Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tagged: Six things about me

I was tagged by Unfocused Me (a few days ago, sorry it took so long) for a meme to write six things about me. Since Tuesday I wrote ten quirky things about me, I'll put six normal things. It's probably a good thing since my wife told me Tuesday's post made me seem a little unstable. I'm really not. Just quirky! There is a difference.

The rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules.
3. Write six things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their sites.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up

I might break a couple rules. Let's get to the six.

1. I was born in Chicago, grew up in the northwest suburbs, and I still live there. I never had a job offer out of the area, but I don't remember ever applying for one either.

2. I like infomercials. It's not that I want to buy the products, far from it, I enjoy the cheesiness (is that a real word?) of the commercials. Every product is revolutionary and is going to change the world. They always show someone incapable of doing a normal, everyday activity without hurting themselves; unless they use this awesome new product.

3. I like cars. I read Automobile magazine and drool over the cool cars that I will never be able to afford. I told my wife I want a used Porsche for my mid-life crisis car. We'll see how that goes.

4. I used to work for Applebee's. It's been about 10 years now, I worked there when I went back to school, but I have fond memories of the job. I waited tables and worked the bar. I had a lot of fun.

5. Since number 4 reminded me of it...I graduated from college in 1992 with a B.A in Psychology, worked in 'the real world' for a while, then went back to school in 1996. I graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology in 1998. No, I don't know what the weather is going to be tomorrow. But I can tell you why some things happened -- maybe.

6. I met my wife in college and we have been together ever since. We didn't get married right out of school, mostly to save money, but we knew we would. I never regret it for a minute.

OK, that was pretty normal. I'm not going to tag, but if anyone wants to do it let me know. I hope this one made me seem more normal.

It's picture day at school

So what happens this morning? My son smacks his head on the edge of the end table 15 minutes before we leave for school. First comes crying, then the bleeding. It looked bad since there was so much blood, but we got it stopped and it is only a small cut. No stitches needed. I can't wait to see the pictures. He should look cool sporting a Scooby Doo bandage on his forehead. Maybe he'll start a new trend.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ten on Tuesday: Quirks, superstitions, traditions

Back to the Ten on Tuesday thing. I miss last week due to work duties, but I think I'll be able to do it today.

This week we are supposed to list 10 superstitions, traditions, ad/or personality quirks. Hmm...let's see what I can come up with.

1. I'm very afraid of eating "bad" food. I always check the dates on food in the house; one day past "freshest" date and it is out of there. If something smells just a little off, I don't eat it. The package isn't quite closed all the way, it's tossed out. I think part of this comes from working in restaurants for many years before my current job. Some of it might be rebellion since my mom always said, "Oh, that doesn't go bad." Everything goes bad.  Most of it comes from fear of getting sick. That's not so strange. Right?

2. Related to above, I do not like to eat outside. No picnics for me. I don't like my food near bugs, or other varmits. What do you do when you see bugs in the house? You kill them, you don't share your meal with them. I will eat on the patio, but when bugs start flying around the food I go back in the house.

3. I don't like feet. Weird, I know. I don't care.

4. I need to listen to music to do anything. I can't clean the house, mow the lawn, or do any laundry without music playing. I used to bring a radio in the shower when I was growing up, but now with kids running around or sleeping, I don't do that anymore.

5. I need my own blanket when I sleep. I can't share. It just doesn't work. My wife and I used to share when we were first married, but now we each use our own. I get hot when I sleep so this way I can take off, and put back on my blanket without disturbing her.

6. I have very little patience. (Is that a quirk?) Especially with myself. If I am trying to fix or build something, which I am not good at, I get very irritated when I can't get pieces to go together or I drop something at the most crucial moment. This happens frequently. Kids toys are very hard to put together!

7. No matter what material a sweater is made out of, I must wear a t-shirt underneath. All sweaters are itchy in my book. Wool, cotton, polyester (is there such a thing?), it doesn't matter.

8. Speaking of T-shirts. I don't generally wear the regular white T-shirts that are supposed to go under clothes. They are too binding. I like close to feel loose. So I wear regular short sleeve shirts under clothes that need them. Concert shirts, shirts from the zoo, running shirts, shirts with sayings on them that I need to cover up at work. I do wear the regular white T's under a dress shirt. Luckily I don't wear those often.

9. Since our garage is full of junk, our cars stay on the driveway all night. So, I obsess about the doors being locked. I've gotten out of the bed in the middle of the night to check if they are locked. Since we live in the age of keyless entry, it is much easier to check.

10. Not that I will ever see one here, except in a zoo, but alligators and crocodiles freak me out. I like to play golf, but I'm afraid to ever go to Florida to play because of them.

So, there is the list. It was harder to make up than I thought.

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's miserable outside

Only three or four weeks ago we were praying for 40 degree weather. Now, since we had a couple days in the 70's, this same weather is so cold. The continuous rain isn't helping. It leeches all the heat out of your body. I think work should have been called of today.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Quick question

Has anyone else seen Mission to Mars ? I didn't think so. That's not the question. Why is Gary Sinse wearing eyeliner in this movie? He's an astronaut not a musician.

Update: deleted comment about a movie that Gary Sonese was not in. Thanks to Jenn for correcting me.

I'm really not paranoid

But why do I keep seeing the same guy wandering the hallways at work? I just saw him a few minutes ago and I saw him when I went to the cafeteria, but he was always in front of me in various areas of the building. Maybe he's following me while being in front of me. More covert that way. Weird or crazy? Just keep the answer to yourself. That's all I ask.

Nobody tell me what happened on The Office

Somehow we screwed up and forgot to record The Office and 30 Rock. The problem is our TiVo is across the room from the telephone jack. Instead of having the cord stretched across the room for the kids to trip on, we only plug it in whenever it tells us. The TiVo is very smart you know. The problem is that it warns you early.
"Hey, I only have 3 days of programming left."

So I ignore it. I have three days. Why do it now?

Then it starts to nag me like it's my mom

"I only have two days left, you better do it."

I'll do it tomorrow.

"Tomorrow never comes for you."

Then, just to spite the machine I let it run out of info. You know, teach it who's boss. Turns out the only thing TiVo can learn from you is you might like MacGyver since you watch The A-team. It's not as smart as you think. Oh, and once it knows you have a kid in the house, forget it. For a long time we would never have space for our TV shows because it was filled up with Doodlebops, Hi-5, Mickey Mouse get the idea.

As you may have guessed, the programming info ran out and we had to manually set it to record anything. Manually record things? Bah, we live 2008 now, not 1999! We remembered to record (I almost wrote "tape") Lost, but neither of us remembered The Office until the next day. We weren't happy. We could watch it online, but that's not very relaxing. We don't have a big TV so we can watch TV shows on a 15" monitor.

But, we got lucky. We have a older TiVo in our bedroom that we record shows that overlap in time; turns out that still had The Office programmed in it, and that one is plugged in at all times. We haven't watched it yet. We've been to busy. So don't ruin anything. I've been staying away from the online recaps on purpose.

I'm thinking I should have posted this on Friday before I knew we had the show on the other TiVo. It would have had more impact.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Weekend Assignment #213: Book Boosters

I'll admit it, I had fun on the last weekend assignment. I don't know anything about poetry, so I was a little anxious about it. Thanks for all the kind words; they made me less nervous. Anyway, on to the new assignment. Karen wants us to talk about our favorite books:

While it may be difficult to choose your favorite book of all time, there's probably a certain genre or category of books you prefer over other kinds. Do you love a mystery, or would you rather read about dragons? Are you thirsty for a good vampire tale, or is science fiction more your style? Do you mostly stick with the classics, or look for the latest spy novel? Are you a biography buff? Do a lot of your books have the word "Dummies" in the title? Do you like to read about real-world politics, science, history or sports, or would you rather escape the real world with a good romance? Tell us! And while you're at it, tell us your second favorite category of books.

Picking out a favorite book would be difficult. I've read too many that I really like to pick just one. Genre is a little easier, but I have to narrow it down to two, does that still count? I generally read Science Fiction and Horror-ish books. The horror books I read are either Stephen King or Dean Koontz. Dean Koontz doesn't consider his books horror, that's why I said "horror-ish".

Science fiction were the first "real" books I read by my own choice when I was growing up. I found an Isaac Asimov book in the library that looked cool, and I enjoyed it so much that  my mission was to read all of his books. Only his fiction books though, he has way too many non-fiction books. From there I went on many journeys through time and space that really made me think and enjoy the universe around me.

Then, one day in college, someone handed me It, by Stephen King. All through college I read about things that lurk in the shadows of our subconscious. I've read just about every book by Stephen King and Dean Koontz, but I haven't tried many others in the genre. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

I've read a few science books here and there, but not a lot. I seem to pick the books that are way too advanced for me, I get confused, then I give up on them. My wife bought an autobiography we thought we'd like, but I can't read it. I won't name it here, but I don't like the writing at all.

Extra Credit: Do you ever loan out books to friends or family?

I've loaned out a book or two once in a while, but not many of my friends or family read the same things I do. So I keep them, and drive my wife crazy with the books that are stacked up that I don't throw away, or give away.

So, read any good books lately?

Friday, April 25, 2008

To the guy...

...on his cell phone in the bathroom stall: Really? You couldn't wait a few minutes to tell your wife to pick up your dry cleaning? You know it is really creepy walking into a bathroom and hearing someone whispering. Really creepy. I have a cell phone too. It sometimes rings when I am in the bathroom. I ignore it, or turn it off. It's the right thing to do. You do know about the no talking rule in the men's room, right? OK, then. Thank you for your time.

Busy here today. I'll probably be back later.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Quincy keeps watch

All mine
Originally uploaded by Mike F.
Quincy keeps watch over his land; searching for predators that might steal his food.

"What's that? A hyena? No, it's a leaf. What about that? Oh, another leaf. "

His kingdom safe for another day, Quincy goes in the house for a nap.

Yes, I know he's a dog, not a lion, but doesn't he look like one here?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Random Wednesday

It's late, but it's still Wednesday. I've been busy today trying to get a start on cleaning up our house for our daughter's fourth birthday party. It's just a family party, but the house needs a good cleaning. With the addition of a puppy our work has seemingly increased tenfold. Anyway, on to the random post.

I saw the Styx tour bus driving down the road the other day. It's not really a big deal, they are from Chicago after all, but it was neat to see. They were one of my first favorite bands when I was growing up. I've mentioned my very first before, but I didn't really know any better back then. Kansas was my very first, and Styx followed close after that. In 1996 Styx reunited for the Return to Paradise tour and Kansas opened for them. Needless to say I was there. I felt like I was in junior high again, but I could buy beer -- legally. It was a great show.

My son has decreed that he only wants to eat animals that are mean. It all started last week when we were eating meatloaf for dinner, his choice by the way. He asked what animal the meat came from. I knew where this was going so I kind of mumbled that it was from a cow. He told me he didn't want to eat cows because they were nice. "I only want to eat mean animals. Like rhinos," he said. I let it go at that point. I was hoping he'd forget about it. He didn't. The next night he was having a hot dog and he asked where hot dogs come from. I told him it comes from a lot of different things. Which really isn't lying if you think about it. I should have told him it was rhino horn. Tonight he had chicken nuggets in the shape if dinosaurs; I think that helped throw him off. Maybe next time I'll shape the meatloaf like a t-rex.

Did the History Channel turn into UFO central? It seems every time I turn on the channel they are doing something on UFO's. Speaking of which, my wife found it very surprising that I didn't believe in UFO's since I read, and watch, so much science fiction. Like Carl Sagan, I think there are some other civilizations out in the universe somewhere. I just don't think any of them have ever been here. The energy and distances required to get here don't make it worth it. Especially if they are just going to fly around in the sky and leave. What good is that? Aren't aliens supposed to come and bring a cure for cancer. Or wipe us out? I'd think after 50+ years they could come talk to us now.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

War Games is on TV right now.

Is it cool or sad that I know the tones they use to open the security door to the room they keep Matthew Broderick's character in? Wait, don't answer that.

Oh man, they are celebrating the 25th Anniversary of War Games. I feel old now.

Things I wouldn't expect to say

"Quincy, don't eat the baby."

I was talking to the dog about a baby doll. But still...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mission Impossible. Or, why can't I buy Cherry Coke in this place?

Yesterday started like any other work day for me. I came in, did my job, then when it was time for lunch I went downstairs to buy a Cherry Coke to drink with my sandwich. I'm on the third floor of a four story building, but the only level with Cherry Coke is the main level. Why? I don't know. I'm sure there is a good reason.

So, I went downstairs, yes I take the stairs,  put my money in the machine, and hit the button. I heard the bottle rumble through the machine and it pop out the chute. It's Cherry Coke Zero. I don't drink diet pop, it is supposed to taste good, but the artificial sweetener gives me a headache. I didn't try the machine again, I figured the person who loaded the machine messed it up. I could have taken my chances with another button, but I thought the odds were against me choosing the one that might have Cherry Coke. I never was lucky at slot machines, this was essentially the same.

I came back upstairs and gave the Zero to a friend who drinks it. He was nice enough to give me a dollar for it. I didn't care about the money, but he forced it on me. About 20 minutes later, the same guy asked if I wanted to walk to the cafeteria to get some food. (It's in another building). I initially said no, since I brought lunch, but I changed my mind when I remembered they had Cherry Coke there. I really had my heart set on the Cherry Coke, can you tell?  I sound like some kind of drug addict.

We took the walk, I bought the Coke, and I sat at my desk again. I had to do a few quick things before I could get drink the Cherry Coke. It was hard, but I managed to control my urges. Then, I grabbed the bottle and twisted the cap. Something wasn't right. There was no "'pist" sound. No release of built up gases. I knew that wasn't a good sign. I think it wasn't sealed properly at the factory, or it was poisoned, could go either way. Regardless of the reason I didn't drink it. I don't want a flat Coke, or poison, so I dumped it in the sink. I ended up buying a Mr. Pibb Extra. Yeah, not the same thing.

I think it's a conspiracy. Someone, somewhere didn't want me to have Cherry Coke. Maybe it's a sign? I don't know what it means either. Stop asking me silly questions.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend Assignment #212: Celebrate Poetry Month!

I think Karen needs a good laugh. Why else would she get untrained people, such as myself, to write poetry? She says it is because April is National Poetry Month, but I have my doubts. Here is this weekend's assignment.

It's National Poetry Month in the United States, but poetry itself is a worldwide phenomenon, existing in many styles. Let's celebrate the form. How? By writing a poem, of course! It can be silly or serious, haiku, limerick, rhymed verse, blank verse, free verse, two lines long or fifty, or anything in between. All I ask is that it be a new, original poem, not something you wrote in high school and trot out occasionally.

Believe me, I do not have any poetry from high school anymore. Anything poetry related I was forced to write was destroyed immediately. Some by my teachers. Yes, they were that bad. I'm not good at rhyming, or using proper meters, or any of the other tools poets know how to use properly. I can barely talk half the time, how am I supposed to make every other line rhyme?

Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with poetry -- as long as I don't write it. In the proper hands poetry is great. Poets know how to get the most out of every word or phrase. It can be a good exercise in vocabulary and word usage, which is probably why they tried to get me to write some.

Do you want to read some bad poetry? OK. Don't say I didn't warn you. I am not responsible for any damage to your retinas or anything.

Warning: Bad poetry ahead!

I enjoy writing in my blog,
but poetry is a different story.
I barely know how to rhyme,
I don't expect any glory.

Still alive? Try this.

Karen changed the assignment
now I'm in trouble.
I don't know how to write a poem
my work is nearly double.

Ouch. Last one.

We have a dog named Qunicy,
we think he is half cat.
He stalks and pounces on his toys,
like he's chasing a rat.

I warned you.

Extra Credit: Do you have a favorite poet?

No, I don't have a favorite poet. Though I do like some of the epic poems like, Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Kahn by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I will say that I wouldn't know either of those if songs were not written about them. I liked Homer's Odyssey, but I don't remember the form of the version I read in school. I guess it doesn't matter, the original was an epic poem.

There you have it. I hope you are all OK after reading this.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What is good about TV

I'm tired of hearing how TV is bad; It ruins your eyes, it makes you a vegetable, it makes you fat, etc. Let's talk about what is good about TV.

TV is great escapism. Think about it. Isn't it great to have something like The Office, 30 Rock, or CSI:Whatever to look forward to when you are having a lousy day at work? No matter how bad it is at work you can go home and laugh at the ineptitude of Michael Scott, or get drawn into the quirky mind of Gil Grissom and forget all about you lousy day. Maybe, just maybe, after watching your favorite show you will have to strength to go back to work the next day so you can feed your family. Or buy a bigger TV.

TV is a good learning tool. Just by watching TV I've learned that you can't paint a room by blowing up a paint can, you can tell how long a person has been dead by the types of bugs in it, and so much more. Think about it. In 20-30 years that is how kids will learn. They won't go to school, it will all be on TV and computer.

TV helps you get stuff done. If it wasn't for TV I would not have anything for my kids to do while I try to clean up (or take a nap). Don't tell me you don't do it. Sometimes you need to put on The Wiggles or Buzz Lightyear so you can get some laundry done. I know you do it. It's OK, I won't tell.

TV is good for your relationship. Just turn on Rock of Love or Flavor of Love 15 and your spouse will realize just how lucky they are to find some one like you. Really, check those shows out. Where do they find those people?!

TV can get you exercising. Just ask my son. After watching Power Rangers, he usually runs around the house fighting imaginary bad guys for a good ten minutes. Three episodes of that a day and he gets his recommended 30 minutes of exercise.

TV teaches you that crime doesn't pay. Just yesterday I spent 20 minutes at work watching a car chase on CNN. Or was it Fox News? It doesn't matter. The lady was caught and thrown in the slammer. We all learned a valuable lesson; make sure you have a fast car with good tires.

That's all I have for now. If you can think of anything else let me know.

(Yes this is a joke, mostly, my kids are fine. I swear!)


Trying to improve myself

My wife signed up for the marathon last year, and once she started running I decided I should get off my butt and exercise too. So, I ran started running some 5K's last year and have tried my best to keep up with it. I need constant motivation to keep going. I need to be signed up for something so I have a goal to shoot for; otherwise I will spend my free time on the couch. Or, on the computer.

Why am I telling you this? Because I have some new motivation now. Jenn found a challenge on Half-Fast that will keep us motivated. It's the Shave You 5K Challenge! Basically, I give them a time from a 5K early this year then one at the end of the year. The person with the most time shaved off their first time wins. I don't know what you win, but it's not about winning; it's about having fun. Yeah, right. I didn't believe that when I was a kid, nor do I now. (I will teach my kids that when they play sports. I'm a hypocrite like that).

So, now that I have motivation I have to get moving. I'm running at the Y-me race in Chicago on Mother's Day, but no solid plans after that. I need to look at some race schedules, my schedule and my wife's running schedule. We'll see how it goes. I'll let you know what I win; because you know I will win something. Eye of the tiger. Eye of the tiger...

Friday, April 18, 2008

I can't work like this!

The Wi-Fi here at work has been locked down. I use that for my iPod all the time. That is how I go to other blogs to read and comment. Now what am I supposed to do?

The word is there was some kind of virus floating around, so they shut it off unless you were on a VPN. I hope it is temporary. I can't live like this!

Deep breaths...

I'll be back later.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's in the hole!

I like to play golf, so it goes without saying that I like the movie Caddyshack.The question is, do I like the movie enough to spend $250 on "The Official Caddyshack Putter"? No, I don't think I do.

Image from Gizmodo.

But, you say, "The putter cover has a button that quotes the movie." Yes, all the more reason not to buy it. I know the quotes, it's funnier when I say it. Besides, if I was going to spend $250 dollars on a putter I'd buy a Scotty Cameron putter. If you want to read more about the Caddysahck putter go here. Knock yourself out.

Now, If I was going to buy a novelty putter, not that I would, I'd buy this:

Yes, that is a Star Trek Putter. Cool, huh? It came out last year, but you can still get them. Heck, Golfsmith has this whole set for $118.98. What a bargain! Then when you miss a a five footer for birdie you can yell, "KAAAAAAAAAAAAAHN!" Wouldn't that be more fun? Plus, with the money you save by buying this one over the Caddyshack putter you can actually pay for the round.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Random Wednesday

I've decided to make everyday Random Wednesday. You know, it's the middle of the week, you're tired, you're mind tends to wander; it seems like a good day to talk about whatever comes to mind.

Our puppy is afraid of the dark. He's fine in the house, it's when we go outside that he has a problem. When I'm standing outside with him, waiting for him to do his business, he gets scared by wind, a leaf blowing by, or a door shutting four houses down. He will try to pull me back into the house, but I know he'll pee on the carpet so I force him to stay outside. He has to face his fears some time, right?

I had a dream about being attacked by a chipmunk. Yes, a chipmunk, those tiny little things that hide underground. This one had huge teeth and he was clamped onto my hand. I don't remember how I finally got him off, maybe I just woke up. I think I had the dream because of the story of the cougar that was killed in Chicago. Or, it my have been due to the many people who put down Monty Python's Holy Grail on their ten favorite movies list and I was thinking about the killer bunny rabbit. Where is the holy hand grenade when you need it? Either way, it was a weird dream.

Did everyone file their taxes? Ours were prepared and sent to our house weeks ago, but we waited until yesterday to send them in. Why? We like to wait until the last possible second to do things; it's more fun that way. Especially when you are missing something. We found out we were missing the 1040v form at 10:30pm on the 14th. Thanks to the Internet we were able to print one out, but we had to do it on resume paper since we were out of regular paper. Yes, we are just that organized. I have one question. If I didn't put enough stamps on it, and it gets sent back, does that count as having it postmarked by the 15th? I hope so, I'm a little worried about the weight and the amount of stamps. I'll let you know if it comes back.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ten on Tuesday plus something else

It's time for the Ten on Tuesday post. This week he topic is 10 favorite movie comedies. I've been thinking about this one all week. It's not that easy to come up with 10 favorite comedies. It's not that I don't enjoy comedies; it's hard to get it to ten exactly. There are some that I watch whenever they are on TV, some that I will watch if I have the time, and some that I will make time to watch. So, let's see what i can come up with.

1. Caddyshack - Best golf movie ever. I will watch this anytime and laugh every time.

2. Fletch - Chevy Chase at his finest. It is on TV constantly and I will watch it if I can.

3. Vacation- We used to take road trips to Michigan every year when I was a kid. They were never like this, but I could see how it is possible. Imogene Coca is great as Aunt Edna.

4. Stripes - "That's the fact Jack!" Nothing more to say. Classic.

5. Uncle Buck - Probably John Candy's best movie. The fun part about this was realizing that the teenager in this movie went on to do Yes, Dear as a grown up. It made me feel a little old.

6. Ace Ventura Pet Detective - Yes, It's a stupid move, but it's supposed to be. Good times.

7. This is Spinal Tap - Great movie with great music.

(Here is where I start having trouble).

8. The Jerk - It is somewhat dated now, but I still enjoy it.

9. Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles (tie) - I couldn't pick between the two. Both are hilarious, both have Gene Wilder. How do you choose?

10. Mars Attacks! -- I'm sure I'm the only one with this movie on their list. I love the part where the martian is running around with the translator that is saying "we come in peace," or something to that effect, while he is blowing people away.

So there is the list. Some interesting choices, but that's what makes it fun!

Ok, one quick thing I got from John Scalzi's Site. It's a fun little game. Try it out. Here is what it said for my answers.

How many cannibals could your body feed?
Created by OnePlusYou

What a fun little game. At least I could feed a nice size family.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I'd like to thank the academy...

Look what I won today:

Blog Awards Winner

Pretty cool, huh? I'm not exactly sure how it works; my wife nominated me a long time ago, so my guess is that my site came up in the queue. I could be wrong. I could be due to the incredibly fun and witty posts I have on a daily basis. It's a toss up.

So, thanks Jenn, or if it wasn't Jenn, thanks mysterious stranger. Because of you, I now have something to post about. This way we all win.

Here's something fun to think about, or be disgusted by, my dinner was one of my childhood favorites. You take ome bread, toast it up, then you fry up some bologna, put that on top of the toast, then cover it all with cream style corn. Sound good? No, it doesn't, but it is. Try it. I dare you.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Quick quizzes

It's a lazy Sunday so I'm going to take it easy and post two quick quizzes.

The first one I got off of Florinda's site. It's not a quiz actually, it's PAK's Dictionary of names. All you do is type in your name and it is supposed to tell you about yourself. And really, who would know more about yourself then some random website? I tried it out and somethings were pretty accurate, in a funny way. Here is what it said about my name:

The name of Mike has given you a very imaginative, creative mind. You always have new ideas, but too often they are for an easy way out of a difficulty, or an easy way of making money. You are not inclined to apply yourself consistently to a job and to reach the fulfilment of your goals through perseverance and hard work. The influence of this name has caused you to feel unsettled emotionally and mentally. You are never satisfied with conditions, because your feelings and desires are so changeable. Hence you seek change in order to have the opportunity for travel, new experiences, and new friends and associates. There are people in your association who could influence you unfavourably and thereby mislead you; disillusionment, embarrassment, and bitter experiences then become your lot. You have a very talkative nature and because of it, you could do well in saleswork or in a position where you handle the public. However, you would find any position requiring self-confidence and aggressiveness very trying. You are subject to moods of depression and self-pity, arising in part from a lack of confidence. Nervous tension often affects your solar plexus and stomach area. Also, the kidneys and fluid functions of the body could be affected.

I highlighted all the things that were funny, or true, or both. I like the part about not wanting to apply myself at work. I think I do OK, but I do get bored easily if the challenge isn't there anymore. Once I know how to do the job well my mind starts to wander. That is why I'm working on a little project at work now; I was getting bored all the time.

My name is very popular but I don't feel very unsettled about it. I used to think it was fun when I was a kid and there were three Mike's in the class of 15.

The part about nervous tension in the stomach area is right on. I have had ulcer problems in the past, and probably will again.

All in all, the test isn't perfect, but it was fun. I'm sure anyone who takes it could find something that applies to them.

The second quiz of the day is from me. I thought of this the other day when I was in the car.

Name three (or more) songs that you hate so much that you can't possiblly change the radio station fast enough. (I understand we live in the age of the iPod, but work with me here).

1. She Drives Me Crazy, Fine Young Cannibals. (I really, really don't like this song).

2. China Girl, David Bowie. (I know David Bowie has contributed a lot to music in general, but there is something about this song that creeps me out).

3. Talking in You Sleep, The Romantics. (The tone of th guitars are like nails on a chalkboard to me. That is my real problem with it).

Now these are mine for my own reasons, if you like them, that is fine. Everyone has different tastes. Believe me, there are some songs I like that most wouldn't be able to tolerate; ask my wife. What are your three (or more)?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Weekend Assignment: What Color Is Your Thumb?

Oh boy. Karen obviously doesn't know me based on this weekend's assignment. Or, maybe she does and thought it would be fun to read mine.

Weekend Assignment #211: How are your gardening skills? Do you plant flowers and trees and even shrubberies, or do you settle for weeds are concrete? Do houseplants die in your care, or grow and prosper?

My gardening skills are non-existent. Everything dies in my care. I've killed a cactus before. A cactus! A cactus can survive in the desert, and I killed it. How did I kill it? I put a ton of water in the little pot and drowned it. This was during college, I forgot about it for a long time, and I thought I should give it some water since the dirt was rock-hard dry. The little cactus turned into a squishy sponge and basically collapsed on itself. The little spikes even wilted.

My mom and sister have bought a lot of flowers for our house, usually on Mother's Day. They are dead before Father's Day. Part of the problem is I forget about them. Usually we get those flowers that come in a bag and hang on the fence. So, I put them out on the fence and remember they are there about 10 days later. It's usually too late by then.

Last year was a breakthrough. My mom gave us a hanging plant that we kept in the front of the house. This one lasted until winter. Maybe that is the key. Maybe they need to be kept in the front.

The landscaping isn't much better around our house. My brother helped me remove some ugly shrubs in the backyard about two years ago. That spot is still dirt. No grass. No plants. Just a nice place for the kids and dog to play in so they can track mud in the house.

Extra Credit: Is there someone you know who is better at this gardening stuff than you are?

Everyone I know is better at gardening I am. My mom has a ton of plants on the deck and the side of the house that live all year round. Though, they do come close to death when she is out of town and asks me to water them.

My sister keeps all of hers alive, and usually does a lot of the planting for my mom.

My sister-in-law has a nice looking yard. The landscaping is all taken care of, and all the plant thrive throughout the year.

Maybe I should hire them to come and care for my plants...

Friday, April 11, 2008

I guess I'm a grown up

Sometimes I don't feel my age. I'm not old, I'm 39, but I'm not young either. The time from the end of college, to marriage, to kids in school, flew by; I still feel like I'm too young to have kids in school. When I go to pick up my son at kindergarten, I feel like every parent there is older than me since they have kids in school. The funny thing is, I'm probably older than most of them since we started a little later than most people.

The other day I picked up my son at his friend's house and his mother introduced me to her high school age daughter as "mister". Ugh. I think I hit on this point before, but I feel like I'm not mature enough to be responsible for kids. I think I do okay, but sometimes I feel like I'm still a kid in a way myself.

I remember, about two years ago, my wife and I were pushing the kids in the stroller around the block and some high school kids walked past us. They didn't acknowledge us, of course. I asked my wife, "Do you think we seem old to them?" Yes, she was pretty sure they felt that way. In my mind it wasn't all that long ago that I was in high school, but it was over 20 years ago now.

All I need to do to remember I'm not a kid anymore is try to stay awake past 11pm. I can do it, but it's not as fun as it used to be. In college the cool parties didn't start until 11pm, then you go to bed at 4am, wake up for dinner, and go out again. I can't imagine doing that now. I just hope that I can stay up for the whole episode of Battlestar Galactica tonight. It ends at 10pm, you know, and I have to work tomorrow at 7am. How am I supposed to function with that kind of schedule? Where are my slippers? Get off my lawn you kids!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I need a laptop

Why? Well, right now I have about 30 minutes where I could write a post. I was going to write about "The Office" coming back tonight and why I like it. See what you are missing out on! I'm typing this on my iPod right now; I can't link to anything, or type a nice long post with it. Short posts are not my strong point, I believe I mentioned that before. So, anyone know how I can get a free laptop? That's not a scam? You know where to find me.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thoughts on a Wednesday

I didn't have anything specific to talk about today, but I have some random thoughts. That is always fun!

I had Lucky Charms cereal for breakfast today. It was my son's choice when we were shopping; I'm sure it was due to the marshmallows it contains. I never ate Lucky Charms cereal growing up. I was more of a Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Pebbles kind of kid. Not Cocoa Krispies or Cocoa Puffs, only Cocoa Pebbles; there is a difference. Trust me. I was surprised that I liked Lucky Charms when I tried it the other day. It wasn't overly sweet as I expected. I thought that marshmallows would add too much sugar to the cereal that is, most likely, covered in sugar. I will add that I eat it dry. Maybe it wouldn't be as good floating in milk. Do the marshmallows dissolve in milk? That might not be so good. So, I recommend Lucky Charms, but only if it is dry.

Total random topic. Do you know how hard it is to type "milk" when your name is Mike? I want to capitalize it and add an "e" at the end. You wouldn't understand unless you are named Mike. Even then you might not.

This might sound weird; I know that may be hard to believe. I don't know what the term would be for my affliction, hypochondriac doesn't fit, but I get freaked out about some illnesses easy. A good example would be when one of the kids has pick eye. As soon as they are diagnosed with it my eye starts getting itchy. Then I start thinking about it, and my eye gets more itchy, then I'm convinced I'm going to wake up the next day with it. I never do, but for the whole week that I am giving them medicine, I'm certain I'm getting it. Oh, and when one of the kids come home saying some kid was exposed to lice in the class? Forget it. I'm itchy all over for days. It's sad, really.

I was thinking about cars this morning. I don't know why, but I was thinking about the car we used to have when I was a kid. Like all cars from the mid 70's it was gigantic, had a huge engine and got about 5 miles to the gallon. While I was thinking about that, I wondered how big SUV's would have been back in that day. I know there were some precursors to the modern day SUV, but what would the consumer model Hummer have looked like back then? Compare the Hummer to a 1976 Cadillac Sedan, and it's really not that big. My guess is that it would require a small ladder to fold out in order to enter the vehicle, and have anti-collision lights on it so airplanes would be able to avoid the Hummer if one was driving near an airport.

That's enough for now.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ten on Tuesday.

OK, I'm going to do the Ten on Tuesday this week, and do it on time. I know. I live a wacky life.

Anyway this week the topic is your 10 favorite actors/actresses. Go check out what other people thought.

I'm going to have some trouble with this because I generally don't see movies or shows only based on who is starring in them. Although, if I am on the fence about a movie, the acotrs can push me over the edge to actually fork over the movie to see it. We do have two children, so most of the time we are renting the movies any way. On to the list, in no particular order.

1. Harrison Ford. He is Indiana Jones. There is really not much more to say.

2. Gene Hackman. Oh, he's good in everything, ya know? Yes, he's been in some movies that he couldn't save, but he always tries.

3. Jim Carrey. Only in comedies though. Other than "The Truman Show" he hasn't picked the right dramas.

4. Natalie Portman. Not including the "Star Wars" movies, that wasn't her fault.

5. Tom Hanks. If you can pull off a movie by yourself with very little audio, you know what you are doing.

6. Christopher Guest. The king of "mockumentory".

7. John Candy. He went before his time. He had a great run.

8. Steve Carrell. Seems like a nice guy too.

9. Jenna Fischer. That is for my wife. :)

10. Matt Damon. The "Bourne" movies really put him over the top for me.

So, what do you think?

Monday, April 7, 2008

I think our dog is part cat

Do you it's possible to have a half-dog half-cat mix? I really think our puppy is one. Maybe he came from secret lab. Or, maybe, the mother dog was taken aboard an alien spaceship and they perform some gene splicing experiment. You always hear about the people who are abducted by aliens, but never the animals. It doesn't seem fair.

See, our dog kind of looks like a lion cub. Lots of yellow-gold fur and giant paws. He also plays like a cat. He stalks his toys, then pounces on them. He looks just like Simba from "The Lion King" when he does it. I think I'm going to buy him a scratching post and see what happens.

Maybe I'll bring it up to the vet. Do you thing he'll have Qunicy taken away from us if I ask him? Yeah, me too.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Weekend Assignment #210: Speechifying

Before I get into this weekend assignment I should post what was real in last weekend's assigment. My grandparent's did have cabins on a lake that we visited all the time. There was a sand pit and I did fall, but I caught up with my brothers and we just kept going. It is much more exciting the other way.

Ok, on to this week's assigment from Karen at Outpost Mavarin.

Weekend Assignment #210: It's been 40 years since the Mountaintop speech, and even longer since the great speeches of John F Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and others. Are the days of great oratory behind us, or have you drawn inspiration from some recent public speaker? If so, what was the speech? Do you remember any actual quotes from it?

I don't think I'm the best person to answer this, but I will talk briefly about the current presidential candidates and what I like about their public speaking.

Barack Obama, in my mind, is a great speaker. He rarely fumbles, or seaches for words and he seems to believe in what he is saying. He has some passion when he talks which makes him seem to really care about the country and what we should be doing. I liken him to a manager that is trying to get his sales team to care about the product, and the company, to make them the best sales force possible. I'm not trying to cheapen the presidency by comaparing it to running a company; I'm just trying to explain how I feel about his abilities as a speaker.

Hillary Clinton is quite a bit different. She's more forceful. It seems like she knows you don't buy what she is saying but she's going to keep at it to try and drive home her point. She has passion when she speaks as well, but sometimes it comes off more like anger. Using the same comparison as Obama, she's like a manager who thinks you are all slacking and she is going to get you to see it her way no matter what.

John McCain just seems mad most of the time. He's pissed at the way the country is right now and, he's going to do something about it no matter what the consequences. Again, he seems angry too, but not quite at you, the sales team, but he's ticked at the whole company. And dog-gone it he is going to do something about it.

Does any of that make sense? See, this is why I don't talk about politics much. Oh, I'm not saying who is, or is not qualified to run the country. That is not the point at all. I'm just talking about the feeling I get when I hear them speak.

Live Long and Prosper...Eternally

Who wouldn't want this to be the place you spend your eternal rest?

You can find out more about it here. Now, I'm not a huge Star Trek fan, yes I've seen all the movies. Yes, I go to Wil Wheaton's blog. And yes, I took a picture of John de Lancie who played "Q" on Star Trek: The next Generation, but I'm not a huge, huge fan. What was my point? Oh yeah, isn't that the coolest casket. It's just too bad you can't be shot out of a photon torpedo tube after you die. Maybe one day...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

I picked this up from Florinda who does it every week, though this week she was a little late. I haven't done the list before, but I thought the subject was perfect. You can find the original post over at Ten on Tuesday. Makes sense, huh?

Anyway this week the topic was then things you'd fix in your home if you had the time and money. Only ten?

1. New siding. Our house is 39 years old and so is the siding. Enough said.

2. New driveway. The driveway isn't all that old, but two owners ago did a poor job of repairing it.

3. Landscaping. Some of it is pretty sad.

4. New master bath. The vanity is as old as I am, and doesn't look much better.

5. New carpeting. We are going to wait until the kids are a little bigger, as well as the dog.

6. New cabinets in the kitchen. They aren't old. I just don't like them.

7. Some new windows. The previous owners replaced about one half. We need to finish.

8. Refinish the wood floor in the family room. See remark on number 5.

9. Fix up the garage. More shelving and cabinets. It's a disaster.

10. Replace the doors leading to the back of the house.

I could go on, but these are the most pressing issues.

OK, I have to go watch Battlestar Galactica now.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Why my kids are weird*

* (With apologies to Pamela Ribon. I kind of used her book titles).

Before I start I want to say that I love my kids. I couldn't imagine life without them. But they do some strange things.

My daughter talks to imaginary friends. Yes, I know. A lot of kids have imaginary friends. But, my daughter only talks to them in the bathroom when she is going potty. She will babble away for ten minutes about her day, what she wants for dinner, why she is going potty, and who got into trouble at pre-school. I'm not sure why she only talks to them in the bathroom. She must have locked them in there so she has someone to talk to during her potty breaks.

My son, like most six-year olds, can't remember what you asked him to do 30 seconds ago. But, when it is time for bed, he has a whole list of questions that he will never forget to ask. "Am I sick? I'm not going to throw up, or have bad dreams, or think my room is creepy, or dinosaurs aren't going to come down the hall?" It's the same every night. He never believes you the first time so he usually comes out of his bedroom once to ask the same questions again. By the second or third time he will go to sleep.

My daughter likes playing with cars. Her idea of playing cars is lining them up in a perfectly straight line to pretend there is traffic. What fun! I'm sure the Hot Wheels company has been trying to market the traffic jam set for ages. Sometimes she will mix it up a bit and decide to park them all; again in perfectly straight lines.

My son will not eat food if it looks different, but today he ate an ice cube off the floor that the dog had been chewing on. He didn't know the dog was chewing on it, but still, it was on the carpet. When I told him that the dog had been chewing on it he didn't care. Figure that one out. Oh, speaking of eating the dog's things. When he was a toddler he sampled our old dog's puke once. He found it before I did, sampled it, and starting throwing up himself. He was too young to tell me what he ate, but when he pointed it out, it was really hard not to laugh.

My daughter is going to be a medical examiner. She will lay out her babies all over the floor, face down, and cover their bodies. It's like some kind of crime scene when she does it. Wait, I think I posted a picture of that. Yep, here it is.

That is just a sample. But, when you think of it, they have me as a dad. They really have no choice.

OK, nevermind

Everything is fine with Google Reader. It was the computer at work. Nothing to see here. Google is good. Google IS the Internet.

Hey Google Reader!

This is a test. For some reason my posts are not showing up in Google Reader today. I've been messing with it for a while now. I haven't changed any settings. This is a Google owned product, so what is the deal? Is it just my reader? I don't see how that is possible. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that I wrote my last post in Gmail and sent it here. Could that be the problem? Who am I posing these questions to anyway?

(This is awfully long for a test message)

Two days until Battlestar Galactica!

I'm not the only one excited, right? I know people watch the show. It's really OK to admit that you like it. Sure, it's science fiction, but there is no need to be ashamed to admit you like it. It's cool to be a geek now, remember? Plus, there is so much more to the show than spaceships flying around. Heck, they don't even show that too much.

OK, you don't like science fiction in general. Do you like politics? Well, Battelstar Galactica has politics. The 7th or 8th in line for the presidency was one of the survivors, but she has been fighting to keep the presidency the whole time. The vice president was an unwitting accomplice to the cylons (he wasn't the vice-president then) and he still talks to the cylon he helped. Is she real? Who knows, but it makes it interesting. Then, when he became president, the cylons came, he surrendered, and helped with the rounding up humans who could be trouble. Nice, huh? Oh, and the current president has cancer, was cured, now has it again and is having visions of Earth. But she is stable, don't worry. Heck, Jimmy Carter saw UFO's, didn't he?

You like drama and suspense? These people are running for their lives, for the survival of their race. Is that drama enough? They live in constant fear that they cylons will show up and wipe them out. It is constant drama and suspense. Sure, you have some people who have ended up having 'relations' with human-form cylons, but really, are soap operas any better? How many times have people found out they married a relative on a soap opera.

Now, if you only like comedies I can't convince you to watch BSG. There isn't much funny about hoping your race can survive another day. But, you should watch it anyway. It's a good idea to watch a well-written show no matter what the format. It's fun to be transported to some other place, jut to get away from daily stress. That's what TV was designed for.

But really, watch it. It's good. Would I lie to you?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hooray, I'm Rich!

I just opened open my e-mail to this awesome news:

I am Mr. Alexander A Flockhart Director of the
Hang Seng Bank Ltd.I have a Secured business
suggestion for you of $30,000,000,00,Reply
back if interested

Isn't that great! Now I can quit my job and spend my whole day on the internet. It's like a dream come true!

Now, I just have to find out where this bank is. Oh, and how much money it really is since they left off a "0". It could be 30 million or 3 million. Hmmm. I may still need some kind of job on 3 million dollars. I'm too young to live off of that for the rest of my life. I'm not exactly sure what a "secured business suggestion" is either. Maybe he is just looking for an idea for a new product or something. I always have plenty of good product ideas, just ask my wife. Maybe she sent my name to this guy.

Now, even though I'm going to be rich, I don't plan on changing the blog. There won't be any bling decorating the site, but my bathroom at home will be made out of 24 karat gold.

Don't tell my wife. I'm going to surprise her for Mother's Day.

What is fun on April Fool's Day?

I was thinking about April Fool's Day, remembering how I was always watching for something to happen in school, and I wondered if there is, or should be, an age limit on April Fool's Day pranks. The funny thing is, when I went into Gmail I noticed this. That page will probably be gone by tomorrow since it is obviously a joke. Just seeing that page made me change my mind a bit. There can be some fun things on the web on April Fool's Day. Google does something every year, I think, and they are usually fun. And, while not positive, I'm pretty sure that this that I found from Whatever is not real either.

So, here is my thought of the day. Fun web jokes that you have to figure out if they are real or not are OK for any age. Stupid pranks, loosening salt shaker tops, tacks on chairs, putting sugar in a salt shaker, etc should be stopped in high school. You can maybe get away with it in college if you are drunk, but be prepared to wake up covered in shaving cream or with your door nailed closed. On final exam day.

Anyone else have any good rules? Any other good April Fool's Day web findings?