Tuesday, July 31, 2007

proof that there are rednecks in japan.....

New York Times - 6/25/07

International restrictions on tuna fishing have created a shortage in Japan's sushi restaurants so dire that chefs are considering substitutes such as sushi prepared with raw horse or deer meat. While that would outrage many Japanese diners, some restaurateurs believe the plan feasible, according to a June New York Times dispatch from Tokyo. Said one: "We tasted it, and horse sushi was pretty good. It was soft, easy to bite off, had no smell."

Monday, July 30, 2007

a delicate aroma of grapefruit and gasoline.....

While we were on vacation we did some shopping at an outlet mall. We went in the Polo outlet and I smelled a couple of different colognes. I liked both the Polo Blue and the Polo Black, but I sprayed some of the Blue on me and the bride loved it. (Honestly, it was like feeding time at the lion's cage and I was the sirloin. But enough of that.)

The bride didn't know what to get me for my birthday, so I thought I'd order some cologne off of e-bay. But I'd forgotten which of the colognes I liked. I thought it was the Black, so I ordered it. I went by Dillards after ordering it to confirm that I liked it. Turns out I liked the Blue better, but the Black was going to be just fine.

I got the Polo Black in the mail. I sprayed it. I smelled gasoline. I thought that maybe it just needed time to set. 4 hours later, it still smelled like gasoline. I got a little sick to my stomach from the smell. The next day I e-mailed the seller and told him that I wanted my money back. The refund is due any day now.

So if you're looking for a special fragrance that has the aroma of grapefruit with a hint of petroleum, have I got a source for you.....

Friday, July 27, 2007

guys like this ruin it for the rest of us.....

Let's say you're a guy who's in love. Let's say you propose to your girlfriend by doing something creative like, oh I don't know, ordering dessert and the ring's on top of the cake. Or you surprise her at work with roses and a proposal. Or you even propose via the jumbotron during a football game. Creative, right? Yeah, I thought so too until I saw this.....

It's simple to do. All you have to do is own a plane, take your fiance-to-be up for a flight around the city, and mow the words into a field.....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

i've got to admit, this was pretty cool.....

A day or two after we got back from vacation, I received the following e-mail:

Hi there,

This is sort of weird to post on your blog -- I realize that. :) But I'm a journalist for MSNBC.com, and I think you might be the perfect person to interview for a story I'm working on.

The story's about the idea of TMI -- how we seem to be more inclined than ever to overshare the personal details of our lives to friends, colleagues or even strangers. Your description about the Hot Flash Lady was so hilarious!

I'd love to chat with you over the phone about this, and hear your perspective about oversharing. If you're interested, shoot me an e-mail at melissa.dahl@msnbc.com and let me know when you're available. (It'll only take 10-15 minutes, and it's sure to be a fun conversation.)

Thanks so much,

Melissa Dahl
Health writer/editor, MSNBC.com

I had to read it a few times and go over in my head who might be pulling a gag on me. Then I replied to her e-mail and gave her my phone number. A few days later she called and we did about a 10-minute interview.

Earlier this week I got a voice message from a friend who said they'd seen an article on MSNBC's web site with my name in it. Then Dad said one of his employees saw the article and wondered if the person mentioned in it was me.

This was pretty cool.....

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

bonds will never be the home run king.....

I grew up an Atlanta Braves fan. Mainly because they were the closest major league team to my home town. And they had their rookie league there in Kingsport at the time. I remember Dad taking me to see them play. I don't remember alot of the names back then, but I do remember seeing a very young Dale Murphy try to catch for them. He was awful behind the plate. Murphy was later moved to center field and had a great career in Atlanta.

I remember the 1974 Atlanta team, at least some of them. Phil Neikro was the knuckle-balling ace. Ralph Garr, Dusty Baker and Hank Aaron were in the outfield. Darrell Evans played 3rd, Davey Johnson was at 2nd, and Johnny Oates was the catcher.

I remember all the hype during Hank Aaron's chase to break Babe Ruth's home run record. He fell one home run short in the 1973 season, so much was made of his debut at the beginning of the '74 season. He tied Ruth at 714 on April 4 off of Jack Billingham of the Reds. For some reason we were out of school that day and I was thrilled because I got to see it live. A few days later, April 8, he hit #715 off of the Dodgers' Al Downing.

I wasn't quite 10 years old so I had no idea people were sending Hank hate mail because of his color. All I knew was that a player from my favorite team was going to break the greatest record in all of sports. What did I care about his skin color?

I'm sure Barry Bonds receives hate mail these days, but I doubt that it has anything to do with the color of his skin. Maybe it's because of the steroids issue. Maybe it's because he's about to break a hallowed record. Or maybe it's because he's perceived to be such a huge jerk. I'd have to go with the latter.

I really loved baseball back then. Athletes performed but didn't need to draw attention to themselves. They let their play on the field do the talking. And they played without the aid of "enhancements".

Bonds may end his career with more home runs than anyone else. But there will always be an asterisk beside whatever number he ends up posting.....

this could be the 9th wonder of the world.....

