Tuesday, October 30, 2007

how to lose 5 pounds in less than 24 hours.....

I started running and eating better a couple of months ago to lose some weight. The first 15 pounds took 7 weeks. The last 5 pounds took a little less than a day.

Meg and I had the opportunity to go to the UT/South Carolina game in Knoxville this past Saturday with Chris and Landon. We decided to eat at a restaurant on The Strip. I won't mention the name of the restaurant. But its name rhymes with Willy's. We all ate dinner and went off to the Vol Walk, did some shopping at the main bookstore, then went into the stadium about 30 minutes before kickoff.

The first half was great. Although the offense never seemed to really get on track, the defense stepped up out. About the second quarter, I knew something wasn't right with my stomach. The first half ended, we were up by 21, and life was good. Except for my stomach.

The second half saw South Carolina score 24 unanswered points. Add that frustration to my stomach. Still a-churning. We tied it up with just a few seconds left in regulation. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it. Thankfully the game just lasted 1 overtime and we won.

Going up the steps out of Section O, I knew something wasn't right. We made it into the tunnel and I started sweating. About 20 feet from Gate 9, I stepped on Meg's flip flop and she had to go back and get it. Within 5 seconds I found a graveled area and, uh, "decorated" the area. My first thought was that people would think I'm drunk and got sick. Not true, just for the record.

Thankfully we were spending the night with Mom and Dad, so the drive to their house was only about 90 minutes. I only had to stop once on the way. The next day, Meg acted very mature and drove most of the way home. When I got home, I weighed myself just for fun. Down 5 pounds.

So the secret to fast weight loss? Food poisoning.....

Friday, October 26, 2007

vendor relations.....

I know a lady who said she kept getting phone messages from a salesperson. She ignored them because she had no need for the service the company was selling. One day she answered her phone and it was this salesperson. The salesperson, in an almost harsh tone, said, "I've left you several messages. Why haven't you called me back?" My friend told her that she didn't have a need for the service her company sold. The salesperson said, "Well then why didn't you at least call me back?" My friend explained it this way:

Friend - "Do you get junk mail at home?"

Salesperson - "Sure, all the time."

F - "Do you respond to all of it?"

S - "No, never."

F - "Well, there you go."

S - {gasp} - {click}

I do the same thing. If a possible vendor calls me and I'm not interested, I rarely call them back. There's an ad specialty company out of Memphis that drives me crazy. They call, I tell them nicely that I'm not interested and that I am satisfied with my current supplier. They don't care, they just have to tell me about the latest and greatest giant paperclip that "all the other companies are buying". I've asked to be taken off their call list, they assure me they won't call again, and then in two weeks they're right back at it again. I won't do business with companies like that.

I'm pretty good with remembering numbers, so my caller ID display helps me. I had a company call me 7 times yesterday. They left a message twice. (I was in meetings most of the day, so I checked my call log when I got back in the office.) When I did talk to them late in the day, I politely told the salesman that I wasn't interested. He persisted. Again I told him I wasn't interested and thanked him for calling.

He told me to have a nice day but I don't think he really meant it.....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

the one about zuka from dell.....


Let me start out by saying I'm not very proud of the story you're about to read. But it's good public service because at the end you'll be able to feel better about yourself. How's that? Because you'll know that you're a much better and more mature person and I.
If you've read my blog before, you know that I love University of Tennessee football. With a passion. I love Saturdays in the fall because I know I'll get to see about 10 UT football games on television a year. Plus I get to go to Neyland Stadium about once a year to see the Vols in action. I tend to buy orange things, from shirts to boxers and toothbrushes. I love me some Tennessee football. But sometimes my passion for the game can get out of hand.

I especially love the third Saturday in October. UT and Alabama. The history. The rivalry. All that stuff. Although I was disappointed that CBS had chosen not to air the game at 2:30, part of me was glad it was an 11:30 game so that I wouldn't have to wait as long to see the game.

It started with the onside kick and our front line not being ready. Then the poor kick-off coverage. Then the "Swiss cheese" defense - too many holes. Finally, at the end of the first half, we'd pulled to within 7. I still felt pretty good about our chances in the second half, despite all that had gone wrong up to that point.

