A Twist Of Fate
April, 2010 Entries
"Even Napoleon had his Watergate." - Yogi Berra

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(04/30/10 - 08:37 AM)
This week, I came across not one - but two - instances of the term 'Rule 34' being used. I asked Wanda if she knew what in the world that meant and she did not either. We were both 404'd on the subject (this term I actually did know - this is the old error number for internet browsers, signifying 'Page Not Found', and was used to refer to something being missing, absent, or just plain unknown.)

Thanks to her super sleuthing skills (alright, probably a four-second Google search that I was too lazy to perform on my own but - credit where credit is due) here is the answer:

Urban Dictionary:
1.) Rule 34: "Generally accepted internet rule that states that pornography or sexually related material exists for any conceivable subject.

Additionally it is accepted that the rule itself has limitations and you cannot be too specific on the content of the item in question.

Most commonly used on various message boards for various reasons, from humor to cruelty."

So now I know - and you do too!

Also got a call from the hospital's quality survey department today. I answered their questions, and then when she asked if I had anything further, I politely unloaded my whole debacle upon the poor girl.

In the end, she said that she would have to turn that over to the head of nursing, and that she would be calling me shortly.

It seems that I got their attention.

(04/29/10 - 07:13 PM)
My Dad and Step-Mother came over today to mow my lawn. This is good, because it was beginning to resemble something akin to the African savannah, sans the lurking cats (probably - it's hard to tell sometimes.)

The wind was insane, and as they mowed, my Dad's hood on his windbreaker kept whapping him in the head. He told me when he had finished that the wind kept levetating the grass clippings up and into his shirt, and then down his back.

That had to suck, but he and Gail are my heroes for the day for mowing, and for selflessly offering to do so, with minimal chiding on Dad's part.

(04/28/10 - 09:26 PM)

HOLY SCHLAMOLA - now I've seen it all.
I'm fairly certain that there are laws against this.
Aren't there?

(04/27/10 - 08:37 AM)
Just got back from seeing the surgeon for the first time since my surgery. I asked if he had a moment to talk before we got rolling into things, and he said sure.

I explained everything that had happened, and how the nurse had not only implied that he was complicit with the mind-boggling events that unfolded during my brief stay, but that he had, in fact, orchestrated them.

His first response was, "Why in the world would I do that?"

After talking a bit more, I got the impression he felt that I was somehow exaggerating or embellishing. This just pissed me off more, but on some levels I don't blame him: The story really doesn't make rational sense, even to me: So why should it to the outside observer?

Just let me at that follow-up survey that the hospital sends. Oh, I shall fill it out most completely.

Also, here's an excerpt from an e-mail that Wanda sent me today:

"I just went to the bank. First off, there's a lady leaning against my car and her three daughters sitting on it. They move and pretend like nothing ever happened. So I get to AmCore, I look up, and there is this mound of snow on the ground. As my mind is trying to process that, some guy comes moseying along through the parking lot and across the street carrying not one, but TWO rifles. "

So, it looks like we both had something of a surreal day.

(04/26/10 - 04:28 PM)

Now THAT'S Angry!

(04/26/10 - 09:05 AM)
The book is now available in trade paperback format. You can either go here to order it, click the picture link below, or ask your local bookseller to order you a copy by using the ISBN:

ISBN-10: 1452816573
ISBN-13: 978-1452816579

Terminal Beginning: Now In Trade Paperback!

Make sure that if you do order it, read it, etc. that you rate it, please!

(04/25/10 - 11:06 AM)
Spent the morning sleeping (shocker!) from the meds, until my friend Bryan called to talk to me. It was good to hear from my old friend, and we talked for nearly an hour. Turns out he took the time to read my book (which was keen of him), and had a few ideas and thoughts to share.

Mostly, we just ended up talking about my >AHEM< 'awesome' stay in the hospital, and all of its frightening little nuances.

I would like to say that I might get something productive done today, but I know that I won't: So why lie about it?

I'll be so glad to be back to work.

The bruises are now in full-blossom, and the hues on my person are both awe-inspiring and hideous at the same time. I didn't even know that I could turn those colors.

