Friday, April 25, 2008

Fridays Feast #46

Appetizer - Name something you would categorize as weird.

The Platypus

Soup - What color was the last piece of food you ate?
I'm "home" slept at my mom's in orlando last night, so I woke up to my old favorite this morning, dried chipped beef on toast.

Salad - On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy being alone?
I imagine about a 7.

Main Course - Fill in the blank: I will ____NEVER_____ vote for _____ARCHULETTA______ in __AMERICAN IDOL_____.

Dessert - Describe your sleeping habits.
How would I know, I'm unconscious at the time.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Survey/Question Meme

I copied this from Frigga, my blogging pal out West who got it from another blogger of course. I enjoy these surveys because I like to share about myself, so here goes...How old will you be in 3 years? 40

Do you think you'll be married by then? Yes, I signed on for life 6 and a half years ago.

What do you look forward to most in the next 2 months? Summer Movies and the first half of Baseball season and my cruise which statrts in 3 days.

Who was the last person you called? Amy, because like her I could not find the dry cleaner in our local grocery plaza today (they moved within the plaza and are less visible)

Have you ever played a team sport? Baseball, Football and Softball

Who was the last person to text you? Patrick, our favorite gay trivia host, let me rephrase that, our favorite trivia host who happens to be gay. He was inviting us to a game night at his condo.

Who was the last person you hugged? Amy.

What were you doing at midnight last night? Watching How I Met Your Mother with Peteeee, he loved the Robin Sparkles revisited episode from this week.

Parents separated/divorced/married? All of the above

Last time you saw your dad? Superbowl Sunday

What happened at 9:00 a.m. today? Where?

How many states have you visited? A lot of them. I don't consider it a visit if I drove straight through or dropped into an airport for a transfer flight, but here are the stawtes I have been in... FL, GA, AL, TN, SC, NC, VA, WV, KY, MD, PA, NJ, NY, NH, OH, IL, MO, MI, TX, OK, and NV.

If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be? China, bringing home our daughter, we've been waiting exactly one year today!

Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet? Shoes and socks together, I like to feel my feet are protected.

Are you a social person? Most of the time

What was the last thing you drank? Unsweetened iced tea with Sweet and Low

Favorite ice cream? Coffee, or Jamocha Almond Fudge (from Baskin Robins)

What is your favorite dessert? Apple Crisp

Whats your favorite color? Blue, deep metallic blue.

What Jelly do you put on your PBJ? Apple

Do you like coffee? I drink it about twice a year, what does that tell you?

How many glasses of water a day do you drink on average? One or two, I drink a lot of diet soda and a lot of iced tea.

What do you drink in the morning? Coke Zero

Would you rather kiss someone with or without a tongue ring? Can't say as I've never kissed anyone with a tongue ring, and I don't see Amy getting one. Now, have you heard what Chris Rock says about a girl with a tongue ring? He says the same thing about guys with tongue rings...

Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed? The left if you are standing at the foot looking at the headboard. Amy sleeps on the right.

Do you know how to play poker? I don't know, but I have a $50 gift certificate for the Tavern in my wallet that seems to indicate that I do!

Whats so good about Fridays? It used to be Friday Flashbacks, but then I started for 80's music every day. Now it's winning Frigga's lyrics contest.

Any plans to visit the green monkeys on The who on what?

Do you eat out or at home more often? Out

How big is your TV? 32" I think, it's Amy's from before we married, when it dies we're going big and mounted on the wall.

Ever stolen a street sign? Nope.

Do you keep a piggy bank? No, but we do fill a detergent jug with change.

Have you ever been in an ambulance? Not as a passenger, just looked inside at a eqipment show.

Do you prefer an ocean or a pool? Pool, because I don't have access to nice oceans.

Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat? Aisle, I'm a big guy.

What is your favorite thing to spend money on? Poker

Do you wear any jewelry 24/7? yes, my wedding band and my cross (a gift from my Nana from her last trip home to Greece before she died).

Do you speak any other language? I remember a fair bit of German from high school.

Can you roll your tongue? Yes.

Who is the funniest person you know? No one person stands out, but we laugh a lot as a group at the non-smoking table playing poker at Winston's.

Do you sleep with stuffed animals? If our cats Samson and Delilah are on the bed, then yes, for they are chubby cats.

What is the main ring tone on your phone? The main one is the entrance music for Degeneration X, a WWE tag team. I have two others saved, Debbie Gibson's "Only in my Dreams" and for the holiday season, TransSiberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve, Sarajevo."

Do you still have clothes from when you were little? I have clothes from when I was big! :) A few weeks ago we had an 80's night at trivia and I dug out my Member's Only jacket and from the Fall of 1988 my Senior Class T-Shirt. Matt the bartender said "It still fits?!?!" and I explained I've lost 60 pounds since my senior year of high school.

