July 31, 2005

What really happened at the BlogCrawl

Since Contagion is “indisposed” (and I’m sure no one is surprised by that) I will be posting for him regarding last nights First Annual Blog Crawl! Contagion and I met up with That 1 Guy from Drunken Wisdom at around 5:30 at Fritz’s Wooden Nickle in Stillman Valley. For some reason T1G wouldn’t look at me for the first hour or so…perhaps it was because he was scared of me, or maybe it’s because of THIS POST. We all ate dinner there (the food was excellent) and discussed all kinds of important things, like which is better, Gin and Tonic or Jack Daniels, and being stabbed by Kevlar knives. Shortly after dinner, Anathamatized arrived, proceeded to order dinner and changed her mind about 89569084 different times about what kind of alcohol she wanted, then managed to get T1G and Contagion to pay for most of them!

The bartender remembered Contagion from the last time he was there with T1G (is that good or bad?) and had Jack Daniels ready and waiting for him. There were times when the bartender stood there staring at him with the bottle in his hand waiting for him to finish his drink so he could refill it. Exemplary service I must say! Much talking ensued until the beautiful and statuesque Tammi arrived. The entire bar stopped to watch her walk in and basked in her aura with a sense of awe. After brief introductions, and the prying off of some crazy old bar coot who decided he was madly in love with Tammi, we all moved to a round table where we could sit and talk with more ease.

It’s probably best if I summarize major topics of discussion:

· Evil children and the torture of small animals
· Christmas tree squeezins
· Jack is drunk but not Contagion
· Listening to Aretha Franklin and watching T1G raise his arms and do the “whoo whoo” thing, then vehemently deny it.
· Woad Warrior VS Road Warrior
· Anathamatized poking T1G to watch him change colors for 4 hours (That’s gonna leave a mark)
· Tammi encouraging Contagion by breathing in his general direction.
· Watching T1G fall flat on the floor as the chair was pulled out from behind him, but the camera phone was TURNED OFF!!
· Contagion calling Boudicca and giving her crap for not driving the 29 hours to Northern Illinois to meet him.

It was unanimous that we will be getting together again, and of course inviting the rest of the Bad Example Family for grilling and general shenanigans. Who will be grilling is still up in the air, I think it’s a battle of wits between Contagion and Tammi. That should prove interesting, one has more wit, and one is a jackass stubborn. >big smile at Tammi<.

Contagion's wife


Posted by Contagion at 01:16 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

I; noth thienkg oas you durnk I am!

Just ogt backforjm meeting iwith T!G, Tammig, Aneth.. my whife came along, I'm fucking lit! Great tim was had by all! Time to start the blogcral!

BTW food was great I dont know how ong I'm going ot last. but damn, that back space key is a bitch. I'm sure my wife, who will be guest posting tomorrow whether she likes iti or not, will have mayn storys for yall. I did call bou... thatas mammma sis tyo you. shit... I'm lit.

happy blogcrawl!

Posted by Contagion at 12:45 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

July 30, 2005

The BlogCrawl is Here!


At long last the much talked about BlogCrawl is here. For those of you that don't remember I have listed the rules in this post.

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

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

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

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

Lets have some fun people! and try not to do too much damage... ah hell as long as you pay for the damage, it's all good.

As for me, Today is my father's birthday and for the first time in 20 years my mother planned a party for him. I have to go make an appearance and them I'm heading down to the Wooden Nickel in Stillman Valley. I'm planning on arriving around 6:00PM and starting to get my drunk on there. Any of you interested in joining me are more then welcome to. I believe T1G and Tamilicious is going to be there. I believe all of my blog parents are staying away for the night... apparently they are just too ashamed of me at this point. Like I care, see if I rescue them when flesh eating zombies roam the world!

Please feel free to use my side bar as a list of places to visit. Try to hit everyone in the Frizzen and Bad Example Families. If you want to hit other sites feel free. I know Ogre is wanting to play so we should make sure to send some traffic his way.

Posted by Contagion at 01:02 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Whats on your nightstand?!?!

Once again my blog mama-sis, Bou, tagged me with another meme, the “What’s on your bedside nightstand meme”. You would think that after some of the previous ones I’ve done she would stop doing this. She claims to like the creative way I write my responses. Personally I think she is full of crap and just likes torturing me. With this meme there is not much room for creativity, but there is room for censorship. After some debate with my wife, I decided I’m going to be brutally honest with what is on my bedside nightstand. Read on at your own risk and possible mental images you wished you never had.

1 lamp

1 cordless phone

1 Winston cup racing mug

1 Packer Barrel of Beer mug.

1 Tommy Bartlet show glass

1 Lambeau Field mug

1 Coca-Cola mug

1 Hucks Now “Do the wild thing” mug.

9 used disposable cups stacked.

2 prescription bottles filled

1 Toe Nail Clipper

Dust (I’m a bit of a slob if you haven’t realized by now)

1 bottle of Love Lickers oral sex syrup

1 tube of KY jelly

1 tube of astroglide (empty)

1 tube of O-glide (empty)

1 tube of “O” female orgasm enhancer

1 cock ring… used

1 Twistin’ Sister Dolphin Vibrator (For use on my wife)…. Used

1 pair handcuffs

I think that does it… are you disturbed yet?

As for the cups, Sally and I share a drinking problem. Except mine usually involves my bringing up what ever drink I have in my hand when I decide to go to bed, and forgetting to bring it down the next day.

Update: Apparently my wife is more disturbed that I admited to all of this.

Posted by Contagion at 10:12 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

July 29, 2005

Support our Troops!

In order to show support for our troops I am going to send various comfort items to a unit that is in the Middle East. I have talked about doing this before and never have. However every time I do I have had many people tell me they would also like to help out or I should start a collection. Since it is time for me to put up or shut up I have decided to do all I can to help our troops. If you would like to help out, I’m sure the troops would be more then happy.

First let me tell you whom is receiving my good will. One of my very own Mortar Maidens, Lady Moira, has a son who is shipping out on his SECOND deployment; SSGT Troy Hunter, 1st Armored Division, US Army.

SSGT Hunter

These men are going BACK in after serving 30 months there already. I felt this was the perfect unit for me to adopt. I am going to leave this post at the top of my page until August 1st. If you are interested in helping our troops out and want to make a donation. I have set up the below PayPal account to do so. If you want to wish them well, leave a comment in this post. I am going to forward a print out of this post and all supportive comments to the unit when I ship my care package.

I have been told that these young men and women need items like baby wipes and flea collars (They wear them around their ankles to keep the sand fleas off). However Lady Moira has advised me that they do not need any cologne as SSGT Hunter apparently has quite a collection of unopened bottles going.

Thank you to all the men and women that have served and are serving our country. May you all have long rich lives.

Update 06/29/05: I had some of my information wrong. This will be their THIRD deployment. They previously served 18 months in Iraq and 12 months in Afghanistan. That's not counting time in Korea, Bosnia and Germany.

Also my heart and thoughts go out to the troops that where on the Helicopter that crashed in Afghan-Pakistan border.

Update 06/30/05: The donation button is now working. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. PayPal finally got around to responding to me request for help

Update 07/30/05:>Just for the blog crawl I am moving this post back one dayte. I don't want anyone to accidently leave a drunken comment on it. Also You only have two days left to donate!

Posted by Contagion at 11:59 PM | Comments (23) | TrackBack

Flesh Eating Minions

Have you ever had a hypothetical conversation, during which you say something to hurt another person's feelings? How about if the conversation was about something that was so improbably you would only see it in movies? That is exactly what happened to me yesterday. Some of my minions from work and I went to lunch, while there we started talking about Zombie movies. This brought up the topic of what would you do if zombies started roaming the earth.

It was during this conversation that I hurt my minions’ feelings. If you are still reading at this point, I’m sure you are wondering how. As you may have been able to tell by now, I’m not a normal individual. Being a little obsessive compulsive on various things, I tend to like having emergency plans, “just in case�. My plans contain a contingency for zombies. Okay, now I won’t blame you if you stop reading me now and delete the link, but just here me out. You never know what is going to happen. All it consists of is my plan for invasion by a foreign country, ala Red Dawn. Except that I have it modified for Zombies, Space Aliens and a super disease, ala The Stand. See it’s not AS weird as you were thinking… or it’s even weirder now that you know the rest.

When I went into in-depth detail about my plan, both of my minions said that if zombies did start roaming the earth they where going to come with me. This is where the trouble begins; I told them both that I would not take either because they would be liabilities. Neither of them possess and skills and knowledge that would be useful. My plan consists of my having people with at least a general knowledge of specific topics for it to work. Neither one of them had anything that I could use. Then they asked if I would bring my wife and kids. Which I told them I would, but only because it is my wife and kids; I would however leave my parents and sister. Now they are telling me I’m cold and mean. Then finally, my minion, Big T, says to me, “Well we’ll just show up at your stronghold and pound on the gates.� This is where the hurt feelings happened.

I looked her dead in the eye and responded with, “I’d just shoot you in the head. That way you can’t rise as zombie and I don’t have to worry about providing for you.� (In most zombie movies, if you damage the brain the zombie ceases to function.) She has not stopped giving me crap about this since. Apparently just because I get along with her and my other minion Ton Loc, that I am obligated to keep them safe from zombies. My thing is that times are going to get hard and the more people you have the harder it will be to supply and take care of them. In addition, there is a greater chance for something happening and someone getting bitten; being turned into a zombie themselves. Big T then tried to justify that her husband would fit into my plan, and he might. When I told her that I’d put him into my “Maybe� pile (yes, I called it a pile. They all found this highly amusing), however that I still wouldn’t take her; she became even more upset.

Now I’m just laughing at the whole thing. C’mon people, I am so skeptical that this scenario would ever happen that I’m willing to say it will never happen. How can she be that upset over something that isn’t ever going to happen? Also does anyone else have a zombie contingency plan or is it just me?

Posted by Contagion at 03:59 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 28, 2005

The BlogCrawl is coming

Thanks to Blog Father Harvey of Bad Example who some how convinced Pamibe to make a nice logo for my BlogCrawl. Take a look at this nice design! If you are participating, please feel free to snag a copy of it for your site. Display it proudly!

SSGT Hunter

Harvey also has a nice post up and created a blogroll for the Frizzen Family. Apparently my other blog father, Graumagus of Frizzen Sparks doesn't care about his family as much as Harvey does.

If you want a refresher on the rules and condition of the BlogCrawl, check out this post.

Posted by Contagion at 08:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Are you ready for some Football?

There are three things in my life that I am truly passionate about my family, re-enacting and football. I have not done many posts regarding football on the off-season, mainly because I let my passion rest so I can focus on other things. However, Training camps have started and preseason is coming upon us quickly. That and something big happened yesterday, at least something I feel that is big. Javon Walker and Grady Jackson reported to Packer training camp. So did Cletidus Hunt, but that guy is a waste of space, depriving other players of valuable oxygen when he is around.

Why is this big? Both of them have that sleaze ball Drew Rosenhaus as an agent. This guy is the biggest, greediest agent I’ve heard of in the NFL. He is like something straight out of Hollywood. I only thought sleaze balls like him existed in movies and TV. He is the agent that represents many big name players and has convinced them that if they don’t like their contracts they should hold out for more. Such as Terrell Owens; Terrell received the contract he wanted last year, he ended up being injured and not playing as well as they hoped. Now he was going to hold out for a bigger and better contract this year. Now TO holding out on the Eagles just irritates me because he is a primadonna with an ego that is out of control. After half of the stunts he has pulled over the years, I have no respect for the man. He is an “About Me” player, not a team player.

We’ve all heard the saying, “there is no I in team.” (But there is an “M” and an “E”, and that spells me. Sorry little joke) Football is a team sport. There is no one hero. Every position is dependant upon every other position. No one player makes a team; I don’t care what anyone might think. A great QB is not going to do anything with out a decent line, receivers and backs. You can have the best offense, but if your defense can’t stop the other team from scoring, you are not going to win the Super Bowl. I think you get my point.

Walker, Jackson and Hunt all decided they were going to hold out for a bigger contract this season. Obviously, I have no appreciation for Hunt as a player. He’s lazy and seems to put only effort behind his play when he feels like it. Walker and Jackson happen to be two players I had a lot of respect. Yes, that is past tense. I lose respect for someone who, with multiple years on their contract left decides they are under paid and want to milk the team for more money.

Now I know some reader is going spout off the typical, “Look how much money these teams make, why shouldn’t the player get a bigger slice of the pie.” Two words: Salary Cap. If you pay player A more money, then you have to take that money from somewhere else, probably players B, C and D. Its basic economics; if you can spend only 80 million a year on player salaries, then that’s all you have. It doesn’t matter if the team brought in an impossibly low 80 million the previous year or 10 billion, all teams can only spend so much a year.

Walker is scheduled to make $515,000.00 this year. That is not a lot of money for the NFL and he did have a Pro Bowl season last year. Based on last season he wants more money. Okay, I’ll tell you what, the Packers then should get a refund on his first couple of seasons when he severely underperformed. That’s fair right? He wants more money for playing one good season, I figure he’s owes the Packers for two sub-standard seasons. You won’t see that happening however. Why? It’s part of his contract, which the Packers are upholding. When Walker first started with the Pack, he signed a contract he wanted. He didn’t complain the first couple of years, he has one good season and now it’s not good enough. Lets see how he does this year and next year when it is his last year on his contract talk about a new one.

