Sunday, November 30, 2008

EMPS #13: Happy Turkey Day!

Okay, Carly has told me a few times that I should play along with the Monday Photo Shoot. So here it goes:

This week we were supposed to take pictures of turkeys; which makes sense since it was just Thanksgiving. I hope you got your fill of food by the way. I don't think I need to eat for about a week. Maybe two.

Anyway, I didn't get any pictures of the turkey we ate, but I have a couple of pictures of turkeys anyway.

This was a small turkey cake from Deerfields Bakery near our house. They make a lot of cool themed desserts. We get all our holiday cakes and cookies from them. One year for July 4th we bought a cake that looked like a giant hamburger. It was very well received.

Here is a big version of the turkey cake. When I came home from work I opened the fridge to find this turkey peeking out of his box looking at me. It cracked me up so I had to take a picture. He looks like he knows he is going to be eaten soon. And he was right!

That is all I have for this photo shoot. I don't know if I'll be able to do every week; it depends on the subject, and my schedule. We'll see how it goes!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The long weekend

How's everybody doing on this long holiday weekend? Did you visit relatives you haven't seen in a year or more? Are you staying with them, or them with you? Are you sick of them yet? Isn't that what this time of year is all about?

On Thursday I worked in the morning, and when to my mom's for dinner. Don't worry, I had it easy. I didn't have to get the kids and myself all cleaned up and ready to go like Jenn did. I think that is harder than getting up early and going to work on a holiday, don't you? Besides, we were giving a free breakfast. We had semi-warm pancakes, runny eggs with cheese, ham, some funky looking sausages, and more pastries than I could possible name. I stuck with the pancakes, ham, and some fruit. I don't do buffet style eggs. Honestly, have you ever had buffet style eggs that were the proper consistency? I know it's hard to do due to the sheer quantity, not to mention that they sit in a pan over a flame to keep them warm. I don't blame the people making them, I blame my low gross-out factor with eggs. I can't even watch the part in Rocky where he drinks the raw eggs without getting queasy.

After work I met up with the family at my mom's house. There was a lot of screaming and one broken glass. The screaming was my daughter running around playing and the broken glass was from me knocking off the counter when I was making the mashed potatoes. That's my job, I'm the potato masher for all family functions. We had a lot of food and way too much dessert. We enough desserts so that each person could have his own cake or pie -- with ice cream on top. I don't know if it is possible to actually feel yourself gaining weight, but I swear I could. After dinner the kids forced everybody to watch Wall-E. I didn't complain, I like that movie. I'm just a kid at heart.

Friday I spent the the day at home with the kids while Jenn went out to fight the crazy shoppers on Black Friday. She left around 4:30 am, came back around lunchtime and then went back out until 3:30 pm or so. Crazy, I know. I helped my son with his homework, fed them, cleaned my self up and played some video games with my son while my daughter cut my hair. Well, no scissors were involved, lately she likes to pretend she is cutting my hair. It's funny, she gets towels to cover me, she'll use some of her little clips to hold some hair in place, and then spray some of her de-tangling spray in my hair as she brushes it. Yesterday she added the twist of me giving her money when she was done. She made me give her real money and promised to give it back. I think she'd hoping eventually I'll forget.

That evening we went to my mom's again. This time my cousin was coming into town. I don't think we've seen him in over five years. We didn't get a whole lot of time to talk, but it was good to see him and his family. Speaking of his family, his son has a Nintendo DS and now my son wants one. So far though, he is content to wait until he is the same age, which isn't for five more years. I have a feeling he may ask again before that.

While I was there my mom ran out of cigarettes, so she asked me to by some for her. I don't mind running errands for my mom, but she smokes the girliest (is that a word) cigarettes out there. She smokes Misty Light 120's. I mean, come on. How do I go in and ask for those and not feel like a big dork? Jenn asked if I'd rather buy tampons than those cigarettes. Of course I would! There is no way the tampons are for me, but the cigarettes are a totally different story. But, I went and got them. I think I did a convincing job of making it seem like they weren't for me. Luckily there are a few different flavors (is that what you call it?) , so when the lady working the counter asked which color box I wanted I was able to ask which one was the plain kind. I think that made it clear they weren't for me. I actually asked my mom to write me letter so I could have just given it to the lady. Just like when she sent me for cigarettes when I was 10 years old.

