May 31, 2007

The neighbors are coming.

Last night I caught a glimpse of what might be the new neighbors. It looks like they are setting into moving in possibly as soon as this weekend. Then this morning I saw someone standing out by their garage looking at the roof. (Yes, the one I dropped the tree on).

So do I start doing werid stuff now, or do I wait until they get settled in?

Posted by Contagion at 06:17 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 30, 2007

That boy ain't right.

For the love of Jack Danielís! It seems that blogspawn Bruce had his meme cherry popped by Blog Grandpappy Harvey. Yea, I know whoís cherry hasnít Harvey tried to pop? In vengeance over the whole thing he tags me with the 8 random facts MEME.

Eight random facts? I swear in December of 2005, I was tagged with 5 weird facts, and then in April of 2006 I was tagged with the 6 weird facts or habits meme. Who the hell keeps this thing going and keeps adding facts? Why, why canít you leave some of us alone and in peace? Why must you sit there and make us bare our souls to the world? Itís because youíre a sadistic little couch monkey isnít it?

Anyway, 9 ďrandomĒ facts about me. Okay here are the rules:
Players start with 8 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts. Players should tag eight other people and notify them that they have been tagged.

A) There is always some form of alcohol in my house that I will never drink. I donít know why, but itís there. Right now I have 5 small bottles of tequila and some funky flavored rum that I canít stand. Yet, I refuse to dump it down the sink

2) I collect key chains. I have over 1,000 of them. Iím not sure exactly how many because I stopped counting years ago. There are so many of them, I canít even display all of them anymore. Only the ones I like are displayed.

D) I own more knives then any two people I know. They are all over the place. I display some, I have some in drawers, and I have a bunch in boxes in the basement. Hell, Iíve even carried a knife with me everywhere I go since I was 12, even to school.

4) I can fall asleep at night in under 30 seconds most of the time. This irritates the hell out of my wife. I can lay my head on the pillow and be asleep faster then it takes her to find a comfortable position in the bed.

G) I have nicknames for everyone I have ever met. They just donít know what they are, and I normally donít share them with that person or anyone else. Mainly because I canít remember their real names when I first meet them and I have to have a way to catalog their face in my memory.

5) I once was arrested for urinating in public. That is a story for another time.

E) I spent a weekend testing a theory that a professor of mine stated in college that a person could survive on beer and vitamin supplements with no ill effects. She was a damn liar, and even though it was happy 5 days, Iíll never repeat it. (This is a story for another time, oh and my weekends went from Wednesday through Sunday in college)

8) Finally. I harass and pick on people that I like. If I harass you, pick on you, or make slightly snarky/mean comments to you in jestÖ itís because I like you. Yea, I never really grew up as a child.

And Iím not tagging anyone with this, becauseÖ well most of us have done it already.

Posted by Contagion at 07:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Krusovice Imperial

Ktreva picked out this weeks beer. She found one that I had never seen before, in fact Iím not even sure where she got it. The label isnít in English, and the alphabet it is in has letters the standard English alphabet doesnít have. As far as I can tell from the label the name of the beer is Krusovice Imperial and is from the Czech Republic.

Krusovice Imperial.jpg

It comes in a 1 pint .9 fluid oz brown bottle, with gold foil at the neck. The label is a golden color with the name of the beer in a red square. There is other writing on the label below the brand type, but the lettering is almost the same color as the label and can not be read.

It pours a crystal clear golden yellow with an orange tint. There is a decent white head, about three quarters of an inch that fades quickly. There is some lacing on the side of the glass, but it mainly disappears with in moments of appearing.

The sent is a mixture of grass, floral hops and various earth tones. It reminds me of smelling a beer while standing in a freshly plowed field. There is a nice malt flavoring blended with floral hops that makes the beer very palatable. There is a slight bitterness to it, and the true flavor of the beer starts to come forth as it warms.

This is a medium bodied beer. There is a decent level of carbonation that is pleasing to the tongue, but doesnít make it sit heavily.

Surprisingly this is not like most European lagers Iíve had of late. It isnít a weak watery flavor with no body. It isnít something Iíd really want to drink a lot of on a hot summer day, but itís worth a try. Iíll rate this 4.5 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 06:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 29, 2007

I was right!!!!!

I WARNED YOU! I WARNED YOU! But did any of you believe me?!?!?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo! But I have proof! The Rockford Register Star reports on May 25, 2007 ďWatch out for zombies; the threat is real.Ē By Wally Haas!

Since I donít know how long the article will stay up until the government takes it down in order to hide it from us, Iíve copied the whole thing here so as to warn all of you.

They started in North Carolina and have been making their way west. Iíve seen subtle signs that theyíre approaching Rockford. We all need to be aware ó the zombies are coming.

The threat of zombies taking over the country was first brought up last year in an email that was received at the Charlotte Observer.

The subject line: ďThis is a very serious situation.Ē

ďEvery day I see countless articles about politics, the war, and why flip-flops arenít good for your feet, but I also see Charlotteans neglecting the important news.

ďThe threat of a zombie attack.

ďThe dead are everywhere: in our cemeteries, in our morgues, in our own backyards ... The potential for an undead uprising is huge. There is no question weíd be overcome ó we would be no match for their brute strength and blind determination to feast on human flesh. Zombies donít have a sense of mercy. I can only appeal to parents to sit down with their children and discuss emergency evacuation plans, which household items make the best weapons, and how to recognize when a loved one no longer has a soul. Please, Charlotte, concentrate on the real danger.Ē

Ed Williams, editorial page editor of the Observer, quickly alerted his peers to the threat. Editorial page editors, editorial writers, columnists and community conversation editors across the country, being the serious types that we are, responded accordingly.

ďOh come on. We canít print this,Ē one editor replied. ďIt contains a glaring factual error. Zombies feast on human BRAINS not flesh. That in mind, I leave the threat assessment as an exercise.Ē

Some tried to be reassuring.

ďDonít worry. Itís that time of the year. We have loads of them in Ventura County, California. Only theyíre called politicians.Ē

Others were not as dismissive.

ďWe clearly have been disrespecting the undead segment of our respective readerships in a less-than-politically-correct manner; hence, we owe them our apologies. One would not want to try to explain a zombie suit to oneís newspaperís libel insurer.Ē

Others were more practical.

ďWe got that (email) in Detroit, localized. We deleted it.

ďAnd then the zombies came Ö we really flogged ourselves when several were elected to the Michigan Legislature.Ē

Looking at the official portraits of some of the men and women in the General Assembly and reading some of the legislation theyíve proposed, Iím not sure we in Illinois didnít elect a few zombies ourselves.

One of my colleagues said, ďIt wasnít so much that they were zombies. Weíve had worse. But they didnít complete our questionnaires so we couldnít endorse them.Ē

ďI think some of the Living Dead reside in Alabama. Sometimes even I wake up in the morniní with the zombie woof behind my eyes.Ē

ďClearly, this was written by someone from Pittsburgh, which is home of the ĎNight of the Living Dead,í ĎDawn of the Living Dead,í ĎDay of the Deadí and all other ĎLiving Deadí things. The living dead reside in Pittsburgh, not Charlotte.Ē

Pittsburgh must be a deadly place to live.

ďWeíve never had to recant our support for zombies because we always couch the editorials very carefully: ĎOn the question of the undead, on the other hand ó oh, wait, the other hand just dropped off ...íĒ

ďWait uh minute, now. Are yíall suggesting that zombies donít exist? And mocking it? I suppose next thereíll be no such thing as a gris-gris? And haints?

ďI may be from South Louisiana, but I ainít stupid. I know how to keep the zombies off-in me. (Boil a black snake, dip out some of the juice, bury it in the backyard at midnight with your underwear and two dead chickens, and youíll be safe from zombies. Guar-ron-teed.)

ďP.S. Besides, it isnít the zombies you have to worry about. Itís the Ferengi who came back to Earth after Quark landed at Roswell in 1947. (Source: ĎLittle Green Men,í ĎStar Trek: Deep Space Nine.í)Ē

ďYou mean the Rules of Acquisition ARENíT the guiding principles of American political life already?Ē

ďOne of our people asks if this phenomenon has anything to do with global warming. ...Ē

ďAfter years of watching him campaign, Iíve always thought Al Gore might be one of íem.Ē

Itís an inconvenient truth that editorial writers know more about dealing with the undead than weíd care to admit.

Thank you Wally Haas, Thank you for spreading the word. And for the rest of you that thought I was a complete wack-job... see, ol' Contagion does know a thing or two about the undead.

Hat Tip to loyal friend, and true believer, Littlejoe of the now defunct Little Joe's Soapbox for sending me the link. When the zombies come, you've definitely earned your seat on the survival bus.

Posted by Contagion at 08:27 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Death to the plants!

So it was that time of the week again, you know what Iím talking aboutÖ mowing the lawn. My fine contaminants let me tell you that my personal hell is having to mow the lawn in the blazing sun. After about 2 minutes I start hoping I get physically injured so I can stop. Yes, I hate it that much that I start wishing for a hospital visit to get out of it. But I think I may have found the solution to my problem.

My weedwacker broke, so I couldnít get along the edge of the house, fence, trees, etc. Since I was already in the midst of Operation ďSalt the EarthĒ with these unwanted weeds that keep popping up along the back of the yard, I decided to use the same chemicals instead of weedwacking. This all started a couple of weeks ago. This was the best idea Iíve had in a long time! It worked really wellÖ a little too well. Apparently the chemical I use kills weeds, grass, flowers, bushes, small trees, insects, alien life forms and almost anything that requires sun light or sun light using products to survive.

There is a ring of dead grass around my house. Small tress and bushes are dying at an alarming rate. I figure if I spray the rest of the lawn with this stuff, I wonít ever have to mow again! Itíll be great! I can talk Ktreva into letting me pave the yard and put down Astroturf! A whole section of Ktrevaís flowerbed has been returned to nothing but dirt. Insects donít even cross the barren lands Iíve created. A three-year-old maple tree has returned to the earth from which it sprang, an eight-year-old bush Iíve tried cutting out for 5 years is withering and turning to mulch. Everything is dying!

Well, not everything. The damn weeds that I specifically bought this product for are thriving. Iíve doused them every week for a month and a half, and they just wonít die. Which is why I would have to pave the dirtÖ I couldnít handle a yard full of these weeds. They grow faster then the grass.

