November 12, 2008

We've Moved

The new location for 3leggeddog is here. Hoping that embedding the link like this will keep the spammers at bay. If you don't want to click on the link, the new blog is threeleggeddog on Wordpress.

I've had fun being on mu.nu, but think it's time to go my own way. Hopefully, you'll follow. :) And, uh, if you know how to import my old stuff into Wordpress, I'd be grateful if you'd share it with me.

Howard

November 06, 2008

Dumped

Well, Dear Reader, I got dumped today...via email. Actually, dumped may be too strong a word. If you've been seeing someone for a week and unexpectedly get a "don't be mad at me, but" email, is that being dumped? Or is it more like being laid off? Downsized? As my Scottish friends might say, "I've been made redundant."

October 03, 2008

A bunch of crap

Just read this little quote in a news article about the "bailout".

Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush, of Illinois, also said Obama was asking him to reconsider his vote. "I'm seriously listening," Rush said.

When a politician says, "I'm seriously listening", what he really means is, "What's in this for me?".

And did anyone happen to see the love fest on TV with Senators Dodd, Baucus, and Reid congratulating themselves on doing their job? It was ridiculous. Look at us!! We finally did something right and now we have to get on TV and hold a press conference so everyone will know! What a bunch of dipshits. Congratulating themselves for working together to get legislation passed in the Senate. That's why you're there, you morons!

Quit patting yourselves on the back for doing your job. You assholes are the reason we're in the mess...and I don't mean just those guys, I mean Congress as a whole.

July 15, 2008

Disaster Recovery

Well, Dear Reader, it's time for my annual trek to Philly for our Disaster Recovery test. Although I don't really mind going, the one thing that gets on my nerves is our Coordinator. He's not a bad guy, be he can get incredibly irritating as the test rolls on. We all know what our job/roll is in all this and we don't need to be treated like children, although that's how we may act. In all honesty, by the time it's over, we can't stand him and and he doesn't want anything to do with us.

To make sure no one gets injured, physically or verbally, I took it upon myself to arrange the seating for our return trip. Can you tell where our Coordinator is seated?

seat_assignment2.jpg

June 01, 2008

Stupid tropical storm

Arthur.jpg

Greetings from Cancun! It's been raining since Friday night. We got here Friday afternoon. It may still be raining tomorrow. I hate rain.

May 22, 2008

The Computer Tech Never Knocks Once

I just busted up into the middle of a meeting between our Legal department and Claims Executives from our 6 state offices...I didn't expect them to be in there and I froze. To redeem myself and to maintain some shred of dignity, I blurted out "HOLY COW!"...I am nothing if not smooth.

May 20, 2008

Manager-speak

One of our Senior VPs wants a new laptop before he goes out of town next week. My manager told me to expedite the order with our vendor...but not pay for overnight shipping...

May 15, 2008

Arlen Specter is a dipshit

Senator, I say this with the utmost respect. You, Sir, are a dipshit. No one cares anymore. The Patriots lost the Super Bowl, lost their perfect season, lost their luster, and no one gives a crap. Except you.

You know what we're worried about? $5.00 a gallon for gas; food prices steadily rising; the continued war in Iraq; whether the Pres is going to invade Iran before he leaves office; the gov't bailing people out of home loans; McCain or Obama or Hillary; illegal immigration.

Did you see "Cheating football coaches" anywhere on that list? No. You know why? Because no one cares. If they want to cheat, let them...nobody fucking cares.

Hell Senator, I bet Congressmen cheat more than coaches do. How many Congressmen have been caught cheating, whether it be on their taxes or their spouses?

Do us all a favor and drop this. I know you think this makes you look like a noble steed, but you still look like an ass to me.

May 08, 2008

Somebody please kill me...

I sweat to god, someone must have dropped dumbass drops into the water at work. We've had more problems this week and it's all stupid stuff...not to mention the project I got to spec a new laptop standard. The laptops are to be spec'd with bluetooth and media card readers. Can anyone tell me why a "business" laptop needs bluetooth or a card reader? We don't buy any bluetooth-enabled devices nor do we do anything with memory cards.

My gut tells me that since my boss found a way to sneak them onto his laptop, the other managers want the same thing...and the best way to do that is to have them spec'd as standard equipment. This place is driving me nuts.

May 02, 2008

What not to say...

Gentlemen,

When the wife comes home and tells you that she's been laid off, I would refrain from responding with, "So who'd you piss off this time?". Trust me on this one...

April 25, 2008

Sweat365

A friend pointed me to Sweat365.com, so I decided to start a training blog. I'm not really training for anything at the moment, but this'll give me a place to record when/how I work out. Sure, I could keep a handwritten journal of this, but then no one would get to read it. :)

So, if you get bored, head over to 3leggeddog.sweat365.com and check it out.

April 24, 2008

Splornack the Powerful

If you want to live dangerously, be sure to tease the biggest guy in your office about being a World of Warcraft dweeb player. As he leaves a meeting, don't forget to give him the Spock salute as you tell him to, "Live Long and Prosper". Also be sure to tell him that it's illegal to hunt deer in the Flarknite Mountain range until after the 15th of Dorkcember.

April 21, 2008

I done blowed it up

I was working on something for a friend and ended up blowing up my iPod. Well, blowing it up is a strong phrase. Let's just say iTunes had no idea that there was an iPod attached to the end of the USB cable. The bad news is I had to restore it from scratch. The good news is that I've embarked on a project to rip all of the CDs in my music collection. I figured since I had to rebuild it, I might as well stick as much on it as I can.

Sitting next to me is a stack of CDs to be ripped. Since iTunes does it so easily, I'm using it to rip them. When I'm done, I'll blow the iPod away again and reload all the music. The only thing I don't like is I can't figure out how to get iTunes to automatically find the album art when I rip a CD.

I've discovered some stuff I haven't listened to in years like old (and good) REM, The Replacements, YES from the early 70's, old blues that I'd forgotten about, and several other gems I can't think of. This is going to be a bitch, but I think it'll be good in the end.

And to the RIAA? This is MY music, bought and paid for, so back off Biyotch.

UPDATE: I love listening to old REM. I can sing along even if I forget the words. To this day, I can't understand half of what Michael Stipe says.

I'm ok, you're ok.

I came to an interesting realization the other day and it made me laugh when I thought about it. Im never going to be the tall, dark, and handsome man I presume women are looking for. That may appear like a negative statement, but its not really meant to be. I guess its just me finally realizing that the only thing Ill ever be isme.

I dont know if a lot of people do this, but while driving or just hanging out, I find myself suddenly involved in these Walter Mitty-esque fantasies. Either Im playing blues like Stevie Ray, or kicking ass like Jet Li, or any number of things. For some reason, I think thisll make me a better person or more likable or personable. The real truth is that itd make me nothing of the sort. Id still be me, but more of an ass-kicking, blues playing me. But still just me.

I was talking to a friend the other day and he said something that got me thinking. We were talking about going out and meeting girls and just dating in general and he said, Weve got to build up your confidence to which I replied something about its not so much confidence as not really liking who I am. He said, Why? A lot of other people like you. I didnt know how to respond.

The truth is, I've never been comfortable as me whether its because I was never fond of the name Howard (sounded like an old persons name to me), or of being Jewish, or of quite a few other things that I dont like. And youre right if youre thinking that those are stupid things to worry about. I can almost guarantee you that people I meet never think, Howard? Geez, thats the name of an old guy and Ive never had any issues about Jewish or the myriad other things I think about. But they still hang out in the back of my head.

Its also true that I am well-liked by a lot of people for various reasons. Im sure there are some people out there that dont like me, but they can kiss my ass. I have quite a few great friends and have no trouble meeting or talking to others...as long as I think there's nothing going to come of it...or it's kept on a strictly friendly basis.

Actually, that's not really true. The big problem is letting someone know that I do like them. It's getting rid of the "Why should they like me?" attitude and changing it to a "Why shouldn't they like me?" attitude. I had someone tell me the other day, "I know looks aren't the only thing and most of the time, the good-looking guys are jerks, so why can't I find a nice guy?" I wanted to wave my arms and say, "Uh, hello??! Nice guy here!".

The bottom line is that Im slowly coming to the realization that the only thing wrong with me is my perception of myself. If I really think about it, Im a pretty good guysmart, funny, weird, loyal, respectful, etc. I just need to work on projecting that and quit worrying about what someone else thinks...or doesn't think, for that matter.

April 10, 2008

Brain brakes

I'm walking into work this morning and one of our security guards has a little Bluetooth headset in his ear. His name is Cornelius, but we all call him C.

I said, "C, you got a bug in your ear. Might want to swat it."

He said, "This is how I communicate with everybody. Gotta have my earpiece in."

I responded with something about how technical he looks and he says, "I feel like MT2 or T3...you know, the Terminator."

Now we all know that my mouth will many times speak before my brain has a chance to process it. For example, I was eating at a friend's house the other day and his wife served us blackberries and strawberries with whipped cream. Before I could stop it, my mouth said, "I love whipped cream on my berries"...I thought his 14 year old son was going to choke to death.

Anyway...when C said, "I feel like MT2 or T3...you know, the Terminator.", my brain reacted quicker than ever and stopped my mouth from responding with, "Actually, that would make you the C-minator".

February 27, 2008

Old friends are new again

Betsy, Robin, Helen, Andrea, Neil, Fawn, Rich, Michael...Hill, Village, Row, Line, Lazy Day, Good, Good, Yes, Good, and Fine, Fine Super Fine. No, Dear Reader, I haven't lost my mind. I know these names and places and sayings don't mean anything to you and for a long time they meant nothing to me. Actually, that's not true. They've always meant something to me because things that happened in life would trigger memories of them or of the times we spent together. Certain smells would evoke memories of meals together or songs would trigger memories of dances and air guitar. FreeBird always reminds me of air guitar. Always. When I see a clock and it reads 6:11, the first thing I think of is "Hey, Pinemere, what time is it?". These are things from my past that have recently become part of my present.

These people and places and sayings are from my days at Pinemere Camp. I loved Pinemere so much I used to dream about going there in the winter. I promise you, Dear Reader, that when I woke up in my own bed in my own room intead of my bunk at Pinemere, I was heartbroken. Pinemere is one of those places that lets a kid be a kid. You play and learn and swim in a lake (Thank G-d for the pool!) and write letters to your family, and get a candy bar from canteen. Let me tell you, there was nothing in the world better than candy from canteen. I'd stay at Pinemere for 4 weeks in the summer and to this day, it's been the fastest 4 weeks of my life. I think of Pinemere often and always wondered what become of the people and place I cared for. And now I know.

I got an email a few weeks ago and the first line said, "Is this BG?"...now one thing you have to know, Dear Reader, is that no one except my family and old friends call me this anymore. I am, as you know, Howard. Grown up, going gray, laugh lined Howard. Anyway...I read the email several times to make sure it wasn't spam and then realized it was inviting me back...back to Pinemere. There is a social network that's been created for us campers, both old and new. For the first two or three days I did nothing but surf the site looking for people, talking to people, dusting off memories, and reliving old times. I dug out my box of pictures and found my camp photos from when I was 11 in 1976 to when I was 14 in 1980. I found the old postcards I used to write...1976, "Camp is fun. I am fine. I got a rubber ball from canteen. Love, BG". 1980, "It is hot as hell here. I think I am going to melt. Love, BG". I've spent hours on the phone with old friends reliving old memories, but also making new ones. I cannot express to you, Dear Reader, how much fun this is...and how much I've missed Pinemere.

My tenure at Pinemere ended badly. I quit being a counselor 2 weeks before the end of the 1984 season. I was 18, about to move 1200+ miles to a state where I knew no one, and hating what I was doing. I honestly regret it to this day. Well, maybe now I can start some new memories to overwrite this bad one. If things go according to plan, I'm going to try and make it to camp this summer for a visit. I know it's changed and there are more programs and more things to do, but for me, Pinemere will be just like I remembered it. Just like I dreamed about.

Thanks, Robin, for the invite.

Trip Report

For some stupid reason, our Senior Management has decided that a trip report must be written and submitted once you return from any company related travel. To the best of my knowledge, my department is the only one required to do this. It reminds me of having to type up my notes from class at the end of the year and submitting them for a grade. Being who I am, you will find Day 1 of my trip report below.

Day 1

The day had finally come. It was a long, difficult journey, but in the end Id made it. It was time for Training, that mythical word in the computer techs lexicon that can mean anything from a boring, crappy lunch to lobster on the companys dime. For me, that word meant only one thing; Vacation.

The drive to Birmingham was like my last girlfriend, straight as an arrow and flat as a board. The GPS committed suicide halfway there because it had nothing to say except maintain present road. The sexy, mechanical voice groaned like a hippo raising itself out of its feces-infested lagoon, and then shrieked like the Big Gay Mule at a pole-sitting contest before frying its internal circuits. It was then I knew the day was going to get worse.

The hotel they booked me into was like a submarine on the last few days of its cruise, long, hard, and full of seamen. Well, not seamen in the nautical sense, but you get the picture. The area Im in is like the urban sprawl thats affected this country since the end of the Cold War. Miles and miles of chain restaurants, Office Depots, Best Buys, and Mrs. Wongs Nookie Parlor and Noodle Emporium. And I dont mean noodle in the nautical sense, but you get the picture.

I checked in and gave them my hotel perks card. Its not exactly my card, but I pretend it is and the desk clerk follows my lead. She gives me a look that says shed like to see my submarine make an unscheduled stop in her harbor, but since I can smell the tuna canning boat at anchor just off her coast, I decided to pass. As repayment, Miss Chicken of the Sea gives me an upgrade to a nice, quiet, corner room right next to the ice maker, elevator, and local immigration office, or what the hotel likes to call Housekeeping. The last time I saw this many Mexicans in one place was at a refried bean eating contest outside the local Taco Bell. Some folks are against having illegals in the country but I say bring em on! If they want nothing more than to clean my toilet and pick the pubes out of the shower drain, then I say More power to you, Amigo.

After unpacking and taking an incredibly satisfying dump, I headed on down to Che Pauls, the restaurant in the hotel offering fine cuisine. The waiter in this place flamed so badly that I had to order my steak extra rare just to make sure he wouldnt burn it before bringing it to the table. This particular piece of meat had more whip marks on it than the Big Gay Mule after an all-night Noodle party at Mrs. Wongs. When he offered me his frozen banana for dessert, I knew it was time to blow that joint. No pun intended.

Heading back to my room, I was hoping to find that blonde-haired, blue-eyed nympho that I knew was waiting for me just around the corner. Tonight was my lucky night. There she was alright, displaying the charms that Mother Nature gave her and Dr. Johnson had enhanced. As I brought this honey to bed, my last thought was, Damn, I hope I remembered to charge my laptop battery. It was going to be a long night.

February 12, 2008

Cancun, baby!

Starting May 30th, I will be relaxing here.

We started this adventure with Marbella, Spain, which is southwest of Malaga on the Mediterranean Sea, but tickets were a tad expensive. From there, we went to Jamaica, then Grand Bahamas, then somewhere else. My brother and I spent 4 hours on the phone looking for places. I finally told them to just pick a place. Would you believe it's easier for me to get to Spain than Jamaica?

My bro called the next day and said they'd gotten a great deal in Cancun through Costco, so we're on our way come May. Looking forward to it since I've never been to Mexico. Plus, I have a great time with the family...and I have my own room, too. :)

January 31, 2008

A Classic

A friend is apparently having a bad day at work and this is a line from her email. I thought it was hilarious:

If stupidity hurt, there would be a lot of people in some SERIOUS pain around here!!

January 29, 2008

Una cerveza, por favor!

My sister-in-law just IM'd me and and asked if "I would be ok with going to Mexico instead of Disney". Sheesh, who am I to argue? She's checking into timeshares in Cancun! Wahoo!

So, muchachos, wish me luck that my vacation this year will be south of the border.

January 25, 2008

A Deal

"How badly do you want to lose weight?" was how the conversation started. I've been going to a personal trainer for the last 6 weeks and have noticed a big difference in muscle mass, but nothing on the weight side. This was her way of telling me to get my ass in gear.

To be honest, Dear Reader, I had to pause before answering her. The "inside me", the guy that looks into the mirror each morning, the guy who recognizes traits from his mother that he'd rather not have, the guy who doesn't want to date because of how he looks, gave her a resounding "BADLY! BADLY! BADLY!". The other guy, the guy that tells us that we're not that bad, that working out is too hard, and who turns the steering wheel away from the gym each afternoon said, "Meh..who knows". Well, Dear Reader, the former "Me" won this battle. He said, "Badly. What do I have to do?"

My trainer offered to meet me every Tuesday and Friday at 6am to do cardio. We would also continue to meet Mondays and Thursdays for weights. She said she's at the gym at 6 anyway and this wouldn't be a problem for her. So...I got up Tuesday and today at 5am, was on the elliptical trainer by 6:05 and was at work by 7:30.

Interesting thing to note, Dear Reader. I actually like going early in the morning. It's hard to explain, but it makes me feel like I'm part of a special group of people that want to work out. I was amazed, and I mean that sincerely, at the number of people at the gym on Tuesday morning. It was jammed...and that was cool! Plus, I really felt energized on Tuesday when I got to work and I didn't have to rush like I do during lunch.

I will admit to being a little sleepy today, but I think it's because I'm getting a cold or sinus infection...but I still went to the gym. And going to the gym when feeling sick, Dear Reader, is amazing in and of itself. So...we shall see.

January 21, 2008

2008 Goals

I've never been much of a "goal" person. I don't set goals and couldn't answer the "Where do you want to be in 5 years" question without some serious thought. I've tried to set some the last few years and have been moderately successful. One of my goals for this year is to actually have some meaningful goals. Since I know you're all waiting patiently, here are my 2008 Goals, in no particular order.

Lose weight and maintain 185 lbs. I was close to this goal two years ago, but, uh, let's just say I ain't close now.

Complete the 2008 Denbury Resources MS150. Registered for $8.00 and have reserved my room.

Complete the 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge. Several friends do this ride and say it is tough, but fun.

Ride the metric century for the 2008 Natchez Trace Century Ride. Never ridden this even though it is in my back yard.

That's all I've come up with for now. Yes, I realize all of the goals are cycling oriented, but that's all I've come up with for now. You gotta start somewhere.

A self-made dumbass

Did you ever have a sphincter-tightening moment when you realize that the way you were doing something was the complete wrong way to do it? Welcome to my Monday.

January 18, 2008

The Apple and the Tree

My Dad's been in the hospital this week and it's taught me some things about myself and my family. Fortunately, Dad is doing well and went home today. Had some unexpected bleeding from having a polyp removed so the docs admitted him to the ICU for observation...in case you're wondering.

I've been lucky in that I've not had to deal with stuff like this very often in my own family, so my "coping" mechanism is humor. I can't help it, really, since humor is how I deal with most things. It's good to know that I come by it naturally and I'm not some freak. When the nurse tried to give my Dad an IV and couldn't find a "hard vein", Dad said, "Ma'am, I haven't had a hard vein in years". When he was bored in his room in ICU, he'd hold his breath just to watch his respirations go to 0 and the monitor show a flatline. And when he finally finished passing blood, he told the nurse, "You've probably never been happier to hear a fart in your whole life."

The most interesting part of this whole ordeal is when I repeat what he's done. Half of the people I tell immediately say, "Well, that explains a lot." The other half are too polite to say that, but I can see it in their eyes. Ah well...you know the old saying.

January 04, 2008

Celebrities

You know what, Dear Reader, I am sick and tired of hearing what Britney or Lindsey or Paris or any of these other asshats are doing. I don't give a farthing whether Lindsey drank champagne or Paris partied till the wee hours of the morning or even about Kevin Mr. Britney Spears Federline. I mean, holy shiite, people, do we have to read about Pam Anderson divorcing/not divorcing the latest clown she's married to? Who, I might add, is famous only because he had sex with Paris and then sold the tape to the highest bidder. One article I ran across mentioned aerial coverage of Britney being loaded into an ambulance. Aerial coverage? Someone actually sent a helicopter to get video tape of her being put into an ambulance. They sent a H E L I C O P T E R people...

What is the fascination with these people? Is it that we all love to see a good train wreck? Is it that we're jealous of their lifestyle or their money or their fame and we love to see them come crashing back to earth? I'm just amazed at the amount of time and effort that's put into tracking what these people do.

And please don't get me started on the celebrities who think we should listen to their opinions on world politics or global warming or the price of oil. I defy any of these people to give me an original thought on the subject instead of parroting back to me things they've heard or been told by their PR people. I don't care that Obama and Oprah went on a tour of Iowa or that Susan Sarandon supports this candidate or that Sean Penn thinks they all suck. I don't care. However, I do think it's funny that Hilary finished 3rd. THIRD!! HAHAHAHA! Sorry...got off track.

I'm not trying to sound bitter, Dear Reader, I'm just sick of this morbid fascination with people whose sole contribution in many cases, is nothing more than making us believe they are someone else, i.e. Martin Sheen as President. You are not presidential just because you play one on TV.

Anyway...what do you think? Am I being overcritical? Am I just as much to blame since I know who Pam Anderson is married to? Ack...I'm just sick of it.

December 11, 2007

Mountain biking

Went on another night mountain bike ride tonight and it was just as much fun as the first time. I busted my ass about 4 times, but they were minor. Basically I ran out of forward momentum and couldn't get my feet unclipped in time. If you're old enough to remember Arte Johnson as the old man from Laugh-In, then you'll know exactly how I looked.

The interesting thing about the ride is how well I did...I mean, other than falling over 4 times. I've been going to the gym twice a week and working on my legs, which I've not done before...hack squats, leg extensions, leg press, and leg curls. I could really tell a difference when pedaling uphill because my legs didn't tire or burn like they used to. And I seemed to have a lot more power than I did before. Guess it pays to go to the gym. :)

My friend and I are going to ride on Tuesday nights from now on. I do better when I have a scheduled ride instead of a "hey call me and let's ride" kinda thing. I'll keep you posted.

An old pleasure

I did something last night that I hadn't done in a long time. Got home from work, changed clothes, turned on some good jazz...and cooked dinner. I grilled some chicken breasts, made Italian style string beans...and over steamed some brocolli. The brocolli was so mushy I had to throw it away. :)

I used to do this quite often...not just cooking, but flipping on some good music to cook with. Not sure why I got out of the habit because it was a ton of fun. Plus, the puppies like the jazz too.

December 06, 2007

Pet Peeve

When you leave me a voice mail, how about telling me what it's about? You've either got a question or a problem, so why not tell me? You don't even have to be specific...I'd settle for "Hey, I have a problem with restoring a file". But no, I continue to get "Hey, call me". How about, "Uh, no".

I mean, how hard is it? Am I asking too much?

November 27, 2007

Fa-ra-ra....shut up.

Dear Internet,

Yes, it's true. I've never seen "A Christmas Story".

There. I said it.

November 15, 2007

Scotland recap

It's been a little less than a month since I got back from Scotland and I realized I've never shared much of the trip with you. Several folks who were part of the trip have blogs and they pretty much covered the day-to-day part of it, so I won't rehash that, but I will try and share with you my experiences.

First off, if you ever go to a foreign country, you need to stay with local people. I was incredibly fortunate to stay with John and Mandy and their 3 kids, Jack, Ruth, and Catherine, also known as Fred. Yep, Fred, which I thought was pretty cute. Oh, there was also Mog the cat and Molly the dog. Of course, staying in a house with a dog was an added bonus.

The neat part about staying with these fine folks was that I was immediately treated like one of the family. I'll admit that I was a bit concerned about staying in someone's house for various silly reasons, but within 5 minutes of meeting them, I knew I was in the right place.

I've also got to mention that I could not have been with a better bunch of people for the entire trip. The teams from Jackson and Scotland were awesome and we all got along really well. We spent hours and hours together and it really was a pleasure to get to know these folks.

So...Scotland...If I could get a job in or around Kirkcaldy and get to spend time with my Scotland friends, I'd move tomorrow. It was that kind of experience for me. Scotland, for me, is like summer camp used to be. I loved summer camp. I couldn't wait to get there and didn't want to leave. I looked forward to getting up in the morning because I knew the day would be filled with good things. That's how it was in Scotland.

For the first time in a long time, I felt like I was doing something worthwhile and meaningful. Getting up wasn't a chore, I didn't dread the events of the day, I didn't worry about having to listen to people whine about shit I just didn't care about. Scotland also forced me to step outside of my comfort zone and do things I don't like to do...pray out loud in a group, knock on doors, talk openly about religion to others. And you wanna know the weird part? I didn't die from it, I didn't break out in warts, and I didn't end up looking stupid. And...I liked it. Well...most of it.

I'll admit, Dear Reader, that the first day was hard for me. I just sort of wandered around because I really wasn't sure what to do. My head started thinking that maybe I'd made a mistake, maybe I shouldn't have come. It appeared, to me that everyone else had been assigned tasks and I was just kind of left hanging. The other part of me, the smarter part, told me to quit whining and go do something. Just jump in and start...so I did. I don't remember what it was that I did, but from that point on, I knew I was in the right place.

The one thing I didn't get to do was go visiting with Neil, who is the pastor of the Kirkcaldy Free Church. Neil (and Andy too) is one of those guys that you want to be friends with. He's that guy from high school or college that everybody wanted to hang out with. I think this is why he's such a great pastor...and why I think Andy will be good too. It's the reason I really like the pastors at my church. They are people I can relate to as guys, who just happen to be pastors. Anyway...I wandered off the topic. I wanted to go into the Council Housing (the government housing) and watch Neil interact with the people. I don't know why I wanted to do this, and never really shared it with anyone, but I think it would have been good for me. Maybe next time.

So. I truly believe that I was meant to go on this trip. I don't know the reasons for feeling that way, but it feels right. In many ways, Scotland was a life-altering experience for me. It taught me that being outside my comfort zone won't kill me. It taught me that there really is evil in the world and it will do whatever it can to distract you from doing what is right and good. It fueled my desire to travel and meet other people. It allowed me to meet and spend time with some truly incredible people.

I miss my new friends. I miss a truly beautiful country. And I miss doing something meaningful.

November 07, 2007

Rock the Vote

So I voted yesterday, which isn't unusual for many of you, but it is for me. I don't normally vote, but then, I also don't bitch about people who are elected. I can't...if I don't exercise my right to vote, then I can't bitch about who gets elected.

Why haven't I voted? Well, the simple answer is I don't trust any politician no matter who he is or what he says. I get sick of seeing the bazillion signs saying "Vote for me!", the countless ads that say "he did this" and the corresponding "no, I didn't, but let me tell you what HE did", and all the other bullshit that goes along with voting and elections. I'm jaded by the whole thing.


But...I did vote this year so we'll see.

November 01, 2007

They suck, you don't

I got a back-handed compliment today. A laptop for one our Executive VPs died today so I had to get him a temporary replacement while I get his other one fixed. While I was talking to him, another EVP came in and asked about getting more memory for her laptop. We talked for a few minutes about it and she said she'd put in a project for this. I took the dead laptop and headed back to my office.

When I went back upstairs to deliver the laptop, I stopped by the 2nd EVP's office to ask her a question. As I was leaving, she called me back and we had the following conversation:

EVP: I went ahead and put in the project for memory for my laptop and for my secretaries' desktop.

Me: Oh. Good. Memory is relatively cheap, like I mentioned earlier, and it'll really make a difference.

EVP: Right. Um. (pause) (pause) Listen...uh...do you...um...

Me: (interrupting) You want me to work the project and get the memory?

EVP: Um. Yes, if you would. I would appreciate it. The...uh...well...the other...

Me: (interrupting) It's cool. I understand. I'd be happy to.

It ain't much, but at least I know people want me to work on their stuff.

October 30, 2007

A Confession

Well, Dear Reader, its time to share something with you. I have a secret. Its not something Im really proud of, but Ive got to get it off my chest. Its one of those things that you normally tell your closest friends. But even then, youre not entirely sure of their reaction. Ive kept this secret for a long time, but I cant do it anymore.

You see, Dear Reader, I knew it was going to happen. I didnt want to start because I knew what would happen. Even though all the other kids were doing it, I knew that if I started, Id be hooked. I resisted for a long time, mainly because I know myself too well and the outcome was inevitable. Too many people were doing it and saying how much fun it was, why didnt I try it, a little wouldnt hurt. I tried to hold off. Honest, Dear Reader, I resisted for a long time. In one moment of weakness, however, I tried it. And I was hooked.

A friend had some lying around and he let me borrow it. I finished half of it the first night and for the past few months, its been almost a constant thing. Ive done it enough so that it caused me to be late to work a few times, which is something I never do. I hate to be lateI abhor it. It used to make me physically ill to be late, but it doesnt matter anymore.

Part of the problem is that I have an addictive personality. Its not as bad as some, but its worth than others. If I find something that gives me pleasure, I tend to go overboard with itand sometimes these habits can get expensive. A nickel here, a dime there, two nickels, two dimesyou get the picture. Over time, these nickels and dimes add up. So far, though, Ive been able to keep expenses to nothing. Ive bummed from friends, borrowed from others, and so far, so good. At some point, though, I may have to cough up some cash to feed my habit. I dread that day, Dear Reader. Dread. It.

Man, this is harder than I thought it would be. Ive known some of you a long time and Im afraid of what youll think of me when I tell you what it isbut here goes.

Isheeshthis is hardokIm ready...(deep breath)

I am a Potterhead.

There, I said it. I, Dear Reader, am a Potterhead. Ive been doing Potter for about 3 months or so and Im hooked. I started out small, with just the first book, but then my Potter habit gradually grew to where I was doing Potter several times a week. A little Potter before work, a little at night to help me relax, then the next thing I know, Im doing Potter until early in the morning. My eyes would be so bloodshot from doing Potter that Id have to use drops so no one would notice.

Soon as Id burned up the first Potter, I was on to the second. And let me tell you something, Dear Reader, those dried up old prunes at the library were no help at all getting me some more Potter. Im sorry, Sir, but someone else has all the Potter was all theyd tell me. Id ask for names or addresses so I could get some more Potter, but those cranky old crones would just shake their heads. They were bogarting the Potter, man! Sureits easy for them. They can have Potter whenever they wantHell, I bet they had Potter behind the counter and were just teasing me to see my reaction. You know what?!?! I bet those crazy bitc.uhhehumsorryparanoia is one of the side effects of too much Potter. Its like the time I thought Trey hid my Potter for his own use. We've agreed never to speak of that again. Anyway.

Unfortunately, Dear Reader, my Potter habit got worse. I was reading Potter, which was bad enough, but then I got my hands on a stash of Potter movies. Hooo boy! I thought Id hit the mother load of Potter. Were not talking the garden-variety grow-your-own Potter. Oh no. Were talking the two-disk, widescreen stuff, man. The kind of Potter thatd cost you big bucks on the street. The kind of Potter you call your friends about, but only your closest, bestest friends. The kind of Potter you score once or maybe twice in your lifetime, if youre lucky. Were talking the Acapulco Gold of Potter, man!! Umsorrygot carried away again. That whole weekend is a blur and right now, Id rather not get into it. All Ill tell you is when I woke up Monday, the house was littered with empty bags of Doritos, a 24-pack of Coke with 3 left, assorted flavors of Slim Jims, 4 boxes of Ding Dongs, and the dogs wouldnt come near me for a whole week. It was ugly. But I didnt stop.

I knew Id hit bottom when I woke up one night in Scotland, in my hosts home, with drool on my pillow and Potter in my hand. I dont remember going to sleep that night, I dont remember grabbing the Potter, and I got scared, man. I got really scared.

I thought, "What would happen if I got caught doing Potter in a foreign country"? I mean, sure, you could buy Potter in Scotland, but I kept thinking about what might happen if I got caught with the Potter that Id brought into the country. All I could think of was that Turkish prison movie where the guy gets thrown into a hellhole for what, in America, is considered a minor offense. What would my parents think if I got busted for Potter in Scotland? Right then, Dear Reader, I was scared straight.

Now, before you go calling me a sellout and a pansy, let me explain. I still do Potter and Ill do it for a while yet. But Ive cut waaaaay back. I dont do nearly as much Potter as I did in the past. Its just not worth it, you know. I quit doing Potter in the morning so Im no longer late for work and Ive started lighting aromatherapy candles to relax in the evening. I only do Potter on the weekends nowor for special occasions. I just can't be a Potterhead forever.

October 24, 2007

A wee bit of posting

The trip to Scotland was amazing, awesome, incredible, and countless other words. I spent 10 days with some of the nicest people I'd ever met and at the end I felt like I'd gained an extended family.

One of things that amazed me the most was how all of us were able to get along so well and to get so much accomplished. The folks in Scotland were able to absorb all 12 of us into their homes and lives with little complaint and lots of friendship. The other amazing thing was that I could move there tomorrow and not think twice about it.

I'll share more of the trip with you later on. It seems I'm more jet-lagged than I thought and need to take a wee nap. In case you're wondering, the word wee means small or little in Scotland. I learned that word pretty quickly, along with squint and wonky. I also learned that arse and fanny have completely different meanings than they do in the States. Thanks for straightening me out on that one, Wendy. Next time, though, do you think we can do it in advance?

Be sure to check out the photos I took while there. Some of them came out really well, although it's hard to take a bad photo of beautiful scenery.

Oh...one more thing. For my Scottish friends who read this, I wanted you to know that the weather yesterday and today is rainy and cold. Guess we had to come home to experience Scottish weather.

October 05, 2007

NEW!

There's some changes coming down the road so be sure to pay attention. Trust me, you'd need to be blind to miss this.

Our esteemed leader Pixy has written his own blog software called...well...I'm not sure that's public yet, but you can check it out here.

The dogs liked it and wanted to convert, so we're almost there. It'll probably take me a few weeks to get it set up...Normally, it wouldn't take that long...but...drum roll please...next Saturday I'll be in SCOTLAND. WAHOO!

Yup...I'm heading to the land of the Scots on the 12th and I'll be there through the 22nd. Not only that, but I'll have 4 hours in Paris both ways. Not sure what I can see in 4 hours, but I'll give it a try.

I'm pretty excited about it and plan on taking lots and lots of pictures, which I'll share with you on my new flickr site. Just set that up the other day so be sure to check it. If I can, I'll upload whilst I'm there, if not, you'll have to wait. I've got a bunch of other stuff I'll be uploading, but I've got to find it first. My pictures are scattered so I've got to get them collected, then I can post.

Anyway...some new and exciting things on the horizon.

October 01, 2007

103% of max HR

I rode about 53 miles this weekend, 32 on Saturday and 21 on Sunday. The Saturday ride sucked, for lack of a better term. There never seemed to be any warm up...we hit the road and next thing I know, we're doing about 17mph, which is a really fast start for me. It was catch up and hang on from that point forward.

The interesting thing is at one point I noticed that my heart rate hit 185. This is a new record, but I'm not really sure what it means. According to my heart rate monitor, that number is 103% of my max HR. In case you're interested, I use a Polar CS300 so my max HR is based on the formula used by their software.

When I started going to the gym about 2 years ago, 174 was about as high as I could go comfortably, and that was for a very short duration. And by comfortably, I mean not throwing up or falling over dead. I have noticed, however, that I'm able to hit higher numbers without dying. My previous high was 182. If I hit 174 on a ride, it doesn't feel like my heart is going to leap out of my chest and I know I have a few more beats in me if I need it. I'll be honest, Dear Reader, when I looked down and saw 185, I got a bit worried. I've never, ever had a number that high...but I'm still here. :-)

So...Can I assume that hitting 185 and not dying means that my heart is getting stronger and/or more efficient?

September 19, 2007

Old friends

I spoke to a good friend of mine today...that I hadn't talked to in about a year and a half. The cool part, besides finding out about his twins, was that it didn't feel like two years since we'd spoken last.

September 18, 2007

In the beginning

My first post. It's been 4 years.

09/06/2003 10:34:52 PM

My first weblog. Why did I create one? Because I thought I had a lot to say on interesting subjects. As I sit here with my laptop, I can think of nothing to say. Nothing. Zip. Part of the reason is I'm watching LSU spank Arizona. Another part is I've read so many blogs lately that I'm blog-bleary and can't remember if these are my thoughts or their's. And finally, does anyone care what I say? That thought alone almost kept me from creating this blog, but then I thought, who cares?

I'm doing this because I want to keep a record of my thoughts, concerns, stories, musings, etc, and if y'all find it interesting, great. If not, oh well. At least I'll have fun putting these thoughts out there. I've read some great blogs over the past few weeks and if I can be half as interesting as they are, then I'll feel good about this.

The other good thing about putting out a weblog is that I could justify the purchase of a wireless access point for my little home network. Now I can sit in the living room, watch TV, and blog on my laptop. Sure, I could have bought a long cable to do the same thing, but then I couldn't brag about having my own wireless network. Yes, I'm a geek...I know. The ol' Jewish Mom wanted a doctor, she got a computer geek instead. More to come.

Dedication

The funniest sentence I've read this month...

After 3 months one guy had lost 2lb, I lost 1, and the other girl gained 2.so we went out to lunch.

September 17, 2007

Strange Motivation

I was napping Saturday afternoon, since doing laundry and installing a computer is such hard work, when I heard a cat start whining outside. The dogs, of course, went nuts as dogs do. I, on the other hand, ignored it. It was just a cat, after all.

The dogs, however, wouldn't let go and the more they barked, the more the cat whined. The whine I kept hearing was weird; like a cat, but not like a cat, so I got up to check. Thought the cat might be hurt or something. Looked out the front window and didn't see a cat, but I did realize that the whine now sounded different. I went into the garage since the door was open and the cat's whine suddenly became a woman's cry of "Help me!".

I ran out of the garage and noticed one of the elderly ladies across the street was on her knees in her flower bed. I know this lady uses a walker, but didn't see it anywhere in sight. I hauled ass across the street and let the lady know that I was there to help her. And yes, I was a bit freaked out.

When I looked down, I saw that she'd fallen on her walker. Her left leg was pinned underneath it and she didn't have the strength in her arms and remaining leg to get herself up. It was weird...once I saw what was going on, I was pretty calm. I noticed nothing appeared to be broken and there was no blood. We got her untangled from the walker then I leaned her back so we could get her right leg straightened out. Once that was done, I set the walker in front of her, got behind her and lifted her up to the walker.

She told me that the walker got caught in the "ditch" between the grass and her flowerbed and just collaped underneath her. She was trying to prune some sticker bushes in the back of her shrubs when the walker gave way. I felt bad for the lady because I know it scared the shit out of her. She was able to shuffle into her house, but wouldn't let me do anything else so I went home.

The thing is...that episode stuck with me the whole weekend. I kept thinking, "what if I wasn't there, how long would she have been like that?" and it kinda scared the crap outta me. I thought about what I'd do in that same situation, then I thought about it happening to my Mom, then I thought about what I could do to prevent that from happening to me...so I went to the gym.

Yeah, I know "going to the gym" is a weird response, but I figured if I ever get into that kind of situation, it's going to be because of some "condition" I have, NOT because I got old and overweight. Yeah, it's a strange way to think, but if you'd see my Mom, you'd know where I was coming from.

So, Dear Reader, I'm not going to make any pronouncements of a new life and a new lifestyle, but I am going to do what I can to get my proverbial "shit" together. I've dicked off for too long. So now it's time to get back on track and get with the program...and any other sayings I can think of.

There was one "funny" moment in the whole episode. When I lifted her up, she muttered "THANK YOU, JESUS!". In an incredibly rare moment of willpower and good taste, I chose not to respond with, "Uh, actually, it's Howard."

August 29, 2007

Dear AT&T...You Suck.

UPDATE: As of 3:00 pm today, my home phone appears to be cancelled. Spoke to a guy at AT&T yesterday afternoon who was as confused as I was about why this was taking so long. Not only did he get the order placed, but he also credited me the entire month of August. Now let's just pray that my DSL still works.

Yes, it's true. The "new" AT&T sucks just as bad as the old AT&T. I don't know which brain dead idiot(s) in the FCC thought merging 3 giant companies into one would be a good idea, but whomever it was obviously didn't have ATT as his service provider.

In order to save some ducets, I decided to cancel my home phone but keep DSL. What I didn't realize was that this request would take an act of Congress, two notary publics, 3 supervisors, 8 phone calls, and the blood of a white chicken to just get the order into the system. I did this two weeks ago...14 days...336 hours...20,160 seconds...and I'm still waiting for the order to be processed. I can guaran-freaking-tee you that if I wanted to increase my AT&Terrible monthly charges, it would have taken them 10 minutes to process the order.

In order to get the "naked DSL", I had to combine my ATT wireless bill into my wired bill. If I didn't, ATT would have charged me $15.00 a month in "network access charges" since I no longer had a home phone. Fine...well, I mean it's not fine really because if you don't use ATT wireless, you don't save shit for cancelling your local service since it costs about $20.00/month. Fortunately I'm a Cingular customer so I get a $5.00 discount for that and $5.00 for combining my bill. Wahoo.

Now the interesting part is that my cell phone bill is due next week. When I log into AT&Terrible's wireless site, it won't show me my bill. It tells me that since I'm now a combined customer, I have to sign into the wired side of the house to get my bill. OK, that makes sense. So I sign onto the wired side of the house.

And there's no bill. It shows that I paid my wired bill on August 24th and that I have no new charges. *Sigh* They best pray that my cell phone doesn't get cancelled.

Oh...wait...almost forgot. I made some changes to my cell phone in July...paid my August bill, which was higher than normal because, of course, I was prorated for the remainder of July on my new plan and I had to pay the full charges for the next month. When I called to cancel the local service, I asked if ATT could give me my new monthly cell charges...they said no, because the bills weren't issued yet and I needed to check after the 17th of August. So I did...only to be told I have to sign onto the wired side for my bill.

August 17, 2007

My ass has melted into my socks...

In case you're wondering, these were the high temperatures for the last week.

102

100

102

103

105

101

99

And to think I got excited when I heard today was only supposed to be 97.

August 16, 2007

The Move

"I think we need to move Mom to Colorado," he said. I was floored. The last words I ever expected to come out of my brother's mouth were, "I think we need to move Mom to Colorado".

I had to agree with him because it is a good idea. She'd be close to family, her grandkids, and someone to kick her in the ass to get out and do stuff. Our only stipulation was that Mom had to put some effort into it on her end. We wouldn't do everything for her. It was simple stuff...and she's not done any of it. I take that back...she's spent money on a handyman to "fix" stuff around the house. This is after we told her to spend NO MONEY until we had a contract. So far, the only thing she's done is exactly what we asked her not to do.

