Monday, September 27, 2004


I get some awfully strange email in my inbox. Go over to ETS' place to see the latest.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Pop Quiz

Just because I was bored. Apparently, I know my music.

Good. You know your music. You should be able to
work at Championship Vinyl with Rob, Dick and

Do You Know Your Music (Sorry MTV Generation I Doubt You Can Handle This One)
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Guest Postin', Aussie Style

Note from me: I had invited one of my friends (& one of you three or so Loyal Readers) from Australia to give the guest posting thing a whirl. Had I checked my Hotmail account earlier in the week, I would've seen that she'd taken me up on the offer.


So, although it's a little late, here's Elly with some insight on a little game called Australian Rules Football.

Take it away, Elly!

Aussie Rules

We have a terrible problem down here on the great continent of Australia. Should we go to the Australian Rules Grand Final next week end? Yes it is the controversy if the year or at least the season.

Maybe I should first explain the game. This of course comes from a female who sees the footy as a bunch of blokes running around a bloody big paddock chasing an oval shaped piece of inflated leather. Some body once told me that it comes from some primal instinct in men to chase an oval shaped piece of leather around a bloody big paddock.

The aim of the game is to boot the foot ball between to upright goal posts. If you manage to do this you get six points. If you aim is off but you get it between the goal posts and the posts either side you get one point or a behind (the only game in the world where they give you a point for getting it close enough). Why they call it a behind I have no idea but I guess somebody thought was and he obviously got away with it.

The rest of the game is made up of the teams hand passing and kicking the ball towards the goals. Which is where the game got its nick name of "aerial ping pong" The excitement is watching them tackle each other in the process taking marks and 'screamers'. No I'm not going to explain that.

But back to our problem. You see Australian rules football originated in Melbourne in the state of Victoria. And due to lack of finances in some clubs, other states bought teams and the game grudgingly be came national and the VFL (Victorian Football League) became the AFL (Australian Football league) . A few years later some other states added their own teams.

But the game still remained Victorian. Until Now... Oh the horror! The grand final will be played by two non Victorian teams! *Shudder* *Cough* It's the headlines in every paper and on the news. Will people go to the Grand Final? Will the heavens burst? Will the milk go off before the used by date?

I guess all these will be answered next Saturday when the final of the big one will be played at the MCG.

Me? I think I'll take the day off due to lack of interest.

Me again: Let us know who won, Elly.

Or if the heavens burst.

Or if the milk went bad before it's expiration date.

Inquiring minds want to know!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

I found this...

...amongst the search engine referrals looking for Dave Couiler & Chia Head Mohawks:

Stomach moving under ribcage

And #4 on Yahoo!Search, to boot!

Y'all are just. Plain. Weird.

Can someone please explain to me why, regardless of how late I go to bed, I still wake up at 7a every freakin' day?

Friday, September 17, 2004

Fourteen Years

I found a picture of you
Those were the happiest days of my life
Like a break in the battle, was your part
In the wretched life of a lonely heart

~Back On The Chain Gang
- The Pretenders

September 30th, 1930, my stepfather was born in Mount Pleasant, PA. By the time he was three, his parents had died & he & his sister were orphans. The only family they had lived in England, so they were shipped off to live with them. Dad lived what I always pictured as a very Charles Dickensian life growing up. An abusive uncle. Went to work in the coal mines at twelve years old. Dirt poor. All during World War II to boot.

He & his sister were taken in by a couple of women, who I'm not sure if they were blood relatives or not. He did call them Aunt Stella & Lois. They treated Dad well & I remember him speaking of them often while I was growing up.

When he was old enough, he joined the Royal Air Force. A short time after that, he learned that he & his sister were American citizens (he had always thought he was a British subject) & was allowed to leave the RAF & return to the States if he agreed to sign up for the draft. He came back here, along with his sister & her husband.

And then the Korean War broke out & he was drafted & sent back to Germany.

Fortunately, Dad liked the Service.

Years later, he married his first wife & they had a son. They settled in the little town of Colton, CA, & Dad got a job with the state Department of Transportation, where he stayed for twenty-six years, painting the stripes on the highways all over San Bernardino County.

