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
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
(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
"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. . .
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Friday, November 19, 2004
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
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
Sunday, November 14, 2004
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 drudgereport.com 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
"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
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
"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
Friday, November 05, 2004
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
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
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
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.
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.