Friday, August 31, 2007

I am just too good

Let's see. In my previous post I laid out plans for my 4 day weekend. And what is the status of my plans for Friday?
Made breakfast for the kids. Check...
Renewed my vehicle registration. Check...
(and this, in spite of the fact that there was a gas leak in the adjacent lot that prevented AAA from opening on time)
Banking. Check...
Laundry. Check...
A little unscheduled shopping at Wal-Mart, and lunch at Golden Corral. Check and check...
Looks like I might be able to push-up part of Mondays plan to take naps. Only the first of many for this weekend, I hope.
So, who else's day is going is smoothly as mine?

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

He's at it again

That would be me. And what is it am I at, again? How about a 4 day weekend...

And unlike so many other times, when I hope to have plans, but never seem to be able to afford them, I will actually be doing a substantial amount of something interesting this weekend. My plans are as follows;
I will be running most of the day. I'm starting out by making breakfast for the kids before Bob has to head off to school, and before Aliesha heads off to work. I'm thinking breafast burrittos. Next I have to renew my car registration. Last day to do it. Do a little banking. And then laundry at the laundramat. It would seem that in addition to my weed-whacker being dead, now my dryer is too. Sucks to be me, kinda. But I'll be able to afford another one in a few weeks when my FY '07 bonus comes in.
Hopefully, JT and I will get out to do some cycling. He suggested doing something different this time, instead of the usual trails we ride on. Sounds like a plan.
After church, Paintball !!! Tried it a few weeks ago and got rained out. This weekend should be much better for us.
Recover from everything else. Take naps. Watch TV.

I'll be sure to fill everybody in on how it all goes. Watch for pics from Paintball.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Doesn't that figure

Bob and I got out to do some yardwork yesterday. It's the first opportunity we've had in quite some time between the rain and the extreme heat that we've been having off-n-on around here. We even had his girlfriend, Brittany, over to help.
Bob mowed the lawn while I did the weed-whacking. And Brit, well, she decided to clean out the garage. And she did a great job of it too.
But the real kick in the ass was when the weed-whacker died. And I do mean died.
It was the strangest thing I've seen in awhile. I was just whacking away at the weeds along the driveway when I saw an unusual colored puff of dust come up into the air. Or, at least I thought it was dust. When I stepped back to let the dust clear a little, I realized it wasn't dust. It was smoke. And it was just sorta floating out of the weed-whacker. Then it cleared up.
So I resumed whacking the weeds, but the weed-whacker had lost power all of a sudden. So I stepped back and hit the trigger again. That's when I saw the flames shooting out of it.
OK. Let's just unplug the thing before I burn this house down...
I guess it's a good thing it's the end of the gardening season. Everything will be on sale, and I'm sure I'll be able to find another one this weekend.
Truthfully, I can't complain about this one burning up either. I only paid $20 for it three years ago. So I definitely got my money's worth out of it.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Quote for 8/27/07

"It really sucks that I don't like anything that's in it, but when it's mixed all together, it's friggin awesome."
Bob Cross

This is Bob's take on a Reuben Sandwich.
We stopped over at Mom's tonight so Bob could mow her lawn. Then we decided to stay for dinner. Can you guess what she made?


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Not so healthy

Ya know, I've been trying to lose some weight, once again, with my main focus being on simply getting healthier, not just losing weight. But as it stands right now, this entire weekend has just shot all of my recent efforts straight to Hell.
Let's see, I had Summerfest at work on Friday. Liz's Graduation party yesterday. And we had our church picnic at Revolution today.
Don't get me wrong. I've been able to eat healthier than I might normally do with such occassions, but I still eat waaaaaay too much. I've been eating more veggies than I typically would, but I also eat more junk with the veggies. I gotta tell ya, P.Dave makes some killer ribs, even when he forgets to bring the barbeque sauce.
Oh, well. I suppose I'll just have to spend more time on my stationary bike this afternoon.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

That was rather enjoyable

Today was JT's daughter, Liz's, graduation party. I was glad that I could attend.
The food was good and the company even better. I really do have to consider bringing a video recorder to any function that invloves JT. I couldn't begin to repeat half of the stuff he said that had me rolling around with laughter. Not because it's inappropriate, but because it happens so fast that I don't remember it after he's said the next thing to pop into his head. He admits that he spends a lot of time at home thinking this kinda stuff up. I have to say, I'm starting to believe him.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Quote for 8/24/07

"I figure, if I put the veggie burger on top of the real burger, I can forget about the lettuce and tomatoes."

Explained below.


