Friday, December 31, 2004

Time for a quiz


Got home from work just a little bit ago. I was snooping around for some food when Cari suggested I have some of the spaghetti she made for dinner earlier tonight. "nah, I don't want that."
"Why not?"
"It requires using a fork, and I'm tired."
I ended up making a quick sandwich. No fork required.

Now time for a quiz that I really didn't think I wanted to do. ESS Fingers posted this quiz and passed it to three others. Now. . .my turn.


3 names you go by:
1. Duck Hunter
2. Duck
3. Hunter

3 screen names you have:
1. DuckHunter
2. DuckHunter75
3. Duck_Hunter

3 things you like about yourself:
1. I
2. am
3. perfect

3 things you hate about yourself
1. sometimes it is hard being perfect. you wouldn't understand.
2. a bit too lazy sometimes

3 parts of your heritage:
1. German
2. English
3. Irish

3 things that scare you:
1. scared of the dark.
2. crawling bugs
3. flying bugs

3 of your everyday essentials:
1. family
2. food
3. water

3 things you are wearing right now:
1. socks
2. button up shirt
3. blue pants - no lace

3 of your favorite bands/artists (at the moment):
1. Rascal Flatts
2. Tim McGraw
3. Alan Jackson

3 of your favorite songs at present:
1. Mr. Mom
2. Back When
3. How am I doin'

3 new things you want to try in the next 12 months:
1. the new Nascar game by EA
2. all new spring flowers in S. Carolina
3. win the lottery

3 things you want in a relationship (love is given):
1. friendship
2. trust
3. humor

Two truths and a lie:
1. I can not tell a lie
2. I lived in a univerity co-op without attending the required university
3. I can ride a skateboard (without knee pads)

3 physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to you:
1. smile
2. eyes
3. back hair = low to none

3 things you just can't do:
1. go to bed before 10pm.
2. bungee jump
3. cook

3 of your favorite hobbies:
1. anything Nascar
2. reading anything about games
3. being on the internet, writing this dang blog.

3 things you want to do really badly right now:
1. find something better on the "T"
2. play tennis
3. read a book (but i'm too tired, I would fall asleep).

3 careers you are considering:
1. Human Resource Manager
2. HRM
3. nope, just HRM

3 places you want to go on vacation:
1. Washington DC
2. Bristol, TN
3. camping in the mountains

3 kid's names:
1. Randy
2. Meredith
3. not yet.

3 thing you want to do before you die:
1. stay in the infield at Daytona for the Daytona 500
2. attend a Nascar race at every track
3. drive a racecar

3 people who have to take the INDESTRUCTIBLE QUIZ
1. I've
2. Destroyed the
3. Indestructible quiz

Well, that's it. I put off doing this. Didn't think I wanted to post it. It was pretty painless. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Reading various other people answer this quiz is why I decided to go ahead and do it.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I used to be famous. . .

now I sell appliances.

One of the guys I work with is Browning Bryant. In the late 60's and early 70's Browning was a young singer, maybe about 15 years old. He must have had some form of success, he was on Kraft Music Hall several times and on Johnny Carson at least one time in 1970.

Now he sells appliances.

He still sings, but not commercialy. I was reading on forum of the yahoo group all about Browning and found that he does sing for family and friends. You can "donate" $15 to Browning and he'll mail you a current CD of his voice. I've never heard his music, so I'm not sure what it sounds like. It's just strange to watch a guy selling a washing machine and thinking he was on Johnny Carson.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Watchin' the T

I get to come home for lunch almost every day. Every day I ask Meredith how she is doing. Then I ask her what has she been doing all day. "Watchin' da T all day!", she says with a big smile. Now, I know that this is not true. She doesn't watch TV all day, everyday. Cari could spend an hour doing puzzles with her, coloring with her, playing Barbie for a bit, and then let her watch Dora. When I get home it is, "I was watchin' T all day!". She is proud of that. It's her game now. I'll call her on it sometimes. "Didn't mom play puzzles with you today?"
"No. I was watchin' T." Now, I know this isn't true, but she won't budge from her answer.

There is one chair in the dining area that has an excellent view of the T. That is a very special chair to Meredith. When I'm home for lunch, I invite her to eat lunch with me. She normaly does, but she likes to sit in the T chair. I asked her one day, why she chose that chair, even though I knew the answer. "I can see the T in this one, silly!" Oh, of course. I have eliminated that location by requiring the T to be off during meal times now.

On occasion, I give in, and I'll join Meredith in watching some T. Dora is on. "Dora is my favorite.", I tell Meredith.
"Can't I watch this with you?"
Meredith is in bed now, I think I'll go watch some T.


The house is quite. So quiet in fact, the only noise I can hear, is the tapping of the keyboard as I type. Cari went shopping with a friend this evening. I read some books and got the kids in bed by 7:45pm. Now I have about two hours to do whatever I please. This doesn't happen very often, and I'm not really sure how to handle this. I could play a game that I've been wanting to play. I could go read one of the three books I'm working on. I could go watch some TV. I could clean up around the house a little bit. LOL. Scratch that last one. I'll probably end up sitting here thinking about what I want to do for so long, the time will have ended.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Eve

We were able to take this picture last night. I had to hurry. I knew I only had one chance.

15 minute tornado

It all started at 6:30 this morning. It was over by 7:00.
We, especially Cari, made several attempts to slow the process of opening presents. But her efforts were not enough for two children on Christmas morning.

Mall Santa

We were at the mall last week. So was everyone else living in the upstate. When we got inside (this was an achievment), we went straight for the mall Santa. This was one of our missions. There was a sign up near the entrance that Santa was out for a moment. It had one of those cardboard clocks that said "will be back at: " and it was set for about an hour away. There was nobody in line, so we walked down to the game store. I am not visiting the mall without stopping in the game store. After that detour, we headed straight back to Santa. We still had about fourty minutes. There was a line now, only about ten or twelve long. We got in line. I was instantly bored. I started playing with my cell phone, instant messaging almost everyone in my address book. A few called me back, and a few didn't recognize my phone number. I would answer my phone and get, "who is this?!"
Santa was running about five minutes late, and all the kids were getting jumpy. One of the kids in front of us was near the cardboard sign. He reached over and changed the time the little clock was displaying. Horror flashed through my head, as I imagined that any kid (or adult) could have walked up and changed that time before we got to the mall. Maybe Santa wasn't coming back until later in the night. Oh, man!! As I was wiping the sweat from my brow, I heard some cheerful screams. Santa had appeared on stage and was waving to the children. The line moved quickly, and the elf asked which $50 package we would like. We didn't want pictures today, just a quick chat to let Santa know what he should bring.

As usual, I made a fourty minute wait seem like I was in complete pain. Meaning I became a complete pain to deal with. When it was over, I thought, "that wasn't so bad."

Heat is for wimps

It gets cold here. Yeah. WAY colder than South Florida.
It was down below 10 degrees one morning that I was leaving for work. The day after that was another cold one. I woke up, and the house was freezing. Well, not quite freezing, but I was very cold. The house was at a cool 55. That is cold to wake up to. Walked over to the vent and felt cold air blowing through. Hmm.. heater isn't working anymore. Turned on the gas logs in the fireplace. They worked very well for heating up the house. Cari called over a heat repair guy while I was at work. After he left, she called a second company for another opinion. These guys, I'm told were much more professional. Both companies gave the same status report. The first guy was recommended by someone from church, so we were going to try and go with him. He stopped returning Cari's calls. She said he drove by while the second company was over for an estimate. Maybe we hurt his feelings.
The good news is, the part is under warranty. That should save a bundle. How much is the labor on that thing? $400!!!! I'll be back, I'm going to fill out an application to be a ac/heat repair guy.

The part takes about a week to get here we are told. Meanwhile, outside, the weather doesn't really seem to care that our heat is broken and temps continue to be in the 30's. This means spending several nights of the family camping in front of the fireplace. It doesn't bother me, but Cari is not thrilled with sleeping on the couch. Mr. $400 repair job will be here early in the week, so this episode should be completed soon.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Christmas (work) party

So we went to the boss's party on past Sunday night.

What to wear? Didn't wear anything that special. But I did put on a Santa hat before we left the house. "Does this make me look like a retard?"
Cari cocked her head over, smirked, and said, "no, it makes you look. . .festive."
Festive is good. We had to bring a $10 gift for gift exchange, so we ran into Publix.
I wore my hat in. While inside, a little kid was looking at me kinda strange. I could tell he was looking mostly at the hat. It was then that I realized that wearing a Santa hat in public comes with a certain responsibility. You can't just run around shoving people like normal. You have to behave a certain way. I tried to explain this to Cari, and that is when the hat became retarded. We decided on getting a hand full of scratch lotto tickets. As the cashier was pulling a variety of the tickets for us, I asked her if she was giving us all the winning tickets. I don't think she understood the question, or maybe the hat threw her for a loop. She went on to explain she was giving us the tickets that people buy the most of. On the walk back to the car, I complained the cashier didn't answer my question. Cari quickly pointed out that I was flirting with her. Why would I flirt with her, standing directly next to my wife? I don't think I was really flirting, just wanted winning tickets.

When we arrived, I looked around the room and saw that I was the only "festive" one.
The party was not very exciting. It was nice to visit with some of the people. It was nice to point at the others and show Cari who I talk bad about every day.
The food was good. The boss was cooking steaks on his grill out in the cold. I thought that was kinda funny. Everytime he came back in, he would tell us how cold it was outside. Cari and I sat next to the fireplace that was burning, so it was pretty warm.
A few people were drinking, but nobody got out of hand. That is kinda too bad, because I was hoping to share a good story about someone embarressing themselves.

During the gift exchange, it turned out there were two little packages of scratch lotto tickets. I fought hard for the one that we brought to the party. It was taken from me a few times, but I ended up with it. We franticaly scrached them when we were sure they were ours. We won $73 on those tickets!!!! The other package of tickets won a total of $1. HAHAHAHHAH I guess it pays to flirt with the cashier selling you the tickets.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Christmas party

Christmas party tonight. The store manager is hosting it for his assistant managers.
This should produce at least one good story to post. You would think, a guy hosting a party for his managers is a good guy to work for. You would think so, wouldn't you.

I made the mistake of telling Cari we should be home by 10pm tonight so that I can race online. When I say I made a mistake, I mean, BIG, HUGE, mistake. The other factors of leaving early are that I work tomorrow morning at 6am, and we have to get our kids from the neighbors. But these things no longer matter, because I said I wanted to race tonight.

Might see some snow tonight also. All day the forcast over at has been changing. First, possible snow at 3pm, now at 9pm. We'll see if it ever makes it. Either way, it's going to be under 20 tonight. Oh, and the heat went out, so we'll be sleeping in front of the gas logs tonight.

Going to the party, wish me luck.

When office supplies attack!

"they spilled a little bit."

Planting bulbs with dad

Looks like dirt now, but in the spring, it will be a beautiful garden! (we hope)

Cooking with mom

He managed to keep 40% of the ingredients in the bowl.


Turn your head for just one second. . .

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Happy Birthday!

Time goes by so quickly. Seems like just the other day I was turning 29.

So what did I do on my birthday? I worked, of course. We caught an employee taking money out of the register. On two occasions reaching in and taking a fist full of hundred dollar bills.
She will be in for a surprise when she comes back to work (she has been off since we watched the video). I would post a picture of her being hand cuffed and escorted out of the store, but I don't think I'm allowed to take that picture.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Less than 10 days, and I'm still not ready

Christmas will be here next week.
This year, Cari and I decided we would make each other a present, instead of purchasing one.

That's a great idea. Cari is great at stuff like this. She makes book cases, she made the computer desk. She is also very good with craft projects. She has many times saw something in a store that she really liked and NOT bought it because she could make one herself.

On the other side of the equation, you have me. I'm the guy who fried flour. I'm like Homer Simpson building a dog house. Want me to build a computer? Ok. Want me to build you a picture frame? You are in for a real treat. Well, I have some ideas. I can't discuss them here, because Cari reads this. The only problem with my ideas are that I have not really started. So, I'm not 100 % sure my ideas are going to work or how long it will take. I may have to resort to crayons and construction paper.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Beware of the SWEET tea

We have two pitchers of sweet tea in our refrigerator.
Sweet tea is something that we had not really discovered until moving to South Carolina. Sweet tea is part of Southern culture. Many places we went for lunch or dinner, do not ask if you want sweet or unsweet, when you order tea. I have even been in places that only make sweet tea.

We don't drink an obcene amount of tea in our home. So are two containers really called for?
Yeah. I took a piece of masking tape and I drew a skull and crossbones on it. To either side of the picture, I wrote, "Poison". I stuck this tape on one of the pitchers of sweet tea. The tape stays on that pitcher.

You are probably thinking that I reserve that labeled tea for certain visitors. You are wrong. I use that tea when pouring Cari a glass. Don't worry, she is fine. She knows I do this, and prefers to only drink that tea. The "poison" it contains . . . SPLENDA.

I do not like the idea of fake sugar. It's just chemical that you are adding to your body. I really felt very strongly against previous sugar substitues like sweet 'n low.
"Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccarhin which has been determined to cause cancer. . ."

Yeah. Give me some of that! Oh! But Splenda is different. It is really just sugar. In fact, from the SPLENDA website (i'm sure they are unbiased):
"Splenda no calorie sweetner is made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar"

Dig a little deeper and we'll find that the "sugar" is Sucralose.
Don't worry, they have done more than 100 studies to prove how safe it is in the past twenty years. That's a lot of proof.

Back to sweet 'n low. They really push the fact that saccarhin has been around and used for more than 100 years. On the front page of the saccarhin website, they say they have done more than thirty human studies. What? These guys aren't working as hard as Splenda. Only thirty studies in 100 years? Splenda has done 100 studies in twenty years.

BUT! Splenda is misleading you. They are being sued. The plantiff says [SPENDA]
"makes false claims and misleads consumers into thinking that Splenda contains actual sugar and is a natural product."

You know what. Just give me my SUGAR. I like how the sugar site describes the Splenda lawsuit that they support.
"Declares Splenda to be Highly-Processed Chemical Artificial Sweetner"

That is why we have two pitchers of sweet tea in our refrigerator.

Monday, December 13, 2004

I'm on fire!!!!

I've been thinking about trying the Firefox browser for a while now. It just wasn't enough to make me spend five minutes trying it. Internet Explorer works just fine for me.

Well, I finaly made the change yesterday after reading the ESS Fingers blog. She wrote some great things about Firefox and describes some of its features. I figured I would take a couple a minutes and see how I liked it.

I will never ever use Internet Explorer again. Firefox is VERY cool. Have you heard it has tabs?
There is a little box on the top right, that is a google search. There are a lot of reasons to like it.

If you would just take 10 minutes to go to Firefox and download it, I think you would like it also.

Saturday, December 11, 2004


Earnhardt Sr.
Sorry for the lack of updates lately. I've been working a lot, and on my days off, been shopping a lot. I have an idea for a pretty good update this week. I hope I have time to put it together.

Watched the made-for-TV movie, "3", tonight on ESPN. I wasn't really sure what to expect from ESPN. I thought it was a good movie. Kept its focus on Dale Earnhardt and paced itself very well from when he was a boy to his death at Daytona. As I watched, I kinda wondered how much of it was true. Then I caught this quote somewhere on tonight...

"If you're doing a sports-themed movie for ESPN," Simmons notes, "a lot
your audience is going to be hardcore fans that know the story as well as
they know their own life story. It's really important to paint a picture of
the guy and not try to over-dramatize it."

Like I said, I thought it was a good movie. I'm sure they will play it about twenty times this week, so you should try to watch it if you are interested in Nascar. One pretty cool scene in the movie shows DW and Earnhardt arguing.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas today. ????
It's only the eighth?

I shouldn't be allowed to have a day off from work anymore. Cari and I are both pretty impulsive shoppers. Going Christmas shopping for the kids turns out more like Christmas for us. The items in the picture are just a sampling of our shopping since Thanksgiving. MP3 player, books, games, Nintendo DS, the list goes on. Don't worry, the kids still get plenty of presents too. Everytime we get back to the car, we say, "that's it. We're done shopping for the kids." Next week we'll go back to Target and see something else that the kids will just love, and that will be "it", again.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


I'm now an explorer. When you go into dark, dirty, places you have never been before, only armed with a flashlight, then you are an explorer. After I first entered I got nervous and went for backup. Cari had to stand gaurd at the entrence, giving me a second source of light with her flashlight. She was also on spider watch. If one of these tried to jump onto my head, she was to scream for me. This second time I went in with a weapon. My trusty flat head screwdriver.

Of course I'm talking about the ordeal yesterday when I went into the crawlspace under the house. Originaly I went down there to check on the water heater that we think is sucking up too much electricity. In my hour under the house, I didn't do much to the water heater except look at it. That means I'll be taking a second trip down there in the next day or two. What did I do? I replaced a burnt out light bulb which lit up about 30 percent of the area. I also started laying sheets of plastic on the muddy floor to prevent flooding. My first sheet of plastic was a folded up 10' x 12' piece. As I fought with unfolding it under the house, something, still unknown, came over Cari. Initialy she refused to put her arm in with a flashlight, but at this time she jumped in to help me with this piece of plastic. Now we were both scared, there was nobody on spider watch. We survived, this time.

Friday, December 03, 2004

A house in the neighborhood.

Hi! I live in a prison.

The Contest

Cari came downstairs with the box of Christmas lights. Nothing Earth shattering. Just a few strands of lights. This was always sufficient when we lived in Florida. A string of lights across the roof line, a few lights in the trees close to the house. In our neighborhood there, that's what almost everybody did. Sure, we had the random nut who decided to spend what I make in a year, on that months electric bill, but we fit in with most of the decorators.
In our new neighborhood, this box looks very insignificant. The house across the street had a jump on everyone. They must have worked through the night, because when I woke up, every window had a wreath, the porch railing had garland, and lights suddenly appeared on every gutter.

Our neighbors are all very friendly. But the guy across the street started a silent competition. The house around the corner was next. He has two lots. Every tree has lights of a different color. He also added those light up deer, I think I counted four or five. The house facing the road, just before you turn onto our block, was next. He used about twenty strings of lights on his front porch. Just continuously wrapping them around the railing. During the day it looks like a birds nest of wires. At night, a glow that lights the sky. He also added a giant cross that says "merry Christmas".

We put up our string of lights across the gutters. That was fun for me. I just love getting up on the extension ladder, and balancing with one arm as I clip lights to the gutters. (I hope you read a lot of sarcasm in that last sentence). We hung up a white, wooden, angel that lights up on the porch. We were out of lights. We plugged it in and ran to the street to check out our creation. Cute. Then the guy across the street plugged in his creation. I was embarrassed. I might as well just unplug mine and pretend I didn't even try.
But I must try.
Cari and I ran over to Lowe's for some more lights. While there we picked up some garland and about a dozen red bows. We live in a small town, but this is ridiculous. Who else was at Lowe's? The guy from across the street. We made some small talk with him. Turns out he was buying more lights also. I'm just trying to keep up here, this guy is trying to out spend me.

Back at the house, Cari wrapped the porch railing in garland and hung the red bows. I climbed into the tree at the end of the driveway and started weaving lights.
Cari said I was going to have to climb onto the roof and put some lights near the windows on the second story. HA! The pitch on that roof must be more than 45 degrees! I told her I wasn't going to do it, based on my desire to live. She agreed to let it slide. . .Only if the neighbors don't string lights on their second story. Two days later, the guy next door was out climbing on his roof. "YOU ARE A MORON!", I screamed in my head as I was waving to him.
With the porch done and my tree lighted, we are starting to fit in. Next year we will add some deer of our own. Watch out neighbors, you started a contest with a very competitive couple. We don't lose!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004




We are going to talk about two things tonight.
First story:
I work retail, and one day, there were white flyers put on every windshield in the parking lot.
I called the number on the sheet and told the owner he must come and remove all these papers. I told him that he did not have permission to place those in our parking lot. This is where logic comes in. This guy has his own reasons why he IS allowed to liter my parking lot.
He argued that because of "free enterprise" he could advertise in this way. He compared it to the ads that the store sends to homes. I explained to him that the store pays postage for all those ads to his house. I explained that people complain about those papers on their cars and most throw them to the ground. Now I have papers all over the lot. He reminded me that I hire a truck to come clean the parking lot every night. Well, smarty pants, I wouldn't have to hire him if people like yourself wouldn't liter!
He begged for permission to advertise in my parking lot, and I explained this is private property and he is not allowed to place his papers on cars.
This guy never really understood anything except that he was trying to enjoy "free enterprise". He became very loud and angry through our conversation. How many parking lots are there? Move on.

Story two is something I saw in the news this morning:
KENT, Washington (AP) -- A man who placed a lava lamp on a hot stovetop was
killed when it exploded and sent a shard of glass into his heart, police said.

You can go read the article if you want. I have a few questions about this. Why would you place a lava lamp on the stove? The article says no drugs or alcohol were involved. What the heck was this guy doing? Ok. So, we don't know why the lava lamp was on the stove. Maybe he accidently placed it there. What in the world is a lava lamp even doing in the kitchen?!

Sunday, November 28, 2004


Went out to look at and test drive a Monte Carlo today. Ended up looking at, test driving, buying, and driving home in the same shot. I'm pretty excited about it. It's a 2002.
Now I have my own race car. Nascar continues to sell me products on a regular basis.

I purchased the car from CarMax. I found these guys very helpful and friendly. Up to this point, they seem up front with all information, both on the financial and car.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Vultures: the birds, not the lawyers.

n. Any one of numerious species of rapacious birds belonging to Vulture, Cathartes, Catharista, nd various other genera of the family Vulturid[ae].
Note: In most of the species the head and neck are naked or nearly so. They feed chiefly on carrion.
(source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary)

So, now the question is (for me anyway), what the heck is carrion? Back to the book.

n. The dead and putrefying body or flesh of an animal; flesh so corrupted as to be unfit for food.
(source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary)

I always knew that Vultures eat dead animals, but carrion sounds so much worse. I snapped this picture down the street from my house. The picture does not capture the entire scene. Not only were these seven vultures sitting on the house, there were more circling the house and sitting in the trees off to the sides. The house is for sale, I have never seen anybody go in or out of the house. In the center upstairs window, just below the vulture, you can see a huge hornet nest. I never noticed this house before I took the picture. I'm thinking this is not a friendly house. It reminded me of the movie, the Burbs. The one with Tom Hanks.

So why did the birds decide to pertch here? I don't see any carrion. I don't smell any carrion. I don't even hear any carrion. But the vultures must have! The sweet, sweet smell of fresh carrion (fresh carrion makes no sense) must have been coming out of the chimney. The last potential buyer for this house may not have ever come out. Maybe, just maybe, the realtor is a mad scientist, conducting evil experiments and hiding the bodies inside! Time to set up surveillance on this house!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

All is fair. . .in racing.

(I drive the yellow car in this picture)

I race with the same group of guys on a regular basis. Part of racing, even in online racing is trust. You have to trust the guy you are driving next to. You have to know this guy won't wreck you and end your day.
We race for points. I want to win. Here is what happened the other night.
It was a road course race, Watkins Glen. It can be pretty difficult to pass on a road course. You really need to pick your spot and be carefull. Track position is critical. The fastest car out there, driven by Corie, was leading every lap. We were having quite a few cautions. I was driving in second place and I needed to lead a lap (to get 5 bonus points). During the caution, I started to private message the car behind me, Ben. I was asking if he was going to pit for tires. He said he was going to. I then started to private message the leader, Corie.
He replied in private, "I really want tires, but don't want to loose track position."
"Ben is pitting, don't know about others", was my answer.
I had him hooked. We came up to the access lane, into pit road. All the cars were pulled down low into this lane, a firm commit to pit. As soon as the lead car was far enough in, he could not turn out (due to the tire wall), I pulled back onto the track. One other car, from farther back also stayed out. I was leading laps and getting bonus points!

This is where my friends went nuts. We use voice communiction during the race, and I heard all kinds of things being said about me. Yeah, it was a dirty trick. Technicaly, I never said I was pitting. Then at the restart I slowed my car way down, to get everyone behind me off the gas. Then I floored it before the green flag came out. That got me a good jump on everyone.

Yeah, trust went out the window that night. I finished second. Corie, with his fast car, great driving, and now fresh tires, won the race. I got 5 more points between me and the guy behind me!

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Threat

Now that I write a blog, I have a new saying.

"This is so going in the blog!"

Cari will say something to me, or something will happen. I just give her that look and run for the computer. Last week at the hospital, when we sat in our hall (room C), we saw the sign that said, "no waiting or loitering in the hallway". I got a big smirk across my face and said, "this is SO going in the blog!" Cari laughed. I think she was thrilled for once the quote wasn't directed at her.

One time, after hearing my threat, Cari threatened to start her own blog. She seems to think there would be plenty of stories about me. Maybe last night would be one of those on her blog...

He came into the bedroom last night as I was watching TV. I was
watching the Wizard of Oz. The tin man was doing a dance on the yellow
brick road, and Ed asked me what I was watching. I looked over at
him. He could not be serious. I laughed and told him I
was watching the Wizard of Oz. He became very defensive, and asked
how he was to know that, only by a glance of the screen. Maybe the
yellow brick road should have given it away, maybe the tin man.

Good thing she doesn't have a blog. I keep a text file on my desktop. I write notes of stories or pictures I want to add to the blog someday. It makes it easier to keep my posts frequent, even on days I don't think I have anything to say, just refer to the text file for a little help. Scratch this one from the list. . .

Friday, November 19, 2004

view from rear

view from the rear

view from the side

Part II: The hospital

Sorry this update took longer than I expected to get posted. I went back to work today.

So after calling insurance companies and trying to decide what we were going to do. Cari strongly suggested going to the emergency room. I was a bit unsure of this at first, because I did not feel I had an emergency situation. After a bit of convincing, we went to the hospital. The check in process at the ER was what you would expect. This is a fairly small town, I didn't expect to wait long. Wrong expectation. Seems everyone in Easley had problems the same time I did. Nobody in there seemed to be having an emergency, myself included. The kids were getting a bit restless, even though Cari came more than prepared with a plethora of books and crayons. Our neighbor came up to the hospital and took the kids to her house to play. That helped. Also, before they left, there was a nice man that worked at the hospital that came out and encouraged our kids to draw him pictures in exchange for stickers.

Finally, I made it in to see the triage nurse. She asked the basic questions. I told her I was feeling sore in my neck. The check in nurse had typed in the computer that I was "pain in the neck." This is when the experience starts to get away from your normal ER visit. The triage nurse asked if I wanted to wait for a room, or I could take a hallway bed. Excuse me, a what? Hallway bed? I asked what was the benefit to a hallway bed. She told me if I decided to wait for a room, I would be waiting much longer to be seen. I opted for a hallway bed.

It is just as it sounds. A bed in the hallway of a busy hospital. They were nice enough to put two folding screens around the bed. There was a plastic chair beside the bed for Cari. This was the "room". I told Cari we should scoot the curtain over about three inches, then the bed, then the other curtain. Continue this process until we blocked some doors. Cari was not amused with this idea. We were placed directly across from a bathroom. I considered jumping out at people when they came out. I would shout at them, ensuring they had washed their hands. Again, Cari was not impressed with my concern of hygiene. As I continued to exam my settings I found a sign. The sign sat directly above my head and read, "No waiting or loitering in the hallway." I swear this sign was directly above the bed. Cari also pointed to the ceiling where a letter "C" was hanging. This was a permanent hall bed! This was not, "we are busy, put the bed in the hall", type of deal. This was an everyday thing! They might consider taking the, "no waiting" sign down, it was making me nervous.

Next was my trip to the x-ray room. They came to me with a wheel chair. I insisted I could walk, but that was not an option. Hospitals really don't like patients walking from room to room. Maybe we are too slow. Before I headed off for my trip, I had to remove my shirt and put on a hospital gown. I did this in my private hallway "room".

In the x-ray room, Cari had to wait in the hallway. Hopefully she would not receive a ticket for loitering out there. The x-ray doctor was very nice. I stood in front of the gun with my back to a white board. I was not offered any type of lead vest as the doctor ran behind the cement wall to turn on the machine. We took about five different pictures. My favorite one was opening my mouth and shooting the x-rays right down my throat! I swear! Oops. A couple of the shots did not turn out too well. Had to do two of them over, including down my throat again. Wish I had a picture of this x-ray gun for you, tubes running out of it in every direction. Ugh.

My x-rays came back normal. The doctor met me at my hallway bed and told me she would issue a muscle relaxer prescription and give me a pill there. I absolutely hate taking medicine. I do not want to add any of those chemicals to my body. I will only take tylenol in extreme cases. I told Cari, I did not want to fill the prescription, and I didn't plan on taking any of that crap. When the doctor came back, she was holding two small plastic cups. One of a pill, the other of water. Oh, peer pressure. I didn't put up much fight, and took the stupid pill. Cari asked some questions for me first, ensuring this would not make me drowsy or any other ill effects. Discharge was normal.

I took the next day off of work and rested up. Called the insurance company of the guy who smashed into me. I never did fill that prescription. I felt pretty sore. Not real painful, but very annoying. We went over and took some pictures of the car that day also. The lady at the auto body place told me it would be a total loss. Good, now I get a new car! I raided the car for all my belongings, including ripping the CD player out.

After working all day today, I already feel much better. We are going to pick up a rental car on Saturday, paid for by the smashers' insurance company.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Part I : the wreck

Going on lunch Wednesday was a different experience today. It was about 12:45, I was driving down the main stretch in Easley on HWY 123. There are a lot of cars turning in and out of the parking lots that line this highway. Two cars in front of me, a lady was making a right hand turn. A Honda directly in front of me came to a stop to allow the car in front to make the turn. I also came to a complete stop behind the Honda. It was the Dodge truck behind me that did not make a stop. In fact, he didn't try to stop until about five feet before he smashed into my car. I don't know how fast he was going, but the speed limit is 45. I glanced up in my mirror and saw only the front grill of a white dodge truck. It happened so fast, I didn't have time to really think about what was going to happen. As soon as I looked and saw him, I heard the tires squeal, then a loud metal crunch. My car was pushed into the Honda in front of me, deploying my air bags. My car rolled forward a bit more, and I steered it to the right, but I could not see anything in front of me. The engine had died, yellow smoke filled the car.
I had never been in a crash before. Air bags are an amazing thing. I have seen the slow motion video of airbags on TV, and I understand the descriptions of one going off. I had always expected that when an airbag exploded, you would be aware of that happening. You would feel it hit you. Neither one of those was true for me. This was so instant, I didn't realize it went off, until the car had stopped moving and I opened my eyes. My left hand hurt a little bit, and was red on the side of my thumb, I don't believe the airbag hit me other than in my arms. Even then, I'm guessing, because I didn't feel it at all. When I did open my eyes, the bags were already deflating.
My windows were only cracked open. The car was full of the yellow smoke from airbags. I immediately wanted my cell phone. I had just hung up with Cari a few minutes earlier, and I had placed my phone under my leg. Trying to get oriented, I saw something on the floor. It was the radio face plate. My phone had slid under my leg, to the back of seat. Every breath was full of yellow powder. Not enough to choke on, but enough to be uncomfortable. I tried to open the driver door, but it didn't move. I sat still for another moment. Hit the unlock button and tried again. Still didn't open. I thought about just staying there, but the smoke was bothering me, I pushed harder and the door came open.
When I stepped out, that is when I saw the brown Honda, only a dent on the back bumper. A pretty good dent, but looked contained to only the bumper. The shadow of a woman in the driver seat, nobody else seemed to be in the car. I shut my driver door, but it would not latch closed, the frame was bent. I looked back. The white truck had pulled off into a parking lot and I saw the driver take a few steps in my direction. He asked if I was ok, and I told him I felt ok so far. He asked about the woman in front of me, I told him I had not talked to her. I opened my phone to call 911, and then I saw an unmarked car about four cars back with his lights on. In under a minute two police cars had pulled up and an officer approached me, to see if I was injured. He went passed me to check the driver of the Honda. He had her back into a parking lot to clear the road. My car was on the sidewalk.
The entire back end of my car was crunched in. The small triangle window on the driver side was popped out of it's frame. I called Cari and told her to come get me. The officer came back to me and asked for me to get my license, insurance, and registration ready. I never pay attention to those kind papers. Now I need them. License, ok. I opened the passenger side and move the deflated air bag, open the glove box and take out all sorts of things. Found an expired insurance card in there, then the current one. Registration? What does that look like? Found one, but it was old, from Florida, I now have South Carolina plates. When the officer came back I told him I couldn't find registration. He told me not to worry about it. He said insurance and license would be fine.
My car was undrivable, the back end was smashed into the rear tires. The officer called a tow for me. I had not even looked at the front of my car yet, I was kinda just in a daze. When I walked up to the front of the car, it didn't really appear to have much damage. The nose of the car looked like it had been jarred out of place, and the plastic grill was cracked, but the hood and sides looked undamaged.
Cari finally arrived with Meredith as the car was being loaded onto the flatbed, tow truck. We were talking about what happened when I heard someone calling my name. It was George, my boss, and two other co-workers. They had driven by on the way back from lunch. George said he drove by three times before they finally decided it really was me on the side of the road. He asked if I was alright and told me to take the rest of the day off.
At this point I really didn't feel injured. My neck was a little sore, but not painful. I didn't have any other conversation with the driver of either car. The driver of the truck was on his cell phone the entire time we all were there. Waited around, talking with Cari until the officer came back with my license and insurance card. He gave me a form he had filled out that had the information of all three cars, drivers, and insurance for all three vehicles. He told me to mail that green form to my insurance within 15 days and I was free to go. We went home and Cari started calling insurance for me. I went to bed. I told my story to my insurance company and they explained my options to me. I decided I would file my claim against the truck driver's insurance.
My neck was feeling a bit more stiff now, but I still didn't feel seriously injured. Cari strongly suggested going to the hospital to be checked out. I really hate going to the doctor. I only go in extreme cases. I decided to go today.

Check back later today for Part II : the ER

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Monday, November 15, 2004

I spot a fake!

Half Life 2

Half Life 2 gets unlocked tonight at midnight, LA time. Crap. That means that if I am to be one of the first playing this game, I must stay up until three am. Looks like I'll wait until Tuesday to play. Three AM is a late night, even for me.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

odds and ends

Just want to cover a few things in tonights post.

1. Jimmie Johnson wins ANOTHER race!!! I'm going to cry if he doesn't win the championship next week. He only has to finish ahead of Busch by about five positions. Jimmie has one eight races this year, more than anyone else!

2. Just found this video over at the It is not gross, but shows some of our troops fighting in Fallujah. Very interesting video, I thought. Don't worry, all the shots fired in this video are into buildings. You won't see any dead bodies. Check it out:

3. The new season of the Simpsons starts tonight. This has been my favorite show for a very long time, I've been waiting to see the new episodes.

4. Ok. The biggest PC game of year is about to be released. This will be the PC game of the year on anyone's listing without a doubt. The game is Half-Life 2. The developer is Valve.
The release of this game has been such a fiasco. It started a long while back. The game should have come out last year. But hackers stole the code off of Valve computers and posted it to the internet. Valve went in and modified the code, and continued work on the game.
Valve is also releasing the game on the internet this time around. Using servers and software they call, Steam. This is not really new, being able to buy a game and download it from the net. But this is the first time for a major AAA release. Ok. Now comes the good part. Steam really upsets the publisher, a company named Vivendi. They only make money when the boxes are sold in the store, not when the game is purchased online. There has been a lot of action in court about this that I won't go into here. Next, Vivendi says, everyone can have midnight parties Monday night, to start selling the game. This is like what happened for Halo2 last week. Stores open at midnight and gamer geeks celebrate the game in the weee hours of the morning. Well, Vivendi says it can't start until midnight, California time. D'oh! So much for a midnight party on the East coast. What prompted me to write this, is what has happened the past two days. The game has ended up on store shelves early. Even places like Best Buy have tons of copies out. It is officialy for sale. To help prevent hackers and warez, after you install the game, you must log onto Valve's Steam servers to authenticate your copy (like Windows activation).
Vivendi says that Valve can not turn on those servers until the release day, Tuesday. SO, now people are out buying the game, but won't be able to play it for several days. Vivendi says if Valve turns on the game, they are in breach of contract. This is getting out of hand.
I purchased the game via, Steam.

Last thing, the horse show last night was very cool. My friend let Meredith and Randy ride one of the horses and took us back to the barn and showed us some of his other horses. Very neat.

I'll write a real post tomorrow sometime.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Today was NOT the day

"Dad, do you have work today?" It was Randy.
"Yeah, I have work this morning.", I looked up at the clock. Six thirty am. SIX THIRTY AM!
I was supposed to be at work at six this morning! What happened to my alarm? After a quick check, it seems I set it for five PM. As I was getting dressed, I went back to the five year old and told him a little calmer that I did work today. I explained that I should already be there.
"Are you going to get fired?", he said it pretty straight forward. Not too sure he understands getting fired. I hope I wouldn't get fired.
Walked into work about 6:50am. I hadn't called to let them know I was coming or anything. Later in the day, I got hassled for that fact. When I got there there were two goons sitting in the front office. Not my favorite people. I didn't say much to them except that I had made it in. They offered no reply.
Well, that's how my day started. Everyone probably knows that when you get startled out of bed and rush to work, it's not going to be a great day. It was not a great day today either.

Going out to see a horse show tonight. A friend is showing a horse, thought we would go check it out. I actually work with him, (the friend, not the horse), I had refused to switch shifts with him for today. I really didn't want to close the store. This morning he asked why I wouldn't switch with him, I told him because we were having company. At the end of the day, we were talking about the horse show. I told him we weren't doing anything tonight and we would try to get out there. DUMB! DUMB! DUMB! I made a quick recovery by telling him the neighbor was coming over for dinner. He just called my cell to make sure I knew how to get to the show, I told him we would be there as soon as the neighbors left. Jeez. I shouldn't have lied, but it was the better option this morning. I didn't want to tell him I wouldn't switch just because.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


If I lived alone, how well would I survive? I'll tell you a few situations that have happened to me. After reading this, you can answer the above question.

Scenario one: Home alone one day while in college I decided I would make something to eat. Sounded like a good enough idea. I was hungry, make food, eat it. The idea must have come from watching TV. Making flour tortilla was the plan. Problem is that I don't have cooking experience.

When I make cool-aid I measure out the sugar exactly. Get eye level to the counter so the sugar doesn't heap over the measuring cup. That kind of exact.

Flour tortilla should be easy. Pulled out a frying pan, got the flower, and some kind of oil. Looking over my supplies, I figured I was ready. Yeah, I fried the flower. That was all there was to it, right? Now, looking back, I'm thinking there is more to it. So what did my tortillas taste like? Fried flour. This is not a recommended dish.

Scenario two: Cari and the kids went out of town for a week. Looking back on my previous cooking experiences, the plan was mostly frozen foods. The only meal I cooked that week was hamburgers. These hamburgers were monsters. When I opened the package of hamburger, it never occurred to me that I could re-wrap some of it, and place it in the freezer. I cooked the entire bit. It was difficult to grasp one of these burgers, the height was too much. I ate three of them. Laying on the living room floor, with the TV on, I couldn't move.
That's not scenario two. No. A much larger, new task, was to be taken on this particular week. I still had to be at work every day this week. Laundry had to be done. Oh, man! This is even funnier, because at the time I was selling appliances! I had seen laundry done many times, up to the point of getting the clothes in the washer. What happens after that? I sat down and read the directions on the laundry soap. I was not going to have suds everywhere like the "Brady Bunch". Hot water? Cold water? Can't you just turn this thing on? My clothes got clean that day, but it was a very unfamiliar and uncomfortable process. My clothes were still wrinkled going to work that week. After the stress of working the washing machine, I didn't dare plug in the iron.

Scenario three: Not that long ago, I was asked to vacuum the living room. I wasn't really excited about doing this, but it was the least I could do. I'm serious, it was the least I could do. Retrieved the vacuum out of the hallway. Plugged it in. This is where the problems started. This thing does not have a giant "on" button. Not one that says, "on". Cari was checking up on me, she peered around the corner, "Is everything ok over there?"
"Yeah. I know how to work a vacuum.", I laughed trying to assure her. Now, how does thing come on? I found a button and pushed it. The handle came loose in my hand as it hinged from the body of the vacuum. That counted as a step forward. It felt like ten minutes had passed as I looked this machine over. I heard Cari laugh and looked up. She was checking on me again. I guess too much time had passed, and she had not heard the vacuum turn on yet. "Want me to tell you how to turn that it on?", she asked.
"I can turn it on, I was just checking something.", I certainly did not sound so confident this time. Eureka! Big blue button on the side and the thing came to life. I vacuumed the living room, and did a darn good job. Little bit of smoke coming from the machine, I chalked up to some dust.
Next day, Cari was trying to vacuum the bedroom. She now tells me the vacuum is broken. It worked for me, that's all I know.

You may now have enough information to answer, "How well would I survive on my own."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

This is not a test.

During this past summer a hurricane was passing through our area. We mostly got heavy rains from this, but it also caused tornado warnings. One particular night this was happening, I was playing on the computer. We had the windows open and it was raining pretty hard. About nine pm, Cari came in the room and asked if I hear that siren type noise.
"yeah, I hear it."
"What do you think it is?" Cari asked, but she already knew the answer.
I calmly answered her, "a siren." I was very involved in a game at this point.
"I think it is a tornado warning from town."
"ok.", I was still playing my game, and town was at least a mile away.
Cari went back to the living room, trying to get more information from the weather channel then she was getting from me. The satellite was having problems keeping a signal, but my game was still playing great. About that time, someone started banging on the front door. Cari was in the front room, and started to talk to this person through the window. I came over to see what was going on. It was our across the street neighbor, whom we had not met up to this point. It is still pouring rain. He told us the siren noise, which had not stopped, meant there was a tornado spotted in town. Cari asked if we should get the kids downstairs. He is a pretty big guy, and he was looking nervous. He told us we should bring the kids downstairs and bunker down.
Does this mean I need to turn my game off? Maybe this is a bit serious. This guy had lived here for years, and he was getting nervous. He must not be into computer games. Well, I made the decision that I should pay attention to what was happening. Turned off the computer, and helped move the kids downstairs. Cari turned the computer back on and got some weather information, the satellite was still on and off.
We never found out where the tornado was. A few people around the neighborhood told us various rumors of its location, but no damage was ever reported that I know of. At least I learned how serious that siren was. Seems they don't turn that thing on just to test it.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Got a new truck today

Sure it uses a lot gas. Sometimes it is hard to park in the driveway. Also, It takes a while to get up to speed (and sometimes never makes it to the minimum posted speed). But, it gets me where I need to go.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Everything is not equal in this house.

Cari came home from Walmart yesterday. No news there. This time was different. She came into the room and proclaimed, "I got some new shampoo."
I was not excited. I replied, "ok."
"You can use this one!" She told me gleefully. She seemed proud of herself for purchasing some shampoo that I can use.

You'll need some background to fully appreciate this story.

Look into our shower and you'll see multiple bottles of shampoo. Some I would estimate to cost around twenty dollars a bottle. Those are off limits to me. Then there's the clear bottle holding a brown syrup from the dollar store. Yeah, that's mine. I tried to use the twenty dollar bottle one time. Stress the "one time". My brown syrup was empty, I wanted clean hair, I used hers. Well, I was immediately busted as I entered the bedroom. I think it was the smell of clean hair that gave it away. Cari made a trip to the dollar store within the hour.

So I have just been told that new shampoo was purchased. One that I can use. I looked up to see a very nice looking bottle of Dove shampoo (and matching conditioner). It was explained to me that this was a very nice "mid grade" bottle of shampoo that we would both be using now.
Oh, what have I done to increase my status to such a level? My hair suddenly is good enough to use the very shampoo that she does? I suspected a trick. Maybe there will be a chore attached to this reward.
"You got some shampoo that we are both going to use?" I very cautiously asked.
"Yeah. Why so surprised?" She replied as if this was an everyday thing.
I decided not to push the issue any further.
My hair smells much cleaner now days. I feel like I just got promoted.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Got Gas?

Well, let me tell you, I hate stopping for gas. Sometimes it just has to be done, and it doesn't really take that much time. I just don't like stopping my day to do it. My car has a wonderful electronic read out to tell me how many miles I can go before empty. Well, one day I waited until it got into the single digits.
Leaving work at night, probably around eleven pm. Gauge = 9 miles. Oh, that's plenty!
Coming up the back road into the neighborhood, 3 miles. Ok. Now it's getting close. I'll have to get gas in the morning. Well under a gallon of gas left in the tank. I start laughing to myself as I imagine a dixie cup worth of gas sloshing around in there. Go up a steep hill on the way to my street. Car dies. I didn't consider I was going to be going on hills when that thing read 3 miles. I thought three miles was three miles. I'll have to rethink this. See, I'm from Florida, and everything is flat. Hills are a non issue.
I'm sitting in my silent car, holding the brake down. I get the car started and I floor it to get the car up and over the hill as fast as possible. I coast down the down side and make my turn. The car stutters once. I floor it down one more hill. Gassing it up my last hill to home, it stutters again. I begin to make my last left turn and the car goes silent again. I start laughing hysterically. The car coasts to a complete stop in my front yard, parallel to the road, nose to the mailbox. I dare you to beat that timing on fuel!
For the curious, I'll tell you the ending. I used the lawn mower gas the next morning to get me to the gas station. I was still laughing.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Blogs I have found

I'm working on setting up a little link colum to the right here, but right now, this thing is giving me a headache.

Anyway, out of the thousands of blogs that are out there, here are a few that I find interesting to read:

Extra Strength Surfing Fingers


There have some other ones, I have read, and re-visited. The two I just listed I tend to visit pretty frequently. Take just a moment, and maybe you will find them a good read also.

Hope by next week I will have a little link colum set up on the right side there.
Going to work. Have a good day.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Fly Friendly....please.

I took this picture at Page Field Airport in Ft. Myers, Florida. The sign is on the runway.
Is this a joke? They are trying to cut back on air rage. You know how frustrating it is to be cruising along in your Cessna, then some jerk cuts you off. You want nothing more than to just drive up on his tail to let him know how you feel. Well, this sign serves as a good reminder to just let it go. As you pass other pilots, give them a friendly wave.

Coke vs Pepsi & the power of NASCAR

I don't let commercials influence my purchasing decisions. I'm intelligent enough to know a good product for myself. I didn't run out and buy a new pair of LUGZ just because Kevin Harvick wears them. I didn't go to NAPA to purchase parts for my car, just because Michael Waltrip told me how great they are. Certainly I had already discovered the greatness of the Gillette M3 shaver before Jimmie Johnson told me about it.

So, you might understand the horror that came over me yesterday when I opened the refrigerator. I was very thirsty. Inside I saw, milk, OJ, water, and Coke. COKE??!!
"Do you realize who drinks coke!?", I shouted. "Tony Stewart drinks Coke."
"What were you thinking when you bought this crap.", I continued to yell to Cari in the next room.
She very calmly told me, "It was on sale. And besides, Dale Jarrett drinks coke too."
I will not drink Coke. Pepsi is the drink of choice for a true champion. Just ask Jeff Gordon. Jeff will never drink a Coke. Anyone else remember what happened at the Coke-Cola 400 in Daytona this past July? There were six or more red Coke cars on the track. Jeff Gordon held his ground, driving his Pepsi car that day. Guess what, Jeff Gordon won that race, and afterward I saw him giving an interview, and he was drinking Pepsi! That's the drink for me!

But I make my own decisions in what I purchase. I'm not easily influenced by all this commercial crap. You think a drumming, pink, bunny makes me want to buy batteries? Get a life. More later. . .someone just paged me on my NEXTEL.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

GO JIMMIE, GO! 3 in a row!

Three wins in a row for Jimmie as he takes the Lowe's Chevy to victory circle!
Such an exciting race, especially at the end. Jimmie restarted with about ten to go, running in fourth place. He quickly jumped out to the right of the Army car and went three wide into turn one and two. After dealing with a lapped car, Waltrip, he had the lead. Mark Martin in his 6, led more than 190 laps, but could not catch Jimmie at the end!
The last driver to win three Cup races in a row was Jeff Gordon. He did it in the late 90's by winning the last two races of the season, and the first of the next season.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Suicide Leaves

I'm driving home from work tonight when it happened. As I came around the last corner to my street, two leaves jumped off of their tree and landed just in front of my car. Now what caused them to jump off at that moment? Of all the days, of all the hours, of all the minutes and seconds. It happened just as I approached that these leaves jumped. Had I not been speeding two blocks earlier would I have missed this, or would they have waited for me?
Leaves survive a lot of things. They come out in the spring time. They are exposed to the extreme heat and light of the sun all summer long. They endure heavy rains and high winds as hurricanes passed through the area. Birds come in, build nests, bugs come in and eat some of the leaves. But many survive. Only to have the tree itself starve them in the winter. I'm thinking that these leaves, the ones that we all enjoy looking at in the fall, are suffering. They sit on the tree during these hard times, waiting for their time to go. The two of them that jumped tonight, must have seen the lights of my car approaching. This is a quick way to end the suffering. Maybe they discussed it ahead of time. To jump at the same time. It must have been a scary moment. Then you have to consider the awesome amount of timing these two must have had. The time it takes to slowly float to the road had to be taken into consideration.
There's still plenty of leaves left on this tree. I'll do my best to swerve out of the way the next time.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

This can't be good.

Look toward the top center part of this picture. You may not recognize it at first so look closer. Yep, you got it. It's a heat sink over the CPU. The dust is SO thick you can actually see where the dust forms the shape of fan blades on the heat sink.
Now look to the bottom center of the picture. There is the fan that was covering the heat sink. I was hoping this thing would hold more dust. But I guess when you get to twice the weight of the fan itself, it's time to clean it.

Two things really brought on this investigation. One, the fan was running louder than normal. Then it was overheating the CPU (imagine that), and causing shut down. Cari had told me that she was having some problems while playing the Sims 2. She said it would shut the computer off and not come back for several minutes. I assured her I would look into the problem. Maybe someday when I had more time.

I took the cover off the case to help some air flow. (when you stop laughing, wipe the tears from your eyes and then continue reading...)
The other night, I was getting to do some online racing. During practice the computer shut off. Oh, crap! Now this is a serious problem! I took the other side of the case off, propped open a nearby door and opened the window. It was probably about sixty degrees out. Heh. So at ten PM, the door propped open, case laying on the floor, I raced. I even won the race!

The next morning I did the clean out. Woah. I didn't realize how deep that dust was. I now even have the case back on the computer. It had been off for several weeks.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

"Come inside. You are embarrassing your family!"

Have you ever been told that before? You are not alone.

Went out to cut the grass this morning. It was just under sixty degrees. I was wearing my pretty plaid shorts and a t-shirt. After getting the mower from the shed, I realized it was a bit cooler than I had anticipated. I ran inside, swung open the closet, and scanned for a sweatshirt. Hmmm. None that I see. Went to the dresser and picked up a shirt. It was a bit thicker than a t-shirt. Red with grey short sleeves. Cari hates this shirt. Having properly warming myself, I ran back out to cut the grass.
I'll spare you the details on grass cutting today and get to the end of my story.

I was putting the lawnmower back in the shed, now around eleven am. Cari, who had been inside cleaning up, came outside. From over at the porch, I hear this sound. I look up and see Cari standing there. A horrified look on her face. What am I missing?

"I didn't think we brought that shirt when we moved!", she said.
You would have thought I committed a crime from the tone of her voice.
I replied, "I didn't think so either. Guess we got lucky."

That's when she let me know this was no joking matter. She screamed over to me, "Come inside! You are embarrassing your family!"
Are you kidding me? Is my hair not combed right for mowing grass? Maybe the shoes don't go. I'm mowing grass, and I have committed such an atrocity. I have no fashion sense! What was I thinking? Oh, that's right. I was COLD.

Next time I will get wardrobe approval before I head out the door to check the mail.

So how did the story end? I went inside to change my clothes of course. (I put that shirt in the laundry, I sure hope it ends up back in my dresser. It's a warm shirt.)

Friday, October 22, 2004

Bloggy, blog, blog.

I was checking out the main page at
There is a section toward the bottom that shows recently updated blogs. The list is all the blogs updated in a ten minute period. About fifteen minutes ago, this list was about a thousand entries long! I had checked it out the other day and it was around six hundred for that last ten minute period!

I didn't realize that many people could read, write, and use the internet. Seeing numbers like that made me realize I'll certainly never become an internet superstar blog writer. I'm just a speck. A speck with an audience of about five, max. This doesn't really bother me. I never expected to become internet superstar. I enjoy sitting down to write from time to time. I would like to sit and write short stories, even if I was the only one to enjoy them. I amuse myself.

Since I started this, I'll occationaly spend a few minutes randomly selecting blogs off of that list to read. I haven't found one yet worth bookmarking. Some have been half way interesting. Some were very boring. It is like taking a look into that persons life. Maybe someday, somebody will randomly select my blog to read. I hope they find it half way interesting. And if they happen to randomly select it now, I hope they come back in a week or so, to see what else I come up with.

Don't have a blog yet for yourself? What, are you living in the dark ages?

Hello Kitty!

This little kitten wondered into our yard one afternoon. How would you handle that? A small little kitten smelling your flowers? I thought, "release the hounds!" Ah!, but the hounds may be too slow. The barking probably would have scared off the kitty, but would it learn its lesson? Simple barking may not be enough to keep it away. So I decided to not release the hounds, I opted instead to RELEASE THE GIRL! For sure, this would cause the kitty much more trauma.

The girl pushed through the storm door, raced down the porch steps, and screamed, "Hello Kitty!" This little kitten perked up quick. Smelling flowers would have to wait for another day, another yard. Just as the cat turned to leave the property, two little hands got their grip on kitty hair. Swooped up a few feet in the air, this cat has now realized its error. This house belongs to a little girl.

Meredith kept this cat in her clutches for a few more minutes. Maybe the two would become friends. At her mothers request, the cat was released back to the ground. This baby kitty hardly had touched the ground, when it took off to the neighbors yard.

I have not seen this cat since the day of this picture.

*note: no little girls or kitties were harmed in the writing/photography of this post *

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

PASSWORDS coming out of my ears

I have up to four different passwords just at work for various tasks. I have login ID's and passwords for about a dozen forum groups. I have a password and ID for my 401K. I have a password for my e-mail account. . .times three. I race online. Guess what, the server has a password. We use teamspeak to communicate, yep, another password. Then, just for fun, every thirty days, my main password at work has to change. I used to just bounce between two different passwords. Each of them were four diget numbers. Hmm... That is too easy. New rules at work say that you can not use your previous password and now your password must contain letters and numbers.

Now, I do try and make this easier. Against advise I have read online, I tend to use the same one or two passwords for most of my online activity. The other day I wanted to check some things on my 401K and I couldn't remember my user ID. Tried a few times, then it locked me out. Ok, well, send me my info in an e-mail. Problem is I moved recently and the e-mail they have is still the old one. Now I had to call and actually have human contact to solve this.

Other problems I have run into is that my user ID, normaly a variation of Duck Hunter, is not always available.

We have become so secure now days, that we are even protected from getting into our own accounts! Well. I started a .txt file after I had to make that phone call yesterday. At least I'll try and log the lesser used ID/passwords.

So why do I say these are coming out of my ears? Is there a way to contain the spillage? Eww.
More on that problem later.

Monday, October 18, 2004

racing at Kansas

So I'm running an online race (Nascar Racing 2003) at Kansas the other night. 81 laps.

At the green flag, I make a move on the outside of the car in front of me, heading out of the tri-oval I'm up against the wall, nowhere to go, and my car goes spinning. The car on the inside came up just a bit into my rear side. No real damage to the car. Pitted for tires under caution and I was off again.
My car was handling like garbage. Wicked tight, hard to handle. I was running around fourth place. First and second place were about five seconds ahead of me, which is a HUGE lead in a race. Third place was about two seconds ahead of me and I was losing him lap by lap.

So, as I drive, I was watching lap times, and how my distance to the leader was changing. Time to get ready for a pit stop. Taking one hand off the wheel, I reached for the keyboard. I had to do something to fix this car. Adjusted all four tire pressures. Adjusted the track bar. Moved some wedge. 28 laps to go, I had just fallen to fifth place. Time to pit. Good entry, stopped on my marks and got out clean. Back on the track, the car was starting to handle much better. Pitting under green put me more than a lap down.
I was about a second faster per lap (sometimes more) on my fresh tires. The top four cars continued to drive the track. With 15 to go, two of them pitted. A few laps later, another pitted. He came out just ahead of me but recieved a black flag for speeding on pit road. He would have to go into pits for a drive through penalty. Finaly with about 10 to go, the only car not pitted went in. I looked down at the times. I WAS WINNING! I had about an eleven second lead over the rest of the field with ten to go. I had worn tires. I had to stay within a second slower of these guys to keep my lead. The plan was working. With two to go, I was told I may not have enough gas. WHAT DID YOU JUST TELL ME?! White to go! Fuel light is lit (almost empty). Second place about 3 seconds back. Flying down the back straight....let off the gas...apply just a touch of brake to turn the car into turn 3.... back on the gas slightly turning into turn 4. . . pedal to the floor, coming out of the turn. I can see the checkers now. My car stutters. OH, gas! Checkered flag, I actually won this race that started out so badly. As I drove my car back toward turn 1, slowing it down, the engine went silent. Just enough gas to make it.

What a great race!


Randy celebrates riding his bike with no training wheels.

first posting

Just set this thing up. Hope to have regular updates on my thoughts here.
Maybe some short stories and for sure you'll be seeing some photos here.

This should be a pretty easy thing to use, so updates will be faster than my previous attempts at websites.

Hope to really get some creative things going on here...