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Showing posts from June, 2010

Blog Housekeeping

Thanks to the somewhat new and nifty new Blogger designs, I finally have an updated template that I find a bit easier on the eyes than the old one. Sure, I still have all types of crap jammed in here such as Twitter feeds, Zune pass, etc. What? You don’t want to know where I eat? You don’t want to know where I am at all times? You don’t want to know how much 70’s music I listen to?I don’t blame you a bit. I don’t even want to know all of those things. I’ve been tempted to end my Twitter account several times in the past few months. I do update Twitter a lot less than I used to (unless I am all Starbucked to the point of being giddy). I hang on to it because I read interesting Twitter feeds from other people and you just never know when you might be present for something interesting that you can shoot out there into cyberspace with little to no effort. TwitPic is one somewhat useful thing to hold on to but I typically forget I am carrying a camera around with me at all times until the …

The Joys of ChUNO (Chinese UNO)

There has been an unopened deck of “UNO” cards floating around the house for the last few days. I am not sure how they got here but I took a good look at them this morning and knew immediately that this was a counterfeit set of UNO cards!Yes – a fake ripoff copy of UNO! At least we know the country of origin (like there was ever a doubt!)Notice how funny the ChUNO looks beside a real deck of UNO cards? They appear to be a copy of the real old boxes of UNO.I know quite a bit about these cards since I’ve been playing for about 30 years now. I’m no UNO expert, but I do dabble a bit.I also have one older deck still left so we can compare real vs. fake. Hmm, something is missing from the fake cards. Maybe the registered trademark symbol? I wonder what that means?I was disappointed at the lack of Chinglish instructions that I was so looking forward to sharing on the blog. The weird symbols and squatty font on the ChUNO cards made up for that a bit.Notice how the Chinese ChUNO cards are prin…

The Purge

Right before Christmas, I went through the closets and the attic and took a lot of stuff to the thrift store. At that time I decided that anything unused for 6 months from that time would be the next to go. The good news is that the thrift store has a bit more inventory today. And, a lot of it was pretty good stuff. Some of the loot included: clothes, a rarely used DVD player, a never opened HD converter box and antenna, a never opened photo printer, 2 old Palm handhelds, enough spare video and audio cables to open a Radio Shack, CD’s, software, etc., etc. And there ended up being 4 extremely heavy bags of trash.Why did I hold on to all kinds of old paperwork and all kinds of cables (Why did I still have a Playstation TV Cable when the Playstation has been gone for years?), batteries, newspaper clippings and even old college papers? Who knows. It’s all gone now and I feel relieved knowing that my kids won’t have to go through a gigantic mess that I have left behind one day. That’s if …

Wednesday tidbits

3 items – 1 blog entry – no cost (except for the time you are wasting reading it)Item #1: Today was the day that one of my favorite places, Pensacola Beach, ended up being covered in oil. And, the news is only going to get worse. How this can keep going and going with no solution is distressing. How it hasn’t happened before is just plain amazing. It appears that all of these rigs have gotten lucky over the years since I get the impression that there is no plan for a failure.Don’t you love that a government agency has to issue daily oil forecasts? I wonder if BP is paying for this also? Regardless, the fact that there are people out there boycotting their local BP stations is just plain stupid. Let’s punish local families by ruining their business when they have done nothing more but license BP to provide their gasoline products. If we didn’t need all of this gas, these places wouldn’t be in business in the first place. And, the gulf wouldn’t be full of rigs. Like it or not, any SUV o…

From his blog

Entertainment Weekly is one of the magazines I got from my air miles (and one of the few I actually renewed) and there is a book review in there this week for “One Day” by David Nicholls.It’s not really the review that caught my eye but the blow up of the cover:More specifically, this part:In the olden days, I guess these sorts of blurbs were arranged by the publishing companies and written up and mailed in/faxed in/emailed in, etc. Now, the blurb writer can simply spend a couple of minutes typing up an entry into the blog and shazam – from the blog to the cover of a book!The actual entry is here. So, what does this tell me? Three things: First, blogs are becoming so much a part of the mainstream that a publisher can put “from his blog” on the cover of a book without people wondering what in the world that means. Second, blogs are actually getting a little recognition as valid content and not just amateur meanderings (though it does help that this blog is actually written by a world r…

Elusive Storm Clouds

This morning we saw about five minutes of the pouring rain that lasted for over an hour just to the west of us.And, this afternoon it happened again but we weren’t even blessed with five minutes of rain. The drops in this picture are all we were lucky enough to get. So, instead of Mother Nature doing her part, I ended up watering the flowers and the still growing trees I planted just last year. I dare not skip a day since I’m not sure how everything would hold up to the microwave we seem to live in here lately.Today was crazy-busy. There are lots of different projects going on all at the same time and the questions seem to come in back to back and over each other. Sometimes I just about mix up who I am talking to about what. Keeping track of it all wears you out to the point that your amazed what you actually did accomplish and then you completely lose track of time. I’m surprised that it is only 6:45 PM as I type this since it feels more like 9PM.Yeah for Friday tomorrow. I need a Fr…


Today, I went home. Considering that home is only an hour away, you might think I would go there pretty often. Between the kids busy social schedule and the fact that they wear me out, this is not the case. Weekends have turned into endless series of birthday parties and nap attempts.

I worked at my old desk today so I could be in town for the memorial service for Amy this afternoon. I saw a lot of people there that I had not seen in years – many former teachers and a few friends from high school. It seems that I mainly see people from “the old days” at sad events like today but I guess that is just part of getting older. It does make you wish you’d realized how fast time was going by way back then because you might have made a bit more of the time you had.

On the way out of town I stopped by the cemetery for a moment to visit the grave of a friend who would have turned 37 today but will be gone 20 years next month. As cliché as it sounds, time certainly does fly.

Sometimes people leave…


For probably only the third time I can remember, I sat at the computer last night and wrote two different entries for the blog and deleted them both. I typically just write and post without even considering deleting what I have written. I do attempt to check the spelling before I hit PUBLISH but sometimes the brain moves too fast for the eyes and that doesn’t happen.Rejected entry #1 was about how fast the weekend went by and how there is no real time to rest. I could write that every weekend and nothing I do can change it. DELETE.Rejected entry #2 was about me being forced to watch some of the Tony Awards (I was outvoted again but it’s hard to speak out against what is on TV when there is nothing I watch on TV lately). My only salvageable point was how weird it is to watch the Tony Awards with the economy the way it is. It felt like they were all on another planet with completely different priorities while we are still here watching jobs be eliminated and most people are barely makin…

How “Animal Crossing” is taking over our lives

Right before Christmas, Game Crazy ran a special where two different Wii games were $14.99. One was Wii Music and the other was Animal Crossing:City Folk. We bought them both. Wii Music bored the kids fast. For a while, our Animal Crossing was only played a little. We were curious about the game and amazed at all the stuff in it but the kids were also a tad intimidated by all the stuff in it and didn’t have time to sit down and really figure it out.Fast forward to summer and me encouraging my youngest – Lindsay – to give it another shot. Now, most of our free time in the evening centers around us watching Lindsay play this game. We even take turns playing the game. I don’t think we’ve watched actual television in a week. Lindsay plays her hour of Animal Crossing and then we all go to bed. (Before you think to yourself, “These lazy bums”: We do actually get out of the house. We’re not just sitting in front of video games all of the time. In fact, we’re probably out too much. Just look …

Reflections of the way things used to be

I received the news earlier today that one of my former high school classmates had passed away on Saturday.Amy was only 33 and she apparently died suddenly and unexpectedly. Her mother was my freshman English teacher and was the person who somehow awakened a desire I had to be a writer. As part of her class, we had to keep a daily journal and by the end of the year that journal had grown into hundreds of pages. It was cathartic to release whatever mundane thoughts I had into that long gone old green folder and I guess that habit continues on with this blog and the fact that I basically write for a living now (sure, they are technical documents, but it is still considered writing!).From the moment I saw Amy’s posted obituary (I think I looked long and hard at it on the screen just trying to process it), I began to think back and recall different times I spent with her all that time ago.I believe I first met Amy briefly in her mother’s classroom in late 1987 or 1988 and but we became fr…

Dear XM….

I know that you’ve brought me a lot of joy over the years. 70’s on 7, 80’s on 8, and 1st Wave have helped me rediscover a lot of great songs I had forgotten about. I’m sad to tell you that today I called and cancelled you.I just couldn’t justify paying you $25 a month when you just sit in the car most of the day powered off. I’ve been thinking about this for months but I knew our relationship was almost over when I kept you unplugged the whole time I was driving back and forth to Michigan last week. You see, I have a Zune and my Zune has tons of wonderful music and lots of great podcasts on it that I choose. Your Casey Kasem countdowns are wonderful but are rarely on. And, when I get bored, there is this free thing called “radio” that has music and local weather and traffic on it. I wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.Sincerely, Me.


It seems like both of these commercials were made by the same people. They were not. It is weird that both of them are from Alabama.Sit back and watch the best political commercial ever made and then watch the best mobile home liquidation commercial ever made.Thanks, Alabama.

Microblogging across the USA

1136 miles driven since Tuesday**26 check-ins on Foursquare 14 trip related tweets I’m hoping I don’t have dreams about driving tonight. Here are a few pics that didn’t make Twitpic: So, another trip is in the books. Now I will decompress and I will attempt to resist the urge to Tweet or Blog all weekend.(**=EDIT: My mind was such a blur last night that I had forgotten that I actually left on Tuesday and not Wednesday!)

Last night in Michigan

The 9 hour drive home is tomorrow.I came up through Ohio and I will go back through Indiana. I haven’t been all the way through Indiana since ‘92 so it will be good to see some different scenery again. This was another good trip – everything went very well – lots of good people here. I am starting to get that false sense of security that I’m sure will be gone once I go somewhere where the bar isn’t raised as high. But, I know the secret is to enjoy the success while you’re in the midst of it and store some of that feeling for the not-so-successful times!So, tomorrow is home and home is a good thing. The 9 hours of driving is worth it.


As I arrived in Michigan this morning, I realized that tomorrow is my only full day here. Friday morning I’ll start driving back home – 9 hours or so. This was a quick trip and so far very uneventful. I am looking forward to sleep tonight. I think I am finally starting to get a tad tired!

On the road

A long day of driving today. I stopped in Cincinnati attempting to fix a problem – couldn’t fix it. Did fix some little stuff around there and got a much deserved break from being behind the wheel. I am spending the night about two hours north of Cincinnati and I am two hours away from my destination in Michigan so I should get there mid-morning tomorrow. Here are a few pictures from the day that was: That’s all for day one!