Friday, March 30, 2007

Calvin and Hobbes, and so so wrong.....

Calvin and Hobbes, one of my favorite comic strips, is described by Wikipedia as "Following the humorous antics of Calvin, an imaginative six-year old boy, and Hobbes, his energetic and sardonic—albeit stuffed—tiger".

In other words, in Calvin's eyes, Hobbes is alive while the rest of the world, including his Mom and Dad, see a stuffed tiger. They pretty much go along with this and put it down to childish imagination.

It's funny because the first Calvin and Hobbes collection I picked up and began to read many years ago, it was not until about a third of the way through they showed a strip that had an adult in the picture and Hobbes was thus revealed to me as a stuffed animal! I had been thinking What is going on here with this kid and his tiger!

In spirit of yesterdays entry which was a Flintstone's 'ever so wrong' video, here today is one for Calvin and Hobbes. I would suggest if you are not familiar with the strip, and you want a really, really good laugh, read through the Wikipedia article linked above before viewing.

Click the play icon in the picture to play the video.

WARNING - As with all videos may not be suitable for very young children or those with no sense of humor.

Dark and Dizzy, and Evil Inside!

Computers with viruses.... They have Evil Inside! They must be exorcised!

What's worse than feeling like crap? Finally, blessedly falling asleep at 2AM because you're dizzy and nauseous and can't sleep well and having work call you two and a half hours later because there's an infected machine on the network.......Joy! So, into work to deal with that! Evil Inside....methinks FIRE is the cure!! Bwa ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Flintstones (So, so, wrong!)

I'm still feeling really crappy, but, while lying in bed last night waiting for the dizziness to subside, I came across the following commercial and it was hilarious, yet so, so, so, wrong! For the first time in several weeks I experienced some prolonged laughter.

Click the play icon in the picture to play the video.

WARNING - As with all videos may not be suitable for very young children or those with no sense of humor.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blood Pressure & Bran Muffins

I've been feeling really terrible for the past three weeks, hence the lack of posts. First it was bronchitis...but that passed and then I started feeling dizzy, and weak, and, like walking death. To make a long story short I went to the Doctor's yesterday. As I am now on medication for very high blood pressure and dizziness, this joke from my friend Glen really gave me a chuckle!

The couple were 85 years old, and had been married for sixty years. Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because they watched their pennies.

Though not young, they were both in very good health, largely due to the wife's insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last twenty years.

One day, their good health didn't help when they went on a rare vacation and their plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven.

They reached the pearly gates, and St. Peter escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favorite
clothes in the closet.

They gasped in astonishment when he said, "Welcome to Heaven. This will be your home now."

The old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. "Why, nothing," Peter replied, "remember, this is your reward in Heaven."

The old man looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any ever-built on Earth.

"What are the greens fees?", grumbled the old man.

"This is heaven," St. Peter replied. "You can play for free, every day."

Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch, with every imaginable cuisine laid out before them, from seafood to steaks to exotic
deserts, free flowing beverages

"Don't even ask," said St. Peter to the man. "This is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy."

The old man looked around and glanced nervously at his wife.

"Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods, and the decaffeinated tea?" he asked.

"That's the best part," St. Peter replied. "You can eat and drink as much as you like of whatever you like, and you will never get fat or sick.

This is Heaven!"

The old man pushed, "No gym to work out at?"

"Not unless you want to," was the answer.

"No testing my sugar or blood pressure or.."

"Never again. All you do here is enjoy yourself."

The old man glared at his wife and said, "You and your darn bran muffins! We could have been here twenty years ago!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Religion and Sorry for the Mistake

I grew up in a catholic home, a very religious home, where my mother had a large statue of the Virgin Mary on her dresser and she always had a votive candle burning in front of it. I went to church every Sunday growing up and attended catechism classes on Sundays after church. I used Rosary Beads and I walked the Stations of the Cross every year with my mother. We made crosses out of the Palm fronds passed out on Palm Sunday and I went to confession most weeks and received the sacrament most Sundays. I gave up something each year for lent (and actually did this year too, though that's another story!)

Due to an incident that happened shortly before my mothers death after a 10 year illness, I am not overly religious today. I have no issues, other than I wish I was a bit more so, with those who are.