I'd brought my notebook computer home for the weekend to work on some job descriptions and the 2008 budget. At the end of the first half I thought of something that needed to be added to the budget so I got my notebook and did about 2 minutes worth of work. The phone rang so I picked up the remote, hit the mute button, stood up from my recliner, put the computer in the recliner, and went searching for the phone. After hanging up, I went into the kitchen and fixed some lunch. I watched the halftime show as I ate.

The second half started and I was still in the kitchen. I cleaned up my dishes and went into the den to continue watching the game in there. The television was still muted so I picked up the remote and hit the mute button.

(Let me pause here to say that I keep remote controls out of my hand during UT football games. For a very good reason. I've been known to "lose my grip" on a remote control or two in my lifetime during a controversial call. So I always keep it in reach, but never in my hand.)

Just after hitting the mute button, Ainge threw the ball to a receiver running a post pattern. The Alabama defensive back made a great play on the ball and intercepted the pass. Now remember, I have a remote in my hand and I'm not supposed to. Without thinking, I slung the remote into the recliner. The cushion of the recliner was supposed to soften the blow and prevent it from going anywhere. The problem was that it didn't hit the cushion. I'd forgotten that I'd left the computer in my chair. Open.

The remote struck the LCD screen. The screen went blank. All the blood drained from my face. I hit key after key. Nothing. I could tell that it was on, but there was no video. I was suddenly sick at my stomach.

After a few minutes of calling myself every imaginable name I could think of, I got on the phone with Dell. Randall was helpful but informed me that I didn't have the "complete care" service. He transferred me to the parts department. That's when I began my very frustrating talk with Zuka. I had a hard time understanding her. I had her repeat about half of everything she said. I've got a pretty good feeling she wasn't sitting at a desk in Austin, Texas.

I spent about 30 minutes of going back and forth with Zuka, but I finally got the new LCD screen ordered. I swapped out the new screen for the old one myself Tuesday night, and the job took about 45 minutes. I could have had Dell send a technician out to do the repair, but the price more than doubled when the tech got involved.

To make matters worse, I orginally told the bride that it was a complete accident and I didn't actually throw the remote out of anger but rather went to pick it up, lost my grip and it hit the screen as I tried to regain a good hold on the remote. Later that night at supper I confessed that I'd actually lost my temper and thrown it. Of course her comment of "Do we need some anger management training" didn't help that much. But to be honest, I'd already beaten myself up more than she or anyone else could have by that point.

I want to say that I've learned my lesson. I really do. And I think I have. Expensive mistakes tend to wake me up.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, the remote doesn't work any more either.....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a little time to be a proud dad.....

While driving into work the other day, I started thinking about how proud I am of our daughters. Sure, the bride and I have issues with them from time to time, from toothbrushing reminders to curfews, but for the most part they make being a parent pretty easy. (I reserve the right to change my mind on that as often as I want.)

I don't want to sound like one of those "my kid's better than your kid" kind of parents. I remember while growing up being exposed to parents like that and they're just no fun to be around. Besides, after a while you start rooting for the kid to mess up so you can sit back and say, "well, well, well, look who isn't so perfect after all". But I read something from a blog called "Dad Gone Mad" the other day that just sort of encapsulated my feelings. He said: "When I start talking or writing about my kids, logic and restraint get trampled under a stampede of gush. I find so much to love and applaud about them that my mind develops a mind of its own. I suppose I used to feel as though that isn't OK -- that bragging too much about one's kids is off-putting and a recipe for making the listener tune out." So with that in mind, here goes.

Meg's having a really good senior year. She's Senior Editor of the yearbook and enjoying most everything about it. She said something to the bride and me the other night that really impressed me. She was talking about an issue she had with a couple of other yearbook staff and said something like, "Well, I guess I can't be both editor and friend at the same time." That's pretty mature. Over my career there have been times when I've wished supervisors who reported to me would understand this.

Sara tried out for the Freedom Middle School softball team this past Saturday. There were 22 girls who tried out and only 13 were supposed to make it. After tryouts she told me that she had a hard time with her hitting, and she seemed pretty down about it. She came home from school Monday crying. She slammed the door as she came in and cried, "Mom I didn't make it!" The bride came running in to console her and Sara was grinning from ear to ear. She'd been one of the ten who made the team.

