Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Randomness

Two thoughts to share....

1. The High School flashback today was inspired by reconnecting with an old friend because I read about him in the newspaper. Jim Issa was a high school pal who is currently directing a movie filming here in Atlanta starring Leann Rimes and Luke Perry (yes the 90210 guy). You can learn about it at Jim's website http://www.shadowlightpictures.com

2. Oreos - pan down to Sunday's post and let me know your opinion. Do you dunk, or twist and split your Oreos? More importantly, which way would Jesus do it? This was part of the sermon this week at church. Details below the post on poker and booze.

Wordless Wednesday #20 - Back to the 80's


There WAS a day and time that surf-oriented fashion was in (circa 1988).


A year later.



Monday, July 30, 2007

Poker and Booze

It's been an interesting couple of weeks, and I imagine a lot of folks don't know enough or don't care enough about poker to want to read stories about hands. There are only three hands described below, so please read on.

I have not played near as much in the past two weeks as I used to. Part of it was being sick or fatigued, and part was having a work schedule again! So, Friday I worked a day shift and had Saturday off so I went down to Wonston's for the game starting at 8pm.

They had 80 people sign up this week, and I came in 2nd place! I won $20 in house cash for my efforts over a five and a half hour period. I won because I played well, AND because I got lucky, very lucky twice. When we were down to the final 2 tables (about 16 players left) these two hands happened.....

I had pocket 5's. The flop came out 2, 4, 7. So my pocket pair was second to a 7 if anyone had one. I made a moderate bet and everyone but one player folded. The turn was another 2, giving me 2 pair. The poy was a decent size so I went all-in to try to claim it. The remaining player called and we showed our hands (with one more card coming). He had two ACES, so I was pretty much toast. Only a 5 could help me, and by some miracle, it hit.

A few hands later I had an ace and a 7 of the same suit. The flop was ace, seven, four all of clubs, so I had two pair. I made a strong bet, and again, everyone folded except one player who raised to all-in. I called, and he revealed a queen of clubs and a lower off-suited card. I had him dominated unless a fourth club hit, which it did on the turn, giving him a flush. At this point, one card coming and only an ace or seven could help me. The seven came, and I won the hand.

Those were two ery lucky hands.

So we eventually consolidated tables and I played on to make the final two. I worked hard to gain the chip lead and got my opponent to go all in on a hand that would win the tournament for me. I had pocket 7's (any pocket pair is a strong starter in head's-up play) and he had an ace and a 9. He got his ace on the river, leaving me very short-stacked and he quickly whittled away my chips for the win. I was satisfied and proud of my performance.

As for alcohol. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about my experience and typical minimal consumption of alcohol. I have never been drunk.

Last night was my brother's birthday and after dinner we went to Winston's because that is where his friend is the head bartender. Peter had been drinking in the afternoon and had two glasses of wine at dinner before we got there. He handles his alcohol pretty well (I'll mention now he had a driver lined up for last night).

When we walked in, Matt poured Pete a beer and me a Malibu and pineapple juice (my common drink I learned from the Parrotheads of Central Florida). He then made us Stoplights, a presentation of three shots (green, yellow, red) a melon ball, a tequilla shot, and a hollywood.

Pete then was given two Jager-bombs (Jagermeister and Red Bull) and a shot of Jack Daniels (the Jack girls were there).

I watched and we continued to play trivia. I eentually finished my Malibu and Matt made me another (without my asking) and we did a round of Irish Car Bombs (1/2 pint of Guiness with a shot dropped into it (containing Bailey's Irish Creme and Jamerson's Irish Whiskey)) which you then chug the whole thing. I won as far as chugging the fastest.

Shortly thereafter Pete had a Loch Ness Monster (some other shot involving Bailey's, Jager, and Midori) and I excused myself to go to the restroom and vomit. Yes, at age 36, well outpaced by my brother, for the first and hopefully only time in my life, I vomitted from having too much alcohol in too short a time. I had a full meal before we got there, so I feel okay about absorbing what alcohol as I did.

I had a pair of diet cokes to try to balance my system and I excused myself, leaving Pete to continue his celebration, and I shall not be returning to repeat such a performance. One drunk puke in my lifetime is enough.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Oreos and Jesus

What Would Jesus Do With an Oreo?

This was the leading question this morning at church. We are continuing to slog through the entirely downer-based rant of King Solomon called Ecclesiastes.

Today's section featured good 'ol Solie talking about what matters most is what is in the middle, the stuff as it is (an is officially called by Nabisco). So the message was, from the cradle to the grave, what you do in-between is what matters in the end, especially considering it doesn't go with you, but is what you are judged on.

So, it was a good lesson, but the opening bit, in which the speaker had some oreos on the stage, included the discussion of how do you eat an Oreo cookie? There are two schools of thought.... Number one, the dunker (milk being the ideal target), or the splitter who like Malkovich in Rounders makes it an art form).