At some point, he & his first wife divorced. Then, some time later, he met my mom & they married. They & my little sister & I became a family. He took us & made us feel like his own children, never making us feel second rate. He taught me how to do things. How to work on & repair things. He taught me to eat everything on my plate, because waste was a bad thing. He taught me how to treat others. He taught me how to treat my wife & children.

He always made me feel special. He showed interest in my schooling. He'd sit as I showed him the comic books I'd won at the local shop. He bought me my first comic book. He'd look at the models I'd built & my Lego cars. We spent about a month working on my Millenium Falcon model, even through a blackout. He'd play Track & Field on the Nintendo with me. He showed me how to garden & cultivate. He taught me about the different parts of an engine. Even when he was really sick, just before he passed away, he came out to help me work on my car.

He would discipline us, but I know, without a doubt, that it was done in a loving way, to correct us, not to inflict pain or to frighten us. Once in sixth grade, I had gotten into a fight, over nothing really. The kid I fought with was a good friend. It was a misunderstanding. The principal said that I could take a suspension or a swat. Dad told them, in no uncertain terms, that no one touched his child. His child. Not his stepchild. Not his wife's child.

His child.

He was so proud of me when I joined the Air Force. I actually had the chance to get out before I went to Basic Training, but I didn't want to disappoint him, as much as I wanted to get out. Even though I didn't like being in the Service, I knew he was proud of me. It made it a lot easier for me.

He passed away fourteen years ago this week. He's been gone from us, physically, longer than he'd been with us. I know that he'll always be with me in my heart & in who I am as a father, husband & a man in general, but, oh, what I'd give to be able to talk to him. To go fishing or play cards or work on the car or anything. I wish he was here to see The Boy & to meet T. I know they'd both love him.

I wish all of you, Loyal Readers, could've met him.
And People Wonder Why I'm So Cranky

Email exchange this morning with a Customer Service Rep:

Me: According to the DHL site, the shipment was delivered in Spain today at 1230p, signed for by XXXX
CSR: So, the shipment is enroute, then?
Me: *Repatedly slamming head into desk in vain attempt to lose consciousness & avoid dealing with CSR*

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Too Tough To Die

I'm a t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-tough tough guy
I tell no tales I do no lie

I'm a t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-tough tough guy
Halo round my head too tough to die

~Too Tough To Die
- The Ramones

I always thought they were.

Johnny Ramone 1948-2004

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

What about thirteen?

Conversation on the way to work this morning (conversational format borrowed from Chris at Rude Cactus – I promise I'll give it back):

Her: ...if I found out that you were a serial killer & had fourteen bodies buried in the back yard I'd divorce you & then change my name back to my maiden name.
Me: What if there were only thirteen bodies?
Her: We'd have to talk about that.
Born For Me

You were born for me
Beautiful and blue
Stay here with you

~ Born For Me
Paul Westerberg

I was ready to rant about my cramped office & the floor denizen coming in to take a phone call & conducting the whole conversation, quite loudly, in Spanish & about how Irene is so freakin' insistent on leaving the door partly open, even though she knows the noise drives me nuts!


Instead, though, I decided to write, by popular request, about how T & I came to be us. In looking back through MLCotW, I've seen where I've talked about T & about things we've done, but I didn't see where I actually put finger to key & wrote about how we met.

So, without further ado, here you go...

Let's start back in December of '02. The exgf & I had split for the second (& last) time. The first time was bad (a post for another time, Loyal Readers), but this time, it was a great relief. I felt free for the first time in two years. But, after being in a relationship with someone for that long, I wasn't ready to jump back in the saddle just yet. I needed to be able to be myself again.

A few months later, after the infamous Subway Incident (where I finally felt the urge to hop back into the aforementioned saddle again - it was the first time someone really caught my eye since the breakup, so much so that I couldn't remember my order), I decided to see what the whole internet dating thing was about, since communicating with three dimensional women wasn't panning out for me (as was evidenced again by the Subway Incident, wherein I couldn't bring myself to talk to the woman that had caught my attention - in part because, for a few minutes, I'd completely lost my grasp of the English language). I tried a few sites & got nibbles here & there, but, with the exception of one date, nothing happened. Everyone was either too far away or had baggage or had both eyes growing on stalks out of one side of their face or something weird like that. So, in May of last year, I decided to say goodbye to the world of lonely internet users.

