April 26, 2007
Re-enacting Season is officially Open
If you live in the Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin area and want to see a little piece of history, head to Rockton, Illinois this weekend for the Gathering at Macktown. It's at the Macktown Forest Preserve and Golf Course. The family and I are heading that way and will be set up for the weekend to entertain folks with tales about distilling and just being a surly Scot!
April 25, 2007
Tonightís beer is one that I had been meaning to try for a while now, and just hadnít done it yet. Iíve seen it around at various bars and restaurants, but there was always something else Iíd rather try. This time while I was at the store, I figured what the hell. Letís stick with an imported beer. I picked up a six-pack of Stella Artois by the Stella Artois Brewery in Belgium.
It comes in an 11.2 ounce green bottle that has a horn design molded into the base of the neck. The label is white with a gold border and the name of the beer on a red banner in the middle of it. The next label covers up over the bottle cap.
There is a nice clean yellow gold color to the beer. It is clear with absolutely no hint of impurity or haze to it. It pours a quarter inch white head that fades into a film on the top of the beer. There is minimal lacing on the side of the glass.
To the nose there is a pleasant scent of sweet malts with an earthy undertone. It has a nice pleasant aroma that is pleasing. The taste is a mix of subtle malts with mild hop notes. Nothing that is over powering, but definitely pleasant on the palate. There is a slight bitter after taste that fades.
It is a light bodied beer with an almost perfect amount of carbonation. It makes this a beer that is very easy to drink. I could see myself drinking one on a hot summer day or while watching a game.
I was pleasantly surprised by Stella Artois. It really is a good beer. I guess I figured that it would be a weak, unpleasant one. Iím going to give this 5.5 out of 10.
April 24, 2007
My family is going to starve!
I completely failed in my role as a family provider today. Tonight Ktreva asked me to run to the grocery store to pick up supplies for this weekend. It was a very simple task, with only a couple of meals that I actually had to buy food for. Since she had set me to this task a couple of days ago, I had the time to make a proper grocery list.
After work I stopped at the local grocery store before picking up the boys. As I walked in I realized that I had forgotten my list at home. DAMMIT! How the hell could I have done such a thing? I had planned and prepared for this trip over the last couple days. Maybe it had to do with the malaise I have toward re-enacting right now. Iím not sure, but what was I going to do? I donít have the time to run home, get the list and come back. Iím so screwed.
That was a short and simple list. Iím doing the majority of the cooking; I can do this with out the list. There was nothing on there that I donít know the recipe by heart. So I started shopping. Simple cold cereal on Friday, French toast on Saturday, Burgers with fruit and vegetables Saturday night, Eggs Sunday morning. Thatís not that hard.
I grab my cart and start whistling up and down the isles.
Hamburger Buns, Check.
Then a voice in my head rings outÖ ďCONTAGION, YOU ARE FORGETTING SOMETHING!Ē What? No Iím not! Going down the mental list. Eggs, beer, pop, beer, cheese, Jack Danielís, spices, beer, cereal, milk, beer. No, itís all there. Everything we needed, Iím not forgetting anything. I know itís all there. I ran over the menu and the list a dozen times. No, there is nothing Iím forgetting.
But that voice in my head would not let me be. It kept harping on me. Nagging that I had indeed forgotten something. I get the boys; return home and start unloading the groceries. Putting the items that need to be kept cool in the fridge, and the rest with the re-enacting gear. Finally it dawns on me what I forgot. The most important of all re-enacting foods, the one item that just the mere mention of it will bring people to your camp. There is even a historical phrase that goes with it.
Figured out what I forgot? Iíll give you a hint: it goes with Sunday breakfast.
Thatís right. I forgot to bring home the bacon.
As I pull into my driveway after work tonight, I notice a bright red note on my front door. At first I thought it was just another advertisement some local small business. Then I wondered if it was another flier from the church up the street inviting me to some Saturday neighborhood bar-b-que and sermon session. They like to do that a lot. Either way I thought it was nothing important. I own my own property (In theory) so I know itís not an eviction notice. Iím not behind on any bills, so I know itís not a foreclosure notice. I havenít had any complaints from neighbors, my property is in order, and there was absolutely nothing that I could think of to make me consider it being anything more then a waste of paper.
Until I pulled it off of the door and read it:
City of Rockford
Your water will be shut off in 5 days unless proper action is taken by you and then notify this office at ###-### accordingly due to:
No Access to Change Meter.
Previous attempts have been made to change your meter unsuccessfully
WHAT?!?!?!?!?! This is the first time Iíve heard anything about this. There has been no previous notes, no calls, no letters, no anything! How the hell am I supposed to know they are coming if they donít tell me? Wait, maybe they figure that Iím just another leech off of the government and sit around all day collecting funds and watching my stories.
I call the number on the warning. They advise me that they want to install a new water meter on my house. They asked if I would be home tomorrow between 12:30 and 4:00PM. Sure! I just didnít happen to be home today, or the other times they came, because I was out playing golf. Hell no, I have a job. You know, that thing that people do in order to pay their water bills. They wanted to know when in the next 5 days I would be home. Well that would be tomorrow night AFTER 4:30PM. Oh no, that wonít work; itís after their business hours.
They need to get in and get this done; itís long over due they tell me. I explain to the City of Rockford Water Division girl, who although very nice and polite doesnít seem to have a full grasp that people beside her work between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00PM, that I work during the times they want, and I just canít magically take the day off tomorrow with out notice and Iím going to be busy over the weekend. ďOh no! We donít work on the weekend either, it has to be during the week.Ē
Fortunately I had Monday off already as a recovery day, so I was able to get an appointment that day. I just wish they would tell me this stuff in advance instead of leaving a bright red scary notice on the door.
April 23, 2007
Not in the mood.
Anyone that has read me for a while knows that Iím big into my re-enacting. Every year about this time, I start getting excited and giddy. Those of use in the circle refer to this as the ronde-flu; we just canít wait to get back out in our period clothes and canvas tents. Next weekend is my first event of the year. To be honest, I really could not care less.
I donít know whatís going on this year, but I just have the excitement and anticipation that I normally do. Part of me doesnít even want to go, thatís right I donít want to go.
Iím not even sure why I feel like this. Maybe itís because Iím not really in a good place mentally right now. Iím still having some hellacious health issues that are not getting better. Itís to the point that Iím beginning to look at my mortality. How long can I go with my stomach slowly digesting itself before it turns into something fatal?