What is the color of your bedroom wall? Green

Do you shut off the water when you brush your teeth? No.

Are you crushing on someone right now? I'm not allowed to crush on people anymore

Do you currently hate someone? I try not to hate, but there are certainly individuals and even some sets that I dislike.

Why do you take surveys? It makes me feel good about myself to think there might be people out there who are truly interested in my answers. Even if it's just one, and even if it's only because it reminds them of a time when... That was Frigga's answer, and I like it too!

Wordless Wednesday - People-watching in Autumn in NYC

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Eeeewww and Yeah!!!!!

Okay, good news. Last ngiht I went to bed with the Phillies losing to the Rockies 5-4 in the top of the 8th. I know the Phillies are a late-inning rally team and I woke up this morning to see they won the game 9-5!

Today at work we had a visit from our Coca-Cola rep and he had a donation to make for the Relay For Life Casino Night we are working on. In addition to some form of table games, we will have a poker tournament and the first prize is going to be 4 tickets, box seats next to Ted Turner's seats for a Braves game against the Phillies. I think I need to win this tournament!

Eeeewww at work. This afternoon I went to use the restroom at work and when I went into the bathroom stall, I noticed the odd element of a receipt from Blimpie in the toilet. I then noticed something on the top of the tissue dispenser. Upon closer examination I discovered it was a condom wrapper and a empty packet of personal lubricant. I can only hope it was a man who got a woman to go in there with him, but the sad truth is someone decided to have a quicky in the public restroom where I work. My advice, if you have kids, don't let them go in the restrooms alone, anywhere. My further advice, like some other stores, perhaps we will need to add coded locks to our doors. It would not guarantee the prevention of this behavior, but it may help.

Yeah! I am going on a cruise in three days and I am going to buy some things to use as prizes for yet-to-be-designed blog contests. Keep your eyes open for announcements.

Robin Sparkles Long Lost 2nd Video

"Sandcastles in the Sand" Yes, that's the Dawson, and Tiffany (back-up singer) and Alan Thicke. If you don't already, you NEED to watch CBS' How I Met Your Mother.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Good Days at Work

I've had more than a few of these recently. Part of it may be being in better health post-flu. Part of it could be the prospect of new challenges at a new store. Part of it could be that I have four shifts to go before I head to Florida and a 7-day cruise. Hrmmmmm.

So today I was a few minutes late, clocked in at 8:07 and found out the truck was already there (Saturday is truck day). We worked on unloading the truck and sorting product and wrapped up around 9:15-9:30. I then went to open the photo lab and found I had 5 internet orders waiting, totalling almost 3000 prints! Wow!

So they were working on downloading and got stuck. The first part of the order was 82% downloaded and did not increase for over 2 hours so I sent in a help request online. I worked on putting out my product, food, snacks and beverages and got an extra photo staff member at 1pm. I hit Wendy's for lunch and overdid it with a Baconator and a cup of chili.

After lunch it was all working on and in the cooler which was overfilled in the walk-in part because the Pepsi vendor likes to over-order and then the driver does very little merchandising which should include rotating and filling product on the shelves. He just dumps it in the walk-in and leaves. This would be another reason I like Coke so much more than Pepsi.

So I cleared a lot of product, emptied a lot of crates of soda and refilled all the Arizona tea which was on sale through today at 2/$1.00.

I got to my car (having bought some soda and bottled water) and left the store at about 5:30, racing home to get Amy the make-up she asked me to purchase for her.

I got home and found I had a good level of energy so I plan to mess around online a bit, change the cat litter, maybe take Lucy for a walk and maybe do some work on the repainting of the shutters.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Keeping One's Cool

I had a doctor's appointment today. It wasn't anything special, just a 3-month check-up as most diabetics have to have. The appointment was for 1:40 and I actually got there at 1:30. Usually I am exactly on time or 2-5 minutes late, but all doctor's offices run late themselves, so it's never been an issue.

As is usually the case, I brought a book with me to read in the waiting room and in the exam room while waiting on the doc. So I signed in and took a seat while the receptionist was dealing with a new patient who needed to call their insurance and have my doc made her primary care physician or else they would not be able to file for this lady.

I read and was aware that another patient had to square away insurance things as both these people had to use a phone on the wall next to my seat. Time passed and I realized they never called me up to sign the basic "confirm your information" sheet and collect the co-pay. So at 1:55pm I went back to the desk to see what was up. It turns out they all thought I was a no-show. I expleined how I signed in and I observed the sheet had a different page than before. So they shuffled some papers and moved some files and lo and behold, they found the sticker with my name and sign-in time. I think the lady apologized about 8 times, which I can appreciate, but it does little to restore the time I will never be able to use.

Almost immediately they got me back to the exam room, stopping first at the scale (down 3 pounds from 2 weeks ago and my flu visit). The doc checked my breathing and examined my feet and circulation in my legs. She ordered a chest x-ray (something she says she likes to have every 5 years) and wrote me a script for an antibiotic which Publix will fill for free as my cough is still with me.

The nice new thing is they are drawing their own labs now, so we don't have to go to the lab in the front of the building and wait for a turn as the blood was drawn right there in my doc's office. The x-ray did not take long either though I had to wait a minute while one lady questioned the nurse as to why I was called ahead of her to go into the imaging lab. The reason was I was getting a chest x-ray and she needed a CT scan, so she would need to wait for that equipment and I could go on back.

I was in generally good spirits throughout the whole thing and I was nice to the people who made a mistake that cost me 20 minutes of my life, so maybe I am not quite the ass that some people think and publicly state that I am!

7.5 Days

That's how long it is until Amy and I start our 4th Disney Cruise!

Friday Feast #45

Appetizer - Name a color you find soothing.
Blue - the kind of blue you see on beautiful beaches like the Aegean.

Soup - Using 20 or less words, describe your first driving experience.
I had a private instructor, we drove around the neighborhood, biggest surprise was going out on I-285 that first day!

Salad - What material is your favorite item of clothing made out of?
A polyester/wool blend I think, it's an official MLB jersey (MLB being baseball).

Main Course - Who is a great singer or musician who, if they were to come to your town for a concert, you would spend the night outside waiting for tickets to see?
Did this all the time in the 80's. We'd camp out on the sidewalk at Turtle's Records and Tapes in our local shopping plaza. I know we did it for The Cars, Def Leppard, Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Whitesnake, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel and probably a few others.

Dessert - What is the most frequent letter of the alphabet in your whole name (first, middle, maiden, last, etc.)?
H, surprisingly four times. I would have assumed it was a vowel, but one H each in Michael and Joseph and two in my last name, Christopher.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Death in the Boss' family

Danny Federici died today (Thursday) after a three-year battle with melanoma. He had not been on tour with the E Street Band this year, but he was the keyboard player and organist for Bruce Springsteen for 40 years.

When I thought about Springsteen and the organ, my immediate choice was "My Hometown."

Some Valtoolisms

To begin, Ferris Bueller said that John Lennon said "I don't believe in isms, I only believe in me." Ferris then said "After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus but I'd still have to bum rides off of people."

Valtoolism #1 - The glass is neither half empty nor is it half full. It IS, however, twice as big as it needs to be to accomplish its task.

Valtoolism #2 - If at first you don't succeed, punt.

Valtoolism #3 - There is absolutely no point in making your bed in the morning if you are simply going to sleep in it and mess it up again later that night.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Have you Ever Meme

I borrowed, well, copied, this from Stacey at Exceedingly Mundane this afternoon. Feel free to do the same and let her know so she can come read yours...

Have you ever…

( ) Gone on a blind date
( ) Skipped School
( x) Watched someone die
(x ) Been to Canada
(x ) Been to Mexico
(x) Been to Florida
(x) Been on a plane
(x) Been lost
(x) Been on the opposite side of the country
(x) Gone to Washington , DC
(x ) Swam in the ocean
(x) Cried yourself to sleep
( ) Played cops and robbers
( ) Recently colored with crayons
( x) Sang Karaoke ….
(x ) Paid for a meal with coins only?
(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t?
( ) Made prank phone calls
(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose - or other places!
(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
( ) Danced in the rain
(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus
( ) Been kissed under the mistletoe
( ) Watched the sunrise with someone you care about
(x) Blown bubbles
( x) Gone ice-skating
( x) Been skinny dipping outdoors

Wordless Wednesday - Tigers, A Ball, & Water

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

10 on Tuesday

Today's topic for this meme is 10 Favorite Comedy Films. Here are mine, not in a ranked order, just 10 favorites.... a key to being on the list is that if I am home and channel surfing and find one of these movies on, I will ALWAYS stop and watch it even if I own the DVD which will have no commercials and not be edited in really goofy ways to cover the profanity....

Blazing Saddles

The Blues Brothers

The 40-year-old Virgin


Animal House

The Replacements

The Pirate Movie (okay, this is never on TV, but check it out with Netflix)

Trading Places


Wedding Singer

Looking at my choices I notice that 50% of them have direct ties to the early years of Saturday Night Live. Only one movie on the list has anyone big from SNL in the past 10 years (if it was that recent for Sandler).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Yankees, the Red Sox, and J. Lo.

Absolute silliness....

Last night Amy and I were home watching some TV and enjoying a dinner of fresh salad and Papa Johns Pizza and I was mastering the remote. I was jumping around a bit, looking for something to settle on, but was primarily attracted to WGN because they were showing the Phillies and Cubs game (the Phillies won!) and Fox for the start of the NASCAR race from Phoenix.

So ordinarily they show all the pre-race activity such as the invocation, the National Anthem (usually by a big-name singer) and the grand marshall saying :", Start your engines!"

I assumed they must have had a weather issue because I flipped back to the pre-race and they were showing coverage of a baseball game, in fact it was the Yankees and Red Sox. I don't understand what elevated this game to the point that they interrupted regularly scheduled coverage of a live sporting event to feature this overblown rivalry. Here's the thing. It is the end of the SECOND week of the season. Evry team has about 180 more games to play so this game has ZERO bearing on the finish of the season.

What makes this even sillier is that they kept running a graphic in the corner of the screen showing the approximate time of the start of the race, and that they would return to the race for the start. So I happened to have switched back to see what might be the final out (it wasn't) and suddenly they switch over t=and there is the race, almost done the second lap, so they skipped the prayer, the national anthem, and the first two laps! It gets worse.... the people at Fox decided this game was so important, they announced on the race that you could watch the end of the game if you turned over to the FX network on cable TV. So I flipped to FX and found they interrupted the broadcast of Terminator 3 : Rise of the Machines in order to finish this unimportant ball game.

So that was last night's silliness.

Today we went to church and I worked in the bookstore. After closing the bookstore I went to Winston's to play cards knowing I had to go to Publix to get ingredients to make spaghetti for dinner. When I got to the checkout I noticed one of the entertainment news magazines had a bold-typed headline advertising they would tell us how Jennifer Lopez (read as J-Lo) lost 40 pounds.

I can tell you how she lost 40 pounds and I dont need to buy that rag to do so. She gave birth to twins! If you gave birth to twins, you'd lose 40 pounds too! Duh!

As far as Sunday and church and such, our pastor today referenced Jack Bauer in the sermon. Cool! Then while playing cards a passser-by noticed Jose at our table and greeted him and they were discussing which service they each went to. Somehow this lead into a discussion about the authors of the Bible, Old and New Testaments and the differences in rules and laws like how a man could have 100 wives but a woman could not have 100 husbands (not sure where that came from). And someone said that Moses had sex with his own son (never heard anything about that). And eventually someone said something about Hell not existing, based on the fact it was not mentioned at all in the Old Testament and how it is a creation of the church to inspire guilt. Don't ask me, I was just there to play cards. Oh yeah, the whole thing began with the question as to whether or not gambling is a sin.

Oh yeah, I came in about 7th place today and now that we've had dinner we are watching Across the Universe. I did catch the end of the Masters to see a brief glimpse of a long-shot of hope for Tiger Woods. Despite the fact he came in second place I did stop to think that I am living at the time to see the greatest golfer of our generation and possibly of all time. The man is amazing at what he does, trivial as that may be to some people, but then again some people are intently interested in how J-Lo lost 40 pounds or what Britney Spears or Angolina Jolie are doing..... sigh.

It makes it that much more powerful that after watching some sports last night we watched an old movie that I feel everyone should see every few years as a reminder of what humanity should be about. If you have never seen it, you need to rent, or better yet, buy Cry Freedom. It came out around 1982 I think and stars Kevin Kline as Donald Woods, the editor of a South African newspaper who meets and then fights for the truth about the death of Steven Biko, an activist who was first censored by the Apartheid government and later was taken into custody, beaten to the point of brain damage and died in police custody. Officially, they said his death was the result of a hunger strike (which he was not on). When Woods fought for the truth and a public reckoning, they censored him and he had to flee the country in a dramatic escape, taking his wife and 5 kids with him.

I was in my early teens during the anti-Apartheid movement, but if you watch this true story and see the horrific ways this government treated human beings, you will never think about other races in the same manner.

Artists United Against Apartheid

I remember this song coming out and the video airing on MTV featuring Bono and "Little Steven" van Zant of the E Street Band and later the Sopranos.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Crime Drama at Walgreens

The other day I was at work and noticed one of the managers taking someone in jeans and a polo into the office and then open up the cabinet with the security equipment. I asked about it later and he told me the guy was a detective following up on an event from the previous night.

A guy came in to our store to have a prescription filled, for 90 oxycontin. The pharmacist was surprised when she read the order becuase it was written by an OB/GYN (who do not typically prescribe oxycontin), it was for 90 pills, and it was a man trying to use the script. So she called the doctor and found out it was indeed fraudulant.

They called the police and they came to the store to stake it out hoping the guy would come back to pick it up and they could make an arrest. I don't know if he got spooked or what else happened, but they tried to see if he would come in the next morning, but I don't think he did. The standing order is that if he shows up, dial 911.

I think the expectation is he knows someone who works for the doctor and they stole the prescription pad.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Well, there is no Friday's Feast today, anad I really don't have anything important to say or do. I've been back at work most of this week, though I left early 2 of the 4 days I've gone in. This morning I was really not feeling it, but I went anyway, and stayed about 5 hours. I was scheduled off tomorrow, but I am going in to make up for missing Saturday during my excused absence. So today I came home, made lunch, and took a long nap through the afternoon.

I do get to enjoy nothing but day shifts for the rest of my time at the Woodstock store. I have two more full weeks there, then we go on the cruise, and when we get back I will be reassigned to a store about 2 miles from the house. I fully intend to check the condition of my bicycle and use it at least a couple of times a week.

I would appreciate if any of you who visit Valtool's Box today would jump on over to my other blog, dedicated to music and culture of the 1980's. I post a new video every day, according to different themes. For today (Friday) I am putting up Bon Jovi, because a guy I played cards with recently insisted that they broke out in the early 1990's, when I know for a fact that Slippery When Wet was out by '87-'88 because I saw Bon Jovi in concert in '89 supporting the album that came out AFTER SWW. Here's the link...

Leave some comments and make some dedications, Friday is reserved for you to make the picks, but you gotta ask, and if you email me a story behind the dedication, I'll share it too.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Disney Characters

In two and a half weeks we board the Disney Magic for the fourth time in the past 6 years! To get psyched up for the trip, here are 13 of my favorite Disney characters.

Belle Pumba

Timon Buzz Lightyear

Tow Mater
Sully Woody

Aladdin (and Jasmine)

O'Malley the Alley Cat

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Yellowing of Atlanta

Every year about this time, we enjoy the yellowing of Atlanta. It's pollen season and around here it is Hell. For your understanding, a "high" pollen count is above 170 in however they count/score the particles. We've already had readings over 1000 this year and it's early! Notice on the tires, the windows, the roof, every bit of a car becomes yellow, along with the mailboxes, trashcans, roads, etc. Wha-chew!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Thursday Thirteen Trivia Answers

What sit-com actress spent most of the 1980's doing commerical endorsements for the Thighmaster? Suzanne Somers

Emmanuel Lewis played what TV character? Webster

What were the names of the ghosts on the original Pac-Man arcade game? Inky, Blinky, Pinky, & Clyde

In 1983, what song by the Police was #1 on the charts for the year's longest period of time, 8 weeks? Every Breathe You Take

In what year did the space shuttle Challenger accident occur? 1986 (January 28)

What featured soloist was the first to sing a line by himself/herself in "We Are The World?" (multiple choice Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie or Willie Nelson)? Lionel Richie

Dr. Dre and Ed Lover hosted what daily program on MTV? Yo! MTV Raps

What was the name of the country club in the movie Caddyshack? Bushwood

Name 4 of the top 5 selling artists or groups in the decade of the 80's. Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, Hall & Oates,

On the People's Court, what was the name of Judge Wapner's baliff? Rusty

What was the name of the 13-year-old who sued the Kokomo, IN school board after they expelled him for being HIV positive? Ryan White

What nation's hockey team did the USA beat to win the gold medal in hockey at the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid, NY? Finland (we beat Russia in the semi-finals)

And the final bonus.... we were in second place by 6 points and we both got it right for the full value, so we were stuck in 2nd..... What movie had the highest domestic box office gross during the decade of the 1980's? E.T.

Saturday Photo Hunt

Oops, I'm sorry, the theme this week is GLASS!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hang on tight!

The world is spinning out of control!

Ordinarily I pay zero attention to Oprah Winfrey, her show, her media empire, her political influence, etc.... I think it was Wednesday though, we were channel surfing and found her show on and her focus was the surviving families of a 2006 auto accident in which the daughters of two families were mistaken, and one family buried what they thought was their daughter only to discover later that their daughter was still alive in the hospital. It was tragic and touching.

A day later Oprah is featuring the world's first pregnant man!

Various media outlets have embraced this gross misrepresentation, which I wonder why it is not being called a fraud.

This pregnant PERSON was born a woman, and has all the female parts (from what they say) with the exception that she had her breasts removed. Hormones have her bearded, it's a "alternative" culture publicity thing and to say this is a pregnant man is an abomination to the God that created her.

Number 2 - Take the microphone away from the Mouth of the South. It appears that Ted Turner thinks we will turn to cannibalism due to global warming. If it comes to this, can we start by hunting and eating any game that is in our country illeagally?

Number 3 - New Kids On The Block are regrouping.

Friday Feast #44

Appetizer - Invent a new flower; give it a name and describe it.
Lucy - we'll name it after our dog because my wife calls her a "stinkweed."

Soup - Name someone whom you think has a wonderful voice.
Deborah "Debbie" Gibson

Salad - On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how clean do you keep your car?

Main Course - How do you feel about poetry?
It has its place. I appreciate it most in the form of song lyrics. I once heard a guy say rap is bad poetry put to bad music. :)

Dessert - What was the last person/place/thing you took a picture of?
Our friend Charlie, sitting at the bar after we played trivia last week.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - 80's Trivia

Thirteen Things about My Favorite Decade!

Tonight we had a special event to attend, even in my weakened state, we had to be there. At our favorite trivia venue it was a theme night, all 80's trivia! We were encouraged to dress for the event and I dug out my old Members Only jacket (3x, I now wear 1x) and I still have my Senior Class T-shirt, Redan High School class of 1989. Matt the bartender was amazed it fits 19 years later, and I had the pleasure of sharing with him that I weighed about 50 pounds more back then than I do now. So the music was all 80's and Jenn even played some Debbie Gibson for me. So we placed second, losing by only 6 points to a team over twice our sie and both our teams were a good 30 points ahead of everyone else by the final bonus. So here are 13 of the questions...

What sit-com actress spent most of the 1980's doing commerical endorsements for the Thighmaster?

Emmanuel Lewis played what TV character?

What were the names of the ghosts on the original Pac-Man arcade game?

In 1983, what song by the Police was #1 on the charts for the year's longest period of time, 8 weeks?

In what year did the space shuttle Challenger accident occur?

What featured soloist was the first to sing a line by himself/herself in "We Are The World?" (multiple choice Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie or Willie Nelson)?

Dr. Dre and Ed Lover hosted what daily program on MTV?

What was the name of the country club in the movie Caddyshack?

Name 4 of the top 5 selling artists or groups in the decade of the 80's.

On the People's Court, what was the name of Judge Wapner's baliff?

What was the name of the 13-year-old who sued the Kokomo, IN school board after they expelled him for being HIV positive?

What nation's hockey team did the USA beat to win the gold medal in hockey at the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid, NY?

And the final bonus.... we were in second place by 6 points and we both got it right for the full value, so we were stuck in 2nd..... What movie had the highest domestic box office gross during the decade of the 1980's?

I'll post the answers tomorrow! In the meantime, visit for an awesome 80's music tribute site!

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! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Somebody's Lying

There was a tragic story here in Atlanta Monday night when 4 people were killed and several others seriously injured in a traffic accident on I-85. Three of the four were members of the same family, riding in a SUV-Limo from the airport after returning from a wedding out of state.

As initial reports have it, a red Acura (missing its rear bumper) was swerving in and out of traffic and caused the multiple-vehicle collision. It never stopped at the scene. Shortly thereafter, a man parked a badly-damaged red Acura at a motel an exit North of the accident scene and asked permission to leave it there overnight to get it towed. As the story goes, he asked left a business card with the night manager and left the property. The hotel manager heard about the accident on the radio, went out to look at the car and called the police.

Tuesday afternoon the driver of the Acura went to the local police station with his lawyer and his father and spent several hours before being arrested and charged with 4 counts of felony vehicular homicide and other charges.

Today his lawyer and parents (the driver is 20 years old) appeared on the local news telling a completely different story, including that their son was struck by the limo and no tthe other way around (contrary to reported witness accounts) and that thier son went to the exit and the hotel to call for help (which is contrary to all other reports I have heard).

If he was a victim and not the cause, why did he not stop at the accident scene (especially in this day of cell phone proliferation)?
If he was a victim and not the cause, why did he not call the police from the hotel? Why did he leave the hotel?
If he was a victim and not the cause, why is he now behind bars?

And the other little new tidbit today, reportedly the Acura driver had someone else in the car with him when this all happened, but the police have yet to locate this person.

What do you think?


Bye Bye Boom Boom

I was watching part of SportsCenter this afternoon and I heard a familiar name with a familiar reason. Good ole #10, former Philadelphia Phillies shortstop and World Series team member from the 1980 Champions Larry "Boom Boom" Bowa became the first person ejected from a game in the 2008 season. This happened last night while he was working as a third base coach (for whom I don't even know or care). I last heard about Bowa when he was fired from the head coach position at Philadelphia a few years back now, being BEFORE they won the NL East last year. Common theatrics ensued, including trashing the Gatorade cooler. What a jerk! I'm too old to behave like this and you are at least 20 years my senior! You're the 3rd base coach. Get over yourself! As for the full story......
Bowa melts down after getting ejected
04/02/2008 2:42 AM ET LOS ANGELES -- The game in a scoreless tie, runners on the corners, and Dodgers third-base coach Larry Bowa gets tossed for flagrantly defying a rule he doesn't like.

"One of the dumbest ejections I've ever had," said crew chief Ed Montague, a 31-year veteran whose report to the Commissioner's Office will also include how Bowa, in full tantrum mode Tuesday night, repeatedly bumped manager Joe Torre into the umpire during the ensuing meltdown.

Torre had come out to protect his coach, who likely faces further disciplinary action. The 67-year-old Torre and his recent knee replacement were no match for the agitated coach, so bench coach Bob Schaefer joined the scrum, grabbing Bowa by the jersey.

Bowa finally left the field for the dugout, where he found a cooler full of Gatorade that needed to be dumped onto the dugout's rubber floor, leaving everybody's spikes sticky.

Bowa declined to comment after the game.

Montague didn't.

He said umpires have received a memo ordering enforcement of the rule that coaches not venture outside the coach's boxes toward the field of play or home plate. The rule goes along with the edict for coaches to wear helmets to ensure their safety after the accidental death of Minor League coach Mike Coolbaugh last year.

Bowa was the first coach to blast the helmet rule during Spring Training, but backed down when told he would be ejected if he disobeyed.

Montague said he gave Bowa the same warning one inning earlier when he stepped near the third-base line.

"Larry and I have always got along," said Montague. "We're not bad guys. We're just enforcing the rules and they are adamant about it. The coach can't get in front of the box toward the plate or near the foul line. I told Bowa in the fifth inning to stay back. He didn't like that. I told Joe the same thing between innings.

"But Bowa said he'll do it the way he's always done it. I said if I have to, I'll run you. He said do what you've got to do; it is what it is. I said to just get back and he wouldn't. Then he argued. I gave him every chance in the book, but he defied us. It was uncalled for."

Torre defended his coach and criticized the rules.

"Major League Baseball sometimes decides to do things without really having a feel for what it's doing," said Torre. "To make coaches stay in the box with a runner on second, both coaches have to get down the line so the runners see them.

"Larry is Larry and I wouldn't want anybody else in the situation. He's a passionate guy. Larry can give a club a spark whether he's on the field or not."

Cause to Celebrate

Today I am feeling better, physically and emotionally. The Tamiflu and abundant rest are doing their parts to heal my body.

After three days without (eww) I took a shower this morning and that felt good, though I was disturbed to have to spend about five minutes trying to remove WHITE hairs from my beard.

I've had a dramatically diminished appetite for the past 5 days and it looks like I have lost about 4 pounds in the past couple of days (though this is not a suggested method for weight loss). I remember reading a book (juvenile fiction) where they talked about having a fat kid they picked on but had to give it up after the kid got double-pneumonia and lost 20 pounds as a result of the illness. :)

The emotional high comes from the culmination of a week-long battle as part of a 25-year war I have been fighting. It's me versus pornography. I believe it is a more-pervasive threat than alcohol or drugs because it attacks the spirit more than the body and it is a lot easier to conceal the problem. What is worse is there is an overwhelming shame that helps it go unchecked because those in the grip of pornography are ashamed to admit the problem and afraid to ask for help due to the ridicule that will likely accompany their pleas. I am not looking for praise, and I fear some condemnation, especially someone thinking "I don't want a porn addict near my family." I will simply say going public with this was not an easy decision.

I said 25 years a moment ago, but as I think back, I know where we lived when I first found magazines my father kept in our house, so that would be between the Summer of 1980 and the Summer of 1982. I remember my brother and I looking at them and to me I thought it was hilarious that a lady's butt was being shown. I didn't know what else to make of it because I was between 9 and 11 years old at the time.

Adolescence hit and understanding of the images developed. I knew where my father's stash was, and as I moved through my teen years I started to buy some of my own (remember the Madonna scandal in Penthouse?). Late in my teen years I came to Christ, and I threw away my stash, but eventually new purchases were made, and through the college years there were strip clubs in Atlanta and Orlando. In Atlanta I was never denied entry despite being 18 and the law being you had to be 21.

The mid-a990's arrived and with this time period so came the Internet. The Internet is the biggest threat to man's (women's too) struggle against pornography. A movie I like includes the quote (paraphrased) that the Internet is a communications tool created so that individuals can complain about movies and exchange pornography. It's no news flash, it's out there.

My new inspiration came with a sermon series I started listening to about two weeks ago. I had recently been discussing my problem with a friend who has the same issue and is fighting it. Another friend I know can hopefully join us in accountability to fight this evil. As a result of the message CDs and my will to fight back, I deleted the files I had hidden on the PC in our house. Wanna guess how many there were? Would you believe over 5000? I look back and wonder to myself what can one person do with that many pictures?

Last night was the second to the last step, removing the few paper magazines that were in our house and putting them out for the trash pick-up this morning. My wife knew I had some magazines, but I rarely looked at them (heck, with 5000 computer images who needs a handful of magazines). So the evacuation of our house is complete and it has been cleansed.

As with any other addiction, food, drugs, alcohol, nicotine, it is never a 100% you are done and free situation. I ask for your support as for the rest of life I fight to honor my wife and my God by NOT giving in to the temptation, and I thank you for taking the time to read this and that you will hopefully accept me despite this part of my life that I did not ask for.

Wordless Wednesday - Daytona Beach Shores, FL

As I just discovered this posting, and it fits for wordless wednesday, click on this link to see a candid someone took of me this weekend. I had no idea it had happened! Click and scroll down to the post titled Three Word Sunday.

Movie Day

Part of being home sick with the flu can mean a lot of time being bored, so I watched movies today. I started off with Blazing Saddles because it is a classic comedy despite the racial content. It is Mel Brooks who ridicules his own Jewishness as much as every other stereotype portrayed in this send-up of the Western genre.

Next was Untamed Heart, which I noticed was available for free on On Demand. I've always liked Christian Slater and this is a sweet tearjerker co-starring Marisa Tomei and a tolerable amount of Rosie Perez who may be the most annoying actress to ever be in a movie.

Later, with Amy, came the first of two films neither of us had ever seen before, Charlotte's Web, the 2006 live action adaptation of the E.B. White classic kids story. It was cute and had a diverse ensemble cast for voices, but it really is a kid's film and I was kinda bored. I did admire how nurturing the spider was of the pig and her eggs.

We then watched American Idol and we have no clue who will be voted off because no one really sucked. My hope is to see David Archuletta go because he won't break from ballads and show any range or Carly. She's overrated and Simon was right, she needs to vary her image and cover the tattoos every once and a while.

After Idol it was time for one more movie and we had Wild Hogs from Netflix. I was really surprised by this one because of the amount of references to fecal matter and homosexual activity that was pervasive from start to finish. It had it's funny moments, but it is not a family film by any means. We were surprised by a number of actors we spotted including M.C. Gainey from Lost and Peter Fonda in a cameo at the end. Throw in Marisa Tomei (twice in one day), Jill Hennesey (Crossing Jordan and Law & Order)and Ray Liota and we had some surprises, but not one to own.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Yeah for Mike Thomas
I hope my girl grows up to be Princess Belle
Mike Thomas


April 1, 2008

Is the evil Disney Princess marketing machine setting up our little girls for a life of subservience in Prince Charming's castle?

There was yet another diatribe about this from a Los Angeles Times columnist, which we ran on our editorial pages.

"Mothers of America, Disney wants to destroy you," she begins.

The N ew York Times Magazine ran an exhaustive piece on the topic, decrying the "girlie-girl culture" promoted by the Princesses.

Yet, the very young women who were raised on a diet of Ariel and Belle are the ones crowding into universities, where they increasingly outnumber men. In Florida, 57 percent of students are female.

Given that knowledge is power, one assumes women soon enough will rule this country.

So what gives? Maybe our little girls see more in the princesses than in their feminist moms.

Critics target the three bimbos: Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). The youngest, Aurora, made her debut in 1959. These ladies reflected their time.

After that there was a 30-year Princess drought, broken when Ariel splashed on the scene in 1989.

Yes, she is a babe and a tad vapid. As a father of little girls, I'm not entirely comfortable with the seashells. It also is true that Prince Eric followed the clich� of saving her tail at the end, after which she gave up her gills for him.

But lest we forget who saved who first, it was Ariel who plucked a helpless Eric from the raging sea, where his incompetence as a captain landed him. Ariel also was strong-willed, kept her wits about her when pursued by sharks and rejected her dad's chauvinistic kingdom.

Belle represented the next evolution in princess development. She was a brainy book reader who would have easily scored in the 1400s on the SAT. She spurned the dimwitted town hunk, mounted a one-woman rescue mission to save Daddy, wasn't intimidated in the least by the big bad Beast and in the final analysis, saved his furry behind.

Jasmine was more street smart than book smart, a plucky and independent Princess who became the first to date down. She rejected prince after prince to find true happiness with the street rat Aladdin.

Pocahontas not only rescued John Smith but stopped the silly boys from all killing each other. And rather than abandon her people to be with her man, as did Ariel, she watched him sail off into the sunset.

Mulan didn't preach peace. She waged war, saving China and the Emperor with a brilliant plan that defeated the Huns.

These are not your grandmother's Princesses.

Even Cinderella has been rehabilitated. In the first sequel, she shuns her royal robes in favor of her old wench-wear, breaking protocol by inviting the unwashed masses to the ball. And to prove that even the unattractive can live happily ever after, she fixes up her homely stepsister with the portly town baker.

Yes, the Princesses are beautiful. But don't condemn them for simply reflecting the adult world's obsession with appearances.

I know many professional women who still enjoy their moments of girlie-girlness. Look where macho has gotten this country.

So I ask you, Mothers of America:

Do you want Belle or Bratz?

Pocahontas or SpongeBob?

Given the growing deficit of young men in college, I think the Mothers of America ought to be more concerned with what the Power Rangers and the WWE are doing to their boys, not what Cinderella is doing to their daughters.

Mike Thomas can be reached at 407-420-5525 or

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