Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ten on Tuesday #19

Today's Topic - Ten Things I Want For The Holiday
1. Some new jeans, last bought them in '99.
2. Some new boxers, sis-in-law got me some nice ones last year. BTW it is okay for a s-i-l to buy a b-i-l underwear, but it should NOT be reciprocated.
3. New socks, the white athletic kind because ours seem to disappear here, in volume.
4. There is honestly nothing else I need and the wants I have are way outside our budget, things like...
A new Xbox (not a 360 mind you) just a working original one.
An external flash for my camera. The Canon flashes are in the $200-$350 range.
A buyer for my Jeep who will help me get out from under the $2500 I put into it in the past 2 years. CarMax offered me a ridiculous $400.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Long Weekend

I almost wish I had to work part of this weekend. I would rather be busy and making some money than sitting around trying to find things to do that require little to no money. When I got married I was making about twice what I am making now. I left that job for an equal-paying job which I lost about a year and a half ago. I took the first thing I was offered because I needed income and there was a good prospect that I would work a regular service level for about 6 months and then be able to move into management where even as an assistant manager I would be back to my old income.

The big problems are these. Our expenses have not changed though our income has. i have not been motivated to look for new work because the market is not friendly to my need. Bottom line is it will take more work and I am too lazy to make the effort.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - Firsts

Thirteen Things about Valtool.
Valtool's firsts...
1. Home that I remember - a split double house in Coatesville, PA. 1004 Olive Street to be exact. You can see it on google earth maps.
2. Movie I remember seeing in a theater - Star Trek the Motion Picture.
3. Album I bought - The Muppet Movie Soundtrack
4. Cassette I bought - Kilroy Was Here by Styx
5. Important Person I met - Jimmy Carter (I was 5 and he was running for President)
6. Time I rode a horse - December, 1988 at Younglife's Windy Gap
7. Broken Bone - November 1997 - L2 vertebrae when thrown from a horse!
8. Car - 1986 Chevrolet Cavalier (a red one, literally for all you fans of Swingers).
9. Hockey Game - Atlanta Thrashers hosting (and beating) the New Jersey Devils, December 2006.
10. NBA Game - Orlando Magic, 2000, only because Avalon was performing after the game.
11. Trip outside the USA - went to Canada when I was about 8, only remember Niagara Falls.
12. Musical Instrument - started trumpet in 4th grade, played through 9th.
13. Beer - Moosehead. This should not be ANYONE'S first beer, especially at 15 years old.

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!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Yesterday was the second consecutive Saturday that I really enjoyed. Last week it was a day spent with Amy and Autumn at the basset bash and then Heather Whittaker's blog party.

This week Amy and I went to watch the UCF football game with the Atlanta Alumni club. It ha not been a good year for UCF. I attended two previous viewing parties and both were horrible losses. Last night we redeemed ourselves after losing our homecoming game on the 8th. Last night we were the homecoming opponent for Marshall and we ruined their homecoming by beating them 30-14 in a cold, rainy West Virginia autumn night.

On the way home we decided to go by Starbucks and I texted some friends from church to see if anyone wanted to meet us. We got a response and rerouted to Marlows Tavern with the Mantooth family. We'd never been to Marlows and it is an upscale tavern that we enjoyed a great deal. As the evening progressed they had live music too.

we got home just before 11pm having been out for about 8 hours and it was a great day. to top it off we flipped to snl in time to see Justin Timberlake tear it up in an unannounced appearance.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Friday

A day off!

Amy didn't know I was off today, so she was a little surprised when I was still in bed when she got home. We watched last night's episode of ER to enjoy the return of Dr. Mark Green and we were surprised to see other returning cast members including Dr. Romano (who like Green is dead), Dr. Carey Weaver (who moved away), Jerry the desk clerk and Chuni the nurse. There was also an introduction memorial to co-creator Michael Chrichton who died this past week. The intro was done by former cast member Eric Lasalle who played Dr. Peter Benton.

Last night I watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The best I can say about this DVD is that the special features were more entertaining than the movie itself, though I am glad to see they brought Karen Allen (Marion Ravenwood-Williams) back for this film.

After Amy went to bed I went to the gym - for the second time in 3 days! I enjoyed it, working out for an hour on the eliptical and the weight machines. I then went to Publix to get dinner preperations for the next couple of days.