I am and always have been a dunker and the speaker claims (as he is a splitter) that he believes that Jesus would be a splitter too.

Your votes and opinions are desired....
and, by the way, as we exited the auditorium, ushers were waiting and passing out 2-packs of Oreos!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday Photo Hunt #14 - Creative

Can't get more creative than God. This is the sunset at the North Pole.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The week in review

Monday - went to work. Yeah! First time in over a month. I spent an inordinate amount of time watching training videos and taking tests through a pretty nice online system Walgreen's has. It was VERY cold in the room I was in, and the chairs were very uncomfortable.

Tuesday - Back to work. After about a half an hour I left to go to another location because the machine I will have at my store is different than the local store. I got there and started, but was feeling nauseous and not well at all. I excused myself and went up the road to the hospital (less than a half mile from the Walgreen's). I got checked in at the ER and discovered my blood sugar level was 440. I spent 5 hours there getting IV fluids to rehydrate and insulin. Despite sleeping off and on in the ER, I crashed and was in bed by 8pm.

Wednesday - Feeling a LOT better, but not 100% I returned to the Canton store and got to spend some time in the lab where, on my first day, I saw my first "objectionable" pictures. Mixed in with a roll of family outing on the boat and the truck is a few of the Mrs. in a towel and less. I got home to find Amy still asleep, but she stayed up late after work. We made it to trivia where we nearly lost due to an incorrect bonus answer, but we pulled out a 4th place finish to win a pitcher of beer (which neither of us drinks).

Today - Again to work. I am getting the hang of things and having a TON of information thrown my way. I processed a lot of orders and made an extra $14.00 in premium credits. If you take an order for a toner cartridge refill or you up-sell an picture CD with an order, you get money (commission essentially). Back to home for a lovely dinner of chicken breast, pasta and peas and I watched this week's The Closer, the premiere of Mad Men, and about another 45 minutes of Spartacus. Now I'm off to bed.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jobs...

So I started my new job today. It's nice to have the responsibility of being employed, but it could have been a bit more exciting. I spent the better part of six hours watching training videos and taking certification tests all in the customer service arena. I still have about the same amount to watch for the photo lab. I think I'll be at this store another 2-3 days and then they'll have me work at one with the Noritsu machine instead of Fuji.

Speaking of machines, I talked to my brother Peter a bit when he got home tonight. When he arrived he ascertained that he indeed had NOT seen me at Winston's tonight. I was not feeling well when I got home so I crashed for an hour from 6-7 and then got up looking for food.

He works for Ingenico, a company that makes credit card swipe terminals for retailers. You've used their equipment if you've been to Walmart, Sam's Club, or Home Depot and he told me they just got the Walgreen's account back from Verifone. That means 5 or more terminals for each of over 5000 stores. Nice order. Walgreen's had 5080 stores a year and a half ago and more since then. Also, they had annual sales in 2005 of over 60 billion dollars.

Peter drives past my old Chick-fil-a on his way to work and he informed me that they are now closed for the remodel. This was due back near March. Also, the McDonald's across the street from it finally closed for it's remodel (which also was due back in the spring) except theirs is a complete tear it down and rebuild it from scratch job.

So this Mike has a job, and it looks like Mike Vick may not, as the commissioner of the NFL today told him not to report to training camp. Time to call Duante Culpepper!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday Photo HUnt #13 - Tiny

These kitties are Samson and Delilah when we adopted them as kittens about 6 years ago, below them are their current photos! In the top photo it's Delilah on the left and she is in the middle photo. Sammy, on the right at top is in the bottom picture. They are a blend of Siamese and Manx, so you'll note they have no tails, but they definitely darkened and got the tabby markings typical to the manx but have the cream-colored base of the Siamese.



Friday, July 20, 2007

Golf

Sitting around today watching the second round of the Open Championship (more commonly known, though not officially, as the British Open) on TNT today.

I commented last week on the Friday Feast that golf, like sex, is not something you have to be great at to enjoy. There is definitely a skillset involved in swing, judgement of distance, course, and strength applied, but some of these guys are flat out amazing.

But any one day can be so different. Tiger Woods is considered the best golfer in the world and he has had a hellacious day starting with his very first shot which went into the berm (that's a Scottish creek-like canal). He has made some very good recovery shots, but he is still struggling as he approaches the final few holes to play today.

In perspective. You have "par" which is the number of shots you SHOULD need to complete the course. Yesterday Tiger shot two strokes under par (meaning he did very well). Today he lost those two and has been a stroke OVER par for the two days combined, but currently is back to even par.

Further perspective. They make a cut to reduce the field of players for the final two days of the tournament, ideally to 72 players with people tied included. They are expecting that cut to be at 4 over par. So, if you have not shot within 4 strokes of the ideal, you go home. The guy in the lead, Spain's Sergio Garcia finished his second round at 6 under par. So Tiger currently needs to play the next two days at a minimum of 6 strokes better than Sergio in order to catch Sergio, and that's not saying no one else might move ahead of the -6 during that time too. All with an international television audience on a very difficult course with bad weather (wind/rain) expected tomorrow.

