Friday, June 29, 2007

too much information.....

For some strange reason, people have always seemed to feel comfortable enough around me to share their thoughts and problems with me. I've had countless employees come to me over my 20+ years in business and unload both their personal and work problems on me. I don't mind it. I appreciate the fact that they do feel comfortable enough to share with me. But when it gets to that TMI (too much information) phase of the conversation, I wish I had a subtle way of saying "No, eww, stop, right now!"

I'm walking into work yesterday morning and got to the elevator door at the same time as another lady. The conversation was the standard, "Hey, what floor", "'mornin'", "it's almost the weekend" kind of stuff. Then I mentioned the weather. My mistake, apparently.

She said: "Yeah, it's gonna' be sooo hot out there today."

I said: "That's just summertime in the South."

She: "Oh, I know, but it's just so miserable."

I: "Yes, you're right."

She: "But you know I have noticed that the older I get the less the heat effects me. I'm at the age where I get hot flashes, so I guess I'm more used to the heat."

I: uncomfortable chuckle "Have a good day!" And with that I turned the corner and got on another elevator.

Batman has always been my favorite superhero, but at that moment I wished I had Superman's power to make the globe spin backwards and go back in time so that I could have avoided this little conversation. All I could have done with Batman's utility belt would have been to grab something like the Bat-arang and bop her on the head. Just a tad less subtle.

OK, ladies, take it from me - men neither want nor need to hear about your hot flashes. We've got plenty going on in our lives. Unless you're married to us, and we understand that just goes with the territory. Then again maybe it's just me.....

Thursday, June 28, 2007

hollywood love shore is different.....

I ran across this the other day.....

Angelina Jolie told Marie Claire magazine that she doesn't think she's ever seriously said "I love you" to Brad Pitt.

She said, "I don't think we've ever said (I love you). I mean, I'm sure we have, but we would have to punch each other in the arm first."

I guess it's true - having children can affect your love life.....

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

save your son's life, get a ticket.....

I heard this story on the John Boy & Billy show yesterday. The last line of the story leads me to believe that the game management supervisor from Georgia couldn't see the forest for the trees.....

Man kills 300-pound bear with a log

HELEN, Ga. (AP) — A 300-pound black bear raided a family's campsite, and the father saved his sons from harm by throwing a log at the beast, killing it with a single blow.

Chris Everhart and his three sons were camping in the Chattahoochee National Forest in northern Georgia when the encounter happened Saturday. The bear took the family's cooler and was heading back to the woods when the youngest son, 6-year-old Logan, hurled a shovel at it.

The bear then dropped the cooler and started coming at the boy, said his father. Fearing what might happen next, Everhart, an ex-Marine, grabbed the closest thing he could find — a log from their stash of firewood.

"(I) threw it at it and it happened to hit the bear in the head," Everhart said. "I thought it just knocked it out but it actually ended up killing the bear."

Everhart was given a ticket for failing to secure his camp site, said Ken Riddleberger, a region supervisor for game management with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

fed ex door tags obviously mean nothing.....

The bride called me at work Thursday afternoon. "Did you order something that was supposed to be delivered by Fed Ex?" I thought for a moment. "Yeah, I've got a movie coming but I didn't think he'd ship it with Fed Ex." She said that Fed Ex had tried to deliver a package but since no one was home they left a door tag and said we could either pick it up after 4:00 pm or they'd try to deliver it again on Friday.

When I got home that night I decided to track the package with the number on the door tag. It showed that it had been delivered. I called the 800 number. Yeah, it's been delivered. But the was address a couple of streets over. Huh? So I looked at the tracking screen a little closer. The package came from New Jersey and it weighed 8 pounds. My shipment is coming from Kentucky and shouldn't weigh more than a pound.

OK, evidently that wasn't my package. I posed the following question to the Fed Ex employee - "So why do I have a door tag saying they couldn't deliver a package to me that obviously wasn't my package to begin with?" Silence. Then an "uh......" followed by "um......", a "huh....." and "that's strange....." and finally "is there anything else Fed Ex can do for you today?"

