Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Learn new things

We have lived in our house for almost a year now. In Meredith's room upstairs, there are two light switches. These are installed low on the wall, next to the outlet. We have never figured out what these switches are for.

The other night, Cari was putting Meredith to bed and Meredith asked if she could turn the light on. Her small table lamp was already on, so Cari was not sure what light Meredith wanted. Meredith kept asking and finally Cari let her out of bed to turn it on. She walked over to one of our mystery switches and when she flicked it over, the security light on the outside of the house (installed below her window), came on. The other switch turned on the security light that is mounted on the back of the house.

That girl is smart. I'll have to ask her to teach me how the dishwasher works.

Fight for the ball!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

I am NOT a doctor

Cari woke me up this morning. She had been out sanding the deck and preparing to seal it.
As I partially opened one eye to see what she needed, she told me that she had a pretty bad splinter. She had been working on getting it out and needed my help.

I sat up and went into the kitchen. This place had been transformed into a makeshift operating room. In the O.R., was two sewing needles and a razor blade. I rubbed my eyes a bit, still waking up, and I said, "let me see what you got."

WOAH! This girl had a toothpick jammed into her finger, and the joint, and DEEP. Seriously, this splinter was the diameter of a toothpick, and about a third in length of one.
She told me to help her cut it out.

I love her very much. "I'm not cutting you.", I explained.
I told her that I would love to help her, but I am not going to be the reason she would lose the ability to move her fingers. The girl must have been desperate to ask me. I left the room as she continued to cut her finger open. I don't tend to handle things like that very well.

About twenty minutes later, Cari comes into the room. "I GOT IT!!"
You would think she just bought five more pairs of shoes. (that's a topic for a different blog entry. She has TWO feet, but buys shoes for. . . oh, nevermind).

I got up to see this piece of wood. It was a big chunk of lumber, and had planted itself deep in her finger.

What a trooper she is. She didn't even shed a tear. If it were I, the screams would have you believe I was having an arm amputated. I also would never have been able to cut it out myself.
My splinter would have been treated with some wound cleaner and a band-aid. Five years later, I would still be treating the infection.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


PhotoPass is another cool Disney idea. Photographers are all over the park. They are also at all the character appearances. These photographers will take your picture and assign the pictures to a little card that they give to you. These pictures are free . . .to look at. They stay on the website for thirty days. You just type in the card number.

It was a little tricky to get the pictures onto my computer. Their website does a little to try and prevent that. You can look at your pictures and send friends/family an e-mail so they can go look. Obviously, Disney wants you to buy prints of these photos. Something like $12 for a 5x7.
The pictures are free, and it is quite a nice idea.


Disney World is awesome!

I have been to Disney World many times. One of the things I remember is the insanely long lines. You would wait for an hour to ride an attraction for five minutes. Then, run to the next line. Well, Disney has made this a thing of the past.

Most of the big rides now have FastPass. You put your entry ticket into a machine and it spits it back along with a card. The card will gain you near instant access to the ride if you come back within the listed time. In most cases, you come back to the ride about an hour later. There is an hour time frame to arrive back, so if you go see something else, you have plenty of time to use your pass.

We did this for several rides. One particular ride, the Winnie the Pooh ride, had a 45 minute wait. We entered the separate line for people with fast pass tickets. Walking past all the FOOLS standing in line I couldn't help myself. I exclaimed, "suckers!", as I got on the ride.

This is available at no extra charge to everyone with a ticket into the park (everyone). Why were these people standing in line for 45 minutes?

So, FastPass is an awesome innovation over at Disney World. It made a great place even better. We all had a great time there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Duck's School of Driving

Over the past few days of driving, I realized more than ever that I need to teach people to drive.
Many of the basic rules are being broken, especially in Georgia. These people are crazy.
We got off the interstate and traveled on the highway through most of Georgia. Initially this was not our fault. Driving through some construction, we decided to stop and get some food. On our way out, we realized they had closed the ramp back onto the interstate. They didn't tell us that before we exited. A "no re-entry" sign would have been nice. So, we decided to keep trucking.

I'm going to write a book to teach people some basic concepts of driving in traffic. I'm convinced that if everyone would drive like me, we would have no problems. I'll give this book away for free.

Chapter 1: turning.
This is a very complex move for many. If a turn lane is present, you should move into it before braking. This would cause no disruption behind you.
Before braking, you should always turn your turn signal on, so that cars behind you will be expecting you to brake.
When you make a right turn onto a highway, you should stay in the right most lane. This will help prevent someone in the fast lane from smashing into the back of you.
Chapter 2: i'm towing a boat
So, you are towing your boat out to the lake for the weekend. You should not pull into traffic traveling sixty mph, and then max your speed at 40 in the left lane. You also need to read the rules of using turn lanes.

It's still a work in progress, but I sure am glad that I'm not driving today.

My little monkey

What the. . .?

Found this in Florida, in the parking lot of a Publix grocery.
I just had to stop and take a picture of it. They must have a lot of hoola hoops in the area.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


made it back home a bit ago.

Long driving for the past four days.

I'll be writing stories and posting pictures of our trip to Disney World in the next few days.

Right now I have a headache, and need to sit in quietly.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Don't embarrass your family, part 2.

We are driving down the highway. We have been on vacation for about an hour and Cari looks at me.

I was expecting something like, "I love you." or "we're going to have a great time this week.".
But what I got was,

"Can you stop sounding like a redneck while we are on our trip?"

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

McKinney Chapel

McKinney Chapel, 1891

Up in the mountains, away from town, sits McKinney Chapel. When you enter the small church, you leave behind 2005.

The wooden floors creak as you walk toward the front. On either side, rows of wooden pews line the building. The white paint is peeling from the pine board walls. A small piano sits in the front left corner. There is a curved railing that separates the raised pulpit from the rest of the room. Behind the pulpit, with purple glass windows on each side, hangs a depiction of the Last Supper.

A small cemetery sits on the hill to the left of the building. I imagine a time, in the 1800's, when people would gather here. Along with the piano, our songs fill the building. The pastor gives us his sermon, and we pray in silence.

That's what has been happening here, for over one hundred years.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


I do not like to talk on the phone. I am on the phone all day at work, and when I get home, I don't even want to hear the phone ring.

Cari really takes good care of me when it comes to this. She will ask who it is asking for me, and then she will make the decision if they need to talk to me or not. She doesn't come in and ask if I want to talk to the guy from the newspaper, she just knows to get rid of him.

Cari also knows that I will not answer the phone. She is not so thrilled about this at times. I can be sitting next to the phone. I mean, so close, my finger is touching it. It starts ringing and I will not budge. That phone will not get answered. At least not until Cari gets up and walks across the room to answer it.

Answering the phone at home used to be a much bigger deal to me. I would stop what I was doing. Then I would run across the house. Then I would dig around, hunting for the phone, and answer it. After all that, it would be a guy selling me something. Man, I would get upset.

To resolve that, I did two things.
#1. added our phone number to the national do-not call registry. This makes a HUGE difference in the number of calls you get.
#2. I simply stopped answering the phone.

Problem solved.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Like father. . .like son

I put the pedals on a box. After a few minutes of instruction, he was driving around the high banks of Daytona by himself!

Choose your own adventure

Why are some video games popular with people who don't play games?

Cari can sit and play the Sims2 for hours on a rainy day. She generally is not interested in games.
Other games that are popular with gamers and non-gamers are the SimCity series, Civilization, and Grand Theft Auto.

Something that these games all have in common, is the very open ended style of play. Games like GTA have a story, and preset missions. If you get bored with that, you can jack a car and do as you please.

I think that is something very appealing. YOU, the player, are creating your own story. YOU are using YOUR imagination, not the imagination of the developer. When Cari plays the Sims2, she talks about her characters, like she had been watching a soap opera on TV. She has control of the story at all times.

Reading about an upcoming game called, The Movies, prompted this post.
The Movies, is a game by developer Peter Molyneux. He is known for making these very open type games. In The Movies, you run a movie studio. Hire, fire, develop your own movie stars. Use them to make movies. You write the script, put together the scenes, and edit your movie. The developer is providing the tools, you provide the content. There will be plenty of content provided in the game, if you can not think of your own, but where's the fun in that?

I'm already trying to come up with ideas I will be able to produce in a game like that.
Something about a blogger that gains some super-human power. He will travel through the internet, spreading his ego-filled opinions. . . Sorry, that's not really an original idea.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


I'm determined to make a race fan out of each one of you!

I just read over at that American Scott Speed will be driving in the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend AND the American Grand Prix next week. This is the first time an American has driven in Formula 1 since Andretti did more than 10 years ago.

The start of the race almost always will be crazy. They have a standing start. Sitting on the grid, until the red lights go out. Everyone fights for position going through the grid and diving into turn 1. I can't think of a race this year, that I didn't replay the start ten times so that I could see all the turn one wrecks.

So, now is a good time to try and watch a formula one race, and cheer for an AMERICAN!

I'm a day behind

It's 1:00am. I meant to write this on Monday, but now it's Tuesday.

Well, Monday (June 6), was the 61st aniversary of D-Day invasion at Normandy.
What's the D stand for?

I've read several various possible meanings for the D.
The answer is that the D does not stand for anything except the word, day.

It's the time of a major military operation. If it was to start at 6am, then that time would be H-hour. So, June 6 was the start of the major offensive at Normandy, it is D-day.
I'm sure you'll need that information somewhere down the line, so don't forget it.

Monday, June 06, 2005

These people are CRAZY!

After reading the truck driver blog, where he wrote about driving a truck (imagine that), I got the idea to post about work.

As I'm driving to work, I am thinking about what kind of things happen that would be somewhat interesting to write about. As an assistant store manager at Lowe's, there is a lot of things I do each day. Most of these things are really nothing to write about. Things like approving a price change and checking delivery trucks are just not interesting.

Well, now that the day has ended let me tell you some of the things I had to deal with.

When I first got to work a customer was asking for the store manager at the front desk. I went over and he refused to talk to me. He wanted THE store manager. I got the manager and he listened to this customer complain that a shopping cart hit his truck in the parking lot. The manager told him we are not responsible for carts, but this guy insisted we file a claim on it. I went outside to view it with my store manager. There were two white marks on the side of this truck, and a small dent. Something certainly hit it, and a blue cart was pushed up against the truck. The white marks and dent was at least four inches higher than the handle of the cart. The store manager felt like someone was trying to get something for nothing, and told the guy the cart didn't cause the damage, there is no claim. The customer got very angry and called the police to come out. When the officer got to us, he heard the customer complaint and said, "ok, so what do you want me to do?".
I was laughing on the inside now. I was leaning on a sign in the parking lot that says, "lowe's is not responsible for carts left unattended in the parking lot". The officer pointed this out to the customer. He also told the guy, who had called his dad out to the store by now, that it is a civil matter, and he could do nothing. What a waste of time. We filled out our report and called it into the insurance company after taking some pictures.

Wow! What a way to start the day.
I went on for the next few hours doing the normal things like approving pricing, answering the phone every five minutes, and walking the store to be sure it was running smoothly. Then I get a call from a customer. He purchased a riding lawn mower last year and now he said it isn't working right. I told him after that amount of time it needs to go to manufacture warranty. He could call and take it for service, or bring it to the store for repair. At this time of year, it would take up to two weeks. He asked if I was coming to cut his grass in that two week period. He would only accept bringing it back for a refund as a solution. I would not allow that, so he told me that we don't stand behind our product. I explained that I did not manufacture that machine. I'm a retailer, not a manufacturer. I reminded him that he could bring it back to the store for repair if that was more convenient for him. He hung up on me.

After lunch an employee said that he needed to talk to me. We went into the back office where I had to become a counselor for about forty minutes. This guy has one screwed up home life, and on top of that his green card expired. He is from London, and he told me that immigration here lost his application for citizenship. He is married to an American and has lived here for almost ten years, and they lost his papers. He also said he is on medications that suppress the feeling of wanting to kill. I opened the door to the office as he told me that part.

The store manager went home, leaving me the highest ranking person in the building until close. Another call from the service desk telling me that a customer wants the manager.
This customer said that he purchased a bottle of deck wash that leaked in his trunk. We go out and look at it. Sure enough, several small bleach spots throughout the trunk. I asked him if the bottle had been opened in the store. "Nope." I asked him if a Lowe's employee loaded his car before he left. "Nope." Then I told him that Lowe's is not responsible for this, and he could complain to the manufacture about this. That is when the fun started. He told me that he is a lawyer and he KNOWS that I'm responsible for this.

me: What can I do for you then?
"lawyer": I want to be compensated!
me: that is not going to happen. If you would like, I could take some pictures and submit it to insurance as a claim.

That's what I did. As I was writing the report, he told me he WAS going to spend more than $4,000 more but that was obviously not going to happen now. I replied, "ok."
He couldn't believe that I didn't care I was losing a sale. I told him he already made his mind up to not shop with us because a bottle of bleach spilled, and that I would not argue with him about it.
He said what upset him is that I was trying to blow him off. I disagreed.
Then, as we were in the parking lot at his car, he said it's a good thing that Home Depot is in town. I said, "yes sir, they are only a few block that way." as I pointed down the road.

He got in his car and left.

Finished cleaning up the store, securing the money, and locking the doors. The day was over.

I have a headache now.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Runner up

I'm just a runner up. You know, second choice. First choice, in Cari's eye, is Kenny Rogers.
I'm learning to accept that now. Next week I put another slash mark on the wall, bringing the total years Cari and I have been married to nine. I guess I have that over Mr. Rogers.
Actually, Cari's love of Kenny has brought me fortune over the past few years. When we went to see him perform, Cari demanded that we have a digital camera that could also take video. Our old digital couldn't do that, among other things. So, we ran out the day before the concert and purchased a very nice digital camera. I love taking pictures, so this worked out for me.

After I wrecked my car, we were out looking for the replacement. We went out to test drive a car, and Cari knew it was the one when we started it up. Kenny was playing on the radio when the car was started, and that is the car I have today.

Being the runner up is turning out to be a pretty good deal after all.

Free! Free at last!

As I was eating my scrambled eggs this morning, I was looking out of the kitchen window. I noticed the dog at the house across the street and a few doors down. This is a large dog. I have never seen this dog out for a walk before. What caught my attention is this dog lives in a chain link kennel. The kennel is about six foot by six foot, and almost half of it is taken up by a dog house. The dog has enough room to stand in the open space, turn around and get back into the large house.

Why even bother having a dog? The dog is not your companion. The dog is not there for protection, locked up in this cage.

This got me to think about "free range chickens" or "free range eggs". I tried to do a bit of reading about this before posting here, but most websites are so biased. What I did learn, is that there is no standard when a company packages eggs as "free range". The size of the range is not regulated. It seems that most commercial poultry farms that are "free range" house thousands of birds in a large shed. Often this shed will have a small opening, to allow a few birds out to a pen a few at a time. Most "free range" birds never see the outside, as their life cycle is less than 90 days.

From my reading, I believe if you can find a local producer, the term "free range" has much more meaning.

I'm not trying to teach animal rights or anything, it just irritates me that people are buying "free range" eggs, where that term has no real meaning on the life of the chicken. Just like my neighbors "outside dog".


I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Such a cdonition is arppoiately cllaed Typoglycemia :)-

Amzanig huh? Yaeh and yuo awlyas thought slpeling was! ipmorantt.

I think what is important is a better education. What's more amazing: my ability to read garbage, or your inability to spell?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

New Idea, Old product

I went in to take a shower this morning. When I got into the tub, this is what I saw:

"Cari! Since when did shampoo start coming in a dish soap bottle?", I shouted out.
"It doesn't!", she yelled back in from the bedroom.
Hmm.. I didn't think so. That didn't seem to answer the question. Maybe I should be more direct.
"Why did you wash the dishes in the bathtub?", I asked.
"Why would I do that?", she answered as she entered the bathroom.
At this point I wasn't sure if I was supposed to use this on me or not. You can read this post I wrote about shampoo in our house, to refresh your memory.
"I'm not supposed to use this on me, am I?", I asked her nervously.
"No. That's for me.", she replied as if I should have known the whole time.
Of course. SHE will wash herself with dish soap, I should have known.
"Babe, we have thirty bottles of various soaps and shampoos you can use.", I assured her.
I got the look at that point. She explained that Dawn dish soap was supposed to take dye out of her hair. She was told by the hair stylist in town that only Dawn would work.

Now, I wonder what other magical powers Dawn possesses.