June 30, 2005

Shit Happens.

This story is not for the weak stomached. If you are easily nauseated or have delicate sensibilities, please do not read this story. Stop reading now and skip to the next post. If you keep reading, you’ve been warned. I’d put this in an extended entry, but I don’t like the way they look right now and I don’t have time to play with the HTML.

Last night after dinner, I was sitting out on the front porch with my wife and our friend Anathematized. My neighbor from across the street comes over and asks me if I had a problem in my basement. He said that the Rock River Water Reclamation district had been out here earlier in the day working on the sewer. He tells me that they had come out to do a routine cleaning and had hooked a hose up to the fire hydrant. They then proceeded to squirt this high-pressured water into the sewer. When they did so, they back washed raw sewage into his basement. He was coming over to advise me to check mine.

It was a hot day, in the 90’s; I figured if I had raw sewage in my un-air conditioned home that I would have smelt it. To play it safe I put on my shoes and went to check. I opened the door to the basement. A hot pungent smell assaulted my senses. I mumbled, “Shit.” I wasn’t trying to be literal. I go down the stairs and turn the corner towards our washer and dryer. Stopping dead in my tracks I exclaim, “HOLY SHIT!” However, there was nothing holy about this fecal matter. There on the floor of my basement is three inches of fecal matter!

I have a limestone walled basement, thus I get a lot of moisture down there in the summer, even in a drought. We have two dehumidifiers to battle this problem. With the extra “moisture” both had filled up and kicked off. Combine the moisture with the heat of the fecal matter and the already hot temperature; you have a sewage sauna. For the first time that I owned my house I was glad that when some previous owner decided to replace the basement floor with concrete; that they didn’t do a good job. The floor is uneven and tends to slant, not intentionally, toward one corner. Most of the raw sewage was contained to about a third of the basement, up to the ankle at the deepest point. Trust me on the depth, *I* know. Unfortunately, there are all kinds of raises and hollows, including a dike that keeps water from flowing into the floor drain.

The sewage was puddled over the floor drain, yet it wasn’t draining. I needed that drain to work or there was no way for me to clean this up. Taking one look at the work boots I’ve owned for two years I mumbled, “I need new shoes anyway” and stepped on in. As I waded toward the drain, I noticed it was getting deeper and deeper. This is how I know it was ankle deep… I was thankful for the waterproof work boots. I get to the drain. I can’t see anything through the thick dark sewage. Using a squeegee broom I had as a lever, I removed the cap from the drain. This caused a whirlpool of this chocolaty looking substance… with peanuts. I then ran our hose down the basement and started to squeegee and rinse out the fecal material. I own a five-gallon shop vac, but it was easier to use the squeegee broom and push it down the drain. My wife had picked two of these brooms up at the Boone County Faire last year… I can honestly say they are the best investment I’ve made in a cleaning tool… EVER! It would scrape the floor clean and then watch, as the poo water would fill back in. If I had used the shop vac, I would have had to empty it more often and probably make a bigger mess. All was going well until the fluid stopped going down the drain. I tried to see if any big… chunks… had clogged the pipe. Nope, that didn’t work. I sent my wife for my snake. Failure again, I don’t have a large industrial snake for pipes that big, it just wasn’t strong enough to “grab” onto the problem. It did tell me though that the clog wasn’t very deep in the pipe. I grabbed the only latex gloves I had put them on. These gloves were first aid gloves that only went to my wrists. I prayed the raw sewage wasn’t that deep as I reached for the hole. Wait… you don’t think I’m sticking my hand down there do you?!?!? Are you kidding me? That is other peoples urine, feces, used toilet paper, used tampons and whatever the hell else the flushed. I used the Shop vac I told you about earlier and sucked the damn fluid out of the drain. When I did so I was able to fit the nozzle far enough down the pipe to grab and remove the obstruction. Yes, it is what you are thinking of; no, it didn’t look like a baby ruth!

While cleaning I discovered that the point of origin was the toilet I have in the basement. Apparently, it exploded out of the bowl like geyser spraying all over the walls and tank. The area around the toilet looked like it was hit with by sCategory 3 hurricane!

Fortunately, most of the stuff that we store in the basement is in Rubbermaid containers. We only had three cardboard boxes that were ruined. However the items on the inside where undamaged we just pitched the boxes. We did have some laundry that was stacked on the floor that was ruined, including some re-enacting costuming. Other items needed cleaning. I think we probably lost about $500.00 worth of items. Moreover, three hours of my life I’ll never get back that I spent wading in shit. Excuse my language please I’m still pissed off. (Pun not intentional.)

After the clean up I looked up information on the Rock River Water Reclamation District. They have a “24 hour 365 day a year” emergency number for back ups. I called that only to find the number is disconnected. I called them this morning during business hours and spoke with a supervisor to file a complaint. I was told that they do a routine cleaning of the pipes every 5 years. They where called out yesterday because they where told there was a back up. They use a high-pressure water system to clean these clogs out of the sewer. It usually only takes 1-2 tries with this system to move the clog, however this time they had to use 4 attempts to dislodge it. If the pipe leading to your house is by where the clog is it can force the water back up the pipes and into your basement. Clogs caused by Tree Roots, grease or objects flushed down a toilet do not constitute negligence on their part. (I do agree that they are not responsible for someone pouring grease, condoms, and toys down the drain or doing la caca grande) They do not clean up messes that are made. If I feel that my issue was a result of their negligence then I can file a claim with their insurance.

Since it exploded out of my toilet, I feel this was negligence. As a reasonable person if a normal clog only takes one or two attempts to remove it, I would have thought they would have attempted to use the auger the supervisor told me about instead of continuing to blast raw sewage into people’s basements. I figure if I file and they deny, then at least I tried. What’s the worse that’s going to happen? They back more sewage into my basement.

Speaking of which when the supervisor called me back he told me that they were still having problems in that neighborhood and where out there again today working on it. That means that I could come home to another Fecal Funland in my basement.

Posted by Contagion at 01:10 PM | Comments (11)

June 29, 2005

Time for a Quiz

Your IQ Is 130
Your Logical Intelligence is Genius Your Verbal Intelligence is Exceptional Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional Your General Knowledge is Genius
A Quick and Dirty IQ Test

I saw this over at Susie's and thought I should give it a try. ummm, yea okay what ever. But it was very entertaining.

Posted by Contagion at 06:33 AM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2005

Have I supported our troops?

Sunday night I watched the movie Black Hawk Down. If you haven’t seen the movie it’s a based on the true story version of what happened to American troops on October 13, 1993 when they captured some Somalian Warlords in the capital city of Mogadishu. I love this movie, it touches me to know that men like that exist. Watching this movie made me realize something about myself.

I never served in the military. In High School I was in the ARMY JROTC program until the school board cut it. Because of that I was on the recruiters lists. I can honestly say I only received approximately 8 calls from recruiters however. The first ones came during my senior year I already had been accepted into the college of my choice and had a free ride. However, I was planning on going into Law Enforcement and I knew that the military would greatly help out that career. I explained to each recruiter my position and they all thought I should go to college first and then I can review military service after I graduate. I then asked a couple of questions and was told that my serving in the military probably would never happen. I have a couple of medical conditions, one being an offset bone with four metal pins holding it together in my left leg. Each recruiter told me the same thing: “You probably wont make it past the physical.”

After college I received the other half of those calls. This time I just started out with my medical conditions and each one thanked me for my time but again told me I would probably never pass the physicals. Oh well, life goes on.

Flash forward to Sunday. I finish watching Black Hawk Down and I’m talking to my wife about the movie. I’m explaining how it’s not the death in the movie that touches me. It’s the bond between the soldiers. How they will put themselves directly into harms way and almost certain death to help someone they may have never met before. The men and women of our US Armed Forces display some of the best ethics and traits one would like to see in a human. This movie exemplifies those attributes.

It’s during my little speech that I realized that… I talk the talk, but I have not walked the walk. I say I support our troops and I’ve donated items and some money, but I haven’t actually sacrificed anything to aid these men and women. I’ve decided it is time for me to stand up and take responsibility for my own inactions. I spent the last couple of days looking for a soldier or unit that I could do something for. I found, in my opinion the perfect unit.

Until August first I am dedicating the top post of Miasmatic Review to this soldier and his unit. See the next post for more details.

Posted by Contagion at 08:39 PM | Comments (2)

Contagion in the City Part 2

Day two in Chicago started off pretty well. I slept until 7:00 am. Normally I’m at work by 6:30, since my class didn’t start until 9:00 AM I wasn’t about to get up as early as I normally do. I had room service breakfast, the food was pretty good. However, you have to keep in mind I had Bacon and Eggs, it’s pretty hard to screw up bacon and eggs.

I left for work about half an hour before I had to be there. I had less then a block to walk so I was early. People in my office where supposed to run reports for me on my customized report database. None of them had ever done this before. I had been trying to teach them how to do it for the week before I left, but they would continually screw it up. I wanted to make sure I was at a phone that I could call them with time to spare if I needed to walk them through the process. When I called they advised me they had it all figured out and there weren’t any problems. Off to the classroom I went with a good 20 minutes to kill.

The only other person in the classroom upon my arrival was the instructor. I had him for an intermediate level of this class about 8 months ago. To say I was surprised when he recognized me is an understatement. Class went off with out any problems. I tended to get ahead of the class by going through the book and doing my own thing, This would annoy the other people taking the class as when they would try to look to see what I had done, I was on at least one full lesson ahead of them.

During our first break I decided to go up and say hi to one of my mentorees. We had talked via e-mail and the phone, but we had never met as mentor to mentoree. The only time I had met her face-to-face was last November in Texas at a conference. The thought of telling her I was coming into corporate headquarters never crossed my mind. Mainly because this trip was for training, it had nothing to do with neither my normal duties nor mentoring. Security was able to supply me with her location in the building. Her desk was easy enough to find and as I walked up I noticed she was on the phone. Being courteous, I waited for her to finish he call before I started talking to her. She had various signs and memos on her walls so I started reading those. A memo on inventory control particularly held my attention. I hadn’t notice she finished her call until she turned to get up from her desk. She hadn’t noticed me come up to her desk, so when she saw me she jumped for the ceiling and did a muffled scream. It’s amazing how many people have that reaction to my presence.

She inquired as to why I was there, and I explained the whole class thing. I didn’t have a lot of time to talk left as my break was almost over so I told her I go to lunch at noon and suggested she should take her lunch then as well. We agreed to meet in the cafeteria at noon. After we found a table I just started talking to her about various things. It was about half way through lunch she asked me what I wanted to talk to her about. I stopped, looked at her and told her, “Nothing, I was just being social.” Come to find out she had lunch plans but thought I was telling her she had to go to lunch with me. She canceled her lunch plans to have a “mandatory” lunch with me. Trying not to laugh, I explained that no, I just was being social. There was nothing of any importance I needed to discuss with her. Then I explained that I don’t know many people in Chicago and I just didn’t want to eat lunch alone.

When class was over I went to the best Irish pub that I have ever been to. Fado’s Irish Pub has great Irish food, an unbelievable atmosphere and great prices on their drinks for Chicago. The interior of the pub was once a pub in Ireland that was shipped over piece-by-piece and reassembled. It’s just something you have to see to believe. I’ve eatern there before and I love the place. Plus there was no way in hell I was going back to the hotel restaurant and since they also did the room service I wasn’t about to trust that either!

They were having a celebration last week because they where going to sell their millionth pint of Guinness by the end of the weekend. I saw the signs and when the waitress came to take my order I told her I wanted a Pint of Guinness and the corned beef and cabbage. I was in an Irish pub of course I’m drinking a Guinness. Plus then I can help take credit for them selling a million pints of the black gold. The waitress leaves when this guy comes up and asks me if I’d be willing to take a survey, he’d give me $5 for my time. I thought, sure why not, I’m by myself so it’s not like he is interrupting an important conversation I was having with the table ad. I tell him to go ahead and sit down. I’d be more then happy to answer his questions.

He tells me he is doing a survey for Guinness and has 27 questions to ask. The first question out of his mouth was, “When was the last time you ordered a Guinness?” My smart arse responds with, “About 20 seconds before you sat down.” His next question was, “Over the last year, about how much alcohol do you think you drank?” I just started laughing, he couldn’t say over the last month, or last 3 months not even 6 months. He had to go a year. I have drastically cut back my drinking since February. I had actually given up all drinking for two and a half months. I had a bottle of Seagram’s in my fridge for over 4 months. That was unheard of in my house. To steal a line I heard from Grau; I’m not an alcoholic. I’m a drunk. Alcoholics go to meetings. Once re-enacting season started I picked up drinking again, but nowhere near as heavy as I had been. I would go through a bottle of whisky about every 7-10 days. I would mix in a good helping of beer in with that. There for I answered him with, “More then I can count.” He wanted a rough estimate, so I told him, on average over the last year probably about 10 cases of beer and 32 bottles of liquor. The guy kind of chuckled and told me not to worry, he had a guy earlier that day reply with about a two cases a week. He then started asking me questions about the beers I liked and what I knew of them. I made him and the tables around me laugh when he asked me to rank beers in the order of preference and one of them was Corona. In all seriousness I told him that any beer you have to put a lime in the bottle to make it drinkable is not a good beer. The only time I drink Corona is when it is given to me and there is nothing else and even I have been known to go with out then to drink a Corona.

Then the guy started asking me about this new beer from Guinness called Smithwicks. Until that time I had never heard of it. During the survey as questions were asked, more often then not I had a smart arse answer to them. Question: What is the main reason you would drink a Guinness? Answer: I woke up. Each answer was completely serious, it just came across as funny. One of the last questions was; would you be willing to try Smithwicks knowing Guinness makes it? My answer was, actually I was going to try one next. I’ll try any beer once. After the survey as I was ordering a Smithwicks to see what it was like, the guy told the waitress to add it to his tab. He said that he appreciated my blunt honesty and the fact that I was trying the beer on his recommendation. He still gave me the $5.00 and bought me a pint. If you are wondering the Smithwicks was pretty good. It’s no Guinness.

After I left the pub I decided to walk back to the hotel, no need to spend $7.00 counting tip for a ride. It was a hot night, but the wind off of the lake made it seem not as bad. When I arrived back at the hotel I was going to watch another movie, however the hotels video on demand was broken so I ended up watching Gladiator on TBS. It was the best thing on and it’s still a horrible movie.

Posted by Contagion at 06:09 PM | Comments (6)

June 27, 2005

Fun with mice.

I know that I am a disturbed individual. Things that normal people don’t think about tend to be part of my daily thought process. What I find humorous is often seen as being mean. People don’t always understand my dry and dark sense of humor. However if you are playing a prank on someone whom the rest of their office views as “the bad guy”, my warped and twisted mind is appreciated. Before I go any further, I must establish that the subject of this prank is not a “bad guy”. She is a very nice person that has a tough job, the same job I do only without the mentoring aspect. In fact she would probably make a better mentor then I do because she seems to like people and has a hard time being a real hard case when she has to be. It’s just that she has to make other people do their job and if they don’t she takes them to task for it. Thus she is viewed as a “bad guy”, much like myself.

I was mainly in Chicago for a training class, however I had a lot of extra time before class, during breaks, lunch and after class. In order to check items out and try to keep up with what everyone is doing, I would take over her computer. The first time I did this she told me that her mouse was acting up and she thought she would need a new one. She had an old roller ball style mouse and the only problem it had was many years worth of dust build up on the rollers. I very easily cleaned them off using my trusty Swiss Army Boy Scout knife. In doing so I accidentally unplugged her mouse. When I went to plug it back in I discovered that her computer is very easily accessible.

I went back to class and was sitting there after I finished the assignment. I started talking to the guy next to me. He works in our tech support area and he told me they just received a shipment of wireless optical mice and they are playing with them to see if it is something that they want to extend to the entire company. As soon as he said that a light went off in my head. I asked if there was anyway I could obtain the use of one wireless optical mouse for a day. He wanted to know why so I gave him a brief synapses of my plan. He then told me he would bring me one the next day.

Thursday morning I’m in class and he shows me the mouse, all I have to do is plug it in a USB port, restart the computer; windows and the network will do the rest. This was going to be too easy! After class I went up my mentoree’s desk and asked to use her computer. I waited for her to leave and I quickly unplugged her real mouse, plugged in the new one and restarted it. I left the cord to her mouse leading to the back of the computer so that it looked like it was plugged in. When she came back I told her I had finished checking my e-mail and that she can have her computer back. This is where the fun starts.

As she sits down, I pull the wireless mouse out of my pocket and try to mimic the way she was using hers. This gave the illusion she was controlling the pointer. I didn’t do a great job, but she was used to her mouse working like crap so she didn’t think twice about it except to complain she needs a new mouse. Finally she got mad and slammed the mouse on the desk. Now I really start to play with her mind. Whichever direction she would move the mouse; I would move the pointer in the opposite direction. If she would right click, I would left click. She is starting to get mad and is telling me her mouse is really screwed up and she knew there was something wrong with it. I’m biting my tongue to keep from snickering.

Trying to be the helpful mentor that I am, I suggested she rotate the mouse so the cord is pointing towards her. At least then she could get the mouse to go in the right direction. The poor lady actually does this. Now of course as soon as she does I keep flip my mouse around so that I can mimic her motions again, thus making it look like the mouse has corrected itself and is following the movement that coincides with her mouse. She tells me the problem seems to be fixed and flips her mouse around. I do the same thing. Now however I start clicking the button to make menus and windows open.

She is getting so mad that her mouse isn’t working and the Tech area hasn’t come to fix it all day. (Because they are in on it, in fact my partner in crime is watching from three desks back). Her minions are starting to come over to see what the problem is; they however are not in the joke so they are wondering what the hell is wrong with her mouse. All was going well until one of them noticed the red light reflecting off my pants leg and asked me what that was. My mentoree turns, looks at me, I’m grinning ear to ear. She looks at the mouse in my hand, realizes what is going on and looks like she could bite the head off a hammer. I start laughing, tears are starting to fill my eyes I’m laughing so hard. Her minions are laughing now, the tech support guys are laughing. She finally cracks a smile then starts to laugh with us.

I had her going for a good thirty minutes. She felt that since I played this joke on her and “embarrassed” her in front of her minions that I should let her keep the optical wireless mouse. After explaining that it wasn’t mine and that I borrowed it from the tech support department she relented on keeping it. She then wanted to know who my contact was because in her own words, “I’ve worked in the building for 15 years and I don’t have a contact in the tech support department, you’re here two days and you have one. That’s not fair!” Unfortunately I had to deny her request. I always keep my sources to myself; it helps to protect them if I need them for another prank later on.

It was shortly after this incident she came up with the top ten reasons my mentoree’s hate me. The rest of the time I was in Chicago, her minions would go out of the way to say hi if they saw me.

Posted by Contagion at 09:48 PM | Comments (4)

Contagion in the City. Part 1

Ahhh, it’s good to be back. Did any of you even notice I was gone? No. I rather figured as much. After my trip into Chicago, I have so many stories to tell all of you, but to keep this from turning into an overly annoying long post I’m going to break it down by days.

Tuesday, June 21. Day 1

This was the least eventful day of my trip, I would have skipped it entirely except it sets up the mood for my time in there.

The drive in was interesting. I was heading into Chicago. I left my office at 3:30 and hit the road. I was hoping that traffic wouldn’t be that bad. I should have known better. Even though the vast majority of people were leaving downtown, there were many people heading in. It still took me two and a half hours to go 90 miles. I had one of the company cars to drive. This thing had some serious issues with the brakes. Every time I would depress the brakes, the car would vibrate violently. It was like driving over bumps in the road before a tollbooth or along the side of a road. The car stopped fine, but it was nerve wracking. I kept waiting for the brakes to go out. Personally, I think it is the rotors on the vehicle. When my van had the same issue, it was because of warped rotors. I will tell you this, whatever the problem is it was annoying during stop and go traffic.

I stayed at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. I had never stayed at this particular hotel before so I used Map Quest to get directions. I knew how to get to corporate headquarters; however, I was not exactly sure how to get to the hotel. I usually walk or take taxis when I am in Chicago; I’m not familiar with the one-way streets or the street names. For my own comfort, I felt it would be in my best interest to have the directions just in case. I looked at the directions once while in the stand still traffic to make sure I knew where I was going. Map quest told me to take Michigan Ave to Lake St. Then it told me to turn left off Lake onto N Columbus Drive. I followed the directions, turned onto lake and noticed that it ended at Stetson. It doesn’t go through to N. Columbus. It took me a little bit of driving around in a circle, due to one way streets or uncrossable medians. It was just more annoyed that Map Quest would be that wrong on whether or not a street connects. I’m sure at one time, it did, but it has since been turned into a plaza.

After getting to the hotel, everything seemed to go well. I had a small scuffle with a bellhop over my luggage. He wanted to carry it, and I wanted him to leave me alone. I can carry my own damn luggage. I’m not that lazy. He offered to carry my suitcase for me. I politely declined his offer. While walking to the check in counter he insisted on carrying it and tried to take it from my hands. As he grabbed the handle, I stopped walking and jerked him to a halt. He almost fell to the floor. I looked him in the eye and said, “I can carry my own luggage thank you. You might not want to try that again.” I then gave him one of those smiles that were more a baring of the teeth then actually friendly.

I checked in easily enough and made my way to my room. It was a decent room. I’d had much better. In fact, I used to stay at the Swissotel when I’d go in. They had really nice rooms. Work no longer will reimburse for the Swissotel, which is why I changed to the Fairmont. Although the bathroom in my room was huge, it had two showers, one stand up and one in a tub. By the time I was finished checking in, it was almost 6:00. It was time for me to get something to eat and drink. Not feeling like leaving the hotel nor did I want room service I decided to eat at the hotel restaurant.

The restaurant was called Aria. I walked in, told the hostess I needed a table for one. I received the first of many, “God what a loser looks”. She showed me to a table, gave me a menu and listed off the specials for the day. I was the only person in this restaurant. Upon opening the menu, I didn’t really see anything that looked good to me. It all seemed like odd combinations. However, something about this tickled my mind. I just couldn’t place what it was. I placed my order for my entrée and a Jack Daniels, neat. I get my drink and then a different waiter brings over a basket of flat bread with a tray that has four different “dipping” sauces. Except these sauces where in fancy square containers with a small spoon for spreading the “dipping” sauces onto the flat bread. I tried a piece of the bread to see what the sauces where like. My brain was telling me I should know something about this, but I couldn’t place it I tried the first sauce and it was okay. I tried the third sauce and it was again okay, but the taste was very familiar. I tasted the third sauce and a memory came slamming home. I know this taste, I recognize the bread and sauces, and I remember the strange combinations on the menu… THIS IS AN INDIAN RESTAURANT! That is Indian as in from India, not as in American Indians. I hate Indian food, and it hates me. They say they are “culturally inspired, comfortably American”. I say bullshit; my gut wasn’t comfortable at three in the morning after eating there! I’m trying to get the taste of curry out of my mouth. I’m near gargling my Jack Daniels. It was too late to cancel my order. I resolved myself to choke it down and just hope for the best.

Before the main course comes, I order another Jack Daniels. It arrives just as the main course does; I take a small bite… more curry. Did I mention I hate Indian food? I finish off what I can, following every bite with a swig of Jack Daniels. Other then some potatoes in a horseradish sauce, I did not enjoy the meal at all. I really didn’t enjoy it when the bill came; I had a charge for $49.00. I look at the breakdown of charges; they hit me at $9.00 a piece for each drink. I took a reaming for a meal that not only did I not enjoy, but continued not enjoying it until the next day. I kept burping up the taste all night long.

After I left the restaurant, I decided I needed another Jack Daniels to get rid of the taste, Of course it still cost me $9.00. I decided to make this last one count. Sitting at the bar I just poured the entire glass into my mouth, swished it around for a couple of minutes like it was mouthwash and then swallowed it.

After purchasing a giant bottle of water and a diet coke, I retreated to my room to watch a movie and then get some sleep.

Tomorrow Day 2.

Posted by Contagion at 03:52 PM | Comments (7)

June 23, 2005

Top Ten Reasons My Mentoree's hate me.

I am still in Chicago. However I was sharing with one of my Mentorees about the wonders of the blogosphere. After she got done pointing, laughing at me and calling me a "Big Nerd". I thought I would show her how it works.

Her idea was for a top ten reasons my mentoree's hate me. So here we go.

10. I don't have the common courtesy to advise them I will be in town. I just show up, smile and say, "I'm here!"

9. I force them to alter their lunch schedules so I don't have to eat in the corporate cafeteria alone.

8. I sneak up and scare them when they are working. (This is accidental, I do not actually try to scare anyone, scar (mentally) yes, scare no!)

7. My presence makes them feel like they were sent to the princepal's office.

6. Since I know no one else here, they field the brunt of my jokes. (Which includes disabling their mouse and hooking up a cordless one that I control. More on this later)

5. They feel the need to be in the office by 7 AM and stay to 6 pm just to make sure they can get all their work done, AND talk with me.

4. They don't get a corporate paid trip to a luxury hotel for three nights with meals included.

3. They are afraid that if I get displeased, I will toss them out of a window 22 stories up. Which is completely untrue... Because then I would have to start the mentoring process over with a new person!

2. I wont shut up about re-enacting and blogging.

and the number one reasons my Mentoree's hate me:

1. I use my briefcase as a cudgel to knock them out of the way so I can use their desks/phones/terminals to check my e-mail, figure out the inventory, contact my office and blog while on lunch or after I'm off the clock.

There you have it folks. Just a little mid-trip update.

BTW I have some blog fodder stories that are either going to make you laugh or ask why the hell you associate with me.

Posted by Contagion at 04:48 PM | Comments (7)

June 21, 2005

Too busy to post anything real quiz time.

1985 by Bowling for Soup
"Where's the mini-skirt made of snakeskin? And who's the other guy that's singing in Van Halen? When did reality become T.V.? What ever happened to sitcoms, game shows?"

You took the bitter with the sweet in 2004 - and kept laughing.

What 2004 Hit Song Are You?

Which Family Guy character are you?

Neither one of these actually surprises me all that much. I was going to post a little something more substantial before my hegira from mentoring. Unfortunately my brain is stuck in work mode, so all I can think of are boring topics like "Who's going to do my TPS reports while I'm gone?" and "Will my minions actually do anything, besides have a party, in my absence?". Eh, I guess I find out next Monday.

It's going to be a long Four days in Chicago with out my family and all of you. I don't own a laptop so I can't blog from the hotel. However I should have some interesting stories for everyone when I get back. I expect you all to be on your best behavour while I'm away. I wont mention names, but some of you tend to be a little... rambunctious in nature.

Posted by Contagion at 03:54 PM | Comments (6)

June 20, 2005

Time to spend the corporate dollar

I am leaving to spend three nights and days in Chicago tomorrow. Due to the length of stay and the nature of my trip, corporate will be putting me up in a hotel. In fact I'll be staying at the Fairmont in lovely downtown Chicago. I also have a fairly decent, okay it's really good expense allowance for meals. Therefore, I'm going to be eating in some really nice restaurants. Plus I get to drive the corporate car in for my trip so I don't have to put any wear and tear on my vehicle. That and I think they realize it will be cheaper for me to take their car then for them to reimburse me for gas if I drove my truck.

The only problem with this trip is that I'm going to be bored off my arse. I hate eating in restaurants alone. That means I'm probably going to end up eating at the hotel a lot. I don't like drinking alone, therefore I wont be spending a lot of time at some of the bars and in particular a great pub I know. I don't shop, so that's not an option. I'm just going to be bored.

I would have loved to bring my wife with, but she can't take the time off of work and we have two boys she has to watch while I'm away. I don't have any friends that live remotely close to downtown Chicago so it's not like I'll have anyone to socialize with after hours.

I just hope the hotel has some decent movies on pay-per-view.

Posted by Contagion at 09:31 PM | Comments (7)

Would you be my neighbor?

I was talking to one of my minions at work about a problem she is having with her neighbors. This made me think about my neighbors. My neighbors leave me alone. They don’t come over to borrow things; they don’t send their kids over to sell me things. I used to have a neighbor that I would stand at the fence with, talk to, and drink beer with when we saw each other out at the same time. The man was a lawn care fool. He loved mowing his lawn and trimming his bushes. He always had the nicest manicured lawn in the neighborhood. He had a nice wife and two nice kids. Boopie used to play with the kids when he wasn’t in school. They decided to move to a bigger house out of the city about a year ago. I genuinely miss them. Now the only neighbors I have on the block are all scared of me.

The new next-door neighbors that moved in try to avoid making eye contact with me when they are outside. Once I tried to get the wife’s attention and I swear she shielded her eyes with her hand, quickened her step and shooed her children into the house. The husband doesn’t seem to be home too much, but when he is he generally doesn’t acknowledge me either and tries to avoid eye contact. A couple of Saturday’s ago, after dark, my wife thought she heard someone in the backyard. I went out the front door to see if I could figure out who it is. The new neighbor was sitting on his back porch and when he saw me stalking the yard, he asked what was going on. That was the first time he has said more then two words to me in 4 months.

All my other neighbors go out of their way to avoid me. They’ve all seen me swinging swords, cleaning fire arms, sharpening knives, building artillery carriages, hauling in large packages marked “WARNING: EXPLOSIVES! BLACK POWDER FOR SMALL ARMS!” teaching my kid the most appropriate and easy way to kill a person with a toy sword. I received the best reaction when I told Boopie once, “If you hit a person in the femoral artery they will die quickly, however if you make a nice deep belly wound they will die a slow painful death. If you are lucky, any allies or friends they have nearby will try to help save his life. Now you have effectively taken 2-3 people out of the battle. However, you could also kill the people giving aid when their backs are turned.” I didn’t realize one of my other neighbors was outside watering plants with her kids and they had heard it. Shortly after, they moved out as well. Go figure.

There is an upside to being the scary guy in the neighborhood. Nobody messes with my house or property. There was a string of minor burglaries in my neighborhood. My house and the neighbor that I liked were the only houses not hit. I think the entire neighborhood warns anyone new that moves in about me. I do know that they refer to me as “The Scary Guy”. One day I was out in my back yard scrubbing and swabbing out my musket when this family goes walking by on the sidewalk. I hear the little girl ask, “Mommy, look its The Scary Guy, the one Mr. Brown told you about.” The mother and father hurried their daughter along; I just sat back and grinned. In addition, another time one of the neighborhood kids came up and asked me if I was “The Scary guy” I couldn’t help but to assure him that I was with my patented child scowl.

I also don’t have the problems with my neighbors that I hear other people talk of. They don’t complain to me about the stuff I do. No one comes over to borrow anything. They don’t pop in at odd hours. Their kids stay out of my yard and more importantly they don’t use my cooler as a urinal. I’m not asked favors. It’s a symbiotic relationship. I scare the bad elements away and they leave me alone. In general, life is good for me.

Posted by Contagion at 03:55 PM | Comments (8)

June 19, 2005

Father's day Bahumbug!

It’s father’s day for many people out there. I however am not one of them. I hate this holiday. I think it’s a stupid and insulting holiday. I have since I was a teenager and continue through to this day. I feel the same way about Mother’s day, Valentines Day, Sweetest day and birthdays. I’m sure someone is not happy with that statement, others are curious as to why. For both cases I will explain to everyone.

Is any father any more or less special today then any other day? How about mother’s on Mother’s day? Shouldn’t you shower you Wife, Husband, Girlfriend or Boyfriend with love and gifts all through out the year, not just on the days some body set aside for you to do it? Should you only recognize the effect of someone special to you on their birthday?

My father is special to me all year around. I appreciate him and everything he does for me all year. Through out the year I show him that I love and appreciate him. Now because of the day, I had to go out of my way to buy him gift on top of the others that I give him all year round. This gift has no meaning to me; I have no heart behind it because I’m forced into getting it for him. Therefore, I really don’t put much thought behind it. This day means something to my father, so I observe it for him.

In fact I observe Father’s day, Mother’s day, Valentines Day and birthdays for my loved ones. Even my wife hates sweetest day so neither of us observe that day. Those days mean something important to them, where as I am insulted by them. I buy them gifts and fake it. They all know how I feel about it and appreciate that I’m at least making an observation on it. That is not a two-way streak however. A lot of my family and friends refuse to accept my non-observance of these days.

My mother is currently mad at me due to a conversation we had on Friday. She asked me if my wife and boys where doing anything special for me on Father’s day. I reminded her that we don’t celebrate father’s day at all in my house and went on to explain my feelings about it again. My mother responds with, “Well it teaches the boys to be adults.” To which I respond with, “How, by having mommy buy them something to give to dad? I’m an adult, you didn’t buy Dad’s gift for me.”

Then my mother used the argument she always does, “This isn’t for you, it’s for them.” She uses this argument on me for birthdays and holidays whenever gift giving is involved. This year however I had enough, I responded with, “Wait, so you’re saying them giving me a gift is for them. However when I don’t want to give a gift, you tell me it isn’t for me, it’s for the recipient. When in the hell is it actually about me? I don’t like Father’s day, Mother’s day, Valentines Day and Birthdays. Yet I have to suffer through receiving gifts. I also have to suffer through giving gifts that I don’t mean. I know you would be mad if I didn’t give you a gift for your birthday or mother’s day. I lose out there, and you’re mad because I don’t want to get a gift for father’s day and my birthday. Well I thought these day’s were about getting the person what they want, and I want nothing.” To say she didn’t like that response would be an understatement. She could not argue with it. She still doesn’t understand my reasoning.

My wife likes the fact that I feel that way about these days. She still gets her gifts and she doesn’t have to spend any time and money getting me something. It makes life easier on the family. Plus we can then spend money on stuff we would rather have… like a babysitter.

So if you are a Father out there and don’t get a “Happy Father’s day” from me, don’t think that I don’t feel that you are special for being a dad. That would be wrong, it’s the exact opposite. I think Father’s are special every day of the year and deserve to be shown it year round. However if you are a bad father, you don’t deserve any recognition anyway.

Now I’m going to go clean the garage out and do some housework.

Posted by Contagion at 02:09 PM | Comments (6)

June 18, 2005

BlogCrawl UPDATE 1

I have received many different volunteers for the Blog Crawl. However, I have not received any suggestions on what day would work best for everyone. Right now I’m thinking Saturday, July 30th that is one of the last Saturdays I have free. I know that is over a month away but that gives everyone time to prepare and get ready. It also allows time for e-mails to be sent and responded to. Unless you are TIG who either doesn’t read his e-mails or just chooses to ignore the ones from me. Especially if they want to set up a blog meet around this.

I’m also thinking that since we have many different people that live in different time zones that want to play, that I’m going to have a large window to participate. So starting at 7 PM until 7 AM CST the next day will be the times. It doesn’t mean you have to participate for the entire 12 hours, just put your drunken comments up during that time frame.

I received an e-mail asking for the rules. Okay, here are the rules:

A) You have to be 21 years old to participate. I don’t want some minor’s parents coming back and saying I told them to get pissed drunk and go on the internet. If you are under 21, you may still participate, as a designated blogger.

2) Drink as much as you comfortably feel you should. This is for fun, I don’t want to have blog fodder stories involving charcoal slurries and ER visits. Be responsible, especially if you have to drive. I’m saying right now that if you do something stupid and hurt yourself I will make fun of you. I am neither legally, morally nor ethically responsible for anything you do either in the real world or on the internet. You are all adults and responsible for your own actions.

D) Please attempt to limit the Blog Crawl comments to the time frame listed. Just so, it’s easier to track. Not that I’m going to link to every single post that has a comment on it, I just don’t want to search for them Sunday to see what everyone said. Oh, and a drunken post on your own blog is perfectly acceptable and I will link to those.

4) Try to leave a comment on every blog in the Bad Example and Frizzen Sparks family. You may use my side bar as a reference if you don’t know who they are. Do not feel limited to these blogs only, go ahead and hit any other blog you would like as well. Oh, and a drunken post on your own blog is perfectly acceptable and I will link to those.

That’s it! I’m not asking much, again this is for fun. It’s not that I think anyone would get pissed drunk, jump in a car kill a family of 4, then jump on the internet and start a blog war while intoxicated. I just need to cover my butt legally on the off chance that happens.

If anyone has any objections to this date, or wants to suggest another one, please leave a comment.

Posted by Contagion at 11:02 AM | Comments (13)

I wonder if this actually works

I was out sirfing the net again and I came across this article on how to make a homemade airconditioner. I remember being a broke college student and wondering what I was going to do on hot days. Fortunately, by then I would be going home for the summer.

Just for giggles, I might have to go and give this a try... just to see if it works.

Posted by Contagion at 08:25 AM | Comments (4)

June 17, 2005

Star War's from the eye of a 7 year old

I was out cruising the internet and I stumbled across this post on the Star Wars: Blogs. What I find most interesting is that this guy posted his 7 year old kid's questions after he watched episodes 1-6 in order for the first time.

It kind of makes you think maybe ol' Georgie boy didn't have these planned out as well as he claims to have.

Posted by Contagion at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)


When a foreign power not only invades your lands, but also starts to set up base. It is your right, no, it is your duty to defend yourself and eradicate them. I was in this situation recently. My front porch has been not only invaded but also settled by wasps. Wasps do not bother me in general. I have a very laissez-faire attitude toward them; if they leave me alone, I will leave them alone. This attitude tends to change once they start colonizing on my property. Especially since, I have two children that probably would throw rocks at them.

Upon discovery of the invaders, the normal peace-loving, quiet and friendly version of Contagion was replaced with General Contagion of the Supreme Armies of the House. General Contagion, with his scorched earth policies, unequaled temper and open hostility, raised a giant middle finger to the Geneva Convention. He obtained through the local black market (AKA Local Hardware Store) various chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction (AKA many cans of Raid and Black Flag Hornet and Wasp killer) along with various incendiary weapons (AKA gasoline soaked rags shoved in the end of a metal pipe). Wearing his body armor and biohazard suit (AKA shorts, sleeveless T-shirt with skulls on it, eyeglasses and Green Bay Packer hat) he armed himself to do battle.

During the evening hours, General Contagion launched an exploratory skirmish against the foe. After his recon was able to get the general location of the base, he took up position to try to observe and count the enemy. The base was heavily fortified. They had built it in a dead space in the roof of the front porch. Cursing the fates for this bit of bad luck, General Contagion grabbed his side arm (AKA Flyswatter) and a smoking rag in a pipe and tried to draw the enemy forth. This had the desired effect he was looking for, an estimated count of enemy forces. It was determined that this base was not fully operational and lightly manned. General Contagion pulled his forces back to regroup and ready for the main attack.

An Artillery barrage of Chemical weapons of mass destruction was unleashed upon the enemy’s fortification. The RAID was not as successful as planned. It seemed that the toxins used were at best 50% effective on the populous. The chemical seemed to have a better effect on the civilian population in the area then on the hostiles. The collateral damage amongst fireflies was catastrophic. We stopped counting after 20. General Contagion, sticking to his Scorched Earth policy, felt that the civilian population was more of a hindrance to his plans then an asset and the loss of them was crucial to the success of his campaign.

Finally it was time for operation BLACK FLAG. General Contagion, upon observance of the enemy attempting to recover from the first two attacks, ordered another round of artillery. The chemical weapon in this round had a much more devastating effect. A thick foam of bio-toxins and what can only be best described as an acid versus chitinous creatures. The weapon worked with a deadly and whirlwind speed. Most of the enemy troops fell with in the first 30 seconds of the attack. As soon as this sticky foam attached to them, their wings would shrivel, their little bodies would start to convulse and pulse on the ground until movement finally stopped w/in a minute of contact. Unlike the chemical agent from the RAID which seemed to dissipate and lose potency after a couple of minutes. Operation BLACK FLAG’s weapon stuck to the structure for in excess of 20 minutes with out loosing any potency. Soldier after soldier would stumble into the foam and fall to the ground in a sure death. After 30 minutes, a general victory was declared. Collateral damage included many more fireflies, some spiders, and about 50 box elder bugs. There is a rumor circulating that General Contagion in his boredom between attacks specifically ordered the attack on the box elder bugs. We have been unable to confirm the rumors. Upon questioning General Contagion, the only response we received was a boot to the arse and a “No Comment”

General Contagion observed the now ruined base for any signs of life. Upon confirmation of three hours that there has been no new activity, General Contagion held a press conference to announce his victory. With a cigar in his mouth and whisky tumbler of Jack Daniels General Contagion addressed the assembled press, “My fellow Householdians, it is my honor to announce the utter destruction of an enemy base on our soil. At approximately 5:30 PM CST, I launched an attack against a lightly manned, yet heavily fortified enemy base. By 6:30 PM, we had received confirmation that the base was in ruins and all soldiers dead. I know that not everyone agrees with the tactics used and the loss of life. I say that they were not innocent, they could have chosen a side and they did not. They wanted others to fight their battle for them. If they did not like the way the battle was fought, then they should have stepped up and done it themselves, not waited until we had to step in and take control. I will NOT muzzle my army, I will NOT be more worried about the “innocents” hiding and aiding the enemy. The neighboring households that are worried about the effects of my biochemical warfare on the environment can gum nudge my left testicle. It was not their homes or families under attack; it was ours! And we were victorious.”

The enemy fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia”, but only slightly less well known is this: “Never go against General Contagion when his family’s safety is on the line.” Thank you, now go away while I finish this victory drink!

Posted by Contagion at 04:28 PM | Comments (7)

Supervising minions

I am having a rather interesting day. First off, some jerk is calling for overtime tomorrow and making people come in. Oh, wait… that was me. At least I’m being a nice guy and pulling duty as the OT supervisor for the day. I’m not making one of the others come in to do it. That would just be rude, especially since it was just my unit that was coming in. Well after I volunteered to be the OT supervisor for the day, other areas have now decided they want to do overtime as well. They are asking me to supervise their people as well. I’m going to be here anyway, I figured what the hell. Well this is now kind of exploding out of control. What was originally just my unit, expanded to cover one person from another unit. Then it was another two more people. Now I’m up to an additional eight people on top of the 12 from my unit coming in.

Fortunately, all I have to do for those additional eight is to verify what time they come in and go. They have to check in with me when they come in and leave or I won’t sign either overtime slip. I’m strict that way, but I’ve noticed on other Saturday’s when I’ve come in that people would arrive late and claim they have been there the whole time. I, being a hard case, make everyone check in with me so that I know what time they arrive. If on their slip the start time doesn’t match the time they came in, then I won’t sign it. My unit knows and understands that. I’m making sure all the people from other units understand as well. Apparently, the other unit doesn’t like the idea of this. *I* don’t care.

Due to my irritation at the exploitation of my willingness to act as OT supervisor for my unit, I had to blow off some steam. It just happened that one of my minions provided the perfect outlet.

Minion, “Hey Mr. Contagion, Where is Minion T? Did she call of sick?” (Minion T and her are good friends)

Contagion: “Minion T no longer works here. We had to let her go last night.”

Minion: “Really? (pause) I wonder why she didn’t tell me.” (Starting to look upset over the firing of her friend)

Contagion: “She was probably embarrassed by the fact she was let go and didn’t want to tell you. You guys where having that production issue, and she just couldn’t keep up.” (Minion T is the same minion from the Monitor Incident; she is one of the best producing minions I have. Her and this minion are both doing very well, I have been trying to get them to keep their quality up with out letting their production drop off…Neither is even close to even a verbal reprimand for either)

Minion: “Really?”

Contagion, “No. She is going to be late today.” (Smiling)

Minion, “Why do you do that? That’s not something to joke about! I was sitting here getting worried. After we finished talking, I was going to call her. Don’t do that to me! IT’S NOT FUNNY!”

Contagion, “Yes it is. And you’re talking to the guy that joked about his father being dead. Nothing is taboo to me.”

Minion, “It’s still not funny.” (Contagion is laughing his butt off) “You need help. I’m going back to work.”

Ahh, the look on her face was priceless. I only wish I could have taken a picture of it to share with all of you. That really helped improve my mood, a good laugh always does. I’m also preparing for tomorrows workday. Since I am working on Saturday, it is a Kilt and work boots kind of day! Every Saturday I work, I wear a kilt and my work boots. It throws the people off. I have them convinced that I dress like that every Saturday.

Posted by Contagion at 12:57 PM | Comments (2)

June 16, 2005

My pain for your pleasure.

I was wracking my brain for an idea on what hellish torture I could inflict on myself for your entertainment. Some of you may remember that last month I went to a Super Wallyworld on it’s grand opening. As I tried to find a new location, nothing was coming to mind that I would be able to do right away. Then something happened last night and I tortured myself for two hours, just for your entertainment.

Anathematized came over last night to hang out with my wife and I. I was flipping through the channels at 7:00 pm CST when, I swear I heard both my wife and Anathematized say they wanted to watch a show I passed. Apparently, I misunderstood, but the damage was already done. I had stopped on the channel and decided this is what I’m going to do to myself for your entertainment. What show was on that would cause such a vehemently painful reaction from me? Why that could only be Dancing with the Stars.

After 5 minutes of watching, I decided that if I was going to do this, then I need to anesthetize myself. I went and mixed me a 32oz Jack and Coke… STRONG! With drink in hand, I continued watching. The whole premise of this show is a celebrity is teamed up with a professional dancer. They work on a dance routine and are critiqued and scored by three judges. Then the American public can vote, ala American Idol, for the couple they like the most. The team with the lowest combined score is booted off the show. The celebrity dancers are Trista from the Bachelorette, Rachel Hunter of Super Model fame, Kelly Monaco a daytime Soap Actress, Joey McIntyre of the New Kids on the Block, Evander Holyfield the boxer, John O’Hurley an Actor (Played J. Peterman on Seinfeld).

At about 7:30 I went to take another drink and realized I had empty my mug. During the next commercial I made another, I needed it folks. I had just finished thanking the powers to be that I only had thirty minutes to go when I finally caught that this was a recast from last week, the new episode is being shown immediately after. I contemplated not watching the second hour and figuring that one hour of this tripe was sentence served. Then I realized that’s not fair to you, I didn’t leave my house and I was drinking. I need to serve the full sentence. I started drinking slower to make the rest of the Jack last for the long haul.

First off, I want to say that I know squat about dancing. Therefore, my reviews of this event are going to be based on how badly I wanted to drink myself into a coma by watching each group. I’m not doing these in the order they danced, as frankly I don’t remember.

The first dancer I’m going to review is the whore from the bachelorette. C’mon people she sold herself to get married and for millions. She’s a whore! First off, she was kind of wooden and bitchy. Every time they showed her in the rehearsals, she was complaining about something. The whore is a bitch.. hmm whore = bitch.. Interesting I think I just solved the equation that was an ex-girlfriend of mine. Anyway, this girl sucked, and not in the good way. She not only couldn’t dance, she couldn’t smile. Plus her professional dance partner was creepy looking. My wife and Aneth were both freaked out by the man. I just wanted him to drop the whore.

Rachel Hunter still has the goods to get my blood going. She has to be pushing 50, yet she can still bring out a stiff competition, if you know what I mean. I was having flashbacks to being a teenager looking through my dad’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues watching her move. I really don’t remember much else about her.

Kelly Monaco, okay this girl also sucks in a bad way. The only redeeming quality to her and her partner, that looked like the monkey boy played by Chris Kattan from Saturday Night live, was her costume. Even the host made a joke that they had sound guys from five networks volunteer to find a way to put a mic on her. She wouldn’t smile through the routine. I’m just glad her lovely juberlees and firm buttocks kept me distracted. She also had issues with smiling, not that I was looking at her face very often.

Joey McIntyre, This guy has something wrong with him. He was excessively happy to be out there. Every time he would take the floor, not only was he giving his biggest cheesiest grin, but also he would overact his facial expressions during the routine. I just couldn’t get past the fact that this is one of the guys my sister used to have a poster of hanging on her wall. I remember making fun of Mr. “OOOH-OH-OOH-OH-OOH White-stuff” when I was in high school. He did do one impressive move. I have to give him credit for that.

Crap, I need some Jack Daniels to continue writing this… BRB….

Okay, I’m back.

Evander Holyfield, He was probably the best dancer out on the floor… and the only reason I’m saying that is because I know he can kick my arse with out trying. He did however provide two good points. First, his partner looked like some kind of Eastern European Gypsy that was psychotic in that hot kind of way. During the second hour, her lack of costuming was distracting me. That and the fact that I swear I thought I saw her kitty, except they blurred it briefly. No one else saw it, but I know I saw a blur down there during one move! Second, I wanted him to go beat the snot out of this prissy Italian poofter that was judging. Especially when the guy said something like, “Watching you two dance is like watching the Terminator chase after Tinkerbelle.” This was somewhat true. He would fling this chic half way across the floor with out trying.

John O’Hurley, I think he was the oldest male on the floor, and part of the best team on the floor. I’m not saying he’s the best dancer, but him and his partner are the best duo on the show. They have a lot of chemistry, I mean a lot… How much? I can’t say for sure, but I would not be surprised if he isn’t doing the vertical horizontal tango with her between practices. She was touching him very possessively and he was doing the same back. Gentle caresses, glances, smiles, an improper erection. Wait, sorry no there wasn’t an erection that was me, staring at Kelly in her outfit that looked like two band-aids and a bandana, Sorry. I think the funniest thing was at the end of their dance she was on the ground in front of him, and I swear he grabbed her head like he was going to guide it to his love muscle. Aneth saw and thought the same thing so it wasn’t just me!

The judges where somewhat annoying, at least they provided a break in the dancing so my brain could recover from the seizures that where coming on. That and the Italian poofter guy had great taste in neckties. He even tied it properly, a Windsor knot.

After two hours of watching and three quarters of a bottle of Jack Daniels I couldn’t tell you who won or lost or how the scoring actually worked. I don’t care! I lost two hours of my life that I will never get back! Next month I’m definitely taking a trip somewhere. If any of you have any real suggestions, I’m open to them. It has to be realistic and unless you are going to foot the bill, pretty cheap.

Posted by Contagion at 03:51 PM | Comments (3)

Splitting Hairs

Before my business trip next week, I need to get a haircut. My spiky hair is starting to lie down and look like crap. I brought this up to my wife, who agreed I needed to get a haircut. She however wants me to go to her “Hair Designer” (aka Hair Dresser, Beautician) to have my hair cut instead of my normal place. Her “Hair Designer” just separated from her partner and opened her own salon. My wife is worried that if she doesn’t get more customers she might go out of business. The “Hair Designer” is also pregnant, and with her being self-employed if she doesn’t work, she has no income. I understand and appreciate her loyalty to her “Hair Designer”, but I’m hesitant to go there.

I’m a guy; I have a simple cut it’s like a long military style crew cut. I don’t need a fancy “Hair Designer” to do it. Neither do I need the stigma of having to admit I went to a “Hair Designer” to have it done! I’m a guy; guys go to barbers or to a haircutting chain not a “Hair Designer” or salon! It’s not to save money, what her “Hair Designer” wants to charge is actually $2.00 cheaper then where I normally go. I have nothing against the lady, she seems nice enough. It’s that whole guy code issue. Guys don’t go to “Hair Designers” unless they have a little extra swish to their step. Well there is absolutely no swish to my step so it’s just not happening!

This morning, before work, my wife gave me a business card for her “Hair Designer” apparently; she subjected my boys to haircuts there last night. She did a good job, Clone looks like Caesar and Boopie has a buzz cut. When she was there, she told her “Hair Designer” about my proclivity to use a barber over her. Her “Hair Designer” took and crossed off her title on the business card and wrote barber on it. When my wife gave it to me this morning, she pointed out that it said barber. This started a little disagreement between us. By little, I mean there are no lawyers on the phone and be disagreement I mean she did not threaten to kick my arse.

As a compromise, I told her I would poll everyone and see what they have to say. Am I being old fashioned and chauvinistic by not using her “Hair Designer”? Am I correct in sticking to my guns and not going to her Salon? Please assist with this debate as neither one of us are going to budge in our opinions with out some outside interference.

Posted by Contagion at 12:58 PM | Comments (11)

June 15, 2005

Incredible inconsistencies

I’ve been planning many trips this week and I’m about flabbergasted at the hotel industry. I have three different trips I worked on this week and all with varying levels of complexity and pricing. Now I can understand the regional price differences, but some of these are just horrible and in one case, I nearly started a boycott of a hotel chain.

I have a business trip next week in Chicago. I will be spending three days there. Company policy states that if I have to travel three days in a row to an office that is not my own, they will put me up in a hotel pay for meals and limited entertainment. Yes, I live only 90 miles from HQ, but I have to be there by 8:00 AM and stay until 4:00 PM. That means I’m driving through rush hour, which means I will have a 2 to 4 hour drive each way. Since corporate will pay for me to have a hotel, then I’m going to use that benefit. I called corporate travel to make reservations. We have to work through them; we are not allowed to book our own. I ended up getting a room at the luxurious Fairmont Hotel in downtown Chicago. It is with in a couple of blocks of our corporate headquarters right off Grant Park. I’m glad I’m not paying for this room as they are charging $189.00 a night. Now I know Chicago is expensive, but for that price, the room should come with a complimentary blowjob from a cute maid. Booking the room was easy enough, no hassles. I just think their nightly rate is a little excessive.

I have tickets to the Packer home opener September 18th in Green Bay. Once I went to book the hotel for the night and discovered this was more of a hassle then it was worth. I knew where I wanted to stay, and I knew that I had waited too long, so getting a room would be difficult. I had to try anyways. I called Best Western; they have a hotel right by the stadium that I like for its location. After telling them what nights and where I wanted to stay, along with other logistics, they came back and told me they could only put me up Friday night there and they could put me up in a neighboring town for the next night. At first, I was polite and explained to the guy that I was not going to move hotels in the middle of my trip. He then tried to tell me he could put me up for two nights somewhere else. I didn’t want to stay in Oshkosh, which is about an hour away. I tried to end the call by saying I didn’t want to travel that far and I was going to look elsewhere. He was insistent in getting me to stay with them and tried to explain that they would transfer my luggage. I just didn’t want to deal with that kind of hassle. Then he told me it was $500.00 a night for Saturday. I went dead silent for 15 seconds before asking, “Did you say $500.00 a night for Saturday? This is Best Western isn’t it?” The guy became indignant with me so I went off on a miniature rant. Something along the lines of, “You guys need to get over yourself. I just booked a room in a luxury hotel in downtown Chicago for three nights at about the rate you are charging for one night. I’ve stayed with you before, and you’re rooms are not that nice.” After that, I ended the call. If I had gotten a room there and paid $500.00 a night, Brett Favre himself had better come over and at least fluff my wife for me. I ended up getting a room at the Wingate Inn in Appleton Wisconsin for a combined $210.00. I could not find a hotel w/in Green Bay that had two nights together. Appleton is about 25 minutes away, It’s my own fault, and I should have booked a room sooner.

We have a vacation coming up in August. Well, it’s a vacation in the loosest sense of the word; we are spending a week with my mother-in-law in Wichita Kansas. My in-laws can see the boys and my wife can show me where she grew up. The big deal with this trip is Clone, That boy does not like to travel in a car. We’ve tried many different things, all to no avail. I have 14 hours one way of driving ahead of me. I’m looking forward to that drive about as much as a kick in the nuts. At least with a kick in the nuts the pain goes away after a couple of hours. We ended up getting three different hotels. We used the same program that found us the Wingate for the Packer game. For the trip down, we are staying at the Super 8 in Williamsburg, IA for $62.88, and a Days Inn in Kansas City, MO for $62.09. On the trip, back we are staying at the Ramada in Des Moines, IA for $104.00 a night. Now I’m confused as to how all these places can charge such a varying difference in such a short period of time. The program we obtained these hotel rooms through is supposed to secure us rooms of equal quality at each of our stops.

I am finding it hard to believe that if these rooms are all of equal quality that they would vary that much in price. First off there is no way Des Moines is a more expensive region than Kansas City, MO. In fact, I have a hard time buying that Williamsburg, IA is a more expensive region then KC! IT’S IOWA PEOPLE! There is nothing in Iowa, especially the heart of it! Now some of you may be from Iowa and are starting to get a little offended. Just wait! I used to do a Highland Games in the Quad Cities. Where we saw people wearing t-shirts that read: “Proud member of the Iowa Head Injury Association.” and, “IOWA: Idiots Out Wondering Around”. Now, you Iowans have a reason to be offended!

Back to my rant, how is it more expensive to stay in a Green Bay, WI then Chicago? How do they determine the rates? Why is there no consistency? Now before you start to explain taxes to me… No prices quoted include taxes. That’s right, that is the straight room rate! I can understand up to $70.00 a night. After that, I start to wonder about these places. I mean, c’mon. I really would like to see the breakdown of expenses on these hotels to see how much of those rates are profit. I’m figuring between 50% to 100% depending on the room.

Also if anyone is looking for some company next Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night in Chicago, drop me a line. I’ll be there and alone. No business companions on this trip. I could use the company, as I don’t have a laptop to blog from while in the hotel. Left to my own devices in a city like that could be bad for me... and the city.

Posted by Contagion at 03:27 PM | Comments (12)

June 14, 2005


That 1 Guy of Drunken Wisdom has a post about the dangers of drunken blogging. He asks of his readers, that if a drunk commenter shows up on their blog, to chase them off. I for one say no. Actually I say, “Hell no!” I like drunken commenters. They are interesting, they make for fun, and they are highly entertaining.

In the comments of this post, I started jokingly suggesting that: “What we need to do is get together one night, start doing shots and tag team drunk blogging... We can hit the entire Bad Example Family. It'd be a BlogCrawl instead of a pub crawl.”

As soon as I typed that, I thought… yea… that’s not a bad idea. A BlogCrawl. Designate a date, time, and get a bunch of drunks posting on blogs. Now, I’m trying to get some volunteers together to join me in this BlogCrawl. On one of my free nights, I am planning on getting very socially lubricated and leaving a comment on every blog in both the Bad Example and Frizzen Families. Who’s with me? We’ll set a date and go from there. If people want to turn this into a blogmeet for more social interaction, more power to you. If you can’t get away and just, want to drink with other people online. Let’s go for it! If you don’t drink but want to watch the ensuing highjinx, GREAT! That’s why I want to do this!

All I need to do now is work on the logistics of this. I need some volunteers and then we need to pick a night and let things go from there. If you want in, drop me a line or leave a comment and I’ll start working out details with everyone.

Hey, I just had an idea… if we plan this right I can get a bunch of drunken bloggers to invade Harvey’s home… A Blogmeet, BlogCrawl, House trashing! It’s a trifecta of fun!

Posted by Contagion at 04:15 PM | Comments (26)

Summer Fun

Summertime, the part of the year that is annoyingly hot and I continually curse the sun. I hate that stupid life-giving star! It blinds me in the morning on my way to work. My skin turns to a bright red, peels, and freckles, no matter how much sunscreen I use because of it. It makes the temperature get above 65 degrees. Damn you sun! Damn you! There is only one way to battle a hot summer day. WATER FIGHT!

Last night when I got home from work, it was again annoyingly hot. Clone and Boopie where both asking to go out and play. They wanted me to set up the inflatable pool we bought last year. When I checked it out, I discovered it had ripped along the bottom. Well, that wasn’t going to work. I then decided to get out this sprinkler made for kids that we have. It is designed to get people wet, not water the lawn.

While digging out the sprinkler I found my squirt guns. Yes, they are mine. I bought them for me! After I set up the sprinkler, I pulled out a tin tub to set with it so that the water would collect in it to fill the squirt guns. I turned on the sprinkler and the boys started having fun. Clone would run up to it and get a little wet and go running away. Boopie would try to run between the drops as to not get wet. He said the water was too cold. Me, I stood in the bucket. When the tub filled enough, I pulled out one of the squirt guns. It is nothing more then a tube with a handle on it. You stick the tip in the water and pull back the handle to load it. When you push the handle forward, it squirts the water. Depending how hard you push on the handle depends on how far it shoots. We have three like this, one for each of us. Boopie picked up another one and started loading his. Clone picked up a third and kept trying to figure out how to use it.

Boopie and I started out with target practice because we were rusty. We aimed for the wind catcher on one of my wife’s wind chimes. If we hit it, it would make noise. It was a good target. Clone started getting upset because he wanted to load and shoot his gun. However, he could not figure it out. Every time I tried to show him, he would get mad and start yelling, “I DO IT! I DO IT!” After a while, he wanted my squirt gun, because his was obviously broken. He’d yell, “MY TURN! MY TURN!” while reaching for it. We traded squirt guns, he had my fully loaded tube o’ water and I had his empty one. As I filled my new gun up, I watched as Clone struggled to pick up the toy. With all the water in it, not only was it longer then him, but it was too heavy for him to hold the muzzle up. He’d get mad because I was shooting the squirt gun, drop the fully loaded one again as it was obviously broken and want the one I had so he could squirt water. We traded guns probably 30 times, each time I tried to explain the mechanics behind it. He, however, did not want anything to do with my silly logic and explanations. He wanted to squirt water!

Boopie gave Clone a water grenade to play with to see if that would appease him. A water grenade is nothing more then a sponge with a fabric coating. Clone would dip it in the water and throw it. When it landed, it made a big splash much to his amusement. He would laugh in that deep belly laugh only that little kids can do.

Boopie pulled out a super soaker he has. Because he was pulling out the big guns, I had to get my super soaker. My super soaker is over 6 years old. It has three settings for the thickness of the streams. 2X, 10X and 20X the normal stream. It has a decent sized tank and is the Continual Pressure System. That means that it will always shoot the same distance as long as there is pressure in the tank. It does not slowly fade away. The only problem with this is that when I set it to 20X the normal stream, I empty the water reservoir with one shot that lasts about .5 seconds. That stream of water has a lot of force behind it. Boopie and my wife refer to that squirt gun as “The Fire Hose”. When I first bought it, Boopie was 6 years old. The entire family bought squirt guns. We went out in the back yard to have a squirt gun fight. I set it to 20X, pumped it up and waited. Boopie came running around the corner of the house shooting at me. My shot was beautiful; I hit him with that .5 second burst right in the middle of his chest. Boopie was knocked over from the hit. With my first shot, I drenched him from head to toe in water. There was not a dry spot on him. To this day, he does not like playing squirt gun wars when I use the “Fire Hose”.

Boopie and I started our fight; I would shoot at him with the stream on its low 2X. He however would not shoot back. I am hot, sweaty, and wanting to be hit with that ice-cold hose water, but neither boy will shoot at me. Clone can’t figure out how to pick up, let alone make the gun squirt, with out hitting himself. I would shoot Boopie and he would drop his squirt gun. The rules in the house say you cannot squirt someone that doesn’t have a squirt gun or while they are filling it with water. However, I did try to squirt my wife while she was gardening… I like it when my wife is wet. ;) Boopie's whole strategy was to lure me in close, drop his gun and wait for me to go away. *I* was not being hit with water! It sucked!

Finally, Clone picked up his squirt gun, and came up to shoot me. I helped him by holding onto the nozzle and let him push the handle. He had great fun squirting daddy with his gun. He would be mad when it was empty. He didn’t understand the whole, “You need to reload” concept. He also didn’t like when I would squirt him back. He’d get mad and cry, but laugh while he squirted me. I explained to him that if he is going to squirt other people, then he would be squirted as well. He decided it was worth the trade of to soak daddy with cold water. This whole ordeal went on for about an hour and a half.

I was able to spend some fun time with my boys playing and laughing. We all had fun. It’s times like this that I’m grateful for my boys. They make life so much better. I will always cherish playing with them.

Posted by Contagion at 03:56 PM | Comments (6)

June 13, 2005

Prison Wine!

The latest entry of Steve Don't Eat that! is up over at The Sneeze. This time he made and drank his own home made "prison wine".

This guy has a flair for making the art of ingesting some of the nastiest stuff on the face of the earth hilarious. If you haven't seen these before, go back through the archives. Just don't be drinking anything.

Posted by Contagion at 03:52 PM | Comments (4)

Syndication RSS/XML

Okay, I've said I was building this site myself. I was not going to ask for help. Well I ran across a situation no matter how much I research I've not been able to find a solution to. How do I add an RSS/XML syndication feed to this site? So far I'm not getting anywhere. If any of you know how I go about this, please share the info with me. Thanks!

Posted by Contagion at 01:02 PM | Comments (4)

Rejected again.

I don’t know how to take this. I know I’m not the most sociable person. I’m lacking in some of the social graces one tries to attain in order to be a member of polite society. I am however trying to find my spot in society, especially in the blogosphere. I have no desires to become on of the great and immortal bloggers that everyone refers to and reads. I’m happy just to have a place to put my random and stray thoughts, talk about things that concern me and attempt to entertain the unfortunate few that stumble across me. However, I’ve ended up belonging to different blog “organizations” either inadvertently or intentionally. There is no denying that I take some pride in this and enjoy the benefits. To be completely excluded from one is baffling.

First, as spawn of the GrauHarveBou I am the unwanted stump in the blogenetics that makes up the Bad Example Family. Which, in all honesty, the genetics there where kind of suspect to begin with before I ever came along. I’ve come to take my blogenetics as a point of pride, just for the fact that the mental image it gives people usually makes them shudder in horror. You will see the Bad Example family logo and blogroll in my sidebar. Miasmatic Review is included in the blogroll. I am proud. I also have the Frizzen Family on the sidebar; Grau does not have a blogroll for his blogspawn. Therefore, I manually entered that code and I did not link to myself, that was my choice.

Second is the Gathering of the Blogs. I stumbled across Absinthe and Cookies. While there, I saw, she had a post regarding “Gathering of the Blogs”. As I am of Scottish decent and portray a Scot as a re-enactor, I felt the desire to heed her call and participate in the festivities. You will see in my sidebar the logo and blogroll for Gathering of the Blogs. Miasmatic Review is listed on the blogroll.

Third is the Alliance. I joined the Alliance for many different reasons. I’m still trying to figure out how I fit into it as I’m having a hard time getting into the filthy lies that go along with membership. Yet I want to support my fellow bloggers that were members before me and ones that join after me. I proudly display the logo in my sidebar and the extremely long blogroll down at the bottom. If you look, you will see Miasmatic Review listed on that blogroll.

Finally is being part of the Munuvian Empire. As being part of the Bad Example Family, I was nominated to get a site on .mu.nu. I was happy. No, ecstatic. Nay! I was exalted at the prospect of getting away from blogger and into something that is a lot more flexible and reliable. I have yet to find a logo for the Munuvian Empire so I don’t have one, however I have their blogroll in the drop down menu in my sidebar. If you look, you will see that Miasmatic Review is excluded from that list. I have been accepted, yet rejected. Is it because I am a blogentic-unwanted stump? Is it because my writing is often scattered with grammatical and spelling errors and it’s an embarrassment to the powers that be? Maybe it’s due to an oversight and the fact that the powers that be are really busy. Any way, it has excluded me from the blogroll. If I had any feelings, I think I might be hurt. However, since I don’t I’m just going to make fun of the situation.

Am I mad about this? No. Am I using this as an excuse to rant? Sorta. Am I having a problem with creativity and using this as something to post... YES I AM!

Posted by Contagion at 12:53 PM | Comments (7)

June 11, 2005

It was bound to happen sooner or later

It was only a matter of time before Clone discovered the security system. Boopie knows what it is and pretty much leaves it alone, although I swear he is trying to figure out what the codes are to operate it. I know that at his age I would do the same thing, it’s how you secure your ability to make life difficult on your parents. Unfortunately for Boopie, he has me as a father and I’m paranoid. Therefore I send him out of the room every time I need to set/deactivate the alarm. I also wipe the keypad down with alcohol/bleach wipes to make sure finger print analysis wont show up on it. Then after that is done, just to play it safe. I touch a lot of the other keys as well. Did I mention I’m a paranoid person?

This morning while I was making the below Karnival o’ da Kidz post I had my first non-routine contact with the monitoring company. I had just kicked Clone out of Boopie’s room for the third time this morning and sat back down to finish uploading the picture when all of a sudden I hear the alarm going off. (SCREEEEEEEEEEE…) “Panic button pushed, main turrets operated. STAND STILL AND IDENTIFY YOURSELF OR WE WILL OPEN FIRE!” (SCREEEEEEEEEEE…)

I go running through the house trying to get to clone before the turrets pop out of the ceiling and start spraying down the house with 50 .cal rounds. I leap over the port-a-prison gate we have set up to keep him out of the dining room. With a move that would make Barry Sanders proud, I plant my left leg and do a reverse spin to my right in order to turn left. I grab clone and run for the main security panel. I try to turn off the alarm, but it was too late. I hear this voice echo through the house say, “WE HAVE A PANIC ALERT ACTIVATED! POLICE, SWAT, FBI, NATIONAL GUARD, RED CROSS AND THE BOYSCOUTS ARE IN ROUTE. DO NOT MOVE, IF YOU DO OUR SECURITY SYSTEM WILL TURN YOU INTO A FINE PASTE BEFORE YOU GET TO AN EXIT”

I reply with, “I’m sorry, my two year old got a hold of my wife’s keys and hit the panic button on the remote. There is no emergency…. How do I disarm the turrets? We really are fine.”


I give them my name and password.


I tell the guy thank you and watch and the turrets retract back into the ceiling. I take Clone upstairs to his now wide-awake mother and explain what happened. Outside there are neighbors looking intently at my house until they see me come out on the front porch. At which point they are turn and flee back to the safety of their homes.

What a way to start out your day.

Some of the details about the security system abilities and the conversation may have been slightly exaggerated.

Posted by Contagion at 09:55 AM | Comments (4)

Karnival of the Kidz

I decided to take that big step. I've never entered a carnival before and I'm not sure if I did this one correctly or not. The prospect scares me a little. I've seen carnies; they are scary people. I'm not sure I want to be associated with them. Ah, what the hell. Being a carny can’t be any stranger then who I really am.

A couple of weeks back we did a re-enactment in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. This event led to a lot of turmoil in my life since then. However we did get one really great picture of Clone in his costuming. I’ve been kind of bragging this picture up so I thought I should share it with all of you.

Clone looking GQ

Click to enlarge

Please ignore the bright orange fencing in the background, it’s not period, however the event used it for crowd control to keep people off of the football fields.

Posted by Contagion at 09:14 AM | Comments (7)

June 10, 2005

This is just kind of creepy

I was sirfing through the net hitting various websites when I found this.

Okay, I admit I have certain Princess Leia fetishes, including dressing my wife up in a human version of this costume for my own nefarious sexual reasons. Based on that, I'm just wondering what kind of sick puppy (pun not intended) not only thought this was a good idea, but would actually buy one to put their dog into.

I know many a Star Wars geek out there is probably thinking, "Wait, that isn't so bad." All I have to say to that is, "DUDE! You dressed your dog up in the sexy Princess Leia outfit. What in the hell where you planning on doing with it while it was dressed like that? It's damn near time for you to turn off the computer, crawl out of your parents basement, perform some personal hygene, see the sun for the first time in 15 years and deal with people face to face. Finding a girl and getting laid(By a human other then yourself) wouldn't hurt either!"

Posted by Contagion at 07:47 PM | Comments (1)


It looks like all my efforts and hard work have finally paid off at work. I received a promotion at work, it comes with a nice raise and some more perks. I will be doing the same job I have been however; I am now considered a “Mentor” in the position. I will have to help people in other offices that have my position to do their jobs better. I also have to assist the minions in my office to do their work more proficiently. I am now expected to give more feedback and coaching on various incidents.

There is also talk of possibly having people directly report to me. This is not definite; it is only in discussion. They do not know if they want to go that route at this time. There is only two other persons in the entire company that shares the same level and position I do. This would be the first time they had anyone in our positions actually having direct reports and they are not sure if they want to do that yet. They feel that having to deal with the administrative parts of employees may interfere with our job performance. Personally, I think I can do it and wouldn’t have a problem.

I know we all had a laugh at my expense months ago when I first talked about this. I am also now worried exactly how I am going to do. Obviously, my people skills are not the greatest. However, that’s not the point. The point is that I’ve busted my ass in this position for almost three years and they recognize all the hard work I’ve put into it. Moreover, it is a step in the direction I do want to go!

In celebration of my promotion… I’m doing nothing because I really cannot buy you all a drink or I would. I cannot hand out cigars, because I don’t think my DSL would transfer them undamaged. I don’t have any idea what else I could do that isn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg.

However, I am going to buy myself a nice bottle of Scotch to celebrate.

Posted by Contagion at 04:34 PM | Comments (8)

Yet another annoying meme.

Graumagus tagged me with another meme. After spending 30 minutes cursing his name, family lineage and finishing off my ritual to make sure bad things happen to his genitalia, I went to look at what exactly the meme is.

First thing I noticed is that the rules are vague; it appears it is just a link fest. According to what Grau has listed I just link to people and then pass this on to four other people. Okay I could do that, but it seems awfully simple for a meme. These things are terribly annoying. Therefore, I tracked back through the links he had and discovered I am supposed to write five things that I miss from my youth.

Because this is a meme, and boring I put the rest in the extended entry.

I thought about this for a while and you know what, I really don’t miss my childhood. I have a good life with a loving wife, two great boys, many good friends, a good career, two hobbies that make me happy and relieve stress. When I was younger I had to go to school, which I hated, I constantly had to bum money off of my parents, I didn’t have the best relationship with my parents(its much better now), and even though I had no responsibilities, I never had any money to do any of the hobbies I wanted to do. Why would I miss my youth? My life is much better now. I have heard people refer to their youth and High School and College time as “Glory Days”. I view them as a means to an end.

There for I decided to give you details on five things I did as a youth that I actually enjoyed.

1) One time some friends and I * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * (Information removed due to statute of limitations not being expired on incident)* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *. That was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the risk is too great today.

2) One summer I spent some time with my * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * (Information removed to protect the innocent)* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *. We learned a valuable lesson that day, it’s all fun and games until you send someone to the hospital.

3) I met this girl when I was * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * (Information removed to protect my marriage)* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *. I have never met anyone since that could do anything like that. I occasionally catch myself wondering what ever happened to her.

4)Some friends came over one after noon to * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * (Information removed due to incident still being investigated)* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *. I cannot believe they just won’t let that go! It’s not as if we meant for it to happen.

5) My parents went to Europe for a couple of weeks, I decided * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * (Information removed to protect a family secret)* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *. They swore me to never speak of it again. It cost them a lot of money to cover it up.

There you go; I hope you enjoyed those stories. Again, I don’t miss my childhood so if this isn’t want you wanted, I’m sorry. I’m supposed to link to people, so here I go:

The Gun Line
Righty in a lefty State
Frizzen Sparks
Miasmatic Review.

I am then supposed to tag four others. Well I’m not going to. The MEME police can lick my toes!

Posted by Contagion at 01:49 PM | Comments (1)

June 09, 2005

I must have an aura.

These freak little storms that are hammering us need to stop. First off, they are very localized. It may be raining where I am right now, but half a mile away, it will be dry as a bone. It will be cloudy for hours and then the skies open up into a torrential downpour. Gallons of rain fall in a short period of time. The wind drives these fat drops with enough force that if you are inside a building it sounds like someone is ripping the roof off. They don’t last long, about 15-30 minutes at the most, just enough to be annoying. These storms have been happening everyday since last Saturday.

If you are caught in one of them, you will be soaked. Trust me, I know. It happened to me yesterday. A local fast food restaurant, Arby’s, was having a sale. If you buy one sandwich, you get the second one of equal or lesser value free. My wife, T the Minion and I decided to go there on lunch. When we arrived, it was sunny and warm out. I parked Janine, my truck, in the only available spot I could fit her into which was on the far side of the parking lot. We went in ordered our food, which they screwed my order up, as they always do. It’s okay; they gave me a free summer-sized glow in the dark cup and drink to compensate for it. Hey, you can buy me off with $1.89 worth of pop in a $.60 collector’s cup!

We sat down and where half done eating when it happened. The skies opened up as Mother Nature squatted over the earth and took a long drunken piss on us mere mortals. The rain was hitting the plate glass windows so hard you could see them vibrate. I was waiting for the Skylight to shatter under the force of the driving droplets of destruction. The parking lot filled to a depth of a kiddy pool. The wind was blowing leaves and branches off trees. My wife and T decided we should wait for the rain to end. I played along, until the point where they would be late for work if we didn’t leave. Being the bad guy, I had to advise them if we did not leave soon, they would be late back from lunch. We had to head out.

We go out the front door. We are under an overhang at the entrance with another patron and his two kids. I tell T and my wife I will unlock the truck and they need to run and get in. My truck has four doors, but the two rear doors are the reverse doors that only open if the front door is open. T was sitting in the back seat so I told him to go first, once he gets in, I’ll go. My wife takes her shoes off because she can’t run in heals and takes off after T.

As they are running toward the truck, I look down to my hand, there is my remote lock and my thumb starts to slide toward the lock button. That is when my fellow Arby’s patron say’s pointedly, “You’re going to lock them out, aren’t you?” My thumb slides away from the lock button, I point to my wife and respond, “Nah, I’m married to that one, She’d kill me.” The patron just gave me this look and said, “Yea, I wouldn’t do that to my wife either.” I had never seen this guy before, but it was as if he knew me. He knew I was thinking of locking the doors and having a laugh at their expense. It was like he could sense some kind of aura or presence about me that screamed out to the universe, “BEWARE! This man is an asshole! Watch yourself and others around him. You have been warned! This message will repeat in 10 seconds” I’m not denying the thought crossed my mind, but I had already decided not to do it when he asked.

After Ktreva and T were in the truck, I took off across the lot. At one point, I took a step and water came flooding over the top of my shoe, soaking my foot. When I finally got into the truck, I looked at Ktreva and T. We were all soaked, water dripping down our faces. I start the truck and head back to work. We were not more then two minutes out of the lot when the rain just stopped. It didn’t slow down, it just went away.

We arrived at work with 3 minutes to spare. Ktreva and T where irritated because if we had waited and extra couple of minutes, we would have arrived to work dry and on time. I told them that no matter how much I would like to, I am prohibited in using my omnipotence in order to help them avoid the weather. Plus I did turn the air conditioner on to help them dry off! Did I mention the air conditioner in my truck could double as an industrial freezers cooling unit?

I didn’t really mind getting soaked I felt the wet clothes where a good trade for the benefits. I think my wife looks sexy when she’s all wet. She hates it, but it’s not about her! It’s all about her being wet in an air conditioned truck!

Posted by Contagion at 12:28 PM | Comments (6)

June 08, 2005

Open for business

Welcome! I've finally worked out all the details I wanted on this blog to make it the way I wanted it. It's not the prettiest, but that's okay. I'm not a pretty kind of guy, I wanted something functional and in a style that I liked. It took me a while to try to make everything look right in both IE and Mozilla. I think I fixed all of the bugs. If you find any, please leave a comment and I'll see what I can do.

My main goal was to make this site look as close as possible to my blogger site. Why you ask? Familiarity. All of you are already familiar with the lay out, as well as am I, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find your way around. I could lie and say I did it all for you, but reallistically I'm resistant to change. :)

Posted by Contagion at 07:19 PM | Comments (12)

June 01, 2005

Site still under construction

I am still working on making this site functional in a manner that I like it. I'm having a problem getting it to work properly in IE and Mozilla. Until I have a chance to correct everything please keep checking the old Miasmatic Review.

Posted by Contagion at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)