A Twist Of Fate
October, 2007 Entries
As seen in The Pillow Fort Report and Bea Arthur Remembers The Old West

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(10/31/07 - 11:07 PM)
It's Halloween (or All Hallows Eve, the night before All Soul's Day, for you closet Catholics and septaugenarians out there). My porch lights are all off. It's really, really dark at my house. The upstairs lights aren't even on to show through the blinds. I couldn't see a damn thing when I looked outside tonight. Where am I going with this? Imagine my surprise when my doorbell rang, trick-or-treaters standing at the ready. My God, is stupidity that rampant? Seriously?

(10/30/07 - 11:32 PM)
Wanted: The link to a site with a clipart or other such free thing showing a dancing stick of butter. I know, it's weird, but I'm doing this as a favor to my wife (she didn't ask me to, I just thought I'd pop out an APB on something weird to entertain myself.) Anyone?

(10/29/07 - 11:18 PM)
See your name in lights! Click here now! This is so cool! Imagine, your name - in lights!

(10/28/07 - 11:32 PM)
Food poisoning really sucks. My mom tried to do something nice for me by bringing Lino's to the condo the other night, so I could, "... eat something good for dinner, instead of eating all the junk that I have here." I wasn't really all that hungry, but she seemed so pleased by her thoughtfulness (and rightly so) that I couldn't really say no. So, I ate. And the next day, I had food poisoning (as did she) and I got so sick, I actually missed work (I tried to go, but after the third time I threw up, my employees were nearly pushing me out the door. A customer of mine has a saying that I think holds true here: "No good deed goes unpunished."

(10/27/07 - 11:44 PM)
Wanda landed another job. You go, girl! She had to take a typing test for this one, and she scored a whopping 87 WPM with a 99% accuracy. Apparently, the robotics company built her very well indeed.

It's a sad testament to the state of the average workplace in this day and age when someone like her can be let go without a second thought. She has the abilities to revolutionize the office she works in, and instead chaos reigns supreme while the less ethical employees take full advantage of the chaos by not working, or allowing themselves to be paid for work time that they never performed. Her manager at this particular job falls once more into the category of the ostrich - a manager who knows his business (lawyering) and who assumes it's easier to let things take their course - even at his own expense - rather than dealing with issues of critical importance. The result? An office full of people who understand how to unethically milk this system for all it's worth, while employees who understand what a job and a manager should be like move on for greener pastures. Change is difficult - apparently, for some, impossible. It's a shame, too. People such as these should be fairly punished or rewarded for their work - not treated randomly and meaninglessly. I'd say that I hope they learn something from this, but I think at this point it's clear that they won't. Good luck succeeding guys - you're drowning in mediocrity, and that's all you'll ever be if you don't choose otherwise.

What a sorry state the world is in >sigh<.

(10/26/07 - 11:31 PM)
It's October 26th - do you know where you're Fritos are?

(10/25/07 - 11:18 PM)
What the heck happened to "Trading Spaces"? It's all edgy and weird now. When Paige Davis (nee, Mindy Paige Page) left the show for reasons still unknown to me, this seemed to be the beginning of the end. But it was still palpable as a show. Then it slid into weird gimmicks; gimmicks are okay, but some of these got downright odd. And now the show actually frightens me to watch, not to mention causing me an insurmountable level of discomfort. Seriously, just kill the show. It's better to burn out, then fade away. And man, you're fading with gusto.

(10/24/07 - 11:53 PM)
I heard a riddle today: How many sides does a circle have?

The answer is: Two - an inside, and an outside.


From Boggie : You have too much time on your hands. Also, Skip takes two - the answer was Monty Hall in a bikini.

(10/18/07 - 10/23/07 - ??:?? ?M)
Time and space bend here. Nothing happened. If you remember something happening here, you're wrong. Go about your business.

(10/17/07 - 11:52 PM)
I saw a sign yesterday on the side of a truck for a furniture rental company that read, "Everyone is pre-approved!". Why in the heck should anyone with half a brain get excited about this? Pre-approval is tantamount to nothing in this day and age. There was a time when pre-approval meant that an individual had met certain criteria to allow their application for credit to be passed along for finalization (i.e. - how much moolah the institution was willing to front them.) This practice, has apparently been replaced by having only one criteria: if you exist in any way, shape or form, you are pre-approved!

Dude on life support in a vegetative state? Pulse? Yep? Pre-approved!

Retarded three year old? Pre-approved!

Sentient computer system poised on self realization and world annhilation? Pre-approved!

Waffle iron with a God complex? Pre-approved!

Mr. Bananas the monkey who flings poo at Mr. Johnson, the zookeeper on Wednesdays because he hates oranges? Pre-approved!

George W. Bush? Pre-approved!

Are we as a society really that gullible?

(10/16/07 - 11:37 PM)
I watched a movie (who'd a thunk it?) Wanda had one in the DVR, and we were both in a movie place which almost never happens for me, anyway. We watched "Lost in Translation" a movie about two distinctly different, lonely souls in the midst of similar crises of self doubt while in Japan - a place neither knows anything about. Bill Murray plays an aging actor, longing in hindsight to understand the path he has traveled through life. He befriends Scarlett Johansson, a young newlywed who is questioning with foresight the path she is about to take through hers. The story progresses slowly, with great subtlety and nuanced overtones but on the whole achieves the compelling effect of forcing oneself to look at their own choices, in light of those occuring on the screen.

On the whole, this movie isn't one I would watch again any time soon. It isn't really a "chick flick", and the pacing certainly calls for one to be in a receptive mood, but it ends up being a compelling film where you can't help but be drawn into the worlds of the two protagonists (although I never like films about bad marriages for obvious reasons - mostly, I just got lucky.)

(10/15/07 - 11:44 PM)
I came up with my first "Far Side" cartoon today. Imagine if you will, a shoddy cabin in a glade, in the middle of a dense conifer forest in the middle of nowhere. The windows are all covered from within, and the only thing you can see is half the face of a crazed looking dude peeking out from behind a curtain through the front window, hair gone wild. On the front lawn is a sign, and the sign reads: "For Sale by Loner".

I don't care what you think, it made me laugh.

(10/14/07 - 10:13 AM)
Mom closed on her new house this morning - congratulations! And so now, let the painting begin!

Also, I finished Douglas Coupland's new novel "The Gum Thief" and was, after the triumph of his last novel "JPod", pleasantly surprised to find him still in rare form. While not as compelling as his last work, this book certainly does not in any way disappoint.

The protagonists in the story are two unlikely individuals who find that they have much in common, aside from just working dead-end jobs at the local Staples. One is a young girl named Bethany ascending into a pointless existance, and the other is Roger, an older man descending into a similarly pointless existance of his own.

Bethany finds a journal that Roger has been keeping one afternoon in the store. The odd thing is that he's keeping the journal and writing as though he were her.

While notably perturbed, and a little frightened by this turn of events, curiosity gets the better of Bethany and a story blossoms that entwines both their worlds, and the world of others around them into a web of strange perceptions and facts that, in the end, show without question that though their backgrounds may be entirely different, their realities are not all that unalike.

Coupland reminds me often now of Haruki Murakami - and vice versa. I think this is why Murakami is so appealing to me without making sense - he reminds me of Coupland, with a notably Japanese slant (Yay! I finally figured it out!)

This is the kind of book that I wish I could write - it's witty, it's analytical, and most importantly it taps into the basic fundamentals of what it means to be truly human in a world crumbling all around us in a way vaguely reminiscent of Jeffrey Eugenides' "The Virgin Suicides"

(10/14/07 - 10:13 AM)
I was thinking alot this morning about how almost everyone in the United States who was middle-class could be rich, the lower class could be comfortable, and the bottom of society could still make it on poverty wages - ant yet, we don't. Here's my list of magic bullets. Ready?

° Pay yourself first: I CANNOT stress this enough, and neither can any financial guru on the planet. Even if it's only a couple of dollars a week, put it aside. In fact, I encourage you to pay yourself until it hurts - take as much as you can stand away from your pool of spendable cash, and throw away the key. Then, if you are able, use this money to invest in tax-deferred vehicles to gain yourself even more money by showing the Government that your taxable income is now diminished and asking, "Can I have some of my hard earned money back, please?"

° Terminate hyper-consumerism: Stop buying everything you see. Buy only what you need, when you need it. Buy moderately priced gifts for others, and if it's not something practical, don't buy it at all. Buy things from discount stores whenever possible, but don't buy low-quality items. Often I see people shopping for items that are essentially disposable, and while this seems a good idea on the surface because they're cheap, in the end you may have to purchase two or three of them to compensate for having bought just one good one in the first place.

° Live well below your means: Sure, I can afford a $300,000.00 house. Instead, I live in a $100,000.00 house. Yet, I am more an exception than a common denominator. Why? Because we as Americans have status issues. We have to have everything we can possibly afford, even if it means stretching ourselves to the limits to get it. I watch people on television put nothing down on a home with a massive interest rate (I saw one with a first mortgage at 7.5% and a second, "Piggy-back mortgage" at 9% the other day) that stretches their budget to its breaking point and leaves them in a - and this is a new twist - FORTY-YEAR MORTGAGE. They might just as well give their paychecks away now, because these morons don't deserve to have money. Why, why, WHY would someone do this?

Let's think about this for a moment: Okay, say I DID buy that $300k house. Great, I can afford it, so it's no big deal, right? WRONG WRONG WRONG. And here's why - I will pay a higher rate of taxation on this property to my local prefecture. This reduces further my spending/saving potential. Further, I will pay a ton more in interest where I could be overpaying principal instead on a smaller home. Finally - and most egregious of all - I will lose the earnings potential on this excess cash. I could invest this money, and attempt to retire early. Or at the very least, comfortably. The "Law of sevens" states that, all things being equal, invested money doubles its value every seven years. So, say that I pay an extra $1,000.00 in property taxes per year, as well as $5,000.00 more in interest on this home. That's $6,000.00 per year that I will never see again. Conversely, if I remain where I am and invest that money, then by the time I retire at age 65 that $6,000.00 for just one year should be worth $22,400. and that's just for ONE YEAR. Imagine doing this year after year. You could retire a heck of alot earlier, and a heck of alot richer, if you just remained where you were. Sure, you might not have a Jacuzzi tub right away. The upside is that you could choose to add one to your existing dwelling at a much lower cost than buying a larger dwelling with one already in it. And what happens if I need a new roof? Will $8-15k magically appear to my wondering eyes? Nope. But often, people don't consider maintenance years down the road. We live in a society of instant gratification, and the banks and lenders are more than fine with that so long as they get what they want and stretch usuary to new and crazier places.

Another facet of living below your means is how you shop. Hyper-consumerism, as outlined above, is a problem unto itself. But when you DO shop, shop smart. For those of you who know me, you might point out that I have some fairly high-end appliances in my home, and that might not be necessary. You're right, to a point, and - on the surface - I would agree. But what you might not realize is that I got a huge discount by purchasing them all at the same time, during a sales and rebate crossover period where I was eligible for SEVEN different sales, rebates, and discounts. I then coupled this with a one-time discount. Further, those appliances are Energy-Star certified and I intended to leave them with the house if we ever elected to move, thereby adding almost 100% of their cost to the homes' perceived value. On the whole, I got those appliances for about the same cost as regular ones (if not less) - which is why I bought what I bought when I bought it. Shopping like this - by doing your homework - is a sure-fire way to retain a great deal of your hard-earned money while still having nice and value-retaining items.

You might be asking why in the world I would move, if I don't choose to live in a better, more expensive home. The answer is simple: I'm always looking for a way to make money. When we bought this home, we learned a valuable lesson: The one no one wants, is the one for you. We've added a ton of value to this home, and when we cash it out, we can leverage that value into another home in need of some serious TLC. So, you never know...

° Let other people pay your way: This sounds callous on the surface, but there alot of people out there too lazy to do any of the above. When this happens, you have one of two choices: Find a way to capitalize on this fact or let someone else do so. Me, I'm for finding a way to do the prior.

Let's say that you're looking for a home, but don't have alot of money. Have you considered a multi-family unit? More often than not, a multi-family unit costs more, but not exponentially more - and this is the key. If you can rent the other unit(s), you have the potential to live for free or next to nothing, while others pay for the property. This isn't for everyone, but if you can stomach the neighbors for a 5- 10-year span, the rewards could be significant.

Okay, so maybe that's not for you. One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make is walking into a house and saying, "This is gross", "This is dirty", "This isn't my taste", "This needs alot of work." If you're saying any of those, it should be with an excited voice. If you don't want to live there, then most likely no one else does either. This makes the home a tough sell to the average buyer. The result? A much-reduced net profit to the seller who, for whatever reason, has elected or been forced to leave the home in its current state. Capitalize on this. Take the home, and erase the negatives in your mind. Gain a vision of what could be, and then imagine what you wish it were right now, as a buyer. Then, make it so. The Government allows you to avoid paying capital gains taxes on property so long as you dwell within it for two continuous years. So, make the best of dwelling in it by fixing it up yourself a little at a time. This can also be an inexpensive endeavor if you are fortunate enough to have friends and family who work for beer and pizza because they like you and your company. Also, take the opportunity to help your friends in their time of need - because they're your friends, yes, but also because someday you might need them to return the assistance. Plus, you might learn something in the process that you didn't know before that will allow you to add value to your home later. Reading a book or watching a television show about fixing up your home is good - experience is priceless.

During this period, look for the best deals on materials and think about the end-user - the next buyer. If the rest of the neighborhood doesn't have granite and hardwood, don't put them in - you may not see a return on your investment. The exception to this is when you do your homework and strike upon a great deal. Then, you're not out much more money, and you might set yourself up to break the comparisions in the neighborhood. This is a good situation.

Even if you can't afford to fix up your home alot, that's okay too. When the time does come to sell, make that house sparkle and put yourself in the buyers shoes. If you notice cobwebs, they will too - so eliminate any possible negatives that they may use against you to get pricing down. Set a budget for yourself for fix-up projects, and then decide where you will get the greatest return on your money. Paint is always a no brainer when it is required, and tends to be the cheapest of the fix-up items. The kitchen and bathroom are the next rooms that will yield the highest return, so bear this in mind. A great kitchen will sell a house by itself, more often than not. Ideally, you want to present something that the potential buyers have not yet seen in their home search - the cleanest, nicest, most pristine home they've seen. Then, instead of trying to draw your price downward, they may be more inclined to simply pay your asking price - before someone beats them to the punch.

Ready to sell? Do your homework to retain all the value that you can in your home. Find a realtor who will take a reduced comission, rather than the average seven percent. Why will they do this? It's simple: If your house is the nicest one in the area, that means a quick sale and less work for them. Also, some money on a sure thing is better for them than nothing at all. So, it is in your best interest to make it easy for them, and it is in their best interest to make some money on a sure thing. I recommend seeking an established real estate agent who doesn't necessarily need your listing. They seem to have a knack for moving properties quickly via the "Good ol' boy network" that they most likely have established over their years in the business. Don't let your friend who just became a real estate agent sell it - to retain every dollar you will require the sagacious advice of a seasoned professional who will also take a 4-5% listing. Also, it is a good idea to size up your competition by visiting open houses in the area to see what's available. Use this to your advantage to see what you could potentially add or improve to make your house the better value. Keep an eye on which houses sell first as well - whatever those homes had, your home might benefit from as well.

° Think before you procreate: I know this sounds awful, but consider how much procreation without consideraion costs - both in terms of money, social programs (welfare, juvenile law, social work), and ultimately in neglect to the child. If you're not mentally or financially prepared to procreate, then abstain from actions that result in procreation. This one bit of advice alone could save millions - and could result in fewer angry children. A child deserves a great upbringing, and if you're not prepared to give it, then don't force it to suffer due to your lack of forsight. Remember: love for a child is free, but raising them is not. If you want a child, but can barely afford it, that doesn't mean that you should't have one. It then becomes a matter of priorities, and those are important too. If you're prepared to love the child, and don't mind the financial strain, then go for it. Money isn't everything, after all - but that still doesn't mean that you should waste it by not following these other ideals.

° Fast food and entertainment are your sworn enemies: I can't tell you how often I see it - people who don't have alot of money eating out one, two, even three times a day. I once did this myself. Then, about two years ago, I drastically changed my way of thinking. The result? I lost almost seventy pounds, I now spend more time with my wife in the kitchen, and my wallet is a little fatter instead of me.

I work with a guy who is almost sixty. Every day he brings a sack lunch that seems just fine to me, and costs about two dollars, tops. He has a home on a lake and a nice home in town as well. He has many vehicles that he got good bargains on by doing his homework. And he's retiring early. Conversely, I have some employees who barely scrape by, who eat out more often than not, if not all the time. The result? Every meal that they choose to do this for costs them about $3-5 more per day than the fellow who's retiring. Think about the repercussions of this: at even three dollars a day, that's $15.00 per week and $780.00 per year. With just that savings alone, they could not only be healthier - but for an individual 21 years of age, if they saved this excess money that they would have spent from one year's worth of fast food by the law of sevens they would have - from this one year - $58,240.00 by the time they retired. Who says you don't make enough to save money?

Grocery shopping is the same way. We have a customer at work that makes the packaging for a product. This product is made by one company, and every brand on the market is all made by this company - all of them. The difference? The price you pay for "Name brand". I encourage you to purchase quality items, yes - but don't be lured in by name brand hype, unless you want to eat hype, or a multi-colored, eye-catching box. MmMmMmMm... fiber-licious.

Now, let's take a moment to talk about the bar scene. I am constantly amazed at how people get excited about "$2.00 bottle specials". What's special? That the bar or tavern is selling you a one dollar bottle of beer at a 100% markup and is making a buttload of cash while laughing all the way to the bank. And the examples get much worse, often eclipsing 400%. If you must drink, do it at home.

Movies and premium pay television movie channels are another black-hole of cash. Wait for the DVD, and sign up for a service such at NetFlix. My brother and sister-in-law, in fact, don't even have cable television. Instead they use this service to receive entire seasons of shows - commercial free - to watch at their leisure while saving a boatload of money.

° Overall, think about every penny you spend: Even if it's just for a week. Take a hard look at WHAT you're spending your money on. Now think about how much of that is unecessary or could be curbed somewhat. I promise you that with even the smallest amount of creativity you can save money without changing your lifestyle. Be it with using coupons, or using high-efficiency lightbulbs, every step you take to save money brings you one step closer to fiscal solvency and a better life. Try it!

(10/13/07 - 10:22 PM)
Today, we helped my wife's grandmother move from her old second floor apartment to her new, swanky sixth floor apartment in a different housing community >Playing theme from The Jefferson's in the background<.

I can honestly say that the new digs are far cooler than the old one, and the view is phenomenal (although she, like myself, is averse to heights with a vengeance.)

She had plenty of help (thirteen of us, in all) and I can say with certainty that there is no way in the world that it would have been possible to get that many members of my family together for a project like this.

After that, I went to work (yay work!) for a while, but I finally just decided to go home at about 4:30. I figured the rest would keep, but it's bugging me now, in hindsight.

All in all, it was an interesting day. I ate cookies made by a 94-year old lady (sweet lady, lousy cookies) and learned what those peggy-thingers lining the walls near the ceiling in elevators are for (specially made moving blankets hang on these - who knew?)

(10/12/07 - 11:47 PM)
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child's new book "The Wheel of Darkness" was a well written piece, but it lacked the supernatural flair grounded in solid science that I truly appreciate from these two. While the premise of the story was alright, it stretched my potential to believe to a breaking point. Always, always, always, these guys have made certain that plausible explainations existed for the odd occurances in their novels - even though they would have you believe throughout the entire text that something otherworldly were happening. And that, to me, is one of their greatest strengths. This time, their explaination was too much to bear, and I think that, ultimately, that hindered the book from becoming something more. Also, it did not lend itself to good storytelling, in they it made the ending too damn convenient.

The story centers around a forgotten Tibetian temple in the middle of nowhere, who keep safe an object that will ultimately ignite the downfall of all of humanity. Also, there's an Anchorite monk living on premesis - a topic that I still can't find a book about, but not for lack of trying. Anchorites/Anchorists first came to my attention in John Case's "The Eighth Day" and ever since I have been passively seeking literature on the subject with zero success (if anyone finds something or knows of something, I'm all ears.) It's also rumored that an Anchorite is mentioned in the song "London Bridge", in that it was apparently good luck in earlier years to wall someone into structures such as bridges. Yeah! I want to volunteer for that job! Walled up in a bridge forever? Sign me up! Who does this?

Anyway, temple, Tibet, guy in a wall. Okay, so the item gets out, but no one can figure out how and it's up to our old friend Aloysius Pendergast to get it back (think David Niven on a good day with an Einsteinian intillect and a badge to back it up). The premise seems okay, and as I said, the storytelling is classic Preston-Child. They make their way across countries seeking the item, and ultimately end up on an ocean liner where the bulk of the story takes place and everything goes to hell pretty quickly.

All in all, I can't recommend this title over some of their earlier works. For my money, "Thunderhead" is still the best book in their repertoire, and a number of others could be considered must-reads as well. But this one... no - not this one.

(10/11/07 - 7:32 PM)
Terry Pratchett's new book "Making Money" is another triumph in what is fast becoming a string of hits. With every book under his belt, Pratchett becomes a bit more entertaining, concise and - surprisingly - insightful. He manages to create a running social commentary within a framework that even the most neandrathal of individuals can enjoy. And in this day and age, that's saying something.

I for one could very easily forget all about the rest of the world that he has created for himself and be purely content with stories surrounding the citizenry of Ankh-Morpork. The beauty is that I don't have to settle for this perfectly acceptable end, as Mr. Pratchett manages to juggle so many interesting entwining storylines that it almost boggles the mind as to how he keeps it straight.

I highly recommend this book but, moreover, I cannot recommend enough the entire Discworld series. It is an entertaining triumph of literature the likes of which I have never encountered before. And I for one can't get enough of the place.

(10/10/07 - 11:34 PM)
I went out into the shop this evening, and saw all of my employees standing in a circle in the back corner of the shop. Further, my 2nd shift Mazak operator was standing on a counter in the center of said circle. Was I curious as to whether they were re-enecting a scene from "The Dead Poets Society"? Sure, why not.

As I approached, I saw what all the fuss was about. A parakeet seemed to have found its way into the shop, and was being cautiously cornered by said operator.

Now, we've had loads of interesting things fly in the shop over the years - giant praying mantises', bats, finches, big-ass Mothra-size moths, lesser-known superheros, and on and on and on. But this was the first time that a parakeet had made an appearance. Alright, all was forgiven, but now it became my responsibility to handle this little problem. Yay! Lucky me!

The first question I asked myself was, "What in the hell do you do with a parakeet in a machine shop at seven o'clock at night that doesn't involve Richard Gere or a roasting fork?"

After consulting the internet, a magic eight-ball, and a guy walking around outside who smelled like pee and would answer only to "Big LeRoy", I realized that the literature on said subject was sorely lacking. It also turns out that even the less-reputable of the less-reputable restaurants in the area have some limits. Who knew?

So aloud I asked, "Okay. Before I call anyone, does anyone here want a parakeet?" This was met with a series of "No's", blank looks, nods to the contrary, and one giggle from my jovial 2nd shift mill operator who mildly resembles a lawn gnome (which makes his giggling friggin' adorable - we love ya, buddy.)

So, no one wanted a budgie. Well, I tried.

I made my way to the front of the shop to begin my consultation of the thin paper orcale that is the local phone book in search of someone who would answer that particular question in the affirmative. Enter, stage right, Mr. Phillip's Screwdriver.

Heeeeeee's baaaaaaack...

While I'm flipping through the phone book, he decides that he will do likewise - in the opposite direction of myself. I tolerated this, because he really leaves one no choice. In this, and many other ways, he is like Hepatitis B - once he's around, he can be controlled if you're lucky, but you'll never be rid of him and you wouldn't wish him upon anyone. Well, except maybe that skanky chick Laura who turned you down for the prom because you wore that "Wookie of the Year" Star Wars tee-shirt all the time, and she thought you were creepy.


Ahem... Anyway, he made numerous "suggestions", as it were, and to each I responded that I had already persued that avenue, thank you, but to no avail. So, as the usurpation of the phone book became complete, I changed tactics. I have a friend who knows everything about everything (for real - not in the Mr. Phillip's Screwdriver way where nothing amounts to anything more than a mumbled bunch of bullshit and everything from the Arc of the Covenant to the invention of Play-Dough manages to find a firm foothold in having come into being in a way revolving wholly around him - eat your heart out, Copernicus.)

Needless to say, I called and searched for nearly a quarter of an hour. All the while I was on the phone, Mr. Phillip's Screwdriver kept a running monologue as though I could - or cared to, for that matter - listen to both him and the person on the other end of the line with ease (I'd like to see him do that, actually.) I finally had to say to the other person on the line, "I'm sorry. Someone else is talking. Could you please say that again?", figuring this would hammer the point home.

Nope. His string still had some pull left in it, apparently.

But, I digress. So - quarter hour - fighting an unwanted monologue - no one wants bird. Got it? At this point, I finally get a message to the animal control officer in my region, letting him know that I have a bird that no one wants and that since Ozzy isn't in town, I can't bear to see it die and could he please be so good as to see his way to my place to pick the little fellow up, thanks so much?

The moment I hang up, Mr. Phillip's Screwdriver looks me dead in the eye and says - and I'm not making this up, people - "If no one else wants it, I'll take it home."

Dear, sweet, compassionate, loving Jesus please take me now.

(10/09/07 - 11:22 PM)
Someone that my wife works with asked a question today that got me to thinking. In conversation, my wife quoted a line from a song called "Me & Mia" by a power-pop band called "Ted & Leo the Pharmacists". The woman didn't recognize the line, and so the inevatable question was asked, and my wife told her the name of the band.

Her next question? "How does one even find out about a band with such a name?"

My answer would have been this: Stop listening to top 40 radio, and absorb everything until you find every gem that you can get your hands on. If your current favorite song can be heard every hour - on the hour - then you're sure as hell not getting it right. It amazes me how much great music is out there that nearly no one in mainstream society has heard of. And this is sad, because most of it is phenomenal. For just one evening, I would like to take over a radio station and simply blow everyone's mind by playing sensational song after sensational song that they've never heard before.

A guy can dream, can't he?

(10/08/07 - 11:47 PM)
I heard a snippet on the radio the other day that seemed to be from a television show (possibly Seinfeld.) It was a guy and a girl talking, and the guy says:

"When was the last time a cop gave you a ticket?"

To which the woman replied:

"Cops don't give tickets, stupid - they give warnings."

(10/07/07 - 10:22 AM)
Okay, one more trip to Mom's today, and the old house is officially done. I know I keep saying this, but the last-minute trips keep catching me in a lie. But seriously this time, I really mean it - I'm pretty sure that we're done now. Right? Good luck, Mom!

(10/04/07 - 11:11 PM)
Happy Birthday to me - worked a fourteen hour day, and got home around nine. My wife did bring me cupcakes though, since I was stuck at work. Man, she's keen.

(10/03/07 - 10:42 PM)
Happy ninth anniversary to my wife, Wanda, who is my wife. >Smooch<

(10/02/07 - 10:32 PM)
I actually pulled books from the collection today (you'll note the drop in the overall number on that page of the site.) I finally broke down and started removing some of the less desirable, fringe titles that do not a collection make. Amazingly, it was easier than I had imagined it would be.

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