Saturday, January 31

Does This Kind Of Reporting Ever Stop?

George Obama has come out of the woodwork. In Kenya, fer chrissake. The President's half-brother. A frickin' ocean and a continent away.

Obama's half brother arrested on charge of marijuana possession


Friday, January 30

Penny Wise...

...pound foolish.

That's a British pound, for us colonists on this side of the pond.

A British chap is conducting a contest - apparently legitimate - to win his £675,000 home. All you need do is solve a simple Sudoku puzzle and pay an up-front entry fee of £50. Sounds easy enough.

Details here:

The £675,000 Sudoku

and here:

I'm not a Sudoku fan as it is, but I may be if I could win a house for my efforts.

And if I win? I'd go to the UK for that.

Besides - getting there is half the fun.

Whats Wrong With This Picture?

Youd think the worlds gone crazy.

Whats wrong with these people?

Good grammars the norm, not the exception.

Oh, its in the United Kingdom?

Then never mind - its their problem:

The city where apostrophes arent welcome

Wednesday, January 28

I Just Love Crap Like This

From a recent episode of "It's Me or the Dog" from Animal Planet:

Tuesday, January 27

Inauguration Day - From SPACE

Awesome picture at NASA's Earth Observatory.

Inauguration Day Crowds in Washington, D.C.

Click on the image after the jump for a much larger photo.

Rings Of FIRE

Not the rings themselves, but whoever designed these should go to H-E-double toothpicks.

Sinfully ugly:

Crystal Cocktail Ring

Dream A Dream

Peculiar dream last night.

For those interested in my mental state, I have an appointment next Thursday to see my new doctor. Marilee's PCP, as she calls him. When she first used the term, I was a bit wary of what he might prescribe. I was reassured, when I gave her a meaningful stare, that PCP stands for Primary Care Provider.

The dream had to do with said appointment. What transpired during the dream was a bit frightening - instead of telling just the doctor of my symptoms, I also had to relate them to a roomful of spectators, including a few extra patients, since the hospital (or care facility, I'm not sure) was quite full.

Now here's the weird part, as if there was a need for anything more or less weird:

Why in hell can I remember all those details? It WAS a dream, after all, but those remembrances should have gone away once I woke up, with my short-term memory being what it is.


Sunday, January 25

Sad State Of Affairs

This is the reason there's a need for animal rescue groups.

WARNING: This is a really sad story...

600 rescued dogs and 80% are pregnant

- from The Seattle Times

Saturday, January 24

What's For Dinner?

Saturday night brilliantly stimulating conversation:

ME: "What do you want for dinner?"

SHE: "Food."

ME: "What kind of food?"


ME: "Edible food?"

SHE: "Edible food."

ME: "What genre of edible food?"

After a lengthy delay, she said "A really good hamburger" and "Didn't we have this conversation last Saturday?"

Yes, we did. That evening, Marilee said exactly the same thing.

And in the Salt Lake Valley, that means Crown Burgers.

I'd headed off toward Crown Burgers at about 7pm. Not late, mind you, but early enough that they would surely still be open. Yeah.

Upon driving into the parking lot, I suddenly remembered that this conversation had indeed happened previously, but not twice - this was the THIRD time this conversation had occurred. Unfortunately, the same thing happened upon arriving at Crown Burgers. On a Saturday night.

For you see, dear readers, CROWN BURGERS IS NOT OPEN ON SATURDAY.

The first time, the second time, and now the third time.

God help me remember that the next time.

The Art Of Marriage

This little ditty was included in a recent email I received and thought I'd share:

The Art of Marriage by Wilfred Arlan Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the Art of Marriage, the little things are the big things:
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I Love You” at least once every day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end
with this day, it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding, and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependance is mutual, and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

Thursday, January 22

Being A Good Sport

Now that's a phrase I hadn't heard in a long time.

I was a good sport yesterday during a late-afternoon service call. Coupon printer call. At a big-box department store. Not a Wal- big box, rather a K- big box.