Maybe itís because Iím having personal issues at home and at work. Itís really permeating my thoughts and activities. I just canít seem to get away from it. The thought of just ignoring it all and going off and pretending all is fine and playing Seamus MacPhail, Surly Scot and distiller is just not appealing. Hell, I havenít even updated the Spoon and Blade since August.
It could be that I feel like Iím obligated to head out and do this one. Bloggers might liken this to the feeling they get when they have nothing to post, but feel like they should. I know that since my heart isnít behind it, I know I wonít put on as good of a demonstration. Iíve strived so hard to be a premier presenter that it bothers me that I might be sub-par.
What ever it is, I just donít know. Iíve got some stuff to do before this weekend. Usually I do this with excitement. Now, Iím looking at it likes itís housework. I hate housework.
April 22, 2007
Sink the pink.
Iím sore as all hell today. Yesterday Shadoglare moved from his old apartment to his new one. Being a friend, I helped out. We loaded all the large items into my truck and then moved it to the new place. Now Shadoglare is a good friend of mine. We had been roommates at one time. The only problem I have with him is that he does not like ground floor apartments. Nope, he likes apartments that have stairs. And if the stair stairs are narrow and winding, even the better! Actually Iím just giving him grief. I know he doesnít intentionally find apartments that are hard to move in and out of, itís just what is available.
His new place is actually pretty nice for what heís paying. He has a lot of space, there are windows covering almost every wall. There is only one thing about the apartment that I donít like, the bathroom. Itís not the size or the layout, itís the color. He has a pink bathroom. Now, when I say pink, I mean PUH-Pink! Itís bright pink and when you stand inside of it with the light on, you look like you have a sunburn. Actually you donít even have to be inside the bathroom. If the door is open and the light is on, a pink glow shines down the hall. People in standing there look like they are blushing or flushed. After more then 20 seconds in there, when you come out your vision is jacked up from the brightness of the pink. It distorts all the colors. I thought about taking some pictures of it, but I just donít think they would turn out. Yes, itís that pink!
Midget Kickboxing Rocks!
Well the highlight of Friday night was definitely the Midget Kickboxing. Bruce, our friend J-man and I went to the Rockford Rumble Friday night. Normally I donít go to these types of things, but they were advertising a fight between Beetlejuice from the Howard Stern show and Big Poppa the Midwest Midget Kickboxing Champion. Folks I tried for hours to find a link to Big Poppa, but I couldnít find anything about him on the net.
Now I know these were amateur fighters, but they where pretty awful. They would charge into the ring with their arms wind milling as fast as they could. Youíd see these guys get tired after 30 seconds and the force of their blows and the frequency of them started to decrease. Iím not a trained fighter, but these fights looked horrible. Except for a couple of the heavy weights, most of these guys didnít look that tough. Most of the fights looked like kids fighting with the techniques. In fact at one point I swear that one of the fights was doing that girl paw fighting style. It was pretty lame.
The ring girls they had came from a local gentlemenís club. There were five of them. 2 were pretty damn good, but the other three were kind of scary. One of the girls looked like an anorexic Paris Hilton. Yea, she was that skinny. She looked like a walking skeleton with no curves at all. But she thought she looked good. To be honest she made crack whores look meaty. At one point in the night as she walked by where we were sitting, she made eye contact with me. She smiled and gave me a wink. At that point I about threw up. My gag reflex kicked in. Not even with Bruceís dick and J-man pushing would I jump into that cesspool of disease.
The only real highlight of the night was the Midget Kickboxing. It was the only fight that actually looked good. They landed hard punches, there was blocking and dodging. Folks, this was just the coolest thing. I had heard of it before, but never seen it. If you ever get the chance to watch midget kickboxing, DO IT! And it was just fun to watch. Beetlejuice won, but I think itís only because his arms were twice as long as Big Poppaís. Big Poppa had the better skill and technique. After the fight Big Poppa even came over to our seats and talked with us for a while. He seemed like a really cool guy. Unfortunately he didnít stay too long, because he had a chance to go sit on some pretty girls lap. Not that I blamed him. The fight only lasted for 3 one-minute rounds. It was way too short. They should have let them fight for a much longer time.
The only way Iíd go back to the Rockford Rumble is if I knew someone fighting or if they did the midget kickboxing again.
April 20, 2007
Tonight is the Night!
I have just two words for all of you: Midget Kickboxing.
In just over twelve hours I'm going to be watching Midget Kickboxing. I bet you wish you were as lucky as I am.
April 19, 2007
Boycott Rockford Illinois
The citizens of Rockford have voted in the 1 percent sales tax increase. That gives the City of Rockford the second highest property AND sales tax in the state of Illinois. That means I am going to boycott Rockford.
Now before I get the normal comment about growing up and to quit pitching a fit, let me explain. Yes, this makes more sense then the bond issues we issued to fix the roads. I was always against the bonds because it was like using a credit card to pay for the roads. There was a lot of interest and we ended up paying a lot more to have work done than it should have. Not that I believe that all that money actually went to the roads, but thatís a topic for another time. But I honestly believe that if the Rockford government better managed its money instead of wasting it on various projects, the roads could get fixed with out the sales tax.
This tax increase is just the cherry on top of the ďHow to get more money from the publicĒ sundae. If we look at the new taxes that the State wants (Sales, Income and Gross Receipts), any increase the Federal Government may want to pass, inflation, the overall cost of living increases and increased property value, we have to wonder if the government wants us to just turn over one paycheck a month to them. Part of the misinformation used to pass this bond was that it was going to lower property taxes. When in all actuality it is only going to cause them not to increase as much. Just in increased property value based on the assessment this year, our property taxes are going to increase. The average reduction due to this bond value is something like $14.00. Also remember we just sold bonds to renovate the Metrocentre and buy a hockey team.
Many will, and have said to me that the overall cost is not going to be that much. They would be right, if I spent $50,000.00 a year on items other then groceries, medication and titled property (The only things this tax does NOT apply to, it does apply to services) Iíd only pay $500.00 more this year. For actual figures on the average family in Rockford in 2001 see this comparison. That is not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things. But on the other hand, that is a hell of a lot more then the $14.00 savings we are getting from our property tax. This brings my next favorite comment, ďYouíre being foolish by driving the extra distance to buy products outside of the city. Youíre spending more money in gas.Ē Well yes and no. I travel outside the city limits daily, so Iím not really going out of my way. But even if I did have to, itís not that Iím trying to save money by doing this. Itís a protest, out of principle. I am tired of the government taking my money just so they can mismanage it. Just so they can spend it on frivolous items like a river walk and waste it on Mayoral spending.
Let me put it in a way that we should all be able to understand. You own a home. You want to get new furniture, a new TV, some new carpet and a better dishwasher this year. All of a sudden your car dies and you need to come up with an additional $2,000.00 to get it fixed. Now youíve budgeted and have the money for the furniture, TV, carpet and dishwasher with out putting a hardship on your finances. What do you do? You have a couple of choices. You either forgo getting one or a couple of the other items you budgeted for, donít get the car repaired at this time, try to get a loan or pay with a credit card. Well as we all know the later two are going to cause you to earn interest. So you are going to end up paying more for the items then they are worth. The best way to get your car fixed is to not get one or more of the items you had budgeted. What you wouldnít do is go to your employer and demand a salary increase to cover your expenses. If you did, your employer is more then likely going to laugh at you. Trust me on this, I tried it out just to see what happened and my manager just kind of laughed and said no. Even after I explained how urgent it was.
Well thatís kind of like the government. They overspent, they didnít budget accordingly and now they are turning to their employer, the people, and asking for a raise. Yet we gave it to them. We didnít demand they do better with the money they have, we just threw more money at them. Partially because they threatened not to fix the roads if we didnít approve this tax.
The worst part is the wording of this referendum. They toted it was for the roads, but the actual wording is;
ďShall the City of Rockford, Illinois impose a sales tax, for expenditure on public infrastructure, of 1% of gross receipts on person engaged in the business of selling or transferring personal property other than food, medicine and titled property, at retail or incidental to the sale of service, until December 21, 2012.Ē
Expenditure on public infrastructure? If they are only going to use it to fix the roads, why not say that? Public infrastructure is a pretty broad term that can include many different things from transportation to just about anything that could be viewed as helping the public. Try searching for it, seriously. Since I donít have any trust for our city government to begin with, I can see them siphoning money out of this to all their little pet projects that helps the publicÖ like a new hockey team. Okay, Iím stretching it a little there.
So there it is, Iím done with Rockford. I live here, but Iím going to do everything in my power to not purchase anything with in the city limits once it goes into effect. That includes going to local eating and drinking establishments. And I would encourage anyone that wants to send a message to the government to do the same. Let them know weíre tired of them taking our money. Weíd rather choose how to spend our money then to give it over to them. Visitors to our city, I would recommend trying to avoid any establishments in the city limits of Rockford after July 1st. Bring anything you need with you and if you are spending the night or eating here, travel to Cherry Valley, Loves Park or Machesney Park. You may end up saving yourself a little money.
April 18, 2007
After a nice long day at work, because they couldn't help but schedule non-stop meetings for me from 8:00 AM to 4:00PM with a 20 minute break and I had to stay until 7:00 tonight to make up for the lost time, I've finally arrived home in time to do my beer review. Folks, I'm so glad it's Wednesday. I always get a beer on Wednesday. But I have a question for everyone.
If you worked in an office where you have 6 peers that are supposed to share the duties and responsibilities for the entire department, but you find yourself carrying on more of the workload then the others because it's constantly assigned to you and not them, what would you do?
What if you where constantly singled out in meetings and memos regarding new duties and tasks?
Now what if the others all had something in common like race, religion or sexual orientation and you were in the minority?
Yea, I know I'm screwed.
But at least I got noticed today for not calling anyone in a meeting a Farking Idiot in almost a year!
Ktreva picked this weeks beer. She decided she wanted to do the grocery shopping this week instead of me, that meant she had to pick up a beer for me to review. After much deliberation she choose the Summertime German-style Kolsch Bier by Goose Island Beer Co.
Summertime comes in the standard 12 oz brown bottle. The label is brightly colored with the Goose Island logo and the name of the beer on the front. The background looks like a beach, and behind the logo I think itís suppose to look like sun rays shining out.
It is a pale gold/straw colored beer with orange highlights. Itís clear with no sign of any cloudiness or impurities. It poured an inch thick head with large bubbles. There is very minimal lacing on the side of the glass.
The aroma is very weak and hard to detect. Itís a fruity combination of citrus and grains. The taste of it is of dry malts with a grassy hop finish. There is a slight bitterness to it that gets stronger as the beer warms. It leaves an interesting aftertaste that does slowly fade away.
This is a light to medium bodied beer with a light carbonation. There is no bite to the tongue, but if drank quickly it does produce a gassy after effect.
Summertime is not a bad beer, but it really wouldnít be something I would go out of my way for either. To be honest I thought it was lacking in character. It seemed kind of weak, like something you would drink if you wanted to drink a beer, but didnít really want the full beer effect. Iím going to give this a 3.5 out of 10.
April 17, 2007
Today I voted and I want to make jot down some of my experiences at the poll this morning for all of your entertainment.
The local election board must be hurting for election judges. I practically had four judges begging me to volunteer to be an election judge. Why I donít know, since I didnít know any of them. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that they were all Republicans and Democrats and my voter registration has me listed as Independent. Thatís right, I wonít side with either of the tyrannous parties. And no I donít trust any party any further then I would trust my kids with a child molester.
I voted pretty early this morning, in fact I was only the twelfth voter in my precinct at that time. Where I live the election judges wear nametags that have their name and political party affiliation listed on it. Now, Iím not trying to make any generalizations here, but I noticed something unusual. Out of the 6 judges I encountered three were dressed nicely, the guys wearing dress pants and shirts or sweaters the one lady wearing a nice, but casual, pants suit. They all looked well kempt and groomed. The other three were wearing clothes that I feel are fine for around the house, but not out in public. Definitely not as a representative of the election board and the city of Rockford. Hell one was wearing a muumuu. Yea, a muumuu. Muumuu lady looked like she rolled out of bed threw on some shoes and headed to the polls. Her hair was not brushed. The other two also looked like they didnít take any pride in their appearance. At this point I noticed that the three nicely dressed had Republican listed on their nametags, the three poorly dressed and Democrat listed on their nametags. Iím not saying that is true everywhere, just at 6:20 AM at my polling place.
Finally the City of Rockford has been pushing to get a one percent sales tax increase. This is the second time they have tried to get it. Now at first this was just to repair the roads in the Rockford area, then it was to help improve the infrastructure. They claim this is going to lower our property taxes and distribute the burden to people visiting Rockford. Last year this tax was voted down. Iím not so sure it will this year. Mainly because the people of Rockford seem to like being taxed to excess. I will admit that this method for funding Road repair is better then the way they use to do it, bonds. They would sell bonds and then pay them back with interest, itís like using a credit card to make major purchases you canít afford. You end up paying a lot more due to interest.
Folks, to be honest I like my money. I want my money and I want to spend my money. I donít like either of these taxes. So I was asked how I would fund the road repairs and this is what I said, ďI own a home. I want new windows, a new front door and new carpet. Iíve been saving and have the money to pay for those things. Then I find out my roof is needs repairing and it needs it badly. Since I manage my money, I wonít finance or take a loan (unless there is no interest). That means I have to find someone that will do a good job and be relatively cheap to make the repairs. That also means I put off getting something or things done so I can pay for the others. I do NOT go to my employer and demand a 5% raise to help me pay for everything this year. My employer would laugh and say no. I need to budget for it.Ē
That stands the place here. I think the city needs to control itís spending, especially on the nonessential projects, and budget better. The Mayorís (The dishonorable Larry Morrissey) office needs to realize that they are here to serve the citizens, not that the citizens are serfs for the Morrissey Empire.
What I can tell you is that if this Sales Tax passes, Iím taking my business outside the city of Rockfordís limits. Remember, this is just for the city of Rockford, Businesses in Cherry Valley, Machesney Park, Loves Park, New Milford, etc donít have to add this one percent to their tab, just the state/county 7.25%. Sure one percent is not that big of a difference, only 1 dollar more for each 100 spent. When you do the math on what all you spend in a year and figure out how much that extra 1 percent adds up, you realize that DAMN, it adds up after a while. This tax goes on all services (hair dressers, mechanics, tailors, etc) it also applies to restaurants. I think the only thing it doesnít apply to is groceries, medication and titled property.
The polls closed two hours ago. Weíll see what happens, but right now with 22% in itís a yes on the Sales Tax. Which means my business is all outside of the city now. I really need to move.
It just doesn't help.
After the tragedy at Virginia Tech, Iím sure many of you are expecting me to say something about guns and gun control. To be honest, itís just too soon. Right now everyone is upset and out of respect for those that have just lost their lives, Iím not going to use this tragedy to promote my pro-firearm stance. However, I will say that Laughing Wolf posted a link to Penn & Tellerís video regarding Gun Control that he posted on Friday the 13. Itís a long video, about 30 minutes, but it does talk about the flaws of gun control.
Yes, they are comedians and the language is a little rough, but it is very well thought out. Itís not exactly NSFW, but the language is harsh so if you are work and are killing 30 minutes, use headphones listening to this.
April 16, 2007
Saturday was probably one of the most fun days Iíve had in a long, long time. First, I was able to satisfy my love of bad cheesy movies by watching Mulva, Zombie Ass Kicker and Filthy McNasty. Itís actually two short movies, about 45 minutes each, on the same DVD. Low Budget Pictures, which folks is not a misnomer, made the movies. I swear to god it looks like these movies were made on a circa 1993 camcorder. The writing was horrible, the cinematography was craptacular and it was filled with so many inside jokes that only someone who was friends with the company could possibly get half of them. This of course means that I loved it and must get a copy of it, much to my wifeís chagrin. I didnít force her to watch the movies, but she was listening to it while playing on the computer. She was sure I was not going to like this movie at all, she was wrong.
Not long after I finished watching the movie, Shadoglare came over. He was going with me to the Raptorís game. Of course I made him come over at 3:30 so we could hit the local Brew Pub before hand. For those of you that are in the Rockford area, Carlisle has a couple of new beers on the menu, a couple of them are really good and a couple are horrible. Banana and Clover flavored beer shall never pass my lips knowingly again. We waited there for Bruce (Of the still missing sidebar) and some mutual friends. We like to get our drink on at Carlisle before the game. Better beer that is cheaper then at the ďofficial tailgateĒ.
The game was great. We smacked the Evanston Blue Cats around 67-28. Two of the Blue Catís scores came from kick returns ala Hester from the Bears. I brought my camera with to the game and took some great pictures, well 326 to be exact. But now I can give you an idea of how good my seats are. Here is a picture from where I was sitting
uh, oops, I meant this picture.
After the game we went to Backyard Bar and Grill to meet up with the coaches and players. It was great. We sat down, had drinks and even bought Jeremiah Thompson a drink for his birthday. The coaches, GM and players actually pretended to listen to our opinions and input. I canít wait for May 5 game, itís the next home game I can make it to. The one on April 28 falls on a re-enactment.
April 14, 2007
Batman's going to get shot in the Face.
When I was younger and watched the Superfriends, I always wondered why Batman was included. I mean címon heís not actually super, he has no super powers. But I never thought of his brooding downside. This video is a little long, but if you are super hero or comic book fan, this is actually rather amusing.
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No offense to blogspawn Bruce, but this is amusing. And yes I know that means Iíve posted two super hero clips today thus advancing me in the geek pantheon.
Update: Sorry, I've corrected the video.
The video quality is not the best, but itís showing a way to cut glass using scissors. I donít know if this is real or not. Iím not about to try it in my kitchen sink, and itís too cold outside to try it in a bucket.
To be honest Iíve watched this video three times and there are points where it looks like there is some slight of hand at work. I know that clear glass is hard to see under water, and with the less then stellar quality of the video, there could be other pieces of glass hidden in the bottom of the sink.
Then again it could be real. If any of you know for a fact this can be done, share the info.
Fast Times at Hero High
I found this one over at I Hate My Cubicle (NSFW). Imagine all of your favorite superheroes in High School together.
I love how Bruce Banner is a geek and Cyclops is pretty damn nerdy. Although Thor as a stoner is hilarious.
April 12, 2007
After last weeks session I received more questions. It appears no one wanted to be first. This weeks question is from a reader that has/had what I consider a serious problem, so I moved it to the top of the list. For the rest of you, donít worry Iíll get to your questions too.
Dear Dr. Contagion,
My husband's Dad and Stepmom recently dropped by for a "surprise" visit. The biggest part of the surprise is that they live 800+ miles away and planned to stay with me for 10 days.
