Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the hoff is one dead sexy turkey

Thanks to Jess for showing me how to meet The Hoff. Customize your own poster here.

Welcome to the special abbreviated Wednesday edition of the FridayWaster. Wednesday, b/c I'm off the next couple of days. Abbreviated, b/c I'm taking off a big portion of today, too.

Last weekend, we did a big ol' turkey dinner with the local fam. It was gooooood stuff, too. Everybody does up a side dish or two to go with the bird and the ham. We wind up with way too much food, but it's all so good. I love Thanksgiving leftovers, too, so the extra definitely does not go to waste.

We did the local holiday early b/c we're heading out of town to do dinner with the other side of the fam tomorrow. Supposed to be a few bodies coming into town from a couple different directions, so this may wind up being quite an event. Good people, tasty food, and a whole day of football... it doesn't get any better than that.

Friday morning, I get to play lumberjack. (Insert your best gay / Canadian / plaid / Jackyl jokes here. Or in the comments below.) I'm talking about cutting down the Christmas tree. Every year, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, we go out to find and cut a tree. Finding a tree is easy. I can find dozens. Deciding is a slightly different story. Unless there's a big hole in the side, or a family of mice swarming in it, I can't really tell one tree from the next. My selection process goes something like this...
- Not brown? check.
- Straighter than Charlie Brown's tree? check.
- No animals inside (living or dead)? check.
- No sharp pokey needles stabbing into my hands? check.

Good. Cut it down, wrap it up, and tie it on the truck. Once we cover it with lights, ornaments, and garland, nobody will ever notice that 4" bare spot on the side or the funky branch near the bottom.

Cutting the tree is a blast. Pine is so soft, that there's not much work involved. It's so easy, the kids all get to take a turn, too. They try to act too cool for it, but the act doesn't last longer than a minute or two; after that they're all grabbing to be next with the saw. Sharp objects + impatient kids = entertainment for dad.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

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I thought this game was going to be good. Either I'm too dumb to play, or it just sucks. Incredibots.

Cold weather means SNOT ROCKETS!!!!

Mikey taught me that Dungeons and Dragons is cooler than I ever thought. (NSFW)

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I'm so totally jealous of Adam Sandler. I make dumb jokes to entertain myself. He makes dumber jokes, and gets money for it. I do get a small satisfaction from the fact that he no longer has a soul.

For all the bar people: you know you're in this comic. You just have to figure out which one you are...

Mike told me he "found" this vid online, but I think I've seen him wearing the "Bluto" sock before...
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Friday, November 14, 2008

trading teeth for segways

The Onion published an article last week that was more truth than fiction. I think they may have done it again. Four simple, one syllable words. What's so hard to understand?

If you remember from last week, my buddy Eddi was on his way into town from from Germany. We'd worked together for many many years, but never met in real life. It was like being in an online dating club.

So anyway, me, Eddi, and a few people from my old office got together last weekend. It was an odd situation.... we used to all be professional drinkers. For various reasons, 3 out of 5 had to be on good behavior. Eddi and I were not in that group. We didn't get drunk to the point of stupid, but we were definitely rolling a pretty good buzz by the end of the night.

It was kinda neat to hang out together finally. After only a minute or two, it was like we went to the bar together every Friday night. I thought there may be a bit of get-to-know-you bullshit questions and answers, but we all just breezed right past that to just regular bullshit. Like making fun of the stoner girl in the K-hole wearing a dress that looked like a chain-link fence. She would have been hot, too, if her eyes weren't so empty. THAT'S entertainment.

So drunk Eddi and drunk me were summoned by the designated driving committee to head home before the bar locked up and kicked us out for real. They seemed a little irritated when I changed my shirt in the middle of the bar. (It was a gift; thanks Tina!) On the way back to the garage, Eddi spots the coolest Segway ever sitting in the security guard's office. It was just like the regular people-mover Segways, but with big knobby off-road tires on it. Something like this:

The guard wasn't in the mood to let us take it for a spin though. He was acting friendly enough, but it was all just an act. He was keeping his anger all bottled up inside, which is so totally unhealthy. He wanted to help us have fun, but his resentment at looking like Gary Coleman without teeth just wouldn't let him do it. I tried, too. I thought I had him for a minute, too, but the buzzer sounded the end of my game before I could sign the deal. Visions of riding the ramps in the parking garage went down the drain, and we had to walk back to the car.

I'm happy that the weekend went so well, b/c I've had a tough week this time 'round. Nothing awful, just lots of pain-in-the-tail stuff going on.

Work has been really busy, and really reactive, too. I've had surprises just about every day, and that really wears on me. Stupid emergencies go hand-in-hand with working for the gubmint, so I'm used to firefighting. Just b/c I'm used to it though doesn't mean I like it.

Kidstuff has been wearing on me too. Not the kids themselves, but the school. The kids are all doing very well. Report cards came home, and they all nailed solid grades. (Really makes me smile and wonder whose kids they are.) I'm actually struggling with the guidance office at the high school. I've been working since Monday to get a conference set up, and the twinkie in the office just can't seem to get her shit together. It's Friday now, and next week is a holiday, so I'm not expecting to get it done til the first week of December. The schools always complain about a lack of parental involvement, but so so often the school is the actual communications roadblock.

We've got a good week of famstuff and holidays coming up. Not sure if I'll be posting anything next Friday or not. I may either be too busy or too relaxed to do any writing. You may get lucky. Dunno yet.

Now, if you only click one link from this whole freaking post, please make it this one. Brent sent me the link to this blog about eating super-extreme hot sauce. I dare you to read this story without giggling like you're missing a chromosome. "...a handful of broken glass and gravel..."??? Wow.

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Donna really pisses me off sometimes. This maze game is nothing but frustration.

99 luft balloons. Or not.

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Jules and the Backseat Betties are playing out at the Auld Shebeen in Fairfax tonight. Hot chicks, good bar, and 80s music - what else could you want?

Best Video EVER:

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front shot down and captured a US Spy plane. The story is wayyyyyy funnier to me than the paper intended.

Black Friday is coming. Here's your cheat sheet to know what the retailers don't want you to know.

As simple as it gets.

I hate to give out free advertising, especially since Verizon Wireless has been so good to me over the past years. But Sprint created the most annoying site I've seen in a long, long time.

How to piss off everyone else on the highway.

Kim's new boyfriend has skills!

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Monday, November 10, 2008

scattered around the world

I'll miss this guy just a little bit. (Note: this link is SFW, but other stuff on that site isn't necessarily.)

Learn how to behave yourself online. Yes, this is a pet peeve of mine. Manners don't change just b/c you're behind a keyboard, ya know?

So last weekend we took a trip down to see Kid1 at school. His grades have been stressing me out lately, but overall he's still doing pretty well. It's cool to hang out with him, and to meet $ greet with his roommates, and to spend a little bit of time in the dorms. It's also cool to see my younger kids looking up to their older brother. Kids2, 3, & 4 can't wait til they go away to college.

So even though he's tromped all over my last nerve, he still makes me proud.

The other kids are all finishing with their first quarter grades. Everybody is doing well. No stress, no worries (yet). I took my midterms last week too...I took the hardest effing exam I've had in three years at school. Wow. Dude tried to whip my ass, but no way I'm letting that happen. I pulled an A on the exam, and I feel really good about it.

This weekend is kinda scrambled. My buddy Eddi is in town from Europe. We used to work together (online) in my old office, but never in person. I've known this dude for nearly a decade, and honestly consider him a friend. Until this week though, I'd never met him in real life. I know his girlfriend, his work, his history, his education, his music, but not his face. We had lunch yesterday, and it was a very interesting situation. It was almost like we went to lunch together every week, and yesterday was just another day in our lives. It makes me wonder what kind of friendship we may have had if we lived in the same area.

It also makes me reminisce a bit about the friends that have moved away. People that I still chat with, but really never get to tip a beer with anymore. They're all over the country: Washington State, Oregon, Colorado, Vegas, Florida, Carolina, Kentucky, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana; even Australia and Italy. (Forgive me if you moved away and I skipped your state. I can't even remember all 7 dwarfs...)

So I'm hanging w/ Eddi and a few other old friends tonight. Working some stuff around the house tomorrow, and spending some time with the missus' friends on Sunday, before football of course. Besides that, not a whole heck of a lot else to chat about.

Happy weekend!

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Jules' method of stress relief.

Remember feeling guilty for watching BumFights? Well relax, b/c no bums were harmed in the making of this game.

The simplest games are the most addictive. This one? Keep your balance.


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Automotive recalls are hit-or-miss. If you're registered with the manufacturer, then you should be notified when / if they have a safety recall. Otherwise, you might just have to be lucky enough to hear about any safety issues. You can check out your car here to see if there's anything you need to address.

OK, one more election post, then I'm done for reals. The groundswell support is how he really won the election. Groundswell always gets me. Kinda NSFW.

I really am gonna miss this guy.

Yes, it's for real. Multiple shockers, in the White House. Story here.

I try not to geek-out too often, but sometimes it slips. Here are some awesome case mods.

Mark and the boy scouts want to help me save the tatas!

I do love the tatas.

Obama's fall back plan. (btw: UUDDLRLRBAStart - tattooed on the backside of my brain.)

I'm now officially a Red Sox fan. Again, this link is SFW, but I'm not speaking for everything else on the site.

I wait all year for the superbowl ads; creative, fun, high dollar investments. I'm wondering how they're going to present this one.

Time for one more vid. Eddi sent this to me at 630 this morning; fuck Folgers, this was the best part of waking up today.

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Friday, November 7, 2008

cool to be an american again

The Onion's first true article.

I listened McCain's concession speech again, this time without my beermuffs on.... I think he's a touch more bitter than we originally thought.

Wow. An amazing / cool / surprising / scary / exciting election. I love it. Whether you agree politically or not is immaterial, we all witnessed history this week, and that's something to tell your grandkids about.

Election day was a royal pain for me, if you remember, although I was rather impressed with the response to the call for interaction. I didn't think most of you were voters, seeing the high percentage of felons. But this group pulled through, and I sincerely thank every single one of you who took the time to cast a vote.

I spent election night with a few friends. I didn't plan for the evening to go as late as it went, but really got sucked into the moment and totally carried away in the excitement and conversation. And a few moments afterwards, too. Maybe all the way til breakfast. mmmmmm....stale donuts. Thanks Mike!

We had some kidstuff to do on Wed night, so bedtime and schedules got shuffled again. The high school football team made the playoffs, so my daughter's color guard schedule has been extended a couple of weeks longer. Cool for the school, but we're not completely sure of the performance schedules moving forward. We'll find out soon, I'm sure.

We're heading down to see my kid at school this weekend. They've got their homecoming game on Saturday afternoon. I'm really looking for a good time down there. Things are still a little tense with his mid-term grades, but I don't doubt for a minute that he'll squeak thru with some decent results somehow. He may be shoveling snow and cleaning kitchens for his professors all winter, but I'm sure he'll figure a solution.

Speaking of midterms, I took my exams last night. Database management was by far the hardest exam I've taken in the past 3 years of schooling. Wow. Prof tried to smoke my ass, and came close, too. I love a challenge.

Happy weekend!

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Mikey sent me beer pong!

This game looked really cool, but wouldn't function properly in my JRE in firefox 2x on fedora 8. I was actually pretty disappointed. :(

This one worked, and it's a classic. I've posted it before, and every time it makes its way back to my inbox, I get sucked in again. I love me some boomshine.

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Yes, the election is over, but Linus still makes a number of good points.

Overseas, it's cool to be Americans again! I wanted to pull a quote from this article, but couldn't decide which to use. Select your own favorite.

Pass or fail?

Don't be so literal, dammit.