The good news is Tiger is a 3rd/4th day surge player, often coming back when others lose their momentum. Go Tiger!

A Question

What's your favorite movie you have seen in the theater this Summer?

My response.... Pirates of the Caribbean At World's End

We have a lot still to see, but this has been the best. I still want to see Live Free or Die Hard, Spiderman 3, and Transformers, plus I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry looks good.

Friday Feast #18

Appetizer - On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest) how much do enjoy watching sports on television?
8 - certain sports for sure, college football, pro baseball, hockey (much better live)
Soup - If you could completely memorize any one work of fiction, which one would you pick?
Where is Joe Merchant by Jimmy Buffett.
Salad - What is your favorite breakfast food?
Omelets - usually ham, onions and mushrooms
Main Course - Name something fun you can do for less than $10.00.
Play poker at a bar/pub - it's free so just the cost of a soda or tea if I don't eat.
Dessert - How long does it usually take you to fall asleep?
Just a few minutes.


Friday Flashback #34 - The Boss

This week it's a personal tribute to New Jersey's finest, no, not Sparky Duck, The Boss. Bruce Springsteen has been an icon of sorts as a songwriter and a talented guitar player for over thirty years now. I have selected some videos for some favorite songs in the mid-to-late 1980's.

Glory Days



Tunnel of Love



I'm On Fire



Dancing in the Dark

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Idiocy

So I was reaidng the VENT column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for tomorrow and someone submitted this...

"Michael Vick will rue the day he was involved in dogfighting as opposed to outing a covert American CIA operative."

I say idiocy because this uneducated liberal appears to have no knowledge that in referencing the Scooter Libby trial and commutation of the jail time in his sentence he is implying that a crime was commited when the identity of the CIA employee was disclosed.

Scooter Libby broke no law in disclosing Valerie Plume as a CIA employee. He was charged with perjury in a Congressional hearing regarding the leak. The hearing was investigating something that was not a crime, they were just looking for some publicity in the case by holding hearings (something the Congress likes to do to justify their own existence and create bad publisity for each other's political party).

The appropriate VENT should be "Michael Vick will re the day he was involved in dogfighting as opposed to perjuring himself to a congressional hearing."

Sick Day

Absolute misery.

Headaches, vomiting, fatigue/sleep.

I woke up in time to see Amy leave and then I managed to get dressed and head out to play cards, still not feeling much like eating anything.

We Won!

Amy and I went to play trivia tonight at Winston's and for the first time in about 3 months we came in first place! Yeah! That means $40 i nhouse cash and bragging rights for the next 7 days.

We changed our team name (or rather I did) tonight from last week's "More than meets the eye" to "Fire Vick, Hire Duante." We were the only team perfect through round one, nailing all 4 correct answers on the bonus question, "What were the top 4 best-selling soft drinks in the USA last year?"

We fell off a bit in round 3, and only scored one correct response in round 4 on the question. "In Jimmy Buffett's song Pencil Thin Moustache, who does he say he wants an autographed picture from?"

The final bonus was Amy's shining moment. We were behind, in second place with 96 points. The team in first had 110, and the final bonus is a wager of 1-20 points, lose them if you get it wrong.

"Created in 1840 with a picture of Queen Victoria, the One Penny Black was the first of what item to ever be produced?" Amy immediately suggested a postage stamp, and we recently had a question as to where the first postage stamp was made/used in what country. The answer then was England, so the Queen Victoria reference made AMy's answer sound very good.

The team in first bet 10 points to guarantee a win with a correct answer, but they got it wrong and dropped to 100 and we jumped up the full 20 from 96 to 116 for the win!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Follow Up to the New Job

Yesterday was a slightly interesting one. I got my call from Walgreen's wanting me to confirm my acceptance of their offer and to have me come down to sign off on some paperwork and get the forms I needed to go take my drug test.

I left to find the place (which I did) and discovered they stopped taking samples about two weeks ago, so I called my hiring manager to find the other location.

On the way there I stopped at a blood mobile because I had planned to give blood since the Red Cross got off their butts and reinstated me as an authorized donor (I have O positive).

I had two difficulties there, first the Goodwill people hosting the bloodmobile wanted me to fill out some information-gathering form for them and their career center. I knew this was not necessary and brought it to the attention of the bloodmobile employees who had no idea they were trying to force people to give them personal information.

I made it onto the bloodmobile and got denied anyway because my iron level was too low. I guess it could be because of my using Alli (the new fat-burning OTC drug). I missed by one measurement, 38 was needed and I read 37.

