Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Uninspired. So Here's A Good Song To Get You Through The Day.

We've been working on reshaping the house for so many weeks now, I should have loads to talk about.  Every weekend for a solid month we've gone out and done something exciting.  Yet this little part of my world doesn't seem like the right place to share it.  Not that you guys shouldn't know any of it.  It's just that none of it is exciting enough or funny enough to even try to pull together.  Maybe I need a new creative edge.  I've been mulling around some ideas for the other blog I started at the beginning of the year and to date have only posted 3 times and haven't looked back.  I don't want to call this a rut, I just might need a few more days of inspiration gathering!

My muses might be the problem too.  I've found myself listening to crappy top 40 with incessant regularity.  So I'll try to redeem myself with by leaving you with a song that I have grown to love even though it's unbelievably simple and sickeningly catchy!

Foster the People
"Pumped Up Kicks"


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just Saved the Company $80

I needed a small table for a waiting area to go between a couple chairs at one of my stores.  We have an account through OfficeMax so I was shopping.  Small and compact for the specific area is exactly what I need, more function than form.  I found this item that looked perfect.  24"X24"
The description is probably too small to read unless you're 12.  It describes a Lightweight Table with a Hollow Honeycomb Laminate Top.  For only $88.88!

That sounds strangely familiar.  I bought a couple tables for the kid's room from Ikea that were Lightweight with a Hollow Honeycomb Laminate Top.  For only $7.99!

Size does matter.  Ikea's Lack table is only 21"X21"

I think I'll lose 3" here and there to save the $80.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Don't Fail Me Now Mr. Gates

I have decided to update our desktop PC with Window's 7 and Office 2010.  I'm more than a little nervous that I'm about to jack up my system beyond repair.  But in theory, people do this all the time and since the vast knowledge and misdirection of the internet is at my avail, I shall trudge onward.

I've backed up all of our documents onto my old laptop hard drive I converted to an external drive.  That in it's own right was a leap of faith this weekend that proved itself to be a success.  [Pats self on back]

Wish me luck.

Update:
The hard drive format was simple thankfully...probably the part that made me the most nervous.  So Windows installed itself while I was at work.  

Initial experiences with Windows 7 haven't been very good.  

First, it froze when I tried to click the start menu...for 35 minutes.  The clock sat at 5:07pm until a quarter til 6 when I finally decided to do a hard shut down by holding the power button...something I've always been told NEVER to do.

Things work normally when it reboots.  

So I try to get my wireless internet to work.  Nothing happens when I plug in the USB Wireless Adapter.  Admittedly, I caused part of this problem by not being able to find the software disc from my Netgear Wireless USB Adapter.  Netgear allows you to download the drivers...but not burn them to a disc sooooo, damn.  I plugged my Sprint Broadband USB into the slot just to double check it.  She fired up but that's not a solution as I don't have that software at home...it's my work connection. 

I can't hardwire it in because the internet connection is across the house. 

I'm not sure what direction to go now.  I considered buying a new adapter, but damnit, I just don't want to spend the money on something that worked 12 hours ago!

Any advice?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blogger is Taunting Me & Self Promoting...A Two in One Sucker Punch!

Logged in last night while the kids were getting their baths to see what's new.  And this is what I see!


F^@% you very much Blogger!
I've already stated I missed SXSW.
I don't need it rubbed in!

The video link is for this.
Admittedly, this shameless self promotion
was probably part of South By's Interactive Festival
and not Blogger actually reading my last post
then taunting me about the very nature of it.

We went to a free outdoor concert South By Southwest produced and had an absolute blast.  I got to hear my favorite songs by bands I'd loved but hadn't ever seen live.  Good times!
 Fireworks after the Blue October Show

I love this City

 Back to the video though, they look like they are adding some really cool new features.  Wonder how many novels I've written by their standards.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Glutton for Punishment

South By South West Music Festival started this week.  Our grand city of Austin, Texas  is a mad house covered with thousands of famous people and tens of thousands of visitors from around the world.  I did not fork over the mega bucks for wristbands and badges like my buddy did.  I'm missing out on the cool stuff yes, but I've also got a family to watch out for.  Maybe someday though!  Life BK (before kids) we'd at least go downtown to check out some of the no-badge-necessary free shows.  The energy is amazing this time of year.

