big of a deal IF you could pour the transmission fluid in from the TOP of the engine compartment.

Oh no no no. Not in this frankenfurter von shnitzel. The fill up/top off port is on the side of the transmission pan, which was impossible to get off. To make a long story long, I had to take 16 bolts off the transmission pan to get it off in order to pour the vacated fluid back into it. Then I had to have K put the bolts back in while I held the pan in place, which was not an easy task.

We had transmission fluid everywhere, including on us. Although I have to say, K in a wifebeater with greasy spots on her arms and shirt were working for me. If it hadn't taken me another 45 minutes to finish the transmission pan and do the real oil change I might have done something about that urge.

I did get to watch the Long Beach Grand Prix and oh, how I'll miss those turbocharged V8's.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Photo Friday - Poison Dart Tree Frogs

As a follow up to the zoo bit, my beautiful K took these pictures on our trip to the zoo. These frogs are only about 1 1/2 inches long and striking in their colors:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Polar Bear Lost His Marbles

Last Friday I had volunteered with my wife to chaperon her daughters', kid #2, field trip to the zoo. I will use ANY excuse to not go to work. And I also like the zoo. One of my best friends is a primate zoo keeper so I've gotten the behind-the-scenes view of the zoo and it's pretty interesting. And loud. And stinky. And dangerous(we're talking chimps that will tear you limb from limb).

But what got me this time was the polar bear.

It all seemed just fine at first. "Hey look at the polar bear! Look at him walking around in a circle."
Again, and again, and again.

I even commented to K, "look he even sniffs the same spot on the back wall every single time around.
A little bit later we caught up to my friend the primate zoo keeper, "they're not monkeys they're chimps!" Ok, ok simmer down now...

He said it was not a good sign; just like we had thought. The bear is basically going crazy and obsessively does the same thing, or pattern over and over. If there happened to be another door opened to, say, a holding pen, it would be enough to give it the change it needs to keep it's sanity.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Open Wheel Wednesday

It's double your pleasure weekend in the IRL. The former Champcar Series drivers will bid adeiu to Long Beach in their final race this Sunday, while the IRL regulars will be racing in Japan. Both races will be televised. You can catch the IRL race Saturday night at midnight and the Long Beach Grand Prix will be seen on Sunday. And it is a points paying race for those teams that made the move to the IRL.

Let's see if Paul Tracy can put on a good performance to help land him a ride. Open wheel racing needs this guy. He's the boss applesauce.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Best thing since sliced bread(almost)

If you've ever done any spackling around the house you never quite know when to sand. There is a compound out now that is pre-made and works like a charm.

You apply it to the area you need to spackle; in this case it was a hole from where I removed a recessed toilet paper holder(K needs a fancy schmancy brushed bronze one to match the light fixture-yes, dear).

The cool thing about this stuff is that it goes on pink, and as it dries it turns white. As you can see below, it is not quite fully dried so no use in trying to sand it down yet.

Just wait until you have full on white and you're good to go. It's called Dry Time Indicator Spackling by DAP.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mr Mom Monday

Here's a great plan ahead deal for kids school lunches. Make a whole loaf of bread into PB & J sandwiches,

You know, peanut butter on one side, jelly on the other. Put each individual sandwich in a ziploc bag and place back in the bread bag that should now be empty. Voila!

Put the whole bag in the freezer and each morning, pop a new sandwich into the kiddos lunch sack. By lunch time the sandwich will have thawed out and no one is worse for wear. That just saved me time that I can devote to doing absolutely nothing before I go to work!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Apple pie, Chevrolet and freezing your rear off

What ever happened to baseball in the summer time?! When I was growing up, we played exclusively in the summer; of course I lived in northern Illinois so the climate had a lot to do with that. We also didn't get the 'every body is a winner' speech from our parents. It was more of the 'well you guys stink, try harder'. Nowadays everyone is so enmeshed in their children's happiness and ability to do well that in a lot a ways we don't prepare them for growing up like we should.It was cold this weekend. Really cold. This would be the reason you didn't see Spring Little League back when I was a kid. The wind was blowing around 15 mph and it was in the 40's F. It was unbearable for all the adults in attendance. We'd much rather be in our pj's drinking coffee at 10am than sitting outside watching mini-me's play T-ball.

Saturday was child #3's first go round with T-ball, at four years of age. I can't remember how many balls went past him in the field or how many times the coaches had to holler to get him to stand on the bases, but he had a blast. You couldn't tell by the look on his face how cold it was but you sure could from his red nose and ears.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Photo Friday

Remember the old Doublemint commercials? "It's two, two mints in one!"

Here's two for ya.

From the base at Crested Butte, CO. A great place to ski that is away from most of the crowds that hit the resorts on the outskirts of Denver.

Speaking of Denver; here's a shot from the Denver Grand Prix. Paul Tracy is getting a lift from, then teammate and now open wheel defector, AJ Allmendinger back to the pits.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

If this isn't a double standard...

This just really burns me. If this was a public school practicing anything related to Christianity they would be ripped apart by the fascists on the far left. However, since it deals with Islam nobody is up in arms about it other than the conservative radio show hosts. The people of Minnesota have tax money going to this PUBLIC school!!

If you are going to be so adamant on keeping Christianity out of public school then keep ALL religion out of public school.

Maybe some of those tax dollars can go to training him on raising a flag.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Open Wheel Wednesday

Probably one of the saddest situations in the unification of American Open Wheel Racing is that of former Champcar Series racer, Paul Tracy. Who is the most recognizable driver to come out of Champcar in the past 10 years? Paul Tracy. Who is the one driver, who should have but does not have a ride in the unified series? None other than Paul Tracy.

Sure he may be a little long in the tooth(he’s 39, which is old by open wheel standards), but he drives balls out – every weekend. This guy has no fear and drives his car on the line(and sometimes over) every single moment.

Now we find out that he will not even be representing Champcar in their swan song at Long Beach. Can you believe it?! The relationship between Tracy and Forsythe, and Forsythe and open wheel racing has soured to the point of bitterness with all fans. It’s one thing to be staunchly against the IRL, it’s quite another to hold your driver in his contract out of spite and then not field cars for the unified series.

Tracy is now free of Forsythe but has been unable to find a ride. Crowds at the St. Petersburg race were treated to a great coming out party for the old Champcar teams and also Graham Rahal, but it rang hollow for me. It was missing Paul Tracy.

It remains to be seen if Paul will be in the Indy 500 or the rest of the unified series schedule. Word has it that Tony George may field another car for him within Vision Racing.

At this point, I don’t even care if it’s a competitive car. I just want Paul Tracy doing what he does best; race.