(04/24/10 - 7:32 PM)
Spent the day predominantly sleeping again, while my wife did all the chores around the house (which made me feel even more awful than I already did, because I pride myself on doing my share.)

Tried to read some, but got three pages into the book I'm reading, and nodded off. I figured it would happen, but it was worth a shot.

(04/22/10 - 3:26 PM)
I'm sitting at home, wondering how in the world I would have made it at work today - 'sitting' or not. The short answer is, "I wouldn't have."

One bright spot in all of this is that I did finally get the proof copy of my book. It's fairly exciting to see something that looks like something real & professional, with my name on it.

I also did something a little different: I didn't paginate the thing. I thought about it, but then I thought it might be something that the publisher did. When they didn't, I decided that I didn't mind it that way so much, as it was somewhat unique. I'll probably regret that decision but - oh well.

I slept for 13 hours last night, and for another two or so this afternoon. I can barely keep my eyes open and the pain, while still there and intense, is at least in check thanks to the drugs and holding still.

Sleeping was a real bear last night, though, as I usually toss and turn to get cooled off during the night. I could no more roll over than I could do a dive roll at the moment, so I was sweating like a Lebanese fighter pilot (thanks Dad for getting that one stuck in my head). It was made exponentially worse by the cats' decision to suddenly want to snuggle up with me after months of ignoring us both due to fish jealousy. Usually he snuggles with Wanda, and his visiting me is rare. Apparently, I'm just lucky, I guess.

I also had to have Wanda pick me up some new shorts in a bigger size, because one of my new holes is smack dab where the button on my jeans lives. This would be fine, except every time I move, it pushes against the wound.

Interestingly, she couldn't find Wrangler jean shorts in the size I needed. At least, not traditional ones. Instead, she picked me up a pair of carpenter shorts, some other kind, and some cargo shorts. While I never would have bought these for myself, I found the cargo shorts to be pretty comfy.

She also bought me a keen 'Bullet Bill' t-shirt from the Super Mario Brothers game. Sweeeeet.

(04/21/10 - 7:38 PM)
So - WOW. What an interesting string of events.

I worked all day yesterday, and felt fine. I got off a little early, came home, did my chores, and then settled in to wait for Wanda to get home and see about dinner.

At about 3:30, I noticed that I had a slight pain in the center of my abdominals. I figured I had just pulled a muscle at work, as I had been moving alot of heavy steel slugs earlier in the day, and some of them were awkward and dense.

As the evening rolled on, it got progressively more painful. I figured I was exacerbating it by the way I was sitting, so I attempted some different positions.

By 6:30 it became clear that I was not going to get comfortable, and for some odd reason, I felt compelled to go and lie down in the bedroom. I started to have some minor nausea, and thought perhaps I was running a fever. Wanda was good enough to set me up with a Family Guy DVD to keep my mind off things, and I laid down, figuring that I would feel better by morning.

By about 7:30 the pain was getting worse, and there was a definite fever. I wasn't sweating, and I was fully dressed and covered up. I decided to take one of my remaining painkillers from my surgery last August (which I try and ration to the Nth degree, because they don't grow on trees, and I save them for when my back goes out.)

At 8:00, I took a second one, and I got a little frightened, in that neither one - nor two - had even touched the pain. And these painkillers, while not the most potent, usually work just fine.

I actually started to worry.

The pain continued to escalate until finally, at 11:37 PM, I had to admit defeat and request that my wife drive me to the hospital. I felt totally stupid because I just KNEW it was a pulled muscle. That, coupled with the fact that the ER doctor on my last visit had diagnosed my pain due to abdominal bile leakage from my operation as 'gas'.

I was afraid he might do the same once more.

By the time we got to the ER, I was hyperventilating and in a state of pained stupor. As luck would have it, I got a nurse who was a little crazy, and had my sense of humor (what are the odds?)

She listened patiently to me, and seemed to be genuinely concerned with rectifying the situation so I felt immediately at ease.

I was in the ER from 11:55 to nearly three in the morning. In that time, I had an ultrasound for kidney stones (nope) and was given three separate CAT scans of my abdomen.

As I waited for the results from Australia (apparently, they have a facility for round-the-clock CAT scan reads there, which actually makes alot of sense) I was given Dilaudid, Atavan and Toradol. Those seemed to help some, but not nearly as much as I would have expected.

Finally, the results were in, and I was admitted to a room: I needed an appendectomy before the little guy blew up.

I was supposed to go to surgery at 6:00 AM, but that kept getting bumped (at no fault of the surgeons - their schedule is a mess on the best of days).

By 7:00 AM I had been up for more than 24 hours straight, and was feeling pained and woozy and tired.

The nurse who admitted me had been called in at 3:15 from her home as a last-minute backup, and she did the worst job possible in checking me in. She would not finish 90% of her sentences, would answer questions for me, or just not make sense. I tried to be patient, but it began to grate.

Then she decided that the IV metering unit that had come with me from the ER and had been working just fine for the past four hours was somehow defective. As such, she went and got me a new one which, when turned on, sounded like NewsCopter 5. I very politely told her that I realized that it wasn't her fault, but that if she left that unit in my presence, I was probably going to kill someone. I apologized for being in pain and cranky, but I made no bones about the fact that I could not - and would not - tolerate this loud machine.

It was finally replaced some twenty minutes later, after malfunctioning and beeping in a high-pitched tone every four seconds in my ear for a solid five minutes.

Then, I got to meet my day nurse. She had a trainee in tow, and it took all of four seconds to realize that the trainer was a horrible nurse, and that the trainee was already a better one.

All the while, other nurses and CNA's were in and out, asking me questions about my procedure. The problem was, no one had told me anything at all, and the questions they were asking were scaring the hell out of me. Mainly because if they didn't know and were asking me, what did that say about their ability to treat me?

I was given morphine as a painkiller, and I figured all would be well in the near term. This was not to be so. Apparently, potent though it might be, morphine doesn't work on me so well.

By now, my mother, father, and step-mother had all shown up to check in on me (they're all keen for that), and they watched as I (apparently) was off in la-la land in excruciating pain. I only vaguely remember what was happening because the pain was so intense. I was later told that every one of them was crying, with the exception of my dad who wanted to, but had reigned it in. So I know it must have been something awful to see.

I asked the nurse if she could switch me to Dilaudid, rather than morphine, as the morphine wasn't doing a thing, and Dilaudid always worked. She responded that it was a personal preference of the Surgeon, and seemed content to leave it at that.

I guess my wife and family got involved, and she continued to stonewall even them through one hour - and three doses of morphine - that didn't do a thing to alleviate the astronomical pain.

Then, the OR nurse came up, and everyone sized her up pretty quickly as a sharp, conscientious nurse. The question was posed once more, and the day nurse once more answered as she had before, while the OR nurse followed behind and said that, certainly, they could change the medication from one to the other, as there were many medications for pain available specifically because some worked better than others for some individuals.

I wanted to kiss her.

I FINALLY was going to get what I needed, but then they came to get me for surgery. I asked about the medications, and the day nurse stated that they were on their way up, but had not made it in time, so they would probably just give them to me in the OR prep room.

I begged her to re-consider, but she assured me that they would be waiting.

So, imagine my surprise when I got to the OR prep room, and after twenty minutes, still didn't have any medication in me. At about this point, someone spoke (Wanda or my mom - I don't recall) and the OR staff finally found a reference to the meds somewhere; the painkiller was administered, but the other medication was not, as it was now 'too late' to administer prior to surgery.

I cannot believe how bad that day nurse was.

Then I was off to surgery, and soon the next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery.

After about fifteen minutes, I was taken back to my room only to find that - YAY - day nurse was still on duty.

I had mentioned to her that I really needed to go to the bathroom, and so she hollered out to the eight people in my room (mostly nurses and CNA's) that they needed to get out, because the patient had to pee.


Everyone hustled out, and I walked over to the bathroom. I went, and then came out to a still empty room. I got in the closet and grabbed my tighty-whities. At this point, the day nurse (with apprentice in tow) knocked and burst through my door.

"What are you doing! You're not supposed to be up!"

I felt like saying, "Didn't you just tell everyone to get out so I could pee?"

Then she looks at my underwear in my hand (a new pair, thank God) and asks, "Are you getting dressed!"

I responded that, no, I was just putting on my undies to be a little more discreet and comfortable.

At this, she said, "Well, do it on the bed."

I wanted to argue that it was easier to do standing, because then I didn't have to bend 90° at the midsection where there were three new holes in me.

I didn't have the energy, and she was actually coming off like a bully (seriously, I felt bullied), so I went over to the bed. She and the assistant stood there, staring at me. I stared back, waiting for some semblance of privacy.

"Well, put them on!" she said.

I finally decided to fight back, "I would prefer to do this standing up, and have some... umm..."

"Oh, geez, he wants privacy. Fine, fine."

I kid you not, she was actually indignant. Her idea of privacy was for she and her apprentice to each stand less than two feet from me, facing me, and looking up toward the ceiling.

Lord, I wanted to hit her.

I finally got my undies on, and got into bed.

Ten minutes later, she returned, assistant in tow, and said, "You need to see the surgeon? You have some questions?"

I was taken aback. The only thing I could think of was that I had asked her apprentice a few minutes ago, as she was taking my blood pressure and temperature, when I would be leaving, so that I could let my family know. I simply let her know this and, rather than answering, she just left my room.

At four o'clock she told me that I had to eat a meal, and then I was to go home.

I ate the meal at five, and when she came to release me at six, I still had not had an opportunity to speak with anyone about follow up care, etc.

So, I asked her out of desperation. "When can I go back to work? Has the surgeon prepared a slip for me?"

She said that the surgeon had gone home for the day, but that I should go back to work the following day.

I was flabbergasted. I was in pain, I hadn't slept in 36 hours, and she was telling me I was fine to go to work?

"Are you sure?" I asked.

"Well, the surgeon should be fine with it, so long as you don't do any lifting. And since you just sit all day, it shouldn't be a problem."


Where oh WHERE had she gotten this information? I had never discussed anything of the like with anyone.

I was panicking, because I knew that I would be in no shape to return to work, but without a surgeon's excuse, I would have to. I was instructed to call his office in the morning to schedule a follow-up, and to change my bandages right away when I got home.

My wife went to pick up my prescriptions, and on a whim, she asked the pharmacist if it sounded right that I would be back at work the next day. He thought she was kidding, but when he realized that she was serious, he mentioned that the medication alone was reason enough to keep me from work.

"He shouldn't drive for 24-48 hours after anesthesia, and especially when taking this medication. See, it's right here on the information sheet."

I called the surgeon's office the next morning, and was told that I needed to see him next wednesday and that, at that time, he would release me for work. Imagine if I hadn't asked?

And now, getting back to changing my bandages, I did as she said. When I took the first one off, I realized that there was an over-bandage, which had some sort of surgical tape beneath. Thinking that this was a part of the bandage, I pulled it off, and opened a hole in myself about the size of an un-husked sunflower seed. Blood flowed forth.


So what no one had told me was that no staples were used to close me up. Instead, they had used this tape stuff. And because I was following the nurses' orders, I had just opened one of my own wounds. This will leave a neat-o scar, I'm sure.

I'm so angry about the whole ordeal, I don't even know what to do. I hope to heck that they send me another survey because while some of the nurses were awesome and did a really great job, I felt like the rest of them were nothing more than clowns who had no idea what I - or they - were supposed to be doing. I actually feel fortunate that I wasn't killed.

Seriously: It was that bad.

(04/19/10 - 6:48 PM)
Another fairly slow day at work today. I'm not sure what happened to the glut of work we experienced in the first quarter of the year, but the little break (for me, personally) isn't wholly unwanted.

Got home early today, and got quite a few things done.

I'm still eagerly awaiting Wednesday's arrival of my proof copy of my book >woot!<. It's hard to wait for something like that, especially after ten years.

But hey - what's a few more days?

(04/18/10 - 9:55 AM)
It's been such a struggle trying to figure out and control all of the myriad items associated with trying to bring my book to the masses.

The first problem is me: I made some mistakes using the submission software for the first time (it's pretty straightforward, yet clunky at times) and ended up tanking the description, as well as the physical file and artwork for the Kindle edition. And that's just plain embarrasing.

Fortunately, it's just friends and family thus far - and they tend to be forgiving and supportive. Unfortunately, I'm having a hell of a time getting it all 'fixed'.

I learned a valuable lesson though, in the vein of 'measure twice - cut once': triple check everything. Then, walk away, and check it again before you hit a single button - anywhere.

This seems to have worked out when dealing with the physical copies. I think (accent on 'think') that I've gotten the publisher exactly what they require to get it right (if not, then it's all on me).

I should know within the week when the proofs come. I have a niggling feeling that I've still missed something, so we'll just have to wait and see.

I did have to change the sizing this morning, which screwed up the whole distribution pricing model. It went from a comfortable $11.99 to a corpulent $14.99 for direct distribution costs.

The upside is that I can purchase copies for less than $6.00, so that will help with personal and local distribution. BUT, it will probably end up putting the title well out of desired reach for most online browsers. Which totally sucks.

I'm hoping that there's a variable distribution model available somewhere down the line where I can trim back the costs with Amazon.com to make it more reasonably priced. The problem is that if you want the whole supply chain distribution model (and believe me - I do) then you have to compensate for their astronomical cuts. At $14.99, the remainder left for me is .22 cents. Not that I care, but I'd rather make nothing and have the book sell for $11.99.

But I can't be picky at this stage.

I spent a majority of the day yesterday ironing out the cover design (which isn't spectacular, as I had to use a template that has only a finite number of tweaks that one can make.) While I'm not overly-thrilled with the final result, I can't say that I'm unhappy with it, either. I think it rates a 7 out of 10, so we'll call it a win.

I could not believe all of the software I had to use yesterday, though. I think at one time I had something like 15 separate things open and going to bring it all together. Anyone more technologically challenged might have simply given up and submitted themselves for admission into a quiet, padded room. But I pressed on, even as my back was screaming for mercy and my eyes were fuzzing out from staring at the screen so intently.

Yesterday's efforts did yield an EAN13/ISBN #: 978-1452816579. This makes me an official entity in the fictional world of 'Bookland' (ISBN is an acronym for 'International Standard Book Number').

It's been a long, arduous process, but at least I can say I did it. It may not sell; it may not be professionally edited. Hell, it may end up being a joke among my friends and family but the point is that I did it, for good or ill; I did it.

So, whatever happens - happens. And no regrets.


(04/17/10 - 8:12 PM)
Busy day that flew by. Where did the time go?

(04/16/10 - 7:46 PM)
Wanda and I finished the first season of Caprica that had been piling up in our DVR this evening.

While I will say (again) that it wasn't even close to what I had expected, it was pretty good, nonetheless. It managed to espouse ethical questions posed by authors such as Greg Egan (Permutation City) and Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash) about what constitutes a conscious being, and what constitutes a copy - and what happens when the two get confused.

On the whole, I can say that Eric Stoltz was a great pick for the lead role, while Paula Malcomson as his wife (who is a great actress in the role) just didn't seen to fit the role.

I hope this series continues (it seems as though it should) and we get more of an insight into what in the world happened when it all went wrong. We've already been given the seeds to work with; now we just need to see what grows from them.

(04/15/10 - 4:18 PM)
So, last night I saw a blue flash that dissapated slowly, and thought it was lightning (albeit really odd lightning). Turns out, I should have glanced more cautiously. What I apparently saw was a large meteorite entering our atmosphere just northwest of me.

I will say that for the little I saw and heard, it was neat. And when my assistant showed me this video, I was startled at how much the coloration and fade matched what I had seen.

(04/13/10 - 9:24 PM)
I finally broke down, edited what I could of my book myself (thanks for nothing, editors!), and put it up on Amazon.com.

I figured a life of its own couldn't be worse than sitting on my hard drive for years and years, so we'll see what happens.

If you're interested, it's available by clicking the graphic below.

Terminal Beginning

It's kind of an odd thing: On one hand, it's a relief to have the thing out there and done with, but on the other hand, I feel as though I've put a part of myself on display for everyone that I may not be wholly comfortable sharing. It's an odd dichotomy, I'll be the first to admit.

(04/11/10 - 10:36 AM)
Woke up early yet again yesterday, and decided to make something productive out of it.

So, I did alot of work on the media library, and then went to work for a bit.

Came home and got some things done around the house, including replacing my broken window well cover that I missed before last winter.

Tried to take a nap, and was assaulted by the following small engine noises, in succession:

  • A Sod Cutter
  • A Weed-Eater
  • A Lawnmower
  • A Tile Saw
  • A Motorcycle
Plus, my cat wanted to be fed, so every time I would begin to doze off, he would either meow incessantly or put his paw on my cheek. Which I might think was cute, had I not been sleeping so poorly for so long at this point.

So, instead of a nap, I got about 45 minutes of 'name that motor!' while being accosted by a feline.

When I finally gave it up, Wanda and I made some dinner and then watched the Caprica movie (finally!) It's a spin-off of the new Battlestar Galactica franchise, but it moves back a generation to outline what happened before it all went horribly wrong.

And while it was nothing like I thought it would be, I found it entertaining nonetheless.

So we elected to tuck in for the evening, and begin watching the eight television episodes of the movie-turned-show that had piled up in our DVR for the last few months. And - true to the movie's form - it was pretty damn good.

(04/10/10 - 7:17 AM)
P.S.- Don't forget to hover over the pictures in the blog to see the hidden messages! They usually all have one (all the way back to day one!), so make sure that you get the full-on cynical effect!

(04/10/10 - 7:13 AM)
Each morning, I check online for the cheapo CD of the day. Today there was an EP from some rapper that I've never heard of, and one of the various mixed reviews read thusly:

"I order my boyfriend in prison all kinds of CD's from diff genres and he specifically liked this one."

Okay, so not only are you clinging to someone who clearly got on the wrong side of John Q. Law, but you're going so far as to review CD's for him on Amazon.com.

What in the hell is wrong with you, woman? You're obviously fiercely loyal, and somewhat kind: so find yourself a man who ISN'T in prison and enjoy your life, for crying out loud.


(04/09/10 - 5:06 PM)
For as busy as we've been at work all week, today was deader than disco wrapped in Tyne Daly's career.

I had forty hours in when I arrived this morning, so after spending another 6 1/2 at work, I decided to sneak out early.

I went home and got the new lawnmower setup and unboxed. Then I went and got some gas for the mower, and some for my car.

I went to the grocery store to stock up on supplies, and then came home for my first lawnmowing of the new year.

And I have this to say: "Honda - WTF?"

I've been a rabid fan of these mowers ever since I bought my first one, years ago. They ALWAYS start on the first pull, their mulching action is nothing short of miraculous, and they're extremely light-weight. With all this in mind, I noted that this new mower had some differences in the control structure that I didn't think were a big deal when I noted them in the store. Boy, was I wrong.

Wanted: Honda HRR Series Lawnmower | Crime: Sucky Controls

The new mowers' blade engagement bar is RECTANGULAR (albeit with slightly radiused corners that effectively do nothing to add any real comfort), rather than round. What this means is that you are forced to mow with the undersides of your knuckles rubbing on a semi-pointed, 90° corner, rather than a smooth, round rod.

In the words of Kuni:


But wait - it gets better!

They also added a new feature that replaces the under-mounted bar used to engage the self-propulsion unit. It now has a pressure-activated unit that looks like a basset hounds' head. The idea is that when you want the self-propulsion to work, you just press your thumbs rigid against two rubber pads - one on each 'ear' - and hold them in to make it go. Not lock them in - HOLD them in - with constantly applied pressure. Alot more than I would like, in fact.

In the words of Kuni:


What sadist invented this I don't know, but they should be shot. It's awkward, it's hard on the thumbs, and (for some reason) it requires more concentration than one might think to use.

I absolutely hate this mower. Worse still, at 6' 3", I can't help but think it was designed for someone far more dimunitive. It actually made things even MORE awkward then they would have been, were I only shorter.

To the folks at Honda: if you do product testing, then sign me up. Because I cannot - and will not - recommend your mowers anymore until something changes.

(04/08/10 - 11:06 PM)
It's Thursday. Let's see what joke I made up today!

The President was holding a special lunch for all of Congress in Washington for his birthday. As a special gift, Congress held a secret contest among rye whiskey distillers in America to find the very best to make a special batch for the event.

In the end, Albert Hammond was chosen, and subsequently given only months to prepare a special batch for the birthday lunch.

As the months turned to weeks, turned to days, Mr. Hammond became more and more frantic. The special batch didn't have the flavor or notes that he desired, and he knew he needed something unique to make the lunch memorable.

Two days prior to the big day, a savvy reporter showed up at his distillery to inquire about how it was going. Upon arrival she was tipped off by a disgruntled employee that all was not entirely well.

During the interview, Mr. Hammond was questioned mercilessly until he finally cracked and admitted that he had spiked the whickey with mustard seed to give it a unique flavor.

When asked if this was orthodox, the distiller admitted that it was not, but that the batch had all gone abysmally wrong.

The day before the lunch, the newspaper broke the story with the following headline:

"Hammond cheats on rye with mustard for lunch."

In the words of my friend Byran: My brain is a scary place to be.

(04/07/10 - 10:09 PM)
You've all seen them: television programs where someone (usually someone elderly) accidentially mistakes the gas for the brake in their vehicle, which in turn sends them careening into a gas pump/person/storefront.

Hey, it happens. Not to me, but apparently it does happen.

So, imagine my surprise this week when I'm driving a few blocks from my home and I see this:

Thank you; drive thru - courtesy of Wanda

The red car (which had, by the time I arrrived, been pulled from the storefront where it had been buried five feet deep only moments earlier) was driven by an elderly gentleman.

I still have no idea what happened, but I can't help but wonder when one finally says, "You know what? It sucks, but maybe I just shouldn't drive anymore."

(04/06/10 - 10:22 PM)

"I don't need to know how the clock works, I just need to know what time it is." - Anonymous

(04/05/10 - 8:13 PM)
Sometimes you hear a story from me that is so crazy; so insane that you believe that you could not possibly get a gem better than that one, and if you didn't know me, you'd think I was lying.

And they almost always involve Mr. Phillips Screwdriver.

This one does as well...

My Boss, who is a vociferous WELS Lutheran (that's 'Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod', to you and I) and wants to save the world (and I don't speak of this as if it's a bad thing in the slightest) always invites all of his non-churchgoing and non-Lutheran friends/co-workers/etc. to open-house-type church services.

For Easter, his church was having one of these, and each employee was given a personal invitation card to come to the services.

There was to be an early service, then a breakfast, followed by a second service. The idea being that you could go to church, and then have some fellowship with your new-found faithful, or you could have the fellowship, and then worship with them. It was your choice.

After first service was over, and breakfasting had begun in earnest, Mr. Phillips Screwdriver and Mrs. Phillips Screwdriver do, in fact, take him up on his sincere invitation to come to his church (in Belvidere, IL), even though they live all the way in Janesville, WI.

Their collective attire is less than church-worthy, but I dismissed that based on the fact that not everyone has the money or the means to dress as such. Plus I figure God doesn't mind, so long as you have sound intentions.

In truth, I figured that they just didn't feel like putting forth the effort, and that's probably closer to the truth. But I cannot know for certain.

My Boss, ever the good host, greeted them and breakfasted with them amongst the parishoners that were only now getting their first taste of Mr. & Mrs. Phillips Screwdriver (one is bad enough, but the two together are like a vortex of strange).

As breakfast wound down, everyone made their way to second service.

As service began, it became more and more clear that Mr. & Mrs. P.S. were nowhere to be found.

So had what happened?

Here are the facts, in a nutshell:

Mr. & Mrs. P.S. drove down from Janesville to Belvidere after first service for a free breakfast of french toast, bacon and juice (or so I recollect - the menu wasn't the sticking point in the story). They eat and hang out, but leave before second service begins.

And the gall of this simply leaves me nothing short of astounded. But not too astounded, mind you. It is Mr. Phillips Screwdriver, after all.

(04/04/10 - 7:26 AM)
Woke up this morning at 6:40 sharp for some odd reason. And it was one of those instances where you're AWAKE with a capitol 'What the heck?'

So, I rolled out of bed, grabbed a diet cola beverage, and hit blog-land early.

We're going to Wanda's Aunt Julie's house today for Easter to celebrate Jesus making eggs for all the little Isrealite kiddies before having a bunny hide them, and then himself, for three days.

I'm pretty sure that's how the story goes, anyway.

It'll be nice to see everyone, and I'm planning a power nap for this afternoon, followed by - or precursed by - reading some more of Robert V.S. Redick's latest (awesome book, BTW.)

(04/03/10 - 4:16 PM)
Getting ready to make tacos for me and my gal.

Woke up this morning, and got the burning out of the way while it was still wet outside, mostly because I like to let nature handle the fire prevention measures.

Then I went to work for a few hours, and just as I was about ready to leave I received a call from aforementioned gal that our taxes were done.

So, I popped over to the accountants' place, and was more than surprised to find a sizeable return headed my way. I'm always a pessimist because I never want to count on anything, but this was a little strange. Wanda mentioned that there was some sort of tax-reduction program in place for the year, so I assume that this must be what I had missed.

So nice surprise, anyway.

When I went to pick the taxes up, the receptionist (who is pushing sixty and is tanned orange with - >AHEM< - lovely brown spots) bent over to get them from under the desk. Her shirt hiked up, and I saw two miniscule straps of a thong, which had gotten rolled up into her high-cut blouse.

I wasn't sure whether to give her a 'You go, girl!' or be ill. In the end, I decided simply to look away and mentally shampoo my brain.

(04/02/10 - 9:26 PM)
Got up bright and early to get a haircut after 7-8 months of abstaining: And several of those months spent looking like a homeless hippie.

Then, I went to work this morning, on what was supposed to be a paid holiday. The problem has been that several employees have missed over 128 man hours of work in the past ten working days. One employee had a good excuse (his wife had an emergency triple bypass), but the other three... not so much.

So, the entire group as a whole was enlisted to take one for the team by working through a paid holiday (for the first time ever and - hopefully - the only time.)

Everyone pulled together, and we made a good day of it.

I knocked off at around 1:30, and then Wanda and I went and ran some errands and had lunch at Chili's for the first time in a long time.

We bought a new lawnmower, some light bulbs, socks, 'other' clothing necessities (read - underwear, and some t-shirts that weren't actually necessities, but were funny enough to be included), new towels (fluffy AND giant!) and found some wall art for above our nightstands.

Finished off the weeks' assortment of media and got them all into the library, and then watched a few shows with Wanda.

On the whole, a good day.

(04/01/10 - 9:17 PM)
This one comes compliments of my friend and co-worker, Tricia.

An Irishman, a Hispanic, and a Caucasian iron worker are all sitting high-atop the iron next to one another having their lunch.

The Irishman opens his box to find corned beef and cabbage, and says to the other two, "I swear if I get this in my lunch one more time, I'm just going to end it all, fellas."

The Hispanic opens his box to find a burrito and refried beans, and says to the other two, "I swear if I get this in my lunch one more time, I'm going to end it all with you, amigo."

The Caucasian opens his box to find a balogna sandwich and potato chips, and says to the other two, "You know what? I agree. If I get this in my lunch one more time, I'm going with you two."

So the next day they all sit down, and prepare for the worst. The Irishman opens his box to find the same lunch as the day before and says, "Well fellas, it's been nice knowing you," and proceeds to jump.

The Hispanic, in turn, opens his box to also find the same lunch as the day before and says, "Well sir, it's been good working with you, amigo," and also proceeds to jump.

The Caucasian opens his box and, finding the same lunch as the day before, follows his now deceased friends into oblivion.

Three days later at the funeral, each of their wives steps up to the podium following the eulogy.

The Irishman's wife says to all present, "Oh, had I only known! I would have given him something different. I just thought that was what he would like!"

The Hispanic's wife is next, and she says to all present, "Oh, had I only known! I would have made him something different now and then. Why didn't he tell me!?"

Finally, the Caucasian's wife steps up to the podium, with no tears in her eyes whatsoever and a frustrated look. "Well, what do you expect me to say? It's not my fault what the fool packed in his own lunch."

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