Starting early

I'm so glad this week is finally over. And the weekend started a little bit early for some of us, kinda...
Today was our Summerfest celebration at Respironics. It's the company's way of telling everyone "Thanks for another great (read; profitable) year!". Ya gotta love it!
Basically, they shut down the plant at noon, they have our cafeteria service cater the event like a giant cook-out. Burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and let's not forget the potato and macaroni salad. They even had veggie burgers for our vegetarian associates. I just slapped one of them on top of my regular burger and skipped the lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. Deserts were provided by employees as a part of a bake-off. You could buy samples and vote for your favorite, and the money is being donated to the American Heart Association.
They also have all sorts of activities for us to take part in. One of the favorites is the dunk tank. Everyone stands around and waits for their supervisor to get on the seat. You have to pay a dollar for 3 balls, and again, the money goes to the American Heart Association. But who wouldn't want to see their boss get dunked?
There's also a car cruise in one of the side parking lots. A Volleyball tournament that usually lasts until about 5:00. Casion games and bingo. A trivia quiz-show type thing that I did. A chinese auction for a variety of prizes ranging from flat-screen TV's to gift cards and certificates for local establishments. But the most sought after of prizes are the vacation days. Everybody wants another day off.
There were a few other things that I wasn't paying attention to. But there's also free ice cream. And the guys from the machine shop launch T-shirts from air-cannons all afternoon. I got hit on the head by one of them. And it doesn't even fit me. I'll have to give it to one of the kids.
All in all, I'd say it's a pretty decent way to wrap up the work week and start the weekend out right.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Quote for 8/23/07

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself."
Josh Billings

I doubt that very much, but I liked the quote anyways.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another year gone by

My darling daughter turns 19 today.

And, once again, I feel old.
I bought a nice digital camera for her. It's pink. Then we went out to our favorite chinese buffet for dinner.
Happy Birthday, Aliesha.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Signs 8/20/2007

I can't help it that this reminds me of a one-liner I heard many, many years ago;

"Love thy neighbor, but don't get caught."

Yeah, that was bad. I apologize. I'll try not to let it happen again.

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And there was much rejoicing throughout the land

Or at least in my house there is.
I can't believe it. The Greater Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival has been redeemed and re-opened.
Last year I was filled with a great sorrow over the fact that the original owners couldn't afford to keep it going after more than 10 years. It was such a blow to my heart that they had been advertising bigger and better things for the upcoming season, only to announce that they could no longer remain fiscally viable.
But, lo! And verily I tell you, a knight, or perhaps several knights, in shining armor have rescued Morelandshire from ruin. And the valley shall be filled with revelry once again. I cannot wait to go.

I am seriously considering talking to P.Dave about making another youth outing of this. Group rates, ya know.

I am so geeked about all of this right now. It's always such a blast to exprience the Ren Fest. And I have some really awesome pics from the last time JT, Bob and I went. If you'd like to see them just go to my September 2005 Archives and scroll down til you see them. Unfortunately, the pics were posted before Blogger allowed more than one image per post. So it's one looooong archive.

Hey! Open invitation to anyone who wants to join us when we figure out which date is best for us. The more the merrier, right?

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mild disappointment

Today was supposed to be a wonderful day of death and destruction on the field of battle: Paintball.
The youth from our church were all geared up and ready to go. Until I had the displeasure of being the bearer of bad news to DJ, Matt and Bob.

Unfortunately, it was postponed due to the weather.
You can tell by the look on Julian's face that there was not much joy to be found here today. You'd think that a little bit of rain would make things more interesting. But Buddy, the owner/operator of the paintball field, decided that the conditions were not conducive to everyone's safety. And safety comes first with Buddy.

And I was so looking forward to seeing the new Boondock Saints (P.Dave and P.Roger) in action.

So, as an alternative, we opted to go see a movie at the Lowes Theater below.

We went to see The Last Legion. It was an OK movie. I'm not gonna review it here, but I will say that you're probably better off renting it when it comes out on DVD. What I will talk about is the commercials that were on before the previews.
That's right folks, commercials. I knew about the various advertisments that play on the screen prior to the start of the movie. But actual commercials?
I guess I can't complain too much. Capitalism at work, right? But it also set the stage for what turned out to be a perfectly timed bit of humor.
Fruit of the Loom had a commercial featuring country singer, Vince Gil singing this really touching song with the Fruit of the Loom Guys, about how important his dad was in his life. It was really pretty good, for a country flavored commercial. And for some odd reason, when the commercial was done, the entire audience was silent. Then, out of the darkness, without a moment's hesitation, Bob yells out "I love you, Dad!"
What else can I say? He's my son.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Get outta my way !!!