Posted by Contagion at 07:22 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Joys of driving.

I had to fill the truck up with gas this morning. After driving on the same tank all week and then up to Fort Atkinson, it was less then three quarters of a tank. Since the weekend was over I had been hoping that the price of gas would have dropped, it hadnít.

Fortunately for me a local bank had opened up a small loan desk at the gas station.

F@#king gas.

Posted by Contagion at 05:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 28, 2007

One less re-enactment to do.

We got back from our re-enactment last night. Iíve just been so out of it I havenít posted anything. We didnít leave until late Friday night. There was a Raptors game and Wes and I went to that, afterwards we headed straight home, grabbed the family, jumped into the truck and rove up to Fort Atkinson. Wes rode with us to the event. We got there around midnight. Unlike in years past, we didnít have a problem with finding someone to tell us were we could or couldnít set up. We just pulled in found a spot and set up. I didnít even try to find anyone to ask, since I have a hard time finding anyone at 5:00PM; I doubt Iíd be able to find someone at midnight.

The next morning when I finally got around to trying to register, it took me over an hour again. I went to the registration table and they werenít ready. After waiting for a while, they just gave me a packet and I went off and had breakfast. Even after breakfast they still werenít ready. Then when I was finally able to register I find out they increased their fees to $25.00. I guess if I had read the literature better I would have known that they made that change.

After that we took a walk around both the upper and lower camps to see if we knew anyone there. Other then a couple of the vendors, there were two demonstrators I talk to on a regular basis. The rest were all ones I know in passing or as acquaintances. The attendance for this event was down drastically from last year. There were no new faces that I saw, but a lot that werenít there from years past. Some of the people did a walk through, but didnít camp. After conversing with many of them, it seems that the quality of the event coupled with increased prices on everything is keeping them at bay.

The weather was actually pretty good. Of course we were rained on Saturday. We always plan on getting wet at this event. The temps were fabulous. Highs in the low 70s, lows in the mid 50s. We built a fire to help ward off a chill, but it never too cold. We couldnít have asked for better weather.

I also got hit with more bad news. Three re-enactors I know had heart attacks since my last event. And I just found out that another one had died a couple of months back. It seems that most people thought I knew so didnít repeat the information, thus I never found out. It has been a dark year for re-enactors. That brings the count up to 4 deaths and 9 with serious health issues for the year. That is not a good count this early on.

Saturday night the camp was pretty dead, which is very unusual. Finally later in the evening we had a bunch of people show up. Most of them committee members or spouses of committee members, it made us wonder they read some of my reviews of the event and were trying to butter me up for better ones. That and the way I was treated all weekend was kind of weird. Everyone on the committee was overly nice to me.

Saturday night also led to Wes and I having the most idiotic conversation weíd ever had with other re-enactors. Iím not going to go into all the details, but it started over me not wanting to pay $55.00 per person in my family to do an event, it devolved into one person not liking me calling my outfit costuming and my tent at tent. They wanted me to call it wardrobe and a lodge. I know that a lot of re-enactors do it, but itís a matter of semantics and I just donít care. Then they got pissed because I referred to re-enacting as a hobby, they said it was a lifestyle. I pressed on with it being a hobby, mainly because at that point I had been drinking for hours, and my inner arsehole had come out and I was just trying to piss the individual off. Finally it reached the point where one said Wes and I werenít really into it, and that we donít take rendezvous serious. YeaÖ It was an interesting conversation.

Sunday was uneventful. Except for Wes making a name for himself in the re-enacting circle. He protected some kids from an animal attack. Iíd include that story in this post, but that deserves one all of its own.

All in all it was pretty much decided that unless we have some other friends going next year, we wonít be back to this one.

Posted by Contagion at 06:51 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 25, 2007

One last chance.

This weekend is the Fort Koshkonong re-enactment in Fort Atkinson. We are heading out to the event after the Raptors game Friday night. So we wonít get there until late at night, probably close to midnight. Thatís not big deal; we are used to setting up in the dark. Plus its better then trying to get up early and get up there on Saturday morning.

This very well may be the last year that I do this event. After last year's trying to get registered fiasco, the fact itís poorly run and the event is slowly dying, I just donít know if itís worth doing any more. The fact that it is dying is really what is weighing heavily on me. The main reason I do this event is to hang with friends and to shoot. Every year fewer and fewer of the vendors show up and most of my friends arenít going. In fact this year from what I can tell the only friend I know for sure is going is one I see on a regular basis, and one of them is riding up with me!

It seems that none of the River Scum are going to make it, and from what I hear Will and Red arenít going to be thereÖ although I donít have first hand knowledge of that since they wonít return my e-mails. But Iíve heard through the grapevine they wonít be there and they arenít responding to anyoneís e-mails. At the visitation last week, I spoke with others that usually attend this event, and they all said they werenít going.

So Iím going to give this event another shot, see what happens, but it just might be falling off our schedule for next year.

Posted by Contagion at 05:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 24, 2007

Oh so good!

Today and tomorrow I have to be a single dad while Ktreva is out of town.

The boys have been acting up incessantly since 4:00PM.

For the love of all that is good Clone was trying to figure out how to load my blunderbuss. Thankfully I keep the black powder were he can't get it. When he asked for some, I knew something was up.

Boopie is mad because he has to do homework tonight instead of having a friend come over, so he is coping that 14 year old attitude.

It's hot and sticky.

But life is good. Because on a night like this, nothing hits the spot like an ice cold Jack and Coke... quadruple.

Posted by Contagion at 06:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Come sail away.

WINDY!!! We have winds up to 30 mph. Now I know some of my coastal readers that are use to hurricanes will laugh at that saying itís nothing. And I appreciate that; itís how I react when I hear someone from Florida complain about it being cold at 50 degrees. What you have to remember is that we are not accustomed to winds like thisÖ outside of tornadoes.

Clone had his preschool graduation today; yea Iíll go off on that at another time. It was held at a local park that had a decent play area and a nice shelter. The wind just reaped havoc on the picnic part of the day. They tried cooking over a grill, but had a problem getting the charcoal lit, until Mr. Re-enactor boy got it started using twigs and dried grass. Then once it was started the wind blew the coals so hot that they warped the grate AND it only lasted for 20 minutes before having to add more charcoal to keep it going. Folks, I could have used this fire to smith iron. Yea, tried as I might, there was nothing I nor anyone there could come up with to help that situation. We didnít have the right materials for what we knew would work.

Bags of chips and bowls of various salads were being blown off the tables. At one point a pan half filled with hot dogs almost blew off the table, but another parent caught it. Table clothes and plates (with and without food) were flying across the park. If it wasnít for the fact that I was trying to dodge the debris, I would have found this highly entertaining.

But the funniest thing that happened was when some 4-year-old little girl decided to slide down a pole right as the wind gusted really hard. She literally flapped in the wind like a flag for a couple of seconds before her mother grabbed her. The poor thing was terrified. But not terrified to try it again and get upset when the wind didnít blow her half way to Oz.

Right now Iím sitting in the house with the boys. Ktreva is in Springfield so Iím playing single dadÖ grumble. Itís 84 degrees in the house, but it sure doesnít feel like it. When the wind blows it turns the entire house into a wind tunnel. Who needs fans?

Posted by Contagion at 05:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Clone the Tough Guy.

Some of the stuff kids pick up is just plain funny. Yesterday I was playing with Clone. It devolved into a tickle fight. Iíd tickle him, heíd run away, and then try to tickle me. Repeat this cycle over and over numerous times. Finally I had to break away to go to the bathroom. When I came walking back into the living room I looked Clone in the eye and said, ďAre you read to be tickled?Ē He jumps to his feet, places his hands on his hips, looks me in the eye and with all seriousness says:

ďYou wanna piece of me?Ē

The funniest part was that he did the tough guy head shake when he said it. You know the head shake; the one you see the goombas do in all the gangster movies when they are being tough. No, not the one the black ladies do when they are mad, think Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. Then he sticks his right hand out and does the Kung Fu ďCome hereĒ hand wave.

I thought I was going to have an asthma attack I was laughing so hard.

Then he got mad because I was laughing, apparently he was being serious. So I had to take him down a notch. Needless to say, much laughter ensued for the next 30 minutes.

Posted by Contagion at 05:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 23, 2007

Beer Tasting and Blogcrawl.

After having some bloggers and friends make a suggestion, Iíve been kicking around an idea. Iím just curious that if I hosted a beer tasting, would any of you be interested in attending? Iíve done quite a few reviews and I have my favorites. Some of them I would like to share. It would also be nice to get together with some of my readers for a good sit down visit. If everyone that attended brought a six pack or two of their favorite beers, we could sit back sample them and see which ones we like best. Or we could go to Old Chicago that has over 100 beers in house that way we donít have to bring anything with. But those are details we can work out later. If you are interested, please respond below by clicking yes or no.

slots online

Also this might be a good way to bring back the Blogcrawl. Itís been two years.

Posted by Contagion at 07:00 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Tennents of Scotland.

I was gifted a six-pack of Tennentís of Scotland last week. Since I was gifted it, I felt I was obligated to review it. Especially since it came from a readerÖ one that never commentsÖ BASTICH! So if you really want me to review a beer, give me a six-packÖ hint hint hint. What? So Iím an Alcowhore! Tonight I shall review Tennentís of Scotland Lager by the Tennent Caledonian Breweries.


The lager comes in a green bottle 11.2 FL OZ, which means you need to keep it out of sunlight while storing or transporting or the beer will go bad. IT has an oval body label with the name of the beer in a black circle with two thistles on either side. There is a big red T in the middle. It claims to be ďScotlandís Finest LagerĒ.

There is a golden yellow color to the beer. It is clear with no hint of cloudiness and light passes through easily. It pours a nice thick white head that lasts for a while. It slowly dissipates into a film on the top of the beer and a ring around the edge of the glass. There is a nice lacing on the glass.

The aroma is very faint and hard to discern. If you try really hard you can get a whiff of sweet malts with a very week hop undertone. The combination almost gives it a good bread smell. The taste is week. Mainly one can taste malts. If there are any hops to the flavor, I couldnít find it. There is not a touch of bitterness to it. There is also almost no aftertaste. From my experience this is typical of the European lagers.