I know I had at least half of these cars at one time or another. (hint: click the pic for super-zoom)

MC Escher on google maps.


...and one last bit of political stuff...
The fourth amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure. There is a legal tap dance at the border. Understandable. There is a legitimate need to control who and what enters the country, but once you're actually inside the country, then the protection kicks into place. Things are changing, and the gubmint has re-defined "borders"... now the "border" includes anywhere within 100 miles of the line drawn on the map. Eh. 100 miles, not such a big deal.

Until you take a look at this map. Find your house. You may be in for a surprise.

Now, I don't personally do anything that I'm ashamed of. I don't cross-dress when I'm home alone. I don't kick the dogs too hard. I don't eat boogies. I might spank it more than I should, but only to healthy legal internet stuff, with birth records on file in Los Angeles. I still don't want the gubmint to legally be allowed to check up on me without a good reason.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

not always friday

Please tell me this wasn't you.... (click to view if necessary)
(I love that comic. More here.)

I voted this morning at the local elementary school. I knew it was going to be busy, and I expected a wait, so my expectations were set pretty low. I planned on the possibility of being there for a while, and my plan was pretty accurate.

For the first 45 mins or so, things were really moving. The line ran the entire length of the school hallway, but it was shuffling forward at a regular pace. No worries, no problems. Plenty of time to say good morning to people from the neighborhood, and to meet new people near me in line.

Things began to suck when we got closer to the cafeteria, where the actual voting was taking place. In order to validate the voter registration, entry to the cafeteria was broken up into 3 sections of the alphabet by last name. A-G on the left, H-O in the middle, and P-Z on the right. My wife, with her hyphenated last name, jumped ahead of me and about 20-30 other people. Cool for her, not realizing yet how badly I was about to get effed.

I started noticing that two sections of the alphabet were moving very rapidly, while my section was rather stagnant. More and more people got called ahead of my group. I'm still not stressed, really, but starting to wonder how the array of names could be that lopsided. I'm still in the hall outside the cafeteria, so I can't really figure out the details of the situation yet.

After a while, I'm getting a little worked up. Between 75-100 people with lucky last names bestowed upon them have passed our sorry lot in the hallway. The election hostess is passing BS and illogical excuses about how the names have been divided, and our group was just really large. The words weren't hers, she was just relaying the same BS that somebody inside had told her to say.

FINALLY, over 1/2 an hour later, I get into the cafeteria. My wife has voted, left the school, driven to work, and already started her day. The first 45 minutes in line covered the entire length of the school. The last 30 paces had taken another 45 minutes. But now that I was inside, I could identify the source of my stress: BINGO LADY.

Bingo Lady was validating I.D. and cross-referencing names against the master book; the gate-keeper into the actual polling station. Does "Bingo Lady" put a picture in your mind? If so, I'm sure it's accurate. She was near 80, shaky, mumbling, and craning her head back to read the master book thru the bottom half of her bi-focals. And she was REALLY EFFING SLOW. She could have spotted the hell out of B-14 or I-23, but looking up last names alphabetically just wasn't in her skill set.

Bless her heart, she was out there working the election, which is 1000x more responsibility than I took today. But DAMN did somebody at that polling station put her in the wrong position. There were a dozen other people who could have been shuffled around to make it work better. There had to be someone on that team with better vision and reading skills, and I'm sure there was other tasks that Bingo Lady could have managed very well. The fucktards in charge of the day simply failed on organizing their people.

Each year after voting, I walk out of the school with a smile and sense of pride for doing my part. Today I left bitter. My smile today was stolen by the fucktards.

I will happily wait 2 hours, if that's what it takes to vote. As it was, I waited 45 minutes to vote, plus another 45 minutes for stupidity.

Side note, much happier news - my kid voted in his first election today. I'm pretty proud that he stepped up and did his part,too. Not a lot of young'uns do that.

Now that I'm done venting, I'd really like to hear your voting stories. For real. Click here, or use the link below, and lemme know....