Tonight we go to my dad's for our holiday party, after I finish work that is. We are hoping our daughter can go; she woke up at 4:30 am coughing and a mild fever. She really wants to go, but I want to make sure she can go back to school on Monday.

So that is our weekend so far. I can't believe it is only Saturday.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. I'm thankful that anyone actually comes here! (Among other things).

Have a safe and happy time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Weekend Assignment #243: Breakfast time

This week's assignment is about breakfast foods. Well actually, we are supposed to talk about what we like for breakfast. That would make more sense, now wouldn't it?

Karen writes:

Weekend Assignment #243: The founder of the Weekend Assignment, John Scalzi, is infamously fond of bacon, not necessarily attached to a cat. Setting aside the whole cat thing, what do you like to eat for breakfast?

To be honest, I'm not much of a breakfast person. Mostly because I am too lazy to get up early enough to eat breakfast. If I am working, I get up with just enough time to shower, shave (maybe), get some lunch together (again, maybe), and head out the door. Any extra time that I think I might have in the morning is spent in bed. I work out calculations in my head as the alarm goes off to see how many times I can hit snooze before I definitely have to get up. I swear this is why every alarm has a different snooze time. They are trying to force you to wake up in order to count by mulitples of seven, eight, or nine. (end tangent)
Even ask a kid I didn't have time for breakfast in the morning. I started off okay; when I was in grade school I remember eating cereal along with some orange Hi-C. By the time I got to high school breakfast consisted of two chocolate fudge Pop-Tarts. Totally nutritious!
I'm not saying I don't like breakfast food, but I am far from a huge fan. I'll make pancakes on my days off sometimes. I'm talking about the kind where you add water, mix, and throw it on the griddle. It's too hard working with the kind where you need eggs. Come on! Speaking of eggs, I will eat a fried egg on occasion. But for main breakfast foods, that is about it. I do really like hash browns and, yes, bacon. I could have a breakfast of just hash browns and bacon everyday. If I had someone to make it for me. Would you send me cards in the hospital after I have my quintuple by-pass surgery? Because it certainly wouldn't be long before my heart stopped after eating that everyday.
Speaking of breakfast (not like this whole post isn't about it, or anything), I have to work tomorrow (Thanksgiving) and they are giving us breakfast. I'm not sure how they are going to do this. As you all know, breakfast food does not travel well. How good are pancakes going to be after cooling off? My stomach hurts just thinking about it. I might just have muffins to keep me satisfied until I can get my hands on some turkey. 
 Extra Credit: How often do you actually eat breakfast.
Not very often. I know; it's the most important meal of the day. Blah, blah, blah. I'm just too darn tired.
What do you like to eat for breakfast? Or do you even eat it?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ten on Tuesday: Ten things I want for Christmas

I haven't done a Ten on Tuesday in a while but this one is all about things I want; how can I pass it up? By the way, this is a list of wants, not things I actually expect to get.

1. A laptop. I've said this many times here. I'm really liking the new MacBooks.

2. A back-up hard drive. The 80GB hard drive on our desktop that I thought we'd never fill is close to capacity. Plus, I want to back up pictures and music.

3. An iPhone. I going to need a new cell phone soon anyway.

4. The two most recent Futurama movies on DVD. I have the first one and I need to catch up.

5. A Gorillapod tripod for our camera. Sometimes I need some stability. I like to try to shoot cool shots of the moon. It's very hard to do when you are shaking because it is 27 degrees outside.

6.  A government bailout. What? Why can't I get one?

7. A new TV for our bedroom. What good is a TV in the bedroom if the remote won't shut it off anymore?

8. New siding for the house. Can Santa fit that down the chimney?

9. While he's at it, we could use a few new windows, too.

10. Oh,  and a new back door.

There is my ridiculous list. Want do you want?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Look what I found!

I found it at Walgreen's. You can save the six bucks shipping. You're welcome!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Why is that lady so mean to her husband?

Before any of you get worried, this is about a commercial. You like when I talk about commercials, right? Good.

This is a newer product, but it goes along the same lines as others have before it. It's a hearing aid, though they call it a sound amplifier, that looks kind of like an MP3 player. Not unlike the Whisper 2000 of yesteryear that looked like a Walkman. (Do you know what the Whisper 2000 is? I will reference that during a conversation at times and people look at me like I'm loony. That's okay, I'm used to it). This one is called, Listen Up.

First of all, go to the site and watch the commercial that is there. That is what I really want to talk about. I know there are a lot of people with hearing problems that don't want to admit they need a hearing aid and this product may be right for them.

Done? First things first. Why is that lady so mean to her husband? Did you see how she yelled at him to turn the TV down when she was reading? Then she yells at him when she is on the phone. Is that necessary? She's on a cordless phone; go to another room. Jeez, they guy is probably hard of hearing from the job he worked for 40 years so you can have a nice retirement. Cut him some slack. My dad has trouble hearing and nobody yells at him. Heck this guy doesn't need a sound amplifier; he needs to dump his wife.

But wait? It's not only for those hard of hearing. They basically tell you to listen in on other people's conversations. Did you see the lady checking her mail and listening to the younger ladies walking the dog? Is this for the paranoid people on the block so they can hear all the people talking about them?

The best part is at the gym. The guy has this thing on his ears so he can hear the young babes talk about him. "Yeah, the ladies dig me." Who would wear that while working out? I wear headphones so I forget that I am exercising. I don't want my breathing amplified in my ears. Let alone the heavy breathing of everybody else there.

It's also good when you go to the playground with your kids. You can sit, talk with your friends, and totally ignore the kids because you will hear the exact instant that your kid's arm snaps when he falls of the monkey bars. What a miracle! 

Oh yeah, it's good for hunters too. You know, so you can hear Bambi walking around, I guess. I would imagine what you are really going to hear is the twigs and leaves cracking under your feet. Then, when you fire the guy and forget the headphones are on, you are really going to need a hearing aid. Good idea!

Anyway, order now! It's only $14.99, plus shipping and handling that is nearly 50% of the cost of the product. Wait! This thing is small, and lightweight, yet it cost 6 bucks to ship? Do they personnaly drive it to your door? What a rip-off!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My eyeballs are frozen

I just came back from walking Quincy around the block. Let me tell you, it's cold. And windy. Of course, being Chicago and November, it's not a big surprise, but I've been spoiled. See, we didn't have a dog last winter. Cosmo died in September and he didn't get many walks anyway. He would rather lay in the house where it was warm and his treats could be easily located.

With Quincy being a puppy, a 65 pound puupy at that, we need to make sure he gets excercise. So I bundled up and braved the elements to let him see the sights, and smells, of the neighborhood. Well, not the whole neighborhood, it was too cold for that. I couldn't see most of the way since the face mask I was wearing caused my glasses to fig up, so I was glad we didn't get run over.

You know what's funny? I had a point to this, but I lost it. I'm watching TV at the same time (Futurama) and I lost my train of thought. Let's just sum this up by saying winter is coming and I'm not happy about it. Anyone want to come and walk Quincy until March?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Weekend Assignment #242 : Local TV

We get to talk about something I always enjoy talking about -- TV. Specifically, Karen wants us to write about local TV from where we grew up.

Weekend Assignment #242: Local television used to feature lots of kids' shows and late night movies, often featuring a colorful local host. Share a memory of local tv of yesteryear.

There are three shows that I can remember that where from the Chicago area, but they may have been brodcast elswhere as well. I don't know for sure, when I was a kid I assumed everyone in the whole world watched the same shows I did anyway. I really had no clue a show could be seen in my area, and only my area.

We have a local channel, WGN-TV, that is also a superstation. I don't know how long it was that way, but I remember being amazed at seeing the local news guys on the TV in Michigan when I was visiting once. I did know that the news was local by the way. There are three shows that I remember from the channel, let me know if you have seen them in other areas. We had Bozo's Circus, The Ray Rayner Show, and Garfield Goose.

Now, if you follow the links to these shows, and realize that I'm still a hair under 40, you'll understand why I don't remember much about these shows. After I looked for the link to Bozo, I see it was syndicated, so some of you probably have seen it. Well, probably everybody. All I remember about Bozo was the bucket toss, where if you got it in bucket number six you won a new Schwinn bike, and that everbody said you had to get on the waiting list for tickets before you even think of having kids. Like maybe put them on your wedding registy.

Ray Rayner I remember even less about. I know he had a big floppy puppet dog and would sing about getting mail. I think that's what he did. I can see him sitting by the mailbox with the dog, maybe he didn't sing. I don't know.

I remember that Garfield Goose kind of freaked me out. It was a puppet, obviously, but he didn't talk. He would open and close his mouth, trying to say something, but all you could her was the mouth slapping shut. It was a little unerving. I had never seen a puppet that couldn't talk up until that point. Why? Why couldn't he talk? What was wrong with him? And those beady, black eyes. I know he could see me. I knew that he knew that I was freaked out about his inability to talk. He was mocking me. Oh yes, yes he was.


Those where the three kids shows I can remember that were based in my area. There is one particular character that is still around. He would host some scary movies, add some of his own bits of humor, and just be a little quirky overall. The show was called The Son of Svengoolie. Again, when I looked it up I saw it was syndicated for a short time, but it was based here. It was on a UHF channel that Fox bought years ago and now the newer incarnation is on a different local channel; WCIU channel 26, The U. Kind of a dumb name, I know. The guy playing Svengoolie, Rich Koz, also hosts a program where they run blocks of The Three Stooges. I don't watch it though, my wife can't stand them. Actually, I don't know any woman who likes The Stooges. Why is that?

Extra Credit:You've been asked to produce a local tv show. Commercial considerations aside, what kind of show would it be?

Some kind of interactive thing maybe. Show some ridiculously stupid shows that have been cancelled and people can IM or use Twitter to make fun of the show.Yes, I know that is like MST3K, but that is all I have right now.

How aout you? (Yes, you). Any favorite shows from your area?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Random weekend bits

Let me start by saying I forgot to put my deodorant on this morning. I hope you don't notice. Jenn picked up some for me the other day and since I used it in the downstairs basement that next morning, and left it there, I forgot to put it on. I think everyone here at work is at a safe distance.

I think I may have alluded to this before, but we are not the most organized family. Far from it. I'm sure 97.8 percent of it is my fault, but I think Jenn would agree that she isn't perfect either. As an example, here is something that happened this weekend. I came home from work around 2:30 pm to an empty house. Jenn and the kids were at her parents doing some shopping for a birthday party we had Sunday. After I took off my coat  and played with Quincy for a few minutes, I noticed the light was flashing on the phone indicating we had a voice mail. I looked at the caller ID first, just to make sure I really wanted to listen to it, and noticed it was the kid's school. I thought it was strange, being a Saturday and all, so I played back the message. It was the school letting us know our Market Day food we ordered was there and ready for us to pick up. They would be there until 1:30pm. I could almost hear her saying, "I really want to go home losers, where the hell are you?" Needless to say we didn't get the food. Maybe we aren't the only ones to do this, but we both felt a little dumb. I did have a little fun with it though. I called Jenn's cell and said, "I have two words for you: Market Day." I believe she said a bad word. I knew she'd remember as soon as I said that.  Yes, there was a reminder in the school papers that were sent home. That probably ended up in the same place that our son's information on his presentation he is supposed to do this week did. Yes, we are great parents.

I had to work at 6 am both days this weekend. I am not a morning person to begin with, having me start at 6 am is just plain mean. Yesterday, as Jenn was getting ready for the birthday party, I was laying on the bed talking to her and I fell asleep a few times. You know, the human body isn't made to get up and work for two hours before sunrise. I don't care what you say. Well, maybe it is only my body. I need a shift that starts at 9 am and ends around lunchtime. Are there any jobs like that? (I'm fully expecting my sister to chime in here. She's in retail, so basically she is going to be working from now until Christmas. I don't know how she does it).