I DO have issues with those who purport to be religious but in fact are not, evidenced by their actions in the real world. I snagged the following story off my friend David's web site. I don't know if it is true or not, but if it is, well, then it's a sad story. If it's not true, it's just plain ironic!

Sorry for the Mistake
A man was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.

The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station, where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk, where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car."

What's up

Well, I've been sick for 10 days now, back at work today, still not 100%. I think if I had just taken a sick day or two last week and rested instead of being an IDIOT and coming to work all last week I would have been in much better shape!

Danielle's team did well in their Odyssey of the Mind regional finals a couple of weeks back and are going onto State next month!

Scott has started his driver training course at Jungle Survival...last Sunday while feeling like one of the walking dead I went to a two hour parent/Student orientation class....that was fun!

Not much else to report other than that......still no word on the new company at work as to what will happen to my group and others.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wednesday......Buffet and Wierd Dream Night!

Last night I went to bed around midnight and awoke around 4:30. I got up, used the bathroom, and headed back to bed. I sniffed and detected something 'not right' in the air, something very faint, tugging on my memory of a smell I have not smelled in quite awhile. I laid down and tried to get back to sleep but it was no use. I got up, and realized the smell was reminiscent of home heating oil, and I had smelled that same smell years and years ago as a child at my parents house one winter when the line from the tank to the furnace had sprung a leak.

The was strange because I have gas heat! I opened the front door and took a deep breath, other the the cold refreshing night air all I could detect was a trace of wood smoke, most likely from someones fireplace. I shut the door, and the smell persisted....very, very, faint, but still there.

I turned on the lights and headed down to the basement and checked everywhere; nothing wrong, all gas pilots lit (I though the smell might be a very small gas leak such as a pilot light being out), all in order.

I went back to bed and was able to fall asleep, where, I dreamed of smelling this smell. In the dream I got up and began to check the house.

While the upstairs of my house was much as it is in waking life, this all changed when I went down to the basement! Instead of the small, barely have a few inches in spots above my head basement, the dream one was huge! Cavernous in fact, stretching off into the horizon as far as the eyes could see!

The space was largely filled with assorted and complicated industrial machines of all shapes and sizes, all doing something, but I have no idea what. I kept walking and walking looking for the source of the smell.

It seemed in the dream that I had been walking for hours! Finally in the distance I saw sparks and soon came to a very large machine that, near the top had a rupture as if something had burst out from inside the machine. Sparks and smoke were pouring out this hole, and assorted fluids were dripping on the floor.

I thought to myself in the dream, here was the source of the smell and I turned this machine off (as now there was a big set of On/Off buttons). The machine shut down and that was that! The dream, satisfied, ended.

I woke up for work, and the smell was still there. I got dressed and again searched the house high and low. Nothing! "Great!" I am thinking, "Now I have to worry about this all day!". I opened the door to the garage and the smell of gasoline hit me in the face like a lead pipe. OK, bad analogy, teeth did not go flying, there was no blood, no pain, but it was a very sharp smell. I had filled up with gasoline just down the street on our way home last night and I guess some must have come out the overflow overnight, as, when I went to bed last night there was no smell and that was about 5 hours after the car had gone into the garage. Usually I fill up at Costco about 3.5 miles away, but, their price was actually 7 cents higher (first time ever!) than my local station. Mystery solved! After feeling like a Scooby Snack would be in order, I headed off to work.

Now that I have covered the weird dream, last night (Wednesday night) after I arrived home from work I spent about an hour cleaning up the place because with my back so sore the past week it had just deteriorated SO badly. I had less pain, so, I dug in and cleaned the kitchen, dining room, and living rooms. I also policed my bathroom which looked like a war zone, and was, for once, even messier than the kids bathroom at the end of them staying with me for a week!

That done I sat down and watched some scrubs with the boys, then got cleaned up, and we headed for Minado's, the Oriental buffet we go to. No link, because, they do not have a web site!

The kids and I really enjoyed the buffet last night! I also experienced some fine wasabi head rushes last night! Awesome!

We went at the height of the dinner hour so the food was nice and fresh. In addition to sushi, I also had some of the buffet traditional and stopped at the grill and had them make me a plate of grilled shrimp and vegetables, plus a nice plate of lo-mein.

