I needed to get my truck inspected, as any respectable, conscientious citizen would. Also I got a ticket the last time I went out of town on business.
In all fairness, I was guilty as sin. The new girl at the office and I went to lunch, and on the way back to the board meeting, I saw the lights. Those pretty red and blue flashing lights, surrounding the 15,000,000-lumen strobe headlights that all police cars seem to have now, (used between rave gigs). I obediently pulled into a parking lot, so the officer can write me my ticket without being hit by all the uninsured, unlicensed drivers speeding by on their cell phones, reaching in the back seat to smack their hookers for letting the pit bull spill cocaine all over their machine guns.
Not that I'm bitter.
It was never an issue on passing inspection. I take pretty good care of it, as much as I depend on it for work. Plus I still owe a metric assload of money on it.
So I took off to the local corporate soulless mega-chain lube center, insurance, impatience and $28.34 in tow. The wait was only about 30 min, so I went to lunch, came back ready to drive off without avoiding cops any more. A toothless mechanic with a limp (I'm not making that up) got out and said, as professionally as he could, "There's a problem."
Here in Texas we have mandatory emissions testing as part of the inspection. In the past, they would stick a probe up your tailpipe (yeah, I giggled too). A veritable automotive colonoscopy. My truck failed the emissions test but not because of the actual emissions. It failed because my truck couldn't tell them that it passed. Read that again. Apparently any vehicle made after 1997 can only pass emissions testing if they can hook their iPhone into it and have a productive IM session. But in this case, my truck was using Yahoo! Messenger, where the shop was on a commodore 64. In other words, it was giving their scanner the blue screen of death. But were not allowed to do the auto anal probing. Let's review...
Legally, I'm not allowed to operate a car in Texas unless a mechanic licensed by Texas tells the state that it's safe. However, the mechanic can't tell the state it's safe unless the car tells the mechanic itself it is safe.
Makes perfect sense.
They apparently didn't have the expertise to diagnose the issue, so they sent me in the direction of a couple of different repair shops. I did exactly what any sane person would do, namely pull over and call my ringer, T from work, the perennial "car guy."
"They said my OBD (On-Board Display) might have a short."
"According to them, the connector probably need to be replaced."
"That doesn't happen. They're blowing smoke up your ass."
On his advice, I took it to an Auto Zone, and had them use their scanner. Sure enough, it wasn't connecting. The guy there suggested it might just be a blown fuse. Pliers in hand, we started pulling fuses. And found it. At 15A, to be exact. We replaced it, and sure enough, the scanner and my truck were soon chatting like old cellmates.
And what was the fuse for, you ask?
The cigarette lighter.
I shit you not.
It's the equivalent of having laryngitis due to an ingrown toenail.
With the onboard computer now talking like a meth-addled auctioneer, I run back to the Lubes"Я"Us. And guess what?
Apparently, when we replaced the fuse, it essentially cleared the RAM of the OBD. So they told me to come back after I drive it for about 150 miles, when the computer can reset its settings.
And I need to get my inspection done by Friday.
Got a lot of driving to do.
Stumblers: If anything strikes your fancy, cover up your fancy and click the "I like it!" button on your taskbar.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I needed to get my truck inspected, as any respectable, conscientious citizen would. Also I got a ticket the last time I went out of town on business.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
My phone rings yesterday afternoon. Normally I don't answer if I don't recognize the number, but it was from a local number and I was already looking for an excuse to stop talking with a coworker.
*[insert random annoying ringtone here]*
Me: "Excuse me?"
They: "Yes. Is this Santa?"
Me: "Not that I'm aware of. Can I help you with something?"
They: "I'm sorry. You were listed as a reference for Robert XXXXXX at this number."
Me: "Nope. Sorry, don't know him. But I can tell you he's been a very naughty boy."
They: "Ok, I'll list the number as 'invalid. Have a nice day."
Me: "Merry Christmas."
I stared at the phone for a bit.
The things that amazed me about this call:
- that someone actually listed Santa as a reference
- that a company would still call to check on it
- that Santa lives in Central Texas
- that they actually found me
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I've been asked so much these past few months where I've been, what's going on in B's universe, why haven't I been writing, etc.
Answers in short:
-I have been. sorta.
To clarify that last one... yes, I do mean blog posts. and journal entries. and and and.
But I haven't published. Currently I have 27 drafts going. So here's what goes on in my world...
I have a I know it'd be a great post, so I start on it. I'm trucking along before I lose steam at some point, or get distracted, or get busy. Regardless, the draft will be 90% done, and I can never get back into it enough to just whip it out and move on. So then, I'll have another story, an idea, a theorem, random ramblings. Same thing will happen. Then I'll have another one, which I'll actually finish, but it necessitates knowing something from a prior post (sitting in a draft), So I can't publish until I finish that one... So that's whay I have 27 drafts and no posts for the last few months.
My plan for vaca was that I woulds finish all the posts and publish them at once, so everyone can catch up. Obviously that didn't happen.
So instead of people being lost for a few days, I end up not posting at all.
Really, this is how my mind works.
I'll still try to whip those out, but in the meantime I'll be here NOT procrastinating.
Although it kills me, Lil, I'm going to take your advice.
It's ChaCha's birthday today, and it's been tearing me up trying to not acknowledge it. It's the first time since we've met that I've been persona non grata for it.
I had a few ideas on doing something nice, between making her something, sending her a quick text, or like what I did last year (donate toys to Toys For Tots in her name) but I think I'll let it go. It's a shame, really. I Loved all the messages and good wishes sent to me on my day.
So instead, what I WILL do is bundle up all the good wishes, happy birthdays, happy thoughts, Love and affection, and set it adrift on the wind.
I hope they find their way to you.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I wish my family the best Thanksgiving ever.
That's right, we're not spending it together. Or at least they are.
My sisters normally (well, normally the eldest one) throw together a shindig, with the turkey, cranberries and all the typical accessories that come forthwith. This year a friend of hers is putting one together, and we're all invited.
I'm not going.
I want to. I know them, my sistas will be there, my folks, plenty of pooches, gobs of food, wine, women and song.
Problem is, because of the way the thing's arranged, plus stuff going on here, and and and, I'd have to come back that night. I figure it'd be about a 5 1/2 hr each way, and 11 hours on the road is a lot of driving for one day, especially when you enter in all the food, alcohol, etc.
But don't worry, there is a plan.
Spending it with Lil and her fam. Primarily to deflect the drama going on with them. But regardless, I'll be spending it with someone I care about.
Thanks to my family, My sisters who never judged me even when I screwed up (once or twice) and Loved me just the same.
Thanks to my folks for too many reasons to list here. Just know I Love you, and I appreciate all you've given me.
Thanks to Lillith, for always being there to point out when I'm being a douchebag, to criticize me every chance she gets, and to make me a better person for having known her.
Thanks to my company (I know, right??) for finally realizing that I deserve this promotion.
Thanks to the US for finally coming to her senses.
In the past year I would also like to thank Fred, Berry, Miss Divine, Mariah, ChaCha, 'Stache, Guido, Yahtzee, Jean, Wrigley, Murphy, Jesus M, and Father Fab for all their Love, patience, and everything else they've given me in the past year.
Love you all.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I've been signed up on a certain dating site for a while. There are a few possibles, but the bar is raised pretty high.
Anyway, after answering the same questions over and over I've started to get bored with the same answers and actually send my kneejerk responses. Funny thing is, I get more of a response when I'm being my normal smartass self.
So, here's a list of answers I've actually sent (all E) and gotten responses...
When in a relationship, how much personal space do you generally find you need?
A) I don't have a great need for "personal space". I like lots of together time.
B) I find my time spent working is enough personal time, the rest I like to spend with my partner.
C) As long as I can get one night a week to myself, my personal space needs are met.