OK, stampede of gush over.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

a bit past ridiculous.....

You may have already seen this, but I heard about it on the radio this morning and couldn't believe it. It seems that once again someone's going way overboard trying to be politcally correct.

2nd-grader suspended for drawing of gun
Sat Oct 20, 4:41 PM ET

DENNIS TOWNSHIP, N.J. - A second-grader's drawing of a stick figure shooting a gun earned him a one-day school suspension.

Kyle Walker, 7, was suspended last week for violating Dennis Township Primary School's zero-tolerance policy on guns, the boy's mother, Shirley McDevitt, told The Press of Atlantic City.

Kyle gave the picture to another child on the school bus, and that child's parents complained about it to school officials, McDevitt said. Her son told her the drawing was of a water gun, she said.

A photocopy of the picture provided by McDevitt showed two stick figures with one pointing a crude-looking gun at the other, the newspaper said. What appeared to be the word "me" was written above the shooter, with another name scribbled above the other figure.

School officials declined to comment Friday. A message left at the superintendent's office Saturday was not returned.

Kyle drew other pictures, including a skateboarder, King Tut, a ghost, a tree and a Cyclops, the newspaper reported.

Monday, October 22, 2007

john parker wilson for heisman.....

That's pretty much what the Tennessee defense said on Saturday. They said that JPW was one of the top college quarterbacks in the nation. He carved them up like a Thanksgiving turkey. And Tennessee got beat like they stole something. Pitiful. Embarrassing.

I watched the first half and felt like they had a chance to win in the second half. But after Ainge's interception in the third quarter, I pretty much lost interest. Actually I spent most of the second half on the phone with Zuka from Dell, but that's a story I don't feel like telling yet. Maybe later on in the week.

At least the Titans pulled one out on Suday. Rob Bironas hit his record-breaking 8th field goal with no time left on the clock to beat the Texans. No way the Texans should have scored 29 in the 4th, but at least the Titans found a way to win.

Meg and I are going to the UT/South Carolina game on Saturday thanks to Chris. I sure do hope we come away with a win.....

Friday, October 19, 2007

still a big game for me.....

A year ago this weekend, Sara and I had the opportunity to attend the UT/Bama game at Neyland Stadium. It was a huge thrill for me. Because even though Florida is now the modern day rival for Tennessee, the Bama game is still the big rivalry game to me.

Many are predicting a high scoring game on Saturday. I think it will be a typical "grind it out" kind of day, with a score like 21-17 or something like it. Probably less than 45 points will be scored.

Kick-off is less than 29 hours away.....

Thursday, October 18, 2007

you wasn't s'posed to see that.....

Sun Herald, Gulfport, Mississippi - 9/6/07

In September in Escatawpa, Miss., Curtiss Coleman, 53, attempting to dial 411 directory assistance, mistakenly dialed 911, though he immediately hung up. However, police routinely investigate dropped-911 calls and discovered Coleman's methamphetamine lab.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

there oughta' be a law.....

Drive through windows were meant for convenience and speed. Most people who use drive throughs, especially during their lunch hour, are on a tight schedule. Some, like me, like to run errands during lunch, so drive through windows allow them to pick up their food and eat on the run.

I think there ought to be a law that prevents someone from going through the drive through and placing multiple/separate orders. These are the people who cause drive through lines to be so long. You want to be nice and pick up lunch for your co-workers while you're out? That's fine, but you need to either go inside to do the separate orders or you need to order it all at once and settle up on the money once you get back to the office.

There, I feel better.....

why i oughta'.....

San Diego Union Tribune - 9/26/07

In September, prominent California cardiologist Maurice Buchbinder had his privileges revoked at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla after he allegedly roughed up an unruly angioplasty patient during and immediately after the procedure. Buchbinder was so irritated by the patient's combativeness that he even (according to witnesses interviewed by state medical licensing officials) delivered a pair of what could be described as "Three Stooges" moves: bopping the patient in the head with the tip of his elbow and twisting the patient's nose until it turned "bluish."