It is a light bodied beer. There is a crispness to it that is refreshing. The carbonation is a little on the heavy side and it does bite the tongue.

Overall this is a decent beer. Nothing Iíd go out of my way for. It is a hot day here, and itís rather enjoyable. Itís not so heavy that after one or two in the heat you just donít want to drink anymore. Iíd rate this about a 4.

Posted by Contagion at 06:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Protecting the family.

Fight or Flight response, the bodyís primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares the body to ďfightĒ or ďfleeĒ from perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival. When a situation arises that we view as harmful, it is this response that prepares us for our next action. Some people will flee, or avoid the situation in order to protect themselves or others from harm. Others will attack to protect themselves or others. They say itís a hard wired reaction that only years of training can change exactly how you respond, but either way it will be in one of those two ways.

What they donít tell you is that this response can be particularly hazardous to you, your family and your property. You see a threat and you react with out thinking. By the time your brain catches up with your actions, you realize what you just did was incredibly stupid. At that point you just hope no one was around to see it and that you can repair everything so it wonít be noticed.

Letís say you are sleeping. For some reason that you donít know you wake up. There at the foot of your bed someone is standing over you and your wife. Not a kid someone, but an adult someone. Some people might flick on a switch, others might grab a phone, and some may grab a weapon. Or they may just leap out of the bed with a spryness reserved for Hollywood Superheroes and tackle the invader, driving them to the ground and pummeling the ever loving snot out of them. When your wife flicks on the light switch to see what is happening, you notice that there is no one there. Youíve succeeded in crushing and utterly destroying the oscillating fan that was at the foot of your bed. There is no sign of anybody else in the house that shouldnít be there, and all the kids are sleeping.

Folks, I swear by all that is dear to me I woke up and saw a man standing at the foot of my bed. It was as real as the monitor in front of your face. I mean Iíve woken up and ďsawĒ things but I realized it was just a visual memory from a dream I was having or a trick of the lighting. In this case before that could happen I took out the fan before everything became clear. I utterly destroyed it. Between the tackling and the dozen or so well placed punches, it didnít stand a chance. So today I get to go out and buy a new fan.

Iím just glad I landed where I did. If I had traveled another foot further I would have gone through the window and landed in the front yard. Did I mention I sleep in the buff? Yea, that would have helped my neighborís image of me. A fat ugly naked guy beating the snot out of a fan in his front yard, that story would spread fast.

Posted by Contagion at 04:55 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

May 22, 2007

Senate Bill 1007 passes.

I received a call from my friend Matt tonight that Senate Bill 1007 (SB1007) passed the Illinois Senate today. Unfortunately I can not find anything online the corroborates this, but if it just happened today, tomorrow may be the earliest the various websites are updated. For those of you that donít know what SB1007 is, basically bans all magazines holding more than ten rounds.

Provides that beginning 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act, it is unlawful for any person within this State to knowingly manufacture, deliver, sell, purchase, or possess or cause to be manufactured, delivered sold, purchased, or possessed a large capacity ammunition feeding device. Provides that these provisions do not apply to a person who possessed a prohibited weapon, device, or attachment before the effective date of this amendatory Act. Provides that on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act, such person may transfer such device only to an heir, an individual residing in another state maintaining that device in another state, or a dealer licensed as a federal firearms dealer. Specifies penalties for violations. Provides exemptions. Provides that the provisions of the Act are severable. Effective immediately.

Emphasis Mine

Folks that little highlighted phrase pretty much sums up the bill. However, notice they have the word deliver in there. That means that if a visitor from out of state comes to Illinois with a large capacity magazine, say as the standard magazine for some Ruger 9MM handguns they own. They are at a range with some friends and loan them some mags to be used in their own Ruger 9mm. They technically are in violation of the law. Yes, I know itís a stretch, but that is how itís worded.

Right now if you live in Illinois our only hope is that the house votes this bill down. I urge, no let me take that back, I beg you to contact your State Representative, which can be found here if you don't know who it is, and tell them to oppose the passing of this bill. If you think it wonít pass, remember itís already two thirds of the way there. We all know the Governor will sign this law. Lets stop it in its tracks now.

My major problem with this is that itís a gateway bill. A gateway to the more oppressive Senate Bill 16 (SB0016) that pretty much bans all ďassault weaponsĒ and their definition of assault weapon is pretty loose, including most semi-automatic weapons. Thatís just opening the way to banning all firearms.

Since we are on the subject of Assault Weapons, I found this very informative video clip that truly explains the difference between an assault weapon and a semi-auto and how they are easily confused together.

Posted by Contagion at 05:41 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Simple Math

Chili + Strawberries + Undiagnosed Stomach Problem = One miserable Contagion with really nasty tasting burps.

Excuse me, Iím going to go gargle with bile to get this taste out of my mouth.

Posted by Contagion at 12:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Itís getting closer and closer to summer. Technically it doesnít start until June 21, but many people, including myself, view summer as starting Memorial Day weekend. This year summer seems to have come early. Weíve had a lot of high temps. While there are a lot of good things about summer, it happens to be one of my least favorite seasons. It just seems to be a miserable time of the year. Here are five reasons I hate the summer.

1) Heat. Itís farooking hot all the damn time. Iím a big guy and Iím constantly sweating. Nothing is worse then getting out of the shower, toweling off and then 5 minutes later having to towel off again. When the humidity is high, just shoot me.

2) Skimpy clothing. Okay some are going to argue this is a bonus. Iím sorry, but for every person that looks good in their really tight revealing outfits there are 5 that donít. IE yesterday at the grocery store there was one lady that looked decent in her summer skirt and halter top, however the 350 pound guy wearing denim cut offs and a mesh half shirt almost made me chunder into the lobster tank. Letís not forget the overly large lady wearing some kind of shorts that disappeared in the crack of her arse. It looked like she was wearing a thongÖ with two overly white mounds of cottage cheese for arse cheeks. Donít get me wrong people, Iím a big ugly guy, nobody wants to see me in a speedoÖ including myself. I'm glad these people are proud of their bodies. I just wish they would be proud in private.

3) Open Windows. Donít get me wrong, I like opening my windows. However, when you do, all the sounds of the world invade your house and car. When Iím driving home and listening to the car next to me playing that ďthump-thumpĒ crap over my stereo, it is annoying. It doesnít matter how loud I turn my stereo up, I can still hear it. Plus I donít want to listen to my music that loud to begin with. At night with the windows open (and living in an urban area) you get the sounds of the city, sirens, traffic, parties. This is fine early in the evening, at 2 in the morning I just want to sleep.

4) Idiots Out Wondering Around, (No Iím not talking about Iowa). When itís cold out, these jack arses hide in their homes, bars or apartments. Now that it is warm they are roaming the streets. Sometimes they are just loud (See above about open windows), sometimes they are drunk, sometimes they come pounding on your door at the worst times wanting to know where his buddy ďFredĒ lives. The vandalism increases and so does property damage. Unfortunately there are laws about booby traps and hunting these inconsiderate arses.

5) No School. That means packs of kids from 10-24 are out in droves. The traffic has increased because the college kids have come home. The stores are filled with younger kids just ďhanging outĒ. They play games in the middle of the street and donít get out of the way. In fact just about any place I go is filled with kids June, July and August. To make matters worse they are rude, disrespectful, and can be the root cause for some of the above issues. That and if I have to listen to another sentence such as, ďum, like Tina and I were um, like going to the store. And um, we ran into Brian there, and um, he was saying that Brandon was um, like totally into Tonya. And um, we were like no way. He was, um saying that Brandon like told him in person. Um and I think Tonya is like into Travis. UmÖ.Ē, I'm going to try to swallow my own brain. Yea, I donít know whatís with speech patterns today, but the word ďlikeĒ is over used and using ďumĒ ever 5 seconds makes me want to strangle them.

Sadly enough, if I could move to a quiet place in the middle of no where, I wouldn't have as many of these issues. I just can't do that.

Posted by Contagion at 05:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 21, 2007

Moving on down?

Since Ktreva and I started re-enacting, we've always had a large tent. In fact for wall tents we have what's considered to be a larger then normal one. Yes, there are wall tents larger then ours, but you just don't see them that often. However, we've decided to downsize. We've had enough of these large set-ups at events that we don't need that much in order to participate. Normally our little wedge tent would be enough, but sometimes we need just a little more for the boys or if I decide to do an event alone, I don't need to bring that much gear with. So I bought myself a field tarp. What's a field tarp? It's roughly a 10 foot by 10 foot piece of canvas with ties on it. See:

Diamond Fly 001.jpg

Of if you want to see what it looks like on the inside:

Diamond Fly 004.jpg

It's actually more roomy then it looks. Now, this is just one way of setting it up, there are so many different styles that it would be almost impossible for me to list them all.

Oh, and the best part is that it took me all of about 5 minutes to set it up.

Posted by Contagion at 08:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


I ended up going to my friendís visitation on Friday. I filled the truck up with gas, $160.00 worth (It were on fumes) and made the 3 hour drive. At this time I want to say the Verizon Wireless Navigation system on my phone rocks. Trust me, I would have never found the place. As a back up I had Mapquest directions and they werenít accurate. Like going the wrong way down a one way. But thatís not what this post is about.

I have never been so insulted by anyoneís actions like I was at the visitation. When I arrived I did not recognize anyone else there, I figured they where her family and friends that werenít re-enactors. At first I didnít even see her husband, Shane. You get so used to seeing re-enactors in their period clothes that when you see them dressed in modern clothes you donít recognize them.

Slowly I made my way through the receiving line. By the casket was her bed jacket with trade silver on it. In the casket she laid wearing modern clothes. I didnít really start to think anything was ďwrongĒ until I saw how the family was lined up. It was in this order: Mother, Father, Shane, brothers and sisters. As her husband Shane should have been at the head of the receiving line. Well, maybe I was wrong on that. I come to the mother shake her hand and tell her Iím sorry for her loss. She looked at me quizzically and asked, ďDo I know you?Ē I explained that I was a re-enacting friend of Deniseís. She gave me this look and in an irritated tone said, ďOh.Ē I received the same cool reception from her father. Shane of course was warm and welcoming. He looked like he needed a friend.

