December 24, 2007
Well, looks like I got lucky with my trip home. Not that I joined the mile high club or anything, but I managed to beat any severe delays. Not to mention cancellations.
The delays started about the time that I got in on Saturday afternoon. My flight ended up being a whole ten minutes late. Whooo... Later in the evening, the heavy fog created some much longer delays.
Were I to have elected to travel yesterday, as I had seriously considered, there is a chance that I would be somewhere other than here. The blustery day presented some problems for those traveling through O'Hare. Not that there was a large Winnie the Pooh lugging his pot-o-honey across the runways...
Was great spending time with family and friends yesterday, and we'll be doing the same this evening as well.
I hope that all of you and yours have a very, Merry Christmas!
Oh... and for those of you who will be drinking this holiday season, remember to be safe and responsible in your imbibing....
December 23, 2007
... again, home again, jiggety jig. Home again, home again, to be a fat pig.
Home. Travel? Smooth. With the exception of my ride to the airport being passed out, the day went well. Got into O'Hare just in time to buy my ticket and hop on the bus. On the road within ten minutes.
First thing I had once I got to Beloit? An eggnog shake. From Culvers. Two things that California lacks. Oh... the McD's has a shake that they call an eggnog shake (if you can even find one that serves 'em), but they ain't like here. Culvers? Nearest one is in Phoenix. It's damn criminal that they've not moved to Fresno, yet.
Back to the eggnog shake phenomenon... I asked around, and was told that they used to serve them, many years ago. Now? As a Hispanic friend of mine told me, "Find the whiteys, you'll find your shakes. You'll have to head into the mountains. Ain't no brown man gonna drink that shit, so you won't find it down here." Sooooo... I'm thinking that come St. Patty's day, should I want a shamrock shake, I'm going to have to find a damn leprechaun...
How can you have Christmas without eggnog shakes?
Mark, from Knockin' on the Golden Door, tagged me with a gottdamn meme.
1) Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog. (These are the rules).And here we go...
2) Share Christmas facts about yourself.
3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
1. Wrapping or gift bags? Bof. If, by gift bags, you mean brown paper bags, and if, by wrapping paper, you mean the same. That or newpaper and duct tape.
2. Real or artificial tree? Nope.
3. When do you put up the tree? Nope.
4. When do you take the tree down? Nope.
5. Do you like eggnog? What kinda question is this? Who doesn't like eggnog?
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Brown paper bag...
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Nope.
8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? No such thing as a bad gift. Wait... there is one that is hanging in Fritz's. That qualifies as bad.
9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Nope.
10. Favorite Christmas movie? The Shining.
11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Today.
12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? 7 layer bars.
13. Clear lights or colored? Fire.
14. Favorite Christmas song? Currently, Red Snow, by Psychostick. Normally, Fear's Christmas tune... "Fuck Christmas."
15. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? Obviously, I travelled.
16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Sure. But I thought they already had names...
17. Angel or star on the top of your tree? What tree?
18. Open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Bof, and neither.
19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? All of the people come out of hiding and get in my way.
20. What do you leave for Santa? Beer. High gravity lager...
21. Least favorite holiday song? Nope.
22. Do you decorate your tree with any specific theme or color? What tree???
23. Favorite ornament? My Shuar shrunken head.
It's too damn late to tag anyone else, so if you feel that you absolutely need to do this, feel free to lift it. I've got to help get ready for a party, and then I've got some shopping to get done...
December 17, 2007
This Interweb Thing...
... is both strange and wonderful.
I am wonderful, and this is strange.
Tip of the mug to Leggerman
It is now officially Christmas.
While not nearly as warm as it was last year in Florida, and even though there are Christmas decorations out everywhere, I just haven't felt like it could be Christmas already. I haven't even gone shopping, yet. Partly because of no time, but mainly because I just haven't had the urge. I typically shop late anyway, but this year any urgency has been gone. So yesterday, I tried... and pissed myself off almost immediately.
Some shopping I am saving for when I get home. Less to pack. But at work, we've got a gift exchange going. I drew this woman's name, and on her paper, she had written "necklace, earrings, or kitchen stuff." I don't feel it's proper to go buying her jewelry, and I don't know what kind of kitchen stuff she needs, so I asked one of the guys that she hangs out with. He suggested a gift card from American Eagle Outfitters. Quick and easy, it would be something she would greatly appreciate. So I set off for the plaza where this place is located.
Quick and easy, my ass. (cue holiday cheer) As soon as I pulled in, I knew it was trouble. There were guys out directing traffic, which was hardly moving, except in slow circles. Vultures waiting for someone to drop. I made it through the parking lot, and kept on going. Right up into the mountains.
Much better. Not to mention, I finally got to see some snow.
I didn't make it all of the way up to Kings Canyon, but it was still a beautiful drive. Sometime this week, I'll be buying chains for the car. While they weren't required, I started to lose traction at times... and I still had a way to go. I just turned around and headed back.
Shopping frustrations aside, it was a great day.
It can now be Christmas.
December 16, 2007
One of the features of Gmail is that it features news and links across the top of your inbox. Sometimes, they have ads, too.
I noticed one today, and I laughed.
Ever Do A Colon Cleanse? - What is known. What is unknown. Real cleansing photos. You decide.
Photos of shit? Advertised? WTF? Who the hell would click on that?
Um... me. I couldn't help it. And as disgusting as it was, I ended up viewing the whole damn page. Oh... there's more. There was a link to more "testimonials." But I showed a lot of class and restrained myself...
That line is kinda funny when you see the colander of shit that is proudly displayed.
With all of the car trouble I've been having (hopefully, I'm finished with it), I've been looking at newer cars. The repairs done should last for another five to six years, so it's not an immediate thing. But in the meantime, I'll keep making "car payments" into my savings account... for that "just in case" scenario... and looking at new possibilities.
More than likely, I'll end up getting a Jeep or pickup truck. But there's been some others that have caught my interest, if only for a little while.
Let me start out by saying that I've got no problem with sleeping while I'm driving. And by that, I mean that I do it easily, and I do it well. All of the time... on the bike, even. Not cool, I know. But then again, it is pretty cool to wake up and see that you're only a couple of blocks from home.
Anyway, I saw that Mercedes is working on an "Attention Assist" system for their vehicles. It's supposed to go into production for 2009, so I was thinking, "Hey, I could buy a used one in a few years!" Probably still couldn't afford it, but still... it was a nice thought.
Until I read this:
The system records the angle of the steering wheel, speed, acceleration, the use of indicators and pedals, as well as external factors such as a side wind or an uneven road surface. If changes occur within the established parameters of the individual's driving behavior (with steering behavior having proved a particularly telling indicator according to Mercedes) a warning sounds and an alert symbol appears in the instrument cluster so the driver knows it's time for a break."With steering behavior having proved a particularly telling indicator"?
Relying on steering may not be a good thing... not with the distances I've driven safely and unconscious. Nope. Not the car for me. I think the only thing that may set the alarm off for me would be the use (or lack) of indicator lights. And who knows? I may even signal in my sleep.
There is one person that immediately came to mind when I read this. But I won't name names. Really. I'm not like that.
December 15, 2007
Clickin' My Boots
Next week, at this time, I will either be in Beloit, Wisconsin, or standing/sitting/crouching in an airport due to weather conditions. Hopefully, it's the former.
Home for a week. 'Twill be cool...
Most time is going to be spent with family. However, one day, Contagion, and I have to go to Hooter's. And Carlyle Brewing company. And Fritz's.
Another day, and I'm shooting for Thursday, the 27th, I'd like to hit Klas. If you're in the area, and would like to hook up, drop a comment. I'd like to get down there for supper.
Friday, I'd like to put in a double shift at Fritz's. Gotta spend some time with the pallies, you know.
I know I'll be seeing a few of ya, I just don't know when... but we'll figure it out.
Gott, it'll be good to be home...
Knock Down Power
My youngest bro sent me this clip of a .557 Tyrannosaur rifle being fired. (Yeah, yeah, yeah... I'm aware that this has probably been posted on other blogs. I'm just way behind...)
This is not what is meant by "knock down power"...
BTW, I am aware that most of the flailing on the vid is because of improper shooting stances. Some of these guys look like they've only fired a .22, if anything. Pardon the pun, but what I've gotten a kick out of is watching the recoil through the shoulder... even on the last shooter. That's some serious power.
Here's the way it's done.
December 13, 2007
If you're a blogger, here's your assignment for the weekend.
Uncle Jimbo and I would like to invite bloggers to send us a clip of themselves wishing the troops a Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, etc. The videos will be put into one BlackfiveTV segment that should get wide distribution to give our troops the maximum opportunity to feel our support.You've got until Tuesday, the 18th, to get it done.
I like Christmas cards. It may be one of the few times that I hear from someone, but it's cool... like they're checking in. Even those cards that contain the "generic" letters that folks bitch about. Sure, some of it can sound hokey, but I still appreciate hearing about what's going on. For the most part, that is... I really don't want to hear about hemorrhoid removal or anything like that. Unless it's a record size hemorrhoid, and it bled alot.
Perhaps my favorite part about getting cards is the way they are addressed. Today, I got two that had me laughing out loud while walking down the sidewalk...
My cousin had asked me to send her my new address. Well you can't send an address without a name, and she mailed it just as I sent it to her: "Lord God (Legal and Official Surname of me)"
The other one said: "Joe 'Costa Rica' (Legal and Official Surname of me)" To you, that probably means nothing, but it is a reference to "one of those people," a psycho that came in to Fritz's one day at lunch, and I had the great fortune of sitting next to him. A very interesting character. He was there with a deaf/mute, and every time the dude would turn to talk to me, the deaf guy would gesture wildly that the guy was loco.
In the course of our pleasant conversation, which consisted mainly of me talking him down from trying to attack the woman who innocently bumped him and the bartender who wouldn't serve him (but was smart enough not to tell him that), I was told how he killed nine peeps in Costa Rica. I barely kept a straight face...
I did better that day, than today. I laughed like an idiot all the way back to the apartment.
Perhaps you would have needed to be here...
December 10, 2007
Out and About
After spending last weekend stranded in my apartment, I had to get out and away, even if it was against my better judgment to take the car on a long drive without a good test drive first. So on Saturday, I drove up to the Bay area, and met up with Mark, of "Knockin on the Golden Door." Had a blast
Car ran fine (thank Gott), and after a three and half hour drive, I arrived at Casa de Knockin. It wasn't rockin', so I bothered to knock, and got a loud laugh in reply. Next thing I knew, the door is thrown open, and there's Mark with a huge grin on his face. He introduced me to his wife, we visited for a bit, and then we headed out to San Francisco.
I'd never been to the city before, so we had tons of things to see, but little time to do much of it. Especially since we were going to hit the four o'clock tour to Alcatraz. After a lunch at Mel's Drive In, we headed on down to Fisherman's Wharf, where I learned about time keeping in SF.
Seems that time and distance are measured in ways that aren't common elsewhere. For instance: looking for pier 33, we were pointed in a southeastern direction, and told to go "ten minutes past the Christmas tree." WTF??? A glance at my companions told me that this was not really common there, either.
Alcatraz was very cool. I'd have loved to have spent more time there, snooping about, but since we were the last tour of the day, we had only so much time. I plan on going back, and spending some serious time there, though not in confines.
There's talk of Alcatraz being haunted, and that was of great interest to me. Especially one of the "hole" cells. Eyes have been seen, and voices heard in the darkness of the cell. It's been said that an inmate was killed by something spectral, too. I wanted to check it out.
As we toured around, some of the hole cells were open. These things were kept dark, with the lights rarely on. On the audio tour, one inmate described keeping himself busy by removing a button from his clothes, dropping it on the floor, and searching in the dark until he found it. Once he found it, he would drop it again and repeat the process.
Anyway, as I entered one of the cells, I had an experience. I walked in, with the lights from outside barely cutting the darkness, when I felt a smothering sensation. The air was putrid, and I could barely breathe. I didn't see any eyes, however. But I was dealing with the ghosts of someone's lunch. Someone had decided to drop ass in the cell just before I got in there. They about killed me dead...
The following day, Mark and I ran down to Ft. Point, underneath the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge. Another place that I'll check out again. I want to know more about it's history...
Mark and his wife were very gracious hosts, letting me crash in their guest bedroom, instead of making me stay out in the garage. And that's despite the posts about me and my slight snore. Oh... and also despite leaving a comment at Mark's, once, telling of the burning and itching sensation I deal with. (A joke folks. Just a joke. It doesn't really itch...) I'm looking forward to heading up there again, as well as returning the favor in the spring.
A trip to Yosemite is in the cards...
December 05, 2007
Shitty Days Are Here Again
Started the morning out with clouds of smoke, low crawling on cold damp pavement, and setting out on a 2 mile hump to my objective... work.
Had to abandon the car in one of the not so nice areas in town. Set off with my knife in hand, adrenaline coursing through me. Luckily, just as I started to run (gotta make it to work on time, you know), one of the temps that works across from me spotted me and gave me a lift. I'm afraid that I'd have arrived at work puking the last of my guts up, should I have had to run. But I can guarantee you, I'd have made it on time. I probably wouldn't have been worth a shit, once there, but I'd have been prompt.
Speaking of shit, the only bright spot I could come up with was that, even though my day was shitty, it wasn't as shitty as this poor bastard's.
December 03, 2007
I hate hearing those in their late twenties or early thirties bitching about being "old." If they're old, then I'm old. And I ain't old, damnit! Though, I about blew that the other day.
Walked into the bank, and handed the teller my check and deposit slip. (I've gone to this teller at least half of the time I've had an account there... nearly three months, now.) I was getting cash back, so the guy looks everything over, and says to himself, "Yep... he's done that right."
Wha??? First off, I can still hear you!!! I'm not that old. And secondly, of course, I've got it right! I've been banking since he was in frickin' kindergarten. I've filled out a deposit slip or two.
Of course, these thoughts flashed through my mind, and nearly exited out of the ol' yap, but another thought blocked them. If I say that, I'll sound old... and I'm not old, gottdammit!
I ain't old.
Oh... and totally off of the subject, 16 years ago today, I stood on the yellow footprints.
December 01, 2007
It's a beautiful day, out here in sunny California. Patriotism courses through my veins on days like this.
Thank Gott it's not raining... that changes everything.
Just so you know, I had nothing to do with it.
Some things in life are bad,Look on the bright side of life... always.
They can really make you mad,
Other things just make you swear and curse,
When you're chewing life's gristle,
Give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best.
Just in case you're wondering, "WTF?"