Also, they brought their 3 little dogs with barking and bladder issues with them. Oh joy. At the time I merely sucked it up and was the best hostess I could be. Thank God for cocktails.
What should I have done? And how can I prevent future "surprises" of this nature?
"Pissed" off is better than "Pissed" on
Move to a gated community. In all seriousness I must say you have got to be the most polite and gracious person I have ever met. The amount of undue stress and inconvenience this situation produced can only be imagined. I would give you some kind of award, but thatís just not my style.
First off your in-laws have to be some of the rudest and most inconsiderate people in existence, they also seem like free loaders. Too cheap to pay for a motel and probably expected you to pay for all the food. When one makes a ďsurpriseĒ visit, it is usually only for an hour or two, maybe an evening at the most. But to plan on staying is a different issue. Iím sure you where expected to be a gracious host including feeding and entertaining them. They also brought with pets. Now you donít say in your letter whether or not you have pets, but Iím sure you have at least one. Even then one does not bring their pet to someone elseís residence with out first asking permission. There could be allergy, pet compatibility, or human compatibility issues. The fact that the dogs donít shut up and have bladder issues really means they shouldnít have been brought with.
What should you have done and how can you prevent future ďsurprisesĒ of this nature? I think this could have been all done at the same time. When they arrived and advised their intentions, you should have politely declined their offer of them staying with you. Explain that you did not know they where coming and are not prepared for them. Offer to help them find a local motel in which they could stayÖ one that accepts pets. Explain that you do not appreciate being put to task with no notice. If they seem offended, explain to them that you are not a motel and you and your familyís lives do not revolve around them. There is school, jobs, clubs, housework etc that must be done and you cannot afford to just take the time on short notice to house, feed and entertain them. If given enough notice you may have been able to accommodate themÖ depending on what you and your families schedule is.
While they stayed with you, make them leave the dogs outside. If you have a fenced in yard, great. If not tie them up. Again this is your house; you are perfectly with in your rights to decline the offer of hospitality to their incontinent and yappy dogs. If they donít like it, owell they should have left them at home. If they donít want to leave their dogs at home, as I know some people are wont to do, then they should make sure they are going someplace that they are welcome. Itís not their property or belongings that is getting damaged by canine piss, itís yours. You have the right to protect yourself from the yappy beasts. You also have the right to protect your sanity from the barking. In no world should you have to put up with their maladjusted pets just because they canít leave them behind or afford to kennel them. Itís not your problem.
To be honest, when they came to the door with their little surprise, I would have told them sorry; we have plans and left them there. Even if it meant taking a little impromptu family trip, so be it. If you couldnít afford to take the time off of work, sometimes just spending a couple of nights in a hotel can be family fun that still allows you to go to work. Then again if it was me, I probably would have gotten drunk enough the first night to tell them how I actually feltÖ ďFarking dumbarsesĒ.
Remember, bad planning on their part does not constitute and emergency on your part.
For the record I am not a doctor, but I do play one in the tool shed. My advice is purely for entertainment purposes.
If you would like to ask me a question or need advice, please comment or send an email to contagion_1 @ yahoo DOT com.
April 11, 2007
Tonightís beer review is dedicated to my good buddy Shadoglare of Refractional Darkness. About a month ago we went to Old Chicago. While there he said that he hadnít found an Italian Beer that was worth drinking. When I was at the store looking for this week's pick, I saw Birra Moretti by the Heineken Italia S.P.A in Comun Nuovo, Italy. Hey, maybe I can find a good Italian Beer for my pal. So now Iím on a missionÖ oh and suggestions would be welcomed.
We have the standard 12 oz bottle; this one is cast with the name Moretti at the base of the neck. The label has an old world look to it with a guy sipping on a stein of beer. The name of the beer is under the picture.
This is a very pale yellow beer. Itís clear; light passes through it easily. There is not a hint of cloudiness to it. It poured a one-inch head that quickly fades into a film at the top. There is a very minimal lacing on the glass.
There is a week scent of barley malts and clean water to the beer. The combination of which reminds me of a cave spring, clean but kind of musty. Itís not unpleasant, but only because itís not very strong. The flavor is weak and watery. One can taste the malts, but barely anything else.
It is a thin, light bodied beer. There is a crisp smoothness to it that makes it very easy to drink. There is a slight bubbliness to it that helps enhance the experience with out making the drinker gassy.
Overall this is not a bad beer. Itís not something I would normally drink, as itís kind of pricey for what you get. However, if I was at an Italian restaurant or someone gave me one, I wouldnít pass it up. Iím going to rate this 4 out of 10.
April snow showers, kill the flowers!
Holy cow, itís like a dream come true!
ĎTwas the week after Easter, and all through the state
the snow was falling, and I was thinking itís great!
However, I appear to be the only one. There are people out there that think that we should not have snow this time of year. Iím telling you we should have snow all year round. When they announced that we were going to get hit with snow, I was ecstatic! I love the snow, Iím pissed we didnít get more this winter. I spent the last day and a half walking around hoping for feet of snow. Yes, not inches, but feet. I wanted to be able to measure the amount of snow we received by the foot.
Depending on which inaccurate weather report you watched they predicted everything from 2-4 to 6-12 inches of snow accumulation. They also said it was going to snow all day. Well the snow had pretty much stopped at noon, and at best we received an inch of accumulation. Here is a picture of my front porch of my neighborhood.
I was greatly disappointed.
April 10, 2007
My two dads.
Well it looks like all the concern over who the father of Anna Nichole Smithís baby has finally been resolved. For the last month weíve heard day in and day out about how she died and who was the baby. This was getting to be a huge ordealÖ well not for me as I couldnít care less, but for otherís it was a big deal. They kept talking about it and in Vegas they even started taking bets as to who the father was, Larry Birkhead or Howard K. Stern.
Iím not sure what the odds were, but we all know who had to spread.
April 09, 2007
For Easter most parents that observe the holiday, and even some that donít,
abort chicken embryos by boiling them in water hard boil eggs. Then they dip the hardened remains into cups of dye. If you have a four year-old you also get to wipe spilled dye up off the floor and table a couple of times. When you are done you have a carton or twelve of multi-colored hard-boiled eggs. Now this is where parents differ.
Some hide the eggs while the kids are sleeping so they can find them on Easter. After the lost egg incident of 2000, I donít do that anymore. Sure we, and I mean me, hid the egg in an easy to find spot. It was so easy to find that when Boopie was done looking for the eggs, I counted one short. We searched and searched and were not able to find it. Finally I figured that I had miscounted how many eggs I had hid. Since I didnít hide all the eggs, and one or two were eaten already, I figured that I just counted wrong. The egg finally showed up some months laterÖ in August. There was a vile stench in the house and I couldnít quite place it. I searched and I searched and I searched. Finally after looking long and hard enough I found it.
It was in plain sight under the air hockey tableÖ but some moron put a dark blue egg up against a dark blue background, and after months of cooking in a house without AC, the egg wanted out and let off a stench so that everyone could find it. I no longer hide Easter eggs.
This year I made the largest batch of Egg Salad that I ever made. Weíve been eating on it for two days for lunch and dinner. Hell I even had some for breakfast this morning. Thereís probably still more then half left. Already I do not like the gaseous emanations that are wafting off of me. Yet, I just canít throw it out.
Maybe if I us beer to wash it down it wonít stink so badly when I blow arse.
April 07, 2007
I donít like this song. In fact I donít like Fergie at all, her songs are about as lyrically intellectual as a conversation with my four year old. That and the fact she feels she has to spell a word in each and every one of her songs to prove she are S-M-A-R-T, annoys me beyond rage. On the other side Iím not a huge Alanis Morissette fan. Other then her involvement with Kevin Smith, I donít think sheís all that great. But at least I respect her lyrics and donít hate her music. However, when Alanis makes a parody of Fergieís ďMy HumpsĒ, I couldnít help but laugh.
She turned a trite piece of crap into a psuedo movie ballad, hilarious.
I have to rate this video ENSFWÖ thatís EXTREMELY Not Safe For Work. Sure there is no nudity, but content and theme is really out there. With that being said, this is pretty damn funny. The Superficial Friends and Britney Spears go after Hillary Clinton.
Theyíve managed to make fun of celebrities, politics and the media all in one clip.
A lot of my readers have sent me links talking about a new documentary coming out soon. Then I found a trailer for it. The documentary is called Fido and itís about the domestication of the zombie.
Folks this is wrong, just wrong. And Iím not just talking about the parts were there is some alleged hot(?) human on zombie action. We should not be domesticating the zombie. We should be killing the zombie. They are an abomination and should be destroyed. Iím pretty sure this is happening in California somewhere. Just another reason that state should be pushed off into the ocean.
April 06, 2007
Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace Bled!
Today is Tartan Day, as part of Gathering of the Blogs we are to post a Scottish post. In the years past I did a four-part post on Jacobites, as well as some highland fashion. And recipes for Minced Callops, Colcannon and Barley with Mushrooms, really you should try each one. Today Iím going to sit back with a nice bottle of Glenmorangie 12 year old port wood finish single malt scotch and receipt my favorite Robert Burns poem, ďScots, wha hae wií Wallace BledĒ depicting the battle of Bannockburn fought on June 24th, 1314. In the battle the Scots, led by Robert the Bruce defeated the English in what could only be called a slaughter.
Scots, wha hae wií Wallace Bled!
Scots, Wham Bruce has often led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to victory!
Nowís the day, and nowís the hour;
See the front oí battle lour;
See approach proud Edwardís power,
Chains and Slavery!
Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a cowardís grave?
Wha so base as be a slave
Let him turn and flee.
Wha for Scotlandís king and law,
Freedomís sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand, or freeman faí
Let him follow me!
By oppressionís woes and pains,
By your sons in servile chains,
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free.
Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Libertyís in every blow!
Let us do or die!
This poem by Burns is supposed to be his interpretation of what is thought to be the Bruceís words to the Scots prior to the battle. Since there is no record of what was actually said there is no way of knowing if this is even close. On the other hand it would be easy to see these words inspiring soldiers to fight to the death in what had to be the goriest type of warfare. Itís also easy seeing these words applying today.
Other Blogs participating in the Gathering of the Blogs.
April 05, 2007
Putting the moves on the Ex.
Our first question for Contagion Therapy comes from a long time commenter who wishes to remain anonymous.
Contagion, There is a girl Iíve been interested in since High School. We never dated in High School, but we had a lot of mutual friends and did hang out a lot. We both were seeing different people so we never got together. Right after graduation she had broken up with her boyfriend and admitted she had feelings for me. We had a summer fling before I left for college out of state. During my first semester my father received a promotion and the family moved to a different city. I kept in contact with ďLizĒ, but we never really saw each other while I was in college. We both decided to move on, but stay friends. She started dating one of my good friends from High School Mike and they got married during my senior year, I was a part of the wedding party. Mike knew that Liz and I had been together.
After college I took a prestigious internship in the city I grew up, and have stayed there since. Lizís husband ďMikeĒ and I are still good friends and hung out all the time. Unfortunately my feelings for Liz never faded. Things between Mike and Liz went sour and they decided to get divorced. They are still civil with each other, but you can see the tension there. Their divorce was 4 years ago. Liz hasnít been dating anyone, and Iíve only been in minor relationships over the last couple of years. In a conversation we had a couple of weeks ago Liz admitted she still had feelings for me and wanted to get back together.
Would it be wrong for me to start seeing Liz since Mike and I are still good friends? ĖLong Time Reader.
First Iím going to start by saying that Iím only responding to this letter because itís the only one I received. Iím starting to feel that none of you feel confident in my ability to help you with your problems. I see how you all are.
Secondly, LTR let me say that you really did not give me enough information here to truly help you. The first thing I need to know is if Liz is a hottie. Obviously you think she has the right stuff, but Iím curious what your other friends think of her. Since, I donít know for sure Iím going to assume sheís at least above average and has either a decent rack or an arse you can bounce quarters off of. With that being said, lets begin.
LTR, since technically your buddy Mike made the moves, and scored, with a girl you had already dating, he violated the guy code regarding recycling friends girlfriends. Therefore Liz is fair game. Even if he asked you permission and you gave it, she was your girl first. Once the divorce was finalized and the minimum 2-year waiting period was met, Liz was again free game according to man laws and the guy code. Even if you didnít wait the permitted waiting period special compensation could be made because you dated her first, there for your are not starting a new relationship, you are rekindling an old one.
Good luckÖ oh and send pictures.
If you need help with a problem or need some advice donít be shy, let Contagion help you out. Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.
Cop blames the gun.
Shadoglare wants to get my blood boiling early this week. He sent me a link to a local story about a rash of shootings at a local housing project, including the first homicide in Rockford for the year. The Chief of Police Chet Epperson is quoted in the article saying:
Epperson believes the latest rash of violence can be attributed, in part, to the ease with which ex-felons can get their hands on guns. Two Blackhawk Courts shooting victims had been released from prison as recently as last month.
ďThis is unacceptable,Ē Epperson said of the string of shootings. ďHandguns are really the culprit of the degradation of this community.Ē
What????? Ease in which ex-felons can get their hands on guns? The last time I bought a firearm in Illinois I had to jump through hoops and wait three days. In that time they did a back ground check and everything to make sure I wasnít a felon. Wait, I bought my firearm legally, thatís right. The way Chet here is talking about must be illegal. That means that if Chet and his boys were doing their jobs then the felons would have a hard time getting firearms. So if there is an easy way to get them, itís obviously his fault since heís the ďtop copĒ.
As for handguns being the culprit of the degradation of this community, Iím curious to how he jumped to that conclusion. If all three cases involved baseball bats, golf clubs or kitchen knives would he blame those? Probably not, but because he canít stem the flow of illegal firearms, then he has to blame the firearm not the individuals using them. Sure itís easy to blame an inanimate object, it wonít argue back. But lets put the blame were it really belongs: The individuals that pulled the trigger. I donít know what their up bringing was, and I really donít want to stereotype anyone, so Iím not going to. But both my mother and father who were involved in my life and taught me right from wrong raised me. Iíve never shot anyone with malice. Iíve never used a firearm to solve a dispute between me and another person. And as much as I joke about, ďIím going to shootÖĒ, I donít follow through with it by actually shooting anyone.
Itís the type of ignorance that Chet here uses that causes so much fear and mistrust of legal firearms and their owners.
April 04, 2007
Tonightís beer is one Iíve had before. In fact many of my friends will know what Iím going to say about it just from the name. Tonight I review Leinenkugelís Sunset Wheat by the Leinenkugelís brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. BTW folks if you are ever up there, itís well worth taking the tour of the brewery, the samples are great and if you play your cards right you can get thrown out too. But, uh, thatís a story for another time.
We have our standard 12 oz brown bottle. The neck and body label are rather quite busy. Itís blue with the name of the beer predominate across the front. There is a lot of information about the brewery and the brewery logo on it as well.
The Sunset Wheat is a pale yellow with just a hint of orange. Itís very cloudy. There is almost a graininess to the look. It poured a thin white head that quickly turned into a film on the top of the beer and finally just a ring along the edge of the glass. There was some lacing, but not a lot.
The first time I smelled this beer, I thought it smelled familiar. There was a mixture of Blueberries with citric accents. There is a subtle undertone of malted wheat. I couldnít quite place the scent, and then I tasted it. It had a strong orange and blueberry taste with a good wheat backbone. Again it tasted very familiar. After a while it finally came to me, people this beer tastes like beer flavored Fruity PebblesÖ but not in a bad way. Most folks Iíve talked to agree with my observation.
Itís a medium bodied beer. There is a strong carbonation to it that bites the tongue. There is a bit more carbonation to it then I generally like.
This is a sweeter beer then I normally like, but it does have a good flavor to it. This would be more of a desert style beer, one I would want to drink if I wanted something a little more sweet, but not too sweet. Iím going to give this 5.5 out of 10.
April 03, 2007
Illinois Tax Unfairness.
Citizens of Illinois this message is for you. Our esteemed(?) Governor Rod ďBlagoĒ Blagojevich has proposed a Gross Receipts Tax, that he likes to refer to as a ďfair taxĒ Sadly enough his idea of a fair tax appears to be anything but fair. Not only is this the largest state tax increase of this decade, it seems to be aimed at driving business out of the state.
This tax is aimed at any company that grosses more then 1 million dollars a year. Thatís gross people, not net. That means that if a business sells large ticket items, like say cars, this could easily drive them out of business. Think about it, if a car dealer sells one car a week at just over $19,231.00, they would gross a million dollars in a year. However, if you take out how much it costs to run the business: buy inventory, pay staff, equipment, supplies, etcÖ they didnít actually make a million dollars. In some cases they may just be making a profit of about $100,000.00 a yearÖ but they pay taxes on ten times that amount.
After talking with some local small business owners, they state that in their books they gross a million dollars. However, their businesses are barely staying afloat due to the expenses. One of these businesses is a Jewelry store; insurance is expensive. All of these owners are saying the same thing, if this tax goes through itís going to drive them out of business. Or there is the other option, moving out of the state.
Which is what some big businesses more then likely will do. Why stay in Illinois if you can cut your costs of operation by moving to another state? Here in Rockford we are only 30 minutes from the Wisconsin state line. Whatís keeping businesses from just moving over the boarder? Hell, Beloit could get a much-needed boost to its economy and growth.
Many elected officials have publicly opposed this plan.
Ē Governor Blagojevich has pitched his Gross Receipts Tax as a tax fairness plan but there is nothing fair about this plan," said Syverson. "Consumers will pay the ultimate price - either through higher prices or future taxes because this tax ran all the businesses and revenues out of Illinois.Ē
This was from an e-mail newsletter the senatorís office sent out. He even has a link to an online e-Petition regarding this issue. If you would like to voice your opposition to this tax, and live in Illinois, please go add your name to this petition.
Trust is a powerful thing
You want proof that I love my wife? Her van is in the shopÖ again. Somehow she warped the rotors on the brakes with out even wearing the pads down. She has a very important appointment tonight that could not be rescheduled. I could have driven her to the appointment and gone and picked her up afterwards, but no. I love my wife.
I gave her the keys to my truck.
(Waits for shocked gasps to subside)
Yep, thatís right I let her drive my truck to the appointment and back. The truck that some people say I love more then her. Actually sheís on her way there right now. Am I worried? Nope, I trust her. I trust her completely. After 7.5 years of marriage there is no reason for me to not trust her. She is a smart woman and wouldnít do anything stupid in it.
That and I trust the fact she knows that if she puts on scratch on it sheíll never hear the end of it.
April 02, 2007
Ahh yes, home for the day. Iím not sick, Iím not on ďadministrative leaveĒ, and I didnít even take the day off because I wanted to do something. Today Iím home because we are having new windows installed. They are supposed to be here between ten and noon. Well considering itís 20 to noon, they better hurry up and get here.
Now, I have to ask you readers. Am I the only one that gets antsy when Iím given a window for any contractor or serviceman to show up? Around nine this morning I was up and had everything out of the way for the new windows. By 10:30 AM I was wondering where the hell they were. Now Iím starting to wonder if they are ever going to show up. Sure they arenít late, but damn, Iím starting to wonder if I have the wrong day. I donít want to call and seem like a fool, because they arenít technically lateÖ but Iím still wondering.
UPDATE: 12:26 PM: I called the contractor, today is the day they are supposed to be here, they don't know why they are running late. They are going to check and get back with me.
UPDATE: 1:58 PM: The contractor arrived! They were very sincere about being late. They explained that their last job they ran into a problem with one of the large windows they where installing on the second story of a house. Since this is the first time in 5 years I've had a problem with them, I am going to cut them some slack. Plus they are going to fix a problem I'm having with some molding for free.
And the family grows.
A long time ago I tried inspiring someone to start a blog, and the resulting blog started strong only to slowly fade awayÖ in fact the last time I heard anything from Virtue was when she last babysat for us. That was back in August of last year.
So I had this friend (Yes, I actually have friends, I know itís hard to believe) that was looking for a little outlet. He had been to my blog and slowly he started thinking about creating his own. This time, instead of taking the forcible pushing approach, I took the more guiding stance. I showed him where to go, gave him some tips and then let him do his own thing.
Because my first attempt was a complete and utter bust, I was hesitant to do it again. But I thought, no, Iím going to do it again. Iím not sure he really wants a large announcement into the world, but heís getting one anyway. He needs all the help and support he can get right now.
Here he is my latest blogspawn and everyoneís favorite crime fighter Bruce Wayne and his blog Back to the Batcave. Maybe the Department of Blog Children won't take this one away from me.
Oh, and disregard his sidebarÖ I know, I tried to tell him, but he just wonít listen to me. You know how kids are these days.
April 01, 2007
Gathering of the Blogs 2007
Before I get, this years Gathering of the Blogs is kicking off here in just 6 short days. If you are interested in joining, see the Tartan Day post over at Absinthe & Cookies.
Of course Iím going to participate.
Iíve been an amateur hobbyist photographer for years. I love to take pictures and to be a little bit on the artistic side at times. Iíve used the same camera for almost 20 years now, a Pentax K1000. Iím telling you folks, this is a great camera. It doesnít have all of the bells and whistles that most cameras had, everything had to be done manually, but it was nice. I loved it; it did everything I wanted it to. I used this camera for anything I wanted to take real pictures of. The great photos from last yearís vacation all came off of this camera.
But then it broke. It wouldnít function properly and the picture quality started to suffer. I took it to a local camera place to see if it could be repaired, and they told me that what was broken on it, could not be fixed. They donít make the parts anymore. So I asked them what they had in the line of replacement cameras. They started off showing me all of these digital cameras, that were niceÖ but they are digital. Iím not a fan of digital cameras. Iíve always been able to tell the difference between a digital and a film photo.
When I asked to see the film cameras, I found out they have completely stopped making them. If I wanted a camera that still used film, I would have to find a place that sold used cameras.
The guy behind the counter and I had an argument over the quality of digital cameras. The quick version goes like this:
Me: Digital photos suck, I can always tell the difference.
Salesman: With the new cameras you canít tell the difference.
Me: I saw pictures just last week taken on a new camera, and I could tell they where digital.
Salesman: Then the place that printed them out didnít know what they where doing.
Me: Well my father had them put onto paper here.
Salesman: ÖuhÖ It must have been set on a lower quality.
Me: My father is technologically stupid; itís on the factory basic settings that always put it at the highest possible quality. He doesnít know how to change it, and wouldnít in fear that the camera would break by him doing something to it.
Me: So there are no film cameraís here at all?
Salesman: Only point and clicks.
Me: Sorry to have wasted your time.
That was 6 months ago. After doing a lot of research I verified everything the guy had said. They donít make anything short of point and clicks anymore that still take film. Which is a shame. Finally I got around to coming with the terms that if I wanted a new camera, it was going to have to be digital.
Finally on Tuesday I went out and bought me a new camera. I stuck with Pentax because their last camera was a great camera, and served me well. I ended up getting a Pentax K10D. To be honest it has a ton more features then not only am I not used to, but I probably wonít use. Since then Iíve been taking pictures of everything, just trying to get use to the way it handles. Which is the nice thing about digital, it doesnít cost you an arm and a leg in film to do thatÖ and you can instantly see what you did wrong. On the other hand it also has a fast drive motor on it, so you can take a rapid series of pictures. Iíve always wanted a camera that could do that.
So Iíve been following Ktreva and the boys around the house taking their pictures over and over. Itís starting to drive them nuts. I think they are getting the feeling for what itís like to be followed by the paparazzi. So expect to see a lot more photos of the family and stuff over the next couple of months while I break it in.
Sibling revenge oath
My sister lives a couple of house down state and wasnít able to make it up last weekend for Cloneís birthday. However, she was in town this weekend so she saved her gift and gave it to him yesterday. My sister and I have one of those relationships that are normal, yet hard to understand. We love each other, but donít really understand nor get along. Thus she knows I hate it when the boys get toys that need a lot of assembly and make a lot of noise. So what does she give Clone for his birthday this year? This monstrosity:
Good lord. The assembly wasnít bad, but itís noisy as all hell. There is a motorized accelerator on it that shoots the cars through the track. Then Doctor Octopus moves around and tries to block the cars from hitting or getting past him. Then you can lower the Spiderman web launcher and shoot the cars at Doctor Octopus. Which, the cars will miss and hit the cardboard back ground with a loud thump like a drum. Needless to say, this thing is amazingly loud.
And Clone loves it.
Since Iíve assembled it yesterday heís played with it a good 4 hours. With breaks only when I say, ďENOUGH, go do something else for a little while! Daddy needs to go chew some Advil.Ē
One day my sister is going to have kids, oh yes she is. When she does, payback is a beotch. Because each year the toys get louder and more complicated to assemble. Her future husband is going to learn to hate me quickly.