August 31, 2007

Done and Done!

Well I decided to go out and do it. With all the talk about wanting to get it done and actually having some time today, I had my upper ear pierced... twice.

contagion ear.jpg

Yea, my mother thinks I'm having a mid-life crisis.

What's funny is that apparently I'm a bleeder. It didn't hurt much more than giving blood... which is what I ended up doing. They used 16 gauge needles to get the size rings I wanted. When they pushed them through my ear I could feel something run down ear and drop onto my shirt. The girl that did the piercing was all nice and grabbed some paper towels to help stem the flow of blood. half an hour later the bleeding stopped and they where able to get the second one. That one didn't bleed anywhere near as much. As I told them, I guess you drained it all on the first try.

Right now it's a little sore, but overall it's not bad.

Posted by Contagion at 03:19 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Side Effects.

Well this restricted diet may actually be working. The stomach problems actually are starting to subside. It's been 4 days since I've had an episode, and that is a record over the last year. I'm down to taking my medication just at night which is good, because not being able to digest your food makes for some interesting situations in the bathroom.

Also, I lost 6 pounds in the last week. Which is truely amazing because the medications major side effect is that you gain weight. Oh, and I'm not even hungry, how cool is that?

Posted by Contagion at 07:15 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Spreading the love.

Wes of Bodhran Roll, Please! is in dire need of positive thinking, well wishes and all around support.

For my re-enacting friends that stop by, this is the same Wes that plays the Bodhran at the different events.

Posted by Contagion at 06:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 30, 2007


Okay, right now I'm thinking about getting my upper ear pierced twice. Actually it's pretty much a set deal, I just need to go in and get it done.

But I've been going back and forth on the idea of getting a tattoo. First off I know what I want, but I just can't find it in a "design" format. It's a Norse dragon's head inside a Celtic knot work circle. The problem is that I go from yes, I want it. To no, it's stupid.

So what do you all think. Would you get a tattoo? Why or why not? And if so, what kind?

Posted by Contagion at 04:11 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

I am strong willed...?

My employees had a potluck as part of a baby shower for one of my people. The tables with all the food were set up around my desk, because thatís where they had room for it. It was chuck full with all kinds of food I like. Fried Chicken (Canít eat), Potato Salad (canít eat), Pasta Salad (Canít eat), Chicken Salad (canít eat), Cake (Canít Eat), Chocolate Pie (Canít eat) and on and on. The only things I can eat are the raw vegetables tray and whole grain rolls.

Yea, the temptation was great all day. But I managed not to succumb to it.

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August 29, 2007

Yungling Porter

This week I have another submitted beer. My friend Will brought back for me a bottle (after the stink you all made over the fact he gave me cans last time) of Yuengling Porter by G.G. Yuengling & Son Inc in Pottsville, PA. Now I will admit this beer tasted exceptionally good tonight, because itís the first beer I had in a week. However, I am devoted to my craft and refuse to let my situation taint my review.

Yuengling porter 001.jpg

As indicated above, it came in a bottle, the standard 12 oz brown bottle. It has a red neck and body label. The body label is oval in shape, has the eagle symbol that the brewery uses as its logo and the name of the beer on it. It also proclaims that it came from Americaís Oldest Brewery.

This was a nice dark beer. With a strong dark brown coloring and slight hint of garnet to the coloring, it has your standard porter look to it. Light had difficulty passing through the body. It poured a nice thick half-inch tan head. However, it faded quickly to just a film on the top of the beer. It left no lacing on the glass at all.

The nose was a mix of roasted malts and sweet caramel grains. There was a hint of chocolate to the scent as well that helped make the scent that much more enticing. The taste was a mix of roasted malts with a touch of coffee. A slightly bitter hop tasted finished it off. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste to it. The flavor is a little on the thin side and very simple for a porter. There is a weak bitter aftertaste to it.

For a porter the body was too light. It should have had more of a medium body to it, but the mouth feel reminded me of the lager. There is a slight creaminess to it, but nothing that left a good coating in the mouth, as one would expect.

I enjoyed this beer, and again I think I was hyping it up since Iíve heard so many good things about Yuengling. Again this is a good beer, but I can think of a couple dozen porters and stouts I would go out of my way for before this. Iím giving it 5.5 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 06:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

About what I expected.

Well the worst that could happen did. I ďsecuredĒ the trash bags with the magazines in it Tuesday morning. After work I had to stop by the grocery store to pick up some items. When I returned home Ktreva wasnít there yet, and the house seemed quietÖ too quiet.
I enter the house and there is not a sound or sign of anyone. By this time Boopie should have been home, but there was no sign of him. As I carry the groceries to the kitchen I stop by his room to see if heís hiding in there. All of a sudden he jumps up and is pulling up his pants exclaiming, ďIím changing my clothes because Iím sweatyĒ Iím thinking to myself, ďYea, those forearm exercises do break out a sweat.Ē

Then he tells me he tried to take out the trash, but he canít pick up the bags. Well of course he did, he wanted more nekked girlie goodness. At least this time he tried to come up with a plausible story as to why the bags are not in the same condition as I had left them. Although he wasnít able to untie the knots I put into the bag, I could see he tried.