As I was leaving the site I had been on, I sent a few emails to some of the ladies that had viewed my profile in a last ditch effort to get a bite. I had a rule on these sites that I never clicked on someone who didn't have a picture in their profile. Even though I knew that people put deceptive photos on these things (I knew someone who'd gone to meet a woman, only to find out that she'd put a picture of her much, much better looking sister on her profile), I still figured that there was a decent chance that the person in the picture was the person I would be writing to. So, I went through the profiles & came to one that didn't have a photo. I don't know why, but I felt compelled to open her profile & see what she was all about.

She stated that she was just looking for a pen pal kinda thing, nothing serious. I figured "What the heck? Can't hurt to have someone to correspond with." Besides, she was in Arkansas - nothing could come of that, right? So, I sent her a very stiff email (I'm horrible at introductions) saying that if she wanted to write back, that'd be nice, blah, blah, blahdity blah.

To my surprise, she wrote back. She told me about herself & where she was from & schtuff like that. Her style of writing was a lot like mine, so it was very easy & natural writing to her. I asked her for a pic, so I'd at least have a face to go along with the written words.

That was when I began to be hooked. I'd look at her picture as I wrote to her. I'd wonder about her, what she was like, what she sounded like. One weekend, she told me that she was going to be gone & not have access to a computer. I knew something was up with me then because I actually missed her that weekend. This person that I'd only written to, that I'd only "known" for a little more than a month - I missed tremendously. I checked my email all the time that weekend in hopes that she'd gotten home early or used her brother's computer or stopped by a Radio Shack & used one of their displays to send me a message. When she got home, I was a little afraid that my emerging feelings would start showing through in my writing. I had to be careful with what I said to her.

Soon after that, we started instant messaging each other (is this a 21st Century love story or what?). Being able to communicate in roughly realtime, we found out that we had a lot in common, including a quick wit. We IM'd almost everyday.

At the beginning of July, we decided to take the next step & actually talk on the phone. What was going to be a short conversation, as she had to go somewhere that evening, turned into a two hour talkfest that I don't think either of us wanted to end.

By this time, I knew I was falling hard for her, Loyal Readers. We talked everyday with the exception of one & that was one long day. In fact, that's the only day we haven't talked to each other since that first call in July of '03. Many of those calls would start in the late evening & go on until the morning. One night, we started talking at about 8p my time. By the time we hung up, we had both seen the sun rise on a new day (thank goodness for unlimited long distance packages) in our respective timezones.

Finally, during one of our late night/into the wee hours of the morning phone calls, we told each other how we felt. Much to my pleasant surprise, she felt the same for me as I did her. I knew then that I wanted to marry her. I wanted no one else. I needed no other woman.

I have all I need in her. I have been blessed beyond measure by having her in my life.

I love you, Beautiful, with all my heart, soul & spirit.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Geek Out!

I've geeked out twice this month. Big time. Allow me to elaborate.

As you read over Labor Day weekend, one of T's friends from Arkansas came out to visit. While she was here, she wanted to see Hollywood & Beverly Hills & all that. I hadn't been there for awhile & found that they'd really cleaned up Hollywood Blvd. & Sunset. Lots of touristy type places to go to.

Just outside Grumman's Chinese Theatre, there were actors walking around for photo ops. One guy was dressed in a ratty looking Spider-Man outfit, a couple of people were dressed as Michael Myers from "Halloween" & Jason from "Friday The 13th." There was even a woman dressed up like a dominatrix/cop kinda thing. Come to think of it, she may not have been an actor.

Anyway, we're walking down the street & what to my wandering eyes should appear but -

a man dressed in Stormtrooper armor.

I just about lost it right there, Loyal Readers. It was all I could do to keep myself from jumping up & down. The photo op cost a dollar & I had my greenback in hand, waving it like a middle-aged woman at a Chippendale's show. I finally got my turn to get a picture & instead of saying something relatively witty & completely geeky, all that fell out of my mouth was "Duuuuh..." & probably some drool.