I said "uh, no, I'm good" and hung up.....

Monday, June 25, 2007

coming soon to the nfl network.....

Press Release - June 25, 2007

Survivor. American Idol. The Real World. The Biggest Loser. All winners with other networks. Now the NFL Network is throwing its hat in the reality TV ring. Remember the movie "The Truman Show"? Truman's got nothing on the Network's latest series, "That Darn Pac".

Follow the beloved Adam Bernard "Pac Man" Jones as he is "wrongly accused" of everything from spitting in a woman's face to "being at the wrong strip club at the wrong time". Tag along with him and his posse as they visit a Mapco store in the wee hours of the morning and gunfire breaks out. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish some other team besides the Titans had drafted him.

Check local listings for viewing times in your area.....

Friday, June 22, 2007

you kids, stop having fun in your pool right now.....

Noise charge dismissed, kids' squeals OK


It's what kids do: squeal in delight when they're having fun.

But to some Long Island residents those squeals were unwelcome noise, and they wanted two neighborhood girls playing in a backyard pool to pipe down.
The complaints fell on deaf ears Wednesday night when Bayville's acting village justice dismissed a summons accusing the girls' parents, William and Rachel Poczatek, of violating a village noise ordinance.

"I think the village did the right thing," William Poczatek said.

Poczatek said he was shocked when he and his wife were slapped with a summons. Sure, he said, Ashley, 11, and 5-year-old Chloe make noise when they're outside enjoying their aboveground swimming pool.

"What, are you telling me that a kid can't make noise?" he protested. "It's not fair."

The Poczateks were cleared because the ordinance is usually reserved for "the shouting and crying of peddlers, hawkers and vendors, which disturbs the peace and quiet of the neighborhood," their attorney said.

"The statute didn't apply," insisted attorney Andrew Campanelli, who got no argument from the judge or prosecutor.

Before the hearing, neighbor Sheila Brown said the children's squeals were not your usual brand of merriment.

"I have five dogs," Brown said. "Five dogs don't make this much noise. This is not something that started yesterday. They have been asked politely, but this is an ongoing issue far beyond children just playing in the pool."

Neighbors did not speak with reporters after the court proceeding.

Poczatek offered a conciliatory message: "Yes, we will try to keep them quieter."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

ok, i've hit the countdown phase.....

Two weeks from this Saturday we head back to North Myrtle Beach. And I've started the countdown because I'm ready to be there now.

We're trying something different this year. We've done the beach thing with the Moffitts and we thoroughly enjoy it every year. This year we're letting Meg, Sara and Landon each take a friend. So instead of 8 people in the condo, there will be 11. Numbers don't scare me. Ratios scare me. Like the ratio 7:4. Scares the living daylights out of me. It's gotten to where any time I even see the numbers 7 and 4 even remotely close to each other I begin to tremble. I had to turn off the television Monday night while watching a baseball game because the pitcher's uniform number was 47. Yeah, it's that bad. So what's the deal with the ratio 7:4? It's the female-to-male ratio in the condo this year.

You have to know that I love my three girls, and Kathy and Kaitlyn, and the other two girls going are like daughters to me. But you should also understand that I know what a 3:1 ratio is like already. And while 7:4 is proportionately better than 3:1, 7 is still greater than 3.

Let's talk about another ratio that scares me more than midgets in low lighting - 5:1. That's the ratio of females to males in our van on the trip up and back. The trip back will be a little easier since we'll be breaking it up into two days. But the trip up is a one day, 620 mile jaunt. That's with me, the lovely bride, 2 17-year-old girls and 2 12-year-old girls. I must be out of my mind.

Chris e-mailed me the other day about sleeping arrangements in the condo for everyone. He said that one of the bedrooms had two twin beds and suggested that he and I take that room and relive our dorm room days from Cooper Hall at ETSU. I just might take him up on that.....