D) When I'm with my partner I'm completely there, but I do need considerable time for personal reflection.
E) 2.67431 cubic meters (at sea level).
E) When I'm not battling space ninjas for the fate of the Earth, I enjoy spending time and sharing with who I'm with.
Which of the following things would you rather have lots of?
If you had to characterize the end of most of your romantic relationships, they would be described as:
A) pleasant as breaking up can be, with both people feeling it was the best decision
B) sad, with one partner being hurt and feeling betrayed
C) very dramatic, with lots of hurtful accusations
D) angry, with lots of feelings of disappointment
E) With blood.
E) Minor, since they never found the bodies
How would you assess your verbal intimacy skills?
A) I am extremely comfortable talking about my innermost needs and desires.
B) With the exception of a couple areas, I'm comfortable being verbally intimate.
C) I'm still learning to be verbally intimate, but my skills are improving.
D) It's hard work for me to discuss my intimate feelings.
E) I am open and honest to a fault. Try to not ask me if your ass looks fat in those jeans.
E) I will speak my mind, but only in a combination of semaphore and braille.
E) with grunts and wild, complex hand gestures.
Do you consider yourself physically affectionate when involved in a relationship?
A) Sure, I love to hold hands, hug and give casual kisses.
B) I'm moderately affectionate. I like to hold hands and exchange hugs.
C) I do like a small amount of physical affection.
D) I don't consider myself a very physically affectionate person.
E) I am a hugger, hand-holder, kiss-stealer, dance-in-the-middle-of-HEB-when-a-good-song-comes-on type of guy. But don't worry, dry-humping in the middle of the produce section is out... usually.
Your idea of adventure is:
A) whitewater rafting
B) karaoke singing
C) trying a different route to work
D) ordering a dish you've never tried before
E) Battling nazis and dodging bullets in the quest for the Mighty Plunger of Quetzalcoatl
Which of the following scenarios would make you more nervous?
A) making a presentation to 500 people
B) a long car ride with a person you just met
C) talking about your deepest fears with your lover
D) meeting with the president of the company you work for
E) Being trapped in a closet with snakes, a puma, and several riverdancers
E) Dropping the soap in a Turkish prison
Monday, July 28, 2008
I'm in a goofy mood today.
And apparently I'm not the only one. Here are some excerpts from actual IM conversations this morning...
***: doing some research on euro power plugs so i know what to get
Tenacious B: for your "marital aids?"
***: no, for my camera when i go to italy
Tenacious B: oh, right. those are a bitch to get through customs
***: marital aids or power adapters?
Tenacious B: sybians
***: heh, im not lugging one of those through italy
Tenacious B: what was I thinking?
***: hehe, how was
***: your weekend?
Tenacious B: my weekend was
Tenacious B: pretty uneventful
***: no wild parties?
***: yeah mine too, lots of studting and sleeping
Tenacious B: yeah, but it was over pretty quick after the donkey died
***: damn donkey never can keep up
Tenacious B: nope. choked on a midget
***: heh, well im glad i popped in amongst the miscellany and not amongst something more important
Tenacious B: oh, my randomness IS more important
Tenacious B: that's where the universe-changing theories and epiphanies reside
***: heh, good to know! is that somewhere next to the blackhole where the things you forget lay?
Tenacious B: you know about that?
***: heh, my blackhole is very prominent and ever expanding
***: so how was your weekend?
Tenacious B: ***: heh, my blackhole is very prominent and ever expanding
Tenacious B: /insert crude joke here
***: hehe, yeah, i left it wide open for you!
Tenacious B: /rimshot
Tenacious B: wow, that sounds SO wonderful
***: Doesn't it beat work and chores?
Tenacious B: like a rented mule
Tenacious B: wonder how the planets are aligned?
***: I was just about to ask if Eros was rising or some such nonsense.
***: It's a flouncy dress, sassy heels in hand, feet in water, frolicky kind of day.
Tenacious B: meh, my dress is too formal for that
***: that's why they made dry-cleaners.
***: So my horoscope says it's a great day for me to try something brand-new.
Tenacious B: anal?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Not really. But Murphy has come to work with me today.
He wasn't feeling well last night, and by that I mean he wouldn't move. He was laying by the couch taking shallow breaths. As I walked up to him, he just lifted his eyes to me and thumped his tail twice.
I called the vet about 9 last night. Well, the vet for one of the rescue organizations I volunteer for. He said it doesn't sound too serious, mayhaps an ear infection that spread.
So I'm going to watch him until at least lunch, then take him either to the vet or home, depending on his demeanor.
getting him to the door was a chore, he was walking stiff and slowly, I practically had to lift him into the truck, and came to work.
The first thing he did when we walked through the door was run up to the receptionist for some lovin.
Let me repeat that...
The first thing he did when we walked through the door was run up to the receptionist.
The big faker.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
I like fishing.
Well, to be perfectly honest, I like the excuse of fishing. Sitting back in the boat watching the clouds go by, hearing the water lap up next to the boat, maybe with a beer in hand, feeling the cool breeze waft across my face. Honestly, I don't really care if I catch anything. Or even if the hook is baited. It's the action, not the result that makes it enjoyable to me.
But I always wondered about the fish's point of view. Granted, I'm most likely giving them too much credit, but still. It would be like seeing an Oreo pristinely resting atop a linen napkin on a park bench; other people glancing at it, tempted, but passing. Now remember you LOVE Oreos. You would eat them 24/7 if you could, but they're rare and hard to come by. And there's one, unguarded, for the taking. You've eaten them before, but never one presented so tantalizingly. It makes you wary.
In theory it could've been dropped there by accident, or left there by someone that had had their fill already. Regardless, it makes your mouth water just looking at it. You could either throw caution to the wind and take a bite, risking all self-preservation, or let it go and try to put out of your mind how delicious it would have been.
It's taken a lot of time to get over the Oreos. You were forced to go cold turkey. And this one showed up right when you just started not thinking of them constantly.
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming swimming swimming...
Friday, July 18, 2008
"Shut your mouth!"
"I'm just talkin' bout B"
"We can dig it"
I saw Hailey yesterday, and spent WAY too much getting my hair cut.
But she's worth it. I've been seeing her for about 3 years now.
She's the type of stylist that I don't tell her how I want it cut, never cuts my hair the same way twice, but it ALWAYS looks hot.
So much so that each time I see her, I head out for a drink or two afterwards, sort of a red carpet treatment for the new 'do. I can almost hear theme music as I walk out of the salon. And yeah, usually when I walk by a woman, her ovaries will jump out of her body and attach themselves to my underbelly for nourishment.
Except for last night.
Because of a crisis at work (Read: Clusterfuck) I had to go back in right after, and didn't get out until 10ish? 11ish? Not sure. So the only people that were there to appreciate my hawtness were two fifty-something cleaning ladies who don't speak English.
It's a shame.
Hailey told me as she got started, "I need to make your hair look extra hot so you can get laid."
She's right, you know.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Just got back from yet another trip last night. Here's the data...
Number of hours gone: 71
Miles driven: 1,001
Cities visited: 3
Towns/cities driven through: 56
Amount spent on gas: $245
Money spent on company card: $736.39
Hours slept: 14
Hours driving: 16
Number of times listened to "Rainbow Connection": 6
Calories consumed: 15,364,397
Flat tires: 1
1 1/2" screws removed from said tire: 2
Hotel towels absconded: 2
Text messages sent: 87
Text messages received: 92
Breakups from cute girls: 1
Hard feelings: 0
Cute girls back in my life: 2
Goals made: 16
Calls made on job opportunities: 3
Possibilities in my life: Infinite
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I forget stuff.
Some of you long time readers remember the business trip where I had to make two trips back home because I forgot my phone, then shoes.
My friends are a godsend. Lil in particular. First of all, she's been watching Murphy while I'm away on business (Thanks, hun). Secondly, she is my travel checklist. The second I leave, she sends me texts listing all my necessities to make certain I have everything. Her list is normally, "shoes. pants. laptop. phone. condoms. lube." She likes to be certain my bases are covered.
And yet I forget stuff.
Like the first trip of the season, 750 miles and three meetings in three days. I left A)my watch and B)my travel bag. But nothing a quick trip to the local Wally World couldn't resolve.
My three-day trip last week left me traveling sans socks, once again nothing that a small detour couldn't resolve.
So yesterday I made sure I had everything. I was certain. I didn't bring my blazer, but that was a conscious choice; mostly because after 3 weeks of hard traveling it's in bad need of cleaning (i.e. smells like ass).
I loaded up the truck, then grabbed Murphy to drop him off at Lil's, backed up, then pulled back into the spot so I could run in and grab my watch. Back up, then pull back. Run in, grab my printed directions to Beaumont. Pull out, pull back in, run in and get my sunglasses.
Welcome to my world.
Ok, ready to go this time. I get on the road about 3:30, singing "Rainbow Connection" at the top of my lungs and trying to ignore the five-hour drive ahead of me.
I made it out of town without incident and was trying to figure out where to have lunch. Around 4ish, Murphy started barking at some people walking down the road.
I forgot to drop the little bastard off. He, tail wagging, was having the time of his life going on a trip. The tail stopped briefly when I slowed down and headed back towards Austin.
I forget stuff.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
So I spent some time at the lake with Lil this weekend. And my skin has surpassed the salmon color to more of a firetruck. Even the slathering of SPF 50 could not keep the little roast timer embedded in my skin from popping out.
So my shoulders and face are reddish, but the worst are the tops of my legs. I'm doing the Frankenstein walk. So much that I had to cancel a much anticipated (first) date for tonight.
I was asked what I burned this morning. I snickered and promptly said (with the appropriate dance moves),
"Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.
Heads, shoulders, knees and toes"
I crack myself up.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Just got back from a four-day business trip. Going to bed now.
But in the meantime...
Found this over at our friends at Hairyballsack
Here's the background story: Okay guys here is the info on this voicemail. One of my friend's from work and her friend were out one night in the SF Marina district and were hanging outside of the bars trying to find a cab. One of the girl's, Olga ends up meeting this guy Dmitri and they talk for at the most 2 minutes. She hands him her business card and says call me.
Well attached is the actual voicemail that this guy left her. Wait till you hear it you will be laughing so hard you'll fall out of your chair.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits.
George Carlin died today at 71.
He was an incredible talent and he made the universe a better (and weirder) place by being in it.
You will be missed.
And God, if you're listening...
try not to piss him off.
Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits indeed.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I'm in the middle of the busy season at work, with traveling and whatnot.
So here's something to make you giggle.
'Warcraft' Sequel Lets Gamers Play A Character Playing 'Warcraft'
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
I broke my dog.
A couple of weeks ago I met Pepper for coffee and took the Murph. We walked around, let him bark at statues, and allow all the little kiddos a chance to pet the sweetest dawg around.
The next day I noticed he was licking his back left paw a lot. I thought nothing of it until I saw him limping a bit. On examination I saw that he had somehow scraped the pad on his foot. I cleaned it up and it didn't look that bad. I decided to let it heal to see what happened. I wrapped it up (the bandage usually stays on him for almost a minute). Boy has feet issues. It got better (as in he was walking around on it just fine) until last weekend. He was okay except for when he was walking in the grass.
Saturday he was fine, we were wrestling and he was running around like the normal lunatic he is. So yesterday I was on my way to Lil's place and he started doing the "tripod" thing. I looked at his foot and he had licked it back to injured. He was one hurtin' cowpoke.
So today, enough was enough. I stopped off and bought an E-collar during lunch. I know he'll be fine if he would just leave the damn thing alone.
I didn't really realize how much it was bothering him until he growled and was doing his junkyard-dog impersonation as I wrapped his foot. Anyone that knows him is aware of how mean he is (totally NOT).
Upon returning to work, he turned from mild-mannered puppy to...
DUM DA DA DUM!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Last Friday I babysat Connorman and Princess Toria.
Have I mentioned before how much fun they are?
Anyway, the first thing they wanted to do was play with the 5,368-color playdoh set they had. And of course, the first thing that came out of my mouth, the responsible adult I am was...
I dig playdoh. Well, anything creative gets me jazzed. Especially when I see something like this.
Connorman was off in his own little world creating "a sea creature... with SCALES!" It was pretty kickass imo. He made four of them, all different colors. Funny part about that was that they were all identical. So he would make one, show it to me proudly, ball it up, grab another color, and make ANOTHER one, entirely identical to the last. He would then proceed to show me how he could burp.
Meanwhile, Princess Toria was making all sorts of things, including cookies, a birthday cake (see a trend?), a cat, and varied miscellany. I thought it'd be fun to have a collaborative project, so we talked about making something together. Toria made a suggestion which turned out to be an interesting challenge, so we made...
wait for it...
They wanted to make an "Uncle B" (with Murphy).
Looking at it now, it makes me look like an evil Spock.
But it was still a lot of fun, and Murphy turned out really well.
Later we made paper airplanes, popcorn and we snuggled in a recliner to watch freaky old cartoons.
It was a good night.
Friday, May 16, 2008
I'm jazzed about this weekend. Got a lot to do.
Tonight I'm babysitting for my sis' kids, which always turns out to be a hoot.
The Mighty Texas Dog Walk!
The volunteers have to be downtown at 6am, so not sure how I'll wake Murphy up. But it should be a blast.
It always is.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I was doing some cleanup on my desktop at work, and I came across something I wrote WAAAAAAAY back (several years). Back when I was still fostering Shadow for Gold Ribbon Rescue.
A little background:
Shadow was the sweetest dog ever, and very calm-natured... except he was scared to death of thunderstorms. Normally he would sleep beside me on the floor. But when it was storming out, he'd climb into bed with me.
One such instance inspired me to pen this...
(all due apologies to Poe)
Once upon a midnight storming, while I lay there, weak and warming,
Overshadowed by a quiet rumbling of an ambient snore
While I drifted, nearly dozing, suddenly there came imposing,
As of someone gently panting, panting on my bedroom floor.
" 'Tis some doggie," I muttered, "panting on my bedroom floor;
Only this, and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I recall, it was coming down the hall,
And each separate puppy breath wrought its steam through the door.
Eagerly I wished the morning; cautiously I'd not heed the warning
From my sheets devoid of sleep, sleep like I did before,
For the rare and radiant sleep which I shall attempt once more,
That noise I shall ignore.
And the soulful sad unceasing rustling of that damp wet season
Provoked me---Woke me with the rain that began to pour;
So that now, to the sounds of the room, I stood repeating,
" 'Tis some Golden wanting to get off the bedroom floor,
Some scared puppy needing off the bedroom floor.
This it is, and nothing more."
Presently my heart grew weary; Suddenly I had a theory,
"Shadow," said I, "come to me, and although it is a chore;
But the fact is, you are enchanting, and so loudly you were panting,
And so strongly you were panting, panting on my bedroom floor,
That you know was sure I heard you." Here I reached upon the floor;---
A hot rug there, and nothing more.
Back into the sheets I turned, all I felt that I was spurned,
Soon again I heard a panting, although louder than before,
"Surely," said I, "surely, there is something in my king-sized bed.
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this sound I must explore.
Let my heart be still a moment, and this sound I must explore.
" 'Tis Murphy, and nothing more."
Over then I grabbed the pillow, when, with many a blur and billow,
I then spied a frightened puppy, that I left upon the floor.
Not the least commotion made he; next to me he stopped and stayed he;
But with the weary eyes of comfort, laid where he never had before.
Lying on our comfy quilt, happy to be off the floor,
Stretched his legs, content galore.