Incriminating pix are soon to come.

As if me geeking out over a guy dressed as a Stormtrooper wasn't enough of a clue, T got to see just how big of a Star Wars geek she married last night. I saw the commercials for the Star Wars DVD release next week (only eight more days!). I must've looked like a kid a week before Chirstmas, shaking & foaming at the mouth. Or a thirty-two year old man who seriously needs to get out more often.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a straight face while kissing your wife & having the song from the cantina scene in Star Wars going through your head?
We'll Discuss It?

There's been a little upheaval in my office. Blonde In The Corner has left for (hopefully) greener pastures.

I can't imagine that there's anyplace with greener pastures than the Company. /sarcasm

Anyway, her departure has left an open corner desk in the office. A desk that I would like to scoot over to. A desk that I'll have to wait to scoot over to because, when I expressed that I'd like to move over there & out from in front of the sliding door, I was told that "We'll discuss this next week."


What is there to discuss? It's a four foot move to my left. You call up the telcom & systems departments & ask them to switch my phone line & data port over & - voila! - I have moved. Everyone can still call & email & annoy the crap out of me. I'll just have a different wall to scream & shoot rubberbands at.

Because of this, I thought I was special until another co-worker informed me that it took almost a month to move his desk from out on the floor to a vacant office. A month, Loyal Readers! A month to move to an office thirty feet away from his old desk. A month for the management to grant him approval to move his computer, phone & five pictures.

All that I've ever been required to do in order to move to another desk in every other office I've been in with this company is to find a box. Oh, & move my chair to the other desk. That's it. All done. Back to work. No discussing necessary.

But, everything in this department must be made as difficult as possible. I think there must be something in the policies & procedures that states how many flaming hoops must be jumped through in order to do anything. Call in late - two flaming hoops. Switch lunches - seven flaming hoops. Call in sick - eighteen flaming hoops, blindfolded, plus be dragged across carpet tacks & then dipped in alcohol. You get the idea.

I came to the realization a long time ago that the Boss Of My Boss (BOMB) has nothing better to do with her time than to micromanage every aspect of our time here & to enforce every...single...rule...& regulation that she can find. Of course, this doesn't stop her from being out of the office most of the day doing who know's what. But, she's got her reasons, I'm sure. Maybe she's finding other amusing ways to torment us. Jalapeno enemas, perhaps?

Better not give 'em any ideas.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

The Score So Far...

Clown Car Starter - 1

Jay - 0

Round two begins tomorrow.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Never Forget

To the families of those lost three years ago, we will never forget.

To the police, firefighters, medics & soldiers who are out on the frontlines, we thank you.

Thank you all.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

This being a holiday weekend, many-many-many folks are out doing holiday things such as camping and fishing and picnicking, taking part in community productions, reenactments, bonfires, beer-drinking and belly-scratching, etc., etc., yadda-yadda-yadda.

Most people will continue doing such come Monday, because Monday is the holiday, and when there is a holiday one must do things such a camp and fish and picnic, take part in community productions, reenactments, bonfires, beer-drinking and belly-scratching, and they mourn the loss of their holiday weekend o'plenty come Tuesday morning when it's time to shimmy back into the work clothes and actually earn the money they were busy spending on camping gear, fish-bait, picnic baskets, costumes, faux ammo, lighter fluid and beer. (To the best of my knowledge belly-scratching is still free.) (Unless you're in WeHo.) Except for me.

Because I am the sole payroll person for my company, a company with 750+ steady employees with a 150% turnover in any given year, I have to make sure that my holidaying employees still get paid on time. Because this week upcoming is a payroll week, I have to make sure that I do my job in order to get them paid on time, and because my payroll schedule does not care that I would much rather be doing anything but working on a holiday weekend, I will be working this holiday weekend. More precisely, I will be putting in five hours on Sunday and at least five to eight hours on Monday in order to ensure that we all have our checks on our regularly scheduled Friday payday.

Most people feel sad for me when this happens. Some of them even feel guilty to know that they are out partying while I'm slaving away to make their lives that much easier. A precious few will lift a bottle and give a great belch in salute to my hard-working nature. I like it when that happens. But you know what? I like these working holidays.

Don't get me wrong - missing out while the nation is at play can be a real bummer. However, my job tends to involve a lot of extraneous schtuff that makes it difficult to accomplish things on a timely basis. My weekends of work? Those days I come in when no one else is around? I live for those days.

Think about it: no one is there to walk into your office and demand immediate attention; no one is calling you on the phone demanding immediate attention; no one is even contemplating adding new duties to the roster throughout the day just when you begin to make progress on your hefty list of things to do. On my holiday work days? I get more accomplished in a five hour span of time than I can reasonably expect to accomplish in two days of a regular business work week on a same-task basis.

So don't cry for me, Argentina. The girl is all right. And this girl? This girl is not giving up her holiday. Oh no-no-no! This girl is taking Friday off instead. She is going to sleep in! She is going to lunch at a fancy restaurant in a sweatshirt and jeans! She is going to watch Garden State and find out the truth about the manatees! And this girl?

This girl is going to call all of her co-workers from bed, from in front of her computer, from the restaurant and from the movie theatre (before the movie starts, of course!) just to rub it in, the fact that they have to work and she? She is so totally enjoying her three day holiday weekend!

And, before I forget, Jay: Guess who is going to be one of the celebrities in the newest incarnation of The Surreal Life?

Yeah, I thought you'd be pleased!

(Posted by ETS)

Friday, September 03, 2004

Dear Jay's Mom:

I know that I am supposed to be blogging about interesting or bizarre things in Jay's absence, but I wanted to take a minute to tell you how cool I think it is that you read Jay's blog.

My mother doesn't read my blog. She knows that I have one but, having known me for all of my life, she says that she's afraid to read whatever I might happen to write. She then goes on to say that she thinks it's weird and she doesn't understand why this medium appeals to me.

This saddens me sometimes because I'd really like to share certain posts with my mother. (Not recent ones, of course. They seem to have lots of references to sweet manatee love in them, which is actually why you probably shouldn't hurry on over there anytime soon, either. Give me a few days to get the idea of naughty manatees out of my head, clear the front page of anything even remotely to do with manatees, then maybe you could visit.) The point is, I have fun with my writing, and I think my mother might have fun with it, too.

But she won't. She thinks I'm weird and she doesn't want to know about it. (And when one stops to think that there is an actual thread running through this week's postings that has to do with the mating habits of "sea-cows," one almost has to -reluctantly- admit that my mother may very well have a point.) Dang it.

So, yes, before I dove head-first into the next interesting post that I was going to put together for Jay while he and T and T's friend are out gallivanting, I wanted to tell you that I think you rock for supporting your boy in this regard.

Plus I'm procrastinating.

I hope you're having a delightful day!


(Guest-Post by ETS)
Scarce This Weekend

A friend of T's is flying in tonight & spending the weekend. So, since we'll be showing her around the place (& south of the border - Yi! Yi! Yi!), I've handed the keys to the place over to ETS.

I'll be back soon to regale you with stories galore.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Clown Car Blues

My wee little clown car that I got last year is broken. Well, more to the point, the starter is broken. It won't start. It has gone on to meet it's maker. It is an ex-starter. So, in an attempt to avoid the $65 per hour labor charge to have it replaced, T & I decided that I will change it out myself. I attempted to remove the deceased part last night.

This is when I found out that the good people at Honda have a great sense of humor. They just loves the practical jokes. How did I discover this, you ask?

Because the people who designed the engine made the starter AS FREAKIN' INACCESSIBLE AS POSSIBLE!!!

Oh, I can see the starter. It's sitting in there, it's carcass teasing me beneath a mess of tubes & wires. I just can't get to it without removing said mess of tubes & wires. Nor can I get any tools in to remove the bolts. Apparently, the engine compartment was designed so that only four-year-olds can get their hands in to do any work.

Ha ha, Honda. Reeeally funny. Freakin' hilarious.

So, this Labor Day, I will be attempting to save a little on labor costs by laboring myself over the car. And cursing Soichiro Honda every minute.

Lousy clown car.