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

brace yourself.....

So today's the big day for Sara. Just after 9:30 this morning they'll start putting her braces on. She and the bride stocked up on ice cream and stuff like that last night.

Neither the bride nor I had to go through braces. None of our siblings did either. So why does it seem that almost all kids have to have them now? It's a racket, I tell you.
On an unrelated note, I played my first round of non-scramble golf after work yesterday. Shot an 86, but should have scored better. Started out birdie-birdie but triple-bogied the 9th and had a 40 on the front. Lost 5 balls on the back. That won't help your game.
I must be tired this morning. I'm always the first one in the office so I'm always the person who unlocks the front door and turns off the alarm system. So how do I know I'm tired? As I approached the front door this morning, I started to point my keychain fob at the door to unlock it rather than reaching for the front door key.....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

yeah, now, about that reward.....

WWAY-TV - Wilmington, NC

Lolita Bullock turned herself in to sheriff's deputies in Jacksonville, N.C., in May, confessing to robbing a Bank of America a week earlier. She then immediately requested the "crimestoppers" reward money, which (since she was then under arrest) she asked be given to her friend who accompanied her.

Monday, June 18, 2007

the hard life my children live, volume 2.....

Remember how Sara went to Key Largo last week on a field trip? Meg and a friend are in Destin this week. They went down with two families to help with their kids. Free week at the beach. Tough life.

I remember going to the beach with a cousin when I was about 11 or 12. I couldn't wait - a week at Myrtle Beach with my favorite cousin! There was one catch though. It was camping. In a pop-up camper. At the beach. Camping in a pop-up camper at the beach is alot like living inside a gas grill. Except the smell is worse.

Not that I'm jealous or anything.....

Friday, June 15, 2007

look and learn, boys.....

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my wife? If I haven't lately, let me mention now that I do.....

Thursday, June 14, 2007

and you thought this would taste good, huh.....

I had an uncle who used to say that even hogs won't eat cucumbers. I'm not sure if he did a scientific study on this or if he just observed this while growing up on the farm. Anyway, it's supposed to be true.

Pepsi is selling a new soft drink in Japan this summer called "Pepsi Ice Cucumber". According to Aya Takemoto, spokeswoman of Japan's Pepsi distributor, Suntory Limited, "We wanted a flavor that makes people think of keeping cool in the summer heat. "We thought the cucumber was just perfect."

Good luck with all that. And keep it in Japan, we're OK without it here.....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

if i ever had a son, this is something he'd probably end up doing.....

Reuters - 4/26/07
In April, a woman in Braintree, England, took her 2-1/2-year-old son to local firefighters to ask if they would remove the toilet seat that had become tightly stuck to his head.

No explanation was reported.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

thanks, rock.....

The bride and I watched "Rocky Balboa" Friday night. It was even one of her suggestions when we were in Blockbuster. So I ran to the counter with it before she changed her mind.

I'm a huge Rocky fan. My heart pumps faster whenever I hear the theme music. Yes, I understand that if the punches had been real, Rocky would have never made it through the first movie. But nowhere in the trailers does it say that it's a documentary. So I'm good with it.

While this installment wasn't the best of the 6 (I'd rank them in the following order: Rocky 2, Rocky, Rocky 3, Rocky Balboa, Rocky 4, then Rocky 5), it definitely had its moments. My favorite line of the movie was:

It's not about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

I'd say that's a pretty good way to stay sane in life. Who knew Sylvester Stallone was a philosopher.....

Monday, June 11, 2007

field trips, then and now.....

I remember my 6th grade end-of-the-year field trip. It was a picnic at Warriors Path State Park. We packed lunches and rode the bus there. And it was so much fun because Johnny, the "cool bus driver", drove the bus that day and played kick ball with us. Good times.

We took Sara to the airport yesterday morning around 4:30. There were 34 6th graders from FIS who were going on an end-of-the-year field trip to Key Largo to participate in something called MarineLab. They'll snorkle to see fish, coral reefs and other things. Sara called us yesterday evening and said she swam beside a barracuda.

Let's see - I played kick ball at the end of my 6th grade year; my daughter swam beside a barracuda. I think it's safe to say that things have changed quite a bit over the past 30 years.....

Friday, June 08, 2007

oh no you dih-unt.....

Sista Smiff tagged me for a meme. First of all, I didn't even know what a meme was. I surmised that it's eight things about me that most people don't know. Second, I wasn't really sure how to pronouce "meme". Is it supposed to have a French kind of lilt? Or is it more like "me-me"? I'm going with the second one.

So here goes.....

1. I used to sleepwalk. Alot. I once relieved myself on my dad's raincoat in the hall closet because I thought I was in the bathroom. I also poured water on the bride's head right after we got married, thinking I was watering a plant.

2. I've never visited a foreign country. However, the bride and I do plan to travel quite a bit after the girls get out of college.

3. My first concert was at Freedom Hall Civic Center in Johnson City - The Charlie Daniels Band.

4. For some reason, I like me some clocks. I've got 5 here in my office. Add my two computers, my Dell Axim, and my watch, and I've got 9 different places to turn for the current time of day. Not that any of them ever have the same time.

5. "Me-Me" is a character I developed for story time with the girls. It's not copywritten or anything, so all you have to do is use your thumb and forefinger (like a puppet) and say "me-me" over and over. Yeah, I'm a genius.

6. My personality type is ENTJ.

7. I got to meet the Harlem Globetrotters when I was 6. Dad arranged for me to ride on the team bus from their hotel to the arena, and I sat next to Meadowlark Lemon. He gave me an autographed mini basketball. Then he passed around an official size basketball and had ALL of the Globetrotters sign it. Curley Neal, Geese Ausbie, Marcus Haynes. All of them. The next day I played with it in the rain and all the autographs were gone.

8. My lowest golf round is 80. Twice.

There you go.....

Thursday, June 07, 2007


This is a picture of me as a got out of bed this morning and argued with my body that it was 5:15 AM and NOT 3:15 AM.....

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

what's in your wallet.....

After meetings yesterday afternoon, Dad and I did our own unofficial casino/hotel tour on the Las Vegas strip. We went from Caesar's Palace to the Bellagio to Bally's to Planet Hollywood to Paris to New York/New York to Excalibur past the Luxor to Mandalay Bay to MGM, back to Paris and Caesar's Palace. We had to have walked over 5 miles.

We ate at Le Cafe St. Louis in Paris. Good NY strip, fair service. (Note - if you order iced tea, when the waiter brings it to you and it looks really dark, taste it first. Don't just assume that it's dark tea. Could be Pepsi. And you don't want to taste Pepsi with Sweet 'n Low and lemon.) The waitress brought our checks and we paid. I remember there being 5 receipts for some reason. I also remember putting 4 of them in my wallet.

So I go back to the room and start packing. I decided to get my receipts together and began to do an expense report. When I opened my wallet to get my receipts, I noticed my corporate card was missing. I panicked. I NEVER do that kind of thing. Turns out I do every now and then. I called Paris, talked to someone at the restaurant and they forwarded me to their lost and found. No one had turned it in. I think I must have left it in the little folder with my signed receipt. So I called the credit card company, reported the card lost and ordered a replacement. Could've been alot worse.

A couple of things about the trip in general. If you come to Vegas and don't plan to do any roaming on your own away from the strip, don't rent a car. Too much of a hassle. If you have to have a car, don't rent from Hertz. (Hertz is German for "we charge you twice as much as the other guys, our employees are snotty, and we have the longest lines.") Also, American Airlines does not have a grasp on the concept of being on time. Southwest will get my business from now on whenever possible. Kudos to the Las Vegas airport for their free wireless internet. Other airports should do the same.

My flight into O'Hare has been delayed by 50 minutes. Imagine that. Here's hoping I make my connecting flight.....

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

presentation of happyness.....

I've been to alot of conferences over the past 20+ years. I've had the privilege of hearing several "famous" people speak. Today's first speaker impressed me more than anyone I've ever heard.

Chris Gardner is the gentleman that Will Smith portrayed in the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness". This guy is unbelievable. But what makes him so spectacular isn't the fact that he brought himself up from the streets to living the life of a millionaire. It's more in how he defines himself. He believes his greatest accomplishment is that he was and is a successful father.

Nice to see someone famous define success on his own terms.....

Monday, June 04, 2007

yo, boss, we hit da' wrong room.....

I've seen way too many Vegas/mob movies.

In an attempt to adjust to another time zone, I decided to stay up past 11 pm Saturday night. I have a hard time sleeping away from home, and I usually adjust to my new settings by my last night on the road. My body thought it was after 1 am Sunday morning, but I wanted to make sure I was good and tired when I went to bed. Mission accomplished, I was wiped out.

I was awakened at 12:11 am by knocking. I thought someone was knocking on the door of the room next to mine, so I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. Again with the knocking. This time I realized it was my door that was being knocked on. So I figured I'd go to the door and look through the peephole.

The bride will attest to the fact that I don't wake up very easily in the middle of the night. I tried reaching for my glasses and realized half-way to the door that I'd actually grabbed my cell phone holster. I go back to the bedside table to get my glasses and the knocking had stopped. I got back in bed, the knocking started up again. This time, after the knocking ceased, the door started opening.

This was when my brain started going into overdrive. A hit man has gone to the wrong room, I'm about to get a bullet to the temple, I'm going to be beaten up over debts that aren't mine, etc. So as the door opens I say, "could I help you?" and then I hear, "housekeeping!", to which I reply "NO!!!!!" and the door closed.

I learned how to work the deadbolt Sunday night.....

Sunday, June 03, 2007

of outhouses and memories.....

Saturday, June 2 - 1:45 pm

I remember going to my grandparent’s farm in Rogersville when I was growing up. It was out in the country, not a lot to do. A place that, as a kid, I had a hard time visiting because there was so little to do. Fast forward 30 years and it’s the kind of place I actually would love to visit to allow me someplace to go where there is very little to do. A place without everyday distractions.

The one thing I dreaded the most about visiting the farm was the lack of indoor plumbing. Don’t get me wrong, I was like any young boy - peeing outdoors was a treat. It’s just how we’re wired. But if the situation called for a more involved relief session, that was troubling. Such situations would require a visit to the outhouse. Summertime was the worst. Not only were there snakes to watch out for, but the heat was next to intolerable. You didn’t do a lot of reading of the catalogs stacked along beside the, uh, receptacle. You took care of business, held your breath for as long as you could, then fled the scene.

You may be wondering what caused me to think about outhouses. I’m sitting here in the Dallas airport on my way to Las Vegas for a conference. Before boarding my plane to Dallas, I ducked into the men’s room beside of gate C5 in the Nashville airport. The bathroom beside C5 is worse than an outhouse in Rogersville on a sunny day in August.

Funny how memories get triggered sometimes…..

Friday, June 01, 2007

you can't say that word.....

fulcrum - the support or point of support on which a lever turns in raising or moving something

I'm not sure what made me think of this, but I have a friend who used to use the word "fulcrum" to substitute for cursing. He'd hit his thumb with a hammer and say "fulcrum". That kind of thing. Somewhere along the way of almost 20 years of marriage, he had convinced his wife that "fulcrum" was an actual curse word.

So one day our two families were together at either our house or their house, and we had to move a piece of furniture. We were having a hard time with it, so I suggested we get a board and use it as a fulcrum. My friend's wife looked at me and said, "I can't believe you just said that!!!!"

My friend was upset with me for educating his wife on the true definition of a fulcrum.....