March 31, 2006

Normally I don't believe in this, but in this case...

For all of you conspiracy theorists and fans out there I found a conspiracy so dark, so foul, so immoral that it’s hard to explain. Here’s a brief description of how wrong this is:

“I first discovered their dastardly plot back in high school, but just like when you accidentally walked in on your grandparents having sex -- ugly, sweaty, disgusting sex -- I haven't had the courage to talk about it. Until now.”

I could go more into this conspiracy, but I don’t think I could do the justice of the original post. After reading this, I will tell you, I don’t care if they do have adds like this:

I'll quench her thirst

I’m never drinking from a Gatoraid bottle again!

"The bottle that contains the most popular sports drink on the planet looks like a big, thick, throbbing penis, from the clearly defined and strangely textured head to the perfectly tapered shaft. The only thing missing are a few well-placed veins."

Go over to Basketbawful and check out The Gatorade Conspiracy to see what I’m talking about.

Posted by Contagion at 07:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

I just hope it's not gay.

About 4 months ago I promised a couple of friends of mine I would attend a party they where having this weekend. At the time I didn’t think anything about it. Ever since then, like women, they kept asking me, “You’re still coming to the party, right?” When they asked I would assure them, “Yes, I said I was going to be there, I’ll be there!” Then about a month ago it is brought to my attention, this isn’t just a regular party. No, this is a Wrestlemania party.

People, of all the things that I am, a “raselin’” fan I am not. Since then I’ve tried just about everything to get out of going to this stupid party. Including saying, “Yeah, you know I really don’t like `raselin’, so there isn’t any reason for me to go.” They, however, keep saying I should go just to socialize. I’m thinking I could socialize much better at a local strip club then during Wrestlemania.

This whole thing kind of vexes me. I’m used to people NOT wanting me around, not trying to get me to go do something. Oh well, I gave them my word, so on Sunday I’m going to go watch a bunch of sweaty men grapple with each other. (I can’t believe I just typed that.) Before I go, I’m heading out to the local black powder range and doing some shooting. It’s been too long since I’ve shot black powder and my season is starting. Plus maybe if I show up smelling like the bowels of hell (Burnt black powder smells like sulfur and arse), they might let me get out of there early.

Posted by Contagion at 07:12 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 30, 2006


The other day I had a discussion with some people regarding the rules and regulations behind calling shotgun. We ended up in huge debate over it. (Yes, we have issues because THIS of all things is what we decided to debate) After all was said and done I came home and decided to see if there were rules for calling shotgun. (Those of you that are unfamiliar with this term, it is when someone other then the driver calls out “Shotgun” in order to get the prime front passenger seat in a vehicle.) I was able to locate the following rules at Shotgun

1) The first person to yell "SHOTGUN" gets to ride in the front seat.

2) The remaining back seats may be divvied up in the same manner by being the first to call "back right seat", etc..

3) The word "shotgun" must be loud enough to be heard by at least one witness. If no witness is to be found, or in case of a tie, the driver has the final word. after all, it is most likely his car. (note: if it isn't his car, and the owner is present, the owner's decision is final. Owner must be sober, however, or he will defer his judgment to the driver.)

4) Early calls are strictly prohibited. All occupants of the vehicle (including the driver) must be outside of the building and directly on the way to the vehicle before shotgun may be called. Under no circumstances may a person call shotgun inside a building. For sake of simplicity, a garage is considered to be outside. Parking structures and detached garages are always considered as being outdoors, even if they are underground.

5) A person may only call shotgun for one way of a trip. Shotgun can never be called while inside a vehicle or still technically on the way to the first location. For example, one can not get out of a vehicle and call Shotgun for the return journey.

6) Being as how everyone is created equal, men have the same right as women to the front seat of the car. i.e. women don't own the front seat.

7) One is allowed to ride shotgun as many times as he can call it, but for himself only. No one can call shotgun for their slower friend, unless the friend has a speech or mental handicap that prevents them from calling it for themselves.

8) The driver has final say in all ties and disputes. The driver has the right to suspend or remove all shotgun privileges from one or more persons.

They even go into special rules and amendments. One of my favorites is; In the instance the driver's spouse, lover, partner, or hired prostitute for the evening is going to accompany the group, he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they decline. (Emphasis mine). It just goes to show you that either the people that thought this up have a good sense of humor, or really need lives.

I think this should settle all problems I have in the future with calling shotgun. Maybe I’ll print these out, laminate them and post them in my truck.

Posted by Contagion at 05:48 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Can you read me now?

I’ve received a couple of complaints from local readers that they can only display .Mu.Nu sites occasionally. They all seem to have the same internet provider, so I’m not sure if it’s them or us. If you read this and have had this problem, please leave a comment or e-mail me. Thanks!

Posted by Contagion at 05:15 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 29, 2006

Armed and Fabulous!

Things at work are the same… so I’m not going to go into any more detail on it.

In other news, this Saturday is the home opener for the Rock River Raptors, the indoor football leage that I have season tickets for. I’m looking forward to the game. Ktreva tried to find a sitter so she could go with to the game. She wasn’t able to find one, so I’m taking one of my friends from work. Not an employee, I think that would be improper. That and I don’t believe any of them like football, let alone would want to spend a Saturday night with their boss. Then again if my boss were like me, I’d want to hang out with him.

Today on lunch I was finally able to find a handgun that Ktreva likes, so we bought it. It’s a Walther PPK .380. Watch out guys, my wife has the James Bond Gun! It’s a nice little handgun that should fit her perfectly.

Click to Enlarge

Unfortunately due to the laws in Illinois we can pay for it today, but we can’t pick it up until Saturday. That means that some weekend coming up I’m going to have to take my wife to the range to shoot. To be honest, it doesn’t have a bad feel. I’ll probably end up putting a couple hundred rounds through it.

Posted by Contagion at 06:26 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

March 28, 2006

Gone in a bang.

Well I’m sure you are all sick and tired of my work updates. Unless that is the only reason you still come here, and then I’m sorry, I’m going to stray.

As you may recall a couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to a re-enacting trade fair. The main item I was looking for was a flintlock rifle for Boopie. I wanted to get a used one so that if he messed it up I wouldn’t be too upset. Since I knew I was going to be looking at used rifles, I grabbed my bore light (A light you slide down the muzzle of a rifle to make sure the inside of the barrel is not messed up.) before leaving. The bore light I have is supposed to fit .45 caliber rifles if I take the locking ring off.

While walking around at Kalamazoo, I found the perfect rifle for him. .45 caliber, flintlock, and the owner was only asking $200.00. Pulling out my trusty bore light I slide it into the barrel…. And it gets stuck about 5 inches down. I turned the rifle on the side knocked on it, tried pounding on the barrel, it would not move. Since I hadn’t found a better rifle I decided to purchase it, it helped that my bore light was stuck in the barrel. The guy was telling me how to get it out, which was a long convoluted method. I figured I’d just push some black powder through the touchhole and slowly blow it out. I’m talking a very small and light charge. There would be more powder in the pan than in the barrel.

The guy assured me that the rifle was clean and that he had used it numerous times. He swore up and down that he cleaned it at least once a month. From the 5 inches of the barrel I could see, it looked clean. I carried the rifle around for a while, and then decided to take it to the van so I would stop knocking things over on tables with it as I walked around. While I was out at the van, I turned the rifle muzzle side down and whacked it my steel toed boots a couple of times to see if the light would come out, it didn’t.

When we got home on Sunday I took the rifle out back to get the light out and really check it out. (I had bought a much smaller bore light). I poured a liberal amount of gun oil down the barrel and let is soak while I grabbed some other items. I decided to try knocking the light out first before blowing it out. I grabbed a chunk of 2 X 8 scrap, set it on the driveway and dropped the rifle muzzle down on it a couple of times. The third time the bore light slid right out. Then I slide the new smaller light down the barrel. Yep, it was pretty clean, a little surface rust but nothing bad. It took two wet patches and a dry before the barrel was perfect.

But there was still something wrong with it. When I was swabbing the barrel there was no sound of air bellowing through the touchhole. I cleaned the touchhole out with a pick and still nothing. When I poured cleaning solution down the barrel, nothing came out. Unfortunately bore lights don’t let you see the breach. I figured it was gummed up pretty bad. I had purchased Boopie a field rod and the tips for it as well. Much to my chagrin I had accidentally bought a breach scraper for a .50 call, not a .45. To see how gummed up the breach was I put the ball puller on the end of the field rod and ran it down the barrel. I could feel the grime at the bottom. I twisted a couple of times and I felt the bullet puller bite.

This can’t be right, breaches are not that soft. Pulling out the rod, I look at the ball puller. Sure enough there is metal shaving on it. What the hell? I put the rod back down the barrel and start twisting it. It bites again and keeps digging. Two thoughts cross my mine. The first is “That breach is screwed!” the second was, “ Wait, this thing can’t be loaded can it?” Using the rod puller I just purchased, I pulled the rod out after I had sunk it as far as I could go. Sure enough there is a .45 caliber round ball with patch on the end of my rod. There is unburned black powder on the patch.

That damn thing was loaded! Fully farking loaded! To say I was pissed would be like saying the sun has a mild glow. It’s near impossible for a flintlock to go off with out powder in the pan, nearly impossible. That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. I had dry fired it a good doze times to test the lock and frizzen. I even did it in front of the guy. He also heard me say I was going to blow the light out, and didn’t say anything.

I can picture what would have happened. There I am in the back yard, I’m pushing about 5 grains worth of 4F powder through the touchhole. Gently I tap the side of the rifle so it is near breach. I pour powder in the pan, point the rifle at an upward angle and from the hip pull the trigger. Instead of a small pop and a brass light flying 5 feet, there is a large bang and somewhere in the city a lead ball takes out a family pet or member. Either that or the obstruction in the barrel (the bore light) causes the barrel to explode in my hands.

Yea, not a happy man at all. If I had a way to contact the guy that I bought the rifle from I would have, but I have nothing on him.

Just a reminder it is my turn to be interviewed at Basil’s Blog. The deadline for my questions is 04/02/06. That just under two weeks away. If you have any, you can send them to Basil at basil dot interviews AT Subject: Questions for Contagion of Miasmatic review. Or you could just click the link.

Posted by Contagion at 06:49 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

There is no tomorrow!

At this rate I’ll be able to retire before I get my access. I’m going to take Leslie's advice in my previous comments and get the Exec Officer involved at this point. I’ve had enough!

I had my first, uh, disagreement with my peers today. My employees are from both lines of business in our office. The supervisors from the line of business I didn’t come from didn’t like how I was doing tracking numbers. That doesn’t bother me, what bothers me is that they didn’t tell me that last week and just waited to complain about it today. I was able to make the changes and they where appeased. However, they do treat me kind of coldly. I think part of it is that I’m the “new” guy. The other part is that I think they resent someone for the “opposite” line of business supervising their people.

They’ll get over it, because I’m not going anywhere.

Posted by Contagion at 06:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2006

Contagion in Crisis Day 8

For the love of Pete, they really need to get my access sorted out! This has been the eight straight business days that I have not had the proper access to do my job. With two of the other supervisors out this week, that leaves only one other who can get all the stuff done that needs to be! Every time I talk to someone in IT or the Help Desk I get the same story, “It should be fixed tomorrow.” Today I finally got a little testy with them. When they said “tomorrow” again I couldn’t help but to say, “Do you guys have a different definition of tomorrow then the rest of the world? I’ve heard you say “tomorrow" for the last week and it’s still not fixed. Because if by tomorrow you mean next month, you need to make sure the people you are talking to speak the same IT lingo that you do.”

They did not appreciate my observation. I’m fairly sure that when I get to work tomorrow, nothing is working right because I don’t have access and I call them back I’ll get the same song and dance, “We don’t know why that didn’t work, we’ll fix it right away and it should be up for you tomorrow.” So help me if they tell me tomorrow one more time I’m going to snap.

Other then that everything seems to be going really well. I was going to wait 6 months before making any changes. Unfortunately I found some changes that needed to be made, mainly to assist my people in their jobs or to make their lives easier. Before I implemented the changes I talked with the ones affected to see if they felt it would help them. I had a resounding yes from them. Apparently it was something they had wanted but their previous two supervisors never did.

Unfortunately I did hear a bit of workplace gossip regarding me today. I overheard one of my people telling someone else “He’s not a bad guy at all. Actually he’s pretty nice and seems to actually care.” Dammit, stuff like that is going to ruin my reputation!

Posted by Contagion at 05:56 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 24, 2006

Week 1

There is the old saying, “No news is good news.” I call bullshite on that. There has not been one word about my helpdesk tickets regarding my access, I’ve called multiple times everyday for the last week and I’m still not getting anywhere. Oh well I will suffer to persevere.

I discovered early today that my predecessor must have decided that she really retired back in February. Half of the employee information I need is either missing or only half filled out. Nothing has been updated since about the first week of February. I was at work from 6:30 am to 6:00 PM trying to find, replace or recover this missing info. This is information I have to have by the end of next week. If I don’t have it, my employees may suffer from poor reviews and loss of wages.

And in case you where wondering why I left work so early when this information was so sorely needed, please read the below post. Clones birthday party started at 6:00. I was late as it was. Since he is only turning three, I don’t think I traumatized him too much. To be honest he was too busy playing with his brother to even notice I wasn’t there. Once I arrived all he wanted to do was open presents. Yea, I’m a bad dad.

I have to work tomorrow. I don’t know how long I’m going to be there. My entire weekend might be shot. That’s the price one pays for the position I guess. Just in case you are still wondering, yes I still love the job.

Posted by Contagion at 08:47 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Dees many years old!

Three years ago today I was taking my very pregnant wife to the hospital. When I say very pregnant, I mean even though she was two weeks early she looked like she had a toddler inside of her. Really, I’m not kidding. We have pictorial evidence of this. Clone finally was popped out uncooperatively at 11:12 AM.

Clone has since spent the last three years learning to not only emulate his father (me), but to find new and interesting ways to annoy his mother (Mainly by emulating his father), and beating up his brother (who’s ten years older).

Happy Birthday Buddy!
We love you!

Posted by Contagion at 06:19 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

March 23, 2006

Day 4

Again no access, the issue is starting to negatively impact the corporation and I’ve had enough. Today I got one of the executive officers involved in the issue. They owe me a favor and I figure that it will make a good impression that I’m calling it for an issue like this and not some kind of trivial personal issue. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have it, if not that will make 9 days with out access.

Things are starting to fall into place; I still have a couple of hot spots I need to deal with. No, they are not related to my access. Being a creative person and taking the initiative I started using an older system to get the work done. It’s not as efficient and it definitely isn’t as accurate, but it’s better then nothing. My employees are way behind on their work. Yay for overtime!

My employees where able to witness that I am willing to sticking up for them. Earlier this week I had to mandate 5 hours of overtime per individual to be put in between Monday and Saturday. At a meeting earlier today they decided that they wanted everyone to be here on Saturday in addition to any OT they have already put in. No one really said anything, but I voiced my concern. “I told my people on Monday they had to do five hours between then and Saturday. Many of them have been putting in their time after work so they wouldn’t have to come in on Saturday. If I told them they had to be here, trust me, many of them would not have put in the OT during the week. This whole thing is wrong; it undermines not only my integrity in their eyes, but all of management. I’m going to uphold my original statement to them, as long as they have their five hours in they don’t need to come in on Saturday.”

I must have been influential because they decided NOT to force them to come in on Saturday. Not that we don’t need it, but I’ve always found that low morale on a Saturday equals lack of production.

Posted by Contagion at 06:25 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 22, 2006

Where am I?

I’m starting to feel bad. Many of my favorite bloggers are out there posting and I just don’t have the time to get to each site. Hell, I don’t even have time to get to half a dozen sites a day. I feel like I’ve abandoned my friends.

Allegedly I’ve been tagged with three memes I need to respond to, they are all on my calendar of things to never do. I know there are stories I’m supposed to read and comments I’m supposed to make, unfortunately I have the choice of spending 15 minutes making a couple of posts and reading a blog or two and then spending time with my family and getting house work done, or ignore my family and let the house fall apart.

I dig all of you with big shovels, but I just can’t ignore the family and house. Sorry.

Posted by Contagion at 05:44 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Day 3

Still no access to the systems I need. Even though the day started out with what appeared to be a major breakthrough, it turns out that it was actually two steps back. We finally got me access to one of the systems that I desperately need. We focused a lot of time and attention on getting that access. Once I received it, we discovered that I couldn’t properly use it until I have access to another system. So we wasted all that time and I’m no closer.

The last of the employees that where being difficult came around today. All of them are actually laughing, joking and smiling with me. There are a couple that need some special work, but I’m confident at this point that I’ll have them all comfortable with me with in 2 more weeks. They told me to expect 6 months for that to happen.

I was “volunteered” for a management stunt today. I guess being the new supervisor means that I have to participate, well okay everyone has to participate, but I’m supposed to take a key roll. Fortunately for me I’m supposed to be some kind of surly, sarcastic announcer. I think I can fake that decently.

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Posted by Contagion at 05:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 21, 2006


It’s voting day! I left work a tad bit early, only put in a 10-hour day, so I could go vote. At the polling place I was asked if I was Republican, Democrat or Non-Partisan. As most of you know, I choose not to affiliate myself with one of the two major parties. I don’t agree with either enough to actually consider myself one or the other. When I checked non-partisan on the form, the official made the comment, “You can only vote for the sales tax issue. You don’t get to vote in any of the primaries as non-partisan.” He was pretty rude about it.

I just replied, “That’s okay, I haven’t found a politician I’ve trusted in years. I’m not sure which spawn of Satan would be better then any of the others.” He didn’t say anything further to me.

And in case you are wondering, I voted no on the Sales-Tax referendum. The city of Rockford has requested a 1% sales tax increase. That would bring us up to 8.25% sales tax on just about EVERYTHING. We would have the second highest sales tax rate outside of Cook County, where Chicago is located. There is not a doubt in my mind this tax will pass. The residents of Rockford will vote in any tax on the ballot. I swear there is not a tax they don’t like.

I’m thinking these people would approve a referendum to send a quarter of their pay to the city for the privilege of living here if the city promised, again, to fix the roads. Every election there is a vote to increase tax of one way or another in order to pay for roads, yet the work never seems to get done. At least not for the roads they say they are going to fix. What I found funny was the wording on the ballot. “Shall the City of Rockford, Illinois impose a 1% Non-Home Rule Municipal Retailer’s Occupation Tax, Service Occupation Tax and Use Tax, for infrastructure costs and property tax relief?”

Yea, like the government is going to reduce the property taxes any. I don’t think I’ll live to see the day any local politicians do anything to either return money to their constituents or reduce taxes. I also love how they threw home rule in there so people can become more familiar with the term. For those of you that are pro-home rule, if we had it this whole issue would have gone to the council and passed. We wouldn’t have had a chance to vote on it. Remember with home rule they no longer need our approval to raise taxes.

Posted by Contagion at 06:48 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Day 2

Okay, I still don’t have access to half of the programs I need. That is making life real difficult now. The kicker is that when they gave me access to the half I needed, they revoked me from some others that I had need to use. It’s going to be a long week if this keeps up.

One of my inherited problems is coming to a head in the next day or two. Now I have the fun of dealing with that issue, which inevitably will bring up issues with the other inherited problems I have. Right now I’m in a lose-lose situation. I cannot make resolve both in a pleasant manner; I knew this going in. Knowing that does not make it any easier on me. It’s going to be a long week if this keeps up.

Two of my more resistant employees where laughing and actually joking with me today. This was a situation I thought I would have to work on for months to get to this point. There was some serious headway made today with both of them in our employee-supervisor relationship. That makes me feel good. It’s going to be a good week if this keeps up.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m loving the new job. There are a lot of challenges and obstacles to overcome, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to do it. The other supervisors have been great in assisting me when I have questions and I’ve been able to work out some problems with them.

I have not enjoyed work this much in years.

Posted by Contagion at 06:21 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 20, 2006

Ask a question, any question.

Just a reminder that Basil is taking questions for his interview of me. By now some of you have to have some pretty good questions about me, either why I blog or why the hell I am the way I am. Either way you need to get those burdening questions off your back.

That's why I signed up for the interviews at Basil’s Blog. The deadline for my questions is 04/02/06. That just under two weeks away. If you have any, you can send them to Basil at basil dot interviews AT Subject: Questions for Contagion of Miasmatic review. Or you could just click the link.

Remember, I have no shame so anything is a go. However, my wife has reserved the right to edit any answers I may give. She's afraid of another nightstand incident.

Posted by Contagion at 09:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Supervisor, Day 1

My first official day as a supervisor went less then stellar.

There were system problems at work on Friday after I left. That means that people could not clock out using the online time clock system we have. When that happens, the individual’s supervisor is supposed to manually enter the punches the next day when the system is working. This morning when I arrived at work I had to correct the punches for 16 people. When I went to correct them I quickly discovered I STILL don’t have access to the systems that I need to do my job. Right now 16 people have some screwed up paychecks coming their way as it was all due by 10 AM, and as of 4:30 when I left, I still didn’t have access.

Then the next bit of fun I had was the joy of advising all of my new employees that they have to put in 5 hours of mandatory OT this week. If you want to make an impression with 16 new employees, this is the way to do it. Now mind that I didn’t say a “good” impression, just an impression. At least they chuckled when I asked them to hold off throwing things at me until the end of the day, as I didn’t want to sit around all sticky with fruit and vegetable juices all day.

Next I had to settle into my new desk. The person I replaced retired. She was a nice lady; she was so nice she left the desk completely loaded with all of her stuff, in case I needed it. Since she didn’t want any of it anymore, she just left it where it was, including personal effects. It took me 3 hours to go through everything that she left. I’ve always been part pack rat, but I have nothing on my predecessor. She had 3 staplers, 5 staple pullers, 6 boxes of staples, 34985720987459872459872346 pens, pencils and highlighters. 4 packages of legal pads, at least 500 hanging file folders, 30 pads of post it notes, more paperclips then I could fathom and an obscene about of pushpins. I also found reports and documents from 1993 as well as three boxes of floppy disks, 5 ¼ inch, that nobody seemed to know what they where and we don’t even have a computer in the office that has that size of drive so I could check out what they were. There where corporate reports from the 80’s and 90’s.

I have to go through every item before I can toss it. I feel like an archeologist digging through a newly found, untouched site. I’ve only made it through about 1/3 of the drawers so far; I have a long way to go.

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Posted by Contagion at 06:00 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

March 19, 2006


We just got back from the Kalamazoo Living History Show. If you are re-enactor of any period, I highly recommend attending. They have just about anything and everything under the sun. This weekend also served as a celebration weekend for Ktreva and me. Tomorrow is our first day in our new positions, but enough on that, lets get back to the meat and potatoes of this post, the show.

Friday we left work and had the adventure of driving through Chicago on Saint Patrick’s Day. People. Let me give you some advice, unless you HAVE to go to Chicago on St. Pat’s, avoid it like the plague. It didn’t help that our esteemed (cough) governor has all the toll ways being revamped for his new I-pass system. I-pass in and of itself is not a bad program. Ripping out every tollbooth at the same time to make it more efficient caused a crapload of unnecessary back ups.

We arrived in Paw Paw, Michigan at 5:30 (local, stupid time zones) were we stopped at Gallagher’s Pub and Eatery. (Exit 60 on 94) We discovered this place last year on accident; it is now a destination spot for us if we are passing through. Great food, good beer, decent prices, you can’t go wrong with that combination. Folks, let me just tell you the corned beef and cabbage was excellent. After eating we proceeded to Kalamazoo, checked in our hotel, had a couple of drinks and hit the sack.

Saturday we hit the show. We went last year and couldn’t believe it. This year we were just as impressed. The only thing we couldn’t find was a corset for Ktreva. There was a lady at the show last year that made customized period corsets, unfortunately this year she wasn’t there. We spoke with some friends we saw there both vendors and re-enactors, they were surprised the corset lady wasn’t there. Hopefully nothing bad happened to her.

I went looking to buy a rifle for Boopie. He’s turning 13 this year and I felt that as a right of manhood he should have his first firearm. This is where life gets tricky. There where all kinds of black powder firearms at this show, ranging from about $150 to $5,000.00. I was able to find a nice starter flintlock .45 caliber rifle for Boopie around $200.00. There are some funny stories about this rifle, but that is for another post. I tried talking Ktreva into letting me buy a rifle I found that I liked. She however decided that I did NOT need to drop $3,500.00 on this custom .50 cal. She also wouldn’t let me buy any more artillery. There was a guy there selling some brass cannons and mortars that was willing to give me a great price on a brass swivel gun with a 2-inch bore. Her theory was that I already had an artillery piece; I don’t need another. I’m going to remember that the next time she decides she needs another hat for out at the events.

Don’t get me wrong I didn’t come home empty handed. Besides the rifle for Boopie, I was also able to finally find a period correct bonnet. It wasn’t black like I wanted, but Jacobite Blue is just as good. Ktreva also purchased a bunch of stuff for herself. Really people, if you are looking for someplace to get those hard to find re-enacting items. You can get it at Kalamazoo. I don’t know if I’m going to need or want anything next year, but we’ll be back. Even if it is just to see what the new items on the market are.

Posted by Contagion at 04:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 17, 2006

Forgive the Irish!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Today is the day that we all forgive the Irish and celebrate… something, I’m not really sure… by encouraging the standard Irish stereotypes; Loud, drunk, brawling men drinking green beer and wearing a lot of green making trouble and eating potatoes.

I mean c’mon how insulting is this? We all know that the Irish don’t wear that much green!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go to work, put in a couple of hours and then head to a quaint little Irish pub in Michigan for some of the best Corned Beef and Cabbage I’ve ever had.

Oh, btw, we only received about 2 inches of snow yesterday.

Posted by Contagion at 06:33 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 16, 2006

IT good

Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come. In order to get me ready for my new position on Monday, they have to change my profile on the systems at work. In doing so they had to delete my current profile. When they did that I no longer have access to half of the systems I need to do my current job. Now my job is ten times more difficult. Fortunately I only have half a day left at it.

At least everything should be working when I take over as supervisor. If not this is going to be pretty darn frustrating.

Posted by Contagion at 05:21 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Shyea, right!


For the third time this year they are calling for a snow storm. Depending on which station/weather report you get depends on how much snow they are predicting. One station has even gone so far as to predict a foot of snow. Based on the accuracy of past predictions of the National Weather Service, NOAA, and the local media I’m going to go out on a limb and say not more then 3 inches and probably closer to one. I think that over the last four years they are 0 for 28 when it comes to predicting severe weather. When we do get hit by bad weather it’s when they predict either a light snow or rain.


Posted by Contagion at 06:06 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

March 15, 2006

Good times.

Finally got home from work today. Not too bad, only about an 11 hour day. I was able to spend most of the day learning the aspects of my new position and about my new reports. For the first time in years I’m excited about work. I’m really looking forward to being able to work with these people and hopefully make their jobs easier.

I know there are a lot of rumors at work about me flying around. They are worried that I’m going to come over and make all kinds of changes. After today I decided I’m going to stick with my original game plan. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I’m going to take the time to get to know my reports first and see what they need. If they have something that they feel would make their jobs easier, I’ll see what I can do. Until then, I think I’m going to leave things the way they are.

I just want them to be comfortable with me. From my own personal experience, I know there is nothing more stressful at work than getting a new supervisor and having them make a lot of changes.

Posted by Contagion at 06:27 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

The wolf's view.

Yet another case of someone spreading lies and making false statements about his fellow bloggers. The only comments I can blatently call bullshite on are the ones regarding me liking to hug. The rest appear to be true. The Laughing Wolf finally posted his take on Wolf Fest, about a month late.

Why can't other bloggers be more like me, I never make up tales about other bloggers. Everything I post is the absolute truth!

Posted by Contagion at 05:31 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Good(?) Morning

It's 5:30 AM, I'm leaving for work shortly. There is a chance that I will not be home until well after 7:00 PM. Tomorrow I get to repeat the process again.

I love busy weeks.

Posted by Contagion at 05:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 14, 2006

Busy, busy man.

One of the company offices in a different city was hit by a tornado Sunday night. Being the nice guy that I am, I volunteered to step up and do my job for both my office and their office this week. Meanwhile I’m learning the systems and tasks for my supervisor position that starts on Monday. I’m looking at 12 hour shifts for the rest of the week.

To say I’m busy is an understatement. Normally I wouldn’t do all of this, but if it was my office that was hit I would want someone to step up and help me. Yet, this whole time all I can think is, “My last week”. And a smile spreads across my face.

Posted by Contagion at 05:26 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 13, 2006

Now that is awkward

Friday night I went out with some people from work. One of my friends is leaving the company and moving to Arizona. He’s been with the company for three years and started off in the other office, about 6 months ago he transferred to our office. He’s a bit of a social butterfly, unlike shy ol’ me, so there where a lot of people there to wish him well.

Many of these people were not from my current unit, so I didn’t know who they where. After a while, I forced myself to stop being such a wall flower and try to talk to some of the people I didn’t know. When I saw a table that had a group that I didn’t know sitting at it, I walked up. Taking a seat, I waited until they finished their conversation to introduce myself. I’m thinking I should have been a little more aggressive to save the following situation from happening.

Worker A: I’m not sure who he is, do you?

Worker B: I’ve never met him; I’m not sure who he is either. Do you know anything about him?

Worker C: Not at all, he’s from the other office.

(At this point I’m getting ready to interrupt, introduce myself and inquire who they where talking about.)

Worker A: All I know is that he got the promotion. I heard he is an asshole.

(Only two people received a promotion at work in the last couple of weeks, and only one of them was male, me.)

Contagion: I don’t know, I always thought I was a pretty nice guy. Hi, I’m (Contagion).

The looks on their faces was classic. I sat and talked with them for a little bit and even bought them a drink. We laughed about the whole thing. There is a chance that one of them may end up reporting to me next week. To me it would be better that they feel comfortable with me, then to be worried about some kind of imagined repercussion for an incident of gossiping outside of the work place. That’s just not something I do, nor do I want them thinking that way of me. As far as I’m concerned, what happens outside of work can not be punished at work. In fact that is the corporate policy.

Personally, I’d never risk it. You never know what is going to happen and who is going to try to get you in trouble for an imagined slight after hours at the local bar.

Posted by Contagion at 04:37 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

I guess I am good.

It’s funny how someone goes from zero to hero when they are no longer going to be around. For the last 3 months I’ve been told that I suck at my job, which was one of the major motivators to put in for the position change. When it was announced that I had received the position, the manager I reported to suddenly became concerned “whether or not they could find someone capable of replacing me.” Her words, not mine. When they told her last Thursday that this Friday, the 17th was going to be my last day she flew into a panic.

An emergency meeting was called between her and my peers to go over… can you guess? Reports of all things! That’s right, the same crap we’ve been going over for the last 3 months we have an emergency meeting to discuss. Why? Because I’m leaving and they want them universal for when they find my replacement. We were all supposed to bring in a print out of each report we do and discuss how we use them. Then she was going to decide which reports she wanted us to use.

I went first, showed my examples, explained how they where used and where the data came from. Only one report that I use, the other office uses and they got it from me. When it was the turn of my counterpart from the other office to go over hers, she made the comment, “After looking at (Contagion’s) reports, I’m switching to those. They are quicker, they are easier to read and they have better data.” She then went on to explain that while mine take about 15-20 minutes to run, hers takes 1 to 2 hours. My one report system does the work that equates 4 of her reports.

Then we started going over one of her reports to track productivity. I was listening carefully, even though I’m leaving, because this has always been something that is annoying to track. While my counterpart was going over her report, I couldn’t help but ask questions and get clarification, make suggestions and in general improve the way it works. The manager was impressed because this was a problem they have had for 6 months and couldn’t resolve. 30 minutes of my looking at it, I had pinpointed their problem areas, corrected it and solved a majority of their problems, including making sure they have the correct information.

This meeting that was supposed to last an hour, ended up going on for two hours. Now this week they want to pick my brain some more before I leave. It feels good to finally be appreciated for the roll that I had in the company, even if it is too late to change anything. They want to schedule more meetings this week to go over some other things, but I don’t have a lot of time. It’s too bad they didn’t take me up on my offer of helping them with these back in December, or ever couple of weeks since.

Posted by Contagion at 04:05 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 11, 2006

They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard

What happens when you get a Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan with too much free time and a terminal case of boredom? You get They’re Taking the Hobbits to Isengard. It’s a somewhat amusing video based on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I know my wife will probably enjoy it because she has a thing for Orlando Bloom.

Taking thehobbitstoisengard.JPG

If you don’t want to wait for it to load, you can download it here if you want it with a better resolution.

Posted by Contagion at 12:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


As a kid, I loved Legos. Heck, as an adult I like playing Legos with the boys. Over the years I’ve made some pretty strange items. Once I even made a working lamp. It last a whole 4 days before I knocked it over and it shattered on the floor. Yet there are people out there that have made some pretty amazing things. Check out the Top 10 Strangest Lego Creations.

Posted by Contagion at 12:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Kitty Vs Cat!

Someone told me there was an on going battle between cats going on last night. When they described it, I thought they where talking about cat fighting. This morning (after relieving a hangover) I went to check out KittenWar. Needless to say I was dismayed that you are just voting on the cutest kitten.

I think kitty death matches would have been more entertaining.

Posted by Contagion at 12:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 10, 2006

Now I'm important.

It was a long day at work today. Between meetings (regarding my new position), my normal work and people who are interesting in my current position sitting with me to see if they want my job I barely finished anything. The next couple of weeks are going to be really hectic for me. I didn’t realize how much blog fodder I was going to get from this whole escapade.

I’d post more tonight, but I’m getting ready to go out. One of my friends from work is relocating to Arizona and we’re having a going away party for him tonight. I will leave you with this tidbit; now that I have this new position the “Contagion sucks at his job” opinion went down the drain and has been replaced with “CRAP! Contagion is only has a week left before he transfers!”

Posted by Contagion at 12:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 09, 2006

An addition to the School.

It appears that Phin's fry finally arrived. Congratulations! Say goodbye to sleep!

Posted by Contagion at 05:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Why I don't use UPS

If UPS leaves a package on you front porch, and it doesn’t belong to you, can you keep it? I’m just wondering because that’s what happened tonight. We got home to find a package sitting on our front porch. Now some of you may not remember the saga I had with UPS where they kept leaving packages on my front porch (that were meant for me) after I had a “signature required” placed on all packages delivered to this address. When I saw that box on the front porch, I about blew my top. Fortunately Ktreva noticed that the package was addressed for another house on the block, before I started making phone calls.

Don’t get me wrong; I called UPS anyway to advise them of their problem. The supervisor who called me back just didn’t seem to care that they delivered it to the wrong house. She didn’t seem to care one bit. In fact she was making excuses as that the reason the guy left it was because there was a different address on the box. If it had my address on it, he wouldn’t have left it there. The whole time she was explaining this to me, I could feel an aneurysm starting. Where in the hell was she coming from with this? How is the fact that they delivered a package to the wrong address better then them leaving a package for me on my porch without a signature?!?!?!

She told me she was going to send a driver out tomorrow to come pick up the package and deliver it. What?! First off they should have sent someone out tonight, they made the mistake, they should correct it that day. I told her that I would deliver the package to the neighbor, as it was just stupid for them to send a driver out to deliver the package for someone that lives on the same block. Then I told her that they, UPS, are lucky that they delivered it to the house of someone as honest as me. There are many people in this world that would have kept the package and not told anyone. She didn’t seem to see what the big deal was.

When I delivered the package to my neighbor, she was pissed. She said that she had been waiting for it all day and had called twice because the tracking number had said it was delivered on the website. That’s right folks, it showed delivered and she didn’t have it. Needless to say I told her the story and she became rather heated. I’m suspecting that UPS is getting another call about this.

I just don’t get it people, but this is why I don’t use UPS for shipping. UPS Sucks!

Posted by Contagion at 05:22 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

How to introduce yourself to your new employees.

When being introduced to someone of the opposite sex it is a good idea to not great them by saying, “I’m looking forward to having you under me.”

It could be taken the wrong way.

Fortunately for all that heard, there was much laughter.

Posted by Contagion at 04:01 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

March 08, 2006

Contagion the Supervisor

I GOT IT! Well it looks like my charm paid out. I over came the stigma of it being a lateral transfer for the supervisor position. That means no more minions. Since I’ll have direct reports I’m going to have to be more polite in my nicknames for them. This of course means no more minion stories; I’ll actually have to be nice to my reports. But maybe when I need to pull a stunt I’ll go over to my old stomping grounds. The timing couldn’t have been better either. My new manager (From the other office) is up to old tricks again. Now I don’t have to care as that in a week I’ll no longer be reporting to her.

And before anyone starts in on the EEOC BS about me getting the position; the candidate I beat out would have also filled more EEOC requirements than I did.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go do a little celebrating.

Posted by Contagion at 04:10 PM | Comments (28) | TrackBack

March 07, 2006

Morally reprehensible

I have seen some wild schemes before, but Dr. Phat Tony bought a goat, named her Jill, and if he doesn’t earn $16,000.00 off of her before March 15, 2007 he’s going to kill and eat her. He has even come up with a “Save Jill” t-shirt you can buy. $2.00 of each purchase goes toward saving Jill’s life. At first I thought he was just joking, but I’m starting to take him serious.

Hey, I’m all for trying to raise money any way you want. But I find this absolutely appalling. What he’s doing is a travesty and should be stopped. He has to think about how this is going to affect his family. Thus I refuse to donate any money to the preservation of Jill.

I mean c’mon if your going to kill and eat a goat, don’t wait a year. It gets too stringy. Personally I think he should let it age about two more months and then eat it. It should still be really tender and have a great taste. Hell, if he wants I’m sure I can get Wes to give him the recipe for his Scottish Goat Chili! Everything is better with goat!

Let's face it folks, that delicious walking roast is not going to raise that kind of money in a year, why let the meat go bad?

Update: It seems that JimmyB, the Conservative UAW Guy, has even gotten into trying to ruin to meat!

Posted by Contagion at 05:32 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Of Ice and Language.

This morning I left the house to go to work. Ktreva had to drive down state, so it was just the boys and I. Not having driven my truck in the last 3 days there was quite a bit of snow on my windshield. At least I thought it was snow. When I went to brush it off it didn’t move. There was no snow there, just a three inch thick chunk of ice that covered my entire windshield.

The truck was running, so the defrost could help me clear the windshield. Both boys where secured in their seats watching in fascination as Dad started an educational journey of new vocabulary and dress shoes on ice. For twenty minutes I battled the ice. It would not give way to the scraper. The height of my truck didn’t help either. I’m not a tall man. With great difficulty could I effectively reach the center of my windshield to scrape off the ice.

Meanwhile my boys are sitting inside of the now warm cab laughing and snickering at me. Clone learned a new word (I guess my voice carries over the sound of the engine and through closed doors). Since I am in polite company I will not repeat such vulgarities. Unfortunately, I forgot that courtesy when the children were present. Needless to say on the way to the sitters I was regaled with a chorus of chanted vulgarities that is only mildly amusing when coming from the mouth of a soon to be three year old. No matter how many times I told me not to say, “Those naughty words” he would just keep chanting them.

Of course Boopie was of no help. He was too busy laughing at me. Where Clone missed what happened to bring on such colorful language, Boopie was able to see the performance. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me just say now that I have lived in Northern Illinois for the vast majority of my life. I know how to handle the snow and icy conditions. Unfortunately, in my anger frustration, I forgot that leather soled dress shoes do not provide for the best of winter weather traction. While throwing my entire body into cleaning the windshield, my feet slipped on the ice. What must have appeared to be something out of a movie, I flew into the air landing on my back in the ice encrusted snow along the driveway. From there it must have looked like a business man in an overcoat was trying to make snow angels.

No worries, I’m not injured. Other then a slight bruising of my pride, all is well. It’s just not how I wanted to start a day.

Posted by Contagion at 04:02 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

March 06, 2006

Yet another looker.

Guys, have you ever thought about getting into re-enacting? Have you not been able to find that motivation to start? Let me help you out. Our latest Mortar Maiden, Ms. March 2006 Maisie MacRae, is ready for your perusing. That’s right, if you re-enact you meet beautiful ladies like her and the other maidens.

Posted by Contagion at 06:18 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Let there be snow.

It has been snowing off and on yesterday and today. I believe this is only the third time we’ve had snow with ANY accumulation. It looks like we are up to a whopping 2 inches at this time. Yet all I heard today was people complaining that it is snowing. As I listen to these people complain, I just want to scream at them. My screams would remind them that we’ve in a drought for the last year and a half. We have hardly had any snow this winter, and that is vital to preparing the soil for planting. The much needed moisture the snow provides will be necessary for crops.

Yet these people don’t understand that. All they see is that they are minorly inconvenienced by having to drive on slick roads. Since they aren’t farmers and their jobs aren’t dependant directly upon a crop, they just don’t care. Many of them complained last year when it did rain. All they think about is how it affects their little world. Heaven forbid the farmers need the rain; it’s interfering with Dick and Jane’s weekend on the lake! I’ll admit I get irritated when it rains on one of my re-enactments. Yet I always seem to make the statement, If we didn’t need the rain, I’d be pissed. I admit we need the rain and accept it. Not these people, nope. They just complain that it’s interfering with their lives.

Personally, I would like to see a good 2 feet of snow fall on us. We haven’t had much in the line of snow fall all year. I miss the old winters when I could get lost in the snow banks digging forts.

Posted by Contagion at 04:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 05, 2006


Welll, I fell bad. I have, er had, 6 Murphy's Pint size IRish Stouts, and 8 Guinness Draught cans today that realy needed to be drank. I'm helping Ogre celecbrate teh month of sain't Patricks. Unfortunately my normale drinking buddies where preoccupied, thus I had to drink them myself. That is where the guilt comes in. Is it selfish of me to drink alll this good beer myself if theyh don't bother checking to see if I need help, or is it selfish of me not to inform them that I have the free beer and drink it all myself?!?

Either way its gone, and I'm feeling.. er, uh, mellow. My wife, Ktreva, is already yellng at me about not taking care fo the boys. I tried to tell her to shut her sas mouth, but that only recieved a whack across the back of my head with a frying pan. Thank god, for all those times lil'Joe used to hit me with a baseball bat. Due to that, I was able to shurg it off.

Posted by Contagion at 06:00 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Stray thought for a Sunday.

With a title of this blog being Miasmatic Review, it should not surprise me that I keep getting google hits for people searching for reviews of various products. Just yesterday I had hits for reviews of bras, firearms, toys, cars, tools, girls, and brass knuckles.

Posted by Contagion at 09:32 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 04, 2006

He knows what he needs

While making some more Jerky tonight, I hear Clone call to me from the other room. “Bye Dada, I go shoot now” is what I hear. When I looked out of the kitchen, this is what I saw:

Cloneshoot 001.jpg
Click to Enlarge

Please disregard the ketchup on his face; I hadn’t cleaned him up from dinner yet. Don’t worry; that .50 cal ammo can is empty, except for cleaning brushes. I just found it highly amusing the boy decided on taking his gun AND ammo for it. I also like the slightly mentally disturbed look on his face.

Posted by Contagion at 06:49 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Big Farking Guns!

A friend of mine sent me this clip. He knew I was into shooting and thought I’d appreciate it. The much forwarded e-mail came with the below information. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, and to be honest I’m not about to do the research to find out. Either way, watching the guy about give himself a concussion with the handgun is hilarious.

The gun in the video is basically a "show and tell" custom built on a
Thompson Encore (fancy version of the Thompson Contender).

The Caliber... 600 Nitro Express. That's elephant gun round in a

The story goes that the guy that built it is some kind of custom gun maker,
and built this as an exhibition piece. He takes it to the range with him
just to show it off, and the big guy that shot it (in the
video) had been bugging the builder to let him shoot it. Now think about
this...only until fairly recently (early-mid '80's IIRC) the 600 Nitro
Express was hands down the biggest, nastiest, hardest hitting, and heaviest
recoiling weapon you could buy. It was designed for one simple
knock an elephant flat on his a$$. IMO, it was really built as an exhibition
piece for guys "compensating"...this cartridge is known for breaking
collarbones, arms, shoulders...of the shooter! Think about the gun
world they use what is termed as a "recoil index" to kind of give
prospective buyers an idea of what a gun kicks like. A
30-06 gets a rating of a 1.0, which for many people is about the limit of
what they can shoot multiple rounds thru comfortably. A .243 is rated at
like a .4, a .270 was like a 8, etc.

The .600 Nitro Express is rated at a 9.4...9.4 times more punishing than a

Free Hosting at

See what I mean?

Posted by Contagion at 09:49 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


The local news did a story about Sex Offenders about a week ago. During the story they mentioned a website,, where you can enter your address and it will map out any that are in your area.


The only problem I have with sites like this is that it doesn't give you a lot of details into the nature of the crime of the sex offender. I know a guy that is on the registered sex offender list due to a statutory rape charge, he was 18 and she was 15. They both were in High School and the sex was consensual. In fact they are married today. On his record it states victim under <18, that’s all.

Other then that, I think these lists and services are a useful tool for concerned parents. If you have kids, or are just curious to see if your neighbors are perverts, plug in your address and see who are the people in your neighborhood.

Posted by Contagion at 09:14 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

I was kidding!

Here we have yet another reason one should never trust strange callers, especially if you're cheating on someone.

This girl tries to win a radio contest in Minnesota and ends up finding out that her loving boyfriend has a secret. I guess the answer to the question is that he loves everybody!

Posted by Contagion at 07:45 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 03, 2006

Married Life.

Phin asked, "Why do married men typically die before single men?"

The first thing that came to my mind was the three rings of marriage.

The Engagement Ring.

The Wedding Ring.

And the Suffer-RING

Posted by Contagion at 04:59 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Interview Part 2

I had my second interview earlier today. Normally I have a good idea how the interview went. Either by the interviewer’s body language or ad-libbed questions at the end gives you a feeling of the interviewer’s oppinion. This time the two of them both sent off very neutral vibes, which is not a good sign. That and when I was leaving I went to shake one of the manager’s hands and instead she wiped her nose with a tissue. She did have a cold and I honestly don’t believe it was intentional. Her hand may have been moving toward her nose before my hand was extended in a handshake.

It’s not like I expect to get the position, in fact if you recall I didn’t expect to make it to the second round. Right now I just look as if I’m on borrowed time. If they do pass me over, then I will just apply again the next time something opens up. The experience of interviewing really was what I was looking for. This whole ordeal has been worth it just for that.

I’ll know for sure by the end of next week at the latest.

I sure could go for a beer about now.

Posted by Contagion at 04:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 02, 2006

That's not good.

You’re driving down the road. In your rear view mirror you see a white truck with yellow flashing lights approaching at a high-rate of speed. When it passes, you can read the sign on the back. It says:”Haz-mat Emergency Response Team, Radioactive material containment unit.”

I really wish it wasn’t heading in the same direction I was traveling.

Posted by Contagion at 05:03 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

They aren't the same.

Over at Basil’s Blog, he has a post up about how he saved money when he was in the military by using the same brand of deodorant and razor as his wife at the time. I can’t say I’ve used either Secret deodorant or a Lady Bic disposable razor. Thanks to his post, he did bring back a painful memory for me.

When I first started growing facial hair I only had to shave about once a week before it was noticeable. I would just use my father’s electric razor and everything was okay. Occasionally I would use his razor and shaving cream to trim up around the side burns where the hair was the thickest. Even as time went on and I had to shave more often, I’d just use my father’s electric or manual razor. Not once did I think to ask to borrow my father’s shaving supplies, thus my parents had no idea that I had started shaving, until one painful weekend.

My parents went away for the weekend leaving me at home alone. Having decided that I needed to shave, I headed off to my parents bathroom. Much to my chagrin I discovered that my father had taken both his electric shaver and manual razor with him. I was looking kind of scruffy. Well to be honest I was as scruffy as a teenage high school boy can get. Looking in the mirror, I’m scruffier now and I shaved this morning. My facial hair seems to grow at an alarming rate.

Anyway, I felt for sure that my father had to have something for me to shave with hidden away in his bathroom, an emergency back up razor, some sample packs of a disposable or anything. Not one shaving item was found. In frustration I started going through my mother’s stuff looking for a razor. Still I was unable to find one. Then I ran across something she had bought to shave her legs, and epilady epilator. I see this and think to myself, “If it will remove the hair from legs, it will remove hair from my face.”

Well, I wasn’t far from wrong. It removed the hair… and the skin… and some underlying muscle. For those of you not familiar with what an epilady was at that time, it’s like a coil of metal that comes out from a handle. The coil rotates, yanking hair and anything else it grabs onto off of the body. When I found that, I didn’t realize that was how it worked.

After plugging in the hair removal device, I slide it down the side of my face like it was an electric razor. Every hair that it grabbed onto was yanked violently from my teenage face. Tears started forming in my eyes and tiny drops of blood started form on my cheek. Little squares of toilet paper were not going to cover this bloody mess. I grabbed a whole sheet of toilet paper and stuck it to my face, the blood instantly causing it to adhere in place. For three hours I walked around with a sheet of toilet paper soaked in my own blood stuck to my face. I was afraid if I peeled it off, I’d start bleeding again.

When my parents returned home, the injury was very noticeable. They found out I had started shaving when I told them the story. My mother, who didn’t laugh, proceeded to explain that was why she used it once and never again.

To this day I’m real hesitant to use any product designed for a female, I’m afraid of what it could do to me.

Posted by Contagion at 04:05 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

March 01, 2006

Politness MIA

Does anyone teach manners anymore? When I ask for something I say “please”. After I have received what I’ve asked for I say “thank you”. If someone says, “thank you” to me, I respond with a “your welcome”. Unfortunately I’m coming to the conclusion that I am one of the last individuals in the world that does this.

This has always bugged me, but of late I’ve noticed a rapid increase in the lack of manners and common courtesy in people. On television shows, at the gas station and at work, almost everywhere I turn people don’t use it. I guess this really bothers me because I’m teaching my boys to say “Please” and “Thank you”. Even Clone will politely ask for a drink and say “thank you” when it’s received. Yet many adults just seem to think it’s a waste of their time.

Not that I want to be a politeness police and start correcting people. After a couple of incidents that happened today, I’m ready to stop assisting people that can’t ask me nicely. That includes some of my peers at work. How hard is it to say, “Contagion, could you please rerun that report for me?” Instead I got, “You need to rerun that report for me.” When I gave it to the individual I received the response, “I’ll look at it later when I have time.” At this gas station this morning I hear, “Give me two packs of cigarettes.” The cretin couldn’t add a “please” to the end of the sentence.

Maybe I’m being too nitpicky, maybe I should just realize that polite society is about dead anymore and give up my archaic ways.

Posted by Contagion at 06:06 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

See, I am charming.

Today I received word that I am being passed on for a second interview. My charm and credentials outweighed the fact this is a lateral transfer and that I have a penis. (Remember, they tend to not like lateral transfers or promoting males here.) I am one of two finalists for the position.

The second interview is later this week, and I should know for sure by the end of next week. I’m not sure how my friend did, I haven’t asked her and I don’t want to just in case she was rejected.

Posted by Contagion at 04:01 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack