Wednesday, July 30, 2008

hey, it's me.....

This is by no means a new sales technique, but I've gotten about half-dozen calls so far this week from salesmen/women I've never met or talked to before who try to convince my employees that we're old school buddies.

One of my employees came into my office yesterday and said, "Are you expecting a call from someone named Aaron?" "No," I answered. "I don't think I even know anyone named Aaron." She said, "Well, when I asked who was calling, he responded with 'Aaron.' And when I asked for his last name, he said 'He knows who I am.'" Later in the afternoon, "Amy" called with the same kind of tactic. Both calls turned out to be blind sales calls. And pretty much a waste of my time. That's about 18 minutes of my life that I'll never get back.

Look, if you work the phones for a living, that's fine. But trying to get business by back-dooring your way in is a sure way to get ignored.....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

norman bates, is that you.....

Arizona Republic - 7/1/08

Police, including SWAT officers, were called to an apartment in Mesa, Ariz., in June after neighbors reported a fight between a man and woman that included yelling and breaking things inside. When they arrived, they found only a 21-year-old man, conducting the fight by himself, alternating a high-pitched voice with a low-pitched one. He was referred for a medical exam.

Monday, July 28, 2008

that much closer.....

Sara spent the day with me at work on Friday, then we partied at home that night by watching a movie and baking cookies. She was with me because Meg and the bride attended orientation at MTSU on Friday and Saturday. Alot of Meg's anxiety about college were quelled over the weekend. She's got her 15 hours scheduled. She's seen where she'll be living. She's walked the campus a few times. I think she's ready.

Sara and I met them on campus Saturday about 11:00. We spent some time walking around campus. The new rec center, not far from Meg's apartment, is incredible.

Here are a few pictures from Saturday.....

MTSU library

Mass Communications building

Three girls conferring on Meg's schedule

Meg's apartment complex (one of the buildings)

My girls

Friday, July 25, 2008

the bride has volunteered for this study.....

CNN - 4/28/08

In April, England's University of East Anglia advertised for subjects for a study of whether a natural compound found in cocoa could cut the risk of heart disease among diabetic women; the participants must be willing to eat chocolates every day for a year.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

food is the reward for another year lived.....

The bride fixed my birthday dinner a day early this year. The girls had babysitting and church pool party gigs, so we had a family dinner Tuesday night. Fried chicken, green beans, whipped potatoes and fresh corn. And for dessert, homemade strawberry shortcake. Full isn't an adequate word to describe how I felt. It was great.

Yesterday my staff had tons of food set up to celebrate. The centerpiece was a cake by one of my employees. She and her husband make cakes as a hobby, and they're very creative. We talked about a "Food Network Challenge" show a couple of weeks ago where an 8-year-old boy chose from 5 different cakes designed for his birthday. I told Tara that I'd told the bride that my dream cake would be Neyland Stadium on a beach, not thinking that anything would come of it. But that's what she made me.

Since we'd had a family dinner already and the girls were gone, the bride and I went to Mellow Mushroom in downtown Franklin for dinner last night. We sat out on the patio and had a really nice time.

Here are some pictures of the cake.....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

yeah, but it was a violent wedgie.....

Salt Lake Tribune - 7/2/08

In July, the Utah Supreme Court ordered a new trial for Erik Low, now 40, ruling that a jury should have considered the possibility of a lesser crime than manslaughter in the 2003 shooting death of a man who had just 15 seconds earlier during a fight given Low what was described as a violent wedgie.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

yeah, it's dark.....

The bride really surprised me Sunday at lunch when she asked if I'd like to go see "The Dark Knight" that afternoon. I thought that would be the kind of movie I'd end up going to myself. But she said she wanted to see it, so I didn't argue because I used to run around in a cape and a mask and sliding down every pole I could find pretending I was Batman. That was years ago. Man, I miss my 20's.

We got there around 3:15 for the 3:45 showing at the Thoroughbred 20 in Cool Springs. There was a line for people who'd already bought tickets. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, I finally convinced the bride that we should stand in that line. Good thing we did because the line more than doubled after we got in it.

As for the movie itself, it's 2-and-a-half hours of pure intensity. And please allow me to overstate the obvious, but Heath Ledger deserves the Oscar for best supporting male. He actually deserves it for leading male because he stole the movie. I thought Jack Nicholson was the perfect Joker, but Ledger's character was much more dark and disturbed. Amazing performance.
If you're a Batman fan, you should see this movie. I loved the first one, but as far as I'm concerned, "The Dark Knight" is definitely the best of the bunch.....

Monday, July 21, 2008

just kidding.....

Allow me to educate you on teen-parent communications. Do you ever have trouble understanding your teenager? Here's a phrase along with its teen-defined meaning:

just kidding - to be wrong about something without admitting you're wrong

Whenever your teenager is mistaken about something, expect to hear the phrase "just kidding." For example, you may have a conversation like this:

You - Do you know where your sister is?

Teenager - Yeah, she's in the bonus room.

You - Wait, I think I hear her in the kitchen.

Teenager - Oh, yeah, just kidding.

See, instead of using phrases like "my mistake" or "oh, my heavens, that statement was incorrect", "just kidding" covers it all without having to admit an error on their part.
I hope this helps someone today.....

Friday, July 18, 2008

careful what you say.....

Have you ever heard a guy say he'd give his left (fill in the blank; not arm, but south of there; yeah, that) for something?

About a month ago, a good friend of mine told me about some physical pain he'd be experiencing for about a month or so. He didn't think much about it but he finally went to his doctor. He said when he told the doctor how long he'd noticed the pain, the doctor seemed concerned. A week later he found out he had testicular cancer.

Phill has joked alot about it. He'd purchased a midlife crisis car, one with a rag top, just weeks before all of this stuff started. He told me he'd always said he'd give his left (again, not arm) for a convertible. He laughed and said he guesses he shouldn't have said that.

Surgery went well and he had a follow-up with an oncologist earlier this week. The doctor told him that the cancer has spread into the lymph nodes in his back. Phill begins nine weeks of chemotherapy next month. For three of the nine weeks, he'll go through five straight days of chemo for 6 1/2 hours each day.

Phill is very optimistic and upbeat. The doctors say this type of cancer has a 90% cure rate. Keep him in your prayers.....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

tim "the toolman" taylor becomes a dentist.....

WKMG-TV, Orlando - 6/22/08

Anne Greer filed a lawsuit in June against Winter Park, Fla., dentist Wesley Meyers over the death of her father last year during procedures to secure his dentures with implants. During the October 2006 visit, Meyers had accidentally dropped a screwdriver down the patient's throat, which required a colonoscopy to remove. The man returned the following year to give Meyers another chance (against his daughter's wishes), and during that procedure, Meyers accidentally dropped a torque wrench down his throat, creating problems that ultimately proved fatal.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

doggone you, great escape.....

I went to the downtown Great Escape yesterday during lunch. I usually try to visit there every couple of months just to see if there are any good deals on a CD or DVD I'd like to have.
While in the back looking at some bargain DVDs, they started playing an even more disco-ized, extended version of the Bee Gees' "Night Fever." Couldn't get the stupid song out of my mind the rest of the day.

I almost bought a Pablo Cruise CD but I'm glad I didn't now.....

Reader #4/Dave - give me a call at the office!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

just can't reach that itch.....

Dallas Morning News - 5/13/08

Jorge Espinal, 44, was taken to a hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, in May after an early-morning incident (alcohol was involved) in which he used a loaded handgun to scratch a hand-to-reach itch on his back and accidentally shot himself.

Monday, July 14, 2008

she thinks i'm crazy, but i'm just growing old.....

As I was working out in the yard Saturday with my handy iPod shuffle, the Steely Dan song "Hey 19" played during the rotation of songs. The song's about how out of touch an older man is with his younger girlfriend. It made me think of some conversations we've had lately with Meg about college life.

I've been told it's a girl thing, but Meg will be leaving with more stuff for college than I ended up with after four years in college. With girls, everything has to match. It has to be cute.

I've told Meg that I actually lived in a 10' x 14' dorm room for four years and lived to tell about it. And during those four years, I walked down the hall to shower and go to the bathroom whenever necessary. She looked at me like I'd just said I never owned an iPod when I was a teenager. Now dorms are more like apartments and some, like the one Meg will be living in, is a quad unit with a kitchen and more than one bathroom. Sheer luxury compared to what I had.

Good thing we didn't have a quad unit in college. We probably would have never cleaned the bathrooms or kitchen.....

Friday, July 11, 2008

one, two, three, uh.....

Rumor has it that if Brett Favre actually does retire, they're not only going to retire his jersey in Green Bay but they're going to remove the number '4' from the English vernacular. Brett Favre is that big.....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

57 channels and nothin' on.....

The bride and I searched for something to watch on television last night. Summertime television can be the pits. We could have read, but that would have required one or both of us getting up and fetching our books. Too much effort. I had the remote in my hand, so we chose the lazy, mind-numbing option.

Have you ever watched this show called "Food Network Challenge"? The ones I've seen have been where five chefs are asked to create a cake for a client in six hours in front of an audience. I saw one once where a couple was getting married and the chefs had to create a wedding cake based on what the couple wanted. The one we watched last night was for an 8-year-old boy's birthday party. The fact that we watched this proves just how bored and lathargic we both were last night. We kept saying, "How do these people in the audience watch this for six hours?" This morning I asked myself, "How did we watch this show for an hour last night?"

Of the five cakes, four were very well done. The fifth one was a train wreck. It was supposed to be a a little boy scoring a soccer goal. Honestly, I think I could have done a better job. It was so bad that with about 90 minutes left, the chef realized she had put the head on the body backwards.

I really need to get a life.....

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

depends on who's lookin'.....

Last Friday we noticed a lot of foot traffic on the beach, much more than the rest of the week. There appeared to be a buzz caused by a celebrity. After hearing things like "she's smokin' hot!" the bride decided to ask someone what was going on. We learned that Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo were on the beach about 75-100 yards from us. We heard that the crowds around them were getting larger and the body guard was getting ticked off so I decided not to venture down the beach. But I did send Sara and Amanda to investigate.

A few minutes later they returned. I said, "Well????" Sara's mouth dropped and she said, "Tony Romo is so cute!"

I think Landon would have given me the report I was looking for.....

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

because i'm an idiot.....

I’ve used the term “I’m an idiot” a lot over the course of my life. I live with three women, so it comes in quite handy every now and then.

On Friday the 4th, our last day at Watercolor, we decided to rent a kayak. We’d been watching others enjoy themselves while kayaking during the week, so we figured we would have just as much fun. And we did, for the most part. But because I tend to be an idiot at times, there was that one part of the excursion that wasn’t so much fun.

The bride had researched the kayaks on Thursday and learned that there were three kinds to rent: a one-person, a two-person, and a clear-bottom kayak. We asked the young lady renting out the kayaks if we could get Sara, Amanda and I in the clear-bottom kayak and the lady said no problem. Uh-huh. She’d obviously never met me before. So she goes over some of the basics. She tells us that because of the shape of the boat hull, we may take on a little water. We did, almost immediately.

We paddled out about 100 yards or so from the shore. I told Sara to see if she could bail some of the water out. It didn’t help. So we decided to paddle back into shore, dump the water and then head back out. The ride in was great as we caught a couple of waves that propelled us into the sand at the water’s edge. It was at that point that the fun part halted momentarily.

Once we got it to shore, I tried to get the entire kayak onto the sand to dump the water. But the waves would come in and take part of it back out. As I went around to grab the other end of the kayak, another wave came in and threw the kayak into my shins and ankles. That felt so good I decided to start bleeding. The bride came down to try to help secure the boat. I told her not to get so close to the kayak. As she does so often, she ignored my wise counsel. The waves then caused the kayak to hit her in the ankle and threw her into the kayak. Her ankle began to swell immediately. Then the fun really began.

I was tired of this crap. I decided to be a man, grab the handle on the front of the kayak and pull that sucker out of the water once and for all. After all, I’d helped get the boat into the water with the help of a college-age girl. Surely I could do this by myself. The problem was that I forgot about all that water in the hull of the kayak. Ever tried to lift a '63 Chrysler with one quick jerk? It’s sort of like that. I thought someone had stabbed me in my lower back with a hot poker. I’m still feeling the effects from it. I walk a lot like Fred Sanford now.

The young lady from the kayak rental place came down and, with the help of a bystander who took pity on me, maneuvered the kayak into the water and easily tipped it over, thereby releasing all the water we had taken on during our brief ride. I didn’t think of doing that because I’m an idiot.

My wise and beautiful bride then asked the young lady if we could trade out the clear bottom boat for a two-person kayak. No problem. Sara and Amanda quickly boarded the kayak and got the heck out of Dodge to avoid further embarrassment. Meg and Megan took it for a spin, and then the bride and I even went out for a few minutes. A good time was actually had by all.

So I’d highly recommend ocean kayaking to anyone interested. Just don’t get the clear-bottomed version. They’re more trouble than they’re worth…..

Monday, July 07, 2008

sometimes it's a gift, sometimes it's not.....

I have the ability to assess a situation pretty quickly. I can tell if I like or don’t like something right from the start. That can be good. But I also tend to think I like or don’t like something even before I try it. That can be bad.

I went into this year’s vacation with a sense of dread. I dreaded not being on the beach. I dreaded having to ride a bike to the beach or to the pool. I knew it would be awful. I just knew it would. But it wasn’t. In fact, this may have been one of the best vacations ever.

No, we weren’t on the beach, but the 7-8 minute bike ride wasn’t so bad after all. And it just took 4-5 minutes to get to one of the four neighborhood pools. The house was wonderful. Everyone had plenty of space. I learned to play Guitar Hero. I never made it past the easy mode, but I’m a virtuoso on “Slow Ride” and “Welcome to the Jungle”. We drove on the beach again this time, thanks to Mark lending us his Cherokee. It made our photo session (a time in which I become the picture Nazi) much more enjoyable. Even the kayak fiasco is a funny story now. But that’s a funny story for another time.

I told the bride Saturday morning that I could probably be talked into coming back to Watercolor. The truth of the matter is I loved it.....

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

beach time and a crocodile hunt.....

We got to spend most of the day on the beach. I took one step closer to geezer-hood as I sat in a beach chair under an umbrella reading a book for almost half the day.

We went back to the bridge in Watercolor where everyone goes to watch the sunset. The bride and the girls went to the other side of the bridge as I took more pictures. When I caught up with them, they said several people had seen a crocodile. Some men from Wildlife Resources came and tried to find it and relocate it to another area. The set some bait out and said they'd be back after dark.

Meg turns 18 today. Well, she turns 18 at 1:21 P.M. Her friend, Megan, is also 18 today. Here they are last night, and here are some other things from the day.....