In search of what's next

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Why do we do dumb things?

Update: Welcome Carnival of Comedy travellers!

I don't know why we do dumb things. It just happens. We'd like to say we never do them, but we're just lying to ourselves.

Stuff happens and usually we're the cause: Not always, but usually.

Now since I'm always on the search, here's another true story related to my search for what is next. This actually happened about a month before the boating incident. That was just one of those things you tell the story later and chuckle, thanking God you're still alive and can tell about it. Seeing as this happened a month before, it made me wonder why so many things happen. Here's the story. Enjoy...

I was supposed to meet 2 of my college buddies at one of their apartments in Paducah, Kentucky. We had graduated 2 years earlier and were trying to keep in touch, so we got together every once in a great while. My friend that lived there (we'll call him Sam) was the writer or producer (I can't remember which it was) for the nightly news at channel X (can't remember that one either). They were in central time and it took me about 5-6 hours to drive so, I just left after work on a Friday and drove down. I managed to get into town before the broadcast started, so I waited at his apt. while he came to pick me up to come watch the production.

It was really interesting and I learned a great deal about how it works and who does what. Very fascinating. I did learn that the desk anchors wear entirely too much makeup, but it looks good on the idiot box. They have these little intercoms with a couple of guys queing tapes and the director running down the list of things to do. I really enjoyed meeting the people and seeing the process.

After that was over, we headed back to Sam's place to wait on our other ex-classmate, Ed (his name is made up too). That particular evening (n March, 1983) it was kind of warm outside so we had the windows in the living room open to let a breeze in. We had the tv on for some noise and was just chit chatting, waiting for Ed.

Now, before I got married, I used to run the wheels off my car(s). I drove everywhere. I always took 2 things with me. My camera equipment and my very large caliber personal protective device, whose nickname was Fred. Now Sam knew I carried this equipment because it was a regular part of our conversations at times. Neither was unpacked at this point, just stacked with my overnight bag in the corner of the room.

While sitting there jabbering, we heard a noise outside of the apartment window. Sam reached over and turned the tv volume down to hear better and we heard someone whispering outside the window. The voice was saying "what are you boys doing in there?"

Well, because we always were screwing around doing dumb things, we simply assumed it was Ed. So, we reponded with "come on in."

That was a mistake.

The door opens and in walks a large fellow carrying a 12 ga. shotgun. We both turned white as sheets, I imagined. I know I was petrified. I couldn't move. (At least I didn't soil myself). We couldn't reach the gun, the phone, jump out the door, window or nothing. We were sitting ducks.

So, the man with the gun says "either of you boys gotta gun?"

Sam looks at me and I shake my head no. I mean I'm not going to give this guy a reason to perforate me. I just kept wondering if this is what it feels like to know the end is near?

So, the gunman asks us to call the police then. Well I'm thinking this is the dumbest criminal I have ever had the pleasure to watch work or something is up. So, we ask why.

He says because there's a guy breaking into that apartment there (points to the little standalone building across the parking lot from us where the owner's grandmother stays).

Well now, this makes it all different. We jump up and look out the window. Sure enough, there is a guy dressed in black pants, black shirt, black pullover hat and black sneakers. He's got a prybar working on the windows (they're the vent style that cranks out at an angle).

Hmm. I've got the opportunity to take a picture that might make the evening news and I'm standing next to the equipment that can make it happen and even better, I'm standing next to the guy who can make it happen. What did I pick up? Yep, you guessed it. Fred.

So, I try to sneak out into the parking lot between the cars carrying Fred along with me. We made so much noise, we scared off Mr. Breakin. Darnit. I guess you're not supposed to actually hum the tune to A team when performing this sort of action.

Next thing you know, Sam comes out with this huge flashlight. It was like streetlight bright. The driveway was U shaped with big tall pine trees lining each side. Sam starts running the light up and down the trees, kinda like stalag 17 searchlights.

It's a really good thing Fred is a single action protective device. Really good. Because what happened next would have otherwise caused me to shoot myself. While Sam is running the light back and forth, he stops to decide his next scan route.

The light just happens to land on Mr. Breakin. He tears through the trees like a charging rhino, at least it sounded that way. That's when I realized my hands were squeezed tightly around the grips, now VERY thankful of a single action device.

SSSSSHHHHHHHEEEEEEEWWW. That was close. Well, better go put Fred back inside before the neighbors get suspiscious. Just as I walked in side, the police show up. I found afterwards that Mr. Shotgunman had placed his shotgun under somebody's car until after the police left. Anyway, they took our statements (which we left out certain incriminating portions, namely the appearance of one Fred), took some pictures and left with instructions to call them if he showed back up and then left.