I'm telling you this right now, Dear Reader. My Mom is going to screw this up. She's going to dick around, my brother is going to get pissed off, then he's going to pull the plug. We talked for about 30 minutes last night and pretty much agreed that if she doesn't put any effort into it, we're done. Don't get me wrong, we both agree that this would be the best thing for her, and we'll do whatever we can to get her there, but it can't be one sided.

I know that's a shitty attitude to have, but we don't know what else to do. Mom bitches because no one comes to see her, we don't care about her, etc. So now that we've decided to move her close to family, she does nothing to help. The one thing that'll kill this is her apathy. And, I hate to say this, but there's not going to be any more of us wasting vacations to sit around and stare at one another.

So...that's where we are, internet. We've offered Mom a golden opportunity...let's hope she doesn't tarnish it.

August 15, 2007

Part time job

I have to get a part time job, Dear Reader, and it's really bothering me. I mean, I don't have to get one, but it'll come in handy to pay off some debt I have. I just can't seem get past this pride thing I have and I know I'm just being stupid. To be honest, I have no desire to work another job. None. There is not the the slighest, teensy tiniest bit desire anywhere in my body to work another job.

Yes, I know I'm being a whiny bitch, but that's why I have this lovely little site on the 'net. It's my place to bitch and complain when no one else will listen. Well, others will listen, but I know they get tired of it. Plus, when I type it out, I realize I'm just being a whiny bitch and it helps me get past that...most of the time.

So...I should be heading out the door towards Barnes & Noble or Lowe's or Best Buy...but here I sit, typing...because I know how to do that. I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies...nor about working a part-time job.

July 16, 2007

Blocking Ernie's email

We have a corporate email filter in place to block spam. Of course, the first thing our employees did was ask for exceptions for "business-related emails" that were being blocked. Of course, about 85% of those requests are for non-business related email.

Today's request wins the "2007 Obviously Not Business Related Email" Award. We've been asked to unblock email from "rubberducky1234".

July 13, 2007

Philadelphia Freedom

Well, Dear Reader, I'm headed to Philly for our annual Disaster Recovery test. For the non-techie, we pretend that our building is a "smoking hole" and we have 96 hours to get our systems back up and running. Normally, I'm just a worker bee, but this year it's different. I'm one of the Queen Bees, so to speak. :-)

I've been in charge of our backup system for about 6 months, which also makes me the guy that's got to get our backup server rebuilt and running. First. If I don't get the server up and the backups restored, we can't do shit. Nada. Nothing. Just a teeny tiny bit of pressure. And yeah, I'm a bit nervous.

Normally, I'd just show up and start working, but since this is so important I took the advice of a very good friend and came up with a plan. Yep, I put a plan together to create the tapes we take with us and to restore the server in Philly. It's a good plan too. It's got pictures and circles and arrows and step-by-step instructions and "in case this happens, do this" kinda stuff. Plus, it's got several "DON'T DO THIS" kinda stuff in big, red letters. I'll admit I'm pretty proud of it. I had two of my co-workers test it and they were able to get stuff restored each time. Sweet.

I wanted to take a minute and say "Thank you, friend" for teaching me to plan. It is much appreciated.

July 09, 2007

The Faxer

Have any of you ever heard of a "Faxer"? I don't mean as in "a person who faxes" or something like that. In this case, "faxer" is beer speak for...uh...well, we're not quite sure what it's for.

Of course we all know what beer speak is. For some of us, it's "I LOVE YOU MAN!", to others it's "I'M GONNA KICK YOUR ASS!". But then there's the "special" beer speak crowd...no, not little yellow schoolbus special, but special in that "what the hell did they just say?" kinda way. In this case, the term faxer comes from the latter person.

My friend Sarah is getting divorced and her soon-to-be ex was 10 beers into a 12-pack when he uttered the phrase, "Yeah, well...you probably had your computer friend install a faxer on my computer so you can keep tabs on me." The funny part, Dear Reader, was this sentence was preceded by the phrase, "Well, I know a lot more about computers than you think I do." Uh...I think we all know the truth to that statement.

Let me also share with you that immediately following the faxer comments, the dumbass, er, I mean, Computer Genius, was in the process of 1) spelling his name wrong for the 4th time trying to log in and 2) was incapable of turning off the CAPS lock.

If he keeps this up, I'm betting we can get him a job with HP's Tech Support staff. He'd be Supervisor in no time.

July 06, 2007

Here kitty, kitty, kitty...

Wonder if the puppies would like a friend?

Rare three-legged tiger spotted.

June 18, 2007

Yes, I'm still here

Been on vacation in Colorado for the last week and it was a blast. Got to spend quality time with the family and other than some minor issues, I had a great time.

The flights were another matter...A note to American Airlines...You suck. Every flight I was on was late...every one. Late leaving Jackson, late leaving Dallas, late leaving Denver, late leaving Dallas. Of course, they blamed it all on the weather, which I believe is total crap. And since when did they start charging for peanuts, etc? From Dallas to Denver, we got a beverage and that was it...not even the crappy bag of peanuts. If it was closer, I'd drive.

Also, I think I might be jinxedI picked up my car from the airport and it started right up, even though it sat for a week. Stopped to get some food on the way home from the airport, got back in my car, turned the keyand nothing happened. Well, the interior lights came on, the A/C came on, but the engine went BLUH. That's all it didit went BLUH. Got out, opened the hood, looked inside, saw the engine was still there, closed the hood. Yeah, like you'd have done more than just look at the engine. I did check the battery terminals and they were fine.

Got back in the car, tried to crank it 127 more times...still nothing. Fortunately, a good friend was able to come and jump start the car. Got it home, turned it off, tried to restart it, and the damn thing fired right up. Bastard.

Walked in the door, greeted the dogs, flipped the switch to turn the lights on in my living roomthe lights didn't come onthey just went BLUH. Tried the switch for the ceiling fanit went BLUH too. Everything else works fine, but the ceiling fan/lights go BLUH when you flip the switch. Opened the breaker box, looked at the breakers, they looked back at me, I closed the box. No idea what the hell is wrong here. I've got a buddy that's an electrician so I'll see if he has any suggestions.

Ended up buying a new battery because I had 1/2 the cranking amps I needed to start the car.

I think I'm just going to go back on vacation.

May 30, 2007

Medical Question

If you have athlete's foot, does that mean you're an athlete...and did you know that jock-itch spray will also cure athlete's foot? No, I don't have 'the itch', but I did have some tough-actin' Tinactin* in the medicine cabinet so I thought I'd spray it on my foot. Turns out it's good for both.

*Note: Most guys have a can of this stuff somewhere in their house...it's the equivalent of women carrying an emergency feminine hygiene product of choice.

May 14, 2007

So, where you from?

When someone asks you, "Where are you from?", what's your answer? Do you tell them where you were born, or where you grew up, or where you lived previously?

I never know how to answer that question. For some people it's easy because they've lived in the same state or even the same town for all their lives. For others, like me, it's a little more difficult, I think. I was born in Texas, but lived in 5 other states before moving to Mississippi. Before moving here, the longest I'd lived in one place was 9 years. Does that make me "from there"? Hell, I've been here 23 years, which is more than half my life...shouldn't that make me "from here"?

So...Where you from?

May 11, 2007

Uh...That's not good.

A conversation I had today with my boss:

Me: Uh. You want the good news or the bad news?

Boss: How about the good news?

Me (holding up a cable): I was able to find a replacement cable.

April 20, 2007

Get that kid a haircut

Conversation I just had with a neighbor I ran into at the bike shop:

Me: Hey, J, how you doing?

J: Not too bad. What about you?

Me: Can't complain. Working my ass off, but that's about it.

J: Same here. Did you see me wave this morning?

Me: Yeah, I saw you standing in the driveway next to your daughter.

J: Actually, that was my son.

Me: Oh.

This ain't NASCAR

Listen...just because you have a NASCAR tag* (that's license plate for those above the Mason Dixon line) doesn't mean you're a NASCAR driver. Nor does it mean that your minivan. truck, Volkswagen Beetle, or piece-of-crap 1976 Caprice Classic is an actual NASCAR race car. Therefore, quit trying to draft me, push me, cut me off, or pretend that you're Dale Freakin' Jr. This is just going to cause me to slow down and piss you off, which gives me great pleasure.


* - In Mississippi, you can buy a NASCAR-themed license plate. No...I'm not kidding.

April 18, 2007

Supremely confident

My niece's 3rd birthday is Friday so I made my annual trip to Toys R Us to buy her gift. I usually ask for suggestions, but this year I thought I'd wing it. Bad move on my part.

Buying for my nephew is easy. If I see a toy and my brain says "COOL!" then I know he'd like it. I take this to mean that he's either very mature for his age or I've got the attention span of a 6 yr old boy. I'm thinking it's the latter. With my niece it's different because I have zero experience with girl's toys...well, there was that one time in college, but I'm not going to talk about that here.

Anyway...I wandered around the store for a good 30 or 40 minutes looking at stuff.

Mermaid DVD player? She's got a better one.
Mermaid alarm clock? She can't tell time.
Dora the Explorer van? She doesn't speak Spanish.
Cabbage Patch life-like baby? Freaked me out.
Bratz dolls? Too nappy headed.
Easy-Bake Oven; Baby Stroller; Barbie Castle; no, no, and no

Finally I see something that looks cool. The Loving Family SUV. The lights come on, the doors open, the horn works, the radio plays songs. My brain said, "COOL!" so I grabbed it, along with the Loving Family Mom and Daughter, and headed to the register, supremely confident in my purchase.

As I started down the aisle, I noticed an older grandma-type lady and a cute little girl standing behind me. Even though I was supremely confident in my purchase, I figured I'd ask an expert.

"'Scuse me, Ma'am, do you think this would be a good gift for a 3yr old girl?" The supremely confident part of my brain answered for her, "Of course! She'll love it! You're so thoughtful! What a great Uncle! Hey...you're single, I see. Would you like to meet my daughter? She's a doctor-super-model-double-jointed nympho..." OK...so the supremely confident part of my brain got carried away.

Instead of answering, the grandma-type lady turned to the cute little girl and said, "Sweetie, would you like to play with this?" Again, my supremely confident brain answered. "THAT IS THE GREATEST TOY EVER! I WANT ONE! PLEASE BUY ME ONE! THAT IS AWESOME! PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE!".

The response I got, however, was not what I expected. The sweet little girl looked right at me and said, "Nooooooo!". I'd rather not repeat my supremely confident brain's response to that one.

Needless to say, the Loving Family SUV and Loving Family Mom and Daughter are on their way to Colorado regardless of what some snot-nosed little...uh...nevermind.

April 17, 2007

Searching for 3leggeddog

Is there a 3leggeddog convention going on or perhaps a new TV show with 3leggeddogs as the main attraction? Something is happening somewhere because when I checked Sitemeter this morning, there were about 15 or 20 hits from people searching for "threeleggeddog" or "three legged dog" or "dogs with three legs".

If there's a way to make money with these two, I'm all for it. Just drop me a comment or point me in the right direction. It's about time these lazy bastards started earning their raw hides.

In other news, I'm going to attempt something never done before. I'm going to try and get a pic of a 3leggeddog wheelie. No, really. Trey can pop a wheelie. He'll go from zero to sixty in about 3 seconds and with a front end that's lighter than his back end, he pops a wheelie. He did it twice last night. Now if I can just get him to make that squealing tire noise when he does it.

April 13, 2007

The Peter Principle

Senior VP calls me pitchin' a bitch because he can't access the wireless network in his hotel. Blathers on about how "we" screwed up his connection, how it doesn't work at home or anywhere else. Wants a total overhaul done on his laptop when he gets back.

I start to troubleshoot the problem.

Wireless card enabled. Check
Windows Firewall Off. Check
Wireless Device in room turned on. Check

After 5 minutes of asking questions, he gives me the make/model of the wireless device. I google it. Hmm...Interesting. Get him to give me make/model again. Google it again. Same result.

He can't get to the wireless network in his hotel room is because there is no wireless connection in his hotel room.

Get him to plug in his network cable and BAM! Internet access.

April 07, 2007

That scent

I read a long time ago that scents are one of the most powerful triggers for memories. You walk along, smell something on the breeze, your brain processes it, and the next thing you know, you're thinking about being at summer camp when you were 12. Pine oil triggers that specific memory every time. We'd wash the floor of our cabin with it once a week and every time I smell it, I think about camp.

I think about the sunshine, swimming in the lake, canoing on the Delaware River. I think about lying on my bunk, writing a post card home that always started with "Dear Mom, Bub, and Elke"...Elke was my dog. I think about how time seemed to stand still for that month I was away...and how I couldn't wait to go back the next summer. And every time I think about it, it makes me smile.

I had a similar experience today, but the smell wasn't pine oil; it was lime verbena. I took Trey to the vet and I think the vet tech was wearing it. I know someone was wearing it, because I can pick that scent out every time. It's one of those scents that I can't describe easily like pine, or cinammon, or hickory. It's subtle, but the memories it brings are pretty powerful.

It brings back memories of someone who wore it, someone special, someone who taught me a lot about myself. This person taught me that I could do anything I put my mind to. That I could finish what I started. That I could be more than just who I was or who I am. This person helped me to get my shit together better than anyone before, and I will always be grateful for it. I may not have always shown it, but I am. This person taught me that you've got to take a chance 'cause if you don't, life will pass you by.

Every time I think of her, I smell it...and every time I smell it, I think of her...and smile.

March 29, 2007

And a 1 and a 2...

I don't know if I've ever shared this with you, Dear Reader, but I recently started singing in our church choir. I'd sing to the dogs all the time and make up lyrics for them which they seemed to enjoy. Well, I think they enjoyed it. It's kinda hard to cover your ears with only one front leg. Up until now, though, I'd never sung in public.

Being new, it's taken me a while to get used to it. I learned to read music while playing the tuba in high school...shut up...they needed a tuba player so my buddies talked me into it. The only cool thing was you could make really loud noises out of it, so I stuck with it. Anyway...I guess I should say that I can "read" music. I know what quarter notes and eighth notes and dotted quarter notes are and I know that notes towards the top of the staff are higher than those on the bottom, but if you told me to sing a "C", I couldn't do it. If you told me to point to a "C" on the staff, you'd hear me mumble, "EverygoodboydoesfinefaCe" and then I'd point to "C", grinning like an idiot...until you said "that's the bass clef". Then I'd have to punch you in the nuts for setting me up.

Since I don't read music well, my sheet music is covered with notes (heh...no pun intended). Arrows pointing down so I know to sing a lower note, circles around the bass clef so I know where my part is, circles around words so I know where to start, circles around rests so I know where to stop, and notes that say "louder" or "softer" or "crescendo" or "stop talking and pay attention". You get the picture. Yesterday, they threw me a curve...going from 4/4 time to 3/4 time and back.

Ugh...it was awful...I was more confused than the guy doing the DNA tests for Anna Nicole's baby. It was frustrating because everyone else seemed to get it but me...Then inspiration struck. I knew what I had to do...I'd watch the choir director like I used to watch the band director! OF COURSE!! Watch her arms, count the beats, and sing the words on queue. I tried it as she worked with the other groups...1, 2, 3, sing, wait, 2, 3, sing, sing, wait, 3, sing, 2, 3...Dude, it was AWESOME! In my head, I did it right every time.

Then it was our turn. I stood up with the rest of the basses, took a good singer's breath, and sang "Who is this?" in my best bass voice and right on queue.

Only problem was I didn't sing, "Who is this?"...

I sang "Who is three?"

March 23, 2007

A distraction

Mahjong!! On Vista!! SCORE!

Heh...The Sun


You are The Sun


Happiness, Content, Joy.


The meanings for the Sun are fairly simple and consistent.


Young, healthy, new, fresh. The brain is working, things that were muddled come clear, everything falls into place, and everything seems to go your way.


The Sun is ruled by the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon's Diana. A positive card, it promises you your day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciousness and wide awake. You have an understanding and enjoyment of science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

March 13, 2007

No freakin' clue

You know the coolest part about work these days? I have no freakin' clue what I'm doing sometimes. None...nada...zip...and yes, even zilch. Why is that cool, you might ask? Because it's requiring me to think, to use the mass of gray matter between my ears for something other than storing the names of hundreds of porn stars.

This all came about a few months ago when two of our better tech guys left. I went from being 5th on the list to 3rd...a pretty good jump, considering I did nothing but sit still. At first, there wasn't much change in the ol' job functionality, but slowly things have been getting a bit more hairy...but in a good way. You see, Dear Reader, I made a silly mistake. I decided to "show off" and let the folks around here see what I could really do. And now? Way, way, way more work to do than I've had in the last few years. But. It. Is. Awesome.

I'm having fun again, Dear Reader, flying by the seat of my pants, figuring shit out because no one else knows anything about the backups, or the new investment server, or the old program that our accounting folks want to turn into a new program. This is a challenge. It requires brain cycles be diverted from blog reading and writing to actual research and comprehension and forcing parts into action. I give myself a headache sometimes trying to figure stuff out, but it's a good hurt...it tells me that the cobwebs are being blown away and connections are again being made.

I like being a "go to" guy again, knowing that when cool projects come down the line I have a 1 in 3 chance of getting it. And now that my Supervisor is being pulled away from some of the technical stuff, my odds are now 1 in 2.

This new found responsibility is kinda like the first time I discovered sex because a) I'm doing a lot of things by myself, b) I'm not always sure I'm doing it right and c) I can't wait to try it with others.

Well, Dear Reader, I gotta run...it seems Mr. Technical Skills Rediscovered has inadvertently shut down an Exchange server instead of rebooting it. Life is fun.

February 26, 2007

Hanging out

I went to get some sushi tonight and had an interesting experience. A guy sat down next to me and when he ordered, his voice sounded really familiar, but I wasn't sure. When he ordered something else, I knew who it was. Tim Wilson, an incredibly funny guy. Well, at first, I knew his name was Tim and I knew I knew his last name, but the damn thing wouldn't come to me. Finally, it came to me and I introduced myself to him.

When I tried to say, "I listen to you on Z106, our local oldies station", it came out something like, "kdfow ofojf fndopq sojgs". Yeah, I know, real smooth. Before I could embarrass myself further, he said, "You mean John Boy and Billy?" I nodded, since I couldn't screw that up.

Anyway, we talked for a while and the guy was really nice. I didn't want to take up much of time, but he was a good guy to talk. Plus, I was impressed he remembered my name when he left.

Anyway...if y'all get a chance, try and catch Tim. He's pretty funny. Feel free to mention my name.

February 22, 2007

How many quarters in a trimester?

For some reason, the topic of babies came up at lunch. Actually, it was more about women being pregnant than actual talk about babies. I have no idea how the topic started, but I did witness the following exchange.

Guy 1: It doesn't matter what trimester they're in, you always have to be careful.

Guy 2: Really? Huh. So, how many trimesters do they have?

Guy 1: ......

Guy 2: Oh, right, [laughs out loud]...trimesters. So it's like quarterly, right?

February 17, 2007

On the road

I'm going to be in Charlotte, NC the week of February 26th for a training class. If you live there, lived there, or know people who live there, can you give me an idea of some places to go or places to eat? Never been to Charlotte so this'll be a new experience.

Found a dog-sitter so I don't have to put the 3leggers in the doggie hotel. I'll still have to pay to have someone let them out and feed them, but this girl comes highly recommended, is really cheap, and lives less than a mile from me. Karma. :)

February 16, 2007

Being old

I didn't believe them, but it's true. When you turn 41, things quit working all of a sudden and your memory starts to...uh...it, uh...your memory starts to...um...give me a minute and I'll remember.

February 14, 2007

Cross your fingers

Wish me luck, Dear Reader. I applied for a new job today.

February 12, 2007

The Police

The Police! On tour!! New Orleans!!!

February 09, 2007

Oh crap! darn!...

If your iPod says this:

61685_1a.jpg

Live it. Learn it. Love it. Otherwise, you'll spend the next 45 minutes of your life panicking, Googling, trying, Googling some more, praying, trying some more, Googling one last time, trying one more thing, then sighing when you finally see that lovely Apple logo.

Plus, it's hard to explain that you're late for choir because your iPod crapped out. And be sure you don't say crapped out. Apparently that's not a good choice of words for choir.

And finally, if your iPod craps out quits working, email me for a resolution. However, I reserve the right to say, "I told you so."

February 07, 2007

And by "stink", you mean what exactly?

I went to dinner at a friend's house last night and brought some hamburger meat and Italian sausage for him to cook on his Big Green Egg. The dude loves to grill and I was more than happy to indulge him.

When I make hamburgers, I buy the cheap stuff because it's cheap and it's hamburgers. I'm not interested in the fat content...just the price. Apparently, I'd bought the Rosie O'Donnell of hamburger meat because that crap was loaded with fat. And as all good grilling men will tell you, burning fat smokes like a mother.

Anyway...as the burgers were cooking, the smoker was spewing so much smoke that it looked like the house was on fire. As we stood outside amidst the smoke, staring at the grill like men do, my friend commented that his wife will make him bathe before bed because he smelled like the inside of a smokehouse. I just nodded, mesmerized by the sound of cooking meat.

When we went back in the house, my buddy picked up his guitar and started strumming. We took guitar lessons together last year and have remained about the same level, in my humble opinion. It was at this time that the following exchange took place:

Friend (while playing the guitar and sniffing his shirt): Man, I stink.

Howard: Yeah, thats why I quit playing. I just didnt feel like I was getting any better.

Friend: Uh, I was talking about my shirt.

Howard: Oh.

February 05, 2007

A riding we will go

I think, Dear Reader, that I've lost my mind. I went for a bike ride this weekend in 48 degree weather. It was a beautiful day, but coooooold. Fortunately, the guy I normally ride with gave me some hand-me-downs of leg warmers (think neoprene thigh highs) and arm warmers. I wore the leg and arm warmers, my cycling bibs, a pair of neoprene tights, a long sleeved jersey, my regular cycling gloves under a pair of winter cycling gloves, and a windproof vest. And I was still a bit cold in spots, like my toes.

The good news is that I rode a little over 15 miles with a 12.6 mph average. It's not great, but it's good for the first ride of the year. I'm only 985 miles from my 1,000 mile goal for 2007. My legs were achy later in the evening, but two Tylenol took care of that.

The other good news is that I finally feel like I'm riding MY bike, not some bike I bought. This might (or might not) sound strange, but it's true. I got on the bike, clipped in my shoes, and went. No worrying about position or equipment or saddle height...just simple pedaling. It was a pretty cool feeling and it felt great to be "comfortable" on the bike.

Anyway...the first long ride of the year is the 62 mile option in the Natchez Trace Century this April. I'll keep you posted.

January 24, 2007

I bet Hillary is happy

Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, will announce Wednesday that he won't make a run for the White House in 2008, FOX News has learned.

The Massachusetts senator will make his announcement on the Senate floor Wednesday and is taping a message to e-mail supporters to thank them for their support.

The Boston Globe reported that Kerry chose not to enter the crowded presidential field so that he can re-dedicate himself to getting his head out of his ass or getting the United States out of Iraq, whichever is easier.

On a side note - Yesterday, I happened to catch a few minutes of Diane Sawyer's interview with Hillary. Diane mentioned former President Clinton several times and each time she did, Hillary referred to the man as "him". As in, "I've spoken with him" or "I mentioned it to him", etc. She never ever used his name. I find that interesting to say the least.

January 22, 2007

Tonsil hockey

So...went to the doctor yesterday. Yep, had to go on Sunday because I've got an infected tonsil. It's not strep or tonsilitis, but an infected tonsil. It'd been hurting for a few days, but when I woke up yesterday, my whole throat hurt and the tonsil in question looked pretty gross. Got a presciption for an antibiotic to solve this problem.

Also mentioned to the doc that I'm addicted to nose spray. If I don't use it at night, I can't breathe. He wrote me scripts for Nasocort, a non-addictive nasal spray; methylprednisolone, a mild steroid; and Allegra D, which I didn't fill since it cost over $100. I did get Claritin-D, which I've used before. The meds cost me $94...I shudder to think what it would have been without prescription coverage.

I didn't go to the doctor ONE TIME in 2006. As of yesterday, I've already met my deductible for '07. Sheesh...this crap better quit soon or the dogs are going to have to get jobs.

January 12, 2007

WAHOO!!

No disk problems! Wahoo! The doctor said I've got a slight tear in the disk wall, which can be cured with exercise and time. He gave me a list of exercises to do and said if it's not better in two weeks, he'll give me a prescription for physical therapy.

To say I'm excited is an understatement. I was worried about having surgery, but he said that as long as I don't have pain, there's no need for surgery.

Whew...

January 11, 2007

That was easy

Had the MRI this morning and it went well. It was the "shove you in the tube" kind, which doesn't bother me. It felt good to lie still for a while in the middle of the day. Funny thing is that the only real thought I had the entire time was "DON'T FART!".

When I left, they gave me the results on CD. Being a good dork, the first thing I did was make a copy when I got to work. The second thing was I popped it into the CD reader to look at the images. Let's just say I have no idea what I'm looking at.

I can see my spine and vertebrae and some organs and some other gross crap. It means absolutely nothing. The only thing that makes any sense is that it appears that my disk has not ruptured...or at least I think it hasn't. I was premed for a year but we didn't cover ruptures that semester so I'm merely guessing. Going to the Spine doc tomorrow for him to review them. I'll let you know.

On a lighter note, Trey seems to be getting used to going outside again. He went out with no problems this morning and even went out last night. Guess I'm getting him back on schedule.

That's about all for now, Dear Reader. Be cool and remember, lift with your knees, not with your back.

January 10, 2007

The Human Suppository

They're going to shove me into an MRI tube tomorrow morning. I've had one before so I know it's a tight squeeze. I'm still nervous, though.

The Doctor didn't really say much. I showed him the x-rays the chiro took and at least his reaction wasn't "HOLY SHIT!". He didn't really say much except that I've lost the reflex in my left ankle. When he tapped on the back of it, my foot didn't move. I'd say that's not good, but the foot/ankle don't feel weak. The only think he did was offer me some pain pills, but since I don't have any pain, it was a moot point.

The thing that worries me about surgery is that I don't have a significant other or close relative to help out. My Dad's in town, but he bitches and complains about stuff like this so I don't ask. Plus, the dogs can't cook worth a crap and always leave the kitchen in a huge mess. So...know any live-in nurses? :)

Going back to the Doctor's on Friday. I'll let you know more then.

January 08, 2007

Numb nuts

Since the numbness is still in my left butt cheek and the back of my left leg, I made an appointment with a spine specialist today. After going to the Chiro four times last week with no changes, I figured it's time to kick it up a notch. I'll let you know.

In other news, Trey seems to have become afraid of going outside. He even peed on the carpet last night while I was standing in my bathroom. To say I overreacted is an understatement. I literally dragged his ass outside and shoved him out the back door. Then I felt bad about it, but I won't put up with him peeing in the house. This morning, though, he was still hesitant to go out, but I didn't have to drag him. I think the fact that I was home for the last 10 days threw him off his schedule.

Well, that's about all to report. Back at work today and it's SO exciting.

January 02, 2007

A whole month?

Holy crap...I've not posted in over a month? Hmm...

To start off 2007 right, I was going to have a big blowout with friends, get drunk, throw up, and start over again. Instead, I ended up spending the weekend on my couch, with a 45 pound three-legged chicken sitting on my chest. Trey hates fireworks almost as much as thunderstorms. As I type this, he's lying under my desk.

I was on the couch because I've hurt my back...again. Went to the chiropractor Friday, cleaned the house Saturday, and was up at 3 in the morning with an aching back. Thank the Lord for Bengay, Tylenol, and heating pads. I'm a tad nervous, though, because I've got some numbness down the middle of my left butt cheek and into my left leg. I've had some numbness for years from when I hurt it the last time. The neurologist I was seeing at the time said it was fine as long as I didn't lose any strength in my leg (or in my ass too, I guess). Now, though, it seems a tad worse. I'll give it a week or so of treatment with the chiro to see how it goes.

In other news, I've made a list of my 2007 goals for this year. I did pretty well last year, so we're going to do this again. They are as follows in no particular order:

- Lose weight (again)...don't ask.

- Learn to cook for 1 (I'm through with the 3 cans of tuna a day routine)

- Keep weight off for minimum of 6 months

- Put a minimum of 1,000 miles on my bike

- Ride the 2007 MS150 (Update: Newest member of Team FedEx for 2007!)

- Finish painting my home (to be done before May '07)

- Decorate said home so it looks like someone actually lives here

- Post more than once a month

- And finally, see someone about the mild panic attacks I've been having

Well, Dear Reader, that's all for right now. I hope each of you has a wonderful 2007. Be sure to check back again for more updates.

November 28, 2006

10 year anniversary

I've been with my current company for 10 years as of November 24th. This is what I got as an anniversary gift. It's a Wen mitre saw. I think it's kick-ass...now all I need to do is learn how to use it.


3610 small.jpg

No, I'm not dead

Well, Dear Reader, for the past few weeks I've been doing a technology refresh for our call center. Basically what that means is I've been swapping old computer hardware for new hardware. As of today, I've built 80 desktops and 3 laptops. I know how one of Santa's elves might feel.

The interesting part of this is I got the chance to listen to lots and lots (and lots) of calls from insureds filing claims. Let me tell you something folks, I heard some really funny stuff like:

"Uh, Ma'am, so you're saying it was your cow that got hit by the car? And how did he get out of the front yard again?"

"Let me give you your claim number for future reference. Ready? OK, it's 'P', as in the letter 'P'."

"Uh, yes sir, I think I have a cute voice too. Um, no sir, I can't tell you where I'm located, but thanks for asking."

"The adjuster's name is Keith...Keith...his NAME IS KEITH. KEITH. KEITH!! It's Keith. The adjuster's name is KEEEEIIIITH! Ma'am...Ma'am...Ma'am...the claims adjuster's name is KEITH! Yes ma'am. His number is 501...501...Five...OH...One... His phone number is FIVE. Oh. ONE! It's the same area code you're in ma'am. Yes ma'am, it's area code Five Oh One...Five. Oh. One."

Personally, I couldn't do that job. My mouth would get me fired pretty quickly. "Ma'am, if you'd crank up the hearing aid, you MIGHT be able to hear me better."

November 17, 2006

Deal or No Deal

I have just been asked to play the "Howie Mandel" part in my company's version of "Deal or No Deal". We'll be doing it during our annual Christmas party. Since I was cornered, I said yes. As soon as they explained how it'll work, my brain started coming up with ideas. This is good and bad. Good, in that I'm having some ideas, bad in that I'm having to filter most of them out as not being company friendly.

I'm afraid two things could happen; a) I fall flat on my face and the game sucks, b) I say "FU**" in front of everyone I work with. The problem is I'm not sure which would be worse.

November 06, 2006

Out comes Doogie

After conducting a rather informal poll (uh...not "pole"...Thanks, C!), it seems I'm the only person in the world that's surprised by Neil Patrick Harris' revelation.

November 03, 2006

IE 7

I installed IE 7 the other day for two reasons, 1) it's out and 2) I know our users are going to do it so I thought I'd beat them to it. My opinion?

It sucks.

The tab feature is good, but that's about it. It acted really weird concerning the menu bar. I'd turn it off, but then it'd reappear on certain websites. I'd turn it off again, click the address bar to type a URL and the damn thing would have a seizure on the screen. It'd just start shaking...and I have proof. My boss was standing over my shoulder when it happened. Had some other goofy crap happen too.

Plus, I don't like the location of the address bar waaaaay up at the top of the screen...and I couldn't move the stupid thing. I could move everything else, but not that. I don't know...maybe it's just the layout or it being new, but if you ask me, it ain't quite ready for prime time.

Anyway...I uninstalled it, which was a relatively smooth process. I'll stick with IE 6 and Firefox.

October 28, 2006

A Black Widow spider

I just killed a Black Widow Spider of Death on my back porch. ICK!! F*CK!! I HATE SPIDERS!!

It was hanging in the corner by the back door. I ran in the house hollerin' "Puppies!! It's a friggin' Black Widow Death Spider on the porch!! MOVE! MOVE! MOVE! I yanked the kitchen cabinet open, grabbed some industrial strength bug killer and ran back outside, still hollerin' "A BLACK WIDOW DEATH SPIDER!!"

I drenched that bitch in a fog of bug death...but nothing happened. She just hung there. Most bugs start to twitch violently when drenched in bug death, but not the Death Spider. She just hung there, lookin' at me. I could sense her 8 gajillion bug eyes sizing me up. While her brain of death was gauging the distance to leap and sink her venemous spider fangs into my jugular, I spurted her some more hollerin' "Take that Death Spider!"

She hung on, fighting the effects of the fog of bug death, but the fog was stronger. I stood there..and by "there" I mean 10 feet away...and watched her start to shrivel. "HA! HA!," I yelled, "DIE DEATH SPIDER! You won't get to sink your fangs into this jugular!" Slowly she unraveled more web, sliding down the wall, the poison working its way through her icky, black body of Death.

In the end, the Fog O' Death was too much for the Black Widow Death Spider. As I poked her with a really long stick I'd found in the yard, she didn't move. Was she truly dead or just playin' possum, hoping I'd come closer so she could leap up and latch onto my neck. "No victims today, Death Spider," I said as I squished her with my stick. "You've punctured your last jugular".

October 27, 2006

The farting dog book

I've been volunteered to read to a kindergarten class. One of the kids in there is the granddaughter of a co-worker. I resisted on the outside, while on the inside I was pretty thrilled to be asked.

The best part? I may get to read a book about a farting dog. And as we all know, the only thing I'm really, really good at is...

reading.

October 17, 2006

I'm rich, biyotch!

In yesterday's mail:

1) Pre-approved for a new credit card with a $20,000 minimum line of credit.
2) Pre-approved for an equity line of credit for $65,350.
3) Pre-approved for a $50,000 car loan.

WAHOO!!

Unfortunately, the 3leggers read them...then ate them. The dirty bastards won't be getting treats for a week.

October 10, 2006

MS150 (sticky post)

Way back on January 16th, I listed my goals for the year. Some I've met, some I've not met, some haven't even been attempted. The one goal I never thought I'd do is sign up for the MS150. Well...I signed up today. I am now an officially registered rider for the Paul Moak Volvo MS Bike Tour.

I started training on Saturday by riding 35 miles. Rode a personal best 42 miles on Monday. The guy that I ride with is going to ride it as well...he has to...his wife if the event coordinator. :)

My fundraising goal is now $200 $500 since I hit the $200 mark on Friday. You people ROCK!

If you'd like to donate, please go here. This is my personal web page where I'll update my training, my fund raising, and the number of times I've thrown up while riding.

If you'd like to donate, please click on the link above. Any help would be appreciated. I'll keep you up-to-date on the blog and via the MS site.

Wish me luck...my buns and I are going to need it.

UPDATE: My company has agreed to match me dollar for dollar up to $100.

October 08, 2006

150 miles!!

I did it...150.02 miles, 10 hours 37 minutes total time on my bike. And I even got a medal.

I'll write more later...especially about the entire day today seeming like one long climb. It felt like we climbed 8,000 ft. I half expected a white-furred Yeti handing out Gatorade at the next rest stop.

I'm going to nap...probably until morning. :)

PS - As of yesterday, y'all have donated $635. That is kick ass!

October 07, 2006

Ride Update

77.9 miles, 5 hours 12 minutes, 14.5 mph average. I'm doing good...just finished with my massage...getting ready to eat. Now all I have to do is ride 75 miles back home. :)

October 06, 2006

The Ride

First, thanks to all of you that donated. I raised over $600 for MS, which is 3 times the amount I set out to raise. You guys rock!

Tomorrow is the day. 150 miles...77 the first day, 73 the second day. I'm nervous, I'll admit it. I've been riding several times a week, but I'm still nervous. Maybe nervous isn't the right word...I just want to do well and not be one of the last riders in. That would suck.

As of last count, there were close to 200 riders. I think I can sneak in behind some of them and draft the whole way. Hey, if Lance can sit in the pack the whole day, then why can't I?

I'll let you know how it goes, Dear Reader.

September 27, 2006

I am the baby's Daddy

Howard K Stern, long time attorney and close friend of Anna Nicole Smith, admitted last night that he is the father of Anna Nicole's daughter. Stern said he and Anna Nicole Smith had been living together in the Bahamas, and planned to stay in the island chain long term and marry "at some point."

Stern also admitted to knowing the whereabouts of former Teamster's president Jimmy Hoffa, how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, and when pressed, also admitted that he knew who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop. He declined, however, to take credit for inventing the internet, being the real Deep Throat, and for putting the dip in the dip da dip da dip.

September 19, 2006

A penis transplant

Chinese doctors say they successfully transplanted a penis on a man who lost his own in an accident, but had to remove it two weeks later because of psychological problems experienced by the man and his wife.

"Make it stop."
"What?!?"
"That. It keeps looking at me funny."
"What do you mean, looking at you funny?"
"The eye thingy…it winked at me."
"WHAT?"
"The eye thingy. It winks at me when you're not looking."
"Honey, you're seeing things. It doesn't wink."
"THERE! RIGHT THERE! SEE! It did it again! I'm going to sleep in the guest room!"
"Honey! WAIT!"

"Nice job, idiot."
"Whaddya mean? I think she's cute so I winked at her."

September 15, 2006

Cycling update

Sorry folks, but all I have to talk about today is cycling. Rode 28 miles Tuesday at a 14.9 mph pace. We did the first 14 miles in 16.4, which was flying for us. I was tired, but also pretty happy with how I did.

Today we're supposed to ride, but not sure how long. Tomorrow is going to be a big day. My riding coach and I are riding with two local DJ's who have signed up for the MS150. From what I've been told, we're doing 25 miles or so...starting at 7am. Sheesh. This is a training ride for them so we're going to go really slow.

After we finish that ride, he and I are going to do another 25. Double Sheesh. I'll admit that I'm nervous about doing 50 miles, but I'll bring plenty of water and Fig Newtons. They helped me do the 42 miler the week before, so they should help this time. It's a great ego boost to think I've already done over 160 miles in the last couple of weeks. In the past, it's taken me months to get that many miles. Plus...um...it's giving me some great looking legs. :)

That's about all...Don't forget to donate. I'm $50 away from my goal! If you've already given, THANK YOU!!

September 12, 2006

Good advice

Every once in a while my Pop gives me some good, sound advice.

We were talking about lots of different things and he said, "Kid, you're always looking for a guarantee. And I hate to tell you, but there are none. You just go with what you're given and if it goes shitty, you move on to the next thing."

The only other advice he ever gave me was "Do what you think is right, but if it isn't, be prepared to suffer the consequences".

Yep, sometimes my Pop hits the bullseye.

September 11, 2006

Progress

When I first started riding in 2002, I did 3 mile loops in my neighborhood and 10 miles was a big deal. I bought a road bike the week after I rode 27 miles. 3 mile loops became 10 mile loops.

I thought riding 20 miles in a single ride was cool. Twenty miles became 30. Eventually, I rode a personal best 40 miles in the summer of '03. That ride kicked my ass and I didn't ride that far again until last Monday when I did 42 miles.

Why didn't I ride that far again? Well...because it was too much effort. Everything hurt on that ride. My ass, my feet, my hands, and my pride. Part of that pain was my equipment...my shoes were really too small and the bike rode like a cement truck...but most of it was my completely out of shape self. Riding hurt so I didn't do it. Now, though, it's different. It's fun...

These days, anything less than 30 miles feels like wasted effort, which is the wrong attitude. Charlie and I rode a little over 31 miles on Saturday at an average speed of 14.9 mph. We rode the 42 miles at a 13.2 average. Charlie is teaching me that shorter distances are ok, just do it quicker to help build endurance. Like he says, once you get used to doing 30, 40 isn't that bad.

I guess what I'm trying to share with you, Dear Reader, is that I'm slowly starting to really enjoy this cycling thing. I still think of ways of getting out of it, but I don't follow through with them. I find myself wanting to ride, even if it's just for an hour or so. And the amazing thing is that although the ride on Saturday hurt like hell for the first hour, the second hour or so was great because I didn't quit. I didn't hear the voice in my head saying, "you really suck at this". I didn't mind being the last of three riders because I knew I was doing the best I could. Once I got my wind back (and my saddle raised about 1/2") I rode strong. It felt like I could just keep riding. That, friends, is an awesome feeling. That is progress.

August 24, 2006

Update

Sorry for the absence Dear Reader.

Today, I am in Colorado visiting the bro and his family. It was a last minute trip, but it came together quite nicely. The dogs are at a "pet resort" and I'm a bit apprehensive since this is the first time they've been boarded. The people there were really nice, though, and said they'd take good care of them. They'd better.

In other news...well, there's not much other news to report. I'm actually drawing a giant blank this morning...I know I've done "stuff", I just can't seem to recall what that stuff was. Must have been exciting, I know.

Anyway...I'll update when I can...or if I remember something.

August 18, 2006

Eyeball Update

One week after being lasered, I have 20/20 vision in my right eye and 20/25 in my left. Unbelievable.

August 15, 2006

Teamwork

How can you tell when it's time to cut the back yard?

When one dog has to stand on the porch and bark so the other dog can find its way back after taking a leak.

Fortune Cookie

This was my fortune today:

Your eyes will be opened to a world full of beauty, charm, and adventure.

On the back was the Chinese word Hai-zi which means Medical Doctor.

August 11, 2006

WAHOO!

UPDATE: According to the Doc, my vision was 20/25 after my first follow up this afternoon. Things are still a tad fuzzy, but he said that's to be expected.

So far, so good Dear Reader. Got back about 9ish and napped till almost 12:30. Got up, fixed a nutritious lunch of ramen noodles...and everything was done WITHOUT GLASSES OR CONTACTS!

They gave me a Valium to calm me down, but it didn't do anything that I could tell. Next time, I'm getting them to give me two!

Getting ready to go to my first follow-up. The Doc said everything went well and I was able to read the clock on the wall of the operating room as soon as I was done. It's still kinda weird. The strangest part was waking up from my nap and being able to see for the most part.

I'll keep you updated, but so far, friends, everything is very good.

The worst part?

When the laser was working, I detected a faint burning smell. Other than that, it was fairly easy.

August 09, 2006

Frickin' laser beams

Friday, 7:00 AM I'll be getting frickin' laser beams shot into my eyeballs. Yes, I understand the risks, but it's something I want to do.

