August 31, 2005

Where's the laughs?

Every Wednesday I look forward to going over to VW’s to get my “Humor for the Dreaded Wednesday”. Upon arriving at One Happy Dog Speaks today, I discover no humor. Wait… how can this be?! My morning ground to a halt. My mind was in a vapor lock as I stared blankly at a post about the Wiggles, one of my nemesis… nemesi… nemesises… you know what I mean. Figuring that something tragic had happened to VW to prevent her or her guest blogger to post the Humor for the Dreaded Wednesday, I decided to once again take up the torch again and cover her.

There once was a married fireman who wanted to add some spice to his sex life. One night he told his wife that he wanted to make a change and he had an idea. He tells says to his wife, “At the station we have a system of bells to relay messages. Every time I hear those bells, it always causes my pulse to race and my adrenaline to pump. One bell tells us there is a fire. Two bells tell us that we need to report to the truck. Three bells is the signal for the truck to leave the station. What I’d like to do is incorporate that into our lovemaking. One bell we get undressed. Two bells we climb into bed and on three bells bell we start making love. What do you think?”

The wife, at first being skeptical but not wanting to upset her husband responds that she is willing to try it. The next day the husband comes home with a bell and attaches it on the wall over the bed. That night after dinner, the husband and wife go up to the bedroom to try out the bell.

The husband rings it once and they both get undressed. The husband, admiring his now naked wife, thinks to himself, “THIS IS GREAT!” Ringing the bell the bell twice, they jump into bed. His heart pounding the husband rings the bell three times. He is making the most wild and passionate love to his wife that he ever has. All of a sudden, he hears the bell ring four times.

Stopping, he says to his wife, “There isn’t a fourth bell. What are four bells?”

His wife responds, “More hose!”

UPDATE: Apparently I spoke too soon, VW has her humor for the dreaded Wednesday up on this post. I guess I was just too impatient.

Posted by Contagion at 06:28 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 30, 2005

Sick child and a bath.

My wife received a call at work yesterday advising that Clone was sick. He had a fever of 103. (C’mon baby do you do more then dance… he’s hot blooded, hot blooded…. Er sorry) Last night, Clone had a 104 temperature when we put him to bed. When he woke up this morning he was at 101. Even with Tylenol, we can’t seem to break this fever. Thus today I am staying home with him. This is not a good time for me to miss work, but it’s a worse time for Ktreva. IE here I am at home with the grouchinator.

Right now he is watching Sponge Bob Square Pants… It could be worse; he could be watching the Wiggles. GAK! He’s also eating some yogurt. Which has been the only food we’ve been able to get him to eat in the last 24 hours. Hopefully he breaks this fever soon, I really don’t want to have to take him to the hospital.

Now that I have the sympathetic parent crowd hooked, I have a question for you. Whenever we bathe Clone, he does not like getting his hair wet. Oh, and when I say we, I mean Ktreva… I’ve bathed him once in the last 2.5 years. Well, when “we” put him in the bath he’s fine. He’ll play and roll around and splash… as long as his head doesn’t get wet. Once his head comes in contact with water, he freaks out.

We have no idea why. Looking back over the last 2.5 years I can’t remember a time when anything happened that would make him scared of water. Not once when he was submersed either intentionally or accidentally. We know that Boopie had similar issues when he was growing up, and kind of still does. What we are asking you, kind readers, is if this is normal? Do those of you that have or had kids go through similar issues with them? If any of you have any advice we would appreciate it. Thank you.

Also, it seems that my modem is dying. I have a new one being shipped to me, but I won't receive it for probably 2 days. That means my access to the internet is sporadic at best.

Posted by Contagion at 06:23 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 29, 2005


Yesterday I was sitting on the couch watching Blade Runner when Clone comes up and decides it is time to play “climb on Daddy”. This is a game that we both enjoy, more so when I’m not watching a movie. This game consists of him climbing up on my lap and then climbing until he is standing on my shoulders. To ease the minds of all the mothers and Child Protective Service people that read this, I hold onto his hips to make sure he can’t fall… too far. Part of the game is that when he gets up there he likes to “fall” backward to the ground. He doesn’t actually fall; I guide him gently to the ground. Once there I tickle him for a couple of minutes and the game starts over. We have played it this way for the last six months.

Until yesterday. Yesterday Clone makes his triumphant climb to the top of Mount Dad. This time he just stands there for a while looking around, balancing by himself on my shoulders. My hands are right there getting ready for him to fall backwards to guide him to the ground. For reasons unknown, instead of just leaning backwards, he jumps backwards. I’m not talking about a small kid jump, but an Olympic diver about to do a triple back flip jump. He jumped right out my hands.

Ancestors from days of yore smiled down upon him as they bestowed upon me the temporary grace and reflexes to be able to catch and lay him gently upon the floor. If I had missed, I could just see his little skull cracking open like a ripe watermelon being dropped onto concrete. Trying to tickle him longer then usual so my heart rate would slow down, I told him that he should NOT jump off daddy. He hasn’t done it since, and we did continue to play, but I was much more cautious with him when he started standing up there.

I think it’s great that he trusts me and has enough faith in my abilities to do such a stunt. However, I wish I had that much trust and faith in my abilities.

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August 27, 2005's how you say it.

Bou made a post regarding how some people will adapt their pronunciation of words and speech patterns to match those they are speaking. Ever since I can remember, I called this having an elastic voice. The individual’s voice will stretch to conform to those they are speaking. Sometimes this is a good thing because I feel it makes for smoother communication between two people from different regions. Then again, this can be a bad thing as someone may think you are ridiculing them. Bou refers to a story I told her about an incident that happened to me six years ago. This story explains why if you have an elastic voice, you may want to keep it in check.

Seven years ago, I started working for my current company as a Customer Service Representative. Most of my day was spent with me answering phone calls from customers (usually angry) and assisting them with their questions. Anybody that has been reading me for a while knows that I have a deep hatred of phones. It had already been issue by the time I started working here, but it has only gotten worse.

I was in my second season of re-enacting. At that time, we did more Elizabethan times Scots at most of the events. We had Renn Faires, Highland Games and Celtic fests that made up most of our schedule. For our shows, I was Seamus MacPhail, Lord Master of Arms. Most of the spoken words were mine. My days were filled with my rehearsing lines and giving speaking parts in a Scottish Brogue. (It’s a Burr if you want to be technical). To this day I’m very proud of the fact that I have six different regional brogues that I can speak in, from an easily understandable Lowland to a very thick, barely comprehendible Highland. When I’m at events, I tend to talk in a brogue for most of the weekend, especially if there is public around.

Whenever I hear someone with a Scottish accent, my first instinct is to kick into my brogue that best matches theirs. Since mainly this happens at a re-enactment it was never an issue. When you are answering calls at a customer service center, it is a problem.

I had been working as a customer service representative for about a year. I was in my third year of re-enacting. That was the heaviest scheduled year I have ever had. I would slip into a Scottish brogue if I heard someone on television use one. If Sean Connery were on the screen, I’d instantly go into one. You can imagine what happened when I was at work and took a call from a customer that had just moved here from Scotland.

Answering the phone in my normal voice, we started our conversation. Less then 30 seconds into the call, I’m in this thick Scottish brogue and I didn’t even realize it. The member interrupts what I was saying to him and angrily berates me for making fun of him. At this point, I realized what had happened. After spending about 5 minutes getting the customer calmed down I explained to him that I was a re-enactor, part of a group that Portrays Clan Chattan during the Jacobite Rebellions. This calmed the gentleman down due to his curiosity being peeked.

He started asking questions about what we did and where. When he moved from Scotland he never imagined that American’s of Scottish decent would still re-enact and portray that part of Scottish history here. By the time I finished explaining, he was laughing about the whole incident and understood how it could happen. When I asked him how my brogue was, he told me it was very good. I only had to clean up some vowel pronunciations. Other then that he told me I could have very easily passed as a Scot. With his help my brogue improved so much that I’ve had multiple Scots actually ask me where I was from at a re-enactment. After I helped him with his question, He even inquired he could join my group. Of course I said he could, unfortunately he lived in St. Louis and was too far away.

From that time on I always controlled my voice better. I still slip from time to time, like when we went on vacation to Kansas. My in-laws have a soft southern accent; I started to pick that up. Nevertheless, I have never slipped back into a brogue unintentionally.

Posted by Contagion at 12:06 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Painful white sauce dripping from my nose.

When eating hot pepper cheese dipped in Horseradish sauce, try not to sneeze. It causes for some very unpleasant feelings in the nasal passage. Just a word of advice.

Now I’m debating if snorting the iced tea I have will help.

Posted by Contagion at 10:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A Quiz for Saturday.

John Wayne
You scored 57% Tough, 4% Roguish, 28% Friendly, and 14% Charming!

You, my friend, are a man's man, the original true grit, one tough talking, swaggering son of a bitch. You're not a bad guy, on the contrary, you're the ultimate good guy, but you're one tough character, rough and tumble, ready for anything. You call the shots and go your own way, and if some screwy dame is willing to accept your terms, that's just fine by you. Otherwise, you'll just hit the open trail and stay true to yourself. You stand up for what you believe and can handle any situation, usually by rushing into the thick of the action. You're not polished and you're not overly warm, but you're a straight shooter and a real stand up guy. Co-stars include Lauren Bacall and Maureen O'Hara, tough broads who can take care of themselves.

Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the Classic Dames Test.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 95% on Tough

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You scored higher than 4% on Roguish

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You scored higher than 49% on Friendly

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You scored higher than 17% on Charming
Link: The Classic Leading Man Test written by gidgetgoes on Ok Cupid

Aptly stolen from Kathy of Cake Eater Chronicles.

Posted by Contagion at 09:06 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 26, 2005

Another reason to hate mowing.

For those of you that don’t follow the weather in Illinois, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t, we’ve been in an extreme drought. Of course the first time I heard that I thought the media was trying to get hip and was saying “X-Treme Drought” (Not only is it not raining here, but the government is putting up giant awnings to keep the rain away!) I mean c’mon everything is X-treme now. Even my deodorant offers an X-treme line. But I’m getting off point, that’s another post for another time.

Since we are not getting the rain, most of our lawns look like the dry plains of the Serengeti, all brown and withered. The grass just isn’t growing and I’m not one of those water the lawn type of guys. If you water it, it grows. If it grows, then you have to mow it. If you don’t want to mow your lawn and don’t care that your grass looks like some plagued wasteland, then you don’t water it. Once the local governments started putting a watering ban or limitation in effect, most people lost the option to water and their yards started to die slowly off anyway.

Just to make sure, and to appease my wife, I would check the lawn about once a week to see if it needed mowing. Right up until I went on vacation, I checked it weekly front and back to make sure. Even my wife didn’t feel it needed mowing. Then something happened.

When we returned from our vacation, I checked the back yard. There seemed to be enough growth to warrant mowing, unfortunately I was busy that week with a re-enactment and various appointments for me and the boys. I figured it could wait one more week. As I was loading up for my re-enactment I noticed the weeds seem to have flourished and where getting to a respectable height. Even the grass had started to grow pretty rampant. I figured we must have had quite a bit of rain while I was in Kansas.

While unloading from our event, I noticed the weeds where even taller and the grass grew some more. I knew it was time to mow the lawn. Looking at my calendar on Monday I noticed my only free night was Thursday. Promptly I informed my wife that I was indeed going to mow the lawn on Thursday. Operation Agent Orange was marked on the calendar.

Thursday comes, I send Boopie out into the yard with a trash bag, and a yard waste bag to pick up sticks and trash that has blown into my yard. Proceeding to my shed, I prepare my lawn mower for its duty. Having not mown the lawn since early June, some maintenance was required. I run down the list: Gas, check; Oil, check; Blade, Sharp enough to split atoms, check. Everything was ready to go.

As soon as I started mowing, I knew I was in for a fight. The grass, mainly weeds, had grown even more in that dry 4 days. Some of the weeds were almost hip high on me. The grass had started weaving itself together in some kind protective mat. Hitting one of these dense patches, I heard my 6.5 horsepower push mower engine start to struggle. What the hell?!?! We are in a draught. Nay, strike that… an extreme draught.

I fought my way through the front yard. Along my porch, some kind of funky vine had started to build up along it. Some of the weeds appeared to be small trees. TREES! When I tried planting a tree, I couldn’t get it to grow. Now that we are in a draught, the damn things are sprouting up on their own! Unbelievable!

After finishing the front yard, I headed into the back. Now the trouble began. Taking a close look at the grass, I notice that it is much taller then I had previously believed. I had the distinct feeling that something was stalking me through it. Maybe it was my imagination that a patch of weeds and grass moved in a wave as if a large predatory cat was silently stalking up to me. It was when I started my mower and a herd of deer jumped out of it and ran across my driveway I knew I was in trouble. Okay, maybe that was a little exaggerated… but the grass had grown a hell of a lot in the last 2 weeks!

My mower is really bogging down in the foliage that has overtaken my yard. I started contemplating buying gasoline to burn away the annoying vegetation. Then I realized that it was just too damn expensive to buy that much gas. No, I wasn’t worried about burning the house down… It’s insured.

Working my way through the yard, I started noticing the mower was becoming more difficult to push. When I stopped to check out why, I made a horrid discovery. The lawn was fighting back! A different kind of vine was attacking my mower, wrapping up in the wheels and entangling the blade. To make matters worse, it was attacking me! I kid you not, while I was working on the mower, vines started to entangle my feet and ankles. It was as if it knew who had caused the vegetation pain and was fighting back.

Hurriedly I finished working on the mower and went back to work. My feet kept pushing the mower on, quickly wiping out the vile plants. Boopie was following behind me raking up the clippings that didn’t make it into the bag. He kept complaining that the piles where pulsating like a heart that had been ripped out of someone’s chest, yet didn’t realize it was dead yet. Watching the pile pulsate, I told him it was his imagination.

After about an hour and a half and 2.5 times the number of lawn bags I normally use, I finished mowing the lawn. Both Boopie and I showed signs of our battle, small cuts and scratches on our arms and legs. It was at this point as we put the last of the yard bags into the alley Boopie asked me, “Dad, why didn’t you just burn it all away.”

Posted by Contagion at 04:48 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

What would you have done?

Let’s say that you were driving home. On a backstreet, you are stopped by a school bus dropping off 12-14 year old kids from school. Shortly after the bus leaves you, witness two kids get into a fight. One kid is about twice the size of the other kid. This might be a serious issue if either knew how to fight, but most of the kicks and punches are hitting air instead of the other person. When they do land a blow it’s not a solid hit so no real impact. The bus is gone; would you step in and break it up and why?

This exact scenario happened to me last night. I was waiting at the bus stop for Boopie to give him a ride home. As soon as I went to drive off, I saw these two boys off Boopie’s bus throw down their books in the middle of the road and start fighting. I put my vehicle in park, jump out of the door and head toward the boys. In my “I’m a pissed off authority figure voice” (Left over from Law Enforcement days) I holler: “You two, knock it off! Over here, NOW!” While saying that I’m pointing at both of them and then point to the ground right in front of me as I am walking toward them. Not once through this whole ordeal did I lay a finger on either boy.

Both of the boys stop fighting and start heading my way. They give me the story they where just play fighting. Any male out there that was ever in a fight as a kid can tell the difference between play fighting and real fighting. Play fighting you don’t swing so hard as to throw yourself off balance, because you don’t know how to fight. I’m trying to get both kids to come with me to talk to their parents.

The older kid points to a house just across the street. So I tell him, lets go talk to his parents. Then he changes which house he lives in. Apparently, he didn’t think I was serious. The younger kid told me he lived a couple of blocks over.

I knew there was no way to get both kids to stay with me, even though I tried. Deciding that I was going to talk to the bigger kids parents for a couple of reasons, I follow him to his house. I believe that the smaller kid’s mother works with me and I can talk to her at work. Also he seemed scared witless and I think I did enough damage that one close call may be all he needs to go straight. The bigger kid coped an attitude and was blatantly lying to me. He also appeared to be the instigator. His parents needed to be advised.

Sure enough as soon as I started walking off with the older boy, the younger one took off. Ktreva saw which way he ran, we tried looking for him later but couldn’t find him.

On the way to the bigger kid’s house, the story changed from play fighting to him defending his country. Apparently, the boy’s parents are from Russia and the younger kid made some disparaging comments about it. Now I have confirmation that it was not play fighting. When we get to his house, he goes in while I stay outside. I figured he’d lock the door and I’d have to ring the bell to talk to his mother or father.

After a couple of minutes, his mother comes to the door. After speaking to her briefly, and she did have an accent, I got the distinct impression that she didn’t care that her little boy was fighting with a kid half his size or that he was fighting at all. Maybe I wasted my time, maybe not. Maybe she was just pissed and didn’t want to say anything in front of me, which I can understand. If my kid were fighting, I would want someone to break it up and tell me what was going on. Maybe I’m the last parent that feels that way. Then again, maybe I’m the last adult that gives a shit about the future of our country anymore.

Let me tell you this, if I catch that kid fighting again I will have one more talk with him and his mother. Then I’m going to the police about it. This little punk had bully written all over him from his attitude to his stance. Maybe if someone nips it in the bud now he can straighten out before he gets himself into serious trouble later on.

What really gets me about this situation is that there where other adults that saw this happen and live right there and they did nothing. Most of them just turned their backs or watched. That really pisses me off people! We wonder why our kids are becoming degenerates and delinquents, maybe it’s because no one cares anymore. People will bitch about violence and sex in the media being the cause. Maybe it’s apathy toward how the kids behave. Well I care, and I’m not going to sit by idly.

So tell me, do you think I over stepped my boundaries and why?

Posted by Contagion at 01:03 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

August 24, 2005

Game Over.

Video games are not a major part of my life. Where I do enjoy playing them, I don’t generally spend hours every day doing so. There may be times when I spend a couple of hours here or there playing a game, and occasionally when I find one I like I do dedicate a couple weeks of my life to the completion of said game. When I finally beat a game, I tend to get bored with it and quit playing it. Sometimes I will reload it and replay it, but not with the fervor that I had originally played the game.

Right now, I am in a quandary, I need to find a new game to play and yet I am unable to find one. Most of the games I prefer to play are strategy style games such as WarCraft, StarCraft, Age of Empires/Mythology, and Command and Conquer. Occasionally I find a Role Playing Game that I like, such as Baldur’s Gate, but those are few and far between, but I’m willing to give them a chance with a strong recommendation. Yet I can’t find a good game to play. None of them look interesting and the handful of ones that I might be willing to give a try all need to be played online.

I REFUSE to buy an online video game.

If I’m purchasing a game to play, I should be able to play it with out having to subscribe to the service. What is the point of buying a game that you can’t play with out purchasing time to play it? That seems like a waste. Plus what if you buy a game and it goes out of style or never takes off. Now you have the risk of a game that has no platform to be played on. Moreover, I don’t want to have to deal with other people, be it online dorks or the casual gamer.

If you are going to play online, you pretty much need to be in from the beginning and be able to spend hours everyday playing in order to make your character formidable enough to withstand attacks from other players or get the limited items. Some people tell me that the new games aren’t like that, so that might be one issue they have resolved.

There is the fun of trying to find a group of like-minded players to go around to gather experience and equipment or complete missions. And you all have to be on at the same time. Eh… that’s too much work. I want to play, when I feel like it. Following my own schedule and not having to rely on anyone else or have anyone waiting for me.

Personally, I would rather load a game on my home computer and not have to worry about renting time or dealing with other people. I want to play at my pace and have my own fun. Yet, I seem to be the only one that wants to be that way. Maybe it’s time for me to give up on finding any game that is worth my time to play. Does anyone feel the same way I do?

Posted by Contagion at 04:36 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 23, 2005

It isn't all pretty!

Last weekend I participated in the Galesburg Heritage Days Festival. If you want to see some pictures and a thorough review of the high points go over to the Spoon and Blade and read the review of the event.

For my loyal readers, let me add a couple of stories that I didn’t include on the review over there.

Last year when Grau and LittlJoe flipped their canoe out in the middle of the lake, I gave them crap about it for most of the last year. In doing so I must have pissed off the poetic justice fairy. When Maeldun and I hit the water with the canoe all was well, then I swear to god I tripped on something under the water and down I went. I was soaked from head to toe, except for one shoulder. It was my turn to catch crap for falling in the stinky lake for the rest of the weekend. Fortunately I fell in on Sunday!

Ktreva didn’t sleep too well on Friday night. She tried to take a nap in the tent, unfortunately during a re-enactment that is very difficult to do, especially with two boys running around camp. When she came out of the tent, I was in the next camp talking to Will and drinking a beer… Yes it was 2 in the afternoon what’s your point? So what if there was still public there, my persona is surly Scotsman. I was just trying to play the part! Anyway… she came over and I told her she didn’t need to get up yet, this was the following conversation:

Ktreva: I can’t sleep.

Me: Just pretend I’m trying to have sex with you. You don’t seem to have a problem falling asleep then.

Ktreva: When you’re trying to have sex with me there usually isn’t a 2-year-old running around outside the door screaming, “Fire in the Hole”.

Me: Nope, that’s usually me yelling, “Fire in the Hole!”

This is one of the few events that actually have showers for the re-enactors to use. Ktreva went to take a shower and I watched the kids. When she came back she kept telling me I needed to go shower. Were as I promptly informed her, “Real men don’t shower out at ‘vous” and I asked Will to confirm that. A sheepish green spreads across his face and he says in a very feminine voice, “I’m a real man, and I took a shower”. Ktreva then told me that if I wanted to yell, “Fire in the Hole” later that night I better take a shower now… I showered for the first time at a ‘vous.

One of the root beer vendors in the Civil War camp was selling onion bottles filled with homemade root beer and fizzes for only $8.00. They are smaller mass produced onion bottles, but they will go well with my still. I ended up walking the ½ mile to the Civil War camp to purchase two of them. On Sunday I walked back with Boopie to refill them for $1.00… Damn their Cream Fizz was good.

For the first time ever I saw a fight break out between two re-enactors. I swear to god I thought one of them was going to stab the other with a tent stake. People that knew both of them settled it rather quickly and they kissed and made up… literally. I’m still a little skeeved by that. At least there was no tongue, if there had been I would have had to come home early.

There was an artist that participated in this event for the first time this year. He painted cow skulls with various designs. Virtue and Ktreva named him Ugg because he walked around wearing a caveman outfit. It was a leather loincloth and a leather half top poncho. The loincloth didn’t cover much at all; think of Tarzan. To make matters worse they guy was pasty white. He made fish belly look tanned. Sitting in front of his lodge (at least it was canvas) on a lawn chair wearing sunglasses he was trying to sell his “art”. Event People addressed this with him and he covered up the chair and put the glasses away. His skulls also had modern designs on it. I believe I heard he would not be back next year.

Faire Wynds was hired to perform at this event. They are a 17th century style circus. They had some really neat acts. On Saturday night they did a “Fire Show”. Even Clone settled down to watch the entire show. If you ever get a chance to see them perform, trust me it’s worth it.

We went over to see the night firing of artillery. This was in the Civil War camp and was quite a hike carrying a 2 year old. I wish I could say it was worth the walk, but Maeldun, Virtue, Ktreva, Boopie and I where very disappointed. Clone found it interesting, but it was loud and had fire, of course it was to him.

Clone did is normal scream on the way down and back. Which didn’t help the headache I had on Sunday.

Posted by Contagion at 08:27 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Wait... there's a war?

I try to stay away from posting on my political position or beliefs. There are many others that post on their beliefs, similar to mine, better then I ever could. Sometimes I leave a comment on someone else’s political post either agreeing or disagree with them. My beliefs run the full gambit of liberal and conservative, depending on the issue. I do tend to lean a lot more toward the conservative side. Some people, especially those who like to label, call me a republican. That I am not. I am an independent. My beliefs are more along the lines of individual rights of American citizens. Since my position on various topics doesn’t follow any party lines, I have no desire to delve into these controversial topics on my blog.

You can’t imagine how surprised I was when I opened my e-mail this morning and saw this simple e-mail:

”I am glad you are having fun now, because if we have a war, us young people will probably be drafted to fight for your oily waste”

That was it; there was nothing else to it. I wasn’t even sure what this was in reference. After some reflection, I figured that this person must have read a comment I had made on another blog regarding my love of driving my truck that averages about 12 mpg. Why this individual chose to single me out, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I was specific with the exact gas mileage I receive. Then again, maybe it’s because of my charming personality. Perhaps it’s even because I honestly love and enjoy my truck, and possibly this individual has a crappy hybrid that can’t haul crap or go on long highway trips. (To this day, I’ve never seen a hybrid on a major highway) Either way, they choose to e-mail me to complain.

Let me respond:

We are at war. I don’t know what hole you have lived in for the last 4 years, but we’ve been at war. Some people scream it is for oil, some say it’s for freedom. Personally, I like to believe that it’s because there are a bunch of people that just need to be killed over there. That’s right, I said it. I don’t care. I’ve believed for years that the Middle East should be turned into a giant sheet of glass. Those have been my exact words since I was in high school and old enough to have my opinions actually matter. Hell, we don’t even have to drop the bombs, we can pull out of the Middle East and when the Arab nations overrun Israel, then the Israelis can drop their own nuclear weapons.

Draft? Draft? Get out of the 70’s you hippy! There is no draft and there won’t be a draft. I’m sure you are referring to the mass e-mail that has been going around for months now regarding two bills being passed through congress. S.89 and H.R.163. First off, if you take the time to read these bills you will notice that it doesn’t require military service, just national service and it specifically states it does not have to be military. These bills were introduced by Democrats, not Republicans as many people believe, as a kind of anti-war protest. Secondly, these are old bills and old news. H.R. 163 was defeated in the house last October by an overwhelming number. In addition to that, many in the military do NOT want a draft. We currently have a voluntary military force, thus these are people that want to be there. They are highly trained and a high quality of soldier. You won’t get that in a draft. There is no reason to worry about being drafted. If you are still concerned about it, contact your religious leader and fill out a conscientious objector letter. On the off chance that a draft is actually called, you will have that to fall back on.

I am not an environmentalist. I half jokingly say my stance on the environment is, “Ignore it, it’ll go away.” I’m not going to waste my time nor insult your intelligence by explaining that joke. I am a conservationist. When I go camping or do outdoor activities I will leave the spots I was at in as good of condition or better then before I arrived. However, I like eating animals and burning wood. Realistically I understand that sometimes in order for the world to handle the population there needs to be urban growth. It is nature that will suffer when that happens. My “Oily Waste” doesn’t bother me. Why? Because enviro-nuts that do drive their hybrids, ride bikes or just plain walk everywhere make up for what damage I do. Moreover, for what I use my truck for, there is NO other vehicle that would get the job done. At least now, I’m only driving one vehicle to many of my re-enactments instead of two. Since you don’t know why I bought my truck or how I use it, you may not realize that in all actuality I’m saving on gas. This last weekend I drove a round trip of about 300 miles, I burned 23 gallons of gas. If I had my old Ford Ranger that received about 20 mpg with a load and my Minivan that receives about 26 mpg with a load, I would have burned 27 gallons of gas; not counting wear and tear on an extra vehicle. Damn those annoying facts always come back to bite you on the ass!

Most of the time my truck is driven maybe once or twice a week. I’ve owned it for 5 months and I have just over 2000 miles on it now. It was not purchased as an everyday vehicle; I even use synthetic oil in its large engine. It costs more, but I do that for the protection of the moving parts, not the environment.

For those of you that want to argue with me about my beliefs or stances on things. Waste your time. I’m pretty much set in my ways now. I’m a stubborn son of a bitch, I don’t see me reading something you write and saying, “Wait, you’re right… I’ve been wrong all these years.” Wings would sprout out of my ass and I’d fly around my office sprinkling the workplace with joy and love first.

Posted by Contagion at 06:27 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 19, 2005

Words of wisdom

Duct tape is like the Force--It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together


There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.


Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.


There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

and Finally

No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously

These words of wisdom were dutifully stolen from various sources.

Posted by Contagion at 11:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 18, 2005

Lunch time fun

Today for lunch, I decided to eat something I haven’t had in a long time. After speaking with my wife, we decided to hit a nearby restaurant to pick up some take out after we ran some errands. During our excursion, I was excited at the prospect of eating one of my favorite dishes. Even more appealing was watching people’s reactions to my eating it at work.

Sushi is one of those dishes that not everyone likes, or can stomach watching other people enjoy. Most of my minions fall into later category, they avert their eyes and cover their facess like it might magically leap off the tray and land in their mouths. This is part of the appeal of my getting sushi for lunch. I love walking around eating it; savoring the taste and texture, while people watching me in disgust. Their reaction makes the meal even better; it’s like a mental MSG that just enhances the flavor!

Today’s lunch was even better then I had anticipated. While ordering my normal spicy tuna rolls, I decided to get a couple of other items, White tuna and Shrimp. When the order came out, I checked the bag as I normally do with take out. Opening the bag, I peeked in and saw two shrimp heads peeking back up at me. Never before had I ordered the shrimp sushi from this restaurant before, thus I had no idea that when they make the shrimp, they fry the heads and serve it with the rest. The heads come complete with cloves for the eyes. To say I found this amusing is an understatement. I almost burst out laughing in the middle of the restaurant. I knew I was going to have fun with this one!

The two-block ride to work seemed to take an eternity. By the time I arrived at my desk I could barely contain my mirth and excitement over the ensuing hilarity. Since I had never ordered shrimp sushi from this restaurant before, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to eat the shrimp heads or not. While debating with myself on whether or not to eat it, I noticed that the heads appeared to be dipped in some kind of batter and fried. Okay, I decide that I should eat the shrimp heads.

Taking my tray of sushi, I start walking around; acting shocked and hurt when people will not accept my offer to try my sushi, especially the shrimp heads. By all that is good and right in the world I swear that one of my minions almost threw up upon catching site of the shrimp heads. Not all of my minions dislike sushi I do have a couple that genuinely enjoy it. When I came around to one of their desks, she took me up on the offer to have a piece. Right away, she noticed the shrimp head and asked if I was going to eat them. As if I knew what the hell I was talking about, I responded I was. She said she wanted to try the other one. All right, I have a partner in the shrimp head eating. She took one; I took the other and prepared to start eating.

The people sitting around her all stopped to watch. Looking at the shrimp head you could tell it still had the shell on… and the feelers and little legs where still attached. Yet the whole thing was battered and fried. I guess that technically doesn’t make it sushi, so I don’t know what the hell it was actually, but it came with my shrimp sushi (the tails over rice). Not sure exactly if how you are supposed to eat this, I just popped the whole thing in my mouth and crunched down on it.

My minions looked on in horror as if I had just eaten a baby. Apparently, the crunchiness of it made for interesting noises they could hear, which makes sense since the sound inside my head was deafening. One of my minions hurriedly turned her back on me and turned an interesting shade of green. Another squealed, “I can’t believe you ate that” Even my minion who likes sushi looked at me in horror. She was shelling the shrimp head and just eating the meat out of it. Multiple people uttered the phrase, “I think I’m going to be sick.” Me, I just smiled and pretended to enjoy it.

Yes, I said pretended. It was damn nasty. It crunched like… like… like hardened shrimp casings! I could handle the extra crunchiness, but the taste was horrible. It tasted like… like… like the smell around a commercial fishing pier. It also didn’t smell to pretty, it smelled like it tasted. Have you ever eaten something that as soon as you put it in your mouth you knew you where not going to enjoy it, no matter what? Well that was this shrimp head. Yet I continued to chew and swallow, I’ve eaten worse in my life.

Smiling the whole time while my brain screamed, “IF YOU DON’T GET THIS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH SOON, I’M GOING TO FORCE IT OUT FOR YOU!” Pretending to enjoy it, I swallowed. At this point my brain shouts out, “I meant spit it out, not swallow it… idiot!” My stomach handled it just fine; then again, my stomach probably was just happy there was food. After eating a couple of pieces of pickled ginger and a spicy tuna roll with extra wasabi, I was fine. My taste buds no longer had a residue of the vile tasting thing. My minions just watched mortified as I cheerily ate my sushi. The one that had the other head quickly threw it out stating she had lost her appetite.

I enjoyed the rest of my sushi immensely and I’ve been thinking about the shrimp heads. If I knew then what I know now, would I still eat the shrimp head? My answer would be yes, yes I would. Why? Just for the reaction, it was worth it!

Posted by Contagion at 04:03 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

August 17, 2005

Pregnant and Sexy?

While trying to get caught up from vacation on all of my blogging, I found this brief post about Victoria’s Secret not having maternity items over at Margi Lowry Dot Com. The first thing I thought was, "Why would they want to do that? It would be a waste of time." Pregnant women just are not sexy. I’m not saying they aren’t beautiful, because I find many pregnant women to be very beautiful, they just aren’t sexy.

Maybe I’m digging myself into a hole, but let me explain myself. I am now and always have been a very sexual guy; my wife often refers to me as a “Horn Dog”. Since we’ve been together, a day hasn’t gone by that I haven’t propositioned or touched my wife in a sexual way… except when she was pregnant. While pregnant, I felt my wife was the most beautiful women in the world. No other women in the history of the world compared to my wife. Sorry ladies. Yet I had no desire to have sex with her.

It wasn’t just in the last months; it was as soon as she was pregnant. It’s not just her, it’s any pregnant woman. Over the years, I have met many women. Before they were pregnant, they could be or do something I found sexy. As soon as they were with child, I found nothing about them arousing. Even super models and actresses that really work for me, loose their sex appeal as soon as they are impregnated.

Some of you will say this is just me, and you would be wrong. I’ve talked to many guys and a couple of lesbians, and most of the ones I’ve talked to agree with me. They just won’t admit it to a woman. Don’t lie, you know who you are. During Clone’s pregnancy, I tried to figure out why this occurs. I came up with two possible reasons.

The less likely of the two (in my opinion) is that it is a natural response to want to recreate procreate. There may be some kind of primal instinct in men that make pregnant women less sexually desirable. If a man is looking to mate with a woman, he is not going to want to waste his seed on a pregnant woman. The woman is already pregnant; he will need to go sow his seed elsewhere to produce an offspring.

I think it has more to do with pregnamones. What is a pregnamone you ask? Pregnamones are a hormone produced by pregnant females. This powerful hormone has many different side effects on both men and women. The most noticeable of its side effects is on younger women. When a pregnant woman gets around younger women, who are not pregnant, pregnamones will cause a desire to have children in the non-pregnant women. Some of you are calling bullshite on me right now. After working in an office with a majority of women, I have seen this in action numerous times.

There is always someone pregnant here. Shortly before one of the women here is about to give birth, at least one other announces they are pregnant. Before Clone, whenever one of my friend’s pregnant wives or a pregnant co-worker was around Ktreva, she would start talking about having kids. Then when she was pregnant, I could watch her get around other women and see the glint in their eyes about wanting to have kids of their own. Many a male friend of mine was annoyed by this. Especially one in general whose wife up to that point vehemently denied wanting children at all. After spending time with my wife she started talking about having a baby.

Pregnamones are also responsible to the lack of sexiness in a pregnant woman. Many people, other then myself, have noticed that when a women is pregnant she has a different and distinct scent. Before anyone told me, I outed two pregnant females because of their scent. They came up to talk to me and after a couple of seconds; I had to ask if they were pregnant. On both occasions they where and shocked that I knew since they hadn’t told anyone yet.

It is my belief that this scent is a byproduct of a pregnant woman’s emanation of pregnamones. It serves as a warning to males. It screams, “This woman is pregnant, back away slowly! Irrational behavior and an unstable emotional environment are active in this woman. Make sure you have plenty of chocolate and think twice thrice before you speak!” This warning also causes a flight response in the male, killing his sexual desire.

Right now some of your are nodding your head in agreement, others are shaking their head in disbelief. Either way, this is why Victoria’s Secret does not make lingerie for pregnant women.

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

Activate the wayback machine!

My lovely wife mailed off the paperwork for Trail of History yesterday morning. It’s not due for another couple of weeks, but I figured with everything else that is going on, I should get it in as soon as possible. After all the work and trouble I had to get into this event, I sure the hell don’t want to miss it because I forgot to mail in the paperwork!

I have the Galesburg Heritage Festival this weekend. Tonight I’m making sure all the equipment is packed and all the supplies purchased. With both boys coming, that is just more gear that needs to come with. Fortunately with my truck I can haul all we need in one vehicle, so we don’t need to caravan down with both my truck and my wife’s van. Especially since, it is about a 150-mile trip, that’s just extra gas I don’t need to be burning.

For food, we are going to be eating like kings again. Saturday morning my lovely and talented wife is making her special Scotch Eggs for us and a couple of friends that I promised could have some. Ktreva is going to make Ruble de thump, which is like colcannon. When we were on vacation, we picked up some meat from a smokehouse we found. We have landjager, pfefferwurst, pepperoni and pickled ham (Don’t knock the ham until you try it! Clone ate five huge serving spoonfuls of it at dinner one night). Sunday my wife is making her signature biscuits and gravy for breakfast. My wife makes some of the best biscuits and gravy I’ve ever had.

The trip down should be interesting. Even after vacation, Clone doesn’t like riding in vehicles. He does tend to riding in the truck better then the van. We aren’t sure why, the only thing we have come up with is that he likes sitting up that high. We thought maybe it was the car seat at first, but we put that into the van and he still didn’t ride well. To make matters even more difficult on us, the major highway I need to take is under construction. I’m currently trying to find an alternative route that will help cut down the time on the road. The toll way happens to be the best and quickest way. Being stuck at 45-55 mph isn’t going to exactly speed up the trip. After all is done, tonight I’m sitting down with my maps, a calculator, measuring devices and paper to calculate my best routes.

Posted by Contagion at 03:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 16, 2005

Bootlegging... denied!

After doing much research and with a couple of tips via e-mail, this is what I've found via the BATF.

Budwieser actually had a good article on it, and I couldn't paraphrase it better, so I'm copying what they said:

Distillation of Alcohol and Stills

Under Federal rules administered by ATF, the legality depends on how you use a still. You may not produce alcohol unless you qualify as a distilled spirits plant (see ATF FAQ's page at their web site.) However, owning a small still and using it for other purposes is allowed. You should also check with your State and local authorities - their rules may differ.

A still is defined as apparatus capable of being used to separate ethyl alcohol from a mixture that contains alcohol. Small stills (with a cubic distilling capacity of a gallon or less) that are used for laboratory purposes or for distilling water or other non-alcoholic materials are exempt from our rules. If you buy a small still and use it to distill water or extract essential oils by steam or water extraction methods, you are not subject to ATF requirements. If you produce essential oils by a solvent method and you get alcohol as a by-product of your process, ATF considers that distilling. Even though you are using and recovering purchased alcohol, you are separating the alcohol from a mixture -distilling.

Under regulations in part 170 of title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, ATF has the right to require manufacturers of stills to give them the name and address of each customer. If they choose to impose this requirement, they inform the manufacturer of the stills by letter.

Some people are under the misconception that all home alcohol production is illegal. Below are the legal guidelines for home production of beer and wine.

Sec. 24.75
Wine for personal or family use

(a) General. Any adult may, without payment of tax, produce wine for personal or family use and not for sale.
(b) Quantity. The aggregate amount of wine that may be produced exempt from tax with respect to any household may not exceed:
(1) 200 gallons per calendar year for a household in which two or more adults reside, or
(2) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one adult residing in the household.
(c) Definition of an adult. For the purposes of this section, an adult is any individual who is 18 years of age or older. However, if the locality in which the household is located has established by law a greater minimum age at which wine may be sold to individuals, the term ``adult'' will mean an individual who has attained that age.
(d) Proprietors of bonded wine premises. Any adult, defined in Sec. 24.75(c), who operates a bonded wine premises as an individual owner or in partnership with others, may produce wine and remove it from the bonded wine premises free of tax for personal or family use, subject to the limitations in Sec. 24.75(b).
(e) Limitation. This exemption should not in any manner be construed as authorizing the production of wine in violation of applicable State or local law. Except as provided in Sec. 24.75(d), this exemption does not otherwise apply to partnerships, corporations, or associations.
(f) Removal. Wine produced under this section may be removed from the premises where made for personal or family use including use at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions, such as home winemaker's contests, tastings or judgings, but may not under any circumstances be sold or offered for sale. The proprietor of a bonded wine premises shall pay the tax on any wine removed for personal or family use in excess of the limitations provided in this section and shall also enter all quantities removed for personal or family use on ATF F 5120.17, Report of Bonded Wine Premises Operations.
(Sec. 201, Pub. L. 85-859, 72 Stat. 1331, as amended (26 U.S.C. 5042))
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1512-0216)
[T.D. ATF-299, 55 FR 24989, June 19, 1991, as amended by T.D. ATF-338, 58 FR 19064, Apr. 12, 1993; T.D. ATF-344, 58 FR 40354, July 28, 1993]

This was last updated on September 17, 1999

Sec. 25.205
Production of Beer

(a) Any adult may produce beer, without payment of tax, for personal or family use and not for sale. An adult is any individual who is 18 years of age or older. If the locality in which the household is located requires a greater minimum age for the sale of beer to individuals, the adult shall be that age before commencing the production of beer. This exemption does not authorize the production of beer for use contrary to State or local law.
(b) The production of beer per household, without payment of tax, for personal or family use may not exceed:
(1) 200 gallons per calendar year if there are two or more adults residing in the household, or (2) 100 gallons per calendar year if there is only one adult residing in the household.
(c) Partnerships except as provided in Sec. 25.207, corporations or associations may not produce beer, without payment of tax, for personal or family use.
(Sec. 201, Pub. L. 85-859, 72 Stat. 1334, as amended (26 U.S.C. 5053))

This was last updated on September 17, 1999

Sec. 25.206
Removal of beer

Beer made under Sec. 25.205 may be removed from the premises where made for personal or family use including use at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions such as homemaker's contests, tastings or judging. Beer removed under this section may not be sold or offered for sale.
(Sec. 201, Pub. L. 85-859, 72 Stat. 1334, as amended (26 U.S.C. 5053))

Sec. 25.207
Removal from brewery for personal or family use.

Any adult, as defined in Sec. 25.205, who operates a brewery under this part as an individual owner or in partnership with others, may remove beer from the brewery without payment of tax for personal or family use. The amount of beer removed for each household, without payment of tax, per calendar year may not exceed 100 gallons if there is one adult residing in the household or 200 gallons if there are two or more adults residing in the household. Beer removed in excess of the above limitations will be reported as a taxable removal.
(Sec. 201, Pub. L. 85-859, 72 Stat. 1334, as amended (26 U.S.C. 5053))

That means there will be no making of whisky in my house. I kind of figured as much, but now I know. This sucks as I was starting to really want to try it out.

Posted by Contagion at 12:56 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 15, 2005

If a squirrel craps in the woods...

...would anyone see it?

Chuck of Diary of a Fat Boy brought up an interesting question. Do squirrels shite? I honestly can say I never saw one actually shite before and with the number that roam my back yard, that is an amazing feat.

Have you ever seen a squirrel unload it's bowels before?

Posted by Contagion at 07:18 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

It must be the DNA injections.

During our vacation, we stayed in a motel a couple of nights. On one of the nights, we had the neighbors from hell. We don’t know how many people were in the room, but I know there had to be at least three, a mother and two kids. From the sounds of their voices, the oldest child couldn’t have been over five. By the time, they checked in and arrived at their room it was after 10:00 PM.

The kids instantly start screaming and yelling. The mother, sounding like the kids had been doing this all day, starts yelling at them. They are pounding on the walls, slamming drawers shut on the dressers and jumping on the beds. Kids will be loud; they cry and just make noise. Having a two and a 12 year old, I understand and can over look that. Adults yelling and slamming drawers, letting kids pound on the walls and jump on the bed, I cannot abide by. There are certain courtesies and etiquette one follows when staying in a hotel or motel.

This would go on for a couple of minutes before stopping. As soon as I would fall back to sleep, they would start again. After a while, I had finally had enough and jumped out of bed to throw some clothes on and see if I couldn’t gently persuade them to shut the hell up! Just as I sat up to do something, my wife leaps up in the bed. With hair flying, she pounds on the wall as hard as she can. With her head flailing between the blows, she hollers out “SHUT THE f#&K UP!”

Stunned, I slowly turn to look at my normally serene and peaceful wife. Her eyes are bugged out, her hair wildly disarrayed, her lips peeled back to show her gritted teeth, a mask of anger had fallen over her beautiful face. Informing her that I was getting ready to head over and “talk” to the neighbors, she responded with, “I couldn’t take it anymore.” I guess I’m starting to rub off on my wife

Posted by Contagion at 05:58 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Watchin' out for the revenuers.

It’s time for my next re-enactment. Before you say anything, yes I realized I just got back in town and I’m leaving again. We are really looking forward to this weekend. I know I say that before every re-enactment that I do, but it’s true. If we didn’t enjoy doing it, we wouldn’t.

My new still will not be coming with for this event. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that Trail of History will be the first time I take it to an event. There are other supplies I need before I can demonstrate with it. Mainly I need oak barrels and kegs for the mash and finished product, or at least a facsimile of the finished product. Due to various Federal, State and local laws I won’t be making whisky at the events. There also won’t be enough time for me to make real whisky at an event. I have to give the mash time to ferment and I can’t do that in 2-day weekend. While I could always have the mash fermenting at home and transport it to the events, I decided not to do that either. I could just see me spilling the mash all over my other gear. I’m just not willing to risk it.

I do need to do some research into the legality of actually distilling in Illinois. My research to this point ended with my confirming that just owning a still is not illegal, and since I’m using it for educational purposes, I’m also covered. However, if I decided I wanted to try actually to make some whisky one time, can I? Right away, some of you are going to say yes, and tell me I can make up to a certain amount. Different people have given me various amounts I can make for personal consumption. My response to that is; where can I find this in the law? There are three distinct different ways to make alcohol, brewing, fermenting and distilling. I’ve found legislation on brewing and fermenting (making beer and wine); however, I have found nothing on distilling, yet.

There is also the fun issue that each state may have a different law on distilling. What you can do in West Virginia may not be the same as here in Illinois. Plus, once you get inside the state, there is always the possibility that a local ordinance restricts you even further. What I’m mainly concerned about is the Federal and Illinois state law. Local ordinances are something I can contact the city attorneys about details. What I don’t want to do is contact the State’s Attorney’s office regarding this with out prior information on the law. Why bring down unwanted attention on myself if I don’t have to?

To be honest I haven’t searched very hard yet. There is plenty of time for me to do so before I even think of actually starting the process. However, I figured that on the chance one of my readers already knows this answer and can point me in the right direction, I would use that resource first.

Posted by Contagion at 05:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 14, 2005

Shinin' at the Kames!

What a way to be welcomed home! While we were away I had put a stop on my mail with a return to normal delivery on the 13th. Yesterday I saw the mailman walk past and not deliver a thing; I figured that maybe I had put the wrong date for delivery to resume. A short while later I see mailman pull up in his truck in front of our house. Out he steps with a huge bundle of mail and a large box.

There were two items that I was really excited about. The box was my still! I officially have my copper still. It’s a little smaller then I thought it would be, however for what I’m going to be using it for, it’s a nice size. It’s only two gallons (like I ordered), but it’s nice and portable. I’m officially a shiner now! (Does happy dance!)

The other is my acceptance into the Trail of History event. After my resignation from Clan Chattan back in June, this was one of the events I wasn’t sure I would be able to get back into. They are invite only and you have to petition for an invitation. When I picked up the envelope from the McHenry County Conservation District, I could feel our photos in it. I did not take that as a good sign. Upon opening it up and reading that they wanted us to participate, I was ecstatic! We are going back to Trail of History, as independents this time! (No small feat) This was going to be one of the harder of two events that I want to do to get into. If I can get into this one, then I’m sure I can get into the other.

I just wanted to share that with everyone, because I know some of my readers are curious as to whether or not I was getting in. Now I’m off to fill out the paperwork!

Posted by Contagion at 11:47 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

My vacation.

I survived the family vacation. It was interesting there were some good points and some bad points. For the sake of brevity I am going to highlight some of the most memorable parts of my vacation, both good and bad.

The world’s largest truck stop is on I-80 in Iowa. We stopped there just to check it out. Yep, it’s a mighty big truck stop.

There is a place in Iowa called the Amana Colonies. It is about 30 minutes north northwest of Iowa City. This place is a really neat rural community with a rich history. The food is excellent (heavily German influence), they have all kinds of specialty industries including wool weaving, wine making, beer brewing, meat processing, etc. I will go out on a limb and say I had some of the best beer I have EVER (better then Guinness in my opinion) had from the local brewery, an oatmeal stout. I brought home two one liter bottles of it for my next weekend re-enactment. At their woolen mill we were able to pick up a historically correct wool blanket for our re-enacting for only $59.00.

Clone needs to work on his restaurant etiquette. We really need to get him to stop yelling at the top of his lungs things like; “I go potty” and “Momma, you go potty”.

While in a nice family restaurant in the Amana Colonies, Clone was coloring when he dropped a crayon. At which point he proceeded to yell out, “DAMMIT!” I don’t know where he learned such language. I blame my wife.

Kansas City sucks. This is the worst city I have ever been too. There are 3 major highways through/around Kansas City, and they feel it is completely appropriate for them to completely close down two of them at the Missouri River to work on the bridges at the same time. Our hotel was right at one of the last exits before the bridge was closed on the highway we wanted. We planned our alternate route that night before going to bed only to discover the next day that highway was also closed. I was more then a little miffed.

People in Kansas City do not eat in restaurants unless it is fast food or at the Casino. We spent an hour driving around looking for a decent sit down restaurant and couldn’t find one. Finally I went back to the hotel and asked the clerk where I could go find a decent restaurant. The clerk went on to say that I could take my family to either the casino or a sports bar. I felt so trashy taking my 2 and 12 year old to a casino to eat mediocre food.

We spent half of a day in Independence, MO, the launching point of the Santa Fe, Oregon and California Trails west. We went to multiple museums and soaked up a lot of history about early pioneers and settlers. If you like history or just want to do something educational on a vacation, this is an interesting town. It’s also where the Harry Truman library and Museum is. While touring the Frontier Trails Museum my wife made an interesting observation. In a lot of their displays about mountain men and frontier travelers they had replica items. From our re-enacting, we own many of those replica items and or know where which retailer they bought them through, especially the ink packets labeled “Jas. Townsend”. This was consistently the case at every museum and historic center we went to that had displays ranging from the 1700’s through the 1880’s Does this mean my house is a museum?

My wife has been lying to me for years. She grew up in Wichita, KS and has told me for years that Kansas is flat and has no trees. We drove through some pretty hilly areas covered in forest. We did come to spots where there was not a tree in site, however it was still rolling hills.

If I really wanted to quit my job and do living history full time, there are plenty of places for me to find a job. The pay is pretty bad however.

At the Zoo in Wichita, animals like to get right up to the glass. This makes for some really neat picture opportunities.

Wichita has a really neat Living History center, Old Cow Town. This is one of the best-recreated towns I’ve seen. Even on a weekday they have re-enactors peppered through out the town to talk to the people. They even had the saloon open and running, however you could not get a whiskey there, no matter how hard I tried. There was even period pr0n on the walls!

While at Old Cow Town, the boys decided they needed guns. I ended up buying Boopie two six shooters and Clone a Derringer. These being my boys, they ended up getting into a gunfight IN the church.

They had a fur trapper/hunter section in the town. After the living historian finished her speech about the display, I politely explained I’m a re-enactor and she had some of her information wrong. I corrected her on the use of a couple of items and even cited sources for the information. She seemed generally appreciative of my information. She was also rather annoyed by her inability to answer a couple of my questions. No matter how tempting it was to quiz her, I didn’t. My questions where all legitimate ones that I didn’t know the answer two.

In the small Kansas town of Hutchinson is located the Cosmosphere and Space Center. This impressive center also houses a museum on space flight and holds a large collection of rocket and space artifacts from the back up Sputnik satellite to the actual Apollo 13 capsule. I’ve been to the Smithsonian and Cape Kennedy; this place rivals them. It is located about 45 minutes northwest of Wichita, if you are ever in the area you would be doing yourself a disservice by not stopping by. We attempted to see a couple of shows; I however had to miss two of them. Clone would start getting loud and crying and I had to take him out of the theater. We figured this would happen, so I was prepared. I wish I had been able to finish the I-max movie on fighter pilots, as that was interesting.

We went to a chuck wagon supper at the Prairie Rose. The food was great. There was also a cowboy song/story show that went with it. Clone would not sit still or be quiet for the show. I ended up having to take him outside so he could run around. Boopie joined us shortly after. I just could not get Boopie to go back in and try to give the show a chance. He kept saying he didn’t like country music. Even after explaining to him this was the other kind of music, western, he still would not go back in. When clone finally settled down I took him back in and actually was able to see part of the show. These guys where good. After three songs Clone was back to his old tricks and I had to take him out again. This time Boopie decided to stay to watch the show. He liked it so much he ended up buying a CD and having the cowboys autograph it. Dad knows best!

Clone did scream a lot during the drive. If any of you had stock in Advil and noticed that it’s value skyrocketed; it’s because I was popping it like pez.

West of the Mississippi they have gas stations called Kum & Go. Words cannot begin to describe the juvenile levels of mirth I had with that name.

During the whole trip I was constantly speeding. I passed many more people then I was passed. Doing some quick calculations, I figure that for every 500 vehicles I passed, one car would pass me. Yet I did not get pulled over once. There were a couple of close calls.

I’m sure I forgot something, there was so much that happened.

UPDATE: Per request, here's a picture of the Kum N Go sign. Yes, I'm juvinile enough to get a picture.

Posted by Contagion at 11:11 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 05, 2005

See you in a week!

That’s it folks, I’m out of here! I’ll see you all in a week! I’m sure most of you won't even notice I’m away while others will wander aimlessly around looking for stuff to destroy. I’d recommend looking in the nightstands. ;)

I contemplated turning over the keys to the blog for a guest poster. The more I thought about it, the less I liked that idea. Most of the people I would have asked to do a guest post or two I either wouldn’t trust with the keys or wouldn’t want to touch this dark hole in the basement of the internet. (Hey, it’s ugly but it’s mine!) And that really is the main reason I didn’t ask someone to guest blog, this is my blog. I don’t want to share. There is some satisfaction in knowing that I did this by myself.

Just in case someone decides to throw a party here in my absence, I left some party favors out.

Big Boom Fun!
Click to enlarge

I hope you have a blast!

Posted by Contagion at 01:41 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

Why blogs suck

When I first started this blog, I did it for three reasons. One of them being an outlet for just general crap that I have going on. Over the last 8 months, I’ve found this a good place to spout off on the occasional thing that bothers me. Unfortunately, I have a post I wrote that I really want to publish, yet I can’t. There is an issue that I really need to get off my chest, yet I don’t dare post it. Why? Because I’m afraid of three things.

A) That someone will read it and think that I’m talking about them, and I’m not. A mistake like that can damage a relationship be it friend or family. This post is about a very specific set of people. I can’t get into too much detail because it’s just not necessary and I don’t want to list specific names. However depending on how an individual reads it, they could very easily slide themselves as one of the persons of my ire. Even you casual readers that accidentally stumbled on this page while looking for the phrase, “Squirt my wife.” (I’ve been getting a crap load of hits for that)

2) The persons that I write it about will read it and know it is about them. I’m not about to say anything to these individuals, it’s not my place; I just want to vent. As it stands right now, I’m not sure if all of them read this blog on a regular basis let alone know of its existence. I believe that one of them does and reads it at least 3-4 times a week.

D) Even if I am wrong and they don’t know of this blogs existence, someone who knows them and me will say something to the individuals about what I wrote. Thus, it gets back to them. The last thing I need at this point is anymore of a strain in the relationship I’m having with them.

All I want to do is really vent at this point, yet I can’t. That really pisses me off because it defeats the purpose of having a blog. Where I am not a person that lets anything bother him for long periods of time, this has been eating away at my soul like a cancer for the last three weeks. There hasn’t been a loss of sleep over it, just a lot of daytime pondering.

I thought that if I wrote the post, and just saved it, that would do the trick. Nope, not at all. There is no satisfaction in that. It’s like buying the car of your dreams and leaving it in the garage, never taking it out and never going for a ride. You can look at it and know it’s yours, but you don’t actually enjoy it. My rant is written, linked, and saved in a safe place. The thought of saving it as a draft crossed my mind, however I was afraid I’d accidentally post it. GAH! (Bangs head against the desk).

This must be one of those problems that I need to hold in to make it go away on its own. Just push it down deep into the recesses of my soul that I save for other issues I have no way to cope with. Not having had to do that in over 8 years, I don’t know if I can do it again.

Posted by Contagion at 06:30 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

August 04, 2005

Family Vacation fun?

Tonight we are packing the van for our trek to Wichita Kansas. We are taking it nice and slow. Leaving Rockford around 1:30 tomorrow afternoon and only traveling to Iowa City, IA. Saturday we are heading to Kansas City and spending the night there. Finally, on Sunday we will arrive in Wichita. We are doing it in short legs on the way there because of Clone. That boy has not gotten any better at riding in vehicles. Many of you have given me advice on how to deal with Clone’s hatred of all things car. My only wish is that some of it would have worked. Everything we’ve tried to this point has been a failure.

Part of packing tonight is going to be a huge bottle of Advil and some left over oxycotin I have from a knee injury two years ago. I know, I know… but I don’t have the contacts to get morphine. That’s a joke people, I don’t have any oxycotin left, and I sold that last year. j/k. There is going to be toys, books, snacks, drinks and even a new seat just to try to appease “Scream Master C” (Clone’s street name if he was a rapper). The drive down there and back is the part I’m dreading the most. I wonder if it is too late to have a soundproof barrier built into the van.

I’m not sure if any of my readers live in the areas that I am heading. If you are and want to get together, e-mail me and we’ll work something out. Other then a handful of people, I think most of my regular readers are east of the Mississippi river. If I’m wrong, call me out on it.

Once we arrive in the hot, oh so hot, Wichita (It’s been getting over 100 the last couple of weeks!), we are spending 5 days with my in-laws. My wife will be showing me around her old haunts, she grew up in and around Wichita. This vacation is mostly so my wife’s family can spend some time with her and the kids. As far as I know, we aren’t doing any type of touristy/site seeing activities. If I’m lucky maybe my wife will let me stop at a spot on the Missouri where Lewis and Clark set up camp 200 years ago and snap a couple of pictures. Then again, I’m not sure how far out of the way that will take me and if I really want to drive that much extra with Clone.

Then on the return drive, we are zipping back the same way we came (quickest possible route). Except this time, we are doing it in only two days, with a stay in Des Moines, Iowa. Afterwards I’m expecting that I’m not going to want to get into a vehicle with my family anytime in the near future. That won’t be possible, as on the 19th I have to drive them three hours to a re-enactment down state. I’m a glutton for punishment.

Posted by Contagion at 04:18 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Karmic Revenge

The karmic wheel of justice came around and slapped me with a practical joke last night. Yesterday I had to cover the evening shift, meaning the earliest I was able to leave work was 6:10 pm. Usually I go home around 3:30 pm. I ended up not getting home until well after 7:00 pm due to an incident that happened at work. On my home, some girl who looked to be between the age of 12 and 19 driving a small mid-90’s Honda pulls out in front of me. Not going in the same direction, but perpendicular to me as if she was crossing the street. I had seen her pull up to the intersection and stop, for some reason I kept an eye on her. I was on a four lane main road, and she was coming off a side street. When I was about three car lengths in front of her, the stupid girl tried to commit suicide by Silverado. She pulled out, I slammed on my brakes, and my truck came to a bouncing stop. If you have ever driven a truck with no weight in the bed, you know what I’m saying. The back end bounces when you stop hard. The stupid girl slammed on her brakes too, stopping right in front of me. The car that was in the lane next to me also stopped hard, poor lady looked like she was about to have a heart attack. When all vehicles where stopped, I could not see the girls face. She was so close to me that she could reach out her window and easily touch the grill on my truck. When someone in a little Honda is that close to the huge front end of my truck, I can barely see the roof of the car.

Two things crossed my mind the second this girl pulled out. First being, “She’s not going to survive this.” The mass, angle of impact and speed of my truck versus her car would have sent her rolling down the street like a freshly kicked soccer ball. The second was, “I don’t even have 2,000 miles on this truck yet!!!!!” I wasn’t worried about any physical injury to myself. I’ve investigated enough accidents between vehicles of comparable size differences. The bigger vehicle always wins, always. Fortunately, it was a near miss and I only lost some of the life span of my brakes and tires. Although, since my windows were down, the girl did learn some new colorful phrases and words. Then, to top things off, the stupid little git just drove off with out even an apologetic wave or mouthing, “I’m sorry.” On the off chance you find this post and are reading it, I hope you loaded your pants!

When I get home, I’m now hungry, tired, irritated and annoyed. There was a minor snafu with dinner, which didn’t help my mood any. Since we are leaving for Kansas on Friday, we have not done a lot of grocery shopping; we don’t want food spoiling in the house. By the time I found something to make for myself and start cooking it, it was almost 8:00 pm. That is where the huge karmic practical joke kicked in.

I’m at the stove cooking when all of a sudden the lights dim. Not a slight dim, but to the point that you can see a faint glow from the light bulbs. Our electric stove shows that it is on, but the burners aren’t on. Laughingly I make a smart arse comment about how it figured we’d have a brown out that night. Then we notice that all the power in the neighborhood is on and we really have partial power. In the kitchen the refrigerator, microwave work fine, the stove kind of works, the lights are dim and nothing else is working. In our office, I can turn on the computer, desk lamp and window fan, but the overhead light doesn’t work. In the living room, the window fan and desk lamps work, but nothing else does. Upstairs the window AC unit and TV work, but the overhead doesn’t. It was sporadic and didn’t make any sense. Most of these items are on the same circuit with something that is working. My wife says she thinks it’s the fuses. I tell her if a fuse goes out, then you have no power not a trickle of power. Moreover, we have circuit breakers.

To appease my wife I head down to check out the power box while I send her to make sure the neighbors aren’t having the same problem. I had contacted ComEd to report the brown out earlier. In the basement, I’m looking at the circuit breakers and they all look fine. Just to make sure I start flipping them one at a time. My wife is telling me which lights are going off and coming back on. After finishing that, any lights working before still worked, however anything that was “browned out” now was dead. WHAT THE HELL!?!?!?!? Roaming around the house, I’m trying to figure out what is going on. This makes no sense.

Back into the dark depths of my basement I go. Now I need to give you a little background on my house. It was built in 1912; originally, it did NOT have plumbing and electricity. Electricity was added sometime in the 1920’s. In the 70’s a new furnace was put in to replace the old gas converted coal furnace. When they did that, they updated the electrical box in the house. Instead of taking out the old one, they put a second one in at that time, which brought it up to code. Our electricity flows through two boxes. It’s goofy, it’s illogical, but it’s not unheard of and it does follow the electrical code. Electricity flows into my house first through the old box, then the new box, then to the various outlets. Opening the cover to the original box, I look at the old screw in fuses in there. They all are okay, nothing wrong. I flip the lever on the main line in, killing power to the entire house. When I flip it on, no difference then when I turned it off.

By now, my anger level is reaching a peak. None of this makes any sense. I call my father who is a plumbing and electrical engineer to come over and give me a hand. While he is on his way over, I go back to the old power box. Reopening the cover, I take a second harder look at it. Right above the fuses there are two black squares about 4 inches wide and 5 inches tall each. This time I notice on each of these ancient electrical artifacts it says On and Off, except the off is upside down. There is a metal handle on each one. It is a handle, NOT a lever. After a quick inspection, I realize that each square is actually some kind of cartridge that is meant to be pulled out and flipped over to turn on/off power to the house. I’m not familiar with this electrical lay out, but at this point I figure there isn’t a whole lot more damage I could do. Grabbing the handle of one of the cartridges, I notice it feels hot. That’s not right. Bracing myself for a jolt of electricity and using more muscle then I thought I would need, I pulled the cartridge out…

Sounds… Funny sounds… it sounded like… like… the scene in Ghostbusters when they shut down the containment field on the ghost storage unit. I was waiting for there to be a green glow and the dead guy from the wall (That is a story for another time) to come out and tell me it was about damn time I freed him from his prison. Then my wife yells down that there is no power in the house. My flippant comeback to her was, “No shit, really?!?!” I hear her smart something off, but I couldn’t quite make out what it was. Then it was silent, eerily silent. I’m in this old limestone basement of a house with no power, a dead guy in the wall and I’m by myself. Talk about being a happy man, I was in my element! However, I was hungry.

Looking behind the cartridge, I see there is two huge cylinders about 5 inches long and a little thicker then my thumb. I’ve seen these before… IN FRANKENSTEIN MOVIES FROM THE 50’S! There is no way to tell if these ancient fuses are blown by looking at them. My father finally arrives and we flip the fuses. When I plug the cartridge back in, the parts that had electricity was dead, the parts that didn’t now do. It’s now 10 minutes to 9 pm. We quickly run to the hardware store and pick four of them up. I figured I should change the two in that cartridge at the same time and have two extras, just in case. We get home, change the fuses and plug in the cartridge. WE HAVE POWER!

My father looks at the electrical in my house and confirms what I had been thinking. My electrical is damn goofy. That fuse should never have blown. Sometime, probably in the 50’s or 60’s they reworked the interior of that fuse box. The power to my house actually goes in through these tube fuses, then through the screw fuses, and THEN through the circuit breakers. I have a triple redundant fuse system. They installed the screw fuse portion so they wouldn’t have to deal with a blown tube fuse. Then we have the circuit breakers so we shouldn’t have to worry about blowing a screw fuse. That means that I should trip a circuit before I blow a screw fuse, and I should blow a screw fuse before I blow a tube fuse. At least that is the theory of it. What is sad is that I’ve tripped the circuit breakers before and never had this problem. I guess the fuse just got old. It was pretty late before I actually got to eat dinner last night.

Posted by Contagion at 01:11 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 03, 2005

I'm a naughty boy!

My life is rated NC-17.
What is your life rated?

Blatantly stolen from CalTechGirl

Actually I think someone is giving me more credit then I deserve. I don't think my life is all that.... interesting.

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

Life and prison.

This has been an absolutely strange day. Not, bad, just strange in a “that never happens” kind of way. There are so many stories I would love to share with you, unfortunately due to various reasons I cannot. The biggest reason being that two of the better stories would violate federal law. Some people might find prison blogging amusing; I however am not one of them. The next biggest reason is that some of the people involved know about this blog and check it out occasionally, or I’m afraid they will find out about it and read what I had written. No good would come from that either way.

This Friday I am leaving for my vacation. My wife and I are taking the kids to visit her relatives in Wichita, Kansas. While we are passing through Iowa, I have the opportunity to meet a guy from one of my football message boards. He’s a Green Bay fan that lives in Iowa. Since we were swinging that way, I thought it would be nice to put a face to his name/handle.

Last week I worked up the nerve to put in for another promotion at work. Apparently, I’m doing well enough in my current position in the mentoring area. My manager put pressure on me to apply for a supervisory position that opened up. That does mean direct reports. While I’m not sure I’m quite ready for it, I figure what does it hurt to apply. What is the worst thing that will happen? They say no. Then I’m in the same position I was in if I didn’t apply, I don’t have the promotion. I’d rather try and not get it then to not try and never know.

Football season is right around the coroner. Preseason starts here shortly, and the camps began last week. I’m ready for football; I need it. Maybe this year I can get more participation in my pool and salary cap league (It’s like fantasy football only easier) then I did last year. Both are run through Yahoo, so you have to have a Yahoo account. Last year I ended up winning the pool, so I’m not complaining. It’s just more fun if you have more people playing. If you are interested, leave me a comment and I’ll send you and invite. If you don’t have a Yahoo account, you can create one free.

Damn, I wish I could tell you a couple of my stories. They are all that is going through my head right now. That makes it hard to post.

Posted by Contagion at 07:32 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 02, 2005

Mortar Maiden of the Month!

Over at The Spoon and Blade we have up the latest Mortar Maiden.

Skye, a friend of the family, has the privilege of being the first second generation Mortar Maiden. In July, when we did our last re-enactment, Skye volunteered to pose with the Howling Jezebel, our mortar. It only took most of a year to convince her that it was for her betterment.

Remember all you lovely ladies out there; I’m always looking for new Mortar Maidens. Don’t hesitate to volunteer!

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

The Traveler returns!

There are morning people and there are not morning people. Everyone falls into those two categories, or at least that is what I have been told. Now, I’m not the most personable person in the mornings but I can fake it. Over the years I have found that it is, easier to start your day if the people around you aren’t “bite your head off” pissed. My wife is another story; there is not a word strong enough to explain her personality in the mornings. Some of you that have met her might find this hard to believe, but it’s true. She is just down right nasty to be around in the mornings. After six years of marriage, I’ve noticed two things. The first being that if she felt sacrificing small animals to the gods that be would prevent her having to be up before the crack of noon, she would. The second is the fact she is getting worse. It used to be either she would ignore my existence except for the occasional glare or she would complain about anything. In the last couple of months, she has taken to snapping at the boys and me.

This morning I walk into our bathroom and I pause for a second to admire my beautiful wife. Of course, I start to grin; beautiful women always make me grin. From the corner of her eye, she sees me looking at her. Whipping her head in my direction she yells, “What the hell are you smiling for?” Attempting to save my hide, I explain I was just admiring her beauty. My loving wife then tells me to “Shut up and finish getting ready for work!” While putting goop in my hair to make it all nice and spiky, I’m apologizing for smiling at her. To which she responds with a grunt.

After finishing my hair and cologne, I head downstairs to wake up Boopie, then to make lunch and breakfast for Ktreva and me. When Boopie comes bopping into the kitchen, I warn him. I tell him, “No matter what you do, do NOT smile at your mother this morning.” Boopie, like all 12 year olds, wants to know why. With a warning look on my face, I explain that, “Your mother is in a bit of a mood this morning. Worse then normal.” Boopie then bounces out of the kitchen grinning. He says, “What ever you say dad.” Typical 12 year old, doesn’t believe what I’ve told him. Hollering after him that I wasn’t kidding, I go back to work on packing our breakfast and lunches.

Then it happened. From upstairs, I hear Clone crying (He has his mother’s love of mornings) and my wife yells, “What are you smiling at?” A heard of elephants comes flying down the stairs, a crash comes from the living room. Sticking my head around the corner to see what is going on; I can see Boopie with a look of terror on his face. He is sprawled out on the floor after tripping on some of Clones toys. My wife comes through the door holding a screaming Clone. Boopie is trying to scramble to his feet to get away as his mother attempts to wrangle him in with one hand. I’ve realized that one of my worst nightmares has come true… my wife has hit “kill” mode. Poor defenseless Boopie is frantically attempting to scramble to his feet with minimal success. If it weren’t for Clone wiggling as much as he was, Ktreva would have easily skinned Boopie.

I’m looking around the kitchen for some kind defensive device for me to use to help Boopie; hence, I missed how he actually did escape. I’m searching around for a large cutting board to use as a shield when Boopie comes running into the kitchen screaming, “HELP ME DAD! MOM’S AFTER ME!” For a second I contemplated letting her destroy him, I mean I did try to warn him and he didn’t listen. Isn’t my duty as a parent finished at that point? I didn’t think so. My wife comes crashing into the kitchen almost taking out the trashcan. Clone comes screaming in behind her wanting to be picked up.


It was murder in her eyes. One of us was going to go down. Boopie was cowering behind me. This was it folks, I knew I was a dead man. The karmic wheel has spun and is paying me back for all the mean things I’ve done to others. My wife, with a voice like Gozer the Gozerian, proclaims that we shall pay in blood for our disrespect. Boopies goes limp as he falls to the floor. Her eyes glint to him for a second and return to me. Knowing I had precious little time left before I’m wearing my rib cage as a hat, I did the only thing I could think of.

It’s amazing how the most innocent phrase can turn a super pissed off ancient Sumerian god back into a lovely and enchanting woman. It was a simple phrase that made everything okay and restored normalcy in the Contagion household. When the words, “I packed you a chocolate bar in your lunch today, because I love you” passed from my lips, all was restored. My wife smiled, tilted her head to one said and said, “Really?” We finished getting ready and then went to work.

For those of you that need a moral to this story. I have three for you. 1) When women are made at you, Chocolate makes things better! 2) Children sometimes need to learn lessons the hard way, especially when they disregard valuable advice. 3) Don’t awaken a pissed of ancient Sumerian god if you don’t want to pay the price.

Posted by Contagion at 01:06 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

August 01, 2005

Did you grow up in a small town?

Here's a little test to see if you grew up in a small town. I personally didn't, however both of my parents did. That is why this is so funny, because it's too damn true.

1) You can name everyone you graduated with.

2) You know what 4-H means.

3) You went to parties at a pasture,barn gravel pit, or in the middle of a dirt
road. On Monday you could always tell who was at the party because of the
scratches on thier legs from running through the woods when the party was
busted.(See #6)

4) You used to "drag" Main.

5) You said the "F" word and your parents knew it within the hour.

6) You scheduled parties around the schedules of different police officers,
because you knew which ones would bust you and which ones wouldn't.

7) You could never buy cigarettes because all the store clerks knew how old you
were ( and if you were old enough, they'd tell your parents anyhow.)

8) When you did find someone old enough and brave enough to buy cigarettes, you still had to go out in the country and drive on back roads to smoke them.

9) You knew which section of the ditch you would find the beer your buyer dropped off.

10) It was cool to date somebody from the neighboring town.

11) The whole school went to the same party after graduation.

12) You didn't give directions by street names but rather by references.
Turn by Nelson's house, go 2 blocks to Anderson's, and it's four houses
left of the track field.

13)The golf course was only 9 holes.

14) You couldn't help but date a friend's ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.

15) Your car stayed filthy because of the dirt roads, and you never owned
a dark vehicle for this reason.

16) The town next to you was considered "trashy" or "snooty" but was actully
just like your town.

17) You referred to anybody with a house newer than 1965 as the "rich people."

18) The people in the "big city" dressed funny, and then you picked up the trend 2 years later.

19) Anyone you wanted could be found at the local gas station or the town bar.

20) You saw at least one friend a week driving a tractor through town or one of your friends driving a grain truck to school occasionally.

21) The gym teacher suggested you haul hay for the summer to get stronger.

22) Directions were given using THE spot light as a reference.

23) When you decided to walk somewhere for the exercise, 5 people would pull overand ask if you wanted a ride.

24) Your teachers called you by your older siblings names.

25) Your teachers remembered when they taught your parents.

26) You could charge at any local store or write a check without any ID.

27) The closest McDonalds was 25 mile away (or more).

28) The closest mall was over an hour away.

29) It was normal to see an old man riding through town on a riding lawn mower.

30) You've pee'd in a cornfield.

31) Most people went by a nickname.

32) You laughed your butt off reading this because you know its true, and you
forward it to evererybody who may have lived in a small town. Also to those who just don't know how great it is living in a small town.

This was stolen from an e-mail a friend (YES I DO HAVE ONE OR TWO!) sent me.

Posted by Contagion at 04:01 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

BlogCrawl Recovery

Contrary to popular belief, I am not dead. Although most of the day Sunday I wished I was. Being the amiable guy that I am, I decided to help T1G out by having his hangover for him. From this post, I can see that my wife finagled my password out of me so she could get a taste for blogging. I doubt she will ever start a blog, not from my lack of trying, she is just afraid no one will read what she has to say. Yes, I have tried to convince her she’s wrong.

Now down to business, it’s Monday and I’m still feeling like hell. That is because I decided that if I was going to do this right, I was going to get really drunk… Mission accomplished. My “Brewutiful” (TM T1G) wife was nice enough to drive me down to Fritz’ Wooden Nickel in Stillman Valley so we could eat some of the best prime rib I’ve had and meet up with T1G. Aneth said she was going to come, but she showed up fashionably late, but not as fashionably late as Tammi. Then Tammi tried to pick up one of the locals for some reason or another. T1G tried to warn her it might not be a good idea, but she ignored him for some reason. We do believe she now has a stalker.

Fritz was tending bar and what a great guy, he just left the bottle of Jack Daniels right there for me. A couple of times he stood there holding it and just kept topping off my glass, as I would empty it. T1G and I decided we should do some shots of Jameson’s. Not a bad whiskey, I prefer Bushmill's if I’m drinking Irish whiskey. The Wooden Nickel didn’t strike me as a joint that would carry a good single malt Scotch, so I didn’t ask. You never know, it might have.

That is the end of my “clear” memory. I went out with the entire purpose to get trashed so I could come back and make comments. Through out the night I remember turning to my wife and making comments like “If I was driving, I’d quit now”, “This is drunker then I usually let myself get”, “This is the drunkest you’ve ever seen me.” “This is the drunkest I can remember being since college.” I think Fritz went through at least three bottles of Jack Daniels while I was there. I’m not saying I was the only one drinking it, but I did a lot of damage. The bottle I started on when I arrived was freshly opened, and I remember him opening up a second bottle before 9 PM. At that time, no one else was drinking Jack.

    Funny things I do remember.

-T1G falling out of his chair
-Tammi, Aneth and Ktreva having a best boobies contest
-T1G “raising the roof” and making the “Whoot Whoot” noise.
-Aneth poking T1G to see watch him change colors
-Using a thick Scottish Accent to call blog momma-sis Bou
-Bou being drunker then I was…
-My trying to balance a tray of drinks at the end of the night
-Tammi flirting with me while my wife was sitting right next to me
-My inability to say simple words like “intoxicated”

I remember laughing a lot too, but I just don’t recall what I was laughing at.

When we finally got home, my wife took our sitter home. While she did that, I did a couple more shots of whiskey and made a drink for me to sit down and start blogging. I figured I should start with my own post first. Then I planned to hit all the Frizzen Sparks and Bad Example Family members to leave a comment. There were also some other blogs I meant to hit. My plans went to hell. Yesterday when I was going back through I missed some blogs I really had meant to leave comments. After I finished hitting everyone in my Frizzen Family, I tried to go onto the Bad Example family. However, the blogroll was fubar. It didn’t even show up. That required me to use my Jack Daniel’s soaked memory to find everyone. That is quite a chore. I did cheat and use Harvey’s hand coded blog roll after a while. Going back and reading my comments yesterday I realized that you could tell which blogs I hit in what order. My comments were worse as the night went on. I will say I am a little disappointed in the turn out of comments on blogs, I was hoping there would be more drunken comments on different blogs. This may be due to the fact that there was a chat room created for it. It was a good idea, but I think it took away from what I was looking for.

Now for the aftermath: I passed out in my front yard. My wife went to bed while I plugged away making comments. She came down to check on me as I was deciding to go outside and have a cigarette. I generally only smoke when I’ve been drinking. (So I smoke seven nights a week! Ba-da-bum-bum) Ktreva decided to join me, so we sat outside talking when I just get up and start walking off the porch. I vaguely remember her asking me where I was going. Then the floodgates opened up. I had the urge to ‘gurge and let it flow. Maybe I’m wrong, but I remember it covering about 75% of my front yard. Next thing I remember is I’m lying on the ground and my wife is trying to wake me up by kicking me in the head. Apparently, she attempted to move me, but she just wasn’t strong enough. Making it to bed, all was well with the world… or so I thought.

Along comes 4:30 AM and I feel my stomach starting to contract. Running into the bathroom, I make it in the nick of time, as my body evacuates the remainder of what it had missed earlier. Stumbling back to bed, all was well with the world again… and again I was wrong. There was a repeat performance of this scenario every 15-30 minutes until about 1 pm Sunday afternoon. No matter what I did, my stomach would not settle down. I would sip water and it would come up, I would nibble on saltines and they would come back up. Not even the damn Advil wouldn’t stay down to help my headache. I finally crawled out of bed to stay around 1:30. At this time, I would like to say that my wife is a Saint. The whole time she was looking in and taking care of me. She was nice and sympathetic. I told her she didn’t have to, it was my own damn fault, but she insisted. Disparaging remarks about my wife will NOT be tolerated.

I spent the afternoon drinking broth and water while snacking on saltines. Around 5:00 PM, my stomach felt strong enough for me to eat normal food. It was then I discovered that I wasn’t 100% sober yet. Having had enough of water, I decided to drink some pop. As soon as the carbonation hit my mouth, I could taste Jack Daniels again. The caffeine and carbonation brought the alcohol back out in me. No, I did not get sick again. I just kind of felt mellow and my headache went away. This lasted for the rest of the night and into today. That’s right folks; I’m still suffering a hang over.

Let this be a valuable lesson to everyone. I do NOT normally drink that much, I only did so to ensure that I would make appropriately drunk comments on everyone’s blog. When I tried doing it with less then total drunkenness, my comments and posts were still okay. When my body told me I had enough to drink, I kept going. I probably should have gone to the hospital for a good stomach pumping/charcoal slurry. Through out college I saw a lot of people that had alcohol poisoning, including myself once. How I feel is exactly how I felt after that incident. This was not one of the smarter things I’ve ever done and I do not plan to do it again, ever. I will continue to drink, just not that much. Actually, I could go for a Jack and Coke right now, I’m kidding. Kind of, well maybe in an hour.

BTW, at the bar it was decided that I should host the BlogCrawl Annually. Mark Your Calendars, The second annual BlogCrawl will be July 19, 2006!

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