It was a daily ritual for my Dad to make someone laugh or at least smile once every day. After having introduced myself as the guy to fix the coupon printers on three registers, I commenced on the first two, which did not have cashiers. The third register had an "older" lady working (I have to be careful when I say "older" any more, since I'm getting "up there").

I said "I don't mean to be fresh (again, another word from before the before time), but I need to get under your register."

Seeing the smile on my face, she smiled as well.

After completing my work, she thanked me for being such a good sport.

Guess I'll have to be a good sport from now on, at least once a day.


There's an article over at CNN that says volumes about what having an African-American president means. It's the same sort of thing that made Bill Cosby speak out about a decade or two ago, that of the stereotypical black family in America. And how they'd been portrayed over the decades.

Which made me realize - that of all the African-Americans in the public eye, I haven't seen or heard one single comment from Bill Cosby himself.

Though he's mentioned in the article:

Black first family 'changes everything'

...there aren't any comments from him.

The Huxtables would never stand for that.

Say Cheese!

Marilee's been feeling under the (winter) weather the last few days. Full-blown cold. Stuffy, snotty, the whole bit. I don't think it's the same crud I had, but Taylor stayed home on Tuesday for something similar. Hope I don't get it.

Since she was feeling so out-of-sorts yesterday, I opted to make dinner - spaghetti. Pasta was boiling, sauce was bubbling, all was well. And it occurred to me that I needed to grab the Parmesan cheese from the fridge, and did so. And realized there were two containers therein.

While combining the two containers was the most obvious course of action, the execution was, at best, a scene from the Three Stooges.

Both had massive clumps of cheese at the bottom, so I shook one to break up the clumps, then dumped the contents into the other.

Then shook agai...

And Marilee started laughing.

She'd heard me in the kitchen, and, as she later told me, she thought "It really sounds like he's shaking that a bit too hard." As she thought that, she looked up, and watched me in the reflection off the fireplace window screen.

As she does this often enough, you'd think I'd be prepared. It's not infrequently that she'll ask "What are you looking for?" when she's looking in the opposite direction. Sitting in her chair, she really does have eyes in the back of her head.

As any good wife will.

And, yes, if you're wondering, the Parmesan cheese went flying everywhere.

Wednesday, January 21

Close Your Eyes

the before time (noun) Any time previous to now; primarily, any time previous to when I met Marilee.

Early morning. Bedroom. Really dark. Alarm has just rung beeped incessantly. Marilee has control of the remote. She says "Close your eyes."

Thus has begun a new tradition I taught her from the before time.

In my earlier days, the woman I was married to previously (aka my ex wife) knew all too well that when one's eyes are not accustomed to the bright light of anything, particularly if you're not expecting it, it can be downright blinding.

The antique cathode ray tube of the television in the bedroom is just such a blinding light. Illuminating the entire room, it actually hurts when the thing comes on, it's so bright. The HDTV in the family room, not so much, as the technology is different. Having no tube - in the before time that would be called solid state, but you don't hear that phrase much if at all any more.

Similarly, the bathroom light off the bedroom is even more painful; she doesn't say it when she goes in there, since girls don't need to use the light for nocturnal peeing. Not fair. Not fair at all, since it is I who says "close your eyes".

And, yes, if you're wondering why she doesn't need the light on, it's because the toilet seat is always left down.

I learned that from the before time.

Tuesday, January 20

Washington to Obama Morph

VERY Cool:

A Shot In The Dark

It ain't Bugs Bunny or Wile E. Coyote.

Or Penelope Pitstop for that matter.

Lilo and Stitch was on the tube this morning. Taylor was watching. I was dawdling. And only half-listening.

What caught my ear was a scene where the big fish thing was pouring some concoction of an aqueous nature - not really liquid, but more of a molasses in January consistency. In Hawaii I assume. The fish thing then started rattling off the ingredients. A bit of this, a bit of that, and two jiggers of...

I stopped listening before the actual ingredient.


Lilo and Stitch is rated for seven-year-olds, fer chrissakes!

Admittedly, "shots" wouldn't have been allowable, since that refers more to hard liquor. Jiggers does too, but even more so.

Then again, jigger is from an older generation - mine or perhaps my parents' - where a "jigger of whiskey" was allowable, but only for someone of drinking age. Twenty-one or more.

But not a seven-year-old.


Have you been feeling them, too?

Every time a story appears about what's happening today - and there are multitudes of them - I get all teary-eyed. That this could never happen. That this is the best thing that's EVER happened.

Like a really good story about the moon landings. Jeez, that was forty years ago.

No one will be able to think of anything else today. In a way, that's sad. There will be likely more people tuning in to an inaugural speech than any time in history. With the help of the internet, the number of people listening in will be in the billions. World-wide. Amazing.

I've got numerous calls to do today; too numerous that I don't know if I'll be in a place where I'll be able to just sit and listen.

It'll be interesting to watch if other people - at the appointed hour - will just stop everything.

Just wait. What an amazing day!

Monday, January 19

Middle Of The Night Mental Illness

Late evening service call Sunday.

No, that's not entirely true - it was a planned call, an install at a local convenience store. Been waiting for it for a month or so. These calls start at 9pm and end, well, whenever you get done. I was home at 3am.

These installs are fairly consistent, hopefully only a couple snags here and there. One was a CD-ROM drive that wouldn't open, and another was a disruption that kinda trapped me in the store, since I needed to go out to the truck at one point.

Sitting on the floor behind the front counter, I became aware of an argument happening off in a corner. Aware of loud conversation piqued my curiosity, but since this was a place where popping your head up from behind a counter could make one a target a la shooting gallery style, I stayed where I was.

I soon became aware the argument had moved to within inches of the front counter, and realized there was only one voice. Cautiously standing, the gentleman wearing a black stocking cap, black slacks, and a gaudy-as-hell too-long necklace adorned with stars and moons was arguing not with the sales associate but with himself.

Complaining that there were no mini-marshmallows for his hot chocolate, the employee calmly stated "We must be out". Gotta give convenience store employees credit - it's a whole different world behind that counter. Standing or sitting, doesn't matter.

I commented about the argumentative gentleman, but rather than issuing his own comment, the employee simply said "Just wait."

He was right. About 45 minutes later, the necklace was back. And pissed off. Seems he'd left his change on the counter and THANK GOD it was still there. Rambling on about anything and everything, including his time as a police officer and again as a Green Beret, and how he'd customized his van: "See, it's right out there. Wanna take a look?"

Uh, no.

Gaudy made five total appearances last night; the employee said he stops in a few times during the week as well. Each time last night there was one more thing he had to buy. "Hey I need some duct tape!" A cup of coffee another time. Some gum after that.

But was it coffee then duct tape, or was the gum first? Like his mind, it was difficult to keep track of what he'd said, and in what order.

I mentioned all of this to Marilee this morning - multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, any number of maladies. And lest you skimmed over a bit of the above prose, yes, this wacko drives.

So if you should ever see a blue van around 45th South and 9th East in the middle of the night, and there's a stocking-capped guy driving, keep back a bit.

He may talk you into an argument you can't win.

Sunday, January 18

Awesome Photos From New York In The '90's

The 1890's to be exact, and beyond:

New York Architecture

Saturday, January 17

You Know You Want To

Oh, I sometimes hate myself for continuing a legacy of people effing off at work. But sometimes you just have to get away from those stupid forms your bosses have you fill out.

BTW, if you know me, you'll know why I chose St Francis for this sign.

Hi, Chris!

Video From Flight 1549 Crash

From CNN:

Your Cat May Be Trying To Kill You

Found this on another website, had to rip it off share:

Friday, January 16

Costco Coupons Are Evil

Last weekend, on a pilgrimage to Costco, Marilee took with her the latest mailer. Coupon savings galore. Amid the dollar signs dancing in my brain, the question became "Where the hell are we going to put all this sh!t stuff?"

Admittedly, the pork ribs we bought were good, coupon or no coupon. But would we have purchased them otherwise? No.

And since our storage container collection has disappeared into the black hole of Taylor's room, we really did need to buy the 32-piece assortment of Rubbermaid products. But without a coupon, would we have even given the box a second look? No.

Of course, Costco coupons aren't solely to blame for the fiscal decay of our country. Supermarket coupons - of the ilk provided by Catalina, for example - suggest that savings can be had if you buy multiples of products. Just buy two of these, one of those, and a few more of another thing, and you can get a coupon for five bucks off your next purchase. But did you really need this, that, or the other thing?

Hell, you can probably save five bucks right there.

Thursday, January 15

Facebook's Entertainment Value

Not the cheesy games.

Not the laughable photos.

Not of finding old friends.

It's more immediate. Quotes in near-real-time.

George W. Bush's farewell speech was tonight. To which one person commented:

"January 20, 2009 - the end of an error."

Wednesday, January 14

Wow, I Have A Following

Yes, I'm still here.

Some of you have wondered where I've been. OK, one of you.

Pay no nevermind that it has been a full six days since my last post. That, in itself, is a record.

My disappearance is, in part, due to my new addiction to Facebook. Damn drugs. I've been torn between, uh, playing on Facebook, or updating my blog. Hard choices.

One advantage, given my current mental state, is that I'm reconnecting with friends from high school. Why? It's keeping my mental processes from deteriorating any further than what I've been experiencing lately.

I've been keeping a journal of sorts (this helps) where I keep track of what I forget on a daily basis. For example, yesterday morning, after some parts wrangling at home, I almost drove out of the driveway with the back door of the truck open. Twice. And Monday, I misplaced my keys, my coffee cup, my phone (four times) and tried to remember to turn off the inside-shell light, also four times.

It's starting to scare me.

Even last week I left one of my prize screwdrivers at a 7-11. Somewhere. Don't remember yet which one.

This isn't a new thing - I've been forgetting things over the course of the last couple decades. Some of you might remember calling me on the phone and saying "You forgot something at..." But it never got as bad as it did last week.

Marilee says that one possible solution is to take a couple weeks off, that I'm just too stressed. So, depending on my team's activities, I should be able to accomplish that in a week or so. And that's somewhat convenient; I have another doctor's appointment at the beginning of February.

But not with Doc Fuller.

As Marilee said on Monday, after telling her what had transpired during my Friday appointment with him, that my forgetfulness is stress-related. Already having moved up my appointment by a half hour, he pretty much brushed me off, saying that my forgetfulness could be triggered by the meds I take for depression. Though after consulting the med's website, forgetfulness is waaay down the list for side effects. That, and I've only been taking them for the last four years or so. This stuff has been going on for decades.

My next appointment, for February 5th, is with Marilee's general practitioner. So much the better if I can associate my vacation around that date.

Anyway, I'm still here. I haven't forgotten about my readers.


Thursday, January 8

Out Of The Woodwork

So I was finishing up my last call of the day last evening. Expecting this to really be the last call of the day, I only sort of looked at the new call in my queue. Succumbing to the prospect of getting home that much later, I opened up the new call and started laughing hysterically. "You have GOT to be kidding!"

What had popped up in my queue was a nightmare from years ago. The company had had this belief that there was money to be made in the copier business - repairing them, that is. They went through all the hoops to be in bed with the manufacturer, accredited technicians, the whole thing.

Time passed, and the parent company, realizing something that was all too obvious, said "Get rid of it - it doesn't make any money."

That meant selling off all the equipment - not to mention the people - to another company. Short-term, that also meant a too-long period of telling callers wanting copier service that they needed to call another company; they'd do the service. Those calls continued for a year.