My 18 year old would NOT try the wasabi, but, perhaps that was after he saw me put a teaspoon sized dollop on a Alaska Roll...well, perhaps my banging my head repeatedly on the table while yelling "Oh yea! That's the stuff! Whoo who!" might have put him off! I assured him it was most enjoyable!

I could go back there this evening if it were not for the fact that the X is coming over and will we all be having pasta made with my home-made pasta sauce complete with pepperoni, pork loin, and sweet, sweet Italian sausage! Since it will have to simmer somewhat this evening, I envision the meat will be even more tender!

Chunks of imported Romano cheese will be available for grating as well. It should be most tasty, in fact I can hardly wait!

After departing the buffet we returned a video game the kids had rented, and stopped to get gas for the Mustang. We arrived at my house, where Danielle finished her homework, and I watched TV with Scott. D joined us and we watched a Sabrina, before Chris came up at 8PM from playing on the computer, to drive them over to their Mom's.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

ENOUGH ALREADY and Dukes Disappoint!

Hey! Below zero when I awoke this morning.....The last time it got below zero in Grand Rapids in the month of March was 11 years ago in 1996. Last year the coldest temperature for the entire month was 17°. The record low temperature for March 7 is zero back in 1920! What a great record we have broken!

This evening they are projecting up to another half foot of snow and it is overcast outside again!

Saw the TV Movie...."The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning" last night on TV; not impressed; their language and mannerisms were closer to the recent Dukes of Hazzard movie, not the original TV continuity was not there and parts were vulgar and not at all in line with the original series. There were some decent moments and some of the Duke lore explained, but, overall a disappointment.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Oh boy more snow!!!

Fun filled weekend with more snow; As Scott was having 3 friends sleep over I had to snow blow prior to those arrivals.

Due to my back pain I was half-tempted to call off the sleep over, but, I know Scott would be disappointed.

We headed over to the X's house so Scott and Danielle could pick up what they needed for the weekend. We stopped at Family Video for a game rental and then at Meijer's to lay in some supplies for the weekend.

We decided to eat at Boston Market for dinner, getting the usual family meal (A whole roasted chicken) with mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese as our side dishes.

By the time we returned to the car to head home it was completely covered in ice and sleet and the wind was blowing strongly. The road conditions were also deteriorating. We stopped at the X's house and the kids headed in while I kept the car warm. I could barely get up the X's driveway and told Danielle to wrap up Speedy's cage in something so she would not get a chill.

Speedy safely in the warm car, we got back home and Scott asked if I would take him out shopping for a cable. I declined, since, in addition to feeling poorly, the road conditions were getting worse by the minute!

A bit later Scott came back to tell me that his brother, who was staying at his Mom's to avoid the sleep over, had found the cable, so, risking life and limb we headed back and grabbed the cable. The roads, for the Mustang at least, were near impassible!

All I'll say about the rest of the evening was it was TOO LOUD! I got the boys settled down sleep around 12:30AM.
Saturday morning I headed out to snow blow again around 10:15 since in addition to the snow the wind had caused drifts of several feet in the driveway. I finished up and the friends were all gone by 12:30PM. I took Danielle for her OM meeting around 1PM and on the way back to pick her up we snagged Chris from his Mom's house and I took them to Red Robbin, this time being sure to take my ATM card with me after I paid! For the second visit in a row the service was excellent!

Saturday Evening Chris and I watched Star Trek: First Contact, my favorite Star Trek movie.
Sunday - Danielle and I headed off to Forest Hills Foods to get the ingredients needed for dinner. The store was not too crowded for 10:30 in the morning and between that and a quick run by her Mom's (and more fun in the driveway) we were back home and I had the spaghetti sauce a-boil my 11AM.

The most notable part about this day was Danielle's OM meeting where I got to see a preview of their presentation. It was awesome! She has the biggest speaking part, portraying a newscaster who is interviewing some scientists who have found dragons living on a small island off the coast of the United Kingdom. I had originally told her i might now attend due to my back but I am glad I did, as she had told me that was OK, once of the coaches told me she was bummed out that I might not be there. So, it was worth the effort and extra pain!

I also made home-made spaghetti sauce with pepperoni, sweet sausage, and pork loin in it. Added to that was some fresh basil and other spices, and Steve, I once again thank you for the Olive Oil as it too was used.

The X was waiting at my house when I returned with Danielle, and after heating up a plate of pasta and meat, She, Danielle, Scott and I watched Scrubs without Chris as he had departed earlier with his friend Jay to get some McDonald's. The X and I then watched Medium and they headed back to her house when that was over.

I discovered many things about the Beatles watching a BBC documentary show called The Beatles Biggest Secrets, I had NO idea! I also ended up watching the premier of another show on BBC, which was Robin Hood, which turned out to be very enjoyable.

In bed by 11PM though it took awhile to get to sleep; I could not get comfortable.

Wow - Useless fact - Note this post breaks the number of links, 10 in fact, I have used in a post before.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Some snow shots

The snow we had on 2/26 was that very wet, very heavy snow. Yesterday it rained almost all day and heavily, yet there is still plenty of snow, now covered with a crust of ice! Here are some shots of the 2/26 snow followed by a shot of the snow today.

And yes, you can click on any of them to open a much larger version in a new browser window.

A shot taken 2/26 on the way out to work
The reflected flash on the right is from
the house across the street!
Note in the large version you can see the
reflected flash off of many snowflakes!

This is a shot I took on the way home

And another from the ride home

And a shot I took today (3/2) out the back slider.
You can clearly see the snow falling in this one

Slip Sliding away......

Fell on the ice for a second time this week last evening taking out some trash; so, working from the couch today as my back and leg are quite painful! First fall was trash related too, I shall never take out the trash again as evidently that is dangerous based on my two falls on the ice!

I'm going to need a bigger house.........

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thinking of a friend

I saw the following on a friend's blog today; it immediately made me think of another friend who I miss a great deal and have not seen in a number of years now! Of course, only the friend will understand why this makes me think of them. The rest of you will scratch your heads and wonder why.....

I am sure he will see this, if not today, but in the near future.

On this day in history: March 1, 1932 - A man climbs a makeshift ladder to the 2nd floor of Charles Lindbergh's New Jersey home and snatches his twenty-month-old son, Charles Jr. Whoever took the baby left behind a poorly-written ransom note demanding $50,000 in small bills.

Rain, Ice, and snow....all in one day!

Last night after getting home a bit late from work, I relaxed a bit, checked my work email, and then I took the kids to Wendy's for dinner. We returned home and watched assorted TV (Scrubs mostly) until they had to head over to their Mom's at 8PM. This evening I will have them until 8:30, as their Mom is working a show in the city.

There was so much ice this AM, that to go the barely 150 feet from my garage to the first main road (I live in a large cul-de-sac) took me almost 10 minutes. As I let the Mustang idle out of the garage this AM it immediately jack-knifed, and from there things only got worse! I continued to try and straighten the car out which was now 180 degrees off the end of the driveway, I slowly made progress, inching my way forward and back, and the rear of the Mustang was finally facing the street.

I was being punished, it seems, by the powers that be, since when I went to garage the car last night it had gotten dark and instead of backing into it like I usually do when there is bad weather, I just pulled straight in. I paid the price this morning!

When I finally hit the street I slid again, and again, and again, and finally made it to the corner. This and subsequent roads were better treated but there were still plenty of icy spots. I took it carefully and slowly, and, was evidently too slow for some IDIOT who decided to pass me and then lost control of his car and did several 360's!! Lucky for him there was none else around and he totally missed me, though I nearly needed clean underwear! IDIOTS like this person are why we have so many accidents!

I only live 3.5 miles from work but it seemed the drive took forever. People working in my group were delayed and reported seeing cars rolled over on different stretches of highway! One of these rollovers was reported to me as being so serious that it would have been a miracle if the occupant(s) of the car survived!

When I get to work this time of year it is dark outside the large windows where I sit; I was quite surprised by thunder and lightning, we dropped power twice in five minutes. It's times like that I am glad the Data Centers I am responsible for are all well protected by UPS systems!

Lunchtime now and it is degree above freezing but, another cold snap approaches and it will soon cool down and more sleet and then snow will fall. I hear there is talk of closing all the area schools early just to get the kids bussed home safely.

Click HERE for a webcam shot near the lake shore that will certainly chill you to the bones, my friends! Beware!!! (Of course you can come back in the summer and click it and see a more tranquil, relaxing scene too!)

Below is the current picture as of noon today for posterity's sake. You may click it for a larger version in a new browser window if you like!