Then this golden dog beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the sweet, loving disposition of the huge smile he wore,
"Though thy gravity is empowered thou," I said, "art sure no coward,
Beautiful, big, and dashing do, wandering from the bedroom floor.
Tell me what can make you happy as before."
Quoth the Golden, "Pet me more."
I miss that big lug.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
In all the RPGs (Role-Playing Games, for you Philistines) played in my life, there are a lot of common themes/traits/concepts that are standard across the board, in particular MMORPGs. Here's my list of the ones that annoy me the most for whatever reason.
1. An apple a day...
Eating for health. I decided to start with this one because it's almost universal. You just spent an hour in a firefight with a Godlike boss, you're almost dead, leg gnawed off, and how do you repair your health? Start chowin down on that pork loin in your bag.
Doesn't make sense to me either. I hate this concept because it's silly, and where did someone get that idea? Was someone in a bad accident, impaled by his steering wheel, only to have a paramedic arrive on the scene to say, "Here. Have this sandwich." I'll take a Vicodin, if you don't mind.
Which brings us to...
2. No poopin allowed.
Don't get me wrong. I don't want to spend all my time using the "facilities" for the sake of realism. But with all the ridiculous amounts of eating and drinking that goes on, most characters would explode by level 5 from severe gastroenteritis.
Anyone that plays a mage on World of Warcraft knows exactly what I'm talking about. You're eating constantly. So much so that they created a spell to MAKE your own food.
Waiting for the Vindicator's Portapottie of Sweet Release.
This is one aspect that adventure and FPS games have started to get it right. All limitations aside to AI, you'd think that the monsters would notice certain things. Certain things like their dead compatriots lying on the floor in front of them, fresh entrails on the walls, etc. But they usually casually walk over them as if nothing happened.
"Hey Fred, I was meaning to ask you... Fred?"
/steps over Fred's eviscerated, mangled body
"Hmm, Fred musta went out for coffee. I'll just walk over here then."
Don'tcha think seeing Fred's tongue nailed to a door would give ANY cause for alarm?
4. Random Drops.
One of the reasons for grinding monsters (just random killing) is to get gear. I get that part. But I never understood how I could get a full set of platemail armor or a two-handed battle axe from a squirrel.
A few questions arise from this...
-How the hell did he get it?
-Where is he carrying it?
-Do I really want to wear a helmet that was found shoved up a spider's ass?
Unless you can kill a rat and wear it on your head, it makes zero sense.
5. Inventory space.
Diablo II and Prince of Qin almost got this right. But carrying around a Rocket Launcher, a M50 machine gun, lead pipe, 400 legs of lamb (see above), about 20 quest items plus 5000 rounds of ammunition would logically make movement kinda limited.
Instead, you have people jumping from place to place with no issue like there's a goddamn spring up their ass.
Think of the last time you were bringing in groceries. You have 4 bags in each hand. Now imagine carrying those bags while fighting off ninjas with a 40lb sword in your hand.
I'm venting mostly to World of Warcraft and a handful of others here. A common trend is to have weapons and armor get damaged over time. I dig this concept, because the indestructible armor in the other games is pretty silly in its own right.
Pair this up with tradeskills and you have an issue. For example, on WoW I have a character that's an artisan blacksmith. He can create all sorts of cool armor and weapons from raw metal, sticks, mud, and bits of string. However, he can't buff out a ding on his own armor. For that he has to go to a guy that...
I shit you not.
7. Do it your damn self.
A common quest is when a NPC asks you to retrieve something from a monster/boss. Now here's a common scenario...
You (level 12 pissant): "You summoned me, sire?"
King Uberbadass (level 5,000 God NPC): "Yeah, glad you could make it. I'm in the mood for a snack. Go into the forest and bring me the spit gland from 40 mutant hamsters."
You: "Aren't those like level 20 elite monsters?"
King: "Something like that. Take a friend."
You: "But you could walk over there and like collect those in 5 minutes."
King: "I could, but then I wouldn't give you the next quest, which you need to get the key to the secret dungeon."
You: "So you're just being a dick sending me to have my ass handed to me for your own amusement?"
King: "Pretty much."
Everquest was notorious for this, as were quite a few of the Final Fantasy series. What pisses me off about this is that there is almost always a "we barely escaped with our lives" story attached to it.
8. You put WHAT, WHERE?
While we're on the subject of quests... This happens far too often. You're sent to retrieve the +3 Stick of Awesomeness. You go to the guy that's supposed to have it, and then:
"Hey, Earl! Did you see that stick lying around?"
"Yeah. I left it in the butt of that dragon over yonder."
(to you) "Well, guess you're going to go have to get it yourself. Here's some salad tongs and a pair of rubber gloves. Good luck!"
WoW is so guilty of this. It's ok to slap in something that will fill the story a bit. And I'm not looking for uber-realism. But at least put forth the effort to make it feasible.
9. Find your own damn way back.
Escort quests. Because some idiot with no skills managed to make his way to the middle of a dungeon doesn't mean I have to walk your ass back out. Especially since monsters from other games are clamoring over each other to get them some.
For god's sake, give them a sword/armor/shovel/anything.
If I can, I'll let them beat up on you just so I can give you a big "serves you right." What's worse is when they run off without you, a plot device with a death wish.
10. A few of us have SOME semblance of a life.
Boasting "40+ hours of gameplay" doesn't fool us any more. We know that means that you'll spend 30 hours running from place to place (looking at you, Morrowind) to retrieve the lost talisman of yodeling. Of course, the only one that knows where that is will only tell you if you can retrieve his buttscratcher from a space station, which he doesn't have a key. But he tells you who does, a rat that happens to live in the sewer of another game... etc etc
You get the picture.
Monday, May 12, 2008
It's funny how the universe listens to you.
I have issues. No secret there. What gives me an edge in the game is that I know what my issues are.
I was in a local bookstore thumbing through the tomes for last minute Mother's day gifts and came across this in the self-help section.
"Came across" is relatively incorrect. The book did everything but jump off the shelf into my hands. It was a little out of my budget but felt it was too important to pass up.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately; mostly because of Berry, who I just recently met. She's great, and cute, and wonderful, and and and...
There's an issue.
She's more successful and makes more than me. A LOT more.
I know, it's stupid. My issue doesn't have anything to do with getting my testosterone rocks off, nor is it that I feel differently about her because of it. It's not even the culture difference (although that's what I originally thought).
It's that it reminds me of all my unrealized success.
Oh, FTR... I asked her about it and it's a non-issue for her, so the issue is totally on my side.
As a 30-something intelligent single white male American I have all possible advantages in life. There should be a government program for those of us who haven't made it yet (rimshot).
But there's one reason and one only that my full potential has not been achieved.
wait for it...
It's the reason...
Why I slack on my blog posts.
Why I've owned my own business for about 6 months and haven't done anything with it.
Why I forget birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
Why I show up to important things at the last minute (or more commonly 15 minutes late).
Why I'm always behind on my deadlines.
Why my place needs to be cleaned (again).
Why I haven't finished any of the three books I started writing.
Why I'm paying bills at the last minute.
Why I'm still smoking.
Why I always have a dozen unfinished projects lying around.
Why I "forget" to call or email that person back.
You get the picture.
What hurts the most is that I'm aware of it. That I look at that half-fone letter, or that blog post, or that grant application and KNOW that it needs to be done. It's almost finished. It could be out the door in 2 minutes. Rebates are a perfect example. As a technophile, you get lots of mail-in rebates. I will make a purchase with the rebate in mind, and when I get home I'll actually fill out the form and put it in the envelope, ready to mail.
Then, two months later, I'll find it in a desk drawer and have to throw it out because it's WAY past expiration. Who does that?
What is stupid is that there is some comfort, some sense of accomplishment in just starting something I won't finish. I will get going, get the momentum, and then let it collect dust. But that's not what I want. I want to finish what I start.
The worst part is that I KNOW what can be accomplished. Two years ago I achieved amazing things, much more than expected with just a little action. I don't know what turned off the momentum but it did.
Awareness is the key to change.
And the change WILL be made. I'm tired of making excuses.
I just don't know how.
Maybe this book will have some answers.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Friday, May 2, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I got RickRolled last night by a friend.
For those of you unfamiliar with what that is, click here.
Go ahead, I'll wait.
So all this morning that damn song was stuck in my head. And it didn't help that I have to work in Excel all day.
So before I knew it I made a new worksheet...
Sometimes my geekiness scares even me.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Nothing to report today, so sit back and I'll tell you a story...
This happened a week and a half ago during my hiatus.
On the Friday night in question I had a date with a new chica (I was trying to come up with a nick for her but then thought, nah, I'll never be seeing her again so why bother?). But anyway, it was an... experience. I got home at about 3:30ish, and passed out.
At 8 in the am, there was a knock at my door, followed by an onslaught of doorbell rings and Murphy freakin the F out. The last time that happened it WAS rather urgent (no details), so I dragged my ass out of bed, put on some clothes laying on top of my hamper and went downstairs.
It was three kids from my complex. I was about to get really upset, as they usually pound on my door routinely to ask me to get their balls/frisbees/kites/snorkel from my patio.
Not this time. The ringleader, the 12yo daughter of the apartment manager looked at me and said "Don't come outside!" And then added, "wait until we come and get you."
In hindsight I should've been panicked and very concerned. But in my half-asleep state, I think I mumbled, "whatever," and closed the door, collapsing on the couch.
I had just dozed off again and the knocks and doorbell ringing started anew. Murphy began bouncing off the walls, barking in my ear with renewed vigor. It was her again with a shit-eating grin on her face, saying, "come outside and see your surprise!" Ok, I was a wee bit concerned at this point, but Murphy needed to go out anyway so I bit the bullet and stepped out into the sunshine.
She took my hand and walked me out to the parking lot and pointed at my truck.
"We washed it for you!"
"Why do I deserve such noble treatment," I asked.
"Well, you're always so nice to us. We wanted to do something nice for you."
It's not often I'm speechless.
About an hour later I went and got them all ice cream and root beers. And the rest of the weekend I was walking on air.
Monday, April 28, 2008
I took Friday off.
No holiday, no illness, no appointments, errands, world domination, etc.
Just a day off. I needed it.
It was almost to the point where my friends and neighbors would be featured on the 10 o'clock news talking about how "normal" and "peaceful" I seemed, before taking an axe to my entire office. So I told my boss I was taking a personal day. No other explanation needed or offered.
For the most part I didn't do much. I took Lillith out to dinner on Fri, and saw Pepper on Saturday night. But the REAL story was about Saturday afternoon.
After the sudden deluge on Friday night I was going a little stir crazy. So while checking my email, a cold nose pressed itself against my arm. It was Murphy wanting to go out. That was the sign I needed. I looked into those happy brown eyes and asked him if he wanted to go with me to get coffee. He disappeared, a black blur bounding down a flight of steps in three jumps, skidding into the door at full speed (He absorbed the entire impact with his brain, so there was no damage).
I stopped off at the local Starbucks with a book, dog, and my journal. I went inside to get my coffee and muffin, tying up the Poot to a shade umbrella they had outside. In the span of five minutes, he had dragged the umbrella just enough to sit on an elderly gentleman's foot. The man was lazily scratching Murphy's ears while doing the crossword puzzle.
So I collected the traitor and moved to a table a bit farther down, started sipping on the java and listened as the world went by.
A couple sat down at the next table with their granddaughter. Not sure how old, but definitely under a year. She was at that stage where she could pull herself up by hanging on to something. She and Murphy seemed mutually fascinated by one another, so I got up and walked Murphy over so she could pet the "daggie," as she called him. They made their intros, she squealed as she got doggie kisses, and then we sat back down.
I saw the girl glancing at us occasionally, and then she strolled on over to pet Murphy again. That's when all hell broke loose. The grandparents were whipping out cameras and phones. I was trying to figure out what I did, what Murphy did, or if I should bolt before the cops come. I heard the lady on her cell, saying "Get over here NOW!"
Panic was one thought.
Fear was another.
She scooped the kid in her arms and explained it to me.
She just took her first steps.
Her FIRST steps.
To see MY "daggie."
That's us. Changing the world, one step at a time.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
This morning I got an email today from my Mom. I may have mentioned before that she's VERY Catholic, and she's always sending me little prayers and such.
I don't really mind. She's not militant about it, and I appreciate the thought regardless of my own religious views. Plus, on the off chance that I'm wrong about EVERYTHING (entirely possible), she could be my PR rep for the deity in the clouds.
So she sent me a novena (for those non-Caths out there, it's a prayer said for nine days to ask for special graces) via email.
Here it is...
You were chosen to receive this novena.
The moment you receive it, say:
Hail Mary full of grace,
but deliver us
from evil. Amen
.GOD WANTED ME TO TELL YOU, It shall be well with you
this coming year.
No matter how much your enemies try this year, they
will not succeed.
You have been destined to make it and you shall surely
achieve all your goals this year.
For the year 2008, all your agonies will be diverted
and victory and prosperity will be incoming in
abundance. Today God has
confirmed the end of your sufferings, sorrows and
pain because HE that
sits on the throne has remembered you. He has taken
away the hardships
and given you JOY. He will never let you down.
I knocked at heaven's door this morning, God asked
me...My child! What can I do for you? And I said,
"Father, please protect and bless the person reading
this message... "
This is a Novena from Mother Theresa that started in1952.
It has never been broken. Within 48 hours send 20
copies or as many as you can - God does know if you
don't have 20 people to send it to.
It's the effort and intent that
counts to family and friends.
This is a powerful Novena. Couldn't hurt. Can only
help. Please do not break it...
Chain emails bug me a little. Especially one that's been around for [snicker] 50+ years.
"GOD WANTED ME TO TELL YOU, It shall be well with you this coming year."
Statements like this always bug me. My issue is best described in a convo with Jesus by our friends over at Russell's Teapot...
Yeah, makes sense.
Anyway, let's do the math...
"This is a Novena from Mother Theresa that started in1952.
It has never been broken. Within 48 hours send 20
Ok, let's assume that this started on December 31, 1952.
That gives us 20,204 days to today.
That gives us 10,102 48-hour time units, assuming that each person would wait until the absolute last second to send the message.
Starting with Mother Teresa sending that first email (just pretend, okay?) in 1952, that would give us 6.12998 x 10^236 (e.g. 20^182) people in that first year alone.
To put that into perspective, the current estimate of the number of atoms in our known universe (encompassing 46 billion light years) is 10^80.
Now understandably, not each person would forward the message. I'd say 10% is a reasonable approximation, so let's say 2 people forward it. That would be 6.12998 x 10^54 (e.g. 2^182) people in 1953. To put it in real numbers, that's 6,129,982,163,463,556,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 people.
(The population of the earth in 1950 was 2,521,000,000.)
According to the Population Reference Bureau, there have been an estimated 106,456,367,669 humans born to date since 50,000 BC.
I couldn't find any calculators that could handle the sheer numbers of calculating 2^10,012
I'm going to hell.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
On Monday I received six messages, by text, IM, and email asking if everything's okay.
It is. Mostly.
Been pretty swamped at work, and even though I have some wonderful stories (involving babysitting, a BAD date, and a knock on my door at 8:15 am), I can't seem to make the words. Call it writer's block. I've toyed with a few posts and the words can't seem to come.
Anyway, I'm still writing and when I come up with anything fit for human consumption I'll slap it up.
But I AM doing great. Pour yourself a cup and I'll be back soon.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I pick up the mail from the receptionist's desk yesterday afternoon, and there was a lot. In fact, I had to take the entire bin up with me. While sorting through it, I lifted a stack of legal sized envelopes and saw a smallish box underneath. Now packages aren't that unusual around here, but then I noticed it was addressed to me.
And then I saw it.
I think my nipples got hard.
I left the rest of the mail there to sort itself, and dived into my office.
The rest of the day I spent thumbing through the manual, waiting for it to charge (Yeah, my boss can bite me. I have a NEW TOY, DAMMIT!).
The Engrish was wonderfully bad, and the instructions were vaguely reminiscent of something that might be useful.
The interface instructions would confuse the non-geeks out there, but who other than nerds would own this?
Me. I would.
And I do.
The troubleshooting section is worth noting as well
As far as I know, this isn't available for retail in the US, so maybe only a handful of these are in this country. That's a weird feeling. All of us in the upper echelon of geekdom.
So the picture is surprisingly clear. I converted and uploaded Spiderman 2, and it was very watchable. (Converted to 160×128 at 20fps, the file size was only 220MB.)
The sound is good, the games on it kinda suck (simply because you have to use the buttons on the side, and they're not very intuitive), and the clock isn't customizable. Other than that, it's beyond my expectations. I'm looking into selling these.
Lillith was having a "need-a-coffee-after-work" kinda day yesterday, so I met her after I got off. She looked at me, saw the kickass gear on my wrist, shook her head, and said, "B, you truly are the KING of all geeks."
She's right, ya know.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
A year has gone by since I started this blog, and a lot has happened. Love won and lost, a new business, the return of a puppy, a lot of laughs and a few tears. New friends found, old friends lost.
Thanks for being part of my life.
Monday, March 31, 2008
I ordered a watch a couple of weeks ago.
No big deal, right?
I was surfing, and came across this online.
No big deal, right? Kinda cool (in a geeky sorta way. The face IS rather large).
Then I saw this and peed in my pants a little.
That's right. 8GB MP4 capable.
Must be heavy as hell though, since it's stainless steel. Also, probably not the best looking thing on the petite. Lucky for me, I have a fairly nice set of meathooks.
The price was well within my range (at the time), so I set out finding where to order it. Not an easy task, as it's not yet available in the US. However, I did find a wholesaler in China that would ship here.
It did take a little bit of time to jump through hoops regarding payment, import of electronics, shipping, etc. After originally ordering it on 3/12, I finally got my tracking number and am proud to say that as of yesterday, it has left Hong Kong and is on its way.
I'll keep you up to date.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I went out on my first Cah-Razy Blind Date last night.
And it was fun. Julia was surprisingly attractive and really fun to talk to. We had drinks (quite a few) and talked about politics, religion, fingernails, why everyone should have a "gay" and random tidbits. Three hours later, we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
10 things I learned from last night.
- When a girl mentions, "I expect for the guy to pay for dinner/drinks," it usually means that she can pound them back.
- And her drink of choice isn't cheap either.
- When going on these, don't have any preconceived notions. It'll only freak you out.
- Go dutch. Period. State that up front.
- I'm beginning to think that I attract women who's dog recently died (That's 3 for 3, whoever's keeping score).
- I CAN be on time occasionally (You can stop fainting).
- Your friends WILL check in, just to make sure you're not chopped up into 37 pieces.
- Eat beforehand.
- I spent most of the night mentally playing the compare/contrast game. Not sure if that's a good thing or not.
- Choose a good place, which I fortunately did. Not too crowded, where we could spend 3 hours talking without being shooed away.
The thing about paying for a date. I want to go on record as saying I don't mind at all. I'm not cheap. Not rich either. My momma taught me right, and I think the guy should normally pay for the first date.
Dating is expensive for the guy, and these are blind dates. It's not like I met someone who I KNOW I'd like to spend some time with, and asked her out properly. Not all of us are capable of going out four times a week and plopping down 70 bucks on a bar tab (I wish I was making that up). I started to think that she goes on these (according to her, quite a few) to keep her in Jack Daniels. Just sayin.
But it was fun, and I got to meet someone new.
Friday, March 28, 2008
So on that "other" secular holiday last Sunday, I was watching my nephew and niece play with all the nifty little gifts the easter bunny brought. Somehow Santa is now outsourcing to the Easter Bunny, because I don't ever remember getting presents on Easter. That is, except for the hard-boiled eggs hidden in the grass we found a week later, mostly by smell.
But yeah, the Easter Bunny cometh, even autographing the letters that L's spawn left for him. And before you ask how I know the gender, it's because my niece, Princess 'Toria asked him. See for yourself. (click on image for full size)
In case you can't read it, down at the bottom it says, "I wonder what? you are, boy or girl?"
And that lazy rabbit just circled "boy." Guess it's best, because it probably wouldn't be prudent to write, "I have testicles" to a kid.
(And btw, I want to point out the AWESOME dragon Connorman drew on his. That's the thing on the right. It IS really kickass IMO)
Anyway, back to the presents.
One of the things they each got was a Playdoh Make'N'Display kit. Great concept, if you ask me.
But the funny part, which caused both my sister and I to shoot wine out our respective noses, was the label on the back of each one...
That was sort of our reaction too.
Funniest of all, we just shrugged at one another and said, "Well, it IS non-toxic."
So kiddos, go ahead and chow down. Just make sure to ask your Mommy first if you have any food allergies.
It's odd when friends or readers send me a link I haven't seen before.
I'm that much of a power surfer. Even on my geek forums, a full 92.7% of the things that are posted are things I've already seen. So when Lillith sends me a link to something new, I fell out of my chair (She's as much a geek as I am a trout).
It's such a great concept I have to give a shameless plug:
Here's how it works: You give basic info about yourself, put in a tagline, locations and times available and they set up a date. Period. None of the "matching 29,348 levels of deep compatibility" bullshit. It's apparently matched based on if you're in an age range and have the correct genitalia. You're obligated to spend 20 minutes with them. You can even arrange a double date. So if you're in Austin, sign up and mayhaps we'd get arranged to have drinks or a coffee.
Also the website is actually pretty funny. Here's one message on one of my available dates- "Status: We almost have a date for you! Ok, so there is one person we can match you with if you were a little less picky. We suggest changing your required maximum age ... wink, wink."
(Also, I don't know what good the "questions" do, but I suggest you go through them. Some are effin hilarious. And there apparently isn't an end. I went through over 500 before I gave up).
This is perfect for a guy like me that likes to meet new people. Lil and I sent our info in, and I got set up for a date at 9 tonight. All I know is her name is Julia, she's 29 and she has "big brown eyes, shoulder-length curly hair and big beautiful smile. " No pic, no anything.
I'm not expecting anything romantic to come out of this. I'm still not sure what's going to happen with Pepper, but I am excited to do something a bit spontaneous again as I've been slacking in that category lately.
Speaking of Pepper... We had a really kickass date on Weds night. Dinner, drinks, the works, then making out on the couch, the coffee with a little sumtin-sumtin in it (Amaretto for her, Hazelnut Kahlua for me (I was out of Rufies)). And then a big question.
It was a question I was dreading, but needed to be out in the open.
"Are you actively pursuing other relationships?"
It's REALLY ok that she asked this, because I wanted to talk to her about it.
So, short answer: "No, with a but"
Long answer: "Yes, with a however"
I told her the truth. I am NOT actively pursuing other relationships, but I am still looking. If there's anything I should've learned in my 36 years, it's that women DO NOT want to hear the truth.
But I took a chance. I don't want to lose Pepper, but I also don't want to lie to her, nor jump into another relationship either. There's still time.
There's always time.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
On Sunday I loaded up the dog and drove down to my sister's house for Zombie Jesus Day.
We were both excited. For me, I get to see my parental units and my sister's family, including two of the funniest kids you'll ever want to meet. For Murphy, it's a paradise with acres to run, cows to bark at, kids to play with, and numerous random dead things to roll around in.
But it was really a good visit. There wasn't much discomfort as with the holidays, and I had a blast being the cool uncle again.
An interesting event happened though. I was helping out the sis in the kitchen, and mentioned I had a late night the night before because of a hot date. My sister looked up and said, "Oh, you mean Pepper?"
Do you ever have those moments when you're running along at a good clip, get distracted by a shiny thing, lose your rhythm and trip over your own feet?
My brain did something like that.
She then said (quite casually), "Yeah, I've been reading your blog."
Oh, and L... /WAVE
It never occurred to me that someone in my family was that interested in my blog. It isn't that they aren't interested in my life, but my life is a bit out of their circle. I know I'm not explaining it well, but that's all I got.
So anyway, we had a great time, I got kisses and hugs from L's spawn, and Murphy's still passed out (he did eat something that gave him a tummyache, but he's fine now).
And my Mom only made one church reference.
It was a good day.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
There are times, those little times, those little events in our lives that make us realize who our true friends are...
I had one of those days yesterday.
I won't go into great detail, but I want to publicly thank Lillith for being there for me when I needed her.
I owe ya big time, dork.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
A great writer passed away last night.
Arthur C. Clarke was probably the one writer that started me on the path to geekdom. When I was 8, I picked up a worn copy of Childhood's End at a rummage sale for ten cents. I finished the book that night.
Arthur, follow those dreams home to the stars...
Monday, March 17, 2008
Had a hot date on Saturday with Pepper (and yes, that IS what I'm going to call you here. /snicker).
Ok, not really a "date," because she just stopped by. No dinner, just wine, wonderful conversation and smoochin. Plus, she got to meet the Poot.
I went out with her for the first time on Thursday, and "meeting for coffee" turned into a seven-hour conversation. Plus, she's pretty hawt. I didn't write about that date, as I wasn't sure if she was completely insane at that point.
(She's not. Not completely.)
I like her. Not picking out wallpaper yet, but I like her. Enough that I gave her...
this blog address. That's like a geek promise ring, I know. But it's done. I stand by my decision.
But she did send me two texts yesterday that made me smile, and then caused me to trip over my feet a little.
"Yo! Fun blog :) being the narcissist that i am sometimes (i hide it well) i was hoping to see a post with a little somethin-somethin about yours truly."
and then shortly after:
"or maybe its better left out. Tough to top the legend known as ChaCha!"
Wow. I know she was joking, but that stung. Some of you know I haven't been speaking to her lately, which made the bite worse. And also, it's not that Pepper isn't aware of my history with ChaCha. In fact, we had a discussion about her and at some point I said, "Pepper, meet baggage. Baggage, meet Pepper."
It's not that I'm apologetic for my feelings towards ChaCha. I'm totally not. She's an amazing woman, I'm happy for the memories we had and I'm glad to have her in my life. Maybe it's that since I haven't really blogged about her in a while, and I didn't think there was still so many spotlights on those feelings.
I guess the knock from that text was because I've been mad at her. I hate being mad at anyone, in particular someone I care for so much (and ChaCha, if you read this... I'm over it). But also I didn't want big flashing neon signs pointing at my feelings for her. Especially apparent to a cute girl that I like spending time with.
Pepper, I had a really great time with you, and I hope I can see you soon.
Besides, Murphy kinda misses you.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
In my email today (Thanks G!)
Dog Rescued After Four Months Stranded in Desert
One day in December, train conductor Ken VanMoorhem was on his usual route, rolling through the desolate desert of western Utah, when he spotted a small figure limping along the sand.
"It was a real fleeting glimpse of a dog out in the middle of nowhere," he told The Associated Press.
He would have stopped the train in its tracks to rescue the injured animal if he could, but it was impossible. So VanMoorhem kept a close lookout each time he took that same route, always hoping he might catch a glimpse of her – but he didn't spot the dog again until nearly two months later.
This time, she was hiding in a tunnel in Nevada. Once again, VanMoorhem couldn't stop the train, but he decided to send for help as quickly as he could. "I basically gambled that she would stay there where she had shelter," he said. He called upon a fellow conductor, Theo Bassett, to drive to the location where he'd spotted her.
"She let Theo pick her up," VanMoorhem said. "As soon as she got back to the truck, she devoured his ham sandwich and slept under his feet on the drive back."
The dog, a Blue Heeler mix, had been through a lot during her time in the desert: After getting caught in a trap, she'd been forced to chew off her front paw to get free. She'd also been hit by a vehicle, and had suffered several broken bones and a collapsed lung. She was extremely emaciated, too: A vet estimated that she'd been stranded in the desert for months, staying alive by eating animal carcasses she came across.
"Her will to live and survive for at least four months are amazing," VanMoorhem said. "There's no water out there. Snow melt is basically the only water that was out there."
But despite her injuries and the hardships she had endured, the dog, whom VanMoorhem named Hogan after the tunnel where he found her, was full of energy. As soon as he let her out into the backyard, she was bouncing around with VanMoorhem's other dog, eager to play.
And, within just a few hours, said VanMoorhem, "she had staked her claim on the couch and nuzzled her head against us."
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I did it. I even pinky-swore on it.
I started taking Chantix today.
For those of you not in the know, Chantix is a drug that's supposed to help you quit smoking. Last time I saw my doc, I asked him about it and he wrote me an Rx for it. I was pretty excited to pick up my first month's supply (out of 3), along with my antibiotics from that damn lung infection. The pharmacist grabbed my bags, punched a few buttons on the register, and said, "That'll be $134.99."
In all fairness, my copay for the antibiotics WAS $5. Ironically, if you smoke a pack a day, even at today's insane cigarette prices, it's cheaper to smoke than it is to take this medicine.
[insert rant here]
This is one of the things that really bugs me about modern health care. Smoking is one of the most major health issues in our society. Insurance premiums are high because of it, and good luck getting life insurance. But insurance will NOT cover the cost of quitting, even if prescribed by a doctor. Modern medicine is not in favor of preventive medicine, only for curing what you have. So insurance will pay for cancer, but not to help you quit smoking. It'll pay for diabetes, but not for preventative dietary supplements. It'll pay for back pain medication, but not for a simple lumbar pillow. Is it just me, or does that seem idiotically backwards?
Many times before I've attempted to quit. It's worked, too... for a bit. I've tried the patches (works REALLY well for the physical cravings, but not for the psychological dependence), the gum, the lozenges (very weird, btw). Acupuncture worked very well for me once, but then again, insurance wouldn't pay for it.
But I always started up again. I feel really optimistic about Chantix, because of HOW it works. Reading the forums on fellow quitters, as well as the website and the profuse amount of documentation in the box'o'pills, all it does is block the receptors in the brain from receiving nicotine. This is the first treatment I've seen where they tell you to go ahead and smoke while you're on the med. Most people on the forums say they didn't have the desire to smoke after 5-6 days.
That's what I want.
I don't think it's wrong to have a cigarette now and then, in fact, it's great with a scotch or a cup of coffee. But I don't want to NEED it any more. I don't want to panic when I light my last one. I don't want to HAVE to smoke.
And after 90 days, I won't.
After all, I am a big quitter.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Who would've thought straightening up could be painful?
Over the weekend I was feeling a little ambitious, so decided to straighten up a bit at home. No serious rolling-up-the-rugs stuff, just cleaning out some closet and drawer space.
I'm not as much a "pack rat" as I am a "sentimental sap", as someone used to call me.
While cleaning out my desk drawers, I located a cache of memories. I'll save anything to remind me of a moment, a person, a feeling. be it ticket stubs, receipts, matchbooks, wine corks, or even a leaf. In my mind it's not so much collecting things as it is collecting reflections.