Autumn the basset hound is a complete needy whiner. she hates to be left alone and wimpers and whines at the baby gate if you leave her. She was very happy to see me come home and now she is in a deep sleep on the couch behind me as I type this and rewatch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Driving home from the store I was listening to Boortz and heard this funny story. A Pennsylvania man went into a bank planning to rob it. As it was near closing time the teller he went to had no cash in her drawer. this angered the would-be bank robber and to relieve that anger he went to the branch manager to file a complaint about the teller having no cash!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Origin of the Name

Last night I had a great experience meeting bloggers. You might think, what? What a geek? Well, blogging is hip in it's own way. My blog is where I can talk about things I do and like and think and whatever else.

Heather Whittaker www.whittakerwoman.typepad.com hosted a blog party at a restaurant in metro-Atlanta. Heather had a popular following as does her husband Carlos www.ragamuffinsoul.com and we had probably 50 people sign up for dinner and socialization.

Stephanie Lee, wife of Third Day guitarist Brad Lee helped Heather coordinate a lot of the evening and as Heather lost her voice this week, Stephanie did most of the emceeing for the night.

So we were all hanging around chatting and eating and having fun but I kept getting asked what is the meaning of Valtool's Box (the name not the blog itself) and I have realized it is not something I have ever explained. so here it goes.

in the late 80's I was a big fan of a pop singer named Debbie Gibson. Her radio popularity fell off in the early 90's but I continued to buy her recordings and in the early days of the internet there were the usenet news groups. That's where i met a number of other Debbie Gibson fans including Mike McNamara.

Mike and I knew each other online and met in person in July '96 at a Gibson-organized fan convention in New York. Mike was then a student at the University of Florida and I was between degrees at UCF. We got to be friends and made a couple of road trips to FSU for football and other events. Mike was one of my groomsmen when Amy and I married in 2001.

In those early days of the Internet, long before AIM, facebook and myspace there was a MOO. A Moo was a site we could log into and interact with other people, setting up our own "rooms" and people could come and visit you or you could meet in common spaces like a coffee shop.

In '94 I went to London and saw Les Miserables and chose Valjean as a screen name for the MOO. McNamara had an account there as did another guy from the Gibson fan base named Rob Polinsky. During the '96 election, Mike and Rob decided to create their own virtual political party which was dedicated to 80's pop music, sports, trivia, buffalo wings and beer. They named this the Tool Party and adapted their screen names to represent the party. MacDaddy became MacTool, Poman became PoTool and Valjean became Valtool.

Rob and Mike were the President and Vice-president nominees. I was the party press secretary and social planner. So since '96, holy cow 12 years ago now, i have been called Valtool. When i was looking for a blog name i wanted to incorporate Valtool. well, where do you store your tools and tool-related things? a toolbox right? So Valtool's box was born.

Wordless Wednesday - Basset Hounds

Snoopy is a beagle, but this basset wants to be a WWI Flying Ace too.

Deputy Dawg

This one is ours - our Autumn.

Don't forget if you love or miss the 80's, visit www.rockingthe80s.blogspot.com for today's Wednesday's Women post!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Presidential meme

You Are Most Like George H. W. Bush

You're considered boring by people that don't know you well. But like Bush senior, you do crazy things.

Maybe you'll end up banning broccoli in your house, or puking on the Prime Minster of Japan!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Knock knock


I forgot that I had this picture to post. I actually shot it with my cell phone.

Look Who I Met!

Me and Carlos Whitaker - he writes www.ragamuffinsoul.com

Friday, November 07, 2008


According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website, www.ajc.com Brian Nichols is no longer the accused Fulton County Courthouse Murderer.

He IS the Fulton County Courthouse Murderer.

Word had been that the defense was willing to take an offer to plead guilty if the prosecution would remove the option of the death penalty. So in other words, he would admit he shot and killed a Fulton County Deputy Sheriff, a Fulton County Judge, a court reporter and a United States Customs Agent if they wouldn't seek to have him put to death, otherwise they would say he did not do it.

There was never any doubt that he committed these crimes. There were plenty of witnesses. The only reason to escape responsibility was to claim he was insane at the time he killed these people. His reason for insanity, the defense said Nichols felt as if the courtroom was a slave market.

The whole reason he was in the courtroom to behin with was that he was on trial for kidnapping, raping and sodomizing his ex-girlfriend. In his killing spree he also kidnapped and carjacked a number of other people, beat another deputy so badly she has permanent brain damage and held another woman hostage overnight while doing drugs in her apartment.

On Monday the penalty phase will begin.

For One Night Only, The Triumphant Return of The Blues Brothers Rythem and Blues Revue

My brother Peter and his friend Gary last Friday night.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Lyrics - Amen

It's another night in hell
Another child won't live to tell
Can you imagine what it's like to starve to death

And as we sit free and well
Another soldier has to yell
Tell my wife and children I love them in his last breath
C'mon now amen, amen, amen

Habitual offenders, scumbag lawyers with agendas
I'll tell you sometimes people I don't know what's worse
Natural disasters or these wolves in sheep clothes pastors
Now God damn it I'm scared to send my children to church

And how can we seek salvation
when our nations race relations
Got me feeling guilty of being white
But faith in human nature, our creator and our savior,
I'm no saint But I believe in what is right
C'mon now amen, amen I said amen, amen

Stop pointing fingers and take some blame,
Pull your future away from the flame
Open up your mind and start to live
Stop short changing your neighbors
Living off hand outs and favors, and maybe
Give a little bit more than you got to give

Simplify, testify, identify, rectify
And if I get high stop being so uptight
It's only human nature and I am not a stranger
So baby won't you stay with me tonight

When a calls away to break the sound
I'm faden down, I need someone Oh to be someone
They just sinken down, and holden back
I hold the dawn and run They don't save a child
Oh, to save a child
It's a matter of salvation from them patience up above,
So don't give up so damn easy on the one you love, one you love
Somewhere you got a brother, sister, friend, grandmother, niece or nephew
Just dying to be with you

You know there's someone out there who unconditionally, religiously, loves you
So just hold on 'cause you know it's true
And if you can take the pain
And you can with stand anything, and one day
Stand hand in hand with the truth

I said amen, I said
said amen, I said amen,


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Upcoming Events

The BHRG Basset Bash and Waddle is this Saturday. It's an annual event sponsored by and benefiting the Basset Hound Rescue of Georgia. I don't know how many people attend as it will be our first such event, but I can imagine there will be a lot of long-eared hounds waddling around. Of course pictures will be coming.

Later the same day we have another gathering coming. It's a blog party! Coordinated by Heather "Whitaker Woman" Whitaker with her husband Carlos (www.whitakerwoman.typepad.com and www.ragamuffinsoul.com) we'll be meeting this couple and a good number of other bloggers who have crossed paths through this couple's blogs. It will be a dinner and social event

Every day is an event at www.rockingthe80s.blogspot.com. If you like music from the Decade of Excess, click on the link and see what day it is and what the theme is for that day. Leave comments about your likes and dislikes, your memories associated with the videos and leave your requests for Long-distance Dedication Friday!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ten on Tuesday #18

This week's topic - 10 Things You Like Talking About






Sports (sometimes)





Did the deed

Voting is done.

Voting was fun.

Now, let all the people start all the complaining and fighting saying things were done unfairly or fraudulently (let's talk ACORN).

I'm just glad that they kept things right in Georgia, making sure that you must be able to prove with a photo ID that you are who you claim to be in order to vote.

BTW - it was 50 minutes from getting in line to walking out the door having voted, so to those who complained about a 6 hour wait last week during early voting, thanks for going early and making the line shorter today.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I'm curious about what kinds of fasting there are and what those of you who have fasted would suggest.

Our church www.northmetro.org is calling on a day of prayer and fasting tomorrow for the benefit of our nation as the following day is election day.

Obviously there is a pretty big rift between people suporting the candidates of the two major political parties. I personally support John McCain, but I fear too many people cannot separate the failures of President Bush from Mr. McCain. They are NOT the same person and it is hardly a reason to turn the leadership of our nation and our military to a man with no military background, very limited leadership experience, and a questionable background that includes openly and willingly associating with a known anti-government terrorist and a pastor who preaches hatred from the pulpit, and what do we really know about Obama's Muslim background/upbringing in a day and age that Muslim extremists want to destroy our country.