Of couse, we were brave little soldiers now. We started patrolling the parking lot now. Just a few minutes later Ed shows up. He sees us patrolling with guns and lights and questions us on it. He asks us what we're doing. We tell him "we're hunting burglars".

After we tell him what happened, he starts unloading his car, bringing the toolbox, spare tire, jack, everything in the car in the apartment. It takes a while to convince him to leave some it back in the car (It was a a small apt.).

Next day, Sam takes us sightseeing around town. One of the places we go is to the mall. It was brand new and the locals were very proud of it. It had all the typical mall stores of the time, including a cutlery shop. We go in the shop and start looking around. In the middle of the store is a case filled with swords. Some were very nice, as the price indicated. It was open.

We got some of them out and started acting like we were swordfighting. The proprietor wasn't all that happy with us at this point, so I, along with Sam, buy one. I go to the register to pay and the lady asks if there is anything else. I get this bright idea.

"Yes, can you put an edge on this?" I eagerly ask.

"No." she replies and starts to look kinda scowlingly at me.

"What about a scabbard?"

"No, we don't carry that sort of thing. Do you still want the sword?" By now she's looking rather dissapprovingly at me. In today's world, I'd be paid a visit by the FBI with these types of questions, I'm sure with security the way it is, or at least supposed to be.

"Yes, I'll take it!" I still wanted the sword.

"What are you going to use it for?" her curiosity peaked.

"I'm going hunting!"

So, the moral of the story is if you go hunting for anything, including what's next, then you must be armed.

Monday, August 29, 2005

What's wrong now?

I managed to obtain and retain a summer cold. Ugh. Not what I'd wish on anyone per se. Anyhow, I went to the supermarket after church yesterday to pick up a few things and thought I'd get a pkg of cold tablets to help reign in my raging sinus cavities.

I thought getting mugged by the gas station was bad enough, but I had to go thru the inquisition to buy a pkg of sinus pills. Sheesh, what next? At least the people in line behind me at the checkout had the graces to just quietly swear and go to another line, thus I didn't feel so bad holding things up.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Speaking of tourists...

I got to play one earlier in the year. We took a vacation to the islands of St. Kitts. I'll post some other pics later. But check out this pic of 3 generations of cruise ships. I thought it was pretty cool anyway.

That Queen Mary 2 is a BIG ship. When they sounded their horn to leave port, it made the ground shake. It even sounded big. Oh well. Maybe you had to be there...

Tell me again why these people are allowed on U.S. soil?

I can't believe we let these guys come here.


Ever go somewhere and someone immediately knows you're not from there? Aside from being in a really small town, or they happen to see your license plate on the car. Here's a way to tell if you ever wonder...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Somebody's conscience is working overtime...

I was going to make some smart cracks about this, but the article pretty much says it all. But after you read it, then think that just maybe that God given conscience is working pretty good if you ask me...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Can your dog drive a car?

Whenever we go somewhere and take Oakley with us, he loves going for rides. He bounces and whines around the house when he thinks we're going somewhere. So, he gets to go to town a lot on the weekends if it isn't too hot. That black fur coat is a problem in the summer heat.

Whenever I get out of the car he jumps in the driver seat. Not sure why, but I shot a picture of him sitting there because it looked like he was ready to drive away!No, he doesn't really drive. But you knew that.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Conduct yourself responsibly

When your budget is only so big, your time so little, and your users are only so inclined, this comes along. Now I'm legally responsible because someone else's virus software didn't catch the virus mine didn't. That's productive.

Do you think there is a problem with immigration in the US?

Can I vote in this election, since the campaign starts here?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Ever go to a wedding that had something to really remember?

My wedding, for example. It was a great one. I married a wonderful girl. Why does things like this always have something to make you remember a bad portion? Somehow or another the chapel we got married in had a video package that was basically a vhs tape of the ceremony. They managed to record NO sound. What a spectacular film.

When I was in college, I had a tendency to speak my mind (like i don't do that now...yeah, right), which usually got me into trouble of some sort. Weddings were no different. At my roommate's wedding, I was one of the groomsmen. We had a lot of fun and the people were just having a great time with the whole deal. At the end of the wedding you have the traditional greeting line where the bride and groom wait just outside the sanctuary and everyone comes by, shakes hands, hugs, etc etc.

Well, of course, the groomsmen and bridesmaids got to go first, so when I came up to the bride I gave her a big hug then shook my roommate's hand said, "Well, it's Miller time!" Got a bruise on my shoulder for that.

Then my brother got married and I was a groomsman in there too, as well as part of the musical entertainment. It was a fun one too. But I had to do something, because, well, it was my brother and he needed to remember this special occasion.

So, I had the bride wisper to him during one of the pauses in the ceremony. "I don't do windows." was all she said. His shoulders visibly sagged. I had to bite my lip to keep from giggling out loud. But then, I couldn't stop there. When the pastor asked for the ring, all 3 of us guys pulled all of our pockets inside out looking for the ring, to finally find in in the last guy's pocket. His wife looked a little pale, but I didn't get any bruises.

I've always carried a camera around with me, at least except for the last 10 years or so. In school I did anyway. I got to start taking pictures at weddings to make some pocket money and also give my friends good deals on the pics so they didn't cost them a fortune.

Recently, one of my cousins asked me if I'd shoot his wedding for him so he could save a few bucks. Well, I couldn't really say no, so I did it. It was fun one as well and everyone had a great time. Although, the next couple of pics makes you wonder what the deal exactly was there tho.

Now what kind of marriage relationship is being displayed here? Does this look like the kind of give and take that we're supposed to have with our spouse?

All things considered, the cake at this wedding is a pretty clear sign of things to come.

The latest one I went to was for a couple of the younger people in my band (which I'll post stuff on later). It was a very nice traditional wedding. They had a very short service that included a short video of them growing up, meeting, spending time together and growing closer, an overall emotional film for those close to the newlyweds. If you know someone who can do video edits on their pc, I recommend you do this. It is a great way to have a momento of the occasion.

Now this one is a pretty different look to it. All things considered here, we'll know who picks clothes out. Even the little guy on the end has pink socks on. Man, you may have damaged this boy by forcing a pair of pink socks on him.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Is this my fault?

We were getting ready to go to town the other day and saw this guy in the back yard. I'm sure he's related to several others in the area who have caused damage to property and general well being. I think they should wear those little superman "S"'s on their chest, not to mention those little yellow reflector stripes that crossing guards wear. I've had the pleasure of hitting several of them (hazard of living in the country) and they miraculously get up and walk/run away. Sometimes they get their revenge too.

I'm sure you've seen your share of deer carnage on the roadways (think extra large road pizza), or at checkstations if you're in the vicinity during the season. I've not hit one to cause that type of carnage, thank God.

I hit one once in my Saturn I used to have that just sort of drove under the deer (I was only going about 30mph at the time) and maybe just tripped him up a little, like a throw rug with a wrinkle in it you stumble over when not looking where you walk. He might have skinned his chin a little as he stumbled and kept going.

Another time I hit one with my pickup truck going about 40mph and the deer rolled out in front of me, feet and legs flailing for about 75'. Fortunately it only cracked the grill on the truck because the deer realized his mistake, albeit too late, in which he just ducked to turn around with his head lowered, and I hit him full force with the bumper from head to tail. (He left alot of hair behind that time). Silly thing got up, looked at me, shook his head and ran off. He had to at least had one heck of a headache.

I think they don't look where they go, they just run to feel the wind on their face. One time I was following my wife home from work and a deer is running across this field toward the road where we're driving. You've got to realize my wife is squeamish about this, so I'm thinking she's going to stop. It's getting really close to her car! Sure enough there are the brake lights, but then suddenly they go out and she shoots forward. Hmm. Definitely not like her to be aggressive at the wheel.

My wonder is short lived though. She tried to judge where the deer would cross and by accellerating she thought it would pass behind her. Nooooooot quite. It ran into the right rear quarter panel, spun a complete 360, and kept right on going across the road. Didn't even stumble. My wife, which really surprised me, kept right on going too. I'm thinking didn't she hear that? Surely, you would hear a 200 lb. deer head butt the side of an Escort station wagon. It's not like they have any insulation in them. She said there wasn't much reason to stop.

She was right. There was only a small head shaped dent in the panel, right on the reflector. It didn't even knock the reflector off. We left the dent there and didn't fix it as it was a good tale when someone asked what happened. In the country, it's kind of like a badge of honor, I guess. You see a lot of cars with dents like that.

I hit several with that saturn tho. Another one walked out in front of me and stopped while I was trying to stop, although there wasn't enough space, so I hit him and he body slammed the hood on the car. One nice feature of a saturn is the side body panels are some kind of plastic that won't dent. (It'll shatter into a bazillion pieces, but it won't dent! ) But the hood isn't. It's metal. I had to get a new hood on that one. Sad part is I had just gotten the car fixed from being involved in one of those accordion crashes, you know where someone skids into the car behind you, driving him into me, and thus into the car in front of me. I'd had the car back only about a month from that incident. Sheesh.

The most amazing one I hit was in the Saturn again. I was running late for music practice and hurrying down this road I live on. (Think about this...all these deer I tell you about I hit in the same 1/4 mile stretch of roadway, except for the wife's contact which was about a mile further down.) This guy ran out in front of me, I was doing about 45, and I double whammied him. His chin hit the left front corner of the car then it bounced off the mirror. I don't know why the mirror didn't break off, but the two hits were enough for the deer.

He landed in the ditch with his legs pointing up and didn't even twitch. I thought it was the most effective deer kill I'd ever seen. Problem was I was still late for music practice. I felt bad about leaving it there, so I got this bright idea that I'd seen my neighbor at home, so I drove back and told him and his buddy that I'd just hit a deer and it was laying along the road if they wanted it.

They jumped in their truck to follow me back to the hit and run site. Deer is still laying there. We pull up and get out, then all of the sudden the deer jumps up and kind of stumbles his way across the road and starts to walk it off. I was totally amazed at this deer even breathing at this point, but it kept walking until it didn't walk like a drunk and eventually bounded off into the trees. He REALLY had to have a headache. I had to apologize to the neighbors because they didn't get a deer after all. They said something about owing them something...

But the one time I hit a deer where it got it's revenge was disgusting, for lack of a better word. Remember, I'm still talking about the same stretch of road. Bad part is it's the way I have to go to town, work, church, etc. I could go the long way, but at $2.50 a gallon, I guess I'm going to take it out on the local deer population.

Living where I do in the country has some advantages. No neighbors, no noise, no fences, etc. I only have to mow the parts of the yard I feel like (unless the wife changes that idea). And in the summer, I like to drive with the windows down (if it isn't so stinkin hot), especially in the morning on the way to work, when it's cool, the air smells good, it's quiet, etc.

This was a day like all the others, I get up, shower, dress, take care of the pets, fix lunch, leave for work. This is every week day, as I leave before sun-up. I head out toward work with the windows down because it's a beautiful warm morning. I drive thru the dreaded stretch of road where the deer stroll. Whenever I let my guard down, one of them always has at least a near miss. You'd think I'd learn. This day would teach me to watch even more carefully as I drove past this location, one came running out into the road and I had no reaction time other than duck in the seat. I thought sure at the speed he was going and the speed I was going that he'd come right thru the windshield.

He was going a little slower. He hit the left front fender (which bounced back and didn't dent!!) then bounced off the left corner post of the windshield. I was still moving and I sat back up in the seat. First thing I see is that my windshield is still intact, but the mirror is flapping in the breeze.

I can't drive a car without the left mirror, so I turned around in the next driveway to go back home and get my truck. As I pass the spot where I hit the deer, I crane my neck out the window to see if he's dead or not. As I do, I smell something a bit odd. Ugh, I thought maybe I did do some serious damage to him and his guts are spilled all over the ditch. I just couldn't see it because it was dark. I head onto the house to get the truck.

I park the car and start to get into the truck and remember to get my lunchbox. As I open the car door, the light comes on revealing deer's breakfast all over the door frame and subsequently the entire side of the car and the rear window. Great I gotta clean this up when I get home. I bend down to get my lunchbox and notice little bits of green breakfast all over me too. Great. Now I gotta clean me up too.

So I go back in the house to change clothes and wash off. Think from my wife's point of view. 10 minutes ago, she heard me leave and now the door slams I come stomping thru the house. She meets me at the head of the stairs with a worried look on her face asking me what's wrong. Well, I didn't want to upset her as I realized me coming back in the house probably did startle her somewhat and anything I say might make it worse that it really is. The only thing I could think of was "a deer threw up on me".

"What?!?" she asks. I repeated myself as the perfect answer still eluded me.

"You are so weird" she finally says and goes back to bed.

Is it wrong that I'm thinking, hey, she likes weird... Or at least she likes me. I hope she still does.

So, the search for what's next continues...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Micro$oft does it again!

Micro$oft keeps releasing new operating systems without fixing the previous versions. I guess they gotta keep milking the cash cow. My office (which I'm the net admin for) runs predominantly Windows 2000. I have a few XP boxes mixed in, but mostly w2k. I get calls from my vendors asking me to upgrade them to XP with lots of lame excuses to do so, but not really any help to me to do so other than part with more cash. I've always figured M$ would do something to force the issue. Such as current tactics of stopping support after certain times, stop issuing patches and service packs, stop selling older (and sometimes more useful) versions.

Looks at though now M$ has someone helping them on the outside. I'm still not upgrading.

More critters

Seeing as I live in the country, all sorts of creatures are found to be creeping, crawling, walking, running, flying or just hanging around the yard. I found these 2 guys the same day last summer while getting ready to cut the grass.

The orange and white one, which at this point looks a little miffed about something, is a milk snake. Apparently, this is normal behavior for them: Coil, rear back, strike, wiggle their tail like a rattlesnake (just no rattles). Good bluff as I'd not seen one before and had to go research it to see what it was.

The other fellow is a ring neck snake. Pretty much looked like a black snake with a yellow band around the back of his head. At first, I thought he was a black snake that just had a dirty streak on him, until I picked it up and the color was rather permanent.

I've found other ones as well, black snakes, garter snakes, king snakes and a few others I haven't been able to identify as they got away too quickly. Just so you don't wonder, I turned them loose after snapping a few pics and making sure Oakley wouldn't bother them.

Who determines what is proper?

This is so uplifting. Makes me glad I live here all over again.

God bless America!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I think I'm going to buy a BIG SUV next!

A friend at work sent me a couple of links I found fascinating. Apparenlty, crude oil might just be a renewable energy source. Laugh all you want. I know I'm going to get me one of them big ol Hummers. (Of couse we need somebody sane to make gas prices come back down to where they should be.)

A crime was committed.

I got mugged by the gas station last night. This is the 2nd time this year I've put over $30 worth of gas in a small car. I never dreamed I'd ever be able to drop that much cash on a fillup in a small car. Sheesh.

An attempt at humor...

You've probably gotten one of those emails where somebody asks you to answer the questions to let them get to know you. Well, I kept a copy of one where I replied because I thought it was funny. I don't know, maybe you will too.

Welcome to the 2005 edition of getting to know your friends.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 5:00....5:05....5:10....5:15....5:20...dang snooze alarm.

2. Diamonds or Pearls? Whatever. Diamonds I guess. At least you use them in tools. Although pearl inlay on guitars is cool.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? The Passion of the Christ – awesome film. Should be required viewing for everyone on the planet. Or maybe it was Pirates of the Caribbean. I don’t go to the movies much since the price passed 5$. I was going to gripe about the cost, but before we even get there, let’s consider content. Most movies DON”T HAVE ANY, other than liberal brainwash ideals.

4. What is your favorite TV show? CSI. The original one. I used to think the Miami one was a cheap knockoff, until they came out with CSI NY. Now, the Miami one looks pretty good. Leave it to CBS to run a good thing into the ground. Take NBC’s Law & Order, then add an even bigger sniveling leading actor and viola: CSI NY!! I can’t wait til they have CSI Sligo. (Sligo is a little burg a few miles from where I used to live in Ohio with about 30 or 40 people.) Which shouldn’t be long because we’ve got the NCIS (see above comment about sniveling actors or should it be serial killers?) and a host of other knockoffs. Just wait until they make a reality show with this. Ooooh, real dead guys. Yuk.

5. What did you have for breakfast ? A chocolate donut, a pkg of cheese crackers and a Pepsi. I’m on a diet. I lost my Pez dispenser.

6. What is your middle name? Lee. Let’s see, who was famous with that name? General Robert E. Lee. Gentleman general of the south. John Lee Hooker, great early blues man. That’s a good one. Lee Harvey Oswald. General dufus man. Oh well, maybe not a good idea to pursue....

7. What is your favorite cuisine? I have 2 favs: Hot & Cold. Except for the following: mincemeat pie, raisin pie and cooked spinach. I realize the taste of all of these is radically different, but the taste isn’t the main thing, it’s the texture. They’re all kind of a slimy goop. Well, the mincemeat tastes like glop too. Oh, and who said it was ok to eat bleu cheese? That ain’t just bad cheese, it’s bad cheese with extreme attitude problems. Oh and speaking of texture food problems, try 1000 island dressing. These can all elicit the ol gag reflex on my account.