Saw the Doctor today for my pre-surgery exam where they do the ever popular dilating of the pupils. As I type this, my glasses are on my desk and my face is about 12 inches from the screen. I can't see dookie, people. The cool part, however, is that the drops make my eyes red so I'm walking around with a day's worth of beard, red eyes, and huge pupils. I think I'm going to wander around the 4th floor where our Execs hang out. Dude, I'm soooo wasted!

August 07, 2006

A new experience

So I rode my bike Saturday. 28 miles at an average speed of 13.8. It was awesome! No, really. It was the best ride I've had in several years.

I wish I could describe what it felt like to be the stronger rider for once. I was the guy doing the pulls up the hill...I was the guy sitting up waiting for my friend Charlie to catch up...I was the guy who got to hear the other rider gasping for air. And I'll tell you a little secret, Dear Reader...it was an awesome feeling.

Now in Charlie's defense, he hadn't been on his bike in over a year and was recovering from neck surgery. When we rode together two years ago, he could kick my ass on any given day, but he always stuck with me, even when I was barely going 8 mph up a hill. I always appreciated that about him and felt that I should do the same now that I'm in better shape than he is. Plus, the more we ride, the better we'll both get...and I'm sure at some point, he'll start kicking my ass again...but until then, I'm going to enjoy this thoroughly.

August 02, 2006

Mel Gibson is just an actor

As you all know, I'm Jewish or Crewish if you want to be precise...a mixture of Jewish and Christian beliefs. And you know what? I don't give a rat's ass whether Mel Gibson is an anti-Semite or not. Why? Because he's an actor...that's all he is. He's not the ruler of a country, the president of a multinational corporation, or a college professor. He's an actor.

The guy is paid to memorize lines, show emotion, and make us think he really believes there are aliens in his corn field...or where ever the hell they were in that movie. I don't care what Mel thinks of me or my people. I don't care if Mel thinks the Holocaust was made up. He's an actor...that's all he is.

Somewhere along the way, we as a nation have begun to equate "acting skills" with all sorts of things. If he's a good actor, then he'll make an excellent governor, an astute politician, an objective and fair-minded talk show host, an expert on foreign affairs and military policy. How in the hell do those go hand in hand? Geez, people, I can make you believe all kinds of shit, but that doesn't mean I'd be a good Governor.

Does it bother me that Mel said those things? Yes, it does. Do I think it needs to be an international incident? Fuck no. If Mel Gibson was some average asshole who got stopped for speeding, this wouldn't have even been a blip on a radar screen. But because he's an actor, then his moronic behavior is plastered all over the airwaves and newspapers. Folks, listen...We've got far more important shit to worry about than Mel Gibson. We've got people living in cardboard houses, eating dog food if they're lucky...we've got kids gunning down other kids over an XBox...we've got so much horrible crap going on and you expect me to pay attention to Mel Gibson's drunken rampage? Sorry, but it ain't happening.

Mel, if you happen to read this, I've got nothing against you...I just don't give a shit about your opinions and think the rest of the nation shouldn't either. You're just an actor.

July 31, 2006

The true end

I got a call today from my ex's fiance. I wasn't really sure what he wanted and he was hesitant to tell me. I finally told him to just go ahead and say it...and he did.

"Please stop calling J. She's going to be my wife and she's not yours any longer. I asked her to handle this but obviously she didn't. This isn't personal because I don't know you very well. But I don't want you contacting her anymore."

I said, "Sure, fine. Whatever you want." and we hung up.

I don't know how to feel about this...yes, I know she's not my wife nor would we ever get back together, but we'd remained friends the entire time and now it's completely over. Sure, part of me is sad about it...I've known her for 15 years. The other part wishes her good luck, although I hope this guy isn't the controlling dickhead that he appears to be. I guess this also means that the dogs are 100% mine, which is fine with me.

I'm just confused by the whole thing, Dear Reader. I guess you really can't be friends with an ex.

July 26, 2006

LASIK

Well, Dear Reader, I go for my consulation August 9th and if everything goes according to plan, I will have LASIK surgery on August 11th. The surgeon was recommended by some other eye surgeons for whom I do some side work. They don't do this surgery or I would certainly be using them.

I'll admit to being a bit nervous about it. This'll only be the second surgery I've ever had. I've read up on the different procedures, costs, benefits, side effects, and risks. There are risks associated with everything, but honestly Dear Reader, I'm sick of glasses and contacts. I'd like to wake up one morning and actually see the things around me without my glasses. I'd like to be able to get some cool shades or swim with my eyes open underwater. I've worn glasses/contacts for so long I don't remember what it's like to not have them.

Yes, I understand that I might need reading glasses, but I'd gladly wear them if that's the only time I'd need them. Hey!?! Maybe I can even get one of those cool chains to hold them like my Bubbie used to wear. Now that would be stylin'.

July 24, 2006

Quickie

Back from Philly. We recovered 85 to 90 percent of our stuff and were well on our way to completing the rest of it when they shut us down. Ah well...I didn't think we'd get that far considering how poorly we started. To be honest, this was really more of a test than our normal tests. In a 'true' disaster, shit happens and you have to be able to react, which is what we did. The nice thing is that our AVP noticed and commented which is very rare.

For my New York friends/readers, I never even got close to the City, which sucked because I did want to meet several of you. And the drinks were on me. :)

Got home about 4:30, doing some laundry, eating, and then going to bed. I am worn out...but in a good way.

July 22, 2006

Sing it to me, Sam!

I've been here 14 hours today and am starting to get punchy. We're all pretty tired actually. I've started making up lyrics to Sam Cooke's "Another Saturday Night". Sam wouldn't appreciate me inserting "mothefu*" into his song, though...even if it does fit. :)

A disaster in progress

Yeah, so, uh, this could be going smoother.

We had to redo some backup tapes and have them shipped...instead of using FedEx, "Management" decided to use Delta Dash...the tapes are somewhere in Atlanta.

A combination of our software and their hardware caused the CD-ROM drives to shit on themselves whenever we tried to do an install. The odds of this happening are probably one-in-ten thousand...maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket.

The project manager for the disaster recovery vendor said that there's a stripper who dances in her windows at night right across from our lab...He is full of shit...uh...at least that's what the other guys said.

If you're in Philly, get the New York Strip at Maggiano's Little Italy instead of the steaks at Capital Grille...much tastier and much less expensive.

More later, Dear Reader...I smell donuts.

Oops! Sorry, lady.

If you walk into the bathroom and the first thing you hear inside your head is, "Hey, where the hell is the urinal?" the next thing you hear outside your head is, "That's the ladies room, dumbass."

July 19, 2006

It's always sunny in...

Philadelphia! Greetings from Philly, Dear Reader. It's about midnight Eastern time and I can't sleep...well, I mean, I could sleep and was asleep, but not now. I went to bed at 9pm Eastern because I'd been up since 3am Central. And now I'm up at midnight...figured I'd write to see if I can go back to sleep.

I'm in town for our annual disaster recovery exercise where we pretend that our office is no longer operational and we have to bring it back to life somewhere else. This year, it's Philadelphia. We're staying right across the street from City Hall so we're really close to lots of stuff, but I'm not sure how much we're going to be able to see. If all goes well, we'll have a decent amount of free time, if not...well, I'm not going to say it because I don't want to jinx it.

After getting something to eat, we headed back to the hotel. Several of the guys were headed towards the historic district which is about 8 blocks from here. I didn't really feel like walking so I passed. After about 2 minutes of staring at the walls, I changed clothes, headed to the hotel's fitness center, found an empty treadmill and, uh...walked.

We had dinner this evening at the Capital Grille and it was awesome. Most of the guys ordered the 24oz porterhouse, but, and I'm amazed that I'm saying this, it was too much for me. I just didn't want to waddle away from the table, filled to the gills with meat, so I got the 14oz filet instead...medium rare. Oh man, it was gooooood. Truly a great steak.

Afterwards, a buddy and I wandered to Tower Records. I'd never been before and wanted to check it out. Several people I know have bragged on the place. Uh, it's just a big record store...with overpriced CDs. $18.99 for Don Henley's Greatest Hits? Um. No.

Wandered back across the street, wandered into Borders, and heard a reading by John Grogan, author of Marley & Me. Couldn't really here him very well...lots of people, bad microphone. Didn't stay long because, by this time, my happy ass was whipped. Wandered back to the hotel, grabbed my book and made it about 3 pages before I was asleep. Woke up at midnight and here we are.

UPDATE: The original closing paragraph to this post was lamenting the fact that I had no one to call when I landed. Um...I was reminded this afternoon that someone did in fact check to see that I arrived safely. Then I remembered that I got email from a few others who also checked on me. So...this new paragraph is an apology to all of you. Turns out that I do have folks checking on me and I appreciate it very much. Howard

G'night.

July 17, 2006

Lemmings

There's a note on our Coke machine that lists the names and dollar amounts of people who've lost money trying to get a Coke. Everyone on our side of the floor knows the machine sucks, yet there are 5 names on that list. One for each day of the week last week.

July 05, 2006

Today

7:30 Can't find keys. Look everywhere.

7:55 Find keys in trashcan. No idea.

8:15 Get to work late

8:30 Production SQL server dies. Reboot. It's working.

9:00 Production SQL server dies. Reboot. It's working.

9:45 Production SQL server dies. Reboot. It's working.

10:30 Master database is corrupt. Restore DB. It's working.

11:15 Intergity check on master db reveals errors. Resolution? Rebuild server

12:00 Rebuilding server.

The only good thing? Resolved several major problems on my own because our #1 guy is out of the office and am finally using my brain again.

A tip for you...if you think you're right, do it your way. Otherwise, you'll end up doing it their way...only to do it your way in the end.

July 3rd and 4th

Not sure why I even came to work on Monday. We had one help desk call the entire day. We kept waiting for someone to tell us we could leave early...until we realized that there was no one here to let us off. Next year, I'm not coming in.

Went on a July 4th bike ride sponsored by our local bike club and it was a blast. I ended up teaching a bike safety class to kids, which I enjoyed. My buddy Gary was supposed to do it, but he hates to speak in public, so he got me to do it. I only made one error...while going over the 'agenda' with the Safety Coordinator for the bike club, he said, "Be sure to tell them about stop signs," to which I replied, "Oh. Yeah. I need to remind them to slow down and look both ways." His response, "You meant to say stop and look both ways', right?" Uh. Yeah. Stop and look both way. Right...that's what I meant.

We then took the kids and parents on a 10-mile fun ride (Gary and I'd already done a 15 mile ride earlier where we averaged close to 18 mph...including a 31 mph pedal-your-ass-off downhill).

The fun ride was S L O W! I was the sweeper, which basically meant I hung off the back and made sure no one was dropped. I ended up doing the ride with a guy and his daughter, neither of which had any water. This was just stupid on his part. It was hot and muggy and I was sweating like a pig, even going this slow. Fortunately, I had two water bottles, one with water and one with grape Powerade (much, much, much better than Gatorade) that we shared. It took us about an hour and a half to go 10 miles.

It was a fun day...I sweated my ass off, got to ride my bike (which I should do more often), and got to see some people I hadn't seen in a while. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday.

June 29, 2006

Hot, hot water

Wahoo! A brand-spankin' new water heater that was installed AND covered by my home owner's warranty. Now, if I could just figure out a way to get my A/C replaced.

June 27, 2006

I've had enough

This is why I've gotten sick of what I do...A help desk from one of our users.

Desktop printer no longer prints. Have to use HISD02 or HISD07 for all print (lots of walking).

We're talking 50 ft from her desk to the printers and back.

Un-freakin-believable.

June 22, 2006

Hammerin'!

I won't be around tomorrow, Dear Reader. It's Habitat for Humanity time and I'm going to be building stuff.

The Company gives us a "free" day if we participate, plus they provide transportation, drinks, and lunch. It's a ton of fun, AND I get to use powertools without any adult supervision.

Only downside? 92 degrees...and humid.

June 21, 2006

Welcome Saints!

Wahoo! The Saints come marching in...to my alma mater, no less.

June 20, 2006

Hold the internet

I got a project yesterday that stated the following:

Per Senior Management. Box up all equipment in former VP's office(monitor, docking station, flat-panel monitor, and printer) and set up in former VP's home. He already has his laptop, but will need all other equipment. Coordinate delivery & setup with former VP.

The VP in question just retired so Senior Management decided to give him his hardware as a gift. We're giving him approximately $2,600 in equipment for free...and the kicker is this:

If he asks for access to the internet, explain to him that he will need to get a DSL connection.

In other words, we said, "Here, Dude. Take all of this hardware for free, but, uh, if you want internet access, you're going to have to pay for that on your own." We'd have been better off giving him access and keeping the hardware.

June 17, 2006

Rescue Me

OK...I'll admit. I'm hooked on Rescue Me. I didn't plan on it, but after two episodes, I'm addicted. The show is just incredibly good and one of the few shows to a) keep my attention and 2) make me laugh out loud.

I need some help though. I missed the first two seasons and am a bit confused. In the episode I just saw, from this season, Tommy beats the shit out of the guy who's dating his wife. Who is the guy? I know he's an attorney, but how does he fit into the picture? Any help would be appreciated.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch the next episode. You gotta love Tivo!

June 16, 2006

Suing the Colonel

I just read an article that says the Center for Science in the Public Interest is suing KFC because their chicken is cooked in oil that is "unhealthy". The Center for Science in the Public Interest? Oh man...the name alone makes me shudder. The next thing these "scientists" will be telling me is that porn is bad for me because it elevates my heart rate and causes swelling in the genitals.

I won't go over the specifics of the article because it's ridiculous. Of course KFC is unhealthy...it's fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and biscuits, the Holy Trinity of "stuff that ain't good for you". But you know what? I don't need you to tell me it's bad for me, or to file suit on my behalf. I need you to shut the f* up and keep your hands off my chicken.

I mean, really, leave the Colonel alone. He's got enough problems with PETA and Pam Anderson complaining that chickens are treated poorly before we eat them. They're chickens. They're supposed to be eaten. That's why they're here. If we aren't supposed to eat them, then why did God make everything taste like them? Alligator? Tastes like chicken. Frog's legs? Tastes like chicken. Tofu burgers? They'd taste like chicken if chicken tasted like ass. Treating a chicken humanely before butchering it is like swabbing the arm of a death row inmate with alcohol before inserting the needle.

If I were the judge and the attorney for the plaintiff said, "Your Honor, we're here because KFC is using oil that may be harmful to humans", you know what my response would be? "No shit. Now get your asses out of my f*in courtroom so I can go get me a 2 piece snack box, all white, crispy, with mashed potatoes and coleslaw. Case dismissed."

This just in...

The Manager of my group emailed everyone this morning to tell them that...email wasn't working. Um...

June 12, 2006

The ex is engaged

The ex got engaged this weekend. That, Dear Reader, is a strange sentence to write. Not strange in a "HOLY CRAP WHAT AM I GOING TO DO!!" kinda way, but in a "I'm happy that her life is moving forward" kinda way.

I'm genuinely happy for her. He seems like a great guy and obviously cares for her very much. And he can deal with her shithead sister, which is something I could never do.

At one point in the conversation she told me they're also going to try and have a baby. Again, I'm happy for them. There were a lot of reasons why I didn't want to have a child and many of them still apply...but there are times when those reasons seem petty and stupid. Although I am glad we didn't have a child because of the divorce.

I also feel weird about this whole thing. There are no feelings of regret for getting divorced because I know it was the right thing to do. I'm not upset at all that she's getting remarried or wanting a child. But there's an emptiness of sorts inside me now. It's hard to explain.

I'm not sad, Dear Reader...that much I do know. It's just...envy maybe? Maybe it's because she's found someone to love and to love her in return. Maybe it's because she doesn't have to face life alone. Maybe it's because her life is moving forward.

I don't know quite how to explain it, Dear Reader. I can't quite put my finger on how I feel. But empty seems to be a good starting place.

Gotta find my car keys. Fuck the price of gas...

June 08, 2006

Back to the Beginning

Some of you might have noticed a slight uptick in productivity here at 3ld, and I wanted to take a minute to explain why.

I stopped writing because I started thinking, and thinking always gets me in trouble. For the record, my thoughts were something like, “You know, you never write anything of substance.” But then I realized something, Dear Reader. The purpose of this blog was never to write anything “of substance”. It was created as a place for me to write what was going on in my head, what I thought, what I felt, and what I observed in the world around me.

For quite a while, ideas, thoughts, and absurdities would pop into my head, but I wouldn’t write about them. I would think, “Nah, you don’t want to post that, it’s stupid.” I discovered that I was censoring myself because I was afraid you, my 12 daily readers, wouldn’t like what I wrote. But guess what? I realized that my original intent was to write whatever I wanted, whether it was good or not, regardless of what others thought. So that’s what I’m going to start doing.

I don’t know what I’m going to write about in the future. It might be funny, it might be stupid, it might even be that “something of substance” that seems to want to come to the surface from time to time. Whatever IT is, I hope you enjoy it. Because I know I will…and that’s what matters most.

94 years old

There was a knock on my garage door late Sunday afternoon. I never heard it, but the dogs did and they went apeshit barking and running in circles...actually, the hopped around in circles...and can dogs go apeshit or do they go dogshit? Hmm...NOTE: I have the 3leggers this month and it's really kinda cool. It's fun to come home to someone, even if their breath smells like dead fish.

Anyway, I opened the door and there stood Mrs Ballard, one of the older ladies who lives across the street. In her hand was a foil-wrapped package that meant one thing...GOODIES!! She has given me some sweets once or twice and each time they were really good. This was just a bit different.

"I'm here to share my birthday cake with you," she said, "because I turned 94 today." Let me tell you something, Dear Reader. If I look HALF as good as this woman does when I'm 94, I'll be lucky.

I couldn't believe that she was really that old and asked if I could give her a hug for being 94. She took me up on it and that little ol' lady is strong! I got a bit nervous that she was wanting a little bit more than cake for her birthday, but luckily, I was way wrong. Whew.

As I reached for the cake plate, she drew back just a hair, probably because I reached quickly. Dude...it's birthday cake...I'd sell a 3legger for some good butter cream frosting on a white cake...Sorry, I'm drifiting. I took the plate from her and we talked for a few more minutes. Towards the end of the conversation, I realized that I was talking quite a bit louder than I normally do because 1) the dogs were barking and 2) I figured a 94 yr old woman might be hard of hearing. Since it was too late to stop, I kept doing it.

After a few minutes, we said our good-byes, and I walked back into the house to unwrap my treasure. Under the foil was 5 small pieces of white cake...with butter cream frosting...and they were cold. Nothing is better, to me, than cold cake and butter cream frosting. As I stared at then, willing myself to not dive in face first, a little thought blossomed in the back of my head.

She said, "I was sharing my cake with everyone in the neighborhood"...with everyone. For a brief moment, I wondered if the reason she flinched when I reached for the plate was because she wasn't offering me the whole plate...just one piece from the plate.

I pictured her walking away, shaking her head, and saying to herself, "That fat son of a bitch not only took ALL the cake, but then he yelled at me like I was some old fool. The next time I see him, he's getting a cane in the nads."

My next thought? CAKE! WAHOO!

June 07, 2006

AOL members complain

I replied to an email from a friend of mine that uses AOL for her email. About 10 seconds after replying, I got an email from AOL that said my message was not delivered. The email directed me to a URL that contained the reason why it wasn't delivered. A screen print of the URL is below. Notice the reason, which appears under the heading "EXPLANATION:". Click on the picture if you're having trouble reading it.

There was only one URL in the email.

http://www.aol.com

Train to NYC

Do any of you know if I can take a train from Philly to New York City? Did a quick and dirty google search, but didn't come up with anything concrete. I may be in Philly in July and if I get some free time, I'm either hopping a train to NYC or heading to my old home town.

I'll keep searching, but if you know of anything, let me know.

May 31, 2006

Not quite a Memorial weekend

In case you're wondering, the weekend consisted of lawn mowin', weed whackin', weed killin' (if you can't whack 'em, kill 'em!), and chainsawin'. Wahoo! The chainsaw hasn't been cranked in over 5 years and it started on the 2nd pull.

Other than that, the weekend was kinda dull, which is becoming par for the course. :) Hope y'all had fun.

In other news, the 3-leggers and I will be spending most of June together. The ex has three trips planned, one of which is to meet her boyfriend's parents. And you know what? I think that's really cool for her. I know the people that introduced them so I know he's probably a good guy and if he can make her happy, then the best of luck to them. But there's no way in hell that the dogs are going to call him "Dad". That shit ain't happenin'. :)

May 24, 2006

Changes in attitude

It's one of those days today.

I have the opportunity to play in another golf tournament, but can't find anyone who wants to play.

I honestly don't give a shit if your computer is making a noise. They do that.

Can you please be a bit more specific when you say "Outlook bombs off when trying to open it"? What the f* does "bombs off" mean?

Email to Mom: Did you check on getting another prepaid cell phone?
Email from Mom: no
Um...ok then. Don't put yourself out on my account.

Voicemail from Dad: Hey, it's me. Call me when you have a second, I have a computer question.
Response inside my head: Of course you do, why else would you be calling?

I need a new job. This place sucks.

Today is one of those days that I need to be outside, driving really fast with the windows down and the sunroof open, listening to some loud music and singing my head off. That ain't happening any time soon, though.

Yeah, it's minor stuff, but it's still irritating.

May 22, 2006

A Golfer's attitude

Monday, May 17, 2006: Golf is the greatest game ever! I can't wait to play again! Let's play 18 more NOW!

Wednesday, May 19, 2006: Sunday?!? Hell yeah, I'll play! When, where, and with whom? Oh man, this is going to be awesome! I can't wait.

Sunday, May 21, 2006: Golf is the worst fucking game ever! I'm never playing this shit again! You know anyone who wants to by my clubs?

Monday, May 22, 2006: You know, I hit them pretty well for the most part. My ball position was good, but I kept trying to accelerate through the ball. I don't have quite enough control at the moment to do that. Yeah, I guess I'll play Thursday.

May 12, 2006

Open Mouth, Insert Leg

It is a well known fact that I hired the woman that many people do not like in my office. The reason this fact is so well known is because a) everyone reminds me of this at least once a day and 2) I apologize for doing it at least once a day. In my defense...well, shit...I have no defense. I did it...there, are you happy?

Anyway, I was in a friend's office discussing an issue I had with one of our more troublesome VPs. He's one of those, "You know, this isn't working right and it's never worked right" kinda guys. Invariably, he is usually not doing something right, which causes the computer to 'not work right'. That was the case today. He couldn't connect to our internal network via VPN so there must be something wrong with his new laptop. Guess what? He'd used the wrong password 3 times in a row and locked his account. The laptop? Working as designed. Douche bag.

Sorry...drifted there for a minute...So, as I was leaving my buddy's office I said, "Well, at least I didn't hire him." And walked right into the woman I did hire. Yep, almost knocked her over, the laughter echoing from my buddy's office.

Needless to say, I did get a kick out of it...and will be lying low the next few days. If I mysteriously disappear, please share this with the local authorities.

May 11, 2006

One of the Cool Kids

I got to talk to one of the Cool Kids today. It was awesome.

May 10, 2006

Too Cool for School

Dude, look. I know you're desperately trying to appear as one of the "cool" people in the office and I can appreciate that. Many of us want to be thought of as one of the cool kids, but let's face it, some of us (me included) are just not part of that group. Sure, we try hard, but it's one of those things that's just outside of our reach.

I do, however, applaud your continued attempts. If I may make two suggestions? First, the Bluetooth headset. Let it go, son. It does nothing but intensify your inherent dorkiness. Trust me. I have it on good authority that a recruiter from Dorks R Us is begging to talk to you after seeing the picture of you with the Bozo the Clown haircut and the headset. Lose it and lose it now. Second? This is the big one so pay close attention. I implore you to follow my advice. OK. Here goes:

If you insist on wearing the headset, that's cool. But please do not combine that with wearing your iPod headphones. While taking a leak.

It's automatically catapaulted you to the head of the line at Geekworld; do not pass GO, do not collect your 200 Galactic Credits.

May 09, 2006

How about "assho..."?

I was emailing someone the other day and wrote "motherfu..." instead of the entire word. I guess God won't notice if you don't write the whole word. Anyway, I clicked "send", the spell check fired up and displayed the following:

You gotta love a programmer with a sense of humor.

May 03, 2006

Vacation update

In short, the vacation was awesome. The weather was great, the people were great (except for a few tense moments), I got to see two chicks fighting, and my 2 yr old niece started calling me by name. That in itself was a highlight.

The 5 of us stayed in a two bedroom, two bath hotel room, that was incredibly nice. It was basically a mini apartment with an attached hotel room...which was ALL MINE! A little seating area, mini fridge, coffee maker (for making my world famous Coffee Syrup), and king-sized bed. It's been a while since I've been around that many people for so long, but I gotta tell you, Dear Reader, I had a great time. Spending time with all of them was so much fun.

On Thursday, my nephew and I got to spend time together at the pool with just the two of us. At one point he said, "You know, Uncle BG, I like spending time with you. We're going to do..." Wow. Talk about making a grown man get teary eyed. That was the first of two times I got a little, uh, misty. :-)

The second time was at the airport. I met them in Dallas on the way out and we all flew back together too. Since my flight wasn't leaving for a while, I walked with them to the gate and hung around until they boarded. After hugging and kissing everyone, I turned around to leave...and my niece started to cry. I turned around and saw her pointing to me and crying. That was the first time she's ever done that...and it was the sweetest and saddest thing at the same time. Of course, I had to go back and make her laugh since I didn't want her to cry. I tickled her and kissed on her for a bit until she laughed. They had to get on the plane so I said goodbye again and started to walk away...and she started to cry again. I turned around waved and kept walking...and got misty eyed again.

And now, the chick fight. We were driving to the airport to visit my cousin and I noticed two women standing outside of the adult bookstore...at 1:00 in the afternoon. I was thinking, "Hey! Cool! Two chicks hanging out in front of the...HOLY CRAP!" Right about that time, one of the women reared back and knocked the ever-living shiite out of the other. I mean, that woman cocked her arm completely behind her back before she let loose. The recipient's knees buckled and down she went. The winner turns around, throws both arms into the air and starts pumping her fists. She hops into a pickup truck and drives away. It was like the Broadway musical version of COPS. No idea what happened to the punchee and didn't hang around to find out.

Well, Dear Reader, that's about it for the vacation. We're talking about going to Mexico next year...Vaya con dios, amigos!

April 28, 2006

Sunny Florida

So I'm in Florida this week, Dear Reader, and it's been an adventure to say the least. Having a great time, wish you were here.

Just wanted to say hi (HI!) and that for some reason, I've passed the 30,000 visitor's mark. I find that highly unusual seeing as how I've posted nothing but drivel for the past 6 or 8 months. For those of you who check here regularly, thanks! and I apologize for the lack of content. As I've said a hundred times before, I'll try and do better. :-)

I'll be home Sunday and I'll give you a full report then.

April 18, 2006

Still here

Hello Dear Reader,

Just wanted you to know that I'm not dead...just boring. Not much has happened in the last few weeks so I haven't had much to write about. I promise to try and do better in the future...although I will be on vacation next week.

It's time for "Gotta Go See Mom 2006", that rip roaring good time when the whole family makes the annual trek to see the maternal unit. The cool part of this trip is that I'm meeting my brother and his family in Dallas, then we're all flying to Florida together. We haven't told my nephew because I wanted to surprise him at the airport. I'm thinking that's going to be pretty cool.

Forgot to mention that I had company this weekend. The 3leggedogs stayed with me this weekend. The ex had surgery on her hand and according to her, they were 'rambunctious' so I picked 'em up Saturday afternoon. It was really cool to have them in the house. It took them an hour or so to relax, but once they did, we had a good time. The neatest part was when Fancy came into my room about 2:30 Sunday morning. For some reason, she has to check on you at night. She hops into the room, nudges you until you pet her for a second, then hops back out. She did that to me and I thought it was really neat. Took them home Sunday afternoon...and the house was a bit too quiet afterwards.

Other than that, Dear Reader, things are about the same as always. Hope things are more lively for you.

April 01, 2006

FORE!

If you're looking for me, I'll be hanging out around Amen Corner. This is going to be so cool.

March 31, 2006

The whole game

I wanted to share something interesting with you, Dear Reader. Well, it's interesting to me, so I hope you find it so.

Some of you may remember that some of my coworkers and I play in a spring basketball league. The league is comprised of current and former employees from my company. This is the 4th year we've been doing it, and this is they year I've enjoyed the most.

We've played two games so far and lost each time. That's not the interesting part...this is. In those two games, I've played all but maybe 3 or 4 minutes. And when I say I'm 'playing' the whole game, that's exactly what I mean. I'm not hanging around under the basket or out on the wing. I'm moving on the court. It's 30 to 45 minutes of sustained physical activity. Sure, I get tired as a mo' fo' out there, but I recover more quickly and continue playing. And best of all? Afterwards, no barfing. :-) Now at first glance, that may not seem like a big deal...however, it's huge when I think back to my last three seasons. And if this reads like I'm bragging...well, it's because I am.

Imagine being the fat guy who's worn out after the first 5 minutes. Imagine being scared that only three players will show up and you'll have to play the entire game. Imagine being relieved that you have to forfeit. That was me. Sometimes it's still me. But last night changed all of that...maybe not completely, but it put a huge hole in the center of those feelings.

I don't know if you can comprehend the enormity of this for me. I don't know if I can accurately describe to you how it feels. I just can't find the words to tell you what it feels like inside when I realize what losing weight and working out has given me. It's a feeling of accomplishment, a feeling of success, and it gives me what I lack most of all...the internal motivation to continue.

I've always been one of those guys that needs external motiviation to accomplish a goal or task. I do it because someone else will be proud of me for doing it or I do it for them. Many times, though, even that doesn't work. I get frustrated or discouraged or both and then quit. As I heard someone say one time, "That boy's got a lot of quit in him". It's true and there's no denying it. The pattern's been repeated countless times in my life. But something so simple as playing an entire 30 minute basketball game goes a long way towards changing all of this.

I'm actually looking forward to our next game, to the next time I can ride my bike, to the next time I go to lift weights or to spin class. Side note: I actually asked the spin instructor to put me through a hill-climbing class this past Tuesday and she did. I loved it. I sweated my chunky little ass off, but enjoyed every minute of it. I am looking forward to physical exertion. Me? Shit, I'd have bet you a million dollars that I'd never utter those words.

The trick is to figure out how to bottle this motivation juice so I can take a swig when I get down. And that's going to happen. No, I'm not being a defeatist, I'm being a realist. I know me and I know I'm going to get down on myself. The trick, folks, is learning to work through that and to kick my own ass back into gear. That will be the hardest part. Of that much I'm sure.

March 27, 2006

Quote of the Day

One of the guys said this today at break:

You wanna know why she's going? I'll give you two words. Boobs.

March 21, 2006

The Bee Man

So how come none of you told me that yellow jackets love holly bushes?

I took a half a day Friday because I was sick of this place...and I have plenty of vacation time. First thing I did was assemble the newest member of the family. Say hello to my new child, Weber. He's such a nice boy.

The instructions say you can put it together in 30 minutes...15 if you're a pro. I must be mentally challenged because it took me an hour and a half. (I would have said "I must be a retard", but of course, that's not politically correct and I don't want to get sued.)

Anyway, when I was done with that, I decided I'd cut the grass...er...weeds. The lawn mower started on the first pull and off we go. Finished the front and side yards and then started the small section to the left of the driveway by the big holly bush. I walked right up to it, shoved the mover underneath to get the grass...er...weeds, and that's when I noticed the bee. Which quickly became two bees. Which then quickly became about 30 or 40 bees. Yeah. Ick.

I read somewhere a long time ago that if you get around bees, you should stand still. I don't remember if it said why you should do that, but it sounded like good advice so that's what I've always done. I killed the mower, stood still as a stone, and tried not to scream like a girl. Dude...I hate bees.

That must have been the longest minute or two of my life...well, that is if you don't count the first time I had sex. The bees decided that a sweaty former Jew didn't taste nearly as good as the flowers so they left me alone. Yeah, I know y'all were waiting for me to get the crap stung out of me, but my Bub didn't raise no fool. Apparently standing still works.

Anybody need two dead holly bushes? Take that bees!

March 13, 2006

You, Madam, are a dumbass

I was at a side client's office last Thursday or Friday, helping them with a small problem. I had to wait around for a while because the software I needed was in another attorney's office. During that time, I heard the following conversation.

Client: Here's the paperwork you needed for my extension.

Attorney: Good. Now are we all set for your court date?

Client: You know, I've been meaning to talk to you about that.

Attorney: Ok. Is there a problem I need to know about?

Client: Oh no! Sorry, it's nothing like that. It's...well...Um. What is the date again?

Attorney: It's next Monday, the 20th.

Client: Awesome! Whew, that's a relief. Thanks!

Attorney: Is that a problem?

Client: Oh no! Not at all. I just kept getting my court date confused with the date of the Motley Crue concert.

March 01, 2006

Technician, heal thyself

Stupid work laptop is giving me disk errors so now I'm scrambling to copy stuff from my hard disk to the network. And it's hard to ask my fellow techies for file server space for my mp3s. Luckily, I can get this stuff off of my iPod if I need to. This is going to be a pain in the ass.

In other news, booked my tickets for Florida today. WAHOO! Brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, and I are making our annual trip to see the Mom. As I've said before, with all of us there at once, it keeps the guilt to a minimum. The cool part is that I'm meeting them in Dallas then we're all flying to Ft Lauderdale together. It's actually cheaper for me to fly to Dallas from Jackson than it is to go to Atlanta. Plus, I think it'll be cool to surprise my nephew at the airport.

February 28, 2006

VoIP phones

I'm thinking of ditching satellite, land line, and DSL connection and moving to cable for internet, tv, and phone service. I'm still doing the numbers, but at first glance, if I use cable tv, cable internet, and Vonage's Basic package, I can save about $30 per month.

The Vonage service gives me quite a few calling features that I don't have currently, including long distance. Cable gives me similar tv channels, a Tivo option, and high-speed internet all in one. I've been really satisfied with satellite and DSL, but saving $30/month is nothing to sneeze at.

Do any of you have phone service through Vonage or your cable provider? If so, what do you think? I've heard good and bad.

February 22, 2006

Open mouth, insert entire body

Not sure if you know this, Dear Reader, but I do side work for a few customers in the area. One is a local doctor's office that I picked up through a co-worker since his wife is the office manager.

I was supposed to go to their office this past Monday to help them with a server issue. The wife calls me mid-afternoon and sounds horrible. She's home sick with a fever so she'll have to postpone. No problem, I tell her, just let me know.

Since I hadn't heard from her, I thought, "What the hell, I'll ask her husband how she's doing". I walk up to his cube:

Me: "Hey, B called me on Monday and said she was sick. Is she feeling any better?"

Him: stares at me.

Me: "She sounded awful. Does she have the flu?"

Him: staring at me

Me: stares at him in return

Him: keeps staring

Me: Thinks to myself, "You know, he hasn't blinked in like two minutes".

Him: still doesn't blink

Me: "Um." I can't stand silence and that seemed like the most noncommittal thing to say.

Him: "I guess you don't know."

Me: "Um." Hell, it worked the first time.

Him: "B walked out on me in August after 35 years of marriage."

Me: "Um." That's the last thing the brain said before it got up and left.

Me: "Um...uh. Um. Um. Whu....Um. Uh." See? I told you the brain left.

Me: "Oh...uh. I think I hear my phone. Be right back." Well, what the fuck would you have done?

Yep, it's true. His wife decided she didn't want to be married anymore and no one bothered to tell me. That figures, though. I'm usually the guy who asks the fat chick if she's pregnant, asks the widow how her husband's doing, or asks the divorced guy if his wife's still sick.

Remind me to tell you about the time I asked a different coworker about his wife during a group lunch with a vendor.

February 19, 2006

Tax time

I thought I'd post this again because my friends and I get a kick out of it every time we see it. This happened about 2 years ago. I was trying to do my taxes and kept running into a problem. Within their help system, Turbo Tax had a support chat option which I decided to use. As you can see, their support staff was a tad bit preoccupied during my call...

Turbo Tax Support2.jpg

February 13, 2006

Funeral for my Youth

My friends had planned to hold a funeral for my Youth, but were unable to do so because of the untimely death of a coworker. They all felt it would have been in bad taste to go through with it and I agree.

They did, however, have a mini funeral complete with old funeral sprays, pictures of the dearly departed youth, and a eulogy. It was really funny. I included a copy of it and some pictures in the extended section because it's kinda long. And yes, the people are my friends. And I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Farewell to thee, O Howie’s youth.

Friends, loved ones, and Marty,

Ludwig van Beethoven once said…
"Friends applaud, the comedy is over."

Who was Howard Gxxxxxx in his youth and vigor? In this time of mourning it is important for all of us to remember, not this frail, hairy little man that we’re left with, but the vital, chubby, little fellow that we all dearly cherished. Jewish by birth, loser by coincidence, friend by experience…Howie’s youth.

Howie’s youth was about love. It leaves a trail of beautiful women…well, women…ok, pictures of women (some video footage), and a legendary collection at that. His youth knew women well. But we know that there are hearts broken because of this loss. From Portland, OR to Columbus, MS, tears are falling, dogs are howling, turtles are, well, turtling and cows are mooing for what was and what could have been. But Howie’s youth did not allow himself to be constrained by a woman’s wiles. He was content to befriend women, opting not to be tied down with futile physical relationships, but to reach higher. He was a friend. Really. Almost always.

Howie’s youth was about strength. He made many athletic accomplishments…well, attempts. Hell, you get the picture. With his partially ridden bikes, his seldom used golf clubs, the almost brand new guitar, the Rio MP3 player that is still in the box, his youth showed the kind of mediocrity that we all only hope to achieve. His dedication to his semi-annual workouts at the gym still inspires us today. His stellar basketball play, to say the least, amazed us. Who could forget his prowess on the softball field? His elegance, grace, and how quickly his bruises healed. Howie’s youth recognized the delicate balance to nature that only a hunter/gatherer could. His deadly eye brought down many a deer, ok a couple, which adds to his lore.

Howie’s youth was about work. Earthshaking decisions. The opening of Pandora’s Box, the swell partnerships, the obvious time and care to which he did his job will not soon be forgotten. His unshakable love for the SFBC Golf Classic would not be disturbed by some severity one help desk. He knew where his loyalties were. Who would dare page me at a golf tournament? Who would dare page me in the middle of the night? Who, I say? Defective equipment! Alas, I turn thee off, o pager, never to live again. His youth had pride in his home. With a love for painting and painting and painting, he leaves us all dumbfounded and teaches us to prioritize our own time carefully.

Howie’s youth was about knowledge and truth. The name Dujou will forever be known in the hallowed halls of Buffalo Wild Wings for the depth of knowledge (useless trivia) he’d mastered. The consumption of countless science fiction novels only served to enhance his understanding of Star Wars and the Matrix. Stephen King was a fan.

Finally, Howie’s youth was about passion. Not afraid to let the world know what he was thinking (or where he was going). He had a love for writing, only a 3leggeddog could understand! Howie’s youth lived hard and died the same way. Just look at the love he held for his LSU Tigers. Undeniable, undying he hardly ever rooted against them. That was just the way it was. Never wavering. He ate with passion, he slept with passion, and he drank cider with a passion. Need I say more?

So today, friends, our young, fat friend may be leaving us, but we’ll always have the memories. I beseech you to look for the youth in yourselves and be true to it. Don’t waste it away but instead, hop on that mountain bike that is life and make that next mile, or in the case of Howie’s youth, the next couple of yards.

God Bless.

These two images have been photoshopped...I swear


February 12, 2006

The Big Four Oh

Today I turn 40. I don't feel 40, I've been told I don't look 40, and I don't act 40...hell, I'm lucky if I act 15 at times. To me, it's just a number, but it still doesn't look right. I just find it hard to believe that I'm here...The Big Four Oh.

In the words of the immortal Jerry Garcia, "Whoa-oh, what I want to know-oh, where does the time go?"

February 07, 2006

Read. The. Cake.

If there's a birthday cake on your desk with the words "Happy Birthday Lisa" written in big, red letters, why does everyone keep asking, "Hey, who's birthday?".

February 02, 2006

Randomness

OK...So I'm not updating worth a crap. Sorry, but I seem to have lost the, uh, urge to write. Never fear though...I go through urge stages. I will come around again. In the meantime, here's some random stuff.

Total weight lost as of today: 27 pounds. Twenty-seven freakin' pounds. Do you hear me? TWENTY SEVEN! I cannot believe that I have stuck with something this long...and lost (say it with me) TWENTY-SEVEN FREAKIN' POUNDS!

Not sure if I told you, but I had some pants hemmed because I could finally fit into them. Now they have to be taken in at the waist...and I need two new belts. I feel stupid walking around with them on the last notch.

Tueday, I start as a volunteer at the local Ronald McDonald House. As some of you might know, I've been doing their computer support for several years and decided I needed to do more. Not sure what I'll be doing, but I did make sure to tell them I don't do windows.

The brother's family and I are planning our yearly trek to Israel West, or what some of you call Florida. It's time to see the maternal unit. We stayed at a great place last year, but I can't remember the name. This year, we're staying here. At least this year, I'll want to go to the beach. You know, since I'm a hottie and all.

That's about it, Dear Reader. Life is boring, but it could be worse. Till next time.

January 25, 2006

Howard Van Halen

Had my first group guitar lesson Monday night and it was a blast. I'm taking from a local musician named Sherman Lee Dillon who makes guitar playing seem easy. After one night, I can play Skip to my Lou, Jambalaya, and Margaritaville. Now, I can't play them well or quickly, but you can tell what it is I'm playing.

Just think, when I'm on Headbanger's Ball, you'll be able to say you knew me when.

January 16, 2006

New Year's resolutions and #300

Welcome to my 300th post. I am both shocked and amazed that I actually made it this far. To some, 300 is nothing...to me, it's something, considering my recent brain cramp and lack of postings.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have stuck with me through most, if not all, of my ramblings. Some of you have read all 300 bits of fluff that have emanated from my head. Some of you have even been with me since my Typepad blog. To those brave souls, I humbly apologize and ask forgiveness for cluttering up your brain with my ramblings.

It's interesting to note that this post also ushers in something new for me. New Year's Resolutions. I've never done this before, but hey, it's never too late to start. They are in no particular order:

  • Get organized:
    • Folders for bills (Feb 16, 2005)
    • Folders for receipts (categorized by budget items) (Feb 16, 2005)
    • Reminders for billing dates (as bills come due until completed)

  • Practice guitar 30-45 minutes per day


    • Learn one song per month after guitar class ends February 13th.

  • Go to the gym 3 times a week
  • Ride bike 3 times a week

  • Cook 3 times per week
  • Attend and complete POPC Inquirer's class

Well, friends, those are the goals for 2006. Wish me luck...and keep your checkbooks handy...I'll need to raise some money for the MS150. :-)

January 13, 2006

Do they really read these things?

Since today's Friday, I thought I'd have some fun with problem resolutions. A user was getting prompted for a userid/password to get into our intranet. That's not supposed to happen. I talked to the main intranet guru and she gave me the answer. I, of course, input the following resolution into our help desk system:

Rachel knew the answer. If you go into Control Panel, then User Accounts, there's a Manage Password option. When you click it, the intranet site appears under "Manage Passwords". Delete that entry and viola (that's French for Shazam!). The user will no longer be prompted for userid/password.

It ain't much, but it's a start.

January 10, 2006

My animal personality

Horse
What Is Your Animal Personality?

brought to you by Quizilla

What a year

2005 will go down as "Howard's Year of Change". I made more changes this year than in any other time in my life.

  • Became a Christian
  • Lost 18 pounds of unwanted me
  • Bought my very own house
  • Painted my very own house
  • Lived on a real, live budget

They don't look like much, but for me, those are huge changes. I continue to change every day. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you step outside of your comfort zone. The best part, though, is finding the support system that allows you to do just that.

Thank you, Support System, for helping me, guiding me, and getting on my ass when I didn't do what I said I'd do. I could not have done this alone and will be forever grateful for your assistance. And you're right...I'm finally becoming a finisher. And it feels wonderful.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go eat a can of tuna. MMMMM!!!!

January 05, 2006

December 30, 2005

Happy New Year

Yes, I'm still here, but not writing or doing much. I promise more after the New Year. A Happy New Year to all of you who still drop by.

And if any of you happen to be Miami fans...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! We kicked your ass on national TV. Number 9 in the country? Puh-lease. GEAUX TIGERS!

December 15, 2005

A Singin'

I just came back from what my ex-wife's Uncle TJ would call "a singin'". Basically, a singin' is where you get quite a few folks together, then sit around to play music and sing. This singin' included 4 guitars, one mandolin, one violin (or fiddle in this case), and quite a few singers. It was a lot of fun.

To me, the most fun was watching my friend's 13 yr. old daughter play my guitar. She told me last Sunday that she has to play in front of the Youth Group this week and was lamenting that her guitar didn't sound to good. I offered to loan her mine, which, although it isn't a high-dollar guitar, does sound quite good. She was so excited about it that it really made me feel good. I brought it to her this evening so she could play it at the singin'.

There is nothing quite like the delight I get from seeing others enjoying themselves. She just couldn't get over how good it sounded and practically carried it around her neck the whole evening. If I didn't know that she was getting a very nice guitar for Christmas, I would have let her keep this one as long as she wanted. I did tell her she could keep it until I got back from Colorado since I wouldn't be using it. I can't tell you how good it made me feel to watch her play it and to see her smile. And, truth be told, she plays much better than I.

I am toying with the idea of picking it up again and really trying to learn to play, but we shall see. Maybe I can get her to teach me. :-)

December 05, 2005

That's my Boy!

My sister-in-law emailed this to me the other day. I thought it was awesome and wanted to share it. They were driving home from day care when this conversation took place.

Mom: "Look, Brian, you can see a deer's antlers in the back of that pickup truck."
Brian: "Oh. Is it dead?"
Mom: "Umm, yes."
Brian: "Did the driver kill it?"
Mom (suddenly wishing she hadn't pointed it out): "Umm, yes. He was hunting and killed the deer."

... Pause...

Brian: "Where did he hunt? There are no forests around here!"
Mom: "Maybe he went hunting in Kansas and is driving home now."
Brian: "Oh."

... Pause...

Brian: "Why did he kill the deer?"
Mom (now REALLY wishing she hadn't pointed it out): "Well, honey, some
people hunt deer so they can have the meat. Do you remember the deer
sausage Uncle Howard sent us that was so yummy?"
Brian: "Yes. Did Uncle Howard kill the deer?"
Mom: "Yes. He did."

... Pause...

Mom (glancing into the back seat expecting to see tears, but seeing a puzzled face on Brian): "What are you thinking?"
Brian: "Mom, how old do I have to be until I can go hunting with Uncle Howard?"

November 28, 2005

Who'd a thunk it?

So, uh, I actually LOST 5 1/2 pounds over the Thanksgiving holiday.

When you don't get leftovers, it makes it pretty simple. How, you say, did I not get leftovers? Easy. When my Stepmom didn't finish her meal, my Dad was quick to say, "Don't throw it out. Since the leftovers are ours, just put the stuffing back into the bowl as well as the mashed potatoes." That, my friends, is how you don't get leftovers.

November 27, 2005

Getting involved

I went hunting this past weekend and although I didn't see any deer, I did do a lot of thinking. It's amazing what you can work out in your head when you're sitting on a little piece of plywood that's nailed to the top of a 25ft ladder. Since you're sitting still for so long, the only muscle you can excercise is your brain. Some may argue that sitting on a piece of plywood 25ft in the air is a sign of little brain activity, but we'll leave that discussion for another day.

I came to the conclusion, Dear Reader, that it's time for me to become active outside of work. I'm convinced that the reason I became so lonely is that I have no other social activities besides work. (Yes, I know work is not a normal social activity, but when your coworkers are also your friends, it does become social.) This 10-day period is the first time that I've ever taken vacation with no where to go or spent this long of a time period on my own. I'm not complaining, however, because I know several people who would kill for even a few days of "ME" time. I'm just making the point that I am a social person and need interaction with others.

The problem I'm going to have, however, is that I tend to be more of a starter than a finisher. I'm hoping that by having others rely on me to complete these tasks, be it volunteer work or some other task, that I'll slowly become a finisher. I'm well aware of the fact that this won't happen over night, but past experience has shown that I finish my task more often when I'm doing work for others. Plus, I truly enjoy helping others and there is no better way to do this than to volunteer.

I've thought of several groups for which I'd like to volunteer or to get more involved. First is the church that I've been attending, Pear Orchard Presbyterian. I don't know in what capacity I might get involved, but I do know that this is something I want and need to do. I am getting quite a bit out of the church and it only seems fair to give something in return.

The second group is the alumni association at Millsaps College. I didn't do as well as I could have for various reasons, but I am grateful to the professors there for teaching me to think and to reason on my own. They gave me the tools to succeed instead of spoon-feeding me useless facts and for that I am forever grateful.

The third group is the local Ronald McDonald House. I've been their 'computer guy' for quite a few years, but haven't checked in on them in quite a while. I'd kept the computers running for the office staff but haven't had much involvement since my divorce. I do keep in contact with the Executive Director and am going to call her to find out how I can help.

I may also check into doing more with the local Habitat For Humanity group. I've done several builds and am willing to help any organization that both allows and encourages me to use power tools. :-)

I have set a fairly large agenda for myself with these groups and again, being more of a starter than a finisher, I am concerned about being able to complete what I've started. However, I have always been more successful when I lend my talents to helping others than when I decide to help myself. I want to believe though, Dear Reader, that by helping others I will also be helping myself. We shall see.

November 24, 2005

Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Reader. Off to my Dad's for turkey and football. Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday.

Howard, Trey, and Fancy

November 20, 2005

Lonely

I posted the other day about how I thought something was wrong with me, not physically, but something I couldn't quite put my finger on. I ended up deleting it because it was crap. I know what's bothering me, I guess I just didn't want to admit it. I'm lonely. I think it's that simple, really. I always said that I didn't mind being alone, I just didn't want to be lonely. Well...I think I'm there.

Sure, I have friends, but they're married and have families of their own to deal with. Fortunately, I have a very good friend who lives not too far from me and they invite me for dinner quite often, which I really enjoy. Unfortunately, I can't spend all my time there and I don't want to, either. I'm not much of a 'bar person' so I usually end up going home and doing something on my own. So most nights after work I come home, eat dinner, and read or watch a movie or a little tv. That's not a great way to meet people, I know, but I'm not sure how to go about it.

I guess the holidays brought this on, but I really don't know. Maybe after almost 3 years on my own, I've finally gotten to the point where being alone most of the time is hard. I'm taking the week off this week and I'm not looking forward to it. Well, that's not true. Part of me is, but the other part keeps reminding me that for most of the day every day, it'll just be me.

I used to love being by myself, but maybe the novelty of it is wearing off. I don't mean to whine to you, Dear Reader, but there's not many people I can share this with. I find it quite easy to help others deal with their problems, but I have a hard time opening up about my own. I know I've mentioned this before, but growing up, I was the family shrink and listened to everyone else's problems. I just never got to share mine with anyone and I'm still like that. Don't misunderstand, Dear Reader, I truly enjoy helping others and I take great pride in the fact that people trust me enough to tell me what's going on in their lives. Listening to them has never been a burden to me and I like to think that I help in my own special way. In other words, if you and I have spoken about things going on in your life, please don't think I'm telling you to stop, because I'm not.

I try and put up a strong front, but sometimes I just want to tell someone how I feel and have them listen. The hard part is that I don't want to burden others with my complaints. People have their own problems to deal with and I just don't feel comfortable adding mine to theirs. I think that's part of what got me interested in going to church. It's having someone to listen to me whenever I care to speak to them.

November 15, 2005

Hmm...An artificial dog leg

Wonder if the three-leggers would be interested in this?

November 14, 2005

Boredom

This is what happens when you're supposed to be painting, but aren't. If you hum, "These are a few of my favorite things" then read this, it might make it better.

There’s washing and sanding and re-moving wall plates
Sockets to change out and trim that needs taping
Drop cloths to spread out and joints that need caulking
These are the things that I hate when painting.

There’s ladders to climb up and down quite a lot
Do you paint when it’s cold or should it be hot
Spilling the paint where the drop cloth is not
These are the things that I hate when painting

The color is lighter that I thought it’d be
Will it take one coat or two coats or three
Why does the paint always end up on me
These are the things that I hate when painting

November 08, 2005

The Sun and Moon

My sister-in-law just IM'd me to let me know that my nephew got in trouble at school today. Apparently, he mooned several of his classmates at recess. He will be 5 on Sunday.

Finally, all of my hardwork and dedication is paying off. Next? Spit balls.

November 01, 2005

Sort of

Yeah, I'm still here, but I find it increasingly difficult to write. Well, not the actual act of writing, but content seems to be lacking. I write, think it's a pile of crap and fling it off the screen.

I'm thinking of taking the geek noir post and expanding it, but I'm having trouble making it work.

Painting will begin soon on the house. Every room in the house plus trim will be painted. Did I mention I hate painting? I'll post before and after pics.

Just a tip...if you have a plumbing problem and you want to fix it yourself, check online first. I had a leaky faucet in my bathroom and my Pops and I tried to fix it. Didn't succeed. I tried to fix it by replacing another part. Didn't succeed. Googled the problem, bought $3.46 worth of parts. Success. I guess I'll write of the other $21.59 in parts as 'upgrades'.

I've been going to the gym 3 to 4 times a week since the first of October. I'm down about 6 or 7 pounds. I only have 33 more to go before February 12, 2006, my 40th birthday. Yep, I'll be 40. Shit, it seems like a week ago I was wondering if I would ever get any hair, uh, down there. When I look in the mirror now, I see it down there, over there, in there, back there, and several other there's I never even thought about. Am I complaining? Nah. Maybe just a little whining.

One tip and then I'll let you go. If you buy a 15 yr old house and the former occupants leave you the fridge, don't move the fridge. Ever Ev-er. You will see things behind it that no man or woman was ever meant to see. Personally, I think life was created not by God, but by the stuff that fell behind God's refrigerator.

October 26, 2005

A Geek Rant

OK, I'll admit it. I am a computer snob. If I don't think you know what you're talking about and you think you do, I can be somewhat rude about it. For instance:

A law firm for which I do some side work just took on a new attorney who has his own computer guy. This guy says he doesn't know much about computers and he's 100% correct. He doesn't know dick. How do I know that? Well, the computer guy spent over $1000 on a server (which he leased) when all he needed was an external hard drive, which runs about $120. And what makes me so sure that that's all he needs? Because he told me this morning that he's going to use the server unit as a storage device. This, my friends, pissed me off. Why? I'll tell you.

I've always worked under the premise that 'if you don't need it, don't buy it'. This, of course, does not apply to my personal life, but has always in business. I constantly try to save money by coming up with ways to reuse equipment, find cheaper equipment, or just do without, and it bugs the shit out of me when someone takes advantage of his employer. And in this case, I think the attorney is being taken advantage of because he doesn't need a server. Not at all.

I guess the other thing that irritates me is that the computer leased the server. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that you don't lease servers. Why? Well, once you get something like this working, it's not easy to install a replacement, especially if this is the only server in your organization. In my opinion, it becomes too valuable a device to have to start worrying about shipping it back in a few years. Leasing regular workstations is a better option. they can be rotated through an organization more easily than a server. I don't recommend it because we're simply not outgrowing processors like we used to. PCs can go for several years without becoming obsolete simply because we can now shove a ton of RAM and hard disk space in them.

Anyway...I'm just irked that the attorney paid about 10 times more than he needed to and there's really nothing I can do about it. It's not my place to question him or his computer guy. Rest assured Dear Reader, that should I have the opportunity to express my feelings, I will do so. With gusto!

Promise me something, Dear Reader. If you're going to order equipment and you have no idea what you're doing, contact me. I'll help you any way I can. That way, I won't make fun of you when you order shit you don't need.

October 24, 2005

A memo

TO: The inventor of the Elliptical trainer

FROM: Howard

You, sir, are an evil-minded bastard to create such a device as this. It should be banned by nations around the world as a torture device.

October 23, 2005

A moral lecture? From you?

You know, there are times when I wish my parents would just keep quiet and leave me alone, especially my Dad. I’m so sick and tired of hearing his ‘morals’ lecture that I could just scream. Ever since I told him that I’d started doing a bible study, every few weeks or so he tells me that he’s worried about my decision because of problems he sees with my morals.

The thing that pisses me off the most is that this lecture is coming from someone who’s had questionable morals his whole life, even before he became Christian. It’s like being told not to murder by Charles Manson. Yes, that is an extreme example, but it fits. I’m being told not to do X or that I can’t be a Christian until I stop doing X because it’s hypocritical. It’s hypocritical because he’s saying, in effect, that I can’t get baptized until I stop doing something with is wrong in the eyes of God. What I fail to make him understand is that there will NEVER be a time that everything I do is right and proper. It’s not possible. But he doesn’t see it that way and continues to lecture me on it.

Let me tell you something about my Dad. I love the guy, but he is certainly not the person to lecture me on morals. I’m not going to get into the family history or any bullshit like that, but I will share a few things with you. I have to. I have to get this off my chest so I can stop thinking about it.

My Dad’s issues have always been about money. When he first moved to MS, I used my good credit with the utility companies to setup his local and long distance phone service, water, and electricity so he’d not have to pay deposits. Well, imagine my surprise when I find out that a collection agency is after me because of bills that my Dad didn’t pay. Since I used my Social Security number to set them up, I was ultimately responsible for them. It’s not that he couldn’t pay; it’s that he refused to pay because of some warped ideas in his head. When I told him what was going on, his comment was, “Just tell them it wasn’t you and don’t worry about it. I’m not paying them.” To say I was pissed off and completely floored by this is an understatement of epic proportions. As it turns out, I had to fight BellSouth and MCI for 6 months to get this bullshit straightened out. And you know what? My Dad never blinked an eye at it. It’s like it never happened.

Dad also recently filed bankruptcy because he owed quite a bit on money on his credit cards. We’re talking in the 6 figure range. Why? Well, you may not believe this, but it’s because they wanted him to pay. Yep, they wouldn’t work with him to adjust his interest rate so he said ‘fuck you’ and filed to have his debts wiped clean. At first, I felt sorry for him, because he can’t seem to get a break when it comes to money. But then, after thinking about it for a while, I realized that the only reason he was in this mess was because he continued to buy shit knowing he couldn’t pay for it. I’m not talking about food, clothing, or shelter, I’m talking about tools and books and yard equipment and stereo equipment and more tools and more tools. If he’d been in this situation because he needed his cards to live, then hell yeah I’d feel differently, but not now. This, in my opinion, is stealing. You bought something knowing you couldn’t pay for it and when it came time to do so, you said to hell with it. I’m going to wipe the debt away and it’s all legal.

You see, Dear Reader, this is the problem I have with being given a moral lecture from this man. Again, he’s my Dad and I’ll always love him for that, but how dare he tell me I can’t become a Christian because of ‘moral issues’. And the more I think about it, the angrier I get. I tried to nap, but couldn’t because this whole conversation kept running through my head. And I’m still mad.

October 18, 2005

I go to skool

When I went to the gym at lunch, I noticed some writing on the windows of a coworker's car. Apparently, homecoming for their child's high school was this past weekend since several references were made to it. I found this one most interesting:

Sophmores Rule!!

Maybe they should work on spelling instead of ruling?

October 10, 2005

Modern Technology

Does Tivo'ing the Sunday morning Methodist church service count as actually going to church?

October 06, 2005

My decision

Well, Dear Reader, after much thought, probably more thought than I've ever put into anything, I made a decision. This past Friday, September 30th, I became a Christian.

I've not told anyone in my family except for my Dad. He converted several years ago so I knew he would understand my reasons. He was very supportive and seemed really happy for me. I will tell my brother when I see him in December. I don't know if I'll ever tell my Mom.

It's funny. I went to Church with a friend of mine last night. Folks down here are big on Wednesday night church. I don't know why, but I'm sure I'll learn. It's more of a study time than an actual worship service. You gather at the church, eat supper, then move into study classes. No, that's not the funny part. The funny part was when they introduced me to another guy who used to be Jewish. We said 'hi', I found out he was from Philly, and that's about it. I'm not sure if they thought we'd hit it off or something or we'd have this whole "You used to be a Jew? Wow! So was I!" kinda conversation, but it didn't happen. To be honest, the guy was kind of a schlub. A nice guy, but still kinda schlubby.

I'll write more about this later. Gotta run. Just wanted you to know what was going on around here.

September 26, 2005

Boys have a penis, Girls have a vagina

The conversation in the breakroom went something like this:

Billy: Hey Howard, you're a Jew, right?

I have never been comfortable being referred to as a Jew. I'd much rather be asked if I'm "Jewish". Sure, it's a semantic difference, but it still bothers me. The way he said it put me on the defensive immediately.

ME: Uh, well, my family is Jewish but I never paid much attention to it. Why?

Billy: Well, I wanted to ask you a question about it and thought you might be able to help.

ME: OK, I'll try. I can't promise you anything because I flunked 'Jew 101' way back when.

Billy: Uh. Yeah. Anyway. I know that circumcision is part of the Covenant...

ME: (holds up his hands) WHOA! WHOA! Hang on there, Dude. I have no idea why we do that. I just know that it's done at birth and we have a big party. Other than that, I have no idea.

Billy: I understand. I was just wondering what they do for the girls.

ME: For girls? Uh, I don't think we do anything for them. Yeah, I'm pretty sure there's nothing like that for girls. (pause pause) Um...Billy...you, uh, well, you know girls don't have penises, right?

Billy: (flustered and red-faced) Well, yeah, um, yeah, I, uh, sure I know that girls don't have them.

He turns around, walks out of the breakroom, and 3 seconds later I hear his office door slam shut.

I walk out smiling. Call me a Jew again and see what happens.

September 25, 2005

Profession of Faith

This might get religiousy, so I thought I'd give you the option of passing...

Before I continue, let me say this. I am not now nor shall I ever be a bible-thumping, fire and brimstone speaking, stereotypical religious zealot. I won't tell you your going to Hell for not believing or for being bad or for whatever. I won't preach to you (although I have been told that I can be preachy), I won't minister to you, I won't do anything like that. Your beliefs, convictions, ideals, or whatever are yours and yours alone. For me, finding religion changes nothing on the outside, but it makes big changes on the inside. I am writing this to tell you, Dear Reader, that religion, specifically Christianity, means something to me now.

I've been thinking about the Profession of Faith a lot lately, to the point that I sometimes give myself a headache. For those of you who are unfamiliar with a 'profession of faith', it refers to making a statement whereby you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. No, I've not done this, but I've thought about it. A lot.

You see, I would never be confused with someone who was religious. I'm not anti religion, it's just never been a part of my life. Although both sides of my family are Jewish and I profess to being a Jew, I can't really say I am one. Being Jewish was thrust upon me, if you will, the day my parent's divorce became final. I went to bed having no religious affiliation and woke up a Jew. No, I'm not kidding. As a matter of fact, my real last name should be Goldberg, but my Dad changed it way back when.

For my Mom, growing up Jewish was a good thing, for my Dad, not so good. As a result, neither my brother nor I knew anything about being Jewish until the divorce. We celebrated Easter and Christmas, but it was secular, not religious celebration. I knew my Bubbie didn't do these things, but I don't remember if I ever knew why. Religion in my house, pre divorce, didn't exist. Post divorce, we were thrown into the middle of it. And I fought it, not because I didn't want to be Jewish, but because I had no idea what was going on. I meant it literally when I said I woke up and was a Jew.

As a result, I know almost nothing about what it means to be Jewish. I went to Hebrew school 3 times a week for close to 3 years and learned to read Hebrew. I couldn't translate it, but I could sure read it. I had a Bar Mitzvah, but that's just because it's what you did in my hometown when you turned 13. I did the entire service in Hebrew and have no idea at all of what I said. To me, that's really sad. I guess it's because I just didn't give a shit and was only doing it because it was expected of me. Now that I'm older, I find myself wanting to learn, but not about being Jewish.

I've been doing an on-again/off-again Bible study with my good friend Jack. The reason I asked him to help me was for several reasons, 1) He knows a tremendous amount about the Bible, 2) I knew he wouldn't laugh at my sheer ignorance, and 3) He is passionate in his Belief. I made the right choice.

At first, I was interested in learning about the Bible from Genesis to Revelations, but Jack didn't do it that way. I started learning about Christianity, which really wasn't my intent, but then I became interested in it. Really interested. Jack opened my eyes to a lot of things, but the part that struck me about this was he answered questions that he couldn't possibly know I had, because I'd never told him about them. He explained about sin, and the nature of man, and how it's possible to be Christian and to still be human, how good works alone cannot save you. The things he spoke about made sense to me, they made me think, and they helped me to see that being a Christian was 180 degrees from what I thought it meant. The thing that I got out of meeting with him is that for the first time in my life, religion made sense to me. Having faith in something you couldn't see or touch or smell always eluded me, but now I understand that it's possible.

Over the years, I've thought about making a Profession of Faith, but the reasons for doing it were not because I believed, but because I would be accepted. It was for the glad handing and the back slapping at the front of the Church, for the feeling of being wanted and accepted, but I knew those weren't the right reasons. For those reasons, I won't do it in front of an audience in Church, I'll do it surrounded by a few close friends who mean a lot to me and who'll know the reasons for it.

When will I do it? I don't know. I'm concerned about my family's reaction, specifically my Mom's. In the past, when I've told my Mom about major decisions in my life, her reaction has been less than joyful. When I told her I was moving to California to work for my Dad, she said a few choice words and hung up on me. When I told her I was getting married in a church because that's where the ex wanted to have it, she said, "What will my friend's think?" then hung up on me...and didn't talk to me for two weeks. Will I allow her reaction to stop me from making this decision? No, not at all. It hasn't in the past and it won't now. If she doesn't like it, she has two choices...she can get past it and accept it, or she can have one son...my brother. It's her choice.

The thing I want you to understand about all of this is that the decision will be mine and mine alone. No one will pressure me or coerce me into doing it...it'll be all me. I've shared alot with you, Dear Reader, over the last two years and although I don't normally talk about religion, I thought you might be interested in this. It's a huge step for me, but it feels right, and that's what counts.

September 21, 2005

Roll Tide!

In case you're wondering, Dear Reader, I will be here watching the Tide crush the bacon out of the Arkansas Razorpigs. No, I'm not a big Alabama fan, but the guy I'm going with is and I always cheer for the team of the ticket buyer. Just seems prudent since Jackson is a L O N G walk from Tuscaloosa.

In other news, I'm trying to teach myself how to code. I've decided to learn HTML and ASP. Not sure why really, other than I have a great idea for turning our paper inventory system into an automated system. At the rate I'm going, I'll be finished about a week before I retire. I'm not a coder, so this is hard for me, but hell, I got nothing else to do. I'll let you know how it goes.

And that, Dear Reader, is about all that's happening in my neck of the woods. Well, I did see some dumbf*cks lining up at the gas pumps this afternoon. According to the latest rumors, a hit on Galveston is going to decimate the countries' oil supply and within a week we'll be riding bikes to work. Calm the f*ck down, people. Now is not the time to panic. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go pump up the tires on my bike.

September 18, 2005

A glass full of teeth

Dear Home Depot,

I have been a huge fan of your store ever since it came to my humble little town. I have bought 2 lawnmowers, 3 weed whackers, tools, lightbulbs, weed killer, lumber, ceiling fans, light fixtures, plants, and assorted other items over the years and have enjoyed the countless hours within your walls. To me, you're even more fun than being in Victoria's Secret because people don't look at me strangely when I'm in your store by myself, and I actually know people who use what they've bought from you. Unfortunately, I do have one small complaint, though.

It's like this, Home Depot. I have never asked anything of you other than to provide me with low prices and good merchandise, which you've done countless times. Today, I'm asking for something in return. It's not a monetary thing. I'm not asking you to stock something out of the ordinary. I don't want a coupon or a discount or a deal. What I want is simple. I want the cashier known as "Kathy" to put in her teeth while she's working.

Yes, that's right, Home Depot, I'm asking that this nice woman (and she is very nice) wear teeth during working hours. No, I don't expect her to rip open packages with them or to use them to bite off tags, I just don't want to see an all-gums smile that early in the morning. Watching her lower lip flap in the wind like a skin flag is enough to make me hurl. And please don't make me describe how I feel when I see her tongue slither out from between those rubbery lips like a pink, pointy-headed snake. I just can't do it.

Like I said, Home Depot, I love your store and enjoy giving you my business, but I just can't take any more of that flap-lipped woman. I'm sure if you spoke to her nicely about it, she'd go home, open her fridge, remove the glass full of teeth from the top shelf, and slip them on. Tell her it's an OSHA rule or something that all employees must wear teeth during working hours. I don't care how you do it, but please, Home Depot, make Miss Kathy wear her teeth.

Respectfully,
Howard

September 16, 2005

My Mother would be proud

I went to church services with a good friend of mine Wednesday night. I sat in on what could best be described as a beginner's class. I'm afraid, however, that I have much further to go than most. Why? When the minister said that Jesus refers to himself as "I am" seven different times in the Bible, such as "I am the way, the truth, and the life", then asked for other examples, the only thing I could think of was...I am the eggman, they are the eggmen, I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.

I hope there are air conditioners in Hell.

September 15, 2005

Consolidation

Well, it finally happened. I am able to consolidate my entire credit card debt onto a single card...for 1.9% interest for the life of the transfer. The good part is that I will be saving a huge chunk of change in interest payments. The bad news is that it'll take me close to 3 years to pay off the debt. Yes, I know...I'm a dumbass for getting this far into debt. Believe me, no one is beating myself up worse than me. The good thing is that I've finally gotten a handle on why I spent so much money.

I figured out one day that buying stuff made me happy when I was in a bad mood or depressed. I guess I'd always known that, but the difference this time was that I realized that I didn't stay happy for long. When that "happiness" wore off, I'd buy something else. It became a pattern. What I failed to grasp, however, was that the happiness wore off quickly because 1) it didn't really make me happy and 2) seeing my debt build up killed my buzz even more quickly. It became a cycle of buy, get happy, lose happy, buy, get happy, lose happy, and so on. That, my friends, is how a single guy like me got into serious credit card debt.

With the help of a very good friend, I am now attempting to operate under a real, live budget. This friend recently lit a huge fire under my ass, which got me motivated. Since Tuesday, I've consolidated all debt onto a single card, closed and cut up the remaining cards, and will run a 'cash only' existence. This is going to be tough because I've never done it before and it's a completely new way of thinking. My friend is very good at this, though, and has assured me that it'll be entirely possible, with some practice. And, to be honest, I'm looking forward to this. I've had few challenges in my life lately and this is going to be a big one. I'd like to publicly say thank you, Friend, for getting me motivated. You get all the credit for this one. :-)

In other news, not much happening around here, which is why you haven't heard from me. Went to a friend's church last night and found it very interesting. More on that later, maybe. Gotta get back to work right now.

We'll chat more later.

September 07, 2005

Helping the animals

Thanks to Helen and Paul, the three-leggers and I can do our part to aid in the disaster. You'll notice the new link to the ASPCA site for helping the pets of Katrina. If you can, please donate.

I'll be taking food to our local animal shelter once I get back on Tuesday.

September 02, 2005

Katrina

This was my first hurricane and was it ever a motherfucker. I’ve been in thunderstorms, snow storms, hail storms, Nor’easters, and even a few shitstorms, but they were nothing compared to this bitch. I’m typing this from the office and it’s about 9:30 Friday night. My group is on rotating 12-hour shifts for the next several days to keep our claims center up and running. I work for a large regional insurance company that has a big presence in MS and LA. We may have handled close to 10,000 claims already and if the center goes down, we’re in deep doodie, so I’ll be sleeping up here tonight.

I’ve had to ask people several times what day it is because I honestly can’t remember. They’ve blurred into this fuzzy picture of long hours, horrendous destruction, and overwhelming change. And please, don’t get me started on the looters…I agree with our governor, they should be handled ‘ruthlessly’ and without mercy (that last part is mine).

Anyway, I thought I’d share with you my hurricane story. It’s not much, but it’s something to share nonetheless.

For hours, I did nothing but walk from the back door to the front window to the office window to my bedroom window…hitting all corners of the house to make sure nothing was being torn apart. I watched the trees in the back yard lean over like they wanted to kiss the ground. I watched my Bradford pear tree bend over like a two-dollar hooker, only to stick straight up when the wind died down. Several times I thought my fence was going to fly away, but it stayed put, although it is now a little bent.

The worst part, besides the 80 mph winds and the tornado sirens, was the waiting. You couldn’t do anything but wait. You could try and eat, but my stomach was in knots so that was out. You could try and sleep, but hell that sure wasn’t going to happen. All you could do was wait and watch the news. It got worse when the power out and the sun went down.

The winds were pretty steady through most of the night. Once the power went out, I tried to read. Thank goodness for Stephen King. If anyone can take my mind somewhere else, it’s him. I would disappear for about 15 minutes at a time, only to be brought back by the wind. And my house creaking. That, my friends, is a scary fucking sound.

Believe it or not, I had to leave my house and head into the office about 9:00 p.m. because someone in Texas couldn’t get an ftp job to work. They called our CEO about it and the shit rolled downhill till it landed on my buddy and me. We had to go out, in the freakin’ hurricane, to fix an ftp job. If I ever find out who called this in, I’m going to personally drive over there and kick them in the nuts. Twice.

Our normal 15 minute drive took us close to an hour. I wasn’t scared, but let’s just say that I was puckered tight enough to bend quarters. We had to back track and start over again twice due to downed trees or downed power lines and almost ran into a tree surrounded by power lines. It was an adventure, to say the least. Fortunately, we were able to pass the time by coming up with creative ways to kick the bastard who caused this in the nuts.

When we arrived, the building was pitch black, although I could hear the generator running which meant my computers were still working. Turns out a mild power surge happened when the gennie kicked in, causing a reboot of our machines. It took about an hour to pinpoint the problem, and then we hung around to bring everything else back up. I got back to my house about 11:30, packed a bag with flashlight in mouth, and stayed with my buddy and his family since they had power.

As we drove into work the next morning, it was pretty surreal. The roads were paved with green leaves, twigs, branches, and in some cases, whole trees pulled up at roots. We saw half an oak tree buried in the roof of one brand-new home, which happened to be unoccupied. On our campus alone, we must have lost close to a dozen trees. Traffic lights were out all over the place, but folks were smart and remembered to at least slow down before blowin’ through the intersection.

We saw roofs blown off, awnings stripped of their cloth, trees toppled, utility poles snapped like toothpicks, and even a building that had been wiped out. What we got was mild compared to the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. I cannot conceive of winds blowing steadily at 120 mph. My mind just won’t allow it. Stick your face out a car window doing 60, then imagine going twice as fast. Bet you can’t do it either.

Katrina has changed the lives of so many people that I thank God that my family and I came through it with almost no damage. I lost a few small trees that I was going to get rid of anyway, but other than that, my life continues as it did before. It’s weird, but I have a strange feeling of guilt for my good fortune. I’m going to try and turn that into something positive by doing what I can to help others. You should to. There are many places accepting donations and I ask that you give whatever you can, no matter how small. We're going to need all the help we can get.

August 28, 2005

Katrina, Katrina, Go AWAY!

In case you're wondering, I'm in Jackson.

UPDATE: Wow. This place looks like a war zone, but thankfully everyone of my friends and family are ok. I'll post more when I get a chance. I have some things to share, but it'll have to wait.

UPDATE...Latest satellite picture. We're getting lots of wind now. Forecasters are calling for gusts in the 70-80 mph range, which is enough to knock over trees and cause roof damage. My company is closing at noon and then I'm headed home. I have batteries, canned food, candles, two flashlights, water, and a full tank of gas. Oh, and two fifths of Crown Royal and one fifth of Kettle One vodka.

Keep your fingers crossed, this could be ugly. And say a quick prayer for folks on the Gulf Coast and in Louisiana. They're getting hammered.

map_spectrop07_ltst_6nh_enus_600x405.jpg

August 20, 2005

Randomness

1. If you have a three-legged cat, what would you name it?

2. I can't paint worth shit. Using my fingers or a brush looks exactly the same.

3. A friend wants to start a blog and asked me for suggestions. Which site(s) would you recommend to a beginner? Not sure if I could host it off of mine here, but if that's possible, someone let me know.

4. Suggestions are being taken on how to keep a dog from crapping in my yard. I've thought of beating the shit out of it's owners, but they're old and beating up old people isn't fun. Non-lethal suggestions are appreciated.

5. Annual fishing trip is scheduled for September 1st and 2nd. Taking both days off, along with Labor Day gives me 5 days off! Wahoo! Plus, I have to take an additional 8 days before Thanksgiving so I don't lose them. After that, I'll only have 4 weeks of vacation time left. HAHAHAHA!

6. Um...I can't think of a number 6. If you do, let me know.

August 18, 2005

I'm not metro

I used to kid people that I was a metrosexual, until I read the definition at Urbandictionary.com. Let me say this emphatically, I am not metro. I, uh, just have this 'thing'...

Can I help it if I, uh, have an innate ability to know that a certain color of paint will clash with my brushed nickel faucets. Or, um, that a certain color will not work with a chocolate-brown fabric headboard. Is it my fault that I can rearrange the furniture in my office and come up with a reading area...that would be perfect with a leather club chair, ottoman, and swing-arm lamp? Hell, can't everybody look at track lighting and know that the lamps should have an amber shade instead of blue? I mean, come on people, it's not rocket science.

You know what? It's a gift and who am I to hide those gifts under a bushel? I would be mocking the gods if I didn't use it. And we all know that I am not a mocker...or a metro.

August 11, 2005

Tell me why

Can someone tell me why I’m paying $2.36 a gallon for gas? No, really, I have no idea. There're no hurricanes in the Gulf or Atlantic, there’s no oil refinery fires, there’s not actual shortage that I’m aware of so I’m curious, Dear Reader, as to why gas keeps going up.

The reason I think it’s going up is because there’s a possibility of these things happening so the oil companies are raising prices just in case. And if that’s the case, then what the fuck? Why the hell am I paying now for something that may or may not occur in the future? This is not insurance, this is gas. If I’m completely wrong, then please excuse my ignorance. It’s never occurred to me since gas has always been cheap, relatively speaking. Has the Bush Administration decided to do anything to lower prices or are the oil/gas lobbyists doing a fine job of keeping everyone focused on something else like health care or Social Security?

Speaking of which, is anyone doing anything about either of them? Does anyone care that older folks have to decide whether to buy groceries or medicine? And who in the hell ever heard of taking 17 different prescriptions? That’s what the ex-mother-in-law takes. 17. Any idea how freaking expensive that is? Any idea if anyone is going to do anything besides pay lip service to “The American People” about it? And Social Security? C’mon folks, either decide to save it or do something else. It’s why we elected you. We didn’t elect you to give X million to your state for beaver trapping studies or in my state, $200,000 to construct a bicycle path in Petal, Mississippi (thanks, Trent, much appreciated there, buddy). We put you there to solve the problems, not create more.

I think bringing democracy to other nations is great, but hey, how about focusing a bit more on your own backyard. I’ve recently begun reading the paper again and quickly realized why I stopped in the first place. There are some seriously whacked out, fucked up people in this world. Every day I read about kids killing kids, kids killing adults, adults killing kids, adults killing adults, and I just can’t seem to comprehend all of this stuff. How did we end up here? And please, don’t tell me it’s video games…if I ever heard a bigger bunch of crap in my life, it’s that video games cause kids to kill one another. That’s the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard and I don’t care what kind of research you pull out of your ass to show me, I still won’t believe it.

I don’t normally rant about this stuff, but hell, it’s never bothered me before. I guess the closer I get to, gasp, 40, the more the world makes less sense to me. And if you tell me I’m getting like my parents, I’m going to drive to your house and stick a video game up your ass…a non-violent one, of course.

PS – Please don’t tell me the Dems can or will do a better job than the Republicans. I doubt either group really gives a crap about John Q Public because, if they did, this crap would have been resolved a long time ago.

PPS – This is my OPINION…if you don’t like it, that’s fine. Feel free to leave a rebuttal.

August 10, 2005

The Log Watcher

This was inspired by true events. The names have been changed to protect my job.

The day started out like every other day. Hot, humid, and full of hackers. I hate hackers. Hackers are the lowest form of life. They’re so low they could crawl under an ant’s belly without bending over.

I was at my desk in the lab, the CAH lab, the heart of all anti-hacking activity in the company, when she walked in. “Joe,” she said, because that’s my name, “we have a situation. The log files are filling up and it’s causing a lot of stuff to stay on the network. This is a bad one, Joe, and we need your help.” She was right; they did need my help. Why? Because I’m Joe Pericardia, Certified Security Expert. If they needed logs looked at, then they came to the right guy. I look at logs, it’s what I do.

The server room oozed efficiency, all cold steel and blinky lights. The air was chilly, as chilly as my wife’s stare when I ask for nookie. The blinky lights of the server farm were like stars in the heaven, and their morse-coded message was clear. “We need you, Joe. You’re our only hope.” Oh how right they were. I was here to do a job. I was here to find the hacking scum who had the audacity to fill up the log files. You don’t hack on my watch, Scum, because I’ll find you. I’ll hunt you down like the vermin you are and make you disappear like my hair from male pattern baldness. Why? Why will I hunt you down? Because I look at logs, it’s what I do.

I logged into the server, fingers flying over the keyboard, typing my super-secret password; L0gWatcH3R. The logs lay bare before me, awaiting my touch like a virgin on her wedding night. I scanned them quickly, getting their vibe, listening to them tell me their deepest, darkest secrets. My fingers caressed the keyboard, the soft clicks of the keys like her high heels walking away, my money safely tucked in her garterbelt and my gargantuan lust sated until payday rolled around again.

I delved deeper into the logs, their secrets revealing themselves to me. There. Wait. No. That’s me. Hmm. Could that? No. It was harder than I expected, the hacker more clever than I imagined. “This guy’s good,” I thought to myself, “but not as good as me.” She stuck her head in the door, “I just wanna wish you good luck, we’re all counting on you”. Her confidence inspired me, as did her tight sweater. “Don’t worry, babe, I’ll find these scum and when I do, they’ll wish they were never born.”

Sweat began to bead on my forehead despite the cool, crisp air of the 4-ton Leibert swirling around me. I began to doubt myself. Had I bitten off more than I could chew? Had I finally met my hacking match, my Moriarty, my Lex Luthor? “Knock it off, Joe,” I said to myself, cause that’s my name, “you’re the only one who can find these hacking scum and wipe them off the face of the earth. You're our only hope.” And I was right. I was the only hope they had. I was going to be the iceberg to his Titanic. Because I look at logs. It’s what I do.

I found it. It tried to hide from me like former girlfriends who couldn’t handle my passion. After hours of searching logs, I found it. It was right before my eyes and I’d missed it. I’d missed it because he is us and we are him. It took me a minute to process. “This can’t be right, Joe,” I said to myself, “he’s one of the good guys. One of the true blue. He is one of us.” Unfortunately, I knew it was true. I looked at the logs and the logs don’t lie. The hacking scum was an employee of the Bureau. I was about to take down one of my own. Harold Baggel…no, wait, Marty, it’s Marty Baggel. Damn those two for looking alike.

I printed the evidence, the printer chattering away like Kendall during a department-wide staff meeting. This was going to be a hard one. I’d never taken down a fellow employee and I didn’t know how to go about it. This had to be handled delicately so as not to spook the scum. And employee or not, he was still scum. Hacking scum. I was pondering what to do when she poked her head in, “I just wanna wish you good luck, we’re all counting on you”.

I put my plan into motion. If executed properly, the hacking scum would be in my grubby little hands by the end of the day. I crafted a carefully worded email so as not to alert him to knowledge lodged deeply in my brain.

Hey,
I am still getting those log messages about Marty's log in failures. Can we try and track down the problem this AM.

They wouldn’t suspect a thing. Hacking scum are stupid.

I waited on pins and needles, feeling like the guy whose condom broke while his girlfriend’s out peeing on a stick. It didn’t take long for them to take the bait.

What do you propose we look at?

David

Damn, not David too. Sweet, innocent, letter-writing David. Damn that hacking scum, Harold…uh, I mean, Marty! He must have used some Vulcan mind trick on David to get him to cooperate. Oh, the pain upon realizing that I’d be taking down two of my fellow co-workers. My gut was tied up in knots like Jack after too many Whataburgers. I had to proceed with caution. One hacking scum is easy to fool…two would be harder. I responded as eloquently as always, asserting my authority and knowledge of all-things hacking related.

I have no idea. But Marty said Harold was doing something yesterday with some proxy stuff maybe look at that, Or maybe a sniffer. It is filling up my log file with bad password or username messages. I get emails for every time it does it.

Take that hacking scum! I waited again, feeling like the guy whose condom broke while his wife is out peeing on a stick. I knew it wouldn’t take them long to respond, but waiting was hard. I thought of all the good times we had together. Me asserting my authority and knowledge of all things computer related and them laughing behind my back. Ahh, those were the days. My email hooted like an owl in the night.

Well, here is the deal, I don't know exactly what is doing it at this point but looking at what we saw yesterday, its hard to imagine its a threat. If we have something specific to look at, or an idea, that's fine, we can look into it, otherwise, my daily duties are going to have to get done this morning. Otherwise Ill gladly let you log onto the machine to look at it if you need to.

Thanks,
David

Nice try, hacking scum, but your pathetic attempt at logic won’t fool me. I invented the “tell me what I should do” move when you were still in diapers. I’ll take this to a higher authority. I’ll take this to the one person that I know can solve my problem. As I was getting up to leave, she stuck her head in the lab, “I just wanna wish you good luck, we’re all counting on you”.

I walked towards Conference Room A like a prize fighter walking into the ring. I wouldn’t be pushed around by hacking scum like them. The world is too good a place for the likes of hacking scum such as David and Harold…dammit!...I mean Marty. I crossed the lab floor, peering at the LAN guys through the glass like fish in a fishbowl. I marched into the room, evidence in hand, noticing the scared looks of the LAN guys around me. You better be scared, Gentlemen, hacking scum have invaded the office.

Handing the evidence to McDowell, I make my case. “Someone is hacking the network using Marty’s userid. It’s sending me emails. This has got to stop.”

“Um, Joe,” someone asks timidly, “what’s the problem?”

“The problem, Mister,” I say forcefully, “is that the hacking scum is attempting to infiltrate the network and it’s sending unnecessary stuff onto the network And it’s emailing me. A lot. Make it stop.”

“Well,” says McDowell, “how do you know this, Joe? How do you know that we’re being invaded by hacking scum who are sending unnecessary stuff on the network and emailing you too often? How, by god, do you know?”

“It’s my job, McDowell. It’s my job. I look at logs. It’s what I do”.

August 04, 2005

Enough

This may be gross...read at your own risk.

Dear Sir,

In the future, please refrain from hanging your nasty-assed, bacon-stripped, tighty whities within viewing distance of the gym showers. There is nothing more disgusting than walking out of the shower only to be confronted by the fact that you have yet to learn how to properly wipe your ass. If necessary, I can get you a tutoring session with my 5 yr old nephew who already does a better job wiping his ass than do you.

My god, man, have you no shame? Have you no dignity? Have you no Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes? Clean. Your. Ass.

Respectfully,

Your Fellow Gym Patrons

July 25, 2005

stream

Did your heart ever hurt so bad that your hands tingled? Has the back of your head ever felt so tight that you thought the skin was going to split right down the center? I feel that way right now. I sit here and stare at the computer screen...no thoughts at all go through my head. I'm numb. It may be an overreaction, but I don't know.

Ever since I can remember, I associate arguments with divorce, break ups, or going your own way. I think it's some subconscious thing from when my parents used to fight. I don't remember any of the actual arguements, I just remember the feelings they cause. I quit seeing my Dad for several months because the bickering between he and my Stepmom used to make me sick. Deep down, I knew it wasn't going to lead to anything, but the surface of it would eat a whole in my belly.

Someone I'm close to got hurt and it's my fault. I never intended for it to happen...it just did...and I don't know what to do about it. "I'm sorry" seems so fucking lame that I can't get it out of my mouth. Anything else I think of sticks in my throat. I don't have the words to express how badly I feel...I can't begin to explain how much it hurts to know this person feels the way they do. I may be overreacting, but I can't help it. I feel responsible and no matter what they say, I can't change the way I feel. I have to deal with it my own way and get past it.

A close friend asked me if I cry. Being a man, you want to say, "Fuck no, crying is for pussies." I told the truth...I said yes...and that's how I feel right now.

I'm going to drive. It's how I deal with it...I drive till I feel better. I think it's going to be a long drive.

July 20, 2005

Insane

I just had to initial 5 reports...that were blank. No data on them at all. Just headers showing me where data would be...if they weren't blank.

Do you hear me, people? I just had to initial 5 blank reports to signify that they were indeed blank. It was required that I initial them to certify their blankness.

Idiots.

July 08, 2005

A Metaphor

So I’m going to be a homeowner. Sure, I’ve owned two others, but this is different. This one is mine and mine alone. If it breaks, I gotta fix it. Can’t call the landlord or get the wife to wait on the cable guy. It’s all me…And I’m getting a bit freaked out.

Am I really ready for all this responsibility? Am I ready to devote my life to something over which I don’t have complete and total control? Am I ready to sign over my life savings (and future earnings) on a single house? What happens if a nicer, better house comes along? Do I just drop the one I have and get that one? So many questions…

You know what, though? I’m ready. Deep down I know that this is the right thing for me to do, even though it’s pretty scary. You read about the problems people have with their houses and you think, “That’ll never happen to me”, but sometimes it does. And if it does, you deal with it. It’s not something you lie awake at night worrying about. You just gotta make sure that you and the house are on the same page. It knows what you expect and you know what it expects in return.

There will always be a bigger, better house just around the corner. What I’ve discovered, though, is that bigger and better are not always a good thing. Bigger houses mean more potential problems, more costs if something goes wrong, and more maintenance…and more dust. This house is the right size, it’s manageable, and I can make it into something I’ll enjoy with little effort.

I’m sure everyone gets cold feet when it comes to buying a house. It’s a normal thing and sometimes, even though you don’t want to admit it, it just happens. The thing I have to remember is that I didn’t buy the first house I looked at. I looked at many, weighed the pros and cons of each, waffled, wavered, hemmed, hawed, decided and then undecided that THIS was the house for me. In the end, though, I knew it when I saw it. It felt like home the moment I walked in. Sure, there are some things that need to be changed, updated, or redone, but hell, there’s no such thing as a perfect home. And there never will be. This is the home for me.

June 22, 2005

House-hunting blows dead donkeys

Yeah, I know that's kinda rough, but it leaves you, Dear Reader, with no doubt about how I feel. Didn't think it'd be this hard...or take this long.

The house I made the offer on this past weekend? Rejected. No counter offer, just flat-out rejection. Since the offer was made on Father's Day, and the man's father recently passed, I figured it might have been emotion that led to the rejection. Modified my offer and submitted it...and I'll be damned if the fucker didn't reject it again. The problem, imho, is that the guy is trying to recoup his investment to put the house on the market...in short, his asking price is going to be $10 - $15 higher, per sq foot, than any house in the area. We're talking 8 to 10 grand higher. Good luck with that one, dumbass.

I've looked at lots of houses in different areas and just can't find anything I like or that doesn't need a lot of work right off the bat. Yeah, I admit it, I'm picky, but I don't want to drop a lot of cash on a house and then have to start remodeling. I don't have that much cash, either, so I continue to look.

Anyway, thought I'd bring you up to date on the house hunting. Fortunately, I can go month-to-month with the apartment for an additional $50 a month...beats signing a new 7 month lease...yeah, they do weird stuff like 7 months.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to peruse the MLS listings...again.

June 19, 2005

A multitude

Sorry for not writing, Dear Reader, but things have been hectic lately. I've been fishing, house hunting like a mad man, getting to know an incredibly awesome woman, and working. That's quite a lot going on for me.

I hope the house hunting is finally over. I made an offer on a house Saturday. It's an older house (25 to 30 yrs old), but is undergoing an extensive remodeling. The owner passed away unexpectedly and his son decided to remodel before putting it on the market. Fortunately for me, my real estate agent is also the listing agent so I got to see it before it even hit the market.

It'll have new kitchen countertops and flooring, new bathroom countertops and flooring, new carpet, and best of all, a new HVAC system. If the offer is accepted by tomorrow, I will be able to pick out the flooring and countertops since they've not been installed. Will probably do tile throughout, except for the kitchen counters. My 'friend' gave me a great idea of looking for a piece of marble that may have a small irregularity in it. Marble countertops would be great...plus, she even agreed to help me decorate. :-) I'll let you know as soon as I hear something.

As for fishing, I went again yesterday with my friend and his son and we caught 19 bass between us. I had the biggest for a while until my buddy reeled in a 5lb 3 oz. beauty. We didn't keep any, although I wouldn't have minded a little grilled bass for supper. Maybe next time. I got another offer to go today, but laundry called.

That's all for now, Dear Reader. I will keep you up to date on all things 3legged as they occur. Out.

June 15, 2005

Why the fish weren't biting

A friend and I went fishing Sunday afternoon. First, we stopped to see the bald eagles that have nested off of the local reservoir, then we headed up the river to fish. Trouble was, we had a visitor that was keeping the fish away.

That's my foot, and the lure above his head is a yellow buzz bait, which is what attracted him. He chased that thing for a good 10 minutes.

Here he is in all his glory...


Posted at 08:49 AM | Comments (2)

June 01, 2005

One of those days

It went something like this...

Scene: Company breakroom, early morning. Our hero enters, dragging ass, trying to find some caffeine.

Cleaning Lady: Mornin'! How you doing today?

Our Hero: grumblegrumblegrumble

Cleaning Lady: Oh, now, don't be that way.

Our Hero: I know, I know, but I'm already worn out and it's only Tuesday.

[silence for about 3 seconds]

Cleaning Lady: Darlin', uh, you know today ain't Tuesday?

Our Hero: Huh?

Cleaning Lady: Today's not Tuesday, it's Wednesday. We were off Monday.

Our Hero gives her a blank look as his brain wraps itself around the fact that it's not Tuesday.

Cleaning Lady: It's Wednesday, I promise.

Our Hero: Holy cow, you're right, it IS Wednesday. Wahoo! Yes!

Cleaning Lady: (laughs) You need to dial it up a bit, son, the days are gettin' by you.

Our Hero: Yes, Ma'am, you got that right. Either that or buy a watch that has the days on it.

I guess the moral of this story is this: Going through life being a dumbass isn't so bad if you don't realize you're a dumbass.

Posted at 09:27 AM | Comments (11)

May 31, 2005

New Shoes

Why does it seem that every time I get a new pair of shoes it's like walking with new feet? I trip on carpet lint, smack the car door when I get out, hit the curb. I look like a cat that's got tape on its paws...legs whipping out to the side for no apparent reason, feet shaking in air. It's pitiful.

Posted at 02:03 PM | Comments (1)

May 24, 2005

Turn left by the faded Coke can

These are the directions to the Sam Chatmon Memorial Blues Ride in Hollandale, MS this weekend. I thought you might find them amusing.

Take Hwy 49 through Yazoo City. Take 49W to Belzoni. Go a couple miles (2 or 3 traffic signals) take a left onto Hwy 12. Go a couple miles and take a right onto Hwy 61. Don't go all the way into Hollandale. Instead, take a left at Jimmy Sanders' Seed Shop. This will be State Aid Rd. The ride starts near the water tower and baseball fields.

Posted at 02:19 PM | Comments (1)

Single guy Or Married Person's Supper

I was talking to a buddy of mine today and the subject of food came up. I mentioned the ingredients of my supper Saturday night and his only response was, "You really are single".

I was confused, really. I mean, wouldn't most people sit down to a meal of Triscuits, Cheddar cheese in a can, and venison summer sausage with cheese and jalapenos while watching Star Wars Episode IV?

Updated the title based on Wicked H's suggestion. Seems I'm not the only one coming up with, um, unique items for supper.

Updated title again since Morgan says that it's not only single folks who eat strange things for supper.

Posted at 08:28 AM | Comments (8)

May 19, 2005

Phone calls

I started doing something today that I loathe when others do it. Letting calls go to voicemail when I'm not busy.

I just don't feel like listening to users whine about dumb shit. In the past, it didn't bother me. I could listen all day long and help them solve their problems. Now? Can't deal with it. Plus, I got a headache.

I'll quit whining now. The phone's ringing and I have to actively ignore it.

Posted at 02:09 PM | Comments (9)

May 18, 2005

Boredom

Sorry, Dear Reader, but I have nothing to report. Life has taken a hard right turn and left me stranded in Boredemberg. I bought some new music, Ray Charles' Genius Loves Company, and some kind of 4-disc Stevie Ray Vaughan anthology. Other than that, nothing.

UPDATE: It's the SRV Box Set. Gotta love freedb.
UPDATE 2: It's a bit disturbing to me, but I don' think I like the Ray Charles CD. It's almost painful (for me) to listen to. Anyone else have it and feel that way?

Posted at 02:09 PM | Comments (2)

May 16, 2005

FruitTrekker Bars

These things are awesome! The FruitTrekker bars from Kalahari are really, really good. I had one of them a few weeks ago at my friend's bike shop and thought they weren't bad. I had quite a few this weekend during our race and decided that they are incredibly good.

I've had the Apricot, Mango, and Pineapple, and I've got to say that the Pineapple is my favorite one so far. I plan to sample quite a few of the others just to be sure. :-)

The thing I like about them is they're basically nothing but chopped real fruit. There's no fat, no cholesterol, and they still taste incredibly good.

I have no affiliation with these people other than I really, really like their product. If you're looking for a low calorie, flavorful snack, then try some of these. If you don't like 'em, send me whatever's left over. I'll eat 'em.

Posted at 10:05 AM | Comments (1)

May 13, 2005

Whirlpoo

I think I need to get a new washer and dryer. The damn things keep shrinking all my clothes. It's weird because they only seem to shrink my shirts and the waistband on all my pants.

Could I be using the wrong detergent?

Posted at 02:01 PM | Comments (5)

May 11, 2005

A few pics

A few pics from Florida...

We took an airboat tour of the Everglades looking for alligators.

Me and the Nephew on the Quadrunner

I'm much to busy too deal with you people (notice cellphone in right hand)

Posted at 09:53 AM | Comments (6)

May 10, 2005

Moneymoneymoney

Keep your fingers crossed, y'all. A friend of a friend is interested in buying one of my old bikes and I could sure use the money.

Posted at 03:08 PM | Comments (2)

May 09, 2005

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

When I was in Portland a few months ago, I was introduced to Stumptown Coffee, which is a local coffee roastery. Never having been a huge coffee fan, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed their brew. I enjoyed it so much that I invested in a new coffeemaker, coffee grinder, bean-measuring spoon, and coffee brush. The coffee jones was upon me. I went from an occasional drinker to a 'must have coffee in the morning' type. And yes, I did get pissy if I didn't have coffee.

I enjoyed their coffee for the next two months. When it came time to order more of my favorite coffee, Rwanda Karaba, it was no longer available. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. I tried Folgers (my old brand) and even some Starbucks, but was disappointed by both. Finally, I emailed Stumptown and asked about my coffee. Didn't hear anything for a few days and figured I was being ignored. I WAS WRONG!!

I got a great email from Jodi Geren with Stumptown telling me that they no longer carried the Karaba. She went on to say that if I'd give her a call, she'd be happy to send me some Rwanda Musasa, which is even more flavorful than the Karaba. To me, that's just awesome.

This is a great example of customer service. The fine folks at Stumptown have made a customer for life.

Posted at 04:33 PM | Comments (3)

The first Jewish Pope

Your Papal Name is Pope Alexander IX

You think Pope Benedict IX was a Saint who should have indulged himself a bit more. You're already halfway though "How to Excommunicate for Fun and Profit" and, if you were made Pope, you would have the treasures of the Vatican on www.ebay.com before the end of week one.

Get your own name at What's My Papal Name?

Posted at 02:37 PM | Comments (1)

May 05, 2005

Heading Home

On my way home, Dear Reader. On the whole, it was a good vacation. The niece and nephew were awesome, as were my brother and sister-in-law. Mom was Mom...although it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Still not doing anything to help herself, but I didn't let that ruin my vacation...for the most part.

Highlights of the trip (pictures will follow once I get them):

* Hearing a 4 year old shout your name with joy.

* Watching your niece take her first steps.

* I seem to have no sense of direction. None. And I was the driver. :-)

* It's true, C, I'm chatty. Tollbooth attendants, airboat drivers, people in the grocery store, security people at my Mom's 'retirement' village...you name it, I'll talk to them.

* 1 year olds are like sharks. If it gets near their mouth, they bite it. Hard. And don't think twice about it. I'll show her the scar when she's older.

* Don't hit a jump on a Yamaha Quad Runner at full speed if you don't know what you're doing...and didn't bring a change of underwear.

* More later...Gotta board.

Posted at 08:16 AM | Comments (2)

April 29, 2005

On the road again

I got home yesterday about 4:30, did laundry, packed, and paid bills. I'll be on my way to Florida tomorrow morning at 10:30. wahoo.

Not much to report. Little Rock was fun. I got to see Clinton's Presidential Library and Brothel...which looks like a giant single-wide trailer on stilts. No, it really does. Many of the folks I talked to in AR asked me if I had seen it...they all refer to it as "The Trailer". Well, at least the Republicans do.

The trip went well, except for the six-hour marathon support call with Microsoft. The problem ended up being software that the user installed so they could use a wireless network at home. Instead of eating another large hunk of cow for dinner, we had to settle for Waffle House.

Anyway, I'll try and give y'all updates on the goings on in Florida. It'll be interesting to say the least. Notice I didn't say 'fun'.

Posted at 03:00 PM | Comments (1)

April 25, 2005

Check it out

Check out the new banner up top...Courtesy of my friend, GP. A Photoshop whiz if there ever was one. If you don't see the tag line fade in, it's your browser. It probably sucks.

Posted at 06:08 PM | Comments (4)

A few things

A few things…

1. I have no problem with the cops handcuffing a little girl who just went crazy. Think of it this way…If the cops hadn’t done it and the little girl went crazy in the back of the squad car and injured herself, would that have been better? This was a no-win situation for the cops.

2. If Martha’s parole officers didn’t know what was going on then they’re idiots. The party celebrated Time’s 100 Most Influential People issue. Care to tell me how that is ‘work related’?

3. I saw a car the other day that said A-1 Christian Bonding. Their slogan is “Remember, the truth will set you free”. Personally, it ain’t the truth that will set you free, it’s the bond on your house that’ll do it. And if you jump, Vengeance is mine, sayeth The Dog.

4. Can someone please explain to me why a doctor will write orders in a chart that can be read by no living human? The ex’s mom broke her arm on Thursday (she’s fine) and the Orthopod who saw her Friday morning wrote orders that no one could decipher. Not only that, they couldn’t figure out his name. How freakin’ hard is it to write legibly? When the dictated orders came back (Sunday), she was supposed to have been putting ice on her arm, which of course, she didn’t know to do. This made me so mad that if I could’ve found the guy, he’d have had to set his own broken arm. If I can get his name, I’m going to post it here so that if anyone google’s him, they’ll know what kind of ridiculous ass clown he is.

5. And finally…I’ll be in Little Rock, AR tomorrow through Thursday, then I’m home Friday, then heading to Ft. Lauderdale to visit the maternal parent. I’ll post when I can.

6. Oh…almost forgot. I think I’m going to buy a house in the next few months. More on that later.

Posted at 02:15 PM | Comments (2)

April 19, 2005

I speak Uhmericun

You'd think after 20+ years in the South I'd speak Dixie. Recon I'll has to chaynge the ways I be talkin'.

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English
25% Dixie
20% Yankee
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern
What Kind of American English Do You Speak?
Posted at 03:00 PM | Comments (2)

April 18, 2005

Oops

In case you're wondering, there is a big difference between calling 1-800-GO-COMPAQ and 1-800-OK-COMPAQ for server support.

Posted at 10:49 AM | Comments (1)

April 15, 2005

Who be you?

I got this from RP who got it from Mia who got it from Eric.

The long and short of it is that we're curious about you, Dear Reader. Are you a friend, regular reader, casual reader, searching for pictures of 3-legged dogs, a lurker, or what? I'm sure they're more categories, but I can't think of them. RP says it better than I can...I'm just curious about who you be?

Leave a comment if you would be so kind.

Posted at 04:14 PM | Comments (17)

April 14, 2005

Nahlens

The comment heard the most this weekend was, “What happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans”. The funny thing is, not all that much went on…or at least these people are better at keeping secrets than I am.

Apparently, someone forgot to tell one of our counterparts that New Orleans was a bit risqué. Seems she couldn’t come to grips with body shots, which I personally find pretty cool. I was a little irritated because 1) these people were on their own time, 2) they were not doing anything illegal, and 3) it’s freakin’ New Orleans. What do you think happens on Bourbon Street? Church Socials? Not hardly.

One of the cooler parts of the trip was the ride down. We took The City of New Orleans train from Jackson to New Orleans and it was a blast. I wish train travel was utilized more often because I love to ride the train. We had plenty of room, the employees were courteous and friendly, and we got to see some cool stuff. I actually saw two alligators in the bayou around Lake Ponchetrain. It was just cool. Eating in the dining car was a lot of fun, too. A word of caution though. When pouring your soda into a glass, be sure to lift both off the table. If not, you’ll end up spilling it all over the table, which will cause the server to chastise you, the head waitress to laugh at you, and all the old people around you to snicker. Doing it twice will make you even more embarrassed and people will be sure to notice all the other crap you spill throughout the weekend.

I didn’t go out Sunday night because I had a headache that almost made me barf. It was incredible. Imagine someone sticking a railroad spike through your eyebrow and out the back of your head. Then imagine them heating it, and tapping on it every once in a while to remind you that it’s still there. That’s about what it felt like. I was in bed about 8:30. In case you think I’m exaggerating, I’ll have you know that I left a piece of chocolate cake 90% intact. Turns out I missed some cool stuff like girl-on-girl body shots, cage dancing, and other assorted “what happens in New Orleans, stays in New Orleans” kinds of things. Stupid railroad spike.

We spent all day Monday in presentations, some of which were good, and some of which made me want to pluck out my eyelids. And can someone please tell me why there’s always that one guy who has to argue a trivial point like he’s in front of the Supreme Court? These guys should be put in a national registry and banned from all company meetings. Gee whiz, if there had been a hammer in that room, someone would have beaten this dork senseless. As it turns out, he was wrong and finally shut up.

Monday afternoon, several of us headed down Decatur and hung out at an open-air bar. The little jazz combo was really good and even took requests. Thankfully, they didn’t know “Muskrat Love”, which is one of the guy’s favorite songs. We had a few drinks and some awesome crawfish. They had a great flavor and weren’t too hot. Then, it was off to NOLA, one of Emeril’s restaurants.

This was the most fun I’d had in a while. The atmosphere was very good, the Apple martinis were excellent (I refuse to call them Apple-tini’s), and my friends and I had a blast. The crotchety, hard-of-hearing, gotta-complain-to-the-manager, old farts next to us might have had a different experience. They were trying to conduct some ‘business’ in a loud restaurant with brick walls that caused the sound to bounce around like a rubber ball. Needless to say, our 'antics' didn't sit very well with them. Our waiter earned an extra-generous tip when he said, “You're paying money the same as they are. You have your fun and let them have theirs”. In spite of the old coots, we still had a lot of fun.

Let me be honest here, Dear Reader. This was, by far, some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. I got the NOLA Shellfish Stew, and although I was expecting something more like a cioppino, it was still very good. We all shared what we ordered and not one of the entrees was anything less than excellent. I highly recommend NOLA to anyone heading to New Orleans. Just don’t tell them I sent you. I’m not sure I can go back.

I wish I had some stories of drunken debauchery and illicit fornication, but alas, it was a fairly tame trip. Maybe next time.

Posted at 03:28 PM | Comments (3)

April 08, 2005

The Big Easy

If anyone needs me, I'll be in New Orleans at a company-sponsored meeting. Y'all have fun and I'll talk to you again on Wednesday...unless I get arrested for doing something stupid...which has been known to happen. Apparently, flashing is limited to boobs...if you show more, some people get upset. Prudes.

Peace. Out.

Posted at 03:13 PM | Comments (4)

April 06, 2005

Treydar™

When the weather gets bad, most people run to turn on their local news, the Weather Channel, or their weather radios. I don't own a weather radio and since I switched to satellite, it tends to go out right about the time I need an update. Since we get some hella-wicked storms around here, I had to find an alternate means of weather forecasting.

I needed something reliable, durable, and accurate. It couldn't run on electricity, rely on signals from a satellite, or alert me via radio waves. It had to give me ample notice of impending bad weather, it had to have the ability to wake me from a sound sleep, it had to work in any room of the house, and it had to be affordable. I am proud to announce, I have found such a device.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you the only foolproof system I've found for predicting the weather. The Treydar™ Early Warning Weather System.

P1010006.JPG

The Treydar™ system has a simple-to-use interface for weather prediction. If the Treydar™ Atmospheric Indicator Lever (TAIL™) is up, weather conditions are favorable. If TAIL™ is down*, then weather conditions are worsening. If TAIL™ is down and the Treydar™ unit has relocated to the closet, then tornadoes are not far off.

The Treydar™ Early Warning Weather System is the best weather prediction system that I have ever used. It's intuitive TAIL™ system gives you accurate up-to-the minute weather updates, it's nightime PANT™ mode will gently shake you awake, and the Treydar™ is extremely portable. The tripod motion system effortlessly moves the Treydar™ around your house. Why, it's so smooth, you barely notice as it gets under your feet or between your legs.

The Treydar™ Early Warning Weather System. Accurate predictions, simple to use, and oh-so affordable. Coming soon to a store near you.

*NOTE: If the "Bad Dog!" command has been invoked prior to checking the weather, it is possible that Treydar™ could exhibit a false tail down bad-weather signal. This is a known bug in the software and should be fixed in Treydar™ 2.0.

Posted at 04:04 PM | Comments (5)

April 05, 2005

A Compliment...I think.

From: Supervisor
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 12:45 PM
To: Howard
Subject: Training class

Howard,

Please submit a project to attend the MS-2208 training class.

Thanks,
Supervisor

-----Original Message-----
From: Howard
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 1:10 PM
To: Supervisor
Subject: RE: Training class

Do I have to do a justification-type thing?

-----Original Message-----
From: Supervisor
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 1:17 PM
To: Howard
Subject: RE: Training class

Yeah, just say how it'll help you and Mark do your job better... you are the master of BS, I expect eloquence!


Posted at 01:49 PM | Comments (4)

April 04, 2005

Techno-Dweeb

My new toy...

http://www.pocketpccentral.net/reviews/ipaq1945.htm

I got it as a 'perk' from someone for which I do some side work. He's a techno-dweeb and has to have the latest and greatest. He got a new PDA/cellphone and gave this little jewel to me. Now I am also a techno-dweeb so I gave my Dell Axim X5 to a friend.

Posted at 03:56 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2005

College folks

I went to a very good small, liberal arts college with some incredibly smart people. As such, sometimes I hate running into them. When they ask what I'm doing, I always feel weird just saying "computer support for XYZ company" because invariably they come back with, "Really? I just came back from a 3 month TDY at The Hague where I helped craft legislation to recover millions of dollars for starving families." To which I respond, "Uh...Wow...Cool." I mean, how the hell do you respond to something like that: "Oh yeah, well I just pushed out 200 copies of Windows XP Service Pack 2 and had zero failures. So there. Asshead."

What brought this about? Well, today at lunch I ran into a fraternity brother that I hadn't seen in quite a few years. We chatted a bit and we went through the whole 'what are you up to' routine and it turns out he's a Product Manager for a chemical company in Austin. This is after getting a graduate degree in Chemistry from UT. "What do I do? Uh, I do computer support." *Sigh*.

As my buddies and I are leaving, I lean in to say goodbye and notice he's sitting with his sister, who also went to school with us. We start chatting and when she tells me where she's working, the only thing I can think of to say is, "Well, don't run over me if you see me riding my bike out there." to which she responds, "I try to be careful." To which my brain responds, "You, Sir, are a major Dork." After a few more minutes, we say goodbye and I head back to my friends...who make me walk, in the rain, to the car.

You see, it wouldn't have been so bad if I, uh, well, um, if, uh, if I hadn't had a crush on her in school. She was pretty cute, and still is, so I got a bit flustered when talking to her, plus, I knew my buddies were waiting on me. She, uh, did give me a pretty firm, extended handshake. Ladies, does that mean anything? I think she may be single, too. But I'm not sure....cause I couldn't see her left hand. And yes, I made it a point to look. And, uh, I looked her up in the phonebook, too.

I still feel like a dork.

Posted at 01:41 PM | Comments (7)

March 30, 2005

Everything

So I got home last night from playing basketball and noticed that my Tivo was recording. Since Girls Gone Wild – Ultimate Spring Break Uncensored doesn’t come on till Friday, I couldn’t imagine what was recording. For a split second, I thought someone had hacked my Tivo and was recording illicit movies without my express, written consent. For the record, I just finished playing two basketball games back to back and probably had little or no oxygen to spare for the brain which is why I thought someone would actually hack my Tivo. Go figure.

Anyway…I fired up the TV, stereo, and satellite using my super-deluxe, one-button macro and noticed that some program on Discovery was being recorded. That’s when I remembered that I’d accidentally chosen this crap to record the night before. I guess I didn’t delete it like I thought. I don’t know why, but seeing that crap recording when I didn’t want it to made me mad.

I started flipping through the Tivo controls, trying to find a simple ‘stop recording this shit’ option, which does exist but couldn’t be found at that moment. The more I tried to find it, the grouchier I became. Yes, I know this is a stupid reason to get mad, but it happens. After going back and forth and up and down through the menus, I finally found something that looked promising. I selected it, hit “Yes”, hit “Yes” again as I thought “Quit asking me stupid freakin’ questions and just stop recording this crap already”. I should have paid a wee bit more attention to that last “Yes”.

You see, folks, Tivo has a cool feature that allows you to delete everything you have recorded. To make sure you don’t screw up and accidentally delete everything, it calmly asks you if you’re sure that you want to do delete everything, including the protected stuff. Notice I keep using the word “everything”. That’s because it deletes “EVERYTHING”. I now have 119 hours and 30 minutes of recording time available. I had 40 hours…before I deleted “EVERYTHING”.

Actually, not everything is gone. The only thing left on the Tivo is the one thing I was trying to delete.

Posted at 02:56 PM | Comments (5)

March 28, 2005

Asian Grocery

My buddy David and I went to the local Asian grocery store today. Man, do they have some weird shit. Dried squid that is probably like squid jerky, quail eggs, snow pea chips, dried, fried squid, wasabi peas, sugared ginger, and tons of other stuff that I can't begin to imagine what's inside. The pictures don't really help, either. I would like to go back with someone that actually knows what's in the packages. Some of the stuff looked pretty good, but I'd be afraid to try it without knowing what it was.

My favorite part was reading the English translation of what's inside. We bought something called 'Muscat Gummy' which seems to be muscadine-flavored gummy candy. We didn't buy them for the candy, we bought them for the description on the package:

Its translucent color so alluring and taste and aroma so gentle and mellow offer admiring feelings of a graceful lady. Enjoy soft and juicy Muscat Gummy.

We also bought grape-flavored Hi-Chew and some other kind of candy that looked like Nerds and tasted like ass. The Hi-Chew wasn't bad, but I get the feeling that the Japanese don't like things as sweet as Americans.

They did have some cool chopsticks, mugs, and assorted china, plus a really cool Chinese butcher knife for only $25.00. I may head back there later and pick one up.

Posted at 01:31 PM | Comments (6)

March 24, 2005

No, it looked like this.

I swear, if I added a step to the operations group’s procedure manual that said, “Shit on yourself”, there is one person in that group that would do it every time, no questions asked. I’m serious. I just handled a help desk for this person and it was amazing. It took me 10 minutes to get this person to answer a simple question.

One of their monitors seemed to be going bad. The whole thing was bathed in lavender and it made it difficult to read some of the console messages as they scrolled by. This person mentioned that another member of my group installed this specific monitor a few weeks ago since the old one went bad.

“So the old one looked like this,” I said, pointing to the screen.
“No,” she replied, “it was different.”
“Hmm,” I said, “what was the problem with it?”
“It looked like that,” she said, pointing to the screen.
“So the old one did look like this,” I said, pointing to the same screen she just pointed to.
“No, it was different.”
Inside, I’m thinking, what in the F* are you talking about? I say ‘did it look like this’ and you say no. But then you say ‘it looked like that’, pointing to the same freakin’ thing. I try again, slowly.
“OK,” I said, “2 weeks ago, this monitor was replaced, right?”
“Right.”
“OK. And we replaced the monitor because it was going bad, right?”
“Right.”
OK. Now we’re getting somewhere.
“Did the monitor that was going bad look like this?”
“No,” she said.
“No? Then why did we replace it,” I said.
“Because it was going bad like this one is,” she responded, pointing to the lavender-hued screen.
“So the old monitor did look like this one?” I said, pointing to the same freaking lavender-hued screen.
“No, it was different.”
Ho-lee shit. It was all I could do to not scream, “What is your major malfunction, Pyle! I started again from the beginning.
“Wait a minute. You’re telling me that the monitor was replaced because it was going bad, right?”
“Right.”
“And when the new monitor was installed, it looked fine, right?”
“Right.”
“And now we have to replace the replacement because the replacement is bad, right?”
Silence.
”We’re replacing this monitor,” I say, pointing at it, “because now it’s going bad, right?”
“YES! Right!” (you can see the light go on)
“And the reason we’re replacing this monitor,” I say, still pointing at it, “is because it looks like the other one, right?”
“No. The other one looked different.”
“What do you mean it looks different?” I say, enunciating each word like I’m talking to a 3 year old.
At this point, I’m really getting pissed. I can’t imagine what the frick she’s talking about. How can it look the same, but be different?
“It looked different,” she says, pointing to the plastic bezel around the monitor, “this was different and the button was different.”
“Do. What?”
“Yes,” she says, “this part of the monitor was different on the old one”.
“Um...What?,” I say slowly, “you’re talking about the actual monitor? You’re saying that the monitor was different?”
“Yes,” she says, pointing to the monitor and looking at me like I’m the idiot, “that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. This monitor looks different than the old one.”
“Dude, I don’t give flying flip about what the monitor looked like. All I want to know is”, I say, tapping on the monitor’s screen, “did the old monitor look this bad.
“Oh yeah," she says, tapping the screen, "the colors were all messed up just like this one.”

Posted at 03:51 PM | Comments (6)

March 22, 2005

Living my life

Well, Dear Reader, sorry for not posting in a while, but I’ve had some issues that I’ve had to deal with of a personal nature. For me, as always, it’s issues with my family. There are some days when it’s all I can do to not just pack my shit up and disappear.

Y’all remember last July when I had to go to Florida because my Mom broke her ankle? Well, at that time, I discovered that my Mom was just this side of being a shut-in. She wouldn’t leave her apartment, she had groceries or take-out delivered, and she had someone to do the laundry and clean. For a while after I left, she seemed to be getting her shit together, but it didn’t last long. When I ask her now if she’s getting out, she always says the same thing, “I make plans to get out, but I never follow through”. I even had one of her best friends call and tell me that she never gets out, cancels plans at the last minute, and just stays in her recliner. I know the friend meant well, but my response was basically, ‘what would you have me do’?

In the past, I would sit in my apartment (or house) and worry myself sick over it. We’re talking about getting up in the middle of the night and pacing back and forth, trying to figure out what to do. It got the point where it’s all I would think about. I would make myself nuts trying to figure out what I could do to change the way my Mom lived her life, how I could motivate her to get out, how I could change her outlook, how I could get her over her depression. One day, though, I had a revelation. I realized that it’s not my responsibility. I am not the person who has to force these changes…She is. I realized that I needed to make sure she had food, clothing, and shelter, while the rest was up to her.

At first, it sounded cruel and it bothered me a lot. It felt like I was abandoning her and I would picture her sitting in her recliner all day, doing nothing. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I was not responsible for how she chose to live her life. I finally figured out that it’s her life to live and if she chooses to live it in a vacuum, then that’s HER choice. My brother and I have given her every opportunity to enjoy her retirement and if she chooses to continue on in this manner, I can no longer feel that it is my responsibility to change her.

I have a life of my own to live. I refuse to be put into a position where I do nothing but worry about her. That is not a life I wish to live. If I seem cruel to you, then I’m sorry. Well, no, actually I’m not sorry. As I’ve said, I will make sure that she has a place to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear. The rest is up to her.

Posted at 10:27 AM | Comments (8)

March 18, 2005

Completely Worthless

Is what I will be for the rest of the day. It seems our Real Media server does have some use after all. As does the company's cable connection. IT'S MARCH MADNESS, BABY!!.

Oh...gotta go, the game's back on. Shhh! If anyone asks, I'm in a meeting.

Posted at 02:03 PM | Comments (1)

March 15, 2005

Bernie is Guilty

Sorry, Bernie, but the Sargent Schultz defense just doesn't cut it anymore. You gotta do better than "I know nothing" to fool people in New York City.

Posted at 01:05 PM | Comments (2)

March 11, 2005

Coffeemaker killer

Does anyone have any recommendations for a good coffeemaker? I sort of burned mine up last night.

I decided to clean the water reservoir since it'd been a while. I bought some baking soda, dissolved half the box in water, poured it in and turned it on. The coffeemaker started to make a gurgling sound like it does right before it's finished. Only problem was that there was no water in the pot.

When I empited the reservoir into the sink, the water had miraculously turned into a thick, white sludge. I must have used a tad too much baking soda. Interesting fact: When wet baking soda dries, it transforms itself into an organic concrete, which can plug up even the best coffeemakers. Now all I get is white smoke, which looks nice, but tastes awful.

So, uh, any suggestions, besides DO NOT CLEAN THE COFFEEMAKER, would be appreciated.

UPDATE: Found a Black & Decker 8-cup carafe at Kohl's. List price was $49.99, sticker price was $34.99, tag sitting on top of boxes said $24.99, girl who rang me up couldn't do math and gave it to me for $22.54. Figured I couldn't beat the deal. Timer, cone filter (looks like it can take reusable), and black.

Thanks for the suggestions...I really wanted a Braun, which is what I had, but couldn't see spending $70 or $80 for one.

Posted at 02:17 PM | Comments (7)

March 10, 2005

Junior Achievement Final

I just wanted to take a minute and say THANKS to everyone who donated to the Junior Achievement Bowling Classic. The money was turned in last Thursday and we raised $200. WAHOO FOR US!!

The Dogs had planned to buy one of the donors a $25 gift certificate to Amazon, but the winner (who wanted to remain anonymous) asked that the money be donated back to JA. The dogs, who never argue about anything except food, agreed and donated the money accordingly.

Again, thanks to all of you that donated. You rock.

PS - In case you're wondering, I bowled an abysmal 103 in the first game, but came roaring back with a 183 (or 185) in the second.

Posted at 02:24 PM | Comments (1)

March 09, 2005

Ignorance can be bliss

So we’re sitting in the Dim Sum restaurant surrounded by Asians. Being the ignorant redneck that I am, I figure if the place is full of people who eat this on a daily basis, then food has gotta be good. You want authentic Asian food, go where the Asian people eat, right? Right. There’s only one problem; neither of us speaks the language.

The restaurant owners, obviously being shrewd businessmen, anticipated our linguistic ignorance and planned accordingly. They had each employee read Chapter 2 of the popular American book, You’re in America, dammit, so speak English which advises the following:

“If the foreigner doesn’t understand the words coming out of your mouth, you must look them directly in the eye and speak slowly. When you speak slowly to a non-English speaking person, they will automatically become fluent in English. In fact, this works for any language other than English. However, since everyone in the world should speak English as opposed to their native tongue, then we must assume that there is no other language besides English, therefore everyone should understand you automatically.”

Well, the only thing that happened when they spoke slowly was that it took me longer than normal to not understand a single word.

The owners, being the shrewdest of the shrewd, have also anticipated my ability to not understand a slowly spoken foreign language, and devised yet another clever plan to help me. They instructed the wait staff to open the lid and show us what was inside. It went kinda like this:

Waiter: Lifts lid and slowly says something I don’t understand.

Me: Oh! That’s lovely. A jiggly white thing with a pink thing inside of it? Mmmm. Yummy. What about that one there?

Waiter: Lifts lid and slowly says something else I don’t understand.

Me: A green dumpling-like thing with brown bits in it? Dee-licious. Ok, uh, how about that one over there?

Waiter: lifts lid of two other items and slowly says other stuff I’ll never understand.

Me: Cool! Jiggly white stuff with no pink stuff in it. That's my favorite!

The waiter then shows us a few other items. For some reason, I make him go backwards. Something caught my eye.

Me: WAIT! Yes, that one. No, the other one. Go back two spaces. YES! I’ll try that one. Hmm…white bread with ‘meat’ in it. Groovy.

Waiter: lifts lid of one other item and enthusiastically says something slowly that I can’t understand.

Me: This? I should try this white stuff in broth? It’s good? OK, cool. I trust you.

Waiter: Walks off smiling and muttering.

We begin eating. First, I try the stuff that the waiter suggested and it’s not bad. Although it’s a bit chewy like octopus, it has a good flavor so I keep eating, blissfully unaware of what it is. I have no idea what the jiggly white stuff is that surrounds the pink thing, but the pink thing inside turns out to be shrimp. SCORE! There’s a fried ball of stuff that turns out to be a fried shrimp ball. SCORE AGAIN! The ‘meat’ in the white-bread thingy is barbequed pork. TRIPLE SCORE! I still have no idea what the chewy white stuff is, but I keep eating.

One guy comes around with the fried shrimp balls and I hear him say, “Would you like a fried shrimp ball?” I asked him to repeat that. He said, “Would you like a fried shrimp ball?” My brain said “THAT’S ENGLISH!! HE’S SPEAKING ENGLISH!”. I take two fried shrimp balls as a reward for him learning English. As he’s leaving, my brain says, “Hey, ask him what that chewy white stuff is.”

Me: “Yo,” I say, pointing to the chewy white stuff while simultaneously impressing him with my command of the English language, “what’s that chewy white stuff I’m eating?”

Now, folks, we all know that there are times in life when being ignorant of certain facts is a good thing. Remember the first time you realized that your parents did “IT”? And that your grandparents, in order to have made your parents, also did “IT”? Not knowing would have been fine with me. How about the time you realized that your Dentist was gay because none of your other friends got a free prostate exam with their teeth cleaning? Or that the really good-looking girl you talked to at the bar was a guy? You see, folks, what I'm trying to tell you is that you don't always need to know the truth. As Americans, we're always clamoring for the truth. We want Barry Bonds and OJ and W and Bernie Ebbers and many others to tell us the truth. DAMMIT MAN, we say, YOU MUST TELL THE TRUTH! Well, folks, I'm here to tell you that sometimes I'd rather not know the truth.

Waiter: “That,” he says, smiling and pointing to the chewy white stuff, “is beef tripe.”

Posted at 03:28 PM | Comments (10)

March 03, 2005

Three-legged Hero

Check this out. A three-legged dog rescues a lost little kid.

http://www.nbc13.com/index.html

Thanks to Sugarmama for pointing this out.

PS - This is a link to the main page. The URL to the specific story keeps changing. Also, I couldn't get the sound to work.

Posted at 03:03 PM | Comments (6)

February 28, 2005

Noxious Fumes

So you know when the label on the bottle of Drano reads "Do not use in conjunction with bathroom cleaners" and you think, "Ha, what idiot would do that?" Hi. Nice to meetcha.

I was cleaning the tub yesterday and noticed that it was draining very slowly so I grabbed the bottle of Drano and poured about half of it in there, just like it says. What I failed to think about was that the remaining bathroom cleaner was probably still in the drain. Uh. Yeah. Not good.

Bathroom cleaner + Drano = really noxious fumes.

Fortunately, my nose is quite used to noxious fumes in the bathroom so I didn't suffer any ill effects. Next time, I'll just not clean the tub.

Posted at 03:36 PM | Comments (5)

February 25, 2005

Valid Validation

Here it is...A notarized copy of a blank report that provides valid validation of its blankness.


Posted at 03:12 PM | Comments (6)

Hey Grandpa! What's fer supper?

We're having deer roast, slow cooked in the crock pot, with Golden Mushroom and Cream of Mushroom soups, and one package Lipton Onion/Mushroom soup, and a whole mess of sliced carrots, celery, and potatoes. You'll get to sop up that gravy with some fresh-baked French Bread.

For dessert, we're having either fresh seedless red grapes from Chile, macadamia toffee popcorn, or ice cream.

Bring your own drinks, though. This ain't Piccadilly.

Posted at 10:13 AM | Comments (1)

February 24, 2005

Grumble, grumble, grumble

We're in the middle of doing inventory. It's a giant clusterf*. I completed mine on Monday, then come in Tuesday to find three reports in my office. A "Changes Report", an "Exceptions Report", and a "Differences Report". Wonderful. One of these stupid things is blank.

I read over them and they look correct. When I'm done reading, I do what all good support techs do when things look correct; absolutely nothing. I mean, if it looks fine, then I leave it alone. Unfortunately, that's not what I'm supposed to do. What I'm supposed to do, according to our Inventory Manager is validate the reports. Yep, they must be validated. Even the blank one.

My first question to him is "How do I validate a blank report?". He starts to give me the "10 minute ohmygodsomebodykillmealaready answer." Before he gets too far into it, I hold up my hand and say, "Wait. This is simple. Just tell me how I validate it? Do I sign it? Check something? Put my initials on it? What? I just want to know what needs to be done for this to pass the It's been validated test." He gets cranked up again. I again stop him and ask the same question; what does he consider as a valid indicator that the report's been "validated". Fortunately, he seems to be listening and gives me a rather snide, "I don't care. You can put a check mark on it if you want." So I put a check mark on it and hand it back. Apparently, a checkmark is not a valid validation indicator.

So you know what? I'm having them notarized. I'm going to put a check mark next to each friggin' entry, I'm going to sign the last page of each report with my entire 22 character given name, and then have the damn things notarized. Even the blank one.

Now, when I get canned for being a smartass, which one of you is going to give me a job?

Posted at 02:15 PM | Comments (4)

February 22, 2005

no! No! NO!

A woman upset about an impending breakup with her boyfriend cut off the man's penis and flushed it down a toilet

Ladies, enough with the chopping off of the penis, ok? That is just wrong.

Posted at 03:31 PM | Comments (3)

February 21, 2005

Google searchers

To whom it may concern:

If you came here looking for dogs doing the ugly monkey dance, 1) you're a sick fuck, and 2) you got the wrong site.

Sincerely,

The Management

PS - For the one guy looking for "girls who like to fuc", you might try a spell checker next time...although I bet poor spelling is not the only thing holding you back.

Posted at 10:19 PM | Comments (4)

February 17, 2005

Where will you be?

I turned 39 last Saturday. My good friend and ‘spiritual advisor’ turns 40 tomorrow. I asked him today, “Is this where you’d thought you’d be when you turned 40?” His response, “I had no idea where I’d be when I turned 40.”

It got me to thinking, which is usually a bad thing. I started to wonder if I should have made plans and laid out my life like so many others do. I’ve always coasted through life, trying to avoid stress or unpleasantness and have succeeded for the most part, but at what costs? If I took more risks, would I be more successful now, more financially secure? Still married, but to someone else? Would I have had kids? It’s a lot to think about.

I was never a planner. In high school, the plan was to get out and move away. Got that one right. In college, the plan was to be a doctor, but then realized you don’t just be a doctor. All the bullshit you had to go through just didn’t seem worth it. Plus, I absolutely sucked at math (Ari?) and you can’t be a doctor without it. So, I got a psych degree instead, which has never been taken out of its box. Well, not officially, that is, since my professors made me sign a Will not practice psychology ever. agreement before they’d allow me to graduate. I’ve kept my word and never practiced. Thankfully, I was smart enough to get a business minor, which paid the bills.

Now that I’m 39, I start to wonder where I’ll be in the next 10 years. The next 20 years. Am I saving enough to retire on comfortably? (Uh, no.) Will I be remarried? Have kids, or step-kids, or grandkids, or step-grandkids? Will I still be fat? Will I make it 20 years? 30 years? 40 years?!?

What about you, Dear Reader? Do you have a plan? Is your life mapped out for the next howevermany years or are you flying by the seat of your pants? As for me, I think I’ll continue to fly. Hell, I was never very good at following maps, anyway. This plane’s a two-seater if anyone wants to ride shotgun. I must warn you, though, once we start this journey, I’m not stoppin’ every hour to pee. You’ll just have to hold it.

Posted at 01:18 PM | Comments (10)

February 15, 2005

JA Bowling Classic Redux

OK, folks, there are only 4 days left to donate for the Junior Achievement Bowling Classic. I've gotten $80.00 in donations so far, and really want to thank all of you that donated.

Don't forget, the dogs are going to randomly select one lucky donor for a $25.00 Amazon gift card.

All monies donated go directly to Junior Achievement.

Posted at 11:12 AM | Comments (1)

February 14, 2005

Shave my what?

A good friend is turning 40 on Friday. As a tribute, or to mock him, 5 of us are talking about shaving our head to look like him. He has the typical monk look, bald on top, hair around the sides.

We're about 95% agreed that we'll do it, then shave the rest of it off.

Opinions?

Posted at 03:38 PM | Comments (7)

February 10, 2005

That doesn't sound right

I called the local Mazda dealer to make an appointment for an oil change. It went something like this:

Mazda: Service Department, can I help you?

Me: Yes Ma'am, I need to bring my car in for an oil change.

Mazda: Can I get your name?

Me: Sure, it's Howard G----in.

Mazda: (typing) Hmm. I don't show a G----and.

Me: No, Ma'am, there's no a, n, d. It's i, n.

Mazda: Oh. Sorry. Let me try that again. (keys clicking) I still don't find you. You said it's "G----an".

Me: No, Ma'am. It's an i, and an n. In. G----, then an i, then an n. I as in "icycle" and n as in "nancy".

Mazda: (keys clicking). I still don't find you. Are you sure that's correct? It just doesn't sound right.

Me: Well, that's how my Dad taught me to spell it. He wasn't very good at spelling though, so he might've gotten it wrong. Do you think we could try it one letter at a time?

Mazda: Um, sure. Whatever.

I spell it one letter at a time and have her repeat it as she types.

Mazda: OH! There you are. Howard G----in.

Me: Yes Ma'am, that's me. Just like my Daddy taught me.

Posted at 02:59 PM | Comments (3)

Valentine's Cards

Well, folks, V-Day is slowly approaching (yee-fuckin'-hah), and the fine folks at TopFive have a new Valentine's Day card website.

Go check it out. Some of the cards are really funny.

Posted at 01:09 PM | Comments (2)

February 09, 2005

Just an FYI

If your stomach is bothering you when you get home from work, a supper of fried deer tenderloin and baby carrots with ranch dip is probably not the best thing for you.

Posted at 06:56 PM | Comments (5)

Repeat after me

Loon!

Posted at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2005

In case you're wondering

I'm sitting in my boxers and a t-shirt watching the last half of Ray on my new 27" Sony Wega Flat screen TV. I bought it from a friend of mine who got one of these from his lovely wife in honor of his 40th b-day.

I will turn 40 on February 12th, 2006. Y'all better start saving now cause you know I'm gonna hit you up for one next year.

Posted at 08:22 PM | Comments (7)

February 07, 2005

Crapola Day

It's 10:00 a.m.

At 6:30, I woke up. The alarm was set for 6:00.

At 7:30, I get stuck behind a 712 year old driving to work.

At 7:38, the 712 year old's tire throws a stone onto my windshield. I now have a lovely rock peck in the middle of my windshield.

At 8:10, my computer tells me that I'm out of disk space. This is not possible. Upon further review, I have less than 100 meg available on my 40 gig drive.

At 9:00, I've been able to free up an additional 100 meg. No idea where the rest of my space has gone.

At 9:30, I begin moving all of my stuff to a networked drive since it looks like I will be rebuilding my laptop.

At 9:35, closed office door and cursed like a motherfuc*er.

At 10:00, calmed down somewhat and posted this bit of drivel.

Posted at 10:17 AM | Comments (6)

February 03, 2005

Customer Service my ass!

FUCK! Idiot! Don't tell me that a broken part isn't covered under the fucking warranty when that's exactly why I bought the fucking warranty in the first place. To fix the broken fucking parts! What good is a fucking warranty when it doesn't cover the broken fucking parts! Hellooooo?!?

Jesus Pete, this guy pissed me off. Part of me is tempted to put the name of the company I'm dealing with on here for the simple fact that if someone Google's them, they might run across my opinion of them. The other part hates jail.

The CMOS battery holder is broken. It was broken when it arrived. Don't tell me that your quality control department wouldn't send out a broken device. I've used your product, buddy, and the one thing you don't have is quality control. This is the poorest excuse for a tablet PC that I have ever seen.

It was all I could do to not jump through the phone and choke the living shit out of this idiot. Stupid jackass. You know what, dude, I hope your fucking camel gets the clap.

Posted at 03:14 PM | Comments (3)

February 01, 2005

If you could...

I'm watching Ray and one of the bonus features is a jam session (audition) between Ray and Jamie Foxx. I was floored. Can you imagine Jamie, who is a classical pianist, getting to sit down and jam with Ray Charles? I mean, how cool would that be? Jamming with Ray Charles and being able to hold your own. It gave me goose bumps to think about how he must have felt.

It got me to thinking...what would be the same experience for me? What would be that once-in-a-lifetime thing where I could showcase my talents with someone equally as talented? And I came up with nothing. No, really. Not a freakin' thing. Not sports, not music, not arts, not jack shit. There was nothing I could think of that I considered a true talent. Then it hit me. I knew what it was that I did well. Humor.

The one thing that I do almost without thinking about it is make people laugh. Whether it's at me or with me, making people laugh is what I do. It's my thing, my shtick. I love to do it. Sure, sometimes it's in inappropriate places or situations, but that's part of the fun. I am a funny guy. Then I knew what my once-in-a-lifetime thing would be. Improv with Robin Williams.

The ultimate thrill would be to make people laugh with him. To be on-stage, making shit up as we went along and seeing if I could hold my own. I would be tickled shitless (a good thing) to perform with him. It's definitely my once-in-a-lifetime thing.

OK, now it's your turn. If you had the chance, what would you do and whom would you do it with? Would you write a short story with Stephen King? Ride your bike with Lance? Sing with Aretha? Fish with Bill Dance? What? If I was a magic 3leggeddog and could grant you this wish, what would it be?

Posted at 07:21 PM | Comments (11)

Old age

I used to think that your hearing was the first things to go when you got old, but in my case, it's much worse. Unlike Elvis Costello, my aim ain't true.

Posted at 01:20 PM | Comments (2)

January 31, 2005

Harassment my ass!

My company just emailed our new policy on workplace harassment. As I read through the definitions of what is considered harassment, the thing that kept popping into my head was, "Did it".

Posted at 01:46 PM | Comments (3)

Clean sheets

You know, sometimes there is nothing I like more than crawling into bed between fresh, clean sheets. It's got to be my favorite day of the month.

Posted at 09:31 AM | Comments (4)

January 28, 2005

SHJGTOWP seeks...

I had to go and I had to go now. I’d waited as long as I could and it was time. I flung open the door to the men’s room, only to discover that someone is in one of the two stalls. Decision time. Do I break the Sacred Tradition of Men and take the empty stall? Do I proceed to my safe haven? Do I shit all over myself? I had no choice. I broke tradition and took the other stall. Fortunately, I recognized the shoes of the current occupant as none other than my old pal, MB. Good fortune had smiled on me.

Normally, I’m not a stall talker. If someone happens to sit down next to me, I don’t talk to him. It’s just too weird. I may say something like, “Sorry about that, dude. Must have been the Taco Bell I had for lunch”, but for the most part, I’m quiet. It’s just one of those things that you don’t do, like picking your nose in public. But we all know that sometimes, you just gotta pick…and this was one of those times.

Me: Hey, man, check this shit out. (inside joke…I knew MB would laugh)

MB: laughs. What is it?

Me: Someone left the classified ads from the paper. You need anything?

MB: Yeah, you to shut up.

Me: Ah now, don’t be that way. You know I would have gone somewhere else if I could.

MB: I know. Was it an “I gotta go, and I gotta go now” situation?

Me: Do I have any other kind?

MB: Heh. Probably not.

Me: Oh cool, the personal ads. Wanna hear ‘em?

MB: Sure, I got nothing else to do.

Me: Ok. First one. Couple seeks singles or other couples, 35 to 45, for fun and good times. Cool. Wonder if they’ll take Jews?

MB: Heh. Doubt it. You’re too hairy. Any others?

Me: Yeah, here’s a good one. WWM, 51, doesn’t look his age, seeks full-figured SWF for LTR.

MB: Do what? What in the hell is a WWM or a SWF?

Me: Oh. Sorry. Forgot you’re new at this. WWM is “widowed white male”, SWF is “single, white female” and LTR is “long term relationship”.

MB: Ah. He’s looking for a chubby chick to be his next wife.

Me: Bingo! Give that man a courtesy flush.

MB: All right, dude, I’m outta here. You’re killing me.

Me: Up yours. See ya!

MB gets up, walks to the sink and starts washing his hands. I read another classified to him.

Me: Hey, here’s another. Single white male seeks single white female for no-strings-attached fun and games.

Since I’m running my mouth, I fail to hear the door to the bathroom open. I keep talking to MB.

Me: Dude, this stuff is sad. I know! I’ll put one in. How about single, horny Jewish guy, tired of watching porn seeks…

On some primitive level, I know we’re no longer alone. Some lower spinal cord thing has kicked in and I sense new people in the bathroom. I notice a new pair of shoes in the stall next to mine. I hear another pair walk to the urinal on the far side of the stall. And I hear the very faint sound of MB laughing. Hard. Really hard. As he walks out.

Posted at 10:41 AM | Comments (6)

January 25, 2005

Equipment for morons

The one part of my job that I dislike is ordering high-powered hardware for people with low-powered brains. Dropping several thousand dollars on notebooks for dumbasses is not my idea of "keeping expenses in check". It's crap like this that just chaps my ass. Why not just put "will allow me to play the latest kickass games when I travel" as the justification? We all know that's what you're going to do with it. Well, all of us except the higher-ups who approve stuff like this. I guess the trick is to drop a couple of buzz words such as "security audit" and "enterprise safety issues" to get what you want.

People just piss me off.

Posted at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2005

Junior Achievement Bowling Classic

Ok, folks, it's time to help out. For the past 5 years, I have participated in the annual Junior Achievement Bowling Classic. The Classic raises money for the JA programs in Mississippi and is always a lot of fun.

I need to raise a minimum of $75.00, which will not only help 6 students in the state, but will also get me a cool "Disco Bowl T-shirt". In order to do this, I've added a PayPal "Make a donation" button to the left. All money will go to Junior Achievement since I will cover any PayPal costs out of my pocket. I will also email you a receipt that you can use for tax purposes.

As an incentive, Trey and Fancy pooled their allowance and had me purchase a $25.00 Amazon gift card that they will award to one lucky donor. They will draw a name at random from all of the donors and that person will get the gift card.

So come on, folks, make a donation for a good cause and the opportunity to win an Amazon gift card from the original 3leggeddogs.

Posted at 10:00 AM | Comments (2)

January 20, 2005

DUMBASS!!

For the 1 millionth fucking time, you moron, it is NOT a problem with the VPN. It works. I downloaded the damn client, used YOUR userid and password (that you swore didn't work), and logged in. Don't tell me that "something must have been changed" because we don't make random, fucking changes. Dipshit!

And yes, I do feel better now.

Posted at 09:51 AM | Comments (3)

January 19, 2005

Mmm...venison

Success! Got a buck (my first) early yesterday morning. 8 point, 17 1/2" inside spread, 170 lbs. Wahoo!

Pictures and story to follow...Now I have to get to work. Boooo!

Posted at 08:30 AM | Comments (7)

January 16, 2005

Gone Hunting

Hi, you've reached 3leggeddog. We're currently deer hunting so no one can come to the blog right now. If you leave a brief message, someone will get back to you. Thanks and have a nice day.

Posted at 05:05 PM | Comments (5)

January 14, 2005

Note to Self

Dear Self,

The next time you receive a package that you know contains two baby-sized afghans, do not open it in front of your friends. It is impossible to explain why someone sent you a pink afghan, even if it is for your niece. Dumbass.

A special thanks to Liz for sending me some of her overstock. My niece will love it.

Posted at 02:13 PM | Comments (2)

January 13, 2005

I'm rich, bitch!**

I went here last night to play some blackjack. In the past, my experiences with blackjack consisted of getting $50 out of the ATM, handing it directly to the dealer, then going to eat. Why? Because it saved me both time and aggravation.

Playing blackjack was not my thing simply because I didn't understand the finer points of the game, splitting a pair, doubling down, insurance, and odds. I still don't understand a lot of it, but last night I understood enough to come out ahead. I WON! Yep, that's right, Dear Reader, for the first time ever, I walked out of a casino with more cash than I had going in. And let me tell you something, that $4.50 is just the beginning. Next time, I'm not leaving till I'm up at least $9.75! WAHOO!

And, for the record, if you're going to be a blackjack dealer, it would seriously help if you knew how to count. No, really, it would. You see, I'm pretty sure I got paid two or three times by mistake. The bad thing is that now I don't know if I actually won the $4.50 because of my blackjack skills or because the dealer couldn't count. It better be the blackjack skills because I've been told that girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.

** Said in my best Dave
Chappelle
voice

Posted at 10:27 AM | Comments (7)

January 12, 2005

Lunch Conversation

Me: Man, did you hear? Ben Rothlisberger is donating his playoff-game paycheck to the disaster relief fund. That's $18,000!

MB: Yeah, I read it this morning. You know Sandra Bullock donated a million bucks earlier this month, right?

Me: Yup. Saw it on the news. I also read that Michael Shumacher, the Formula1 racer dude, is going to donate 10 million euros.

MB: 10 million euros? Holy shit!

Me: Yeah, that was pretty cool, even though it's only about 8 or 9 thousand dollars American.

MB: No, idiot. It's going to be right around 10 million dollars.

Me: Oh! Really? Sweet. You know, dude, with all that cash, I need to have a local tsunami.

MB: Doesn't that happen every time you get in the tub?

Posted at 02:25 PM | Comments (2)

January 11, 2005

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is the official movie of 3leggeddog. The movie has been given this honor due to the fact that the pirates' dog, Cody (real name Leica), is a three-legged dog that looks just like Trey. Leica is missing the front right leg while Trey (and Fancy) are missing the front left leg.

Unfortunately, there is no monetary or statutory award for this honor. It's essentially meaningless unless Wes Anderson or one of his people happen upon my site...which is doubtful.

Anyway, go see the movie and when you see Cody (Leica), be sure to yell "TREY!".

Posted at 09:47 AM | Comments (3)

January 10, 2005

Stupid Bomb

Someone must have dropped a stupid bomb on top of my building this morning. It's unbelievable the amount of help desk calls we're getting.

The worst part is that I must have left my "give-a-shitter" unplugged all weekend. I try and try, but I can't muster the least little bit of "give-a-shit". Not even a tiny bit. What am I gonna do about it? Not jack shit. :-)

Posted at 01:28 PM | Comments (3)

January 07, 2005

Mississippi Burning

From today's New York Times**:

The most infamous unresolved case from America's civil rights struggle four decades ago - the 1964 abduction and killing of three voter-registration volunteers by nightriders on a lonely rural road in Mississippi - was revived last night with the arrest of a longtime leader of the Ku Klux Klan, the authorities announced.

I don't care how old, infirm, sick, or withered you are. If you killed these men, you deserve to go to jail. I just pray that this doesn't somehow blow up in our faces and make Mississippi look even worse than people think it is already.

**May require you to login.

Posted at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2005

Buy Buy Best Buy

Whew...That was close. I went back to Best Buy today to try and spend my store credit and almost left without buying anything. Notice I said "almost".

Ray - The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Good Charlotte - The Chronicles of Life and Death
Green Day - American Idiot

Eclectic mix, I know, but all good. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go. I've got Georgia On My Mind.

Posted at 02:08 PM | Comments (2)

Boxers or Briefs?

Sugarmama brings up some valid points in this old post of hers. I don’t agree with her about the golf/Polo shirts, mainly because they are the staples of my wardrobe. However, I was really interested in what she thought about guy's clothes. Since I consider myself fashionably-challenged, I'm always interested in the opinions of others

So ladies, I’m curious as to what you like/dislike about guy’s clothes. Do you prefer your man in boxers or briefs? Pleated pants or plain front? And yes, I’m searching for what women like. Changing the ol’ wardrobe is part of the New Year’s resolution I made, or one of them anyway, and I'm really interested in your opinions.

Posted at 11:17 AM | Comments (10)

January 04, 2005

Picture Day

Thought I would share some pictures since I couldn't think of anything else to write.

This one is from my fishing trip in September. I'm on the left. The big fish you see are redfish from Louisiana.

This is a picture of the cutest niece ever.

This is the best looking niece and nephew ever.


Posted at 01:44 PM | Comments (7)

January 03, 2005

Stupid deductible

So I'm starting off 2005 with a bang...or maybe I should say a bump. On my face. I have some kind of weird in-grown pimple type of thing next to my nose that started on Friday. And it's pretty sore. And hard. And red. But fortunately, the swelling around it and my eye have gone down, so I guess that's a good thing.

If it's not any better by tomorrow, which it won't be, then I'll head to the doctor.

Posted at 08:00 PM | Comments (3)

December 30, 2004

Strange Days Indeed

Something is not right in the Universe. I don't know what it is exactly, but something just ain't right. The World just feels weird today.

Reason Number 1: I have a $50 gift card to Best Buy. I went to the store at lunch and bought...nothing. Not. A. Single. Thing. From. Best Buy. Nada. For me to still have an unused $50 gift card after spending close to an hour in Best Buy is wrong. It's not supposed to happen. It's like Elvis turning down a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. Or Ron Jeremy shaving his body. Or Michael Moore giving GWB a video camera for his birthday. It's just not natural.

Reason Number 2: I think I've been dumped by the Internet Girlfriend (IG). I say "think" because I can't tell if she's kidding or not...although I have a strong suspicion that she isn't. And, strangely enough, if it's true, it actually hurts more than I expected.

So anyway...if you have any ideas as to how I can make the World right again, let me know. Gift suggestions would be appreciated.

Posted at 01:38 PM | Comments (8)

December 29, 2004

Dirty Santa Game

I really wish someone would have told me that the Dirty Santa game had nothing to do with items of an adult nature...before I bought the gift.

So, uh, if anyone has a need for a vibrating adult toy of rather large proportions, please let me know. The thing is creeping me out.

Posted at 02:38 PM | Comments (3)

December 28, 2004

The Conversationalist

I am one of those people who will talk to anyone. Standing in line at Best Buy, getting on a plane, getting off a plane, waiting to get on a plane. You get the idea. I’m not obnoxious about it because I know not everyone is a talker. I don’t badger you to speak to me. Most people, however, will reply, even if it’s to let me know that they do not wish me to speak to them again. If you completely ignore me, however, then that’s something all together different.

After running to get on the plane in Dallas (ice in Dallas delayed my leaving Jackson by two hours) I sat next to a really pretty girl who was busy reading. It took me a few minutes to catch my breath and get my shit together. I said, “I’ll stop fidgeting around in just a minute.” She said nothing. Didn’t even look up. Hmm…

Me: Are you heading home to Denver?
Her: silence
Me: (waits a few more minutes) Boy, I wish we’d take off already.
Her: silence
Me: (Hmm…wonder if she’s deaf?)
Her: silence
Me: Habla español?
Her: silence
Me: Parlez-vous français?
Her: silence
Me: (I don’t see a hearing aid. Must be shy.)
Me: Parlate italiano?
Her: silence
Me: (Wait…she’s reading a book in English. What the hell?)
Her: silence
Me: Sprechen Sie Deutsches?
Her: silence
Me: Você fala o português?
Her: cuts her eyes towards me.
Me: (YES! I’m making progress)
Her: More silence
Me: Hal tatakalam Arabi?
Her: (Slowly turns her head and stares at me)
Me: (Smiles really big)
Her: If you’re going to do this the entire flight, I’m going to change seats.
Me: So you DO speak English. Cool
Her: Stewardess!

Posted at 11:24 AM | Comments (3)

Christmas Gifting

Giving someone a gift is fun. Giving someone a gift that is a total surprise is really fun. Giving someone a gift that is a total surprise and then watching their expression change to "What in the hell?" is not fun.

Note to self: Your brother does not play in the dirt, therefore buying him a matching Tonka Toy Backhoe to go with the Tonka Toy Crane you bought your nephew is probably not a good idea. Actually, it's a rather bad idea.

Posted at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

December 25, 2004

Holidays

Sorry for disappearing like that...I'm in Colorado visiting the brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew. I'll be back in town Monday evening and can fill you in on all the cool stuff I got and the cool things I did.

Funniest thing so far? Having my nephew show me his new wall (his Mom painted it with planets and stars), but stopping me at the threshold to tell me to "please not fart in his room". You gotta love the honesty of a 4 year old.

I sincerely hope that you, Dear Reader, have an exceptional holiday be it visiting with family or just cramming in as many movies as you can over the weekend and falling asleep on the couch. That one would be my favourite. :-)

Posted at 01:05 AM | Comments (1)

December 20, 2004

Sayonara Baby!

Well, I'm sad to report that ILLC has been let go. My buddy did it Friday and I found out about it when she IM'd me, asking me to remove Yahoo IM from the computer she used to work on. She never came out and said she got canned, so I guess I was supposed to ask. And I didn't. Cause I already knew.

So, Dear Reader, on the one hand I feel bad that she got canned. I just don't think she was cut out for the fast-paced life of a paralegal. On the other hand, I don't have to deal with her anymore. Hmm...I think I like it better that I don't have to deal with her.

Interesting tidbit, though. When I was working on her computer earlier in the week, I happened to see an email from someone I knew. Turns out we have a mutual acquaintance...who happens to be a swinger. And by swinger, I don't mean a couple who wears Zoot Suits and Flapper dresses. Maybe I should give her another chance? Um. No.

Posted at 03:09 PM | Comments (6)

Driving tip

If you happen to be riding in your friend's brand-new Mazda, it is in your best interest to put a lid on any drinks you bring with you. This will avoid the embarassment of having to clean the drink off of your friend's leather seats after he swerves to avoid the 107 year old, half-blind, elderly driver of a 1960's era Cadillac.

So, um, anybody know of a good way to get Coke off my leather seats? :-(

Posted at 03:01 PM | Comments (2)

December 18, 2004

An UberGeek

In case there is any confusion, Dear Reader, about the level of geekness here at 3leggeddog, let me set the record straight. I am an Uber-geek.

In my extended sick time this week, I became bored beyond measure. When I'm sick, I have the attention span of a gnat. TV doesn't interest me...books are stupid...porn is the same old, same old...you get the point. Well, I realized something, Dear Reader. I realized that my remote control is a learning remote. And is programmable. And has macro capability. I experienced a post orgasm-like shudder when I thought about the possibilities. Sure, I'd done little stuff like program the volume control or the numbers, but now I could create MACROS. *shudder*

After a few hours of trial and error, I had completely reprogrammed my remote. It is now more user-friendly than ever, and I'd finally fixed some things that I did wrong the first time. With this single Marvel of Technology, I now have complete and total control over my TV, stereo receiver, DVD player, and satellite receiver with built-in Tivo. Plus, I have macros.

Macros that, with the push of a single button, will turn on the TV, stereo receiver, and satellite receiver. Another fabulous macro will, once the previous items have been turned on, turn on the DVD player, switch the stereo input to DVD, and, yes Dear Reader, it will eject the tray into which I will place the DVD of choice. When the movie is finished, yet another time-saving macro will eject the DVD tray, wait 5 seconds, then turn off the DVD and return the stereo input to TV. And finally, one last energy-conserving macro to turn everything off when it's time to crawl into bed after a hard day's work.

With this technologically-advanced remote and my none-too-shabby, macro-creation skills, I am truly Master of my Domain. And a geek beyond measure.

Posted at 07:53 PM | Comments (2)

December 16, 2004

Blade Trinity

GO SEE BLADE TRINITY!!! NOW! It was AWESOME! I just got back from the theater with a buddy of mine and we were like two little kids talking about it. It is so much better than the second one. You gotta go see it if you haven't already. Honest, ignore what the critics say about it and go see this movie.

If you like action and comedy, go see Blade Trinity. I'm probably going again this weekend. Yes, I liked it that much. And, uh, Jessica Biel. Raowr.

Posted at 10:01 PM | Comments (3)

December 15, 2004

ACHOO!!

I feel lige habbered shid. By doze iz raw and red. By Dad sez "Tayg Bitamin C. Id helbs be all da tibe." By resbonz do him wuz, "Danks, Dad. Dat adbice iz buch abbreciated. Dow fix be zum chicken zoop, dabbit!"

Hobefully, I'll be bag at wurk toborrow. Dighty, Dight, Dear Weadah.

Posted at 08:14 PM | Comments (5)

December 14, 2004

Uh oh. I got a problem.

So I did some work for my buddy the attorney this past Saturday. He is, as you may remember, the employer of ILLC.

I was working on getting their two calendars to sychronize when I found it quite by accident. I wasn't snooping, I swear. I am very careful when I work in his office because I don't want to find out something I'll regret later. And this was one of those things. It seemed like such a little thing at the time, but the more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. Made me really nervous, actually.

It was on her calendar for February, 2005. February 12th, 2005 to be specific. My birthday. It read:

HOWARD'S BIRTHDAY!!!!!

And yes, Dear Reader, the exclamation points were there. All 5 of them. Help. Me.

Posted at 02:03 PM | Comments (3)

Sick

So is it feed a cold and starve a fever or starve a cold and feed a fever? Geez, I feel like crap. I've either got a cold, a sinus infection, or, um, I'm allergic to the dogs.

I've been dog-sitting since last Monday since the ex-Mother-in-law has been in the hospital. The ex-wife has been spending her days and nights with her Mom, so I've been staying at the house with the hounds.

In the two years I've been away, they've lost all the discipline I instilled in them...or tried to, anyway. I think I know why, though. When I've yelled at discussed with Trey the reason I'm angry he does the following. He will sit up on his hind legs and hold his single front paw towards me as if to say, "Please, kind sir, do not be mad at me. I am but a simple dog. I try to follow the rules, but alas, it is just not in me to do so. Punish me as you see fit". Yeah, like someone is going to discipline him after that show. He's good at looking pitiful, let me tell you. And it works...every freakin' time.

Posted at 01:38 PM | Comments (2)

December 12, 2004

3leggeddog Coffee Advice

If you're nnot used to dddrinking coffee, and when you ddo it's decafff, then I would suggest yyyou nnot drink ttttwo of those bbig ccoffee-house ccups full of rrregular. Ifff you do, it's llliable to makke you ooooovercaf....overcaffffinnna....ovvercaffinnn...shshit....jittery.

Posted at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2004

I just wanted to look nice

All I wanted was to look nice. That’s it. That’s not a lot to ask of anyone. Hell, anyone. That’s not a lot to ask of me. It was that simple. Look. Nice. But no, I couldn’t even pull that off.

The slacks seem too short. The collar on the shirt doesn’t look right. And the sleeves on the jacket still don’t seem right. Mix in a little low self-esteem and you know what you get? Me. Sitting in front of the computer having a pity party instead of going to the company Christmas party.

Fuck, people. I was really looking forward to it, too. I finally thought I’d look nice. It’s not so much that others would think it, but that I would think it. I wanted to look in the mirror and be proud of the person looking back at me. But it didn’t happen. So I did what I do best. I called and said I had “something come up” and I couldn’t make it. Said I couldn’t go into it right now, but we’d talk on Monday.

I didn’t tell them that the something that came up was I couldn’t stand the fat guy looking at me in the mirror. I didn’t tell them that the collar was fucked up or the sleeves were fucked up or the pants were fucked up. We’ve been through this before, Dear Reader, and nothing seems to change. I wish it would change, but wishing isn’t going to make it happen.

It’s not that hard, really. I just need to lose weight, but I can’t get motivated. Everything’s tomorrow. I’ll go to the grocery store and buy decent food. Tomorrow. I’ll hook up the bike to the stationary trainer and ride for a bit. Tomorrow. I’ll go back the gym and start working out. Tomorrow. You know the old saying, right? Tomorrow never comes. I don’t know if it’s depression, or self-pity, or laziness, or what. There’s just no motivation to change.

Well, that’s not true. There is motivation. There is a reason for me to change. But the reason is just a pipe dream. It’s a fantasy, really, but it’s all I seem to have at the moment. Maybe I can use that to get me off my ass and make a change. Once I get started, I'll be ok. It's the starting, though, that's the hardest part.

Sorry for dumping on you, Dear Reader, but nowadays it seems that when things go bad (or good), you’re there for me to share it with. Thanks for listening.

Posted at 07:04 PM | Comments (7)

Email humor

My buddy sent me this...It's an actual email he got late yesterday.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Tom
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 4:58 PM
To: Dick
Subject: Harry

Dick,

Can Harry access his e-mail from the wireless connection we have set up for training?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Dick
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 5:05 PM
To: Tom
Subject: RE: Harry

You know, I forgot to call him...its been a LOOONG day. I'm not sure if he
can or not. He should be able to get to web email:

https://webmail.companyname.com/exchange or http://hosowa/exchange

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Tom
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 5:04 PM
To: Dick
Subject: RE: Harry

How do I send him this link if he cannot get to his e-mail?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-----Original Message-----
From: Dick
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 5:07 PM
To: Tom
Subject: RE: Harry

You can just tell him since he's sitting there with you. :-)

Posted at 10:31 AM | Comments (1)

December 09, 2004

She lives in Far, Far Away

What does it mean when you and another person send over 1,000 emails to each other? In less than two months. Friendship? Fascination? Blog Crush? (Can it be a blog crush if she doesn't blog?) What if she lives far away? What if she's really pretty...and lives far away? Is it possible to have an internet girlfriend? I’ve heard of a few people that have them, but don’t know what it involves. Do you have to ask her to be your internet girlfriend or do 1,000+ emails just imply it? If you don't know what her voice sounds like, is "internet girlfriend" pushing it?

Seriously, over 1,000 emails. We email throughout the day, every day. It all started with my post about being a Starbucks virgin and just kept going. It’ll be two months next week. Did I mention she's pretty? She’s smart, too. She knows about microbiology and stuff…she speaks several languages…she just got a cool promotion at work. Did I mention that she lives far away? Like in another country?

It’s strange how we seem to connect. We’ve talked about a lot of things, but I still don’t know her favorite color. Or her favorite perfume. Or how her hair smells after she’s gotten out of the shower. Or if she drools when she sleeps (I’m betting she does :-P). I know she is the middle of three siblings. I know she’s lived in several different countries. I know she wants to travel. I know how she felt when I had my lunch date. She knows how I felt when she had someone visit over a weekend.

I’ve told no one about her. I’m superstitious about these things. If I talk about people I like, then we never get together. If I dream about them, it’s over. Yeah, it’s weird, but it’s happened too many times so I’m superstitious. Do I think it’ll happen? I don’t know. But I don’t want to jinx it. What can I say? I’m a romantic. I want the ogre and the princess to live happily ever after.

Posted at 01:38 PM | Comments (5)

Name change

Does anyone know the process to legally change your name? I guess I could google it, but I thought I'd ask. And yes, I'm serious.

You see, my dad and I have the same name (I'm a second (II), not junior). Whereas I am diligent in paying bills, following rules, doing what's expected, my Dad is not. And this causes me lots of grief sometimes.

Most recently, when the Credit Union pulled my credit report, it looked like I had close to $40K in credit card debt. Now I owe my fair share to Citibank, but no where near that amount. Yes, I've disputed it, but this is not the first time it's happened. Note to Equifax: What ignorant SOB in your organization listed me as HBG 2 and not II? How f*ing stupid is that? It's a Roman numeral, II, you ignorant f***, not the Arabic 2. Next to the DMV, you have got to be the dumbest people on Earf."

Anyway, I've seriously considered changing my name to avoid this stuff. My phone number's unlisted to avoid his creditors. I'm not sure the name change will fix anything, but if the old man has no interest in paying his bills in a timely manner, I gotta do something.

Posted at 10:56 AM | Comments (1)

December 08, 2004

Issue-Laden Lunch Chick

There seems to be some confusion about this post. The reason for asking ILLC to fax the documents was because I did not have access to them. They were at my apartment. Sure, I could have driven over and gotten them and come back, but it would have taken me close to two hours. It was simpler (and quicker) to ask her to do it. As it turns out, she faxed me the documents and I then faxed them to the credit union...which approved my loan this morning. Wahoo!

Props to Wicked H for giving me the "Issue-Laden Lunch Chick" moniker, which refers to the woman in this post and this one, and this one, and this one. She shall henceforth be known as either Issue-Laden Lunch Chick, or ILLC.

Now, on to business. I need ILLC's help. I'm refinancing my car and I need to prove that the house payments aren't mine any longer. How can I do that, you ask? Good question. It just so happens that I can do that rather easily. You see, Dear Reader, I can provide the Credit Union with a copy of the signed divorce decree and the page from the settlement that say, "He don't have to pay".

This would be simple...IF THE F*ING ILLC WOULD EVER GET BACK TO THE OFFICE SO SHE CAN FAX THEM THE *OD-DAMN PAPERWORK!! Sheesh. I listen to this woman complain about everything from her ovaries to her underies and I need one teeny, tiny favor and she's no where to be found.

I called the office and Loon 2 said she was out "running errands". This was 2 hours ago. What the hell? I need help.

Well, guess what? ILLC finally showed up. Rant over. Now I must be charming and witty so she'll do my bidding.

Posted at 03:38 PM | Comments (5)

December 07, 2004

Ambidextrous

If you could only see me now...blogging with my right hand and setting up a new PC with my left. Who knew my left hand was good for something besides...

catching a baseball.

What the hell did you think I'd say? Pervs.

Posted at 03:07 PM | Comments (4)

December 06, 2004

You were gone?

I just had someone tell me that they've been gone for six months. It occured to me that if you take a 6-month leave of absence and a) no one notices you're gone and 2) we obviously didn't miss your lack of programming skills, then what the hell are we paying you for?

Posted at 01:36 PM | Comments (1)

December 03, 2004

"We'll call you right back."

Dear BellSouth,

When I called to check on the status of moving my old email address to my DSL account, your support person said, "No problem. It'll be complete within 24 hours and we'll call you when it's complete." Guess what? I'm still waiting. Your assurance that it'll be done in 24 hours is quickly approaching 48 hours. And no one has called.

I called this morning to see where we were. Imagine my surprise when the support rep said, "Hmm, it looks like the request didn't go through". He was nice enough to contact the billing department. The billing department said, "we're working on it now and we'll call you when it's done". Guess what? I'm still waiting. And no one's called.

When your collections people call me and want to know where their payment is, guess what I'm going to tell them? "I'm working on it right now. You'll have it within 24 hours. I'll call you when it's ready."

UPDATE: Guess BellSouth read the blog entry...my hbg2 account now works. Sweet!

Posted at 02:30 PM | Comments (2)

December 02, 2004

Blade-ing

I'm going to be unavailable tonight. I'll be watching this, then this since Best Buy had them for sale as a set. And then on December 10th, I'll be watching this.

The only thing I don't like about the first movie is that Traci Lords gets killed too early. I loves me some Traci Lords. Raowr.

Posted at 03:20 PM | Comments (2)

Bowhunting

I think these have been around for a few years, but this is the first time I saw them. This is the reason that you don't take a dumbass with you when you go bowhunting.

Posted at 11:11 AM | Comments (1)

Email issues

Having some email issues this morning. If you need me, you can email me at 3leggeddogREMOVETHIS@gmail.com

Posted at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)

November 30, 2004

Hmmm...Part IV

So....uh....we went to lunch once, right? And, um, I gave her my Yahoo ID so she could contact me if she's got computer problems. Well...I don't remember telling her that she should contact me if she's got personal issues. *sigh*

Now I get IM's like this "My mother had surgery on her shoulder last night so I have to take care of her& the house tonight and this "I still have the headache that I went to UMC's ER Wednesday and to CMMC's ER on Friday night." She's also called me once or twice to complain/share about her job and to tell me that her 2nd ex-husband wouldn't take her phone calls. Gee?!? I wonder why...loon.

I like my life to remain drama free for the most part, and this is infringing on my non-dramaness. So, uh, Dear Reader, how does one extricate oneself from this situation without hurting someone's feelings?

Posted at 02:01 PM | Comments (10)

November 29, 2004

Turkey-Day Festivities Redux

So there I am, Dear Reader, surrounded by a cheering, screaming, whistling, foot-stomping, hollering horde of Arkansas Razorback fans. I am the lone purple and gold baseball cap wearing Tiger fan amidst a sea of red. For every ear-shattering scream of “WOO! SOOEY! PIG!”, my throat-rattling call of “GEAUX TIGERS!” is like the proverbial fart in a windstorm…no one hears it but me.

That is, until LSU score first. Huzzah! The Tiger fans on the other side of the stadium erupt in cheer, the Golden Band from Tigerland fires up a lusty “Geaux Tigers”, and the crowd around me abruptly falls silent. My ears are ringing as I stand up and shout, “Wow, it sure got quiet in here!”. Heads turn as I cheer my Tigers. My buddy leans over and shares some sage advice; “We’re two LSU fans surrounded by thousands of Razorback fans. Reassess the situation and Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

It was an awesome weekend. I spent Thursday through Saturday with some of the best people around. I watched some great football in the cold (LSU v Arkansas) and saw some not so great football in the cold and rain (Ole Miss v Mississippi State). I watched football from the very top row of seats in the end zone (Arkansas) and from the 50-yard line (Ole Miss). I tailgated for the first time ever (Arkansas) and pretended I was an old pro (Ole Miss). I put close to 800 miles on the Mazda. I met a man who ran his own porn website. I watched a drunk college student wade across a creek in 40 degree weather…twice. I yelled myself hoarse. I made some new friends. I saw more beautiful women per square foot (Ole Miss) than I have ever seen in my life. No shit, people. Ole Miss has got to have more beautiful women per square foot than any college campus in America. And no, I didn’t pick up any…it’s kinda tough when they insist on calling you “Sir”.

All in all friends, this ranks as one of the best Thanksgivings I’ve had. Ever.

Posted at 10:53 AM | Comments (5)

Financial Advice

If anyone who reads this is a financial planner or knows of a good financial planner, can you let me know? Need some serious help on retirement planning...and this rate, the first words out of my mouth when I retire will be "Do you want fries with that?"...

Posted at 09:03 AM | Comments (3)

November 24, 2004

Turkey-Day Festivities

Well, folks, this'll be my first Turkey Day as a divorced man and I'm celebrating in typical man fashion. No, it won't be a drunken porn fest or lounging around for 4 days in the same pair of boxers watching football. Although, I will admit, both of those do sound rather attractive. This year it's going to be LIVE COLLEGE FOOTBALL, BABY!!

My buddy and I are heading to Little Rock, Arkansas tomorrow afternoon to enjoy a nice dinner with a co-worker/friend and then Friday we're watching LSU stomp a mudhole into the Arkansas Razorbacks. GEAUX TIGERS!!

After witnessing LSU's humiliation of the Razorchickens, it's back into the Mazda6 for a trip to Oxford, MS. We'll enjoy a nice stay at someone's condo Friday night. Saturday, you'll find us in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium watching the Ole Miss Rebels take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the annual Egg Bowl. I don't really care who wins, although it would be nice to see State get the victory. I've got a lot of respect for their coach, Sylvester Croom, and little respect for the Ole Miss coach. Just don't like the guy.

After that, we'll head back to Jackson Saturday evening. Since these are the only games I'll attend this year, I'm looking forward to it. I hope you, Dear Reader, have an excellent holiday and I will chat with you again on Monday. For those of you that don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say, "HAVE FUN AT WORK, SUCKERS!". Adios.

Posted at 09:59 AM | Comments (4)

November 23, 2004

Hmm...Part III

UPDATE: Well, it was nice. And that's about all I can think to say. Didn't really feel a spark, but that's ok. That's not going to happen every time.

So....uh....If you call to confirm your get to know one another lunch and then spend the next 5 minutes listening about her ADD, restless leg syndrome, neurologists, headaches, sleeplessness, cramps, bloating, and weight gain, should you 1) scratch your fingernail over the mouthpiece and say, "can't....hear....break....up...stup...cell...pho" and then hang up, 2) mention you may be late because you have to meet your parole officer, or 3) set your pager to go off 30 minutes into the lunch and then pretend you have a Priority 1 help desk (this has worked once before).

I'm leaning towards 3.

Posted at 09:27 AM | Comments (7)

November 22, 2004

You might be a Redneck...

If you're gored in the hand by a goat, in your front yard, and the local Vet stitches you up, you might be a redneck.

Or, you could be my buddy Marty, who tried to slap his goat in the head for jumping on the fence and ended up with three stitches in his hand.

Posted at 02:15 PM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2004

Hmmm...Part II

The IM started out with "Hey, guess what?" and ended with "I'll pick you up about 12:30 on Tuesday."

I think I have a date.

I know your first question is going to be, "What do you mean you think you have a date?". And my response would be, "Just what I said. I think I have a date."

OK...Here's how it went down. I IM'd her and said, "Hey, guess what? I bought a new car." She responded with "What kind?". We chatted for a bit, then she said, "When are you going to let me drive it?" I said, "Hahahaha. Never." Then she said, "Well, when am I going to get to ride in it?" I said, "When do you want to ride in it?" (smooth, huh?) She said, "You tell me." After some schedule checking, we agreed on lunch Tuesday. Actually, it was her idea to meet for lunch.

So, Dear Reader, now do you understand why I say "I think I have a date".

Posted at 01:28 PM | Comments (7)

November 18, 2004

Hmmm...

I was told yesterday that I looked like this guy...

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/jag/bios/patrick_labyorteaux_bio.shtml

When I asked her if that was a good thing, she said yes. Hmm...

Posted at 09:17 AM | Comments (4)

November 17, 2004

That Mazda6 new car smell

MINE! MINE! ALL MINE!! Well...mine and the bank's, anyway.

Yes, mine looks just like this. It rocks. Also thought I'd share that I bought this car from Will Smith. I bought my truck from Michael Jordan. Wonder who's next? Kinda hoping it's Hale Berry. You know I just loves the mochachino.

Posted at 11:27 AM | Comments (5)

November 15, 2004

Residual feelings

I sit here, my stomach churning, because my ex-wife is having some bad days. She helped a friend with a Habitat house on Saturday and couldn't walk Sunday. I went over and cut the grass for her.

Tonight, she called and asked me to take her to the emergency room. She was pouring boiling water into a measuring cup and poured some of it on her thumb. I stopped by the house and although her thumb was red, it wasn't all that bad. I told her to ice it and take some Tylenol.

She calls about 30 minutes ago from Wal-Mart. She went to grab a 24-pack of Coke, it slipped out of her hand and fell on the floor. Several cans burst and emptied out on the floor.

She says she's going to just get in her car and drive and not stop. I know this is not true, but it bothers me nonetheless. I feel crappy that this stuff is happening to her (a few others work-related things happened that I won't relate), but can do nothing about it. And that bothers me too.

I feel bad that this is happening to her, but I also feel angry. Just a few minutes of preparation could have avoided so much of this crap. If you're going to paint baseboards, sit on the floor, don't squat. If you're going to pour boiling water into a cup, wear an oven mitt. If you burn your thumb, pick up the 24-pack of Coke with both hands. God almighty, J, it's not freakin' rocket science!

This is the one thing that made me the most irritated during our marriage. My Dad pounded commen sense into me. And yes, I do mean pounded. If I fucked up because of not using commen sense, I got hit. If I wanted to avoid getting hit, I developed my commen-sense skills. The one thing my ex lacked was this ability, skill, trait, whatever you want to call it. I can't count the number of times we got into an argument because of it. She is not dumb at all, she just doesn't think things through then she ends up paying for it in the end.

The hard part, folks, is realizing that this is no longer something I can control. I can't be there like I was in the past to prevent this stuff from happening and I feel some guilt about it. I guess it's the way I'm wired. Things like this have always bothered me and I don't really know how to change. I guess I have to learn to feel sorry for people without taking on their burden and trying to solve it.

I guess it all boils down to this...I feel bad because the ex is going through a rough time, yet I'm angry because I know these situations can be avoided. I just don't know how to deal with both emotions at the same time.

Posted at 08:49 PM | Comments (6)

November 12, 2004

My brother

I admire my little brother very much. He set goals for himself when he was younger and he has met or exceeded most of them. Sure, there've been a few setbacks along the way, but for the most part, he's done exactly what he's set out to do.

We weren't really close growing up, although I have always considered myself his protector, even when he grew taller than me. It's ingrained in me, somehow. Fortunately, all the bullshit we went through when we were younger has not affected our relationship now that we're older and, er, wiser. :)

I'm going to visit them for Christmas again this year like I did last year. I'll be honest with you, Dear Reader, it was the most fun on Christmas Day that I can remember. Ever. The holidays have never been my favorite time of year for many reasons, but I can say with all honesty that last Christmas was great.

We've never been a mushy kind of family. Not many "I love you's" floated around, although it was certainly understood. When IM'ing today, my brother said the closest thing to it, though. I'm really happy you are coming out. That, my friends, will make even the shittiest day seem perfect.

Posted at 03:18 PM | Comments (2)

November 11, 2004

Ugh

I'm still sick. I hate being sick. The only cool thing about being sick was I developed an awesome Barry White/Isaac Hayes-like voice. It's the kind of voice that's so deep that listening to it makes your skull vibrate.

Unfortunately, the voice has morphed from mellow coolness into a cigarette-smoking drag queen kinda thing. Since my "friends" are busting my balls about it, I've given up talking and have decided to answer every question with hand gestures. Actually, I'm just going to use one gesture.

Posted at 01:02 PM | Comments (5)

November 08, 2004

Name Change

Moving out didn't make it real.

Signing the papers didn't make it real.

Having your attorney call and say "it's a done deal" didn't make it real.

Getting an email from your ex-wife and seeing her maiden name. That makes it real.

Posted at 03:49 PM | Comments (0)

Thanks

Dear City of Chicago and Delta Airlines,

One of you bastards gave me a sinus infection. I just wanted to take a minute and say "Thanks". And to think, I didn't get you anything.

Fuckers.

Posted at 01:59 PM | Comments (1)

November 05, 2004

It's Officially Official

As of 2:11 p.m. Central Time, I am officially divorced. My attorney called and said he watched the Judge sign the papers.

Yeah, I'll admit to being somewhat sad, but I know in the long run, it's for the best.

Posted at 02:15 PM | Comments (2)

I'm back

I've discovered there are two things I don't like about traveling while being single.

1. You don't have anyone to call and say "I made it safe and sound".
2. You don't have anyone to call and say "I'm home".

Posted at 10:58 AM | Comments (5)

November 03, 2004

Not too bad

OK, I'll admit, it's not been as bad as I thought. The Coconut and I are bothing acting like professionals so it seems a temporary truce has been agreed upon. I still see her cutting her eyes at our boss every once in a while, which I can handle, but for the most part, it's been fine.

I still don't trust her, but at least I'm not hating this as much as I thought I would.

Posted at 05:19 PM | Comments (1)

November 02, 2004

Trip List

List of things to do before leaving on The Trip from Hell:

  • Pick up new blazer: CHECK
  • Stop by cleaners
  • Stick pins in Coconut Voodoo doll: CHECK
  • Iron slacks
  • Print Itinerary
  • Stick more pins in Coconut Voodoo doll: CHECK
  • Pack
  • Set alarm one hour earlier
  • Stick bigger pins in Coconut Voodoo doll: CHECK
  • Wake up and realize this was all a bad dream a la Dallas
Posted at 02:41 PM | Comments (1)

24 hours and counting

Twenty-four hours from now, I will be on the plane with The Coconut. I am dreading this people, D R E A D I N G this. If you gave me a choice between going on this trip or having my scrotum waxed, I'm not sure which one I would choose. Why? Well as a very famous man once said, "there really is nothing like a shorn scrotum. It's breathtaking, I suggest you try it".

Posted at 08:23 AM | Comments (5)

October 29, 2004

Rambling

You know something? I don’t think I’m going to be good at this relationship stuff. I wasn’t good at it way back when and I find myself not being good at it now.

I fine myself attracted to people I can’t have either because of distance, or past experience, or being out of their league, or just being friends for a long time. I make bad choices when it comes to this stuff and sometimes try and force the issue, which only leads to me feeling empty and alone. I develop the crush, and then envision the romance, the need, the want, but I don’t take time to envision the obstacles. I figure you can overcome anything if you want to, but I know that it’s just not practical sometimes. You can’t sustain a relationship on email, phone calls, and occasional visits. I had someone very wise tell me that, and even though I didn’t really want to believe it, I knew it was true.

Another reason I won’t be good at this is, well…I don’t like the person who looks back at me in the mirror. He’s too fat, his face is too round, he’s too hairy, and yet he has no motivation to change any of it. Sure, he’ll get ready to change, but he just never follows through. And no, this is not new, but it’s gotten worse lately. There is a lot of planning, and buying, and wishing for change, but he just can’t find the proper change agent. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, several months of visits to chiropractors, and none of it seems to be a motivating factor. The face in the mirror swears he’s not going to end up like his Mother; alone, overweight, and depressed, but he’s sure not doing anything to change it. Until he learns to like himself, he can’t and doesn’t expect any else to like him.

I know this is not the kind of stuff you’ve come to expect at 3leggeddog, but this is the only place I can get it off my chest. This is my support system. I can say the things that are rolling around in my head, keeping me up at night. Sometimes feeling sorry for yourself feels really, really good. It’s when you start to like the feeling that things can get out of hand. Don’t worry, Dear Reader, I’m not going off the deep end any time soon. I’ve just had a tough week, caused someone I care about some pain, and now I’m handling it the way that I’ve come to enjoy. Writing it out. It’s cathartic and that’s just what I need. It’s gotten too damn expensive to drive around for hours listening to music so instead I fire up the browser and put words down for others to read. I’m not going to proofread this like I normally do. It’s become a stream of consciousness thing with Maroon 5 playing in the background and proofreading just seems wrong.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take my “feeling sorry for myself” cd, pop it into the truck’s cd player, and burn a tank of gas. Yeah, it’s been one of those weeks and writing alone ain’t gonna cut it.

Posted at 03:33 PM | Comments (9)

The Coconut

I’ve written about 6 different entries for The Coconut and they all sucked. Let’s just say that the Coconut is that one person in your office that everyone hates, but Management won’t do anything about. She’s the causer of problems, the stirrer of shit, the finger pointer, blame layer, and all-around pain in the ass. We call her the Coconut because she's got short, brown, thin hair that looks like the husk on a Coconut. Yeah, it's cruel, but who gives a crap?

She’s always one step removed from the trouble that she starts. She puts her nose into everyone’s business, but gets pissy if you say something bad about her group. She does shit half-assed then blames others when it doesn’t work. If something goes wrong, the first thing she does is look to assign blame rather than to actually solve the problem. She is one of only two people in this world that I wouldn’t piss on if she was on fire.

She’s had more people quit than anyone in the company, yet they keep her around. We had one guy quit who didn’t even have another job. He just quit. When I complained about something she did to our department Vice President, his response was, “Well, I know what she’ll say. She’ll tell me it was a misunderstanding. She always says it’s a misunderstanding.” Huh?!? You mean people have complained enough that you know what her response will be? Geez, man, that’s some stellar management skills you have. FIRE! HER!

I cannot tell you how much I dread this trip to Chicago. Just the sound of her voice is enough to make me sick. It’s one of those syrupy-sweet, high-pitched voices that makes you want to shove red-hot pokers in your ears so you don’t have to listen anymore. Maybe I can get sick or something between now and then so I won’t have to go. Ugh. This is going to suck big, hairy donkey balls.

And, uh, oh yeah. I hired her.

Posted at 02:19 PM | Comments (4)

October 28, 2004

Big Excitement

"Hello?"
"Dude, they're zapping the fish."
"Uh...what?"
"They. Are. Zapping. The. Fish."
"Huh...OH! OH!...I'll be right down."

They're draining the lake we have in front of our office so they can widen the roads. The company was nice enough to let us catch many of the fish before they drained it, but we couldn't get all of them. In comes an organization that specialized in pond management who's slogan is, "We take care of your liquid assets." Corny, but good.

In order to catch the remaining fish, a guy gets out into the lake/pond, drops some electrodes into the water and applies a mild electric shock to the fish. When they float to the top, he scoops them up in a net and transports them to their new home. Well, all except the catfish. He's going to get a nice egg and milk bath, then be lovingly covered with corn meal. Then take a nice, hot bath.

It's amazing the things that fascinate us, isn't it?

Posted at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2004

The Emperor's New Clothes

Well, I figured it would happen, but was really hoping it wouldn't. They hemmed the sleeves of my jacket incorrectly. The right is noticably higher than the left...and I'm not really sure which one is incorrect. And no, I didn't try it on in the store. Like a dumbass, I waited till I got home. Strangely enough, this is not the first time this has happened.

Since this seems to be turning into Shitty Day, Part Deux, could whomever is pissing in my Cheerios to please stop. I'm starting to get crabby. Please don't make me crabby. You wouldn't like me when I'm crabby.

Posted at 05:57 PM | Comments (2)

October 26, 2004

A steam roller?!?

Of all the dumbass, moronic, idiotic, lame-brained, dick-headed, brain-dead, dumb motherfucking things to do, this has got to be one of the top 3.

Some lameass, shit-for-brains, donkey-fucking idiot of a road worker decided that it would be a good day to drive his steam roller to work. On a two-lane road. In the middle of fucking rush hour. A steam roller. A fucking STEAM ROLLER! The damn thing maybe did 5 mph the whole time for 2 1/2 fucking miles. Did I mention that the limp-dicked, pox-infested, cock-gobbler was driving a fucking steam roller? On a two-fucking-lane road? In the middle of the fucking RUSH HOUR!

Oh man, I was so mad. It was all I could do to not pull over, run up to that moron, and throw him under the wheels of his steam roller. I may not be the fastest man on the planet, but I sure as shit could have caught this assmunch because he was going 5 fucking miles per hour. On. His. Fuck. Ing. Steam. Roller.

Posted at 09:26 AM | Comments (4)

October 25, 2004

Where's the price tag?

I learned a valuable, and somewhat expensive, lesson the other day. I realized that if you walk into a store where the price tags are discreetly hidden, you'll walk out of that store quite a bit poorer than when you walked in.

I went to a local "gentleman's" store to get a new blazer. None of the ones I have fit anymore...they're actually too small in the shoulders, so I guess going to the gym every other week really works. Found an awesome black blazer which fit extremely well and although it was more than I wanted to spend, the guy knocked $50 off of it for me. Great, so I went ahead and bought a shirt, tie, and pair of slacks. Um...the shirt was $135. A single long-sleeve shirt with button-down collar was $135. When did I realize this? When he was ringing it up.

I won't tell you what the rest of it cost 'cause I'm a bit embarassed about it. The only thing I'll say is that I buy clothes like this very rarely since I don't wear them that often and I think of this as a long term purchase. I'd better think of it as long term since I'll be paying on it for a while. So, for all of you that were ignorant like me, I offer this advice; If the price tag can't be found, or it's printed in very small font, run like hell to your nearest JC Penney.

I will say this though...I look really good in the jacket and slacks. Isn't that what it's all about?

Posted at 02:35 PM | Comments (4)

October 22, 2004

Sorry!

Sorry for the lack of posts, Dear Reader, but it seems that 3leggeddog was at the vet for most of the day yesterday which is why you couldn't reach us.

Today, I've been a bit distracted by other things so posting will have to wait till later. I need some serious stress relief, anyone have any suggestions?

Also, does any know if I need a passport to go to Canada or will a driver's license work? I'm thinking of taking a quick vacation away from this nut house and Canada seems about as far away as I can go for the moment.

Posted at 03:03 PM | Comments (7)

October 20, 2004

De-virginized

I've been de-virginized! Uh, I mean Harold has been de-virginized. A grande Cafe Vanilla Frapawhateveryoucallit! The damn thing gave me an industrial-sized brain freeze that hurt like hell. It sure was tasty, though.

Oh, and before I forget, I'm working on a post that talks about The Coconut.

Posted at 03:38 PM | Comments (5)

Speechless

I was just informed that I must go to Chicago for a one-day trip, which is great since I love Chicago.

Now the bad news. I have to go with our Assistant Vice President, which won't be too bad, the girl in charge of purchasing, who is really nice. And. My. Nemesis. The Coconut. Imagine Superman traveling with Lex Luthor, Spiderman traveling with the Dr. Oct, and me traveling with The Coconut.

Can someone please send me some Prozac and an clean, small-caliber weapon?

FUCK!

Posted at 01:03 PM | Comments (2)

October 19, 2004

Cold-weather food

It ain't exactly cold today, but I decided to make this anyway.

Old Fashioned New Orleans Style Chicken Stew

1 package Zatarain's Gumbo Mix
1 lb Boneless chicken, diced
1 1/2 cup Potatoes, diced
1 cup Carrots, sliced
1 cup Celery, diced
1 cup Onion, diced
Sauté chicken in oil until light brown. Add vegetables and sauté 2 minutes. Add Zatarain's Gumbo Mix and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serves 6

I'll probably double the batch and throw in a pound of smoked sausage. Mmm...If you bring some garlic bread, you can come join me. Or dessert.

UPDATE: This. stuff. ROCKS! Well, except for the freakin' hour it took me to slice and dice all the ingredients. And, yes, I did add some smoked beef sausage...which brings me to a question...Isn't smoked sausage ready to eat? Apparently, smoked sausage made from beef isn't. I mean, jeez louise, who would have thought that you had to cook it? It's smoked. Yeah, sure, the hunk I cut off was a bit mushy, but I thought it was just, you know, supposed to be like that. Luckily, I read the package after eating that piece and sure enough, it said "cook thoroughly"...in really small letters.

Posted at 03:20 PM | Comments (2)

October 18, 2004

King of the Castle

On Friday, Dooce had another great post on "poop". I don't know how, but not only can she make poop interesting, she then has the ability to get over 500 comments from others about their poop. That's FIVE HUNDRED comments on poop alone, people. 500 hundred.

Anyway, I digress. Dooce (I don't know her well enough to call her Heather) then goes on to mention that according to a book someone sent her (yes, it's about poop) that a normal human should be able to poop in under two minutes or six at the most. Of course, she then wonders how most, if not all, men can take over 30 minutes. Well, ladies, I'm here to tell you.

We take 30+ minutes for one, simple reason. Quiet time. Yes, that's the secret to our marathon sitting sessions. Who in their right mind is going to bust in on us whilst we're on our Porcelain Throne? We are truly Kings of our Castle when we place our posterior on that cool, comfortable seat. Why, ladies, where do you think the term "I'm on the throne" comes from?

Ladies, you know that for those thirty minutes we are not to be disturbed. If you attempt to disturb us, you'll be met with one of the following:

I wouldn't come in here without a haz mat suit on if I were you.
I'm peelin' the wallpaper off the wall so I'd give it a few minutes.
Holy cow, I think I just gave birth to twins!
DO NOT STRIKE A MATCH OR YOU'LL BLOW US TO HELL AND BACK, WOMAN!!
Oh my God, a whole slice of pepperoni.

Now, chances are good that a) it doesn't really stink, b) we're not done with the sports page yet and need a few more minutes, c) we're in the middle of a good chapter, or d) we've got the new Victoria's Secret catalog...and need a few more minutes. Whatever the reason, a well-placed poop comment will get us that precious few moments we need.

Yes, it is true that there are women out there who will breach our defenses, but I guarantee they don't do it often. We seem to have a sixth sense concerning break-ins and if you attempt to enter our Kingdom, we will make it so bad that you'll end up running down the hall trying not to woof your cookies. "Wait, come back, Sweety, I want you to see how the corn is still whole!".

In conclusion, I'm sure many of you are saying, "that's the nastiest thing I've ever heard" and you know what? You're absolutely right, it is. But hey, we're men. It's what we do.

Posted at 06:46 PM | Comments (2)

October 15, 2004

Sort of a virgin

I have this friend that we'll call, uh, Harold. Harold's a nice guy, people like him, he's pretty funny, and works hard, sometimes. Problem is, Harold is not what most people would call "cool" or "hip" or "in the know". He wants to be, but he doesn't know how.

Case in point. Howard Harold is sort of a a virgin. No, not like that, but in another less noticable way. You see, Harold has never, um, well, you see, uh, hehe...um, Harold has never been to...a..uh...Starbucks.

Now don't laugh at poor Harold. It's not that he's scared of it, it's just that he's never done it. Ever. He knows that lots of people do it everyday and some truly lucky people do it more than once a day, but poor Howard Harold doesn't even know where to start.

Harold's a good guy, but he's really nervous about it and wants to make sure his first time is enjoyable and not too painful. Harold would hate to be laughed at the first time he does it. Why, that just might cause Harold to never do it again. I'm sure many of you out there would like to see Harold do it right the first time, so I'm asking for your help.

Would you be kind enough to share your first time with me Harold? You know, give him some pointers on what to do or not do? Some of the things that he should stay away from until he has more, um, experience under his belt. I think this would help the poor guy out tremendously.

Posted at 08:14 PM | Comments (6)

Read the fine print

We had a huge giveaway of old PC, monitors, printers, etc that have been taken out of production. The machines are freely given to any user who wants one. The stipulation is that you are getting it "as is". If you don't like it when you get it home, too bad, so sad, see ya later. The other stipulation is once it leaves the building, we, the PC Support Group, do not work on them anymore. That's DO NOT work on them anymore. DO. NOT. DON'T WORK ON THEM. DON'T.

Yep, you guessed it. First thing this morning one of the ladies from accounting brings in the laptop she grabbed. "It's not working." And? We have to fix it. *sigh* Idiots.

Posted at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2004

It begs the question "Why?"

Now this is pretty funny.

I wonder if they have one in a three-legged model?

Posted at 03:28 PM | Comments (2)

October 13, 2004

It's gone

Just an FYI. I removed 3leggeddog.typepad.com today. I forgot to cancel it and the fine folks at Six Apart charged me $184 for an advanced account. Thanks, but no thanks. I am much happier right where I am.

If any of you have me linked, could you please change the link to 3leggeddog.mu.nu? I could use the traffic. :)

Posted at 05:16 PM | Comments (2)

Inventory Form

I had to fill out a form today to move a PC from one location to another. It was one of those forms that had "If you answered "no" to question 2, go to question 7. If you answered "yes" to question 2, go to question 12. If you didn't answer question 2, go to question 3." Exactly. About as understandable as the tax code.

Being the humorous guy I am, I composed my own set of instructions.

If you answered "no" to Questions 5, 7, AND 9, move on to question 12. If you can't answer question 12, go back and remove your answer to question 2. If you didn't answer question 2, then copy the answer for question 4 and put it in question 2. If question 4 is blank, write in your mother's maiden name. If you don't know who your mother is, write in the name of your dog. However, if your dog is dead, please fill out supplemental form, 1267-Alpha-7-Stroke-9, entitled "My dog is dead and I can't answer question 4" and provide a copy to your local Inventory Control Specialist. In the event that your Inventory Control Specialist has already been killed by me for having to fill out this hairy piece of shit, then please fill out form 1955-Charlie-11-Stroke-11, entitled "Payroll deduction for the 'Get Howard out of Jail' Fund".

Posted at 03:02 PM | Comments (1)

October 12, 2004

Final Judgment

It looks so strange in black and white...

The bonds of matrimony heretofore existing between the parties, Howard X and (spouse's name removed), be and the same are hereby dissolved, and the parties are hereby dissolved, and the parties are hereby granted a divorce absolute to and from one another on the grounds of Irreconcilable Differences.

You know what, though? I'm actually doing pretty good. As I've said before, once the final final decision was made, it took a lot of pressure off. Now it's time to move on.

I've got a friend coming over to help me get my apartment, um, fixed up (notice I didn't say "decorated"). I'm getting my finances in order so I can finally stop making payroll for Visa.

Biggest surprise of all? I've got a support system, which I've never had before. It feels good to unload once in a while and I've also gotten some great advice from others. Thank you, support system.

And so we fondly bid farewell to my life that was and look forward to my life that will be. Care to come along for the ride?

Posted at 02:37 PM | Comments (7)

October 11, 2004

And we're done

You remember that reconciliation that I mentioned between me and the spouse? It ain't gonna happen. We basically came to the conclusion, well, she did anyway, that the whole talk of reconciliation was based on the fact that I was stressed out about my Mom. I can't say she was wrong.

I thought the hard part would be letting go. Actually, that's the easy part. The hard part is getting up the courage to say "we gotta end this". Once the decision is made, it gets easier to deal with.

There was not one thing (or person) in particular that prompted me/us to finalize the divorce. I didn't want it to turn into this bitter dispute, but in reality folks, there's no such thing as a "nice" divorce. It's easier to do this if we don't see each other or I don't go play with the dogs. I hate that part because I really, really miss my dogs, but it'll be better for me in the long run.

Anyway, I just thought I'd let you in on the whole thing.

Posted at 01:23 PM | Comments (2)

October 07, 2004

From the mouths of babes

I was out of bagels this morning so I had to make a stop at the local bagelry to replenish. As I walk towards the bagel place, I see the cutest little blonde girl, about 2 years old, standing on one of the booths inside the store. I get a bit closer, notice her waving, so I wave back. Side note: Not sure why, but I’ve been attracting the attention of blondes, lately. Who knew I was such a blonde magnet. :) Anyway, I wave again and she waves back. I walk into the store, turn right, and see the little cutie with her Mom and Dad. As I walk past, I hear her greet me:

“Good Morning, Daddy.”

I kept walking because it took a minute to register. The “Good Morning” came through loud and clear, but my brain failed to grasp the last word in that sentence. When it finally got it, I stopped dead in my tracks. Her Mom and Dad were laughing, and when I turned to look at them, the little blondie looked me right in the eye and said it again: “Good Morning, Daddy.“ I started laughing and said, “Man, now THAT will wake you up in the morning.” Her parents were still laughing and tried to apologize. I told them it was fine and thought it funny. We chatted for a second or two, and then I headed to the counter to place my order. I heard her say it one more time while I was in line, and then they left a few minutes later.

You wanna know the weird thing? I kinda liked hearing it.


Posted at 01:02 PM | Comments (2)

October 06, 2004

Vegetation Vandal Re-redux

Well friends, it happened again. The philodendron we've been monitoring so closely has nary a leaf left. It's hanging in there, but does not seem to have the strength to generate new growth.

People around here are starting to get angry. If it happens once, fine, no big deal. When it happens again, though, then that's going to become a problem. Several lynch mobs were seen roaming the halls this morning, but the perp has not been found. We have no clues, no weapon, no motive, and now, no leaves. The lone survivor has been put into the Witness Protection Program and is said to be living happily as a cactus in Secaucus, New Jersey. Don't say anything, though, because that's supposed to be a secret.

If you get a minute, go home and give your plants a nice drink of water and a little Miracle Grow. You never know when it could happen to you.

UPDATE: There is a new plant in his office...and a webcam. You cannot imagine the ideas that are floating around here. Some folks are talking about going in with a Clinton mask on, others are saying we should re-enact The Orient Express and everyone cuts a single leaf, while still others are figuring out ways to rig up GI Joe dolls with the Kung Fu grip and a pocket knife. Production has pretty much come to a screeching halt. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to sew a pair of scissors onto my Janus the Muppet doll. Seems ol' Janus is going to do a little cuttin'.

Posted at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2004

Penetration Designation

Certified Penetration Testing Professional. That is so me. I could be one of the World's greatest Penetration Testers.

If you'd like a free Penetration Consultation, please call me at 1-888-PENETRATE

Posted at 04:20 PM | Comments (1)

The Voice

I’m sure everyone has what he or she calls their “Inner Voice”. It’s the little voice that says, “Get out and help that old woman” or “You can afford to donate more so do so”. For me, however, that little voice is usually very quiet. It’s the other voice that is loudest. You know, the one that says “Say it! Sure it’s cruel, but you’ll get a laugh!” or “You’re damn right we’re going to key that bastard’s car”.

Most rational people listen to that voice less often. I, on the other hand, hear it loud and clear. My friends have taken to calling that particular one “The Voice”. And yes, you can hear the capital “V” when they say Voice. This story happened in late October of 2001 and will hopefully illustrate which Voice gets the most attention.

It was a beautiful, sunny day. My Supervisor, we’ll call him Bob, and I were coming back from lunch when I realized that I needed to get the oil changed in my truck. Since it was a Friday, I didn’t think it would hurt to take a few extra minutes and wait for it. Bob, being the conscientious guy that he is, figured it would be best if we went back to the office and that he’d carry me over there after work to pick it up. That was fine with me.

It was an incredibly slow, boring day. Nothing was going on at all. I was bored out of my mind, which usually gets me in trouble. To make matters worse, it was the second day of our annual tournament and lots of folks were there. Everyone it seemed, but Bob and me.

As we’re pulling out of the oil change place, The Voice says, It’s too nice to go back to work. You will go to the golf tournament.

“We should go to the golf tournament,” I said. “It’s too nice to be stuck in the office.”

His head slowly turned towards me and I could see the wheels spinning behind his eyes. “Hmm…Arial (our supervisor) is out of the office this afternoon.”

Did she take her laptop with her?

“Did she take her laptop with her?”

“Yes, she did,” he replied.

Then she’s probably gone for the rest of the day.

“Then she’s probably gone for the rest of the day,” I said, hopefully

“She probably is,” he says, turning into traffic. I notice that we’re heading back to the office.

If someone needs you, they can page you. You have your cell phone.

“If someone needs us, they can page us and we can call them back on my cell.”

Buick is giving away free golf shirts.

“You know, I’ve heard Buick is giving away free golf shirts.” Geeks will never turn down free shit.

He turns to look at me, and I can see the smile on his face. We pass by the office and head for the interstate. Jackpot.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Victory is mine!

He looks at me, “Did you say something?”

“Uh, nope. Must have been the radio.”

We get to the tournament, park the car and approach the shuttle that will take us to the course. Getting off is a former employee, who just happens to be the King of Free Shit.

“Hey, fellas. Watchall doin’ here?”

“Hey, Mark, just came by to get some free shirts from Buick. What are you up to?”

“Oh man, sorry to tell you guys this, but I just got the last shirt. I think they’re giving away a sleeve of balls or some cheap crap like that.”

KILL HIM!

“Uh…uh…damn, that’s too bad. I guess we’ll go see anyway. Thanks.”

“See ya’ fellas,” he says, walking towards his truck.

He did not see you here.

“Hey Mark,” I yelled, “If you run into anyone we know, you never saw us, right?”

“Sure thing,” he laughs, “I never saw you.”

That becomes our mantra for the day.

“Hey man, how’s it going? We’re not really here.”

“Wow, what a shot. Huh? No, we just came out to see what’s going on. HEY! You never saw us, right?”

“We’re playing hooky. No, really, we are. But you never saw us.”

We’ve been at the tournament for about half an hour when my pager goes off. I check it, but don’t recognize the number. My years of training as a computer support tech immediately kick in and I perform the one action that all self-respecting computer geeks do when they don’t recognize the number; I delete it.

After about 10 minutes, Bob’s pager goes off.

“Who is it?,” I ask.

“It’s Josh,” he says, “I wonder what he wants.”

Josh is an idiot. You will ignore the page.

“What would Josh want? I think he’s just messin’ with us. I’d ignore it.”

Bob agrees that Josh is probably messing with us and deletes the page.

Thirty minutes later, we decide to head back. Considering the hour for lunch, drive time to the course and our time spent wandering around, we’ve been gone close to 2 ½ hours. As we’re walking to the truck, my pager goes off again. It’s the same number as before, and I still don’t recognize it. Training kicks in, message deleted. Bob’s pager goes off about two minutes later.

“Dammit, Josh, quit freakin’ paging me. It can’t be that important.” I can tell he’s getting irritated.

“Here, call him on my cellphone,” I say as I hand him the phone.

“Hey, Josh, it’s Bob. Uh huh. Yeah. At the golf tournament. Oh really? OK. Sure. Bye.”

“What was that all about?”

“He says Arial is looking for us,” a slightly worried tone in his voice.

She is gone for the day. Do not fear. She took her laptop.

“She’s gone, dude. She took her laptop, didn’t she? He’s just messin’ with us.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” he says, “I bet that’s it.”

About two minutes later, my pager goes off. It’s the wife so I give her a call.

“Hey, Butthead, what’s up? At the tournament. No, we just left. She is? Riiiight. Who told you that? Josh? Yeah, ok. Whatever he says. Bye.”

“What did she say?”

“She said Josh called and told her that Arial is looking for us. Damn, I didn’t think he was that smart,” I said, admiring Josh’s plan.

“What do you mean?,” he said, a bit confused.

The Voice is whispering this to me as I speak. “Dude. Think about it. Arial is gone for the day. We saw her take her laptop. Josh has no idea where we are so he decides to page us. To make it better, he mentions that Arial is looking for us. He knows we won’t believe him so he’s got to have someone else call, too. Who better than my wife? So, he has her call and say the same thing, ‘Arial is looking for you’. It’s brilliant. It’s EXACTLY what I would do if I wanted to fuck with someone. He just forgets that I’m the Master and he is just a grasshopper. It’s a good try, though. You gotta give him credit.”

Bob doesn’t really seem to buy this so The Voice gives him mantra number 2, which I repeat with conviction. “She took her laptop.”

We drive back in silence. I’m convinced that I’m on to them and am going to beat them at their own game. They have no idea who they’re dealing with. I invented the “have your wife call” trick years ago. The Voice says You da’ man!. Bob says nothing.

We get back to the office after being gone a little over 3 hours. As we’re walking in the door, one of the techs from another groups says, “Hey, where y’all been? Arial’s been looking for you.”

“Nice one,” I tell him, “but we already know she’s gone. She even took her laptop.”

“Apparently you got some bad information. She’s here.”

The Voice quickly takes stock of the situation, weighs its options and says See ya, Dude. You’re on your own.

Oh yes, folks. She was here and she was pissed. I snuck on back to my cube while poor Bob got an ass chewin’. As it turns out, she wasn’t pissed that we went AWOL, she was worried since no one heard from us in three hours and we didn’t answer our pages. Man, talk about feeling lower than a worm’s belly. I respect our boss a lot and felt bad for what we’d done so I ended up writing her an email apology (you don’t want to talk to her when she’s in this kind of mood). Fortunately, in a few days all was forgiven.

I’m sure you’re wondering what happened to The Voice. He was silent for a long time. Then came April Fool’s Day.

Posted at 01:40 PM | Comments (1)

Yes, we are

Why is it that when two or more men get together, the conversation is bound to turn towards the size, consistency, and frequency of our, um, turds?

I was sitting in my office this morning when one of my buddies comes in. We start talking about the golf tournament, college football, fantasy football, and other guy things. I happen to casually mention that I ate something bad in the cafeteria last night…and then it was on.

“You too? Oh man, my insides have been liquid for the past 4 days. I sit down and it’s like someone turned on the belly faucet full blast. And smell? Oh my God, I made myself gag.”

“You think that’s bad? Imagine trying to pass a fire hydrant wrapped in sticker bushes. The pain is tremendous! Childbirth is nothing compared to this. (yeah, we know it’s worse, but we gotta pretend we don’t).

“Believe me, I’ve been there. I was blocked up for three days after we got back from Louisiana. I thought I was going to have to get a pry bar and a cutting torch to get rid of it.”

“I with ya’, my man, I’m with ya’.”

At this point, another guy walks in, who just happens to be my Supervisor.

“Hey, you know they’re having free breakfast upstairs today, right?”

“Yeah, but I’m a bit leary. I’ve had the squirts for the last few days and am trying to take it easy.”

“You too? Dude, I gave birth to one of those Anacondas you see in the Amazon. I swear that thing must have been 12 feet long and pregnant. It was huge!”

And there you have it, folks. For sanity's sake, I’ll stop here. From this point, it was a battle to see who could “out poo” the other. Then, of course, we went upstairs and ate a free breakfast.

Are all men gross? Yes, we are. And those that say they aren’t? Liars. (they’re also the 2% of guys who say they don’t masturbate. They’re just f*in liars.).

UPDATE: As I'm posting this, my old supervisor walks in and says, "You know, there's nothing more satisfying than taking a dump on company time." Sweet.

Posted at 09:45 AM | Comments (4)

October 04, 2004

If you had $20 million

I sorta got this from Smitten.

If you won $20 million in the lottery, what would you do with it?

First, I'd endow a scholarship in honor of my Bub. The woman never finished 8th grade, but set aside money to make sure her grandkids could go to college.

Second, I'd quit my job. And not just quit, mind you. I'd go out in style. We're talking "sharing thoughts with all the idiots" kind of style. People would be talking about it at my funeral. "You remember that day Howard quit? Oh man, that was fan-fucking-tastic."

Third, I'd travel. There are lots of places I want to go; Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia, Africa (photo safari, mind you).

And last, I'd find me a wonderful woman, preferably a blonde genius who looks like Goldie Hawn. Well, I'd probably do this before I set sail to see the world. I mean, who wants to travel alone? If anyone knows a blonde-genius-Goldie-Hawn-lookalike, can you send her my way? Chances are slim to none that I'd win the lottery, but maybe I can find the woman first, then get the money.

You know what? Screw the money. Find me the woman.

Posted at 02:48 PM | Comments (1)

Vegetation Vandal Redux

The Vandal has struck again. Over the weekend, someone came in and cut off all but about 6 or 8 plant leaves. The plant looks really bad.

This place has become like a country under seige. The security guards are frisking everyone and confiscating all sharp objects. We've had to turn in our pencil sharpeners, letter openers, and staple pullers. These can be used to remove the leave from the stem and they're taking no chances whatsoever.

There's a rumor going around that they're going to start random chlorophyl tests. With my luck, I'm going to get busted.

Management: "Howard, you tested positive for chlorophyl this morning."

Me: "It's not mine. I don't do that stuff."

Management: "Well, your tests came back positive. This doesn't look good."

Me: "It was lettuce. I put lettuce on my sandwich and must have forgotten to wash my hands."

Management: "What about the knife in your desk drawer? We confiscated it and it tested positive too."

Me: "Uh. That's the, um, knife, I, um, used to cut the sandwich. It must have gotten some chlorophyl on it then."

Management: "Sure. We believe you. Can you step outside for a minute, please?"

Me: "Heh, heh. Sure. I'm sure this is all just a big mistake. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go look for the real killers...uh, I mean vandals."

Me: (dials phone) "Hello, Johnny C? Hey man, the test ain't legit and I'm in deep shit. I need you right now so I can beat this some how."

Johnny C: "Hold tighty, Whitey, I'm comin' alrighty. I'll befuddle those hicks and leave them holding their dicks. Don't worry, cracker, I'll mow 'em down like a weed whacker. Don't be scared, white mouse, Johnny C is in da hizzouse!"

Stay tuned!