So I went on down to the drug test, took it, and came home. I had about an hour to relax and change to head out to the mall for an interview there at Lids. Lids is a baseball cap store that sells about 90& ballcaps and the rest is other headwear and some accesories like cleaning supplies. I told them about the Walgreen's job and with my other experience, so I might have a good opportunity to add a second PT job on top of the Walgreen's job.

Amy went with me to the interview and she hung out in the mall while I was busy and we then went to see Knocked Up. Funny movie.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ten on Tuesday #5

Ten favorite/memorable movies from my childhood.

1. The Muppet Movie
2. Savannah Smiles
3. They Went Thattaway and Thattaway (Tim Conway)
4. Smokey and the Bandit
5. The Aristocats (Disney)
6. Star Trek - The Motion Picture
7. Jumping Jacks (Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis)
8. The Great Muppet Caper
9. Take the Money and Run (Woody Allen)
10. The Jazz Singer (Neil Diamond)

Sports News

Big Day today..... here we go.

Item One - The Atlanta Thrashers! We re-signed Garnett Exelby, "X" to the fans! He was out for about 6 weeks last season with mononucleosis, but he's feeling much better now!

Item Two - Atlanta Falcons - Michael "I wanna be a bigger criminal punk than my brother" Vick was indicted on two federal charges for the dog-fighting operation happening at his property in Virginia. In the past year he has flipped off the Atlanta fans with BOTH middle fingers, been held in the Miami airport for suspicion of drugs when they found a secret compartment in his water bottle that had a suspicious residue and smelled kinda funky. He claimed it was for securing his jewelry. He apparently has been spreading the herpes virus, and now these indictments. It is time to tell him his services are no longer needed. He is overated as a QB anyway as he really can't throw better than a college QB.

Item Three - Miami Dolphins/Atlanta Falcons - The Miami Dolphins today released QB Duante Culpepper from his contract (which he asked them to do a month ago). He is now a free agent and could do well if he would HIRE an agent instead of trying to represent himself. Best case scenario, if his knee is healed, is to bring him to Atlanta. The Falcons already hired his Miami backup Joey Harington during this off season.

Item Four - World Series of Poker - They started the final table of the main event today with nine players who have never been there before. The last previous WSOP main event winner to go out finished 11th this year, Scottie Nguyen.

Item Five - Bar Poker - Playing Sunday at Winston's the Cobb County, GA Sheriff's Department showed and arrested one of the regulars from the smoking room. Apparently he had been involved in a domestic episode Friday night or Saturday morning after getting drunk at the bar Friday night. In fleeing the police, he looked back as he was running and did not see the tree. He was taken to the hospital with lacerations to his face, a concussion, and a partially collapsed lung. Word is he was supposed to be there 2-3 days butgot up and left on his own while in custody. The following day he comes back to the bar and there they find him. When asked his name, he lied, so they checked a photo and made the arrest, adding a charge of lying about his identity. I got a great laugh from the non-smoking room when I asked if I could play his chips (as I was out of the tourney already). The funny part is my brother told me the story about Sunday last night as he heard it from a bartender who was not even there on Sunday, and now it's a "buddy" of the arrested guy asked the question. I got the pleasure of announcing it was ME. (and I'm no buddy of the guy).

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Job Offer!

Well, this afternoon (at noon, not 1pm as Amy had posted on her blog) I had an interview with Walgreen's Pharmacy. It was a good 30 to 40 minutes long and we covered a lot of Walgreen's information and tied it to my experience and career desires.

I had applied online and had tagged pharmacy tech, photo lab, and customer service, so the manager asked about my background and future desires. Essentially, Walgreen's is poised to make a huge expansion here in the Atlanta market, nearly tripling their number of units in and around Atlanta. This means they need more MGT's (managers-in-training/assistant managers), more SE's (store executive managers, Head assistant) and more Store Managers.

To get me working (income), and fast-tracked to MGT training, she is offering me a position as the Head Photo Technician (running that department) for a new store opeing in August about six miles from home.

I will start next week (after accepting officially tomorrow, and passing a drug and criminal background check), in my local store (about a mile and a half from the house) to learn register, customer service and basics. She will then get me to a store with the newest photo equipment in order to train on the new machine. By this time, they should be ready to set up the new store and I will spend about two weeks there helping with the set up, and then running my department.

They offer a fantastic retirement benefit package currently matching 3.2/1, a stock purchase option, full medical and as she said a "great" drug program. and vacation accrual at 2 weeks per year.

Walgreen's is open all major holidays, so a sacrifice to the retail God's will be made there, but the potential for earning is great and the job stability is even greater. To start, I would see a cut of about 25% from my hourly rate at Chick-fil-a, but when I get to be a MGT I will be making about 30% MORE than I was at Chick-fil-a.

I plan to accept the offer and try to get working by next week, and in the meantime I have an interview tomorrow for an assistant manager at a store in the mall called Lids (it's about 700 sqft and sells primarily baseball caps). I figure that wold be an easy job, but I can't imagine it pays too well.

I will skip the physical test for the police in Kennesaw tomorrow, and concentrate on being prepared for the next test they offer in September. In the meantime, with a positive attitude and motivated and employed spirit, I will look to getting back on my meds and getting my sugar back under control.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Job Prospect and a Concert

So we got up quite early this morning and headed out to church where we were on chapter 7 of Ecclesiastes. This week the sermon was spoken by the pastor in charge of global outreach. He spoke about love of God and fear of God and how God wants us to do both.

On the way home we stopped at Publix for some dinner materials (three nights worth) and subs for lunch and we worked on watching more of National Treasure. Come 1pm I got ready to go play cards and on the way to Winston's I received a phone call for a job interview tomorrow at noon, so prayer warriors pease kick in up to and including that time. The interview is for a job as a pharmacy tech position with Walgreen's. Amy says it should be a good match for me and I do have some pharmaceutical experience.

So I got home from playing cards and we chilled for a bit as Amy finished preparing dinner and we finished watching National Treasure and I believe Amy actually liked it. We were looking for something to watch while eating and we found the KLTY Freedom concert airing on the Gospel Music Channel. We saw part of this last year and this was the new one. When we turned it on it was over half done, ubt Nicole Nordeman was performing. We continued watching and found Tobymac and Casting Crowns as the next two (and final) acts. So we enjoyed the show and the prise-inspired rock and hip hop.

I often forget Tobymac in my list of fav Christian acts, but here are a few more... Casting Crowns, Newsboys, DC Talk, Nicole Nordeman, Rebecca St. James, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Pray for Rain (PFR), Jars of Clay, Souljahz, Amy Grant, Geoff Moore and there may be a few more, but that's it for now.

Friday, July 13, 2007

An amazing hand of poker

After eating some dinner and taking some insulin and some ibuprofen late this afternoon, I was feeling a bit better physically. I'd been tired and headachey all day and couple that with depression it's a rough day.

I went to Winston's where there are people who are friendly to me to play some cards. I dd okay, as they had a HUGE turnout, the start time is 8pm and at 8:45 there were still people waiting for seats to come open to start playing.

Here's the amazing hand.

I was the dealer. I shuffled and offered the deck to the player to my right to cut the deck (select a spot usually midpoint, take the top off the stack and put the bottom stack on top). He declined and I started to deal...

I dealt myself a pair of sevens. The lady to my left had a pair of tens, and a player across the table had an ace and a seven.

The flop (first three community cards) came out ace, ace, ace. Yes, the lady and I each flopped a full house and the other guy flopped a 4 of a kind aces!

She bet 1000 chips and we both called. The 4th card was a five. She bet 1000 and we both called again.

The 5th cand final card was another 5. There was a full house on the board. I had a better full house than the board, she had a better full house than me, and Jimmy had an unbeatable hand.

She checked, Jimmy bet 3500 and we both called.

Bottom line. Jimmy won a great hand with a good-sized pot and if the guy to my right had cut the deck, NONE OF IT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED!

Creation

So the other day I was driving home from the post office and on the radio the host was mentioning the wackiness of a state representative here in Georgia who wants the public/government schools to teach that the Earth is the center of the universe and that the Sun and the moon revolve around the Earth on a daily basis. He states that this is a Biblical truth.

I wasn't impressed or concerned with the story, but I did start thinking about some of the scientific truths and what sense they do and don't make. Did you ever wonder about any of this? I'm talking about questions beyond why does God allow, no MAKE, things like earthquakes, hurricanes, and the tsunami a few years ago that killed over 100,000 people?

Why did He decide to place His creation on the third planet from the sun and why surround it with uninhabitable other planets? Everything we know of to live, eventually dies, animals, plants, insects... so why should it be different for humans to have an afterlife? Is faith something we created to give ourselves motivation from a psychiatric standpoint?

Here and now, as with over all time, we (mankind) are killing each other over our religious beliefs. In the time of the crusades we Christians killed other people and now Muslims are killing Christians and Jews in the name of their beliefs. What's the point?

It's been a rough couple of weeks since I was dismissed from my last job. I have not been able to bounce back and now motivation is slipping away. I am not taking my medications as prescribed. I am sleeping a lot more than I ever used to. Yesterday we went out and picked up about 8 applications for jobs and I have not filled out a single one.

So here's the biggest question I am working on. What's the point? Does God exist? If yes, how do you explain all the rest of it (other faiths, war, political discord, natural disasters, the organization of the universe0? It seems the more we know, the less likely any intelligent person would put their time, energy, and effort in a deity.

Friday Flashback #33 - Remakes

Welcome 80's music fans. The theme this week is songs covered by 80's artists that were done before by someone else. The 80's performance is below, with credit given to the original artist(s). The Tiffany video is not embedded, so click on it twice and a new window will open and you'll see it play there. Enjoy, and don't forget to tell your friends about the Friday Flashback at Valtool's Box!

U2 - Helter Skelter - orig. The Beatles


U2 - All Along the Watchtower - orig. Jimi Hendrix/Bob Dylan


Motley Crue - Smoking in the Boys Room - orig. Brownsville Station


Tiffany - I Saw Him Standing There - orig. The Beatles

Friday Feast #17

Appetizer - What is your favorite fruit?
Tough one, a tie... pineapple (fresh or dried) and oranges (very specifically California navels)
Soup - Who is someone you consider as a great role model?
I don't have an answer for this.
Salad - If you were to spend one night anywhere within an hour of your home, where would you choose?
Downtown Atlanta, one of the luxury hotels.
Main Course - Name something you do too often.
Fart
Dessert - Fill in the blank: I really like ___________ because ____________.
I really like sex because, like golf, you don't have to be good at it to enjoy it.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen # 22

Thirteen Things about Michael
Rather than a list of things about me, I'm aking inspiration from Frigga and I'm asking other questions this week - inspired by my high school years.

PLEASE ANSWER THE QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENT SECTION IF YOU HAVE THE TIME.

1. Who was your favorite artist/band whose height of popularity was in the 1980's?
Debbie Gibson
2. How old were you when you went on your first real date?
15 or 16, I'm pretty sure it was in my sophomore year.
3. What was his/her name?
Kate/Katherine/Katie Lancour (she took me to a dance at her church - her mom drove)
4. Who was your first real kiss with?
I'm a gonna plead the fifth, mainly due to lack of accurate memory.
5. What was your first high school/teen job?
I got a job as a bagger at Kroger 2 months after my 16th birthday.
6. What sport(s) if any did you play in high school?
Football (one year) Offensive Tackle, and I lettered as Baseball Manager my Senior Year.
7. Did you go to your Senior Prom?
Yes, but not my Junior Prom.
8. If yes, with whom?
I went stag, figured it was better than sitting at home and missing it.
9. What was the theme or memorable song?
I don't recall a theme, but Richard Marx' "Hold On To The Night" was the big song.
10. What was your best SAT score (on the old 1600 scale)?
Combining a high math from one try with a high verbal from another, 1160.
11. What was your favorite fashion statement in HS?
I stood out if I DIDN'T wear blue jeans and a concert tour t-shirt.
12. How old were you when you got your first car and what kind was it?
I was 18, and I bought my parents' 1986 Chevy Cavalier, both my brothers were GIVEN their first cars, BTW.
13. Have you been to any reunions and how were they?
I made the 10 year reunion in 1999, and I'mlooking forward to the 20 in 2 years. I'm semi-in touch with one classmate and I know of a few others in the area bot have not heard from them in years.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Who needs Rachael Ray

So I just decided to go wake my lovely wife, and knowing she'll be hungry I put a pizza in the oven for us to snack on til we go to dinner and trivia tonight at 8pm.

Here's the fun part.... It's a new brand tat we bought because it was on sale and looked pretty good. I think the name was Freschetta. So I open it up and find the pizza baking pan and check the box for instructions, finding them on the back. It's pretty simple, oven at 400 for 18-21 minutes. Fine.

I turned the box back over and notice on the front, in the bottom left in pretty large print it says...

Cook before serving

So I now have to ask, have you EVER seen a frozen or refrigerated pizza that you could serve as is?

It reminds me of a stand-up I heard back in the 80's talking about warnings on product. He had a tube of Preperation H which he noted said, do not ingest. His thought was, SOMEWHERE there's a guy who looked at this tube and said to himself "I wonder how this would taste on a cracker?"

Duh!

Phillies Rockies Rain Delay - The Flying Tarp


People ask me why I like the Philadelphia Phillies. This is a video clip from their game on Sunday in Colorado. Listen to the commentators as you watch.

Wordless Wednesday # 19



Monday, July 09, 2007

100 things about me #41-50

It's been over 8 months since I worked on this list, and I did not go back to double-check that I don't repeat any. I am just going to slug on through...

41. I am a VERY minimal drinker (regarding alcohol).

42. I don't care for wine, though I can handle sweet whites and blushes. White Zinfidel and Penot Grigio are preferred.

43. I wish I liked wine more because I see movies where a couple is strolling down a street at night in a beautiful European town and the guy is carrying a bottle they are working on drinking.

44. I am not a big fan of beer. I guess I mostly drink Corona, but that has been a long time since I hung out with the Parrotheads. I can slug down cheap domestic draft, but only do so if I get one for free by getting a 4-of-a-kind while playing cards at bars.

45. One of my two favored drinks is coconut rum with pineapple juice. Parrot Bay by Capt. Morgan is the preferred rum, but Malibu will do.

46. My brother's frined and bartender Matt introduced me to the Irish Car Bomb. This is a fun and impressive drink to do in public because it involves chugging but it goes down easy. The Irish Carbomb is about 2/3 a pint of Guiness and a shot that is half Jamerson's and half Bailey's. You drop the shot into the pint glass and chug them both together.

47. I was the second or third most sober person at my "bachelor" party which was jst the guys going bar-hopping after the rehearsal dinner for my wedding.

48. I have only ever been tipsy once that I remember. I had been invited to the house next-door where the college kids were having a party. I took over a bottle of tequilla I had (it was Margaritaville brand) and offered shots to the other guests. They had just sent out for more beer so they appreciated it. I took swigs from the bottle knowing I just had to walk back over to my house. When I did, I made it to the bed and when I laid down I was firmly centered on the baed but I felt like I was going to fall off. It was kinda weird and kinda cool.

49. I worked for a Racetrac gas station for about 2 months once, back in 2000. Working the overnight shift I mainly sold beer, gas, and cigarettes. It was the least-satisfying work I ever did.

50. In 2002 I went to the opening game of the Atlanta Braves season (it was agianst Philadelphia) with my brother and some friends of his. He has a friend named Kelly who drinks a lot more than she should. She was with us and I remember we basically rolled her out of the stadium when we left.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Passion - What to use it for.

This was a bizarre morning to be checking the news online and visiting favored blogs.

My first stop each day is USATODAY.com because that is my default browser page. There I saw the standard stories, x number of people killed in Iraq, injuries with the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, and we have 7 new wonders of the world (they left off "Wonder why we need NEW wonders?"). But there it was http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2007-07-08-aiken-fight_N.htm

I was mildly interested as my wife likes the show that made this person famous and I like to make fun of his lame style (personal and musical). So I read the article and then clicked on the comments tab to read what people had said and possibly say something myself.

Good Lord!

I look there and about half of the comments are the most impassioned diatribes about how this singer is the victim and the news media is misrepresenting the story and what a tragedy this is. These are obviously fans of the singer as they talk about hoping the incident increases awareness of his tour and boosts his sales. Geesh.

I now invite you to visit the blog of Steven Russell. Steven is a television news photojournalist. Believe me he sees a great deal of pain in his line of work. He is so passionate about the mis-doings of the media he works for that he commented about having the ability to continue a few weeks ago.

Steven is passionate about helping others. Read his posts about the 40 day famine in which he is participating. Check back and read the comments on his post about the invisible children (July 3 post).

If people are going to be passionate about ANYTHING in life, isn't it better to be about something that matters? Perhaps something more like caring for your fellow man rather than lambasting the media for putting your favorite entertainer in a bad light? Believe me, Clay Aiken will survive this day of bad press a lot easier than the invisible children will survive their lives.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Shopping

Today was a shopping day, both mystery shopping and grocery shopping.

I started off to complete a mystery shop that Amy had received notice about. We applied for it and were awarded it, to get an Express Service Oil Change at a local Honda dealership. There was no pay for this shop, but we do get reimbursed for the cost of the service, so basically it's a free oil change. So that was an easy and generally pleasant experience, especially since Amy's Accord needed an oil change and it is the closest Honda dealership to our house!

After that I went over to Publix to shop for the week (or more) and so we have meals aplenty for the next X number of days. We'll be having (on different days)

Hamburgers/Hot Dogs/Brats on the grill
Beef roast (in the crock pot) with potatos, carrots, and mushrooms
Spaghetti
Taco night (soft tacos with saffron rice and refried beans)
Roast Pork Loin (garlic lemon) with baked potatos.
Trivia night (we'll be out to Winston's)

Sometime mixed in there's some sushi, and soup, and when I remember to stop at the store and grab some bacon because I have REALLY been craving some BLT sandwiches.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday Feast #16

Appetizer - What was the first job you ever had?
When I was 6 or 7 I helped deliver a newspaper route that was in my older brother's name. This was the 1970's and kid safety was not a major concern as it is now so I went out on my bike and delivered papers every day after school and once a week went around to collect the money.

Soup - (Taken from Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio) - Name a profession you have always wanted to try.
Professional Poker Player with NASCAR driver being a close second.

Salad (also from the Actor's Studio) - Name a profession you would NEVER want to try.
Porn Star.

Entree - (also from the Actor's Studio) - What is your favorite sound in the world?
The sound of a child laughing, especially the natural giggle from a toddler.

Dessert - (and from the Actor's Studio) - If there is a Heaven, what would you like to hear from God when you arrive?
Sorry it took so long, but i'm glad you learned to trust Me.

PS - If you like music from the 1980's, pan down as I do a Friday Flashback each week, usually with a common theme linking the videos.


Friday Flashback #32 - Girl Groups

Jump on into the WayBack Machine and we'll check the 80's for all female groups. It's a common lot this week, Bananarama, the Bangles and the Go-gos, but it's the extra stuff that is kinda cool. Bananarama never made the jump from England until their song "Cruel Summer" was used in the original Karate Kid. The Bangles and the Go-Gos had different beginnings, definitely more rock than the pop sounds they had great success with, but success comes with pleasing the masses. Bit's of trivia, Manic Monday was written for the Bangles because the songwriter had a SERIOUS crush on lead singer Susanna Hoffs (who only became lead singer when they hit it big, previously they shared vocal duties). That songwriter - was PRINCE! Also, their remake of Simon & Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade of Winter" was done for the movie Less Than Zero which starred Jami Gertz, Robert Downey, Jr., and brat-packer Andrew McCarthy. Fellow brat-pack member Rob Lowe appeared in a Go-gos video I didn't select, but you can find him in the video for "Turn to You." For the Go-gos I selected "Vacation" because I have fond memories of that video from the early days of MTV and from a later album "Head Over Heels." I never cared much for Belinda Carlisle's look in the second one, as she started gaining weight after her drug addiction and the haircut was a little too short, but in all their work Jane Wiedlin was really cute. You can see Jane on her own as Joan of Arc in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and in her solo video "Rush Hour."

Bananarama - Cruel Summer


Bangles - Manic Monday


Bangles - Hazy Shade of Winter


Go-gos - Head Over Heels


Go-gos - Vacation

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day Update

It's 9:45 (roughly)

I got home from the race around 12:30, having stopped at Publix for subs for lunch, bananas for potasium, and a dutch apple crumb pie because it was on sale and it was right at the front of the danged registers.

Ate lunch with Amy and went upstairs to soak in the tub which is a nice garden tub, but about 3 inches too short for me to extend my legs all the way, which I REALLY wanted to be able to do. After the soak I napped for about an hour and a half (I was up at 4:30am, on the train by 5:45 and at the station nearest the starting point at 6am, which wound up being 2 and a half hours before we started the race).

Amy woke me up and we dressed to head out to Dad's for his bar-b-que of burgers and brats. He and Basil (our awesomely cute 2 y/o nephew) made the potato salad together this morning! After dinner we sat and talked and had some watermelon and now we're home.

My plan is to soak again and then probably head to bed with another banana and some Advil. Everything from my thighs down are sore and barely functional, worst parts being my feet in general, my knees, and the muscles in the back of my thighs. Oweeee.

Wordless Wednesday # 18

Three things about today's running of the Peachtree Road Race - the annual 10K held every July 4th in Atlanta with over 55,000 participants....

1. It was cool out at start time (68 degrees at 7:30am)
2. My group did not start until 8:35am
3. I finished with my worst time ever and the most pain, I almost did not finish, but as you can see by the photo, I have the coveted t-shirt, which means I crossed the finish line under my own power!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

My very aware wife

The other day we were hanging out and watching TV. I guess I was channel surfing (imagine that) and she noted that there are certain movies that no matter how many times I have seen them, and no matter whether or not we own them on DVD, I will always stop and watch them if they are on a regular (broadcast or cable) channel.

So here's a partial list as I immediately think of them.......

Never Been Kissed
10 Things I Hate About You
Braveheart
Gladiator
The Blues Brothers
The Princess Bride
Fever Pitch (this one grew on me)
any Die Hard movie
Animal House
PCU
Harold and Kumar go to White Castle
Eurotrip
Notting Hill
any Star Wars movie
Heat
any John Cusack movie
The Italian Job
Gone in 60 Seconds
National Treasure

Sunday, July 01, 2007

My Italian Dinner

I call it ziti - my brother says it is not.

I cooked tonight. I made a dish I created on my own. Amy said it was the best batch I have ever made. I've done it about 8-10 times, including a double batch that was sent in to Amy's workplace for a potluck they had one time.

Michael's Not-ziti

Ingredients
1 pound of ground beef
1 jar of Ragu - you pick your variety, I like the chunky mushroom version.
1 box of rigatoni/ziti pasta
1 12oz pack of shredded mozerella
1 container (15-16oz) ricotta
1 pack (usually 5 pieces) fresh italian sausage (mild or hot) from the meat dept.

Procedure
brown the ground beef, pour off the grease and add the Ragu - simmer until needed
boil the pasta as described on the box
prepare the sausage as described
mix 3/4 of the mozerella with the ricotta in a bowl

when the sausage is ready, slice it into pieces about 1/4-1/2 inch thick (coin style) and set aside
coat the bottom of the casserole dish with a thin layer of the meat sauce
make the next layer using all of the sausage
make the next layer using the pasta
spread the cheese blend evenly over the layer of pasta
add the remaining sauce, covering all of the cheese and pasta
spread the remaining mozerella over the top of the dish and place in the oven

bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes

serve and enjoy - we like a little parmesean sprinkled on top

A terror question

Yesterday I was at Winston's and they had a tv on FOX News covering the attempted attack on the airport in Glasgow, Scotland.

The headline said... "Two men in flaming SUV crash into Glasgow airport."

My question is this, how did FOX News know the SUV was gay?