After I finished the line, I watched the family. Shane looked like he had been put through a ringer; I mean worse then being at your wifeís visitation. They had a video slide show of pictures of Denise, only one of the pictures had her in her re-enacting clothes. This is really weird because most re-enactors I know identify themselves as a re-enactor. It is more than a hobby; it is a way of life. Youíve probably figured that out by reading me for a while. Finally some other re-enactors showed up and I was able to talk with them that is when I got the rest of the story.

Apparently the family didnít like Deniseís Native American beliefs and re-enacting. She wanted to be buried in the bed jacket and they refused to do so. Due to circumstances that are not my story to tell, the marriage is not legally recognized by the family or state so Shane had no authority to override the parentís decisions. When Denise was sick the family didnít visit, assist or comfort her as they should have. Except for her sister, whom I was told actually was accepting of Deniseís choices and was very supportive.

The whole thing really just pissed me off.

Most of the re-enactors drive 2+ hours to be there, some even came from Minnesota. For the parents to be rude to us when all we were doing was pay our respects to their daughter was uncalled for. I guess it is because I couldnít be that way, I canít understand how others could. And I could go on, but Iím not going to. But remember folks, if someone you loved dies, respect them, their last wishes and the people that come to pay their respect. Youíre honoring a life, not making a statement.

Posted by Contagion at 05:27 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 20, 2007

Game Balls.

Last night was a Raptors game. As I was getting ready to leave, Grau pops over and says his shift was canceled. I had offered him my spare ticket earlier in the week, but he declined so it was offered to someone else. He was going to head to Carlyleís to do some pre-game tailgating with us. When blog son Bruce showed up, he had a spare ticket. It seems his daughter decided at the last minute to not come with. So Grau was able to snag that seat.

It was a good game, in that the Raptors trounced the River City Rage. For the Rage, or I guess looking at their play last night we should call them the River City Repressed. The big news of the night is that Bruce finally got a game ball. Now, just a little back-story. Last season I had a game ball thrown to me by a player, same with this year, and a ball given to me by one of the coaches. So I have three game balls (I gave one to Boopie). Bruce, being petty and jealous, said they didnít count because I didnít CATCH it in game play. He kept telling me that it doesnít count if you donít CATCH it. Me, I think it doesnít matter how you get one, as long as you get one.

So last night a ball is flung right toward Bruce and Grauís seats. It actually looked like it was going to hit Grau in the head. Grau, panicking batted the ball to the ground with flailing hands. When he batted it, it flew 5 seats to their right and across an aisle. Bruce, in a move I did not think was possible, leapt up, barged pass Grau, pushed some 12 year old boy out of the way and I kid you not punched a 7 year old girl in the head to get the ball. Now, he did punch her, but it wasnít intentional. Her head did whip back and she started crying as Bruce used his height and weight advantage to strip it from her hands. Folks, I'm not kidding, he really did wrestle the ball away from the kid.

In all honesty, Iím proud of him. He went out of the way to secure a memento that he will forever remember. Sure he may have been a little overly rough with the kid, but it taught her a valuable lesson; If you want to keep what's yours, you need to hold on to it. Itís just too bad that based on his own rules, it doesnít count. He didnít catch the ball. To me, I think itís a valid way to get a ball, just like having a player give you the ball they just scored a touchdown with, but not to him. So Bruce, hopefully you can get over own issues with getting a game ball and can actually enjoy it.

I know I enjoy mineÖ all three of them.

Posted by Contagion at 09:18 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Movie Meme *UPDATED*

Everyone is doing this movie meme. Iím assuming out of respect for my hatred of memeís no one has tagged me with it. However, this is one that I would like to do, so Iím going to take a swing at it.

Pick out ten favorite movies, then look them up at IMDb. In the overview at the top of each movieís page, there are ďPlot Keywords,Ē usually five of them. (Plus more, if you click the link.) Take the first five, and post them. Then the rest of us get to play movie buff and see if we can guess them.

Well those are the official rules; Iím also going to add a quote, just to help because so far this meme has been stumping people.

UPDATE: For the ones people have correct, I've put the names of the movie after it.

1) Sideburns / Gettysburg / American Civil War / Biographical / Epic ďTo be a good soldier you must love the army. To be a good commander you must be able to order the death of the thing you loveĒ Gettysburg C'mon the name was in the clues.

2)Male Nudity / Tragic Hero / Crushed Head / No Opening Credits / Brave ďThere's a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it.Ē Braveheart

3) Survival Horror / Survival / Grindhouse / Exploding Head / Black Comedy ďYou never point a gun at anyone, mister. Scary, isn't it? Isn't it?Ē

4)Wuxia Fiction / War / Kiss / Smuggler / Outer Space ďOh. I thought they smelled bad on the *outside*Ē Empire Strikes Back

5) Expedition / Gender Clash / Satire / Beer / Camping In Wilderness ďI have a lot of fantasies about being tied up and spanked. I suppose it isn't very liberated, is it? What kind of fantasies do feminists have?Ē Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death

6) Cult / Splatter / Disturbing / Ghoul / Survival ďGood shot! OK, he's dead; let's go get 'im. That's another one for the fire.Ē

7) Cabin / Good Versus Evil / Cult / H.P. Lovecraft / Dark Comedy ďKill her if you can, loverboy.Ē Evil Dead

8) Holiday / Compassion / Diner / Existentialism / Buddhist ďPeople like blood sausage too, people are morons.Ē Ground Hog Day

9) Sex With The Dead / Convenience Store Clerk / Anti Social / Disrespect / Ex Girlfriend ďYou know, there's a million fine looking women in the world, dude. But they don't all bring you lasagna at work. Most of 'em just cheat on you.Ē Clerks

10) Bayou / Lawn Mower / Coach / College / Ridicule ďYou can do it... you can do it all night loong!Ē The Waterboy

Hereís a bonus one. Iíd be surprised if anyone actually gets it, or has seen it.

Bonus) Hit And Run / Neo Nazi / Topless / Explosive / Crushed Head ďWell America, there you have it, Frankenstein has just been attacked by the French Air Force and he's whipped their derrieres!Ē

Since I wasnít technically tagged, I donít have to tag anyone else, and Iím not going to.

Iíll put up the answers in the extended entry later this week. That is if no one figures them out.

Posted by Contagion at 08:48 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

May 19, 2007

But it's true!

Okay, I don't want to steal any of the schtick that is in this clip, but it's true. I think most people have seen or at least heard of the Webcam dance phenomenon. You know this were people (mainly guys) watch girls dance over the internet. Chances are most of you have at least seen one of these, or you may be addicted to it and spend thousands of hours a month watching them. Well one of these girls came up with 10 things you've never seen in a webcam dance. At first it was okay, but when you get the the paranoia and scientology ones, it's pretty damn funny. There is no nudity, but I still wouldn't watch this at work.

Posted by Contagion at 10:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Childhood Flash Backs

I'm just curious if anyone besides me actually remembers this movie from the mid 80s? As I kid I remember watching this on HBO and thinking it was pretty cool. In fact a lot of friends of mine also liked this movie. One summer I think I watched it at least a dozen times. Now as an adult watching this trailer I wonder just how stupid I was as a kid.

Posted by Contagion at 10:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

More on immigration.

In light of Illegal Immigration issues that have come up this week, I thought this video was appropriate. County how many come jumping out and look at the officers run around not sure what to do. I think we need some training there folks, either that or remove the muzzle and let them open fire on those running. I think the best part is the Benny Hill music.

Posted by Contagion at 09:42 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sensitivity class gone wrong.

As we all know, I'm an expert at Sensitivity Classes. That's attending them, not instructing them. Yes, they have taught me many things, like what to do in order to not get caught. Anyway, so when I found this video it made me laugh. Unfortunately none of my classes were anything like this.

Don't Stare Boys

See more like this on

Yea, we knew what was going to happen, but did you really expect the ending?

Posted by Contagion at 09:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The last on Zombies for a while.

This is going to be the last I'm going to post on this subject for a while so I'm going to cram a couple of things into one post. First Thanks to Graumagus I now have two new t-shirts, Does Your Family have a Zombie Infestation Plan AND Guns don't kill People, Zombies Kill People. Technically he only pointed out the first one, but in ordering that one, I found the other so he gets credit for both of them. They arrived in the mail yesterday.

Next, here is a new Zombie Game, It pretty much lasts forever. This one is much more challenging then the last one.

Finally, apparently I'm not the only sick bastard out there. Someone else must have thought of hot zombie loving. I know friends of mine have heard me talk about it, but I know of two zombie pr)nos, the Re-penetrator and Evil Head (releasing soon). Both are made by the same company. The trailor to the Re-penetrator is in the extended entry. Folks, I'm not kidding when I say this video is extremely NOT SAFE FOR WORK! Do NOT click the extended entry if you are at work, have small kids around or just do not want to see hot undead action. The autoplay is stuck on, so it will start as soon as you open it.

Posted by Contagion at 09:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Middle Earth A-Team

This is what happens when people have way too much free time. If you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings series, and loved the A-Team. You'll find this little video clip amusing.

Posted by Contagion at 08:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 18, 2007

Pushing sensitivity aside.

Itís been a long time since Iíve shared one of these stories with all of you, so I thought now is a good time to do so. Plus itís a nice light story to help make Friday go by faster. Itís been over a year, but now for an installment of Pranks pulled on Minions.

My company is big into the healthy lifestyle movement. They try to get everyone to eat healthier, quit smoking, and just make ďhealthierĒ choices in general. Part of that is walking a mile a day. For the record, I do not participate in these activities. I do have a couple of employees that do. The big thing is the walking. When the weather is bad they walk inside the building making so many laps that would equal a mile. If it is nice outside, they walk around the parameter of the property through the parking lot.

Yesterday as I left the building to go to lunch I see two of my minions power walking through the lotÖ right toward my truck. They looked like they were concentrating really hard on making sure their arms were swinging properly and their pace was fast enough. With keys in my hand, my mischievous side took over. It pushed the sensitivity class reprogrammed part of my brain out of the way. Right as they got next to my truck, I ďaccidentallyĒ hit the panic alarm. Anyone that has heard the horn on my truck knows this is not your typical little ďmeep meepĒ sound. Itís a ďHOOOOOoooOOOOONK HOOOOOoooOOOOONK!Ē that can rattle the teeth.

Or in this case make the power walking minions jump a good foot into the air with their arms flailing like the ground had just opened up underneath them. I quickly turned it off. When I go to them they where breathing harder then the power walking would have made them and they looked a little pale. I apologized for hitting the alarm, ďI meant to hit unlock.Ē They werenít mad; in fact they found it humorous. They just wanted to let me know they needed to take a longer lunch so they could go home and change clothes.

I hadnít done anything like that in over a year. Boy do I miss it.

Posted by Contagion at 05:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 17, 2007

Bad Web Master.

Holy crap Iíve been negligent! I just realized I hadnít updated The Spoon and Blade in almost a year. Then again Iíve run out of Mortar Maidens AND the only event I did after the last update was canceled on Sunday.

Well tonight I rectified that. I finally put up the review from Gathering of Macktown this year, a couple of weeks late. But it does have some interesting pictures. I also updated our schedule of events, just in case any of you want to see where weíll be at this year.

Posted by Contagion at 07:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fong the Illegals.

It is at the point that Iím wondering when Iím going to snap. Let me just say that when I first heard about this immigration proposal I was driving home from work. It angered me so much that I almost ran over a small car with a Viva Mexico and Estados Unidos De America Mexico sticker on it. Some deity has a sick joke with that timing; either that or the fates are testing my anger management.

When I got home I wanted to run right in here and write a twenty-page rant on the entire situation. The only problem is that every other word would have been an expletive and probably incoherent due to anger babble. So I went out back took a hatchet to a pole Iím working for my new tent, smoked some chicken, and put 5,000 rounds through Boopieís Air Soft M-16 into a target box. Well, whatís left of the target box. After that and eating dinner Iíve calmed down enough to sum up my frustration into this:

These are our political leaders. These are the people we put into office. These are the ones that feel that the best way to deal with the problem is basically to throw out our laws and tell those that broke them that, ďItís okay, we love youĒ er I guess that should be, ďEstŠ bien, nosotros amor usted.Ē These people honestly do NOT care about America, itís security or itís citizens. They just want to create a new base of voters to help keep them in office. To give them even more power. They view us as their vassals, their serfs, their subjects to serve and provide for them. This little agreement has made them happy as a sailor at a hooker convention. It gives them what they want. Something for both sides to help keep them in their positions.

I am not anti-immigration. Actually Iím pro-immigration. Pro LEGAL immigration that is. Yes, the laws that one must jump through to be a legal citizen needs to be revisited because they are almost unrealistically difficult. However, that does not mean someone can just choose to ignore that law to get what they want. Think about it, I want to have concealed carry in Illinois. That does not mean since the laws donít give me that ability, and getting them changed is a long tedious process I should just start packing my .45. Because if I did, and I got caught Iíd have to pay the penalty, fines and jail time. Now with this proposal those in this country will get off with a $5,000.00 fine. BAH! Yes, that is going to be a chunk of money, but after that they are citizens. Does anyone else look at this as kind of a bribe? I mean think about it. If they come forward and pay $5,000.00 to the government you get to be a citizen.

Then again, will this make any difference? It is not like the illegals care about or respect our laws now. What makes them think they will in the future? I highly doubt this will do anything except motivate them to go back to what ever country they came from to get more of their friends and family.

I just wonder how much longer the American citizenship is going to put up with this before they start voting these clowns out of office.

Posted by Contagion at 06:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

What have I created?

We all know parents have a direct influence on how their kids act and behave. There is even a correlation between what the child likes and dislikes. This can make for some interesting behavior and comments from kids, especially if their father is a Gun loving, re-enacting, zombie infatuated, and football fanatic.

It all started a couple of months ago when I had some friends over and Clone walks into the living room and announces that ďWhen the zombies come, you need to break out the stairs with a hammerĒ. I was proud, at 4 he knows basic defense versus zombies. A couple of weeks ago he comes up to me carrying his double barreled toy shotgun with the barrel pointed at the floor. All of a sudden he would snap it to his shoulder and start shooting at things and yelling ďFire in the HoleĒ before each shot. After the shot he would point the barrel back down to the ground. When I asked him what heís shooting at he tells me, ďIím shooting the zombies in the head.Ē Gun safety and killing zombies, I was proud.

Last Sunday we were watching Shaun of the Dead, and I changed the channel to something I thought he would like more. He pitched a fit. ďDAD!!!! I want to watch the zombies!!!!!Ē I kid you not, he threw such a temper tantrum that I almost didnít turn it back on. Then while watching the movie he says to me, ďWhen we go camping (IE re-enacting), weíll have to shoot the zombies.Ē Huh? There are no zombies at the re-enactments. We talk for a little bit and I figure out that he thinks that some of the nativeís are zombies. It has to do with their face paint. It took some convincing that Indians are not ZombiesÖ. Well not all Indians.

Then finally on Monday we get home and he wants to go outside and play football with his brother. Okay no problem. It was when he referred to the football as the zombie head that I realized something.

Maybe I shouldnít talk so much about zombies with him in the room.

Posted by Contagion at 04:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 16, 2007

VooDoo Vator!

Earlier this week I picked up a six-pack of beer to review tonight, but Iíll be saving that for next week. Monday while I was doing grocery shopping, something compelled me to check out the beer section. Yea, I knowÖ Moth to a flame, etc. They have a beer selection that is rather lacking, and the last two times I was there they had nothing I really wanted to review. So Iím not sure why I decided to check them out, especially when I had a six pack at home in the fridge. While walking down the aisle I saw a four pack that caught my eye; VooDoo Vator by the Atwater Block Brewery. Itís a high Gravity lager and is 9.5% alcohol by volume.

Voodoo Vator 002.jpg

It comes in our normal 12 oz brown bottle. The label is dark purple with a picture of a skull wearing a hat with a white feather sticking out of it. In that ďvoodooĒ script is the name of the beer.

There is a nice dark brown color to it. Light passes through with some difficulty and as far as I can tell it is pretty clear, but the darkness of the beer makes this hard to tell. It has a nice thick tan head that lasts for a while. As you drink, it leaves a nice lacing on the side of the glass.

You can smell a nice roasted malt sweetness to the beer with some wood accents. There is just a hint of alcohol to the scent. The flavor is a combination of roasted coffee, chocolate and Carmel malts. There is a slight hop bitterness to the finish. Surprisingly there is not a hint of alcohol to the flavor, especially with the ABV.

This really is a smooth beer. Itís very easy to drink. If it were just a tad thicker it would be a full-bodied beer. The carbonation level is a little on the heavy side.

I really enjoyed this beer. It has a great taste and a smooth finish. It was very pleasant for a High-Gravity lager. Iím going to rate this a 6 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 06:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

For Denise.

A couple of weeks ago during my re-enactment I learned that a re-enacting friend, and one of my Mortar Maidens, had been diagnosed with cancer. It was told to me that she was terminal and that they didnít expect her to last much longer. From a phone call I received yesterday I found out that much longer meant until Monday.

I only really knew Denise for a short period of time. Her and her husband portrayed natives, as you can tell from the photos. Both of them really loved Clone and would play with him at the events or give him little re-enacting items. Denise always came across to me as one of those truly nice and fun loving people. Every time I saw her, she always seemed to be full of life and joy.

Iíve heard people say that the world is a better place for having someone in it, and I never really understood that. But since learning of her passing, I finally understand. In my eyes the world will be worse off for not having her in it. I donít know if Iím going to be able to make it to her funeral or visitation, but at least here I can leave a little piece of the internet to her memory.

For Denise I leave this Scottish blessing (Because even though sheís a native, Iím a Scot.):

A Scot Farewell

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no tears in a gloom-filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little but not for long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that we once shared
Miss meÖ but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone
It's all a part of the master plan
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friend we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds
Miss me... but let me go.

Please donít leave condolences in the comments. They should be reserved for her husband, close friends and family. I grieve not for me, but for them. That is all I have to say about that.

Posted by Contagion at 05:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 15, 2007

What do you know?

So you think you know me, let's see how well you do.

Take My Quiz on

Can you Ace my quiz?
Let's Find Out!

Posted by Contagion at 05:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

How to embarass your child

Itís very easy, but it takes some time. First you need to give them a nickname. Something that is cute when they are young, but as they get older would be very embarrassing, such as Boopie. I gave Boopie his nickname when he was about 4 years old. There was a milk commercial that came out where a father walked into the kitchen and a baby was drinking milk from a bottle, the father said, ďHey there Boopie!Ē Ten years later I still call him Boopie.

Second, keep the nickname in the family. You donít want all of his friends to be calling him that from the start. Itís best that only you, your families, and your friends refer to them by their nickname. If everyone does, it loses its effect.

Third, make sure your timing is right. You have to make sure that the child really hates the nickname and that they are worried about being ďcoolĒ. IE, they need to be a teenager. This is critical, you can have all the proper set up, but if you use it too soon, you wonít get the desired effect. Let me explain how:

Boopie is 14, even though I still call him Boopie and some of my friends do, no one else does. He hates, HATES the nickname. He even forbade me to call him that when I would pick him up or drop him off at school. I respected his wishesÖ until tonight. He had invited some friends over to shoot his Air Soft guns. They were all out in the back yard having fun when I walk out side wearing sandals, black socks, shorts and a button up plaid shirt. Just as he notices me, I say, ďHey Boopie, be careful I donít want any of you to shoot an eye out. Oh and Boopie, donít forget to take your bath tonight, I got you the bubbles that you like.Ē Then I turn around and go back inside. I heard chants of ďBoopie?Ē followed by laughter coming from the back yard inside the house.

Yea, I know. But hell, I figure if Iím going to pay for the counseling anyways, I might as well have some fun with it.

Posted by Contagion at 04:52 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

We need your input.

I need your input on a disagreement Ktreva and I had last night. We both agreed that we would pose the question to everyone and then abide by the decision. As you all know I have a fascination with Zombies. I love zombie movies, Iíve studied the biology (Maybe that should be Dieology) of them, and I even have contingency plans for when (yes when, itís going to happen) the next zombie rising happens. There isnít a day that goes by that I donít think about, talk about or watch something on zombies.

Last night Ktreva and I were discussing a show on TV where there was some role playing in the bedroom. We talked about all the standards, Doctor, naughty nurse, cop and prostitute, thief and harem girl, etc. Then we started talking about unusual onesÖ and that is when I came up with Sole survivor and Zombie Girl. Yea, Iím sure with the opening paragraph you all saw that one coming. I made the suggestion she dress up, with the make up, as the sexy zombie from Land of the Dead.

I thought Ktreva was going to burst a gasket.

She likened it to necrophilia and the like and stated that in no way under the sun would she ever participate in anything like that. Our conversation went from light and joking to her seriously being mad at me. I tried to explain that it seriously was a joke; I was just trying to think up different situations. However, because Iím enthralled with zombies she isnít convinced I am. Then I started thinking about it, is it so weird? Well, okay sleeping with the dead is weird, but this isnít the dead, itís undead. And actually youíre not really sleeping with the dead or undead, just someone dressed up as a zombie.

What we want to know is: Is a bedroom role playing game involving zombies wrong?

Posted by Contagion at 05:15 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

May 14, 2007

Foid Cards for Everyone!

Folks, Iím telliní ya gun laws just donít work. Lets look at Illinois if you will. We have this fancy registration system. You have to have a license to own a gun; itís called a Firearm Owners Identification card (FOID). But what good is it, if they state doesnít monitor it or issues them to anyone that applies and pays their fee. Like say a 10-month-old child? Thatís right, the state of Illinois issued a FOID card to a ten-month-old child.

"Anyone who wants to own a firearm or purchase a firearm needs a FOID card," Ludwig told FOX News. "I applied for one of these for my son. Now ironically he canít buy a gun until heís 18 years old, but if he wants to own one -- which he does thanks to Grandpa -- he needs one of these cards anyhow."

How stupid is that? Lets face it, the state just wants to make money by having us pay ever 5 years to own a firearm. They don't really care who gets the card.

Posted by Contagion at 06:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Midget Basketball

Last month we had Midget Kickboxing, now thanks to commenter and contributor over at I Hate My Cubicle, Jabbah, we have Midget Basketball.

It just keeps getting better. Maybe next month we can get Midget Zombie Pr0n! Jabbah, if you ever make it to Rockford, let me know. I'm buying you a beer for this one!

Posted by Contagion at 06:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I love this time of year

Yesterday we had a high between 68 and 70; (Depending on what weather source you look at) today they are calling for a high between 88 and 94 (again depending on what weather source you are using). That is a 20 degree difference overnight. It was cold enough yesterday that Ktreva turned the heat back on so she didnít have to run around in a winter parka. Now today I know the family is going to want to turn on the air conditioning.

Why canít the weather just be a tad bit more consistent!

Posted by Contagion at 05:22 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 13, 2007

Ode to mom.

I just want to take a moment to wish a Happy Motherís Day to all of the Mothers out there. Hopefully your children/spouses did right by you. I have some plans today for Ktreva, the boys and I for today, but that is a surprise.

Iím going to leave you with one of my favorite poems about mom.

ďAn Ode to my Mother,Ē By Peter Bilker (Mickey Jones) From K&B Construction as read on Tool Time (On the show Home Improvement)

"Who etched this tattoo, [Pete turns his shoulder with the tattoo towards the camera]
In her purple muumuu?
Mother, mother.

Who posted my bail,
Every time without fail?
Mother, mother.

And who rushed to the car,
With my severed thumb in a jar?
Er, father, father.

But who sewed it back on,
When the doctor was gone?
Mother, Mother."

Thatís just beautiful, but lets not forget from the same episode:


ďM is for the million things she gave to me,

O means only that sheís growing old,

T is for the tears you shed to save me,

H is for the heart of purest gold,

E is for their eyes with love lights shining.

R means right, and right youíll always be,

When you put them all together they spell: Mother, a word that means the world to me.Ē

Unfortunately I couldnít find the proper pictures of the tools to make the letters, sorry.

Posted by Contagion at 09:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 12, 2007

More Superficial Friends

We have another episode of the Superficial Friends. This one isnít as good as the last one, but the crude humor and the fact they are now making fun of blogging as well really makes it worth sharing. Oh, and definitely Not Safe For Work.

Posted by Contagion at 10:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sea of War.

Well in keeping up with my ability to find cheesy and addictive online games, Iíve found Sea of War. It is a strategy game that looks to be based on the Command and Conquer series of games. You have to build up troops and take over the enemyís position. Of course they get crafty and start building bigger and better units, but then again so do you. There are another couple hours of my life wasted.

Posted by Contagion at 09:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I should do this at work during a meeting.

I donít know how safe this is, but it could make for a pretty cool party trick. Here is a video of how to make smoke come from your fingers.

Smoking Fingers - Click here for the most popular videos

Now if I could only get them to shoot flames!

Posted by Contagion at 07:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kill 'em all.

Ktreva and I were actually able to go out and see a movie last night. Since I love zombie movies, and 28 Weeks Later came out, we went to see that. Yes, I know those arenít ďrealĒ zombies. They are humans infected with the rage virus. But you know what, damn near close enough. They may be easier to kill then real zombies, but they are stronger, faster a bit more cunning.

I enjoyed the movie, I thought it was pretty good. However, I will say that this movie is a prime example of how NOT to contain a zombie outbreak. They started off good, but then one security breech and they all went stupid. Then they tried to fix it in the only logical manner.

Folks let me tell you something. If there is a zombie and/or Virus outbreak and the Chief Medical Officer breaks protocol to ďfind a cureĒ, treat them as an infected hostile. Thatís all Iím saying.

Posted by Contagion at 07:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 10, 2007

What not to say to your son.

We received a progress report for Boopie tonight. It seems that he is failing one of his classes. After talking with him we discovered it's because he's not doing his homework again. We already had pre-set consequences for this, so we banned him from video games until his grades come back up.

He's all bummed out, he just got his new Guitar Hero 2 game and was really liking it. So he started pouting and decided that he was going to hide in the closet. I didn't realize where he went to, and couldn't find him in the house. I didn't think to look in his closet, because he's 14 and I thought he would have outgrown that. Calling out from him I hear his voice coming from his room. I go in there, and can't see him. I call his name again, then I hear his voice coming from the closet.

I ask what he's doing in there (not sure I want to know). He tells me nothing, he's just hiding in there. So I say, "You're 14, you're too old for that. It's time to come out of the closet." He peeks his head through the door and looks at me with a slight smirk on his face.

At that point I realized what I said.

Yea, that's another therapy session I'm going to be paying for.

Posted by Contagion at 07:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


You would think I would have learned my lesson by now. There is an issue at work that all of my peers and myself agree needs changing. Unfortunately we canít make that change with out approval from upper management. On Tuesday we sat down and talked it over amongst ourselves to make sure we were all on the same page. At that time I told them this will not work unless we all support it AND openly support it. If anyone backs down, then we wonít get anything changed. Everyone agreed and wanted to make the change, it was decided that weíd discuss this with upper management today in one of our bi-weekly meetings.

We are in the meeting, and one of my peers turns to me and quietly says just to me, ďContagion, bring up that thing we spoke about.Ē I should have realized what was going to happen then, but of course I didnít. I laid out my proposal, and as soon as upper management started questioning it or showed hesitation, they all started backing down. Some said, ďWe canít do that.Ē or ďIt wonít workĒ.

The sad thing is that this change is not something that will have that big of an impact on me. They all want it more then I do, they are just too damn cowardly to say so. So instead they hang me out as the fall guy (Literally). But you know what, Iíve learned my lesson. I know where the battle lines are drawn and that from this point on; itís me versus them.

Posted by Contagion at 05:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 09, 2007

Nastro Azzurro

Iím still on the quest for Shadoglare to find a great Italian Beer. This week at the store I found a sixer of Peroni Nastro Azzurro. That makes two different Italian beers Iíve tried. So far Iím pretty whelmed by the quality.


It has a green bottle with the name of the company cast into the glass. The label is white with the name of the company in large red letters and the name over the beer just underneath it. There are some blue banners with Italian writing on it. Really there is nothing all that special about the label.

This is another beer with a very pale gold/straw coloring to it. Itís clear; light passes easily through it with out any problems. It poured a white head, but it disappeared in less then 30 seconds leaving no lacing or film on the top of the beer.

The scent is very faint and hard to discern from other scents in the air. After concentrating you can make out a faint floral hops scent with a touch of malt and citrus. The flavor is week with a slight malt sweetness. There is a nice hop bitterness to the finish that leaves little to no aftertaste.

This is a light bodied beer. There is a strong carbonation at the beginning, but that fades quickly to almost nothing. There is almost no mouth feel to the beer and I liken it to drinking water.

To be honest this beer tasted like a knock off of a standard American lite beer. I know they say they have been around since 1846, but Iíd swear I taste a mix of Miller and Bud in this one. Itís not a bad hot day beer. While grilling tonight I enjoyed one. Itís a beer that you can drink if you donít want to be overwhelmed with flavor or your standard beer fillingness. Yea, thatís a word now! Iím going to give this beer 3.5 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 07:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Showing your age.

For Boopie's 14th birthday he wanted Guitar Hero 2. Okay, no problem. we bought it for him.

But now I regret it. Tonight I'm out back grilling (more on that later) when he comes running out and says, "Dad, do you know the song "Freebird"?" Well of course I do. So he asks me, is it any good?

Yea, kids today have no culture.

For Boopie:

Learn the classics boy!

Posted by Contagion at 05:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 08, 2007

Pike County Rocks!

Holy crap, there may still be hope for Illinois! It seems that Pike County in Illinois adopted a resolution last month to oppose ANY legislation that infringes on the right to keep and bear arms. It seems that the citizens of the county were afraid that all of the anti-gun legislation that is being pushed through Springfield is going to not only jeopardize their Constitutional rights, but also hurt their tourism industry. Pike county is famous for itís hunting. I know a lot of people that have traveled there to go Deer Hunting. The citizens and county board feel that the Stateís attempt to ban firearms would end that hunting tradition.

On April 24, 2007 in a 7-2 vote they adopted a resolution that read:

Ē Now, Therefore, It Be And Is Hereby Resolved, that the people of Pike County, Illinois, do oppose the enactment of any legislation that would infringe upon the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms, and deem such laws to be Unconstitutional and beyond lawful Legislative Authority.Ē

IE if the State does pass such laws, they arenít going to enforce them. Iím sure they will run into problems with the State Police and government over this, if anything comes to head. Until then I hope that other counties and citizens take this example and run with it. Remember Illinois, we are NOT Chicago. What Mayor Daley and Governor Blagojevich want is to control the entire state. They want to make us all like Chicago. You know, big city, big crime, crooked politics and infringed rights. Itís time to take back our state and tell them in a loud and strong voice, WE ARE NOT CHICAGO!

"What we are trying to do here is protect rights we already have," board member Robert Kenady said. And

"We have to stand up," said board member Mark Mountain, who proposed the resolution. "We have to voice our opinion. As an individual, it doesn't mean much. As a county, it means more. As three or four counties, it means a lot."

Nothing I could write would put it better then those two quotes. I applaud you Pike County, I applaud you and your citizens for symbolically firing the first shot in what I hope is a revolution to keep our rights. Yes, I know this is mostly symbolic, but itís a good start. If only it wasn't so far down state, I'd move there.

Posted by Contagion at 07:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Cheese of the Gods.

I think I may have found the perfect food substance. Last week my parents went to visit some relatives up by Menomonie, Wisconsin. While up there they stopped at what is, in my opinion, the best cheese factory in the country, Cady Cheese Factory.

I have an Aunt and Uncle that own a farm in nearby Spring Valley. When I was a kid my grandmother used to live on the farm with them. Every time we would go and visit her, we would stop at Cady Cheese and bring pounds of the glorious golden food home with us. It was Cady cheese that started me on my love of Salami Cheese. Up until now, I thought this was the perfect snack food combination. Itís so wonderful that I think Iíve turned half of my friends and both boys into Salami Cheese loving fools. I know you can get it down here, but it just doesnít taste the same.

Anyway, Iím off topic. Since my parents were up that way, they knew I would want some cheese. They stopped in to pick some up for themselves and for me, er for my family. While looking through their gift shop my father pointed something out to mom and told her, ďContagion must have that.Ē So he bought me a very special chunk of cheese, this may even be the holy grail of cheese.

He bought me Cheddar with Guinness.

Thatís right, Cheddar cheese with Guinness in it. It looks like a cheese with dark brown veins running through it. Iíve had the cheese for three days and I havenít cut into it yet. Why? Well Iím waiting for a special occasion. See, I havenít found cheddar with Guinness anywhere else. And at 12.99 a pound Iím not sure I want to just eat it any old time. However, Iím starting to get antsy just waiting. Iím thinking it wonít last through the weekend.

Posted by Contagion at 06:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 07, 2007

Contagion versus the Tree.

Itís been four days since the chainsaw incident. Iím done being mad about the whole thing, so now it is actually funny.

Over the last couple of years I had a couple of trees start to grow awfully close to my house and garage. At first I didnít do anything about them, but then I decided I had better get a start before they actually do some damage. Especially since one of the trees was right up next to the house and another was right next to the garage. They werenít big trees. The one next to the house was 3-4 inches in diameter and the one next to the garage was about 7-8 inches wide. The one next to the house was only about 15 feet tall, but the one next to the garage was about 30 feet. The third tree was in the middle of the yard, but along a fence lineÖ I just didnít like it.

The tree next to the house came down easily enough. There were three separate trunks intertwined with some fence. It was a little tricky, but everything went smooth. The tree in the middle of the yard, again intertwined with fence came down easily enough with no damage to the fence or the chain. Then there was the tree by the garage.

First off, not only was this tree right next to the garage, but it was also intertwined with chain link fence. To make it even worse, it was between my garage and my neighborís garage. Our garages are so close I can stand and place my left hand on my garage and be able to touch theirs with my right. Oh, and to make it just a little bit more difficult there is a phone line that runs right next to it. Yea, this one was going to be tricky. Yet I just knew I could get this one down easy as can be. Iíve precision dropped larger trees then this before.

I make a flat cut about halfway through the tree. Then I make an angle cut to take out a wedge to direct the tree to where I want it to fall. Iím almost done with the angle cut when the tree shifts and pinches the chainsaw. WTF? Itís a maple, it shouldnít be that flexible. I mean over half the trunk is still intact! Making sure there is no power to the chainsaw, I try to pull it out. That bad boy was S-T-U-C-K stuck. I figure if I just gently and lightly push on the trunk maybe, MAYBE I can pull out the chainsaw.

Now at this point someone is going to say I should have gotten help, tied a rope to the tree, or something else logical. Hereís the problem. Everyone I asked was busy and couldnít come over. The only help I had was Boopie. If I had tied a rope to the tree and tried to have him pull anything, he would have just hurt himself. Anyone that has met him knows what Iím talking about.

So I just very lightly and gently push on the tree to alleviate the pressure on the blade. Sure enough the treeís grip on the chainsaw is loosened and it starts to come free. Just as Iím about to let go of the tree it happens. Just like in some cartoon or stupid comedy movie the biggest fattest bird I have ever seen plops down onto the furthest sticking branch that will hold its weightÖ over my neighborís garage.

The tree starts to creak as it begins its slow fall. I drop the chainsaw, (Thank all that is good for steel toe work boots) and grab the trunk with both hands pulling it in the opposite direction. My efforts are to no avail as the tree crashes on top of my neighborís garage and phone line. Iím yelling and swearing at the top of my lungs. The boys are staring in wide eyed wonder at the events they just witnessed. To make matters worse, THE TREE STILL WAS ONLY CUT HALF WAY THROUGH! The notch was still in place! It didnít break, the damn thing bent with the weight.

At this point Iíve lost all rational thought. With anger and frustration I grab the chainsaw, power it up and lift it over my head like a psycho path in some comedy-horror flick. In a stream of obscenities that would shock most people I attack, yes attack, the tree with the chainsaw. I finish cutting it all the way through. Then I grab the trunk and pull it off the roof and onto the ground. Boopie is screaming, ďDAD, DONíT! STOP, PLEASE STOP!Ē I am now giggling with a madness that only those that have been irrationally pissed at an inanimate object can understand.

Yes, I got the tree down. No, I did not damage the garage. No one was physically injured, however my kids may need more therapy now when they get older. As for the phone lineÖ uh, I donít know what youíre talking about. Right now there are piles of limbs and trunk in my driveway waiting to be cut up and disposed off. I had too many plans over the weekend to finish it. That and in my exuberance to destroy the damnable plant I broke the chain on the chainsaw. I havenít had a chance to get it fixed yet.

But tomorrowÖ the sage continues.

Posted by Contagion at 06:51 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 05, 2007

It's like a train wreck, only sexier.

What happens when cheerleaders fight?

Iím telling you guys, just add some butterscotch pudding and this would be a much better video.

Yea, the fight itself is lameÖ but itís cheerleaders fighting. How can you not enjoy it?

Posted by Contagion at 10:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Last Stand

I found a little game that is right up my alley. Itís called The Last Stand. The point is to survive 20 days from a zombie uprising. You have to defend your ďfortĒ at night and during the day you decided how many hours you spend repairing your wall, searching for other survivors or looking for better weapons.

Yea, the chainsaw is cool and is really good when they are right up against your wall, but the AK-47 seems to be the best one for accuracy and round capacity.

Posted by Contagion at 08:58 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Cinco De Mayo.

Today is Cinco De Mayo. I was going to go into a long history as to what this holiday actually celebrates, especially since there is some confusion about it. After much though, I figured why bother. Letís face it; Cinco De Mayo in America is pretty much just like St Patrickís Day.

It is just another day for single guys to attempt to score with drunk hot chic.

Except today itís a hot Latino chic, while St. Patrickís is a hot Irish chic.

So to all my single friends out thereÖ happy hunting. And remember: tip your wingman well.

Posted by Contagion at 07:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 03, 2007


Hmmm Me and a chainsaw. Maybe that wasnít such a good combination.

Posted by Contagion at 07:46 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Only when there is a fire.

Today while at work, I received a call from my mother. She called to tell me that Clone is in a bit of trouble. Today at school they were going over fire safety. You know, stop, drop and roll, what do to in case of a fire, etc etc etc. Everything was fine until they left the building for the day. As he was walking out, he saw the fire alarm.

Yep, Clone walked right over to it and pulled it. Setting off all the warning lights and buzzers. Why did he do it? Because they pointed it out to the kids and said only pull it in case of fire. He had never noticed it before and wondered what it did. So he pulled it.

The school emptied, the teachers ran in a panic to call the fire department to advice it is a false alarm, the kids ran went outside like they were supposed to, only they had their little hands covering their ears. Apparently they thought it was great fun. The kids that is, not the teachers. I never did find out if the kids got to see the fire trucks. Iím sure they would have loved that. Then again I think that only would have provoked them to pull the alarm again.

Only my kids.

Posted by Contagion at 06:07 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 02, 2007

Dirty Bastard. Yea, I'm talking to you!

Since this weekend is Cinco de Mayo, I decided to go with an ethnic styled beer. No, itís not Mexican, every Mexican beer I found Iíve tried and sucks. If any of you bring up Corona, just shut up now. Any beer you have to add fruit to it in order to make it drinkable is not a good beer. Please Corona is the Keystone Light of Mexican beer. Why do you think they pawn it off on us Americans? Nope, this weekís beer is Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale by Founders Brewery.

Dirty Bastard.jpg

This beer came in a squat 12 ounce bottle The label had a plaid background with a white line drawing of a pissed off Highlander and the name of the beer on it. The neck label says, ďAuch! Yehíve nary had such a bonnie taste of heavín since pulliní yer mouth off yer mammyís teet. With more highland bitties, and flavours than yer grandmammyís haggis, Dirty Bastard Ale ainít fer the wee lads. And if itís too strong fer yer silk-weariní, poodle-walkiní arse. Then itís back to the lock with you, Nessy!Ē (That is EXACTLY how it is on the label. I think we may have found the official beer of Miasmatic Review.

When poured in the glass there is a nice thick tan head that very slowly dissipates. It leaves a nice lacing on the glass, and by the time you finish, there is still about an eighth inch head. The color is of a dark brown with ruby tints. Itís a clear beer, with no floating bits, but is thick enough that light has difficulty passing through.

The scent is a mix of sweet fruits and toasted malts. There is a toffee undertone, but a definite hint of Scotch that wafts to the nose. The scent is very pleasing. The taste is a glorious combination of beer and Scotch. There is a scotch like smoked peat flavor. You can almost taste a good oak charcoal to it. With a chocolate accent and touch of good roasted malts it brings a wonderful finish to the beer. The aftertaste is slightly bitter, but fades quickly.

Dirty Bastard Ale is a full-bodied beer. There is a nice creaminess to it. The carbonation is at a good level. Itís not biting on the tongue, but keeps the beer drinkable.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Ktreva told me I should get it because she felt it fit my perfectly, Auch, back to the loch with you, Nessy! I found this to be a good combination beer. A mix of scotch and beer that is just too good to pass up. Iím giving this beer a 7 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 07:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Next I won't be allowed to drink a beer.

We have yet another example of how the Illinois Government is trying to control its citizens. Yesterday the Illinois House passed a statewide smoking ban. Folks, this is just another freedom taken away from us by the government.

First let me preface this by saying I donít smokeÖ anymore. I quit on November 18th cold turkey and I havenít looked back. Yes I still have the urge to light one up, especially when Iíve been drinking. But I just ignore it, and it goes away. So this ban really doesnít have that big of an effect on meÖ or does it?

When I did smoke, and some businesses around here voluntarily went smokeless, I was upset. I liked those establishments, however I wasnít going to go to a bar or restaurant that I couldnít smoke in. Thus I stopped frequenting those establishments for other businesses that would allow me to smoke while I had a pint or two. (Okay twelve, whom am I kidding) Now I may have quit, but I have many of friends that do smoke. When we go out, they like to light up while we sit at the bar.

We canít smoke in the bars here? Well Wisconsin is only 30 minutes north of here, oh and they have a lower sales tax rateÖ LETS GO THERE! So no, itís not going to have an affect on my smoking habits, just where I am going to go drinking on the weekends when I hang out with my friends that do. Trust me, smokers are a resilient group. My company banned smoking on the grounds last November. Even on the coldest days of the winter our employees that didnít want to quit smoking could be seen standing out in the street braving the wind and the cold just to light up. Do you really think by banning smoking is going to stop them?

Now someone will tell me that they arenít doing this to stop people from smoking, just protect non-smokers from second hand smoke. I say bullshite. First off, you are protecting no one. Anybody that claims that they donít know smoking is bad for them has either had a full lobotomy or is just plain dealing with a single digit IQ. Ever since I can remember they government and every medical professional I know has been harping on the fact that smoking is bad for you. Now, I know the arguments for whether or not second hand smoke is bad for you. Folks, Iíll be honest I donít know which side to believe. Mainly because I have spent absolutely NO time looking into it or doing any of my own research. I just donít care, but for the sake of this argument I will acquiesce that it is harmful.

So if itís harmful, and people are aware that it is harmful, why do they just not avoid it? There are plenty of bars, restaurants and pubs that the OWNERS chose to be smoke free. Why not just go there? If you go to an establishment that you know allows smoking, then you are choosing to expose yourself to it. If you canít control your own actions, then maybe you should not leave your house with out proper supervision. If you take your kids to one of these places, itís your own damned fault for doing so. But NOOOOoooo, instead these whiney self-centered jerks went off and got the government to inconvenience everyone else just so THEY could go to places they wanted.

Personally, I think the whole smoking issue should be up the individual that smokes and the establishment owner. If a person wants to smoke, that is there right. If a proprietor wants to allow smoking at their place of business, that should be their decision. The government needs to keep to running the country and not our lives. They need to look after the war, the illegal immigrants and enforcing the laws that exist.

Itís time to start voting these jokers out of office.

Posted by Contagion at 06:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 01, 2007

Time to mow the lawn.

Well that annual war of the lawn started tonight. For the first time this year I mowed my lawn. Yea, I know itís may already, but dammit! I hate mowing my lawn! I pressed Boopie into service this year. Since our grass was about a foot long, and Iím not kidding, it was probably closer to 11 inches, but it was damn long, I couldnít use the bagging attachment. Well I guess I could have, but why when Iíd have to stop and empty it ever ten feet. Instead I converted it to the mulching mode and let Boopie rake up whatever I didnít mulch. That would be a lot if you really wanted to know.

I think it might be because itís early in the season, but there were no wild animals waiting in ambush in the grass. But I did discover a couple of things. Like there is some kind of animal that has burrowed into my front yard. Iím not sure what it is yet, but itís not going to be around for long. Secondly, I found out that those plastic soft-air BBs from the guns I bought Boopie for Christmas hurt like the dickens when they fly out of a mower and hit you in the leg. I may have to re-think how I set up the shooting trap for that. Obviously they arenít all staying inside the one I have now.

Hopefully the rain holds off so I donít have to mow again next week.

Posted by Contagion at 08:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Good Times and Bad News.

Good lord am I beat. This weekend was a great weekend. It jump-started my re-enacting bug, which is good. Now Iím looking forward to my next one.

Originally we were going to head out Thursday night, but with it being on the cold and rainy side and us not participating on kidís day, we decided to head out Friday. I have nothing against kidís day; I use to do it all the time. However, after my leaving Clan Chattan I changed my demonstration from Surly Scotsman talking about weapons to Surly Scotsman talking about Distilling. It had been decided a while back that my demonstrating distilling to kids might be taken the wrong way. The event coordinators didnít want some parent complaining that they were promoting alcohol use to children. With todayís litigation loving society, I completely agree. There were some rumors floating around that the committee wouldnít let me participate. I did get those straightened out that it was a mutual agreement.

We arrived a little on the early side Friday. Kids day wasnít quite over, so we had to wait in the parking lot before they would let us in to set up. Since a nice warm front was coming through, the skies cleared up and it actually got warmer as the afternoon passed into evening. This is when all my love of re-enacting came flooding back. The sights, smells and old friends really warmed my heart. It was great seeing people that I hadnít been able to visit with since October. Unfortunately, there were some friends that werenít there. Some that either couldnít make it or just didnít come, and in a couple of cases ones that didnít make it through the winter or arenít long for this world.

Saturday was a hot one. The temperatures climbed into the 80ís. I didnít participate in the battle, mainly because I spent most of my time demonstrating distilling, but also because I really didnít want to participate. As the years have passed my desire to go run around the battlefield burning black powder is waning. My desire to go shoot at a target is more along my lines. Speaking of shooting, one of the re-enactors there brought with this huge blunderbuss. I believe he said the barrel was 1 and 9/16 diameter at the breech. It will fit a golf ball comfortably. He let me fire the thing. When asked how much powder it takes to shoot it, he replied with, ď300 and someĒ He had a 100 grain powder measure. He would fill it three times and pour it down the barrel. Then he would fill it about half way and put that in as well. Using a slice of bread he would pack it into place. Yea, it rocked!

macktown Blunderbuss.jpg
It's not the length, it's the girth

I went to the ONW meeting on Saturday. There wasnít enough there for my second introduction, but thatís okay. It was another opportunity to meet more of the guys. It was during this that I learned more said news about some other re-enactors I know. It seems that this off-season has really taken its toll. The guys all gave me crap for not going to Bloody Lake next weekend. Unfortunately there are too many reasons that I canít go. I canít even day trip it and itís almost in my back yard.

After the public left we went over to Clan Chattan for Dinner. Grau was making I canít believe itís not Blam stew, and invited us to help eat it. We werenít about to pass that up. It was damn good. He made the ultra-dense version of it. It didnít take much for you to get you fill. And if you ate even a spoonful too much, you where in discomfort. After dinner Clone was acting up so we headed back to our camp. I figured weíd just sit and stare at the fire while listening to the other camps from ours. We canít leave Clone in the camp unattended. Wes, who was camping next to us, came over and started playing his Bodhran, and my friend Smokepoles came over to join in the festivities. I turned to say something to Ktreva, and I noticed that most of Clan Chattan AND the Rogerís Rangers had wandered into our camp. We ended up having a party right there!

All was going well until Grau decided to bust out the wheel of pickled food. The pickled turkey gizzards were good, the herring was wonderful, but he had some pickled eggs that spelled my doom. I love pickled eggs. So of course I grabbed one and popped the whole thing in my mouth. What none of us realized is that these had some extra-spicy kick to it. It took a whole couple of minutes before my stomach problems kicked into an overdrive. Our camp was close to a golf course, all I know is that I feel sorry for the golfers that found my surprises on the back nine the next day. Let me just say, I am NOT sticking my head in a port-a-john.

Sunday went well. I spent more time walking around and visiting people. The temperatures again soared into the 80ís. Which kind of sucked because I only brought my cold weather clothes with. So I was sweating my nuts off. I also finished off a nice sunburn on Sunday. My nose is blistered; my ears and lips are burnt. Itís painful when I blink. Before anyone says anything about sunscreenÖ yea I know. But you have to understand. Iím half Scottish, half Norwegian. Me in the sun is like putting a fork in the microwave. Even with SPF 109,238, which is a thick paste, I get a sunburn. Then I peel, and then I go back to pasty white.

Clan Chattan revived the Voyage of Maelduin after a three-year hiatus this weekend. It used to be their signature play they would put on. There are parts in the play where the actors have water thrown on them ďunexpectedlyĒ. My long lost blog daughter, Virtue (whom is not dead as previously thought), had this idea to get the audience in by throwing water. Unfortunately she informed my wife and Smokepoles about this nefarious plan. After she left our camp Ktreva and Smokepoles filled a bucket with water and ice from the bottom of our cooler. I didnít get the shot of Smokepoles dousing Grau with ice water, but I did get a couple of shots of them being splashed.

Macktown Maelduin.jpg
Yes, that is a wall of water heading for Grau!

All in all it was a good weekend. Iím geared up for my next event, Fort Koshkonong in Fort Atkinson, WI. Iím hoping that some of the River Scum from down state make the trip again this year. Itís always good hanging with them and I havenít seen most of them since last October. Anyway, we all had fun, especially Clone. He keeps asking when we can go camping again.

Macktown Clone(2).jpg
The boy on his way to harass Smokepoles

Oh, and by the way. Even though it didn't rain on us while we were at the event. Right after we finished packing up and headed out, the skies opened up on us. So even though my canvas was technically down and in my vehicle, it still got wet. There is no cover on my truck.

Posted by Contagion at 07:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack