Monday, January 31, 2005

Finally, proof...

I was scouring the 'net for some hard news to exercise my mind tonight, and found something that would convince even the harshest religious skeptic of the existence of a creator:



That, ladies and gentlemen, is a grilled cheese with the virgin Mary on it. You may be skeptical, but it's 100 percent authentic. People are traveling the world to get a glimpse of this cherished religious symbol... hoping it bestows upon them the "blessing of the cheddar."

Then I happened across something even MORE astounding.



If you guessed this is a fish stick with Jesus on it, (DING DING DING) you are absolutely right! This morsel of mollusk is rumored to be a processed, homogenized and preserved piece of one of the actual fish Jesus duplicated in infinitum in the whole "loaves and fishes" thing. Obviously, a "Van DeKamp veneration."

It only took a few more mouse clicks until I came across...



The "Mary nursing Jesus" popcorn! That's right, this celestial kernel looks as if it "popped" right out of the heavenly husk of God. Who could question the obvious message He is sending through His mythical maize. If God has a name, it's probably Redenbacher.

But then, obviously satan became jealous of the attention given to the consecrated cuisine... and sent us THIS message (clearly authentic) on the side of a hot pocket:



What are we to make of this satanic snack? Could beelzabub be trying to lure us into his cheesy web of deceit? Or is the chef boyar-devil simply reminding us that, if we're not good, he'll save a nice little waterfront cottage for us... on the river STYX?

Side note: the luciferous hot pocket sold for 137 bucks on e-bay. No joke.

Anyway, finally my search for pietous pabulum was over, and I logged off the net. Faith in a creator is something you'll find in your heart - not in a grocery store.

Next stop, the pantry, where earlier I had spied a 'tater shaped like Hitler. That should fetch a handsome reward.

I don't often discuss politics

My friend Mike Anderson's blog included an interesting link today -

BE NOT MISLED BY THE BLUE AND THE RED

I'm not sure where you "come down" on the issues, but I consider myself a moderate Republican. I say moderate because there are issues upon which I agree with the Democrats - yet, I fall just a little on the red side of center.

The writer of the above-linked article for democraticunderground.com, Karyn Strickler, actually got me to write her a letter. I NEVER write letters! (when I see something that pisses me off, I usually just click another link and move on)

She is representative of a party of bitter people who feel cheated by the results of the election - irrespective of it's obvious legitimacy. My letter to her, cut/pasted below, encourages her to get on with life, put a smile on and get a candidate for 2008 that can "get 'er done."
_____

Karyn:

While I support your right and willingness to share your opinions on today’s state of politics, (I am a moderate conservative) I must say that, the absurd attempts at rationalization of the election results (or implication of impropriety because Kerry didn’t win) serve only to insult thinking Americans on both sides of the aisle.

While I don’t agree with President Bush on all the issues, he won the election. Most of us have accepted this and begun moving on. You should do the same – and be encouraged by this challenge:

Name a president in recent history who has successfully pushed an agenda forward in a second term. Clinton basically did nothing his second term, (beyond slight modifications, then endorsements of Republican ideas) nor did Ronald Reagan. Am I wrong? I am relying on memory here. ;)

Don’t be afraid of a second term. As you have so aptly pointed out, Bush has no chance of overturning Rowe v. Wade. He has very small likelihood of doing anything to further harm the ecology. He’ll not succeed at major military action beyond Iraq, we’re pretty tapped out there… and it looks like we’ll be there for a considerable time. Federal funding for stem cell research may be delayed (I am a big supporter, by the way)… but when measured against history, any “damage” Bush can inflict is most likely done.

Democrats should regroup – and take a good run at 2008. Find a candidate that represents the values of the party better than Kerry did… you must admit he was a weak candidate. But also understand that America chose the lesser of two evils in 2004. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, NOT wingers. Put a candidate out there who can take the best ideas from both sides and make them policy.

I like John McCain and Joe Liebermann. Those guys have a good, more central mindset. Unfortunately, Americans vote not only on the issues, but also on looks and personality... and neither McCain nor Liebermann possess the look or the personality to succeed. Too bad it’s that way, but it is.