Every night during the festival the outdoor stage we call Auditorium Shores is home to the only official SXSW free shows.  All the other bars and venues hosting South By events are exclusive.  These at the amphitheater are open to the public.  I've always avoided them because free means ungodly amounts of people will rain down on the river.  That said, my wife really wants to go (I do too for the bands, just not for the crowd toting my two little ones along).

We missed the Strokes last night.  Tonight though, Bowling for Soup and Blue October are at bat. Admittedly, I'm excited.  I'm also nervous about how we're gonna pull this off.  Parking when there isn't an event is soul crushing.  We're doomed tonight.  BUT, once the show gets under way, we will be golden!


Wish the video wasn't one of those creepy Youtube concoctions,
but this is my favorite song of theirs.
Blue October - X Amount of Words


At least these guys got a bit more creative (guess that's purely subjective)
Still, what's with these bands and not having real videos?
Maybe I hear all these guys more because they're from here.
Ah well...enjoy!
Bowling for Soup - Ohio (Come Back to Texas)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Namesake

I know I just said I wanted to read the counter novel to Jane Eyre but like usual, something else has caught my eye.  Not only is it shinier, it has semi relevance to me and well, one must feed his ego to survive right? 

I'm a Junior.  My biological father was (supposedly*, not confirmed by anyone but a semi-reliable aunt) named after the poet Edward Dorn.  I've run across his poems before and wasn't very impressed.  I think I figured out why.  I originally though it was because he wrote about cowboys and the west in general.  Later in life he wrote about UFOs and random things like broccoli and spoons (totally making up the last two but not really if you get my drift).  So lets just say this acclaimed writer/poet might have lost his marbles later in life.  As only a good college professor should though really.

Well it turns out his style of writing had limited punctuation and persistent use of junkie jargon mixed with sci-fi set in the wild west.  The lack of punctuation and random stream of thoughts scooped together as a semblance of coherency reminds me of modern blogs, tweets and the communication style of the youth of the nation.  Maybe I should revisit it. 

His epic work was called Gunslinger or sometimes just Slinger, I'm not sure which is real.  It was three to five books (depending on the source) that were published during the middle of his career.  I read some excerpts on Amazon and kinda liked what I read. 

The random page finder "Surprise me" option on Amazon brought me to page 201.  The only thing on page 201 is this image.

So my guess is it's a bullet.  But it kinda looks like a dried up umbilical cord, or worse a sphincter.  Won't let that deter me yet. 

Have you read any of his work?  What are your thoughts?  People claim he redefined what American Poetry was and the underlying meaning behind this work was a critique on 20th century capitalism.  Probably still relevant. Let's go.

*supposedly because the dates don't match up for me.  He began publishing his work a couple years after Dorn Sr. was born.  I don't think they would have known him prior, but can't be sure.  I understood they were carrying on the tradition of Edwards (I think I'm the 7th) but where would Dorn have come from other wise is kind of a mystery.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Reader, I Married Him or Some BS Like That

Books like Jane Eyre by Charlotte













Saturday, March 12, 2011

Destructo Dogs

We have new neighbors.  They have dogs.  Dogs aren't necessarily an issue.  The neighborhood is full of them.  My wife doesn't like them, they wake my daughter up in the middle of the night barking, I don't' really care either way.

So the house the new people moved into is catty-corner to our back yard.  The previous owners left their trampoline behind.  The new people didn't take that trampoline down even though they have no children.

Guess what.  Dogs aren't afraid to use a trampoline to launch themselves into our back yard.  A few weeks ago their owner came over to ask if she could get them out of our back yard.  We hadn't even noticed the intruders.  The next day though, they were back.  They had a little fun this time.

 My Chair didn't stand a chance.

 How does a dog bite through hard plastic?

 This used to be the head rest.

 Looks worse than Scarecrow's last stand in the land of Oz.

Dogs do love a good shoe right?

 Guess my mowing shoes didn't need to stay an identical pair.

 Oh hey, a gift!  This ear doesn't belong to anyone I know. 

To date, there hasn't been another incident in my back yard.  I saw them later that same week running down the street. but even since then, ti's been uneventful.  I really do wish I'd caught the flying/bouncing dog routine on camera though!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ego Boost

My wife told me three times this week that I "look really good in that."  Referring to what ever I was wearing for work that day.  Albeit, she's in the zone physiologically for mating...gawd, I sound like an ass and a nerd there don't I?  It's not that compliments from the wife never occur, it's just the power of perception that I was amused by. 

I had a few different meetings out of town with employees and coworkers over the past couple weeks.  I've been lavished with compliments regarding my weight with them.  "Oh, you've lost weight haven't you?"  "Your face looks thinner" or "Lookin' good slim." from multiple people. 

I gotta admit, I'm loving the attention.  In reality, I've actually lost about 15 pounds over the past three months.  People I don't see regularly noticing makes me feel fantastic.  My wife's comments are what struck the cord.

She's around me all the time so she doesn't mark the weight loss the same way folks who see me quarterly do.  She just thinks I look good and that's a fantastic thing!  I'll take the true compliment over the back handed "Wow, you're not as fat as you were" comment any day.

Hope your Friday started off as good as mine did.  (with that compliment of course) I was in the 70's and gorgeous today which made working mighty difficult.  A really good friend and his buddy came into town  to stay for a couple weeks while they attend Austin's South by Southwest Film, Interactive & Music festivals. 

Dudes, they ran into Jake Gyllenhaal while he was promoting his new film, Source Code.  He's apparently short.  My buddy is about 6' like me.  So if his judgement is anything like mine at 6', that puts Jake 5' 8" or less. 

Here's to a great weekend!  Cheers!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Push Don't Pull

Went to Ikea tonight.  We are tweaking our office at home a little and needed to pick up some cost effective shelving.  The little girl had to potty as soon as we arrived, right on cue!

We went into the family bathroom to fix everyone up.  What to do with my son?  Ah ha!

This might be my favorite invention ever.

I've actually thrown my daughter on my shoulders to pee while at the movies before.  These should be installed in every bathroom stall period!

Genius no?

So while waiting for nature to take her course, I couldn't help but notice that the Swedes had a lost in translation moment.  Though honestly I wouldn't put it past Arkansas to be behind this.
Medical Alert Device, way to plan ahead.

The instructions are very specific.  You just might want to ignore them and follow your gut instinct instead.  

Here's their first big whoops.
Fire can be a medical emergency right?

So they redeem themselves now by sticking to the plan.
Remember? Lift cover. Whew! Glad that worked out for us.

(I was going to get a glare free shot of the next image but set off the alarm doing so.  I slammed it shut while simultaneously swallowing my heart back into my torso.)
Aw hell.  What am I supposed to do now?  
Heart attack and flames around my bare ass!
Now they're giving me more mixed signals than Samantha Tonnubee my senior year at reverse Prom!
(Morp, basically a Sadie Hawkins dance where the girl asks the guy.)
(I got none that night, but when I left her, I had that gut, I'm an idiot for not acting on that, feeling!)

Back to the dilemma at hand.
Push is quite clearly their intention.
Though I read Pull just half a second ago.
Shit, now they're asking me to turn and reset.
Ah hell.  St. Pete, you can have my stalled heart burnt to a crisp hull.
Ikea, thanks for letting me die because of faulty instructions.

Oh wait, maybe you really saved me.
I could have had to actually take your directions home on a four thousand piece entertainment cabinet that would require a two year stint at VoTech and three solid years of steady assembly to construct. 
Whew, that was a close one, now where's my halo.
Damn it's hot up here, thought for sure it would smell like fresh lenins.
Instead it smells like someone dropped a rotten egg.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Garage Sale Tips

We are having a garage sale this Saturday.  I've never organized one.  I'm fairly confident I know what needs to be done.  I just don't know if we gave ourselves enough time.  I certainly haven't been dedicated to the task the way my wife has.  Then again, I work work. 

Have you ever had one?  Was it successful?  What would you have done differently if you had the chance to click the redo button?

My boss told me to price to sell and remove emotions from the objects.  I think the emotional side is in check.  I survived losing everything in a house fire when I was a teenager.  Price to move and short change yourself is the fine line I'm worried about.  Guess it doesn't matter though.  If I'm not using it, doesn't that mean it's worth $0 now?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Help me get a new LCD TV!  Yes, we are one of those families who still have a giant tube TV.  It's time to step into the modern era!  The left overs will go toward a new mattress.  Yep, priorities.  Sleep and health came behind entertainment AGAIN!

Editor's Note (Fine. It's just me): Just past midnight the day before this thing.  Allow me to preface this with: My wife has worked her ass off for this so the following statement shouldn't detract from her efforts in any way!  I asked her to do something for me to prepare for tomorrow.  I asked her to withdraw $200 and have the bank break it down into small bills so we'd have change.  I hand wrote my request.  She didn't return with it so I cannot submit any evidence in my favor or against. 

I asked for:
  • $10 - Quarters
  • $130 - $1's
  • $60 - $5's
She came back with
  • $110 - $10's
  • $60 - $5's
  • $30 - $1's
hmmm

I might have exploded a little.  I wanted to know how we got $110 in tens!  And where the hell are the quarters?  That was the light bulb for her.  Her reply: "Quarters! I couldn't read that at all.  I thought it said Quantities. I didn't understand what you meant. And why the hell would you need $130 ones?" This "conversation" most definitely ended in my showing my ass (figuratively...She's actually bit my ass before when I used what was once my go to comeback.).

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Experiences

Yesterday was full of experiences that can never be repeated.  Today's weren't so bad either.  I headed to Houston so I could be in town for a  bunch of meetings today. 

Middle of Nowhere

I spontaneously decided to have a face to face meeting with my 1st cousin on my biological father's side of the family.  I've never met the man, but his sister and her daughter have become friends via Facebook.  My cousin works at a bar in Houston so I asked if she was working and to my benefit, she was.  I got to meet her on her turf, but where I wasn't in a high pressure situation.  (plus alcohol was involved, which always helps) Things went well.  I'll leave it at that because I might revisit this topic later.

Later that night, my buddy had an accoustic show that was truely a trip.  It was at a black club (yes, I'm talking skin color) in the hood in Houston.  I was the ONLY white person in the whole place.  Because he was the featured artist during their Poetry in the Hood, Tuesday night feature, I was in the spot light more so than probably would have been normal (being part of his "crew").  I haven't figured out the best way to describe this experience because there was so much going on that I may not do it justice. 

I was so far out of my element that it put me in National Geographic mode.  Everyone was cool and I never felt thereatened, but I was certainly the butt of every white joke of the eveing from the emcee and crowd.  I think I handled myself well.  One can only guess the perception though.  I'll try to follow up with this later this week. 

So fast forward to today.  We had a really cool, casual meeting as a team from across the state today.  We were all in town for a big "road show/town hall" meeting with all the big wigs (CEO, COO, VP, etc).  It was long and interesting.  The end went HORIBLE when a bunch of disgruntled pions got up to voice their opinion.  Probably not going to revisit that cluster again, so just trust me that when upper crusty execs and above minimum wage, one step away from unionizing lazy asses mix, it's never happiness for management in the room.

My boss planned to continue our meeting afterward, but the execs went over 2 hours longer than expected.  So instead he cut to the chase and delivered our 2010 bonuses.  This was the highlight of the day.  I was expecting a few hundred bucks because they've jipped us the past few years.  Ladies and gentlemen, I blew out my goals and THEY ACUTALLY PAID ME FOR IT!  I'm receiving over $10,000!!!!! WOOT WOOT!!!!!!!  Could not have come at a better time!  Happiness abounds.  I'll go a head and give myself a pat on the back for a good 2010.  Talk about swimming in joy right now.  This is what I signed up for and it's finally made itself know.  Gonna be a good March YO!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Apprehension?

Slight case of the nerves.  I'm heading to Houston tonight because I've got meetings booked all day tomorrow down there.  A spontaneous Facebook post is now thrusting me into a situation I may have subconsciously been hoping wouldn't pan out. 

I've never met my biological father.  I've known his aunt and uncle (who were a big part of his life) since I was a child.  My mother maintained correspondence with them and I spent a month with them one summer when I was younger. There's only been one attempt at meeting this man and it didn't go well, nor did it result in any face to face interaction.

His estranged sister and her daughter live in Houston.  His sister found me on AOL back 15 years ago and that's how the first attempt at a reunion occurred.  We've since found each other on Myspace and later, Facebook.  That electronic barrier has allowed us to get to know one another without the awkward "it's been 30+ years" interaction.

Well her daughter is a bartender at a bar near my buddy's house.  I decided to ping her and see if she was working.  I have an easy out.  We are going to his show from 10 to 12 and I won't be there until 8 or 9.  Basically I only have to survive an hour or so.  AND alcohol will be present.  Everything should be fine right? 

We've "known" each other virtually for a few years.  She's blood, so there shouldn't be this jittery feeling.  Maybe I'm making a bigger deal out of it.  Though just putting it down in words seems to be helping.

I'll let you know how it goes.