Last night after a wonderful home-grilled steak birthday dinner, the bride and our girls took me out for dessert. I had no idea where we were going, but we ended up at Krispy Kreme. Yep, the doughnut place. Sure, I could eat doughnuts for dessert any day. But the KK now has a new creation - the doughnut sundae.

I'll have to admit that many times I've eaten a cinnamon apple filled doughnut and remarked to the bride how good it would be with ice cream. And she'd laugh at me. Now look who's laughing!

I wholeheartedly endorse this wonderful new creation, and I'd recommend the cinnamon apple filled with vanilla ice cream, topped with caramel and nuts. Somebody give me a pin, I need to be popped.....

Monday, July 23, 2007

another way to tell you're getting old.....

A couple of weeks ago I went into our kitchen, just getting back from a 3-mile walk. I use the bride's Shuffle to keep me going on my walks, and I started singing a song I'd just heard:

Everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind
She's on your mind

Sara was sitting at the kitchen table. She gave me a puzzled look and said incredulously, "You know The Fray?????"

It was the same kind of look one might give a squirrel that sidled up along side of them and began reciting the Preamble.
Ah, kids.....

Friday, July 20, 2007

drive-up etiquette....

Seems that something unusual happens to me every time I go to the Wendy's on White Bridge Road. First an old crazy lady sings to me. Then this.

I went through the drive-up, seeing as how there were only 2 cars in line. (Well, for that reason and the fact that I didn't feel like taking the chance of having an old crazy lady sing to me.) The lady in front of me placed her order then drove around to the window. I placed my order and drove in behind her. I sat and waited. And waited. I saw that the lady in front of me was talking to the guy at the window. Shaking her head. I could tell that something wasn't right because I'm ridiculously brilliant. (It's a gift.) So I rolled my window down to listen. Apparently the lady changed her mind from the time she placed her order to the time she drove forward 47 feet to the window. I remember seeing her original order on the screen and it was something like $15. I heard the lady say, "But I CHANGED MAH MIND! All I want now is FRAHS and a FRAW-STAY!!!!!" (For those of you not from the South, allow me to translate: "frahs and a fraw-stay" means "fries and a Frosty".)
For future reference, here's the correct sequence for placing an oder at a drive-up window: order, drive to window, pay, get your food, then leave. Once you lock in your order and drive around to pick it up, you're obligated to buy it. Period.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

ofit, the soothsayer.....

I predict that Michael Vick will never get endorsement deals from PetSmart, PETA, or Petco.....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

hard to believe alchohol was involved.....

Kentucky Enquirer - 5/18/07

Andres Vasquez, 20, of Verona, Ky., initially told the 911 operator in May that someone had "thrown" his truck on top of him, but he finally admitted he was drunk, had had a one-vehicle accident, was trapped upside-down and was in dire pain, fading in and out for over two hours to the dispatcher. The operators pleaded the entire time for Vasquez to just say where he was so that they could send a rescue party, but, as the Kentucky Enquirer put it, "When repeatedly asked his location, (Vasquez's) answer was always the same: 'I'm under the (blank) truck.'" (He finally gave a clue and was rescued.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

from 43 to 9 in 2.6 seconds.....

I can be walking down the hall here at work, minding my own business. Then someone comes from a side hallway. They're now in front of me. And their shoes start making a farting noise each time they step. I'll be 43 next week, but at that moment I turn into a 9-year-old boy. Maybe not on the outside, but on the inside I'm howling. What makes it even funnier is when the person knows their shoe is making that noise and they try to walk a little differently to make it stop. That usually just makes it worse.

Some guys just never completely grow up. I guess I'm one of them.....

Saturday, July 14, 2007

things i learned on vacation.....

The week at North Myrtle Beach went by much too fast. A good time was had by all. I survived the car trip to and from the beach with five females, and they survived the car trip with me and my rants about/in traffic.

Here's some stuff I learned while on vacation:

* Never try to get on the interstate behind an elderly man delivering two pallets of cinderblocks in his 1960-something pickup. He's in no hurry to do the speed limit, he can really screw up traffic, and he can almost get you killed.

* When trying to swim out to where the waves are breaking in the ocean, it's best to just face them head on and dive into them rather than to try and dodge them. There's a life metaphor in there somewhere.

* Family picture time at the beach can be more stressful than a prostate exam.

* Always take a watch when walking on the beach. If you don't, you can walk for 6 miles on the first day and your feet will be really raw the rest of the week.

* It doesn't matter how much food and snack stuff you lug for 640 miles in your van that's supposed to last the whole week, you're still going to have to make an average of 5.7 trips to Wal Mart and/or the grocery store while you're there.

* Seinfeld episodes are better when viewed with close friends.

* Broadway at the Beach is the most crowded place in the world during the summer months. It's like walking through a flabby-armed spanking machine.

* Black squirrels at the golf courses on the Grand Strand can actually lift 20 ounce styrofoam cups of iced tea up out of a golf cart.

* Husbands and wives can sometimes have different definitions of what's bad and what's not so bad. Especially at Steak 'n Shake.

OK, so vacation's over. Now I'm ready for college football season.....

Friday, July 06, 2007

let the countdown commence.....

I'm ready. So very ready. Vacation begins for me this morning. I'm leaving the office at 10:30 and I won't be back until the 16th. I won't be wearing a watch for over a week. No pants, dress shirts, dress shoes, ties and the like. Shaving is optional. Not for the bride, but for me. Glad I don't have to shave my legs, but I'm glad she does.

If you see a man in his 40's on I-40, I-26, I-20 or I-95 tomorrow, riding with 5 women, banging his head on the window, say a silent prayer for him. Or say a really loud prayer so he can hear you. It will be much appreciated.....

Thursday, July 05, 2007

itunes 30-some years ago.....

I was talking with Sara a couple of weeks ago in the car about the way listening to music has changed in my lifetime. It's gone from albums and 45s, to 8-tracks, to cassettes, to CDs, to digital - all in the span of about 40 years. She acted interested in the conversation, but I know behind those eyes was a "so?" thought or two.

I mentioned how I wasn't able to take my music with me and listen to it in the car when we went on vacation in the late-'60s and early '70s. Where would you put a turntable in a car, and how would you keep the tonearm still? Now the girls just download their music, transfer it to their iPods and listen on the fly. And when they want to torture me with Justin Timberlake or Hanna Montana, they just plug in the adapter and listen to it through the van's sound system.

I, of course, didn't have iTunes growing up. But none of us did, so it wasn't like I thought I was missing anything. I had my own version of iTunes. I had a Sanyo 15 watt receiver and a Realistic (Radio Shack) cassette tape deck in my room. I bought these, along with some Pioneer speakers , with money earned from my paper route. And Santa brought me a BSR turntable for Christmas. Because I'd spent all my money on this unbelieveably expensive sound system (seems like my part was just over $300 for all of it), I didn't have alot of discretionary income to purchase albums, 45's and cassettes. So I'd listen to 101.5 WQUT and wait for the DJ to announce the next song. If it was a song I liked, I'd hit the "record" button on my cassette deck just in time and catch the whole song. On Saturday nights the station would play the latest albums in their entirety without commercial interruptions. That was like striking gold for me because a blank cassette cost me $3 and the album would usually run around $12-15.

See? I was even cheap when I was a teenager.....

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

gotta' get me one of them thar' iphones.....

Dear Mr. Jobs,

Please allow this letter to serve as an order for 3 of your new iPhones. Our entire family has been marvelling at the commercials for this wonderful device and we simply can't wait any longer. You know what? Just make it 4 phones. Sara's 12 and it makes alot of sense to go ahead and spend another $600 for her first phone.

As for all those negative reviews that have surfaced over the first 72 hours since its release? Please. More people just need to watch the commercial and trust with blind faith that this is the greatest thing ever created.

By the way, great idea hooking up with AT&T for exclusive carrier rights! We hated the horrible service, the rude customer service reps and outrageous extra fees they charged us before, but surely that's all improved since we left them. And what's a few dropped calls? I'd rather have a cool phone and drop calls than to have an uncool phone (i.e. - Mr. Razr, 2006 is calling) and have clear reception.

I've heard that alot of people are complaining about the small hard drive space on the new iPhone. (I actually heard someone say they'd rather buy a 30 gig iPod Video and keep his current phone than to shell out $600 for the first iPhone. Can you believe the bass-ackward thinking of some people?) But I'm sure you'll come out with larger drives on the next release. What'll that be, like, 6 months from now? Then all of us who bought the first iPhones will gladly come back and pay for the new model, even if it costs $1,000. It's just money. And these days, if you don't have an excess of money, there must be something wrong with you. Am I right?

So let's total things up:

4 iPhones - $2,400
4 wireless plans - $320/month (that's 2 @ $60 a month for the bride and me, and 2 @ $100 per month for the girls - they'll need unlimited text messaging and 900 minutes instead of just 450)

Cancel 3 wireless plans - $525

Activation fees - $144

Grand total up front - $3,389

That may sound like alot of money, but when you consider it's less than Sara's braces it's really not that bad at all. Besides, there's a price to pay to stay on the cutting edge of technology. And kids need more of that and less money deposited into their college savings funds. Don't you agree? Plus, my lovely wife and I are always tripping over the stacks of cash we have lying all over the house. So while were updating our wireless service (and thereby making our lives more complete) we're actually cleaning our house. Two birds, meet one stone.

Less than sincerely,


Monday, July 02, 2007

at seventeen.....

I feel like Billy Crystal's mom in the movie City Slickers. Seventeen years. 204 months. 6,205 days. That's how old Meg is today.

I remember taking pictures of the bride on the front porch of our first house the morning we went to the hospital. Side view, of course, to show the pregnant belly. About 8 hours later we had our very first child.

The bride and I are proud of the young lady Meg's becoming. Happy birthday, babe!