Oh, we got a little snow here yesterday. It wasn't much, and it melted by morning, but when I was walking Quincy most front yards and a nice white layer. I was going to take a picture but, since it was at night, I thought the flash would reflect too much. I know you are sad. Don't worry, I'll take some snowy pictures this year.

Was your weekend as riveting as mine?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rant of the day (Screw you Best Buy!)

Remember how I said I bought a new camera a short time ago? Well, as I expected, it went on sale for 30 dollars less than I paid for it. So today I went, with my receipt in hand, to Best Buy to get my credit back since it was less than 30 days since I bought it. I went into the store, walked over to the camera department to make sure it was still in sale, then went to customer service to get a credit. As the girl took my receipt, she looked at the person next to her and said something I couldn't hear. Then she said to me, "For digital cameras it is 14 days." What? I mentioned how the person who sold it to me said 30 days, but she just reiterated that it was 14 days. I was a tad pissed. Especially since it was 17 days. But really, isn't it stupid? Why only 14 days for cameras? I didn't yell at the girl since she doesn't make the rules, but I'm ticked off. Best Buy is officially on my list. Jerks.

Sorry to vent here. I had to do it somewhere. Besides, what good is a blog if you can't complain about stuff.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Weekend Assignment #241: Shh! I'm trying to listen

I'm hoping the internet connection doesn't go down as I'm writing this. We've been having intermittent problems today. I'm not sure if it's the modem or one of the cables, but it is getting irritating.

Anyway, on to the assignment.

Karen wants us to spy on people. Okay, not really. She's wondering if we have overheard any interesting stories, or anything we happen to hear as we are out-and-about.

Weekend Assignment #241: It's not uncommon to overhear snippets of strangers' conversations in grocery stores, restaurants, at the gym, at the park and in other places people gather. We may even have conversations with strangers ourselves, especially when sharing in some common experience. Tell us what you've been hearing - or, if you prefer, some interesting bit of eavesdropping you recall from some time ago.

I overhear most things at work. As with most jobs, we are in cubes. Ours are very close together and the walls are low. This allows us to talk to each other when we need to, which at my job is often, but it also allows us to hear many things. Sometimes I think people forget about that.

I'm not going to go in specifics, but most of the things I hear are about work. Sometimes I get lucky and hear the director of our department talking to the person across from me and I get some insight on changes coming up. Then, of course, I can pass it along and it spreads through the office. It is very rare that I get surprised by some change coming to our department.

Also, I can hear about who is out sick, for what reason, and how long. Who's haven a baby, or when said person is coming back, if at all. Or who has gotten written up, or worse, recently. It's fun; as long as it is not about me.

One unfortunate side effect of all this eavesdropping is the amount of rumor and speculation that isn't true. It's all fun and games when you hear juicy stories, it's another thing when people start saying they think people are going to get laid off. All that does is create more stress. Who needs that? After 10 years of working at my present job I've learned who the people are who like to talk like they know about what is happening, when in reality they just like to hear themselves talk.

It's not all rumor and juicy stories, a lot of times a person next to you is talking about something, a TV show or something, and you jump in to add something. That is okay in our little world at work. People do it all the time. It's almost encouraged. Most of the conversations I get in at work were not started by me, but I jump in. Especially if there is some kind of pop culture reference I could add to the conversation. You know, to make it more fun!

Extra Credit: Do you ever eavesdrop on purpose?

I think I've made it quite obvious. Yes.

How about you? What do you hear? Is it on purpose?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The sky is on fire

sunrise on the way to work
Originally uploaded by Mike F.
As I was leaving for work the other day I noticed how cool the sky looked. I grabbed my camera on the way out the door, thinking I could take a picture when I got to work. This one I snapped through the windshield on the way to work. Yes, I was stopped. See the red light? It's a little blurry since I was in the car, but I think that makes the picture better. Well, to me at least. I'm not a pro by any means.

On another weather note; I'm watching my college football team on TV. It is very foggy there, it makes me feel like there is something wrong with my eyes as I'm watching. I keep wanting to rub them to clear my vision. Yes, I'm a dork.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Originally uploaded by Mike F.
Here you see the bottle of Amoxicillin and syringe that we got from the pharmacy. See how tiny that thing us next to the bottle? Also, it's hard to tell in the picture, but the syringe won't fit into the bottle. So, with these two things combined, it is impossible to reach the bottom quarter of the bottle. I know. You're telling me to tilt the bottle. I tried. It doesn't work. Luckily the people at Target pharmacy had given us a big syringe a while back, and it works much better. Also at Target, they give you a bottle that has a small opening for the syringe and you turn it upside down so you can get all the medicine out of there. Too bad they weren't open the other night. They need to be 24 hours.

I know I keep calling it a syringe and it probably has another name. It's not used with a needle; it's just a measuring device. Anybody know the proper term?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Question from the back seat

"Are you talking to the cars again Dad?"

In my defense, the guy was an idiot, and I didn't swear. Really!

What do you do with the pumpkins after Halloween

I think this squirrel has the perfect idea:

I saw this on Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy page. With his audience size I'm sure you've seen it. If not, enjoy!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Attack of the giant tonsils!

Friday evening I went to walk the dog after dinner. The kids were watching TV with Jenn and everybody was fine. When I came back from the walk, Jenn motioned for me to come look at our daughter who was sitting in her lap. She was mouthing the words, "Look at her neck." So I did. It looked like a large walnut was shoved into her neck. It certainly wasn't there when I picked her up from school, and I don't think it was there when we were eating dinner. She didn't have a fever, she wasn't in pain, and she said she felt fine.

As we went up to take them to bed Jenn and I decided that she needs to talk to the doctor in the morning. We thought since she didn't have a fever, and she wasn't complaining of any pain, we could wait until the morning. As daughter was getting her pajamas on, I got another look at her neck. I think the way the light hit it, the lump was much more noticeable, or it was growing. I told her to come over so I could get a closer look, then I told her to open her mouth. Holy cats! Her tonsils were so big they were almost touching! It was gross, and kind of scary. I told Jenn to look at them and she reacted pretty much the same way. We talked for a minute and decided to take her to the ER to get checked out. I was worried they would get bigger and she wouldn't be able to breathe.

After a quick strep test and check by the doctor and nurse, we were on our way to go pick up some medicine for her. Good thing this was on a Friday. I had to work Saturday, but Jenn was off, so we wouldn't have to rearrange our work schedules. Both of us were a little worried the hospital was going to say that the tonsils had to come out. That would have been fun for everybody. Instead she is on some strong antibiotics and, supposedly, resting. The swelling has gone down, but things still aren't quite normal. Based on the size her tonsils were, it may be several years for them to get back to normal.

Before all this happened, Jenn had bought some tickets for Madagascar 2 for a Saturday showing. Normally it's a great idea for people to buy tickets early for popular movies, for us, this kind of stuff happens. We never win.  Since she wasn't feeling bad, we went anyway. She was getting tired at the end and I had to hold her in my lap for the last half of the movies, but she made it through the movie. And ate a gigantic soft pretzel. Seriously, I don't know how she ate the whole thing. It was bigger than her head! Actually, with the way her tonsils looked, I don't know how she could eat anything at all.

That was our excitement for the weekend. Aren't weekends supposed to be relaxing?

Friday, November 7, 2008

It was good while it lasted

I think Fall is officially here now. We've had a few nice days here in Chicago. I think we hit 70 degrees three days in a row. Not bad for the beginning of November. Today is a different story; the thermometer says 40 degrees, it's cloudy, drizzly (yeah, it's a word), and there is a stiff breeze that chills you to the bone. I don't like it. It means winter is coming up; time for the snow blowers to come out and get warmed up. Time to find the gloves and hat that seem to get lost during the summer. Time to stock up on hot chocolate.

Speaking of winter, I heard a Christmas song played over the speakers at Target. It seems too early for that. Maybe I don't want to hear it because it lets me know that cold weather is coming up.Maybe it was because it was a Celine Dion song. What we need is some Thanksgiving songs. Then the stores would have to play that now and not start the Christmas music up until Black Friday. What do you think? We could have songs about shooting a turkey, or about the Pilgrims, or about, um, hmmm...I think I see the problem. There isn't much to work with for Thanksgiving. I think we need something like Santa Claus, but for Thanksgiving. Then we could write songs about the Thanksgiving mascot. Would it be a turkey? No, not a good idea since we are eating turkey. How about a chicken? It could be laughing at the turkey since Thanksgiving is the only meal that a chicken is safe from being eaten. Don't get me started on turducken; that's just wrong. Any ideas on a Thanksgiving mascot, or song? 

Wow, I was kind of rambling there. Sorry.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Weekend Assignment #240: Scary Stuff

Since Halloween has just passed, Karen wanted us to write about a time when we were scared in a fun or spooky way.

Weekend Assignment #240: Halloween is largely about fear, defanged and turned into fun. Have you ever been genuinely scared in a spooky or fun-scary situation?

I've been thinking about this since I read the post last Friday and I've been having trouble thinking of a time when this has happened to me. Not because I'm some super macho guy; I just try to avoid those situations. I don't go to amusement parks because I hate all the rides. I don't like heights, so why spend 50+ dollars to walk around in a sea of sweaty people? I can do that anywhere.

Now, I was scared of the dark as a kid. I remember when my mom used to make me get something out of the basement I would run as fast as I could. I didn't want anything to catch me. I think that is how I became a good runner later in track. Running from monsters everyday gets you into good shape.

I will say that I scare easily if you wake me sometimes. Ask my wife, I've freaked out on here many times. I know one time I freaked out so bad when my brother woke me that I scared him. I don't think he woke me in the middle of the night after that. I guess that is a funny situation. I guess I must have weird dreams a lot, so when you wake me I flip out. Maybe I should stop reading creepy books and watching freaky movies.

Oh, I remember a time at a haunted house that got a little scared. I was in junior high at the time, and the haunted house was put on by the local high school. It was relatively elaborate, but nothing really out of the ordinary as haunted houses go. You had the guy who chased you with a chainsaw, a witch telling you where to go, you know, the usual stuff. I remember going into one part with my friend, it seemed to be just a room with a strobe light and a grim reaper-type statue standing in the corner. On the far end of the room was a hole you had to climb through to get to the next part of the haunted house. We walked in, surveyed the scene and took our time walking to the hole in the wall. When we were about halfway through the room, I decided to look behind me. The reaper was now right behind me, and because of the strobe, he seemed to be floating closer. I yelled at my friend to go and I pushed him. Needless to say he didn't have time to duck and his head smacked the top edge of the hole. He recovered well and we made it out of there without the reaper getting his bony hands on us. Phew!

Extra Credit: Do you still dress up for Halloween?

No. I haven't in a long time. I did dress as Data once when I worked at Applebee's. It wasn't much of a costume, I didn't use face paint or anything. That was about 10 years ago. I'm sure I will sometime, for a party or something.
When was the last time you were scared by something?

Creepy Christmas candy: take one

I saw this today at the store. It may be hard to tell by the picture, so I'll explain a little bit about it. It's a Reindeer that sticks out is tongue. Said tongue is a sucker that you eat, or lick. So, in a sense, you are licking a reindeer's tongue. Lovely. And gross. Who wants to lick a reindeer's tongue? (Insert your own joke here).

Just wanted to share. You're Welcome.


I'm getting ready to go to the kid's school to help out on the first grade field trip. I'm a little nervous. What if the kids don't listen. Do I yell?Do I just tell the teacher? Will I get in trouble if I yell? What about bathroom breaks? Yeah, this is going to be nerve-racking. I'll check in when I make it home. Keep me in your thoughts!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

With apologies to Queen

squirrel silhouette
Originally uploaded by Mike F.
I see a little silhouetto of a squirrel.

Speaking of Queen, we saw some high school kids dressed as Wayne and Garth for Halloween. It was depressing to realize they were probably not alive when that movie came out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted!

I voted
Originally uploaded by Mike F.
Did you? That's okay, you have plenty of time. No, I did not vote for Sam Adams as this picture my suggest.

I noticed something on the ballot, in our area there are a lot of uncontested races for judge. I should have been a circuit court judge.

Anybody want my free coffee? I don't drink it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Wrap-up

Did everyone have a nice Halloween? Wait, is Halloween supposed to be nice? How about; did everyone have a fun Halloween? Yeah, that sounds better.

For us here in the Chicago area, you couldn't ask for better weather. Well, sure you could, but you wouldn't get it. It was near 70 degrees, mostly sunny, and best of all, it was still light out until about 6:20pm or so. Thanks Congress!

The kids had been excited about it all week. Talking about all the candy they are going to get, and our son was just happy he was going to get to wear his Batman costume. (Hee, I just typed 'Batmoan'. That's kind of funny!) Our son was sick over the previous weekend and missed school on Monday and Tuesday with strep throat so he was still a little on the tired and worn-out side for most of the week. He was doing pretty good by Friday, but I could tell he wasn't 100%. Mostly due to the fact that he wasn't running from house to house. Last year we couldn't keep up with him, this year he did pretty well staying close to us. After the first block both kids were already showing signs of fatigue. Our daughter was getting pouty and wanted us to carry her bag. Son was doing okay for a while, but his bag started getting too heavy not that much later. I tried to explain to them that they need to enjoy this Halloween. They are never going to see weather like this again, probably. All I remember is getting rained on, being cold, but getting lots of candy.

Want to see our awesome decorations we did this year?

This was one of our first 'big' Halloween decoration purchases ever. You can't tell here, but the zombie is coming out of a mound where an old tree used to be. So it kind of looks like a burial place. Do you notice any thing wrong with is arm? Let me know if you do.

Here is a creepy skull:

So scary, I know. It was just off to the left of the zombie. Since it is dark you can't see the giant spider and web that is just to the left of the skull. There are also some paper ghosts hanging from a tree. We are out of control, I know.
Here is a pumpkin that a neighbor had. I thought it looked nice for a non-carved pumpkin:

If it isn't obvious already, we got a new camera. I took a lot of pictures that I normally wouldn't take. I like new toys.
Here is my favorite picture I've ever taken. No offense family members. I just think it turned out really good. For me that is.

I just wish the fence wasn't in the picture. Though, I think it adds something to it. I don't know what that would be exactly.

So, yes, we have lots of candy. Actually, I brought a big bag to work on Saturday in order to reduce the potential of a serious candy coma. By me that is. The kids don't really eat it. Thanks kids!
How was your weekend?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

More fun with Google Trends

I'm a little bored at work right now so I decided to check out Google Trends to see what people are looking for today. Not surprisingly, 80% of the searches are about the time. It does seem funny though, it's really not that hard to change the time. We go back exactly an hour. So take you clock, if it says 8:09 change it to 7:09. See how easy that was? I know some areas don't change their clocks, and if you are new to the area, I can understand the confusion. For the rest of you, there is no excuse. Besides, the computer you are using to search for the time should tell you what time it is. Not to mention that 99% of you have cell phones that change the time automatically, too.

Also, what is 'duck commander?'

Did you enjoy your extra hour of sleep?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

If you are a geek you've probably already seen this

I saw this today on SF Signal and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Turns out the guy in the video is just lip-synching to a song by moosebutter. I learned that by reading the comments on SF Signal. See, you can learn all kinds of good stuff on the internet. I wish we had this when I was in grade school. We had an Apple II that was gigantic, had giant external floppy drives, and less memory than my bathroom scale.  And we liked it! We played Lemonade Stand for hours!  (By we, I mean my grade school. My family didn't own one.)

Anyway, enjoy the video!