8. What foods do you dislike? See above. I REALLY dislike food made from animal intestinal parts. What were these people thinking? They eat brains too. This is messed up. Do they eat brains cause it’ll make ‘em smarter? Come on. Think about it. The animal uses it’s intestines to hold the food it eats so it can digest it in it’s own good time. If the animal doesn’t digest it’s own stomach, what makes you think we can?????

9. What is your favorite chip flavor? Chipotle. But not the one that leaves 3rd degree burns on the backside the next day.

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Skillet – Collide. Rocks. Kicks butt rock. And it’s Christian!

11. What type of car do your drive? Saturn L300

12. Favorite sandwich: Fresh rye bread, ample quantities of meat, a little lettuce, tomato and miracle whip. Not mayo. Remember the gag reflex? Uh huh.

13. What characteristic do you despise? Anti-Christianity. [I was going to put a link to the aclu, but I just can't bring myself to do so.]

14. Favorite item of clothing? One that fits.

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Somewhere that doesn’t need me to do mow grass, shovel snow or other types of yard work. And taking out the trash. And weeding the garden.

16. What color is your bathroom? White. The floor has little rose colored diamond tiles in it. The throw rug and towels match it’s color. The sink is a darkened oak. The shower curtain has birds and flowers of the same coloration of the rug and towels. And orange ladybugs. About 5 trillion of them.

17. Favorite brand of clothing? I can tell you it NOT Wal-Mart. Jerks don’t have pants with long enough legs. They used to because I bought 2 pair last year and now they don’t have ANY. Jerks.

18. Where would you retire? Somewhere that doesn’t need me to do mow grass, shovel snow or other types of yard work. And taking out the trash. And weeding the garden.

19. Favorite time of day? Any time not at work. Or about 9:23 am on Wednesday. That’s when the nice lady from HR brings me my paycheck.

20. What was your most memorable birthday? I don’t remember one for me per se, but one time we put those candles on mom’s cake that you can’t blow out. She hyperventilated and almost peed herself. Set off the smoke alarm too. Got that on film. And another time, for my niece’s first birthday she got her own chocolate birthday cake, with lots of luscious creamy chocolate icing. My sister and I held my brother and his wife back while she ate it. Then we cleaned up the kitchen and dining room.

21. Where were you born? In the hospital at Middletown Ohio. The very same one that 38 years later let my grandfather fall out of his bed right after a stroke and smash his face on the floor. They wouldn’t let me talk to the nurse that day.

22. Favorite sport to watch? Sometimes it’s Nascar, sometimes it’s demo derby. It’s got speed, it’s got crashing. Oh yeah! Maybe that’s why I like to drive to work some days. I try not to participate in the crashing part.

23. Who do you least expect to send this back to you? President Bush. What does he care? He’s got a few problems to deal with right now.

24. Person you expect to send it back first? Failed presidential candidate Kerry cause he served in ‘Nam, dangit. And he doesn’t do much in the senate. He’s got the time.

25. Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi.

26. Are you a morning person or night owl? I’m more of an elephant in the room that everybody tries to ignore.

27. Do you have any pets? One wonderful little dog named Oakley and 3 spiteful little demons from hell, otherwise known as cats.

28. Any new and exciting news you would like to share with your family and friends? The album came out in December. It’s called Looking up. Go to and click on sermons and music. Download the song. Check it out and tell me what you think. If you like it, order one!

29. What did you want to be when you were little? President.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Did you ever notice?

Did you ever notice that there are critters everywhere you go? The wife and I were talking over the weekend and some of the local critters came to the conversation. (I know, I have them living in my house with me, so just never mind.) Anyway, we were on vacation to Olympic National Park in Washington State walking through the forest and I noticed this bug on my wife's shirt. Not just any bug, but about 1-1/2 inches long. I managed to persuade her to stand still until I could get a picture. I didn't notice until I downloaded the pictures out of the camera that the shadow he made looked like a peacock. I wasn't allowed to squash it on the wife, so it subsequently got away. Stupid bugs. Got any idea what it is? I don't...

I'll upload some more critter pics as I find them on my disks.

God bless you and have a wonderful day!

Friday, August 12, 2005

A mama's boy...

Most guys cringe at hearing someone say that about them. We want to be a man's man, not mama's boy. But then again, my dog doesn't mind. Oakley's a mama's boy and proud of it. Notice in the picture above he's actually leaning on my wife's legs. He goes everywhere she does if he can get away with it. For example, we'll be sitting in the family room watching the idiot box and the Mrs. decides to get herself a drink and heads to the kitchen, which is next to the family room with no wall separating them (it's like one giant room). Oak bounds to attention and faithfully follows her in there. Of course, some of the time he gets something to eat out of the effort.

But even if he's a mama's boy, he's still my little buddy. He likes to help take out the trash (mostly because he gets to ride down the driveway with his head out the window). He likes to follow me around the yard on the tractor, unless I'm mowing. Yup, he thinks he's a person.

But he's still a mama's boy.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Out of control court system

I believe the entire court system of the USA is out of control. They now legislate regularly from the bench and no one in the media or other 2 branches of govt. takes them to task. I just read this article where Justice Stephen Breyer is crying about himself and his ideas being a target of verbal violence and he's worried that it'll become physical, I guess.

In the article, this bozo from the American Bar Association says the courts protect us. Protect us???? When did it become ok for them to assume military qualities? (I realize this isn't the real intention of this article) I thought the courts were to balance the power of the legislature and the executive branches, not a police force. But this dufus from the ABA (Michael Greco) said this:

"If we do not protect our courts, our courts cannot protect us"

OK, so I took some liberty with assuming his meaning. But stay with me. Then he goes on to say this:

"The ABA does not, and we will not, protect the interests of any political party or faction, nor the interests of any ideological or interest group"

So tell me again, why they don't protect any "special" interest groups? ACLU ring a bell? The lawyers that are members of the bar association work for both political parties and if it weren't for those lawyers, our courts wouldn't be doing so much legislating from the bench right now.

I think Mr. Breyer should have resigned his post the day he referenced international law in one of his rulings. No, I take that back, he should have been impeached.

Seems to me we need to be protected from the courts and the lawyers, not be "protected" by them! I have enough aches and pains, thank you very much.

God bless America anyway!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Taste is in the eye of the beholder

One of my wife & I's favorite places to visit is Madison Indiana. Laid back, clean, great views, historical stuff, etc. Great place to go spend the weekend. Several local eateries have outdoor seating, one of which has this wall decoration. Cute use of leftover yard sale things, or perhaps the junkyard. Anyway, if you look close, you can see water coming from the spout of the pitcher into each successive trough. Kind of like trying to simulate the sound of running water that is so relaxing on a warm spring day. This particular one wasn't that way if you had to go to the restroom tho. Especially if you're eating. Hmm.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Credit where due...

I live in Aurora, Indiana. Small town just west of Cincinnati. Our firemen recently got a new firehouse and my church presented them with a picture to hang on the wall in honor of their service to the community.

(Unfortunately, I had just gotten this new little piece of junk camera and was trying to figure out how it works and forgot totally about the lights overhead, which in turn created a wonderful shot of a white splotch on the picture.)

Aurora Fire chief, Jeff Lane, is on the left. Our pastor is Pete Bryk on the right. A heartfelt thanks to Jeff and all the fireman that risk life and limb for all of us, every day.

Spyware gotcha down? Then this won't help....

Friday, August 05, 2005

Winter memories...

Did I tell you I hate winter? No? I love summer. Bring on the heat, I'll just sweat some more. (and maybe whine a tad) This pic was from this past winter. My driveway has a hill in it, not a big one, but the car wouldn't go up it. My 4x4 truck AND my 4x4 tractor wouldn't go up it in this stuff. It was about 8 to 16" deep depending where you were at in the yard and it had 2 separate layers of ice in it. Just made me wish it was summer.

Yipee! It's summer! Enjoy it while you can!

They don't stand a chance...

You know I have my share of complaints about Micro$oft software and practices, but come on this is comical.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Beginning the search...

If you wonder why I named my blog in search of what's next, here's a story that got me thinking about that for a book title. This is a true story and it happened back in 1983, I think it was.

I used to work with a friend of mine at a night shift job and when we'd get off of work, we'd go fishing or hunting or target shooting or just goof off if no pressing needs arose. I was fresh out of college and was intent on going out and doing anything my mind settled on. This particular story involves fishing and boating.

My dad had a boat since before I was born. It was a small 14' runabout with a 35 horse engine that did fairly well. We upgraded it to a 50 horse and that little boat would scoot across the water. It would beat the crap out of you, but it would do it in a hurry. Anyway, so I spent my whole life around a boat of some sort. Dad taught us kids how to drive it, tow it, trailer it and take care of it safely.

Enough so that he would let us take it without supervision to the local lake for fishing, skiing, wasting time, etc. My friend (who'll we call Ted) wanted me to go fishing with him to Lake Erie to try to catch some walleye and he wanted us to take dad's boat so we wouldn't have to rent anything. I talked dad into letting me take it to Lake Erie.

Now if you've ever been on Lake Erie, a 14' boat is stupid. I admit that. But, hey I was going fishing. People had told me that storms would blow up out of nowhere. I was like, yeah right. I've seen storms coming from across the horizon and you can't tell me otherwise.

Well, I was WRONG.

We put in at Port Clinton and went out toward North Bass Island. We'd heard on the ship to shore radio that the walleye were biting in this area. So, we loaded up and headed out. It wasn't bad at all. About 1' chop and a rather easy ride. We get out to what looked like a good spot (didn't have a depth finder at the time) and decided we'd drift in the breeze and if we didn't catch anything, we'd move somewhere else and try again.

We were smart enough to put life jackets on. Also, dad kept his outboard tuned well, so it'd start really easy. (Praise God for small favors.) We baited up, turned on the radio and cast out. I sat in the front seat and Ted in the back.

Not 2 minutes later, Ted tells me, "Uh Rick, we have a problem". I look back and he's standing in about 12" of water. I had my feet propped on the side, so I didn't get wet. Yet.

It seemed that this storm (which I thought I'd see coming) snuck up on us and the water was lapping over the transom and quickly filling the boat. I reeled in my line quickly and started up the engine. At this point, we were about 3" shy of going under. There was no way of planing off. Not in a tiny boat full of water and in 3' chop by now. I headed toward South Bass Island as there's a small bay on the west side that is sort of protected from the heavy water, but it seemed to be all private docks.

We puttered around the bay until the sump pump caught up. We discussed sitting there and waiting the storm out or heading back to shore. We decided to tough it out and head to shore. What should have been about 20 minutes turned into a 2 hr dirt bike track ride. The chop was up to 6' and I couldn't run it fast at all. I just had to drive to stay on the waves and try to see thru the now driving rain.

We finally made it back to shore and as we did, the wind and rain eased up considerably. It was back to the 2' chop and at least the boat was partially manueverable. I was pretty overconfident in my driving skills at this time. I headed toward the dock, which was made of concrete, not wood like the ones back at home. Just as I got the end of the dock, the wind shifted and twisted us sideways and I was afraid of running the side of the boat into the concrete, splitting us in 2. So the only thing I could do was throw it in reverse.

Yep, the 2' chop came over the back end of the boat in less that 2 seconds and there we were chest deep in water. It happened about that fast. Gear, coolers, oars, jackets, gas can, anything that would float headed out to sea. We rescued that stuff. Getting the boat out of the water was a little more difficult.

I climbed out of the lake and sloshed over to the car. I backed it into the water as far as I dared to try and see if we could muscle the boat onto the trailer, but we broke the winch line in the process. I ended up tying the line to the back of the trailer and dragging the boat ashore.

We let it set there until it drained/pumped empty. I was afraid dragging it might have damaged the engine or the hull so we went back home without any fish. On the first day there too.

By this time I worked at the same engineering office my dad did. I was an open office, not like today's cube world. It was maybe 35 or 40' wide and about 200' long. Dad sat close to the middle of the office. For some unknown stupid reason, I had to call him and tell him I was home early and I sunk his boat. He screamed out "you sunk what?!?"

Took me several months to live that down at work.

So begins the search for what's next.

Is it HOT enough for ya?

I hate winter. I love summer. Yes, the heat has been a bit overbearing this year, but just a few short months ago, my yard looked like this. I still love summer. (Oakley's on patrol in this pic).

Have a great summer!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

PC running amok in EU? You betcha!

Thought police in action against open source users. Sheesh.

Other house residents

These are the wife's pride and joy. Here you can see them doing what they do best...which is get cat hair all over the new afgan the wife made (I thought which was for me). Their proper names are Evie, Callie and Squirt. Callie (the calico - duh)is the oldest and subsequently the crankiest. Squirt is the mostly white cat (his name reflects how small he was when we got him). Evie is the tabby. She's only been seen by 5 other humans. She's scared of her own shadow. It was a stray at the wife's sister's house. I renamed her to squeak because her meow doesn't work right, except when you put her in the crate to go to the vet. Then it works all too well. So, in honor of Callie's wonderful personality, I changed her nickname from Fuzzbutt to Squalley. There you have them...Squeak, Squirt and Squalley.

Monday, August 01, 2005

My little buddy.

This is my little buddy, Oakley. Here you can see him on guard duty (official duty). Actually, he's just looking for attention and treats. From the look on his face, he's found both.