Lazy Thursday: Movie Day 3

Last weeks turnout was ginormous. I would be a bad host not to try it one more time... And since my Thursday folder is a little shy (Brendan maybe next week.) Were going to try it again. This could either be more fun or a bomb if we've all expired our movie quotes.

I'll start the game with a quote from a movie. Whoever knows it can respond, with the movie it's from. Additionally add a new movie quote in your comment This continues till we all get stumped or bored.

Only two little rules
1.) No R or greater movies
2.) No cussing

"Nobody tosses a dwarf."

What to do at work when your bored:

Or just escape:

Ode to a Rubbernecker

I’m driving down the highway
As I’m staring at the mall
I slow the line of traffic down
To just a trickling crawl

I must see what is happening
If it’s important or inane
I’ll slow right down and slack my jaw
And mutter ‘that’s insane’

I’m not too hard to spot
I am the leader of the pack
With fifteen cars behind me
They wind around in back

Cops they need my presence
Or they couldn’t do their job
If some accident I missed
I’d drive right home and sob

When I drive I always know
That I’ve got alot of friends
There are strangers honking horns
And waving hands 'round bends

When I get out upon the road
I have no place I need to be
I'm just hoping for a pile up
Wow now that's a thing to see!

I’m a rubbernecking driver
And I love to watch the shoulder
I don't do it to be rude
I’m just practicing for when I’m older

-Peter Brown 2006

Catan Take It Anymore

Got Wood for Sheep?

Recently I have been playing a lot of Settlers of Catan. It’s a board game. Patricia and I were introduced to this new lifestyle by Brian and Esther. We had them over and I was worried about what we would do. I asked them if they played cards and they said that they had been playing Catan recently and hadn’t played cards in a while. I had heard about the game and expressed and interest to play.

I didn’t know much about it when we started to play, but I was hooked from the very first move. For those not in the know about Catan, just understand that it has moved from a simple board game to an all out irrepressible addiction. Settlers of Catan has stolen my soul and turned me into a resource craving lunatic. People I once considered my friends have become grain hoarding, ship building, road blocking adversaries.

In the game the goal is to collect resources: grain, wool, ore, wood, and brick. This occurs by dice rolls. The more resources the more Catan structures you can build which will allow you to accumulate even more resources. It’s a vicious cycle of greed and conquer. The game only ends when one person has reached a certain number of points, and stomped all over his fellow players. I have a highly competitive nature. No it would be more accurate to say… I’m a ravenous beast that will only be content play if I stand a chance to win.

Okay now that you understand the basics let me mix it up a little. There is always a wrench in the gears of commerce. The robber. Even if you’re winning and collecting vast resources, a simple roll of the dice can change everything. When a seven is rolled a piece called the robber is played. He sits on your resources and you cannot collect any as long as he’s there. Rolling a seven will allow you to move him. Seven is the most common dice roll there is. So why is it that for the last eight rounds you have roll three 2's , two 5's, two 11's and a stinking 12!. While the resource you should be collecting sits in a pot and your empire rests stagnate. Your opponent whom you’ve been crushing is now dancing a jig on the table. Imagine Rockefeller collapsing over one seven!

Patricia and I are getting a Catan divorce. We start off the evening having a nice dinner then singing with the girls. We end it foaming at the mouth over a pile of cardboard! We can no longer play nice together. Additionaly neither of us is going to give up playing! I have begun pasting up pro-resource propaganda on the walls of our house.

“Equal rights for farmers, and ranchers! Keep the robber at bay! Let the Government deal with his kind! Keep our children safe from brick stealers, ore pinchers and wood snatchers!”

So far my support has been waning. Meanwhile Patricia has been pushing her own agenda.

“Manufactured for use! All pieces have their purpose! The robber deserves existence as much as the roads! Robber stimulates competition, competition essential for growth”

If you haven’t played yet I would recommend it. Additionally we would welcome the opportunity to play with you and pound your amateur playing tail into the ground. Setters of Catan, the soul blackening marriage destroying game of resources and accumulated contempt.

Perpetual Peddling

So he's opened up his lawn again to all his treasures. Things you wouldn’t normally want to part with. He has four broken coffee pots, seven dirty stuffed animals and a Donna Summer’s cassette in excellent condition. One of our neighbors down the street has been having the eternal garage sale. It seems that every week we go by he has unloaded his house out onto his grass. Setup the four card tables and labeled all his nearly priceless trinkets.

I don’t have any issues with garage sales. It’s a good way to get rid of the things you don’t want to keep anymore. You sell what you can. Donate what they’ll take. Throw away the rest. Then you can enjoy a little extra cash, satisfaction and more open space.

I always feel a bit strange at garage sales. It’s a little odd sorting through someone else’s junk and finding something that will one day become your junk. Some people try to unload the strangest stuff. Word to the wise never buy a, pet-brush, hairbrush or toothbrush at a garage sale. Even if it does have a Winnie the Pooh handle on it. Why do people think just because you put a price sticker on it someone will buy it? No one wants your church mouse toaster cozy!

If no one buys from your first eight garage sales, odds are you don’t have anything anyone wants. You would think this would be a simple concept to grasp?

“Maybe no one saw this lamp?”

“Mel,” his wife sighs “It’s a plastic artichoke lamp; they just aren’t as popular as they used to be. Maybe we should just throw it away.”

“Do you remember what we paid for this?!”

“Forget I mentioned it...I’m sure it will go this week…”

So he sits in his driveway every week with is Panama hat, cargo shorts and flip flops. Itching to make an exchange, hoping to haggle and dying to deal. His lockbox is shined and hungry for gobbling up greenbacks.

“Thanks so much for coming” He waves, “All deals are final!”

Drinking Problem

Story Circa 2003

It was a rushed morning, I was running late to work. I was working for a computer consulting firm. Plenty of face time, working with clients. I was required to do a good job and look nice. Everyone wants a clean computer tech, especially with our rates!

I was out of hair gel, and this is already a very bad thing. My hair is a giant cotton ball. I was wearing a white dress shirt and black pants. I looked like a waiter from the '70s.

I was in the office reading my email and drinking my coffee. Getting ready to start my morning routine. Just before I was heading out from my office to my first client of the day I decided to finish off my coffee.

There was only a small amount of coffee left in the bottom of the cup. I threw the cup back and realized it was still half full. Clearly this is not going to end happy.

Coffee ran all over my face and down my white shirt. I looked completly ridiculous. I put on my coat and started the day. The drink spilling, cotton-headed, 1970s waiter.

Convalescent Magic

On the way home every night I drive by an airplane museum. It’s sort of like a convalescent home for aircraft. No one thinks you’ll ever have the ability to fly like you did when you were young, but you can play checkers and talk about your glory days. A quiet and serene quiet place to rust in peace. People come to visit you once a year just to check in. They reminisce, take pictures with you, but they're mainly there to be in awe of the fact that you’re still in one piece. The main attention is on the air for the new planes and the few old timers still able to take off.

“Hey Henry” one bellows, “You remember when we used to do that?”

“No John I don’t,” he sighs, “My flight recorder was removed years ago."

I’m not a plane buff by any means and honestly cannot tell you model number, cruising speed, or year commissioned. Maybe reading Brian’s posts has showed me how little I know about planes, because when I drive by, all I see is big one, fast one, old one.

To me some things are just magic. I mean I have head knowledge of how a plane takes off. I understand the passage of air over a curved wing and how that coupled with thrust can give a plane lift. It makes sense in my head. Seeing it on paper is different than watching a plane take off. I just have to think, that’s magic, there’s no other way to explain it. I’m always in awe of the fact that we can leave the ground and land in reasonable safety. Seeing these old planes also makes me realize we have been doing magic for quite a while now.

The old planes, some covered with tarps or wood to keep elements at bay, rest on the lawn never moving never changing. They get to sit and watch the new planes that land and take off at the airport over the chain link.

Planes that rattle your chest, or make you wish you were heading out somewhere on a trip. Sitting in a tight seat, barreling down the runway thinking about your voyage and waiting for the cart. Nothing says vacation like a daisy cup of ginger ale and five salty peanuts.

Lazy Thursdays Blues: Movie Day Reprise

Okay now that we all got the hang of the game from last week lets try it again.

I'll start the game with a quote from a movie. Whoever knows it can respond, with the movie it's from. Additionally add a new movie quote in your comment This continues till we all get stumped or bored.

Only two little rules
1.) No R or greater movies
2.) No cussing

"Daddy, I got cider in my ear"

For those of you that just come to point and click... Here are two campingcentric videos.

1 - How I want my tent setup to be.

2 - The more likely turnout.

The Way to Work

I’m already running late to work this morning. I got up late and just was having trouble getting going. I was ten minutes late to work yesterday and didn’t feel like repeating that again. I finally get into my car and I have eight minutes to get to work. I’ve made it in ten with perfect conditions but eight might be stretching it.

7:52 AM - I drive a fairly beat up Nissan pickup. I decided a long time ago I didn’t want to own a car I would obsess over. I put the first scratch in my pickup so someone else wouldn’t do it. It has a CD player put no rear view mirror. We all have our priorities and why should I care where I’ve been? It is currently a gray pickup but if I ever washed it the paint job is a nice silver.

7:54AM - So me and my pickup are barreling down the road when we hit ‘the stoplight’. There are lots of stoplights on the way to work but only one has the prestige to be called ‘the’. Einstein theorized that the closer humans came to moving at the speed of light the slower time would move in proportion. I have a theory of my own. When sitting at stoplights time around it is moving at normal speeds but the light itself is in a reality that time has nearly stopped in. This time slowdown is in proportion to how soon you need to be somewhere.

7:57AM - After an immeasurable period of time I’m in motion again. I’m approaching the high school. I always forget in August that summer was a fluke and I will not make it past the high school in the mere seconds as I did during summer. Add some extra time today for the two brain surgeons who decided to jay walk in front of my car. Squealing tires will not scare you if you’re not smart enough to be afraid of death.

7:58 AM - I zip through the hamlet on the corner where the workers line up to get vineyard jobs for the day. I never get through here fast, my luck must be changing. I have made it from here in 3-4 minutes before. I will be late but only by a couple minutes. I can deal with that...

8:00 AM - There is a shortcut I take everyday and it can make or break me. It is a two lane road by definition only. The yellow line is hard to stay off. The fact that I’m trying to make up a minute or two is only increasing the chances that I will find myself in wrapped up in the business end of some grape growers heavy equipment. I come around the corner to the show stopper. There is a wine tour bus in a major pickle.

8:03AM – I don’t think buses are allowed on this road. Certainly not tour busses! This road ends at a single lane bridge and this bus has gone and got himself wedged in it pretty badly. There is a line of cars behind him. I’m number two of at least fifteen in this bizzare parade. The cars wind behind and out of my view. I cannot see the other side of the bridge but I imagine it is similar. We sit and watch as the driver executes a painfuly long forty-nine point turn. He then backs off the bridge, as we all do a synchronized reverse routine that Ester Williams would have been proud of.

8:15AM – As I drive over the bridge all I can do is laugh. It was just too funny to do anything else. Additionally there is a biker with a video camera on the opposite side who got this all on film! My morning could easily become some very nice You-Tube fun.

Fruits of Your Labor

Manual labor. The term is a trifle confusing for me. I understand the labor part well enough but isn’t the manual a bit redundant? I’ve never heard of anyone saying mind labor, or head labor. That’s called thinking. Being a geek I’ve read a lot of manuals and I can say that some were quite laborious, but somehow it’s not the same. Is it maybe to differentiate manual type labor from giving birth type labor? I’ve seen childbirth first hand. If it’s not manual labor than nothing is! From this point on we will simply call it labor.

What is labor? Labor is not doing something hard. It can be labor but it doesn’t always have to be. As Mark Twain demonstrates in Tom Sawyer a person will do labor if he believes it to be fun. Because of this truth Tom’s friends pay him to whitewash his fence. If this same job was called ‘work’ nothing would get a body to do it cheerfully.

I spent an afternoon running myself to exhaustion chasing and throwing a Frisbee. If some muscle headed coach in Phys Ed would have planned that same activity I would have been muttering curses on him and his lineage the whole period. This is a simple truth and I will go so far to say that I believe we have all experienced it.

So I ask you again, What is labor? Labor is easily defined.

You go outside believing you are going to spend an hour cutting back a bush in front of your house and throwing the leaves and branches into a trash can. You then perceive yourself back inside with John Wayne for the rest of the day.

When after the first thirty minutes of sheering you discover that the ugly squatty bush in front of your house is actually anchored to the ground with a root system that is making the oak tree green with envy. In another hour of digging sawing and prying you have made zero progress. You've pulled out your entire entourage of equipment, from sawsall to framing hammer. Your feeling rather like the losing side in a battle of wits.

You tie one end of your only rope to the root and attach the other end to your only truck. After one minute without motion the rope snaps. You go to the local hardware store and buy a stronger rope. Once tied off in a similar fashion to the first rope, you again try the truck tug. The bumper on your truck begins to dislodge itself from your truck. The sound brings out your spouse. You lie and say 'everything's fine.'

You buy a pry bar, and for two hours have the unbridled joy of rotating between bashing the root with a twelve pound iron rod, and hacking at it with your grandfather’s authentic Saudi Arabian machete.

When the root is removed you collapse on the lawn. You’re now completely unfit to breath, eat, or drink. Congratulations, you have just completed labor.

Breath Easy

They can be aggravating, annoying and generally disruptive. They can take focus away from your attire, good nature or new hair cut. If you have them the odds are good it’s the only thing folks will notice about you till you get rid of them. We refer to these menaces with odd endearment as 'the hiccups.'

I’ve decided that hiccups are the body’s way to blow off steam. No one is one hundred percent sure why humans hiccup. I think I know. The human body hiccups when starved for entertainment. If you are ever bored, find someone suffering from hiccups. I'm telling you, watching a room full of people trying to solve one fellows hiccups is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

I have seen some odd solutions to hiccups in just the few short years I’ve been on earth. Everyone has a solution to the hiccups. Most think theirs is the only effective way. I know people who swear by their ridiculous solution and will not listen to another soul no matter how sane they might be. My personal method is highly effective for me and also supremely boring. I can stop my hiccups normally before three come up the track. I will not share it because this would provide little fun at parties.

Lets go back to that poor soul who had the misfortune to hiccup in public. Now everyone is swarmed around them and assaulting them with the most unusual homeopathic remedies you ever heard of.

“John you have to drink a glass of water,” fake doctor 1 yells “Not like that silly. Upside-down!”

“Don’t listen to them John,” fake doctor 2 bellows “Just do some jumping jacks and you’ll be fine.”

  • Drink an entire glass of water without breathing

  • Drink a capful of vinegar

  • Induce a cough or sneeze

  • Scream whenever you feel a hiccup coming on

  • Drink a shot of lime juice with Tabasco sauce added

  • Be scared (everyone loves to try and scare the afflicted person)

  • Touch your uvula gently with the handle of a spoon (I wouldn’t if I were you)

  • Hold your breath as long as you can

  • Smell the fumes from a lighted candle

  • Take five fast, deep breaths; after the last one exhale

  • Breathe slowly into your shirt

  • Count to twenty with your fingers in your ears

  • Say "pineapple."

The last one makes me laugh. How did that ever come up as a possible solution?

"No! not kiwi I said 'say pineapple!' What's wrong with you anyway?"

Who can guess. I suppose there is more than enough room for everyones hiccup cures. If none of these seem like you, there’s always the more ‘scientific approach.’

Got any good hiccup entertainment?

Feeling Blue

As was mentioned a few weeks ago I used to work for a retail chain. I worked at Best Buy. I was one of five computer techs in the store. In fact I was also the only traveling tech in the store, making house calls for customers. This was long before Best Buy came up with the 'Geek Squad' and I can at least be very thankful for that.

Because of my position I wasn’t required to wear the Best Buy polo shirt on traveling days. I hated my polo. First off it cost me ten dollars, because although I was required to wear one, it wasn’t provided with employment. In addition to that it fit me like a wet suit. I was constantly at war with it, tugging, stretching and pulling. Days that I did not have to wear it found me a much more pleasant person.

When traveling I wore a nice shirt tucked into my khakis and my happy yellow name badge with the 'Intel Inside' sticker I’d salvaged from some dying computer. Back in those days we got a lot of vendor toys and we all liked to dress up our badges to show appreciation. I have lots of geekware from Iomega, Sony and the like. Additionally I have an unused ‘Pentium II Bunny Suit’ keychain if anyone wants to trade.

Patricia and I are living in our first apartment in town. For the nostalgic among you we were paying $595 a month for rent. It seems almost unreal now. So I step out onto our porch in my khakis and smart black button up dress shirt.

I slid across the porch and onto my rump. I now had a thick blue racing stripe from my heel to my shoulder. It seems someone decided to paint the apartment porch and not warn the occupants. The painter was leaning on his long handled rolling brush looking horrified. I was mortified and in trying to stand up, I slipped and fell on to my knees to complete my stunning attire.

The painter apologized then started knocking on doors and warning the rest of our neighbors. This of course brought new onlookers to my plight. I managed to get up, and get back inside. I had no option but to wear the pants, I didn’t have another pair. I was able to get them mostly clean, and the blue was pretty faint. The shirt was a bust. I had to wear my polo. I believe my mantra for the day was “don’t ask.”

A Sneaker Suspicion

I was sitting comfortably at my desk, earning my living, when something tickled my ankle bone. This unknown then began to work its way down between my shoe and foot towards my sole. There was only the thin cotton of my sock protecting me from this unknown thing. I looked, very calmly down at my shoe, and didn’t see anything. There could be no real doubt about it though, there is something in my shoe.

I have an unnatural fear of bugs, and while some of you will not understand, the idea of an insect in my shoe makes me uneasy. I have visions of spiders, or ear wigs burrowing down into my canvas. Making themselves at home in my cross trainer, and dining on the only available meat when the urge hits them. Add to this the fact that these shoes are on thier last leg and there is a fairly large hole in the one sneaker I'm focused on. After a slight hesitation, I shoved my finger in between the shoe and sock.

“All clear Captian”

“Proceed to Shoecom 4”

“Captain, what about the smell?”

“Move it soldier!”

I removed my shoe. Nothing. Nada. I shook the shoe violently; I know that there is something in my shoe!

“Peter…” The Boss!

“Hey Boss” I usually call him ‘boss’ especially when startled, “I was working on that TPS report you wanted for…”

“You okay?” He questioned, eyeing me with a slight suspicion.

“Oh… my foot hurt…that’s all.” I said, looking as nonchalant as possible. This is a little difficult with a shoe in hand.

Once the coast was clear I attacked my right sided smelly shell with a new ferver. There was something in my shoe. I was now looking for a nylon thread, or similar lifeless explanation. I've had this happen before and I was sure I would find something to explain the uncomfortable feeling from earlier. Nothing. Nada.

I left it off for a few minutes in case whatever was in there was hiding and I would soon catch with my well honed spy skills. I waited and it waited. I waited longer and it waited longer. This worked out much the way you would expect. I decided it was ridiculous.

So I put my shoe back on. It was not more than ten minutes later when something tickled my ankle bone. There is something in my shoe!

Lazy Thursday Blues: Movie Day

Okay I have this bizarre idea. I'm going to post a movie quote. Whoever knows it can respond, with the movie it's from , the character that said it, and scene it was in. Additionally add a new movie quote in your comment. This continues till we all get stumped or bored.

Only two little rules
1.) No R or greater movies
2.) No cussing

Okay let's see how this goes.

"Probably just some local fisherman out for a pleasure cruise at night...through eel-infested waters."

For the less interactive among you here are a couple of oddities.

Kome To Karls!

Kome to Karls Katfish! Kajun kuisine served up fresh. Kaught by Karl in the kreek. Karl kooks it in his own kreative way. Kan you resist? Karls’ kalls to you!

It's becoming difficult to drive down the road and not be assaulted by the gross misspelling on shops, resturants and other retail establishments. I was headed south on the highway when I passed the "Kar King" and had to wonder what they were thinking. Would it be so horrible to just be the "Car King?" Would they not be able to live with themselves knowing they passed up such a catchy misspelling. I'm also curious if they don't feel just a little less intelligent every day they walk through that door.

It was about that time that Karls ad popped into my head. I though it was funny so I wrote it down the first chance I got. It occurs to me people will perceive Karls ad to be ridiculous and the Kar King as a normal occurrence. Is it any wonder that society cannot spell? They haven’t got a chance. They are assaulted as they walk down the street, with Krispy Kreme and others of it’s caliber. I just thought of another one… how about this one?

Kneds Knives aknd Kutlery! Knobody turkned dowkn at Kneds! Will sharpekn all your knives aknd kutlery. We offer the fiknest selectiokn this side of the couknty likne. Kneds knives aknd kutlery…where all of our bargikns are a steel!

We can all agree that Kneds' ad is absurd but it seems to be the natural progression of this phenomenon. I suppose only time will tell.

I leave you this morning with one last advertisement from the realm of the ridiculous. Enjoy!

Phranks Phone Phriends! Need to be phreed phrom the anxiety oph the day? Call Phranks phone phriends and relax. Talk about the phreeways, your pherns or the neighbor’s philthy habits. Every day is Phriday! Call and pheel phine aphter a phew minutes! At Phranks phone phriends we are here to hear.

As always feel free to share your own...

100th Post

Out of my brain it rushes forth
Spilling over on the page
Neither wise nor lyrical
Not philosopher or sage
Adding to the blogger pool
Only ‘cause it’s all the rage

So I post because I am
And cannot stop ideas flow
In the shower, car and store
I simply let my notions go
I type it up and read it through
Then post for all of you to know

On days I think I’ll give it up
Keep my posts inside my head
What if too many I store there
And they leak out while I’m in bed
My pillow ruined and post all gone
I’ll not remember what I’d said

So here I’ll sit and type my wares
And publish for the world to see
Here to point and click and read
It’s yours without a tax or fee
When you read then sigh or laugh
You’ll see a little glimpse of me

-Peter Brown 2006

Right of Way

Remember to always stay on the right side of the road. It’s a good idea to make sure your visible, reflectors aren’t required but they don’t hurt either. Keep in mind to always give warnings before turns. Lastly when navigation in the wine isle, keep her steady. Any veering here could be very costly.

There are lots of rules in on the roads and it seems to me, with the time we spend educating people on how to drive on the concrete and asphalt, little is spent on how to drive on the tile and lamanated wood of the supermarket. I’m here, as always, to help you with all your questions. I’m going to do my best to provide a quick primer for the proper etiquette in the supermarket isles.

First off is simple right of way. The cart is king in the supermarket. This wheeled wire menace is both your best friend and worst enemy in the supermarket. Without it the trip would be near impossible, and you would be stuck carrying all those goods by yourself. With it you are a lumbering idiot, being pulled left and right according to its fitful whims. Remember if your cart is behaving properly, right of way goes to the person currently simulating the Exxon Valdez. No one wants to be party to a log cabin spill on isle eight.

When turning remember to either make eye contact or noise. I find that a running prattle of talking is a great advantage in the supermarket. It is essential people know where you are. I’m much more aware of the mother with the screaming child than the quiet well dress gentleman smelling tomatoes.

Always look behind you before backing up after selecting a product from the shelf. I cannot relay the number of embarrassing bumps because of not looking first. No one will listen to your side after you've knocked some poor soul into the soup can pyramid.

The produce isle is near impossible to navigate. I've seen more accidents and angry people in produce than in any other section of the supermarket. My advice is simple, skip it. Buy either canned or frozen produce. If your lucky enough to have a willing accomplice that will get your produce for you, don't brag to the rest of us.

If you’re brave enough you can chose the basket. Baskets have zero right of way. As such they must do their best to maneuver around the carts. The basket is the motorcycle of the supermarket. I find the basket great for weaving past the two cart pileups, label readers, deli talkers, frozen food window foggers and sauce gazers. It also is good for someone like me who is goes from isle ten to isle one and then back to isle eleven. The cart is no asset for the less than systematic approach to the supermarket.

Once at the checkout there are a number of simple rules to follow. Stay with you food. No one likes the wandering shopper. Or worse the ‘I forgot to get a can of tuna on the back isle and will be back after making everyone wait’ shopper. Use the dividers. I don’t want your smelly soap or organic peas on my bill. Your child can play later. You should work the ATM machine, not your nine-year-old.

That's pretty much it. The mysteries of the supermarket should be less daunting for you now. See, wth a few simple rules we can all get along in the isle.

My suggestion box is always open. Any pointers I might have missed?


I know, I know... three posts in one day!

I'm sitting here writing scripts and waiting for errors to come back, its very dull, and gives me lots of bored waiting periods....

SO I found this band* that has two of the coolest videos I've seen in a long time. Enjoy.

The first one is AWESOME

The second one is fun

*I know nothing about the band, their music, lyrics, or them personaly. If they're a bunch of offensive jerks let me know, I'd appreciate it.

On The Brink

This morning I did a very scary thing. I was sweating bullets on my drive to work. My hands were shaking and couldn’t focus on the road. I was unable to rip my gaze away from the red line bobbing over the ‘E’ on my dashboard.

I knew I had to get gas this morning but I was already running late, I had trouble getting into the right lane, the station was full, I didn’t have any cash, and I’m an idiot. Excuses were mounting like polished off drinks at the Kennedy estate. My car was so empty it begged with me to get gas this morning.

“I’m soooo thirsty.”
“I don’t see any stations… sorry.”
“We passed four already!”
"Five more minutes."
“Feed Me Seymour!”

It audibly groaned at me as we drove by the last service station, as if to say ‘this is not a good idea’. I don’t take advice from my car. You start taking their suggestions and soon you’ll find you don't have any peace in your life. Generally inanimate objects are selfish, and the ones that aren’t don’t seem to be as chatty.

I’ve run out of gas more times than I care to remember. When Patricia and I were dating I ran out gas half a dozen or more times. We got quite used to our little ‘forced exercise’ episodes. I recall one time, on the highway, at night, miles from home, or any gas stations. Good times.

About a mile past the station I started to freak out. The line bobbed below empty, and the ‘you're a moron’ light got brighter. Is it supposed to do that? I’ve never seen that before. I started tapping the brakes to send a trickle of gasoline forward to the sensor. The line raised slightly, and brought my spirits with it. Then the light would go off for a second. I'd breathe deeply while accelerating, which sent the line down passed the 'E' again and popped the light back on. I did this about eight times, just because. I can only imagine how much gas that burned. I was also able to achieve a wide berth off my rear bumper. Go figure.

So I finally coast into a parking spot at the office on fumes and hope. I have zero gas in my tank and I'm nowhere near a filling station. Don’t be too surprised if you see me marching down the freeway this evening. It's okay, I can use the walk.

Lazy Thursday Blues: Take 11

  • Personal Map What percent of the US have you seen? There is a world one too.

  • Keep your Dew Cold At all night LAN parties. Not that it sits open long enough to warm up...

  • Uh... Okay, that's odd.

  • Settlers of Catan Quiz Any junkies care to test thier knowledge? I'm a dunce apparently.

  • Oregon Trail Original Oregon Trail Game! I had to play in IE, not sure about MAC's

Smelly Soap

There is a bottle of smelly soap in the men’s room. I’m not sure what it’s doing there, besides suffering. Most men I know will avoid the bottle of smelly soap like the plague if they have the option.

Obviously in the case of smelly soap or no soap, smelly soap always wins. That isn’t the case here. There are metal soap receptacles anchored to all the sinks, filled with the scentless soap that comes in 5 gallon drums from the janitorial supply store. This is man soap. The only better man soap is the sandy powder that you have to rub with water and pray that it will suds up before you remove all the skin from your palms. It builds character!

This sums up the men’s restroom experience to a tee. We like doing it the hard way; we want scratched mirrors, and too few paper towels. We have no need for full length mirrors, pretty flower arrangements on the sinks, or couches in the restroom. The term “restroom” means a rest from talking, thinking, or making eye contact. When we leave the restroom we have to “work” at being civil, courteous and polite.

So someone brought it in their smelly soap and left it on the sink. It screams in its bold bookman font:

“2 soaps in 1! I moisturize and nurture your skin! With a fresh lavender scent!”

Obviously the man either forgot it or was caught. Just as he was about to pocket it, someone walked in on him. He had to abandon the smelly soap to preserve his dirty secret. Much like the mini-van in the parking lot slowing draining it’s battery down to power headlights no one is using. The announcement has been made over the load speaker but no one is going to fess up. “I drive the mini-van" This is equal to saying "I use smelly soap.” This admission would be too much for him to take.

So sits the soap in the men’s restroom, subjected to sneers and ridicule only because it smells nice and has the nerve to moisturize.

Year Of The Lie

You’ve heard of the year of the Dragon, Monkey or Goat. You’ve seen the “Year of the Comet”, or heard new casters refer to the ‘Year of the iPod’. But this might be your first exposure to what I’ve decided to call “The Year of the Lie”. To put it simply, twenty nine.

Today is my twenty-ninth birthday. I have zero trouble with this. I have a little trouble with this. I have more trouble with this than I thought I would. I have always told anyone who would listen that getting older doesn’t bother me. I’m doing everything in my life that I suppose to do. I don’t feel like I’m missing out or need more time in my twenties to accomplish anything. I have a loving wife two beautiful daughters, supportive family, and great friends. I’m happy. There is just something sinister about 29 that I can’t get over. I’ve been saying it all morning… "I’m twenty nine; I’m in the year of the lie."

Let me explain. No one believes you when you say you’re twenty nine.

“If you want to give blood we’ll need your real age.”
“Sigh…what year where you born?”
“1977…I’m twenty-nine…really.”
“Who was the president when you were born?”
“Fine," she sighs deeply "I’ll just mark 30.”

What’s a body to do? I would rather just go straight to thirty and skip this whole twenty-nine business. I suppose I could start a new trend and stay at thirty for two years. That would certainly be a new one on the world.

Or I could just take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the year of the lie. I can do that.

The Dough Man

The dough man is coming, the dough man is coming!
Lock up your flour, sugar and Pam!
He’s not going to leave without dough in his hand!

The dough man is coming, the dough man is coming!
He once was sane, happy and kind
But large piles of dough have altered his mind

The dough man is coming, the dough man is coming!
He’ll laugh at your cookies and put salt in your coke
He’ll hoot at misfortune but will scoff at your joke

The dough man is coming, the dough man is coming!
Nothing will stop him or slow down his shames
Except eighteen hours of video games

The dough man is coming, the dough man is coming!
Lock up your flour, sugar and Pam!
He’s not going to leave without dough in his hands!

-Peter Brown 2006

I'm sure to catch some heat from posting this picture

Ode To A Porkchop

Pork is good for eating
I dismiss what E.B. White thinks
If pigs were meant for petting
They wouldn't make good hot links

Pork is not other white meat
Even if pork raisers say so
Other white meat is reptile
It makes bad bacon, don't you know

Yes it's true pigs are quite large
And they eat food green with mold
They're like a magic farm machine
Turning garbage into porcine gold

There are only two bad pig parts
You can keep the hooves and head
I'll skip head cheese and pigs feet
But take the rest, once they're shed

This ode is to a pork chop
Cause pigs were made for munchin'
It's not a food for nibbling
But for breakfast or for lunchin'

-Peter Brown 2006

Hitch Me Up

I was stuck in traffic, the scenery was not grabbing my attention, and the radio refused to play anything but “purple rain”. I was about to give up my quest for some distraction when a lady caught my eye. She had flowing red hair, her make-up job was immaculate and she couldn’t stop smiling at me. Oddly enough, she was only a head stuck to the ball of the trailer hitch that was attached to the truck I was following.

This might seem odd but I’m been seeing lots of unusual trailer hitch’s. I’m not a truck person. I drive a truck, but it’s a very small truck and would never put me in the "truck driving" class. In fact I just found out that the term for this automotive ornament is a hitch cap. The dolls head was odd I have to say. I had trouble not trying to figure out the story behind that one.

“Mommy, Mommy!!”
“What is it dear?”
“Suzy’s dead!”
“I know dear” her mother sighed, “Your father promised to bring her home tonight.”

Who can guess, what the story was, but I bet it involved a lot of booze and too much free time. I’ve recently seen some other hitch caps, but none surpassed the sheer bizarre nature of the plastic doll’s head. For your enjoyment here are some others I've seen, and a couple I found online.

Recently seen on the highway

  • Can opener hitch cap. This is both useful and funny!

  • Propeller hitch cap. It spins… and that’s all!

  • Dog Picture hitch cap. Printed picture of your best friend!

  • LED Skull hitch cap. Creep out those tailgaters!

  • Key safe hitch cap. This is cool! A combo lock key safe hitch. I’m always locking myself out of my car.

Seen any other hitch caps on your roads?

For Your Listening Pleasure

I was driving to work obsessed with a song on my stereo. I completely forgot to eat my breakfast on the way. People are staring on corners as I’m performing an unrehearsed duo with “Maroon 5”.

It’s hard for me to remain placid when I hear music I really like. I’m not like the iPod listener walking calmly down the street. I would be at the very least rocking to the downbeats, but more likely singing with the music. This is one of the reasons I’m hesitant to purchase an MP3 player. Of course it might provide a number of good Saturday posts.

I worked at a music store for a year and it was easily the best job I ever had. Zero stress, music all day long, and pretty light workload. My job was to make people happy. I cannot recall too many people coming into the music store unhappy, save the rap buyers. Why anyone who would pay fifteen ninety nine for music you know will put you in a bad mood is beyond me. Anyway, for the most part people came in to get something they wanted. My favorite customers would be looking for a song they heard on the raido, and only knew a word or two. We would call the stations or flip through the charts. The desperate ones would sing parts of the songs to us, and we would do our best to decode. This one customer just threw her head back and belted out “son of a preacher man” one day. “Dusty Springfield,” I said “rock and pop isle.” Her friend apologized for her.

In Blockbuster Music you could listen to any CD in the store. We would unwrap it play it, and seal it back up. I now have this nearly useless ability to open a CD without breaking the seal. So people would sit at the bar and listen. Invariably someone would start singing. Some were okay, most were horrific. This was the year the Bee Gee's made a comeback. You never heard so much screeching and squealing in your life. After a few laughs we would have to intervene and tap them out of it. They always seemed surprised, like "why would you want to stop this star worthy performance?" With customers and employees laughing and snickering at them they would finally get it, and either buy or bolt. This is how I always picture myself whenever I start to sing with headphones on…it helps me to stop.

So here I am in my office, the introverted network guy, trying not to sing to the music streaming into my head. I’m drumming on my metal desk, tapping my feet and occasionally humming or whistling. Its like this is the witch doctors office and I’m performing some odd voodoo ritual.

Oh well, maybe they will be more apprehensive to approach my office when there’s a problem.

Lazy Thursday : Yeti Day

It seems everyone liked the Yeti Sports games, here's the whole lot.. enjoy

Yeti Sports 1 Pingu Throw
Yeti Sports 2 Orca Slap
Yeti Sports 3 Seal Bounce
Yeti Sports 4 Albatros Overload
Yeti Sports 5 Flamingo Drive
Yeti Sports 6 Big Wave
Yeti Sports 7 Snowboard Freeride

Still here... More Yeti Day Fun

Yeti/Bigfoot Dance Very odd...

When Yeti Attack! I'm not sure what he said but it seems scary!


Tuesday found me chatting with a few of my co-workers. We started off on some pretty normal topics, but then something changed. Somehow we got talking about collections.

I was going off about empty beer can collections and other such things I don’t understand, when a co-worker laid this on me. Barbed wire collectors. I went hunting… its real. It seems these guys hunt for barbed wire. Cut it into two foot lenghts, mount it on a board and label it. I'm not sure if they name them but I wouldn't be surprised! What do they get out if it? No one knows. Its a lot of work for a small return. I can't imagine there are a lot of people beating down their doors for the collection. Not that they would give up this prize to anyone. I suppose they're just trying to preserve a bit of history...still a little odd.

I’m not an avid collector of anything special. I collect movies but I watch them. I think that precludes me from this niche of “collector”. I guess there are some collections I can understand. Money. There it is, I’m a money collector. I’m always looking for that new addition! As far as other collections? Any collection I can sell to grow my money collection. Other than that, I have neither the time, desire or space for things I don’t need.

Things I’ve noticed about collections and/or collectors

  • They don’t have to make sense

  • You need a lot of them

  • They should have a story, but that story can be, “I don’t remember where I got this.”

  • If you want to make money your not a collector

  • If you use an item you void it from your collection

  • The house can fall apart as long as the collection lives on

  • No one can appreciate you in your time

Heard of any odd collections?

PostScript - For those clever few who think about it, the answer is no. I don't think of my box O' cables as a collection. It's a security blanket, and they are all well used.

Of Pickles And Corndogs

It’s a bastion of food, media, beverages and electronics. I feel safe within its walls. I stand awe struck, with a thousand of my closest friends, in a sea of frozen corndogs, and reams of paper. I just came in for some paper towels and I’m leaving with an empty pocketbook, and I have a lifetime supply of pickles. How it is that Costco can continue to stock items on the shelf that I need so badly is beyond me.

There is something about Costco that is outside of the realm of reality. I remember the first time entered one, it felt like another planet. How can we have suffering in the world if I can buy a case of chicken noodle soup for $7.99? Have you ever noticed how many items in the warehouse are $7.99? It seems whenever there is a dispute $7.99 always wins.

I love shopping at Costco, not just because we get huge containers of rations but also for the unexpected. The center of our store is like a bazaar. Every week they change out the contents, sometimes furniture, sometime caskets, clothes, or trampolines. You just never know what you’re going to get. I want to walk in with my hands over my eyes and yell surprise when we reach the middle. Patricia frowns on this practice.

The funny thing about saving money at Costco is storage. Let me explain. In order to save big, you need to buy in bulk, in order to buy in bulk you need a place to keep it. I have heard of people buying freezers so when they shop at Costco they have a place to put their 12lbs of burritos. We have a “store house” in the garage. It’s a metal shelf that serves as a pantry for the overflow. When we need a second jar of pickles, we grab a cart from the front lawn and wheel it into the garage and pick up the provisions for the next few days.

I love shopping at Costco.

I hate checkout at Costco. Checking out of a Costco is like waiting for a group of ladies to return from the restroom. Time stands still. I’m a social geek, which means I’m uncomfortable, but will talk anyway. I talk to people about the box of wine in their cart, I'll talk about the clerks or about my desire to buy popcorn by the case. Most people like talking in line. It's more fun than sighing and scouting for a shorter line. If there’s no one to talk to, I’ll talk to myself. This will do in a pinch. Either way be prepared for a wait, it's never going to be fast.

It seems that Costco cannot save you money and give you shopping bags; the two appear to be mutually exclusive. So you get used boxes in which to store your priceless finds. I suppose having to lug my pickles home in a box delivered there holding radish leaf soup is a small price to pay for the joys of Costco.

Just 3 hours of your day and a few hundred dollars. Costco, what more could you want?