Posted at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2004

Naked Gym Guy

Dear Naked Gym Guy,

I'm sure you're a nice guy. You probably have quite a few friends, and I'm sure the guy at the tattoo parlor loves you. You're well-spoken and can carry on a conversation even when the person you're speaking to is trying like crazy to not look at your naked personage.

Sir, if I may be so bold...Please stop talking to me when you're butt freakin' naked. Didn't you see me turn my head when I rounded the corner and saw your pimply posterior staring me in the face? Of course not, you were too busy saying, "Hey man, how's it going?". And if you must converse while showing your corpulent backside, please, please, please don't be wiping it with your towel. That's just gross.

In closing, I would like to congratulate you on the fortitude you exhibit by coming to the gym on a daily basis. However, Naked Gym Guy, I must deduct a myriad of points for this simple fact; you talk to strangers butt freakin' naked. If you will not refrain from this act, I will be forced to gouge my eyes out, purchase a seeing-eye dog, and train him bite your testicles off the next time you exhibit them to God and Country.

Please, my man, wrap that package before speaking.

Posted at 02:37 PM | Comments (5)

September 28, 2004

Vegetation Vandal update

Wow. This thing has taken on a life of its own. We have wanted posters featuring Heimlich, a robot-voiced ransom note left by by Al-Quedah, a second ransom note written in the same ransom note font, and a press release about the capture of Heimlich.

I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Posted at 08:16 AM | Comments (1)

September 27, 2004

The Vegetation Vandal

This just in...


-----Original Message-----
From: (deleted)
Sent: Monday, September 27, 2004 9:59 AM
To: Facilities Manager
Cc: Department Manager
Subject: Vandalism

Facilities Manager, someone is destroying plants in (name deleted)'s office. It started several weeks ago with a plant of his – a beautiful philodendron. First, the runners were snipped. After they fell off, the individual leaves started being cut a few at a time each day until only 1 leaf remained on the whole plant. He took it home. He got a second philodendron and the same thing is happening – a couple of leaves are cut just about every day. You can tell the fresh cuts from the older ones, even if you don’t remember specifically which leaves are there one day and gone the next. This is ridiculous and I’m not sure what can be done about it, but something needs to be. Any ideas?

Hide your plants, kiddies, it seems the Vegetation Vandal is back. And he's pissed!

And, for the record, I had nothing to do with this. However, we did take full advantage of the situation by sending him a ransom note in a nice ransom-note font. It said, "If you involve the authorities again, the plants gets it. Sincerely, The Vegetation Vandal."

Posted at 02:23 PM | Comments (5)

September 23, 2004

One Hundred Years Ago

September 23rd, 1904 was the day my Bub was born. Or at least that's the date she chose when she came to America so that's the day we celebrated. Since her family followed the Jewish calendar, she really wasn't sure what day she was born. I guess birthdays in the old country weren't that big a deal.

Happy Birthday, Bub. I miss you.

Posted at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2004

Who wears pajamas?

Saw this in a Time Magazine article on blogging.

"Bloggers have no checks and balances. [It's] a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas."
—JONATHAN KLEIN, former senior executive of 60 Minutes, on Fox News

Funny thing, though. The guy who's supposed to rely on his "checks and balances" failed to do so and may soon be sitting in his living room in his jammies. Et tu, Rather?

And, for the record, nothing comes between me and my keyboard, Klein.


*Thanks to Maura for the article.

Posted at 01:42 PM | Comments (2)

September 21, 2004

Don't bug me, I'm reading

If anyone wants me, I'll have my nose buried in this for the next few days.

Posted at 05:33 PM | Comments (1)

September 17, 2004

The King is in the House

Nothing gets rid of a crappy day like some good ol' BB King. Today we're having Live at the Regal with a side of Makin' Love is Good For You.

I got to see BB live about 3 or 4 years ago and let me state for the record that I have never enjoyed a concert more. My favorite show of all time, however, has to be Ray Charles in '89 or '90. What's yours?

Posted at 10:31 AM | Comments (9)

September 16, 2004

What holiday?

I guess it's kinda sad when the only reason you know it's a Jewish holiday is because your Dilbert calendar says so. *sigh* Guess I'll hear it from my Mom because I forgot to call and wish her a Happy New Year. For those you that don't know, it's Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Jews all over the world are celebrating. Me? I'm going to play golf with my friend at his church's monthly Fellowship on the Fairways tournament.

Happy New Year to all my Jewish friends/readers.

Posted at 11:15 AM | Comments (4)

Ivan Update

Well, Ivan was kind to my part of the state. It acted more like a politician than a hurricane...lots of hot air and little substance. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. It could have been much worse and I'm just glad it wasn't.

Posted at 10:39 AM | Comments (1)

September 15, 2004

Laptop Update

Got a call from the repair shop this morning that the DBA's laptop has been fixed. The DBA showed up in my office about 9:30 this morning and asked if I had an update. I, being the professional that I am, turned around and said, "Yep. It came in last night and it's ready for me to pick up." He said, "So, when can you get it?" I said, "Well, with all this hurricane stuff going on, it may be Friday before I can get over there." He said, "Oh."

The thing is, I'm not doing anything to prepare for the hurricane. I'm just being a bastard. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go pull the wings off a few flies.

UPDATE:

One of my coworkers brought it back and the son of a bitch came in and took it off my desk when I wasn't looking. AUUUGGGHHH!! That pisses me off to no end!! Stupid, lowlife, weasely, conniving f*er went behind my back. I hope his wife gets her fat ass kicked while playing Monopoly. I HATE it when people one up me. I'll get him back, though. You just wait and see.

Posted at 03:18 PM | Comments (2)

Ivan Ho


Posted at 10:45 AM | Comments (2)

September 14, 2004

City Government?

I renewed my car tag online about a month ago and still haven't received the little stickers to put on the plate. I called the County Tax Collector's office about it and they said that the sticker was mailed on the 16th of August. When I explained that I hadn't gotten it, the lady offered to check and see if it was returned to them for any reason. Guess what? It'd been returned because of an invalid zip code. Interesting.

Why is this interesting? My zip code changed 3 years ago. The system that the county uses has not had an update in three years. I couldn't believe that...the....um....the, uh, county system...Hmm. You know something? This is sad. My life is so f*in boring that I'm now posting about city government. Suck. I need to get out more.

Posted at 03:04 PM | Comments (1)

September 13, 2004

Vroom! Vroom!

I'm thinking of buying a motorcycle. No. Really. I am.

Posted at 01:57 PM | Comments (1)

September 10, 2004

Laptop Update or How I flipped of a preacher

The DBA came by first thing this morning.

"Hey Howard, you got an update on my laptop?"

Yeah, dude. Here's your update.

TheFinger.bmp

DBA walks away. Mission accomplished.

The guy in my office then says, "You know you just flipped off a preacher, right?"

"I did what?"

"You shot a preacher the bird. The guy graduated from seminary before he became a DBA."

"Great. Guess I just got an upgrade to first class on the Hell Express."

Posted at 10:40 AM | Comments (7)

September 08, 2004

I'll let you know as soon as I hear something.

I picked up a trouble ticket yesterday that was called in by our DBA, George. The laptop screen kept going blank and then the machine would lock up on him. I figured it was a good ol' ID-10-T error. I was wrong.

I had to take it to a local place for repairs since it's under warranty. I got the laptop from him at 9 am.

10 am. "What did they say?" George, I've not taken it yet. Been a bit busy so I'll take it around lunch.

11 am. "Just checking to see if you've taken it yet." Nope, I'm heading that way after lunch.

2:30 p.m. "Hey, Howard. Just checking to see if you've heard anything." No. I'll let you know as soon as I hear something. I promise.

4:00 p.m. "Hey, Howard, have you heard anything fr..." Dude. I said I'd call you as soon as I heard something. These people are not speedy. I'll call them in the morning and let you know.

8:25 a.m. Today. "Hey, Howard, have you heard..." George. It's 8:25. They don't open till 9. I'll call as soon as I get out of staff meeting.

9:15 a.m. Service company calls. "Hey, this is Tom. What exactly is wrong with this laptop? I can't make it do anything." Tom, lift it up by the corner and watch the monitor. "Oh. Yeah. There it goes. Thanks!" He hangs up. I am brimming with confidence that they'll figure it out.

9:30 a.m. (via telephone) George, the service company called. The guy didn't know what the problem was so I explained it over the phone. He was able to duplicate it. Yes, I explained it to the woman behind the desk and she took notes. Who knows, maybe the guy can't read. No, I don't know when it'll be ready. Yes, I know about the last time it was worked on. You told me already. This is different. Yes, I'll let you know as soon as I hear something.

11:30 a.m. "Hey, Howard, have you..." George. Come on, dude, you're killin' me. I told you, I'll let you know as soon as I hear something.

2:30 p.m. "Hey, Howard..." GEORGE, GET THE FUCK OUTTA MY OFFICE BEFORE I CHOKE THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF YOU! Holy fuck, dude, leave me alone already. I promise, as God is my witness, that I'll let you know as soon as I hear something. What?!? Say that again, slowly. You mean the only reason you need it so soon is so your wife can play Monopoly on it? You're shittin' me, right? You're not.

George, I'm going to say it one more time, very slowly, so you'll understand every word. I will let you know...as soon as...I hear something. If you ask me about it one more time, I'm going to tell them you quit and they can keep it as long as possible. Now get out of here before I break my foot off in your ass. Oh. And George? Tell your old lady to go to Toys R-freakin' Us and buy the board game.

Posted at 03:13 PM | Comments (5)

September 07, 2004

I won!

I won the football pool at work! $30 cash! Wahoo! Cocktails are on me.

Posted at 01:55 PM | Comments (3)

365 days later

Wow. I just realized I've been doing the blog thing for a whole year. It sure doesn't feel like it. As of today, I've posted 366 times and have gotten 627 comments. Pretty cool if you ask me.

I need to thank the Yeti from the now defunct Tales from a Yeti Suit. He was the reason I got into this blog thing. I liked what he wrote and thought I'd give it a try myself. If anyone out there knows him, tell him I said "thanks".

To the fine folks at mu.nu. Thank you for making me a part of the group. I still get tickled everytime I get to log in to the mu.nu exclusive stuff. Now, if we can just get my archives uploaded. :)

I'd also like to thank my loyal fan base...all 5 of you. If you promise to keep laughing, I promise to keep writing.

And finally, I'd like to give a special shout out to those of you who have become my friends over the last year. I won't mention names in case I forget someone, but you know who you are. Maybe we'll even get to meet face-to-face sometime in the future. I'd like that.

Howard

Posted at 09:34 AM | Comments (7)

September 03, 2004

It's official

Just received this from the VP of my department..."For those on staff that are involved in the preparation of hurricane Frances, please check the strength of your pager battery before leaving for the weekend."

It's official. I am now a member of the team that is preparing to head to Florida if necessary. We have christened ourselves "Team Preparation H" because this is going to be a pain in the ass.

Posted at 08:18 AM | Comments (1)

September 02, 2004

I'm going where?

Check this out...500,000 people are being told to evacuate south Florida. My company, in its infinite wisdom, wants to send people to south Florida. Why? So we can bring generators to try and get our offices back online once the hurricane moves through. Good idea, right? Wrong.

You see, folks, my company uses the public internet to connect their remote offices to their central office. Each one uses a local ISP. Can anyone tell me what happens to telephone service when a Category 4 hurricane comes barreling through? Anyone? Exactly. Telephone service goes away. Several days after Charly, 100,000 people still didn't have telephone service. 100,000. What makes these "managers" think that telephone service, much less internet access, is going to be available in a few days? Morons.

You know, I don't mind helping out, honestly. If there is something constructive I can do, I'll do it. But do not send me in to a devastated area with a generator, bags of candy, lunch meat, and a sleeping bag. It ain't gonna happen. If I have to go to Florida to help a hurricane victim, it's going to be my Mom.

Posted at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2004

Old School vs. New School

Old School vs. New School

My department consists of mainframe and PC/LAN/WAN folks. The mainframers are on one side of the building and the rest of us are on the other side. We think of them as COBOL, green screen, dumb terminal, programmers and they think of us as HTML, too many colors to be useful, laptop-carrying, latte drinking, young punks. It’s actually a good system. It’s another example of Old School vs. New School.

I used to think we could get beyond our differences and exist in a utopian, Walden Two kind of society, but alas, I don’t think that would happen. We seem to be too far apart to meet in the middle. Case in point:

You may remember me mentioning the toilet paper problem a week or so ago. Well, much to our chagrin, it has continued for the past three weeks. To combat this, both sides have taken to leaving subtle notes outside the offending stalls. You might be asking yourself, “Hey, how does Howard know what the other guys have on their stall?”. Simple, their side is my safe haven

To continue. As I said, both sides have taken to subtle reminders.

Week 1

The Old School reminder is a 3x5 yellow Post-It note that says, No T.P, written with a black Sharpie.

The New School reminder is a 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper containing a roll of toilet paper with a red line through it and the caption, “Be sure to bring the latest memo, TPS cover sheet, or Disaster Recovery schedule with you since we seem to be out of toilet paper.”

Week 2

The Old School reminder is a 3x5 yellow Post-It note that says, No T.P, written with a black Sharpie.

The New School reminder is a two-parter. The top is a picture of Lumbergh saying, “Uh, yeah, uh, we’re going to need you to, uh, put some toilet paper in here. Uh. Yeah.”

The bottom half is a picture of Terry Tate, Office Linebacker , saying, “C’mon Baby! If you fill the bowl, you gotta change the roll! You know da’ rules!”

Week 3

The Old School reminder is a 3x5 yellow Post-It note that says, No T.P, written with a black Sharpie.

The New School reminder is a picture of Mr. T with the caption, “I pity the fool who comes in here to make a stink ‘cause there ain’t no toilet paper”.

Posted at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

3hive.com

Folks, be sure to check out 3hive. To describe it, I'll use their own words:

3hive is a growing and ever-changing jukebox of MP3s we like. You won't find excerpts, streams, or any format other than the good, old-fashioned MP3. And because we link directly to the official label and artist websites where we found these links, you won't have to worry about the RIAA breathing down your neck.

I downloaded about 15 songs today and really enjoy the group, Evening. Check it out.

PS - I got it from either Heather or Jon. Can't remember, but since they're married, I guess it doesn't really matter.

Posted at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

August 31, 2004

Special Orders Don't Upset Us

I'm in Home Depot with the spouse. She wants to buy a new fridge and asks if I would help. Sure, why not? I'm a nice guy.

As we're looking around, I notice "Depot Direct" on a few models. Since I'm not sure what that means, I ask. The sales guy explains that these items are available, just not in stock. If you want it, Home Depot has it delivered right to your home. These items are never in stock. Keep that in mind. Home Depot does not stock them. Ever. As I wander, I notice that most of the fridges are listed as "Depot Direct", which, for those of you that missed it, means that Home Depot does not stock them. They sell them, but do not stock them . Got it? Let's continue.

The spouse finds the one she wants; side by side, filtered ice and water in the door, lots of shelves, and white. The price on the quote comes up $70 cheaper. Score! The guy double checks the make/model again and same price both times. Double Score! The spouse then decides to finance the balance using a HD credit card. She fills out the paper work, gets approved, and gets 12 months same as cash. Triple Score!

The woman at the credit approval desk then starts to explain how this works. Since we've done this many times, neither of us pays much attention. I happen to hear the words "special order" and "restocking fee" and decide it's time to pay attention.

Me: "Uh, can you repeat that part please?"

HD: "Sure. Which part?"

Me: "The part about the restocking fee and special order."

HD: "Oh, ok. Since this is a special order, we charge 15% if you decide to return the item after the first three days."

Me: "It's not a special order. You don't carry these in stock."

HD: "Right. That's why it's a special order."

Me: "Wait. You never carry these in stock, right?

HD: "Yes."

Me: "You sell them all the time, but don't carry them in stock?"

HD: "Yes."

Me: "Ok. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a special order something that's out of the ordinary? You know, something that you don't normally sell. Isn't that what makes it special?"

HD: "Yes, you're right. If it's something we don't carry, then it's a special order."

Me: "But you carry these all the time. The sales guy told us 'we sell lots of these', which would make it not special."

HD: "That's right. These are very popular. We sell quite a bit of them."

Me: "Then why is it a special order?"

HD: "Because we don't have that one in stock."

Me: "OK. What color do you have in stock?"

HD: "None. We don't keep these in stock."

Me: "You sell them, but don't keep them in stock?"

HD: "Yes."

Me: "So, you have this same exact model in a local warehouse, just not in the store?"

HD: "Yes. We can get it to you in a few days, depending on how busy the delivery guys are."

Me: "So you don't have to order this just for me?"

HD: "No."

Me: "Then why would you charge me a 15% restocking fee if you sell these all the time, keep it locally in a warehouse, and have none that I can take home right now?"

HD: "Because it's a special order."

Sigh. I gave up at that point because it was late and she didn't see the irony in it. It's no fun making fun of people if they don't know they're being made fun of. Needless to say, if the spouse doesn't like it after three days, it'll cost her 15%. Because, say it with me people, it's a special order.

Posted at 02:00 PM | Comments (1)

August 27, 2004

Welcome to my nightmare

I'm in Texas at a disaster recovery exercise. So far, the only exercise I've had is pulling my thumb outta my ass. We've had a priority one problem since yesterday morning and "the powers that be" can't make an f*in decision on what to do. The other techs and I can fix the problem, but of course, the people who have never touched the g-d product are the ones telling us how to fix it.

The only good thing is that the other team members and I get along so well that we're having fun in spite of the managerial f*ups around us. Wish me luck.

PS - I had a panic attack in the shower yesterday. I realized I forgot my new Aveda face wash. I had to wash with....soap. Eeeeeyeeew! :)

Later gators.

Posted at 11:17 AM | Comments (5)

August 24, 2004

I'm an Aveda-holic

Hi, my name is Howard, and I'm an Aveda-holic.

Hi Howard. We’re here for you. Please tell us your story.

It started innocently enough. My friend loaned me some and said I had to try it cause it was awesome. I'll admit I was scared, but tried it anyway since I didn't want to look like a pussy. She was right. It was awesome.

I started out as a casual user. You know, a little Shampure here, a little Black Malva there. I wasn't doing it a lot. I was just supplementing my normal shampoo. Another friend suggested I try the Shampure Conditioner. I took the .5 ounce sample bottle, but never used it. I hid it in the back of the linen closet so my wife wouldn't see it. She was already a bit suspicious about the other two bottles I had and I didn't want her to find this one.

About a month went by and I was holding it together. I would use only once or twice a week at most, telling myself that my hair was limp or lifeless and it needed a little pick me up. The wife was out of town one weekend and I don't know how, but the .5 ounce ended up in the shower with me. Next thing I know, I'm standing in the mirror, dripping wet, marveling at the softness and manageability of my hair. I was hooked. I started using daily and I was a wreck.

My hair never looked so healthy, but I was ashamed someone would find out my secret. When I ran out of the 8 oz'ers, I talked to a friend who was able to get me the liters at a discount. I couldn't hide the big bottles anywhere so I emptied the conditioner into a new plastic gas can I picked up at Home Depot. I put the shampoo into two automatic transmission fluid bottles I had lying around. The shampoo was almost the same color so I thought I was safe. My wife never noticed that those 8 oz bottles lasted for 6 months.

Growing up, you hear your parents talking about how using one product will lead to using others and I always thought that was a bunch of crap. Listen to your parents, people, for they speak the truth. I branched out. I started looking for more exciting products. I found them, all right. Shaving cream that makes your face as smooth as a baby's butt. Aftershave that doesn't sting. Rosemary Mint shampoo and conditioner. Styling Gel that makes your hair soft, but has incredible hold. I was getting out of control. When the boys would come over to play poker, I had to hide my stash in my closet. I wouldn't let the apartment exterminate since I didn't want anyone to know what I was using. It was getting out of hand, but I thought I could handle it on my own. I was wrong.

Two days ago, I hit bottom. I crossed the line and almost didn't make it back. The day started out normal enough. Coffee and a bagel for breakfast, greasy fast food for lunch. It was a day like any other. Then it happened. I noticed some pimples on my forehead. I NEVER break out. Ever. I knew what caused it, though. The cheapass Nivea face wash I bought at Wal-Mart. I knew I shouldn't have bought it, but I was already spending too much each month maintaining. I figured, sure, it's cheap, but it'll do. I did ok until someone I asked if I was going through puberty. I know it was meant as a joke, but it hurt.

Next thing I know, I’m in the mall. I casually walked into the store and inquired about their male skin care products. I was shown a few items and did my best to pretend I wasn't interested. Then I made a fatal error. I saw that the shaving cream was on sale and immediately grabbed two tubes. The salesperson pounced when she figured out I was a habitual product user. I was as helpless as a newborn. I don’t remember checking out. I don’t remember the walk back to the truck. When I finally found the courage to open the bad, I lost it. I had purchased a sensitive-skin face wash for all skin types, a new medium hold hair gel, and...sniff...and...please don't make me say it.

It's ok, Howard, go on. We've all been there. Here's a tissue to wipe away your tears.

(sniff) Does it have aloe in it?

Yes. Yes it does. Now, please continue.

I sat there staring at it, wondering how I could have sunk so low. I mean, of all the things to buy, this is the one purchase that convinced me that I had a problem. It was the one thing I swore I'd never do and there it was, right in front of me.

Moisturizer.

Posted at 04:28 PM | Comments (6)

August 23, 2004

Old School

So I walked into a local restaurant yesterday right as their computers went down.

The whole place just stopped, literally. The manager kept going from machine to machine, hoping and praying it would come back up. I could see the desperation in her eyes because, unlike the rest of us, she knew what was coming.

The cashiers couldn't figure out what to do. They just sort of looked at each other like, "Hey, think we can leave early?". Luckily, the manager was old school like me and had been around before the advent of computers. She casually gathered the group together and said, very slowly, "Write. the. orders. on. a. piece. of. paper." I saw several kids cock their heads like dogs do when you say something they doesn't understand. The brighter ones, however, picked it up right away.

"Like, yeah, we could, like, you know, write stuff down like they did in the old days and like, then, you know, we could, like, um, give it to the cooks and stuff." Bingo. Step One completed.

The manager smiled to herself. She had circumvented the computers and was able to get orders to the kitchen. Now all she had to do was sit back and wait for the computers to come online.

Oh how wrong she was. You see, friends, the manager took for granted that her employees could figure out the next step on their own. She assumed (and we all know what happens when you do that) that her employees knew basic arithmetic. Foolish, foolish manager.

The two people in front of me already had receipts printed out. They also paid by check. Easy as pie. I, however, put a monkey wrench into the system. First, I added something to my order and second; I had cash.

When I asked the girl how much it cost, she frowned. She asked the Assistant Manager. He said $6.75. She smiled. I asked if that was with tax. She frowned. He said, yes. She smiled. I said I'd like a piece of carrot cake, too. She frowned. The Assistant Manager (smart guy, really) preempted the next question by saying, $3.50, tax included. She smiled, then went to get the cake.

She came back. She frowned, looking around like she'd lost her parents. I said, "what are you looking for?" She said, "paper." I said, "It's $3.50 and $6.75, right?" She paused, scratched her head, and said, "uh, huh". I said, "That's $10.25". You ever see the look little kids get when they're shown a magic trick? That's the same look she gave me. I handed her a $20. She quickly lost that look.

I said, "What now?" She said, "I need paper." I said "Why?" She said, "So I can figure up your change." I said, "It's $9.75." She gave me the magic-trick look again. I said, "The 75 cents makes 11 dollars, then you give me 9 more dollars to equal 20." She said, "If you say so."

I heard the guy behind me snicker. When I turned around, I saw he was old school too.

Posted at 10:42 AM | Comments (8)

August 20, 2004

Caption Contest

Thought y'all would enjoy this. It was taken outside the office yesterday. I also thought you, Dear Reader, could put a nice caption to it. Have fun.


Posted at 02:42 PM | Comments (6)

DR tests

I'll be out of the office next week participating in our yearly disaster recovery test. This is my first time and I'm sorta looking forward to it. It's been a while since I've had any type of intellectual challenge. Well, there was that time Sunday when my porn quit downloading, but that's just not the same. And yes, I did figure out why. Whew...

This is a semi-rant about work.

The one thing I don't understand about this whole thing is this; It is my responsibility to keep copies of any software I may need during the test.

We pay thousands of dollars a year to make sure we have a hot backup site. We keep our mainframe tapes in an off-site storage vault. We practice once a year to make sure we can bring our systems back up. However, we don't have any mechanism in place to store operating system software, email software, etc.

To me, this is a HUGE hole in our plan, but I can't get anyone to listen. In the event of a disaster, not only do I have to pack and leave within 6 hours time, but I also have to remember to grab my Windows 2000 CD that I keep at home. I mentioned this to our DR Coordinator and he just stared at me. It's mindboggling to me that no one seems to give a crap.

Yeah, I know this is boring, but I've been thinking about it for the last week and had to write it down. I'll try and be more humorous later.

Posted at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2004

Finally some common sense

Interesting article about the ongoing legal battle between the movie and recording industry and on-line file sharing software. It's about time we got some smart judges...

Posted at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

Dammit, not again!

People, how hard is it to replace the toilet paper in the stall? Put the fake key in the fake lock and insert the paper. Viola!

Now you owe me two socks.

Posted at 09:00 AM | Comments (2)

August 18, 2004

I just gotta say it

I read the title for Maura's post today, German highway fun with a side of Google, and the first thing that popped into my head was:

If you think driving a German highway is tough, you should try driving a Hershey highway.

Yeah, I know it's bad, but the only way to make leave my head was to post it.

Posted at 01:25 PM | Comments (6)

Morning Wood

The current roster for Morning Wood 2004 is:

QB - Drew Bledsoe
RB - Edgerrin James
RB - Correll Buckhalter Thomas Jones
WR - Joe Horn
WR - Darrell Jackson
WR - Tai Streets
TE - TBA
K - TBA
DEF - Philadelphia Eagles

We only made it through the first seven rounds. With 16 teams, it takes a while to get this done. I'll let you know once the roster is complete.

Posted at 11:06 AM | Comments (1)

Instructions for creating Outlook rules

How to setup Outlook rules (I have Outlook 2002 so yours may differ slightly)

Click on Tools

Choose Rules Wizard

Click on New

Select "Start from a blank rule" radio button

Click on "Check messages when the arrive" if it's not already selected

Click Next

Select the Condition you want Outlook to check. This is what causes the rule to fire. In this example, let's use "with specific words in the subject".

Click on the checkbox next to "with specific words in the subject". You'll notice that the Rule description has changed and now says "Apply this rule after the message arrives with specific words in the subject". If you click on the link specified words in the Rule description window, Outlook will open up a window where you can then enter the words to look for.

Enter any words you want one at a time (key in word, hit enter; key in word, hit enter). Click OK when finished.

Click Next

Now Outlook wants to know what we want to do with the message. Scroll down until you see the checkbox "play a sound" and select it. Outlook appends this option to the rule.

Click on a sound in the Rule Description.

Find the sound you want to play and select it.

Now we need to tell Outlook what to do with the message. Scroll back to the top of this list and choose the option you want. For this example, choose "move it to the specified folder".

Click on specified in the Rule Description.

Choose the mailbox location where you want to move the message.

Click OK

Click Next

Now you can add any exceptions to the rule. I don't do this, but feel free.

Click Next

Enter a name for the rule. If something is in the text box, you can delete it and create your own name. There is an option to run this new rule on existing messages. If you want to run it, select that option, otherwise click Finish.

Now you're done. You can use this procedure to create many different rules. Be sure to test it so you'll know it works.

These rules can be pretty effective and I'd like to share with you a perfect example. I started getting a lot of mail from a user who had added me to a distribution list he had. I politely asked to be removed because the emails talked about stuff I was no longer involved with. Kept getting the email and kept asking to be removed. Nothing happened, so I thought "let's create a rule". The rule would automatically delete his email, then send him an email in return that said, "Please take me off your distribution list". I was off the list by the next day.

Have fun.

Posted at 09:59 AM | Comments (3)

August 17, 2004

The Sounds of Email

Like most of you, I get too much email each day and most of it is worthless drivel. In my case, that drivel is compounded by the fact the we have an automated system to warn us of impending "doom". The system emails us with failry meaningless items like "C: drive is now normal", "critical threshold reached", and my all-time favorite, "an error has occured. Please investigate". All of this email drives me insane. I used to spend most of my days deleting the BS email and pitchin' a bitch about it. Then I got smart.

Outlook allows you to setup rules to handle different types of email. My rules place Spam in one place, good email somewhere else, and non-spam BS to a third. The only downside to all of this is that Outlook's email notification icon (the little envelope) appears in my system tray for EVERY email I get, no matter the type. I still ended up pitchin' a bitch because I had to open Outlook to see what kind of email it was. Then I got smarter.

Outlook also allows you to set the type of notification sound it plays for each rule. So I devised the following system:

Good email message: Mr Dean Implodes

Automated System notification message: Homer

Non-spam BS containing specific words: Bart and Lisa

Sure, it screams "GEEK". But only when I say so.

Posted at 03:14 PM | Comments (4)

Is it hard being beautiful?

Does a woman ever get tired of being beautiful?

I thought about this today as I was helping one of the women in my office. To me, she is one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. She's tall, with dark hair, a beautiful face, and a great body. As I was following her back to her office this morning, I happened to notice how some of the guys were looking at her. They were in town for training and had apparently not seen her before. Several of them gave her the full-body once over, and I'll admit, it even made me uncomfortable. That's when I started to wonder if being beautiful could get tiring?

I appreciate a beautiful woman as much as another man, but I try to be discreet about it. Part of it is because I get very shy around them and part of it is because it just feels rude to give them the once over. Now don't misunderstand, if the woman is wearing something designed to draw attention to them (like Britany or Paris or Pam Anderson), then I'm all eyes. In this case, I'm talking about someone "normal" that I see around town. I’m talking about a woman who looks as good in a baseball cap as she does in a dress. I’m talking about naturally beautiful women, not the surgically enhanced kind.

I wonder if any of these women think, “Would you just stop looking at me”. I’d have to imagine it would get irritating after a while or am I just being naïve? Never having been in that situation, I can’t accurately answer the question. I'm more like the gristle you cut off before getting to the good stuff. What do you think?

Posted at 01:40 PM | Comments (6)

August 16, 2004

Olympic Commentators Suck

I happened to catch part of the Olympic Women's Bicycle race yesterday morning and realized why I quit watching many years ago. The commentators suck. No, really. These guys were freaking awful. Imagine watching reruns of America's Funniest Home Videos with Bob Saget while having your eyelids propped open with cinnamon-flavored toothpicks.

The race itself was good. These women were cruising and it was a pretty exciting race. I caught it with about two laps to go. There was a breakaway rider who started to get killed on the big climb...then the commentators started in. They were making up the worst analogies, "the peloton is like a big elastic band that's going to snap back and eat up the breakaways". Then they started referring to the racers as "The Heads of State" as in, "the heads of state are climbing that mountain like Hera climbing Olympus". It only got worse. It's as though these guys were trying to outdo the other.

"You know Todd, the magnanimous magnanimity of the temerity of the Heads of State is only outweighed by the petulance of the breakaway riders of Olympic proportion."

"Hahaha, you got that right, Bill. It's amazing the exuberant admiration I have for these two-wheeled chariot racers as they plunge downhill like Anna Nichole's cleavage".

"Right you are Todd. That Anna, whooboy, has she got a set of lungs on her..."

"Uh, Bill, you're drifting. HOLY COWABUNGA! We've just had an accident. Oh, that's gotta hurt. I imagine that's how Achilles felt when he tore his, uh...when he tore a tendon."

"Yeah, Todd, that Brad Pitt is one fine actor. If we watch the replay, you'll notice how Anna Kirkamopilos was looking behind her and caught the wheel of the rider in front of her. It doesn't look like the fall hurt her too bad, although the other 4 riders that rode over her might have caused some damage."

"Right you are, Hippocrates, hahahah."

You get the picture. However, I want like to add that you can watch an entire day's worth of women's beach volleyball and never hear a word the commentator says. Hmmm...

Posted at 11:00 AM | Comments (5)

August 10, 2004

Fantasy Football is here!

Those of you that are new to 3leggeddog might not be aware of the fact that I participate in a Fantasy Football league with some guys I work with. The live draft takes place on August 17th and the first game is shortly thereafter. I'll be providing weekly updates since I know several of you followed the teams progress from last year.

For those of you that want to know the name of the team, read on. This was originally posted in October of 2003.

My team is named "Morning Wood".

Now I'm sure you're thinking "Morning Wood"? Why would someone name their team "Morning Wood". There are many reasons, Dear Reader, besides the fact that I have the brain of a 14 year old boy. The guys and girls in this league talk a lot of smack and what better way to cut them off at the knees than with the following responses:

If I lose: Oh man, your boys gave my Morning Wood quite a lickin' this weekend.
If I lose badly: Congrats, Bro, you smacked the crap outta my Morning Wood.
If I lose really bad: Son, I have not had anyone beat my Morning Wood like that in quite some time. You are to be congratulated. My Morning Wood salutes you.

If I win, it's something along the lines of:

You got spanked by the Morning Wood!
My Morning Wood tore your ass to shreds this weekend.
Bow down and worship the Morning Wood.

See? Even if I lose, I win. So, Dear Reader, sit back, relax, and keep your eyes on my Morning Wood. I predict good things this year.

*Note: If you are unaware of the "morning wood" phenomena as it relates to the male anatomy, please ask the nearest male. When he stops laughing, he'll tell you.

Posted at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2004

Stupid, f*in' Mondays

It's only 9:30 and I'm so fucking mad I can't see straight. I'm going to grab our inventory project manager and our SQL DBA and bangs their fucking heads together. AHHH!!!

According to the inventory manager, none of us knows how to use the PDA's we have for inventory. No, fucknuts, the problem is that you constantly manipulate the Access database that contains the inventory. If you'd keep your freakin' hands off of it, it'd be fine. It's not like this stuff is rocket science. You point the PDA, click the button, read what is says, and if it's fine, then leave it alone. If it's wrong, then you change it. It's almost IMPOSSIBLE to fuck it up because you're so limited in the amount of information you can change. This is the 2nd time in two weeks that we...Hang on a sec...damn....someone brought Krispy Kreme donuts...3 dozen....Be right back.

Hmm. Imagine that. I'm not mad anymore. Two Krispy Kreme donuts and my problems just melt away. Maybe we should open one of these in Iraq?

Posted at 11:00 AM | Comments (3)

August 06, 2004

Inventory

I was going to write about what a clusterf* our inventory process is, but it just came out boring. Now I have nothing to write about. Boring sucks.

Posted at 03:08 PM | Comments (1)

August 03, 2004

Various and Sundry

If you take advantage of a broken vending machine at work, is that stealing or making the best of a bad situation?

I think Florida has more old people per capita than Heaven. Hopefully, Heaven makes them take the bus.

If you ask the Disaster Recovery coordinator if he needs your travel information and he says, "I should have a logistics summary available for everyone tomorrow at our final DR Exercise meeting on the 1st floor." should I take that as a "no"?

Is it bad to order pickles on-line?

Posted at 10:21 AM | Comments (7)

August 02, 2004

I'm back

I'm back in town and at work. The trip was more successfull than I'd hoped. We were able to get Mom a Home Health Nurse three days a week to help get her up and going every morning. She's got a physical therapist coming by as well. Her mood seems to have changed for the better and I hope it stays that way.

Thanks to all of your for the emails and comments. I appreciated them very much.

Thanks to Deb for putting the dog back in 3leggeddog. You rock.

Posted at 01:30 PM | Comments (2)

July 26, 2004

Out of Pocket

Well, friends, it seems I'm going to be out of pocket for the rest of the week. I'm writing this from my Mom's kitchen table in Florida. Seems she broke her ankle in two places when she slipped on some ice last week and yours truly is here acting as "the good son".

Now, before you write to tell me how good I am, you must understand that I would rather be anywhere but here. You see, my Mom has either chronic depression, agoraphobia, or a bit of both. She can go two weeks without leaving her apartment. I'm not sure what it is going to take to motivate her, but I am trying.

I came down Saturday with every intention of moving her back to Mississippi to live near me. After spending a day or two here, I realized that that would do nothing but deepen the depression because it would put her in an unfamiliar situation in an unfamiliar town. We have talked about this for the past several days and have agreed that she has one year to get her shit together and if she can do that, she can stay here. The retirement village that she lives in has so many things for her to do, plus it includes a theater, synagogue, pool, health club, and tons of other people to interact with. Mississippi has me.

I will do what I can to help her, but the ultimate responsibility lies with her. I'm trying to arrange someone to be with her part time for the next several weeks to get a jump start getting her healthy, but I don't know if that will be enough. I don't know what else to do.

This is honestly the hardest thing I've ever had to do. And I'm doing it alone. My brother could not come down from Colorado for various reasons, the least of which is his being out of work with two kids. I know he is under a lot of pressure, but this is killing me. My stomach has been in a knot since last Thursday and will probably continue to be that way until I go home Saturday. Mom and I made the deal ourselves and I will tell him if/when he calls. Part of me is furious at being left alone and the other part is glad he isn't here since they tend to clash.

I never wanted to be a parent. I know my limitations and for those reasons alone I didn't want a kid. I think I have one now, though. And I'm scared, folks.

If there is an upside to this story, it's that I think I finally realized that I made a mistake in getting divorced. I spent last Thursday and Friday with my spouse and am missing her very much right now. She is the calm in this storm and it's taken something like this to realize my mistake. We've talked about it a bit, but have not gone into detail. The only thing I do know is that she has not said "no". For that, I am extremely thankful.

The other upside is that I'm also rediscovering God. No, I'm not thumping a bible or anything like that, but I have been doing a lot of praying. I need something to believe in right now. I've literally felt lost these last few months (even before the situation with Mom). I had started a bible study with a friend just a few days before her accident. I've prayed for strength to get through this and to do the right thing. I just hope He's listening.

I'll be home on Saturday and will try and update you then.

Posted at 10:52 PM | Comments (5)

July 22, 2004

Royally screwed

Just call me Prince Charles because I have royally screwed two servers...that happen to be very important...and I can't figure out why. Oh what a day to be me.

Posted at 02:52 PM | Comments (3)

3leggeddog design team

I just realized I was remiss in not thanking a special someone who helped me get 3leggeddog looking like it does.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to introduce to you the designer of 3leggeddog and its awesome banner. She is a woman of immense style, substance, wit, charm, and a whiz at cupcake design. Her exploits have titillated blog readers for over a year and I am proud to call her a friend.

Without further ado, I give you Smitten.

Posted at 10:39 AM | Comments (7)

July 20, 2004

And a diet coke...

You know, you here people make fun of this all the time. It's the one where the guy orders two large pizzas (for himself) and a Diet Coke. I'm sure you've heard all the combinations and each ends in "...and a Diet Coke". I never really belived the stories and chalked them up to urban legend. Until today.

My buddies and I are at the mall food court for lunch. Yeah, I know, but it's cheap and quick. Anyway, I ordered the #1 combo at Wendy's, which is a single cheeseburger, fries, and a Coke. And no, I didn't Super Size it. Smartass. Then I hear it.

"Can I take your order?"
"Yeah, uh, I'd like the Number 3 combo."
"Do you want that Super Sized?"
"Huh?"
"I said, 'Do you want it Super Sized?'"
"Oh. Yeah. Thanks."
"What drink?"
"Huh?"
"I said, 'What. Would. You. Like. To. Drink.'" (followed by the silent, yet oh so effective "Dumbass!"
"Diet Coke."

Bingo. At first, I wasn't sure I actually witnessed what I witnessed. After reviewing the old internal instant replay, however, I confirmed it. I myth-busted my own urban legend: I witnessed a man order a triple cheeseburger (yes, a triple), super-sized fries, and a Diet Coke. Now I know how Columbus felt when he didn't fall off the end of the Earth.

Posted at 01:35 PM | Comments (6)

July 16, 2004

Please Stop Talking to Me addendum

I just figured out how to get the most annoying person in the company to stop talking to me. I pissed him off. And it was seriously enjoyable.

I was in someone's office when he came in. He started talking and I started walking. He said, "Wait, just a minute." I said, "That's ok, I don't need to talk to him anymore." He said, "No, wait." I said, "I said I didn't need to talk to him. He's all yours." He said, "No, I need to talk to you." I said, "No, you don't", walking away. He said, "Wait. I need to talk to you." I said, "No, you don't. I don't have anything to do with that project anymore." He said, "It's not about that." I said, "Sorry, I, uh, have a thing."

At this point I had already turned and walked into my office. He still hasn't come by and it's been about 45 minutes. I got an IM from the guy whose office he was in and it said, "Uh, he's pissed." I said, "Too bad." And that ended that.

You know, part of me actually feels bad. The rest of me, however, is taunting that part unmercifully and I think it's going to crack under the pressure any minute.........Yep, there it went. It is now whimpering in a dark corner of my mind.

And I thought this was going to be a crappy day.

Posted at 02:29 PM | Comments (7)

July 15, 2004

Please stop talking to me

Why is it that the people I don't like find it necessary to carry on conversations with me ?

It's amazing. These people will not leave me alone, no matter how hard I ignore them. Even if I say nothing, they'll keep on yammering. These people just don't take subtle hints.

People, it's very simple. If you ask me a question and I answer it without bothering to turn around, it means I don't want to talk to you and probably don't like you. If you persist in talking to me, then eventually my brain will shut down and let my mouth do the talking all on its own. We both know that this will lead to you getting your feelings hurt while giving brain and mouth a nice chuckle. Trust me, they've been doing this for years and are very, very good at it.

Let me just give you a word of advice. Leave. If you chose to ignore my word of advice, then I take no responsibility for what comes out of my mouth. You have been warned, fu*knuts.

Posted at 05:02 PM | Comments (3)

July 14, 2004

Winter

I promise to never ever, ever, ever complain about being cold again. I rode back from lunch with a co-worker who's air conditioner doesn't work worth a crap. I swear it was hotter in the car than it was outside.

The best part? I told some guys that I'd meet them after work to ride bicycles. Hey, I never said I was smart...just funny.

Posted at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2004

New Home

The dogs have a new home! Thanks to the fine folks at MuNu, I shall now be known as 3leggeddog.mu.nu. Well, I will be once I figure out what the heck I'm doing...

Thanks to Pixy for setting me up, Madfish Willie for being the first to say, "AYE", and for Alex for being my sponsor. I hope to make you all proud.

Posted at 03:37 PM | Comments (4)