Jackson we picked up off the scrap heap a couple of seasons ago after being let go by the Saints because he couldn’t stay in shape. He was about out of the NFL when Green Bay signed him. Jackson came to Green Bay and not only made many personal improvements; he drastically helped our inept defense. Green Bay gave him a second chance that he was grateful to receive. Now two years later he wants more money. When he came to the Packers he signed a contract he wanted, he thought it was a good contract. I just don’t get it.

I think I’m underpaid at my place of employment. My performance is superior to that of others that, because they have been with the company longer, make more money then I. Do you know what would happen if I told my boss, “I’m not going to come to work until we talk about a raise.”? My arse would be on the unemployment line faster then Bret Favre can throw a football. I make nowhere near as much money as these guys do, and my company pulls down more then any of these football teams a year.

With Walker and Jackson returning to the team with only missing some voluntary practices, I only lost a little respect for them. If they had held out the whole practice like Rosenhaus had Mike McKenzie do last year; there would be no way for me to restore any amount of respect to either of them. What I really hope is that with all these holdouts failing, that maybe other teams will stop caving into tactics like these.

Posted by Contagion at 01:15 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 26, 2005

To read or not to read.

I just can’t do it anymore, I can’t. After trying for 5 months now, I’m starting to go insane! My brain is starting to slide away from me and I feel that my work and family are starting to pay the price. In a last desperation attempt, I am turning to you for help. Some of you might be asking, “Why would I turn to you for help?” Well I’m glad you asked! The answer is simple; all of you are uniquely qualified to be able to provide a solution to my conundrum. There is one trait that all of share! It is upon that trait that I call upon for an answer to this enigma. By now, I’m sure you want me to explain myself.

You are all Bloggers. You read and/or have your own blogs. That is the single trait that we all share, the trait that brings us all together. Some of you may not have your own blog yet, it’s just a matter of time. You, in my book, are still a blogger. If you spend time at other people’s blogs reading, what they write and maybe even working up the nerve actually to leave a comment or two, then to me you are a blogger. You might not have taken the final step in your conversion to the fold, but the temptation is there. Go ahead and call me wrong, I won’t argue with you. Better yet, why not start a blog and post why I’m wrong? There is nothing wrong with being a blogger. No calumny intended.

Finally, that brings us to my problem. There are so many blogs I enjoy reading, I just cannot find the time to sit down and do it. Especially with the added responsibilities of my new position, I just do not have the time to read everyone daily. If I keep trying to do that, I will lose my job, my wife and my family. I’ve taken to skimming posts. Not only do I hate doing this, but also I feel I am robbing the individual that wrote it. While I get the general gist of the post, I am missing out on the quality and flavor of their words.

Right now, I feel I only have a couple of options. The first is to give up the daily reading of some blogs, and once a week read only the topics that seem like they might interest me. The other option is to eliminate blogs from my daily read and only read them when time presents itself. If I choose this route, how would I go about selecting which blogs to read or not read? Most of the blogs I read are either friends, people I find interesting or people with whom I feel I could be friends with if they lived closer. For me to quit reading any one of your blogs is not something I relish.

I enjoy my quality time getting to know you. Reading your posts is what helps to keep me from going insane. Making this decision, for me at least, would be like deciding which one of my children I would save if I could only save one from a burning building. That is why I must turn to you my gentle and kind readers, my online friends and family for assistance. One of you may have a solution that I have over looked. There is even a chance that one of you is in the same position I am in and has devised way to cope with this issue. You have yet to set me upon a path of execration and it is that knowledge with which I have faith in you.

How do you find the time to do it?

Posted by Contagion at 01:01 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

July 25, 2005

No wonder my liver is a rock.

Friday while at work, I had one of my minions tell me that they are having a little get together at a local bar for all the newbies. They invited me along since, even though I don’t really deal with the newbies until after probation, I was a part of the unit. It figures that they wait until the last minute to tell me this is happening. After advising my lovely and understanding wife that I was going to ditch her with the boys for the night and making dinner, I headed out to the bar. Originally, I was only going to show up for an hour and head out… Make an appearance type thing. Understanding my nature I realized that I probably wouldn’t get out in only an hour. When I was talking to my wife about this, I told her I’d be there an hour, or home by 10 (I arrived at the bar at 7pm). To ensure that I didn’t stay too long, I only brought $20.00 with me. Figuring that would only buy me 4-5 drinks, I knew I wouldn’t stay long if I ran out of money. If only that logic had worked.

Upon arriving there was only four other people at the bar. The two guys, and only other males to show up, where playing pool while the other two were sitting at a table drinking. Shortly after more people arrived. Around 8:00, I realized that I was going to be only one of three males at this little gathering. The reason they went to this particular bar was so they could sing karaoke. My singing voice is horrible, but I loves to sing the karaoke! Watching people cringe in pain from the sound of my voice amuses me. The karaoke didn’t start until after 9:00. By this time I was feeling pretty socially lubricated. My plans failed miserably. This was only the second work-sponsored function I’ve attended. The last one was a Christmas party last year. People where buying drinks for me, to be more precise they were buying me shots. There was still $12.00 in my wallet at 9:00 PM. When the singing started, I couldn’t help but to get into the mood. Picking a song I’ve sung many times before I entered my name into the list. Now some of you may have heard about my legendary performance of Bette Midlar’s Wind Beneath my Wings. That is not the song I performed; I performed Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby as sung by Sean Connery. I do a passable Sean Connery impersonation. Now I had the bar laughing at me, which is what I was wanting. It was meant to be amusing. I started really getting into my performance. In the heat of the moment, I started dancing… like Vanilla Ice. No good comes from that. Let’s just say there is a table and chair that will never be the same again. As for the rest of the singers, they where all pretty damn good, one of the trainers from my office that was there sang “Son of a Preacher Man”. Her voice was really good; I think she may have missed her calling.

Not long after that, the only other guys left to go to a different bar. They said they wanted to go check out some of the meat markets to find girls they didn’t work with. Personally, I think I embarrassed the hell out of them! Then most of the people from work that I actually knew left. That left me as the only guy with a bunch of females that not only worked with me, but where minions in training. Deciding I needed to get the hell out of there, I did the ultra-fast sobering technique. AKA I drank lots and lots of water, swallowing the ice cubes whole. You sober up real fast doing that. Around 11:15, I tore out of there to head home. Fortunately, I drive a big truck with four-wheel drive; cops don’t patrol people’s back yards! I’m kidding; I probably would have blown over a .08 blood alcohol level. But I was fine to drive the ten blocks to get home. Hell I could probably blow over a .08 right now. Of course, I tried my hand at not-quite sober posting in practice for the Blogcrawl. I’m going to have to get much more inebriated for that little shindig.

Saturday my wife and I were invited to a party at a co-workers house in Janesville, WI. It was my wife’s turn to drink. That made me the driver. Before we left, we had to stop at the store to pick up some foodstuffs to bring with to the party. When we got home from the store, there was a message on our answering machine. It was a desperate plea for help. Apparently, the host and hostess picked up a half barrel of beer. They had a tapper and didn't rent one. They hadn’t checked theirs and it wasn’t working properly. There was a leak in it and it made lots and lots of foam. What I found amusing was the fact that they called me for a tapper. They had a drinking emergency and the first thought that popped into their heads was, “Call Contagion, he’ll have what we need.” Even before checking with the store that they bought the keg from, they called me. Not that I blame them, I do own quite an impressive collection of drinking supplies, including a pub grade tapper. After getting my machine, and fearing I had left already, they called the liquor store only to find out they where out anyway. Being the exemplar asshole that I am, I let them stew for a couple of hours prior to my telling them I would bring it. . In fact, we told them we were going to be late arriving because of Clone. When we arrived about an hour and a half after the party started, I was about mugged by guys wanting a beer. Pulling the taper out of the truck and holding it over my head, the sun glinting off the chrome spigot, they all stopped in the tracks. A collective “AH!” was issued by the mass and I was treated like a messenger of god. Walking briskly to the keg, with a one handed move that most only get to witness in movies, I taped the keg and started pouring liquid gold to all my new disciples.

For the first time ever, I played Texas Hold’em against live people. I’ve only played in the past online or against a computer. Figuring I was just going to have some fun and be the first one out, I bought my way in. After 54 hands, I ended up winning the entire competition. Feeling obligated to play in the second round since I won, I invested part of my winnings back in. Now I was the first one out. However, I was sure I had the best hand. When it came down to showing cards, I was beaten by my opponent’s kicker card. I had a Jack, he had a Queen. It’s okay, I was still up on my winnings and I was able to drink more.

It was a fun party. The details get a little fuzzy because of the alcohol. I know there were shots again, even though these were nasty fruity shots, but I remember doing one or twenty. At one point, I know women where flashing people; my wife was included in participating in the flashing. The host was walking around showing any female that asked his sloppyrod. It was the hostess’ birthday on Sunday; her husband rented her a stripper. I don’t know if he was good or not, I stayed out on the garage drinking beer and playing cards. My wife seemed to enjoy it though. Which is fine by me, he did all the work and later I got to have the fun. I don’t care if she was fantasizing I was some stripper dressed up as a soldier, I was fantasizing she was Adriana Lima.

Posted by Contagion at 04:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 23, 2005

Fun for a Saturday and BlogCrawl reminder

I have a bit of hangover this morning, so after I'm done eating my Tabasco soaked eggs over easy, I'm going to go lay down. However I did find these two items that I think are kind of fun.

First is just a neat little graphic that follows your curser. If you click on the buttons on the bottom, it will take you to different graphics, not all of them are as neat as this one.

Secondly is an animated video for a song done by the Beatles, Maxwel's Silver Hammer. I'm not a Beatles fan, but I found this song/video rather amusing enough that I laughed and started teaching Clone the lyrics.

I hope everyone has a good weekend. I'm off to drink this hangover away.

Remember, Next Saturday is the BlogCrawl! For anyone that wants to get together, I'm going to be down at T1G's favorite hangout in Stillman Valley early in the night getting my drunk on and eating some pretty damn good Prime Rib.

Posted by Contagion at 10:58 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Hey! There's beer in this ashtray!

I went out with some poeple from work tonight. Drank some I did. fingers numb. I figured with the BlogCrawl coming up soon that I should practice a little. Obviously I'm not quit to TIG's expert level yet.

We went out and did some Karioke (SP? yea, I can't spell it right now, and I don't care!) When I'm feeling a little bit more... sober I'll give details. Lets just say Grau's blackmail of my singing Wind Beneath my wings to littleJoe has nothing on what I did tonight. fortunately there is no photographic evidence this time! Else I'd be in jail and divorce court.

At least my wife didn't lock me out of the hosue this time.

I'm going to have to do much worse better next weekend on my "social lubrication" levels.

Now I just have to figure out how the hell I burned my ahdn.

Posted by Contagion at 12:28 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 21, 2005

Stupid drivers!

Yesterday I saw something that really made my blood boil. The family and I where driving to KFC after picking up my wife from work. We came across a motor vehicle accident. There were multiple squad cars and an ambulance on the scene. As we were approaching, it appeared that they where almost done cleaning up. A Flatbed tow truck pulled away carrying a Dodge truck with severe front-end damage. At that point, I noticed that the front end of the ambulance was also severely damaged. It pissed me off to no end to see that. Why? What if that had been your Husband, Wife, Son, Daughter, Mother, Father, etc in the back of the ambulance?

People, driving is not a constitutional right, driving is not something you can do half-assed, driving is not a game. Daily I see idiots that make “brilliant driving maneuvers” such as making a left turn from the right lane, weaving in and out of traffic doing 15+ over the speed limit, cutting people off, and just plain not paying attention to their surroundings. That type of driving behavior is what leads to most accidents. These are also the same people that when an accident occurs are the first to yell, “It’s not my fault!” Do you want to know something? It is your fault. The majority of it is your fault. Sure, the other driver should be paying attention and have escape routes just in case of idiots like you. However, if you weren’t driving like you have cranial-rectum disease it would have happened either.

What makes this worse then a regular accident is that it involved an ambulance. You know the big boxy things that drive down the road usually painted in easy to see colors and with lights for even greater visibility. Just in case you are blind they have this loud handy device called a siren, but you might not hear that due to the excessively loud music you’re blaring out of your speakers. Some people may be willing to give the benefit of the doubt and say that either the ambulance was empty, not running lights and sirens, or caused the accident. I tried to find the local news source for this story online, unfortunately I couldn’t find one, so I’ll paraphrase from the local rag, er newspaper that has the story. The ambulance was rushing a patient to a local hospital when the driver of the truck ran a red light and struck the ambulance. The driver of the truck was ticketed for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and a red light violation. The patient in the back of the ambulance had to be picked p by a second ambulance.

I worked in law enforcement for many years. After working in that field I’ve come to the conclusion that lights and sirens on emergency vehicles are a waste. Many people just do not pull over for emergency vehicles. It doesn’t matter if it is a fire truck, police car or ambulance, they just don’t care! People are more worried about getting to their destination faster, then the rules of the road. On numerous occasions, I’ve actually witnessed drivers using emergency vehicles to help themselves get through traffic. When others pull over, the asshole drivers speed around them. Then there are the ones that just blatantly ignore the emergency vehicles. Every one else has pulled right, they however have to make a left turn half a mile up and continue on their merry way to their turn. Then because of traffic in the oncoming lane, they can’t move and end up blocking the road, slowing down the emergency vehicle.

Personally, I would love to see them install cameras on all Fire Trucks, Ambulances and Police Cars just to track the vehicles around them when they are running lights and sirens. If someone is driving like an idiot, the owner of the vehicle gets a $200.00 to $5,000.00 fine (Depending on the nature of the response and number of offenses). Make it so these tickets can’t be removed from your record by going to traffic court. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but all I can think of is if it was my loved one that needed help and that help arrived just seconds too late because of idiots not getting out of the way.

What do you think? Do you have this problem where you live, or is this unique to Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin?

Posted by Contagion at 04:21 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Contagion in peril, Day 3.

SHE’S HOME! MY WIFE IS HOME! All the sacrifices of small animals (cats) to the gods paid off! She did not have to stay the whole week in Chicago. It was a rough three days, but I survived. When I last left you in this saga, Clone was insuring his inheritance by ensuring that I am incapable of producing any more offspring.

When my eyes finally stopped watering, I cleaned him up and dressed him. He was relatively good while he was getting dressed; however, he still wanted his Momma. It wasn’t until I went to make my breakfast/lunch that I ran into problems. While slicing the summer sausage and cheese that I eat for lunch, Clone decided he had to have some. He barged his way between the counter and me, barely missing my sore testicles. He stood there looking up at me chanting, “Dadda, I want more.” Whenever he wants something and doesn’t know exactly what to call it, it becomes “more”. Thinking it wouldn’t hurt anything, and the fact I do this on a regular basis, I sliced him a thin piece of garlic summer sausage. Even though this appeased him, he did not move. There he stood, right in my way.

During the slicing of the hot pepper cheese things became interesting. Again, he wanted some; however, he knows what cheese is and was asking for “Dadda, more cheese”. Hot Pepper cheese is a misnomer. It is cheese, there is jalapeños in it, but it is not hot. Correction, I don’t think it’s hot. According to most people that know me, I have no feeling left in my mouth. For the longest time I disagreed with them, then one day I was eating lunch with a bunch of people that like hot and spicy food. We all tried an appetizer that was supposed to be really hot. Everyone else said they couldn’t eat it; it was too hot. Me, I thought it was mild and finished it off figuring they where wimps. Come to find out, it was really hot… but I’ll spare you the details on how I discovered that.

After telling Clone for the third time, he wouldn’t like it and him insisting on it. I gave him a piece of the hot pepper cheese. I know what you are all thinking, “Insane bastard! That’s just mean.” Well you know what, you’re right; but it shut him up and it was only a small piece. He took a big bite of it and was happy. After a couple of seconds, he pulled it out of his mouth and tried to hand it back to me. I’m trying not to laugh, remember I’m not feeling too sorry for the little boy that tried to detach my testies with his foot. The “my mouth is on fire” dance he did was rather amusing. Taking the piece of chewed up cheese away from him; I asked if he wanted some milk. Of course, there was an emphatic yes. After he finished his milk, we left the house.

Everything was fine when I dropped him off and went to work. After work was a different story. Upon picking him up he did not want to leave, he wanted to stay with Grandma or Momma. Now he doesn’t do this when my wife is with, so he must really not want me right now. This is fine, because when he gets older it will be a daddy thing all the time. When we get home, before I can even get the mail put away, Clone has started instigating trouble with Boopie. Since Boopie had been helpful, I told him he could play a new video game he bought. Boopie’s room is off limits to Clone, and Clone knows that. Being forbidden only makes it that much more desirable. Again, Boopie was being a good kid and told Clone he could come in his room and watch, but he could NOT make a mess. At this point, I should have just said, “Wait! Clone can not go into your room because that is all he is going to do.” However, I did not say that and went about my own tasks. After 15 minutes, I hear Boopie yelling at Clone and go to check out what the problem is. Legos are everywhere. The bucket they where in was upturned and Clone is sitting on the bed laughing. Clone had climbed under Boopie's bed, pulled out the Lego container and dumped them all out by flinging the case across the room. Trying to be a good father, I helped pick them up.

I had spoken with my wife on the phone earlier in the day. She had told me that she was coming home that afternoon, and in fact was leaving around 1:30 PM. However, they where going to stop at a restaurant. Even with Chicago traffic and an hour stop, they should be back to Rockford by about 5:00. I was starting to worry around 5:30 when I hadn’t heard from her. Then I hear my cell phone on the charger in the kitchen vibrating. My phone is always on silent as that at work they are not allowed on the floor and I frequently have to walk out there as part of my job. Wondering who the hell would call my cell phone before calling the house; I go to check it out. It says I have five missed calls and two voicemails. When I’m at home, my phone goes onto the charger. I don’t check it nor listen to it. No one that calls my cell phone after my work hours should expect me to answer it unless they called my home first and there was no answer.

Checking the messages, my wife tells me that she is back in town. Allegedly, she called our main line; however, it rang busy. We have call waiting so I don’t know how that would happen and the phone was working normally. I wasn’t on the phone and no one had called the house. There is no reason to doubt her; I just have no idea why that would happen. We went and picked her up, Clone was so happy to see his momma again. Once she was in the van with us, he settled down and acted the perfect angel. My wife is having a hard time believing that he was not the perfect child for me…

I am taking the necessary steps at work to make sure she doesn’t get to go on a 3-day business trip again… EVER!

Posted by Contagion at 01:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 20, 2005

Why don't I think?

Have you ever done something stupid and right after realized not only that it was stupid, but also wished you really had thought it through before you acted? That is exactly what I did last Sunday, and I’m still paying for it. While sitting in my living room watching a movie, I noticed water dripping in front of my big front window on the exterior. Normally that wouldn’t be unusual except for two facts. First, it was sunny. We are in the middle of a sever drought here, any dripping water outside instantly attracts attention. Secondly, my big front window is under the roof of my front porch. Even if it was raining there should be no water dripping there.

Walking out of my house, I look at the ceiling, sure enough, there is a giant wet spot, and water is dripping fairly evenly. Where the hell is it coming from? There are no pipes up there or in the wall it is attached. Investigating further, I walk out to the sidewalk in front of my house. Right above my front porch is my bedroom. The window air conditioner is running and I can see water dripping from it. Now I know where the water is coming from, but how is it getting through the roof and dripping through a wood ceiling? Going to my garage, I pull out the largest ladder that I own bring it to the front of my house. I decided I had to go up on my roof and see what is going on.

At this point, I need to stop the story and share some very important facts with you. Few things in this world scare me. I am able to overcome most of my fears very easily. Heights is not one of them; unsecured heights to be precise. Looking out the windows of skyscrapers, looking over a ledge with a handrail, repelling is all fine. I feel secure and am not worried about falling. Transitioning from a ladder to a roof is terrifying. That brings us to our next fact. The ladder I own is just barely long enough to reach the roof. There are only a couple of inches to play with if the ladder is set at a slight angle. It’s an old folding ladder. It’s in decent condition and is sturdy, but the rungs are really thin.

Last Sunday we reached a record high temperature for the day. It was up to 95 degrees. My porch faces due south. It was so hot that day, no creature was moving outside. The only time there was movement was when a car drove past or the occasional slight breeze stirred up dust and trash. When there was a breeze it was like you where standing in front of a furnace blower. The only air conditioner we have is the one in our bedroom window. In order to try to stay cool I was wearing shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt.

Keep all that in mind; it’s pretty damn important to this story. After getting the ladder in place, I proceed to climb to the top of the ladder. Once there I look around and figure out the best way for me to get onto the roof and psyche myself out to do it. After probably 15-20 minutes of me standing on this ladder, I finally push myself up and over onto the roof. It doesn’t take me long to find the problem. The flashing on the roof has pulled away from the side of the house working as a funnel. The water from the air conditioner was running down the side of the house, dripping into that gap, flowing down the siding and coming out the underside of the roof. Knowing what I needed to fix this I turn around to go back down the ladder. I take one look at it and I know… There is NO WAY IN HELL I’m going to be able to motivate my but over that edge. That’s okay; I need to stay up here to fix this anyway.
Knocking on the bedroom window, I surprise my wife. Telling her that I need her to get me some items. She hands me up what I asked for and I fix the roof. After I’m done, I sheepishly ask my wife to hold the ladder for me. I just feel better knowing it won’t fall over as I try to navigate it over the edge. I mean the top legs only extend about 2 inches over the edge of the roof. As she holds it, I’m trying to climb onto it. Quickly I discovered that in order to do this I will have to get on my hands and knees and back over the edge. As soon as I get down on my hands and knees, I can feel the pain of a burn. I quickly stand up and look at my hands and knees. When I climbed up, I must have given myself a minor burn on my hands and knees. After attempting two more times to get down and burning myself even worse, I decided I was a stupid, stupid man for climbing onto the roof wearing shorts and no gloves on a hot summer day. Attempting to navigate this tricky maneuver four times, I finally gave up. While contemplating dropping my shorts and changing into pants on the roof of my house, I sent my wife to get a pair of work gloves for me.

By the time, she returned I had decided that I was just going to have to pay the price for my stupidity and not change into pants. With my pasty white legs, as soon as my shorts came off, the blinding glare would cause everyone in twenty miles to turn and look. Nobody needs to see me pantsless anytime, let alone on a very hot Sunday. The heat made a very good motivator to get off the roof ASAP. I didn’t dawdle while I tried to psyche myself up. Pain was all the inspiration I needed to get my arse off that roof.

It has been 4 day since I’ve done that, my hands are fine. My knees are not doing so well. It hurts to wear pants. When I’m wearing shorts, it looks like I’ve been doing all kinds of “extra curricular” activities on a carpeted floor while the wife was away. At least the pealing has stopped. That was really disturbing to watch my knees peel.

I learned a valuable lesson last Sunday. If I’m going to climb up on the roof, make sure I have jeans on!

Posted by Contagion at 04:36 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Contagion in Peril, day 2

Somewhere out there, my male ancestors are looking down upon me and, in family tradition, are laughing there arses off. Why are they laughing at me? BECAUSE I’M PLAYING SINGLE PARENT! Great googlie mooglie. I thought this was going to get easier. At this point, I think the spirits of my forefathers are actually interfering to make this more amusing to themselves!

When I last left you, I had gone to work with my cordless phone in my pocket on Monday. It is now Wednesday... It’s not exactly rocket surgery to figure out why I haven’t posted. (Yes, that was intentional). Monday I had to work late, when I finally was able to leave, I had to work on my father’s computer. My father, after a year of prodding, finally bought a new computer last month. The problem with my father and technology is that even though he is a plumbing and electrical engineer, he knows nothing about computers and doesn’t understand them. I get there and after being fed, I start working on his computer installing software and trying to figure out what he did so his computer won’t recognize his digital camera. The whole time Clone is being a handful. He wants to play with the mouse or the keyboard. Boopie is fine; he’s outside playing with the neighbor kids. Finally, I take clone outside and tell Boopie to play with him and get back to work.

This whole thing should have only taken me 30 minutes tops, however since I had to explain every little thing I was doing 5 times to my father; it took me almost an hour and a half. When I finally left, it was just after 8pm, Clone usually goes to bed around 7:30 during the week, he was somewhat cranky. All right, he was down right nasty. I had to stop at a pharmacy to drop off a prescription I needed to pick up the next day. By the time I got home even Boopie was saying, “Why the heck won’t Clone stop screaming?” Clone wanted Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt Stacy and most importantly Momma. No matter what I did, he wanted NOTHING to do with me. I’m not kidding, when I picked him up to carry him to the house, he went rigid and fought me the whole way. I almost dropped him twice. When I put him down, he tried to run back to the van!

Finally, I was able to wrangle him into the house, it was after 8:30 PM and he needed sleep. Clone decided that he was NOT going to sleep and let the neighborhood know it. He again fought me tooth and nail to get out of his clothes and into his pajamas. I was finally able to get him down by a little before 9:00 PM. By this time the liquor in my kitchen was screaming, “Contagion, come drink us. We can make the pounding in your head go away.” Making myself a drink I sat down to do some light blogging, reading e-mails, talked to Bou, my wife… my ex-girlfriend. What? What was that last part...? OH YEAH! Unexpectedly, around 10 pm an ex-girlfriend of mine, I’ll just call her Amazon (Stop laughing LittleJoe) called. I don’t know why or how she got my phone number, but she did. That conversation lasted about 3.5 minutes. There were no pleasantries, as it was a short unpleasant relationship. She wanted to know if I still had something she had given me years ago, which I didn’t. Now this has to look good. My wife is out of town, I have women calling me at home. In addition, for the last 3 days I’ve been receiving strange text messages on my phone. The latest one was “Hey Sweetie, last night was great. I can’t wait to see you again. I love you much XOXO”. Boopie is giving me strange looks and asks, “Why are girls calling you?” (Thank god he hasn’t seen the text messages.) I, being in not such a good mood respond with, “Because all women want a piece of me.” I have a feeling that is going to come back to haunt me later on.

Right as I was getting ready to hit the sack, I remember my wife had asked me to do stuff for her. I couldn’t remember what it was though. Then it hit me, I was to water the cat and feed the plants. No, wait… Water the plants and feed the cat. Pulling the hose out of the cats mouth… I’m kidding, I’m not that inept. I’m running around putting food in the cat’s bowl and filled it to near over flowing just in case I forget. I then went and watered her plants. Now I have a black thumb, just the act of my tending for plants tends to kill them. When I was younger, my mother left me in charge of taking care of her plants when they went on vacation. I did exactly as she said. However when she get back they were all dead. Accusations were made that I did not water the plants as I was told to. I had, they just didn’t like my touch. Fortunately, one of the neighbors saw me watering the plants and vouched that I had indeed done it. My mother was so pissed at me she never asked me to care for her plants again. Ktreva has heard all of these stories and knows what is going to happen, yet she asks me to water them anyway. This morning when I left for work, most of the plants where dying. They received a watering exactly as she scheduled. All I can say is in my defense is, “she was warned.”

Tuesday morning, Clone’s mood is much worse. While picking him up out of his bed he does a full leg swing kick right into my right testicle. People, I am not ashamed to admit that after I regained consciousness, I cried. Trying to get him dressed was a chore and a half. Fighting me over the last couple of days must have taught him a thing or two, because he was much better. Finally, I get him dressed; I have him in his clothes and shoes. Attempting to pack my breakfast and lunch he is under foot, screaming that I need to hold him or he wants yogurt, or he wants mommy, or he wants my sanity to slide away so I can spend the rest of my days drooling into a cup attached to my chin. Boopie comes and tries to distract Clone for me. Unfortunately, Clone’s mood was impervious to Boopie’s attempt to play with him. Finally, my cooler is loaded and we head out the door, with the boys this time.

Clone does not want to get into the van. He continues to fight me. He screams all the way to my parents’ house. When we arrive, I’m trying to get him out of the van and he’s fighting that. I ask if he wants to see Grandma and Grandpa. His little head hanging down, chin on his chest, he shakes it no. I ask, “What do you want then?” Head still hanging he says, “Play daddy” DAMN THAT BOY! DAMN HIM! My anger and irritation is replaced with guilt. I thought about calling off of work, but I couldn’t do that. I have too much going on. Talking to my mother, (She runs a daycare out of her home, so she is our daycare provider. It makes her and my father happy) I find out that Clone didn’t take a good nap on Monday, couple that with late bedtime and we have a really tired boy. When I picked him up on Tuesday night, my mother tells me that he took a real long nap. He seemed to be in a better mood. At least he wasn’t screaming for Mommy. He did however scream for Grandma the whole ride home.

Boopie tried to help with Clone once we got home, but Clone was into everything. Attempting to make dinner was fun. Looking at the menu, I see Tacos are scheduled. Son of a… Who the hell picked Tacos?!?! Wait… that was me. What was I thinking? While trying to cook my wife calls and wants to chat about her day. Meanwhile I have the boys fighting in the background and I’m trying to drop the phone into the ground beef. My wife, sensing that not only am I busy but that my phone tolerance is over stretched, lets me go. I proceed to get dinner made and served to the boys.

Clone is not the neatest eater, but he loves the tacos. Actually, what he loves is basically a bowl of taco fixings mixed together with a broken up shell. He likes to smear this anyplace he can reach. There was taco in his hair, all over his face, in his ear, on his ankles. It was everywhere. Contemplating turning the garden hose on him, I cleaned him up. Finally, he was happy. We actually sat down and played for a while. He would sit on my lap and I would read him a story or play cars with him. Then he tells me he’s hungry. It’s almost seven, so I figured why not. Following Bill Cosby’s advice, I give the boys Chocolate Cake. When Clone is finished, he has cake in all the same places he had taco earlier. You’d think I would have learned my lesson, but I didn’t. Cleaning the boy for the second time that night, I realize that he is happy and not crying. Apparently, the bribe of chocolate cake works… Bill Cosby is a genius! Clone is all loving and happy and wants to play by himself. Boopie, who was helpful, goes to play some much-deserved video games. Being 12, Boopie is really self-sufficient so he was no trouble all weekend.

Come 7:30 pm, Clone tells me he is ready to go to bed. This time when I change him, he cooperates and all is well with the world. The angels are singing, the sun is shining down, birds are chirping, I’m having a Norman Rockwell moment. This moment of normalcy is going to come back to haunt me the next morning. Why? Well apparently, I’m really good at getting a diaper on properly when the child is fighting me. When they are relaxed and cooperative there seems to be an issue. This morning when I go into his bedroom to wake him up, he is soaked in urine. Either he had to pee his weight in urine or the diaper leaked seriously. From the warmth of the fluid I could tell it hadn’t happened too long before I went into the room. Waking Clone up I go to pick him up out of bed, apparently he thought yesterday’s wake up game was great fun, because he kicked me in my left testicle this morning.

Did I mention I am not cut out to be a single parent?

Posted by Contagion at 01:11 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

July 18, 2005

Phones and friends.

No wonder I turned out the way I did. Earlier today my blog mother Bou said she had a story she just HAD to tell me, but wouldn’t do it over e-mail. She HAD to call and tell me. Apparently it had to have the right voice inflections. After much prodding and goading she was able to get a phone number out of me where I could be reached.

After I gave it to her, she decided she was going to change her mind and not give me a call. All right, I know when I’ve been duped. Resigned to the fact that I was not going to get a call, I let my guard down. Just as that happens, the phone rings. Being as it was late, I figured my wife called from Chicago to tell me about her day. Answering the phone, I hear this feminine southern voice going about a mile a minute start talking. I had no idea who the hell it was at first. Between rapid fired sentences I caught on it was Bou. She apparently didn’t appreciate my calling her out on her tricking me.

She dominated the conversation, not letting me get a word in edgeways. Although I did get her to admit that I do NOT have an accent. That’s right folks; she admitted that I do not have an accent. During the entire conversation I believe I got off maybe one or two sentences. One time when I tried to say something, she chastised me for interrupting her.

If it wasn’t for the fact that my wife did finally call, I would never have been able to get off the phone with out hanging up on her. We all know how much I like phones.

Actually it was nice putting a voice to the name. Now when I read her posts I wont be hearing them in an Ellie-Mae Clampett voice. Maybe next time she will let me get a word or two. In all honesty I think we spoke for about 20 minutes. Which is a 6-month record for me; when it wasn’t my wife I was talking to or being put on hold. It was a pleasant experience. I think I even talked her into driving up here to meet the family sometime.

Posted by Contagion at 10:20 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Are you trying to tell me that I AM calm?!

Barb of Righty in a Lefty State has a link to three pictures that the less stressed you are the less they move. I sat there and stared at all three for over 5 minutes each and not a damn movement was scene by me. I don't know what the hell she is talking about. If any of you want to believe that I 'm not a stressed out individual then be my guest.

Actually I'd have to agree with you. I learned some very good stress coping techniques years ago and I do them second nature now. And no matter what people tell you, it's not drinking! Stupid friends all spreading the truth misinformation about me.

But seriously try as I might I saw no movement in those pictures. Go over and check it out and then tell me if you saw movement.

Posted by Contagion at 09:02 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Contagion in Peril Day 1

My wife left for Chicago just over 24 hours ago. I knew there was going to be problems the moment I left her with a co-worker that is going in with her. As I climbed back into the van to head home, Clone started screaming for Mommy. I tried everything under the sun to get him to calm down. I even resorted to singing The Wiggles' tunes. Nothing seemed to work. Digging through my wife’s van I found one of my Queen’s Greatest Hits CD’s (Little thief is stealing my music and hiding it on me again!). Popping it into the CD player, I turned up the volume so we could rock to it. Appropriately enough, “We Will Rock You” started playing. At a stop light, I was teaching Clone to clap along with the beat and he calmed down. We ended up listening to that song 4 times on the ride home. When it was over, he started screaming for more, as long as he stayed quiet and wasn’t screaming for “Mommy”, I was happy.

Once we got home, Clone decided Daddy sucks and wanted nothing to do with me. He wanted Mommy, Grandpa, Grandma, or Aunt Stacy. I figured it was time for daddy to show him how we could have fun. I ordered dinner for us. He had his favorite, pepperoni Pizza. Which made him a happy little boy then. Afterwards I played with him doing puzzles, cars, catch and tag. We both quit playing the overly active games rather quickly. Our region set a record high temperature yesterday here, and I don’t have air conditioning. Too much activity made us very sweaty.

Clone cannot be left unsupervised for more then 2 minutes or he will be destroying something. After my wife was gone, my phone didn’t stop ringing off the hook all evening. I’m trying to get some work done around the house AND watch clone AND deal with people calling me for nothing more important then to tell me the new Harry Potter book is out. As if I care about Harry Potter. One of these calls was from my mother. I had just finished getting Clone a sippy cup filled with Ice water and myself a giant mug of iced tea when she called. I had set my drink down just long enough to answer the phone and start talking to my mother when Clone grabbed it. Laughing in glee, he proceeded to attempt to take a drink out of it and poured 36oz of iced tea down the front of him and onto the floor. Apparently, Daddy’s unsweetened Tea was better then his ice water he asked for. Quickly hanging up on my caller, I proceed to clean up Clone and the mess he made in his “Flashdance” re-enactment.

My evening went down hill from there. Clone would drag out his puzzles and start spreading them all over the place every time I turned my back. I would get on his case and make him help me pick them up. If I left the room to refill our drinks or go to the bathroom (Even if I tried to take him with me) He would find someway to run back and start dumping puzzle pieces all over the floor. I’ve developed a special hatred for puzzles, especially the ones with the wooden pieces and plastic knobs. Those pieces hurt like hell to step on bare foot and they blend into my wife’s rug really well! If it wasn’t the puzzles, it was matchbox cars, if it wasn’t matchbox car’s it was EVERY OTHER TOY HE HAD IN HIS TOY BOX! People, my living room looks like it was hit by a F5 tornado! If it wasn’t his toys he would go after what ever drink I had. He either wanted to stir it for me or wanted to dump it all over the place. Either way I wasn’t in the mood for either game!

Boopie didn’t arrive until after Clone had gone to sleep. His help would have been much appreciated. Once Boopie arrived and Clone was asleep I was able to get housework done. Today was my late night at work. On my late nights, I don’t have to get to work early. The extra sleep is always appreciated. Since I had to handle both boys on my own this morning, I decided to wake up earlier then I needed to. I’m so glad I did. Clone, like his mother, does not always wake up in the most pleasant of temperaments. All right, he is down right nasty! He has to do everything himself; if I try to help to expedite the process, he starts yelling, “I DO IT! I DO IT!” This leads to me asserting my dominance by taking the “Mean dad” tone of voice and explaining that if he doesn’t settle down, he won’t be able to sit down. Either that or he’ll just cry and go limp while I try to change and dress him.

Then while I’m getting him ready he wants to brush his teeth, put on his shoes; play with his toys, etc. He re-drags out all of his puzzles and books while I’m trying to get my breakfast/lunch together. Boopie is trying to get ready himself so he wasn’t able to help either. Then the damn phone starts ringing. People calling to make sure everything is okay, because they forgot it was my late night and the boys would not be dropped off at their normal time. I had a company call to try to reschedule an estimate on windows (Which I canceled because I’m not interested and told them that twice). There was also a wrong number. The whole time I’m trying to finish getting my breakfast and lunch together, get all my stuff and take care of the boys. Clone is screaming for his mommy, Boopie is asking me questions about various things, I’m trying to remember everything my wife told me to do and I knew I was forgetting something. I still haven’t figured out what it was yet either.

After 30 minutes, I had finally had enough and told the boys, “That’s it! We are going bye-bye!” I grabbed my stuff and headed out to the van. Putting the van in gear, I quickly stop, run back into the house and grab Clone who was happily coloring in a coloring book. Boopie had been talking, but I was just ignoring him at this point. He was trying to tell me I forgot Clone. I stopped by the post office and the bank, and then dropped the boys off. As I did this, I realized that I had something in my front pocket that didn’t belong there. At first I thought I put my cell phone in there. Pulling it out, I looked at it puzzled for a second… It was my home cordless phone. For what reason I put it in my front pocket is lost to me. I have never done that before and I don’t know why I would have this morning. Usually I just toss it where ever when I’m finished with it. You have to understand that I really hate the phone and I try to avoid using it at all cost. It is not uncommon for me to holler at my wife to answer the phone, even if it is sitting right next to me. I hate those vile things.

I was never so happy to get to work in my life. I have until at least Wednesday before my wife comes home. I’ve decided there is no way in hell I can make it as a single parent. I don’t have the patience or the temperament for it. It’s going to be a long week.

Posted by Contagion at 07:17 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

At least they are not inbred.

On Saturday for my wife’s birthday, I told her I would take her to do anything she wanted to do. I had a sitter arranged from noon until 8pm. I was hoping she would want to go to a hotel for an afternoon of wild, kinky sex. Instead, she decided she wanted to go see some movies and then go to one of her favorite restaurants for dinner. She wanted to see War of the Worlds and Fantastic 4, so that is what we saw. Prior to the movies starting they have this slide show ad/trivia to keep the huddled masses entertained so I, er we, er they don’t start picking the stitching out of the chairs in some strange obsessive-compulsive disorder boredom avoidance habit. Whoever created this slide show had some serious issues. They had two different trivia questions that had NO follow slide with the answers.

One of the two trivia questions was “Which two good ol’ boys are playing brothers in the upcoming Dukes of Hazard Movie?” There was a picture of the General Lee with the actors leaning up against it cut out. My being a Dukes of Hazard fan knew the answer was Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville. Being in an extra butter and salted popcorn haze didn’t notice the wording problem with the question. My beautiful and observant wife did. From the picture it was obvious they where referring to Bo and Luke Duke, however Bo and Luke are not brothers; they are cousins. My wife and I discussed it for a little bit and it started me thinking on what a screwed up family they came from.

Okay, you have Bo, Luke and Daisy that are all cousins. Jesse is not one of their fathers as they all refer to him as Uncle Jesse. Now, Jesse raised all three of them. What happened to their parents? Was there some terrible moonshining accident that killed three sets of parents leaving Jesse with their children? Is this why Jesse never had kids of his own and if he did, where the hell are they?

Now when Bo and Luke left to try their hand on the NASCAR circuit (The season that Tom Wopat and John Schneider left for contract reasons), Cousins Vance and Coy came to live with Uncle Jesse. These are two more cousins, Vance and Coy referred to each other and Bo, Luke and Daisy as cousins. Jesse was again their Uncle, so neither could be Jesse’s kids. Now I know is some of the other episodes they had other cousins that popped in for one episode (I know because I just saw those episodes in the last couple of months). The English one was a cousin by marriage, but the other didn’t say that. We now have six cousins, different parents.

Using deductive reasoning, we can come to some conclusions. Grandpa Duke was a busy man! He had at least seven boys. How do we know this? They all have the last name Duke. Meaning that Jesse had to have six brothers in order to have 6+ nephews and nieces with the last name Duke. Sure, he could have had a sister that had a child out of wedlock, but this was during the late 70’s and early 80’s on TV. They had yet to address that issue and I could be wrong, but I don’t think the networks at that time would allow it. But back then, when the child was born, wouldn’t the child still have the father’s last name, not the mothers? Okay, maybe the mother didn’t know the father. Now we get back to the networks not allowing that story line.

Where the hell are all the parents of these kids? Not once do I recall seeing a one on any of the episodes. Is there a Duke family curse? If you don’t run moonshine you will die and the creepy confirmed bachelor uncle that does make moonshine will take raise your children. What the hell people? In addition, if grandpa duke was producing children like a madman, did his children not breed? There is not one sibling amongst any of the kids that where on the show? Does this mean that their parents had just enough genetic material to breed once and that was it? Maybe moonshining has other side effects besides going blind; maybe it makes you sterile! I honestly don’t know.

Coming to the realization that I have already spent excessively too much time contemplating the genealogy of the Duke of Hazard I’m going to wrap this up. However, I know at one point I’m going to loose sleep on this. While laying in bed staring at the darkness, I will start pondering where all the Duke spawn came from. I’ve already been obsessing on this for 2 days and it’s only getting worse.

Posted by Contagion at 06:40 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 16, 2005

Happy Birthday Ktreva!

My beautiful, charming and loving wife celebrates her 29th (Version 5) birthday today. In celebration of that I’ve arranged a sitter for Clone and we are going to be hitting the town doing what ever she wants. As I’m writing this what she wants to do is sleep, thus she is upstairs sleeping in. This afternoon when she is awake I’m going to spend some quality time with her.

My wife is the best thing that ever happened to me, without her I’m afraid of the type of person I would have become. Through her love and companionship she destroyed most of my self-destructive behaviors. My friends and I still like to make fun of the way I was before her. I’d get to drinking and I’d start to get violent and combative for absolutely no reason. One of the more infamous times was about 9 years ago when we all went out to a bar one night. I had been out with a couple of my friends hitting other bars first and had drunk two cases of beer. At the bar where we met everyone else, Grau bought me a 36oz Jack and Coke. I had about finished that when this guy comes walking in, he had to be about 5ft 2. Upon seeing him I felt my blood start to boil and I announced, “I’m going to go kick his ass because he is short!” I don’t know why, but that is what was going to happen.

Since Ktreva and I have been together I no longer have those urges. My drinking has considerably dropped off, and I don’t find myself getting more hostile and violent when I drink anymore. To me these changes are a direct relation to our relationship. I now have something to lose that actually means something to me. When I was younger, there was nothing in my life that I couldn’t replace. Now I don’t want to do anything that will screw up that relationship. I just don’t believe I can be a functional member of society with out her. If something where to happen to her I know I would slip into a downward spiral of self-destruction.

Her love is like a drug to me, I always want more. There are times when I wake up in the morning, look at her sleeping next to me, and wonder how I was lucky enough to marry such a wonderful woman. We work together, and there are times when I’m having a rough day, I will catch a glance of her. Just that brief glance can smooth over a lot of the bumps. When times are bad I can sit and talk with her about the problems. Afterwards I always feel better. Sure we have our fights, but I think the longest we’ve been mad at one another has only been a couple of hours.

I don’t know that I deserve her, but I have her and I’m lucky.

Happy Birthday Ktreva, just remember your not old. Grau is old!

Posted by Contagion at 09:02 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

July 14, 2005

Gathering on the Theatiki

Over at the Spoon and Blade I have the review of Theatiki up. If you would like to see pictures of the event I'd suggest going over and taking a look!.

Posted by Contagion at 06:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bonding time.

My wife is going on a business trip next week into Chicago. That leaves me at home with the boys. Some guys might not like the idea of having to watch after their kids for 3 days on their own with out any help. Not me, I’m kind of looking forward to it. We are going to do all kinds of manly-man guy activities. I have a list of things that I have wanted to teach the boys, but I can’t while my wife is around. There is too great of a chance that she would interfere and ruin my tutelage. Now I’m sure some of you are assuming this is teaching them stuff like controlled burping, skinning animals, Fire fun or fighting. All of you would be wrong, not this weekend. This weekend I’m going to work on the art of womanizing, ogling and flirting with girls.

It is time for Boopie to start learning some of the tricks of the trade. Sure, I could be like most fathers and let him discover it on his own and make the same mistakes most guys made, buy why? Being as I am a father is it not my duty to instruct my boys on various skills that are needed? Why should I let my son make the same mistakes I made growing up? To me that is just cruel, amusing, but cruel. Now I may be rusty in my skills. There is no need for me to practice them since I’ve been married. Sure some people say, “Just because you are married doesn’t mean you are dead.” I, however, subscribe to one of the greatest philosophical minds of the last 15 years, Homer J. Simpson. Who once said, “Marriage is like a coffin and every kid is a nail in it” Due to my rusty skills I am going to have to spend extra time on each subject. I figured that since I only have three days I’m going to have to focus on three very important aspects of trolling for chicks.

First is the “Check her out with out her noticing” ability. We’ve all been somewhere and seen a guy fall over himself to check out an attractive woman. Maybe it was at the mall, the grocery store or even possibly at work, but it happens way too often. What is even worse is when the guy is with one girl and is caught checking out another. Hilarity ensues when the girl he is with proceeds to pour a 36-ounce coke down his pants. There is however, a way to check out girls with out the subject or even your date realizing what is going on. I mastered this technique when I was in college. I can look a woman in the eye having a nice conversation and still be checking out the three girls around her simultaneously. This is a hard trick to master, so I figured I should start early. There are a lot of guys that can do this, so ladies if you feel you are never being checked out, you’re wrong. The guy is probably being nonchalant about it.

Second is the most important aspect of picking up a babe, Attitude. Woman might not like to admit it, but the nicest, “sweetest” guy could ask them out and they will turn him down if he doesn’t have the right attitude. I’ve seen butt ugly guys pick up girl by having the right attitude for the moment. Females say they want a “nice” guy, they lie to themselves. They only truly want the nice guy after the mean guy has hurt them. Ladies before you go to tear me a new one, just hear me out. This may not be true with all women, but I swear 95% of them it is dead on accurate. Every female I know, beyond an acquaintance, that is in a happy long-term relationship is there because some bad boy hurt her emotionally. She then went on to find a nice guy and is now happily with him. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to teach my boy to be a jerk to women, no. You can use the proper confidence and determination to camouflage the nice guy with in. That is what I’m going to teach my boy, how to have confidence and determination with women.

Thirdly I am going to teach the boy how to bring the women to him, how to make a woman instigate the contact. This has nothing to do with coy looks or body language. That is all covered in attitude. I will teach him how to use “bait” for his trolling. In this case we are going to use the most coveted of all baits… little children. For this lesson, I will take the boys out to the store and maybe to dinner. I will use Clone and his blue eyes to demonstrate how women can be lured in by something and use that to start a conversation with them. You think I’m kidding? Clone once was responsible for my getting four cases of pop free. I had told her that I was buying five cases of pop after putting one on the belt. She acknowledged that I had five total before Clone worked his magic. HE was flirting with the cashier at the store, which started her and I talking. Clone continued to flirt and the cashier and I joked about it. I didn’t realize she only rang me up for one case of pop until I got home. I called the store to advise that I had been under charged, they said they appreciated my honesty and to keep them. Well a similar trick can be done with women. I know that with out trying I’ve gone to the store with Clone and ended up talking to some very attractive women just because they came over to see him. If I were single, I’d be using him to get a date.

I know some of you are thinking I’m a pig. Some of you are wondering if you can baby-sit Clone. Either way, it’s my bonding time with the boys.

Posted by Contagion at 04:28 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

July 13, 2005

You've got to fight for your right to get drunk!

Fri, July 8, 2005 AP

A man arrested when police showed up to break up a New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s house has filed a lawsuit, arguing he had a Constitutional right to get drunk on private property as long as he didn’t cause a public disturbance.

emphasis mine

After reading this article I read through the Constitution and it’s Amendments to see if I felt this guy has a leg to stand on. The first thing I noticed is that there is nothing in the Constitution regarding the right to get drunk anywhere. Of course there is the 18th Amendment banning Alcohol and then there is the 21st that repeals the 18th, but other then that I saw nothing that actually said someone has a right to get drunk.

As I first read this, I thought he might be covered by the fourth Amendment, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” I quickly changed my mind after reading the following:

Laverriere said that he drank several beers, but wasn’t drunk, when officers arrived at his friend’s duplex saying someone had thrown bottles at a passing police cruiser.

That means that the police where investigating the crime. If the owner of the dwelling had any common sense he would have exited the house, closing the door behind him baring the police from access to his home. If had denied them access to the home, then this may not have been an issue. It’s hard to tell what they would have saw while the door was open, however according to the article it seems that most of the problems started once the cops where in the house. I don’t think the fourth Amendment is going to help anyone out here.

(I’m not a lawyer, I do have a law degree and worked in Law Enforcement, I never let a cop in my house unless I called them there or they have a warrant. Even if I call them I tend to talk to them on my front porch. I’m not about to give up my fourth Amendment rights for anything. Even if they do enter or as in one case they searched my vehicle, I keep telling them that I don’t want them in my house, searching my vehicle, etc. I’m sure some of the lawyers out there will tell you this may not be the best strategy, but it’s what I do. )

After ruling out the Fourth Amendment I then decided to look at what else could be out there to help this poor lad out. It was then that I thought that maybe this would fall under the little used and rarely cited ninth Amendment. “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain right, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” I’m sure some of you are asking yourselves, “What in the hell does that mean?” After looking through my legal books and various opinions online, to paraphrase, it basically means that “the number of rights listed in the constitution shall not be the only rights kept by the people and that these other rights shall not be degraded, or depreciated or negated by refusal to accept the truth or existence thereof. “ – Chuck Klein. Guns & Ammo Magazine 12-99.

I think here we have a base for a decent argument here. Do we as citizens of the US have the right to drink, let alone get drunk? I think we do. If we didn’t have a right to drink alcohol they wouldn’t have repealed the 18th Amendment. Thus it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to come to the conclusion that if it is a right to drink, then as a side effect of drinking, we have a right to get drunk. If we have the right to get drunk were should we do this, in public or private? I would have to say you have the right to get drunk in both. However, when you are in a public location others now scrutinize your actions. If you are perceived as a threat or “danger” to yourself or others then it is up to the police to intervene. If you are in someone’s private home and you are doing nothing that is a crime, then I feel the police should stay out of it. If this guy was in a bar, drunk off his arse and the police hauled him away, I don’t think he’d have a case at all. HOWEVER, he was drunk in the privacy of a friend’s home. Sure maybe his right to privacy is subject because he was not in his own home, but he was in a friends home and in my opinion that gives him a reasonable expectation of privacy. I will also concede that if a bottle was thrown at a police cruiser that the gathering wasn’t all that peaceable.

What was this guys threat to him or others? Was he so heavily intoxicated he couldn’t remain conscious? Not according to the article. Was he flashing a weapon about? If he was, the press didn’t mention it. Did he try to drive off in a car? According to the article he was planning on staying the night. At worst, from what I’m getting from the article, is that he was uncooperative with the police. Is being uncooperative with the police a danger to yourself or others? Based on that and what I wrote earlier in this post. Let's say I’m at my house having a small party; we’ve had a drink. One of my neighbors gets the nerve to call the police to complain about noise. When the police come to my door I stop out on the front porch and close the door behind me. They ask if they can come in, with respectful, “Hell no” I decline to invite them. They can smell alcohol on me, and decide to arrest me for “My own protection”. Because my drinking led me to be uncooperative and one of the cops is getting pissed, his anger has caused the urge to beat the ever-living snot out of me, thus putting me in "danger". They surmise that if I had been sober I would have let them in and all would be well. When in reality I had only just started drinking so I wasn’t drunk and I wouldn’t let them in no matter what.

What worries me is that this law in Massachusetts pretty much gives the police carte blanche to just arrest anyone they feel is intoxicated and is a “Danger to themselves or others”. I know many people that are a danger to themselves or others sober, let alone drunk. Add a beer, and a cop using this law, could just arrest that individual. What is next, it is illegal to have an IQ below 120 because you may endanger yourself or others?

Yes, I went to an extreme there, but I agree with this kid. I don’t feel that he should have been taken into custody. I could just see something like this being used against my friends or me, especially around a campfire at a re-enactment with all the black powder around.

With the Blogcrawl coming up shortly I was wondering what my reader’s opinions on this is. Please don’t be afraid to speak up, even you shy ones that read here and for some reason don’t comment. I’m really curious as to what everyone else’s opinion is.

Posted by Contagion at 04:46 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 12, 2005

How to explain this one?

My son is really starting to develop his vocabulary. He’s been talking for a while now, but of late, he is actually trying to expand his vocabulary. The problem is that his pronunciation and enunciation needs work. My wife and I are trying to teach him the proper way to say words, but sometimes he is stubborn and refuses to learn. Other times he sticks by his guns and refuses to pronounce it correctly, like last Sunday.

Clone had spent the weekend with my sister while my wife and I participated in our re-enactment. While with her, she had taken him to the zoo. He fell in love with a stuffed monkey. My sister being the spoiling type bought it for him. When we picked him up Sunday night he had this bright, neon green stuffed monkey in his arms. Okay, if it makes him happy, what do I care? At least it’s not a pink unicorn. We started the long drive back to Rockford. (Oh, we found the cure for his not liking to ride in cars. He must ride in my truck. This is fine for short trips, but since we are not taking my 14 MPG on the highway truck on our vacation this does not help there.) Clone is in the back seat playing away with his new pet and drinking his Chocolate Milk from a sippy cup being happy as a clam.

Clone has always been fascinated by Semis. Even when he was screaming on a trip, the only time he would stop is when we passed an 18-wheeler. He would stop screaming, point and say, “WOW!” over and over until we were done passing it. Then he would take a deep breath and proceed to start screaming again. Sunday was only slightly different in that he wasn’t screaming as we drove down the road. This time however when we passed one of the big rigs, he would say, “Wow, look! Truck!” Except that isn’t exactly how it came out, what came out was, “Wow, look! F*CK!” He then would start chanting “F*CK, F*CK, F*CK!” My wife and I are trying not to laugh, we know he is trying to say truck, but can’t make the TR sound. We kept trying to correct him. We had the following conversation a couple of dozen times.

Us, “No, TR-uck”

Clone mater of factly, “F*ck”

Us, “TR-uck”

Clone “F-*ck”

Us, “TR-uck”

Clone, “No, F*ck”

Us laughing now, “No, it’s a truck. TR… TR-uck.”

This would go on for miles. Every time I passed a Semi he would start over all again. At one point he was playing with his stuffed monkey when we passed the truck and he started chanting, “Monkey F*ck, Monkey f*ck, MONKEY F*CK!” The attempt to correct it failed miserably. No matter what we did, he kept calling them the wrong thing. Then to make matters worse my wife, in an attempt to change the topic, was pointing out the cliffs alongside the road. She said, “Look Clone, ROCKS!” I kid you not, with out skipping a beat that little boy shouts, “COCKS!” and proceeds to chant it. I almost caused an accident due to my hysterical laughter. My wife is not as amused by this as I am. This went on for the entire trip home.

I’m just glad he didn’t get creative and attempt to merge all three into one. I don’t know if I could have handled driving down the road when my 2 year old says, “Monkey f*ck cocks!” My head would have exploded from trying to control my laughter.

Posted by Contagion at 06:23 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

July 11, 2005

Surly Scotsman Rides Again.

I finally pulled my wife away from the Sims 2 in order for me to post about my weekend. My wife (Ktreva) and I did one of our Re-enactments last weekend in Bourbonnais, IL called The Gathering on the Theatiki. This is a fun event; we had a great time as usual. We were almost to the spot where we were dumping off Clone on my sister for the weekend when I get a call from Blog daughter Virtue. She wants to know if I have a Dutch oven she can use. “Back home in my garage, I’m almost half-way there.” I responded. I wasn’t cooking anything in one this weekend, so I didn’t bring it. I told her she could borrow one of the frying pans I had with me if she needed it, after I was done using it. She thanked me offered to clean my cast iron, do my dishes, and gather firewood and water for me. Last year at an event I bought her at an indentured servant auction. She’s mine for the next 7 years or until I sell her. Therefore, she has to do that for me anyway. I told her she could do soft-core porn, but she didn’t feel that would be appropriate with a name like Virtue.

Ktreva and I arrive at the site, check in and head down to where we camped last year. We liked that spot and wanted it again. When we pulled in one of the Illinois River Scum, a group of guys that are hard-core re-enactors, had taken the spot we wanted. Which is okay, because we wanted to camp next to them anyway. We took the spot next to them, were they camped last year. They are great guys and we get along with them really well.
We had almost finished setting up when Virtue, Chastity and Dr. “Special” arrived. Virtue calls me on her cell phone from the registration tent and is whining because, “Clan Chattan is registered as a military group, but we are not military. I don’t want to camp with the military groups, can we please camp with you?” She was almost hyperventilating because of this. After explaining that for this event when Clan Chattan registered they were a military unit because originally all the guys that were coming wanted to play in the battle and bring the artillery piece along. I then told her she could just come down and camp next to us. Which was the biggest mistake I made all weekend.

First they show up and don’t know how to set up their tents. Showing them how to tested my patience, and then they didn’t have all the parts they needed to set up the Fly (A piece of canvas that acts like a front porch). Ktreva told them we were going into town for dinner. Since they didn’t know the town, they decided they were going to come with. As I was pulling away all three of them ran up and jumped into the bed of the truck. All three of them screaming, “Take us with you! Don’t leave us alone!” Taking pity on them I pulled over and let them ride in the cab with us. After 15 minutes of musical seats, because they were fighting over whom got to sit next to who, we were on our way. We went to a local Steak Buffet for dinner. By this time we were all dirty and smelly from setting up camp, gathering firewood and being around campfires. Another trader had told me of this place the year before, that’s were I decided we should go. At first I thought we might be a little grungy for this place since we all looked very white-trashy. Upon entering the building I felt we fit right in! During the dinner conversation we started talking about crap jobs. I tell them that I worked at K-mart when I was in high school. Dr. “Special” proceeds to ask me, “They had K-marts back then?” Ktreva, Chastity and Virtue all jumped in the way preventing me from making Dr. “Special” wear his tongue as a necktie.

After Dinner, I then had to take them to Aldi so they could do some grocery shopping. I discovered that the Aldi down there has a liquor department. They sold crappy wine and beer that *I* had never heard of. None of the ones up here have that, or at least I haven’t seen it in any of the Aldi’s up here. Then I had to take them to the hardware store for their missing parts. Now I blame myself for this next part. I should have known better, but I sent Virtue and Dr. “Special” into the store on their own to get the parts they needed. They had a list and it wasn’t that difficult. After 20 minutes of listening to Chastity and Ktreva harp on me for sending them in there alone. I decided I should go in after them. It’s a good thing I did. After making my way to the Hardware section, I found Virtue sitting on the floor crying with various bolts, washers and wing nuts scattered about her. Dr. “Special” is standing there facing a display of trashcans mumbling, “Make it stop. Why won’t she stop crying? Why should I do?” Virtue explains they don’t have the right size nuts to fit the bolts and she isn’t sure if she should go one size smaller or not. I gather them up and the size smaller bolts, washers and wing nuts and we leave after Virtue makes a scene at the check out counter. When we arrived back at camp they discovered that Virtue must have written down the wrong size on the bolts, because even the size smaller was too big for the hole. They ended up not setting up the fly and using ours all weekend. At least they cleaned up after themselves!

I had decided I really wanted to participate in the Woods Walk battle out there. This is where they re-enact a battle based on a scene from “Last of the Mohicans” with Daniel Day Lewis. They have re-enactors (Military) escorting the public (Civilians) through the forest. The French and Indians ambush the civilians on the trail and the military fends them off. This puts the public right into the heart of the battle. It is a very cool scenario and both re-enactors and public loves doing it. In order to participate as a fighter you need to belong to or join up temporarily with a military group. There were three different units of the Roger’s Rangers at this event; one of them is the group that Clan Chattan prefers to fight against. This group has been trying to “Slip me the King’s shilling” for two years to fight with them. When I walked into their camp Friday night I was talking with them and their Dutch Recruiting Sgt made a smart arse comment about how he had been in England and almost bought a real 1750’s shilling to slip to me. I told him that it was too bad because I would have taken it. I have never seen this man move so fast. He knocked over a chair and almost tore his tent down to find a “Shilling” (He used a quarter) to give to me. I took it voluntarily and they bought my services for the woods walk Saturday and Sunday. It was great fun. Especially since whenever I shoot I can hear the kids and the publics reaction to what I do. I loved hearing a kid about 8 say, “Look dad! That guy just killed an Indian!”

We spent a lot of time socializing with other re-enactor friends, which was great. I also spent a lot of time giving Virtue, Chastity and Dr. “Special” a hard time all weekend. Every time they would ask to borrow something or ask me to help them or just say anything, I would respond with, “It’s because of you that I left the Clan.” I wasn’t serious and they knew it, but it was fun to harass them. Virtue also received her Indian name over the weekend, She Who Smiles A Lot. Even when she tries to be mad, she still was smiling. Other re-enactors were giving her grief about her “Short cheek muscles”. Even though I gave them a hard time, okay I was just down right mean to them, I enjoyed having them in the camp next to us. They helped keep me entertained. Plus the girls helped me recruit for the Mortar Maidens. Virtue is my new director of Model Posing.

Speaking of the Mortar Maidens, this event was ripe with volunteers. I had 8 different women pose for me. It all started with my friends Will and Red’s daughter posing and then I just kept finding women that would pose. I’m really glad because I was starting to run out of pictures.

At the end of the event I was thoroughly relaxed. The only thing I would have changed if I could was the temperature, it was very hot both days and that made it a tad uncomfortable. I had other re-enactors asking me why I was still wearing my waistcoat in the afternoon. My answer was always, “Because they would have worn them at all times back then.” The hardcore ones, even those that had taken theirs off, agreed that a proper white male at that time would not have walked around in just his shirt. I earned a lot of respect from the hard-core re-enactors by keeping to my standards. The public however thought I was daft.

Two groups also tried to recruit me into their ranks. I politely turned down both invitations, as I don’t want to do the group thing anymore. I’m enjoying the freedom of being an individual. The River Scum is trying to get me to go on a canoe trek with them. I just don’t think I fit in since I have a moral and an ethic. (Yes that is singular on purpose). That and I don’t want to be known as “The quiet and polite one” among any gathering of re-enactors. Don’t get me wrong; I love that group of guys. I hung out with them both Friday and Saturday night. After listening to their stories I’m pretty sure that not only would they drink me under a table, but also they would leave me tied to a tree on an island as a joke. Plus I just don’t think I’m hardcore enough to fit in with them. I like my little comforts… like toilet paper. I’ll be damned if I’m cutting the pocket out of my knee breeches to wipe my arse with!

At the end of the event I gave Virtue, Chastity and Dr. “Special” (Who still thinks I was around when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I’m only 32) a piece of trade silver as a friendship gift. This was to show them that even though I gave them a lot of hell over the weekend, it was all in good-natured fun and they where my friends. Except Dr. “Special” whom one night isn’t going to wake up from a sleep after I club him with the wooly mammoth femur I kept from my first kill… the little bastard! Actually he’s not a bad guy, but he is very quiet. I’m not sure if he was just shy or scared of me.

All had a great time and I’m looking forward to my next event in just over a month.

Posted by Contagion at 10:59 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 07, 2005

Not an average Wednesday night

Yesterday evening I attended a blogmeet held here in Rockford. I wasn’t invited to it, but I went anyway. In fact, LittleJoe and I were both left off the invite list. If we hadn’t over heard one of my very own Blog Fathers telling Anathematized about it, we would have never known. When we confronted Graumagus about it, he responded with, “Yea… I mean to tell you guys about that… really.” He then went on to advise that it was Tuesday night at Don Pablo’s here in town. LittleJoe and I both decided we were going to go. Unbeknownst to us deceit was a foot! We had both made arrangements to attend on Tuesday night. When I returned home there was a message from one of my unctuous Blog Father’s that said, “Hey Aneth, I just wanted to make sure you knew that the blogmeet was really WEDNESDAY at DOS REALES, not Tuesday at Don Pablo’s. Remember; don’t tell Contagion or LittleJoe, we don’t want them to come… (Long Pause) Wait, Aneth’s answering machine is broken…. Oh crap I called the wrong number… uhhh… delete this message and pay no mind to it. There is no need to remember this message; it’s a prank. Yea, that’s the ticket.” You could almost see Grau trying to use the Jedi mind trick on me over the phone.

LittleJoe and I talked it over and decided we were going to crash the party anyways. Bully on them! We arrived separately, LittleJoe about 45 minutes before me; we were the only ones there. At first we thought we had fallen for a clever decoy and after waiting for 30 minutes past the scheduled time we were getting ready to go home when there was a loud noise, a bright flash and smoke filled the entrance way. Over the bodies, blocking the front door, in steps BlackFive wearing full tactical gear and a gas mask. Not knowing who we were he ignored us and went to the far side of the bar to wait. We just kept our eye on him trying to figure out if that really was BlackFive or if someone else, who dresses like that, would show up here at that time.

As soon as the employees had the mess cleaned up from BlackFive’s entrance, in walked Teresa. It’s hard not to recognize her. Her regal presence upon entering was unmistakable. She glanced around with that cheery, “I’m slumming it with the commoners” look. We could tell from the pained look in her eye she recognized us from the last blogmeet we did two months ago. She greeted us with a fake smile and, “Oh, you two are here. How quant.” It was at that point BlackFive used an asp to move me out of the way so he could talk with Teresa.

I don’t remember who arrived next, Aneth or Harvey and TNT, but they arrived at about the same time. When Harvey entered, he immediately tried to get the staff to start a blog. I can’t count how many times in the first five minutes I heard, “So if you started a blog, what would the name be?” TNT immediately went into “looking for prey” mode. I swear that if it weren’t for LittleJoe as my back up, she would have added my head to her duffle bag full of “trophies”. When Harvey saw LittleJoe and me, he said, “How the hell did you two…. DAMN THAT GRAUMAGUS! I should have known better then to entrust him with a secret.” Upon Aneth’s arrival she attempted to pull me out of my bar stool so she could use me as a stepping stool to rest her feet on. Fortunately, my ample mass prevented that from happening. She did start hollering for Pina Colada’s as soon as she sat down in compensation.

Grau arrived next. He saw me, came over and said, “Uh, I see you got my message about the change in date and time. Yea, that’s what happened.” Harvey walked over and backhanded Grau. Growling, Harvey said, “I thought I specifically told you not to mention this gathering to the unwanted stump. We did not want the spawn of the GrauHarveBou here!” Grau, whipping some spittle off his face grabbed Harvey by the shirt. Hoisting him about a foot off the ground, Grau calmly warned Harvey, “I am not one of your blog children, if you ever do that again I will knock your Michael Gross looking arse back into the 80’s!” At that point, Grau and Harvey started laughing and hugging. It made me wonder even more about Bou’s, TIG’s and my blog-procreation.

Finally, Tammi and TIG arrived. Tammi came waltzing in all dressed up and looking as if she were heading to a formal event. While twirling she yelled out, “I’m the prettiest girl at the ball!” She went on to explain how she had spent most of the day in a salon having her hair and nails done just so she could look her best. I thought we were going to have a problem when BlackFive used his model 1911 Colt to shoot the cap off a bottle. The cap almost landed in Tammy’s hair. Fortunately, his aim was very good and instead it missed her by a quarter of an inch and landed in a trashcan.

TIG just pushed his way to the bar, slapped his hand down and yelled, “Bartender… Burrito, Beer… NOW!” I tried to say hello to him, but all I could understand from his low mumble was, “….. need beer…” and “…no beer yet…” However once he was able to drink his first couple of bottles he started coming to. This time when I attempted to say hello he responded with, “Umm, have we met before?” I explained that we had indeed met twice before. Scratching his head as he walked away, I heard him ask Tammy, “Is he the asshole I spent all that time talking to at the April Blogmeet?”

We were shown to a table; LittleJoe and I were relinquished to one end away from the more civilized and larger bloggers. Aneth decided to take pity on us and sat at the end to. It was either pity or the fact she was sucking down Pina Coladas. I had been drinking diet coke up to this point, but I needed something to help me overcome my shyness. I started ordering Jack and Diet cokes. The food was good, but after the meal, they seemed in a hurry to get us out of the place. I think some of it had to do with topics of conversation. Such as BlackFive telling stories of how he has a blister on his hand from knife fighting, TNT talking about the proper way to sever a human head, Harvey explaining about dogs eating cat poop, Aneth talking about putting cats into dryers, my going into details about the sewage explosion in my basement and TIG’s constant screaming for beer.

After we left the restaurant, we went to a bar nearby for drinks. It was pretty much more of the same; we all were sitting and talking about various topics. Then a vile plot was hatched by my BlogFathers to do a 7 month after birth abortion. They decided that we should all do prairie fire shots. For those of you that don’t know, a prairie fire is half Tequila and half Tabasco sauce. The Tabasco doesn’t bother me, its’ the tequila. I don’t really like the taste of tequila to begin with; it’s the fact that it causes me intense bodily pain that I hate it. Tequila tends to interact with my ulcers and causes me pain for days. In fact, as I’m writing this I’m drinking a pepto/prevacid milkshake. I can still taste the Tequila. Grau, knowing me for years, knew this was going to cause me much pain and discomfort. What he didn’t count on was my buddy Jack Daniels being able to subdue Jose from killing me.

It was a good evening, BlackFive only really tried to kill me once when he found out I don’t read his blog on a regular basis. I explained his blog scares me… not because of content but because too many people read it. He seemed to be appeased by that answer and let me live. It was easy to distract him however, all I had to do was get him to start telling stories and he seemed happy enough to tell him.

In all honesty I did have a good time, I was glad I went and it was nice to see everyone.

Posted by Contagion at 04:10 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

I have blogspawn????

Apparently while I was out blowing stuff up I slipped and spawned a blogchild. Yea, I know what you all are thinking, and I agree. No good comes from this.

Let me introduce you to Virtue of The Rantings of an Indentured Servant.

It does kind of disturb me that a spawn of mine has the name Virtue... Personally I think she's being sarcastic. Go say hello and see her take on the events of the Fourth of July.

Posted by Contagion at 07:02 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 06, 2005

Lesson learned?

I am but a creature of habit. My actions and thoughts are strongly influenced by my routines. When my routine is thrown off, then I have to improvise. This is where I get into trouble. Routine and structure is what keeps me from displaying all the impulsive behavior that gets me into trouble. Let me give you an example.

Routine: I set off fireworks in my back yard after watching the professional display every Fourth of July.

Routine Failure: Due to Clone being sick all weekend, my wife and I being tired, and having to work on the Fifth; we did not set off fireworks after the show.

Now I know this seems like a harmless little break in routine. This example however makes for the incident that occurred last night. It was this break in my routine that caused my brain to override the “Good better” judgment controls. To tell this story properly I am going to start at the beginning.

Last Fourth of July I traveled by myself to Wisconsin to buy fireworks. Every year I go to the same place, I’ve gone there since I was 10 years old and I will continue to go every year, it is part of my routine. When I walked last year I was like a kid in a candy store, I went nuts buying many different items. What I hadn’t realized was the fact they where having a two for one sale. I ended up buying twice as much as I reasonably needed. (Notice I didn’t say wanted… I can never have too many fireworks). When I returned home with a Ford Ranger full of rockets and fountains, my wife told me I was no longer allowed to go firework shopping on my own again. That brings us to this year. The whole family comes with while I buy fireworks and again there is a two for one sale. Now this year I remembered it was a two for one sale and was going to curb my spending. However, my wife was with me to keep me in check. (Break in routine) I just kept buying waiting for her to say “DEAR GOD NO! YOU DO NOT NEED ANOTHER FIREWORK!” Instead she asked me to pick up a couple of fountains she liked thus encouraging my impulsive behavior. I ended up coming home with more fireworks this year then last year. (Consequence)

In 2004 when we were setting off fireworks in our back yard, Grau brought over this one called the weeping willow or something like that. It looked just like a bunch of fountains I had. Unfortunately, this was actually a bundle of mini-mortars that shot exploding balls into the air one right after the other. It was like a homing beacon for the cops to come and arrest us. The cops never came and we vowed not to do that again. So when we where buying fireworks I made sure that I only bought ones from the “Fountain” section for lighting off in the back yard. I know this is a little off topic, but keep this in mind for later, it is a VERY important detail.

Every Fourth of July we leave early to set off rockets in the field we sit in. This year we were shut down by the man. (Break in routine.) My need to set things on fire or blow them up was not satisfied. Normally this wouldn’t have been that big of a deal, however mix that with my original example and we have the formula for disaster.

Yesterday, upon arriving home, I saw the stack of fireworks sitting in my office. I turn to the oldest boy and say, “We are setting those off tonight.” After I finish cleaning up from the previous day’s party, making dinner and updating the Spoon and Blade, I grabbed the fireworks and the family. We went into the back yard for big explosion fun.

I had two different types of giant fountains among all the other assorted fountains I bought. I thought I would start the show with one of the big ones. I’m anxious to get my firework fix; I didn’t get to set many off the previous day. I was hurting bad. I didn’t read the label on this “Fountain” before I lit it as I normally do. Setting down on the ground a safe distance from the house and garage, I lit it and ran. The next thing I know there is a muffled explosion quickly followed by a much louder one and a shower of sparks about 100 feet over my head. I’m having flashbacks to last year. Only this time it was worse. Last year there were maybe 12-15 mini-mortars. This bundle of joy I set off had 36. It would set one off every 5 seconds. For three minutes, this “fountain” was shooting exploding flairs into the evening sky. That was a long three minutes. After it was finished, I waited to see if there where any sirens… Nope, not a one. Back to the fun at hand.

We are lighting all the other fountains when I have a break in routing failure. I have this other large “fountain” that was on the shelf right next to the big one I had let off earlier. Ironically, it was named “Big Trouble”. The label said, “Shoots flaming balls into the air with report.” My brain not having the fun that was so badly needed in setting off skyrockets and fireworks the night before starts justifying lighting this. I swear by all that is right and good in the world that my brain convinces me “That’s just the flaming balls that come out of regular fountains that crackle really loudly. It’s okay to set this one off.” My “better” judgment center screamed “NO, FOR THE LOVE OF LIFE, DO. NOT. DO. THIS!” The mischievous part of my brain says, “C’mon it’s just a fountain. We bought it in the “Fountain” section. The last one was a fluke. What are the chances of anyone making that mistake twice? Just set it off.” The rest of my brain then says in the dopey sounding rube voice, “Oh… all right, you’ve never gotten me into trouble before!”

I set the fountain on top of the cooled off remnants of the previous large fountain. I light it and run back. My wife notices what I did right as the fuse ignited. She screams, “NO, DON’T DO THAT!” Too late, the fuse was lit. The fuse was quick to get into the tube, but then there was nothing. I thought I had a dud. That was when it happened. A louder muffled explosion, then a high-pitch scream as (to quote my wife) “A screaming sperm of sparks heads into the night sky”. It explodes loudly about 150 feet up in a large star. This is followed about 15 seconds later by another. Every 15 seconds it would send up another one. Did I mention they exploded loudly? I did, good because when I say loud I’m talking really damn LOUD! Its bad enough they screamed in a high pitch whistle from the time they leave the tube until they reached their peak, but the explosion was enough to rattle my molars. I have neighbors climbing out of their houses convinced my house had finally caught fire and the cans of black powder where exploding. This inch and half diameter, ¼ inch- thick tubes that held the charges come falling back to the ground. They pelted everything around them with enough force to cause a noticeable noise on impact. It took one of these tubes hitting me in the head to make my brain admit, “This was a mistake.”

After the fifth one went off, I could hear sirens. They are getting closer and closer. People are gathering around the street to watch. I’m standing there just chanting, “Please stop, please stop, please stop” If finally quits after 20 of the flaming sperms have exploded. I can see the reflection of the emergency lights off trees. I’m sure I’m going to jail or one of the falling tubes hurt someone.

The sirens are about a block away and they keep going… it was an ambulance on its way to the hospital. There were no other emergency vehicles responding to my neighborhood. My wife looks at me with her arms across her chest. I say, “I guess that was a bad idea.” She makes a tsking noise and says, “Ya think?” I sent the older boy to go around and pick up as many of the fallen tubes as possible. There where tubes five houses in every direction. After the quick clean up we finish setting off all the ground fireworks. We had some pretty impressive fountains. I’m sure that if I had been able to set off the fireworks the night before this wouldn’t have happened. I would have not been so desperate to blow something up that I almost took out my neighborhood.

Posted by Contagion at 01:08 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 05, 2005

Artillary and Babes!

I finally was able to update The Spoon and Blade for the month of July. I'm only 5 days late this month, not too bad. Our newest Mortar Maiden is posted. If your interested in women with artillary go check out Elspeth Comyn.

Posted by Contagion at 07:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bottle Rockets are EVIL!

I hope everyone had a fun time on the Fourth of July. I know I did. We had some friends over to the house for a little party. Everyone ended up spending most of the time on our front porch or in the house due to the weather. The rain didn’t irritate me as much as I thought it would. Yes, it ruined my plans, but we are in such a bad drought that we need it. Honestly we could use about another 7 inches over the rest of the month to be caught up.

Most of the people there were from Clan Chattan. Honestly after I left the group, I thought there was going to be a lot of bad blood. Fortunately, I was wrong, as everyone seems to have overcome their issues. We all sat and talked, swapped stories, reminisced about past activities and shared our hopes for the future. It was nice. I wasn’t involved in any gossip or politics. It made me start to rethink leaving. Then I realized the reason I didn’t catch any of that was that I was no longer a member. It still was good to see everyone together again… and happy.

Both Chastity and Virtue brought their boyfriends with to the party. You would think that after being members of this group for as long as they have been, they would know better. All the guys in the group are like over protective uncles. We were relentlessly ruthless to the boys, especially Maelduin and I. It was great fun making these boys squirm.

We had a lot of good food. One of the guests brought this cheese bread recipe. It was excellent. It tasted like cheesecake, only better. I braved the rain to grill burgers and hot dogs for everyone. Cooking in the rain doesn’t bother me, especially on the Fourth of July. If you don’t grill on the Fourth then there is something seriously wrong with you. I don’t care if it’s a vegetarian Kabob or the best steak money can buy, you grill on the Fourth of July!

We left the house around 7:30PM to go watch the Fireworks in Neighboring Cherry Valley. They have a nice display and it’s much easier to get in and out of with all the traffic. I have a spot that I’ve gone to for many years now. There is usually not a lot of other people there so we can play around. It’s on the backside of the display, therefore we don’t get to see any of the ground fireworks, but who wants those anyway? The other attraction of this spot is we would light off our own fireworks waiting for the show. There are usually some kinds of rockets of various sizes. This year I had a couple gross of bottle rockets and four packets of larger rockets.

We had just finished setting out the blankets and spraying the kids down when I drove the pipes into the ground. I tested them with some bottle rockets. As I did, one of the people that owns the property adjacent to where we were warned us that the cops where there. Not wanting to have our fun ruined, I quickly hid the big rockets under the blanket and left a bunch of the bottle rockets out in plain site. Why? Because if he knows we were lighting off fireworks and comes down they will only confiscate what they see, they won’t search. If you hide everything, they will do a quick probable cause search. The cop ended up driving off and after about 10 minutes, I started firing them off. Being in the Fourth of July spirit, I started tossing packets of bottle rockets to my friends so they could have some fun. We were all having a great time playing with bottle rockets, which apparently are the most dangerous of all fireworks. How are they dangerous? Just read on.

After setting them off for about a total of 15 minutes I turned around to grab another packet of bottle rockets and I see a cop walking down to us. He tells us that he is shutting us down and confiscating the fireworks. He goes on to explain that the property we are on is owned by ComEd, the power company, and they didn’t want people shooting off fireworks by their power lines. Then he states, “They want us to make an arrest, who shall it be.” Everyone was quiet, I was thinking I should take the blame since it was my party and my fireworks, but then the cop points to LittleJoe and says, “I saw you shooting them off, I need to see your ID and information.”

LittleJoe in a rage that “The Man” has shut down our fun says, “Fuck you copper! Why aren’t you out taking guns from little kids or confiscating fireworks that are a bit more dangerous then bottle rockets?” The cop responded by pulling out his asp and saying “Don’t get my face boy I’ll beat you like an unwanted step child. Besides there are no fireworks more deadly then the whistling bottle rocket! Per shot fired, more people are injured with the `Harmless’ bottle rocket. Anyway no one else is shooting them off” He says this as sub-professional grade mortars and large skyrockets are going off around us.
LittleJoe is in such a rage that his pants have turned purple; he moves to take the cop. In his blinding rage, he forgets that we are on a hillside filled with holes. He steps in one, loosing his balance and falls to the ground hitting his head. The cop jumps on his back and handcuffs him before he can come to. Putting away his asp, he pulls his side arm to make sure the rest of us don’t decide to assist our friend. Using his radio, he attempts to call for back up. The power lines and towers prevent a signal from being transponded.

The rest of us just sit back and watch. Since children were present we didn’t want them to get hurt incase Barney Fife gets scared. After about 5 minutes of trying to raise backup he finally gets through to a dispatcher. She advises the cop that there is no back up. All the other Cherry Valley Units are out setting off bottle Rockets they had confiscated from the public. Realizing that he was missing the fun, he gently wakes LittleJoe up and says, “If you promise not to fight I’ll just take your information and the bottle rockets and be on my way.” LittleJoe told the cop he wouldn’t fight. He gave him his name and information. I gave the cop all the bottle rockets that where left in plain sight. He asked me, “Is this all of them?” I responded with, “Of course officer.” He takes a quick look over the area spies some fountains that where sitting out. He walks over toward them.

Grau’s eldest spawn is freaking out that the cop is going to take his fireworks. Grau assures the cop that those are legal fireworks bought here in Illinois. They where just smoke bombs and fountains. The cop looks them over and decides he doesn’t want to light those off and leaves them as he departs the area. After the cop leaves, we are all joking about the entire incident and I pointed out to my friends that laughed at me about not hiding all the fireworks that it worked. He took about $5.00 worth of bottle rockets and left the $70.00 worth of skyrockets, and he still did a quick search.

This all happened by 8:50. They didn’t start the main display until almost 9:45. For the first time in many years, I wasn’t too impressed with the display. They seemed to do all of the same style of fireworks together instead of spreading them out. I thought it would look better if they broke them up more. Clone really enjoyed the fireworks. This is his first year that he actually cared to pay attention to them. I’m glad he enjoyed it, because he had spent most of the weekend being sick. He had been puking Saturday, Sunday and Monday. (No, it had nothing to do with this incident! He didn’t drink any alcohol! People please!) He finally snapped out of his funk around 6:00 and was really into playing and having fun by the time we left for the show.

*Some of the details regarding the cop have been exaggerated and may not be 100% accurate.

Posted by Contagion at 12:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 04, 2005

Happy Fourth of July

I am taking a break from party preparations and I wanted to extend a Happy and Safe Fourth of July to Americans all over the world. May all political and personal differences be set aside this day. For today is the greatest holiday of the year. Not just because we celebrate the formation of the greatest country in the history of the world. (I would apologize to my foreign readers, but that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.) Today over 76% of Americans will grill something. Today is the largest grilling holiday of the year. Plus through out the day people will be blowing up stuff in recreation, not anger. Recreational destruction is just fun!

Again, Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Posted by Contagion at 10:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 03, 2005

So what, I'm a bad dad.

Reasons 12,214 and 12,215 why I am a bad dad.

It is July third. Tomorrow we are having a small party of close friends at our house and we have been preparing for it all day. At the end of the day the Scot in my told me I needed a drink, therefore I made myself one. I started to stir my Jack and Coke. Clone found this highly amusing. When I would stop he would say, “Dada, do more!” I would then stir my drink again. After doing this six times I finally asked, “Would you like to stir my drink?” He enthusiastically said, “YES!” Hence Clone stirring a Jack and Coke:

Clone Stirs

Then after I had drank that one I had. He tells me, “Dada need more drink!” He was adamant about it. Since he insisted, I went to make another he came in with a glass I had been drinking water out of earlier that day and said, “Dada, I more drink.” Me, being the ever so bad dad that I am, felt the need to “pour” him a drink. I started making mine, pouring Jack Daniels into my glass. When I put the lid on he pitched a fit. He had to have some for himself. At that point I pretended to pour Jack Daniels into his drink. (No, I did not actually give him any. I’m not that bad of a dad!) Then I add Coke to both of our drinks. Unbeknownst to me, when I would stir my drink Clone would stir his. My wife found this highly amusing. She snuck in with a camera and took this picture of us.

Clone and Dad Stir

Yea. That’s right. Not only is he getting me to drink, but also he is mimicking my habits! And yes, this is my Karnival of the Kids entry.

Posted by Contagion at 10:17 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

July 01, 2005

Contagion in the City. Part 3

See parts one and two here in case you missed them.

Thursday morning I started off with another room service breakfast. This time I had a three egg, ham, cheese and mushroom omelet. It was okay, I was expecting better for the price. Fortunately, I was not the one paying for it. The omelet was bland; it was as if they used no seasoning what so ever. I ended up putting a lot of salt and pepper on it. At least the coffee was good.

I arrived at work early again, I wanted to make sure I could call the office in case there where problems. This time they had screwed up my report generator. Being the ever pessimist, I planned on this happening and walked them through the quick and easy fix I built for it. My peers think I’m some kind of computer genius. This is far from being true, I just don’t underestimate their ability to somehow bypass three levels of security and passwords to delete a table that is needed for the database reports to run.

I again kept ahead of the rest of the class. It was during the down time that I finalized the plans for the Mouse Incident. At the end of the class I was again so far ahead that, I did assignments that the rest of the class didn’t do. I figure I just learned more doing that. After class, I went and played the mouse trick and then went back to the hotel.

After my poor experience with the food at the hotel, I decided to head out to another restaurant. Not knowing the city very well and wanting to eat somewhere that isn’t a major chain, I decided I needed some help. The concierge was more then eager to help me. A problem arouse because I wasn’t being helpful. She would ask me what I wanted to eat, I told her food. Then she wanted to know what kind of food, I told her the edible type. Her face was starting to show signs of frustration, so I explained that I don’t know what I want. I know I don’t want seafood or Indian food. I had Irish the night before and I wanted something that was unique to Chicago. She understood where I was coming from so she asked me if I liked French food. French food… I’d never eaten French food before. We have a winner! Feeling proud of herself, she gave me directions to a local French restaurant that is supposed to be the best in Chicago as she made a reservation for me.

I hop in a cab and head off on my way to see what the surrender monkeys eat. After arriving, I realized that I wasn’t that far from the hotel, so I decided I would walk back after the meal. As I entered the restaurant, I notice that I’m slightly underdressed. I walked in wearing shorts, t-shirt and a decent over shirt. The host is wearing a suit; the wait staff were all dressed with ties, shirts and slacks. The rest of the patrons were either wearing business attire or semi-casual clothing. I was shown to a table, in a corner.

The gayest French waiter I have ever seen in person or on TV came to my table. He had a think accent with a lisp. There was a very feminine style in his posturing and actions. For some reason I found this very amusing. I cannot explain as to why, but I did. After going over the specials for the day, he asked me if I would like anything to drink. Just when I thought, he was never going to ask. I replied with, “Yes I would like a Jack and Coke.”
Which lead to this conversation:
Waiter: “Monsieur, we have a fine selection of wines, I would be more then happy to suggest one for you.”

Me: “No thank you, I’d like a Jack and Coke.”

Waiter, “But Monsieur, a nice wine would be gentler on the pallet and let you enjoy the flavor of the food more.”

Me, “That’s okay; I’ll take a Jack and Coke.”

Waiter, “Monsieur, we offer some of the best wines that are made. You would find them very refreshing. They will compliment the meal better.”

Me, “Do you not have Jack Daniels?”

Waiter, (Somewhat snotty) “But of course we have Jack Daniels.”

Me, “If you didn’t want people to drink anything but the wine. Don’t stock it. Now please go get me a Jack and Coke. I will consider a wine when the meal comes. (I lied) Thank you.”

Waiter, “Very well Monsieur, I shall bring you your drink shortly.”

The waiter leaves and brings back my drink I order my meal and sit and drink while looking at the other patrons. Nobody of any real interest, so I didn’t spend a lot of time watching them. The interior décor was nice enough. I wasn’t too impressed. Before the meal, the waiter brought out some bread with fresh roasted garlic and butter. I love fresh whole clove garlic. Unfortunately that is the last nice thing I have to say about this meal.

The waiter brought out my meal and asked if he could interest me in a nice Chardonnay. I declined and ordered three fingers of Jack Daniels. (I know they don’t really use that term anymore to order whiskey, I still do it just to get a reaction out of the wait staff) For those of you that don’t know what that means. When you place a whiskey tumbler on the bar, lay three fingers horizontally on the outside of the glass and fill until it reaches the top of them. The waiter looked indignant and started to go back through the reasons why a wine would be better. I shut him up this time with, “Just get me my god damned Jack Daniels and a glass of water.” He quickly hurried off to get it for me and I heard not one thing more on it the rest of the night.

I ate what they called Chicken Bocuse. This sounded very good; it was chicken over fresh spinach with a Morel Mushroom sauce. When he brought it out it smelled very good. There where whole mushrooms in the sauce and I thought I was in for a culinary delight. How wrong was I. The food was bland, very bland. It had barely any taste to it what so ever. It was as if they had cooked the flavor out of the chicken, mushrooms and spinach. Then the chicken was kind of stringy and tough. It was a little hard to cut and chew. The mushrooms where also tough, for mushrooms. I was highly disappointed in the meal. I paid and made my way out. It was as I was leaving I noticed that the restaurant was located between the Hershey Chocolate Superstore and the Ghirdelli chocolate shop. As I stood there, I had to call my wife to tell her about it. She is a huge chocolate fanatic.

Then to top of my night, I went back to the hotel and was looking for a movie to watch. Again nothing, I really wanted to watch, and there was nothing on the regular channels. I ended up getting Alexander. Okay, this movie was horrible; it was three hours of pain. May I never be tortured with it again.

Friday went fine, no incidents and I was able to leave Chicago around 3:00. That means I missed most of the traffic. Especially since they had Taste of Chicago, A free concert at the new park that used to be Meigs field and the Cubs played the White sox. I was able to get home rather quickly. There was a bad accident just north of Rockford that caused a delay. Fortunately, I was only stuck in that for about 2 miles.

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