Your examples of map manipulation/distortion to make it "bluish-purple" is ill-conceived. However, the idea that most INDIVIDUAL mainstream Americans are purple, not red or blue, is spot-on. Also, most mainstream Americans don't exhibit the level of hatred or negativity those on the far left or far right do.


Thoughts? Thanks for your time, I enjoy reading your work.

Best,
Dave Morris

_____________

I don't often discuss politics. Politics really suck. And so do most politicians. Prisons are filled with well intentioned pot-smokers... while CONGRESSMEN run free.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

I sound like I'm complaining AGAIN...

Since the Cubs are trading Sammy Sosa to the Orioles, the Cardinals/Cubs rivalry has lost some of its appeal. But to be honest, I'm only pretending to care. Screw the Cubs.

It has been an interesting weekend, to say the least. Friday night we went to the movies and saw "In Good Company." Really good flick, with a different ending than you'd expect. Afterward, we got in the truck - and ... nothing. The dealership told us the battery was bad... obviously not. Interesting to note, I was surprised to see how true-to-life the ON STAR commercials are. We had the truck towed and got home late. It was the starter all along. I wonder if the dealership will reimburse us for the unnecessary new battery.

Saturday we went to Danny's basketball game, then spent the evening at Fast Eddie's Bon Air in Alton, Illinois with a group of friends. Unfortunately, the place was completely packed when we got there, and it's up to you to find your own table. We spent about an hour looking for a place where we could all sit together. But the food was worth the wait, even though I was too sick to eat very much of it.

Today we hosted a birthday party for Tawnya's sister, and 23 people showed up. It was good to see everyone - although again, it's hard to find the energy to have fun when you feel like dung. Tawnya got an offer on one of her properties, so she's had a busy day. We ended the evening with a quick stop at a friend's for a glass of wine.

In the past 3 nights, I've gotten a total of about 9 hours of sleep. This cold is kicking my ass. Right now I can't imagine working tomorrow... because although I've been careful not to talk much this weekend, my voice sounds terrible.

I have to get some sleep - between Alka Seltzer Plus and Nyquil, I hope to finally hit the REM cycle.

Dave's best friend...


Regis is actually human, minus opposable thumbs. Posted by Hello

Friday, January 28, 2005

Dave's Friday Photo


Wishing we were Eagles. Posted by Hello

The politics of the gift certificate

This weekend we're throwing a party for Tawnya's sister - it's her 50th birthday. Happy birthday, sis!

My issue with gift-bearing holidays is always - is it okay to do the gift certificate? In this day/age, does it seem insensitive, impersonal, or any other in or im? Or is it absolutely freakin' brilliant?

I tend to think it's brilliant. The person always gets what they need. They can pick out their favorite brand, style and color. If it's a Macy's certificate they might opt for anything from lingerie to a fishing rod 'n' reel. (or better yet, meet in the middle and choose fishnet stockings)

Sure, there is always the possibility they will be insulted by the amount of the certificate... in which case I'll just go back and get them a bigger, more valuable certificate.


Just kidding, if they don't like the amount, screw them.


I happen to know my daughter is more thrilled with a mall gift card than most anything I could pick out for her. Of course we always buy her an actual gift, something personal and sweet... I never leave her hanging with only the certificate. (and I always accompany her on her spending spree - I don't ever want her to wear a hoochie outfit claiming it was a birthday gift from Dad)

I'm sure it's a personal thing... maybe to you, the negative politics of giving a gift certificate outweigh the positive aspects. If so, just let me know - and I'll consider getting sis a toaster.

Any thoughts to share on the subject?

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Fatherhood... again??

I have become aware recently that, sometimes in public places I see people with babies and believe I could do that again. There's something neat about watching parents with their children - watching them feed them, play with them, cooing...

So as I lay on the couch today, sick from a cold some child probably gave me, I decided it would be wise to make a list of reasons I shouldn't be thinking about becoming a parent AGAIN.

  1. I am selfish. I grew up an only child, and I act like one. I am just not good at sharing, whether it's food, a chair or a computer.
  2. When left to my own devices, dinner can consist of half a peanut butter sandwich, some gummy worms, a handful of oyster crackers and a hard boiled egg. And bread-n-butter pickles right out of the jar. This IS my idea of a healthy home cooked meal...
  3. These days I am not as interested in the future as I am in the "right now." Planning for tomorrow used to be an obsession with me, but these days I'm leaving that to my stock broker/investment advisor. This makes planning a child's future a distant reality.
  4. I am prone to fits of wanderlust. The day our 13 year old leaves for college, it is likely I will desire to pack our stuff and move to a beach. Then maybe the top of a mountain. Then NYC. I may never settle down again. What kind of life would that be for a child?
  5. I have no intention of missing sleep ever again for anything that cries.
  6. Similarly, changing diapers holds the same appeal to me as having a rabid badger loose in my pants.
  7. I have friends with kids. I can borrow theirs from time to time. When I'm finished, I will say "here, take it."
  8. Teenagers are painful when they believe they know more than me. They are even MORE painful when it turns out they are right.
  9. I have no idea what the world will be like in 20 years - for the first time in my life, I am concerned enough to NOT want to risk it.
  10. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog's back.

(that last one was just filler... for some reason a list just isn't complete without 10 items)

So, I will run this list through the printer and place it on the fridge - right about where the crayon drawings would go - to remind me my parenting days are almost over.

And from the looks of my list, that's a wise decision.


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

SpongeBob, stir fry & such things

So SpongeBob is gay.

That is the latest word from "Focus on the Family" founder Dr. James Dobson.

Okay, look... I am as conservative as the next guy. I hate what gangsta rap and MTV have done to kids these days. I think we're walking a fine line of decency on television and radio. I wish things were more pure - like, say, 30 years ago.

But I am also irked by the continued stupidity of the ultra-right. My recent Falwell piece is another example of how the off-the-map neoconservatives have sullied their party's platform. Guys, do me a favor. Sweep your own back porch. Jesus preached tolerance, why do you have such a hard time with it?

And for Christ sake, SpongeBob is NOT gay. I know this for a fact, I hit on him at a party once. Completely stonewalled me.

I made dinner tonight, and although I spent most of the day barely able to swallow because of sore throat, this meal was fantastic. It was nothing near what my wife makes routinely... but I'm talking about ME here, a guy who can barely manage to open his own bag of chips.

The meal was stir fry, a recipe borrowed from my friend Rick. Lots of vegetables, mushrooms, peppers, shrimp and orange slices... sauteed in soy, olive oil and red wine, served over rice with a splash of teriyaki sauce. It was a groovy meal - and a good break from the type of meals I usually cook.

We signed up for AT&T CallVantage(sm) service this week. It's VOIP, (voice over internet protocol) so everything goes through the cable modem. (weird to think about getting rid of the telephone company) It's great, if the modem ever goes out, AT&T automatically routes all calls to my cell phone. When I get a call, I can make it ring at home, both of our cell phones and in the car simultaneously. Whoever answers first gets the call. Like having extensions anywhere you want. Pretty neat stuff!

Voice mail can be retrieved through the home phone, from any other phone in the world, we can click on an icon on our call management page of the internet, or have the mp3 recordings emailed to our inbox. The quality seems good so far, but we're bandwidth hogs - my voice over sessions all get uploaded to a central server. I generally upload hundreds of megabytes every day, so I already had to ask AT&T to up the bandwidth the telephone adapter can handle. But since then, it's been perfect. We did have to get new phone numbers, so if you're a friend or client, dial the old number. The new digits are recorded on the outgoing voicemail messages.

Okay, you're bored, and I am out of things to say. So what are we still doing here?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Literally breathtaking observation... gasp.... gasp!

Have you ever noticed how people misuse the word "literally?"

"Bobby Joe literally jumped out of his skin when he heard the news about Ginny May!" That always slays me. So you're telling me a skinless man is standing there with his mouth agape? Really?

Or, "Grandma literally crapped her pants when the officer stopped her for speeding." Well, no. She didn't literally crap her pants. She only pooped figuratively.

It was a fairly good day, with one exception. I am coming down with my first cold in over 2 years. Not just the sniffles, I mean a real doozy. Sore throat, tight muscles, slight fever, headache. And it comes at a most inopportune time... I am working on some major projects right now. But there's never a convenient sickness.

So this will be a short entry, I need to get some sleep. I feel like I've literally been hit by a truck.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Well, I WAS in a good mood...

So I'm standing in line at Fed Ex this evening - and on the television in the corner, CNN is reporting that according to a study, today (January 24) is the most depressing day of the year. Well, I immediately start a conversation with the guy next to me, because I don't want to hear this.

But I'm a thinker, and I just couldn't leave it alone. So here's my hypothesis:

For starters, the 24th is probably the average day December credit card bills hit most mailboxes. Merry Christmas.

Also, it's a dead spot for holidays. The hooplah of the xmas season is over, and there's nothing really happening until St. Patricks day. Folks are just starting to drool at the thought of beer and corned beef/cabbage - yet still have two long weeks to wait. Well... hell.

Hmmm. What else? Oh, it's January... which SUCKS. And I'll bet the record book says the 24th is when the lowest average temperature of winter hits. That would certainly serve to depress the crap out of normal people.

Uh, let's see. OH! It's Monday... I'm sure that has something to do with it. A cold weekend of wind and snow, staying inside getting cabin fever... then BOOM! Back to freakin' work with the traffic and the boss and the cubicle. Shit.

So I'm starting to see why it's the most depressing day of the year.

"But hey, it really didn't affect me, my day was just fine!" I think.


But wait... wasn't it this morning that Tawnya left for work, then came back in saying, "the truck battery is dead, it won't start"? Yeah, that was today.

Didn't we then call On-Star and get a tow truck - only to have the guy show up, turn the key and p-o-o-f, it started? And didn't the dealership find the ONE thing wrong with the truck (the battery) that wasn't covered under our warranty? Mmm, yes - that was also today.

Wasn't it also this very date that I missed the Fed Ex delivery guy... and had to drive all the way across town to retrieve the package for which I just couldn't wait until tomorrow's delivery? And once I GOT the package from Fed Ex (which is where I heard the report about depression in the first place) weren't the contents useless - forcing me to wait until tomorrow to install my new toy anyway??? Uh-huh.

Which made my trip across town unnecessary. #$&*%!

Side note: by now, you're thinking there couldn't possibly be a pi├Ęce de resistance. You're wrong.

A few minutes ago, we turned on the Tivo in the family room to watch some highly anticipated shows which were recorded last week... and it gives us this pretty green screen which says "A SEVERE ERROR HAS OCCURRED." We lost everything we had recorded. And the machine.

And the God-damned dog next door won't shut the hell up.

Maybe there IS something to this January 24 thing.

Johnny Carson - 1925-2005


"America's Bedtime Story"

Some absolutely withering news...

I am the same height as Fabio.

And Ed Begley, Jr., Buddy Ebsen, James Taylor, Gregory Peck, George Foreman and Jimmy Stewart. Even at 6'3", I am A FULL FOOT shorter than Peter Mayhew. (Chewbacca the Wooiekee)

But Fabio?!?! Depressing news for a Monday.

Click here if you want to check yourself against a celebrity or two.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Hi Googlers!!!

Here are a few phrases that will now show up on search engines and should get some errant (although soon-to-be disillusioned) visitors to my blog:

Britney Spears nude
nude pics of Britney
Britney topless pictures
Spears without clothing
Britney Spears porn
naked pictures of Britney
totally nude Britney Spears
skank without scruples Spears
Britney boobies
boobies Britney
Britney Spears freshly shaven ass
she's Britney she's naked
spank to Spears free
Brittney lesbian photos (Britney misspelled deliberately)
Kournikova Spears video
Britney Spears with a goat

Message to Spears fans - there's no porn, but maybe you'll learn something. Keep reading!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Forgive this experiment...

Testing my capabilities for posting from my palm. Cool!

Dave's Friday Photo


Waiting for Spring. Posted by Hello

Things to do

I was thumbing through pictures of vacations and it occurred to me - I need to make a list of things I want to do before I... not that I plan to anytime soon, but... die.

Most of the things I wish to accomplish involve travel. And sure, some of the things are private and involve pulleys and Wesson oil. But I digress.
  1. Learn to fly a plane.
  2. Tour Australia for 10 days.
  3. Drive around Europe for 10 days. (sub-item: drive on the autobahn)
  4. Live in a house on the beach.
  5. Take a picture near Mt. Rushmore in a pose which makes it look like my finger is in George Washington's nose.
  6. Try to be serious through an entire blog entry.
  7. Live in New York City.
  8. Discover who I am - really down deep - and be completely satisfied with that person.
  9. Find out that the "down deep" person I discover is a very rich man with no worries and no real schedule.
  10. Successfully end my addiction to beef jerky.

I hope after reading my (mostly serious) blog about life's potential, you will make your own list. Please click the COMMENT link below and share at least one.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being"

Jerry Falwell is a joke.

Look, Christianity is a fine religion - hell, (pardon the pun) I'm a Christian. I just don't see the need to make every disaster, convention or door-bell an opportunity for "witnessing." Good LORD, (pun again) Jerry... if you're going to help with tsunami relief, do so because it's the right thing to do. NOT because you might recruit more Christians who will, in turn, line your greedy pockets.

A few Falwell quotes for you to savor:

  • "Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan in America"
  • "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals"
  • "God continues to ... allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve."

That final quote regards the terrorist attacks of September 11. As I said, Falwell is a joke. A profiteering, high-living, judgmental hypocrite.

The sad thing is, he has followers.

link to the story

Morning chuckle

A couple of entrepreneurial kids stumbled across a sensation - and most of us have seen their work. Talking here about JibJab.com

Their animated "This Land Is Your Land" has received copius amounts of airplay on all the major networks and cable outlets, MTV, Comedy Central ... and I must say, they were careful to be equal opportunity animators.

The wait has been long, but the newest production of JibJab is called "Second Term," and again... it's pretty hilarious! Click here and enjoy.

Or click here if you have no life... and you place no value on time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

My life hasn't always been so normal...

In fact, although "normal" is a relative term, even today I think I'm textbook lunatic fringe.

Case-in-point: I've been married THREE times. A fact I am not proud of... although by today's standards, not so unusual. The unusual part is (and here's a little unsolicited insight into my marital past) in a cruel twist of irony, it would seem I was too mature for my first wife, and not mature enough for my second. WTF?!? Of course things have settled down, and this time, (as if I were some male modern-day version of Goldilocks) my maturity level is "just right." But the marriage fairy has made it clear she can completely screw me anytime she pleases.

Side note: Sticking with the nursery-rhyme theme, I think my current wife secretly wishes she were Rapunzel - and could chop off her locks and shimmy down from a window for a quick exit if she so desired.

Another somewhat abnormal aspect of my life is fatherhood. I have a daughter from my first marriage, but she's 2 hours away - so it's hard to thump her when she needs it. She is now (in a strange dicotomous world) the wonderful/dreadful age of 15. She's as beautiful/reprehensible as any Father could want or expect from an offspring. The wonder/torment she brings to my life is absolutely devine/loathesome. I have her 26 weekends a year, which is never/always enough. Isn't 15 a great/repugnant age?

And you want REAL abnormality? I didn't know my father until I was 32 - something I am still struggling to deal with. Oh sure, we're trying to catch up - but when I ask him to play catch in the yard, I AM THE ONE quitting early with the bad back. Plus I tire easily chasing after the ball. Though I must say, Dad really is making an effort to recapture lost experiences. The speakerphone long distance bedtime stories he tells are just... great - although they're usually paraphrased from the Wall Street Journal or some political blog - and peppered with his own Texan opinion (and a few curse words). Not good sleep-inducing material, but his efforts are appreciated. It's hard being a 40 year old kid.


And I won't even START with my unusual affinity for ovine.


So, look... next time you feel your life is strange, ask me for a pair of my shoes and take a little walk. Obviously my normalcy graph has more ups 'n' downs than Michael Jackson's wrist in a Chuck E. Cheese restroom.

And if you find a penny in the toe of one of the shoes - leave it. I need all the luck I can get.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day



"... When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!" Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 16, 2005

MMMmmm... cocoa

I slept until 11 today - I can't believe that happened! I am usually awake around 8-ish on weekends, but my friend Gary had one of his famous margarita/pina colada/football parties last night - and I never arise early after those.

Rams lost their playoff game last night - another dreadful defensive performance. Fire defensive coordinator Larry Marmie, retool the special teams. Please.

We had a day of errand-running today, a trip to the central west end to exchange a kitchen chair that was damaged on delivery, had lunch at a great place called "Blueberry Hill," stopped a few times and finally made it home at around 5:30pm. We're watching the rest of the New England/Indianapolis game, then watching Anchorman. (Will Farrell) A nice quiet family night at home. Just what the doctor ordered!

I'm going to warm up some milk and fix some hot cocoa. It's 15 degrees - and that sucks.

Friday, January 14, 2005

More news for the non-commuter...

I wrote a piece last week about working at home. Looks like there's a new frontier for the "boxer shorts work force." Check out this article. It seems Americans can still beat workers from India - with our slippers on, and one hand stuck in a bag of Doritos.

Dave's Friday Photo


A thingy with some out of focus stuff behind it. Took this in Seaside, Florida. Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 13, 2005

New gizmos

Recently, a technology convention was held in Las Vegas - during which a whole new generation of techno gadgets was unveiled. Each promised to make life easier for its user - or gaming more realistic for the player.

Being a techie, I love learning about new doo-hickery... I especially like the hands-on experience! But lately I've come to believe we've gone too far. Presented as evidence:

Samsung has released a new cell phone that is motion-sensitive. Shake it once, it dials a number. Shake twice, it hangs up your call. Making an "O" shape in the air indicates a yes, wave an "X" in the air and it's no. For upcoming models, the company plans to build in more features, including tools for analyzing changes in a user's movements... and dispensing diet advice.

Diet advice. From my cell phone. Riiiight. First, I ignore diet advice from my DOCTOR. Secondly, I have no intention of being anywhere in public shaking my phone. Making an "X" or "O" in the air, arms flailing wildly for all to scrutinize just ain't gonna happen. I look goofy enough on a daily basis, I need no help from Samsung.

Another new cell phone offered by Verizon features video playback. A handy feature (especially when you're DRIVING), you'll be able to download a whole range of video clips from CNN, NBC, AccuWeather, (and probably soon the SPICE channel) directlly to your phone.

"Uh... hello, Verizon? Yes, could you do me a favor and get me a usable signal in all parts of the town where I live before you start selling PHONES YOU CAN WATCH TV ON?"

And get this... there is also a new ONLINE fitness bike on the market. Yes, that's right... if you can't peel yourself away from the @%$! XBox long enough for life-extending (albeit artificial) exercise, we now have a stationary bike that won't unfairly require you to log off of HALO II. An absolute must for the gaming heart patient!

Quite obviously there is an abundance of new gadgets coming to an electronics store near you. More than enough, in fact, to make me say, "uh... why?"

So I propose putting a moratorium on new technology until we can accomplish the following:
  • I want nail clippers that DON'T shoot your organic jetsam across the room into someone's tea.
  • Give me a garbage disposal that won't be completely disabled by one little piece of beef gristle.
  • Make it possible for me to NEVER have to take the lid off the back of the toilet to do... anything.
  • (keeping with the bathroom theme) Give me an exhaust fan that actually sucks... and turns itself off when it's finished sucking.
  • Show me a car that has a "check engine light" light. (how do we know when it might be burned out?)
  • Give we large-handed people a way to get to the last few Pringles.

And finally...

  • I want a lover that won't drive me crazy.

But mostly, the nail clippers.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Circle of life

Today we experienced a beginning and an end. On the same day.

Welcome Jaylin Noelle Camden. 3 lbs., 13 ounces, Tawnya's new great niece! Born several weeks early, she'll be in the hospital for a little while longer, but she's in great health. Congrats to Ryan and Melanie, the proud parents. MAN, are your lives about to change!

And...

Godspeed to Adrianne Marie Fenton. We mourned her passing tonight at her funeral in Greenville, IL. (my tribute to her remains on this site, a few stories down)

One final word on the subject and I promise I'm through for a while. Ever heard of those celebratory funerals... the kind some black folks have? The ones that include friends, neighbors, family and anyone looking for a good plate of casserole afterward... and where folks rear back and practically shout the songs? It's almost like a party - an utter all-out celebration of the life of the person - and the biggest tears are usually followed with a good belly laugh from way down deep! Anyone who wants to is free to stand up and say how they feel... and stories of the deceased are retold one more time...



And you can almost feel the person's soul in the room.



THAT is the kind of funeral I want. Let the attendees decide what's next... an open schedule and open hearts. I want people to leave with a warm feeling - and I want them to know how much I cared for them.

Yep. That's how I want to go. I'm going to copy this and give it to my wife so she knows what to do. But not anytime soon, honey.

Bye bye, Adrianne. We love ya.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Pocket protectors and those who wear them

I have taken an IQ test. I will not tell you my score, but I will say (in a very snobbish "holier than thou" tone) I am well above average. I'm smiling as I type this because I'm really not a braggart... but it's above what is considered "genius." WTF?!?

If you're a friend of mine, I know what you're thinking right now. Screw you.

So I took a nerd test.

I am nerdier than 15% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

It's a 1 to 100 scale. I can't decide how to feel about my result. 15 feels pretty low for someone of my obvious intelligence! (ha!) I should research the subject more... I think I'll utilize my Hewlett Packard 48gll graphing calculator to cipher the results.

And if you'd like, click the icon above, take the short test and post your result in the COMMENTS section of this entry. I'd love to know if I'm even close to average on the nerd scale.

Better go, I have a couple of episodes of "The Man Show" on the Tivo. But wait, I see there is a Star Trek marathon on. Decisions, decisions.

There is wisdom in quoting wise people

I ran across some interesting words this morning that deserve repeating. Both from author Anita Sharpe.

"Accepting your destiny may require abandoning your dream."

This really struck me. I wonder how many of us are so busy trying to be who we WISH we were, we fail to see who we truly are.

Also:

"...self confidence is nothing special. It is the absence of self-consciousness, nothing more, nothing less."

Food for thought. Hope it helps.



Sunday, January 09, 2005

Fat Bastard


I was putting some bottles in the wine rack today and realized I had received this bottle from an unknown friend during our recent house-warming party. Whoever you are, you're lucky I have forgotten it was you.

In the same vein, my Dad sent me several bottles of wine for Christmas this year from a place called MY HUSBAND'S NUTS. Redneck Red, White Trash White, and Granny's Last Syrah. I wonder how they taste... but I might not even drink them, the novelty factor is just too good!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Is it just me, or...


I can't seem to keep these guys separate in my mind. Don Cheadle is being interviewed and I'm thinking Saturday Night Live. Meadows is on and I'm thinking Oceans Eleven.

WTF?!? It's 2 am. I need some REAL things to worry about.Posted by Hello

Friday, January 07, 2005

The 12-step commuter

If things get too crazy at work - phone, boss, deadlines - you can get up, walk to the coffee pot or water cooler and unwind for a minute. Doesn't it take the edge off to walk around a little and get some water?

Okay, it never worked for me either.

Now, when I hit a stress point I sit on the couch and read a book for a while. Or go into the kitchen and pour some milk and open a bag of Cheetos. (aren't Cheetos therapeutic?) Or I grab a bottle of OJ, venture out to the patio and ease into the hot tub. Occasionally I head out to the garage, open the toolbox and fix something. Sometimes I go to the billiard room and practice pool. In the summertime, I might cruise to the backyard to a different kind of pool and hop a raft for a while with a good book.

Ain't it great working from home????

Well, sometimes. You definitely have to be self-motivated. You can't ever let "I can do it tomorrow" enter your mind... and that's a lot harder than you think. (there's a whole stocked bar in my house - yet if I even TOUCH alcohol, I'm done for the day!)

Work-at-home people have to know when to get back to work. My wife can't do it, she takes herself to her office every day - the television, pool and her reading chair are too distracting. I respect her for doing what she needs to do. Workin' at home ain't for everyone.

Yet the business world is moving fast toward incorporating home-offices into the work structure. People everyday are breaking the surly bonds of the commute and working via internet from home. I hope the trend continues... imagine how much more healthy we'd all be! Traffic is a leading cause of stress, right? We'll decrease our dependency on foreign oil and help clean the air. Less money will be spent on road repairs and infrastructure. We'll use less paper, Prozac and parking spots.

But alas, without direct supervision many just won't be able to make the transition. They risk falling victim to Judge Judy, Oprah and The Guiding Light. So for them, the commute continues. And that's okay, working-at-home is not for everyone.

So if you must remain bound to the cubicle, pop a Prozac, head to the water cooler or take a walk. As for me, I gotta run, Divorce Court is starting in 5 minutes.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Our friend Adrianne

Death is a subject I don't like to discuss. If you'll endulge me, I'll talk about it now.

While on vacation, we received news of the death of our friend Adrianne Fenton. She was found in her home by a friend on New Years day. She died way too young, leaving behind a son, Truman, age 6. I've searched the internet for an obituary or news story of any kind. I cannot find one, so I will endeavor to pay my own tribute.

I met Adrianne back in the mid 90's, when she became an employee of the radio station where I worked. She was a native of St. Louis, but had been in Los Angeles for a while and had only a few friends here. We became friends, and I helped her with the job of scheduling guests for the radio station's morning show she produced. She was a hard worker and perfectionist, and I admired her work and personal ethic. She ended up staying in St. Louis for only a short time, choosing to move back to Los Angeles for a job with Disney. She stayed in touch, and eventually became good friends with my wife as well.

Adrianne was an incredible person. She also held within her a simmering turmoil and sadness nobody could fix. I always wondered which life experiences left her with such heartache. She never really offered an explanation... in fact, she did her best to hide her problems. She never wanted to trouble friends. That's part of why she had such an infectious laugh and warm smile.

Adrianne's relationships with parents and grandparents were a little rocky, although she worked hard to improve them. She would travel back to St. Louis every 4 to 6 months, but her visits were never happy and always short.

She had friends, but essentially she and her son Truman were alone in California. Truman was her life. She took great care to make sure his school was top notch, that he had everything he needed, and that he knew how to celebrate life. Every birthday was a party, every holiday a celebration. She would send me pictures of their trips to the park, Disneyland, the beach - she really loved being a Mom.

I pray Truman wasn't there when she died, although I have a feeling he probably was. If so, I hope the memory of that day fades quickly. I wonder what will become of him - his father wasn't an active part of his life.

Our friend Adrianne Fenton was only in her mid 30's - but she seemed to have an older soul. I pray she passed easily - and I hope against hope that she is finally able to soften her melancholy and find some contentment.

And, that Truman remembers what a good Mom he had.


Adrianne & Truman, Christmas 2001

Just where in the HELL have you been???


This is a map of the states I've visited. If you'd like to waste your valuable time making your own map, click here. Kinda fun.

Well, only if you have no life. Like me.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Last evening in Destin


After something called a DESTRESSER (some vodka and rum concoction) we decided to try to take some dramatic photos. Posted by Hello

The sun, ducking below the horizon for the second time in 2005. Great sunset at a place called Whale Tail here in Destin. Posted by Hello

One of the natives...


Another great pic using the "sepia" setting on the digital camera. FYI, Sony DSC-F717 5.0 megapixel. This fella was waiting patiently for a girl who was tossing out frozen squid. Posted by Hello

Saturday, January 01, 2005

More from the road...


Last day of the yule season - January 1, 2005. Happy new year! It was a fairly quiet celebration last night at a place called "Destin Chops..." a nice restaurant (definitely a meat-lovers paradise) located right on the water, connected to a marina. We sat in front of a window and were able to watch the water, eat steak and ring in the new year quietly. We were in bed before 1, and got up this morning for a cup of coffee on the beach.Posted by Hello

At a place called Seaside, Florida. We rented bikes and rode for an hour or so. Stopped for ice cream and snapped this "sepia" filtered picture of Tawnya. Posted by Hello

Rick loves Rolling Rock. We've both had a couple in this picture. Posted by Hello

These glasses belong to the girls. It got them so much attention... we thought we should wear them for a while. Posted by Hello

Where we are...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We've traveled from N.O. to Destin... it's 72 degrees this morning and we spent it walking the beach. There was an amazing amount of damage from hurricane Ivan. It's depressing how much of the beautiful sand is washed away. I suppose it's natures way of cleansing things. It's slowly getting back to normal though and is again becoming very beautiful. I'll upload more pictures later, we're going out for the day. I'll also take time tonight to write a few lines and tell of our adventure so far. It's fairly liberating to just hop in the car with a couple of friends and start driving with no real plan.

This is where I want to be. By the ocean. I've waited long enough, I think we're going to look at condos for sale today.

A couple of New Orleans pics...


New Orleans entertainment at its ... (scroll to next pic below) Posted by Hello

...HAIRIEST. Look at this closeup of her pit. Eeeewwww! This girl has enough "pelt" growing under her arm to outfit an entire gaggle of Aleutian Eskimo.Posted by Hello