Fast forward to early 2008. Apparently, this little history lesson wasn't communicated, if at all, to the new transitional teams when we "changed" companies.

Now, a good three years after the fact, a [expletive deleted] copier call is in MY queue.

Calling the only powers-that-be at that late hour proved a wonderful experience. Basically, it amounted to "I don't care what you do with it, just get it out of my [expletive deleted] queue!!!"

What transpires today from this mis-directed nightmare is anyone's guess.

Note: The use of "[expletive deleted]" is SO Watergate era, but I'm old, and remember the excessive use of that phrase from back then.

Also note that there's likely only about a tenth of a percent of my readers who will find this whole thing funny, but I figure that she needed a laugh.

Tuesday, January 6

Brain Fart

I had a major brain fart tonight. I'm not sure if it was brought on by letting the light fixture in the kitchen fall upon my noggin last night - which I'm still feeling the pain of - or if it's something more serious. Thankfully I'm seeing Doc Fuller on Friday for a general checkup; I'll ask him what he thinks about my apparent problem, to wit:

I had a late-night service call tonight; I got home about a half-hour ago. While I did get the call completed, it took a bit longer than it really should have.

It was a simple call, really - just a bad power supply in a server at a 7-11. Diagnosis complete, I then had to find the part. Not really wanting to dig through the truck in blistering-cold weather, not to mention slippery as hell around said truck, I opted to go to the office to pillage a whole server for the power supply contained therein. But to do that, I'd have to call the boss to see how to get into the office without setting off alarms and have men in black with guns drawn show up.

So I leave the 7-11, and head to the office. Upon arriving, I reach for my phone.

And it's not there.

I'd left it at the store.

Fortunately, it's a short eight-ish mile drive back to the store, then back to the office, then back to the store with the power supply.

OK, so maybe I'm overreacting by thinking I have a problem. It could all be just that I'm getting on in years - I'm only 51, dammit! But I've been noticing my short-term memory (or lack thereof) is really starting to bother me.

Monday, January 5

"First" Cat Dies

How this is relevant to the "transition" I'm not sure, but a sad story nonetheless:

First Cat Dies - Transition Tracker

New Addiction

I have a new addiction. There's no real 12-step program for it, though I haven't really searched for one yet. Not excessively, anyway. Maybe because I don't want to.

It's an internet-based addiction. There's no surprise there - I've been addicted to the internet in one form or another since about 1980, since I got my first CompuServe account. Almost thirty years, I guess.

My current addiction is Facebook. Lest I be labeled a pusher, you should try it.

You'll become addicted, too.


Friday, January 2

I Hear It's A Good Book

Lately I've been "reading" the book Your Heart Belongs To Me, by Dean Koontz. I haven't yet completed "reading" it, so I'm not sure if I like it or not.

The use of quotation marks above is necessary, since I'm reading it as an audio book. A little bit here and there as I drive to and fro during work.

Last time I did an audio book was during our (Marilee and I) 2004 2006 (sorry, brain fart; Marilee and I have been together as a couple for almost five years now) California trip, the one when we got married in Las Vegas. The book was The Davinci Code; I'd already read the book while Marilee had not, and we both figured listening to the book would help make the time go by faster. It really helped.

We had planned on listening to Your Heart... during our last trip, but the Audible copy I'd loaded on the GPS was rather tinny and difficult to listen to. And near the end of the trip we picked up the CD version, but never got around to listening to it. Now I am, albeit alone.

I try not to listen to critical reviews of books, and have not (yet) seen or looked for any reviews of Your Heart...; maybe I will once I complete it.

And just maybe I'll post a review of my own here.

Thursday, January 1

Happy New Year To You And Yours!

Marilee and I are watching the Rose Parade this morning - as usual, it's another Chamber of Commerce day in Pasadena, as my Dad used to say. Considering it "never rains in Southern California", it also hardly ever rains on New Year's Day.

Some day, I really, really, want to see the Rose Parade in person.

Some day...
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