Monday, October 15, 2007

things i learned on my 4-day weekend.....

Driving 450 miles to meet our newest family member was well worth the drive. She's beautiful.

Driving on the beach is very cool. Mark let us borrow his Cherokee and we were able to drive it right onto the beach. It's great to be able to pop the hatch and simply get your beach gear out right where you need it.

If I ever win the lottery, I may have to buy a place in Seaside. Didn't know how I'd like the area before going, but we all fell in love with the town and that whole stretch of the beach on 30-A. I'm ready to go back.

Thursday interstate traffic is much better than Sunday afternoon interstate traffic.

If you ever see a sign on the door of a restaurant warning you that they're short-staffed and the wait may be longer than normal, believe the sign. With that in mind, avoid the Steak and Shake in Prattville, Alabama. For that matter, avoid exit 179 in Prattville altogether. With the exception of the Chick-fil-A, the restaurants and gas stations are pretty messed up.

Back to reality.....

Saturday, October 13, 2007

grayton beach and watercolor, day 2.....

Started off with breakfast at Another Broken Egg Cafe at Baytown Wharf. I had the bananas foster french toast. It melted the fillings in my teeth, but it was probably the best french toast I've ever had. Did a lot of shopping during the day and spent a little time on the beach. We plan to get in more beach time this afternoon. Here's a few shots from yesterday.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

if this power could only be harnessed and used for good.....

Women can make men do strange things. Things men wouldn't normally do. They have an unbelievable amount of power. Like the power to cause you to drive 450 miles just to see them. I'm doing that tomorrow.

The tribe and I are heading to Destin for a few days during fall break. And it's all because of a woman. Well, actually she's just a baby now. But she'll be a woman one day. And one day she'll probably make some other guy drive some crazy amount of distance just to see her.

We're all looking forward to seeing Helena on Thursday.....

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

one of the least competent criminals

Miami Herald - 6/20/07

According to the Internet security firm CardCops Inc., online credit-card hacking brokers appear to have stolen the identity of a "Herman Munster," whose "personal data" appeared in chat rooms frequented by such thieves. CardCops told reporters in June that in all likelihood, an international hacker, preparing a list of accounts to sell to identity thieves, and unfamiliar with the 1960s TV show "The Munsters," probably fell for a bogus MasterCard application under Herman's name and TV address, 1313 Mocking Bird Lane.

Monday, October 08, 2007

if you're keeping score, ofit 1, bama fan 0.....

Where had Tennessee's defense and running game been before Saturday? Wow! Impressive win! Great day for football and upsets. I did a lot of yelling during the game, but it was 99% positive. My only compaint with the refs was the interference call against Johnson on the interception in the endzone. What the Georgia receiver did to Johnson on that play is considered a felony in 48 states.

I think what helped most was my attire for the day. For the first time this season I wore both my orange boxers AND my Ainge jersey together. Pure magic.

For me, the best part of the win came after the game. The bride has had alergies the past few days and just felt rotten. I went to Cracker Barrel for some comfort food right after the game ended. While I was waiting for our order to be brought up front, I stood about 10 feet from the registers. And I'm still wearing my jersey.
A rather greasy looking gentleman with a bandana on his head and a pony tail started to walk by me and said "Roll Tide" with a sneer on his face. Without missing a beat, I said, "How 'bout them Dawgs?" He had a confused look on his face. (Probably the same confused look he had on his face the first time he ever saw pavement or indoor plumbing.) To assist him in understanding my remark, I said "How'd 'Bama do against Georgia? Oh, never mind..." About three seconds passed and he gave me a "psht" and mumbled something else under his breath as he walked away. I'm not sure but I think it had something to do with me doing something that was anatomically impossible.

Ah, yes, on Saturday it was great to be a Tennessee Vol.....

Friday, October 05, 2007

another football weekend.....

Centennial's homecoming game is tonight against Dickson County. Could be a tough game. Hopefully they'll win again this week. Last week's game was a 39-30 win, but it was a little too tense for the bride. Centennial was up 32-7 in the third quarter but gave up 23 unanswered points in 5 minutes. But they were able to pull it out in the end.