OK, let me start this post with the following disclaimer:

It is, by no means, my intention to demean or insult anyone's religion or religious beliefs with what I'm about to post.

Here goes.

For those of you who are familiar with my area, you already know that there is a magnificant Hindu temple that overlooks the Parkway East between the Monroeville and Penn Hills exits. I've never been there myself, but from what I can observe from the road, it is a truly beautiful piece of architecture.
In fact, this temple is so incredible that people travel from all over the country to worship at it. I couldn't tell you the number of out-of-state license plates I've seen, as I'm riding to or from any of the places I frequent, along the route to this particular temple. But I wish they'd all stop !!!
Apparently, none of these people know how to drive. Or maybe it's just a matter of not knowing how to read directions. Perhaps they don't believe in using Mapquest. I don't know what it is, but it's annoying the Hell out of me when I have to follow one of these geniuses while I'm trying to get home.
I swear, they stop at every single intersection along the route, whether there's a Stop sign or not. They attempt elaborate U-turns in the middle of busy streets. They pay no attention to the various signs posted along the route that actually say "S V Temple" and have arrows on them, pointing the way. What is wrong with these people?
It's getting to the point that every time I see an out-of-state license plate I want to just get out of my car, tap on their window and tell them "Just follow me."

Of course, building this temple in the middle of nowhere was probably not the wisest of things to do. Building it several miles away from the nearest Parkway exit - while it is in clear site from the Parkway - probably doesn't help matters much, either. But you'd think that since they went to the trouble of finding a nice, quiet, out-of-the-way place to put this temple, they might want to offer detailed directions to anyone who's visiting from another state. Let alone those who've come from another country...

OK, that's all for this particular rant

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Quote for 8/18/07

"We say, "I have done nothing today." Really, have you not lived? This is not only the most fundamental but the most illustrious of your occupations. Have you been able to think about and manage your life? You have managed the greatest burden of all. To compose our nature is our responsibility, not to write books. To gain order and tranquility, not to win battles and provinces, is our goal. Our grand and glorious masterpiece is to live suitably."
Michel de Montaigne

I have to say, there is something significant to be said of this quote, considering that 11 years ago today I was dead.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007


We had our Writer's Workshop tonight. Our assignment for this session; The best hiding places for Hide-n-Seek.
Becca told a true story about her older brother faking running away from home. JT shared tales of the complex mathematics involved in trying not to be "It". And me, well, this is what I had for tonight:

It was the best place ever. And even though I used it quite often, nobody ever believed me when I said so. When it came to Hide-n-Seek, I had the best hiding place in my neighborhood. Possibly even the world.
It wasn't the kind of hiding place that everybody else seemed to look for. You know which places I'm talking about. The ones that were behind bushes or under somebody's porch or deck. While all my friends were looking for places that were concealing and yet open ended enough to make a quick escape from, none of them were really that effective. Once they were found, it was inevitable that they would be caught before they could escape the clutches of whoever was "It".
But not me. My best place was the maple tree growing in my next door neighbor's back yard. Of course, the first argument any of my friends had against using this as a hiding place was that if you were found, you were cornered and had nowhere to go to escape. But that wasn't necessarily true.
You see, this particular tree was located right at the bottom of a small hill. So, while I would climb up to a height of about 30 feet above the ground, once anyone discovered me they would have to start climbing up into the tree to catch me. As soon as they committed to this I would wait until they were about halfway up. Then, without hesitation, I would jump out of the tree from where I was onto the hillside. The angle of the hill made it no more than a 10 foot jump for me. But the thickness of the lower branches made it impossible for my chaser to make the same maneuver. And that always gave me more than enough time to get out of sight and into a new hiding place.
But what really made this place great was the fact that when we played at night I could practically make myself invisible in the branches. It was simple enough to do with the right clothes. Black, dark gray or dark blue colors and one could easily blend right into the shadows and branches. I couldn't tell you the number of times that someone would look right at me and never notice I was there.
Yeah, it was the greatest place to hide. Or maybe Bob is right about us being ninja's...

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Quote for 8/15/07

"I'm a professional sarcaster."

It came up tonight during our Writer's Workshop.


Smoke 'em if ya got 'em

Have you seen the video yet? The one about the San Diego marijuana fire...

Go have a laugh. You deserve it.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Will there be anything else?

OK, let me see if I have this straight. Currently, at work, I am expected to:
... test life support devices (that is my job, after all).
... train a co-worker to test life support devices.
... examine new documents for verification and validation of their processes.
... make note of any changes necessary and bring them to the attention of the people who can implement them.
... build sub-assemblies for the person who didn't show up.
... assist engineers with various projects.
... assist technicians with troubleshooting and diagnostics.
... assist co-workers with their own processes.
... entertain our most notorious gossip with mis-information (to keep her from getting any real dirt on anyone).

And yet my paycheck isn't getting any bigger...

In all honesty, I'm not really complaining about my additional responsibilities. I like knowing that I have greater value to the company than those individuals who just show up to do their job. But sometimes it gets to me.
I'll admit it that I've intentionally avoided any kind of leadership positions to keep from getting too stressed out by my job. I love my job just the way it is. More responsibility would mean more stress. More stress would mean less enjoyment. And I don't want to start hating my job. So, you'll just have to excuse me for venting here.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Signs 8/13/07

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Quote for 8/12/07

"Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death."
Arthur Schopenhauer


Friday, August 10, 2007

That really sucked

No sooner had I walked through the door after work yesterday and the power goes out. It didn't come back on til after midnight. Of course, the thunder and lightning were spectacular for most of the evening. But something that really had me and the Boy ticked off was that the houses directly behind us had power before 8:00 PM, and the lights never even went out on the hill across from the front of my house.
And don't get me started about the various different leaks we discovered yesterday. That's a whole different topic...


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Quote for 8/8/07

"If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?"
John Cleese

Read below for my explanation.


Doing my best

I just couldn't help myself with the above Quote.

I've been trying to eat healthier lately, and that means cutting back on some of my favorite tasty animals, while replacing them with fruits and veggies. And that's no easy task for someone who has a nearly insatiable appetite for red meat. Not to mention, a best friend who can use the Bible to prove that "veggies are a sin." (right JT). Which is why I say "Thank you, Jesus, for giving us chickens as a tasty alternative to the other delicious animals you created."

On a side note; I'm also the guy who believes the only redeeming quality of the onion is that it can be battered and deep fried to become onion rings or blossoms...

Now, if I could only discover a healthy alternative to nachos...

If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go eat a rice cake. Ya know, the cheddar cheese flavoring almost makes them edible.

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Quotes from 7/2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Knock, knock

Who's there?

My darling daughter, Aliesha.

I heard a knock at the door a few minutes ago, and that's who it was. Apparently she didn't remember to bring her key.
She informed me that she's moving back in with us this weekend. I was so tempted to say, "Says who?". But I didn't, because I'm happy to have her back home.
She found a job in Murrysville and starts training tomorrow. So she said goodbye to Sheetz and will be staying with one of her friends for a few days while she begins training (car-pooling). Then she'll start moving her stuff back into her room. And I left it just the way it was when she moved out in the first place - messy as Hell...

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Signs 8/6/07

Why do I feel so compelled to say "And also with you."?

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Quote for 8/5/07

"There are so many things about playing football that seem to me uniquely American. Anybody can succeed, anybody can play, but you've got to work hard to do it."
Dean Cain

Steelers play tonight.


It begins anew

Football season, baby !!!
Steelers play tonight in the Hall of Fame Game. Yeah, it's only the pre-season, but it's great to finally have a game to watch. Nobody bother me after 7:50...

I'm hoping this season goes better than their last.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

A BIG mistake

And I won't let it happen again.
JT called last night to let me know that he wouldn't be able to go cycling this morning, so I decided to try something different. I went to Boyce Park...
I went there, in spite of knowing that there are more hills in Boyce Park than you could shake a stick at. And yes, I began to regret that decision within moments of getting started. I will, however, keep this in mind if I ever consider training for something like the Tour De France.
Yeah, right... Like that's ever gonna happen...
To make a long story short, and to avoid too much embarressment over this particular ride. I rode less than 4 miles in about a half an hour and just couldn't push myself to pedal up anymore hills by the time I had climbed halfway up the second one. I'm so ashamed, but at least I didn't have a stroke or a heart attack.
Maybe next time, I'll find a nice empty parking lot to do laps in.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

How adorable

Tomorrow, Bob and Brittany will be celebrating their first anniversary as a couple. Isn't that sweet?
And Bob is going all out for it too. He's planning on taking Brit out to dinner. Actually, I'll be taking them, but he's paying for their dinner. I get to eat by myself - somewhere else. Then, after dinner, we're coming back here so they can have dessert in the downstairs gameroom. Bob already bought a chocolate cheesecake sampler from Wal Mart, and a pack of black cherry scented candles that he's scattered throughout the downstairs. And he picked up a DVD for her that they'll watch together while I sit upstairs and channel surf.
That Boy is such a romantic. He must get it from his old-man...

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