Then for the next hour he wouldnít make eye contact with me and was very enthusiastic about helping out when I asked him to do stuff. Yea, guilt is a good thing to exploit when you have some chores that need to be done.

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August 28, 2007

One week in on a life sentance.

Itís been a week now that Iíve altered my eating habits per doctorís orders. I havenít had any red meat in that time period and I have discovered that Iím quickly developing a strong hatred for poultry. Mainly because Iím limited in what I can eat, ie I donít like pork (unless itís smoked and covered in BBQ sauce) and I have a mild allergy to seafood. I can still eat it, but I get nauseous when I do. Not that my spontaneously vomiting is an issue to me since I do it anyway. I just donít like feeling sick. That really leaves me with Chicken and Turkey on a daily basis.

This brings up an interesting series of questions I have for all of you.

1)Have you noticed that low/no fat versions of some of your favorite foods are also low/no flavor or it tastes like crap?

2)Does anyone else find that ďalternativeĒ meat versions of certain products are just wrong? Ie Turkey breakfast sausage is wrong on so many levels.

3)What in the love of god is up with people actually buying low-fat chips that cause anal leakage? Why would you do this to yourself?

4)Does anyone actually like the mouth feel or texture of tofu? Seriously, it reminds me of curdled milk.

5)Since Iím not allowed to drink beer, I wonder if itís okay for me to have non-alcoholic beer. Just for the damn taste. (Grau, T1G and Bruce, please do not beat my arse for this question. I know itís blasphemy)

Oh and to all of you that sent me various recipes, thank you very much. Iíll be trying a couple of them this week and Iíll let you know what I thought.

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August 27, 2007

He's not gay!

Upon returning home from work today I found the house still standing, Boopie did not blow it up, burn it down, or break anything that Iím aware of yet. However, I did learn two pieces of information about my eldest.

First is that he is much like my sister in his inability to do something mischievously with out giving out tell tale signals. You know like getting into something he shouldnít have or playing with something that heís been told he shouldnít. Now, to be fair I did spend years learning how to investigate crimes. Iím not saying Iím an expert crime scene investigator like Gill Grissom, detective like Adrian Monk or even some actual investigative person, but I know what to look for and a lot of tricks of the trade. Unfortunately Boopie barely tries to cover his tracks.

Secondly I learned that my son is not gay. There was some speculation a couple of years ago, but after today Iím pretty sure we can say he likes the girls.

How do I know this? During some thorough house cleaning I decided to throw out all of my old Playboy magazines that Iíve kept hidden for years. I used to have a subscription, and wouldnít throw them away. Before anyone says anything, yes I looked at the pictures. Yet I also read the articles. They really did have some good writers. I let my subscription lapse 7 years ago and havenít read one since, so I canít say what they are like today.

I placed about 6 years worth of magazines into trash bags, and set them to be tossed with the trash on Wednesday. When I got home today one of the bags was untied and the nicely arranged magazines were no longer nicely arranged. They were in the house, so it had to be him. Sure he tried to put the bag back into the same position I left it in, but he wasnít remotely successful.

Now I thought about calling him out on this, but then I decided not to. Hell, by the time I was his age I had a nice collection of nudie mags my friendís would steal from their fatherís collection. Seriously, whatís the worst thatís going to happen?

Posted by Contagion at 05:37 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

I've got a bad feeling

It's Boopieís first day of High School.

First I canít believe heís old enough for high school, especially since he still tends to act like heís in fifth grade. The hardest part for me isnít that I have a son thatís old enough to be in High School. No, itís the fact that I had to give him a key to the house and trust him to get to school by himself.

His school runs from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Both Ktreva and I have to be to work by 9:00 at the latest, and for both of us we are supposed to be there between 7:00 AM and 7:30 AM. That means that in the morning Boopie has to get up, get dressed, get breakfast, clean up after himself and get out of the house and to school on time with out anyone there. It also means that I have to trust him to NOT blow up the house, break anything, stay out of stuff that he shouldnít be getting into and most importantly locking the house up after he leaves.

Now a lot of people will say, ďHeís fourteen, itís time you start trusting him.Ē I just canít. Over the last year and a half Iíve trusted him with various things. Iíve given him responsibilities, duties, chores and opportunities to show me heís matured into a trustworthy and responsible individual.

He blew each one in a major way.

Iím not talking about a minor infraction; Iím talking about spectacular, catastrophic failure. Iíll give you an example. If you remember I gave Boopie some Softair guns for Christmas. He was given these with the stipulation that you treat them like real firearms. You were safety glasses, they are not to be used in the hosue, you do not point them at another person and you definitely do NOT shoot at anybody with them. If you have friends that come over to the house, you are responsible for them. You need to explain the rules and enforce them. If you horse around, Iím going to take them away.

The first time he had a friend over and they wanted to go outside and shoot I had to interrupt and tell them not to point them at each other. The friend ďTall BoyĒ responded that they where just toys. To which I replied that I didnít care, they shoot a projectile that can break glass. You will not point them at each other. All was fine for a couple of months until Boopie and Tall Boy brought over another friend, ďEMO KidĒ to shoot. I looked out the window and there was EMO Kid pointing one of the guns at Tall Boy. Again I pointed out that they were NOT to be pointing the guns at each other.

Not five minutes later I see Boppie and EMO Kid shooting at each other with the guns. In fact Booopie got shot and was bleeding. Now they are my Airsoft guns, and he wonít get them back. He asked if he could have them back a couple of weeks ago and I told him that he has not proven to be responsible enough for them.

So now I have to leave the boy home alone in a house with black powder, swords, axes, knives, real guns etcÖ Sure the modern fire arms are secured and he canít get to the ammo, but that doesnít mean he might not try to play with the other stuff. Or start going through my personal stuff. Actually Iím more worried about him not securing the house or breaking stuff than anything else. Either way, Iím not comfortable about the whole arrangement.

Unfortunately I didnít have much of a choice.

Posted by Contagion at 01:33 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 26, 2007


Last night I took KTreva out on a little date, just something simple; Dinner and movie. Now that may not sound like a great date, but when you have kids only a sitter for only 5 hours. You work with what you have. Plus since we hardly ever get out just the two of us, it was great.

I took her to a local Japanese restaurant that does the cooking at your table. We have two of these places in town and depending on the person you talk to depends on which one is better. To be honest I think they are about the same.

The best part of these places is the show you get with dinner. Now every time we've gone to anyplace like this, we've had an oriental guy that barely spoke English and it was hard to understand what he was saying. That is until last night. No, we had the only red neck oriental on the face of the earth. The guy had a slight southern accent and used the word "y'all" a lot.

I didn't have a problem with this, as he put on a great show and it was easy to understand him. It just through me off that he had a southern accent, especially since we live in the north.

Oh and if you are interested in the movie we saw, it was The Bourne Ultimatum. It was good, not as good as the first two, but definitely worth seeing.

Posted by Contagion at 11:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 25, 2007

More time lost.

And now for a little time waster, how about Asteroids Revenge three. It starts off simple, but seeing how long you can last in the last mission is rather difficult. That was two hours of my life Iíll never get back.

Posted by Contagion at 10:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Movie to miss?

I really thought this was a joke.

Ninja Cheerleaders

See more like this on

Apparently not, Ninja Cheerleaders. Although it does have George Takei of Star Trek Fame in it.

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Weird Football!

Football season is right around the corner, and there are a lot of people I know that are gearing up for it. There are also a lot of fantasy football leagues starting or started and people are really getting gung ho over the whole thing. I thought this little NSFW (no nudity, just hard to explain) video would help celebrate the soon to be opening regular season of NFL football.

"Football Boobs" | Funny Jokes at JibJab

Yea, Weird Science for the football fanatic.

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300 Mexicans

I loved the movie 300, and there are a lot of spoofs of the trailer out there, but I have to say this one made me laugh the hardest.

300 Mexicans

See more like this on

After watching this video, I just wonder how my mexican friend J-man would like this video.

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And one for Jenny and the wimp!

When I was in High School I would listen to Dr Demento all the time. They always had a skit by The Frantics called Ti Kwan Leep featuring Ed Gruberman and a Martial Arts instructor discussing peace versus violence. This was very popular an The Frantics have come up with other skits with the ďBoot to the HeadĒ theme. This one, while not Ti Kwan Leap, is still very funny. Especially since someone put it into video game context.

Click to watch

and for watching thatÖ

.. A boot to the head *THUMP*

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August 24, 2007


I finally found something other than water that I can drink. A diet cranberry juice that is made with sucralose instead of aspertame. Normally I'd say it tastes like watered down cranberry juice. But since I've had only water to drink (besides the two beers from the beer review), it tastes GREAT!

Now if I could only get Ktreva to let me add Vodka to it.

Posted by Contagion at 06:21 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 23, 2007

Blogcrawl 2007

All right folks, itís long overdueÖ by about 14 months, but Iím going to announce it now. BLOGCRAWL 2007! For those of you that have forgotten what a blogcrawl is, let me give you a recap.

It all started when T1G of Drunken Wisdom got lit one night and made all kinds of drunken comments on other blogs. The next day when he went back to read his masterwork, he found that they where not only nowhere near as funny as he thought they where, but also really hard to decipher. He asked of his readers to disregard his comments. That was when yours truly came up with the idea of a Blogcrawl.

I find drunken comments hilarious, as do many of my regular reads. So I thought, what could I do to help keep this fine tradition going? I decided that on one given night all the bloggers that wanted to participate should get drunk ďSocially lubricatedĒ and post comments on all the blogs in the Bad Example and Frizzen Sparks family.

Now, much to my chagrin, it didnít work quite how I wanted it to. Sure many people lit it up, but instead of making comments they stayed in a chat channel. From what I hear, they were having a grand olí time. Meanwhile myself, T1G, Tammilicious, Ktreva and Anethamatized got good and blitzed down at Fritzís. By the time we got home, the chat channel was done.

Well I want to revive this Blogging holiday, and I have the perfect day for it. September 29, 2007. Itís the last Saturday in September. Itís going to be perfect for two reasons. First Iím free that weekend, and secondly itís my birthday and for the first time in 17 years Iíve decided Iím going to actually celebrate it. Shooting early in the day and going down to Fritzís later, leaving drunk comments when I get home.

So if you are interested in joining me, let me know. If you don't want to or can't join me in person, join me online. Also spread the word; letís see what kind of damage we can do!

BTW, before anyone asks... clothing is optional.

Posted by Contagion at 06:10 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Where has the good food gone?

Okay, day two of the new Contagion. What has gone down so far?

1) Shopping for food that has no fat, low sodium and is something I want to eat is difficult.

2) Day two of no caffeine and Iím ready to kill people. I canít drink any colored soft drinks, anything with caffeine or anything with sugar. That leaves me with water, unless I want to drink whisky all day, which I may just start doing. All Iíve had to drink over the last two days is water and 24 oz of beer. The water at work tastes like morning breath.

3) For the first time in my life I poured perfectly good beer down the drain. It wasnít even a beer I hated, but beer I really liked. Why? Because I was past my two beer limit and the bottle couldnít be resealed.

4) Want to know why Americans are fat? Itís because ďhealthyĒ, ďgood for youĒ foods are almost twice as expensive as regular food. Think Iím kidding; go shopping for ďhealthyĒ lunch meats and breads. The other reason is that the amount of time it takes to turn something ďhealthyĒ into something palatable takes forever and it still doesnít taste as good as a bacon cheeseburger and fries that only take 15 minutes to cook. It took me 1.5 hours to cook last nightís dinner and I still would have rather had the burger and fries.

5) If one more person mistakes why Iím eating ďhealthierĒ for me going on a diet, Iím going to reach down their throat and rip out a chunk of their lower intestine. If it was up to me, Iíd still be eating and drinking the same stuff. Itís because Iím trying to keep my insides from jellifying that Iíve changed my eating habits.

So there you have it. Now youíll excuse me while I go eat some baby carrots and cucumber slices.

Posted by Contagion at 12:30 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 22, 2007

Colony Oatmeal Stout

Tonight I have another beer brought back from vacation, Colony Oatmeal Stout by the Millstream Brewing Company in Amana, IA. Technically Iíve had this beer before. The first time I drank it was two years ago in the Amana Colonies. It left a lasting impression on me; unfortunately you canít purchase it here in Rockford.

Colony Oatmeal Stout.jpg

It came in a brown 1-liter bottle with a ceramic Grolsch style stopper. There is a large green label with a picture of a red mill on it. In large red letters at the top is the name of the brewery; the name of the beer is incorporated in the bottom of the picture. There is a picture of a wheat stalk on each side of the mill.

It poured a dark obsidian color that was opaque; light did not pass through at all. A nice 3/4 inch tan head formed. The bubbles were large and dissipated quickly leaving only a ring around the edge of the glass and very minimal lacing.

There is a fragrant combination of chocolate, coffee and oat malts. The scent is almost that of a specialty coffee one would get at Starbucks. The scent is very appealing. It has a full flavored mix of oats and mocha with a hint of coffee accents. With a slight bitterness to the aftertaste, itís very appealing.

It has a creamy mouth feel that one should get with a stout. The body is somewhere between medium and full. Itís thicker than a medium bodied beer, but not quite a full bodied one. There is a perfect amount of carbonation for a stout.

Overall I really like this beer. Iíve been craving it off and on for the last two years. Iíve bragged about it to people and have gone out of my way to bring samples of it to those that I think would like it. Unfortunately it doesnít come in 12 oz bottles, at least not in the last couple of years. So after doing my review it pained me, but I had to dump the extra out. Itís not going to last in the container once the seal is broken. I truly love this beer and would recommend trying it if you ever get a chance.

Iím giving it a 7 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 06:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 21, 2007

Again into the Breech

I'm off to due battle with one of the most tyrannical powers in the world, the State of Illinois government. Folks, it is my sincere wish that I make it through these trials and tribulations with out harm to myself or others, and that I make it home safe and sound. Alas, I'm a feared that it is not going to happen that way.

From past experience I know that any dealing with Illinois Government for me usually ends up with at least a good shot to my groin.

Wish me luck.

Posted by Contagion at 06:39 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 20, 2007

1756 Internet Pr0n.

For the first time in the last year, I finally have a new Mortar Maiden up. She actually has posed for me in the past, but it's been a couple of years and she wanted to try again. It doesn't hurt that she is one of my more popular maidens.

Go over and see Shelagh MacKellan's as Ms. August 2007 and tell me that women don't get better with age.

Posted by Contagion at 10:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 19, 2007

Good times, great friends, and politicial incorrectness.

I just returned from the Galesburg Heritage Festival. We had a lot of fun and the weather was BEAUTIFUL for the most part. We had some rain during the night and as we finished packing there was more rain, but the temps where cool all day yesterday and for the most part today.

I made the local newspaper. I participated in a fashion show and the Galesburg Register Mail ran a story about the rendezvous side of the show.

'It was a very dark, bloody time'

Re-enactors interact in character, but not politically correct

Sunday, August 19, 2007


The Register-Mail
GALESBURG - While Saturday's Civil War portion of Heritage Days Ladies Tea and fashion show was rather dignified and informative, the rendezvous portion of the fashion show, although also educational, was more street theater in its presentation. The re-enactors' interaction with each other kept the audience laughing throughout.

Will Crouch, who portrayed a farmer in 18th century Illinois, said conditions were not as they have been portrayed in movies.

"It's not Daniel Boone, it's not Davy Crockett," Crouch said. "It was a very dark, bloody time."

He warned the audience not to expect a politically-correct presentation, as the re-enactors would be in character.

He first introduced an Indian and the Indian's "woman."

"A lot of the clothes I have on are French or English," the Indian said. "It didn't matter, whoever paid better."

The man had black paint around his eyes, giving the look of a mask, with a black stripe down the left side of his face and his neck. His head was shaved, except for a top-knot on the back of his head.

He said the red ribbon on his rifle was so the British would know which Indians were loyal to them. He also carried a French safe passage coin, to use when needed.

"You've had your say, Indian, move along," Crouch said.

"Scalps paid very well, too," the Indian said menacingly.

An English lord of the manor said the king gave him thousands of acres in Illinois for his help in fighting the French.

Sarah Crouch, his female companion, said she knew little of her past because the English lord "killed my family."

She said he treated her well.

A wizened Scottish trapper took exception to her attitude. While it was difficult to understand his thick, Scottish brogue, it was obvious the lord of the manor received a well-deserved dressing down.

Ray, a long hunter, carried a Brown Bess musket. He said he became a hunter and trapper because he had no desire to enter his father's trade as a blacksmith. He said he traded with Indians, "However, I don't care much for the natives. They're pretty well savages."

Two mountain men entered. One, wearing a coonskin cap, said, "I came from Missouri. I'm here to buy a few women to trade back to the Indians."

His friend asked a woman if he could trade some trinkets for her daughter. The first man asked the woman, who was not a re-enactor, to stand up.

"Sit down, you're too skinny," he said.

A British militiaman, Noah Crouch, was a farmer but grew tired of that life.

"I'm not going to stand up here and gawk at the women or chase my sister around the room," he said, referring to the mountain men. "I joined the British, not that I agree with them, but because I dislike the French."

Seamus, a Scottish Jacobite - a member of a political movement dedicated to returning the Stuarts to the thrones of England and Scotland - said he hid in the moors of Scotland when the English soldiers arrived. When he returned, he said the " 'Anglish' killed my wife and children and put a price on my head."

He fled to Ireland, then Canada, where he helped the French.

"There is nothing that makes me happier than to kill an 'Anglishman,' " he growled.

As Will Crouch concluded the program, Seamus stayed in character. He stared at one Englishman, "I'll give you 30 seconds before I start shooting."

My alter-ego is Seamus MacPhail. But now let me give you some of the un-PC points that were not brought out in the article.

The "wizened old Scottish Trapper" was Duncan, Sarah's "uncle" at one point he was yelling at her for associating with people that "fight with their feet, and fornicate with their faces."

The Mountain Man was wearing a coyote skin cap, not a coonskin cap... and yes they did start sizing and pricing women in the crowd. When he told the one to sit down he actually said, "Sit down you're too skinny and your butt is too big."

As for me, they abbreviated my entire closing speech. It was more along the lines of "Now that the Anglish and the French have started fighting, I'm going to help the French fight the war. Nothing would make me happier than killing some Anglish and their manky american colonial lapdogs. And if I'm lucky I'll kill some of their women and children as well."

I got the only audible response from the crowd. And yes I did threaten to shoot Noah and when he gave me lip I cocked my musket loudly. At which point someone yelled out, "Move it, I don't want to get caught between the two of you."

The best part was the look on Will's face when he came out of the building. He had a look of bewildered disbelief. He told us he wanted us to stay in character and I asked if he was sure he wanted Seamus the Surly Scotsman. He assured me he did. But later he told me he just didn't think I would say I was going to kill the women and children.

Well I'm going to go finish cleaning up and unpacking, I'll give you more details later. I just wanted to share the article with everyone.

Posted by Contagion at 07:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 17, 2007

The good times are over.

I just returned from the doctor's office following up on my condition that I have intentionally not posted about in almost a year. Yes, I'm still slowly dissolving from the inside out. Well, we have good news and we have bad news, and then we have the worse news.

We'll start with the good news. They have once again ruled out the funky growth as cancer. So after going back and forth between yes it is cancer and no it's not cancer... they have confirmed it is NOT cancer. So when they told me I had a malignant neoplasm last October, they were wrong. Now to defend them we'll go to the bad news.

They still have no frickin' clue as to what it is. No one does. They've sent the samples off and we are getting nowhere. Every doctor and specialist that has studied has give the same report, "Testing inconclusive". So they can rule out what it isn't, but can't confirm what it is. Since no one can figure it out, I'm going to cut them some slack for misdiagnoses.

Worse news: Folks, I know most of you are sitting already because you are at a desk reading this on a computer. However, if you aren't, you may want to have a seat now. Today they tell me the worse news they could have ever told me, and I'm not sure I can deal with it. I know that Ktreva and the boys will support me in this time, but I really don't want to burden them with my issues and my problems. My friends may or may not be supportive, it all depends on their moods.

The doctors have told me today that I MUST reduce my beer consumption. They have given me a grocery list of foods and beverages I am no longer allowed to eat or drink other than occasionally. It includes all things like fast food, junk food, pop, beer, etc. IT also has things like tomatoes and tomato based products listed. So all the food and beverages that I hold near and dear to my heart are no longer acceptable for me to eat or drink.

Of course I'll still do my weekly beer review, as I did talk to the doctor about it and he said a couple each week won't kill me, literally.

So there it is folks; I'm cutting beer from my life.

Well after this weekend of course, I have to drink those 5 growlers, and the left over six-packs. I mean, I can't just dump it down the drain now can I?

Posted by Contagion at 09:40 AM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

August 16, 2007

Boulevard Dry Stout

This review is a day late due to all of my recent travels. In fact tonightís beer is a result of my recent travels. Tonight I review Boulevard Dry Stout by the Boulevard Brewing Co. in Kansas City, MO (AKA Hellís Hubcap. KC, not the brewery).

Boulevard Stout.jpg

Once again we have our standard 12 oz brown bottle. The label is black with the name of the beer inside a red circle. There is a little blurb on the neck label that they add yeast to the beer just prior to bottling to start a secondary fermentation.

There is a nice dark brown, almost black color to it. Light just barely passes through it. The head pours an inch thick tan with very fine bubbles. You get the nice cascading factor down the side of the glass as the head dissipates. Unfortunately the head fades to almost nothing quickly, not even leaving a ring around the edge of the glass.

The scent is a mix of roasted grains, chocolate and coffee. There is a slight after scent of hay as the beer starts to settle. The flavor of the beer is mainly coffee malts with a touch of bitter cooking chocolate to it. There is also a nice roasted malt backbone that really brings the flavor to the tongue.

It is a medium bodied beer. A little water for a stout, there is none of that creamy mouth feel one generally associates with a good thick stout such as Guinness or Murphyís. Itís lightly carbonated and slides past the tongue easily.

Overall this was not a bad beer. I was expecting a bit thicker than it was, being a stout and all. Iím going to give this beer a 6 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 06:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 15, 2007

Oops, I forgot to tell you all something.

I just realized I forgot to share with all of you that I was going to be in Texas for the last four days. I left Sunday and literally just got back to the house. Sorry about that.

Here is what happened: Work sent me to Texas for a Supervisor Conference. (Not fun)

I didn't want to go and was told it was mandatory. (Then a bunch of other people didn't go, or once they got there they skipped out on the conference to go shopping.)

I learned that most of the females in my office are witches (-w +b) and they were probably that way in high school since they still act like they are. You know cliches, being judgmental, talking behind others backs, are only nice to you if they want something, etc.

I met a lot of people that I really liked and/or wanted to meet. It was great for networking, unfortunately most of my peers didn't take the opportunity for it as they where too busy being in their own little cliches.

Oh, American Airlines can mangle a suitcase like no one else, and they have crappy customer service in the baggage assistance area. Yea, I don't think I'm ever going to get that replacement suitcase.

Anyway I'm back.

Posted by Contagion at 04:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 11, 2007

Jelly Battle.

Here's another fun little game to play. It can be either single or multiplayer. It's called Jelly Battle. I've lost some time today playing this little one.

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Dark Knight

This one is for my blog spawn Bruce. Apparently there is a new Batman movie coming out, Dark Knight, see the trailer here.

If itís anything like Batman Begins, then Iím all for it, if itís more like Batman and Robin, then Iíll pass.

UPDATE: I removed the video from this site, I could not for the life of me get the autoplay feature to turn off. And I hate when it's automatically on. You can click on the link to see the teaser.

Posted by Contagion at 10:26 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Damn gravity

Hereís a nice little Time Waster for everyone. Itís called Gravity Pods. The object of the game is to destroy the purple circles. There are various pods that have a gravity to them that will change the trajectory of your bullet, so you need to compensate for that by changing the angle of the cannon. Later on you get to place and move the gravity pods.

The graphics are pretty simple, and it doesnít seem that hard, but you only have limited ammo and if you run out, game over.

Posted by Contagion at 10:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Made with Dragon Fire.

I know I have many readers that are, like myself, a fan of the Muppets. Here is a clip from a 1966 presentation to the La Choy company for a Muppets themed commercial. Itís mostly in black and white and runs almost 8 minutes, but there is some funny stuff in there.

Anyone else think they have an issue with fire?

Posted by Contagion at 09:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


87%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Dating Site

Seriously this is much higher then I thought it would be. A couple of years ago when I was posting 3-5 times a day and commenting daily on every blog I read I thought it would be this high. Damn.

I found this one over at VW's and Tammi's.

Posted by Contagion at 08:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 10, 2007

Just in case

Iíve always joked that I was going to keep a shotgun next to the door ďjust in caseĒ. Not that I plan on shooting people as they come to my door, but just in case I needed to shoot someone as they came to my door. Sometime in the last week I must have made another comment about doing that while the news was talking about possible looting in the flood area. This morning as I walked down stairs and see that Clone has placed his toy double barrel shotgun in the corner next to the door.

I had to ask him why, and he told me that it was ďjust in caseĒ.

And who says kids canít learn.

Posted by Contagion at 05:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's just a game, it's just a game...

Have you ever played a stupid, cheesy game and gotten hooked on it? To the point that you spend at least a part of every waking hour thinking about it. Iím kind of stuck there right now.

And when I say stupid, cheesy game, Iím not talking like some of those online games I post occasionally. Iím talking about some of those stupid Yahoo games.

Why wonít my villagers stop trying to push the rock?!?!?!

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August 09, 2007



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August 08, 2007

Flying Monkey amber Ale

Wow, itís been three weeks since my last beer review. Between sensitivity class and vacation I just havenít been around to do one, sorry. Anyway this weekís beer was brought back from vacation all the way from Wichita, Kansas. Itís Flying Monkey Amber Ale by EME Squared Brewing and Bottling Company in Olathe, KS. I picked this beer because of its name. I keep telling the boys theyíre flying monkeys.

Flying Monkey Amber Ale.jpg

It came in the standard 12 oz brown bottle. The label is a tan color with an evil looking winged monkey on it. Above the monkey in red letters is the name ďFlying MonkeyĒ and under the winged monkey on a red banner is ďAmber AleĒ There is a diamond checkered pattern on the lower third of the label.

When poured it barely forms a head. What head that is produced quickly fades to almost nothing quickly. The only thing that remains of the head is a slight ring around the edge of the glass. There is no lacing on the glass. It has an amber color to it that is clear. There is no cloudiness at all.

It has an aromatic smell of malts with a slight floral hop accent. There is a taste of roasted caramel malts with a slight citrus finish. A mild bitterness from hops rounds of the flavor. There is almost no aftertaste. What aftertaste there is doesnít distract from the beer.

There is a crisp, dryness to it. Itís light bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Not so little to make it flat, but not enough to bite the tongue.

This was a decent beer. I had higher hopes for it, but itís not bad. I donít know if Iíd go out of my way to find it, but I wouldnít pass it up the store I was in had a six-pack of it. Over all Iíll give it a 5.5.

Posted by Contagion at 04:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Flood pictures.

Yesterday while draining the basement I took a couple of breaks to get some pictures of what was going on in my neighborhood. When the pump was going, there really is nothing much else I can do. Well I guess I could try to splash water toward the pump.

I thought I would share with all of you just exactly how close this was to my house.

August 2007 flood 1.jpg

Okay, obviously I did NOT take the above picture, I found it online. But it shows what my neighborhood looked like. This picture is actually 3 blocks north of our house.

August 2007 flood.jpg

This is also not a picture I took, but I didn't get any good ones of the boats in the water. When I found the above picture I found this one as well. This was about four blocks directly north of me.

Flood 1.jpg

This was three blocks directly north of me after the water had subsided a lot already. I spoke with this gentleman and he was telling me his story. He stated that last year when it flooded he didn't have any structural damage, but he lost a lot of personal items and belongings. They were still trying to recover from having to buy new appliances, furniture, carpet, clothes, etc and paying to have it cleaned out. Now all the stuff that they had replaced is gone. He doesn't have the funds to be able to replace it this time.

flood 2.jpg

I'm sorry for the quality of this picture. The battery was dead on my good camera, so I had to use Ktreva's little point and click digital. It takes good close up pictures, but not at a distance. What I was trying to get was the water geysering up out of the water. This was taken hours after the city officials stated that the flood waters were subsiding, and gave a clear for people in the surrounding areas to return to their homes. Yet as you can see there was still enough pressure running through the storm drains to cause water spouts in 2-3 feet of water.

flood 3.jpg

This picture was taken after the flood waters had subsided a lot. This is a garage door that is almost exactly 500 feet from my property. You can see how high the water reached. It was about a 15 inches deep there. If you look out of my back yard toward this garage there doesn't appear to be much, if any incline at all, but obviously there is as the flood waters did not make it to my property. Yes, I had about 11 inches of water in my basement, but nothing that bad... thankfully.

I honestly feel that the majority of this could have been prevented. Maybe not completely, but at least reduce the amount of damage. The city has known for a while that Keith Creek needed work, but all they have done is sat in committee and made plans. They've stated there is no money. Yet they can find money to buy a Hockey team, redo the Metrecentre, build a riverwalk, have a study for a white water rafting park, etc. But they can't even fork out the money to clean out the creek bed of debris and sediment.

Our city administrator Jim "I got a DUI in a government vehicle and kept my job" Ryan stated they cleaned out parts of the creek. I'm not sure where, but nowhere near where I lived. Those creek beds where filled with plants and debris in my neighborhood. FYI the creek is housed in a man made cement drainage ditch. He also made the statement that cleaning them out wouldn't have prevented the flooding. He doesn't know that for sure, but using his same sense of omnipotence I can say that it sure would have lessened the overall impact.

Posted by Contagion at 08:30 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 07, 2007

Flooding Rockford. Update: 14:10

Just a quick update. We have no power at home, and we are flooded. There is about 8-12 inches of water in our basement. Apparently the city of Rockford and the incompetence of itís elected officials did not learn a lesson from last yearís Labor Day flooding.

There is supposed to be more rain today so Iím not sure if the water is going to be rising or not, but if it does we could be in a lot of trouble.

UPDATE 11:56: Power came back on about an hour and a half ago. I've spent the last hour draining the basement of about 4 inches of water. I rigged a pump to do the work for me. The problem is that I'm still getting some water rising up through the storm drain in the floor. Mental note: Cap and seal storm drain after this is over.

There are helicopters flying around surveying damage. The fire and rescue crews are on the scene pulling people out of the houses by boat. The have issued a warning in our area asking for a voluntary evacuation just in case the damn breaks. However the Army Corp of Engineers are saying it isn't that bad and as long as we don't get another down pour we should be fine.

Update 14:10: The basement is pretty much dry. All the water is gone, the humidifiers are doing their thing and I've bleached the area for all that it's worth for right now. I'll go back and do more disinfecting later once it's all dry.

Posted by Contagion at 05:57 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 06, 2007

Join the Football Fun!

Folks itís that time of year again for my annual Pro Football Pickíems and Salary Cap Football league. If you are interested in playing and didnít get an invite already, leave a comment and Iíll send you one. Maybe you donít want to play, but you know someone that would, let them know. Iíll be more then happy to let anyone play. The more the merrier.

Itís completely free, you donít have to pay for anything and if you take first place, you get a prize of nominal value for the team of your choice. But the big thing is that itís for fun and bragging rights.

See if you can make the leader board

Posted by Contagion at 08:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

It was better than work.

Yea, well Iím back. After spending the week with my in-laws I was ready to get home. We really didnít do too much. We went to Wichita. While there we had the van break down and I got to spend a day waiting at the dealership. We went to an Indian museum were they had some neat artifacts, but they also had some crappy horribly inaccurate reproduction costuming that they where trying to pass as authentic dress. I know many a native re-enactor that would have flipped out seeing nylon ribbon dresses and shirts being passed off as authentic Plains Indian clothing. It seriously was circa 1970.

We went to the Sedgwick County Zoo, we were there a couple of years ago and it was pretty good. This time it was kind of crappy. Not only was it ungodly hot, but also by 4:00PM half the animals were put inside where you couldnít see them. Although watching Clone interact with a gorilla was amusing.

We did go to see Transformers the movie. The movie was enjoyable, but seriously lacked in many departments. Luckily it wasnít just the movie we went for. The theater it was showing at was a full functioning pub/theater. You would sit in your seats, push a button on the armrest and a waiter would come out and take your order. You could get Pasta, burgers, steaks, salads as well as junior mints and popcorn brought to your seat for no additional charge. Plus they served beer!

On the way home we missed being in a horrible accident by seconds. We were about 30 minutes out from our hotel when Boopie said he had to go to the bathroom. Since Iím the type that wants to get to the destination ASAP I asked if he could hold it for 30 minutes and he said he could. Ktreva said she also had to use the bathroom but could hold it until we arrived. As we were driving down the highway I saw a rest stop coming up and decided we that Iíd just stop so the family could go to the bathroom. We all went and were back on the road in 5 to 10 minutes. We werenít on the road for more then a minute when the vehicles ahead of us were slamming on the brakes and traffic was backed up. A Semi was flipped upside down alongside the road. There were no emergency vehicles on the road. Ktreva called 911 and they advised they were aware and had help in route.

From what we could see it looks like the semi was traveling westbound on 80. The tractor blew a tire, jumped across the median into oncoming traffic and flipped over into the cornfield. From the looks of the traffic and everything it looked like that if we hadnít stopped we very well could have been involved in the accident. It was kind of scary.

The boys fought and got on Ktrevaís and my nerves for most of the week. I finally snapped 30 minutes from home. I told both of the boys that if they made one more sound I was going to make it so neither could sit for a week. It was the only time when they werenít sleeping that they both were quit for more then 3 minutes.

I also felt like a bootlegger. Iím not exactly what the law is about carrying alcohol across state lines, but Iím sure I broke them. Between the cases of wine, multiple six packs and liters of beer, and bottles of whisky, I think I would have made some of my ancestors proud. Hell, once we got home Ktreva pointed out that I didnít buy anything on vacation that wasnít alcoholic for a souvenir.

Anyways, Iím home. Oh, and BTWÖ whereís the comment party? Jebus, I left black powder, firearms, artillery, whisky, beer, whiskey and the contents of the night stand out for you all to play with. Iím disappointed.

Posted by Contagion at 07:21 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack