Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

We started Halloween by dressing up Alex as the Candy Fairy.

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John Kerry came out for his annual Halloween appearance with the fam.

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Thanks to my costume I was immediately attacked by a U.S. Border Patrol Schnauzer.

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The kids met Snowbird and Santa Claus.

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I asked Santa for a tenth mortgage so I could pay for Christmas. The highlight of the night was running into our famous ex-President George W. Bush.

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What a super busy weekend. Now I get to go right back to work. Maybe we’ll get some rest next weekend?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sara!

Today was Sara’s 9th birthday. That’s right – the big #9. Time to get a job and head out into the world!

She had to get up at 7AM on a Saturday. Ugh.

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She finally got her new bike that took me forever to put together. As awful as it was assembling this with instructions written in Chinglish, it was better than thinking about how she’ll be asking for a car in 7 years.

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At her request, we had the party at the Bowling Alley.

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She even got a souvenir birthday bowling pin.

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Another birthday is now in the history books. Tomorrow, we’ll dress up like other people and encourage our children to beg strangers for candy.

Highly Trained Monkeys

Here is the actual error message I just received on You Tube:

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I’m sure my own job will be outsourced to these monkeys eventually.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Home!

It looked cold and nasty today as I drove out of town.

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Michigan has a lot of scary double-dump trucks driving around. The regular ones are bad enough. At home I think they are all driven by retired NASCAR drivers.

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The rain hit before I made it to Ann Arbor. I kept the cruise control fired up because there was no way I was missing my flight.

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The best part was flying home on the Shamu plane.

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I’m off tomorrow. I will be getting ready for Sara’s 9th birthday party on Saturday. That means I have to assemble her special surprise present tomorrow. I’m hoping she won’t read this until after her birthday so she does not beg me relentlessly to tell her what it is!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One More Night in Michigan

It was a windy one today but we missed out on the bad stuff. We’re just a bit too far south. I’m hearing it was quite a whopper of a system just a bit north and west of us where the barometric pressure was so low that it matched what is typical in a Category 3 hurricane!

Today was a long day at work as I tried to pack in as many questions as possible on this new work that I am taking on “temporarily” for Canada. I say “temporarily” in quotes because we all know how often temporary becomes permanent.

I had a good supper at the Cracker Barrel tonight. I always have to go there and support our home town restaurant.

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You can’t get this custom rocking chair back in Tennessee.

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I fly home from Detroit tomorrow afternoon. I’ll leave here around 1PM and start driving back to the airport. We’ve had unusually warm weather this week but tomorrow the high will only be in the mid-40’s. That’s more of what I expect here this time of the year.

This was a good trip. This is one of my more favorite places to visit. Still, I’m glad that I have Friday off and the three day weekend to recuperate.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Back…to the Future!

Has it really been 25 years? According to the DeLorean, it has.

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Need further proof? Watch the lousy original trailer with horrible laser-like sound effects all through it.

Now watch the much better new trailer for the limited theater re-release that was out earlier this month.

Back to the Future came out the summer before I was in 7th grade and it doesn’t seem like it has been 25 years. There are still no flying cars and no Mr. Fusion and kids these days wouldn’t know what a Fotomat hut like the one Marty drove through in the film was. I think Fotomat was almost extinct even back in 1985!

In Michigan news, we rode out the storm pretty well here. The gusty winds are coming for tonight and tomorrow. Just one more day and I am back home Thursday evening! Yeah!

The place to be…

…for a storm of historical proportions is right here in Michigan. I’m so glad that I am lucky enough to be here for a real doozie.

From the Weather Channel:

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From the National Weather Service:

High Wind Warning
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND RAPIDS MI
337 PM EDT MON OCT 25 2010

MIZ037>040-043>046-050>052-056>059-064>067-071>074-260345-
/O.UPG.KGRR.HW.A.0001.101026T1200Z-101028T0000Z/
/O.NEW.KGRR.HW.W.0001.101026T1200Z-101028T0000Z/
MASON-LAKE-OSCEOLA-CLARE-OCEANA-NEWAYGO-MECOSTA-ISABELLA-MUSKEGON-
MONTCALM-GRATIOT-OTTAWA-KENT-IONIA-CLINTON-ALLEGAN-BARRY-EATON-
INGHAM-VAN BUREN-KALAMAZOO-CALHOUN-JACKSON-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LUDINGTON...BALDWIN...REED CITY...
CLARE...HART...FREMONT...BIG RAPIDS...MOUNT PLEASANT...MUSKEGON...
GREENVILLE...ALMA...JENISON...GRAND RAPIDS...IONIA...ST. JOHNS...
HOLLAND...HASTINGS...CHARLOTTE...LANSING...SOUTH HAVEN...
KALAMAZOO...BATTLE CREEK...JACKSON
337 PM EDT MON OCT 25 2010

...HIGH WIND WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM TUESDAY TO 8 PM EDT
WEDNESDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND RAPIDS HAS ISSUED A HIGH
WIND WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM TUESDAY TO 8 PM EDT
WEDNESDAY. THE HIGH WIND WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

IMPACTS...

* TRAVEL MAY BE DIFFICULT IN OPEN AREAS AND FOR HIGH PROFILE
VEHICLES.

* FALLING TREES AND LIMBS.

* POWER OUTAGES.

* LAWN FURNITURE AND LOOSE OBJECTS BLOWING AROUND.

HAZARDOUS WEATHER...

* WINDS GUSTING TO NEAR 60 MPH OR MORE TUESDAY THOUGH WEDNESDAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

* A HIGH WIND WARNING MEANS A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT IS
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH
OR GUSTS OF 58 MPH OR MORE CAN LEAD TO PROPERTY DAMAGE.

&&

$$


I’ll be sure to take pictures of the chaos because I’m just crazy enough to be out in it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Flying is evil

My flight to Detroit was delayed this afternoon because the plane got struck by lightning on the way in from Orlando. They told us that they had to repair a small hole in the wing before we could be cleared for takeoff. I wondered if they used duct tape or if a baggage handler just ended up using his chewing gum. I got to sit around at the gate for an extra hour while they made the mystery repair.

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Over many years of travel and many flights, I’ve been delayed, cancelled, had luggage lost, had luggage soaked, had legs broken off luggage, etc. I always tell myself that I should drive but I really didn’t want the 8 hours of driving today. I would have arrived in Michigan an hour earlier if I had driven but the good thing was not having to stop at a myriad of welcome centers and fast food restaurants all day.

I did make it a bit later that I expected. The weather is quite nice here tonight.

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But, we’re in for quite a change over the next few days.

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That’s it. I’m sitting here in the hotel room getting ready for tomorrow by ironing some clothes and watching a little TV.  Just another typical and, thankfully, unexciting day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Chair of Glee (II)

My seven year old office chair was way overdue for a replacement. It is partially the wear and tear over being used almost every day all these years but it was mostly the flattening out of the cushion due to my food-filled rear end.

There are lots of choices in the chair department at Office Max and they all have fancy names. I sat in a bunch of chairs before finding the one with the right balance of cushion and support needed to hold me for the next seven years.

I choose the Glee II. I’m not sure what nifty improvements the Glee II has that the Glee I did not. I am sure that the manual was written in China.

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I’ll admit – even with the picture, this description threw me for a minute. I started pondering if my car had enough gas and then I suddenly considered what exactly I am doing with my life. It was a total gas life moment.

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Next, I tightened all of my blots.

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Along with the enjoyable manual, the chair is excellent. It is quite comfortable and sure to hold up to all of the fist slamming I will do on the arms and my miniature hops in the air while yelling ”C’mon” at the computer screen.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weekend

I started out the weekend by going back to my high school for the annual band alumni night.
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The football fans were few but the weather this year was perfect. I played the national anthem with the band and that was it. I sat and watched for the rest of the game.
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The band was good but I was too far away to get a decent picture on the Blackberry. This one will have to do.
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On Saturday, we ended up at Octoberfest. Lindsay popped out of a caterpillar butt.
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Sara went down a slide that might have been covered in non-caloric silicon-based kitchen lubricant sold by Clark Griswold.
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Lindsay floated up in hot air balloon.
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Finally, they took turns playing Potty Toss. I am saving these pictures for the ad I will buy in their senior yearbooks.
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Another insanely busy weekend is just about over. Today we’re sitting around and trying to recharge before heading back to work tomorrow.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hockey Night in Nashville

We saw the world’s largest hockey player.

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We had excellent seats.

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Country star Dierks Bentley was there.

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And they won the game!

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Tomorrow night I’ll be watching football at the annual alumni band night at my high school. It also marks 20 years that I’ve been out in the “real world”. This will also be two nights in a row when I am out past my bedtime. I will have to sleep all day Saturday to make up for this.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Storm Clouds

This is as close as the rain got today.

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The good news is that the clouds and nearby rain are part of the cooler weather that is just around the corner.

I kicked around several things to write about tonight but today was a blah kind of day and I just don’t have the energy. It’s time to sit down in front of the TV and watch the miners being pulled back up one at a time. Can’t complain about having a bad day compared to what those guys are going through.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Heat-o-ween

The Halloween decorations are finally out and I picked what will probably be the hottest day of the month to put them up. We hit 91 degrees today and the normal high is supposed to be 73.

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Snoopy is the new addition to our Griswold Halloween.

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Nothing says ‘spooky’ like a skeleton that appears to be awkwardly drowning in dry grass.

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On the weather tonight, they said that it has not rained here in 50 days. I know this for a fact. After tons of frustration trying to put up the scarecrow during lunch, I finally set the sprinkler up for four hours so the ground would be soft enough to drive those stakes 5 inches deep. The ground was so hard that I kept bending everything I tried to anchor down.

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That was Columbus Day / Canadian Thanksgiving. It was a fairly quiet day since everyone from the main office was off for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow it will be back to the grind.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Indian Summer

There is something about fall that makes you want to head out to a farm to feed animals through fences and observe pumpkins in their natural habitat. Unfortunately, there is something about fall in Tennessee that typically makes this experience brutally hot. Today was no exception. The spotty frost last week has been replaced by 90 degree temperatures. The leaves and the squirrels are completely confused and I once again had to break out the shorts.

Check out this warning posted as we were about to be robbed of a significant amount of money so we could pet animals that may or may not chew your fingers off. It starts off with “There is no liability for an injury to or death of a participant in an agritourism activity conducted at this agritourism location”. Yes, agritourism appears to now be a word.

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Check out the donkey from Shrek. He is retired now and he does take handouts.

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I wanted to take one of these home.

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Another warning sign! Farms are dangerous!

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Pay $1 and you get to slingshot two small pumpkins into oblivion.

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Pigs eat pumpkins. So gross.

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There was a maze, of course.

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This is about the time I was really feeling the 90 degrees.

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I ended my day by mindlessly watching a lot of football. Vanderbilt is winning  45 to 6 right now so I better turn off the TV before something awful happens. There is a whole quarter left and I’ve watched a lot of Vanderbilt football over the years. With Vandy, it’s really not over until it’s over!