I got rid of a few of those.
I did save a few, the seashell from the beach where Jean and I were married, the shard of glass from my first date with ChaCha, the key from the truck where I got in my life-changing accident.
Both Jean and ChaCha have their own box, brimming with random miscellany. Those boxes aren't as full as they were, but that makes all that is left more poignant. It was both freeing and painful sorting through the items. Some things made me smile, even laugh out loud on a couple. A few tears were shed.
But now there is room in MY box for tons of new memories.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
I get a call from my friend Lillith on Tuesday.
She:"What're you doing tomorrow?"
Me:"Was planning on overthrowing the government, but other than that, nothin. What's up?"
She:"Wanna take a field trip with me?"
Me:"Sure. Need a wing man?"
She:"Nope, I need to go buy something, and thought it'd be fun if you came along."
Me:"No prob. What are we buying?"
She:"A vibrator. Mine broke. We can have dinner first."
Me:"Sure. Why the hell not?"
Now, for clarification, she didn't NEED me to come. She's not the type of person that would be embarrassed to go alone, and I have no problem with checking out "girl stuff," no matter how graphic it may be. But she's a hoot, so I thought it'd be fun. I did tell her however that if she starts sizing latex fists, I was out of there. She said she had an adequate collection already, so we were good.
Man, she cracks me up.
I was a little worried though when she walked in and went DIRECTLY to the one she wanted, considering there were three aisles of electronic goodies for the ladies. I asked her how often she comes here and she said just when her vibe breaks. Apparently she's gone through three of those bad boys, and needs a 12-step program.
anyway, she got one with...
Yeah. For the lazy sex-crazed women, I imagine. Oh, I TOTALLY have new fodder for making fun of her now.
We then spent the next 20 minutes browsing. My favorite items were the fetish ones, like the "completely lifelike" tranny sex doll (that's right, inflatable pre-op), the various bondage equipment, the feather-on-a-stick that they were selling for $19.99, and a latex foot. Ya heard me (Looked around size 11, FTR).
Other items of interest:
- The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex 2 (DVD)- To take care of all of those unanswered questions from the first one?
- Oral sex mints- According to the tin, to be used during oral sex, although after might not be a bad idea either. Sometimes.
- Flavored lubricants- Not weird in itself, but some of the flavors were (Looking at you, Key Lime).
- A vibrator that had several prongs and additions that was obviously for a woman that had at least two additional body parts. Or maybe I missed the memo.
My real low point of the evening was when we were perusing what was apparently the male genitalia aisle. I didn't compare myself to the latex giants we saw...
Lil started describing her ex's "member." "It was sort of like that," she would mention, pointing to what at best would be described as a cannon, "but about that length and is sort of shaped like that one," as she pointed out in turn circus-freak proportioned mounds of pink rubber.
I want to reiterate, Lil is a friend. No jealousy or romance here. Also, I have no problems with my goods, so to speak. But DAMN. No wonder she's single. Who could ever "measure up," to pardon the pun? And she does have a gift for making me feel inadequate. Or perhaps she's doing a pre-emptive strike on all the jokes I WILL make at her expense.
Anyway, done with browsing and her new major appliance in hand, we proceeded to checkout. Surprisingly, the girl checking us out took the remote out of the package, and inserted batteries to test it. It's funny how with all the electronics I buy, it's in a store like this that they actually make sure the devices work. She inserted the batteries (6 of them) and flipped the switch.
It had 3 speeds, which she tried them all: Low, medium, and Who-needs-a-man. Seriously. I wish my orbital sander had that kind of power. Holding it in my hand on medium, I think I found religion.
And Lil, speaking as a friend, cut down on the power. It'll motivate you more to find a boyfriend.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
One owner, never been raced. (/wink)
As much as I Love my dog, sometimes he gets on my LAST nerve.
Yesterday started out normal, he glanced up as I was leaving for work, then promptly went back to sleep. As I walk in the door during lunch, I discovered that he took everything he owns on my bed; including his blankies, bowls (which he was considerate enough to dump out beforehand), his kong, numerous chewies, scores of toys, etc. all the way upstairs. He made a fort on top of my pillow. he even managed to push the comforter aside to build his little plush sanctuary. As cute as it was, it ticked me off because of the mess factor, especially since now the amount of black fur (not to mention the other little things) has grown to epic proportions where I sleep.
And that was just by noon.
Upon arriving home from work, this time remembering to leave the bedroom door closed, I was greeted by a very innocent-looking puppy on the couch, with a "wasn't me" look on his face. I know that look, and am prepared for anything I may find. It didn't take long. He managed to drag my suitcase up the stairs into the spare room. With all the traveling I do, I leave my suitcase downstairs, so all I have to do is throw in clothes and I'm good to go. So there was a trail of toiletries, books, business cards and assorted miscellany leading upstairs.
This was actually kinda cute (albeit annoying). When he does something funny like this, I imagine his thoughts, and have it narrowed down to:
A) "If he can't find his suitcase, he can't go traveling any more,"
B) He felt bad about the morning incident, and wanted to make up by straightening up.
Ok, so they're both lies. But it makes it easier to deal.
The next couple of hours were pretty uneventful, until he began to get into a VERY heated debate with the dogs next door. Don't know what they were arguing about, but apparently all three felt strongly about it.
That lasted until about 10, when he started chiming in with "and another thing" barking frenzy. Lillith can attest to that, as I was on the phone with her at the time.
I finally got him settled down, or more appropriately he fell asleep on my foot on his own. All was quiet on the Western front until I went to bed around 2.
That was a mistake.
He started in on the barking again. Not loud, but the grumbles, the growls, that little woof under his breath. There was nothing I could do to make him stop, until he finally exhausted everything he had to say around 4:30 and passed out.
So this morning, I'm grumpy, tired, and the last thing I want to do is mess with him. But I'm sure I'll head home during lunch, he'll yawn, jump off the couch, and run to jump on me, smothering me with fur and puppy kisses.
I hate him for being so f'ing cute.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I've gotten so many emails from readers asking "Where the hell are you?" and things to that effect.
Short answer: Busy. But that's a lie.
I took an unscheduled break from blogging for a little bit, both writing and reading (to the people that I feed, I'll catch up soon); mostly because I was in limbo for a while. Minor crises averted, love won and lost, business trips, WoW played, work being... well, work.
I have been doing a lot of writing though, just not here. I completed another journal, and as my tradition, I set it ablaze. A lot of people don't understand why I do that, and it's difficult to explain. Most of my innermost thoughts, feelings, ambitions, the stuff closest to my heart go in that journal. In it I make all the words to the universe. Then, when the notebook is filled after a month or so, I buy another 100-page spiral notebook. After the first words hit the page, I literally set fire to the old one, with no pomp or circumstance. Perhaps the best way to explain it is a rebirth on a monthly basis. Wiping the slate clean. After that, my words are new. Ok, maybe it doesn't make sense, especially since because of my memory issues I usually have no idea what I wrote. But it makes me feel better to move forward.
So what's been going on...
I started dating someone, and then less than two weeks later it was over. Nothing serious, she was just moving WAY too fast for my comfort level. We did have a lot in common, and I did enjoy talking on the phone until my battery died. But when I started feeling guilty about not responding to the scores of email, IM, texts, and calls I received, I knew it was an issue. So I ended it before I started to not like her.
Murphy's doing okay, sort of. Well, HE'S doing great, but someone moved in next door to me with two dogs of her own, and Murphy has long conversations with them through the wall at all hours of the night. In my new neighbor's defense, she's really attractive. It's funny what you can get away with when you're smokin hot.
My cough is finally gone. So is the Nyquil. I am back to 100% (well, 95%).
I had a financial hiccup recently. Nothing life-altering, but it's something that'll take some time to get out of.
Those are the main things going on. More to come soon.
And thanks for being patient.