Many Vol fans think tomorrow's game against Georgia will be a scale-tipper for Coach Fulmer. Win and he stays; lose and he'll be gone by the end of the season. I'd love to see them win out, but I'm not sure how confident I am that they can actually do it. My hope is that if Fulmer goes, he'll be allowed to retire and stay on in another capacity within the athletic department. He's Tennessee football through and through, and I think he deserves that at the very least. My prediction for the game is 37-31, Tennessee. After the Tennessee/Georgia game, I hope to watch LSU beat Florida by 21 points or more.

The Titans are back on the field against Atlanta on Sunday. The Titans should be able to handle them pretty handily, and I'd say they'll win by a couple of touchdowns.

If I haven't said this before, I just love this time of the year.....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

nah, there ain't no need to call orkin.....

KVML-AM - Sonora, CA

Some Americans continue to prefer to "do it themselves" to get rid of pests on their property, with tragic results. In June, Mike Harstad of Jamestown, California, attempting to eliminate a wasps' nest with a can of Pledge and a cigarette lighter, ultimately burned down his mobile home and contents and destroyed an outbuilding, a truck, a boat and a trailer.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

miley to sting: eat my dust.....

I read yesterday that someone bought a ticket to the Miley Cyrus/Best of Both Worlds Charlotte, NC, show for $2,565. Let that sink in for a minute.


Many of today's concert tickets are bought up by individuals and agents who purchase them in chunks and resell them for a profit. The original ticket prices were capped at $65 for the Miley Cyrus concert, but the average resale price was $214. Let's compare that with some of the other acts from this year: Justin Timberlake - $182; Beyonce - $193; and The Police - $209.

Miley Cyrus is obviously a very talented young lady. She and her family are/were members at our church in Franklin. Her father, Billy Ray, has sung in a few of the services over the years. Miley has the #1 show on Disney Channel. She's one of the biggest teen/pre-teen idols out there.

But to think that Miley Cyrus, who I saw perform in a children's play at church less than 3 years ago, is now raking in a higher ticket price than Sting just seems odd to me. Makes me wonder if she's that popular or if pre-teen girls are just that spoiled.....

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

proof that some people have too much disposable income.....

I had to read an article twice the other day to make sure I read it correctly. It seems that Oral-B has released a new toothbrush called the Triumph SmartGuide. It's available in the United Kingdom for about $280, and uses navigation technology to transmit the exact location of the toothbrush to a base unit so that the user can see which areas in his mouth the brush might have missed. It even has a wireless LCD mouth display that can be mounted on a mirror or held in the free hand.

Is this meant to replace the parent standing over the child and telling him or her to brush again because they missed a spot? Or so they parent can read the display and say, "See, I told you so!"?

Technology can be great, but sometimes it just seems like a bit too much.....

Monday, October 01, 2007

new business venture.....

I had to run an errand at lunch on Friday. I've been looking for a shower door latch because ours is broken. I've "fixed" it, but it's only temporary and only a matter of time before it breaks again. I'd like to find a replacement latch before that because it's quite difficult to bathe and hold the shower door closed at the same time.

While in Brentwood, I noticed quite a few "soccer moms" driving vehicles just smaller than Army tanks. After I was almost hit for the third time by one of them, a thought occurred to me - I'll bet no one has ever taught these ladies how to drive one of these things. I'm sure their husbands simply asked them what kind of vehicle they wanted and they said, "Well, you know, we do have a child now, so I need something about the size of our bonus room." Naturally, the husband doesn't question his wife. That's the secret to a long marriage. (Notice, I didn't say "happy".) They simply go to the auto dealer, find the color she wants and she's handed the keys.

After seeing this lack of vehicle control, I'm considering opening up a driving school for soccer moms. Here are some of the classes the driving instructors will be teaching:

"How to Make a Left Turn Without Crossing Over Three Lanes of Traffic"

"Here's Why the Other Driver Gestured that You're #1 in His Own Unique Way"

"Mirrors 101 - They're More than Just Things to Check Out Your Makeup"

"Letting Your Cell Phone Rest While You Drive"

Classes start soon. See our listing in the Yellow Pages.....